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Author Topic: In Defense of Mr. Byungeun Yoo and the Evangelical Baptist Church (Guwonpa)  (Read 32405 times)

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July 10, 2014, 03:20:19 AM
Reply #45

Offline oopark

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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) , it refers to a news article (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?





July 10, 2014, 06:35:40 AM
Reply #46

Offline Peter

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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.

July 11, 2014, 12:23:59 AM
Reply #47

Offline oopark

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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?




July 11, 2014, 02:23:56 AM
Reply #48

Offline Peter

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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:
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"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:
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“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?

July 11, 2014, 04:12:39 AM
Reply #49

Offline oopark

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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?


July 11, 2014, 10:22:42 AM
Reply #50

Offline Peter

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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.

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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.

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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:
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.

July 12, 2014, 05:09:25 AM
Reply #51

Offline Edgar

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Belief and the truth
« Reply #51 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.

July 20, 2014, 12:08:54 AM
Reply #52

Offline Edgar

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one month after the thread was started....
« Reply #52 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...


July 20, 2014, 05:25:25 AM
Reply #53

Offline oopark

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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.





July 23, 2014, 12:25:50 AM
Reply #54

Offline Edgar

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Mr. Yoo's conviction and prison term
« Reply #54 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.



July 28, 2014, 12:53:12 AM
Reply #55

Offline judgenotlestyebejudged

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Re: Mr. Yoo's conviction and prison term
« Reply #55 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.
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Arthur Schopenhauer

August 02, 2014, 05:20:59 AM
Reply #56

Offline Edgar

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Cult leader Yoo convicted for fraud in 1992 and spent 4 years in prison
« Reply #56 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.

September 10, 2014, 02:18:49 AM
Reply #57

Offline Edgar

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The Truth: Mr. Yu convicted for fraud
« Reply #57 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.






September 16, 2014, 10:52:28 PM
Reply #58

Offline Edgar

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