Park Jin Young has issued another statement in response to further reports that he is a member of the Korean religious cult Salvation Sect.
On May 2, the outlet Dispatch published photos and voice recordings of Park Jin Young at a religious meeting and accused him of being a member of the Salvation Sect, stating that he was spotted with the cult’s key figure and Dapanda Co., Ltd. CEO Byun Ki Choon. On the same day, Park Jin Young denied these claims in a statement and posted a long testimony about his beliefs, and a source from the cult also stated that he is a not a member.
On May 3, Dispatch published another article. It stated that Park Jin Young rented the basement of a building in the neighborhood of Yeoksam to hold a religious meeting and the building belonged to someone who was an affiliate of the Salvation Sect prior to the Sewol ferry incident. They also said that the operator of the “E” cafe who helped organize the meeting was an affiliate of the Salvation Sect and the owner of the building was the Semo Credit Union, which has ties to the cult.
Dispatch wrote that they received a phone call on March 19 and the informant said that their parents, who were members of the Salvation Sect, pressured them to go to listen to Park Jin Young’s missionary meeting to be saved. The publication stated that they didn’t report that Park Jin Young had business ties to the Salvation Sect, and highlighted examples of similarities between the doctrines of Salvation Sect founder Kwon Shin Chan and Park Jin Young.
Dispatch also stated that for two months, it met with several people who are current and former members as well as insiders and outsiders of the sect, all of whom testified without hesitation that Park Jin Young is a member of the Salvation Sect. They said that they received testimony from someone in the entertainment industry who claimed that Park Jin Young suggested a separate Bible study.
Dispatch said, “This report is counterevidence to Park Jin Young’s stance all these years that he’s ‘non-religious.’ It’s also a refutation of his denial about the Salvation Sect.”
The publication also responded to speculations about the timing of their article, which state that it may have been a coordinated distraction from news of a controversy involving a breach of accounting rules by Samsung BioLogics. Dispatch denied this, and said that they had gone to Park Jin Young’s missionary meeting in the last week of March and then went to Geumsuwon, Samgakji Jugang Church every week. They completed their coverage on April 20.
They then requested and received trial results related to the former leader of the Salvation Sect and owner of the Sewol ferry Yoo Byung Eun and Byun Ki Choon. Dispatch explained that they finished writing their initial article on April 30, but didn’t publish it on May 1 because it was Labor Day, which led them to release it on the morning of May 2.
Following this report, Park Jin Young took to Instagram again to post another statement for further clarification.
His statement is as follows:
“Because it feels like exhausting controversies are being repeated, I plan to hold my meeting again with reporters in September. If any reporters are interested in attending, please contact me. I’ll reveal the date and place later. For those who are worried, I’ll explain the truth in more detail. There are two things that Dispatch is mistaken about:
“1. The meeting that I held recently and the Bible study that I hold twice a week has no relation to the Salvation Sect.
“2. Dispatch’s article that portrayed me as a member of the Salvation Sect is not true at all.
“I’ll now explain in detail. First, I don’t belong to any church or denomination because I don’t want to be tied to a particular denomination.
“The only group that I’m a part of is the Bible study group that I started in my home four years ago with my friend. As the group began to grow, we had to move locations. These days, the meeting has regularly grown to about 30 people so I rent vacant offices and do Bible study twice a week.
“We study in the format of a debate without a preacher. Out of these people, I studied the Bible for a long time, so there are many times where I do the explanations. However, there are many people who disagree and say that my explanation seems wrong and we fiercely debate to find the answer every time.
“I want to freely study the Bible while debating like I do now without belonging to any denomination. I also want to explain to those who say they want to learn about the Bible from me and live that way. I don’t like a solemn, religious atmosphere.
“This meeting was exactly that kind of meeting. It was a meeting that takes place once every six months for those who don’t know the bible very well and the 30 people who came to the meeting are now our friends and family. So, there were people of various religions and denominations at the meeting and there were some who belonged to the Salvation Sect as well.
“For the past seven years, I’ve talked with many people from each religion and denomination, and had many debates as well. I’ve gone to places where Presbyterian, Baptist, and Salvation Sect members study and have also gone to the Jogye Order. The people that I got to know this way said they wanted to hear my explanation and came. Rumors spread within the Salvation Sect members that I was good at explaining the Bible and sent their children or relatives as well. I heard that amongst the Salvation Sect members, there were people who cautiously sent their children to my meetings.
“Ask the person who said they came to my meeting because their parent told them to go. That person and their parent know all too well whether my meeting is a personal meeting where I do whatever I want, or a meeting by the Salvation Sect.
“As everyone knows, I insist on eating organic food. I wanted the people who attended to eat an organic meal, so we held the meeting next to an organic restaurant and organic cafe. The owner of the building where the meeting took place has no affiliation with the Salvation Sect, so he was probably very shocked after seeing the news.
“Also, it’s not true that my wife has some position in the Salvation Sect. This is something you can find out if you interview Salvation Sect members.
“What’s important is what I have explained, which includes my testimony and context. What specific denomination and religious body I belong to can be determined by those who are knowledgeable about doctrines after reading my testimony.
“To be honest, that testimony is something that I wrote to show people around me a year ago. So when I read it now, there are parts of it I want to edit, but you can think that the key point is the same.
“If you infringe on someone’s privacy and wrongfully record them to release it to the world, then you need adequate grounds to claim that it will damage society. So I don’t understand how they wrote this article without going through the process of confirming with the person. I sincerely hope that these kinds of journalistic practices will change with this incident.”
Why does he want to wait until September to explain more in detail???
Sources: Naver, Dispatch, Kuki News, & @asiansoul_jyp via Soompi