After Synnara Record’s ties to a criminal cult get wider exposure, consumers call for a boycott

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Founded in the 80s, Synnara Record was a massively popular distributor in the 80s-90s, holding as much as 30% of the market share back then. They’ve declined since thanks to the move to digital, but it’s still a label popular with K-pop fans due to their low prices, ease of organizing bulk buys, and for the meet-and-greets they setup.

Now though, they’ve come under fire after the documentary made the connection between it at the Aga Dongsan (Baby Garden) cult widely known, as it’s used to provide revenue for founder Kim Ki Soon. The cult predicting a coming apocalypse that could only be survived by her followers, and she referred to herself as baby, as she claimed to be made without sin. Unfortunately, the reason the company was able to provide such cheap prices and what not is that it relied on cult labor to power it.

Founded by Kim Ki-soon in 1982, Aga Dongsan is a religious community consisting of collective farms and factories in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province. It made headlines in 1996 after about 30 members filed a petition with prosecutors asking that the cult be investigated for exploitation of their assets and labor. They also said they suspected cult leaders were involved in murder.
A group of 297 believers donated their wealth to the cult and worked at the group’s farms, factories and construction projects free of charge for nearly 20 years.

Back in 1998, Kim was convicted for tax evasions, embezzlement, and exploitation.

After a two-year probe, Kim, now 68, was convicted in 1998 of tax evasion, embezzlement and exploitation, receiving four years of imprisonment and a 5.6 billion won ($5.4 million) fine. The Supreme Court, however, acquitted Kim of murder charges, citing lack of evidence.

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