Kim Ki-Soon: Where is Baby Garden Founder Now?

In Netflix’s ‘In the Name of God,’ viewers get to see some of the dark chapters of South Korean history. The documentary series shares the stories of several religious leaders from the country whose unethical actions led to disastrous consequences for many. One of the people covered by the show is Kim Ki-Soon, who garnered a massive following through her teachings that were based on faith and ways of living. Given her story, it is no wonder that people across the world are curious about just where Ki-Soon is these days. So, let’s explore this together, shall we?

Who is Kim Ki-Soon?

Kim Ki-Soon is the founder of the Baby Garden, a Christianity sect based in South Korea. Initially a follower of Pastor Lee Kyo-Bu, she amassed her following after her mentor was jailed for about a few years. Claiming that Kyo-bu had asked her to continue his work, Ki-Soon rose in popularity and soon became a religious leader in her own right. After some time, she asked her followers to stay in communion with her.

While staying on the premises of Baby Garden, the followers had to follow a strict rule set. Married couples were not allowed to sleep in the same room and were meant to live a life of chastity. However, that seemingly did not stop the religious leader from sharing her bed with many men. One of her former followers even told the Netflix showrunners that she apparently never slept in her bed alone. While most of her followers loved Ki-Soon, the punishments that she enacted on those she considered sinners were quite harsh.

In the Netflix documentary, viewers are told about Choi Nak-Gwi, a five-year-old child whom Ki-Soon declared to be possessed by the devil as he had smeared excrement on the walls. His mother, Sun Yeong-Re, was a follower and was told that her child would have to stay in the pigsty and be punished until he was “free.” The child was apparently often beaten up and, according to Sun Bok-Re, even forced to eat pig excrement. Due to the harsh conditions, the child passed away in 1987. However, Ki-Soon apparently asked Yeong-Re to sign a death certificate that stated that Nak-Dwi died due to a heart attack.

Kim Ki-Soon Returned to Baby Garden

While Choi Nak-Gwi’s mother went along with Kim Ki-Soon’s directives, the child’s father, Cho Myeong-Ho, was heartbroken about what had happened to his child. Hence, he decided to send a letter to the authorities describing the incident. At the time, Kin-Soon was already being investigated due to the multiple numbers of people that had gone missing in connection to tBaby Garden. Many other assault victims had also sent their own accounts via letters. Prosecutor Kang Min-Koo was especially moved by what had happened to Nak-Gwi.

In 1996, the police tried to raid Baby Garden’s estate, but Ki-Soon escaped. Ultimately, on December 16, 1996, Ki-Soon decided to turn herself in but denied all the charges that were put against her. She claimed that she was not aware of the incidents that she was being accused of. Some of the key witnesses in the case retracted their statements against Ki-Soon, one man who had previously stated he buried the bodies but then shared in court that he had only confessed to this due to threats from the prosecution.

The seemingly lost case hung on a thread by the testimony that Sun Yeong-Re was meant to give regarding Choi Nak-Gwi’s death. However, the mother was apparently coached the previous night by Ki-Soon’s followers to stick to the heart attack story. When she ended up saying that her son had died of a heart attack, Cho Myeong-Ho was enraged. However, this also meant that nothing criminal could be proven against Ki-Soon, and she was released. After this, she returned to Baby Garden, presumably to resume her role as its leader.

Read More: Where is Jeong Myeong-Seok Now?