Perhaps I am wrong…
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.