“Hyundae Jongkyo” published a book which slanders that ? the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology, but the publisher was ? found innocent in the court. Therefore, the court ruling, “Northern Seoul ? District Court 2003Gahap6020 Damage Compensation” is the evidence to prove that the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology.
1. Do you think that the government of the Republic of Korea would award an order of merit to a church that spreads a time-limited eschatology?
The Church of God received an Order of Merit, a Medal of Honor and a Presidential Citation from the Republic of Korea. (Refer to the Supplementary Explanation.) If the Church of God is blamed by society and spreads a time-limited eschatology as they insist, would the government of the Republic of Korea award an Order of Merit, a Medal of Honor and a Presidential Citation to the church? What government on earth would award such great awards to a church that is criticized in society? Think about it!
In the principle of the bestowal of an order or medal, it is stated, “It is awarded to the one who renders a distinguished service for the Republic of Korea as a citizen of Korea or the free people.” And the standard of the bestowal of an order or medal is determined in reference to the “contents of one’s achievement and the degree of its contribution to society or nation.” And the procedure of the bestowal of an order is as follows: In the recommendation institution, the recommended individual or group has to pass a strict examination of the achievement review committee, and is recommended to the Ministry of Government Affairs and Home Affairs. This recommendation is examined in the ministry and goes through careful consideration at the vice-ministers’ meeting and the cabinet meeting. And after obtaining the presidential sanction, the award nominee is decided. In other words, after going through all these recommendation and examinations, the nominee can be awarded.
Therefore, if the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology as the opposers insist, the church cannot even be recommended, to speak nothing of receiving an order or medal. Considering this, we can see that the insistence of the opposers who misuse the court ruling is groundless.
2. The background of the court ruling related with the Hyundae Jongkyo
1) The cause of the trial
Tak, who is the publisher of “Hyundae Jongkyo,” published about 500 copies of a book in 2002 where he insisted that the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology. At this, the Church of God filed a lawsuit against him on the charge of libel [defamation through publication].
2) Criminal trial and civil trial
At that time, both a criminal trial and a civil trial proceeded for this case. Normally, compensation for damage―financial compensation―is decided in the civil trial. In the criminal trial, however, it is decided whether the defendant is to be sent to jail or not. Therefore, for the same case, the trial where the plaintiff and the defendant sharply oppose each other is the criminal trial. Generally, the civil trial is much affected by the result of the criminal trial. Therefore, in order to understand the exact meaning of the court ruling in the civil trial, we need to know rightly the process and the result of the criminal trial first.
This case is the same. What the opposers are now making bad use of is the court ruling of the civil trial, “Northern Seoul District Court 2003Gahap6020 Damage Compensation.” This ruling resulted from the criminal trial. Therefore, let us examine the result and meaning of the criminal trial, and find out that their insistence is wrong.
3) The result of the criminal trial
The prosecution acknowledged Tak’s libel charge and indicted Tak for defamation. Actually, in the first trial, he was found guilty of defamation through false information. The contents of Tak’s book that was published to slander the Church of God turned out to be false. However, a problem occurred in the second appeal trial. In the second trial, the Hyundae Jongkyo submitted evidence from six false informants. Because of this, the court judged that it could not conclude that he was guilty. And in the third trial, too, the same result was brought forth. The civil trial was affected by this criminal trial and he was found innocent.
3. Error in the insistence of the opposers
Opposers always conceal the clues that reveal the truth, and overstate a partial fact or distort the fact to draw the conclusion they want. It is the same with the case of misusing the court ruling.
First, the slanderers do not mention the false evidence (from the six false informants) Tak submitted at all.
All the evidence of the Hyundae Jongkyo, which led to the decision of “innocent,” was clearly proven to be fabricated and false at each trial of the six false informants. However, they remained silent about this fact, and gave prominence to the previous decision of “innocent” to slander the Church of God.
Second, through the ruling saying the publisher was found innocent, they make a false conclusion that the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology.
However, it is different from the fact. The court declared him innocent, depending on the principle of “In Dubio Pro Reo,” just because it was difficult to clearly conclude that he was guilty. For this, let us study in detail the next item.
4. In dubio pro reo
In the first trial, the publisher was found guilty of defamation by using false information, but in the second and third appeal trials, he was found innocent. It’s because the court was unable to conclude whether or not his argument was true. The ruling says, “There are some incorrect expressions and exaggerations, but it cannot be concluded that they are all false.” In other words, the first trial concluded that it was definitely false, but the second and third trials found it difficult to conclude that it was definitely false.
Why was the ruling changed?
What kind of evidence did the Hyundae Jongkyo submit to the court in the second trial, that the court found it difficult to judge whether or not its allegation was true? Six informants submitted false evidence that the Church of God spread a time-limited eschatology. This made it difficult for the court to judge whether the allegations were true or false in the second and third appeal trials. That is why the court declared Hyundae Jongkyo innocent according to the principle of presumption of innocence; a principle to judge for the benefit of the defendant when in doubt, which is called “In Dubio Pro Reo.”
“In dubio pro reo” (Latin for “when in doubt, for the accused”) is a dominant principle of the criminal procedure code which most countries of the world, including South Korea, have adopted.
|Ref) Principle of Presumption of Innocence
The defendant or the accused in the criminal proceedings is considered innocent until proven guilty. In Anglo-American law, even if the accused is the real criminal, if there is no evidence, he or she is given the verdict of innocent. In the Continental law, “In Dubio Pro Reo (when in doubt, for the accused)” refers to this principle. Such principle is to protect the rights of the accused.
Let us see a precedent where this principle was applied.
|The Case of O.J. Simpson in 1994: The former American football star O.J. Simpson was accused as a murder suspect, which was news that astounded the whole world. A glove stained with blood of the victim was found at Simpson’s house, and the scene of his racing 100km [60 miles] to avoid police officers who came to arrest him was broadcast live across the US. Though it seemed he was definitely guilty, his defense team, the “Dream Team,” brought forth the verdict of innocent after a fierce battle in the court for 372 days.
The defense team insisted that the glove did not fit Simpson, and also brought the fact that the criminal investigator was a racist into view. As well, a false witness appeared. Then the trial fell in a state of confusion. Ultimately, the jury found it difficult to decide whether or not he was guilty, so he was found innocent in the criminal trial.
Simpson’s case is a good example of the judgment on which the principle of “In Dubio Pro Reo” was reflected. At the time of his criminal trial, some evidence was confusing, so it was difficult for the judging panel to decide whether Simpson was guilty or innocent. However, in the follow-up civil trial, the court acknowledged that Simpson inflicted serious damage on the victim, so he was ordered to pay 8,500,000 USD in damages and 25,000,000 USD in punitive damages to the bereaved family, and he ultimately went bankrupt.
This is an example where the principle, “In Dubio Pro Reo,” is misused. The principle, “In Dubio Pro Reo,” functions differently according to the situation of a defendant. If a defendant is in fact innocent, the principle plays the role of a shield that protects his or her human rights. On the contrary, if the defendant is actually guilty, all damage remains on the plaintiff. In the world, there are people who try to cover their crimes, abusing the law. Beyond what we see, how many hideous deeds are they doing to make false evidence?
The prevalence of such false testimonies in the courtroom people’s interest and such situations have even been made into movies, such as: The Devil’s Advocate (1997) directed by Taylor Hackford, A Few Good Men (1992) by Rob Reiner, The Rainmaker (1997) by Francis Ford Coppola, Primal Fear (1996) by Gregory Hoblit, In the Name of The Father (1993) by Jim Sheridan, The Firm (1993) by Sydney Pollack, A Time to Kill (1996) by Joel Schumacher, High Crimes (2002) by Carl Franklin, The Accused (1988) by Jonathan Kaplan, etc.
Many of you may have seen one or more of these movies. You are probably reminded of the suspenseful scenes when the false evidence and testimonies were considered true and the antagonists were almost victorious. Well, such a thriller occurred in reality. That was the ruling on Tak.
5. The reality of the false testimonies submitted to the court
The testimonies of six informants who supported Tak
The six informants suddenly appeared in the second trial and alleged that “the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology and instigated the members to spread it, which caused problems like family breakup, running away from home and divorce and so on.” Their testimonies were submitted to the court as the evidence of eschatology victims, and helped Tak to be found innocent. It was only because the principle of “In Dubio Pro Reo” was applied to the ruling.
The testimonies of the six informants were all fabricated false evidence
After the Supreme Court had handed down the verdict of innocent on Tak, there was the follow-up trial for each one of the six informants on April 14, 2006. The six informants, who had helped Tak to be found innocent, were accused by the Church of God because they claimed that they were the victims of the time-limited eschatology of the Church, and they were all indicted by the prosecution. Most of them appealed to the Supreme Court, but they were all found guilty in the first, second and third trials.
Aren’t you curious about this part?
The six informants’ testimonies turned out to be false, then why was it that their testimonies were accepted in the Supreme Court and the principle “In Dubio Pro Reo” was applied to the judgment on Tak? Tak was declared innocent during the third trial on April 14, 2006; but the six false informants were not declared guilty until seven months later in November 2006.
If the decision on the false informants had been made before April 14, 2006, Tak would most certainly have been proven guilty of defamation through publication.
The process of the trial on Tak and that of the six informants are as follows:
Tak was found guilty after the first trial on August 14, 2003, The second trial took place four months later on December 16, 2003. And the third trial took place on April 14, 2006. In total, it took three years and four months. During this period of time, all the informants, who had helped Tak to be found “innocent” were accused and found guilty in the first and second trials. Jeong S.M. was found guilty in the first trial on September 3, 2004; and Kim O.J. was found guilty in the first trial on June 8, 2005.
Unfortunately, Tak’s verdict as innocent after the third Supreme Court trial occurred before these false informants were found guilty.
The decision on Tak in the third trial in 2006 was made without reflecting the fact that the informants’ testimonies were false.
6. What does the verdict of innocent on Tak mean?
As the slanderers insist on the Internet, does the verdict of innocent on Tak mean that the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology? Absolutely not!
The trial on Tak, the publisher of the Hyundae Jongkyo
Some people say that since the book published by the Hyundae Jongkyo, which alleged that “the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology,” was found innocent, it must be true that the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology. If we understand the principle of “In Dubio Pro Reo,” we can soon realize that they are wrong. As we mentioned at the beginning, slanderers stretch the meaning of a certain part of the ruling without seeing the whole story. The verdict on Tak in the third trial of the Supreme Court is not the decision acknowledging that the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology.
The follow-up judgment on the six informants
The six informants, who defamed the Church of God together with Tak, affected his trial; they succeeded in making a fact unclear as they had intended. But they were all found guilty in the follow-up trials, and ultimately their fabrication was exposed. Since the trials deal with the same incident, the follow-up trial on the six informants is the most recent decision of the court. Then, is the claim, “the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology,” true or false? It is false. Using the court ruling, slanderers have insisted that “the court judged that the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology.” However, their defamatory remarks are not true and the court’s rulings are as follows:
1. The court decided that it is false to allege that the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology
2. The court decided that it is breaking the law to allege that the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology.
Court ruling on the defamation of the false witnesses who insisted that the Church of God spreads a time-limited eschatology
2004고정152, 206(병합)，244(병합)，833(병합) Defamation
Defendants: Park OO, ParkOO, LeeOO
Decision Dated: October 14, 2004
Order (contents clipping)
– Phrases written on the pickets and on the fliers they distributed
– My wife, who goes to the Church of God, a cult, insisted on eschatology and
ran away from home to prepare for it, and now I don’t know where she is –
“The Church of God insists on the time-limited eschatology,”
Judgment on the Claim of the Defendants and Counsel (contents clipping)
Therefore, it is hard to decide that whole purpose or important points from the defendants’ picketing and fliers that they distributed are consistent with objective facts the defendants went through with the picketing although they did not have obvious grounds or supporting evidence
A newspaper report
As the truth was revealed after all the trials on Tak, which took several years, and the six informants came to an end, the issue had a great resonance in the Christian world, and became a warning against denouncing other denominations as heresy through fabrication, and became headlines in the Christian Press. In order to help the readers understand, we posted the original Korean newspaper and its English translation.
7. Fabrication to brand other denominations as heresy
The fight for rights in the political arena is not a recent occurrence. From the passage of a bill to the policy-writing process, we often watch politicians strive for the benefit of their party. The confrontation among different political circles looks different from the outside depending on the country, but each party puts in a great effort to hold a prominent position in policy-making. Sadly and unfortunately, all sorts of trickery and corruption scandals are revealed in the process.
It is the same as Judaism 2,000 yeas ago. Judaism, which had the vested rights, spread malicious rumors to pin Christianity as a heresy and to persecute Christians. At that time, the high priest bribed Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ disciples. The high priest also slandered Jesus’ resurrection by spreading a false rumor that Jesus did not rise from the dead but that His disciples stole His body.? (Mt 26:14; Mt 28:11).
Hyundae Jongkyo’s branding others as heresy; like father, like son
Hyundae Jongkyo is Korea’s representative leading group that brands other denominations as heresy. People in other countries may find it difficult to understand the words, “Branding other denominations as heresy,” but the denominations which are once targeted by the Hyundae Jongkyo are classified as heresy. (What is funny is that it never reports the corruption of large churches that have vested rights, which are related with it.)
There are many things to say about the Hyundae Jongkyo, but we will omit the long explanation. Besides this trial, the Hyundae Jongkyo is famous for constantly making trouble in society. Even a gathering of Hyundae Jongkyo victims was organized. [Gathering of Hyundae Jongkyo Tak Ji-won Victims, HANARM]
Before the first trial, Tak the publisher of Modern Time Religion said at the time of cross-examination,
“I have never confirmed objective facts about the time-limited eschatology of the Church of God. I believed unconditionally what my father had said and put his allegation against the Church of God in my book.”
Tak himself said that he put the content in the book without objective and proven facts. Does it make sense that a publisher who runs a publishing company would do something like that? What he did was something shameful as a Christian, and as a publisher. Tak made an excuse that he posted that kind of content because he trusted his father. Then, who is his father? His late father, who was also named Tak, was notorious for branding other denominations as heresy. His phone conversation with a certain Pastor Choi was once tapped and his fabrications and conspiracy were exposed and became headlines in many newspapers.
Page 5 of Christian Today, November 4, 2009
The information below is a translation of the article.
Page 5 of Christian Today, November 4, 2009
Pastor Choi’s conspiracy to brand others as heretics is exposed
Main conversation on the phone between Pastor Choi and Tak
Choi: We should quickly make material to brand Park 00 as a heretic, and spread it among students in Jeolla Province. This meets the strategy. <Fabrication>
Tak: I will ask elder Park 00 to post it in a large title on the 00 bulletin. <Conspiracy><Instigation>
Choi: Do not talk much, but just say that he causes many troubles in society. What we are going to decide is that each Presbytery Heresy Measures Committee can inquire into the matter of heresy, and consult about it at any time through the headquarters heresy organ and to post it on the 00 bulletin. Let us call the head of each Presbytery Heresy Measures Committee to the head office and take measures together (using 00 bulletin). First of all, Joo the general affairs manager opened his closed mind to me, so he compliments and boasts about me wherever he goes. I will serve him well so that we can enter it through the 00 bulletin. <Collusion with ecclesiastical authority>
Front page of the Church Association News in Aug. 21, 2005
The information below is a summary of the article.
|. . .
15 years ago, there was a similar wiretap scandal. At that time, the office line and home phones of Tak Myung-hwan [father of the present publisher Tak] who was called a religious problem analyst were tapped for about six months. It recorded the conversation between Pastor Choi Sam-gyung and Tak Myung-hwan, who began in earnest to brand Park Yun-sik as a heretic by establishing an organization, “Research for Park Yun-sik’s Heresy”; and it also recorded the private life of Tak who was an editor of Modern Time Religion Company at that time. Their conversation gave a shock to the Christian world. When Tak criticized Park Yun-sik the pastor of the Daeseong Church as a heretic, there was no positive response in the Christian world. Then he began to conspire with Pastor Choi Sam-gyung, but their conversation was completely tapped and exposed to the world.. . .
December 27, 2012 WIKITREE
It was known that Tak Ji-won the publisher was inspected for tax evasion in his income tax, VAT, etc, from October 2011 to January 2012. In November and December 2011 when he was still under investigation for suspected tax evasion, he wrote an article in the Hyundae Jongkyo, about a religious group “S” that had been criticized for issuing contribution receipts to its members even though the religious group was not registered as a corporate body, using provocative statements like “Person A is accused for tax evasion” (Nov 2011), “Imprisonment of Person A is a question of time” (Dec 2011). In other words, while Tak Ji-won was under suspicion of tax evasion, he wrote an article that criticized a tax-law-related matter of one other group, while covering up his own suspicion of tax evasion.
Besides this, in January 2012 even after it was acknowledged that Tak Ji-won had evaded tax for a couple of years and was handed down the punishment of paying a penalty tax which is estimated to be in the tens of thousands of USD, his hypocritical writing was revealed more plainly.
In the March and April 2012 issues of Hyundae Jongkyo, he stated again that it was against the Corporate Tax Act for the religious group S to issue contribution receipts. He even used a picketing photo, which urged the investigation in custody, as the front cover photo by covering the protest that demanded the investigation of the religious group S’s tax evasion in custody.
Considering that Tak Ji-won is a criminal of a huge amount of tax evasion, his article that blamed others for their minor offense, while covering up his serious offense, is an hypocritical behavior just as a saying goes, “My affair is romance, but another’s affair is adultery.” He cannot avoid being denounced because of his indecent and immoral behavior as a journalist.
Behind Tak Ji-won who regarded the violation of tax law of other groups as a serious crime and made it become an issue, there was Pastor Lee Deok-sul who accused the religious group S. Considering that Pastor Lee Deok-sul is a member of the edition advisory committee of Hyundae Jongkyo, a suspicion has been raised that Tak Ji-won deliberately wrote the article to make an issue of it by himself.
Additionally, even after the recent punishment relating to tax evasion, it is known that Tak Ji-won was repeatedly punished for committing the violation of “Act on Promotion of Periodicals including Magazine,” and the violation of “Act on Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce,” while publishing the magazine Hyundae Jongkyo.
In the issue of Hyundae Jongkyo December 2011, there was an article, “The law must be kept even though there is freedom of religion,” criticizing the tax law violation of the religious group S. Before criticizing others, Tak Ji-won must apply it to the Hyundae Jongkyo and to himself first.
The Hyundae Jongkyo is a religious monthly magazine that claims to be a journal specializing in heresy; the magazine criticizes other denominations or groups as heresy, advocating a certain Christian denomination. From the time of the previous publisher, the magazine has evoked much criticism because of photoshopping and the spread of unsubstantiated information, etc. This time, it seems to evoke another type of criticism.
The Hyundae Jongkyo has habitually branded other denominations as heresy by fabricating evidence starting from the Senior Tak. Do you, as readers, think that the materials fabricated by such people are trustworthy?
Unlike the false claim of the opposers, the Church of God carries on the role of the salt and light of the world according to the good teachings of Christ Ahnsahnghong and Heavenly Mother. So the Church of God received many awards. For lack of space, all awards cannot be listed. Some of them are as follows:
Feb. 2003, Presidential Citation from the President of Republic of Korea, Kim Dae-jung
Aug. 2004, Order of Merit and Medal of Honor from the President of Republic of Korea, Roh Moo-hyun
Jun. 2011, Call to Service Award from the President of USA, Barack Obama
Like this, the Church of God is constantly doing good deeds for the happiness of our families, neighbors, countries and all human beings. If you want to know more about the Church of God that contributes to nations and human society, visit the home page (http://english.watv.org/) and check the fact freely. The opposers fabricate a story, concealing all the good deeds of the Church of God. However, God of justice will judge later all those who lie (Rev 21:8).
The cartoon below is the summary of the above contents.