Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Former Falun Gong Follower Leads New Life

Thirty-five foreign nationals demonstrated carrying banners with the name of the notorious Falun Gong cult in the Tian'anmen Square area at about 2 pm Tuesday.


Thirty-five foreign nationals demonstrated carrying banners with the name of the notorious Falun Gong cult in the Tian'anmen Square area at about 2 pm Tuesday.

Local police removed them from the area as their behaviour violated Chinese laws governing parades, demonstrations and cults. They were ordered to leave China within a specified time.

The incident is still under investigation, according to local police sources.

New Life of a Former Follower
Meanwhile, Teng Chunyan, Teng Chunyan, a Chinese citizen holding American permanent residence certificate and a former Falun Gong practitioner, recently talked to the media about her breaking away from the evil cult.

"I hope my experience will help transform those obsessed Falun Gong followers," said Teng, surrounded by media at a Beijing-based re-education centre.

With her short hair neatly combed and eyebrows noticeably trimmed, the confident 38-year-old woman looked younger than her real age.

The beaming Teng, who has received formal training in Chinese herbal medicine, is far removed the Falun Gong devotee she once was.

Teng travelled to China from the United States many times between February and May of last year to collect information on the Chinese Government's handling of Falun Gong issues for Beijing branches of foreign news agencies and introduced Falun Gong followers to foreign reporters.

Her belief in the Falun Gong cult began to waver after she was sent to a Beijing-based re-education centre in June 2000.

Recalling her former devotion to Falun Gong, Teng said that family members and friends could not persuade her to give up her blind passion for the cult.

"I completely refused contact with the outside world and only believed in the cult and the propaganda that flooded the cult website," Teng said.

Teng started to doubt the credibility and motives of the cult website when she found that her re-education centre roommate Yao Jie, now no longer a Falun Gong follower, was reported dead by the website because of her conversion, but was actually living a normal life.

"What helped to change your belief in Falun Gong?" asked a reporter.

"Truth can never be concealed for long. I saw with my own eyes police patiently helping educate Falun Gong followers and trying their best to save the lives of believers who wanted to commit suicide," said Teng.

Teng has also talked with many former followers and was deeply impressed with their experiences.

"My personal experience made me reconsider the so-called facts published by the cult and I completely changed my mind," said Teng.

When asked about her conversion process, Teng said: "True belief can never be forced."

"I am pleased to have shaken off the spiritual shackles of the Falun Gong cult and return to a normal life."

Teng Chunyan is now an active member of the re-education centre dancing troupe and is busy preparing for an upcoming art performance organized by the centre.

"I have not been abused since my detention and have not seen any sign of beating or admonishment here. Police in the centre are very polite and kind," said Teng.

The 75-year-old father of Teng Chunyan came from Heilongjiang Province last week to visit her and was relieved to see his daughter regaining her energy and vigour.

"I am happy now," Teng said, "Justice will finally defeat evil. "

Maltreatment in Jail Rumor
she told the reporter that she did not get any persecution, management in the jail is very civilized, she did not get any persecution in spirit and language.

Altogether 13 roommates live in Teng's room, they can read English novels, dance and sing every week. On weekend evenings, they can also watch TV programs, sing karaoke. Teng is also a member in the jail art team and often participates in art performances.

She met Yao Jie in the jail, she heard rumors from outside that Yao Jie died as a result of not practicing Falun Gong. This matter all of a sudden destroyed Teng's absolute belief in Falun Gong.

Teng's father told reporters that many people abroad are concerned about Teng, but when they heard that she is quite ok, they did not ask any more, if they really care for her, they should tell others about Teng's condition.

Teng was born in Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province and went to the United States in 1990.

She was detained by police when she tried to enter China via Luohu Port in Shenzhen in May 2000 and was sentenced to three years of imprisonment.

Beijing People's Procuratorate filed a suit against Teng in November the same year, then she was sentenced to a three-year imprisonment with deprivation of political rights for one year by Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court December 12 in the year.


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