Korean leader Jung Myung Seok sexually assaulted 100 Taiwanese women? Taiwan Providence urgently declares 4 points: No female students have been victimized

2023-03-08 21:14

Entertainment Center / Reported by Chen Ciling

“In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal” tells about “Korean cults” and uncovers Jung Myung Seok’s evil deeds.    (Picture / subtitle from Netflix)

The Netflix documentary “In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal” mainly speaks about “Korean cults” and introduces the deeds of 4 cult leaders. It sparked discussions as soon as it was released. Among them, there is a discussion that the new religious group founded by Jung Myung Seok (정명석), the Christian Gospel Mission, also known as Providence, has been sexually assaulting female believers. It is alleged that the victims are spread across many places, including Taiwan. In this regard, the Christian Gospel Mission Taiwan Providence Church issued a 4-point statement on the evening of today (8th), emphasizing that the female members of the Christian Gospel Mission have not been violated or selected to bathe together as reported by the media.

Taiwan’s Providence Church put forward a 4-point statement, refuting that the leader Jung Myung Seok had sexually assaulted Taiwanese women.  (Picture / Recapitulated from Jung Myung Seok – Our Life Tutor Facebook)

【Full Statement of the Christian Gospel Mission – Taiwan】

The Christian Gospel Mission – Taiwan began to devote itself to the local development of Taiwan in 2009. It has worked hard to study, try and practice in the fields of sports, culture, art, and public welfare. However, it has become the focus of public opinion because of Netflix and media reports. Violence is an act of harm and destruction. It not only harms individuals, but also harms the harmony and stability of the entire society. It is really unbearable to see church members face threats of violent words and bear many attacks because of reports. We are against any form of violence!

In response to recent media reports, the Christian Gospel Mission made the following statement:

1. The female church members of the Christian Gospel Mission did not report being abused or choosing to bathe together in the media. When Next Magazine published the report in 2001, when a hundred female college students were victimized at National Chengchi University, and in 2005, when Apple Daily published a report on the sexual assault of thousands of people, there were no such incidents, no substantive evidence and no victim testimonies presented. “Nearly 100 people were victimized” and “1,000 people were sexually assaulted” are the speculations of Next Magazine and Apple Daily. The School Safety Center of the Ministry of Education, in accordance with its responsibilities, stated in the letter No. 0940180806 dated January 11, 1995, that on October 15, 1994, the School Safety Center affiliated with high school vocational schools and tertiary institutions was asked to know whether any related incidents occurred on campus. So far, no school has reported any incident of victimization of students as described by the media.

2. Mr. Jung Myung Seok, the founder of the Christian Gospel Mission, was tried in South Korea courts in 2009. Due to disputes over the existence of witnesses and physical evidence, the Korean Civil Affairs Monthly published one article, “Jung Myeong Seok’s Cross: Why and for Whom?” (Article in Chinese)

I hope everyone can examine whether the trial of the case in 2009 is really uncontroversial. In the past 14 years, the Christian Gospel Mission has worked hard to show our accurate selves and our church life, and we want more people to know us not just through the claims in the media. However, because of the case in South Korea, we are constantly being questioned.

3. I hope that the media can respect the right of privacy and the freedom of religious belief of the faithful. Because the media went to the church without permission to take pictures and disturb the personal life of the faithful, it has seriously affected the rights and interests of the faithful. I hope that the public can give the faithful space with respect. This includes the recent concert held by the “Peace Symphony Orchestra and Choir” in order to promote social care, so that people who are alienated from society and themselves due to technology advances can feel the mood conveyed by the creator through music. Instead, the people involved in this choir are being stigmatized and threatened with violent attacks. I hope that the general public will not blindly follow such claims and arbitrarily forward speculative words to encourage the spread of violence.

4. The Christian Gospel Mission sincerely apologizes to the scholars and social figures who were implicated by this media report. I also thank scholars and social leaders for giving advice in academic exchange activities. I hope that everyone can respect academic exchanges and legitimate public communication, and not use public opinion to influence the lives of scholars and social leaders.

The Christian Gospel Mission is a legal religious organization deeply rooted in Taiwan. We hope that social rumors will subside and end, and we will continue to work hard for Taiwan. May God bless this beautiful island.

Video of Christian Missionary Society statement

Original Article in Chinese | Archived Original

Why did Netflix’s “In the Name of God” JMS Christian Gospel Mission Documentary Come Out?

(Original article in Korean: 넷플릭스 ‘나는 신이다’ JMS 기독교복음선교회 편, 왜 나왔을까?)

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the religious organization “S,” that caused the second wave of spread of COVID in South Korea, became an issue. As a result, national resistance to heretical religious groups exploded along with resistance to Christianity. On the internet, I Am Jesus, a parody of I Am a Singer, which was a composite of religious leaders calling themselves “the Second Coming Jesus,” was circulating.

Among them was Pastor Jung Myeong-seok (founder of Christian Gospel Mission, so-called JMS). Why is President Jung Myung-seok, who has lived the life of a “religious/faithful bride of Jesus,” being treated as a “self-proclaiming Second Coming Jesus”? Is it because human nature seeks stimulation? Instead of the Word of God that resolves life’s problems, or wholesome and touching stories, the propagating power of stimulating rumors and criticizing content is much more overpowering. 

This time on Netflix, a documentary called In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal was aired and spread secondary and tertiary content, once again infringing on President Jung Myung-seok and CGM members. Hold on. Here you can just press the “Back” button, saying “Oh, this article was written by a JMS believer” or “You are a cult, so you shouldn’t speak,” but I hope you can read this until the end.

That “perspective” is repeated again

Actually, as a result of checking the main content of the program, I found out that the logic, flow, and information used to attack CGM are the same as before. Mr. K, the key figure of the opposing force who appears directly in the program, has continued to slander CGM with the same narrative since 1999 through SBS’ I Want to Know, MBC’s True Story Expedition in 2020, and JTBC in 2022. In President Jung Myung-seok’s sermon video, he distorted the audio and subtitles from “evangelize one out of ten [yeol-ai-ha-na jeon-do]” to “evangelize one woman [yeo-ja-ha-na joen-do],” and he did not hesitate to use only a portion of an audio recording of President Jeong Myung-seok to make a religious consultation with a [church] member in need sound like a sex crime.

And in 2023, through Netflix’s In the Name of God, using OTT (over-the-top) platform characteristics that are not restricted by broadcasting law, without hesitation, President Myung-seok Jeong and the CGM are portrayed in a sexual and provocative way.

This program is promoted by various media outlets as being objectively and credibly produced. However, it meticulously interprets the path that President Jung Myung-seok walked through one person’s one-sided logic and narrative, which is Mr. K’s. This path, which started with the Word of God that saves lives, is a history that Mr. K has never been a part of. Based on the malicious claims of those who left CGM and the one-sided allegations of the opposition, the broadcast only tarnishes this history as a “history that sexually seduces female believers.” It was done to the extent that I thought it was childish. There was no mention of how God’s words had resolved people’s life issues or how it solved Biblical questions. Instead, Mr. K himself is portrayed as an “apostle of justice who seeks to rescue those who had been harmed by President Jung Myung-seok.”

Video claims and contents: is all of it true?

On February 17th, CGM filed an application for an injunction to ban the broadcast, but the Court rejected it. “For past cases, they have cross-checked various materials such as videos and photos, and the part related to the ongoing criminal trial is in line with the plaintiffs’ statements since they have met and conducted interviews with the plaintiffs, so it is difficult to see them as false,” the Court described.

In the film, Mr. K’s argument, the tearful statements of the accusers, and the presented video and audio recordings of the female believers make people speculate, “President Jung Myung-seok really committed these crimes.” The reenactments also emotionally trigger the general public and induce them to believe that “this really happened.”

But are these allegations and contents true? It is unclear from where these materials were gathered, and whether they were really produced at the site where President Jung Myung-seok had allegedly violated the female believers. In particular, the full version and context should be clearly given for recordings that are offensive and shocking for viewers. Among the statements of the accusers in the actual film, there were many things that could be proven to be absolute lies

In the Name of God may end up as a source of stimulation and entertainment (or discomfort) for the public. However, CGM, which has been quietly preaching the gospel and spreading a sound view of faith, will be undermined, and the damage to its image and members will be severe.

Currently, President Jung Myung-seok is undergoing the first trial, and no decision has been made yet. The process from the prosecution of Ms. M in 2022 to the arrest and trial of President Myung-Seok Jeong was not easy from the standpoint of CGM’s opposition. Although I cannot reveal the specific trial process and the circumstances of the accusers here, there were sufficient grounds to prove that Ms. M’s claims were false. Meanwhile, the accumulated negative public opinion led to the arrest of President Jung Myung-seok. In the Name of God is the culmination of that. The accusers, including Mr. K, appear to be trying to agitate public opinion on a global scale through In the Name of God in order to lead the trial in their favor.

It is often argued that broadcasting should be fair. However, it is difficult to come up with such good broadcasts. This is because the broadcaster’s circumstances, characteristics, and financial logic have no choice but to come into play. In particular, fair broadcasts are no fun. In a reality where few people seek the Word of God, to have content encompassing CGM’s wholesome nature and image that differ from its opposition’s claims would be meaningless from the standpoint of OTT, which pursues profit. In order to make content that sells well to the public, there is no choice but to compose content that is stimulating and R-rated.

In the Name of God is a concoction of CGM opposers who cause trouble for CGM and try to justify themselves by any means beyond logic, Netflix’s pursuit of profit, broadcast producers’ desire to succeed through an OTT platform, and the general attack of Christianity which condemns CGM as heretical. Anyone who consumes content should keep in mind that there will be a certain number of hidden agendas.

[Writing | G. jams ]

* This blog collects organized material on the main issues appearing in Netflix’s In the Name of God.

Some of them can be fully explained, but some have not been made into content due to the safety of CGM members. 

Reflection on 2022

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

2022 was a challenging year for the world. The Russian-Ukraine War erupted taking many by surprise and continued on far longer than many expected. The global finance downturn and inflationary pressures cast a long shadow across the world. US-China tensions and the east-west bifurcation continued unabated. As if these global maelstroms were not enough, Providence faced another wave of unfounded accusations orchestrated by the same person who had more than 10 years ago done a similar act.

Regardless of these circumstances, Providence gives thanks to the Trinity and Jesus Christ for giving us the power of prayer and the word. We learnt to count the many blessings we have beyond the fear-mongering headlines. We grew to become even more united and harmonious with our brothers and sisters, to shine the light of Christ to the world in an unstoppable manner. Our founder, Pastor Jung, continues to lead by example. Even though he faces tremendous hardships, he continues to pray and write God’s words for all His people.

We are tempered by the waves and storms, like pottery glazed in the furnace, to produce the finest masterpiece. Our path may not be a bed of roses, but a journey of thorns and thistles. Yet, it is in these difficulties that true character, faith and love for God is forged. We remember Job’s story in the bible. We remember the lives all the prophets and people of God. One strange thing in common, was that they all walked the path of thorns.

We also just celebrated the Christmas with the theme “The Christmas of loving God and Jesus.” How apt. The true meaning of Christmas is God and Jesus, and what better way to celebrate than to love them. Even baby Jesus was born in a manger, not a comfortable hospital or even a hotel room. Certainly not a bed of roses.

“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres… Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:7-8

As we wrap up this eventful year, we wish for everyone to remember the power of God’s love, that touches each and every person and every part of creation. Love always perseveres and never fails. With that, truly give thanks no matter what circumstances you are facing, for that is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ. That you may always rejoice in Him, come what may.

The writer is a longstanding Providence member of 20 years, and is happily married with 3 beautiful children of God.