The following is an English translation of the original 2023/05/01 Break News article, which can be found here.
[Dispute & Clarify – Part 3] The media should be calmer in reporting the sexual assault allegations involving Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok.
Last March, the media published an article on an interview with Mr. A, an activist of an anti-JMS organization. The article contained content stating that “JMS (Jeong Myeong Seok) had sex with 10,000 women…exceeding the goal.”
The article claimed that Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok had said, “sexual salvation is to make 10,000 heavenly lovers” and that he had achieved that goal. Regarding the “10,000 people and sexual assault,” it was baseless; they merely misused words from Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok’s sermon.
It seems that the media took Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok’s interpretation of the Bible, the Holy Book of Christianity, and interpreted the words, “10,000 heavenly lovers,” as “sexual assault.” In general, there may be errors when translating foreign books. However, their claim that Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok exceeded 10,000 sexual assaults seems to be a misinterpretation of the flow of his sermon.
▲Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok preaching ©Break News
Why? If Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok had actually “raped more than 10,000 women,” it would be right for the list of victims to come out during the investigation-trial process. However, the 10,000 sexual assaults is simply a number that came only from the lips of one leader of that victim group, and this number was publicized without investigation. These numbers from the mouth of one dissenter, with no evidence of the victims’ identities, are just floating around in public. Looking at this, the entire media can also be said to be fictitious itself, not reporting numbers based on its own investigation. However, more than 30 domestic media outlets have already produced articles of this nature [using that expression].
What if, as reported in the media, the number of women raped by Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok actually did “exceed 10,000” such that the number of female sexual assault victims is greater than 10,000? Regarding this, an official of the Christian Gospel Mission (JMS) has insisted that it is not true through a press release.
In a column titled, “Pursuing the Truth Behind the Distortion of JMS Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok’s Sexual Assault Case,” published in this magazine (Break News) on April 27, the author wrote, “The Christian Gospel Mission said in a press release on April 22, ‘Even though the mass media is trying to deceive the public, fabricated reports are bound to be exposed.’
Due to the reports in 1999 and 2002, it is a fact that media company A has already paid damages to CGM (JMS). Media company B’s report has been in litigation for four years, but the media company has filed an application for avoidance of the trial and is toying with the media. While producing a recent broadcast, they broke into the church without permission and filmed it illegally.” And Mr. A, who has taken the lead in reporting the “corruption” of (JMS), had sent letters of reflection to Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok, so CGM (JMS) has a lot of written proof of his requests for money, etc.
More than 10,000 people are said to have been sexually assaulted, but so far, not one has presented tangible evidence such as DNA extraction. Even for the 10-year sentence of Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok in 2009, there was no evidence that the “victims” had been victimized, and one of the women victims even made a declaration of conscience that they had falsely accused him.
In this case as well, Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok was confirmed, through video [evidence], to have been doing other things at the time of the accuser’s alleged assaults.
The recording submitted by one of the women is also a copy, not the original file, and has a file format that has never been seen before. The National Institute of Scientific Investigation announced that the file structure was different from the reference file collected from the type of iPhone used by the complainant.
The gap between the fact-finding media that has already reported the “rape of 10,000 women by Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok” and the counterargument presented in the press release of CGM (JMS) is far too big. The domestic media did not disclose even one person’s full name (the legally registered name) of the victim who was said to have been sexually assaulted by Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok. It was just an imaginary number of victims. CGM (JMS) emphasized, “The tens of thousands of members around the world are being witch-hunted due to fake news in the media, so they feel wronged and indignant.”
For five years in the late 1980s, I served as a reporter, interview manager, and deputy vice director for World Times (publisher Lee Hyung Rae), which was published in Manhattan, New York, USA. At that time, I covered and reported various events that occurred in New York and New Jersey, centering on Manhattan, New York. In the case of sexual assaults in the United States, the identities of the perpetrator and victim(s) come out during the investigation process. When a police-prosecution investigation is completed, the sexual assault case goes to court. At this time, reporters will obtain the personal information of the perpetrator-victim(s), and when reporting, they record the names of the perpetrator-victim(s). Not just for sexual assaults, but minor incidents are all reported through this process.
Then what about Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok’s sexual assault case? The perpetrator is Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok, and it is claimed that the number of victims exceeds 10,000. However, not a single victim was named. This case can be seen as an absurd incident committed with ghosts.
It is not known what incidents Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok was involved in within the church. Nevertheless, I, the author, present this conclusion: “The sexual assault case of Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok is highly likely to be a ghost case that is far from the truth.” According to media reports, Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok was accused of sexually assaulting more than 10,000 women. However, not a single properly registered victim’s name is mentioned.
I, the author, want to insist this: If a list of 10,000 women who were sexually assaulted by Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok comes out, then I would believe that he is a sexual assault offender. Until then, according to the principle of presumption of innocence, the logic of “presumption of innocence” for Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok’s sexual assault crimes must take precedence.
<Afterword> The media should be calmer in reporting the sexual assault case involving Pastor Jeong Myeong Seok. In war, there is such a thing as psychological warfare. Social incidents of sexual assault shouldn’t be abused to become the subject of political psychological warfare. Media outlets need to reflect on what the media has done wrong in reporting this case. email@example.com
*Writer/Moon Il Seok.
He is a poet, publisher of this magazine, and also a reportage writer. His representative book is Secret Memoirs of the Central Intelligence Agency (3 volumes in total).