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

In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal recounts the past of four religious leaders, who, in the name of God, fooled their followers and manipulated them into doing their bidding. The series is now streaming on Netflix.


The first three episodes capture the rise of Jeong Myeong-seok and his JMS religion, which became popular in the 1980s and 1990s.

Jeong Myeong-seok’s teachings and his different approach to the Bible attracted young people, who eventually joined him. Jeong Myeong-seok continued to rise in power until he was accused of sexually assaulting his followers in 1999.

The fourth episode explores the bizarre mass suicide committed by Park Soon-ja, a local female entrepreneur, and her followers. Their bodies were found on the ceiling of a factory in Yongin.

The fifth and sixth episodes document the rise of Kim Ki-soon and her heaven on earth, called the Baby Garden, which later became the Devil’s Garden. A five-year-old kid was beaten and killed by Kim Ki-soon at the Baby Garden because she claimed that he was possessed.

The last two episodes chronicle how a Christian pastor named Jaerock Lee and his followers invaded the studio of Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation when a documentary criticizing him was being aired.

Jaerock Lee not only embraced his cult-like persona after this incident, but he also started building an empire of his own. Jaerock Lee’s followers dedicatedly followed him even when he was charged with multiple sexual assaults.


The docuseries hasn’t tried to limit itself in any way. Enough time is given to each individual that is being studied in the show.

The docuseries carefully puts forth the teachings and claims of these four leaders, who used the name of God to lure people in, to give a basic idea of why people were attracted to them and how it made sense for them.

It later also establishes how it was impossible for these same people to come back from the den of these leaders once they joined them. The manipulation tactics described are frightening, and watching the victims tell their stories is heartbreaking and, at the same time, eye-opening.

The interviews tell the viewers about the deepest and darkest crimes committed by these leaders in detail. The smallest detail is taken into consideration to explain how horrific living under their hand was.


In an attempt to explore every aspect of these leaders and their crimes, the docuseries overstays its welcome, as it becomes overwhelming at one point.

The disturbing images and videos will make you uncomfortable about moving forward. The Five Oceans case, in particular, is very uneasy to watch.


In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal is an eye-opening but very uncomfortable documentary. It certainly can’t be watched in one sitting, owing to the testimonies and disturbing images provided.

The docuseries still does its job of covering the crimes of these self-proclaimed leaders inside and out without leaving a single trace behind.

In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal
In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal review: Disturbing and mind-boggling 1

Director: Jo Seong-Hyeon

Date Created: 2023-03-03 13:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal endings explained: All episodes

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