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Author Topic: KiHealth: The Experiences of Mr. Beenthere in America  (Read 3799 times)

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July 19, 2008, 03:22:56 AM
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Offline beenthere

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KiHealth: The Experiences of Mr. Beenthere in America
« on: July 19, 2008, 03:22:56 AM »
Hi Peter,

thank you for your info. I was happy to find it when I was looking for Chun Do Sun Bup, not knowing about the scandal with $ and namechange. Well, it's good to know 2 sides of the story, so as an ex-"devotee", here is my comment.

I knew them back in 1994-1998 in the US. This was my first "cult" and first experience of ki. As the poster on another thread wrote, I also saw them first at a health expo and signed up for classes. I thought they taught martial arts, because of their uniforms. But, instead it turned out ki - and with it they blue my mind off. I had never experienced anything of the sort and did not believe it existed. At the time they had one master who was very skilled with ki (the rest were so so in comparison) and... it's hard to describe it for a person who never experienced it, but it was really something.

And so, the first point I wanted to say about them, their ki is very real and it's hard to come by it, so real, in other places. That's why people get "sucked in" - people are not stupid, they feel the energy, they see the results, they stay and they want more. (it is quite addictive in the beginning, because it gives you bodily "high", just as another poster wrote. True, it does not stay long at first - that is because the "charge" unwinds, so to speak; you need to keep winding it on - either from them or learn it on your own, and then that high stays with you.) But I digressed.

The reason I wanted to reply here in this thread, is because the account by the press that was fed by the prosecutor is naturally biased. I, for one, in 3-4 years that I knew them, never heard about the end of the world. What I heard was that the grandmasters had "an assignment from heaven" to build that fantastic center that they did build in the end, and that if they failed, then the ki of the world would suffer  :-\. Which is not quite the same as saying that the world will end, as it was presented in the press.

And so they got the money every way they could for the construction of the center and they had to finish it on time. Quote from their website http://kiretreat.com/

"Taerachun is the sacred training place of Jungshim, and a place of great energy and beauty.

Taerachun sits in an area of about 49 acres. It took about 10 years of great effort to complete the buildings and facilities which include Tae-ra-gung (the sacred temple and ceremony hall), the Water spring of Life (that provides water with the Five Elements), Nak-won-jeon (the beautiful building for Ancestors), the Heavenly Bell House (with the Heavenly Bell and Drum). Additional facilities include the main office, the Oneness Meditation Hall, and residential buildings. "

Check it out, they did a good job and it's hard to believe that they did it only on $32 - 100 mil -it looks like it cost at least 10 times that. So, that's where the $ went and that's how the story with the deadline of the construction got changed.

And yes, I remember, they were pressing at the time for the ancestor training. At my center it cost $777 and then $888 - haha - because the head master saw the beauty in the numbers.
 

But. Don't be too fast branding people idiots, only because your experience of the world does not match theirs. Live a little. Check this fantastic ki - qi - energy out. You will find it in martial arts and qigong. Less so in yoga as it is commonly taught. There is more to the world than they led us, straight A kids in love with science, to believe.




July 19, 2008, 04:32:35 PM
Reply #1

Offline Peter

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KiHealth: The Experiences of Mr. Beenthere in America
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2008, 04:32:35 PM »
Thanks for your comments beenthere, I'm glad to hear form someone with experience with this group from the US.

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The reason I wanted to reply here in this thread, is because the account by the press that was fed by the prosecutor is naturally biased. I, for one, in 3-4 years that I knew them, never heard about the end of the world. What I heard was that the grandmasters had "an assignment from heaven" to build that fantastic center that they did build in the end, and that if they failed, then the ki of the world would suffer  :-\. Which is not quite the same as saying that the world will end, as it was presented in the press.

I don't think the articles are biased at all. The leaders were convicted of a massive fraud; the articles are just stating the facts of the case.
Regarding your refutation of the doomsday scenario, you're comparing what you were told in 94 in America with what members were told in Korea at a later date.
The fact that you weren't giving the doomsday scenario doesn't mean that others didn't, and the idea that the "world would suffer" certainly sounds doomsdayish to me anyway.

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And so they got the money every way they could for the construction of the center and they had to finish it on time.

Do you agree that "everyway way they could" involved fraud?
Isn't it possible that "everyway they could" involved scaring members into thinking the world would end and promising them they would be saved if they paid enough money?
And please note that Kihealth is a registered charity in the UK.
Charity's do not raise money any way they can and spend that money on themselves.
 :(

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Check it out, they did a good job

Oh I'd love to check it out.
I asked the London branch for further information about the retreat and didn't get an answer.

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And yes, I remember, they were pressing at the time for the ancestor training. At my center it cost $777 and then $888 - haha - because the head master saw the beauty in the numbers.
No disagreement there, I'm sure he did like large numbers, especially with dollar signs in from of them.
 :D
 

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But. Don't be too fast branding people idiots, only because your experience of the world does not match theirs.

I don't recall branding anyone an idiot.

You said you were an ex-devotee, if you don't mind what made you leave the group?

July 20, 2008, 12:01:59 AM
Reply #2

Offline beenthere

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KiHealth: The Experiences of Mr. Beenthere in America
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2008, 12:01:59 AM »
Peter,
this morning I returned to your site, because I remembered that yes, there was a rare mention of the end of the world during the weekly sermon from the head master. The reason it did not register in my head was because I could not take it seriously. In fact, I laughed openly - and now it explains why the head master did not particularly like me.

My take on this was that the head master, who was a colorful figure, was a born spiritual seeker, and before Chun Do he was a devout christian. In fact, initially he came to the US to study at a christian university somewhere in Texas, but then came across Chun Do - maybe in TX or maybe during his trip home - and became an ardent devotee. And so, when he gave his weekly sermon at the center, to me it had an obvious christian slant (like he would urge us, the upper-middle class Americans, not to kill and not to steal, which I found hilariously funny) - I interpreted it as his own personal addition to the Daoist philosophy of Chun Do, while his sermons I also took as an out of place expression of his old dream to be a preacher. I took his mentioning of the end of the world in the same grain. But then he never stressed it, probably because it did not go well with us.

Regarding the fraud, the word implies intentional deception, but you have to take into the account that they absolutely believed in what they were saying and their goal was to fulfill the "command from heaven", which superseded all other considerations. They believe - and I too agree - that the world is a better place now, because they built that center, and this may be interpreted as "the ki of the world became stronger" or better. They believed that by donating to the construction of the center, the people would be rewarded from heaven. But of course, it does not work this way. In my experience on the spiritual path, after you have achieved a certain level, the more you expect a reward, the more likely it is to turn into a punishment, as if to tell that doing good deeds should be a natural act comming from the inner need and not a means of getting something yummy in return. And so, from the secular point of view I understand why it was seen as fraud (even though I do not agree just from the definition of the word), but from their point of view, they wanted to make good to those who donated and to the world at large. I am not condoning nor condemning either side, only understanding both.

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Isn't it possible that "everyway they could" involved scaring members into thinking the world would end and promising them they would be saved if they paid enough money?

See, this is too hard a take on a soft situation. None of us was scared about the end of the world, this I can assure you. You too have to consider that painting something in such harsh tones makes you very much like the worst of "them", meaning fanatic fundamentalists of any denomination, just what you are fighting on your site - also in order to make a world a better place, from your point of view. See what I mean?

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And please note that Kihealth is a registered charity in the UK. Charity's do not raise money any way they can and spend that money on themselves.

I'm sure they must be also registered as a charity in the US, just like the catholic church, who have collected and amassed far more $ than Chun Do. They believe that they built their center for the world, not for themselves, just like the churches are built for the people.

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No disagreement there, I'm sure he did like large numbers, especially with dollar signs in from of them.

Your overly stress on the $ is not appropriate. There is more to life than $. Ancestor training did not do much for me - I wanted to experience it out of curiosity more than anything else. But for my acquaintance, it blue his mind away, because on the first day of the training, his son, with whom he had not spoken, despite his many attempts, in over 10 years, called on his own accord and spoke amicably. From your point of view, it was "just a coincidence", but from his point of view it was nothing short of a miracle and worth far more than what he had paid. See, it is worth to become "a member of a cult" just to experience certain amazing things about the world, which do not yield to explanation easily, and a life lived without even one such experience, IMO, is seriously lacking.

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I don't recall branding anyone an idiot.

I was referring to the first video on the page, about the poor idiots.

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You said you were an ex-devotee, if you don't mind what made you leave the group?

The master with the amazing skill of ki left to Korea just as my relationship with the head master was getting more tense.





July 20, 2008, 12:17:00 AM
Reply #3

Offline Peter

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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2008, 12:17:00 AM »

I was referring to the first video on the page, about the poor idiots.

Oh that's a poem by Jeong Myeong-seok, the jailed cult leader my site mainly focuses on.
I just added some images and music to his words, and I agree it's a disgusting poem.

Thanks for your further comments, I think we'll just continue to disagree about a few things,
but I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences and thoughts here.

I'd like to respond to a few things you wrote, but it's bed time here in Korea, so I'll try get around to that tomorrow.


July 20, 2008, 09:50:10 AM
Reply #4

Offline Peter

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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2008, 09:50:10 AM »
Quote
Regarding the fraud, the word implies intentional deception, but you have to take into the account that they absolutely believed in what they were saying and their goal was to fulfill the "command from heaven", which superseded all other considerations.

I'm sure that most did believe in what they are doing and thought they were doing something for the greater good. That's what cults do, they indoctrinate people to do the bidding of their immoral leaders who usually claim some God given mission.  The Aum cult members who gassed the Tokyo subway thought they were doing something for the greater good, as I'm sure were the 9/11 bombers. While the leaders you met may hav ehad good intentions, I really don't have a doubt that the founders of the Ki-health were conmen.

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None of us was scared about the end of the world, this I can assure you. You too have to consider that painting something in such harsh tones makes you very much like the worst of "them", meaning fanatic fundamentalists of any denomination, just what you are fighting on your site - also in order to make a world a better place, from your point of view. See what I mean?

No not really. I believe you when you said none of the members you knew were scared about the world ending, but that's to be expected after you said the one mention of the end of the world was not taken seriously. But can you speak for the victims in Korea who took the cult to court and won?
Remember you did first say there was no doomsday mention, and then you remembered there was one.  Your account is entirely consistent with the description of Kihealth in the articles.

Regarding myself being fanatical about this, well I think I've come to the only reasonable conclusion given the conviction and current state of kihealth websites.
You've come here to defend them a little, but really you've just confirmed aspects that make it cultish and confirmed the practices that gave rise to the criminal convictions: A leader with a divine mission, a requirement for money and promises for safety to donators, and you heard reference to doomsday. Whether you believed that prediction or not, or how it was received by American members is irrelevant.

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I'm sure they must be also registered as a charity in the US, just like the catholic church, who have collected and amassed far more $ than Chun Do. They believe that they built their center for the world, not for themselves, just like the churches are built for the people.

The Catholic Church certainly has its faults, but generally demanding money in return for salvation is not one of them. At least not these days.

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Your overly stress on the $ is not appropriate. There is more to life than $.

It seems to me that it is Kihealth that stresses dollars, not me. And that's consistent with the description of kihealth as a criminal cult in the above articles.
Here's what was on the kihealth.org page until last week. Interesting that it was just removed.


Some big figures there, with some interesting names.

Regarding the positive experiences with the treatments, well I had acupuncture a few times and the first session was an experience I'll never forget.
It was an amazing experience and I imagine similar to how people feel after Kihealth treatments. The video testimonies I've seen all describe something similar to what I experienced.
The major difference being my practitioner really was interested in helping people, and didn't use the natural highs experience by patients as an excuse to milk them out of money.
He had a set transparent fee structure and he stuck to it. None of this, if you give me $800, I'll cure your ancestor nonsense.
 :(

And the fraud allegations do not speak to the worth of the treatment itself. So any worth the treatment has is irrelevant to the crimes of the founders and certainly irrelevant to the cult accusations.
I'm sure you could get a similar experience from dozens of different health professionals and alt. health clinics.

August 31, 2008, 09:25:00 AM
Reply #5
Money Money Money!
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2008, 09:25:00 AM »
The Ki masters in London are obsessive on the subject of money. They will scrutinise trainees when they leave the centre after a treatment to make sure they have paid. Being that the fee is supposed to be a 'donation', they will scrutinise the number of notes going into the envelopes to find out if they're getting their 'suggested donations of 50'. 'Trainees' are constantly being harassed into parting with their cash, to give them good luck (in work, in relationships, etc etc). In the UK at the moment there is an advert from supermarket giant Tesco which tells us that 'every little bit counts'. Well, as you can see from the name of Ki's latest money scam, it's been changed to 'every little prick counts' - every desperate, trusting soul who's taken in by their promises of redemption and good health for their families and themselves.