How a South Korean Cult Tried and Failed to Sue This Australian Professor - 2016-04-19
South Korea has more than its fair share of shadowy religious cults, but Jesus Morning Star (JMS), ranks among its more notorious. The sect claims to be a benign religious group that follows the Bible. But former members have described the leader, Jeong Myeong-seok, as a self-proclaimed messiah who used claims of divine authority to groom young women. Tellingly, Jeong is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for the rape and sexual assault of five women across several Asian countries.
Canberra native Peter Daley is a lecturer in South Korea and he's spent the past 13 years tracking the movements of JMS and several other sects at his website jmscult.com. In 2014, Peter was interviewed by SBS' The Feed in a report on how JMS targets university women in Australia to become Jeong's "spiritual brides."
Unsurprisingly, Peter's unconventional hobby hasn't endeared him to cult members. Recently, several female members tried to have him prosecuted for defamation, which is a criminal offence in South Korea. Peter had posted video footage of them nakedly praising Jeong on his website, even though the footage was heavily pixelated and already available in the public domain. After a seven-month investigation by police and prosecutors, Peter was cleared of all charges last month.