|▲ Photos of leaders Jeong Myeong-seok and Kim Ki-soon (Source: Netflix)|
Cults have become a hot topic due to the recent release of, ‘In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal,’ on Netflix. ‘In the Name of God,’ is a series with a total of eight episodes, with JMS, The Baby Garden, Five Oceans, and Manmin Central Church as the main subjects. When, ‘In the Name of God,’ was released, the bizarre crimes of the cult leader and followers became known to the world and shocked viewers.
‘JMS,’ which was first aired, is a cult, founded in 1978 by Jeong Myung- seok, the religious leader, and claims to be based in Christianity. However, since the doctrine created by Jeong Myeong- seok was a means to justify his sexual crimes, it is different from the existing Christian doctrine. To take the purpose of creation as an example among the differences, Christianity says that the reason God created human beings is to receive glory from humans, but JMS says, 'God created human beings as lovers or brides, so if you were only loved by God in the past, you must now actively love God.' Jeong Myeong- seok emphasized that he was the Messiah and brainwashed his believers into thinking that he was a living God standing in front of them, and then committed sex crimes using this doctrine. Jung Myeong- seok's sexual crimes began to surface in 1999 due to the attempted kidnapping of Hwang. Jeong Myung- seok brainwashed women into claiming that, 'I'm the Messiah, and my touch is God's diagnosis,' he then committed sexual crimes. Victims of the sexual crimes were given the position of evangelist, and they acted as a link between other women and Jung Myeong- seok. This created a vicious habitual cycle of the victim becoming the perpetrator. The fanatics of JMS threatened and assaulted the members who had left JMS to prevent Jung Myung- seok's evil deeds from being revealed. As a result of these criminal acts, Jeong Myeong- seok, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The second aired motif is, ‘The Baby Garden.’ It is a collaborative village- centered emerging religion created by religious leader Kim Ki- soon in 1982, and was not ruled to be a cult in the Supreme Court ruling. Kim Ki- soon was a believer in a cult called, ‘Joohyun Church,’ and after the dissolution of the church due to the prison sentence of Pastor Lee, she propagated believers, claiming that, ‘Pastor Lee asked her to entrust the rest of the members.’ Kim Ki- soon referred to herself as 'Baby' and danced in a white dress and rode a flower palanquin. In addition, the claim that, 'Kim Ki- soon is a god and is not a crime no matter what he does because he is a 3- year- old baby,' was called the, 'Baby Law.' Due to the fact that they had to love only Kim Ki- soon, they couldn't live with their family, and they had to treat their father as a sir and their mother as madam, treating them as if they were strangers. Kim Ki- soon took away the property of the believers, saying he would create a heaven on Earth, and created a center of labor exploitation: 'The Baby Farm.' In this process, Kim Ki- soon assaulted and murdered believers when they tried to escape. In fact, in 1987, Kim Ki- soon locked 7- year- old Choi Nak- gwi in a pig pen and starved him for several days, and instructed his aunt to hit him, then ordered the rest of the believers to assault him. After that, Choi Nak- gwi passed away. In 1997, Kim Ki- soon was sentenced to the death penalty, but was only found guilty of tax evasion and embezzlement, and was ultimately sentenced to four years in prison and a fine of 5.6 billion won.
Among many cults in Korea, JMS, in particular, is actively engaged in propagation to this day. Men often show favor through music or soccer and then talk about evangelism, while women are recruited through music, cheering squads, or modeling agencies. Currently, there are many postings written in detail about how propagating their work is being done in various communities. We hope that Changwon National University students will raise their caution about the cult by referring to the postings.
By Kim Na-young, cub-reporter email@example.com
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