'Love' cult snares students

The Japan Times/October 27, 2002
By Mark Schreiber

Don't look now, but there's a new religion in town. And college girls just "love" it. But, Shukan Post reports, stories have begun to trickle out that its purported path to salvation may be through sex with its founder.

The JMS Church derives its name from the initials of its Korean founder, Jong Myong Suk. Which, coincidentally -- or perhaps not -- are the same as "Jesus Morning Star," a reference to Revelations 2:24-29, in which Jesus promises believers, "He shall rule them with a rod of iron . . . and I will give him the morning star."

Jong, age 57, is said to have joined the Unification Church in his teens, but left to establish his own religion around 1980. It now claims 150,000 adherents in Korea and from the late 1980s also began making inroads in Japan, where it has attracted more than 1,000 members. Recruitment activities typically take place on college campuses, through infiltration of sports clubs and other extracurricular circles.

"The church's doctrine is composed of the so-called '30 precepts,' although it's pretty clear that they're derived from the Unification Church," explains Toyoshige Aizawa, a Christian minister engaged in weaning young people away from cults.

"Jong has twisted the biblical story of Adam and Eve to deal with sex, saying, 'To atone for Adam and Eve's original sin, which was visited upon all mankind, it's necessary to engage in intercourse with the Lord.' In this case, he means himself, since he claims to be a reincarnation of Jesus."

In Korea, JMS is reportedly engaged in several legal battles regarding allegations of Jong's sexual hanky-panky, after a former adherent poured out her woes in a program aired on Korea's SBS TV in 1999

"Miss P," a Japanese woman who joined JMS in March 1997 while a student, relates her disillusionment with the "sex cult."

"When accusations of sexual harassment by Master Jong appeared on Internet bulletin boards, my superiors told me these were posted by people trying to justify their leaving the church by spreading lies," she tells Shukan Post.

In July 2000, "P" was accorded the privilege of meeting the master in Osaka. She entered a carpeted room where she sat and was instructed to lie down facing upward.

Then the master began administering a "health checkup," which she was told would "protect" her from women's ailments.

"He began feeling me up and poking me, saying 'Daijobu, daijobu (It's all right).' " Afterward, an official said that the master had demonstrated his love for her, and swore her to secrecy.

About six months later, "P." was summoned by the master once more. "This time he disrobed from the waist down and had sex with me," she claims. "It was no different from ordinary sex. And while he did it, he kept on repeating 'Daijobu, daijobu.' "

"It was then I realized my seniors and the other officials knew what was going on the whole time. That 'health checkup' was nothing but a blatant lie! I'll be paying for my naivete for years to come."

This, perhaps, is where enlightenment really begins.

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