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Other Korean Cults & New Religious Movements => Other Korean Cults & New Religious Movements => Yoo Byung-eun & The Sewol Ferry Disaster => Topic started by: oopark on June 12, 2014, 05:44:23 PM

Title: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on June 12, 2014, 05:44:23 PM
Hi, my name is Oscar and I am a member of the Evangelical Baptist Church (dubbed Guwonpa). I wanted to start a thread in defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church . I would like to clarify that Oscar is not my legal name.. I have a Korean name but would prefer not to use it as I do not wish for my private life to be targeted upon the S. Korean press.

I can't help expressing the feeling of disgrace having to write in a forum that discusses us on the level of JMS, but the prosecutors and press of S. Korea have already disgraced us and created us into a living monster and just leaving it alone would definitely keep us that way - especially to the English speakers who barely have any access to our side of the story - which is why I've decided to step up (or should I say step down) and start this thread.

I first came out to the Evangelical Baptist Church when I was in 3rd grade elementary in Korea. I have listened to countless sermons by Pastor Kwon, Byungeun Yoo and others. I have spoken directly to Mr. Byungeun Yoo on a few occasions and translated for him randomly on one occasion... I volunteer during church meetings and events. I also had a rare chance to volunteer with the photo exhibitions in NY as well and have lots of friends working in church member related companies so I feel more or less comfortable to discuss most matters on the news.

You could say I am a firm believer - of the Bible of course, but I am no preacher or evangelist. I am just a regular member of the church like most other people within the church. I will leave facts that I know of and the truth about the church, Mr. Yoo and his family in this thread. Whether I am a brainwashed member of a dangerous cult or not I will leave upon the readers to decide.


In summary, the S. Korean prosecutors, news media and witnesses against Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the church have literally made us into a cult, a secluded and dangerous group that follows the leader who knows nothing but money while brainwashing its believers. They have created an image of Mr. Yoo and the church as the source behind the 32 O-dae-yang deaths and the main cause of the 300+ Sewol ferry deaths. We are depicted as evil people who distort the teachings of the Bible, who spy and death threaten people who speak against us, and do things illegal for monetary gains.

I would clearly like to announce and truly say that these allegations are completely false and are completely opposite of what is shown on TV or in the news. We keep our faith in the Bible and we would do nothing illegal for our personal or public gains. We have raised our voice and concerns relentlessly but only a very few tend to listen and much, much less is publicly announced or mentioned in the news.

The whole frame is highly political. We already have bad, false impressions from the O-dae-yang case from 27 years ago, even though it was concluded "no connections". There are people who would gladly go out in public to speak against us. We are non-violent and mostly quiet and innocent people who would care less about politics. Overall, we are a very good prime target for the government to use and abuse during any national domestic threat towards the S. Korean government.

The Sewol tragedy itself brought huge blames on the Coast Guard, government and President Park. There could not be any further need to blame things on someone else. First they attempted to tie Mr. Yoo directly to the ferry incident. They succeeded to dub him as "the actual owner of Cheonghaejin" - someone who has no shares and has no legal control of the company whatsoever. Now, they claim he is a greedy person involved in misappropriation, embezzlement, money laundering and tax evasion. None of this is true and the prosecutors know it since they have all the bank records and when they make lies this far, they have to keep up and continue, capture him and put him behind bars for anything they can, even if they have to forge evidence, as was in the case of O-dae-yang.

I assure you the prosecutors are in a position to continually create bad news and stories to keep the public interested and angry against the church and Mr. Yoo instead of the government. Yesterday's raid of the church in Anseong with more than 6,000 police and prosecutors was just a mere show. Why would you send over 6,000 police to get through less than 400 scattered and mostly peaceful church members inside? Why would prosecutors take naps, together, on official duty during the largest church raid in police history? (http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=102&oid=001&aid=0006955837) (update: nap was 3 hours) Because they have nothing really to investigate!

I will detail more things as they come up.

I apologize for my unstructured writing but I will continue to write on behalf of our innocence. Whether it is the allegations that we are a cult and Mr. Yoo is a corrupt leader, or suspicions with the photography business, and any illegal issues brought up, I will clearly reveal to the best of my knowledge.

My native language is Korean and definitely feel more comfortable with it than English... please excuse me if my writings are not clear. I won't be posting every day but I'll try to make it every now and then to clarify things. If you have any questions or doubts about our organization, please feel free to ask.

Many of our basic civil and religious rights have been severely violated... but when the government is after you and creates a bad public reputation of you to the whole country, our options are very, very extremely limited. I hope this thread can at least show our innocence for those who want to know the actual truth.

Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 12, 2014, 10:04:52 PM
I can't help expressing the feeling of disgrace having to write in a forum that discusses us on the level of JMS,
Welcome Oscar, and thanks for taking the time to post here. Yes, I can understand your feelings about being grouped with JMS. In hindsight, I wish I had chosen a more generic url name, but JMS did start this interest for me, and given there's really no doubt it is a cult, jmscult.com seemed like a good idea at the time.

Certainly from what I've read, and although I am skeptical of Yoo, I wouldn't quite put him in the same league as JMS.

I have a few questions, mainly for my own curiosity as opposed to questions that perhaps may be more important.
First of all, what are your thoughts on the enormous sums of money that Yoo spent in Paris? There are reports that he spent millions of euros on various exhibitions, projects, and symphonies, all essentially in his honor. Some of the French articles (and I did too) compared that to the pocket change ($500) that the ferry company, allegedly under the Yoo's control, spent on crew training in 2013. Certainly the funds were there to make his ferries the safest in the world, yet it does sound like safety wasn't his main priority.

Since you did mention Yoo's sermons as a preacher, do you not think it strange that his biography on www.ahae.com (http://www.ahae.com) makes no mention of his religious life? I'm also curious about the 2.7 million photos in 4 years he took from the same room at your church's retreat. I did the math, and that amounts to one a minute assuming he did nothing else for those four years including sleep. If we factor in sleep, we're looking at a photo around every 40 seconds. What are your thoughts on that claim? Has anyone in your church to your knowledge felt that claim was false or at least exaggerated ?

And I guess the big one is, what are you thoughts on Yoo's decision to go into hiding? Before he went into hiding, he made a statement via his now ex-lawyer, his only statement I believe, that he would cooperate with authorities.

Also, what is Yoo's current role/position in the church? One editorial a few days ago said members view him as a god. While that does sound nuts, it's not uncommon, and there are certainly more than a few Korean and non-Korean church leaders who make such claims. And given earlier threats by members in Korea to kill themselves and more recently the expressed willingness for thousands of members to go to jail in defense of Yoo, I think it's safe to assume his position in the church is quite an important one.

Thanks again, and I certainly appreciate this isn't an easy time for you.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Edgar on June 12, 2014, 10:12:28 PM
Dear Oscar,

thank you for your decision to write a short contribution. Please be assured that your personal dignity is very important to the people who are critical of Mr. Yoo and his organization. I am not an expert for Mr. Yoo and his biography, so I would like to ask you something: As far as I learned from the media, Mr. Yoo was in 1992, convicted of "habitual fraud under the mask of religion" and then spent four years in prison. I wonder if you could provide me with some more detail what the allegations against Mr. Yoo were, and what the defense position was -- that is to say, in how far the single points in the verdict were unjustified. You write "I hope this thread can at least show our innocence for those who want to know the actual truth". I am quite convinced about your personal innocence, and I hope we can use this opportunity to talk about the truth and the details of Mr. Yoo's biography.

Best regards, Edgar.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on June 13, 2014, 04:07:06 AM
Before starting out, I'd like to mention that my answers are not really the official answer of the church, respective companies, nor of Mr. Yoo. I will try to be careful but I do not know everything so please take my answers as my own opinion. I don't think I can refute all claims properly and entirely and if I make any incorrect replies or supply inaccurate information, I will solely take the blame of it.

The questions you asked will take a good chunk out of my time so I will try to answer them one by one as time permits.

First of all, what are your thoughts on the enormous sums of money that Yoo spent in Paris? There are reports that he spent millions of euros on various exhibitions, projects, and symphonies, all essentially in his honor.

I think the funds spent in Paris was a pure business decision made by the supporting company or companies. If they had the purpose, means and opportunity to do it, why wouldn't they? The "Ahae" brand image and concept that I see formed is top class and the series of events are on par with it. I think it is the brand that the company is solidifying, not necessarily the person.

Some of the French articles (and I did too) compared that to the pocket change ($500) that the ferry company, allegedly under the Yoo's control, spent on crew training in 2013. Certainly the funds where there to make his ferries the safest in the world, yet it does sound like safety wasn't his main priority.

As far as I understand, Mr. Yoo does not have any shares, nor does not have any involvement in the ferry company management. Your question (or the media's) is based on an assumption that Mr. Yoo is in control of everything which is, in reality, just not true. The prosecutors claim they have proof, an employee number and organization chart.. I do not know if this is true but I don't think this will be enough evidence to tie someone who knows nothing about how the ferry company runs.

Any issues with Cheonghaejin, the ferry company, should be answered by the CEO of the ferry company, Hanshik Kim and he should be the one held accountable for any faults within the company. The events in Paris are run by Ahae Press, a completely different entity.  The question, at least to me, sounds like the media is blaming Samsung for LG spending too little on safety, or maybe questioning Samsung's semiconductor business' expenses because Samsung's ship business spent too little on safety?, with either not making any sense at all.

In fact, I think that going after the shareholders of the ferry company is a ridiculous thing in the first place... isn't a share based corporation a company where management and ownership is separate? Of course shareholders can have some influence but any legal responsibility goes directly to management, doesn't it? Why is it even going beyond the shareholders to someone who does not have shares nor is involved in management?

The only reason I can see is a nasty political intent and faulty religious based speculative discrimination here... a speculation that assumes Mr. Yoo is a leader of a cult and everyone under him obeys what he says. This speculation is just too wrong. We are a pure biblical layman's church, nothing close to any cult, and anyone who speaks of the Bible accurately has a voice within the church. Mr. Yoo is a highly respected person in that sense... if another person comes along with a similar level and proper knowledge of the Bible, that person can also receive respect as well, no question.

If you are up with current news, you will find that the prosecutors have changed their focus and are now concentrating on the corruption of Mr. Yoo and family instead of trying to link them directly to the Sewol accident. The prosecutors say they have embezzled enormous amounts... but I think this is another tactic of the prosecutors to falsify their image. For a fair report, I think they should announce how much of that money actually went into their pockets and if they paid their income tax on that or not. We are in the age of lawyers and CPAs... I doubt the court will find anything against them but who knows? Something like the results of O-dae-yang is almost certain to happen.

It's taking a lot of time to answer these questions...  I will try to answer more next time...
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on June 13, 2014, 04:12:53 AM
Dear Oscar,

thank you for your decision to write a short contribution. Please be assured that your personal dignity is very important to the people who are critical of Mr. Yoo and his organization. I am not an expert for Mr. Yoo and his biography, so I would like to ask you something: As far as I learned from the media, Mr. Yoo was in 1992, convicted of "habitual fraud under the mask of religion" and then spent four years in prison. I wonder if you could provide me with some more detail what the allegations against Mr. Yoo were, and what the defense position was -- that is to say, in how far the single points in the verdict were unjustified. You write "I hope this thread can at least show our innocence for those who want to know the actual truth". I am quite convinced about your personal innocence, and I hope we can use this opportunity to talk about the truth and the details of Mr. Yoo's biography.

Best regards, Edgar.

Hi Edgar, I have heard public comments on how unfair this trial was and the results were but I do not know the exact details of the case. I will try to look up things that I can find on the internet and maybe try to reach out to someone who knows more but obviously will take a lot of time. I will try to get back to you on this as I want to know more about the details myself as well.

I just want to mention that his imprisonment was the second trial of a case where he was previously ruled not guilty. I heard this was against a fundamental court principal that a person cannot be trialed again with the same charges of a case that has been closed? Also, on tv a few days ago, I remember one of our members saying there were no actual plaintiffs or victims of fraud present during that trial. I will have to look into this more.

Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on June 13, 2014, 01:42:28 PM
Since you did mention Yoo's sermons as a preacher, do you not think it strange that his biography on www.ahae.com (http://www.ahae.com) makes no mention of his religious life?

I did mention he gave sermons or lectures on the Bible. I am not quite sure if that makes him a preacher though...  if you asked me if Pastor Kwon is a preacher, I would agree because that was pretty much his full-time job, giving sermons, counselling for people and leading the church. On the other hand, Mr. Yoo is not quite the same... if you just listened to his biblical lectures, you would think that he is a preacher but if you think about it, during the times he did give lectures, it was once a week on a Saturday night. Did he provide biblical counselling or preach the Bible during the rest of his time? Did he act or perform tasks like a pastor or priest? The answer is no. He was normally caught up with his own business, busy developing products or putting ideas into works. And then, there were longer periods of times where he did not give any lectures on the Bible at all. For the past 5 (or more I think) years or so, I can't even recall a lecture where he opened his Bible and spoke about it... I think the description on Ahae.com website describes his titles accurately enough.

If there was no mention of his religious life, I think it would've been for people to take a look at his pictures without any religious sense or prejudice - especially for Koreans. I can't recall exactly right now, but I think there were some articles that mentioned his christian background.

I'm also curious about the 2.7 million photos in 4 years he took from the same room at your church's retreat. I did the math, and that amounts to one a minute assuming he did nothing else for those four years including sleep. If we factor in sleep, we're looking at a photo around every 40 seconds. What are your thoughts on that claim? Has anyone in your church to your knowledge felt that claim was false or at least exaggerated ?

There were absolutely no false claims or exaggeration about his taking those photos. They were all genuinely taken by himself and everyone who visits Geumsuwon (the whole farm facility) regularly knows about it. I don't think anyone is allowed to enter his studio other than his assistant who swaps out the memory cards for archival. I had the chance to see people reviewing the daily photos with Mr. Yoo once. I don't think they were able to go through all of them. It is quite amazing for a person in his seventies to physically perform a task like that, but it is all true and those photos - and timestamps - are the proof. Some skeptical people say that he must've hired younger guys to take photos for him or people claim he just shot them in burst (burst mode in high end cameras are 5+ frames per second these days) but none of that is true.

I think I have made it clear about the photography works. I will continue on with the other questions later...

Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: neutral on June 13, 2014, 06:20:42 PM
Where to start.. how about a quote from the Bible (Romans 13)

Quote
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake

And you said:
Quote
...and anyone who speaks of the Bible accurately has a voice within the church. Mr. Yoo is a highly respected person in that sense

You say he is respected due to speaking the bible accurately, but in fact he disobeys its words. Perhaps we should say "follow the words of the bible except when our own interests take precedent."

I'll leave the bible aside for now, except to mention what we know it says about wealth (serving two masters etc.) and how this relates to the huge amounts of money the Yoo family have accumulated. Whether they have done that legitimately we do not know.

Quote
As far as I understand, Mr. Yoo does not have any shares, nor does not have any involvement in the ferry company management. Your question (or the media's) is based on an assumption that Mr. Yoo is in control of everything which is, in reality, just not true. The prosecutors claim they have proof, an employee number and organization chart.. I do not know if this is true but I don't think this will be enough evidence to tie someone who knows nothing about how the ferry company runs.

He is thought to be the "de facto" owner of the company, meaning he is effectively the one who makes the decisions, as opposed to the "de jure" owner (concerning the law).

Now, we don't know if this is true, but there is quite a lot to suggest that it is. You mentioned a few points, but there are more. The employee who was in charge of the refitting of the Sewol (including an exhibition hall for Yoo's photos) testified that Yoo was directing it. Kim Han-shik (the CEO of Chonghaejin) also said that he warned Yoo about the instability of the ferry, and advised him to sell it off. There's also the matter of Yoo receiving a large (15,000 USD / month) salary from Chonghaejin.

It's clear that Yoo has at least some involvement with Chonghaejin. Whether it is enough to hold him at all responsible for the safety issues which led to the sinking, we also do not know, but he should at least be questioned. Of course this is difficult now as he fled, after earlier stating that he would co-operate.

I also know that EBC's (the church) position regarding the accident, rather than trying to distance Yoo from the company, has mainly focussed on assigning the blame for the deaths to the failed coastguard rescue mission, and creating, in my opinion, wild conspiracy theories regarding torpedos or a collision with a submarine. This has all been done in an attempt to deflect blame away from the company.

The reality is that the safety standards on the ferry were incredibly poor and the crew poorly trained; these were at best, contributing factors toward the accident, and at worst, the main cause.
 
Quote
The only reason I can see is a nasty political intent and faulty religious based speculative discrimination here... a speculation that assumes Mr. Yoo is a leader of a cult and everyone under him obeys what he says. This speculation is just too wrong. We are a pure biblical layman's church, nothing close to any cult, and anyone who speaks of the Bible accurately has a voice within the church. Mr. Yoo is a highly respected person in that sense... if another person comes along with a similar level and proper knowledge of the Bible, that person can also receive respect as well, no question.

Mr Yoo may not be the leader of a cult, but there is certainly a cult-like devotion to him. You yourself believe he can do no wrong, and refuse to believe any piece of evidence against him.

Quote
If you are up with current news, you will find that the prosecutors have changed their focus and are now concentrating on the corruption of Mr. Yoo and family instead of trying to link them directly to the Sewol accident. The prosecutors say they have embezzled enormous amounts... but I think this is another tactic of the prosecutors to falsify their image. For a fair report, I think they should announce how much of that money actually went into their pockets and if they paid their income tax on that or not. We are in the age of lawyers and CPAs... I doubt the court will find anything against them but who knows? Something like the results of O-dae-yang is almost certain to happen.

Mr Yoo, as you know, served 4 years in prison for, and I quote (from wikipedia which has a source)

Quote
"habitual fraud under the mask of religion" for his role in colluding with one of his employees to collect donations from church members in the amount of ₩1.2 billion (~US$1.15 million) and invest them in his businesses. He served a 4-year prison term.

Now I suppose you will say that he is innocent, and that he was framed, or the evidence planted. But let me ask you this - if the prosecution / government in control at the time had wanted to falsely convict him of something, why didn't they create false evidence linking him to the Odeyang murders instead, which would have been far worse? Instead he was cleared of this, but convicted of a financially related crime.

What makes you so sure he is innocent, of everything?
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Edgar on June 13, 2014, 08:16:32 PM
Dear Oscar,

I will try to look up things that I can find on the internet and maybe try to reach out to someone who knows more but obviously will take a lot of time. I will try to get back to you on this as I want to know more about the details myself as well.

thank you very much. I appreciate your sincerity and I am looking forward to your reply.


I have yesterday also taken a few minutes to research the issue and I found that the allegations are in fact quite serious:

Before the workers and leaders of the Odaeyang cult died, the company Odaeyang Trading transferred almost all of its capital to Mr. Yoo's shipping company, that is, about 17 million US Dollars.

This of course gives the impression that the leaders of Odaeyang were either religiously devoted to Mr. Yoo, or blackmailed/threatened into making this transfer, or even both.

To the outsider, this of course gives a very bad impression, and I hope that we can use this occasion to take a more detailed look at the evidence and clear up some possible misunderstandings.

By the way, if you need any assistance, in this or any other matter, please let me know.

With my best regards,

Edgar.

Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 14, 2014, 02:34:36 AM
I think I have made it clear about the photography works. I will continue on with the other questions later...
Thanks for responding. While I think I'll have to remain skeptical about the sheer number of photographs taken, I appreciate your response.

I don't want you to feel you're getting bombarded with questions (I do have more, but I think I'll save them until later), but I just read this article (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2990563) and am curious how it relates to where you are and your own feelings.
Quote
There are two major religious bodies in the sect. Members of one body reportedly advocate that Yoo should be brought to justice for the purpose of protecting the property and the sect itself. The second, whose name roughly translates as Layperson Evangelical Mission, claims adherents should help Yoo evade arrest.

Most of the followers who have been charged are known to have come from the latter entity. At the initial stage of the investigation, Yoo reportedly ordered Lee Jae-ok, his key aide, to disband the first group who attempted to distance themselves from Yoo.

I guess the first paragraph is more relevant and more believable as perhaps some may be inclined to discount the reported order in the second paragraph. It's certainly believable that some members of the church would disagree with Yoo's decision to become a fugitive. Has there been any discussion/disagreement about that in your church? And what are your thoughts on that?
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on June 14, 2014, 01:22:23 PM
Thanks for responding. While I think I'll have to remain skeptical about the sheer number of photographs taken, I appreciate your response.

I guess you would need to actually see the archived files with the metadata showing the date and time of the photos taken? The files are there, the exhibition photos are a tiny sample of it. I won't explain any further on this, and I don't think I even need to.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on June 14, 2014, 03:05:56 PM
Hello neutral,

That is a whole lot of questions there. I'm not sure if I can make all my answers reasonable to you, or others, but I'll just try what I can. I think I will be able to cover Peter's question on my thoughts of Mr. Yoo's hiding while on it.

Thanks for your reminder on Romans 13. I am quite sure everyone knows what that means, including Mr. Yoo. I don't think he will be hiding forever.. I think he will come out sooner or later, but right now is definitely not the right time. I will try to explain this more further down the line.

I feel the urge to refute every misunderstanding I see, but I feel that it will turn out pointless and almost impossible because all the information released during the investigation was in favor of the prosecutors and the government. In addition to that, with the bit and pieces the prosecutors throw out, the reporters have to create a story, a convincing yet provocative one so that readers will be engaged. How can I possibly go through and refute all of them? I can't... but at least I will try to make some points understandable.

I thought prosecutors were people who bring criminals to justice and uphold the law. Unfortunately, I have never been so disappointed by the South Korean prosecutors who release their investigation in favor of the government. I strongly feel that (maybe not all but) the S. Korean prosecutors are highly used as a political front for the government.

For EBC's stance, I know that they mentioned that if there is any fault with the ferry company, the company would have to be responsible... if there is blame to take, the company should bear it. I completely agree....  but there are also so many unanswered questions on the rescue efforts and investigation. The wild conspiracy theories are around everywhere and I don't believe much of those either but I think every effort should be made to clear doubts, leaving no stones unturned.

The prosecutors have pretty much wrapped up the investigation and the cause of the accident. All this in about a month without even hauling the ship back up. I don't think the investigation is complete... the families of the victims and more than one million people are crying out for the truth. The government is so not cooperating and is in a clear cover up position upon these requests. We want to know the exact truth and when that is clarified, the involved will and should take responsibility as required.

Going back to your last question, What makes me so sure he is innocent of everything?

I will try to summarize my personal stance on this answer into 4 parts.

First, on a biblical point of view,

1. Mr. Yoo has a very good understanding of the Bible.
2. He sets an example as a christian, not just by words but with action.
-> His faith in the Bible would not allow misdoings. (the fugitive issue I get to later)

Second, on a non-biblical point of view,

1. He has genuine thoughts on healthy eating and living, exercise, nature preservation.
2. He put his thoughts into action and applies those concepts into his own life.
3. He has spent many decades of continuous efforts, experiments, personal sacrifice, advice, support and encouragement to continue and establish these concepts into reality along with other people.
4. These efforts were not just for himself or for followers or for church members, but for everyone.
5. He lives in the corner of a steel warehouse-like building. He does not live in extravagance nor in luxury.
-> He is not a selfish and greedy man going after money.

Third, my personal understanding,

1. I believe he has a much active and clearer conscience than myself or most other people I know of. (In comparison, I am a person who received citizenship awards when I was little, I have a clean driving record, I never crossed red lights late night during my first 7 years of driving while in Korea when everyone else just passes through, I fulfilled my 26 months of Korean army duty even though I could avoid it.)
2. He hates corruption, is very independent and does not accept favors for any shady reasons.
3. He loves and takes pride of his home country and always wishes the best for it. (Though I am not sure if this stands true for him now.)
4. He is a very diligent person, incomparable to me, making the most out of his limited time.
5. He always encourages people, young and old, to learn languages, to study and improve personal skills and capacity.
-> He would not conduct anything illegal.
 
Am I brainwashed? I am just explaining what I saw, heard, experienced and felt, as it is, through these past many years.

Last but not least, is the Odaeyang incident.

The Sewol investigation prosecutor updates and press releases are very much a replica of Odaeyang.

Let's look at a few allegations headlined at that time:
(I will add newspaper links that I can find later on these)

1. EBC (Guwonpa) and Mr. Yoo are a cult.
2. Falsified ex-Guwonpa testimonies (Dongseop Jung and Myunghwan Tak before, Now same Mr. Jung, Chung Lee/Sookja Lee and others)
3. Guwonpa and Mr. Yoo are behind the deaths of the tragedy.
4. Guwonpa related actors and celebreties (Yangja Jeon and others and their intimate relationship)
5. Odaeyang funds going into Semo / Mr. Yoo's embezzlement of funds. (Now spread to family and church members)
6. Allegations of political ties and protection from high officials.
7. Women managing his funds and improper relationships with women.

All sounds very similar to the Sewol investigation, doesn't it? Which part of 1 to 7 is true or was proved to be true back in 1991? The Odaeyang incident was investigated 3 times but all concluded suicidal. None of these allegations, ties of corruption, acts of embezzlement and adultery were proved to be true but they are still all over the internet as if they are.

Mr. Yoo, at that time, was asked by the prosecutors to cooperate with the Odaeyang investigations, assuring him he was innocent and had no connection to it. However, he was arrested at the pinpoint of the investigation and sentenced to jail for something else, making it look like he was arrested for Odaeyang. 


After this case, we are remembered to everyone as a cult and the organization behind the 32 deaths of Odaeyang.

What are my thoughts of Mr. Yoo hiding away as a fugitive?

It's the same story... the prosecutors and Korean press are digging the same grave for Mr. Yoo as they did 23 years ago. This time, instead of being pushed into the grave to be buried, it seems he has decided to evade the first and most critical blow.

The story is a bit different but the plot is the same. What would you do if you were in his shoes? If I knew I was innocent and had a good idea of what was going to happen, I would definitely avoid being pushed into that grave. 

Some people very strongly insist that, if he is innocent, he should accept the investigation and claim his innocence. I do not agree to this at all. After the prosecutors cuff him and put him behind bars during the investigation, what kind of information or investigation results do you think the prosecutors will present to the press? With President Park (and Kichoon Kim behind) already condemning him as a criminal, will the prosecutors say against it or for it? Will he be able to voice his own innocence behind bars through the prosecutor's mouth? With no attorneys willing to take the case?

With the government pressing so hard and the media bashing Mr. Yoo as if he was the biggest criminal of all time, do you think a fair trial would be possible even by the court? Which judge would uphold the law equally and without prejudice when the whole government and nation is watching you and expecting the maximum penalty possible?

This is a totally unfair case with irrepairable damage already done....



In summary, he is either one of the most innocent, honest and upright person in the world OR he is the one of the biggest con-artist and evil villains in history.

With all the lies that I see, hear and notice over the news, I have no hesitation to jump for his innocence.


Even though I explained the gist of it, I have no doubt that there will still be people furious about my replies... the prosecutors and media have actually brainwashed everyone who reads the news and accepts it as true. I do not expect for everyone to be on my side, but I truly and sincerely beg everyone to take a step back to further look into the truth, or at least try to see what our point of view is, instead of accepting everything that is on the news without filtering.


I've just noticed there are translations of the official announcements directly from the church and interviews of related people IN ENGLISH. Please refer to the English articles to learn more about the TRUTH.

Official TELC/Evangelical Baptist Church/Guwonpa Website in English
 (http://telc.kr/category/English%20composition)

Since the official news and our position is updated there, I will back out my participation in these forums... I apologize, but this is just taking way too much out of my time...

Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on June 14, 2014, 03:31:35 PM

I have yesterday also taken a few minutes to research the issue and I found that the allegations are in fact quite serious:

Before the workers and leaders of the Odaeyang cult died, the company Odaeyang Trading transferred almost all of its capital to Mr. Yoo's shipping company, that is, about 17 million US Dollars.

This of course gives the impression that the leaders of Odaeyang were either religiously devoted to Mr. Yoo, or blackmailed/threatened into making this transfer, or even both.

To the outsider, this of course gives a very bad impression, and I hope that we can use this occasion to take a more detailed look at the evidence and clear up some possible misunderstandings.

Edgar, this is one clear example how the truth is distorted and how it remains over the media and internet.

The 17M dollars is the amount the Odaeyang people borrowed from others to use for their operations and the majority was spent for their own living and to pay interest on those loans, probably to borrow more money. To further detail the truth, there were business transactions between Odaeyang and Semo, I read it was for legitimate business for importing goods, and the court found no transfer links to tie Semo or Mr. Yoo to the Odaeyang case at all. It seems there was a connection, I can't deny that, but it has been severely distorted just as you have read.

How can a small business transaction turn into transferring all its funds to Mr. Yoo's Semo company? I do not know but there is definitely someone making up stories with an evil intent.

I will try to get back to you on the fraud case details but again, I find it very, very difficult to reply to all allegations and misinformation from the news (Note: Wikipedia is based on these news articles, too)... Look at me right now.. I am attempting to clear up messes from 23 years ago... how am I supposed to deal with the even 100x more lies coming out now? I can only shout out his innocence, which people barely listen to, and whether to believe it or not is up to you.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 14, 2014, 03:37:34 PM

Since the official news and our position is updated there, I will back out my participation in these forums... I apologize, but this is just taking way too much out of my time...
Thanks for the taking the time to post the replies you did, especially the longer one which I can appreciate took some time.  And thanks for that link. I wasn't aware of that site. And you're always welcome to post here.

I just spent the last 30 minutes listening to parts of the English sermons that were/are on the Korean site http://www.ebcworld.org (http://www.ebcworld.org) I'll post a few excerpts over the weekend. If you're still around, do you know if those sermons were delivered by Mr. Yoo or Mr. Kwon?

I'm not sure if they're still online as I can't see them now. There were ten audio files, each about 90 minutes in length. I downloaded the files last month and am only now giving them a listen. I'm not sure I'll have time in the near future to listen to all of the material, but eventually I hope to. Here's a brief summary of the parts I found of interest so far (I chose lesson 6 at random):

Armageddon is coming. A third of the world's population will die.
Everyone will be implanted with computer chips either on the forehead or on one hand.
The person who gave the sermon has experience driving out demons in Daegu. The best way to do that is to keep the possessed person sleep deprived - about a week should do it. One demon was driven out by several days of constant singing (I gather not rock songs ... see below).
Rock music is evil.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 14, 2014, 03:48:15 PM
Look at me right now.. I am attempting to clear up messes from 23 years ago... how am I supposed to deal with the even 100x more lies coming out now? I can only shout out his innocence, which people barely listen to, and whether to believe it or not is up to you.

I'll admit, that's quite a task^. I certainly can't guarantee to believe you, but I'm certainly up for reading your defences and the links you've shared. Regardless of what's believed or not believed, I think it all helps contribute to a greater understanding of this complex situation and the motivations and opinions of those directly or indirectly involved.
Title: Mr. Yoo's conviction in 1992 and the Odaeyang incident
Post by: Edgar on June 15, 2014, 01:06:17 AM
Dear Oscar,

thank you very much for your reply.

You wrote:
To further detail the truth, there were business transactions between Odaeyang and Semo, I read it was for legitimate business for importing goods, ...

So, if I understand that correctly, you say that there was a transaction between the Odaeyang cult (through Odaeyang's trading group) and the Semo group, which belonged primarily to Mr. Yoo.

But you are saying that it is not accurate that the amount of money transferred was 17 million USD.
It would be really helpful if we could shed some light on this.

What, then, was the real amount that was paid by Odeayang to Semo in the transaction you mention?

I think this question is quite important and it could be very helpful in your efforts to clear up these accusations.

The sum paid and details of the transaction are important, because at present many people are inclined to believe that Mr. Yoo was the de-facto leader behind the scenes of Odaeyang, that basically all revenue generated by the bedazzled Odaeyang members was transferred to Mr. Yoo, and that he played a major role in the death of the Odaeyang workers and leaders.

Because many people believe that, I understand that will you have to put in some effort to find the details and reliable sources.

As I said, I appreciate your sincerity in this matter and I am still looking forward to the results of your research.
It will be hard work for you, but I am sure it will be worth the effort.
 
All the best,

Edgar.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 15, 2014, 02:53:25 AM
I just spent the last 30 minutes listening to parts of the English sermons that were/are on the Korean site http://www.ebcworld.org (http://www.ebcworld.org) I'll post a few excerpts over the weekend. If you're still around, do you know if those sermons were delivered by Mr. Yoo or Mr. Kwon?
Kwon's name is listed on the audio files, so I assume the sermons are his (I noticed that after I posted the above question). And I've got to say, wow... I'm finding the material in those sermons quite ridiculous and simply wrong. Uri Geller is mentioned along with his "ability" to bend spoons with his mind, a claim that has been proven to be false. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uri_Geller (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uri_Geller)

A few other thoughts and observations on all this:
http://ahaenews.com/en (http://ahaenews.com/en) doesn't actually have any news on it. Instead, it features positive testimonies from people who work for museums that have received large sums of money from Yoo. How do those testimonies, paid for or otherwise, at all fall under the category of "news"? It's not like there is a shortage of actual news articles to post. There are numerous every day, but none of them have found their way to AHAE's "news" site.

Likewise, the one and only press release by Michael Ham of AHAE Press (and your church) promised more "factual" updates would come. That press release, dated April 25 (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/korean-photographer-ahae-and-ahae-press-express-profound-sadness-to-sewol-ferry-victims-and-condolences-to-the-families-of-those-lost-and-injured-256763321.html), ends with:
Quote
Ahae Press is committed to being vigilant in providing accurate information to the media, so that further inaccurate media reports will not divert focus away from the urgent needs of those harmed in this tragedy as well as their families.
I'm not aware of any subsequent releases. Can you explain the silence? The press release also quoted Yoo's only statement which was issued through his lawyer, just days before he stopped communicating with that lawyer:
Quote
"We and our families would like to express our deep sorrow," and confirm a commitment and understanding to help ease the "mental shock, pain, anguish and rage of the families of the victims and the missing passengers."

Throughout all this, the one thing Yoo and his family members have not shown is a commitment to help ease the "mental shock, pain, anguish and rage of the families of the victims and the missing passengers."
Your thoughts on the above?

Regarding Yoo's decision to become a fugitive, his followers are being arrested for helping him. Why is Yoo's freedom more important than theirs? Where is Yoo's concern for his followers? Again, this not only points to the immorality of the man, but also to a cultic relationship between himself and his disposable followers.

And related, what do you think of the reports that Yoo has reached out to organised crime syndicates (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/06/116_158787.html) in order to acquire a false passport? Perhaps you don't believe those reports, but certainly acquiring a false passport is the next logical step for a man who has already decided to avoid arrest.

I realize you said you were leaving, I'm just posting those responses to share my thoughts and of course, if you are inclined, you're welcome to respond or not respond.
Title: Mr. Yoo's 1992 conviction and the Odaeyang incident
Post by: Edgar on June 16, 2014, 12:59:12 AM
Dear Oscar,

I hope you are doing fine and your research into the truth about the 1992 conviction is making some progress.

I will try to look up things that I can find on the internet and maybe try to reach out to someone who knows more but obviously will take a lot of time. I will try to get back to you on this as I want to know more about the details myself as well.

Please take your time to find reliable information.

One possibility would be for you to write to a journalist who is reporting about this issue, explain your situation, namely that you are a follower of Mr. Yoo trying to find solid facts (such as the verdict or the defense plead) about Mr. Yoo and his prison term. I would not be surprised if one or the other journalist would happily send you a scan of one or the other document.
You could also contact Mr. Yoo's lawyer and see if he is really interested in unveiling the truth.

This whole matter lies, in fact, only partly 23 years ago.
 
One part of this issue is happening right now.

In your post a few days ago you have said that you are interested in the details and that you will do research on the 1992 verdict.

Right now you have the opportunity to demonstrate that what you said is actually true.

That is to say, right now you have the opportunity to demonstrate to everyone that you are committed to saying the truth and stand by your word.
I think you owe the truth to yourself, because this is involves 32 people, old and young, parents, children, men, women, people like you and me, who died a terrible death. You deserve to know the truth, no matter what anybody else says.

As I said, if you need any assistance, in this or any other matter, please let me know.

With my best regards,

Edgar.
Title: the truth about Mr. Yoo's years in prison
Post by: Edgar on June 16, 2014, 11:53:30 PM
Dear Oscar,

we have not heard anything from you in this forum since a couple of days.

Are you still trying to find the facts behind the reports and the press declarations of Mr. Yoo's church?

I hope you keep committed to finding the truth.

One thing should be clear by now: There was a strong financial connection between Mr. Yoo and the Odaeyang cult.

Some people from Mr. Yoo's organization claim that there was no connection, but this is not true, it is deception.

I consider it possible that people who work for Mr. Yoo have told you these things. They have told you things that are meant to deceive you to get your devotion and your money.

It is quite possible that the people you respect do not respect you, especially Mr. Yoo.

Mr. Yoo's lawyer is quite active, and so are other people who do PR for him.
Mr. Yoo spends lots of money -- millions -- to brush up his public image.
Why does nobody help you to find the facts about the 1992 conviction?
Do they have something to hide?
Whom do they hide it from?
Do they hide it from you, because they want to deceive you?


Did you really quit responding to some posts in this forum because you have no time?
This is what you tell us, but what do you tell to yourself?
If you take a moment and really ask yourself, why is it that you do not want to think or know too much about Mr. Yoo's businesses and all the deception, violence and corruption that surrounds them?

These are probably a lot of questions, and it would be expecting too much that you answer them to us.

But maybe you can take a quiet moment and ask yourself these questions.

One can definitely live, quite happily, without Mr. Yoo's church.

I hope you use this opportunity to prove me wrong and show that you are an independent, free man who wants truth to prevail over lies, and who will not accept being deceived by anyone.

If you find that the people you respect do not respect you, you should stand up for your own dignity and integrity.

Edgar
Title: Yoo family's luxury apartments and Mr. Yoo's humble lifestyle
Post by: Edgar on June 17, 2014, 11:44:15 PM
Dear Oscar,

I am sorry that we do not hear from you recently. Are you still interested in finding out the truth about Mr. Yoo and spreading the truth in public?

There is just one remark about what you wrote earlier.


5. He lives in the corner of a steel warehouse-like building. He does not live in extravagance nor in luxury.
-> He is not a selfish and greedy man going after money.

...
 I don't think anyone is allowed to enter his studio other than his assistant who swaps out the memory cards for archival. I had the chance to see people reviewing the daily photos with Mr. Yoo once.


My question is:

How do you know that he in fact lived in the corner of that steel warehouse-like building?

As far as I know, almost nobody really sees him in there, and the only evidence we have are the digital pictures taken from his room.

There is an assistant going into that room daily, swapping the memory cards of the camera(s).

So, would it be impossible to have three or four cameras in tripods, set to take one photo every minute?

Since his family owns an apartment worth 2,7 million dollars at Champs-Elysees and other luxury homes,
it is very questionable whether Mr. Yoo actually lives the humble lifestyle he pretends to live, even right now.

Obviously, you have seen a few demonstrations of this, but this is probably not what goes on behind the facade.

Let alone that, judging from the view from the window, even the apartment in the warehouse need not be very humble, especially if you compare that to the living standard of his believers who live in subway wagons.

What are your thought on this?

With my best regards,

Edgar.


 




Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 18, 2014, 07:29:52 AM
Oscar did say he was dropping out of discussions here, but hopefully he'll come back for a read at least.
Title: Cults and their exploitation
Post by: Edgar on June 20, 2014, 03:25:29 AM
Dear Oscar,

it may seem quite unfair to you if people regard Mr. Yoo's organizations as a cult.


Here is a quite considerate video documentary that deals with cults in general:

http://youtu.be/aU3_DkpWDak (http://youtu.be/aU3_DkpWDak)

If you watch this, it may help you understand why many people are concerned about cults.

All the best,

Edgar





Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on June 20, 2014, 05:29:20 AM
Arrrggh.. I just lost my hour and half writing an article while pressing the preview button...

Edgar, as I mentioned before, there is just too much to answer for every groundless, unverified and falsified sentence out there. For each line of suspicion, I have to write at least 10 lines to clear it up, yet still people do not believe me. So instead of answering to your all your suspicions with Odaeyang, let me introduce you to the official Korean Wikipedia entry of Odaeyang which seems to be cleared up after all these years. I would like to note that no garbage news article was able to make it to the references.

Link:
http://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%EC%98%A4%EB%8C%80%EC%96%91_%EC%A7%91%EB%8B%A8_%EC%9E%90%EC%82%B4_%EC%82%AC%EA%B1%B4 (http://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%EC%98%A4%EB%8C%80%EC%96%91_%EC%A7%91%EB%8B%A8_%EC%9E%90%EC%82%B4_%EC%82%AC%EA%B1%B4)

From there, I would like to translate you one key part of the article in the middle:


************************************************************************************************
Korean:
이에 대해서 종교문제연구소장 탁명환을 비롯한 일부에서는 집단 자살로 보기엔 의문점이 많다는 의견과 함께 박순자를 비롯한 오대양 관련자들이 한때 몸담았던 '구원파'[1]와의 관련설을 주장하였으나, 훗날 이들과는 관계가 없다는 것으로 의견이 모아졌다. 후일 이 사건을 두고 월간조선[2], sbs그것이 알고싶다[3], 시사정경[4] 등의 언론에서는 이 사건을 두고 오대양집단자살 사건은 언론의 지나친 보도경쟁과 일부 정치인의 정치적 이용 등이 어우러진 사례라고 주장했다.

English:
(As to the conclusion that is was a suicide), Myunghwan Tak, Director of Religious Studies Institute (btw, this site has a link of JMScult on its front page... it must be credible), and others insisted that there were too many questions left to see(conclude) it as suicide and claimed that there was a connection with "Guwonpa" where Soonja Park and other Odaeyang related people once attended. However, it later came to close that there was no connection. Later, Monthly Chosun, SBS We Want to Know That, Sisa Politics and Economy (3 investigative tv/magazine reports) claimed that the Odaeyang mass suicide was an example case of excessively competitive press reporting and political abuse by some few politicians.
***********************************************************************************************

As you can see clearly, the case was a suicide, Mr. Yoo's involvement wasn't even mentioned, nor any funds going into Semo were concluded to be involved with the suicide case. (the majority of funds were from shark loans... these loans, at least in Korea, when not paid back, will bring severe threats from gangsters and hitmen... this is what triggered the suicide, not Mr. Yoo or Guwonpa)

It is quite the same for the Sewol case.. people claim that Mr. Yoo is the "de facto owner" of the company and that he ordered the illegal extensions of the ship to make more money along with many more lies. This is absolutely ridiculous to me. The only connection that I can see is that his 2 sons own shares of one of the shareholder companies(I-one-I Holdings). Why does the responsibility go to the shareholders of the company, and even more ridiculous, why does it go to the father of the shareholders? I can understand this "cult hunt" sounds so convincing but does it really have to go this far?

If I were an investigative reporter, I would fully investigate and verify the facts, sufficiently listen to our side of the story to write a completely true report. Later, after many years when the facts are reviewed properly and re-investigated, I am sure that reporter will be acknowledged, maybe even praised for providing an accurate account of the story while other press companies are busy making up stories with unconfirmed facts and are later proved to be wrong. (really, deploying the army and navy to capture an alleged fraud suspect? What is he, a Bin-laden like terrorist with weapons of mass destruction? The Park government's ridiculous actions clearly show they want to keep making this a story so people can forget more important stuff)

Edgar, Peter, instead of asking me to answer to all these false claims, why don't you ask me 1 or 2 major or critical questions that can possibly change your view on us? What major question or misunderstanding you have makes you think that we are a cult?

Edgar, I promise I will get that information to you. I could not find the article I read before on the details. I cannot ask people in Korea as they are too busy dealing with the current situation. I appreciate your patience.

I am sorry to others, but I cannot further reply to all individual false claims on us.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 20, 2014, 07:18:19 AM
Edgar, Peter, instead of asking me to answer to all these false claims, why don't you ask me 1 or 2 major or critical questions that can possibly change your view on us? What major question or misunderstanding you have makes you think that we are a cult?

Thanks again Oscar,

To be honest, and I don't mean to sound close-minded, but I don't think my view could change. Although I'm certainly up for reading what you post and anything else related I come across. I can't put my finger on one or two critical aspects because it's really the totality of all the different aspects: Ahae in France (I just don't buy the "one photo every 30 seconds for 4 years" claims), members in Korea willing to go to jail in place of Yoo and others have threatened suicide, the support in evading capture he's received from members of your church, the sermons of Kwon Shin-chan, the statements from those on trial - both crew and executives, the fact the AHAE news site doesn't have any news on it, his biography on that site omitted his jail time and even religious life, as well as recent attempts to censor material from John Power's article, etc. Honestly, from observing other Korean cults over the past ten years, I just see too many similarities. Everywhere I look, I see examples of a cult at work.

I know it's frustrating for you to not be believed. I certainly don't think you're lying, I just think your perspective is that of a member. I realize you're being sincere in expressing your opinion, it's just not an opinion I share. I'm just speaking for myself of course; perhaps others reading this thread will be swayed by your arguments.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on June 20, 2014, 08:33:57 AM
So even if I replied,
1. People are willing to go to jail because they know he is innocent.
2. Suicide threats were probably bluffs (the police went in quite peacefully, didn't they?)
4. Pastor Kwon's sermons are about 30 years old now. It probably made sense back then but some parts may not now. His view on rock in those videos is more of the repetitive low electronic bass guitar music and lyrics that praise satan. It is nothing like the soft rock that you slapped on that youtube video.
5. The ship crew on trial are not church members at all, in case you missed that.
6. Ahaenews.com was most likely made to defend the value of the photographs. The key point in the misappropriation and embezzlement trials is the value of the photographs... it was not really set up to provide up-to-date news.
7. On your public biography, would you write your jail time on it? I know he is not ashamed of it though, because I am aware of plans to open this publicly, wide and clear... you will see and hear about this in the future, as it will be international.

Regardless of these points above, you do not need to trust me, nor remember what I said. BUT, I strongly urge you to keep that very first doubt of yours in mind... the amount of photographs... later in court, I believe these photos will be used as evidence, most likely as an alibi against his charges. Please do remember my words when you hear about them later.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 20, 2014, 09:17:07 AM
Apologies Oscar, I pressed "edit" instead of "quote" when I went to reply. It's been a while since I've had a discussion here^.
Some parts of your above post were deleted. I just quoted the parts I wanted to respond to and I deleted everything else because I thought I was editing my reply post and not your original post. Again, apologies for that. The buttons are dangerously close to one another. The dangers of having admin powers.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 20, 2014, 09:17:35 AM
Quote
So even if I replied,
1. People are willing to go to jail because they know he is innocent.
And why is Yoo willing to let them go to jail? Does that not speak to his morals, or rather, lack of. Again, it points to a clear cult leader/follower relationship.
Quote
2. Suicide threats were probably bluffs (the police went in quite peacefully, didn't they?)
They probably were bluffs designed to give Yoo time to escape. Hence, they were "peaceful" when they knew their leader had escaped. Credit where it's due, it was a strategy that worked.

There's still the irony of members of a group denying any relationship to the 32 earlier suicides actually threatening the exact same thing. ;) "If you keep trying to tie us to those suicides, we'll all kill ourselves".
Quote
4. Pastor Kwon's sermons are about 30 years old now. It probably made sense back then but some parts may not now. His view on rock in those videos is more of the repetitive low electronic bass guitar music and lyrics that praise satan. It is nothing like the soft rock that you slapped on that youtube video.
They're still up on the site, so I assumed they are indicative of the current teachings. They were posted to inform people about your church. Well, they certainly informed me about it^.

And it wasn't just the "rock" is evil part. It was also the doomsday Armageddon material, the exorcism instructions, the rapture, etc. Really, almost all of the material I listened to just screamed "cult" to me. The material seemed designed to separate members from society and bind members to the group by creating a fear of the outside world and a promise of salvation to members. And that's straight out of Cult 101. And that song, by the way, is from the movie Footloose, a movie that made a very good mockery of similar sentiments regarding the evils of rock music. I thought it quite appropriate^. Speaking of Satan, you know who owns www.satan.com (http://www.satan.com), right?

Quote
5. The ship crew on trial are not church members at all, in case you missed that.
Media reports said 90% of the crew were members; your church said two were. Your church denied the captain was a member; a former member said in a recent article that he saw the captain at church events. Granted 90% does sound high. Church members or employees, they're all under the influence of Yoo, and a lot of their actions and the whole company mindset is indicative of a company owned by a cult leader. Hence, I don't think the distinction between church member and employee is important, especially if the allegations that Yoo made all the decisions are true.
Quote
6. Ahaenews.com was most likely made to defend the value of the photographs. The key point in the misappropriation and embezzlement trials is the value of the photographs... it was not really set up to provide up-to-date news.
Then the word "news" was a poor choice. Words have meaning. "News" means, well... news.  Very cultish and Orwellian use of language. From Orwell's classic:
“The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation." And I think we can add to that: The Ministry of News concerns itself with propaganda.

Quote
7. On your public biography, would you write your jail time on it? I know he is not ashamed of it though, because I am aware of plans to open this publicly, wide and clear... you will see and hear about this in the future, as it will be international.
Well you did say he could be the most honest man alive. The most honest man alive would be ... well honest. I see a fake bio in support of a scam.
Quote
Regardless of these points above, you do not need to trust me, nor remember what I said. BUT, I strongly urge you to keep that very first doubt of yours in mind... the amount of photographs... later in court, I believe these photos will be used as evidence, most likely as an alibi against his charges. Please do remember my words when you hear about them later.
To be honest, there was no first doubt. But sure, I'll remember your comments, and I too look forward to hearing more as the trials continue and hopefully the not-too-distant arrests of Yoo and sons.

And just food for thought: You mentioned the JMS cult in your first post. A lot of the defenses you have made here are the exact same defenses that JMS followers put out (and continue to put out) in regards to Jeong's decision to become a fugitive. They also point to negative news articles (and the eventual guilty verdicts) as evidence of a government conspiracy against an innocent and noble man. Likewise, members of this group expressed the exact same defenses to me in person (rather forcefully^) a few years back:
http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2000/07/09/2000070961397.html (http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2000/07/09/2000070961397.html)
Likewise, members of the Shinchonji cult also use the same tactics to discredit negative news reports.

And actually there was one thing I wanted to mention. You said you volunteered at the New York exhibitions. As you know Yoo spent millions of dollars on branding AHAE. Did you really work for free? Granted, you may have been happy to, but expecting and allowing people to volunteer for him when he had so much cash to burn.. Well, I think that highly immoral on the part of Yoo and those in charge. I think that's indicative of a cult that exploits members at every opportunity. Members are a means to an end. Pawns to be used, and when necessary, allowed to go to jail, i.e., sacrificed.

Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on June 20, 2014, 03:02:33 PM
I guess it would be almost pointless to prove our innocence to you. A lot of the facts you mentioned were from false media reports. Pastor Kwon's lecture on the end of times, rapture, Armageddon are all stated in the Bible. As for spelling demons out, from my memory, he said anyone could do it.... he explained it as an example against people who claim that they have special powers to cast demons away and heal the sick in the name of Jesus Christ.  While we do present what is in the Bible, we do not abuse such facts.  Have you found any lectures from Mr. Yoo or anyone else claiming the end of times is coming immediately, did Pastor Kwon make it sound like there is no tomorrow? If those facts are abused in such a way, feel free to call it a cult, because we do not do that.

Ahae Press spending money on exhibitions is, in my opinion, a both business decision, and, through his forum lectures, Ahae slightly hinted that his photography was not unrelated to clearing his disgraced name and reputation. Many people are already aware that those 4 years taking photos was also an expression of his 4 years of unfair suffering in prison - what do you think would drive him to take all those photos so painstakingly? Do you think it is a personal hobby he took up as some medias claim? He stood up for himself in court and never pleaded guilty, and that is why his sentence was maximized. For the Sewol incident, I have no doubt he will claim his innocence again. Why does he need to be arrested and go to prison for a crime he did not commit?

If anyone claims that any of the family members or Mr. Yoo embezzled funds, including church funds, you should be able to provide proof for that. Ask the prosecutors or the Korean tax authorities to provide proof if they took money illegally, whatever the source is, without paying taxes.

The prosecutor and media claims are totally preposterous, especially those that claim Mr. Yoo owns property in California and in Vancouver, or even god.com. Good luck trying to confiscate our church properties in the States... how did that turn up to be his own property? I'm sure it was a nice attempt to add numbers to the ridiculous $2.4 billion assets claimed by the prosecutors to make him look evil.

God.com is a privately owned name that the owner once provided us to use. Whatever religious domain names are known, god.com, satan.com, etc, etc.... none of these names were attempted to be purchased or owned by our church at any time in our church history. Please get your facts cleared before mentioning anything. Please don't trust the groundless media claims.

Lastly, since Edgar sent me a link of a cult video from the History Channel, I would like to share my stance with cult claims.

I only watched the first 3 minutes of it. (I'll watch the rest later when possible) It explains the 3 characteristics of a cult and they are:

1. The guru becomes worshiped than the broader religious principles.

This, in regards to the Bible, probably means that the leader is considered god-like, or the leader is claimed to be Jesus or the Messiah. One thing for certain that I can say is that  if our church claims or ever claimed, officially or non-officially or in secret, that Mr. Yoo is Jesus, God, or any similar of that sort, feel free to call us a cult. I will also ditch Guwonpa with no regret the instant that happens.

Any claims of that sort is clearly against the teachings of the Bible. None of our church members would endorse any kind of ridiculous ideas like that, whether it is Mr. Yoo or any another person within or even outside of our church. We believe in God and in the Bible, not in Mr. Yoo. Mr. Yoo is a person we highly trust and respect due to his accurate understanding of the Bible and from his actions that are reflected. We consider him a model Christian. I know it may sound ridiculous, but I've heard he has even mentioned that he does not have nail marks in his hands and he has a wife, is married and has 4 children to refute any attempts or claims to set him up as a religious leader...how can he be Jesus? He himself denies any claims, we the members deny any claims... who are the ones that spread out these false rumors?

2. There is a great focus on a system of confessions, criticism or self criticism.

We are somehow considered a heredity even from traditional Christian churches in Korea in that we do not confess our sins (but this is not true, either) This does not apply to us in any way at all. We have no certain official, public or private way to confess or criticize one's or other people's actions or sins other than reflecting our own conscience ourselves according to the Bible.


3. Heavy exploitation from above (usually the guru himself or high ranking people) tending to be economic or sexual.

According to the media, this may sound true.. but I assure you again and again, church people are never exploited for money, and any sexual claims are even more preposterous.

We are a very open group and our organization atmosphere is full of freedom.. nobody forces you to do this or that, no one bothers you or expels you for listening to our lectures or sermons. You are free to come and free to leave at any time, we do not have  member lists, we accept people from all faiths, regardless of their background, illness or physical or mental state. As long as they do not cause problems, we do not know what individuals speak or think, and do not bother to question or investigate people unless there is clear grounds to do so. We can tell, however, if people were actually mixing with us and having normal fellowship as a christian. There are definitely some few people who do not mix, but we do not force them out or do anything.

I have never seen that huge gate before and never seen the gates locked once in Ansung Geumsoowon for the past almost 20 years since 1995 so please don't take us as secluded. We have always been a peaceful and quiet group... nothing really to make news about.. except for these recent unfair incidents and false claims that makes us to the headlines.

The sons and daughters of Mr. Yoo are also all capable of making their own money and it is their business to keep it legal and pay their taxes. If they have acquired wealth illegally, they should be punished for it, no doubt about that. I do not know if their integrity stands as high as Mr. Yoo, as I do not know them all personally, but I'm sure they have a very good idea on how important that is.

One more thing to clear up on the lawyer for Mr. Yoo... I am quite confident Mr. Yoo does not have a personal lawyer. The lawyer Son, according to what I know, is the official lawyer for Cheonhaeji, one of the shareholders of Cheonghaejin, the ferry company. The statement that the lawyer presented to the public was a statement from the shareholders of the ferry company, not from Mr. Yoo in any way.  I understand people want to tie everything that happens to Mr. Yoo but that approach is flawed reasoning in the first place.

Check the press release for that statement... it clearly mentions shareholders as the source. Since Mr. Yoo does not have any shares, it cannot be his personal statement and it should not be considered that way. And, btw, that was announced shortly after the accident BEFORE all these false claims shot out. It is quite obvious as to why there are no further official news, updates or actions from the shareholders. The government is in control and has already tied everything up... there is nothing much the shareholders, let alone Mr. Yoo, can do at this moment.

I think I've said enough... if you are in a position to find out the truth, I might be able to help you, but if you are just asking questions to find ways to attack or claim we are a cult based on news reports, there is no point in my answering it.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on June 20, 2014, 08:29:08 PM
And actually there was one thing I wanted to mention. You said you volunteered at the New York exhibitions. As you know Yoo spent millions of dollars on branding AHAE. Did you really work for free? Granted, you may have been happy to, but expecting and allowing people to volunteer for him when he had so much cash to burn.. Well, I think that highly immoral on the part of Yoo and those in charge. I think that's indicative of a cult that exploits members at every opportunity. Members are a means to an end. Pawns to be used, and when necessary, allowed to go to jail, i.e., sacrificed.

I forgot to comment on this one. The first exhibition in NY started out as a non-profit event, one with the simple idea of exposing people to nature, to show what people can miss when looking out from an ordinary window. The focus was awareness of the environment and nature surroundings around you and to send a message to people to embrace and protect it. I would like to clarify pretty much all involved staff was paid... my contribution was minor compared to the manpower that went into the event. This was even before the company Ahae Press was set up. Are you saying my volunteering for a non-profit event is an example of labor exploitation? How can you, who has never been close to attending these exhibitions, can be so judgmental of a situation you actually do not know of? I know you have your extensive knowledge of cults, but if you checked the truth in person, you will find many things that just do not apply to our situation. Unfortunately, you are relying on many groundless news articles wandering around. The only thing I can suggest is to look over and review the situation after many years to see whether your information sources prove to be right or wrong.

When the president condemns people before a court decision is made and deploys the army with a highly political intent, nothing good can be mentioned about us. Do other cults have this kind of political background? Only time and history will tell what really happened.



Title: Mr. Yoo's 1992 conviction and the death of 32 Odaeyang members
Post by: Edgar on June 20, 2014, 10:43:25 PM
Dear Oscar,

thanks again for your informative writing.

I can only repeat myself and say how much I appreciate your sincerity.

Edgar, Peter, instead of asking me to answer to all these false claims, why don't you ask me 1 or 2 major or critical questions that can possibly change your view on us? What major question or misunderstanding you have makes you think that we are a cult?

Well, I have been trying hard and basically limited my questions to one topic, that is the 1992 conviction for "habitual religious fraud".

I think we have to look at the facts directly in order to get a firm standing in the truth.

This could also give us some clues about the money transfers from Odaeyang to Mr. Yoo.

In a former posting you said that there was a money transfer, but that is was a completely normal money transfer between to companies.

This would imply that it was just an accident that both companies (Semo and Odaeyang trading) had a very similar business model, being companies owned by religious groups and, I would say, using the working power and the money taken from the believers as their base capital.

If I understood you right, you also said that the sum of ca. 19 million USD was not accurate.

In your posting above, now, you say that there was no transfer of money at all between the Odaeyang group and Mr. Yoo.

Did I understand that correctly?

So, if I understood you correctly and you actually changed your mind on this transfer of funds,
what are the sources that made you change your mind? What new facts did you find?


I think it would help a lot if we knew the actual 1992 verdict, and the pleas of the defense and attorney of state.


About the cameras in the room: I am not sure whether you actually checked the angle of the photographs (several millions) to positively exclude that most of them were taken from tripods. Or, equally possible, by somebody else in his room. I think the hard evidence that can be provided here is sparse, so we can only use probability. -- It already seems quite improbable that someone, as you say, holds patents for inventions while spending his whole time taking millions of pictures. If we consider that this same person has already been convicted of fraud, this make fraud quite probable -- even more so since patents are nowadays often registered in the name of companies for which the researchers work.
That is to say, if patents are registered in the name of a multi-millionaire like Mr. Yoo, that does not mean that he actually made these inventions, and not technicians working in one of the companies owned by his family.
It is not 100% sure but quite probable that Mr. Yoo rather enjoys the money that can be made with patents (instead of placing the invention under a creative commons license) and at the same time uses the patents to push up his PR-image and foster the adoration of his personality.

But a key to this would be the 1992 conviction -- which you say was biased and unjust.

So, I would suggest we drop the pictures and the patents and you take some time to find out what are the facts about the 1992 conviction and the business relation between the Odaeyang cult and Mr. Yoo.

I can assure you that I am easy to convince by solid facts.

In order to keep this short, I will not address the other topics.

Here are, by the way, some videos demonstrating the frauds of Uri Geller:

http://youtu.be/TNKmhv9uoiQ (http://youtu.be/TNKmhv9uoiQ)

http://youtu.be/M9w7jHYriFo (http://youtu.be/M9w7jHYriFo)

http://youtu.be/OTVWMY8EZCA (http://youtu.be/OTVWMY8EZCA)

http://youtu.be/QlfMsZwr8rc (http://youtu.be/QlfMsZwr8rc)

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

Edgar.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 20, 2014, 11:49:38 PM
God.com is a privately owned name that the owner once provided us to use. Whatever religious domain names are known, god.com, satan.com, etc, etc.... none of these names were attempted to be purchased or owned by our church at any time in our church history. Please get your facts cleared before mentioning anything. Please don't trust the groundless media claims.
I might have to drop out for a while, and I think you're more likely to have a productive and meaningful discussion with Edgar, and I don't want my admittedly strong opinions to get in the way of that.

Just regarding the above. I wasn't basing my question "You know who owns www.satan.com (http://www.satan.com), right?" on groundless media claims, nor did I mean to suggest your church owned it, just that a member of your church owns it. You described the owner as a "private individual", well that "private individual" is Dot.com mogul Kevin Ham. He said in this CNN interview that he was a member of your church. (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2007/06/01/100050989/index.htm?postversion=2007052214) I don't really think that's significant, but it is an extra interesting detail. And honestly, I find it interesting that you didn't mention that. Surely, you know he is a member?

So much wealth going round. I was honestly surprised by the EBC church in Samgakji, Seoul. It's in one of the ugliest and shabbiest buildings I've ever seen in Seoul, if not the world. You'd think the church was a poor one ;)

I'm not sure it's really worth responding to your other points at the moment. Perhaps later. I don't like not responding, as you may have noticed^^, but I will try to take a back seat. I'm busy these days as well. Suffice to say for now, we are both looking at this from opposite sides, and as such, I find little I can agree with in your posts, and vice versa. But that's not to say I'm not finding this interesting. And I hope you and Edgar can continue to have a discussions.
Title: PS subway wagons
Post by: Edgar on June 21, 2014, 12:35:01 AM
PS. Even in the countryside one needs official approval to construct new buildings: a building permission. A clever way to avoid this is using subway wagons.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 21, 2014, 11:01:48 AM
I just have to ask. Oscar, have you ever been to Always Jingle Bell Land? (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2990886)
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Chocobo on June 21, 2014, 02:21:26 PM
Dear Mr. oopark,

I am a student of religion and like you I am disagree at how the Korean media has been trying to approach the scandal and attach it to the  EBC. I am now trying to look at EBC as a new religious movement and distinguish between the problems of Mr. Yoo's family and of EBC. On the side of EBC, I do not see any serious evidence of a destructive cult yet. EBC has the freedom to interpret the Bible in their own way, even if they do it differently from the Catholic and Protestant Churches. On the side of Mr. Yoo and his family, people in this forum have been discussing about whether they are wrongly prosecuted by the government and media and haven't come to an agreement.

Before that, I would like to make clear about the relationship between Mr. Yoo and the EBC. Media and some sources say that Mr. Yoo is the leader of the Salvation Sect. But other sources say that there was an argument within EBC about why they have to protect him when he is not even a member of the church. I am confuse here. Why do people try to prosecute the Salvation Sect for the doing of Mr. Yoo and why do members of the EBC try to protect him even while the relationship between him and the sect is that blurry?
 
Therefore, I have some questions that I would like to hear the answer from a member of EBC like you:
1. Who is Mr. Yoo Byung-Eun to the EBC?
- A religious leader? In this case, who is more important to the EBC, Mr. Yoo or Pastor Kwon?
- A member of the EBC?
- An important supporter and donor of EBC?
- A Christian and good student of the Bible who has some connections with the EBC (through visits, giving speeches and lectures, etc.)?
- A not-so-familiar man who fate is now tied to the EBC because of the prosecution of the government and media?
2. How do you and the EBC feel about the name "Salvation Sect/Guwonpa"? Did the members of the sect call themselves like that or it was a name given to the sect by outsiders (especially the mainstream churches)? Do you prefer to be called by the media "EBC"?
3. Can you tell me a little about the organization and community aspects of the EBC? From what I have read, the church does not have a real hierarchy and many members live together and work together in a community. So who have the responsibility to give the mass and teach the Bible or to organize members in their work?
4. What is EBC's opinion about doing business? As far as I know the church does do business of some sorts (farm products and others).

I know you are busy so brief answers are fine to me.

Thank you very much for your sharing.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 22, 2014, 10:11:37 PM
I used my powers to move the resulting discussion to this separate thread (http://jmscult.com/forum/index.php?topic=1016.0)^.
Title: to Oscar: about the 1992 conviction
Post by: Edgar on June 23, 2014, 12:10:48 AM
Dear Oscar,

some very important questions that I would like to ask you about Mr. Yoo's prison term are:

What are the facts that you know about this court case?

Is there any very solid reason to assume that he did not commit the crimes he was found guilty of?

What in fact were these crimes mentioned in the conviction?

Is there any good evidence that speaks against the conviction, any good evidence that shows the conviction was unjust?

All the best,

Edgar.

Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 23, 2014, 12:53:26 PM
God.com is a privately owned name that the owner once provided us to use.

Related, I just came across this video of Kevin talking about his business and he mentions God.com at around the 3:30 mark:
https://archive.org/details/BretConkin-VEF_KevinHam_2784-2

Nice of him to give that domain to your church^. He said it was one of the 4 domain names he really wanted to own.  Anyway, it is interesting to see the human side of at least one member of your church. All the members in Korea threatening to kill themselves, helping fugitive Yoo, and well, getting arrested aren't doing much for your church's reputation. He's obviously very intelligent and seems like a nice guy. I hope he isn't involved in any of Yoo's shady business dealings.

He also mentions a childhood friend named Colin Yoo. Would he by any chance be related to Yoo Byeung-eun?
Title: the truth about Mr. Yoo
Post by: Edgar on June 24, 2014, 12:22:26 PM
Dear Oscar,

let me just remind you that you wrote to this forum ten days ago with the intention to show the truth behind the allegations against Mr. Yoo.

In all due respect:

The truth, that is, the facts you have shown so far consist only in a single statement, namely that you believe Mr. Yoo is a very religious man and incapable of any crimes.

I hope you can understand that this is not likely to convince anyone who has read that Mr. Yoo has spent four years in prison and had very close financial ties to the Odaeyang group.


Now, just like ten days ago, you still have every chance in the world if you want to show that these allegations are not true.


But so far, the refusal to deal with these issues on a factual basis, quite clearly, seems to confirm that they are in fact true.


The only question is:

If these reasons tell to outsiders that Mr. Yoo's conviction was in fact the result of serious crimes,
why don't  they tell the same thing to you?

I am looking forward to your response,

Edgar.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 24, 2014, 12:50:17 PM
Just a link update: Since Oscar posted the link to the church's English statements, they rearranged their site a little.
This is the updated link, and there are some interesting interviews on there. The latest is from yesterday:
http://telc.kr/category/For%20English%20Readers (http://telc.kr/category/For%20English%20Readers)  (Update: Site now offline)
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Chocobo on June 24, 2014, 04:15:47 PM
In the 7th June interview, Mr. Lee Tae-Jong officially said this:
Quote
Lee: In a church of Christians, the leader is Jesus and Him only. If Jesus being the leader is denied, then it becomes a totally different religion instead of a Christians’ church. Mr. Yoo Byung-Eun is just another fellow brother who is granted certain authority inside of our church.
So it seems that one of my question is answered in its main points. My. Yoo is a member of the church, not an outsider as written in another source. The church has no leader but special authorities are given to certain people, including Mr. Yoo. Now I want to know what kind of authority that he has, and is this authority enough to make him the de factor leader, is there any other with the same level of authority?
Nevertheless, the connection has been confirmed. And if the prosecutors can prove Mr. Yoo illegal use of the church's money, it will be a critical strike that can corner the Salvation Sect.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 25, 2014, 02:41:47 AM
The leader of JMS and Shinchonji is also this Jesus guy. He has a lot to answer for^^. I hope we hear from him soon.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 25, 2014, 02:50:38 AM
There are a lot of interesting revelations in those transcripts. I love this exchange: (http://telc.kr/89)
Quote
Anchor: Yes, that is a good idea. Yesterday, the spokesperson Cho Gye-Woong claimed that the rumor of asylum is a false report. Did you try to call all embassies then?

Lee: We have contacted all hundred-some embassies in Korea; those that responded to us said that this was not at all true. For those that we did not hear back from, it is difficult for us to check.

Anchor: When we, Channel A, called a certain embassy, they informed us of an asylum request, so we wrote our report based on that, in which case this would not be a false report.
Clearly, Lee Tae-Jong has no idea what Yoo has been up to. To quote Basil Fawlty, "You might as well ask the cat."
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Chocobo on June 25, 2014, 03:10:42 AM
I have questions about this part:
Quote
Anchor: Then do you mean, Mr. Lee, that you would never reveal where Mr. Yoo Byung-Eun is even if you were aware, like you said earlier?
They are in search for the man for breaking the law--surely it would be in keeping with the constitutional law to reveal?

Lee: I wouldn’t be breaking the law. Even if I knew, I would have the freedom to support the person under the constitution. Yet if I helped him against the law, I would need to be punished. However, I believe that I have the right of freedom, to know, not help, and to keep silent.

Anchor: Yes, I understand. We have listened from Mr. Lee Tae-Jong so far. If you would like to come and discuss as you mentioned earlier, we will prepare a session even for tomorrow.

Lee: Yes, I'd be more than happy to do so anytime when Mr. Jeong Dong-Seob and Ms. Lee Young-Ae would come.

Is it really that according to the Korean constitution, he has the freedom to keep silent if he know where Mr. Yoo is  (and even if he meets by chance in an another interview)? The Anchor seems to agree that it is not illegal. So in Korea, you don't have the duty to cooperate with the law enforcers and can hide information about criminals?

Side question Peter: Who is Ms. Lee Young-Ae here? Does she have anything to do with the sect? The name is like the famous actress.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on June 25, 2014, 03:16:13 AM
I'm not sure about your first question. That is interesting though.
And there is an actress by that name, but I'm not sure how or if she is connected. This is all coming at the worst time for me. I can't bring myself to do it, but I really should turn off the Internet for the next 5 days and get my presentation done.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on July 05, 2014, 10:03:51 PM


So far I have explained the following:

1. We are not behind the Odaeyang deaths and there was no evidence to tie us to it.
2. I explained Mr. Yoo is not the owner of the ferry company and he was not involved with the operations.
3. The millions of pictures he took is true.
4. How Mr. Yoo is not a corrupt or greedy person.
5. How EBC is nothing close to a cult based on the 3 main characteristics of cults.
6. The train cars are not used for any type of living.


However, I don't think anyone believes anything that I say. If you can't believe nobody lives in the trains, feel free to join me next time I go there so I can show you. I can't understand why people can't accept a simple fact like that. Basically, I'm saying I don't have a car stored in my basement. If you don't believe what I'm saying, feel free to come and check it out.

Also, as promised to Edgar, I confirmed the transaction amount between Odaeyang and Samwoo (before Semo was set up) you asked before. It is roughly $1.5M during 1984 and 1985 for importing goods from overseas. If you think funds like that can tie us to Odaeyang, please feel free to make your attempts since the prosecutors couldn't, even though they tried really hard.

Talking about the Odaeyang case is really a waste of time. The English based wiki is unbelievably long and it refers to all the bogus reports used at that time. The Korean one is so short, because there is no merit/basis/evidence that ties us to it. I understand you can have your doubts but please at least try to get over it.

The fraud case Mr. Yoo was convicted is most likely due to over-zealous people borrowing money, committing fraud selling Mr. Yoo's name. So, if someone fraudulently borrows money and uses that to invest in a company, all of a sudden, the CEO who knows nothing about how those funds were collected all of a sudden becomes guilty of fraud? Does that makes sense to you? I believe this is why he never pleaded guilty to those charges, but unfortunately, public opinion from Odaeyang had to put him into jail.

For the Sewol tragedy, it is the same. The whole Korean public wants Mr. Yoo in jail even though he was not involved. The prosecutors and ridiculous media reports made a good story to make it so. Only the keen will know this scapegoat abuse and that it is only a mere witch hunt... yet there is nothing they or we can do.

I am telling you facts as an insider. If you have a hard time believing me, all I can do is to tell you to wait until the trials are over. I can't guarantee everybody and everything will come out clean (there can be some personal misuse or mistakes by others) but I doubt the prosecution can connect Mr. Yoo to the ferry accident. Still, the government insists that greed and corruption is the root cause of the accident. Let's see how much company corruption they can find.


Also Edgar, I never explained Mr. Yoo to be a religious person, incapable of any crimes. As Bible believers, we all acknowledge that we are capable of committing sins, therefore we are more careful not to do so.

I might drop by later to check, but really, I find refuting misconceptions or claiming our innocence pointless as nobody believes what we say.





Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: neutral on July 06, 2014, 09:23:05 PM

However, I don't think anyone believes anything that I say. If you can't believe nobody lives in the trains, feel free to join me next time I go there so I can show you. I can't understand why people can't accept a simple fact like that. Basically, I'm saying I don't have a car stored in my basement. If you don't believe what I'm saying, feel free to come and check it out.


I'm sorry that you feel that no-one believes you. In fact I admire your defence of the church and Mr Yoo - there is nothing wrong with standing up for what you believe in.

However the problem here, I think, is that you are presenting your opinion as fact, and are a little upset when others disagree. For example, we don't really know the extent of Mr Yoo's connection to the ferry company. It is a fact, yes, that he owns no shares in the company, but this doesn't mean he had no control over it. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but we don't know for sure either way. Some of the testimonies by those involved suggest Mr Yoo had some involvement, at least in the remodelling of the ferry.

Quote
The fraud case Mr. Yoo was convicted is most likely due to over-zealous people borrowing money, committing fraud selling Mr. Yoo's name. So, if someone fraudulently borrows money and uses that to invest in a company, all of a sudden, the CEO who knows nothing about how those funds were collected all of a sudden becomes guilty of fraud? Does that makes sense to you? I believe this is why he never pleaded guilty to those charges, but unfortunately, public opinion from Odaeyang had to put him into jail.

The English wikipedia states that he was imprisoned, essentially, for using church donations to fund his businesses. Was this the official verdict of the Korean court?

Quote
I am telling you facts as an insider. If you have a hard time believing me, all I can do is to tell you to wait until the trials are over. I can't guarantee everybody and everything will come out clean (there can be some personal misuse or mistakes by others) but I doubt the prosecution can connect Mr. Yoo to the ferry accident. Still, the government insists that greed and corruption is the root cause of the accident. Let's see how much company corruption they can find.

If Mr Yoo or his family were found guilty, either of financial irregularities or responsibility for poor safety procedures on the Sewol, would you accept the verdict of the court?

Quote
I might drop by later to check, but really, I find refuting misconceptions or claiming our innocence pointless as nobody believes what we say.

It's not pointless, and I appreciate you taking the time to post - people should hear from both 'sides' in order to form a balanced opinion.

Would you agree that it's fair to say wikipedia is a fair source of information? If not, which parts of the AHAE article would you refute?
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on July 10, 2014, 03:20:19 AM

I'm sorry that you feel that no-one believes you. In fact I admire your defence of the church and Mr Yoo - there is nothing wrong with standing up for what you believe in.

However the problem here, I think, is that you are presenting your opinion as fact, and are a little upset when others disagree. For example, we don't really know the extent of Mr Yoo's connection to the ferry company. It is a fact, yes, that he owns no shares in the company, but this doesn't mean he had no control over it. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but we don't know for sure either way. Some of the testimonies by those involved suggest Mr Yoo had some involvement, at least in the remodelling of the ferry.


I can't help feeling the frustration when "facts" are presented and yet they are not believed. People do not live in the trains. That is a fact. If you doubt it, feel free to visit and check it out. I can arrange a visit if that is hard for you to believe.... Mr. Yoo taking millions of pictures... also a fact. I know people who were involved in the project and of course they can testify that it is true, the files will show they are true.  Is this my opinion?

My belief that Mr. Yoo is innocent, that can be my opinion. I don't expect you to believe that due to the lies in the news reports (I will show an example below), but I do ask you to consider the teachings of our church, that I mention and have been exposed to for the past 30 years or so, to be truthful.

Quote
The English wikipedia states that he was imprisoned, essentially, for using church donations to fund his businesses. Was this the official verdict of the Korean court?

That wouldn't be quite accurate. I have not read the official verdict but I have read articles mentioning "fraud under the mask of religion", or something like that. I don't think it would be accurate to call it church donations. Our church donations are managed by the church (EBC). Using church donations to fund a business is illegal in Korea or in any other country, and I'm sure you'd be caught doing so. Church funds and business funds are completely separate. If a person wants to give money to a business, it is called an investment and is made through purchasing equity of the company.

In the past, there were abnormal people borrowing money in the name of Mr. Yoo and the church for their own greed. There have been several people who abused our church members in that way and I am quite sure there are still few people who claim they are members and yet are around with a dark purpose. We are a very free organization and we do not monitor people or tell them what to or what not to do. Only when a incident is apparent or has happened is when we can take actions.

I hope you can understand that it is our freedom and innocence that people take advantage of, and this is where a lot of the people who leave us tell lies to bring us down.

Quote

If Mr Yoo or his family were found guilty, either of financial irregularities or responsibility for poor safety procedures on the Sewol, would you accept the verdict of the court?


I would say a fair trial is almost impossible, but if Mr. Yoo was found guilty for those 2 charges you mentioned, embezzlement and involvement in the safety procedures, if the investigation was properly done and evidence is found, of course I would accept it.  His family members, I cannot speak for as I do not know exactly what their involvement is. Ahae Press officially announced that Mr. Yoo is not involved in the operations of the ferry and he does not own any shares. I have heard through other members he has not been involved in Cheonghaejin's decisions so for now, I stand by it.  The prosecutor's claims that we was involved I do not trust. The prosecutors have nothing to lose when it comes to allegations and if they are able to provide the evidence in court, I will reconsider then.


Quote
It's not pointless, and I appreciate you taking the time to post - people should hear from both 'sides' in order to form a balanced opinion.

Would you agree that it's fair to say wikipedia is a fair source of information? If not, which parts of the AHAE article would you refute?

No, I would not. Let me show you one clear example:

In reference number 48 for Yoo Byung-Eun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoo_Byung-eun#cite_note-48 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoo_Byung-eun#cite_note-48)) , it refers to a news article (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/04/511_156055.html (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/04/511_156055.html) / note: some parts of the English translation don't even match correctly with the Korean) with the following content:

************************ Quotes are not bolded ************************
KBS's "News 9" broadcasted Tuesday in an interview with a former employee of Chonghaejin Marine, a ferry transportation company which owns Sewol.

KBS did interview a person. Unfortunately, he was never a former employee, not even a contractor for Cheoghaejin Marine.


He said more than 90 percent of the company employees are Guwon believers, including the company owner Yoo Byung-eun. He added captain Lee Joon-seok had become a devout believer after he landed his job at the company.

This person lied that 90 percent of the company are Guwonpa. Less than 10 percent has been confirmed. Lee Joon-seok was never a member of our church. 2 of our church members were on the Sewol ferry. One person, Jeong Hyun-sun, who died while saving people, another was Kim Ki-woong (not sure if I got this name right) who was revived after receiving CPR.


Guwon cult's doctrine inculcates that those who were once saved by God are completely detached from the sins they will ever commit in the future and guaranteed a path to heaven.

Our concept of salvation is very close to any Baptist church in the US. It is the spirit that is saved before God and as human beings, we acknowledge we are prone to making mistakes or committing sins. That is why we are more careful not to do so. Claims that it is okay for us to commit whatever crimes or sins is a lie and even more ridiculous is that the police and prosecutors use that groundless phrase when investigating or arresting our church members.


The victims, including its president Park Sun-ja, committed group suicide. They were all identified as believers of Guwon.

The victims of Odaeyang, I can surely say, are not believers of Guwonpa. Committing suicide is far from any teachings of the Bible. When and where in the world were the victims identified as Guwonpa? Even the Korean article next to it says Odaeyang members were separate from EBC - an incorrect translation.

I am not sure if you noticed, but news articles like this, from what I see, are completely ridiculous.


***************** End of article quotes  ************************

I'm not saying everything is incorrect, but there are many false information in those references and there is no way I can say it is true or accurate.

I know people have more questions, but I cannot reply to every one of them. Even if I did, would people believe me?




Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on July 10, 2014, 06:35:40 AM
Committing suicide is far from any teachings of the Bible.

How do you feel about the threats to commit suicide made by your church members last month? The purpose seemed to be to buy Yoo time to escape the compound.

I know people have more questions, but I cannot reply to every one of them. Even if I did, would people believe me?

I appreciate there may be too many questions to answer, but also realize more people read than post here and perhaps some visitors here are more swayed by your comments.
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on July 11, 2014, 12:23:59 AM
Committing suicide is far from any teachings of the Bible.

How do you feel about the threats to commit suicide made by your church members last month? The purpose seemed to be to buy Yoo time to escape the compound.


Peter, let me try to clarify your question. Did our members ever say they would commit suicide? Where exactly did you hear this from?  There is a clear difference between committing suicide and dying as a martyr, right? Suicide is where you kill yourself.. a martyr is someone who has been killed unwillingly for their religious beliefs, correct?

Which one did our members say?



Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on July 11, 2014, 02:23:56 AM
Peter, let me try to clarify your question. Did our members ever say they would commit suicide? Where exactly did you hear this from?  There is a clear difference between committing suicide and dying as a martyr, right? Suicide is where you kill yourself.. a martyr is someone who has been killed unwillingly for their religious beliefs, correct?

Which one did our members say?


Oscar, actually this was the article and quotes I was referring to: (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/05/116_157216.html)
Quote
"We are ready to die as martyrs. The prosecution should be prepared to see bloodshed for its suppression of religion." ...

Kim Hyeon-nim, an Evangelical Baptist Church member, wrote on the message board of the church’s website, ebcworld.org, “Let’s fight, prepared for death of the very last person, in the war against the evil demons that lie, saying we are wicked and curse us. The Book of Esther says, We will die if we have to die.”
Considering no one was threatening them harm, I took that as a suicide threat. The police were looking for a fugitive, not attacking anyone's religious beliefs nor looking to harm or arrest anyone other than Yoo, who we know now was hiding in the compound at the time. And they certainly sound willing to die. You defined a martyr as  someone who has been killed unwillingly for their religious beliefs. There's nothing "unwillingly" about those quotes. Rather, they are expressing a desire to create a situation in which they could be killed, ergo suicide.

It all sounds very suicideish to me; furthermore, it's a threat to commit violence, which is a far more immoral threat. You can try cloak it in terms of "religious persecution" and "noble martyrdom", but that's pretty much the definition of terrorism right there. Either way, it's an example of a fanatical mindset indicative of a very destructive and dangerous cult.

It's also interesting to read the other comments with the benefit of hindsight:
Quote
“We are trying to block the prosecution from entering the church. I am not sure whether Yoo Byung-eun is here or not, but there is no one here who has seen him in the church.”
We now know that Yoo was there and that his escape was orchestrated by church members.
 
I don't see anything noble about lying and threatening violence. Given the clear goal of the threats were to buy time for Yoo to escape the compound, do you really think such threats and the purpose behind them can be defended?
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on July 11, 2014, 04:12:39 AM


So there was no mentioning of suicide, right? But you regarded it as a suicide threat. The reason I am pointing this out is that no proper or regular member would commit suicide and it is my hope that you can understand and accept that.

I'm just trying to clarify, that we are not really violent people and are not nutty enough to do so. But our faith in the Bible is quite strong... there are definitely few people who are extreme, and I can fully understand why they act like that -maybe something you may never get to understand- but you shouldn't generalize that to our whole church, either.

Also, none of our church members lied as you claimed. It can definitely be an act to protect Mr. Yoo... I am sure you would view that as a criminal act but it was concluded as a peaceful demonstration and, as I mentioned before, if you can possibly understand our situation that we know Mr. Yoo had been abused as a scapegoat 23 years ago, we are willing to do what we can to protect him.. it is not just about protecting Yoo. It is also protecting the same biblical beliefs that we share together.

I would like to also clarify Mr. Yoo was not in the Ansung location at that time. Our church members saying "I am not sure whether Yoo Byung-eun is here or not, but there is no one here who has seen him in the church." is true to every letter, and was in no way an act to buy time for Mr. Yoo to escape as you claim. I guess you have not been up-to-date on the news but the Korean prosecutors received information from Gabriel Oh that he drove Mr. Yoo out on April 23rd, well before any orchestrated escapes as you claimed.

I understand it would be hard to believe, but I would like you to consider that the words we say and the voices we shout are more to the truth than any news article or false claims from these ex-members.

Again, we can go on and on with these facts, and I strongly believe that lies cannot stand up to the truth, but is there really a point? Peter, do you believe any of the words that I say above?

Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on July 11, 2014, 10:22:42 AM
So there was no mentioning of suicide, right? But you regarded it as a suicide threat. The reason I am pointing this out is that no proper or regular member would commit suicide and it is my hope that you can understand and accept that.
Thanks again for your thoughts, but I maintain that such an expressed desire to die can be regarded as suicidal.

Quote
I'm just trying to clarify, that we are not really violent people and are not nutty enough to do so. But our faith in the Bible is quite strong... there are definitely few people who are extreme, and I can fully understand why they act like that -maybe something you may never get to understand- but you shouldn't generalize that to our whole church, either.
It is the extremist/criminal element that will define how your group is viewed and remembered. I met a really lovely man who used to be in a Japanese cult. The niceness of him and those he met in no way detracts from the fact that the group he was a member of carried out sarin gas attacks. Likewise, JMS is full of nice members who believe they are also following the Bible when they are really following a crazed serial rapist. Your faith in the Bible seems to be faith in Kwon's fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible, an interpretation that resulted in him essentially torturing people (long periods of enforced sleep deprivation) in an attempt to drive out evil spirits. Cults are defined by the actions and motives of their leaders, not by the good intentions of misguided followers.

Quote
I would like to also clarify Mr. Yoo was not in the Ansung location at that time. Our church members saying "I am not sure whether Yoo Byung-eun is here or not, but there is no one here who has seen him in the church." is true to every letter, and was in no way an act to buy time for Mr. Yoo to escape as you claim. I guess you have not been up-to-date on the news but the Korean prosecutors received information from Gabriel Oh that he drove Mr. Yoo out on April 23rd, well before any orchestrated escapes as you claimed.
This is the quote I was thinking of, dated May 23: (http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2989686)
Quote
Prosecutors said they confirmed the followers helped the 73-year-old Yoo run away from police arrest. On May 19, Yoo was allegedly snuck out of the church’s complex in Anseong, Gyeonggi, as policemen and reporters were blocked from entering the compound, called Geumsuwon, by followers assembled at the main gate for days. According to prosecutors, Yoo stayed in Suncheon, South Jeolla, after the escape from Geumsuwon.

Do you have a link to your version of the earlier escape? I am trying to read everything I can to stay on top of this, but as you can appreciate, the number of articles about this subject is not small. And if your version came from the mouth of a senior member of Yoo's criminal empire, well, maybe that's not the most reliable of sources.
Quote
Again, we can go on and on with these facts, and I strongly believe that lies cannot stand up to the truth, but is there really a point? Peter, do you believe any of the words that I say above?
I think there's always a point in discussing and arguing points of view. No, I don't believe a lot of what you say, but that's not to say I doubt your sincerity and intentions. I just think one of your sources of information, Yoo's "church", is untrustworthy, and you view Yoo through the eyes of a believer while I view him as a criminal cult leader.
Title: Belief and the truth
Post by: Edgar on July 12, 2014, 05:09:25 AM
Hi Peter, hi Oscar,

thanks, Oscar, for your off-list message. Even after more than a month, I still have not given up the hope that you will provide us with some facts about the 1992 conviction. Since you have voiced concern here about being believed, let me just tell you a little anecdote:

One of the most successful (and expensive) lawyers of the USA had the reputation of winning over every jury every time.

He was once asked for the secret of his success. What is the best way to really convince people? His answer was:


Say the truth.
Title: one month after the thread was started....
Post by: Edgar on July 20, 2014, 12:08:54 AM
This is just a short reminder that this threat was started more than one month ago, on June 17, with the implication that Mr. Yoo's conviction in 1992 was not justified.

Mr. Yoo was apparently convicted for using the faith of his followers as a confidence trick in order to get money.

After insistently asking for one month, not a single detail of this case could be provided that somehow suggests that the conviction may NOT be based on the severe distress that Mr. Yoo caused to many people in the name of his religion.

After one month, it still seems that Mr. Yoo spent four years in prison for a very good reason: financial and emotional loss caused to innocent people.

After one month, still waiting...

Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: oopark on July 20, 2014, 05:25:25 AM

Edgar, I am looking into the details bit by bit.. there are a lot of pages to go through and it is taking time. I am finding several odds issues on how this can be concluded guilty. Of course, I am not a law expert but the first thing I think odd is that the '91 case does seem similar to the case where charges were dismissed in 1986. I am going to check the claims list to see if they match.

Another thing odd is that this case was brought up in 1991 for funds collected through 1982-1984. Did all these people find out all at once they were fraud victims 7 to 9 years later? Did these victims bring up the case or was it just the prosecution?

Also looking at this case, I am searching for evidence that proves Mr. Yoo guilty.... proof that Mr. Yoo was involved in this money collecting scheme and proof that the money went to his pockets, whether through witnesses or through trails of funds. I am having difficulty finding this in the court documents but I need to look further.

When I mentioned I would look into this case, I was not joking. I am not a person who believes things blindly, nor do I trust questionable claims without checking it out on my own. I am going to present my point of view when I feel comfortable that I have checked all aspects of this case and I will get back to you on this, whether you believe my words or not.

The other issues, I won't cover any further since other people just view my facts as a blind believer. I will say I am quite disappointed that people cannot believe even simple facts, but I do not blame you guys as there are so many incorrect, inaccurate and also lies presented by the news reports and conclusions based on that would be naturally so. I do wish though that anyone who reads this do keep their mind open and reserve one slight possibility that what we say might be true...  keep an eye on us in the next few years to come.

Also, when made available, I will post an official statement from the US church members' response. I had a chance to read the almost final draft (note that I did not participate in preparing this document at all) and I can surely say it has covered all of what I have said and even more. Will post later so please do be patient.




Title: Mr. Yoo's conviction and prison term
Post by: Edgar on July 23, 2014, 12:25:50 AM
Dear Oscar,

thanks for looking at the files. If you wonder why people who invest in fraud schemes complain only ten years later, there are several possible explanations.

One possibility is that they thought Mr. Yoo was a religious and honest man, and that they would eventually get their money back.

Another possibility is that Mr. Yoo was through his shark-loan business involved with violent thugs who were professionals in intimidating people (the same thugs that some people suspect were commissioned with the death of the Odaeyang members.)

Anyhow, it looks like this lost and lonely man, who had built his life on deceit, put on his Italian luxury clothes, got drunk and killed himself when his house of lies collapsed, as so many white-collar criminals do.

Of course, the details of the corpse found still will have to be investigated.

All the best,

Edgar.


Title: Re: Mr. Yoo's conviction and prison term
Post by: judgenotlestyebejudged on July 28, 2014, 12:53:12 AM
Dear Oscar,

thanks for looking at the files. If you wonder why people who invest in fraud schemes complain only ten years later, there are several possible explanations.

One possibility is that they thought Mr. Yoo was a religious and honest man, and that they would eventually get their money back.

Another possibility is that Mr. Yoo was through his shark-loan business involved with violent thugs who were professionals in intimidating people (the same thugs that some people suspect were commissioned with the death of the Odaeyang members.)

Anyhow, it looks like this lost and lonely man, who had built his life on deceit, put on his Italian luxury clothes, got drunk and killed himself when his house of lies collapsed, as so many white-collar criminals do.

Of course, the details of the corpse found still will have to be investigated.

All the best,

Edgar.

Give oscar some slack. You're being a little bit too Facetious. What reward are you looking for by beating on the pinata that already has been broken? You got the man on a wild goose chase. lol There is a lot of subjective information that is being portrayed as objective which is quite funny. What amazes me is how the story has become of Mr. Yoo's personal life rather than the tragedy that sparked all of this. The korean government and media is definitely doing a good job of shooing some important unanswered questions under the rug.
Title: Cult leader Yoo convicted for fraud in 1992 and spent 4 years in prison
Post by: Edgar on August 02, 2014, 05:20:59 AM
In 1992, cult leader Yoo was convicted for fraud and spent 4 years in prison.

We already know that some of the victims of his fraud, the fanatic believers who still follow his cult, do not want to talk about this.

That is nothing new.
Title: The Truth: Mr. Yu convicted for fraud
Post by: Edgar on September 10, 2014, 02:18:49 AM
Dear Oscar,

three months have passed since you appeared in this forum claiming that you want to provide real facts about Mr. Yu, the de facto owner of the Sewol which was refurnished in defiance of security regulations so that close to 300 people died.

In these three months, I think we have agreed to start at the beginning of Mr. Yu's career, and you wanted to provide the "truth" about why Mr. Lee spend four years on prison.

Up to the present day, you have not provided a single fact that would indicate that the conviction was unwarranted.

In the past, you have repeatedly claimed that you wanted to provide such facts.

By now, it should be clear that this was always a lie.

You were never serious about the truth, but only serious about the lies that were washed into the cult followers' brains.

You are have become a habitual liar just like Mr. Yu, and all this has nothing to do with a religion teaching high ethical standards.

The question is: Are you doing this for money or do you still believe all this yourself?

Most cult members start out looking for a better place, above the evils of normal society. They end up at a place far below.

Where do you come from? Is this, what you are doing right now, what you really wanted when you first came in contact with Mr. Yu and his money-making organization?

This might be a good occasion to go back to the start, to the place you really came from.

And since, in the realm of religious cults, you will not find any society with ethical standards above mainstream society, it may be good to, at least, not act below these standards.





Title: money laundering by Yoo Byeong-eon's organization
Post by: Edgar on September 16, 2014, 10:52:28 PM
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/09/116_164575.html (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/09/116_164575.html)
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on September 17, 2014, 02:50:06 AM
I really hope we hear from Oscar again
Title: Re: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)
Post by: Peter on April 19, 2015, 09:46:15 AM
On April 1 (presumably, this isn't a joke), two weeks before the anniversary of the sinking, Yoo's cult published another press statement. Again, it's a statement that I find to be ... well.. not grounded in reality.

Here it is: (http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2015/04/01/2015040102017.html)
Quote
Evangelical Baptist Church (“EBC”, the “Salvation Group”*) and Mr. Yoo Byung-eun Related Corrections and Official Statement by EBC

After the April 16, 2014 Sewol ferry tragedy, the media published a flood of indiscriminate articles regarding the EBC (also known as *Guwonpa in Korean) and Mr. Yoo Byung-eun.  Due to the immense volume of articles, it is impossible to correct and counter every single one.  Therefore, in agreement with the EBC and the surviving family of Mr. Yoo Byung-eun, we are publishing the following combined corrections and Official Statement.

*Guwonpa in Korean; the term has been coined to refer to the Evangelical Baptist Church

1. In regards to the claims that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun was the owner of the Sewol ferry vessel and the owner and Chief Executive Officer of Chonghaejin Marine Ltd (“Chonghaejin”) and its affiliated companies

The majority of the media reported that, as the owner of the Sewol ferry, Mr. Yoo Byung-eun directly managed Chonghaejin and its affiliated companies and that he used operating funds for personal purposes.  However, Mr. Yoo retired from the executive board in 1997. Additionally, he did not own any shares in the noted companies, nor had he managed operations, nor used the operating funds for personal reasons. He was not the ship owner of Sewol ferry, nor the Chief Executive Officer of Chonghaejin.  As such, he had not provided any directives in regards to the overloading of Sewol ferry or renovation of the ferry (e.g. expansion of the cabins and cargo area).

2. In regards to the allegations of Mr. Yoo Byung-eun’s acquisition of assets in other people’s names and misappropriation of offerings made to the EBC

The majority of the media reported that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun was a wealthy billionaire who owned real estate properties, including Geumsuwon, both in Korea and abroad under other people’s names and that he diverted the tithes and offerings made to the EBC to an illicit fund and expanded his businesses.

The EBC has confirmed that reports of his wealth incorrectly included real estate properties owned by farming associations, which had been established by church members.  Thus, these reported properties were not held by Mr. Yoo Byung-eun in another person’s name, but are owned by the noted farming associations.

Additionally, Mr. Yoo did not embezzle from the EBC nor did he expand his businesses by diverting tithes or offerings of the pertaining church and its members into an illicit fund.


3. In regards to the reports related to Mr. Yoo Byung-eun’s position within the EBC

The EBC has stated that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun was not a religious sect leader. Although he was ordained as a pastor in the 1970s by missionaries at the Far East Broadcasting Company, he did not act as a pastor. There is no pastor in the EBC, since it is a congregation of laymen.

It was also verified that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun did not participate in the process when the EBC was established in 1981, nor had he been revered as a religious sect leader or been made into a God-like figure by the pertaining church or its members.

4. In regards to reports that the EBC is a cult and that it has false doctrines

The majority of the media reported that the EBC is a religious cult and that it preaches doctrines that are not consistent with Christianity. There are certain churches in Korea that call the EBC a cult, solely based on differences between their and the EBC’s doctrines. However, the EBC has affirmed its belief in the Bible, the Trinity, and in Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit, His birth, death, and resurrection. The EBC does not worship a particular individual as a religious sect leader or preach any doctrine that contradicts the Bible.

5. In regards to reports of Mr. Yoo Byung-eun’s attempt to flee the country by ship, reports of his seeking asylum and reports of his possession of firearms

The majority of the media reported that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun attempted to flee the country by ship, that he requested asylum in several countries but was rejected, and that he possessed firearms to protect himself. The prosecutors hastily announced without confirming the facts that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun attempted to seek asylum. However, two months later on August 18, the prosecutors revised their statement noting that “upon investigation into the identity of the caller, a person with no relation to the Salvation Group had placed a prank call.” In addition, there was no evidence of any attempt by Mr. Yoo to flee the country. It has also been confirmed that the firearms alleged to be in his possession were collectibles. Furthermore, not only were they collectibles that could not actually be used, they were also not in Mr. Yoo’s possession while he was fleeing.

6. In regards to reports alleging that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun held photography exhibitions at the world’s top museums by donating funds and that he forced sales of his artworks

The artwork of Ahae (Mr. Yoo Byung-eun) were examined and authorized for exhibitions at renowned museums and exhibition sites in the United States and Europe by their screening committees. The exhibitions were unrelated to donations, and it was confirmed that there was no causal relationship between Ahae’s donation history and the exhibitions. Moreover, Mr. Yoo’s photography exhibitions were authorized by the committees after the directors of the respective museums had acknowledged the artistic value of Ahae’s works and subsequently proposed hosting the exhibitions. It has been confirmed that the exhibitions were not a result of Mr. Yoo’s patronage or donation. Additionally, the above museums have verified that an exhibition can never be authorized unless the artistic value of an artist’s works is recognized by the screening committee, irrespective of the amount of money an artist donates.
Additionally, it has been confirmed that Mr. Yoo did not force sales of his artworks.

7. In regards to reports on allegations about the EBC’s and Mr. Yoo Byung-eun’s links to the Odaeyang incident and their relationship with the Fifth Republic of Korea

Some news articles delivered the impression that the EBC and Mr. Yoo Byung-eun were behind the Odaeyang mass suicide incident. Some also reported that Mr. Yoo Byung-eun had been able to rapidly grow the Semo Group in the 1980s (e.g. securing the business rights to operate the Han River Ferry Cruise) by using a connection with Mr. Chun Kyung-hwan and a close relationship with the former President Chun Doo-hwan’s Fifth Republic of Korea. However, the Odaeyang mass suicide incident was thoroughly investigated by the prosecution and the police three times—in 1987, 1989, and 1991.  All three investigations concluded that the EBC and Mr. Yoo Byung-eun had no connection to the incident. Also, neither Mr. Yoo Byung-eun nor the EBC had any collusive ties with the Fifth Republic of Korea. This was all verified in the official document of the Incheon District Prosecutors’ Office, issued on May 21, 2014.


Lastly, the Evangelical Baptist Church has released the following statement to the media:

“We sincerely request of the press to serve the public’s right to know with objective and balanced reports, guarding against biased arguments from its interviewees, all while ensuring to fulfill its duty and responsibility to create no victim from such reporting.

We ask the press to reflect upon its manner of reporting on the Sewol ferry accident. Without waiting for the truth to be revealed through the completion of the investigative and judicial process, the reporting largely focused on releasing exclusive and sensational news reports, which led to misleading the public and essentially a trial in the court of public opinion. We also ask the press to avoid causing any compromise to the democratic principles of a constitutional state and to prudently take strict precautions against those forces that aim to take advantage of this period of heartbreak for this nation in order to advance their own position and authority.”