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Author Topic: Self-Immolation/Attempted Murder at Moonie HQ  (Read 2952 times)

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August 26, 2013, 11:06:58 AM
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Offline Peter

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Self-Immolation/Attempted Murder at Moonie HQ
« on: August 26, 2013, 11:06:58 AM »
Japanese woman reportedly belonging to Unification Church sets self, 2 others alight in SKorea

Quote
SEOUL, South Korea ó Three Japanese nationals who reportedly are followers of the Unification Church suffered burns Thursday when one of them set herself and the other two on fire in a South Korean town known as the heart of the church.

The incident took place one day before the lunar calendarís first anniversary of the death of Unification Church founder the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, but the motive was not immediately clear...

Fox News also covered the story, but seems to have got the details wrong, stating that three members set themselves on fire instead of one setting the others:

Quote
Three Japanese Unification Church members set themselves on fire in South Korea Thursday before the first anniversary of the death of the controversial church founder Sun Myung Moon, a report said.

The two women and one man had doused themselves with paint thinner and set themselves alight in a village at the church's global headquarters in Gapyeong east of Seoul, Yonhap news agency said. They suffered severe burns and two of them were in serious condition, it added. Church officials were not available for comment.

Facebook seems to be the leading avenue of factual information to date via this group run by Timothy Elder.

He offers more information below, and it seems the incident stemmed from the Moonie's tradition, especially in Japan, of "encouraging" rather large "donations." According to former members, Japanese members in the past were told to donate more in order to cleanse the sins of their ancestors committed during Japan's occupation of Korea and WW2:

Quote from: Timothy Elder
Here's a summary of how I understand the story so far:

Controversy over a Japanese member's request for the church to refund a donation led to a vicious attack Thursday that so far has two members fighting for their lives.
According to Korean media reports, Atsuko Kumon and Rev. Masahiro Ono were in the lobby of Cheongshim Village, along with a large group of Japanese members waiting for their room assignments. The members had just arrived from Japan to attend the ceremonies scheduled for Friday.

Kumon doused Ono and herself with flammable liquid, thought to be paint thinner, using a five-liter container. She then set fire to the liquid using a cigarette lighter. A third person was also splashed with the liquid and caught fire as she tried to get away.

The fire set off the sprinkler system in the lobby, preventing the fire from spreading to others or to the building itself.
The three who caught fire panicked and ran out of the building, away from the water coming from the sprinkler system. Fire extinguishers had to be used to put out the fires on their bodies. Witnesses said this took about five minutes.

The three were transported initially to Cheongshim Hospital, where Kumon and Ono were found to be in critical condition with third degree burns over much of their bodies. The two were transferred to the Hallym University Medical Center in Seoul for specialized treatment. The third victim remained in Cheongshim Hospital, because her injury was not as severe.
As she was being admitted to HUMC, Kumon told hospital staff that she had no money, and that she "did it because I want to die."
An earlier report that Kumon had died as s a result of her injury now appears to have been wrong. An updated report says she continues in a critical condition HUMC. Ono remains at HUMC in critical condition.

Information on Kumon's motive in the attack is sketchy, but it appears related to her efforts to help another member, her spiritual child, secure a refund of a 20-million-yen donation made sometime previously to the Hyogo region of the Japanese church, where Ono serves as regional leader.

Sources within the church told blogger Kazuhiro Yonemoto that an agreement was made with the spiritual child to make the refund in installments, and that about 1.5 million yen had been paid out. This, however, appears not to have satisfied the spiritual child or Kumon.

Kumon appears to have traveled to Cheongpyeong for the purpose of confronting Ono about the donation refund.
on Friday