“The Baby Garden Incident” was one of the cruelest cases ever. Kim Ki-Soon was the main perpetrator all along. In 1978, Ki-Soon was studying with Pastor Lee Kyo-Bu. At that time, she had always dreamed of living a life like Pastor Lee had experienced. She blindly followed his instructions until he ended up in prison. When she was growing up, Ki-Soon was very interested in studying, but an early marriage made her lose hope in her future. So, she began to mislead everyone, making them believe that Pastor Lee had given her all the responsibilities. Gradually, Pastor Lee’s followers began to worship Ki-Soon like God. Ki-Soon always dressed up like a princess and danced like a little girl. She believed that it was important to bring forth her inner child in order to visit heaven. At the same time, Ki-Soon held ceremonies where the whole community performed for her. In 1982, Ki-Soon made her followers believe that an apocalypse was coming. Therefore, all her followers worked hard to establish the Baby Garden themselves. Because of Ki-Soon’s demand, they did not hire workers for the task.
At first, everything went well until Ki-Soon’s followers realized that she was using them for her own purposes. At that time, Ki-Soon also forced her followers to scam money for her. With this money, she bought land and other luxurious things. Gradually, people understood that she physically abused all the young men and treated them differently, while the women always worked for her like slaves. The men believed that Ki-Soon had blessed them, so they obeyed all her orders without hesitation. Ki-Soon beat them up and punished anyone who refused to listen to her. To avoid legal consequences, she forced relatives to beat their family members. But Ki-Soon was the real devil, and things came to light after she brutally murdered a 7-year-old boy, Choi Nak-Won.
What Happened To Choi Nak-Won?
The seven-year-old boy lived with his mother, Sun Yeong-Re, and aunt, Sun Bok-Re, in the Baby Garden Community. One day, Ki-Soon noticed that Nak-Won had stained the walls with his poop, a normal thing that any child of that age would do. But Ki-Soon did not think of him as being a child and wanted Bok-Re to discipline him because Yeong-Re was in the market. Ki-Soon explained to them that Nak-Won’s actions were merely motivated by an evil spirit. The first thing they did was change his name from Nak-Won to Nak-Gwi (donkey). Then Ki-Soon and the other women undressed him and tied him up in the pigsty, where they starved Nak-Won for more than a week, feeding him human feces and beating him with sticks and rods. The child screamed until he could no longer feel the pain. One night, Nak-Won managed to leave the pigsty and go to the dining hall, which was quite far for a grown man. He asked for food because they had starved him for so long. Instead of giving him something to eat, the maid believed that the child was possessed by an evil spirit. The maid told Ki-Soon about the whole incident, and this time she hit Nak-Won herself.
Meanwhile, another boy was living in the pigsty, suffering the same punishment for trying to escape from the Baby Garden. He witnessed all this cruelty but could not save Nak-Won. After a few days, the child could no longer bear this trauma and died. Ki-Soon told her mother that killing her child was the best sacrifice, and she assured Yeong-Re that this sacrifice would take her to heaven. Nak-Won had to give up his life because people followed Ki-Soon blindly, with no care for conventional morality. At that time, the entire community was unable to process the situation around them, which allowed Ki-Soon to cement her power.
How Did Kim Ki-Soon Fool Her Workers?
After Nak-Won’s death, nothing was the same. Ki-Soon manipulated her followers to work, but they could no longer rest. She used the children to earn more money and sent them to the streets. People believed that these children were orphans and helped them. Also, some children became street sellers to earn more, and each child begged for money. None of them had the opportunity to learn and go to school, even though they had good grades. Ki-Soon claimed that learning was absolutely unnecessary because they were working on God’s kingdom. The children had no choice but to give up their dreams because Ki-Soon had forced them to do so. Ki-Soon’s children were also successful, and some even moved to other countries to finish their studies. In addition, Ki-Soon didn’t pay her followers and forbade them from having bank accounts. Ki-Soon decided to set up bank accounts in their names to manage different accounts at the same time. Although Ki-Soon had promised them a luxurious and comfortable life, none of them enjoyed peace.
Eventually, Ki-Soon established a huge company called Synnara Distribution, also known as Synnara Records. It grew to become one of the largest record distribution companies of all time. Gradually, she began to buy anything she wanted with that money. But this was only the beginning of her ordeal in the community, and this episode showed another side of her personality. It was quite obvious that Ki-Soon had never experienced the love of her parents’ because she was an orphan. When she made people dance around her, it emphasized her interest in feeling special. Ki-Soon dressed up to look pretty, and this automatically earned her the affection and affirmation of her followers.