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Author Topic: Interesting Email from a New Zealand Member Threatening Legal Action  (Read 3902 times)

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March 15, 2016, 08:45:45 AM
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Offline Peter

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Dear Peter

It has come to my attention that you have used photographs showing my portrait and personal name on the website www.jmscult.com without seeking my permission. Pursuant to section 6 of the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015 of New Zealand your use of photographs containing my full portrait and personal facts is a clear infringement on my right of privacy as an individual.

In addition to this, your website contains communication that denigrates my individual right to religion. Your website also contains false allegations that are grossly offensive that could bring harm to my reputation and may constitute defamation.

To rectify this infringement of my rights, I require you to remove my photo, my personal name and related articles on the website www.jmscult.com immediately.

Feel free to respond directly to this email with your proposed plan of action in response to this request.

If I do not receive an adequate response within 10 days of receipt of this correspondence, I will take such actions as I may be advised to protect my rights including, without limitation, legal action for injunctive relief or to recover damages without further notice to you.

Yours Sincerely

R
That email is interesting for several reasons: 1) Her full name doesn't appear on my site. 2) I didn't notice any viewing activity beforehand from New Zealand to indicate she had visited my site and looked for her name, 3) it was sent to the email address I give to my students for work purposes and not the email address I have displayed on my site, and 4) she provided me with only her first name, which I have removed from the copy and paste job above, not her family name.

I received the email on March 10 and although she offered a ten-day deadline, I gave her the perhaps undeserved courtesy of a prompt response within a few hours. I have yet to receive a reply to my request for clarification. I have since determined her family name and can confirm it was never on my site. There is nothing actually on the entire Internet that I could find linking her name to the cult of serial rapist Jeong Myeong-seok. All in all, she seems to have done quite a good job keeping her name clear of any association with the JMS cult. Can't say I blame her ;)

Likewise, identifying photos of her. I do have some photos showing New Zealand cult events here. Faces of members were always obscured, and I certainly couldn't match the photos of her I came across on her social media accounts with the photos on my site, and I just altered the photos even further to make identification of individuals impossible. Not sure they deserve that though as they are all essentially agents of a prolific rapist. They are also of course victims, too.

A twitter account operated by the cult's New Zealand branch does have photos of members, but I'm not responsible for those of course. Perhaps she should direct her threats to friends closer to home?

Most likely, she was directed by leaders in Korea who seem rather keen on getting my site closed down. Good luck with that. My immediate reply follows:

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Hi R,

I'm happy to certainly explore the material you would like removed. I just searched my site for your first name and didn't get any hits. Not sure if you're mistaken about your name appearing or if your name on my site was mispelled. I'll certainly remove your name immediately when I find it. Perhaps your surname appears on my site. I doubt that as I've generally avoided posting names of Jeong's followers, but it's possible. I don't know your surname so unless you tell me what it is or where it appears on my site, I don't know how to proceed.
 
Likewise, the photo your refer to. Could you send a specific link or at least describe it? I'm not sure what you mean by related articles. Could you be more specific?

My site does not contain any false allegations. Could you be more specific? If you are referring to Jeong being convicted of rape. The Supreme Court of Korea found Jeong guilty and that decision has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles, most of which are available on my site.

Also, this is an email address I use for work purposes. I don't mind being contacted here, but it does seem odd as my contact email on my website isn't this one. Would you mind telling me how you came across my work email?

Cheers,

Peter

March 22, 2016, 11:02:45 AM
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Offline Peter

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Re: Interesting Email from a New Zealand Member Threatening Legal Action
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 11:02:45 AM »
After ten days passed without a reply, I sent the following:

Quote
Hi RXXXXXXX,

I'm surprised I didn't hear back from you. I replied in a timely manner and asked some entirely reasonable clarifying questions to help me address your concerns.

I reached out to a few people with knowledge of and experience with your church in New Zealand. I was told your surname is XXXXXX. I can confirm that that name has never been on my site. I also browsed some photos of you on social media and I am almost certain I have never seen you before. You don't need to be concerned about being identified on my site as a follower of Jeong. There are a few traces on social media that you are a member of JMS, but I think only someone as knowledgeable with the group such as myself would pick up on those. I really don't think you have anything to worry about.

You are certainly more than welcome to view my site, and if you have further concerns, it would help me to help you if you were more specific in the future.

And I'll finish by saying how sorry I am to learn you are involved with JMS. When the sleep deprivation and inconsistencies get too much, there are people out there who will be willing to help you. When those doubts do become too many to ignore, please don't hesitate to contact me.  Please contact me at the address on my site: [email protected]

I just have a few small requests:
1) Could you please respond to this email to let me know that you have read my confirmation that your name and image are not, and never were, on my site.
2) Could you also please explain how you came to think your name and image were on my site. Is it possible you were misinformed?
3) Finally, could you please explain how you came by my work email and why you decided to use it to contact me.

Sincerely,

Peter

April 04, 2016, 08:54:57 PM
Reply #2

Offline Peter

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Re: Interesting Email from a New Zealand Member Threatening Legal Action
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 08:54:57 PM »
Update! Still no reply, but I found what she was talking about in an older thread about activity in Canada. Why she didn't direct me to the relevant thread is beyond me - unless the plan was that I wouldn't find it. I only looked in that thread after seeing a few cult members view it today. Interesting that there was no obvious effort to bring that specific thread to my attention, like for example a reply to my question asking where her name appeared on my site. Cult members obviously knew where it was located. I said in my first reply above that I'd remove her name as soon as I found it.

A screenshot from Facebook was posted by a former member some 18 months ago here. I just went in and edited the picture. Her first name (not her surname) was contained in the screenshot; hence, my search on my site didn't show up anything, and I was certain I had never posted her name and photo. I was right about that.

Argh well, another strange encounter with followers of a Hitler-praising serial rapist. Probably won't be the last. I have to admit I'm not totally Ok with helping recruiters for a serial rapist maintain their anonymity, but the larger picture - the existence of the cult, its history, and where it operates (the member concerned graduated from the University of Victoria Wellington and was probably recruited there) are the more important details.

April 04, 2016, 10:13:09 PM
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Offline Peter

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Re: Interesting Email from a New Zealand Member Threatening Legal Action
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 10:13:09 PM »
Just sent her one more email to the email address she used to contact me and to another she uses supplied by a former member (thanks, by the way). It is entirely possible that the person who claimed to be Miss R wasn't her at all, but another member. Who knows? Anything is possible with such a group. I wonder if she'll reply this time? To be fair, I didn't ask her to reply, and I'm certainly not expecting one. Here's my email and below that some altered pics of the post and pic. The "offending" post was made out of concern for her. Oh, the irony.

Hi R,

I finally found the reference to you on my site. I certainly would have found it and deleted it sooner if you had provided a wee more information.

A screenshot was posted by a former member. The screenshot contained your first name and since it was in the photo, a search of your name on my site didn't pick it up. I went into that post and edited the picture to hide your first name and your face. My site has been growing for over ten years, so I'm sure you can excuse me for not remembering one post made by someone else some 18 months ago. Again, if you had been more specific and/or at least replied to my request for clarification, your photo and name would have been removed far earlier.

To be honest, I have some moral issues with helping you remain anonymous as you go about the business of recruiting for a serial rapist, but having spoken to a lot of former members, I realize you aren't aware that's what you're doing.  Please continue to explore my site, and as I said in an earlier email, there are people who can help you once you realize the awful truth.

Sincerely,

Peter







May 04, 2016, 06:02:32 PM
Reply #4

Offline Peter

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Well I finally got a responce 13 days ago. I replied the same day and have yet to receive a responce. It's kind of odd being scolded by someone in a cult led by a Hitler-praising serial rapist. I waited 5 days before posting her first email. I think that's a decent amount of time to wait without a reply before sharing her threatening post sans anything that could indentify her besides the first letter of her first name. Here's her latest; my reply follows:

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Hi Peter

Thank you for your email.

I have refrained from replying to your emails because you appear to publish emails between us on your website without my agreement.

Thank you for locating the screenshot with my photo and name. While blacking out my name and putting cartoon pictures on my face is effort to conceal identity, the photo is copyright protected and it is reproduced on your site unlawfully.

Hence, copyright owner of that photo has issued a copyright infringement take down notice to ensure it gets removed.
Further, please remove my initial email to you from your website (as well as your subsequent replies) http://jmscult.com/forum/index.php?topic=1185.0. I consider the publication of emails between us on your website, without prior notice or agreement, to be dishonourable and  poor conduct. As a matter of decency, I request that  you remove all emails from the webpage above.

Kind Regards

R
Quote
Hi R,

I have to admit I was tempted to wait a month before replying. My main, perhaps sole is a better word, reason for posting your email 5 days after my reply was that you used my work email address. That's not easy to come by. Before discussing anything else, I would like to repeat my question about that. How did you come by my work email and what was your motivation to use it instead of the email on the top of my site. I felt like that was meant as a little intimidation tactic. Usually I do not share emails from members.

Related, I'm giving an interview later today about your JMS colleagues who appeared naked in videos praising your messiah while he was a fugitive. Your cult's failed attempt to sue me here in Korea is gathering more media attention. Would you like to be interviewed as well? Might not come up, but if he asks me for contacts of members I'm certainly happy to pass on your contact details.

Cheers,

Peter