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Title The Global Association of Culture and Peace aka Setsuri - Alleged Cult Sows Seeds Via Campus Event
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The Global Association of Culture and Peace aka Setsuri - Alleged Cult Sows Seeds Via Campus Event November 27th, 2006 - Members of a controversial religious group, led by an international fugitive wanted for numerous instances of alleged rape and sexual assault of female members, recently held an event at UCSD, which included a modeling show featuring young women, singing and videotaped religious messages from the group s founder hallmarks of the group s tactics to recruit new members. The group, known as the Global Association of Culture and Peace, was established by 61-year-old South Korean national Jung Myung Seok, who also goes by the name Joshua Jung. The group, widely regarded by international press as a cult, also goes by several other names, including JMS, Providence, Setsuri and the Bright Smile Movement. [...] There is a history of abuse with this group, Daley said. So many girls get raped by its leader. GACP is most active in Asian countries but has branches worldwide, Daley said. It concentrates its membership recruitment activities at elite universities, including the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Osaka University, National Taiwan University and, recently, UCSD. Most of the former members I have spoken to encountered JMS on a university campus, Daley stated in a February 2006 article in the Keimyung Gazette. Younger girls are also targeted for recruitment. The cult seeks members, according to Asahi Shimbun, by organizing sporting events, modeling shows, dance shows and other activities before inviting participants to Bible study sessions, where they are subsequently influenced to accept cult teachings that declare Jung as the true messiah and regulate members sleeping and eating patterns. Former members have said that the group engages in brainwashing and extensive secrecy, and uses fun activities to build trust with recruits before introducing them to Jung s teachings. [...] Although church members continue to support their leader, many former female GACP members throughout Asia continue to come forward with rape allegations, and some members have left the group upon discovering the public scrutiny. I couldn t understand what was happening to me while I was being sexually assaulted, one former member told the Asahi Shimbun. I was so messed up in the head, and couldn t resist whatever the guru did. According to Daley, GACP events are also designed to promote sleep deprivation, which aids in the brainwashing process by impairing members critical thinking skills. Events include daily church services at 4 a.m. and long weekend services that can last all day, all night or both. Another former member told the Asahi Shimbun that group members forced him to work long into the night, then wake up to listen to Jung s videotaped preachings. [...] There are three levels of cult involvement, according to Daley. The first level involves membership in front organizations, where many members are unaware of GACP links or even targeted for further indoctrination; they serve the interests of the group by paying to attend events. [GACP] members are required to pay a fixed donation, part of which is believed to finance Jung s flight from the law, Asahi Shimbun reported in July. The second stage involves a 30-lesson Bible study course, and upon completion, members come to recognize Jung as the messiah. The majority of members remain at this stage of involvement, according to Daley, with only a few select women reaching the third stage. These women meet with Jung personally, oftentimes at his request, and are asked to take off their clothing for a health check meant to cleanse the members sin, according to Daley. After having sex with the messiah, girls are often threatened with spiritual death if they speak of their experiences. [Jung's] message [is] clear: Disobey me and risk death, Daley told the Keimyung Gazette. Press members in Asia who have reported on GACP activities have also been assaulted and had their offices vandalized. [...] Jung remains on Interpol s Red Notice list, which circulates a global warrant with the request that the wanted person be arrested and extradited to the requesting country. However, Jung does not appear on Interpol s Web site because each participating government decides whether or not to include data online, according to a statement by the Interpol press office. The Korean National Police Agency states on its English Web site that Korean Police decide whether to disclose any wanted criminal by Interpol on [the] Internet based on established standards, but in this case has decided not to ask for additional publicity. We ll put more efforts to arrest [Jung], KNPA stated on its Web site, adding that the Korean police are working closely with Chinese authorities to apprehend Jung. Jung was originally a member of controversial South Korean religious group Unification Church, which is headed by Rev. Sun Myung Moon, before leaving to establish his own group. Although GACP membership continues to increase, Daley said that the group should be regarded with caution. I think it s one of the most dangerous cults around, he said. While accusations of rape continue to surface, many Asian university officials have remained neutral about the group s activities because they involve freedom of religion, according to Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun. Salazar said that the church would most likely try to hold future events at UCSD. This is a summary extract of the full article as it appeared in the UCSD student newspaper The Guardian, Nov. 2006