F Rosa Rubicondior: Christianity News - Abusing the Gullible in South Korea

Friday 23 November 2018

Christianity News - Abusing the Gullible in South Korea

Lee Jae-rock. 15 years for "habitually" raping his followers.
South Korean Church Leader Sentenced to Prison in #MeToo Case - The New York Times

Continuing the tradition of Christian cult leaders exploiting the gullibility of their followers for sexual gratification, one such leader of a Christian cult in South Korea has been convicted of "habitually" raping his female followers and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

75 year-old Lee Jae-rock, who founded the mega-church, Manmin Central Church in Seoul, South Korea, has been the subject of allegations of corruption such as extortion, faud and sexal abuse for several years but it was only when the #MeToo movement caught on in South Korea that eight former members of his cult came forward with specific allegations. Some of them alleged that he had lured them to his apartment and ordered them to strip off "as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden", then he raped them.

The court found that he had raped eight women dozens of times between 2000 and 2014.

Judge Chung Moon-sung said that the women had been led to believe that the way to Heaven lay in treating Lee Jae-rock as though he were God with absolute authority over them. He then exploited their inability to protest or resist his authority.

Despite the evidence against him, Lee's followers packed the court to support him and spilled into the street outside, apparently still convinced of his divine authority. The Manmin Central Church claimed the women were disgruntled former cult members "spread lies riding the bandwagon of the #MeToo movement" after being excommunicated for breach of the rules.

A 2007 report by the Australian Refugee TribunalPDF detailed multiple claims of intimidation and violence towards Lee's critics. In 1999, members of the cult invaded the control room of Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) preventing a program critical of the church from being broadcast.

On the Mamin cult's website, they promise miracles, free medical examinations and miracle healing, and to have turned sea water into drinking water.

Christian evangelicals have found rich pickings in South Korea, open as it is to American influence and cultural subversion. According to this report, Christian mega-churches, with vast monetary resources, are a familiar site in South Korea. These cults demand intensive expressions of monetary and physical devotion. Last August the leader of the Grace Road Church, Shin Ok-ju, was arrested and charged with detaining 400 followers in Fiji. She had claimed that God had ordered them to go to Fiji to prepared for a world-wide famine. The cult has since opened a chain of restaurants in Fiji.

As we have seen from so many similar cults, in-group compliance is exploited for the personal benefit of a cult leader who claims divine inspiration, often quoting Bible passages to give his/her claims some credence in the minds of gullible followers. Individual cult members abdicate personal responsibility for their actions in favour of the cult's leadership in the belief that their instructions come directly from God, with whom they have a special relationship and who has given them a special mission, often to same mankind from some impending disaster - with the weight of Biblical authority behind it.

In this case, the abused women were told their instruction to have sex with their abuser was a direct instruction from God and that disobedience would have dire consequences. Only after leaving the cult, so being able to take a more realistic view of what had happened to them, were these formerly brainwashed cult victims able to understand just what had happened and who was to blame for it.

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