Briton who was recruited aged 14 into a 'cult' that worships North Korean dictators has been kicked out at 23 after a bust-up with its leader

Daily Mail, UK/December 23, 2019

By Ross Ibbetson

A British student has described how he was recruited to a cult devoted to the North Korean regime aged 14 and kicked out after a dispute with its leader.

Alex Meads, now 23, was excommunicated by the London-based Korean Friendship Association's 'paranoid' chairman, Dermot Hudson, earlier this year.

He had joined the KFA after reading about them in a communist newspaper as a young teenager but began to question the group and North Korea after visiting Pyongyang.

Chairman Hudson, who has become something of a propaganda asset to Kim Jong-un, initially impressed Mr Meads but he soon began feeling that he had been 'groomed' into a cult.

'It was a nice environment, like a family, and at first they were very welcoming and very willing to listen to me,' Mr Meads told The Times.

However, he told the paper: 'No criticisms of North Korea and its ideology were allowed ... They are promoting an ideology that is totally contrary to our democratic values. It's a very dangerous and controlling ideology.'

Mr Hudson, a former civil servant who likes to be called 'Dr. Dermot', has been visiting North Korea for decades and is recognised by the dictatorship, his name frequently appearing in state media, NK News reported.

As a 14-year-old Mr Meads had attended his first KFA meeting with his mother, who he said was impressed by Mr Hudson.

Chairman Hudson was highly encouraging of Mr Meads, he says, providing his rail fares to meetings and paying for his meals.

But he says Mr Hudson's attitude soon changed from warmth and enthusiasm to 'controlling.'

'I feel like I was very young, and it's totally inappropriate to have children joining an organisation like that.' Mr Meads added.

In 2017, the youngster was promoted to Commisar, tasked with carrying out background checks on those who tried to join or contact the KFA.

Mr Hudson was interested in whether fascist insurgents or members of the intelligence community might be trying to infiltrate.

'He would give me a list of people, and I would do electoral roll checks, sometimes I'd have to even ring their workplace pretending to be someone else, find out everything about them before Dermot lets them in,' Mr Meads told NK News.

'He just became totally obsessed and paranoid.'

Mr Meads said he finally abandoned interest in the KFA after his fourth visit to the DPRK last year.

He described feeling uncomfortable in the country and felt that the North Korean dictators were held up as deities.

'I said, "How come, in a socialist society, the leadership is passed from father to son?" Dermot couldn't answer.' Mr Meads told The Times.

Mr Meads, who has returned to study as a postgraduate, says that after finishing university at Imperial College London he found it difficult to find employment because of his association with the KFA.

A statement on the KFA's Facebook page said: 'This person (Mr Meads) was expelled from KFA taking on the basis of this complaint plus concerns raised by UK KFA officials in September 2018 about the suitability of the individual for a KFA role and KFA membership plus some earlier informal complaints made in August 2017.

'We became aware that there was something very wrong about this person during the September 2018 delegation. The individual concerned was given the chance to refute the allegations against him and present 3 letters of support from UK KFA members however he declined to do so.

'KFA has a policy of zero tolerance for racists and fascists. They are not permitted in our ranks.'

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.