I think I have on this once before in the post PTSD. I believe it important to circle back to this point as it is often missed by members of family of future and current cult members.
I was twelve years old when we were courted by Kim’s group. My father was the only one who spoke up when we presented the idea of moving into the cult. Because it was a decision I was in support of I did cover up to some extent the reality of it to my father. All of this is subconscious and as a cult member you are not aware of the guarding.
My grandparents were brought into the fold by my father, and their apathy ended up being perceived as support by my mother. This put the nail in the proverbial coffin for us moving in.
My point is this, do not sit idly by while your relationship with your family member slips away. Life is only so long, and losing them to a cult is a reality and not overstatement. Any kind of intervention would have prevented this. My dad did his best effort with me and leveraged who he could… Unfortunately those he leveraged didn’t step up in the same way.
Eric, who was a member of COL and Jung SuWon has published his own take on the experience. His life, a little different than mine has left him down a bit of a meandering path, during which he has appeared to look fondly upon negative and positive experiences. His experiences are certainly worth a read.
One of the highlights was an interaction in which he noted an interest from a female member of the group and was subsequently subjected to suspension in the group, which lead to a period of homelessness.
Worth a read, and credit to Eric for opening up about his experiences.
Second: This blog is now two years old.
I wish I had to post more, but I just don’t. My children are older, my time is more valuable spent doing other things, also I travel a lot more for work, which just eats up your time in so many inexplicable ways. This blog is cathartic, but in the end hopefully by book will get it’s act together and everyone can read that.
Ninth: The original thread on Bullshido was started by me in 2005
This was the most important thing I have done to help people survive COL. It opened up a forum for the first time. It took a couple of years to really get going, but I knew it was important the day I posted that thread. I think it has helped many, me included move on and continue the healing process of living in Tae Yun Kim’s dangerous cult.
Tenth: The original post I made on e-budo was ten years ago this summer.
This was mostly unsuccessful; As well I received loose threats which were relayed by my mother from people still on the inside, that they’d come after me… Luckily I found friends later in the free-for-all that is Bullshido.
Eleventh: Eleven years since my mother successfully left COL.
March 27, 2003 was her second attempt… Her first was in late 2002. She was out once and for all once she left this time.
Fifteenth: My anniversary of officially leaving COL passed in February.
It may have been fifteen years, but this is still one of the most memorable experiences, for better or worse, of my life time. A cult will affect you forever and make you who you are. We can’t avoid who we become due to experiences, but we can do our best moving on and forward with our lives.
If I ever knew what I was really getting into before I joined COL, I still may have supported the effort my mom made to join.
Unfortunately it’s important to remember that a cult doesn’t appear to be one, only when exposed to certain aspects without the guise of the principals influence do you see the group for what it is.
Tae Yun Kim fooled me, in Fremont back in 1995. Don’t let her or others like her fool you!
You all might want to go check out wikipedia. In 2008 I started an article on Kim. Due to over-editing, admins decided to remove it since she was not a “notable person”. Well looks like she has an article again. I submitted some verifiable, referenced items in there. I encourage all to add and edit, who have good information to post. Just remember with Wikipedia you most reference EVERYTHING you post.
Finally a post not related to Tae Yun Kim’s cult.
My friend who lives in San Francisco, lets call her Pam; Met a new guy at a bar last week; everything is going great; he is a lawyer; successful, etc.
Well Pam noticed new guy never says where he lives, he’s very closed. He lives in a house with other people ( little bit strange considering he is a successful attorney) and he just seems a little bit more closed off than he should…
So Tuesday she gets invited over to the house for “game night”.. she’s prepared for scrabble and monopoly… little did she know what she was walking in to. Game night was in fact a brainwashing session where she got bullied into admitting things that she didn’t even understand. Needless to say she is one smart free thinking cookie and got her ass out of there.
I don’t really want to link it, as I don’t want to give it anymore link ability than it already has. Apparently deep in SF, in the saint francis wood lays what pam described as the “sex compound” of a group called “the welcomed consensus” … they focus on a “technique” of training the woman to have a DO which is their special speak for deliberate orgasm… ya…
So anyway, cults are apparently alive a well in northern California. Give it a Google or search on YouTube for some chuckles.
There is very few times I can think of where the “traditional” cult brain washing techniques were actually employed. What I now realize is that it did not take a high frequency of application in order to “brain wash” us.
I was probably 13, so this must have been 1996. That would be my second year in COL.
We had a long “COL class” the night before… Meaning a yelling at us session. We were told the next morning there would be special training. As I recall we collectively “did something wrong” It was probably sexual.. I don’t remember… i was too young to care, or for it to matter.
Anyway.. we were up to probably 3-5am… and then 2 hours later, at 7 instructors showed up at our house.. told us to get dressed and bring our Tae Kwon Do uniform to the academy, Jung SuWon. So I get my ass up, tired beyond belief and ride with someone down to JSW. We all get in our uniform, line up, and suddenly its like sparring time? Are you kidding me? It’s 7am… I have no sleep…. and I’m supposed to take kicks from some asshole twice my size… I don’t think so… So I play hooky along with one of the other “young warriors” and I go sleep in the bathroom/lock room at the academy.. That didn’t work this time. Scott Salton comes in there raging pissed. So we get up and head in..and suddenly we’re doing my biggest fear: climbing the rope.. I don’t know why.. I had no fear of getting my ass kicked by a 40 year old, but that climbing rope was the bane of my existence. It was my nemesis. I am positive it was no coincidence that I was caught sleeping and suddenly I have to climb this thing.
So ya… I don’t understand this well enough to make a judgement on it, but I do know that this was part of some sort of brain washing…
I’ve been busy as heck! It isn’t as though I have forgot about this, or it has become any less important. I will try my best to make new postings in a timely fashion.
http://cultmember.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/trying-to-see-the-light/ as you can see, someone posted a comment claiming to be Kim’s cousin. Seems legit.. But hey, that’s new and interesting? ya?
I was driving down 880 the other day and spotted Kim’s new Lighthouse building that was recently purchased (according to Bullshido reports) and it kinda nudged on me to write. It’s hard after so many years… I go WEEKS without thinking about this woman… I am mostly beyond the whole situation. Sometimes all it takes is a quick reminder like seeing that new building. So here I am on one of my busiest work days ever typing about the lady
Don’t think I have given up. Work has just recently become very busy.
I have some more stories to tell. and will begin posting again soon!
During my research, my time laying in bed at night processing the day, or even sharing drinks with another exer from the cult, I find myself reminiscing. Any one of us exers would be lying to say that our time in Kimmie’s cult was all bad.
Just today I was looking at the picture of an instructor, which they captioned something about how excited they were to be working on the Jung SuWon testing videos and finishing them up. It gave me the perspective I had when I joined COL, momentarily.
Let me throw out an idea here.. You like working out… Training in martial arts.. being healthy.. photography and video are fun? Wanna play with computers?? we have those too. It’s really a compelling scenario for many. Imagine your hobby becoming your job? You don’t really have any marketable skills but you suddenly have a “nice title” at a computer company, with engineer attached to it.
It’s important for me to remember the reason we joined. Kim reported to be a master of the “life force”.. Ki Energy! How awesome is that? She can teach you how to have control over yourself from the inside out… Fight human desire with self discipline…
Looking back with my 20/20 hindsight I see the dark lining to the concepts of COL…You really think with all of this Ki Energy mastery, that it will enhance your art and music. What instead you find is that you’re working 13 hours a day… You feel like your life has purpose because you are working in relative unison to “spread grandmaster’s light.”
I was in for three and a half years, and it took me another 3 of being out to ever say one negative thing about Kimmie and this cult.
The people who are in genuinely enjoy themselves. They believe they are working towards a higher purpose. Once events happen to cast doubt, or frustration.. Things can change. I have been trying to pinpoint what it was for me. I was 15 and often feel that my adolescent hormonal desires led me out.. But there was a lot of things. The abuse that I witnessed; My traveling to a foreign country and gaining a perspective about my COL world; another boy being publicly berated over the possibility that he was not a heterosexual; every COL member being publicly berated over masturbation in COL class.
I look at events that happened and recognize small turning points in how I felt about Kim.
One interesting one was one time I stayed at my dad’s for the weekend. He worked cash jobs and had a wad of 50’s and 100’s in the bathroom. Knowing that my mom often didn’t have lunch money for me at school, I took it upon myself to take $50 from my father without asking.. For lunch… I was embarrassed to ask because I knew it would reflect poorly on Kim, who I held protectively.
My dad dropped me off at Lighthouse, and gave me a $50 bill and said it’s for me and whatever I need… I suspect he knew I took the first 50, and gave me the second knowing I was ashamed to have to steal from him. This event really stuck with me. I believe it eventually drove me out. The fact that I could not rely on my mother or Tae Yun Kim to provide me a meal.. But that I knew my dad could…
Like I started… perhaps I have it all wrong? I think COLers are genuinely happy, until they’re not.. I don’t even think they could be diagnosed as depressed in COL, because of the high they exhibit.
Ignorance is bliss.