[Odaeyang] Is the Salvation Group Related to the Odaeyang Mass Suicide Incident?

Author : -관리자- / Date : 2021. 12. 11. 16:13 / Category : [ENG]/English

1. What are the false reports?


A number of press agencies published false reports with the following allegations: “Odaeyang’s money flowed into the Salvation Group,” “All those who committed suicide in the Odaeyang incident were members of the Salvation Group,” “The Salvation Group is the ‘Odaeyang Cult,” and “Former Chairman Yoo was the pastor of the Salvation Group during the ‘Odaeyang Incident,’ which involved 32 who collectively committed suicide.”  In consultation with the Press Arbitration Committee and/or the involved press agencies, those reports were either removed or correction reports were published. Examples of the false reports are as follows.








2. False Report vs Fact


  1. Odaeyang’s money flowed into the Salvation Group.
  2. All those who committed suicide in the Odaeyang incident were members of the Salvation Group
  3. The Salvation Group is the ‘Odaeyang Sect. 
  4. Former Chairman Yoo was the pastor of the Salvation Group during the ‘Odaeyang Incident,’ which involved 32 who collectively committed suicide.
1. During the investigation of the  Odaeyang Incident, there was no evidence found that proved 17 billion won flowed into the Salvation Group (Evangelical Baptist Church). Also, three investigations by the prosecution in 1987, 1989, and 1991 concluded that there was no connection between the Odaeyang incident and the Evangelical Baptist Church.

2. It is true that Park Soon-ja once attended the Daejeon area church meetings. However, after establishing Odaeyang, she did not set foot into this church ever again. Moreover, the 32 who committed suicide were not members of the Evangelical Baptist Church.

3. In May of 2014, Incheon District Prosecutor’s Office released the following official statement: “A review of the investigation records concluded that there was no connection between the mass suicide incident and the Salvation Group or President Yoo Byung-eun. The Office could not confirm that they were protected by the Fifth Republic of Korea government. 

4. The Evangelical Baptist Church is an assembly of laymen and does not have an official pastor position. During the incident, former Chairman Yoo Byung-eun neither served as pastor for the Evangelical Baptist Church nor was he related to the Odaeyang incident.  






3. Related Articles and Sermon


The investigation into the Odaeyang incident that happened in August 1987 was determined a mass suicide. In 1988, the 5th Republic of Korea ad hoc committee reinvestigated the incident but reached the same conclusion. In 1991, six survivors of the Odaeyang incident who felt guilty about four people who were secretly buried in that incident came forward. In July of that year, another investigation was launched, but the conclusion was identical to that of the 1987 and 1988 investigation--a mass suicide incident. In July of 1991, a member of the National Assembly, Park Chan-jong, reported allegations of a connection between Odaeyang, Semo Corporation, and Yoo Byung-eun. However, the prosecutor’s investigation did not find any connection, and President Yoo Byung-eun was serving a four-year sentence for an unrelated fraud incident. The fact that the Odaeyang incident and the Evangelical Baptist Church are not connected was confirmed in an official letter by the Incheon District Prosecutor’s Office.



<Official Letter by Incheon District Prosecutor’s Office>

The Prosecutor’s Office had already investigated the Odaeyang incident thoroughly twice in the past. A review of the investigation records concludes that there is no connection between the mass suicide incident, Evangelical Baptist Church, or President Yoo Byung-eun. The Office could not confirm that they were protected by the Fifth Republic of Korea government. 

  • If any criminal connection had been found during the investigation, all responsible parties without exception would have been strictly punished.





<Monthly Chosun September 1999 Issue>


[인터뷰] 兪炳彦 前 세모 회장 出獄 후 최초 인터뷰
『내가 왜 오대양 사건 背後라는 누명을 쓰고 살아야 합니까? 어금니를 깨물며 억울함을 참습니다』

張源埈 月刊朝鮮 기자 (wjjang@chosun.com)

OX 문제 3개
 간단한 OX 문제 몇개부터 풀어보자. 기억을 더듬으면서 독자들은 다음 세가지 명제 중 몇 개나 맞는 서술인지 한번 답해보시기 바란다. 
  <①金泳三(김영삼) 前(전)대통령의 次男(차남) 賢哲(현철)씨는 한국 경제를 IMF 換亂(환란)으로 몰아간 방아쇠 중 하나였던 韓寶(한보) 사태와 관련, 무모한 대출을 알선해주는 대가로 韓寶로부터 억대의 돈을 받았다. 검찰이 이걸 「혐의 없다」고 뭉개려다가 대검 중수부장이 교체되는 망신까지 당하고는 마침내 金씨를 구속했다. 
  ②어이 없는 대형 火災(화재)로 수십명의 어린이들이 불에 타 숨진, 끔찍했던 최근 화성 씨랜드 사건의 뒤에는 예상대로 뇌물을 받고 대강대강 공사 허가를 내준 郡守(군수)가 있었다. 처음에 구속영장이 기각되기도 했지만 결국 화성군수는 씨랜드 인허가 과정에서 뇌물 1억3천만원을 받은 혐의로 구속됐다. 
  ③32명의 成人(성인)이 한꺼번에 變死體(변사체)로 발견돼 1987년 여름을 강타했던 오대양 사건의 背後(배후)에는 오대양과 관련된 또다른 종교 집단 「구원파」의 중심 인물 兪炳彦(유병언) 당시 세모 사장이 있었다. 한때 오대양 신도들의 집단 自殺劇(자살극)으로 결론지어졌던 이 사건은 재수사 끝에 兪씨의 관련 혐의가 밝혀졌고, 그래서 兪씨는 징역살이를 했다> 
  몇개나 맞다고 답하셨는가? 1개? 2개? 아니면 3개 모두? 얼핏 다 그럴 듯해 보이지만 이 명제들은 다 틀렸다. 「0개」가 정답이다. 이걸 맞추었다면, 그리고 「이런 문제는 대강 다 틀렸다고 하는 게 정답이더라」는 식의 어림 짐작이 아니라 틀린 부분까지 지적하면서 답한 것이라면, 그 독자는 평소 신문을 꼼꼼하게 읽는 편이고 판단력이나 기억력도 훌륭한 것으로 자부해도 괜찮겠다.


  자, 이제 이 기사의 주 관심대상인 兪炳彦 前세모 회장件을 살펴볼 차례다. 물론 명제 ③도 틀렸다. 참고로 ㈜세모는 한강 유람선과 스쿠알렌(深海 상어의 肝油를 정제한 것) 등으로 유명했던 바로 그 회사를 말한다. 
  오대양 사건에 대한 검찰의 최종 수사 발표문(1991년)은 꼼꼼히 보면 구성이 흥미롭다. 발표문의 처음은 오대양 集團變死(집단변사) 사건으로 시작된다. 중간쯤에서는 세모와 오대양이 연계된 의혹 부분에 대해 수사 내용이 한참 이어진다. 그러다가 맨 마지막 사건 처리 부분에서는 세모 兪사장의 구속 혐의가 딱 한 페이지 적혀 있다. 그리고 그 죄목은 오대양과는 관계 없는, 9년 전의 詐欺(사기) 혐의이다.



『Why do I have to live with the accusation of orchestrating the Odaeyang Incident? I bite down on my molars to tolerate this injustice.』


Jang Won-joon Monthly Chosun Reporter



Three OX Quizzes


Let’s first solve a few OX quizzes. Let’s refresh our memory and try to see which of the following statements are true.


<①Former President Kim Young-sam’s second son, Hyun-chul, received billions from Hanbo Steel for helping secure a reckless loan in the Hanbo Incident, which was one of the events that triggered the Korean economy into the IMF financial crisis. The prosecutors attempted to dismiss the charges but were disgraced as the head of the Central Investigation Headquarters of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office was replaced, and Kim was ultimately arrested.      


② Behind the large fire that resulted in dozens of children fatalities by flames in the recent Sealand incident in Hwaseong was none other than the head of the Gun who received bribes to authorize the shoddy construction of the youth training center facility. His arrest warrant was initially denied, but the head of the Hwaseong Gun was ultimately arrested for receiving 130 million won in bribes for authorizing the licensing of Sealand.  


③ Behind the Odaeyang incident that struck the summer of 1987 with the discovery of 32 dead bodies was the then President of Semo Yoo Byung-eun, the central figure of another religious group related to Odaeyang called the “Salvation Group.” Once concluded as a mass murder by the Odaeyang believers, this incident was reinvestigated. As a result, Mr. Yoo was convicted of related charges and served a sentence.>  


How many of these statements did you choose as correct? One? Two? Or all three? These propositions all seem plausible, but they are all untrue. Therefore, “zero” is the right answer. If you got this right by not simply guessing that “With this kind of question, you generally want to say they’re all wrong,” but you were also able to point out the incorrect details, you are a subscriber who reads news articles thoroughly and can be proud of having good judgment and memory. 


<Middle Paragraphs Omitted>


Now, it’s time to consider the topic of interest of this article, Yoo Byung-eun, the former chairman of Semo. Of course, proposition ③ is incorrect. For reference, Semo is the company that was famous for the Han River ferry boats and squalene (refined deep sea shark liver oil).


If we carefully examine the Prosecutors’ Office’s final investigation statement (1991), we find its organization to be interesting. The introduction begins with the Odaeyang mass fatality incident. The body of the statement discusses investigative details of the suspected connection between Semo and Odaeyang at length. Then, at the very end, there is only one page that describes what he was arrested for. He was convicted of fraud that happened nine years before, which was unrelated to the Odaeyang incident.    




[Interview] First Interview of Former Chairman Yoo Byung-eun after Release


4. Related articles that either provide corrections or counter arguments


<Kookmin-ilbo, July 29, 2020>




<CBS Byun Sang-wook’s Saipan 2 2019 November 4th>https://youtu.be/Xf-Mh5FGA5E

Correction report following the broadcasting of <Byung Sang-wook’s Saipan> that discussed the Evangelical Baptist Church and the deceased Chairman Yoo Byung-eun


 In June of 2018, our broadcasting company aired the program called <Byun Sang-wook’s Saipan> and also published a similar video in our youtube channel that made the following statements: “The 32 people who died in the mass suicide incident of Odaeyang, including the deseased Park Soon-ja, were members of the Salvation Group. The Salvation Group used these people to make assertions to save them under the theories of birth control and the apocalypse. Kim Do-hyun who came forth and turned himself in at the time said that “even if we killed people and buried their bodies illegally, there is nothing hindering our souls from being saved.” At the time it was reported that their doctrine taught them that after salvation they could live lawlessly.

But the people who died due to the Odaeyang mass suicide incident were not confirmed to be members of the Evangelical Baptist Church. And the EBC’s “spiritual birth control theory” signified the importance of Christian life lived by Christians, and EBC does not teach the apocalypse or the doctrine that it is acceptable to live lawlessly after receiving salvation. Also it has been confirmed that Kim Do-hyun who turned himself in for the Odaeyang incident never made such statements.




<Aju Economy 2014 November 03>


Corrective and refutative statements regarding the Evangelical Baptist Church (Salvation Group) and the Former Chairman Yoo Byung-eun


[Correction report] related to the “Evangelical Baptist Church and the Odaeyang”


Last year on April 2nd, Aju Economy newspaper reported, on the homepage under the section labeled, Aju-TV/Trend Box, an article titled <[AJU TV] Odaeyang incident related Chairman Yoo Byung-eun’s son is the owner of the Sewol ferry; the ominous Semo Group>. This article stated that there has been evidence found that the 17 billion Korean won borrowed by the Odaeyang has leaked into the Salvation Group (Evangelical Baptist Church).

But after checking with the EBC, it has been found that there wasn’t such evidence of the 17 billion Korean won leaking into the Salvation Group (EBC). The “Odaeyang incident” involving the mass suicide deaths of 32 people and the EBC are not related and the prosecutors office has confirmed this fact on 21st of May. We would like to make the above corrections to the article. This report has been written following the revision required by the Press Arbitration Commission.



<JoseIlbo 2014 November 17>


Correction report regarding the Evangelical Baptist Church (Salvation Group) and Former Chairman Yoo Byung-eun

However, in May of 2014, according to official statements from the Incheon regional Prosecutors office, no evidence was found during investigation to prove that the Odaeyang incident was related to the Evangelical Baptist Church or the Former Chairman Yoo Byung-eun; therefore we would like to make amendments according to the results. Also, as the EBC is an organization consisting of layman members, there is no position of a pastor inside the organization; therefore, the Former Chairman Yoo Byung-eun has never held such a position in the EBC. It has been confirmed that Mr Lee Jun-suk, the captain of the Sewol Ferry, is not a member of the Evangelical Baptist Church and that only roughly 10% of the Chonghaejin Marine Company employees were members of the EBC. EBC has not attempted to convert employees through education and the word “sewol” in the name of the Sewol ferry has been found to be irrelevant to the church. The name only means “time passed”.






<Chosun Dot Com 2014 August 12>

[Correction report] According to result of prosecutors' investigation, no relationship exists between the Salvation Group and the Odaeyang incident

Last year April 23rd, Chosun Dot Com published an article titled <’Salvation Group’ Yoo Byung-eun’s family has been banned from overseas travel … “Second son with dual nationality has already left the country”>

In this article, the Former Chairman Yoo Byung-eun who was named as being responsible for the “Odaeyang incident” at the time in 1987 has now been revealed as the pastor of the “Salvation Group”, causing unrest. However, according to the result of prosecutors’ investigation at the time, there was no evidence found to support these claims that the Odaeyang incident was related to the Salvation Group or the Former Chairman Yoo Byung-eun so we would like to rectify this. This report follows the decision of the Press Arbitration Commission.




and many others






본 게시글은 지난 2014년 4월 중순부터 9월 중순까지 310여 곳의 언론사들이 보도한 

16,000여 건의 오보에 대한 정정 및 반론 보도 중에 해당 부분을 발췌한 글입니다.



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