I met this bunch at a natural healing show in Clapham in about 1998, at the time they were called the Chun Do Sun Bup Ki Energy Institute
I have had a long interest in oriental healing systems and Chi Kung so I decided to have a Ki treatment (Chun soo) with the senior master at the show.
This was quite full on with the "hissing" and prodding. An hour or so later I felt absolutely fantastic!
I decided to go and visit them at their centre and have another treatment, at the time they were operating out of a hotel room in Cleveland Square near Lancaster Gate in London. The second treatment was as good as the first. (cost about £20) Later on they relocated to a centre near Barbican / Old Street
They explained about the Ki training. Step 1 was opening the channels of the body and consisted of 100 hour long sessions chanting, meditating and doing Chi Kung type movements. Step 2 was another hundred days but this time learning to receive and transmit energy with similar movements and chanting etc. I talked to a guy called Stephen Taylor whos wife had been cured of CFS by the training, she was at that time one of the energy masters at the centre having gone on to do the training afterwards.
At the time each step of the training cost £500. I thought to myself that that was £5 per session. In comparisson to some gym memberships and other classes this seemed a good deal.
I did the first 100 days training. The class would start with standing and recieving energy from the big round plaque on the wall. This was definately doing something as the skin started to peel off my hands after the first day (dead skin that is! this has also happened to me after intensive Chi Kung so I was not worried) chanting seed sylables (soo leoong chun moon) and doing slow Chi Kung type movements. Occasionally one of the Ki masters would come and place their palm above your head as you were doing this. The first time this happened I honestly thought someone had spilled hot coffee or something over my head. I looked up and saw the masters hand was about a foot above my head. There is no doubt these guys can transmit energy.
At this time the masters in the centre were Master Cho (senior master) his wife Master Byun and Stephania Taylor (wife of Stephen) who was called master Jin. Stephania and Stephen had some marriage difficulties and ended up leaving the organisation and a new master a western lady called Master Park joined the centre. They were all really nice and I believe genuine people.
I attended the Saturday ceremonies and yes everybody brought food along but after the ceremony we sat down and ate it. It was quite a pleasant get together.
I was given the sales pitch about ancestor training. I think its worth putting this in context. In the UK we do not revere ancestors the way they do in some countries and to a Korean spending several thousand pounds to help the spirits of your deceased ancestors who are unknowingly vampirising your energy body would not seem excessive. Similar beliefs occur within Chinese Taoism.
We used to pay for "intercessions" within the Christian church (Ok probably a scam) and thats nothing like as much as people pay who get involved with the "Alpha Course" etc. Does it work? well some of the students who undertook it seemed to have genuine benefits and profound experiences. Others said nothing at all happened.
I was also offered some other ceremony that seemed a bit like an exorcism of the home crossed with Feng Shui type ideas. (which I declined)
I only did the step 1 and I believe this was beneficial. The thing I didnt like was that you learnt the movements but were only supposed to practice them in the safe protective atmosphere of the centre. I wanted something I could practice on my own anywhere. (so later went back to Chi Kung)
The ancester training was too expensive for me. I made it clear to them that I wasnt going to do it and certainly wasnt going to take out a loan. They accepted this and did not push me at all after I had made that clear.
Yes the setup was cult like, and yes I could see how it could slowly suck someone in. I believe the Chun Soo treatments are genuine and beneficial and the Step 1 and 2 programmes are very good as well. Its the excessive price of the ancestor training that put me off. Whether its genuine or not.
I remember Emilie Weston when she turned up at the centre. She was thin, pale and seemed very ill with ME, she could barely walk at the time. Within a few weeks she could walk normally again and her return to health was steady. She seemed like a nice girl. I remember talking to her after she had gone off to Korea to do the masters training. I could see how if you have had such a profound and personal healing experience you would want to share the knowledge and get involved with the organisation.
I am saddened to hear that the Grand Masters have been in prison for fraud, Korea it seems is a hotbed of cults. It leaves me with a rather conflicted view of the organisation. Yes the healing and step 1 and 2 programmes are genuine IMHO but there is obviously a financial scam going on and if the organisation was founded by fraudsters then it cant lead to anything good. However I did meet some genuine people who did an awful lot of good for an awful lot of people.
Yes they now go by the name Ki Global. The constant rebranding is suspicious.
I would say its up to each individual to make their own mind up but personally I would draw the line at the ancestor training.