Advanced Search

Author Topic: July/August 2006: JMS make headlines in Japan  (Read 31806 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


March 09, 2007, 12:31:26 PM
Reply #1

Offline Peter

  • Administrator

  • *****

  • 2487
    Posts

    • View Profile
    • Personal Blog & Site
July 28, 2006: Concerns Raised About Cult Led by Fugitive (Asahi Shimbun - Archived at Cult Education)

Quote
Churches, lawyers and families are planning to take action against an expanding cult led by a former Moonie who is on Interpol's international wanted list for sexually abusing female followers.

About 2,000 Japanese have joined the cult called "Setsuri (providence)," and membership here continues to grow, they said.

The cult was established by Jung Myung Seok, 61, in South Korea around 1980, and has been active in Japan for at least 15 years.

Members are forced to live with other members and participate in mass wedding ceremonies, the sources said.

Former followers and others say the cult also engages in brainwashing and secrecy, while Jung rampantly sexually abuses female members.

"We are considering filing criminal complaints against the guru and his aides so that there won't be any more victims," said Hiroshi Watanabe, a lawyer familiar with the cult. "It will be too late if we don't take countermeasures now."

According to Setsuri's internal documents and other information, most of the Japanese followers are current and former students of major national and private universities. About 60 percent of the followers are women.

The cult has about 40 footholds across Japan, including major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sapporo.

Jung was part of the Unification Chruch led by Sun Myung Moon in South Korea in the 1970s before he established his own cult, which was initially known as the Jesus Morning Star church.

Accusations that Jung was sexually abusing his followers became a huge issue in South Korea. He fled the country in 1999 before he could be prosecuted.

South Korea still wants to arrest him. He was placed on Interpol's wanted list in 2002, but remains at large.

After he became a fugitive, Jung reportedly moved from one area to another, including Italy, China and Taiwan, and secretly gave instructions to his aides.

According to former cult members, Jung frequently visited Japan until 2002.

He stayed at his aides' homes in Osaka and Chiba prefectures, where he summoned up to 10 female followers almost every day and indecently assaulted them under the pretext of "health checks," they said.

Some Japanese female followers were instructed to go overseas for a rendezvous with Jung, they said.

The aides told them to never mention the meetings with Jung, warning that they would go to hell if they revealed the secret.

Many followers left the cult after they realized what was going on.

"I couldn't understand what was happening to me while I was being sexually assaulted," one of the former followers was quoted as saying. "I was so messed up in the head, and couldn't resist whatever the guru did."

Another former female follower said, "Well over 100 Japanese women had been victimized" during the cult's 15 years in Japan.

Setsuri members generally live together in the same room of a housing complex that is used as their base in the area.

Members are not allowed to be romantically involved with each other, but they must attend a mass wedding ceremony once a year, similar to the practice of the Unification Church.

Setsuri members are required to pay a fixed donation, part of which is believed to finance Jung's flight from the law.

Cultists try to recruit students and others through sports, cultural and other club activities. They use mind control to get recruits to believe in Setsuri's religious principles.

"It is a typical example of a cult that changes one's thinking and destroys his or her personality on a systematic scale," an official at the Unified Church of Christ in Japan said.

The church, lawyers and others said they have received at least 200 calls from parents desperately wanting to get their children back from Setsuri.

July 29, 2006: 2,000 Japanese Join Cult Led by Suspected Sex Offender on The Run from Interpol (The Asahi Shimbun - no longer online)

Quote
Churches, lawyers and families are planning to take action against an expanding cult led by a former Moonie who is on Interpol's international wanted list for sexually abusing female followers.

About 2,000 Japanese have joined the cult called "Setsuri" (providence), and membership here continues to grow, they said.

The cult was established by Jung Myung Seok, 61, in South Korea around 1980, and has been active in Japan for at least 15 years.

Members are forced to live with other cultists and participate in mass wedding ceremonies, the sources said.

Former followers and others say the cult also engages in brainwashing and secrecy, while Jung rampantly sexually abuses female members.

"We are considering filing criminal complaints against the guru and his aides so that there won't be any more victims," said Hiroshi Watanabe, a lawyer familiar with the cult. "It will be too late if we don't take countermeasures now."

According to Setsuri's internal documents and other information, most of the Japanese followers are current and former students of major national and private universities. About 60 percent of the followers are women.

The cult has about 40 footholds across Japan, including major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sapporo.

Jung was part of the Unification Church led by Sun Myung Moon in South Korea in the 1970s before he established his own cult, which was initially known as the Jesus Morning Star church.

Accusations that Jung was sexually abusing his followers became a huge issue in South Korea. He fled the country in 1999 before he could be prosecuted.

South Korea still wants to arrest him. He was placed on Interpol's wanted list in 2002.

After he became a fugitive, Jung reportedly moved from one area to another, including Italy, China and Taiwan, and secretly gave instructions to his aides.

According to former cult members, Jung frequently visited Japan until 2002.

He stayed at his aides' homes in Osaka and Chiba prefectures, where he summoned up to 10 female followers almost every day and indecently assaulted them under the pretext of "health checks," they said.

Some Japanese female followers were instructed to go overseas for a rendezvous with Jung, they said.

The aides told them to never mention the meetings with Jung, warning they would go to hell if they revealed the secret.

Many followers left the cult after they realized what was going on.

"I couldn't understand what was happening to me while I was being sexually assaulted," one of the former followers was quoted as saying. "I was so messed up in the head, and couldn't resist whatever the guru did."

Another former female follower said, "Well over 100 Japanese women had been victimized" during the cult's 15 years in Japan.

Setsuri members generally live together in the same room of a housing complex. Members are not allowed to be romantically involved with each other, but must attend a mass wedding ceremony.

Members are required to pay a fixed donation, part of which is believed to finance Jung's flight from the law.

Cultists try to recruit students and others through sports, cultural and other club activities. They use mind control to get recruits to believe in Setsuri's religious principles.

"It is a typical example of a cult that changes one's thinking and destroys his or her personality on a systematic scale," an official at the Unified Church of Christ in Japan said.

The church, lawyers and others said they have received at least 200 calls from parents desperately wanting to get their children back from Setsuri's clutches.

March 09, 2007, 12:37:21 PM
Reply #2

Offline Peter

  • Administrator

  • *****

  • 2487
    Posts

    • View Profile
    • Personal Blog & Site
July 31: Lawyers Eye Cult Rape Accusations
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2007, 12:37:21 PM »
July 31, 2006: Lawyers Eye Cult Rape Accusations (The Japan Times)

Quote
A group of lawyers is considering filing a criminal complaint with police accusing leaders of a cult of raping female followers.

Hiroshi Watanabe, head of the lawyers' group, said at a news conference Saturday they are considering filing charges against Jung Myung Seok, founder of the South Korean group JMS, and the leader of a Japanese arm of the cult called Setsuri (Providence).

South Korean authorities have put Jung, 61, on an international wanted list on rape charges.

Watanabe said the head of Setsuri persuaded Japanese women to join the cult, introduced them to Jung and took them to Jung's hideout.

Jung allegedly raped the women, Watanabe said, while they were under mind control.

JMS was established in South Korea around 1980 and became active in Japan around 1987. The Setsuri sect is believed to have more than 2,000 followers, mostly students and other young people, the lawyers said.

The cult has no headquarters in Japan and uses apartments for offices.

Watanabe said Setsuri usually passes itself off as a sports, music or cheerleading club on school campuses, or as a modeling group, and urged college administrators to take measures to prevent recruitment efforts among students.


 

March 10, 2007, 04:03:23 AM
Reply #3

Offline Peter

  • Administrator

  • *****

  • 2487
    Posts

    • View Profile
    • Personal Blog & Site
July 31, Asahi: Cult aimed at elite in 50 universities
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2007, 04:03:23 AM »
July 31, 2006: Cult Aimed at Elite in 50 Universities (The Asahi Shimbun - no longer online)

Quote
Recruiters for a cult headed by a fugitive wanted by Interpol have been targeting elite students at over 50 universities nationwide, sources say.

The universities rank among the country's most prestigious, and include the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University and Waseda University, according to those who quit the "Setsuri" (providence) cult and their lawyers.

"I was instructed to solicit elite students first," said a 32-year-old man who recruited at a university in the Tohoku region before quitting the cult.

"I believe it was because they are expected to bring in large donations and help raise the cult's status as employees of major businesses or government entities in the future."

The cult, once known as the Morning Star church, was founded by Jung Myung Seok, 61, in South Korea around 1980.

Jung, a former Moonie, is wanted by Interpol on suspicion of sexually abusing his female followers.

In Japan, about 2,000 people are registered followers, 60 percent of whom live in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Lawyers helping Japanese members leave the cult said more than 100 women have been sexually abused by Jung. They said they are considering criminal complaints.

Other universities hit were Chiba University, the University of Tsukuba, Osaka University and Kansai University.

According to accounts of ex-members, followers are instructed to approach students pretending they represent Bible societies, sports groups or campus dancing clubs.

A former student at Kwansei Gakuin University in Hyogo Prefecture was first invited to join a sports group in April 2000 when he was a freshman.

He played volleyball and basketball with the group for about half a year before being invited to a Bible study session, where he was brainwashed with the cult's teachings.

It was not until then that he learned his friends were cult members, and their apartment was a "church."

"I could not easily leave (the cult) because I did not want to lose friends," said the man, who eventually quit at the urging of relatives after he graduated from university.

Ex-members say recruiting on campus started on Jung's orders in the mid-1990s.

"It's a fraudulent activity, as they conceal the group's identity in luring members," a lawyer said.

An ex-member in his 30s said he and other cultists were deprived of sleep--forced to work late into the night and then wake up early to listen to Jung's videotaped preaching.

"I gradually lost my power of judgment," he told a news conference Saturday in Tokyo.

Universities so far have done little to guard students from cults for fear of infringing freedom of religion.

But Teruo Maruyama, a Buddhist priest and commentator, warns that campuses could be hotbeds for the growth of destructive cults.

"Universities must alert their students against such cults on the assumption they are always trying to encroach upon them," he said

March 10, 2007, 04:14:36 AM
Reply #4

Offline Peter

  • Administrator

  • *****

  • 2487
    Posts

    • View Profile
    • Personal Blog & Site
July 31, Japan Today: South Korean Cult Merges Sex With Prayer
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2007, 04:14:36 AM »
South Korean Cult Merges Sex with Prayer (Crisscross - no longer online)

Internet Archive Link

Quote
"First of all, we'd like you to look at the photos of the seven bikinied beauties at left," Friday (July 28) says coyly, as if readers' eyes will not have strayed in that direction uninstructed.

The young women are introduced as faithful members of a South Korean cult called JMS, which stands for Jung Myung Suk, the cult's smiling 61-year-old founder. He has ?or at least he had, before pending rape charges apparently forced him to flee his native country ?ample reason to smile. "These women," alleges Friday, "are the among the founder's specially selected sex partners." Five of the seven are identified as teenagers; one of them is in junior high school.

There's nothing new anymore in pseudo-gurus abusing their charisma. Nor, perhaps, is there anything really new in the apparent fact that JMS's Japanese membership continues to soar even as the allegations against Jung multiply. New or not, the ease with which people seeking answers to unanswerable eternal questions allow themselves to be taken in by fast-talking "saviors" never fails to shock. And in Japan at least, JMS believers are hardly intellectual no-accounts. On the contrary, says Friday, most of them are drawn from the most prestigious universities and corporations in the country.

Jung honed his sagely credentials as an acolyte of South Korea's Unification Church, whose founder, Sun Myung Moon, presided over too far-flung a business empire to retain much credibility as a holy man. In 1978, Jung broke away from the church to found the sect that bears his initials. Nine years later, a JMS missionary enrolled at Tsukuba university as an exchange student served as the Seoul-based cult's Japan bridgehead. The gospel he preached, thin though it may seem to a skeptical outsider, evidently had something in it that people are looking for.

Its Bible-based teaching is similar to that of the Unification Church but departs from it, Friday explains, in three particulars. First, it expressly identifies Jung as a savior. Secondly, it teaches that depravity, originating in intercourse with the devil, can be defeated by intercourse with the savior, in which connection it offers what it calls "lovers' education" to those judged worthy. Thirdly, it stipulates that female believers who have not received this lovers' education must marry male members of the cult in mass weddings called "benediction ceremonies."

A South Korean backlash to all this had been brewing for a year when, in December 1999, Jung fled the country, a lawsuit for rape pending against him. Other lawsuits followed as alleged victims continued to come forward.

Why, then, should the cult be flourishing in Japan? “One reason the cult has not had much negative attention here," Friday hears from a former believer, "is that it limits its recruiting to students and graduates of top universities" ?Todai, Hitotsubashi, Waseda, Keio and so on. "The cult worms its way into university clubs, and wins converts by flattering the elite pride of the members.

"Tragically," says Friday, "many young women believe JMS is a pure religion; they don't know about the sexual exploitation by the founder that comes with it. Any number of women, virgins among them, have been forced into sexual relations." Korean and Japanese victims, the magazine figures, number in the thousands.

And yet even now, Friday continues in unconcealed astonishment, "in Japan and South Korea, every Sunday believers gather at various locations to take in the master's sermons, delivered via the Internet from his refuge in China. Photos of likely sex partners continue to be sent to him, followed by the women themselves, if they pass muster, for 'lovers' education.'"

"Jung prefers tall girls who look like models," says a former believer. "Preferably girls with little sexual experience - he's afraid of venereal disease. Virgins rate highest of all, as far as he's concerned." 

March 10, 2007, 04:23:46 AM
Reply #5

Offline Peter

  • Administrator

  • *****

  • 2487
    Posts

    • View Profile
    • Personal Blog & Site
July 31, Japan Today South Korean Cult Leader Faces Rape Charges
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2007, 04:23:46 AM »
July 31, 2006: South Korean Cult Leader Faces Rape Charges (Crisscross - no longer online)

Quote
A group of Japanese lawyers is considering filing a criminal complaint with police accusing the leader of a South Korea-originated cult of raping female Japanese followers, the group said Saturday.

Hiroshi Watanabe, who heads the lawyers' group, said at a news conference the lawyers are considering of filing charges against Jung Myung Suk, founder of the group JMS and the leader of a Japanese arm of the cult called "Setsuri," or providence, in Japanese. Jung is said to have raped the women, pretending to conduct breast cancer checks on them in many cases, Watanabe said.

July 18, 2015, 02:51:40 AM
Reply #6

Offline Peter

  • Administrator

  • *****

  • 2487
    Posts

    • View Profile
    • Personal Blog & Site
Aug. 10, 2006: South Korean cult member may have gotten illegal visa
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2015, 02:51:40 AM »
I just stumbled upon this 2006 article (I think) for the first time:

August 10, 2006: South Korean Cult Member May Have Gotten Illegal Visa (Japan Times)
Quote
A senior member of the South Korean cult Setsuri, which has drawn several allegations of rape, is suspected of illegally obtaining a resident visa with the help of two Japanese, sources said.

The 44-year-old South Korean woman lives in the city of Chiba, the sources said Tuesday, noting Chiba Prefectural Police are considering questioning her on suspicion of violating immigration law.

South Korean authorities have put the group’s founder, Jung Myung Seok, 61, on an international wanted list on rape charges. Japanese authorities are also expected to investigate the organization.

The sources said two Japanese men are believed to have helped the woman illegally obtain her visa. The woman is also suspected of putting false information in her alien registration certificate.

Setsuri, or providence, was established in South Korea around 1980 and became active in Japan around 1987. It is estimated to have more than 2,000 followers in Japan, most of them students and other young people.

The cult has no headquarters in Japan and uses apartments as its offices. It usually passes itself off as a sports, music or cheerleading squad on campuses as well as groups of models.

Several senior members based in Japan are believed to have introduced female followers to Jung and taken them to his hideouts on several occasions.

Jung is said to have raped the women, pretending to conduct breast cancer checks on them in many cases.

The victims are considering filing criminal complaints against Jung, accusing him of second-degree rape, because they were hypnotized when the incidents occurred.

The South Korean weekly Sisa Journal reported Tuesday that Setsuri followers include staff in the Blue House presidential office and other key state organizations.

The group, which is also known as JMS, has followers in the prosecutors office, Presidential Security Service and National Intelligence Service, the report said.

The report was based on Setsuri internal documents, which were provided by former Jung aides to Exodus, a group that has been helping followers escape the cult.

The report also said the man who was arrested in May in connection with a group assault on a member of Exodus worked at the Presidential Security Service. It said he previously was Jung’s bodyguard.

July 24, 2015, 05:53:04 AM
Reply #7

Offline Peter

  • Administrator

  • *****

  • 2487
    Posts

    • View Profile
    • Personal Blog & Site
Re: July/August 2006: JMS make headlines in Japan
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2015, 05:53:04 AM »
Most of the above links no longer work, but most are archived on Rick Ross's Cult Education website. I'll update the links later. For now, I noticed that the last one isn't on Rick's site. I just checked the archive of my old site and found it. I have also been updating and expanding the timeline here.

August 18: Another Problem Cult (The Asahi Shimbun - Archived Here)
Quote
A religious sect known as Setsuri (providence), which originated in South Korea, is causing serious social problems in Japan. The 61-year-old founder of the cult, Jung Myung Seok, is named in an Interpol rape warrant for his alleged sexual assaults on female followers in South Korea. Even before he was put on the wanted list, Jung visited Japan frequently and was suspected of sexual violence against many Japanese female students, according to former followers who have fled the group.

Freedom of religion should, of course, be respected. And it should be recognized that religions often have views and values that are different from secular ones.

But religious organizations should not be allowed to operate outside the boundary of law. The cult founder is a brutish criminal if he has repeatedly committed sexual assaults against his female followers.

A group of lawyers trying to help Japanese members leave the sect has filed a criminal complaint with police against three people in Japan, including a South Korean woman who is a close aide of the founder, on suspicion of visa offenses and other crimes related to the sect's activities. The lawyers say they will also seek to hold the founder criminally liable for his alleged rapes.

Police need to launch an exhaustive investigation into all these allegations against the cult and its founder. A strict crackdown on illegal practices is essential for preventing further victimization of cult followers.

Preaching a doctrine based on unorthodox interpretations of the Bible, Setsuri has gained a sizable following in many countries, including some 2,000 members in Japan. The followers are required to pledge absolute submission to the founder and are forced to live communally and take part in mass weddings among members.

Followers are evaluated according to the amount of money they donate to the sect. Many young members fall into financial trouble because of their large contributions to the group. The number of parents seeking advice on how to extract their children from the cult is growing rapidly.

The sect would say collective marriages and donations are designed for the salvation of the followers. But a close look at the sect's activities would show it is nothing but an antisocial group that tries to manipulate the followers' mind and bamboozle them out of their money.

Why have so many young people been lured into such a group?

The gimmicks the sect uses to increase its membership are nothing new. At university campuses, the sect's recruiters first approach students under the guise of a sports or cultural circle. After building close personal relationships with these students, the members reveal the religious nature of their group and start indoctrinating them. The favorite targets are serious-minded young people who feel alienated from their families and schools and wish to change their lives.

The tales of the sect chillingly evoke memories of Aum Shinrikyo, which perpetrated a series of loathsome crimes. The grim saga of the doomsday cult showed how so many students and young people were ensnared by that deeply antisocial group. It also showed how difficult it is to pull young people out of such a group once they become cult members.

Universities should warn their students about the operations of such dubious religious groups and fake circles. It is especially important to pay close attention to freshmen who are not well informed about the seamy side of society.

But the responsibility for dealing with the social problem of pernicious cults should not be placed entirely on universities. It is crucial for various organizations to work together in tackling this threat to society.

They should cooperate in efforts to gather and swiftly disseminate information about dangerous groups, provide counseling to the families of the victims and help members withdraw from the cult.

In particular, existing religious organizations should take the problem very seriously. They should join the efforts to protect innocent young people from such antisocial groups.

Last but not least by any means, a collection of Japanese news clips.