• HOME
  • LOGIN
  • JOIN
  • SITEMAP
신천지의 선전도구로 이용 되었던 외국인의 수기

How I ended up in a Korean religious cult




 
17/11/2014
아래는How I ended up in a Korean religious cult
  

 
17/11/2014
아래는 네덜란드인의 신천지 만국회의 수기 입니다.
번역은 우리카페의 운영진인 조감도님이 해 주셨습니다.
 
원글:
http://www.yeu-international.org/en/publications/newsmail/small-stories-that-can-change-the-world/how-i-ended-up-in-a-korean-religious-cult 
-----------------------------------------------
How I ended up in a Korean religious cult
 
한국의 사이비 종교를 벗어난 계기
 
This is quite an unusual story, as it is my account of how I ended up in a religious cult in South Korea and how I walked out of it.
 
나의 이야기는 한국에서 사이비 종교를 끝을 내고 어떻게 그곳에서 벗어날 수 있었는지에 대한 것이므로, 이 이야기는 상당히 특이한 경우다.
 
It has been a most interesting experience, but not without any fear. My story provides an insight in how religious cults can function and serves as a warning for others, who might find themselves in a similar situation one day.
 
그것은 어떤 두려움과 함께 아주 흥미로운 경험이었다. 나의 이야기는 어느 날 그들도 그들 자신이 유사한 상황에 놓여 있는 것을 발견 할지도 모르는 다른 사람들을 위한 경고로서 사이비 종교들이 어떻게 (각주: 사람들에게) 작용하고 접하게 되는지 통찰력을 제공을 한다.
 
Via a colleague I received an invitation to attend a ‘world peace summit’, in Seoul, South Korea, in my capacity as president of a youth organization in the Netherlands.
나는 네델란드의 청소년 단체 회장의 입장으로서, 동료를 통해 대한민국 서울에서 열리는 ‘world peace summit(이하 summit)'에 참여할 수 있는 초대장을 받았다.
  
The three-day event aimed to bring together representatives from governments, religions and youth organizations, in order to ‘discuss and create an interfaith constitution for peace’.
그 3일간 행사는 평화를 위해 종교를 초월한 법을 토의하고 만들기 위하여 각국의 정부, 종교, 그리고 청소년 단체의 대표들을 한 자리에 모으기 위한 목적이었다.
 
The members of the youth organizations would also meet separately, to discuss peaceful actions in their communities.
 
또한, 그 청소년 단체들의 회원들은 그들의 지역사회에서 평화적인 일들을 토의하기 위해 따로 만날 것이다.
  
The organization, officially called ‘Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL)’, paid 80% of the plane ticket.
 
그 단체는 공식적으로 ‘하늘 문화 세계평화 빛의 회복 (HWPL); Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL)’ 이라고 불렸으며, 비행기 표의 80%를 대신 지불해 주었다.
 
The official name sounded a bit sketchy to me, looking at the religious connotation, but there would be discussions and it was staged as a secular event. By googling the name of the organization I could not find much, as it was going to be organized for the first time.
그 공식적 이름이 종교적인 의미에서 보면 나에게 다소 막연하게 들렸지만 일반적인(세속적인) 행사로 개최될 것이고 토의들도 있을 것이다 생각했다. 그 단체는 처음으로 조직되었기 때문에 구글 검색으로 그 단체에 대한 내용을 많이 찾을 수가 없었다.
 
Eventually, the prospect of discussing actions for more peaceful societies, meeting representatives from youth organizations from all over the world and seeing the country convinced me to join the peace summit.
 
결국, 더 평화로운 사회를 위한 행동을 의논하고, 전 세계 청소년 단체들의 대표들과 만나고 또한 그 나라(한국)를 볼 수 있다는 전망이 내가 그 '평화 정상 회담(the peace summit)'에 참여하게 했다.
 
Upon arrival at the airport I was welcomed by a big group of members of the organization, which was quite a surprise. All day attendants of the Summit were arriving, and they got a warm welcome.
공항에 도착하자마자 나는 그 단체의 큰 무리의 회원들에게 환영을 받았고, 그 환영은 나를 다소 놀라게 했다. 하루 종일 ‘정상회담’ 참가자들이 도착하고 있었고 그들도 큰 환대를 받았다.
 
I was asked to go on a picture with ‘my’ arrival team, together with two persons in big suits, like mascots. Well, the picture explains it best.
 
공항에 도착한 우리 일행은 마스코트 같은 큰 옷을 입은 두 사람과 함께 사진을 찍어달라고 부탁을 받았다. 아마도, 그 사진이 그 상황을 가장 잘 설명해 줄 것이다.
 
After that we went straight to a conference location, where a preparation meeting was held, with the representatives of youth organizations. There was a lot of media and a main speech was given by a man of senior age, Mr. Man Hee Lee, the ‘honorary chairman’ of the organization.
그 이후 우리는 청소년 단체들의 대표들과 함께 준비 모임이 열리는 회의 장소로 곧장 향했다. 그 곳에는 많은 언론매체가 있었고, 그 단체의 ‘명예회장’인 이만희라는 나이든 한 남자가 메인 연설을 했다.
 
He was introduced as a father figure to the youth and as a peace maker, as he travelled around the world to spread the message of peace.
 
그는 평화의 메시지를 전하기 위해 전 세계를 돌아다니고 있기 때문에, 젊은이들에게는 아버지 같은 존재이자 평화의 사자로 소개가 되었다.
Allegedly he had all the answers to achieve world peace, but what that exactly meant did not become clear yet, except that we should all unite to make peace.
 
전하는 바에 따르면, 그는 세계평화를 이루기 위한 모든 해답을 가지고 있지만 평화를 이루기 위해 우리 모두 통합해야 하는 것 외에 명확하게 밝혀진 것은 아직 없다는 의미이다.

  
I discussed with some colleagues that it did not feel very promising, but probably we could advocate for different strategies and bottom-up approaches in the next meetings.
 
전망이 좋지 않은 것 같다고 몇몇 동료와 의견을 나누었지만, 아마도 다음 회의에서 다른 전략들과 상향식 접근 방식(각주: 밑의 여러 의견들을 수렴하여 상부 쪽으로 의견을 제시하는 방법)들로 우리의 주장을 펼 수 있을 것이라고 생각했다.
 
 
We stayed in a hotel outside the city and the next day we drove with busses to a parking lot, next to a big stadium, which turned out to be the main stadium built for the 1988 Summer Olympics.
 
우리는 도시 근교 호텔에 머물렀고, 그 다음날 큰 경기장 옆에 있는 주차장 쪽으로 버스를 타고 갔다. 그리고 그 경기장은 1988년 올림픽을 위해 건설된 주경기장이라는 것을 알게 되었다.
  
We were asked to wear traditional clothes from our countries. As I am from the Netherlands and we do not really have a traditional outfit, I was wearing an orange shirt of our national team.
우리는 우리나라(네델란드)의 전통의상을 입도록 부탁을 받았다. 나는 네델란드에서 왔고 정말 우리는 전통의상을 가지고 있지 않았기 때문에, 나는 우리 국가대표팀(각주: 오렌지 군단)의 주황색 셔츠를 입었다.
 
Others were wearing the most colorful clothes, making quite an impression, also taking in mind we were with around 300 people. Still we were not sure what exactly we were going to do.
 
다른 사람들은 상당히 인상적인 화려한 색깔의 옷을 입고 있었고 우리가 약 300명의 사람들과 함께 있다는 것을 떠올리게 했다. 그러나 우리는 정확히 무엇을 할 것인지를 아직 알지 못했다.
 
 
The stadium turned out to be fully packed (capacity 70.000), and we walked in via the athletes entrance, with cheering crowds and fireworks. Amazed at what we were experiencing, we took pictures and videos (please find a great one below), fearing that nobody would believe us if we did not.
 
그 경기장은 가득 채워졌고(수용인원 7만명), 환호하는 관중들과 불꽃놀이와 함께 우리는 선수입장 입구를 통해서 걸어 들어왔다. 우리가 경험한 것들에 놀라면서, 만약 우리가 한 것을 아무도 믿지 않을 것이라는 걱정에 우리는 사진들과 비디오를 찍었다(밑에 멋진 사진을 찾아보세요).
 
 
We were directed to a prominent place in the stadium, where we heard a couple of speeches and we witnessed some impressive show elements, with music, dances and fireworks.
 
우리는 경기장에서 가장 눈에 띄는 곳으로 향했고 그 곳에서 몇 개의 연설을 듣고, 음악, 춤, 불꽃놀이 같은 다소 인상적인 쇼들을 보았습니다.
  
Most special was the ‘human LCD’ card performance, in which hundreds of Korean youngsters depicted different ‘moving’ scenes. An American rabbi held an interesting speech, in which he continuously repeated “Let peace reign”, for example after some statement about Israel, but without any realism.
가장 특별했던 것은 ‘인간 전광판(카드섹션)’ 카드 공연이었는데, 수백 명의 한국 청년들이 다양한 ‘움직이는’ 장면들을 묘사했다. 한 어메리칸 유대인 종교지도자는, 현실감도 없이, 이스라엘에 대하여 몇 가지 사례를 언급하고 난 후 “평화가 이루어지게 합시다” 라고 연신 되풀이 하면서 흥미로운 연설을 했다.
  
Every time the crowd was cheering, but we noticed that was strange, since the crowd was mostly very young and many of them could probably not understand English (also older people usually had trouble with English).
매 번 관중들은 환호를 했지만, 우리는 그것이 이상했었다. 왜냐하면 그 관중들 대부분이 매우 젊고, 그들 중 많은 사람들은 아마도 영어를 이해할 수 없었을 것이기 때문이다.(또한 나이든 사람도 보통 영어에 어려움이 있다).
  
In front of every section however, there was a person who ‘directed’ that part of the audience: if he or she started screaming, everybody would follow.
그러나 모든 섹션(구역) 앞에는, 그 관중들을 ‘지휘하는’하는 한 사람이 있었다. 즉, 그 혹은 그녀가 고함을 지르기 시작하면, 모든 사람이 따르곤 했다.
 
 
The main speech was again from Mr. Man Hee Lee, where I found out the real intentions behind the gathering. Previously Man Hee Lee spoke about “uniting all youngsters to achieve peace”, but now it became clear how exactly: by uniting under his religion.
다시, 중요한 연설이 이만희씨부터 시작되었고, 나는 그쯤에서 이 모임 이면의 진짜 의도를 파악하게 되었다. 이전에는 이만희가 “평화를 이루기 위해 모든 젊은이들이 통합하는 것” 에 대해서 연설했지만, 지금은 어떻게 할 지 명백하게 밝혀졌다. 즉 그의 종교 하에서 통합하는 것이다.
 
 
He explained that he was sent as a messenger from heaven to deliver this message and that uniting under the one true God was the only way to solve conflicts. Diversity was the problem.
그는 하늘에서 온 사자로서 그의 메시지를 전하기 위해 보내졌고 하나의 진정한 신 아래에서 통합만이 갈등을 해결하는 유일한 방법이라고 설명했다. 다양한 종교가 그 문제였다.
 
At that moment I was sure that this ‘peace summit’ would not have a meaningful contribution. Back in the hotel I started googling to see if I could find more about Man Hee Lee and the movement.
그 순간, 나는 이 ‘평화 회담’이 평화에 대한 의미 있는 기여를 가지지 못할 것이라고 확신했다. 호텔로 돌아와서, 이만희와 그 운동(평화 회담)에 대한 정보를 더 찾을 수 있는지 보기 위해 구글을 검색하기 시작했다.
 
 
Some blogs (links below) explained that HWPL was actually a disguised body of the ‘Sincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony’, which Man Hee Lee founded in 1984.
몇 개의 블러그(밑에 연결됨)가 HWPL은 사실 ‘신천지 예수교 증거장막성전’의 위장한 단체이며, 이만희가 1984년에 창업한 것이었다고 설명했다.
 
It is best described as a Christian cult, with dubious teachings on the bible. The organization infiltrates schools and other churches, to recruit new members and to indoctrinate them.
 
그 곳은 성경에 미심쩍은 교리들을 가르치는 기독교 이단으로 잘 묘사되어있다. 그 단체는 새로운 신도들을 모집해서 그들에게 교리적으로 세뇌를 시키기 위해 신학교나 다른 교회들에 몰래 잠입한다.
 
 
For foreigners they organize free Korean lessons and leisure events. While these foreigners don’t know exactly who organizes these free activities, on photo and video material it seems that they support the Church.
 
그들은 외국인들에게 공짜 한국어 수업이나 여가 활동들을 준비해 준다. 이 외국인들은 누가 이런 무료 활동들을 기획하는지 정확히 알지 못 했고, 사진과 비디오 자료들을 통해서 그들은 교회를 후원하는 것처럼 보였다.
 
 
For similar reasons we were photographed so much in the stadium: we are excellent propaganda material for the South Korean people, showing them that Man Hee Lee has supporters from all over the world.
 
비슷한 이유로, 우리는 경기장에서 수많은 사진에 찍혔다. 다시 말해서 우리는 한국 사람들에게 훌륭한 선전도구였으며 그들에게 이만희가 전 세계적으로 많은 지지자들을 가지고 있다는 것을 보여주는 것이었다.
 
About those pictures it is interesting that they asked us to make a peace symbol with our hands, not the regular ‘V’, but with forefinger and thumb up, a bit like a gun. Most people did it without asking, but it turned out to be the symbol of the cult, again making beautiful PR material.
 
그 사진들에 대해서 흥미로운 점은, 그들이 우리의 손으로 평화의 상징을 만들어 달라고 우리에게 부탁을 했는데 일반적인 V 모양이 아니라 엄지와 검지를 사용한 총 모양이었다.
 
대부분의 사람들은 별 의문 없이 그렇게 했고, 다시 아름다운 홍보물을 만들기 위한 그 사이비 집단의 상징이라는 것이 드러났다.
 
 
While me and some other colleagues made plans to leave the conference, or at least to change our sleeping location to a hostel in the center, somebody from the organization came to talk to us.
나와 몇 명의 다른 동료들이 그 행사(콘퍼런스)장을 떠날 계획을 하고, 또 최소한 잠자는 곳을 호스텔로 바꾸려고 하는 중에, 그 단체의 지체 높은 누군가 우리에게 대화를 하기 위해서 찾아 왔다.
  
At that moment around half of the youth organization representatives had gathered in the only room where internet was available. Our points of critique were expressed, focusing on the lack of discussions, the exclusive approach and the religious character of the meeting.
그 때, 각국 청소년 단체 대표들의 약 절반 정도가 인터넷을 이용할 수 있는 방에서만 모여 있었다. 우리는 토론의 부족, 일방적인 진행 방식, 그리고 모임의 종교적 색채에 대한 부분을 강조하면서 우리의 비판 요지를 밝혔다.
  
The manager listened to it and promised more discussions for the next day. But she also said that according to her we should be a bit happier maybe, as we were witnessing world history. And: if you are not for this peace summit, are you against peace? As we already lost our faith anyway, we booked the hostel.
 
그 관리자는 그 내용을 듣고 다음날 더 많은 토론을 약속했다. 그러나 그녀에 따르면, ‘우리는 아마도 우리가 세계의 역사를 목격하고 있기 때문에 더 행복할 수 있을 것이고 그리고, 만약 너희들이 이 평화회담을 지지하지 않는다면, 너희들은 평화를 반대 하는 거냐?’ 라고 말했다. 어쨌든 우리는 이미 신뢰를 잃어버렸기 때문에, 우리는 호스텔에 예약을 했다.
 
We were afraid to say the real reason that we left the hotel, so we just showed up in the morning with our suitcases. After the bus ride to the new conference location, we wanted to go first to the hostel, but our Protocol Officers explained it would be best to leave the suitcases in the baggage compartment in the bus, and pick it up at the end of the day, leaving us little choice.
우리가 호텔을 떠나는 진짜 이유를 말하기가 다소 두려웠기에, 우리는 단지 여행 가방을 가지고 아침에 모습을 보였다. 버스를 타고 새 행사장(conference)에 도착해서, 우리는 먼저 호스텔로 가기를 원했다. 그러나 (행사)의전 담당자들이 버스에 있는 수화물 칸에 가방을 남겨두었다가 그날 끝날 시간에 가져가는 것이 가장 좋을 것 같다며, 선택의 여지를 주지 않고 설명했다.
 
You need to know that every three or four participants in the summit were accompanied by two ‘Protocol Officers’. They check if you feel good and if you can find the way. It seemed very nice at first, but in fact they were all the time checking where you are, in other words trying to control you and the situation.
여러분들은 이번 평화 회담에 참가한 모든 3~4명마다 두 명의 의전담당자들이 동반하고 있다는 것을 아셔야 할 필요가 있습니다. 그들은 당신이 기분이 좋은지, 길은 찾을 수 있는지 확인을 합니다. 처음에는 매우 친절한 것처럼 보였지만, 사실 그들은 당신들이 어디 있는지 항상 확인하고 있었습니다. 다시 말해서 당신과 당신의 상황을 통제하려고 시도를 했던 것이지요.
 
After some time me and my rebellious colleagues went back to the bus anyway, to ask the driver if he could open the luggage compartment. He did it and we went to our booked hostel with a taxi. After dropping our suitcases in the hostel we got a bit lost in the Seoul subway, according to Wikipedia the longest metro system, but we made it back to the location.
 
얼마 지나지 않아 나와 기분상한 나의 동료들이 다시 버스로 돌아왔고, 버스기사에게 화물칸을 열어줄 수 있는지 부탁을 했다. 그는 화물칸을 열어 주었고, 우리는 택시를 타고 우리가 예약한 호스텔로 갔다. 우리는 호스텔에 우리의 짐을 풀고, 위키피디아에 따르면 가장 긴 메트로(인구 천만이 넘는 도시) 시스템인 서울 지하철에서 잠시 길을 잃어버렸지만 호스텔로 무사히 돌아왔다.
 
My Protocol Officers were happy that I was back, but they seemed frightened and even a bit desperate. Another colleague told me that he saw that my Protocol Officer had a strong conversation about my absence with her manager and afterwards she was in tears.
나의 의전담당자들은 내가 돌아와서 기뻐하기는 했지만, 그들은 다소 놀란 눈치였으며 심지어 다소 절망스러워 하는 것처럼 보였다. 다른 나의 동료가 말해 주기를 나의 의전 담당자는 나의 부재에 대해 그녀의 관리자와 언성이 높았으며 나중에는 그녀가 울었다고 말해 주었다.
In general the Protocol Officers and the other volunteers seemed constantly very tired, showing a big lack of sleep. During the last two evenings they often had briefings, while they did not even sleep at the hostel.
대체적으로, 의전담당자들과 다른 봉사자들은 계속 매우 피곤해 보였고, 많은 수면 부족을 보였다. 지난 이틀 밤 동안, 그들은 호스텔에서 한 숨도 안자고 자주 브리핑을 하였다.
The morning program consisted of a ceremony to sign a document, calling for the cessation of all wars. Effectively, smartly formulated, the document meant a submission of allegiance to the Sincheonji Church.
그날 아침 프로그램은 모든 전쟁종식을 요구하며, 문서에 서명을 하는 의식으로 구성되어 있었다. 효율적으로 잘 만들어진 그 문서는 신천지에 대한 충성의 항복을 의미했다.
 
There was quite some pressure to sign from the Protocol Officers, but I refused, explaining that I would have to discuss it with my organization first. After the lunch we were waiting for the planned discussions, but when again endless and pointless speeches were announced, me and some other colleagues left the summit for good.
 
문서에 서명하라는 의전담당자들의 상당한 압박이 있었지만, 우선 나의 소속 단체와 함께 그것을 의논을 해야 할 것 같다고 설명하면서 서명하는 것을 거부했다. 점심 식사 후에 우리는 예정된 토의를 기다렸지만 또 다시 끝없고 요점이 없는 말이 발표되었고, 나와 다른 동료들은 영원히 그 평화회담을 떠났다.
 
As I was still afraid to inform my Protocol Officers about the real reason (they could still cancel my plane ticket), we left pretty suddenly. I was sitting next to a Protocol Officer and I saw that she lost all the color in her face when I stood up to leave. She started calling quickly, as there is always a second Officer near the door, to stop people. But that person must have been gone for a moment, as we quickly walked towards the main exit.
여전히, 나의 의전담당자들에게 (내가 떠나는) 진짜 이유에 대해 알리는 것을 두려웠기 때문에 (그들이 여전히 나의 비행기 표를 취소시킬 수 있기에), 우리는 갑작스럽게 떠났다. 나는 한 의전담당자 옆에 앉아 있었는데, 내가 일어서서 떠나려고 할 때 그녀의 얼굴이 사색이 되어 버린 것을 보았다. 또 한 명의 의전 담당자는 항상 문 입구 근처에 있었기 때문에, 그녀는 사람을 잡으라고 빨리 외치기 시작했다. 그러나 그 사람은 잠시 다른 곳에 가 있었기 때문에 우리는 빨리 메인 입구 쪽으로 걸어갔다.
  
Outside, across the street, there were around 20 protesters, having big flags, warning people about the destructive aspects of the cult. Some of them were screaming at the top of their lungs towards the building, hoping that somebody would get their message.
길 건너 바깥쪽에서는, 큰 현수막과 함께 약 20명의 시위자들이 있었고 사이비종교의 파괴적인 면을 사람들에게 경고를 하고 있다. 그들 중의 일부는 목이 터져라 그 (행사장) 건물 쪽으로 고함을 치면서, 누군가는 그들의 메시지를 받기를 바라고 있었다.
 
 
I spoke to a woman who was involved and she explained that her daughter was brainwashed by the organization and that she had not seen her for some years now.
 
나는 시위에 참여하고 있던 한 여성에게 말을 걸었고, 그녀의 딸이 그 단체에 세뇌가 되었고 지금 몇 년 동안 딸을 보지 못했다고 설명했다.
 
We left as quickly as possible, feeling sad about the whole adventure. I was still nervous if my return ticket was not going to be cancelled. We spent our last 1,5 day with sightseeing, but I could not enjoy so much anymore. From other Koreans we learned that there are more religious cults in South Korea, but they are exceptions and we should not judge the whole of South Korea with our experience.
 
우리는 이 모든 모험에 대하여 슬픔을 안고 빨리 자리를 벗어났다. 나는 여전히 나의 돌아오는 비행기 표가 취소되지 않았기를 초조해 하고 있었다. 우리는 지난 1.5일 간의 시간을 관광하면서 보냈는데, 나는 더 이상 아무것도 즐길 수가 없었다. 다른 한국인들로부터 한국에는 더 많은 사이비 종교들이 있다는 것을 알게 되었다. 하지만 그들은 사이비 종교들은 예외적이기 때문에 단지 우리의 경험으로 한국 전체를 판단하지 말아야 한다.
  
From some critical blogs I learned that the  Sincheonji Church organizes these big events every couple of years or so, but every time under a new name. Every time the name of the event gets a lot of negative references afterwards, so they want to start with a clean sheet.
 
비판적인 블로그들을 통해, 신천지교회가 매 2~3년마다 이런 큰 행사들을, 매번 새로운 이름으로, 기획한다는 것을 알게 되었다. 매번 그 행사의 이름들이 나중에 많은 부정적인 말들을 얻게 되니, 그들은 (속이기 위해) 깨끗한 이력으로 시작하기를 원한다.
 
 
 
Now, looking back, it was an enlightening experience to see how religious cults function from the inside. It reinforced my fear of collectivism and top-down approaches. Also it showed me once more how religion can be a destructive force.
이제 다시 회상에 보면, (사이비 조직)내부에서 어떻게 사이비 종교들이(신도들을 볼모로 잡기 위해)작용을 발휘하는지 살펴 볼 수 있도록 일깨워 주는 경험이었다. 그것은 집산주의 와 하향식 접근 방법(위에서 밑으로 지시하는 방식)의 두려움을 강화시켜 주었다.(사이비 집단의 운영 방식을 말하는 것 같음) 또한 그것은 나에게 (사이비) 종교가 얼마나 파괴적인 힘이 될 수 있는지 한 번 더 보여 주었다.
 
Of course I should have looked better into the real organization behind the peace summit and who sponsors it. Hopefully the next time the Sincheonji Church organizes such an event, under a new name probably, people will think twice.
물론, 나도 평화회담이라는 이름 뒤의 진짜 단체와 누가 그 단체를 후원하는지를 더 잘 살펴 보았어야 했다. 희망적인 것은, 다음번에 신천지 교회가, 아마도 새로운 이름으로, 그와 같은 행사를 기획한다면 사람들은 한 번 더 생각할 것이다.  
 
Ironically, in the end we indeed united as one, but then against Mr. Man Hee Lee and his deceiving practices.
아이러니하게도, 결국 우리는 정말 한 마음으로 통합되었지만 이만희와 그의 기만행위들과는 반대가 되었다!!
 
 
Photo album (23 photos):
https://flic.kr/s/aHsk54nvUC
 
포토 앨범(23장)
 
 
Some links for further reading:
 
더 읽을 거리들 위한 몇 가지 링크들
 
 
 
 
 
Video made by a colleague:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsVFdOVrWBo.
 
Video from the organization:
http://warpsummit.org/data/video/03/
 
 
Blogs:http://www.asiapundits.com/mannam-ipyg-sinchonji-another-cult-front/,
http://jmscult.com/scj.html, http://www.scroozle.com/2014/05/what-is-the-international-peace-youth-group-ipyg/, http://adamrcarr.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/korean-cult-gets-a-facelift/
 
 
 
 

Martijn Bergsma 
 

 


 
 
[출처] 신천지의 선전도구로 이용 되었던 외국인의 수기|작성자 선물

How I ended up in a Korean religious cult
 


17/11/2014
This is quite an unusual story, as it is my account of how I ended up in a religious cult in South Korea and how I walked out of it. It has been a most interesting experience, but not without any fear. My story provides an insight in how religious cults can function and serves as a warning for others, who might find themselves in a similar situation one day.
Via a colleague I received an invitation to attend a ‘world peace summit’, in Seoul, South Korea, in my capacity as president of a youth organization in the Netherlands. The three-day event aimed to bring together representatives from governments, religions and youth organizations, in order to ‘discuss and create an interfaith constitution for peace’. The members of the youth organizations would also meet separately, to discuss peaceful actions in their communities. The organization, officially called ‘Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL)’, paid 80% of the plane ticket. The official name sounded a bit sketchy to me, looking at the religious connotation, but there would be discussions and it was staged as a secular event. By googling the name of the organization I could not find much, as it was going to be organized for the first time. Eventually, the prospect of discussing actions for more peaceful societies, meeting representatives from youth organizations from all over the world and seeing the country convinced me to join the peace summit.
Upon arrival at the airport I was welcomed by a big group of members of the organization, which was quite a surprise. All day attendants of the Summit were arriving, and they got a warm welcome. I was asked to go on a picture with ‘my’ arrival team, together with two persons in big suits, like mascots. Well, the picture explains it best. After that we went straight to a conference location, where a preparation meeting was held, with the representatives of youth organizations. There was a lot of media and a main speech was given by a man of senior age, Mr. Man Hee Lee, the ‘honorary chairman’ of the organization. He was introduced as a father figure to the youth and as a peace maker, as he travelled around the world to spread the message of peace. Allegedly he had all the answers to achieve world peace, but what that exactly meant did not become clear yet, except that we should all unite to make peace. I discussed with some colleagues that it did not feel very promising, but probably we could advocate for different strategies and bottom-up approaches in the next meetings.
We stayed in a hotel outside the city and the next day we drove with busses to a parking lot, next to a big stadium, which turned out to be the main stadium built for the 1988 Summer Olympics. We were asked to wear traditional clothes from our countries. As I am from the Netherlands and we do not really have a traditional outfit, I was wearing an orange shirt of our national team. Others were wearing the most colorful clothes, making quite an impression, also taking in mind we were with around 300 people. Still we were not sure what exactly we were going to do.
The stadium turned out to be fully packed (capacity 70.000), and we walked in via the athletes entrance, with cheering crowds and fireworks. Amazed at what we were experiencing, we took pictures and videos (please find a great one below), fearing that nobody would believe us if we did not. We were directed to a prominent place in the stadium, where we heard a couple of speeches and we witnessed some impressive show elements, with music, dances and fireworks. Most special was the ‘human LCD’ card performance, in which hundreds of Korean youngsters depicted different ‘moving’ scenes. An American rabbi held an interesting speech, in which he continuously repeated “Let peace reign”, for example after some statement about Israel, but without any realism. Every time the crowd was cheering, but we noticed that was strange, since the crowd was mostly very young and many of them could probably not understand English (also older people usually had trouble with English). In front of every section however, there was a person who ‘directed’ that part of the audience: if he or she started screaming, everybody would follow. The main speech was again from Mr. Man Hee Lee, where I found out the real intentions behind the gathering. Previously Man Hee Lee spoke about “uniting all youngsters to achieve peace”, but now it became clear how exactly: by uniting under his religion.
He explained that he was sent as a messenger from heaven to deliver this message and that uniting under the one true God was the only way to solve conflicts. Diversity was the problem. At that moment I was sure that this ‘peace summit’ would not have a meaningful contribution. Back in the hotel I started googling to see if I could find more about Man Hee Lee and the movement. Some blogs (links below) explained that HWPL was actually a disguised body of the ‘Sincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony’, which Man Hee Lee founded in 1984. It is best described as a Christian cult, with dubious teachings on the bible. The organization infiltrates schools and other churches, to recruit new members and to indoctrinate them. For foreigners they organize free Korean lessons and leisure events. While these foreigners don’t know exactly who organizes these free activities, on photo and video material it seems that they support the Church. For similar reasons we were photographed so much in the stadium: we are excellent propaganda material for the South Korean people, showing them that Man Hee Lee has supporters from all over the world.
About those pictures it is interesting that they asked us to make a peace symbol with our hands, not the regular ‘V’, but with forefinger and thumb up, a bit like a gun. Most people did it without asking, but it turned out to be the symbol of the cult, again making beautiful PR material. While me and some other colleagues made plans to leave the conference, or at least to change our sleeping location to a hostel in the center, somebody from the organization came to talk to us. At that moment around half of the youth organization representatives had gathered in the only room where internet was available. Our points of critique were expressed, focusing on the lack of discussions, the exclusive approach and the religious character of the meeting. The manager listened to it and promised more discussions for the next day. But she also said that according to her we should be a bit happier maybe, as we were witnessing world history. And: if you are not for this peace summit, are you against peace? As we already lost our faith anyway, we booked the hostel.
We were afraid to say the real reason that we left the hotel, so we just showed up in the morning with our suitcases. After the bus ride to the new conference location, we wanted to go first to the hostel, but our Protocol Officers explained it would be best to leave the suitcases in the baggage compartment in the bus, and pick it up at the end of the day, leaving us little choice. You need to know that every three or four participants in the summit were accompanied by two ‘Protocol Officers’. They check if you feel good and if you can find the way. It seemed very nice at first, but in fact they were all the time checking where you are, in other words trying to control you and the situation. After some time me and my rebellious colleagues went back to the bus anyway, to ask the driver if he could open the luggage compartment. He did it and we went to our booked hostel with a taxi. After dropping our suitcases in the hostel we got a bit lost in the Seoul subway, according to Wikipedia the longest metro system, but we made it back to the location.
My Protocol Officers were happy that I was back, but they seemed frightened and even a bit desperate. Another colleague told me that he saw that my Protocol Officer had a strong conversation about my absence with her manager and afterwards she was in tears. In general the Protocol Officers and the other volunteers seemed constantly very tired, showing a big lack of sleep. During the last two evenings they often had briefings, while they did not even sleep at the hostel. The morning program consisted of a ceremony to sign a document, calling for the cessation of all wars. Effectively, smartly formulated, the document meant a submission of allegiance to the Sincheonji Church. There was quite some pressure to sign from the Protocol Officers, but I refused, explaining that I would have to discuss it with my organization first. After the lunch we were waiting for the planned discussions, but when again endless and pointless speeches were announced, me and some other colleagues left the summit for good. As I was still afraid to inform my Protocol Officers about the real reason (they could still cancel my plane ticket), we left pretty suddenly. I was sitting next to a Protocol Officer and I saw that she lost all the color in her face when I stood up to leave. She started calling quickly, as there is always a second Officer near the door, to stop people. But that person must have been gone for a moment, as we quickly walked towards the main exit.
Outside, across the street, there were around 20 protesters, having big flags, warning people about the destructive aspects of the cult. Some of them were screaming at the top of their lungs towards the building, hoping that somebody would get their message. I spoke to a woman who was involved and she explained that her daughter was brainwashed by the organization and that she had not seen her for some years now. We left as quickly as possible, feeling sad about the whole adventure. I was still nervous if my return ticket was not going to be cancelled. We spent our last 1,5 day with sightseeing, but I could not enjoy so much anymore. From other Koreans we learned that there are more religious cults in South Korea, but they are exceptions and we should not judge the whole of South Korea with our experience.
From some critical blogs I learned that the Sincheonji Church organizes these big events every couple of years or so, but every time under a new name. Every time the name of the event gets a lot of negative references afterwards, so they want to start with a clean sheet. Now, looking back, it was an enlightening experience to see how religious cults function from the inside. It reinforced my fear of collectivism and top-down approaches. Also it showed me once more how religion can be a destructive force. Of course I should have looked better into the real organization behind the peace summit and who sponsors it. Hopefully the next time the Sincheonji Church organizes such an event, under a new name probably, people will think twice. Ironically, in the end we indeed united as one, but then against Mr. Man Hee Lee and his deceiving practices.
Photo album (23 photos): https://flic.kr/s/aHsk54nvUC
Some links for further reading:
Video made by a colleague: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsVFdOVrWBo.
Video from the organization: http://warpsummit.org/data/video/03/
Blogs:http://www.asiapundits.com/mannam-ipyg-sinchonji-another-cult-front/, http://jmscult.com/scj.html, http://www.scroozle.com/2014/05/what-is-the-international-peace-youth-group-ipyg/, http://adamrcarr.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/korean-cult-gets-a-facelift/




Martijn Bergsma





새글 0 / 15 

검색

번호 제목 작성자 등록일 조회수
공지 동영상 신천지 교리반증 예방교육 동영상
2019.03.28 613
공지 이만희 거짓말 - 영은 언제나 육을 들어(통.. 2016.08.24 5845
15 동영상 신천지 교리반증 예방교육 동영상
2019.03.28 613
14 이단 신천지 계시록 실상의 실체 (종교사기.. 2017.06.17 1384
13 장막성전 영적 사기극 - 신천지실상 7대접 .. 2017.06.17 680
12 이단계보와 신천지(이만희)의 교리비교 2017.02.27 1270
11 이만희 설교집, 전도관과 교리·주요 단어 .. 2016.12.26 1251
10 신천지, 이만희 진화론자인가? 불신자인가? 2016.11.07 4042
9 전달) 이만희의 거짓말과 사기수법에 대한 .. 2016.10.06 4044
8 엉터리) 이만희가 주장하는 삼위일체 2016.08.29 4438
7 이만희 거짓말 - 영은 언제나 육을 들어(통.. 2016.08.24 5845
6 나만 모르는 신천지 정보 2016.05.31 6614
5 호소문) 신천지 청년들에게 2016.05.31 5681
4 신천지 "천지창조" 목차 2016.03.25 5635
3 신천지 "신탄" 목차 2016.03.25 5435
2 신천지의 선전도구로 이용 되었던 외국인의.. 2016.03.12 6590
1 신천지의 실체를 알리는 초대박자료 2016.02.26 7420
1