Part I: JYJ and Cosmetics Business
“Who is Forever?” is an incredibly insightful and informative article written by Moto of “Moto’s Planet” (http://blog.naver.com/xdrugx). It is an absolute must-read for all JYJ fans and anyone who wishes to know more about the fan war and the lawsuit. It is an extremely long article containing information about many topics; therefore I have decided to translate and post it in several parts.
Q. Who is “Forever”?
A. The one who started this nasty fan war.
“Once upon a time in a village far away, lived five men. One day…” seems to be the right way to start the story. My goodness, do I have to repeat this old story again? However, one thing I have noticed from observing the whole TVXQ situation is the fact that the fans have extremely little knowledge, and this ignorance is the result of “negligence by the ones who know”, “avoidance by the ones who must know”, and “brainwashing done to those who don’t know”. Avoiding the truth may have seemed to be the better way until now, but, from now on, it will be, more or less, a crime. So let us be fans who “know”.
First, regarding the Cosmetics Business:
Everyone knows that Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun started the cosmetics business as a sideline. The size of the business started out very small, comparable to sales done by a group of ajummas in the neighborhood. Anti-JYJ fans always argue that the percentage of the shares owned by the three members is over 60%. However, the total amount invested was no more than $100,000(USD) altogether, and the percentage, regardless of how high it is, does not matter. After all, there is no law that limits the amount of investments of a celebrity.
Back when the three members started the business, some fans actually wished the other two would join as well. The three members invested their own money in a small but growing company. The way their business was run was that they were each given an executive position (lol) only due to the size of their investments, and their parents, or older sisters in Jaejoong’s case, opened small offices where fans visited to sometimes have conversations about the members with their family. Anti-JYJ fans often bring up the executive positions in their arguments, but the positions were obviously just names. I would assume the members’ involvement included not much more than receiving reports about their investments and revenues for fiscal quarters. They were definitely not involved enough for their business to become an interference to TVXQ’s activities. I just don’t see the point the anti-fans are trying to make. When Junsu’s family had decided to invest, they asked all five members and their family if they wanted to join. Yunho and Changmin’s parents, already busy with their own business and day job refused the suggestion, and Yoochun’s mother and Jaejoong’s sisters decided go on board.
I don’t know exactly what happened (I wasn’t very interested in cosmetics back then), but the business must have been going very well since SM told the members they wanted a piece of what they were making. This was revealed in a newspaper article after the lawsuit was filed. We don’t know all the details, but I am sure this caused a conflict. It is my assumption that Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun could not understand why they had to give away their personal earnings to SM. An investment always comes with a risk. It is possible that their cosmetics business could have gone the other way. Could it have been SM’s intention to watch negligently in case of failure and take the profit in case of success when they gave their permission for the cosmetics business? By the way, the fact that the members had to get SM’s “permission” for their sideline business shows what a tyrant SM was. Anyway, the three members must have rejected SM’s plan, and from that moment on, SM tried their best to interfere. SM forced them to change the names of their business and pressured them by spreading rumors that they were using the name “TVXQ” to sell their products. Yunho and Changmin’s parents also partook in this by labeling a perfectly legitimate company as an illegal enterprise and falsely accusing Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun of planning an investment fraud based on no evidence whatsoever. (T/N: This took place on November 2nd, 2009 during SM’s press conference.) (Yunho fans also carried out this task by spreading malicious rumors about the cosmetic products, ordered by “Forever” on June 23rd, 2009.) (T/N: The role of Yunho fans and the significance of “Forever” will also be explained in sections to come.)
I am sure everyone who was a fan during this time knows the truth. Did Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun really “use” the name “TVXQ” for their personal gain? Not as much as Yunho and Changmin are doing so by using the names “TVXQ” and “Cassiopeia” right now. It’s not like their fan pages ever forced the fans to make a purchase by saying “We must use only this brand of cosmetics because it’s sold by TVXQ!!” Visiting the cosmetics sales office to buy some cosmetics and talk to the members’ parents in small groups was like going on a fun trip for the fans. How was this any different from going to the pizzeria owned by Junsu’s parents, or the ice cream parlor owned by Yoochun’s mother, or the restaurant owned by Jaejoong’s mother? It is all right to have photos of Junsu hanging on the walls of the pizzeria, but it is a violation of portrait rights inside the cosmetics sales office? I wonder how many Korean celebrities do not actually run a sideline business. Are they all committing a crime then? They all run their business with the help of their fame.
To those who insist that Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun neglected their responsibilities and left TVXQ because they were “addicted to the taste of money”, when did they ever neglect their responsibilities? They have always been extremely strict on themselves and have never missed one scheduled activity even when they were working through a deadly, jam-packed schedule. Then anti-fans say “they run the cosmetics business for money”. Of course they did it for money!!! Why else would one run a business, to just give it away? LOL. Those Ho-Tel fans always make a big deal out of nothing and make it sound like an unforgivable crime. They would criticize Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun for even breathing. Those Ho-Tel girls.
I guess there are fans who still do not know what Ho-Tel means.
Ho stands for 호적파인갤 (a gallery cut off from relation, starts with syllable “Ho”) which is DC inside “Heading to the Ground” (Yunho’s first drama) Gallery. HTTG was once linked to DC inside TVXQ Gallery, but the link was later removed when HTTG gallery became infested with Homin-only fans who started spreading false rumors about JYJ.
Tel stands Telzone TVXQ Gallery of Daum
Since Ho-Tel girls have extended their territories and are everywhere these days, “Ho-Tel girl” has become the name for any Yunho and Changmin fan who believes that JYJ are the source of all evil. LOL. Recently, they have realized that it is almost impossible to bring Cassiopeia over to their side and are spreading rumors against JYJ on popular websites among non-fans. They try to be as noticeable as they can; therefore, even the people who have no knowledge of TVXQ’s situation are aware of the existence of the Ho-Tel.
Part II: The Story behind the Contract between TVXQ and SM
This is the second part of “Who is Forever?” This one tells the story behind the contract between TVXQ and SME.
Regarding the Contract between TVXQ and SM:
We’ve already discussed the unfairness of the contracts between members of TVXQ and SM Entertainment countless times, and the Fair Trade Commission has also acknowledged the unethical conditions. What I would like to discuss this time are the changes to the contracts that have been made since the initial signing. There have been several hearings since the lawsuit was filed, and if you’ve read some of the fan-written reports, you would already know much of what I am about to say.
The original term of the contract was 10 years long, but it was increased to 13 years right before the releasing of TVXQ’s first single “Hug.” Do you not find it odd that such a substantial change was made right before their debut? Could they say “No” after working so hard for years to be where they were? This was definitely an act of coercion by SM. I have to talk about Yunho in detail because some fans have a misconception that the term was changed to 13 years during the “rotation incident.”
Let’s Get into the Details:
When SM decided that TVXQ were ready to make their debut, all members, excluding Yunho, initially signed for 10 years. Yunho’s father believed 10 years were too long, and Yunho signed for 7 years instead. After the signing, SM actually decided to pull Yunho off the team. Jaejoong and Junsu strongly fought and reobtained Yunho’s place on the team, and the aforementioned change was made to their contracts, increasing all members’ terms to 13 years. The “rotation incident” happened after their debut. (T/N: “Rotation” refers to SM’s plan to make TVXQ a team of continually changing members.) SM, again, decided to replace Yunho with a trainee, and this was when the parents of all five members, who wanted to save Yunho, signed a written agreement which asked SM to protect the current state of TVXQ for the next 13 years.
Any fan with a well-functioning brain would never see this written agreement as a reason for Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun to continue fulfilling their contracts despite the unfair conditions. Yunho fans, especially, must not use the agreement as a weapon against JYJ.
The evidence, showing it was indeed Yunho whom SM wanted to replace, was Yunho’s father’s involvement. He joined many of Yunho’s fan pages and asked the fans to show their support for Yunho. Outraged by SM’s plan, a majority of Cassiopeia decided to boycott SM and all products advertised by SM artists. Yunho’s father later asked the fans not to take extreme actions, not wanting to provoke SM. However, he still asked the fans to continue fighting for Yunho, and much of this remains both in the fans’ memories and in evidence.
But why did so many fans believe that SM was targeting Jaejoong instead of Yunho at the time?!!
(T/N: This post is in Korean and explains the interaction among the members, their families, and fans during the rotation incident. It states that there were many fans waiting for TVXQ at an airport and that they saw Jaejoong sobbing, and that was why fans were lead to believe it was Jaejoong.)
If this is not enough information, please read the official notice of 20’s Cassiopeia fancafé.
Regardless of the length of the contract, the members always tried their best to fulfill their responsibilities given by SM. They worked so hard to juggle through cruelly busy schedules outside Korea that I was afraid their “loyalty” to SM would end up hurting and destroying them. I assume that they became more and more unhappy about their relationship with SM where they were given an exhausting amount of responsibilities and very little privileges in return. When SM started interfering with their sideline business, Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun probably felt betrayed and started questioning SM’s plans for them and their future under SM.
People who consider themselves talentless would probably appreciate SM’s long-lasting contract terms. However, I do not see why people who are capable of continuing their musical growth have to stay bound to their contracts when it is legally possible to break free. Yunho’s father once said “A contract is a contract, and it must be fulfilled.” Changmin’s father said “An unjust law is still a law.” Excuse me, but I have to laugh. How could Yunho’s father, who is so proud to have graduated from law school, make such a nonsensical argument? Being a student of law myself, I feel quite ashamed for you.
Part III: JYJ vs Homin, the Dispute
Regarding the Dispute among the Members:
It is very annoying when people say that Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun abandoned TVXQ by leaving SM Entertainment. Do they believe that TVXQ equals SM? If you have been a fan for a while, you would know how much pride the three members have in “TVXQ,” and it is unacceptable that some fans accuse them of abandoning the name “TVXQ,” when it is so obvious that they have chosen to use the name JYJ, not TVXQ, out of respect for the other two members. (T/N: Some fans have the misconception that SM has the right to the name “TVXQ.” They do not. JYJ could have used “TVXQ,” but chose not to.) Would they have been happy if Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun had released “TVXQ, the 5th album” like Yunho and Changmin? The ones who have actually given up on “the old TVXQ” are Yunho and Changmin.
All the fans still remember to this day how they couldn’t help but notice the awkward atmosphere that existed between Yunho and Jaejoong during the Mirotic days. I just tried to ignore it thinking that they had a small fight again because of Yunho’s 85 club friends. However, I realized how serious the matter was when they were on a radio show and each member was asked what they wanted to say to his teammates. Jaejoong said the future of TVXQ was often the topic of recent conversations among the members. He said that he had a sense of insecurity but it went away when he looked at his teammates’ faces. Jaejoong was the only one who gave such a serious answer although he looked very hesitant, and I couldn’t help but notice the troubled look on Yunho’s face. (T/N: You could watch inside the studio through internet broadcast.) Although I believe it was too early for the members to have started discussing the lawsuit at that time, this has always been on my mind since the lawsuit was filed. From this we know that the members had talked about their future together since the Mirotic days, and you would also know that they had apparently continued doing so until the lawsuit if you watched the Couple Talk on All about TVXQ3, filmed in April of 2009. You would know that the members had been very close to making their decisions.(T/N: I believe Moto is talking about the conversation between Yunho and Junsu in particular. I will upload the clip with translations soon.) Even after the filming of AATVXQ3, the members probably had some time to think about their individual plans and their future, and I believe that it is completely understandable for them to have a disagreement.
It is my assumption that Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun believed that even if they have to face many obstacles outside SM, they could gain their artistic freedom and lead both their group and individual careers to success with all five members and their loyal fans.
However, Yunho and Changmin probably thought about the possibility of losing the lawsuit and thoroughly considered their own individual opportunities offered by SM. They chose staying under SM for a guaranteed future over walking a thorny path, thinking they had tried and achieved enough as a group.
I do not see this as a “betrayal”; it is possible for them to have different beliefs. The Ho-Tel always argue that Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun left for financial gains, but Yunho and Changmin also stayed for the same reason. I don’t believe there was anything immoral about their decisions. It is a given that one has to consider his own individual future as the top priority. However, what disappointed me was the fact that Yunho and Changmin never made the effort to stand up for their teammates when SM crushed their reputation by calling them “moneygrubbers” and accusing them of “scamming the whole nation.” Instead Yunho and Changmin insisted that they had known nothing and the members had suddenly turned their backs and left. Dozens of newspaper articles bought by SM were released everyday to condemn the three members as unforgivable villains. During that time, when I lived every single day in fear that the three might destroy themselves, Yunho and Changmin spent their days hiding behind their “SM family” and enjoyed their individual activities. (How happy Yunho looked when he was filming “Heading to the Ground”…) How could they sign the documents that said “we wish you would return to SM” and “this is all because of the cosmetics business” and pretend to be the victims when they knew everything?!!
I need to recompose myself…In retrospect, it probably seemed right for Yunho and Changmin to choose their individual careers (and more) over the group’s. Excuse me for having to bring this up, but I know of the sense of inferiority the two have always had to live with. I understand it completely.
Changmin’s parents saying “our son has always been treated as an outsider” did not make any sense whatsoever to the fans who had loved and known Changmin. Nonetheless, I tried to understand that, as parents, they could feel that way. Because we did not want Changmin to be targeted by the anti-fans for being the least popular, even fans whose favorite was not Changmin cared for him dearly. Nevertheless, I assume that he had growing concerns about his place beside his teammates. It is possible that he felt the need to build a better foundation for his future.
The same goes for Yunho as well. He has always tried his best to hide his discontent about being compared to his much talented teammates, and he has always put so much effort into everything that I couldn’t help but be touched. However, I realized how selfish Yunho could be when he answered countless questions about the situation at the HTTG press conference by saying “I hope things work out.” like a third party who could not care any less when Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun were standing on the edge of a cliff. How could the leader of TVXQ behave that way?
Anyway what I am trying to say is that one of the reasons Yunho and Changmin believed they would be better off with SM than their teammates was that they somewhat thought they were not the beneficiaries of the group activities. However, all five members had to make compromises and sacrifice individual gains, and they were willing to do so because of their pride in “TVXQ.” It is funny that Yunho and Changmin now like to think of themselves as the “victims.” The two members and Ho-Tel often insist that the circumstances limited the amount of their activities and work opportunities, but they have done as much as JYJ if not more. In fact, it was Yunho who began an individual career earlier than anyone else. Yunho has always been quite ambitious, and there is nothing wrong with it. However, did he really expect to have new fans throwing themselves at him and become a “world-class multi-entertainer” by grabbing a couple of opportunities SM fetched him? (Yes, “world-class multi-entertainer” is the term so often used by Yunho’s father.) Is that why you chose to sit back and watch everything happen with no attempts to intervene, Yunho? If he was really concerned about the survival of “TVXQ,” he would have done a lot more. I want to ask him just one question. Why does he avoid JYJ’s attempts to contact him? Why does he not answer their calls or texts and clear up the “misunderstanding”?
Anyway let’s get back to Yunho’s activities. Yunho’s drama HTTG actually did head to the ground in ratings, and Michael Jackson’s “This is It” concert had two thirds of its seats empty. Yunho lip-synced to all his songs, and the overall quality of the concert was so horrendous that the media criticized it for being a disgrace to Michael Jackon’s name. Was he sick? Okay, that makes it all right. “Goong the musical” was so horribly produced that even Yunho fans wondered why he chose to do it in the first place. The short film “Haru” was overshadowed by the controversy of its actors getting overpaid.
I wonder why fans don’t remember these and keep on insisting that he has had no work!
Yunho must be quite disappointed that his solo career has not worked out the way he imagined it to when he accepted SM’s offer, and he seems to blame all this on JYJ as well. Now he comes back with Changmin as “the second act of TVXQ” with “the fifth album” to be loved by “Cassiopeia the third term.” Is he now steering in a different direction perhaps because his plan has not worked at all? Seriously, what is this? He could have just told us what he wanted right after the lawsuit was filed. He is being just too cruel to the “support-all-five” fans. (T/N: Moto does not mention any of Changmin’s work, but Changmin has also kept himself busy with his drama “Paradise Ranch” and countless photoshoots and interviews for many magazines.)
Part IV: So…Who is He?
Regarding 623, 625, and “Forever”:
(T/N: 623, and 625 refer to events that took place on June 23rd and 25th of 2009.)
It is now 2011, and there are fans out there who are still asking “What is 625? Did TVXQ really break up because of it?” I will try my best to clear up this matter which has remained without a proper explanation for far too long. Considering the current state of DNBN and other large fan communities, I believe there is no need to cover this up any more.
Note about changes and additions made to this post:
Yes, “Forever” did post his famous article on the 26th of June. That was when he made his official appearance directly. However, messages containing rumors created by Forever started spreading on June 23rd, and the “secret orders,” given out through online chat rooms on June 24th, included messages that were exact duplicates of Forever’s words. From this we can deduce that Forever began his propaganda on June 23rd. The Ho-Tel fans argue that Forever’s article, written on the 26th, has no relation to the “625 meeting.” However, it is an absolute fact that Forever’s propaganda is what caused the 625 meeting. I have added a detailed timeline of these events for fans who have no knowledge about the situation. (Added on January 9th, 2011)
June 23rd, 2009
Forever-esque rumors about “disbanding of TVXQ” started to be circulated on large internet communities unrelated to TVXQ such as “My Club.”
This was also when the former DNBN moderator said to have received a call from a certain person.
(T/N: The former DNBN moderator claimed that she had a meeting with Yunho’s parents who, according to her, informed her of JYJ’s plan to abandon TVXQ. She is now a famous Ho-Tel fan, and the new DNBN was created without her and her followers.)
June 24th, 2009
“Notice of termination of exclusive contracts and request for submission of reference data” were sent to SM from Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun. This information was released through the media in July of 2009.
Yunho fans were called to an emergency chat room inside “Soul Dresser”, one of the three largest internet communities for female “netizens” in Korea.
The contents of this chat were very similar to SM’s official position on the TVXQ situation released three months later in November, 2009. The following points were present in both:
– focusing on rumor that JYJ would be signing a contract with CJ
(T/N: CJ is a very large Korean conglomerate with an entertainment sector.)
– revealing that TVXQ’s contracts were 13 years long, a piece of information only an insider might know
– insisting that 13-year-long contracts must be fulfilled no matter what
– arguing that TVXQ was created to conquer Korean, Japanese, and Chinese markets and 13-years-long contracts were, therefore, fair
– mentioning a rumor that JYJ members refused to shoot an advertisement for “Misha”
(T/N: “Misha” is a brand of cosmetic products. Forever argued that JYJ members refused to take part in advertising it because of their own cosmetics business. The representative of “Misha” strongly denied the rumor saying they never even offered TVXQ to model.)
– mentioning a rumor that JYJ refused to participate in SM Town’s summer album (A countless number of news articles was released regarding the cancellation of photoshoot for the album, but the album was still released with songs by all five members of TVXQ.)
– All arguments regarding JYJ’s cosmetics business made by both SM and Forever perfectly matched each other’s, emphasizing and criticizing “taking financial advantage of fans.”
– information describing the contractual relationship among TVXQ, Avex, and SM
– insisting that Changmin did not have a say (said Forever and Changmin’s parents)
June 25th, 2009
Since June 23rd, the rumor that said “TVXQ will disband because of Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun’s cosmetics business” started circulating among moderators and users of large fan and non-fan communities through conversations using anonymous message boards and private messaging. This was the backdrop which caused the 625 meeting where JYJ’s family members had a private discussion with some fans to inform them of the current circumstances.
June 26th, 2009
“Forever” finally came out of the shadows and made his first “official” appearance at 1:00PM on his blog, awaited by his countless disciples. The key to figuring out who Forever and his followers are can be found in the chat log of “Soul Dresser.” Who could they really be?
More about 625:
The heads of Jaejoong, Junsu, Yoochun’s individual fan pages, who had been shocked by the quickly spreading rumors, contacted JYJ’s parents, asking for their advice on how to respond. The Ho-Tel fans often use 625 as a weapon against JYJ. They distributed an edited version of the recording, and insist that JYJ’s parents tried to frame Yunho and Changmin as betrayers by using parts of the recording which are taken out of context and blowing it out of proportion. (T/N: I don’t know how the Ho-Tel acquired the audio recording, but they have threatened JYJ and their fans with the contents of this recording for more than a year. The Ho-Tel fans’ interpretation of the recording is completely illogical and overly exaggerated.) I recommend that you listen to the entire recording. The Ho-Tel treat the recording as their secret weapon, but I was very disappointed to find out that its content was nothing questionable or controversial. The recording ends with Junsu’s father telling the fans not to respond to the rumors openly and to use their discretion. The Ho-Tel fans, who could not find anything else to criticize, claim that Junsu’s father told the fans to attack Yunho and Changmin. The members of JYJ were going through a tough time, and the last thing Junsu’s father wanted was a nasty war among the fans; therefore, he told the fans to fight the rumors passively with discretion. How could those dumb b*tches turn it into “make Yunho and Changmin look like the betrayers”?! Well, that was not the only time the Ho-Tel showed their absolute incapability to understand anything.
More about 623 and Forever:
“Forever” uploaded the “complete version” of his opinions, including all the aforementioned rumors, on his blog on June 26th. It contained very private information such as the terms of the contract and stories about the members’ parents that a mere fan could never know about. In just one day after it was uploaded, a majority of all Yunho’s fan pages and fan blogs managed to copy Forever’s article onto their front pages as their official notices. Don’t you find it mind-blowing that all those fans believed, without a single ounce of doubt, such shocking rumors and were so easily convinced by some stranger on the web with zero credibility in such a short period of time?! In fact, Forever’s article could not even be found by the search function of the blog service provider at that time. It was as if the heads of Yunho’s fan pages had been given a prophecy and were desperately waiting for “the birth of Forever” at an empty, newly created blog. Anyway, Forever’s opinions have now become “the bible” for most Yunho fans, and the set of words often used by them such as “loyalty,” “faith,” “truth,” “fact,” and “conspiracy” came from Forever. He is like the “father” of all Ho-Tel fans (just saying…). If you read it carefully, you would know that the objective of Forever’s message was “If we don’t do something fast, the fans will believe the three and criticize the two for staying in SM. We have to point fingers at the tree first and make the two look like the victims.” So who is “Forever”? I know he is not “just a fan” and that he is very close to the members, especially Yunho, and SM.
This shows messages on a private fan blog written in August, 2009. There are fans who have known all this since then, and there are fans who still don’t know anything yet. I am not asking for all the fans to accept this as the truth, and I am not asking any of them to become anti-homin. What I am asking is that all of us know of the arrows and daggers of blame that have been madly thrown at the three members. Please know that we are fans who are responsible for at least trying to stop the Ho-Tel from spreading their hate and cunning words. Please know that the ones who truly loved “TVXQ of all five members” are the stupid, stupid three members. For those of you who have avoided the truth until now and still hope for nothing but the return of all five members, please be brave and face the hurtful truth. The hurt you chose to neglect has become a dagger to Jaejoong, Junsu, and Yoochun’s hearts. If you wish to know more about Forever, these blogs (http://order623.egloos.com , http://one55.egloos.com) have all the information. (T/N: They are in Korean.)
Note from hopeforjyj: This is the final part of “Who is Forever?” I apologize for taking out some parts including the conclusion. They seemed a little repetitive and redundant, and it would have taken way too long.
This article reflects the opinions of the original author. The reason I decided to share this was not to create anti-homin fans but to inform you of the opinions widely acknowledged by a majority of Korean TVXQ fans. I know that Moto’s opinions, except when she states that it is just her assumption, are based on solid evidence and true events.
Although it is not cleary mentioned who Forever is, I think everyone can make their own educated guess. Some Korean fan communities such as DNBN and DC TVXQ Gallery are planning on requesting an official investigation as soon as the lawsuit is somewhat resovled and are currently collecting more information and evidence about Forever and other important figures.
Thank you for reading.
JYJ3’s Note: I decide to post this on my blog because I have a source that confirms “Forever” is now working to destroy JYJ’s image for international fans. So everyone be alert and if you read negative rumours about JYJ spreading on net, inform to email@example.com