Paradise (Park Soon-ja)

A mysterious case of mass death in South Korea, shrouded in allegations of fraud and religious deception.


Introduction

The case of Paradise, led by Park Soon-ja, is a complex and mysterious tale involving mass death, alleged cult activities, and financial fraud. Park Soon-ja was the CEO of Five Oceans, a company that presented itself as a craft manufacturer but was later accused of being a front for fraudulent activities and a religious cult.

Park Soon-Ja and Five Oceans

Park Soon-Ja was known as a kind and compassionate woman who successfully ran the Five Oceans company. This company claimed to help orphans and struggling artisans. However, it later came to light that these so-called philanthropic activities might have been a façade for more sinister operations. Park Soon-Ja was revered as a spiritual leader by many of her employees and followers​​.

The Mass Death Incident

On August 29, 1987, a shocking discovery was made in the ceiling of a factory in Yongin, South Korea. Thirty-two people, including Park Soon-Ja, her family members, and followers, were found dead. Initially ruled as a mass suicide, later investigations raised suspicions of murder. The circumstances of their deaths were bizarre, with forensic evidence suggesting a more complex scenario than a simple group suicide​​​​.

Investigation and Theories

Various theories emerged regarding the deaths. Some investigators believed that the factory manager, Lee Gyeong-su, strangled the victims before hanging himself. However, discrepancies in the forensic evidence suggested that Lee might also have been murdered. The case’s complexity deepened with the discovery of financial ties between Five Oceans and Yoo Byung-Eun, leader of the Evangelical Baptist Church of South Korea (Salvation Sect), leading to speculations of financial fraud being the motive behind the incident​​​​.

Financial Fraud and Religious Deception

Investigations revealed that Five Oceans, under the leadership of Park Soon-Ja, was potentially involved in large-scale financial fraud. The company was accused of being a front for another trading company owned by Yoo Byeong-un, using its religious façade to raise money through illegal loans. The case took a turn when authorities started viewing Five Oceans as a religious group involved in fraudulent activities rather than a legitimate business​​.