​What Happened to the Homeless in South Korea in the 1980s

Every Monday morning, “people’s trials” were held. Rule-breakers, including those who tried to escape, were savagely punished in front of thousands. In 1986, military intelligence officials ranked Brothers Home above prisons in its ability to “control and discipline.” The Truth Commission said the place was run as if it enjoyed “extraterritorial rights.”Those who were loyal to Mr. Park were made “platoon leaders” and terrorized others. A vast majority of the people held in Brothers Home were men. In a survey, nearly a quarter said they were raped there, according to a 2020 investigation sponsored by Busan City. The same report said Brothers Home appeared to have earned money by releasing at least 11 children for adoption abroad.“On one hand, Park In-keun collected money from Christian donors,” said Choi Seung-woo, 53, who spent five years at the center until 1986. “On the other hand, he gathered all of us in the church and punished rule-breakers ‘in the name of Jesus and God.’ He kicked and bludgeoned us, blood splattered from our head.”Han Jong-sun, 46, who was taken to Brothers Home at 8 years old, said he saw guards bludgeoning a young man having an epileptic seizure. The teenager was taken away with his eyes rolling to the back of his head and was never seen again. Mr. Han said he was regularly raped by male platoon leaders.

Source: ​Decades After a ‘Living Hell,’ Korean Victims​ Win a Step Toward Redress – The New York Times