Category Archives: my experiences
Articles about me and what I went through
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!
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…
Semen, i didn’t know it had a name until Summer 1997 at Stanford University.
Tae Yun Kim spoke as part of a lecture series with a few other teachers about love. I was one of only a couple of students who were with her. I ended up there because in the Summer of 1997 I was working San Francisco for Kim’s Pacific Exchange Options market making operation, Young Sa Trading. Scott and I headed over to Stanford. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. We were basically just there as a contingent to stand up and cheer when she was done speaking in the lecture hall.
Tae Yun is a good speaker. Despite her thick accent, she engages you, and you leave with an action plan. Just like they teach you in ToastMasters.
What was weird happened after. Kim got really into one of the speakers. A Doctor of psychology and sex as I recall. She invited him to dinner, where we all attended. They went back and forth talking about sex the whole time. Until something that will haunt me until my final days. Kim explained that she believes to the have the secret of skin care. “Look at my face” she said. “No wrinkle, tight”… She explained that she believed the secret to be “Semen on the face”… Ya.. so 14 year old me, sitting 2 chairs away from Kim is literally sitting in the middle of this conversation about rubbing cum all over ones face for good skin….
She also went on to explain the details of how she christened one her senior students sexually relationships, and the details of that. Including doing it in her office in Jung SuWon.
I can’t believe some of the crap I went through while around her. There was only about 4 or 5 of us COL members in attendance. One was the man who basically got us involved in COL. (mom’s ex’s brother) He would later joke with me and his wife that he was too old to produce, and joked that I should lend him some. Thought it was funny at the time. Pretty sick now, all things considered.
In an instance that happened within that same period of time, I had a friend with the nickname “ass face”… She was a girl, who was outspoken.. it was a jokey name. One day when getting off the phone with her I said “see you later ass face” or something to that affect. A COL member overheard me, and you could tell made a mental note of it. Within the next few days we were at COL1, Kim’s house before stargazer. I was just doing my own thing.. Nothing going on when suddenly Kim says “Do you like sodomy?” I realize she’s looking at me. I’m 14… I don’t know this word?? What is sodomy? I told her, “isn’t that like embezzlement?” I didn’t know! She explains it as being “sex in the butt”… Hmmm No can’t say that I have an opinion on that at age 14?
So apparently the student who heard me speak to “ass face” then decided to journal this… Which apparently meant I needed an anal sex intervention… AT AGE 14!
Kim explained how dirty anal sex is, bad energy, and that we shouldn’t be friends anymore. Despite that, ass face and I are still friends today 🙂
Have you ever been woken up with a glass of water tossed on your face? I have. Many a time.
At first it sounded a little nice having some separation from mom? Right? No one to tell you what to do; no one to give you a bed time. In a lot of ways it was cool. I put myself to bed, like an adult; I shopped for myself at the grocery store; I got myself to school.
It’s not all fun though.
One of the other so-called “young warriors” (who is still there, and should be about 23 years old by now) was about 6. He lived with us; What do they like to do? Cry!
Looking back, this kid was abused! They would drag him around the house when he fell asleep in the wrong place. They would put him in a cold shower when he would cry for his mom. You don’t have to hit someone for it to be abuse! Children don’t typically get yelled asleep.
Others have posted on Bullshido about being 9 and 7 year olds and being forced to drink wine and smoke a cigarette. Just because an older boy did it, doesn’t mean you have to make the whole group? Child abuse! Kim would talk about it like it was funny, and flaunt it… As if warning me, that if I did something bad we would all have to face the punishment.
I will tell you what. The “young warrior” she was targeting? He was just going to be the way he was going to be. He offered all of us smokes, drinks, drugs and porn. It’s just the way he was… She didn’t have to make all of the kids do it. We chose not to on our own! It didn’t make him stop!
Sorry for the aside, but I ran into this thought, and found it pertinent to the conversation.
The men in COL2 just didn’t know how to deal with kids. Most of them were great, but a few of them weren’t. One I really ran through the ringer. I teased him a lot. I feel bad now, but he assaulted me. Slammed me so hard against a wall that my pager went through the wall. Remember the hole in the wall near the laundry room? That was from Mark (not Amador) assaulting me! My head slammed into the wall and everything!
We all frequently would get woken up by either water to the face and blanket, or yelling. A few COL members were more tender, but few had patience for the 6 year old.
COL3 was an entirely different, quieter place. They did have a teen and a younger girl living there. However as most of us know, women are a little better with children.
I enjoyed most of my time in COL, but the abuse I suffered affects me now! It’s pretty hard to let that go.
In this article they outline that the use of a cell phone in North Korea is to be considered a “war crime” during North Korea’s length period of mourning their late leader “Kim Jong il”
I am going to draw a comparison here. Everything I have read about North Korea, and their exclusionary laws makes me think of being in COL. I am curious when COL’s dear leader eventually passes, what will happen, perhaps something similar.
I helped my mother get out of COL in November 2002. Unfortunately she went back two weeks later, due to her having a significant session of conditioning (or brain washing) with Tae Yun Kim right before she left. She was set up to be suspicious of me. Depsite my mother not trusting Kim at all she ended up back in there.
Once she got back she was on a “special program” which basically consisted of her eating very little if anything at all, in complete seclusion for around one month. The one exception to this was being allowed to come to her family christmas, where she was not allowed to touch or hug anyone.
You might ask “why would a full grown adult listen to this”… Because of the influence Kim had ground in to my mother.
We eventually got her out once and for all in late march 2003. More on this later.
Some of my friends parents are still in COL; I was in with my mother; It makes your relationship complicated. My mother and I’s relationship has been better over the past few years but is forever fractured by some of the rules of engagement Tae Yun Kim placed between us during our COL training.
My mother and I initially thought that everything would be normal, save one element, that my room would be across the street. We ate dinner together, and she gave me a hug and kiss before bedtime and I would walk across the street, shoot the shit with the guys, and go to bed. That is what was “sold” to us by Michael Fell. Everything would be normal, we just had this “opportunity” for each of us to grow and expand interpersonally. It was sold as an incubator of amazing humans, but in reality is more akin to the dark reality of the movie “Matrix,” with everyone plugged into the system working for the bettering of someone else.
But unfortunately COL members were conditioned to rat on EVERYTHING they disagreed with or felt was unfair. COL3 (women’s house members) thought that this treatment was unfair to the other kid’s who didn’t get as much attention. They felt I was being “smothered” by spending time with my mother. So within our first couple of months we had a COL class about this topic. In it my mother and I got our first healthy dose of COL reality. No more hugs and kisses from my mom publicly; No more eating dinner with her a couple of nights a week. They even took away getting rides to school, we had to all take the bus. Of course I took blame from the other kids for this. I apparently was too “attached” as was my mom… Well ya, I was 12.
This was the first planting of the separatist seeds between my mother and I. In 1996 I finally got my way and got a summer job with Lighthouse. I however figured I’d be compensated, but of course that would have been illegal since I was only 13. So instead I worked for free building systems at Lighthouse for the install/service department along with one of the other kids my age, aforementioned Patrick. We woke up all summer around 7, showered at Jung SuWon, went to work building computers that were to be shipped to customers. Went to Jung SuWon class around 6, and repeated, doing the same thing the following day, all summer.
This was actually my second job at Lighthouse. My first one was working in the QA and engineering department. One of the female instructors really took me under her wing there. She understood how to foster me into being something more, an engineer. However Kim thought I would be better suited working with Mark Amador in the IT Department. He deferred me off to another Lighthouse/COL person Clark, and thats how I ended up building computers. He treated us well, and taught us work ethic.
I got my own cubicle in Lighthouse a few months prior, I was in heaven, surrounded by computers. I of course continued to have my nemesis Mark Amador, who continued to deny me access to the company network, allowing me to print. Every other COL kid had an account but me. I am only bringing up this treatment by him to further highlight future events, which will be covered later.
My mother also worked in the service department during this time. In effort to get us apart even further she was sent to Korea for several months that summer and fall. Not for traditional martial art training, but to install the systems I had built into the cleanrooms I had configured them to monitor. (Lighthouse makes cleanroom monitoring equipment)
My mom was basically on the road for the entire remainder of me being in COL. This was a difficult reality. Luckily a responsible individual, Michael took responsibility for me while she was gone. He was good to me, and was responsible. I am grateful and appreciative for his attention to this day. Thank you.
But the reality remained that we were systematically pulled apart. Every decision by Kim and the other leaders of COL were measured to make sure that our relationship wasn’t strong enough to talk her off track from their greater “purpose” of “spreading Grandmaster’s light.”
I think that’s the end for now.
In my last post I spoke about the Holidays. In interest of staying on task and in timeline I wanted to fill in some details about my first holiday at COL2 (the men’s house).
At my Grandparent’s on Thanksgiving Day we were summoned away by our alphanumeric pagers. The page read something akin to “Grandmaster requests all COL2 members present at COL1.” I didn’t really know what this meant. I figured it had to be good. Since it was within my first few months of being a member, I had yet to experience a negative “class” with Tae Yun Kim. Everything had been happy go lucky, reading the bible, (her equating things in it to her), chanting, swimming, eating, etc. It didn’t get this good again until 1998! But we will talk about that, later.
I made my way up, apprehensively knocked on the front door. I believe a senior female student answered and asked me to sit in the ante room.
Before I tell you this, I wanted to remind you that I was 12 years old. I wasn’t looking at porn yet. I barely knew what was going on.
Tae Yun Kim had me sit in front of her, and she showed me some laser-jetted black and white presumably buxom bleach blonde lady in the nude. She then held it in front of my face for several minutes while she accused me of printing it at her company Lighthouse. “But Ma’am I don’t even have printer access, Mr. Amador won’t give me an account” Yes, I used every chance I could get to further my existence with the computer at Lighthouse, even in this situation.
As the barrage of questioning ended another student knocked on the front door, entered, bowed and bellowed “Hello ma’am it’s (insert name)”. (more on this later)
I had just been basically shown that we can access smut from the computers at Lighthouse. Haha! I was ruined.
So that was my first thanksgiving in COL. Turkey and smut.
A current member of COL emailed me in 2007. I promised them I would never publicly share the email. However I wanted to comment on how it made me feel, and what I gleaned from it.
They emailed me because (I assume) there was a “COL Class” about the Bullshido thread. What was interesting in it was one thing, and this is the only thing I will share:
I do wish you the best though and I hope that if you are going through some down personal times, i hope it gets better.
It’s that you are conditioned by both Tae Yun Kim, and the “group-think” to feel bad for people on the outside of COL. I must have been going through something bad in my life, and therefore projecting it on to COL. In contrary to this thought, I usually become interested in this topic (the cult) and getting information about it out when I have a good balance going in life, and have things well managed.
Back to the point. Why cult members stay: Because they are conditioned to think everyone on the outside is suffering, even if presented with information to the contrary, they cannot be living a purposeful, fulfilled life if they are not with Tae Yun.
I recall my mother and I annually attending Christmas and Thanksgiving with my Grandparents, always just waiting for our pagers to go off. Visiting my grandparents and them being “outsiders” always made the Holidays awkward, thus we were just looking for an out. When our pagers sang in unison we couldn’t wait to leave! We alienated them with our obvious pager exit.
It’s depressing thinking back about the holidays and how we neglected our collective families love. Unfortunately we didn’t have a lot of say in our feelings at the time due to the conditioning and posturing that came with “Training” with Tae Yun Kim.
One of the stranger things that happened to me was this. I was dead asleep. I wake up with a bracelet. As does half of COL. Kim went sneaking around in our rooms while we slept. Mind you, we didn’t live in the same house as her. Apparently, even though I had my seventh grade classes to attend to the next day, I was supposed to wake up and be aware.
So a good portion of COL didn’t wake up, which we had a COL “Class” about.
This gets into definitions. COL Class essentially means that we sat in the racket ball court in Kim’s home, which acted as a meeting room, usually eating dinner with our other COL members. We would then start chants. These were a variety of conditioning songs. One called “Jung Shing tong il”, what it meant is beyond me at this point in my memory. Another one was famously featured in the Inside Edition videos, this was called the COL Song. We’ll get to that later. So after singing for usually 20-45 minutes (usually the shorter we waited usually the more trouble we were in) the “instructors”(Kim’s most senior instructors from Jung SuWon, that live in her home) would show up.
This class was relatively lighthearted. However, we left with the lesson that perhaps we should sleep lighter and increase our “awareness”. Many of us who were given bracelets wore them almost like badges of pride for a while. I kept mine… Kinda weird looking back on it. In order to see this picture you’re going to have to click it.
In August 1995 everything changed. Well it may have started just a little bit before, around the time we were accepted. It was the groups personality. Before you “join COL” everyone in COL sees you as a delight. You’re someone to “spread Grandmaster’s light” to… But as you join COL, you become someone else they’re in competition with. I think my mother can really speak to this. (Perhaps someday she will guest blog?)
In July at the Korean restaurant I had this combinational feeling of elation, and aloneness. The latter was a difficult one to acknowledge. I acknowledged what was going to happen; that at age 12 I would be separated from my mother, who I had lived with in the same house since I was born would be separated from me; that I would go from having my own room and TV, to NO TV in the home, sharing my room with 3 other children, and a house with 20 other men. There was a disparity though, in what reality would be. I didn’t realize what I was going to experience.
Upon acceptance into COL the mad dash to “moving” began. The first requisite was that we were told that we needed to get rid of everything save a few items; if we wanted to keep furniture and toys we would need to find off site storage.
This past summer my son went away to camp for the first time. I looked at the list of things to bring: Toothbrush, soap, sleeping bag, paper and stamps to write home, sun block. That was pretty much it. The thing that struck me when I read this list was how similar it was to the COL move in list. It was a sad moment reflecting on how minimalistic of an existence we had in COL.
One requirement was our photo albums had to be stored. No family pictures. I don’t remember if it was written or not, but it was made very clear. Also my legos… I was able to keep very few toys… I may have been 12, but this stuff mattered at the time.
What this did give me is a disconnect from material things. I find that to be a virtue, being disconnected and not attached to belongings.