Corporate Executive, Guardian Angel, Falun Gong Practitioner


By Gail Rachlin

I was born in Brooklyn New York in a Jewish family. Right after the Bolshevik Revolution, my father escaped the Soviet Union with his seven sisters on a boat. He met my mom in New York.

Influenced by my parents, I was raised religious but always had a higher belief in spirituality.

In high school, I organized a group of students to help an orphanage with disabled children after school. I also volunteered to help patients as a candy striper—or nurse’s assistant—at a local hospital during and after high school. My favorite subjects included history, literature, and fine arts.

I also worked as a model at age 15 and was runner up Miss New York State for the Miss America Pageant in 1963 while attending Russell Sage College at age 18. I got married and had a son at young age. But our marriage did not last long, and I soon became a single mother.

After college, I worked in several major corporations, climbing career ladders with American Airlines, American Express, Avis Car Rental, and Hilton. I specialized in marketing, public affairs, and human resource development.

At age 29, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer which nearly ended my life. In the operation room, my heart stopped for several minutes. While doctors were desperately trying to resuscitate my life,  I saw several religious figures wearing white robes. A voice told me: “I am here to protect you. It’s not your time yet.” After I woke up, I did not tell anyone about my near-death experience. I was afraid that people might think I was crazy.

During the following two years, I had several dreams interacting with religious figures. One man told me he is “Urumla”, which is a strange name for me. I remembered two men’s face so vividly that I was able to produce the portraits of them.

One day, a friend introduced me to the owner of a religious bookstore. I shared my story with the owner and showed my drawings. The bookstore owner thought “Urumla” is the name for St. Peter reincarnation in Africa. He also brought paintings of Jesus and St. Peter, which showed a strong resemblance to my drawings. This opened my mind and put my life in a different perspective. I was no longer afraid of death, but it also opened a door to an unknown arena with more questions.

Throughout my careers, I traveled extensively and met many interesting people. I also dedicated my time to learn many disciplines, both secular and quasi-spiritual. I attended Earhart Seminar Training (EST) in the 1970s. I even went to India six times to meet Guruji (a spiritual master) and became one of his disciples. I attended seminars by Shirley MacLaine and Deepak Chopra and studied many disciplines for human improvement, including those of Stan Groff, Jack Canfield, Bob Fritz, Tony Robbins, Ken Blanchard—the list goes on. In addition, I led and produced many seminars for Fortune 500 companies like Phelps Dodge and American Management Association and incorporated Meditation and Yoga in their programs.

These experiences greatly enriched my mind, but they did not answer my fundamental questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is the purpose of life? I got tired of pursuing every new theory that came up. I decided to focus on improving my inner self, and do something for the society.

In 1993, I joined Guardian Angels, the legendary vigilante organization in New York. As a director, I worked with founder Curtis Sliwa, helping him to establish Guardian Angels in several countries around the world. In 1997, I left the Guardian Angels to start my own public relations business.


Gail with the Guardian Angels and Mayor Giuliani

One day in the fall of 1997, I was at a health expo in the Javits Center looking for business opportunities for my firm. On my way to lunch, I saw a young Chinese man standing next to a table, passing out flyers.

“What do you sell?” I asked.

“No, This is free,” he said.

“Nothing here is free.” I quipped.

He was a graduate student in physics and was there to tell people about Falun Gong. The young man taught me some simple exercises and told me to buy a book called  Zhuan Falun.

I felt a surge of energy in my body. An inner voice told me, “This is your path.” I connected with several practitioners and began to read the book and do the exercises regularly.

At the advice of a fellow practitioner, I read Zhuan Falun from cover to cover in two weeks without skipping any sections. The book did not feel very religious, but some concepts were new to me, and I developed new questions as I read. I decided to read the book a second time. As I read more and more, many of my early questions were answered. All the disciplines that I learned in the past began to come together. Things began to make sense. It was a spiritual awakening.

Around the same time, I found a lump the size of a ping pong ball in my left breast. My doctor told me that it would take a few more tests to determine if it was cancer. I was concerned, but not in a real panic. After all, I beat cancer before. Instead of desperately rushing for a diagnosis, I intensified my Falun Gong exercises and reading. Two months later, before even finishing all my tests, the lump had shrunk to less than a quarter of the original size.

I began to understand the meaning of my life, my joys and sorrows, successes and failures, and the visions during my brief encounter with death.

I started going to Riverside Park at 105th Street to do the Falun Gong exercises with seven other women, all Chinese Americans. I also traveled to China in 1998 to meet with practitioners in Changchun.

In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a brutal persecution against Falun Gong practitioners. I decided to tell the American people and the government the facts about the persecution so that they wouldn’t fall for the CCP’s propaganda. As a spokesperson for Falun Gong, I met with politicians in Washington, business leaders in New York, and many other people who cared about the issue.


Now at age 80, I am still busy with my real estate business. For 5 years, I was among the top five agents with Keller Williams. My best record was 78 transactions in one year—not bad for a 70-something senior citizen.

My typical daily routine looks like this: Get up at 6 a.m., do the Falun Gong exercises for two hours, breakfast, do my business from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., read the Falun Dafa books for an hour. I go to bed at 10 p.m. Falun Gong gives me the physical strength and mental clarity to handle a schedule that would have challenged me back when I was younger, and I am very grateful to have found the practice. Even though I have had many colorful experiences in life, I feel like Falun Gong was finally what made them all make sense.

80 year birthday party