Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared at American Thinker.
This past Christmas, the people of North Korea were without their messiah. That is, their self-anointed messiah.
For a sense of just how bad was Kim Jong-Il, I thought I’d share a few anecdotes reflecting the singularly pernicious nature of this man and what he created in his own image.
Kim was truly a modern Stalin—in some ways, worse. His cult of personality began with the advent of his birth, which North Korea heralded as a second coming, eerily akin to the birth of Jesus Christ. Kim was born February 16, 1941, a date accorded the status of a national holiday and treated like Christmas. On that date, all North Koreans are allowed off work for the grandest parade, the highlight of which is a float marked by a glorious double rainbow and star—indicative of the double rainbow and new star that miraculously appeared in the sky the moment of Kim’s birth.
Speaking of miracles, the totalitarian state’s propaganda machine churned out outrageous distortions, easily exceeding even Stalin standards. State media claimed that in the first round of golf Kim ever played, he broke the all-time world record for the best round of golf in history. The government press also reported that Kim composed more and better operas—and at a younger age—than anyone who ever existed. Songs like “Dear Leader Dispels Raging Storms” were karaoke hits in North Korea.
An eyewitness to the madness was Kang Chol-hwan, author of the frightening memoir, "Aquariums of Pyongyang." Kang recalled how as a child he and his wide-eyed classmates were taught that Kim and his late father were “Edenic” human beings, so perfect that neither man defecated or urinated. They were born without sin, if not purer. My faith teaches that Christ was both 100 percent human and 100 percent divine. North Korea tipped the scales even higher.
Kang Chol-hwan remembered how North Korean children were told that Kim was a “kind of Father Christmas,” because of whose benevolence every child was graciously entitled to a new pair of shoes.
The regime was hell-bent on this messiah complex. The consistent, dogged application of this divine narrative was unrelenting and sickening. I could give example after example that would make you cry. It was evil, just plain evil.
Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College, executive director of The Center for Vision & Values, and author of the book, “The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.” His other books include "The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism" and "Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century."