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Other’s experiences

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.

The knot: I was here, where were you? File under: creepy

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.
"I was here, where were you?" letter dated 10/5/95

Tae Yun Kim Inside Edition Video from 1998



I have received several emails about this today, and after much searching I have found what you are looking for!  The Inside Edition video of Jung SuWon, Tae Yun Kim, covering the COL cult of Fremont, California.

Update: I uploaded it to a site so you can download it.

I found it, out there on an obscure internet site.


In 1998 Matt Maher of Inside Edition did the first televised investigation that I am aware of.  This is it! It covers several students of  Jung SuWon and the concerns their family had.  Unfortunately like most investigations by Tabloid TV it didn’t have good closure. Kim is asked “are you a cult”.  Download and enjoy!

Please keep in mind, as the video states, this is for home viewing only.

In 2006 a very senior member of COL left disgruntled, primarily because he had been involved in an alleged physical relationship with tae yun kim.

That person (also allegedly) created a site to whet the pallate of Kim and her attorneys as to what other evidence he had, that Kim may not want getting out. The site called published some revealing stories and data, including one in which male COL members were challenged to remove their genetalia due to and I quote “Your cock is getting in the way of you and your training”… as it turned out it was purely a conditioning technique. However the site had a nice opening statement that I would like to share:


In every man’s or woman’s search for the answer to the universal question of “why am I are here and what is my purpose”, a surprising number of people find their way to one person, a teacher, a guide, a master who seems to know the answers and is willing to provide them in exchange for their fealty and commitment to a cause that they come to believe in.

Facing the truth that you are a part of a cult is probably one of the most difficult realizations a person has to go through. The narrow-minded perception that one must be ignorant, weak-willed or socially inept to be a victim of a cult coupled with societies disdain for its victims makes the acceptance of the truth even more difficult.

This website is dedicated to revealing the truth about how one woman’s web of lies and deceit left a trail of ruined lives and broken dreams. It is dedicated to bringing to light the tales of pain and heartache, struggle, realization and hope that is the lives of ex-cult members as they pieced together what was left behind. Freedom, justice and peace are our bywords. If only one heart is touched, one life is changed, one person is free as a result of our quest, we will consider ourselves successful.

Who I am

My name is Jacob. However since I was in a cult, this was not the name I was born with.

I was in a cult in the San Francisco Bay area from ages 12 to 15.  From 1995 to 1999, I was the member of Tae Yun Kim’s Jung SuWon Martial Art Academy, and City of light group. I will make every effort to not link to her sites, but instead to allow you to find them on your own.

My mother was the facilitating factor in this.  We made the decision together, but obviously as a 12 year old, she was the real decider.

It’s been a long path to this blog.  I never even spoke to my family about the group until 2003.  I only started speaking out, due to the fact that I was trying to help my mom escape.  In 2004 I started posting around the internet using anonymous names.  In 2005, about 7 years ago I posted as Clarehoare on That post changed everything.

Now, 7 years later, here I am.  I am going to do my best to tell my story, and add as much information as I can.

I think it’s going to be interesting.

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