South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

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TithonusSyndrome
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South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

Postby TithonusSyndrome » 2016-11-09 05:25pm

No, seriously

Tens of thousands demonstrated in cities across South Korea on Saturday, demanding President Park Geun-hye step down from office. Her approval rating has hit an unprecedented low of 14 percent and Park's ordered all 10 of her senior aides to resign, following revelations an unelected, unappointed confidant was receiving advance copies and altering dozens of confidential policy speeches. They have led to charges that the friend is a secret "puppet master" and the real power behind "the throne."

President Park apologized to the country in a rare nationally-televised address this week. She said she sought her old friend's opinion only in the early part of her presidency, before her staff was in place.

It goes beyond tinkering with speeches, however. This scandal involves not only tens of millions of dollars and charges of influence-peddling, but of spiritual guides from a "Shamanistic prophet," voices from the dead and — wait for it — dressage, the competitive form of horse-dancing.

Okay. Here it goes.

The old friend of the president's, Choi Soon-sil, also runs two non-profit foundations that prosecutors say boasted of its ties with the president to collect more than $70 million in donations from the country's major conglomerates. Prosecutors opened up an investigation into the foundations in early October, and are seeking Choi, who is accused of siphoning some of those funds for personal use — including to cover equestrian training for her daughter, Chung Yoo-ra. (Choi emerged in Germany over the weekend and denies any wrongdoing.)

Much of the pubilc anger now gripping the nation broke open over Choi's daughter in the first place. Chung, the equestrian, attended the nation's prestigious woman's college, Ewha University. Ewha's president was forced to resign this week as students protested Chung's preferential treatment and shady admission — which seemed to give her extra credit for being a champion dressage competitor. Media began looking closer at the ties between Park and Choi.

And the ties are interesting, indeed. Choi Soon-sil is the daughter of a man the president considered her mentor, Choi Tae-min. He claimed to be a pastor from a tiny pseudo-Christian sect, but a leaked diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy describes him as a 'Rasputin'-like character and his "church" is described by Korean media as more of a "Shamanistic cult." The New York Times explains further:

"Mr. Choi was the founder of an obscure sect called the Church of Eternal Life. He befriended Ms. Park, 40 years his junior, soon after her mother was assassinated in 1974. According to a report by the Korean intelligence agency from the 1970s that was published by a South Korean newsmagazine in 2007, Mr. Choi initially approached Ms. Park by telling her that her mother had appeared in his dreams, asking him to help her.

Mr. Choi was a former police officer who had also been a Buddhist monk and a convert to Roman Catholicism. (He also used seven different names and was married six times by the time he died in 1994 at the age of 82.) He became a mentor to Ms. Park, helping her run a pro-government volunteer group called Movement for a New Mind."

The public's beliefs about how much control the Choi family enjoyed over the president, and how much they privately benefited as a result, is putting the president's remaining year in office in serious jeopardy. On the streets of Seoul Saturday, at least 10,000 people showed up to protest, holding signs saying "Park Geun-hye, resign," "How is this a country?" and "We can't raise kids in this country!"

For her part, Park hasn't addressed the matter since her 90-second apology early in the week. But she did call for the en masse resignations of her senior staff late Friday night, and her spokesman is not ruling out changes at the heads of government agencies as part of this reshuffling.

The three major political parties in South Korea, meanwhile, say they will meet with the National Assembly speaker early next week to consider their next moves.

"Opposition parties share the responsibility about state affairs," the ruling party's floor leader, Rep. Chung Jin-suk, said to the Korea Joongang Daily. "Since the administration is hit with the leadership crisis, the National Assembly must act to cope with it."


It may not have the global scale ramifications of president-elect Trump, but it's probably still got it beat for sheer crazy.
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Re: South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

Postby Simon_Jester » 2016-11-09 05:42pm

We've had elected heads of state who consulted astrologers and so on in the past several decades, too.

It sounds as though this is the clean up phase, that the actions of the cult leader have been exposed and their influence over Madame President is generally accepted as unsavory. Am I misunderstanding the article, or the context?

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Re: South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

Postby TithonusSyndrome » 2016-11-09 05:48pm

This is a bit more than "Ronnie liked to talk to the fortune teller" in scope and severity, though; there was an entire unofficial off-the-books council of "eight fairies" who had actual policy influence. The story has been breaking for over a week ever since the release of a hard drive leak and the protests have been ongoing, so their reign as the gris eminence of the RoK is in fact over, but it's nothing like anything a developed nation has experienced in recent history.
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Re: South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

Postby K. A. Pital » 2016-11-10 01:26am

South Korea has a problem with cultism. Creationism is also strongly impacting the country.
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Re: South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

Postby Tanasinn » 2016-11-16 07:11pm

Ra Ra Rasputin? :)
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Re: South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

Postby mr friendly guy » 2016-12-08 12:40am

Update

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-08/i ... ye/8103496

South Korean President Park Geun-hye's impeachment a story of a father and daughter
ANALYSIS
By North Asia correspondent Matthew Carney
Updated about an hour ago

omorrow, more than two thirds of politicians in the South Korea's National Assembly will vote to impeach their President, Park Geun-hye.

Four years ago, South Korea's first female president brought great expectations of increased equality and an emphasis on innovation.

Now, she's widely loathed and her popularity rating has reached a record low of 4 per cent.

Ms Park, who came to power vowing to fight a culture of corruption, is now at the centre of spectacular scandal involving a mysterious woman, Choi Soon-sil, who has allegedly been extorting millions of dollars.

President Park Geun-hye is set to join her Father, military dictator Park Chung-hee, as the only other leader to be removed from office in South Korea. He was assassinated in 1979.

In many ways, the daughter's inglorious end is a consequence of what the father set up.

'The Republic of Samsung'

From 1963 to 1979, Park Chung-hee guided South Korea's rapid industrialisation — by any measure, an incredible success story.

In just two generations, South Korea has risen from the rubble of war to become the 11th biggest economy in the world.

The dictator president Park Chung-hee put the Chaebols or conglomerates, like Samsung and Hyundai at the centre of the economy to drive the growth.

Today Samsung is believed to control a staggering 30 per cent of South Korea's GDP and that power and influence reach deep into politics and the judiciary — so much so that many Koreans to call their country "The Republic of Samsung".

The interlocking relationship between government and Chaebols created by Park Geun-hye's father still remain the root cause of the political corruption that has infected every South Korean President in some shape or form since the father was assassinated.

For last two days, that has been on display at the National Assembly. The leaders of the Samsung, LG and Hyundai Motor, and other captains of industry, have been grilled by outraged MPs.

They are accused of involvement in a "cash for favours" scheme, in which they donated about $100 million to two foundations established by the President's confidante Choi Soon-sil.

She has been charged with fraud, bribery and abuse of power for using the money for her own purposes.

Televised live across the nation many of the business tycoons apologised and said they had no choice but to hand over the money.

Hur Chang-soo, head of the Federation of Korean Industries — a business lobby group that is accused of coordinating the donations — said "it's hard to ignore the request from the Government, that's the reality in South Korea".

Samsung stands accused of donating $30 million.

'Shaman fortune-teller' acted as 'shadow president'

Ms Choi has been described as a "Shaman fortune-teller" or "Rasputin-like figure" by the political opposition and South Korean media.

It is alleged she has acted like a "shadow president" and influenced Park Geun-hye's decision on everything from economic policy to the North Korean nuclear threat. But she has no policy background or any security clearance.

Ms Choi's father Choi Tae-min was a self-proclaimed messiah and founder of the Christian cult, the Church of Eternal Life.

According to Korean intelligence, he approached Park Geun-hye after her mother was assassinated in 1974, claiming her dead mother had spoken to him in his dreams.

He then became Ms Park's mentor and used the then-dictator's daughter to solicit bribes and accumulate a family fortune of his own, and then went on to bankroll Park Geun-hye's election campaign.

As early as 2013, officials tried to raise alarms about President Park's relationships with Ms Choi only to be demoted fired or even imprisoned.

Ms Park has publicly apologised twice for the scandal and says she knew nothing of the extortion.

She said she let her guard down with a trusted family friend, but the public is not buying it and for last six weeks they have come out in their millions on the streets demanding her resignation.

Push for Ban Ki-moon to be next president

Tomorrow might be that day. Pro-impeachment politicians believe they have the 200 votes out of 300 in the national assembly to remove the President.

The three opposition parties are united but critically they need 28 votes from the President Park's own party, Saenuri, to make up the numbers.

The Opposition says they have secured up to 40 votes from the ruling party but that has been disputed.

If the impeachment bill succeeds, Ms Park will be suspended as President but not immediately removed.

Her duties would be temporarily transferred to the Prime Minister while a court reviews whether her impeachment is constitutionally sound.

That process can take up to six months, and needs six of the courts nine justices to support the impeachment. After the court approves the impeachment, a new presidential election is held within 60 days.

So President Park Geun-hye is not done yet, and it could take months before she leaves office.

Meanwhile, the public is searching for a new leader and most want former UN secretary general Bi Ki-moon to be the new president.

He hasn't put his hand up yet, but people of South Korea are hoping he has the credibility and strength to dismantle the culture of corruption or what Koreans say is the "Korean Disease".

President Park has said she will accept the impeachment vote and would be willing to step down by April.

She will leave behind a struggling economy — consumer confidence is at a seven-year low, household debts have surged and youth unemployment is at record highs of 12.5 per cent.

The vast majority of South Koreans see her Presidency as a spectacular failure. The OECD, acknowledging the effect of the scandal has just cut growth forecasts for South Korea to 2.6 per cent for 2017.
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Re: South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

Postby mr friendly guy » 2017-03-10 01:19am

And she's gone.

South Korean president Park Geun-hye has been impeached, with new elections due in 60 days
MARCH 10, 20171:55PM

SOUTH Korea’s controversial president Park Geun-hye has been removed from office after a court upheld her impeachment. A new election must be held in 60 days.
Eight judges from the Constitutional Court assembled to issue a verdict that remove Park from office over a corruption scandal.
Their unanimous decision brought months of political turmoil to a climax and triggers a new presidential election.
Park’s actions had “seriously impaired the spirit of... democracy and the rule of law,” said constitutional court chief justice Lee Jung-Mi.
“President Park Geun-Hye... has been dismissed.”
It also means Park, the country’s first female president, becomes its first leader to be removed by impeachment. She is obliged to leave the presidential Blue House and loses her executive immunity from prosecution.

Rival groups of supporters and opponents watched as the verdict was read out live on television — a process that took little more than 20 minutes.
Park was found to have broken the law by allowing her friend Choi Soon-Sil to meddle in state affairs, and breached rules on public servants’ activities.
“The president has to use her power based on the constitution and the laws and have the details of her work shown transparently so that people can evaluate her works,” said Lee.

“But Park concealed completely Choi’s meddling in state affairs and denied it whenever suspicions over the act emerged and even criticised those who raised the suspicions.”

It is the first time a South Korean president has been driven from office before the end of their term since democracy replaced dictatorship in the late 1980s.
In anticipation of the ruling, pro-Park supporters, many of them dressed in army-style fatigues and wearing red berets, and those who want Park gone began showing up around the Constitutional Court building in downtown Seoul.
A big television screen was set up near the court so that people could watch the verdict live. Hundreds of police also began preparing for the protests, putting on helmets with visors and black, hard-plastic breastplates and shin guards.
South Korea’s opposition-controlled parliament voted to impeach Park in December amid suspicions that she colluded with a confidante to filch from companies and allowed the friend to secretly manipulate state affairs.

For Park to be formally removed, at least six of the court’s eight justices had to support the impeachment motion filed by lawmakers, which accuses the president of extortion, bribery, abuse of power and leaking government secrets. Park has apologised for putting trust in her friend, Choi (pronounced CHWEY) Soon-sil, but denies any legal wrongdoing.
The country’s election law requires a presidential vote within 60 days, which likely means May 9.

The ruling instantly strips Park of her powers and also her immunity against prosecution.
She could be interrogated by prosecutors seeking to indict her on criminal charges.
Park has repeatedly refused to be interviewed by prosecutors over the scandal in recent months, but that will be harder to do if prosecutors have an arrest warrant.
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Re: South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

Postby Q99 » 2017-03-10 02:00pm

She will be missed.


... ok, no she won't. But she will be highly remembered by drama and history writers for a long time!

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Re: South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

Postby Pelranius » 2017-03-11 08:28pm

Good riddance. She should have quit back in December if she had any sense of shame (apparently she hasn't moved out of the Blue House (South Korea's presidential residence) yet).
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Re: South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-17 04:17am

Now if only America would follow South Korea's fine example.
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Re: South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

Postby SolarpunkFan » 2017-03-17 05:41am

The Romulan Republic wrote:Now if only America would follow South Korea's fine example.


Well, considering that the GOP is powered mainly by Evangelical Christians, and they believe in the Rapture (which was never in the Bible, it was invented by a 19th century preacher), I'd say it's already there. :(


As for the article at hand: I'm not surprised. From what I've heard about religion in South Korea there's a lot of religious weirdness and/or fundamentalism going on in that country.
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Re: South Korean government manipulated by honest-to-god cult

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-17 01:20pm

SolarpunkFan wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:Now if only America would follow South Korea's fine example.


Well, considering that the GOP is powered mainly by Evangelical Christians, and they believe in the Rapture (which was never in the Bible, it was invented by a 19th century preacher), I'd say it's already there. :(


I meant the impeachment part.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.


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