The president of the Association of English Teachers in Korea received an anonymous e-mail threatening his death and accusing him of committing sex crimes after rumors of a former member of ATEK were posted online.
Members of ATEK received two e-mails, one containing threats and another with an image apparently taken from a Naver Cafe post, but with ATEK president Greg Dolezal`s picture added.
"I have organized the KEK (Kill White in Korea). This group of people is about 200 in anywhere in Korea," the e-mail read. "We will gonna start to kill and hit White (expletives) english spectrum from this Chirstmas. Don`t make a fuss in there, just get out."
Dolezal said he was taking the matter seriously.
"An attack on me is an attack on all of us," he said. "This is exactly the sort of person we`ve been talking about. This is beyond the pale, when you`re making death threats ... (and threats of) throwing acid in my face."
Dolezal said he was taking all legal steps possible. Gimhae Police Department is investigating the case, and Dolezal said he was happy with how they were dealing with the situation.
"The detectives there and the foreign affairs liaison have been very cooperative and seem extremely keen to do something about it," he said.
The allegations against the former ATEK member first appeared in May this year on expat blogs, but were posted on Anti-English Spectrum at 9:30 p.m. on Monday. The threatening e-mail was sent just three hours later. A post condemning the death threats and explaining that Dolezal had nothing to do with the allegations was put up after The Korea Herald contacted the AES manager about the threatening e-mail.
The first AES cafe post used images from the May allegations, but did not identify anyone. It said that the person had been a representative of a foreign teachers group who said AIDS and drug tests on foreign teachers were discriminatory, and identified him as the first leader of a group that represents foreign teachers. It said that person had had sex with children and had AIDS -- much more severe accusations than those that had been raised in May against the former ATEK member.
No such accusation has been substantiated against either person.
The threatening e-mail contained what appear to be screenshots from this post with a picture of Dolezal added, and made the above accusations against him.
The original Anti-English Spectrum post did not mention that the subject of the allegations was no longer a member of ATEK. Posts can only be seen by members of the cafe.
The AES cafe manager would not provide The Korea Herald directly with a statement on the death threat e-mail. "However strained relations may be, we need to maintain basic human decency," the notice on the AES website read. "We cannot forgive the person who sent this threatening mail. If we find that person we will definitely report them to the police," it added further down.
The person that issued the death threat sent an apology -- after the notice was posted on AES -- but remained anonymous and said he was motivated by some English teachers` "immoral behaviors."
"He continued to use hateful language," said Dolezal of the apology. "He alluded to the fact that he`s not going to stop." (firstname.lastname@example.org)
By Paul Kerry