It's been said before: Korea has a cult problem. It's not that other countries/cultures don't give birth to cults. But Korea seems to do cults like nobody else
. Korean cults combine religious talk with deception
, intimidation, utter disregard for ethics, a keen interest in busine$$ and political power. See "South Korea: A cult history"
. The Cult of the Kims in North Korea hasn't hung on for this long just because they have the guns. Part of what keeps them in power is the culture--not communist culture, but Korean culture
A culture that leads to a proliferation of "powerful" cults is also part of why you had a cult puppet elected President and then impeached in South Korea recently. It turned out a cult leader's daughter was vetting the President's speeches and even policy documents, and the extent of this influence was under-reported in the West and also boldly lied about by the presidential thrall. It's so reminiscent of "message training". From "The Irrational Downfall of Park Geun-hye
...Although Park's relationship with the Choi family briefly became an issue during her two presidential runs, she dismissed them as baseless rumors, claiming that neither Choi Tae-min nor Choi Soon-sil was involved in her works as a politician.
As it turned out, Choi Soon-sil owned Park Geun-hye just as much as her father did. Peddling the presidential influence, Choi extorted tens of millions of dollars from Korea's largest corporations. When they found a small and profitable company, Choi's cronies would straight-up steal it, threatening the owner of the company with the company's destruction and personal harm. More importantly, Choi effectively controlled the presidential power. Every day, Choi would receive a huge stack of policy briefs from the presidential residence to discuss with her inner circle--an illustrious group that included Choi's gigolo (no, really) and a K-pop music video director (I'm serious.) Choi would receive ultra-confidential information detailing secret meetings between South and North Korean military authorities. Choi would receive in advance the budget proposal of more than $150 million for the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, and distributed them to her friends' projects. Choi went around saying North Korea would collapse by 2017 according to the spirits that spoke to her, and the Park Geun-hye administration may have set its North Korea policy based on this claim.