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March 04, 2015, 03:42:31 AM
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Offline Peter

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Cults on Korean Campuses
« on: March 04, 2015, 03:42:31 AM »
Reposting this from last year. That article is particularly interesting because it briefly mentions Yoo Byeong-eun who was just a month away from making world headlines because of his ownership of the Sewol ferry.

A big thank you to Nathan over at Korea Beat Blog for translating this recent Korean article about three of the most active cults on Korean campuses. Click on that Korean language article for some interesting pictures from the three cults listed: Shinchonji, The Good News baptists/IYF, and good old JMS.

The JMS section, which strangely omits any mention of Jeong's rape convictions and years as a fugitive, does mention some interesting tidbits about the history of JMS, namely the occasions it was branded a cult by Korean Christian groups, previous names/front groups, and Jeong's earlier position as a "teacher" with the Moonies. The Shichonji section draws attention to a recruiting tactic I had never heard of before: the sending of recruiters on blind dates to recruit. Sneaky, but brilliant. Blind dates are a big part of freshmen university life in Korea, so it's really no wonder an unscrupulous cult like Shinchonji is getting in on the action. Bad cult.

Here's part of Nathan's translation with a couple of links added to the other groups mentioned. Head over to his blog for the rest as he was (yet again) kind enough to do the translation for free.

Three Cults Easily Heard of On University Campuses

Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (Shincheonji, Founded by Lee Man-hui)

Shincheonji was founded on March 14, 1984 by Lee Man-hui (84), who had come from the Evangelism Center of Park Tae-seon. It is the goal of Shincheonji that adherents believe the 84-year old laborer named Lee Man-hui to be the savior of our age and an immortal leader and that the church he founded is the only place to achieve salvation. It may be a fantastical, narrow-minded, closed-off place, but despite this there is a simple reason young people can easily fall in with it....

JMS (Jeong Myeong-seok) – Christian Gospel Mission

When one refers to the “Big 3” cults, that usually means Shincheonji, the Salvation Church, and the Ahn Sang-hong Witness Church. But there is a small difference as to the Big 3 to worry about on university campuses. It seems more appropriate to replace the Ahn Sang-hong Witness Church with Jeong Myeong-seok. This is because JMS actively pursues new followers, targeting first-year university students. JMS started as Jeong Myeong-seok (70 years old), who once was a teacher in the Unification Church, and founded the Ae-cheon Church in Namgajwa-dong, Seoul in 1980.

They have expanded their congregations by targeting young adults and university students. They also changed their names frequently, and their past names include World Youth University Students MS Federation, East-West Christian Union, and International Christian Union, and now they are called Christian Gospel Mission.

JMS claims that Christ reincarnated in a human body to be born in 1945 in Korea (JMS himself was born in 1945). He also claims that people who read, believe, and follow the book titled “Word of Salvation,” written by JMS, will be saved. He argues that good and evil and depravity are sexual depravity, and the modern day is the ‘Lover’s Era’ among the different ‘eras’ of salvation.

It helps to distinguish him if you can remember JMS’s unique style of fonts. If there is a building or an organization using the same style of fonts as shown in the above photo, you can assume that building or organization is related to JMS. That is because that very style of fonts is the unique one used by JMS himself. The name of the institution is usually Christian Gospel Mission, and the name of denomination is often Methodist Jesus Church of Korea.

If you attend a Bible study because someone asked; if you see the unusual number of female pastors, usually taller than 168cm, teaching the Bible in the organization; if they hang a picture of Jesus titled ‘Astral Body of Jesus’ in the organization; if they have a headquarters in Weolmyeong-dong in Daejeon and call their leader the ‘governor’; and if that governor happens to have read the Bible more than 2,000 times, you can surely assume they are members of JMS, Christian Gospel Mission.

Recently in JMS, ‘female leadership’ has made a sudden rise. Jeong Jo-eun, a young woman, is called an apostle and she herself preaches. JMS has been classified as an anti-Christian cult by the Presbyterian Church of Korea (Koshin) in its 41st assembly in 1991, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Korea in its 87th assembly in 2002, and the Presbyterian Church of Korea (Hapdong) in its 93rd assembly in 2008. ...
The "picture" of Jesus Jeong claims he took when Jesus visited him in a mountain cave adorns most, if not all, JMS events and services. For example, this happy JMS church:

And here is a photo from the Korean article:

The interesting thing about that image is that it has different significance for differing levels of involvement. For the uninitiated, it represents Jesus and the "safety" of mainstream Christianity; for the indoctrinated, it is a reminder (as if they could forget) that Jeong is Jesus's successor.

Here are examples of the JMS font which adorns JMS propaganda, locations, and events. It has certainly helped me to identify various JMS front groups. These example photos are from the Korean article: