Netflix documentary In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal gives a chilling account of four South Koreans leaders and their sinister activities. Among the cult leaders, Jung Myung Seok, the leader of the Providence Church (also known as JMS) was accused of sexually assaulting hundreds of followers.
In 2001, Taiwanese media reported that Jung Myung Seok selected hundreds of female college students to bathe and have sex with him under the guise of “religious salvation.” Although local authorities began their investigations, Jung Myung Seok fled the country and a warrant was issued against him for his crimes.
At first, investigation into Jung Myung Seok’s crime was difficult and slow as his victims were unwilling to come forward. However, after Jung Myung Seok’s crimes were reported in South Korea and Hong Kong, he was added to the Interpol’s wanted list and was finally arrested in Beijing in 2007.
After his extradition to South Korea, it was revealed that 479 of his believers in South Korea had accused him of sexual assault since 1999. Jung Myung Seok was convicted of rape and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 2009.
After his release from prison in 2018, Jung Myung Seok was required to wear a GPS anklet and was tracked by South Korean authorities. Jung Myung Seok was able to continue to be a cult leader and blamed his arrest as a smear against his teachings. Continuing his cult activities, Jung Myung Seok still has many followers under him.
On the surface, the Providence Church poses itself as an ordinary church aimed at giving followers warmth and attention like a family. As the followers continue to engage in “Bible courses,” the followers gradually distance themselves from their families and social lives, and eventually come under the control of the cult.
Maple Yip – Victim of the Cult Speaks Out
Jung Myung Seok successfully brainwashed his followers and recruited members from universities such as the National Taiwan University and the National Chengchi University. Among his followers, Maple Yip (葉萱), also revealed as Alex Fong’s (方力申) girlfriend, took a brave step to testify against the church.
In the documentary, Maple revealed that she was a Chinese translator after joining the cult in 2012 and subsequently moving to South Korea three years later. In 2018, Maple’ nightmare began when she was sexually assaulted 17 times at the cult’s training center and was chosen to accompany Jung Myung Seok to events.
When Maple was assaulted, she once thought that it was a test of faith and convinced herself to accept it. Maple revealed that Jung Myung Seok excused his actions as “cleansing rites” and bathing with him can wash away sins.
Maple was sexually assaulted after Jung Myung Seok’s release from prison but this time, Maple had plans of her own. Maple was able to record the assault and made it public. Maple shared, “Before I die, I must tell the world the truth before there are more victims.”
This article is written by Sammi for JayneStars.com.