I was involved with SCJ Berlin for half a year. In summer, I was in Berlin (which is far from my home town) for an internship for two months. On my very first day, I was lost and confused at a Tram station when a lady approached me. She was around 50 and I'm gonna call her B. With her was another girl girl, around 20, but that girl didn't say a word. B told me she is learning a kind of speech/talk and needs some feedback about it. First, I was annoyed, but when she mentioned that it is about God, I was more relaxed as I am a Christian as well. I thought she is a cute lady who is trying to evangelize me. So I gave her my number.
A few days later, she texted me and we wanted to meet up. I came to the place where she told me would be a flea market from here church. When I arrived, there was no market and no B. Later she texted me that she was involved in an accident and that's why she hadn't been there. But this didn't explain why there was no flea market at all. But anyway, I was not suspicious. Later, she invited me for a service from her church. The church was called "Kulturgemeinde Berlin" in "Lichtenberg". The service was outdoor, at a lake. We even missed the sermon because we were too late, but B didn't really mind. There was a picknick and we played games. Everbody was super kind and it was an international community. I even met a friend of a friend (verified) which made me trust them even more.
A few weeks later, I attended their service again, but this time in a building. Before the service, there was a huge international buffet with food from different areas of the world. It was a great fellowship. The service was like a normal Christian sunday service, yet in the afternoon (which is not too uncommon anymore). They sang worship songs I know from ther churches and the sermon was about that we all need to go back "to school" sometimes. In the end of the service, they handed out registration forms for a bible course, or how they called it, bible school. As I was about to leave Berlin soon, I didn't even think about attending. But B tried to convince me. At first I wanted to say no. But then she told me that she believed this was the purpose why we met: God wanted me to attend this Bible course. I could do it online, so I could even do it when I am not in Berlin anymore. Finally, I said yes.
The course was four times a week and each time for about two hours. At the end of each lesson, we had to fill out a form to answer brief questions about the content of the lesson. We could also ask questions. The bible course was about parables. In the beginning, it was about the parables Jesus told, but later it expanded to the whole Bible. They taught us that the Bible explains itself, so when something is mentioned, for example a "tree" you can look at other passages of the Bible to see what tree stands for. So tree stands for a person, water stands for the word and so on. I wondered why nobody had ever told me about this before, or why even myself has never seen this in the Bible before. Everything was very logical and biblical. They had a Bible verse to explain everything what they were saying. They also said things like "this is not about me, this is only about the word of God" or "if you hear me say anything against the Word of God, I am totally open for you to come to me and correct me." So I didn't doubt that they were sincere and honest.
When I asked them about which church they are, they said they had just formed themselves out of many cell groups. They were a new church that's why their website was also still lacking lots of information. The teachers of the Bible course were very young, but they told me that they had studied theology (which was a lie as I discovered later). While I was still in Berlin, B sometimes invited me and we had a private "teaching lesson". She emphazised on me not telling anyone about the Bible course (because people would tell you not to continue it etc.). But I had already told friends about the course and had not been given any negative feedback so I didn't really understand their concerns.
Back home, I continued to study online. As the end of the course approached, we were told that there was a test, just like in a normal school. We were given the questions and answers beforehand, which was really weird. Also, some of the content I hadn't even studied yet in the course. However, we were told just to learn everything by heart. There was such a time pressure suddenly that I didn't take time to think about what I am doing. Anyhow, I passed the test. In the end of the course, they talked more and more about the book of Revelation. They asked questions about "in which time are we living right now?" "where is mount Zion?" and so on. It was clear that there was some secret, something that they wanted to tell us. So I asked "Where do you have these lessons from?" They made a big deal out of telling me. First, we phoned. Then, we skyped. But still, they wouldn't tell me. They asked me if I could come to Berlin. No, I said. Then they came visit me at my place.
We sat in a Restaurant and they were giving me a final lesson. Then they told me their big secret: That Jesus had already come back to earth in spirit and is now in a man in South Korea. We are living in the end times and I was part of the 144.000, they even told me which tribe I was in. But then, they showed me a video with Lee Man-hee and about Shinchonji. At that moment, I knew in my heart that this man that I had just seen on screen was NOT Jesus. My excitement became less. But still, I was too overwhelmed by everthing to think clearly.
A few days later, I finally had the time to google it. Even though we were told not to research anything spiritual on the internet, I did it anyway. At first, I had the strugle to find something, as I didn't remember the name "Shinchonji". But when I found it, I couldn't believe my eyes! It was a cult. I was shocked. I knew I had to leave and wanted to leave, but was also sad at first because I had actually really liked their teachings in the beginning. I liked that we actually took time to get into the word of God. However, I saw that this was wrong teaching and a false prophet. So I wrote them a short text messages and blocked them on my phone. Later, I received some calls from unknown numbers, but I didn't answer.
After I left, a huge feeling of freedom came over me. Finally, I could think for myself again. Finally, I could believe what I really believe. All this time, I had this small voice and feeling inside of me, that something was wrong. But I chose to ignore it and calm myself with rational thoughts like "how can a Bible course be wrong?". During my time in SCJ, I also couldn't pray to God anymore. I felt like I am loosing my connection to him. After I left, I went to new church and the pastor had a word for me, which spoke straight to my heart. After the service, two women prayed for me which was a huge relieve for me. I know, God saw my heart during that time and He knows I only wanted to know him more, even though it was the wrong way. I am really thankful that I didn't go further into SCJ. Looking back, it wasn't an easy time for me. Yet, I am thankful for it now as it drew me closer to God in the end and made me more aware and critical when it comes to manipulation and deception.