Cult Followers in Limbo After Ferry Owner's Death

The compound of the Evangelical Baptist Church in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province was tense on Tuesday as news came that sect leader and ferry owner Yoo Byung-eon had been found dead.

Some members of the cult blocked the entry of the compound while only a few people who farm on the site went back and forth in their cars.

Sect members refused to believe the announcement of the police and cooked up instant conspiracy theories.

Police officers stop and search vehicles on a road near a compound of the cult led by ferry owner Yoo Byung-eon in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday. Police officers stop and search vehicles on a road near a compound of the cult led by ferry owner Yoo Byung-eon in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday.

Lee Tae-jong, a sect spokesman, claimed that the body found in Suncheon, South Jeolla Province on June 12 with several bottles of rice wine and soju was not Yoo's. He reasoned their leader "never drinks alcohol" and could not possibly have decomposed almost to the bone in just two weeks.

When the police confirmed that the body had been positively identified by DNA, key disciples gathered at the compound to discuss future plans and cancelled the planned release of a press statement.

Cho Gye-woong, another spokesman, said, "The information is different from what we have. We will disclose it later when all is confirmed."

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 23, 2014 13:11 KST