He can do, she can do, why not me? Leaving COL

This is such a lengthy post. Since it was written five years ago on Bullshido, by my mother I am going to interject with my own views, and what happened from my take. My writing will be viewable in Italics. She refers to Tae Yun Kim as TYK and many of the other component companies in abbreviation as well. I have provided this verbatim, (sic) as opposed to editing it.

In regards to your question of what made me finally wake up and get out…it’s never just one thing. It was a long string of things of which I’ve outlined below. One final motivating life event that weighed heavily on me, was that my son was having his first child; my grandson was coming into the world in 2003 and TYK was telling me that he was an evil force that would keep me away from living my life’s purpose. Through all the things that happened below that were mostly family related, I realized that I had to make a choice….either I was going to live not knowing my grandchildren and have to leave, or I could continue to work HARD for her to acheive what she wanted. I begged her not to make me choose between my family and her…and at one point when she knew I was on the edge of leaving, in private she said to me, “I am soooo sorry I ever made you feel that way…I would never do that to you.” She is quite the actress…trust me. It’s hard to know where reality begins and ends when you’re around her.

Since I left in 1999 my mother was on a much harsher protocol of conditioning than she had before. As Kim saw it she had been “freed” of her attachment to me. However to keep her around she also had to up the ante; Losing regular interaction with a family member who is in with you is hard to deal with. Kim had to try that much harder. However “special programs” and being treated with a heavier hammer was actually a sought after position to be in, in COL. Often members who didn’t have opportunity, or a lot going outside of COL were treated with less “attention” thus it was desirable to have the increased attention. Or at least thats how it felt in COL.

Once I left I was rarely aware of what went on as far as “special programs” other than my mom losing considerable weight in between seeing her, occasionally.

The recollections I wrote a year ago are long, so I’m going to break them up to hopefully step you through about a year and a half of situations and trying to leave several times.

Part 1 – mid 2002 (4 months after the sexually oriented event that I was disciplined for)

First time I attempted to leave. My son called me near 11 at night, while driving back home from a trip to N. California, I told him since he was near my work he should drop by for a few minutes to say Hi, they had recently found out that my daughter-in-law was pregnant and I hadn’t been allowed to see them since the wedding earlier in the year. When he arrived, I paged the instructor I always reported to and let him know that I’d be leaving CDS (one of her companies I worked for at the time) for 20 minutes to have some tea with my son at the nearby Asian shopping center.
First I want to point out that my mother was used to working at 11pm at night, mentioned it like it was nothing… Kim called within seconds of us leaving Lighthouse/CDS.
Before I arrived at the shopping center, located 3 blocks away, TYK called me and hysterically yelled and swore at me over the phone. I hadn’t received her permission to leave, accused me of sneaking out and lying. My daughter-in-law and son were in my car and TYK asked me to step out of the car after about 15 minutes of phone disciplining. I was overwhelmed and traumatized as I didn’t want my new daughter-in-law to experience this. I asked TYK to just let me come back to the office where she could continue to talk to me, but she refused to let me hang up and continued to yell, swear, berate and demean me as I stood in the dark parking lot about 50 feet from my car. I continued to beg her to let me come back and finally after an hour of this, she let me hang up.
It is interesting the thought of my mother not being able to hang up.  Sounds like such a simple act, but I assure you it isn’t with Kim. During this time my wife and I sat in my mother’s car waiting for her. My wife encouraged me to just go hang up the phone for her. It took everything in my body to not intervene and hang the phone up for her. I considered throwing her phone and pagers against the wall. However I knew that she had to leave on her own terms. I knew that in order to eventually leave successfully that 
I drove back and told my son not to worry and that I would go home to the house all the women lived in, pack a few clothes and drive down to his home as he begged me to, so that I had time to sort through everything that was happening. I dropped them off at their car in CDS parking lot and drove to the home I lived at. I received a COL page, notifying everyone to gather in Jung SuWon (the MA studio).
This is something my mother and I spoke about recently. She referred to her “electronic leash.” It took me a few seconds to understand what she mean, but it was their way of life at the time. You lived and died by the ringing of your pager in COL. 
When my wife and I left we discussed it. I knew that when we left everyone was assembling at Jung SuWon for a COL class. An eery lone candle was placed in the middle and everyone was circling up, proverbially circling the wagons. I told my wife I thought there was little chance if any, that my mother would actually make it to our home that night.
I didn’t answer it and continued to pack. Then I received a phone call from the instructor. I didn’t answer it, but he continued to call. I answered and he told me in an unusually gentle voice that TYK wanted me to come to JSW with everyone for class. I told him I couldn’t and that I was leaving. After questioning me for awhile he handed the phone to TYK and she continued to persuade me to come back and just talk for a few moments before I left.

I stopped packing and drove back to JSW and sat behind everyone else on the dojang floor with tears flowing non-stop. She explained to everyone in COL that something had happened and that I had decided to leave. After talking with everyone for about 15 minutes, she asked everyone to leave. As I started walking out of JSW, she called me up to the stage and then asked for just a few moments of my time in her private office. I agreed. This lasted until 7am the next morning. She held me in her arms, kissed me, stroked me and profusely apologized over and over and over, promising me that this type of behavior wouldn’t continue. She promised me that I’d test soon for my black belt and much more. And I told her that I didn’t feel it was fair that I had to choose between her and my son. She apologized again and again and promised that it wouldn’t continue. My phone continued to ring through out the night and I begged her to let me answer it as I knew it was my son. Near 3am, she allowed me to answer the phone and I told my son, that I would talk to him tomorrow morning. “She’s doing it again, Mom. You can’t listen to her promises.” He knew what she was doing without even being there. Her behavior had become very predictable over the years. I continued to stay until the next event in November.Part 2 to come soon…I know that when others who haven’t been inside read this, they laugh and say how weak we must be. That is one of the reasons you keep so silent after these things happen…it’s embarrasing even to myself that somehow this woman had such power over me, my family and so many other people. Trust me, if you met me on the street I’d be one of the last people you’d guess could be involved in something like this. Look next to you I could be the woman walking down the street that caught your gaze, or your manager in the workplace…you’d be very surprised. I’ve always been a very strong, intelligent, focused person who had some very traumatic personal situations happen including a young brother die, that lead me to a vulnerable place that she could take advantage of. Everyone within COL has their story that led them to be vulnerable to her. Do not judge until you’ve lived in someone’s shoes.

The focus on “failed students” and our weaknesses is another part of conditioning COLers.  It takes a lot more strength to leave. I argue it’s a sign of weakness staying in that damned cult. Leaving for mother consisted of starting over new. No job, no furniture, no anything.  Luckily she had a family, and we supported her. But the anguish she went through; the complete lack of will to live after leaving COL was something I will never forget. She does not remember now but she would secretly call Mark Amador occasionally, until I confronted her about it. Her life was there, as she felt it. Luckily within about 4 months of leaving she found a good job, and started making friends. SO COLers, if you ever think of leaving, just remember:


To my son, thank you for loving me so much and being so much wiser than your years to be able to help pull me out of this. As I’ve told you eye to eye, there are not enough sorries to make up for the years that I took away from your innocence and childhood. I just pray that TYK stops doing it to others.


Posted on January 30, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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