Nak-gwi’s death in In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal explained

In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal documents how Kim Ki-soon killed a five-year-old boy at the Baby Garden by claiming that he was possessed by the devil.

Kim Ki-soon intended to create a heaven on earth at a place she called the Baby Garden, but this place soon became the Devil’s Garden, where her blind followers were forced to perform heavy labor. Anyone who disobeyed her was to be killed.

One of those who died at the Baby Garden was Nak-gwi, an innocent five-year-old boy. The incident took place in 1987, and it encouraged members of the Baby Garden to stand up against Kim Ki-soon.

Who was Nak-gwi?

Nak-gwi’s mother and aunt lived at the Baby Garden. In the summer of 1987, Kim Ki-soon tied Nak-gwi, who probably wanted to reunite with his mother, in the pigpen with his hands behind his back, all alone, while his mother was at the market.

Nak-gwi had smeared the walls with feces, probably to express that he needed his mother. He had openly expressed his hatred towards Kim Ki-soon and that might’ve triggered Kim Ki-soon to make this move.

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A member who was also tied at the pigpen claimed that no food was ever given to Nak-gwi, not even water.

Nak-gwi was at the pigpen for around a week. One night, he walked to the kitchen looking for food. The kitchen was pretty far away from the pigpen, even for a grown man.

Nak-gwi was probably hoping there would be some food left. He must have been very hungry since he walked this far, but the kitchen lady immediately informed Kim Ki-soon.

Kim Ki-soon had previously claimed that Nak-gwi is possessed by a spirit. After watching Nak-gwi come this far without eating anything for days, the kitchen lady told Kim Ki-soon that she was right about him.

How did Nak-gwi die?

Nak-gwi’s aunt, Sun Bok-re, was working at the factory. After her afternoon shift, Kim Ki-soon called her to inform her that Nak-gwi is possessed because he has smeared feces all over the wall.

Kim Ki-soon believed they needed to discipline this kid, but his mother was at work and his father had already left. Therefore, she wanted Sun Bok-re to teach Nak-gwi a lesson.

Nak-gwi's death in In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal explained 1
Nak-gwi’s aunt talks about her nephew’s death

Kim Ki-soon sent her followers to check if Sun Bok-re does what she is told or not. Sun Bok-re had no choice but to follow Kim Ki-soon’s orders. Kim Ki-soon’s followers helped her. They instructed her to have him eat feces. Sun Bok-re did as she was told, but Nak-gwi pushed the feces fed to him out of his mouth.

When this happened, they decided to pick up sticks and beat the kid. All these women took turns beating the little kid. They called him Satan while doing so.

Even Kim Ki-soon had beaten Nak-gwi several times, but Nak-gwi never cried. Most likely, he didn’t even understand what was going on or why he had to face this. Soon, Nak-gwi left the world after succumbing to the beating.

Did the court find Kim Ki-soon guilty of killing Nak-gwi?

Nak-gwi’s mother found out about the incident a day later. Kim Ki-soon told Nak-gwi’s mother that she needed somebody to be a scapegoat to teach others a lesson.

Since Nak-gwi’s family joined the Baby Garden last and doesn’t have enough faith, it would’ve been hard to keep them here. Kim Ki-soon assured Nak-gwi’s mother that she will receive blessings now that Nak-gwi has been sacrificed.

Kim Ki-soon made a fake death certificate for Nak-gwi. The certificate suggested that the boy died due to a heart attack. Nak-gwi’s mother signed it.

Nak-gwi’s father and those against Kim Ki-soon agreed to come together and file a lawsuit. Kim Ki-soon denied all the allegations, and only Nak-gwi’s mother’s testimony would’ve decided her faith.

Before the trial, Kim Ki-soon met Nak-gwi’s mother and convinced her not to go against her. In court, while the woman who beat Nak-gwi admitted that she did, Nak-gwi’s own mother denied it.

Kim Ki-soon was not found guilty of murdering Nak-gwi. The court acknowledged that he was beaten to death, but it wasn’t intentional. Kim Ki-soon only tried to discipline the kid, according to the court. 

Also Read: In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal review: Disturbing and mind-boggling