On October 5, 1998, six doomsday cult members and their leader were found burned to death in a mini-van in a suspected self-immolation ritual. The dead cultist were identified as members of the Youngsang (everlasting life) Church, one of the dozens of doomsday cults active in South Korea.
Police said the doomsday cult leader, Woo Jong-min, 57, left his home in Seoul in July with six followers, saying that they were embarking on an everlasting journey. Jong-min taught his followers that when they die, they will live a new, happy life in heaven. The news shocked South Koreans, most of whom had returned to their home towns to celebrate Chusok, a traditional lunar holiday. It is not known whether the date was a significant one for the cult members.