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Where there is a will, there is a way.




年过半百,经历坎坷.少年遇"文革",下乡八载,虽历经磨难,唯斗志不减,农耕间隙自学不辍,终守得云开日出,考进大学.大学毕业后先后经历了中学执教,国企管理,外企高管,最后回归重执教鞭.目前在家精心培养有志掌握英语的中小学生. 我最大的愿望就是看到孩子学有所成,桃李天下.



2014-06-23 09:44:02|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Take threats of evil cults seriously


Wu Guangqiang


WHEN the public saw on TV that a young woman was beaten to death on May 28 at a McDonald’s in Zhaoyuan City, Shandong Province, after she refused to give her telephone number to a group of strangers, everyone was shocked. But everyone was also puzzled, as no sane person could make sense of such brutality over a trivial matter. “There must be some reasonable explanation behind this incredible incident,” I said to myself. 

Soon came the answer to the mystery: all the six suspects involved in the homicide were members of an evil cult, or heretic sect, named Quannengshen, which means “almighty god,” according to local police. The savage group consisted of 55-year-old Zhang Lidong, his two daughters and son, a juvenile, as well as two other women. It’s believed that they were trying to collect phone numbers in order to recruit new blood for their sect. 

During the brutal beating and in the subsequent police interrogations, nothing but cold-bloodedness was seen in these cultists. Zhang Lidong was seen smashing the victim’s head with a metal mop handle, while the other members participated in the violence or looked on coldly. Even after they were detained, none of them showed a shred of remorse. When asked if they were afraid of legal sanctions, Zhang said, “No, because we believe in god.” 

A brief review of the development of evil cults can help people understand why the cult members were so ferocious. 

The Chinese word “xiejiao” (evil cult) reveals the evil nature of such pseudo religious sects, leaving little room for controversy. But the English word “cult” is rather controversial with its imprecise definition and criteria. 

However, while the use of “cult” in a religious sense is still problematic, there is little disagreement when it refers to groups using manipulative brainwashing techniques to control adherents and induce excessive devotion or dedication to a group or its leader. Such cults are the target of crackdowns all over the world, as they are serious threats to the safety of people’s lives and wealth. 

Having nothing to do with normal religious practices, evil cults worldwide share something in common. The leaders of cults control and manipulate their followers with such methods as intensive ideological indoctrination, psychological intimidation, social humiliation and punishment, limitation of access to information, and outright deception. Cult members are often cajoled or forced into surrendering all their possessions to the cult; some female members even sacrifice themselves as sex slaves. 

The controlled members are often referred to as zombies, since they have totally lost their own thinking ability and will do whatever their leaders order, just as shown in the tragedy in Zhaoyuan. 

The brutality of Zhang Lidong and his like was eclipsed by that of other previous crimes committed by evil cults across the world. 

On Nov. 18, 1978, 914 members of the cult the Peoples Temple, a doomsday cult founded and led by James Warren Jones, were found dead in the cult camp in Jonestown, Guyana; most are believed to have committed suicide by drinking a grape drink laced with poison. Before the mass suicide, Temple’s security guards had killed Leo Ryan, a U.S. Congressman who visited Jonestown for a personal inspection, and four others, including three members of the press and a person from Jonestown who wanted to leave, and wounded another 11. 

On April 19, 1993, 76 people including women and children, died at a compound at Mount Carmel Center Ranch in the community of Elk, Texas, the U.S., belonging to the religious group Branch Davidians, led by David Koresh, who also died, after a 51-day siege by American police and soldiers. They all died in a raging fire initiated by a police tear gas attack. 

Another notorious crime by an evil cult was the nerve-gas attack on the Tokyo underground in 1995 by Japanese man Aum Shinrikyo, which killed 13 and injured 5,510. 

China has taken a zero-tolerance policy against evil cults. But to wipe them out is a tough job, as China’s vast, rural areas are a breeding ground. Comprehensive measures should be taken to steer people away from involvement in cults and dangerous groups through education and informed guidance, and to help individuals who have been victimized by cults readjust to society and re-establish a normal and healthy life.


(The author is an English tutor and a freelance writer.)


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