Cult Leader Jung Myung-seok Released After Serving Full 10-Year Sentence

The Kukmin Daily, South Korea/February 21, 2018

By Paek Sang-hyun

On February 18, the cult “Jesus Morning Star” (JMS) leader Jung Myung-seok was released (photo, Jung in red circle) from Daejeon Prison in Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, after serving his full sentence of 10 years. Jung was imprisoned in 2009 after being convicted of charges of sexual assault and quasi-indecent forced molestation. Released with an electronic tag anklet as a sex offender, he avoided the reporters awaiting his release outside the prison, got into a foreign-made sedan standing by, and swiftly left the site. 

Currently, Jung is reported to be staying at the JMS headquarters in Wolmyeong-dong, Geumsan, South Chungcheong-do. A banner at the entrance to the village reads, “We wholeheartedly welcome you back to your hometown, general director Jung Myung-seok.”

Although Jeong’s imprisonment began in 2009, he had been on the run since 1999. JMS sustained its organization despite its leader’s 20-year absence, by way of “remote controlled management.” While he was hiding in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and New Zealand, JMS continued publishing Jung’s sermons online, providing telephone counselling and holding overseas events for domestic followers. During Jeong’s 10-year imprisonment, his sermons, documents, and spoken directions were delivered through visitors to the prison and Jung’s successor Jung Jo-eun (real name: Kim Ji-seon). 

Rev. Kim Gyeong-cheon (58), an early joiner and core JMS member for 30 years, explained on the 19th, “Jung began managing the organization from remote sites in 1999 when he went to live abroad, and from around 2006 he deified Jung Jo-eun as a “separate body of holy spirit” (聖靈分體) to replace the leader’s empty seat.” Occultism through empty, absurd doctrines and so-called direct revelation are core elements in the idolizing of Jung.

Someone related to JMS said, “General director Jung endured for 10 years in a small space through enormous self-control. The secret of JMS’s continued well-being, even in Jung’s absence, cannot be explained in any other way than God’s will and action. Director Jung will stay in Geumsan for now until he regains his physical health.”

Jin Yong-shik, head of the Korean Christian Council of Heresy Counseling Centers, urged Korean Christians, “JMS uses terms such as ‘Christianity,’ ‘Gospel,’ and ‘mission society,” to camouflage itself as a Protestant sect. Korean church circles should widely publicize the fact that JMS is not related to the church at all but is a pseudo religious group.”

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