Faith is a big word, not in terms of its size but in terms of the meaning it carries, and some people spoil it with their bad deeds. “In The Name Of God: A Holy Betrayal” is a 2023 documentary series centered around Jung Myeong-Seok and his fictional claims of being a man of God. In reality, Myeong-Seok was accused of exploiting women, and the documentary revolves around the perspective of Maple, a survivor who faced his abuse for a very long time. She had the courage to tell her story to protect other women from his treacherous divinity. Over the years, Myeong-Seok had managed to fool people into thinking he was the messenger of God. JMS was also known as Providence, and there were more than 400 churches dedicated to the movement. Myeong-Seok said his main goal was to educate people about God and his ways of changing the world. He wanted his disciples to love God, and Myeong-Seok taught them to understand the Bible in order to take a step toward their inner spirituality. However, everything faltered when Myeong-Seok revealed his dark side.
In the first episode, Maple shared all the little details about her personal life, including her involvement in the spiritual side of her life. In the past, Maple also worked as a probation officer and pastor. In addition, Maple was threatened by members of the JMS movement because of the documentary. However, this warning could not stop her from telling the truth. There were several video clips and messages showing how members of JMS Hong Kong had tried to stop her from filming.
Does Jeong Myeong-Seok Have Powers?
Maple was constantly pursued and pressured by members of JMS to abandon her plans for the shooting. By the early 1980s, JMS had about 200–250 congregations with more than 30,000 followers, all young teenagers from top universities. Their teachings were supposedly valid and scientific, and they always focused on elite universities. Gradually, Myeong-Seok started his career in Sinchon and moved to different cities to gain more and more followers. In addition, Myeong-Seok claimed that he had read the Bible around 2000 times and that there were times when he showed signs of clairvoyance. There had been a great misunderstanding as people began to think he was the reincarnation of Jesus. He had succeeded in manipulating them so that people began to submit to Myeong-seok in blind faith. He made certain prophecies that turned out to be true in the end. So it was pretty obvious that people would listen to him anyway. There were cases when people suffered from incurable diseases. Apparently, Myeong-seok ended up saving their lives. Eventually, people began to believe that he was another form of God.
Myeong-seok was so full of himself that he wanted people to seek his blessings rather than those of the Almighty. He had always claimed to be the Messiah, and even highly educated people allowed themselves to be strongly manipulated by him. A great many people had not believed that Myeong-seok had spun a superstitious world around everyone. He owed much of his fame to the young people who followed his movement.
A World Full Of Sin
In 1991, many victims began to voice their concerns about the JMS movement. One survivor, named Kim Ji Eun, suffered the atrocities at the age of 16. The members of JMS initially made her feel positive until she saw through Myeong-Seok’s malicious intentions. He maintained several connections around the world that gave him power. In 1993, Ji Eun was enticed by one of the members to meet Myeong-Seok in person. After physically assaulting Ji Eun, Myeong-Seok admonished her to hide this secret from her family and the church. The victims were easily manipulated by him because he presented himself as having a powerful personality, and it was regarded as a great honor to meet him in person. Gradually, many other victims came forward with their testimonies for the documentary. In 1992, another victim, Lee Yun-ju, came forward with her traumatic experience. The fact that these women chose to speak about their deepest fears is by far one of their greatest strengths. Yun-ju and Myeong-Seok met at a volleyball game; she was one of the cheerleaders, and during the game, Myeong-Seok stared at her eerily.
After the game, Yun-ju and Myeong-Seok met in their hotel room. He lured her into his room and claimed that he wanted to bless her. All the while, Yun-ju felt very uncomfortable around Myeong-Seok. He physically abused her, and Yun-ju could not refuse his requests because he never allowed these women to go out with other men. People found it suspicious that he had chosen women as informants, whose job it was to inform the president about everything that was happening in the church. Although men could do the same work, Myeong-seok wanted these women to be his slaves. Those who worked under him were instructed to bring more women to Myeong-seok. His behavior was too torturous for the survivors because things had changed drastically around them. Once they became permanent members of the sect, Myeong-seok instructed them to lure more girls into the sect.
Myeong-Seok changed the ideologies and views of his followers, and although he received great benefits from them, Myeong-Seok used their beliefs to fulfill his evil desires. In 1945, Myeong-Seok established a place called Wolmyeongdong. All the women lived in apartment complexes, and eventually, it became extremely difficult for all the women to stay together. They never had the proper facilities to live efficiently. It was quite clear that Myeong-Seok loved to have all the attention around him, and he used it to serve his own ends. At volleyball and soccer games, his female supporters easily helped him score points and win the tournament. Although many women had tried to report Myeong-Seok, they had been threatened with the deaths of their loved ones. Even so, blind faith can be dangerous because Myeong-Seok had created another world around himself that people could not perceive.