A South Korean cult leader has been convicted and jailed for 15 years after he raped eight female followers who believed he was ‘God’.
The self acclaimed cleric identified as Pastor Lee Jaerock reportedly set up the Manmin Central Church in Guro, Seoul, South Korea, with just 12 followers in 1982 however, over the years, the members grew to a total of 130,000 members with most of them believing the pastor was God.
This mentaliy in effect led to his victims being “unable to resist as they were subject to the accused’s absolute religious authority”, but he soon met his waterloo as three of Lee’s followers went public earlier this year.
The entire South Korea soon got swept with a wave of #MeToo accusations as many followers who exposed him described how he had summoned each of them to an apartment and raped them.
One of the women who had been a member of the church since childhood told South Korean television:
I was unable to turn him down. He was more than a king. He was God.
Lee reportedly told another of his victims that she was now in Heaven and asked her to strip as Adam and Eve went naked in the Garden of Eden.
The woman told JTBC television:
I cried as I hated to do it.
Judge Chung Moon-sung told the Seoul Central District Court;
Eight women laid criminal complaints but the 75-year-old pastor’s lawyers accused the women of lying to seek vengeance after being excommunicated for breaching church rules.
However, the court found Lee had raped and molested the women “tens of times” over a long period.
The judge added;
Through his sermons the accused has indirectly or directly suggested he is the holy spirit, deifying himself.
The victims believed him to be ‘a divine being who wields divine power’
Lee denied the charges. As the judgement was read, with around 100 of his followers present in the courtroom, the disgraced pastor stood with his eyes closed and showed no emotion.
He was convicted on Thursday, November 22, and jailed for 15 years