Did Kim Ki-Soon Kill Choi Nak-Gwi And Kang Mi-Gyeong? Was Kim Found Guilty Of Her Crimes?


The moment you think that humans couldn’t stoop lower and do anything more horrifying, the Netflix docuseries “In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal” gives you another gut-wrenching episode that makes you lose faith in humanity. The fifth episode of the series, titled “The Baby Garden: On the Way to Heaven,” documents the events that happened in the life of yet another fraudulent cult leader, Kim Ki-Soon. She was no different from any other cult leader in the series, apart from the fact that her actions could make even a monster turn in his grave. So, let’s take a glance at how Kim Ki-Soon’s early life was, what impact it had on her life, how she rose to fame, and why she committed those atrocious crimes.

Kim Ki-Sun’s Rise To Fame

Kim Ki-soon was ambitious from the very beginning, but due to a lack of resources, she wasn’t able to achieve the glory and honor she desired. She got orphaned at a very early age and later got married to the son of a pastor, and that’s probably why she would have realized the power of blind faith. Kim Ki-Soon was the best student of Pastor Lee Kyo-Bu, and she took part in all his events with great enthusiasm. When Pastor Lee was sent to prison on charges of assaulting a few people, Ki-Soon knew that if there was any time to seize the opportunity and establish her own empire, then it was then. She took over his commune and started the Baby Garden cult at Incheon in 1982. She had a way with words, which is why the people started believing her, and very soon, she became an even more popular figure than her teacher, Pastor Lee. She asked her followers to work and bring her funds so that she could use them for the welfare of all and build an empire that would be no less than heaven on earth. Her followers worked day and night, and she treated them like slaves. Even the entire construction inside the Baby Garden compound was done by her followers without any help from the outside world. People saw her as the reincarnation of Christ and joining the cult and following the leader as a means to get an eternal and fulfilled life.

Just like any other fraudulent cult leader, she had absurd and dictatorial rules that had to be followed by everyone except her. People had to practice celibacy as sexual activities were considered a sin. If a girl was found having any sort of romantic relationship with a guy, they both had to bear the consequences of not obeying the orders of their leader. But Kim Ki-soon herself picked up young, good-looking boys and abused them. The boys didn’t speak anything against her actions as they believed that by doing so she was gracing them with her blessings. The boys did feel weird upon being inappropriately touched by a lecherous woman, but how could they say no to the reincarnation of Jesus? They were scared of committing blasphemy of the highest order, and that is why they kept their mouth shut, even if it scarred them for life.

Kim Ki-soon literally treated her followers like slaves and call it her brainwashing skills or magnetic aura, nobody tried to raise a voice against her. It baffles us what kind of impact these cult leaders were capable of having when we see a wife turning against her own husband or a mother turning against her own children. Kim Ki-soon had said that every child would refer to her parents as Sir and Ma’am, and weirdly, no parents had any kind of objection to this ridiculous rule passed in the name of God. Kim Ki-soon’s influence was paramount, and no matter how foolish or absurd her teachings were, nobody ever dared question the moral or legal legitimacy of them. Her cult grew with every passing day, and people from all over South Korea came to her in search of heaven on earth. They gave her all their belongings, and for those who didn’t have a lot of material wealth, she made them work day and night to raise capital for her empire. 

The Murder Of Choi Nak-Gwi And Kang Mi-Gyeong

Imagine a five-year-old child writhing in pain because a few insane people thought that he was possessed by Satan and the only way to free him from the evil spirit was to spill his blood. Kim Ki-Soon kept Nak-Gwi in a pigpen and told her followers to feed him with feces. Nak-Gwi’s aunt, Sun Bok-Re, was among the perpetrators who were beating him, not giving him any food, and making sure that he suffered and pleaded for the sin that he didn’t know he had committed. Even the reenactment of the scene in the series, “In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal,” using a mannequin became unbearable to watch for us and even for the people who were made to revisit it after several years. Kim Ki-Soon got to know that her son was infatuated with a girl named Kang Mi-Gyeong, who used to work in their house as a helper.

Kim Ki-Soon murdered Kang Mi-Gyeong and tarnished her image in front of the members of the cult by questioning her character even when she was fully aware that if anybody’s character was to be questioned, then it had to be her son’s. Killing a person had been normalized by the cult leader, as she had a large compound and knew that what happened inside could never come under the radar of the authorities. She was running her own parallel government in the Baby Garden, and no matter how blatantly wrong her acts were, she found some twisted philosophy to support them and make her followers realize that whatever she was doing was in accordance with the will of God. It is because of these cult leaders that any spiritual leader around the globe is looked at with the lens of suspicion, even if they have the best intentions at heart.

Was Kim Ki-Soon Found Guilty Of Her Crimes? Where Is She Now?

When the South Korean law enforcement authorities got a whiff of what was happening inside the Baby Garden, 50 investigators came searching for the criminal mastermind Kim Ki-Soon. She escaped from the compound with the help of her advisor, Lee Soon-bok. Later, the police officials found the guy who had helped her bury the bodies of Choi Nak-Gwi and Kang Mi-Gyeong, and he agreed to testify against the cult leader. In 1996, the excavation of the bodies began, but the authorities were not able to find anything. All they had were the testimonies of a few former members and survivors, but still, the prosecutor believed that they would have a strong case as the mother of the deceased child and the excavator were on their side. Later that year, Kim Ki-soon came out of hiding and surrendered herself to the authorities. Nobody understood why she did that when she could have easily stayed hidden and saved herself from going to prison.

Kim Ki-soon was not only a hypocrite and a heartless dictator but a shredder of schemes too. She knew that the odds were in her favor, which is why she had decided to come before the world and face the trial. Before the trial, there was a secret meeting held in one of the hotels where Kim Ki-Soon met Choi Nak-Gwi’s mother, and God knows how she persuaded her not to testify against her in court. She also bought the excavator, Yoon Bang-Su, and he promised to transfer the ownership of her land into his name. The prosecutors couldn’t believe their ears when the excavator said that he had been coerced to testify against the cult leader by the prosecutors and that Sun Yeong-Re said that her son had died of a heart attack. Without the bodies of the deceased, the case of the prosecutors was not very strong, and the testimony of the mother put the final nail in the coffin. Kim Ki-Soon served a sentence of four years for committing financial frauds, and it was never proved that she was the one who was behind the murders in the Baby Garden.

Kim Ki-Soon, after getting released, went back to her millennial kingdom, and it is not known what happened to her after that. What we know is that the Korean authorities were never able to prove her guilt, even though everybody knew what had happened in the Baby Garden. She was smart enough to understand that a court of law works on evidence and not on speculations and beliefs, no matter how true they are. We don’t know how such people can face themselves or why they don’t feel guilty about taking innocent lives. After watching these episodes of “In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal,” we can’t even imagine what that child thought in his last moments when he saw his own mother beating him mercilessly.

The members of the cult spoke in their testimony about how he traveled a great distance inside the compound to get some food and water, and instead of feeding the poor soul, they took him back to the pigpen and beat him till he lost consciousness. What kind of monster can do such an act is beyond our comprehension. Kim Ki-Soon was certainly the personification of Satan. After seeing such godmen and cults, we are forced to question the very existence of God because if there is any divine force, then how could it let an innocent and helpless soul be subjected to such barbarity? We cannot thank the makers of the Netflix show “In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal” enough for at least bringing the crimes of these insane cult leaders in front of the world and sending a strong statement that the world is not as blind as they think it to be.

See More: ‘In The Name Of God: A Holy Betrayal’ Explained: Who Are Jeong Myeong, Park Soon-Ja, Kim Ki-Soon & Lee Jae-Rok?

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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