Thanks to the folks at Korea Beat for this translation
of one of several recent Korean articles
about Jeong's life in prison.
Jeong Myeong-seok, the leader of the pseudo-religious organization JMS who in 2009 was sentenced to 10 years in prison for rape causing injury and molestation by force, is said to be receiving special favors and living an extravagant life.
On the 25th (of October, 2013), National Assembly Representative Park Beom-gye of the Democratic Party (Daejeon-Seoul) said that it had been found that he had been receiving favors of outside medical treatment and continually offering speeches.
In fact, Mr. Jeong received outside medical treatment on 17 occasions from May 2009 through August 2013, compared to the 0.5 occasions averaged by other prisoners.
Mr. Jeong has sent 302 speeches by audiorecording, or one to two per week from February 2008 through October 2013, which Rep. Park says is not permitted under the ďPenal Execution and Correctional Treatment ActĒ.
Also, Mr. Jeong is said to be receiving special treatment in that he is able to borrow telephones from guards and use them in areas not subject to video surveillance, and leave prison for medical treatments and meetings with followers.
Rep. Park said that, ďunder current law when prisoners receive outside medical treatment they require the wardenís permission, but in reality it is completely dependent on the prisonís medical chief of staffís proceduresÖ for Mr. Jeong, we need to find out the truth regarding his ability to came and go a any time for religious activities and his leading an extravagant life.Ē
One interesting omission is the frequent visits to Jeong in his Daejon jail, usually on a Monday, by 3-4 female cult members led by the current public face of the cult, Miss Apostle "J".
Back to these visits. I've heard from several people (former member, current member, and a relative of a current member) who have told me about these visits. The accounts I have heard all involve non-Korean members being taken to the jail by J. They have a quick meet and great, they make a big heart shape with their arms (which is reciprocated by Jeong), and they leave soon after. Groups of women visiting a serial rapist in jail - that's almost as strange as groups of children visiting a convicted pedophile in jail.
It sure doesn't sound like Jeong is rehabilitating; rather, it seems like he is preparing for another raping spree the minute he's set free, assuming of course that other charges don't arise in the meantime.
Also omitted from the article are the letters, purportedly from Jeong, sent to numerous female members in and outside of Korea. While they are probably written by a team of senior members, the members who receive them are led to believe they come from the hand of their messiah. The letters, in Korean, and translated into English and I imagine other languages according to the nationality of the recipient.
Here are a few excerpts from letters recently sent to one former member:
I know that itís hard but go to church - donít let your parents know about it though. A long time ago I had to go to church but not let my parents know that I was going. Your parents donít understand church so thatís why they worry. People who donít believe in God donít understand. You do though. God and the Lord chose you and called you so you must love God and the Lord and go to the eternal world. I will be a close confidante so and I will hold your hand so be strong. You love God so is there anywhere that you canít go? Be wise at home. If they find out then tell them that you are doing research into religion.
The spirit is 4 billion times faster than light, so I can visit thousands of people a day. Treat the Lord as your boyfriend. Treat the Lord like he is next you. The Lordís true love is a person who gives him all their body and mind. Thatís why I didnít marry and live only embracing the Lord.
Love isnít felt only physically (or through physical relations), but is felt throughout daily life. The Holy Son, Jesus, sends you his love all the time and I do too, through my prayers. Feel it and receive our love.
I love you, annyong~
Even if your parents told you not to see the person that you loved you could still keep on loving them in your heart. If you donít love them, then you wouldnít live with them even if you weren't being persecuted. Thatís true right? Keep on working hard, and be courageous. I am
always praying for you.
Can you not love the Holy Son even though you know him? He is not the son of a worldy king, he is the Messiah. Work hard. You have to do things while I'm alive. I have been preaching for 34 years but finally you have seen(met) me. Make your spirit come to me, too. The room I have is heated so I am warm. It is -5 degrees outside. There are 25 rooms but only 2 of them have electricity. The room I have is the best room of all. At first I didn't want this room. However the Holy Son told someone else to use my room that I had been two years. Then I was moved to this warm room. It is warm. In this room I feel like I am in your warm bosom and your embrace of love.
I love you
The more precious you realise that God and the Holy Son are, the higher you will ascend. Recently I have received so many letters with decisions that need to be made for (churches/ people) worldwide so they are all piling up. I wrote you a long letter. To other people I just write 2 or 4 lines.
Now that member wasn't in particularly deep. I have heard of much more explicit letters being sent to deeper members as well as requests for naked photos.
Another omission is the secret apartment JMS has that has a view of the prison yard. Jeong is allowed to spend an hour a day there, and during that time selected members go to the apartment and watch Jeong through binoculars. There is also a replica of Jeong's cell at Wolmyeong Dong, Jeong's birthplace and base of his cult situated outside of Daejon,
and the legend goes that he is living in the most appalling and freezing of conditions. It is interesting the letters above contradict the cult's version of Jeong's life in jail.
While it may seem strange for the cult to contradict itself, the content of the letters is supposed to be kept secret. That makes the recipient feel extra special and stops her from realizing that other girls receive almost identical letters. The recipient feel part of the inner elite when they realize that Jeong's version of his life in jail differs from the versions put forth to others. And remember, members are used to differing accounts. Members that know he is in jail certainly know not to divulge that rather important detail to newbies.