On our neighbourhood “Anti-Evil Cult Warning & Education Propaganda Board”

This public service announcement — in which a woman is sentenced to re-education through labour for propagating her beliefs on public transit — is brought to you by the Qingdao Anti-Evil Cult Association 青岛市反邪教协会 and the Qingdao Office of Guarding Against and Dealing With the Evil Cult Problem (青岛市防范和处理邪教问题办公室). It’s not about Eastern Lightning (东方闪电), the cult that recently made news, but rather the #1 ‘evil cult’ in China. I just happened to notice it when I was taking our daughter out to play in the snow with all the other kids. Translation below the images; corrections welcome.

“Evil Cult Warning & Education Propaganda Board”

“Every person reject evil cults, life is happy and fine.”

“Spring, summer, autumn, winter, four season’s skies,
sunshine and flower buds fill the campus.”

“Schools are originally pure and holy places,
how can evil cults’ filthy blemish be tolerated?”

“Don’t believe gods and demons and don’t believe evil,
from childhood be determined to lofty ambitions.”

“Hold up science and break superstition.
Strenuously resist evil cults entering the campus.”

“Campus rejects evil cults.”

“Hold up science and civilizedness, promote social harmony.”

“On public transit publicly propagating “[evil cult’s name]” preposterous reasoning and nefarious theories.”

“Warning! On public transit publicly propagating “[evil cult’s name]”,
what nefarious audacity!”

“Liu [X], female, 57, high school education. Because Liu had previously participated in a “[evil cult’s name]” evil cult organization, many times going to Beijing and causing trouble, she was re-educated through labour for one year. After her release, Liu continued her obsession with “[evil cult’s name]”. On Jan 27, 2004, Liu was on the bus propagating to passengers “[evil cult] is good” and distributing “[evil cult’s name]” protective charms, creating a vile societal influence, and was arrested by the Public Security People’s Police. In accordance with the relevant regulations of the “Reeducation Through Labour Pilot Scheme”, Liu was sentenced to two years of re-education through labour.”
刘X,女,57岁,高中文化。刘曾因参与“[邪教的名子]”邪教组织多次进京滋事被劳动教养一年。解教后,刘继续痴迷“[邪教的名子]”。2004年1月27日,刘在公交车上向乘客宣传“法[邪教的名子]好”散发“[邪教的名子]”护身符,造成恶劣的社会影响,被公安民警抓获。 本据《劳动教养试行办法》有关规定,对刘x处以劳动教养二年。

(Police officer says:) “Hope you come to see the truth properly.” 希望你好好醒悟

The third poster, which I apparently failed to photograph, is about Mr. Feng, a 44-yr-old worker who spammed people too much and got caught with evil cult materials at his house. He got a year of re-education through labour. (We’ve received this kind of spam before — in our case they were automated, anti-Party robocalls.)

A year or two of labour camp is the punishment they’re admitting to. For the punishments they don’t admit to, see the third chapter of Ian Johnson’s Wild Grass: Three Portraits of Change in Modern China, and the details of this letter allegedly snuck out of a Chinese labour camp, which mentions how evil cult inmates are treated more harshly than the others.

More about Chinese “evil cults”:

More about re-education through labour:

(P.S. – Since blessing the world with my political opinions is not among the primary purposes of this blog, and this particular “evil cult” is an especially sensitive topic in China, I’ve removed the cult’s name from this post. I don’t want to unnecessarily risk getting “harmonized“. However when it comes to “evil cults”, I think this guy has a good point.)

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