The truth concealed behind the 10-year sentence of Jung Myung Seok, Chairman of Christian Gospel Mission (JMS)
<Part One> Falsified News Report by S Broadcasting System
Last February, Chairman Jung Myung Seok of Christian Gospel Mission (CGM) received a severe sentence: 10 years in a case where both the witnesses and evidence were ambiguous. In addition, a monthly magazine, Minjeong*, covered the entire story in detail, questioning, “Might the judges have failed to discern clearly during the hearing due to their lack of understanding of religion, and due to the public opinion that had forcibly formed?”
(Translator’s note: Minjeong means the civil administration in Korean.)
When considering the evidence and situation, I, the writer, also have a couple of questions about the verdict given by the Justice Department. Additionally, with regards to the negative view about CGM and Chairman Jung, I cannot completely agree with it, as there is too much ambiguity. The reason is that I have gone into CGM and have closely observed the organization.
Reporters must hold to the inviolable rule in their profession. The mass media that greatly influences society must especially do its best to promote fairness. The center of mass media are the reporters. It is because if the final step is reporting, the first step is searching and collecting information, and the reporters take the lead in that role. However, if the accuracy of the information collected is compromised in step one, then there is no need to talk about its fairness. That’s why reporters must not break the inviolable rule; they must not just edit and write an article without thoroughly checking the validity of the information.
In 2008, the so-called Na Hoon-a* Case turned out to be only a rumor. Na Hoon-a opened a press conference and made it clear to the reporters who had not fulfilled their responsibilities, declaring, “The reporters who wrote articles without checking the facts are abettors, and the reporters who did not write a rebuttal article even after seeing the false articles are bystanders.”
(Translator’s note: Na Hoon-a is a famous Korean singer.)
Until now, there have been articles written elsewhere in the press, criticizing CGM and Chairman Jung, and the verdict made by the Justice Department makes it difficult to resolve all the questions that have been raised. For the sake of the readers and for my own sake, as the writer, who are wondering, I am starting this first article as a means of taking one step closer to finding the answer.
Is the report about JMS religious group by S Broadcasting System true?
In 1999, an incident occurred between Ms. Hwang and CGM members on their way to the Wolmyeongdong retreat center, and S Broadcasting System reported it as 'kidnapping.' However, according to the police investigation, it was not 'kidnapping' but rather, a 'simple assault.' Thus, after discovering the truth, Police Journal wrote an article about it being a simple assault case, whereas S Broadcasting System had misreported it as 'kidnapping.' After that, Chairman Jung went on a missionary trip overseas, but S Broadcasting System gave a news report that the JMS chairman had sexually harassed church members, fled to Hong Kong, and was causing problems even in a foreign country.
Through the broadcasting, they made their claims about Chairman Jung seem factual, and other members of the media re-published the claims into articles without checking. However, when analyzing the content of the show that was aired at that time, there are several issues that can be clearly identified.
The first issue deals with the part of the sermon where Chairman Jung had said, “Evangelize one woman,” according to the show. The segment that was aired on TV at that time was the video of a Sunday service that CGM had taken in 1995 about 'The Life of Thanksgiving.' The original video said, “Evangelize one person out of ten, which is a tenth of the tithe of life.” However, the show distorted the audio portion for “one...of ten” so that it could not be heard clearly and added the subtitle, “one woman” and aired it in this manner.
The second issue is the video footage which showed that Chairman Jung was surrounded by only women. The broadcasted scene was extracted from the recording of a live service and event. When the original video was reviewed, both men and women were actually present. However, despite that, the broadcasting company selectively doctored and aired the footage so that it only showed the women. These two videos are what have given others the false impression that Jung is a religious sect leader who has sexual problems and only deals with women.
The last issue is a claim that JMS is the initials for Chairman Jung’s name. However, CGM has not used JMS as their official name even once. And at the time of covering CGM’s story, their official name was International Christian Association. Actually, the initials, JMS, are an abbreviation of Jesus Morning Star, and it comes from Revelation 22:16: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” In order to make their life of faith into a culture that is centered on Jesus, the Savior, CGM members used the term JMS informally between the members.
▲The document recommending reconciliation that the court adjudicated
The biased report about CGM by S Broadcasting System continued to be aired, so the court adjudicated reconciliation in the following manner:
- Any report or information that is unilaterally from Kim and others must not be aired.
- Must notify all pertinent parties 48 hours before airing any related material.
- Reserve 5% of air time for rebuttal purposes.
- Violation of these rules will result in a penalty of $30,000 dollars per instance.
Though this ruling was expected, since the show had already aired on TV, the people who watched it still believed what they had seen. In addition, the members of CGM had to now guard their lives along with their faith while bearing the aftereffects.
Fortunately, nowadays, audience and readers are not easily swayed by what the media show since they know the ins and outs of the media. Therefore, the public opinion about CGM and Chairman Jung has started to lend its ears to the truth.
It seems that reporters might have been pierced by Na Hoon-a’s retortion, and since then, they have been producing reports that are based on facts and truth rather than those that are biased and manipulative. I wrap up part one with hopes that egregiousness and injustice will be resolved through a smarter public opinion.
<Part 2> Ms. Y falsely claimed herself to be a victim of sexual assault by Chairman Jung, but confessed the truth in court
Reports that raise suspicion over the verdict of the Supreme Court on Chairman Jung Myung Seok’s 10-year sentence are continually being covered in the monthly magazine, Minjeong* (February issue), BreakNews (a weekly magazine), Inside Story of Cases (February 28 issue), and other magazines. As a continuation of the article, <Part One> The truth concealed behind the 10-year sentence of Jung Myung Seok, Chairman of Christian Gospel Mission (JMS), regarding the false reporting by S Broadcast System, NewsDaily is writing an article about how Ms. Y had falsely claimed herself to be a victim of sexual assault but later confessed the truth in court as Part Two.
(Translator’s note: Minjeong means the civil administration in Korean.)
Mr. K took the initiative and held a press conference with four alleged female sexual assault victims of Jung, but the reality was different from the claims
About the Ms. Hwang Case that was mentioned in part one of our article, Mr. K complained to Police Journal, “How come Ms. Hwang’s kidnapping case was only a simple assault case?” Mr. K is the leader of a major Anti-JMS group called Exodus. On April 18, 2006, Mr. K put up four females who claimed they had been victimized by Jung and held a press conference. The reporters wanted to listen to Mr. K’s side of the story since he claimed that he was working hard on the side of justice.
But a couple of questions were raised: Could females who were just raped actually hold a press conference? And on top of that, it wasn’t a conference with only one person but a group of four females altogether? Actually, it is very rare for bachelorettes who have just been raped to gather and hold a press conference. Also, one female who had left Christian Gospel Mission (CGM) joined the meeting with the victims from Exodus, yet she stated, “I don’t understand how those who were raped could share so boldly about their experiences.”
About this case, a sexual abuse counselor, Ms. L, said, “Normally when females are severely shocked by sexual intercourse, the negative memories fade away after at least three to five years, and this is only if they receive proper therapy. But for a sexual experience that is not regular but is rape, which is sexual assault, the degree of mental trauma is immensely greater, so it takes far more time for victims to mentally recover. Therefore, it is very difficult for victims to boldly share in front of others what had happened to them within a few years. Especially when they are young and single, they try to make a complete recovery and normalize their lives again, so they try to minimize any negative stigma about themselves.”
The suspicion about the press conference was resolved mostly in the process of verifying the truth behind what Mr. K had claimed. At the time of the press conference, Mr. K. testified that the victims were injured severely to the point they could not even walk after the sexual assault and that they also discharged blood. However, checking the video records from a surveillance camera at the conference showed the victims smiling, so it was difficult to tell that they were victims at all, and the way they walked did not look the least bit uncomfortable.
The medical test results of the victims were negative, and Ms. Y confessed that she had committed perjury in court
On April 4, 2006, the test results of Ms. B and Ms. Y who claimed to be the victims of Jung:
- The medical examination results from the Public Security of China: The hymen is intact. There are no signs of sexual assault or abnormality.
- The medical records from the Police Hospital: No damage to the hymen. No indication of sexual assault can be found.
- The National Scientific, Criminal & Investigation Laboratory: Result of semen test is negative.
Furthermore, a crucial event that supported the test results occurred in court: Ms. Y who claimed that she had been sexually assaulted by Jung and filed the lawsuit with the others confessed that she had falsely testified and then dropped the charge. Ms. Y came out from the court, holding her mother’s hand and completely denied her case while changing her testimonies made to the police and the prosecutor. The Justice Department warned, “If the witness testifies differently from the original reason behind the charge, the witness can face a penalty.” Nevertheless, Ms. Y confessed, “It is fine even if I face a penalty. In fact, I was not sexually assaulted at all. Ms. B, who filed the lawsuit with me, also hasn’t been sexually assaulted, but because Exodus bribed us, she falsified the suit and gave false testimony.” Then Mr. K from Exodus, who held the press conference with the four females claiming to be sexual assault victims of Jung, sued Ms. Y for falsely testifying.
The point that arouses the most suspicion from this case is Mr. K’s response. First, why did he lie at the press conference? Second, why did he sue Ms. Y who confessed the truth in court?
If Mr. K were a true hero of justice in a world full of injustice, all his actions would be easily understood. However, Mr. K’s lies are far from just. If Mr. K, who volunteered to be a spokesperson for the female victims, was not seeking justice, but in fact harboring a hidden agenda, then we should examine everything in detail and carefully discern what the actual truth is.
<Part 3> Chairman Jung may be the real victim of this case. Mr. K demanded from him 2 million USD
Rumor vs Truth: Continuing the series, The truth concealed behind the 10 year sentence of Jung Myung Seok, Chairman of Christian Gospel Mission (JMS), I will begin the final portion, Part 3, with the story about Mr. K, the leader of the anti-JMS group, Exodus, who demanded 2 billion Won (approximately 2 million USD) from Chairman Jung.
Mr. K demanded from Chairman Jung a 2 million USD settlement
It is not apparent if Mr. K is really fighting for justice, since he has been leading the anti-JMS group called Exodus, and has held a press conference with the alleged victims, in addition to fighting legal battles with Christian Gospel Mission (CGM) on several occasions over a long period of time. In fact, in order for an individual who is penniless to request even one trial, it would cost a tremendous amount of money. For several trials, it would cost considerably more. However, is this truly a fight to implement justice even when he has to empty his pockets, simply because he was “inherently born with a heart of justice that cannot tolerate injustice”?
With multiple concerns about Mr. K, Pastor P met with him several times. Pastor P revealed that he had directly heard Mr. K demand a 2 billion Won (approximately 2 million USD) settlement. (Pastor P has also testified about this in court as a witness, with other evidence available: a transcript regarding Mr. K’s demand for 2 billion Won. Refer to the picture below.)
Mr. K said to Pastor P, “No matter how much you try, Jung Myung Seok will not be able to enter Korea at all. There are some prosecutors who are gnashing their teeth about JMS. Among them, there are at least three high-ranking prosecutors. If you give me 2 billion Won as a settlement, I will drop the charges that I have filed with the victims.” Pastor P responded that once Chairman Jung comes back to Korea, the truth would be revealed, but Mr. K replied, “He will rot in China prison forever. Even if the chairman were to come back, S Broadcasting System or reporters would not stay still,” and added that we did not know how scary the power of the press and of having connections was.
Even before this, Mr. K had told Mr. N from CGM (JMS) that if they were to give him a 2 billion Won settlement, he would drop the charges, showing him the written document of dropping the charges. Also, at the meeting with Pastor P, he brought up his meeting with Mr. N and kept demanding a settlement, saying that he wouldn’t drop the charges unless they give him 2 billion Won.
▲The transcript of Mr.K demanding a 2 million USD settlement
Mr. K changed the settlement from 2 billion won to 140,000,000 Won (140,000 USD) after the confirmation of Chairman Jung’s first extradition. Why did he change his mind?
A written and signed letter of apology about defaming Chairman Jung was sent to CGM by Mr. K (Nov 15, 1999), and further apology letters to Chairman Jung were also sent by Mr. K (March 17 and July 21 in 2005). However, afterward, he again demanded money. At this, Chairman Jung gave the following reply to Mr. K:
Even a lover becomes an enemy once he fights. As Jesus said, whoever it may be, once he fights, he becomes an enemy and his heart is in agony. It is hurtful and harmful.
You already acknowledged that I am not a bad person, but if you demand money again even after that, I can only grow deeper in my thoughts.
As you can tell from the chairman’s reply, it is obvious that Mr. K has been persistent in asking for money.
However, after Chairman Jung’s first extradition was decided, a couple of days later, Mr. K lowered the settlement from 2 billion Won to 140,000,000 Won. 140,000,000 Won is the cost of his legal fees for the trials. Mr. K also requested that Pastor P pay compensatory damages for his father according to CGM’s conscience, but informed Pastor P that 10,000,000 Won (approximately 10,000 USD) or 20,000,000 Won (approximately 20,000 USD) would not be enough to cover the damages.
▲The letter of apology from Mr. K to the Mission on November 15, 1999
▲Two letters of apology that Mr. K sent to Chairman Jung in 2005
(Left: the letter on March 17. Right: the letter on July 21.)
▲The reply from Chairman Jung to Mr. K
When a rumor becomes vicious, it hurls invisible stones that cause tremendous damage
Mr. K is someone who has contributed in a big way, we could say, to last year's 10-year sentence of Chairman Jung Myung Seok. However, Mr. K was unable to receive even one penny from CGM. The reason being the chairman made sure with CGM “to not handle this case with money.” What it means is that “truth should be proven with truth” and at the same time, it tells us that there is nothing for him to settle in this case. If CGM were to have paid the 2 billion Won settlement that Mr. K had demanded when he was trying to entice them with the written order to drop the charges, Chairman Jung would not have needed to face the trial or receive the 10-year sentence. Chairman Jung and CGM, who already knew the truth, were sure of an acquittal, but the result of the trial was so different from what they had thought.
“Child molestation allegations” were tacked onto Michael Jackson while he was alive, but after his death, Jordan Chandler, who had accused Michael Jackson of molestation at that time, finally confessed, “My father was bribed and forced me to do it because of the money,” and Michael Jackson was finally cleared of the egregious, false charge.
Actually, the truth is not what’s important to abettors and to those who listen to rumors and spread them. All they are after is entertainment in their mundane lives. These vicious rumors are accepted as facts, and through the fast streaming of this internet and information era, they lead to a grotesque public opinion. In the end, the public opinion turns into gigantic stones that are hurled. Then innocent people get hit, collapse, and even die from them.
Even though the court had sentenced Chairman Jung to 10 years, it is not conclusive that all the rumors are true. In other words, the guilty verdict doesn’t necessarily mean that Chairman Jung is actually guilty. In addition, it doesn’t end just yet. As long as those who know the truth do not give up and continue to be courageous, ultimately, the truth will be brought to light, prevailing over the darkness.
Currently, in order to live a life that puts Jesus only as their first priority, according to Chairman Jung’s teaching, CGM members are holding Holy Spirit Movements on Fridays through internet broadcasting for 400 churches in Korea and for 50 foreign countries. One member said, “The essence of our faith is Jesus of the Bible. I believe that the egregiousness in the case involving Chairman Jung, who helps us to know Jesus clearly, will absolutely be revealed.”
There is a Japanese movie, I Just Didn’t Do It. It is based on a true story about a man who was falsely accused as a molester in a subway (a man who molests or sexually harasses a woman) and was called to trial; it clearly showed the problems of Japanese criminal trials. With the final line of the movie, I will wrap up the series, The truth concealed behind the 10-year sentence of Jung Myung Seok, Chairman of Christian Gospel Mission (JMS):
Please, in the way you would wish to be judged, I hope you will judge me.
Original article : http://www.newsdaily.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=33956