IN THE NAME OF GOD – JUNG MYUNG SEOK, WORLD’S MOST POTENT RAPIST OR VICTIM OF INTERNET LYNCH MOB?
Disclaimer: This is an independent opinion piece that does not represent the views of Jung Myung Seok or Providence
On 3 March 2023, Netflix broadcasted a so-called “documentary” named In the Name of God, which paints a picture of Jung as a monstrous beast who had raped over 100 university students in Taiwan and who had raped and had sex orgies with girls from all over the world including Korea and Hong Kong. These allegations are unproven, and had been investigated and dropped by the prosecution. There is also no concrete evidence to prove these accusations. Instead, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education had investigated the claims and published a statement stating that there were no victims. There are also many newspapers that had already previously publicly apologised for making these incorrect accusations against Jung. Whatever the case, these are matters that should be dealt with through the judicial process and not on Netflix. The show has unfairly prejudiced ongoing legal proceedings by swaying public opinion.
Netflix is at its heart an entertainment company, and the producers’ main aim is to gain viewership. They included fictional scenes, and interviewed only a select handful of ex-Providence members in order to paint a one-sided and biased picture of Jung. They omitted to mention any of Jung’s remarkable achievements which would show a more complete picture of Jung, and how he was in 2008 found to be an innocent victim of a false allegation of sexual assault by the court. The broadcast even contains footages that are taken completely out of context, as well as footage of unknown provenance that may have been altered or completely irrelevant. There are also many questions and inconsistencies about the true motive and conduct of the main accusers in the show. Furthermore, the remainder of the accusers are anonymous, or merely conveying hearsay and rumours which they do not have first-hand information of. These serious accusations ought to be left to the judicial process, and the irony is that while Netflix accuses Jung of claiming to be God, it is actually Netflix that has played God by trying to prejudge the truth before it has been decided by the judge.
The perils of mob justice
On a quiet night in 1933, a black young man, Tom Robinson, walks alone down the street towards his home. The street is deserted except for a flock of ravenous birds circling the skies in search for prey. As Tom rounds the corner, multiple silhouettes emerge from the alleyways, brandishing steel baseball bats and thorny whips. Tom tries to run but he is surrounded on all sides. He does not know them, but they know him. They accuse him of raping a young white girl, Mayella Ewell. Tom protests his innocence, but they would not listen. Tom was black, and Mayella was white, and thus Mayella must be telling the truth as there was no reason for a white girl to frame a black man. There is no need for a judge, as the mob had decided that Tom is guilty, and thus he must die. The mob lynches him mercilessly, and by the next morning, Tom’s body would be found hanging on a tree. It is only many months later that the mob realises that Mayella had been lying. But it was too late. Their prejudice had caused the death of an innocent man.
– A lynch mob scene adapted from Harper Lee’s award-winning book, To Kill a Mockingbird.
In the 19th and 20th century, several thousands of Tom Robinsons were killed by vicious lynch mobs without a court trial. Many of them were innocent but never had the chance to tell their side of the story or have a fair trial. The people, having heard the accusers, had already pre-decided that the accused were guilty and deserving of punishment. They would gather together in mobs, enraged and furious, and taking justice into their own hands, lynch the accused to death. What caused such abominable behaviour?
For one, the mobs arrogantly thought that they were better administrators of justice than the justice system itself. They arrogated to themselves the role of judge and executioner, as though they knew what justice was when they saw it. The crowd also easily jumped on the bandwagon because everyone was doing it, and it was all too easy to simply join in the crowd in pointing the finger at a defenceless, isolated, victim. It perhaps even gave them a sense of superiority to be part of the supermajority, and a feeling of power to be able to condemn a helpless person. Most importantly, they had preconceived stereotypes of whites and blacks, that led them to be biased against blacks and to pronounce them guilty before they could even speak.
Lynching was finally criminalised in the 20th century, as people realised the grave injustice that could be caused by judging and punishing someone without a fair trial. Such conduct should never be condoned. Nobody, not a black, and not even a beggar, should be condemned without a fair trial. Justice should be left to the judicial system, and not the mob. Alas, the criminalisation of lynching only solved the problem on the surface but did not eliminate the fundamental problem – lynching has simply evolved in the 21st century into what we know now as flaming and doxxing.
The internet lynch mob; Netflix – courtroom or entertainment company?
On 3 March 2023, Netflix broadcast a so-called “documentary” titled In the Name of God, with the first three episodes about Jung Myung Seok (Jung), the founder of Providence. The show was primarily narrated by three ex-Providence members, with several other ex-members hiding in the shadows and making remarks behind a veil of anonymity. Together, they paint a picture of Jung as a monstrous beast who had raped over 100 university students in Taiwan and who had raped and had sex orgies with girls from all over the world including Korea and Hong Kong. Jung’s goal, according to them, was to rape 10,000 women. They also accuse Jung of claiming to be God, of living in extravagant palaces overseas, and of other heinous acts including kidnap and assault.
Documentaries are meant to be factual, but as of the time of Netflix’s broadcast, none of these stated extreme accusations had been proven through the court process, and there was minimal (if any at all) material or objective evidence to substantiate these allegations. The accusations were based mainly on the words of these naysayers. The only exception was that Jung had in 2008 been convicted of assaulting 4 women. However, even that judgment was based purely on the bare allegations of those women, as there was no material evidence to prove the assault. The judgment had later been criticised and is unsound (see here for an opinion piece of why the judgment was flawed; see here for a news article criticising the judgment).
Neither Jung nor Providence members were given a chance to watch the film or respond to these unproven allegations before Netflix broadcast its show, despite multiple attempts by Providence members to engage Netflix to hear their side of the story. This is shocking. Any producer aiming to film a factual and accurate documentary about a subject would surely want to hear from the subject himself and feature what the subject says, in the spirit of objectivity and offering a balanced perspective. It is clear that objectivity was not the producer’s top priority. Providence also attempted to persuade Netflix to stall the release, and have the allegations dealt with through the judicial process as they should be, to no avail.
The response to the show was as expected. The internet erupted in flames, with many condemning Jung to go to hell. Jung and his members received death threats, hate mails, and Jung becomes public enemy number 1. The mob has already decided that he is guilty, even though he has yet to be proven so. Jung is mercilessly lynched by the textual whips of a mob of keyboard warriors. The identities and addresses of Jung’s members and churches are divulged (this is also known as doxxing and is a form of cyber-bullying), causing them to be condemned along with Jung (see e.g. here and here). As a result, students are afraid to go to school for fear of being bullied and mocked by their classmates. Employees have lost their jobs. Members with famous backgrounds such as celebrities, sculptors, and lawyers, have their faces splashed all over the news and are being flamed with hate speech. These people, who are simply regular human beings like anyone else, now have to fear for their privacy and personal safety. They have been severely victimised as a result of the Netflix broadcast, and are being persecuted for their religious beliefs in violation of their human right to religious freedom.
Was it correct for Netflix to air these allegations before they were tried and tested in court? Was Netflix objective and impartial? What was Netflix’s motive for broadcasting this show?
There is a reason why trials are conducted before a judge and not before an angry mob, and why justice is served in the courtroom and not on the internet. In the judicial process, thorough police investigations are conducted, witnesses are cross-examined under oath, evidence is forensically examined, and both sides have a fair chance to present their side of the story before an impartial judge. It is a calm, objective, and methodological process.
But on the internet, malicious actors can easily spread false information while hiding behind the veil of anonymity, without being held accountable for what they say. There is no way to verify the truth of their accusations as they are not cross-examined, and they do not have to provide evidence to back up their claims. Information spreads if it is sensational and not necessarily because it is true, but the more the news spreads, the more people come to believe that it must be true. The other party is also not given a chance to speak to present his side of the story.
Netflix is neither a courtroom nor an investigation agency. At bottom, it is merely a profit-making entertainment and media company which generates income from subscription fees paid by viewers, and in order to keep viewers subscribing, they need to continually broadcast sensational and riveting content to keep viewers interested (see e.g. here and here). Netflix has in recent years been criticised for making money off the fictionalisation of real-life crime (see here), the abuse of others’ identities for self-profit (see here), and even for presenting an incomplete picture of the truth (see here).
Jung’s case is no different. In the show, the producers only selectively featured a handful of ex-Providence members who bear grudges against Jung, in order to support their sensational narrative of him being a sex-crazed rapist. These ex-members, having left Providence, are biased against and opposed to Jung, and present only a very myopic and one-sided perspective of Jung. They constitute only less than 0.1% of the total Providence membership, as Providence has tens of thousands of members worldwide. If the producers were concerned about objectivity and providing a balanced viewpoint, they would have interviewed some of the tens of thousands of existing Providence members who would have readily testified that Jung is not the person that the producers color him to be (see various testimonies here, and here). Jung received several national awards for his exemplary conduct and for risking his life for his nation during the Vietnam War (see here), and published a four-part book series titled War was Cruel; Love and Peace, describing how God protected him during the Vietnam War (see here). Jung composed 1,700 songs, published multiple poetry books and was featured in the Great Dictionary of Korean Poems (see here), delivered over 10,000 sermons, and wrote over 50,000 proverbs. He also built a beautiful natural church to honor God (see here), and positively changed the lives of tens of thousands of people (see here, here, and here).
As the producers had no actual footages to prove the supposed rape and sex orgies and the extravagant palaces, they hired actors and actresses to enact fictional sex scenes. They even hired an actor that resembles Jung and featured him making voodoo movements, painting Jung as a psychopath or lunatic. All these were done for the sake of drama and sensationalism, and are not a realistic portrayal of Jung. See here for criticism of Netflix’s fictional re-enactments. See also these fictional scenes, clearly intended to portray Jung as a psychopath:
Worse still, the producers broadcast allegations that are already acknowledged to be false. For instance, the show claims that Jung escaped overseas to avoid arrest for sexual assault and that he remained at large until he was arrested in 2007. However, since many years ago, Yonhap News, MBN News and Chosun News had already made a public apology for falsely claiming that Jung sexually assaulted female members before fleeing to foreign countries. The truth was that Jung had travelled overseas lawfully beginning in 1999 and returned here to Korea several times between 1999 and 2007. The producers also claimed that Jung systematically had sex with close female members of Providence. However, in 2014, Ilyo Journal had already publicly apologised for claiming that Jung had sex with female followers of Providence and had admitted that this was not the truth. The producers had published all these false and unproven accusations for sensational impact, prioritising viewership over accuracy and objectivity. The producers also omitted to report the court judgment that Jung was in fact a victim of a false sexual allegation (see here), as this would cast doubt on their portrayal of Jung.
Finally, the producers broadcast wildly exaggerated claims that have no resemblance of realism. If Jung had raped 100 university students in Taiwan, why is it that till date, there has not been a single piece of material evidence or a single charge or conviction against Jung for raping a Taiwanese? (Taiwan’s Ministry of Education had in 1994 investigated if there were any victims of sexual assault and in 1995 published a statement stating that there were none: see here) If Jung teaches that one must have sex with him to gain salvation, why is it that there are tens of thousands of members in Providence, including males, when surely it would have been absurd for all of these persons to have sex with Jung? If Jung’s organisation goal is to rape 10,000 women, why would he dedicate his life to writing dozens of books and preaching tens of thousands of sermons? These fanatical and biased claims disclose the producers’ true motive in making the film – to gain the most viewership that it can.
Netflix is at its heart an entertainment company, but has arrogated to itself the role of a judge in pre-judging the truth before these accusations are determined by the judicial process. By so doing, it has unfairly prejudiced and influenced ongoing legal proceedings by swaying public opinion and putting huge pressure on the prosecution and the judge to convict Jung. So huge is the pressure that the Attorney General made a public statement stating that he would do his best to ensure a tremendous sentence even though Jung has yet to be proven guilty (see here). In the eyes of the media mob, Jung is now guilty until proven innocent, and he will continue to be lynched by the harsh criticism of undiscerning netizens. Any judge who dares to acquit Jung will face the full wrath of the public and perhaps even be accused of corruption (which is relatively common here in Korea). A lynch mob is happening all over again.
The other side of the story
Given all that Netflix has broadcast, it is only fair that viewers get to hear the other side of the story. As written in Proverbs 18:17 – The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
Let us first begin by understanding more about the three main narrators of the show. This is important as to judge a person’s credibility, one has got to know his character and his motives.
Kim Gyeong Cheon
Kim Gyeong Cheon (Kim) is one of the three main narrators of the allegations against Jung. The show portrays Kim as some kind of heroic whistle-blower that reveals all the wrongdoings that Jung has committed. However, is what Kim saying the truth? What is his motive for featuring in the film?
As Kim himself alludes to in the show, he was a huge leader in Providence for close to 30 years before leaving in 2009 (Kim even claims to be the Vice-President). During his time in Providence, he was extremely close to and trusted by Jung, and was constantly by Jung’s side. He was also entrusted with handling Jung’s external affairs. Given that sexual allegations against Jung began as early as the 1980s before erupting in the 1990s, Kim would have been completely aware of all of these allegations. Despite this, he remained beside Jung for decades, assisting him.
There are many suspicious points about Kim’s behaviour. If the accusations were true, why did Kim not leave earlier? Why did he remain as Jung’s trusted partner? One might think that this was for money, but as Kim himself says in the show, Jung had no money, and Kim even had to fork out huge amounts of money to help Jung. And if the accusations were true, wouldn’t Kim have been an accomplice in covering up the crime, helping Jung to “escape”, and aiding Jung to commit further crimes? Shouldn’t Kim then be prosecuted for his role in covering up and abetting these crimes? Why is no action taken against him? If Jung is a monstrous rapist, isn’t Kim as Jung’s Vice-President at least half as guilty? Why then would the producers trust the words of a crook like Kim, and why should the public trust him? Further, shouldn’t Kim have far more concrete evidence of Jung’s crimes, such as actual negotiation agreements with victims, letters or messages showing Jung’s instructions to him to cover up crimes, and such? Why does he not have any of these proof despite staying beside Jung for close to 30 years? Finally, why did Kim only finally leave Providence in 2009, some 20 over years after the start of the accusations?
Kim stayed in Providence all these years because he genuinely believed in Jung’s teaching and because he knew that the allegations are false. He left in 2009 because in that year, Jung appointed another member, Joeun, to be his right-hand assistant. Kim, who desired to be Jung’s top man, was jealous of this. Kim even told others: “If Joeun is Jung’s right-hand person, what am I? I worked for Jung for 30 years and now he appoints someone else”. Kim thus left, bearing a huge grudge against Jung, and from then on, began opposing and criticising Jung on various platforms.
Kim Do Hyung
Kim Do Hyung (Hyung) is the second main narrator of the show. Hyung was never a member of Providence and his involvement with Providence was limited to attending a few public Providence events. Despite this, he puts himself out to be an expert on Providence. He is the founder and leader of Exodus, an anti-JMS organisation, and had even published a book criticising Jung’s teaching.
Is Hyung telling the truth? What is his motive in targeting Jung? What is his motive in appearing in the show?
Hyung’s own role as the leader of the opposition betrays his prejudice and opposition against Jung. He is not a neutral and objective reporter, but a biased contestant. As Hyung himself admits in the show, he used to constantly call Jung’s church looking for Jung, would hurl vulgarities at Jung, and had even bought a gun with the desire to kill Jung. This speaks volumes about Hyung’s character.
Hyung features in the broadcast making allegations that Jung had sexually assaulted many female members. However, Hyung does not have any first-hand knowledge and is not in any position to comment on this. Hyung was neither the person allegedly assaulted nor was he present at the alleged assault. All Hyung has is hearsay and rumours that he heard from other unidentified members, who may have in turn heard those rumours from other unknown actors. Hyung does not have any evidence to prove the assaults. Critically, Jung has never been charged or convicted for any of these hundreds of so-called sexual assaults, apart from the 1 sole case already explained above.
Hyung also claims that his girlfriend was a member of Providence and that his girlfriend told him that he was sexually assaulted by Jung. However, there is likewise only his word for this. His alleged girlfriend never asserted this in public, it is not known if she ever filed a police report, and Jung has never been charged, let alone convicted for assaulting his girlfriend.
A deeper look into Hyung reveals that he had wrote an apology letter to Jung in 1999 for defaming him, and two more similar apology letters in 2005 (see here). Notwithstanding these apologies, Hyung later had a change of heart and demanded 2 million USD from Jung, in exchange for dropping the charges that he had filed through the victims. Hyung’s conduct of threatening Jung is proven by an audio recording of the conversation and testimony made in court (see here). Hyung’s conduct raises many suspicions about his character. If Hyung wanted justice, why he is threatening Jung for such ridiculous sums of money instead of seeking justice till the end? Further, why does he have the power to decide whether the alleged victims should continue to charge Jung or not, when he is not the alleged victim and not even a relative of them? The truth is revealed in a 2008 court trial where one of these so-called victims (Jang) testified in the courtroom that Hyung had organised “camps” where he coached these so-called victims to make false accusations against Jung. Jang testified that she herself had been coached by Hyung, and that other females too had been coached by Hyung and were lying. The transcript of Jang’s testimony in the courtroom is here. The important segments are reproduced in this table:
|Q: Is it true that you had heard from the JMS believer, Kim Ji Oon (this is a different Kim), words such as: “can Teacher insert his fingers into your vagina? Can you go to the God’s room and take off all your clothes? Pluck off all your vaginal hair”.||A: I never heard these.|
|Q: Didn’t you testify like this in the investigation agency?||A: I do not remember well. At that time, Kim told me to testify like that; that is why I simply testified according to what Kim told me.|
|Q: Is it correct that you cancelled the complaint?||A: Yes, because I wanted to, I cancelled it.|
|Q: If what you say is true, and if the complaint was false, then the accused Jung Myung Seok has been very wrongfully imprisoned, isn’t it?||A: Yes. That is why my heart feels nothing but apologetic.|
|Q: During this period of living together, did they (Exodus) prevent you from contacting outside persons?||A: Yes. At that time, Kim said not to contact others, even my mother, as much as possible, and she also said that she would also not contact others. And she also said not to inform (anyone) where I was.|
|Q: During the camp, did Kim Do Hyung and Kim talk to you and teach you what to testify and how to act during the press conference and investigations?||A: Yes|
Hyung continues to coach so-called “victims” even today, including Maple.
Maple is the main character of episode 3 of the Netflix show. Her main role in the show is to accuse Jung of sexually assaulting her between 2018 and 2021. These allegations were still under the court process at the time of the broadcast and had not been proven.
Maple admits that before coming to Providence, she used to smoke, drink, and meet guys. She shares pictures of her younger self with heavy makeup in a bar / nightclub sharing drinks with her friends. She also had depression at that time due to family problems and being bullied in school. She did not know what love was, and did not know the meaning of her life.
Maple then explains how, after coming to Providence, Jung helped her recover from her past by showing her love and care that she did not know before, sending her letters to encourage her, and giving her autographs.
Jung would also drive her around and constantly praise, encourage, and reassure her, despite being extremely busy.
Jung also invested in Maple’s development by giving her a lot of opportunities to grow and showcase her talents. Jung helped her fulfil her dream of becoming a singer and later a newscaster, and later even appointed Maple as a pastor and gave her opportunities to preach on stage, despite her young age. Maple also began to give testimonies in public and even on YouTube about her faith in God.
It therefore comes as a shock that Maple claims in the Netflix show that she was somehow coerced to do these against her will. Those who knew Maple personally knew that Maple loved performing, acting, and being on stage, and she loved the attention and the glamour. Maple did all of these gladly and willingly. This is also apparent from her genuinely radiant and joyous expression in these pictures.
During this period that Maple was in the limelight and constantly receiving attention (from early 2018 till at least early 2020), Maple was happy in Providence and there were absolutely no allegations by her that Jung sexually assaulted her.
Things changed during the COVID situation when Maple was unable to be on stage and unable to meet Jung or Providence members. She had to be isolated due to the lockdown and anti-COVID measures, and lost her chance to perform on stage. She felt left out, lack of love, and severely depressed, similar to how she was before coming to Providence. She began falling back to her old lifestyle before coming to Providence. She also felt a lot of resentment towards Jung for not showing her more care and attention during COVID (Jung was unable to do so as he was extremely busy looking after the multitudes of other members who were facing difficulties). Maple thus complained to her close friends that she felt that Jung did not care enough for her (there are text messages to prove this, which have been presented to the judge as evidence). Maple thus became progressively more depressed.
Maple had a psychological disorder during the COVID period and resulted to self-harm as she felt alone and lack of attention. Maple herself reveals pictures of her self-harm in the documentary. Persons with Maple’s psychological disorder tend to have a victimisation complex, feel left out, want attention, and self-harm is a common symptom of this condition. When persons with this condition feel that they are not being given enough attention from someone that they want attention from, they may start to perceive that person as enemies. Their perspective of others also tends to swing from one extreme to another extreme. There are even cases of persons with this psychological disorder murdering their loved ones in the course of a dispute or a relationship spat.
It is in this context that Maple began to accuse Jung of sexual assault, claiming that he had sexually assaulted her between 2018 and 2021. This includes the period from 2018 to 2020 where Maple can be seen perfectly happy while receiving attention on stage in various roles, and where Maple had spoken positively about Jung in many public platforms. Maple can also be heard to be laughing and enjoying herself in an interview on 31 May 2020 about her Providence life (see video below), and Maple readily professes that she was really happy in Providence. In March 2021, Maple can also be seen basking in the limelight while performing and singing on stage at a large scale Providence event.
Why did Maple only begin to make such allegations in 2022, almost 4 years after the allegations supposedly began? Why did she not leave earlier? How could she look so happy and so supportive of Jung while being sexually assaulted? These questions need to be answered.
A few weeks later, in March 2022, Maple is on stage again, but in a different role. She appears at a press conference and reads word by word off a script that Kim Do Hyung hands to her, telling a full room of reporters how Jung had sexually assaulted her. Jung is then investigated and put on trial.
Merely a few months after, Maple enters into a romantic relationship with Alex Fong, a Hong Kong actor more than 12 years Maple’s senior (see here). At best, this was only around a year after the period where she was allegedly sexually assaulted 18 times. How did she get to meet Alex Fong? Why did she choose to date a celebrity 12 years her senior? Would she not be traumatised by men, especially those older than her, after what had allegedly happened to her? These questions have yet to be answered.
Yet a few months after, Maple appears in Netflix’s show as the main character. She is in the limelight once more and getting the attention that she used to receive. She tells her story and accuses Jung of sexually assaulting her. Just as in the actual trial itself, there is no evidence to prove her claims, except her bare word, and an audio clip that Maple claims to be a secret recording of Jung having sex with her.
At the time of the Netflix broadcast, the judge had yet to accept the audio recording as valid evidence. As the recording was not an original file, Jung’s lawyers asked Maple for the original file so that they could verify the authenticity of the file. Maple was unable to produce the original audio file. She claims that she lost the original audio file because she transferred the files from her original phone into the cloud, and then downloaded the files from the cloud onto her new phone, and after which she got rid of her original phone (see here). Nobody can prove that the audio is real. The Korean National Forensic Service even confirmed that the audio clip could not be proven to be unedited and authentic (see here). Why did Maple get rid of her original phone, when it was the only device that could prove that the audio was real? If she truly went through the painstaking efforts of trying to secretly record an audio that would prove, once and for all, that Jung was raping her, would she not preserve that audio as best as she could? These are important questions to be answered.
Anyone who is familiar with Jung’s voice will know that the audio does not sound like Jung’s voice, and the audio needs to be strained to be interpreted as what Maple claims it says. In this digital age where audio recordings can be easily “deepfaked” such that a person’s voice can be substituted with another (see here) or edited from different original clips to form a completely different conclusion (see here and here), one has to be more discerning before believing that an audio recording is real.
Shortly after the Netflix broadcast, Alex Fong makes a press release stating that Maple is his girlfriend and that they had been dating for some time. He says that he believes that she is telling the truth. Did Maple know in advance that Alex Fong was making this press release? Did Maple tell Alex Fong to say that he believed her? Did Maple intentionally date a famous person like Alex Fong so that she would have a famous person on her side? These too, are questions to think about.
Do we know enough to prove that Maple is lying? No. But do we know enough to be sure that Maple is telling the truth? The answer is also no. The wisest thing to do in such a situation is to refrain from judgment and to let the matter be decided through the judicial process, as it should be, instead of having it made into a drama for the whole world to see.
Anonymous persons and unidentified footages
There are various anonymous persons who accuse Jung of sexually assaulting them. Similar to the above, none of these are proven and there is also no evidence of this apart from bare allegations. Not much can be said of these unknown individuals as they have chosen not to reveal their identities. It would not be fair or proper to simply believe their account when we do not know who they are, they have not been questioned, and they have not revealed the precise details of their allegations such as when, how, and where they were allegedly assaulted. It also ought to be pointed out that if these individuals genuinely wanted justice to be done, they would have gone to the police, and not to Netflix.
The Netflix broadcast also features several audio recordings of unknown provenance. The producers describe the recordings as showing Jung engaging in sexual talk with female members, and female members complaining about Jung and his followers. However, these recordings are not reliable. It is not known who made these recordings, who were speaking in these recordings, and what was the context of the remarks made in the recordings. Therefore, it is not known if the recordings are genuine or not, and even if they are genuine, what the meaning of the words in the recordings are. They could very well be deepfake recordings manipulated by Kim or Hyung, and their band of anti-Jung followers.
Nude photos and videos
The broadcast features nude photos and videos of women and asserts that Jung had asked his female followers to send him nude photos and videos of themselves. The nude footages shown in the broadcast are blurred such that the faces of the persons are unrecognisable. Nobody can tell if they are Providence members or porn-stars, and if these are manipulated deepfakes. The women featured in the nude footages themselves also do not appear on the film to explain what the nude footage was all about. The narrative is done by someone who is not a first-hand witness to the nude footage and who can only speculate what these nude footages are about.
On the contrary, there are countless female members in Providence who will readily attest that they have never heard Jung asking for nude photos and videos, and that instead, Jung has always asked members to dress modestly.
Even if these nude footages are somehow true, it does not mean that Jung had solicited them. People do crazy things in the name of God, Jesus, and Allah, such as terrorism and mass killings – does it mean that their God requested or sanctioned them? Trump’s supporters have also done crazy things for his sake but does it mean that Trump directed all of them? One should not assume what the truth is until one has investigated the people involved and gotten to the bottom of it.
Kidnap and violence
The broadcast features various allegations of kidnap and violence. Likewise, these have not been proven in the courtroom as a fact, and Jung has not even been charged for these. At the time of these alleged violence, Jung was actually overseas. Even if these were somehow true, there is no evidence that Jung had anything to do with these, and as already pointed out, not everything that a member does is sanctioned by his leader. Peter cut off the high priest’s ear, but that went against what Jesus told him to do, which was to love his enemies.
Jung has always taught Providence to obey Jesus’ teachings, to love our enemies, to resolve all things peacefully, and never to resort to violence. In around 2005, there was an arts performance in church where Jung was present. As part of the stage performance, some teenagers began taking out toy guns and shooting each other. Jung immediately took the microphone and halted the performance. He made it very clear that there was to be no guns or violence in church. As Jesus said, those who live by the sword will die by the sword. Jung made it clear that anyone who considers himself to be a member of Providence should never carry weapons.
When Jung was in Los Angeles in 1994, there were huge gun crime problems and 14,000 people were being killed every year due to gun violence. Guns were legal in the US and people had the right to carry guns under the 2nd Amendment. It was so bad that people were afraid to even go out at night. One night, Jung wanted to play sports in the park. His followers approached him telling him that it was dangerous, and asked if it was fine to carry a gun for protection as they were afraid of being attacked. Jung firmly replied in response: “No one who carries a gun can follow me. If you want peace, the one who wants peace must throw away the gun.” This was the same belief that Jung had fervent held since his time in the Vietnam War, where he saved dozens of comrades and even the enemy.
When Jung heard about America’s gun situation, Jung began praying fervently for America. Months later, a miracle happened. For the first time in American history, the US President (who was at that time Clinton) signed an assault weapon ban. The Senate finally approved the decision with a vote of 52 to 48, after having failed 3 times in previous attempts to ban assault weapons. From then on, there was a steep decline in gun violence. God had answered Jung’s prayer.
For a fuller understanding of Jung’s views of the use of arms and violence, read Jung’s four-part autobiography of his experience in the Vietnam War: War was cruel; Love and Peace, which is available on Amazon here. See also further below for video evidence of Jung’s abstinence from violence (filmed by none other than Hyung himself).
It is impossible and unnecessary to address the seemingly endless number of unproven claims that the accusers have launched against Jung, given that there is no evidence for them to begin with. What will be helpful, however, is to highlight a few select examples to show how the producers have taken material completely out of context and used them to paint a distorted picture of Jung.
First is a clip filmed by Hyung and his gang in Hong Kong. The clips show Hyung and the cameraman walking towards a translucent mosquito tent in an outdoor area surrounded by trees. Jung and two other persons can be seen to be in the tent. Upon nearing the tent, Hyung shouts “Come out, you bastard!” The Netflix subtitles also record Hyung as threatening Jung: “Come out! before I kill you”. Jung looks understandably shocked, as he was being ambushed out of nowhere by a cameraman and an angry Hyung who was threatening to kill him. Jung’s shirt is unbuttoned and he was only wearing swimming trunks, as he had just been swimming. Likewise, the other two members in the tent were in swimming attire. Jung emerges from the tent and asks what Hyung was doing. Jung does not want to be filmed, and thus attempts to block the camera. At this, Hyung slaps Jung in the face. Jung does not retaliate, but instead walks off. The narrator is heard calling Jung a pathetic coward. Jung is then arrested by the Hong Kong police, but is later released by the authorities. No charges were brought against Jung in Hong Kong and he was never proven to have committed any wrongdoing in Hong Kong.
It is not understandable why this clip is being used to portray Jung as a perpetrator of crime, when it is clear from the face of it that Jung is the real victim in this incident. What was going on was that Jung and the two members had just had a swim, and were having a normal conversation in a mosquito tent that was next to the swimming pool. Here is a picture showing the location of the tent relative to the swimming pool.
These events happened in broad daylight, in a relatively public area where people could easily enter (as did Hyung and the cameraman), and not behind locked doors. Jung then attempted to stop the cameraman from filming, which is an entirely natural reaction when one is being filmed without permission. When Jung was slapped, anyone in his shoes would have retaliated and fought back, and all the more so when there was no doubt that Jung would clearly win Hyung in a fight – Jung was a decorated special forces soldier that had fought in the Vietnam War (see here). However, Jung had the incredible moral resilience to simply walk away. This footage is in fact the best evidence of Jung’s tremendous moral fibre, and his commitment to avoiding violence at all costs. Hyung just looks downright bad as he was the perpetrator who had first resorted to vulgarities and violence, when none of this was called for.
Furthermore, as Hyung himself admits to in the show, this clip was filmed after Hyung had been stalking Jung for about a week, trying to film incriminating footage. If this was the best that Hyung managed to film after stalking Jung for a week, there must have really been nothing going on worth mentioning.
Second is a footage of a man claiming that Jung always brings a lot of women around with him, followed by various footages of Jung with women. These footages are selectively cropped and shot at an angle to make it seem as though Jung is only with women. If the full footage is reviewed, one will see that there were also many men at the scene. There are also claims that Providence only has female members. This is untrue. There are tens of thousands of male members in Providence. There is also a blurred-out footage of women in bikini partying on a boat. The women are not recognisable from the footage and it is not clear who these women are, whether they are even Providence members, and what they were doing on the boat. No explanation is given and the clip is just used for sensational effect, alongside all the other dramatized and fictional scenes portrayed in the show.
Third is a footage of Jung convulsing in the courtroom. Kim himself describes Jung as foaming at the mouth, but then goes on to accuse Jung of putting on a show. But the narrators are not in any position to comment on this. They are not medically trained and also did not examine Jung’s medical condition at the time.
What was not revealed in the show is that, just immediately prior to Jung returning to Korea and put on trial, he had been tortured for 10 months in China by the police during investigations. The torture included the psychological torture of being confined alone in a completely dark and isolated room with minimal food and water, and being subject to mind games where the police would cock their guns at him threatening to kill him, as well as the physical torture of being hung from a tree in a gunnysack while being beaten, and other conventional torture methods such as the electric chair and finger torture. Jung thought that he was going to die in China. After 10 months of such torture, he was severely psychologically traumatised and his body was also physically devastated by the effects of such torture. Despite such torture, Jung protested his innocence till the end to the Chinese police, and at the end of 10 months, they decided to release him.
Jung decided to return to our homeland of Korea, where he was immediately arrested and investigated without any chance to recover from the mental and physical torture. In was in such context that he broke down in convulsions. Again, perfectly understandable.
An anti-Jung activist then alleges that he was an observer in the prosecution’s interrogation of Jung and that during the questioning, Jung got down on his knees and pleaded for mercy. If this is indeed true, one seriously questions why an activist was allowed to be present during the prosecution’s investigations, why he is allowed to reveal the process of these confidential investigations to the public, and what the prosecution had been doing to Jung to cause him to have to kneel down to beg for his life. Furthermore, even if we assume that this is true, Jung had every good reason to act in this way, being under the psychological trauma and influence of being subject to the most inhumane torture in China. It may be that if he had not begged for his life in China, he may have already been killed without a trial. After 10 months of torture in a confined space, one may not be able to differentiate whether one is in China or in Korea.
There are a host of other allegations about Jung bribing Hong Kong officials and absconding without a passport, none of which are proven.
This is not the first time the media has distorted the truth to paint a biased picture of Jung. In around 1999, SBS Broadcasting Station manipulated a video of Jung saying: “evangelise one person out of ten” to make it sound like “evangelise one woman each”, trying to paint Jung as a sexist. The court ordered SBS to stop reporting false material and that information provided unilaterally by Hyung (who was also involved in that incident) must not be aired (see here). However, leopards do not change their spots.
Conclusion: who is really playing God?
The producers accuse Jung of claiming to be God, but the irony is that it is they themselves who are playing God by attempting to judge matters which they have no concrete evidence of and by taking justice into their own hands when no decision has been reached by a court of justice. As a wise person advises in Acts 5:38-39, “Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.” Justice belongs to God and to the judges who are called by God. An entertainment company should stick to its role of providing entertainment and leave justice to those called for the mission. 2000 years ago, Jesus was crucified due to a lynch mob. Nothing has changed in 2000 years.
About the writer:
The writer is just an ordinary human being with a semblance of common sense and a healthy dose of skepticism. The writer also does not condone any form of sexual assault or violence, and firmly believes that such actions must be punished, but that this should only be done after a fair trial with the required evidence. You may choose not to believe a word of what the writer said, but equally, don’t believe a word of what the media says, because they may be lying to you. Check and verify the evidence for yourself and then judge, for then your judgment will be founded on solid grounds. As Jung often says, wisdom is to check and check again, and to check until the end. The writer hopes that all who read this article will check to the end and receive the wisdom of discernment.