YouTuber Sherliza Moé had the rare opportunity to interview an ex BTS sasaeng. Sherliza asked for verification, for the person to somehow prove they were actually an ex-sasaeng without violating BTS’s privacy, and she was eventually provided pictures that proved she was previously on the same plane as BTS.
Below is the interview in its entirety.
Question: “Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?”
Answer: “Yes, I’m a Turkish BTS fan. I used to live in Seoul for two years, but now I live in Turkey. I’ve been a sasaeng for almost more than three years, but I stopped seven months ago.”
Question: “What made you stop being a sasaeng?”
Answer: “My anxiety started to interfere with my daily life in 2017. Eight months ago, my depression was the worst it’s ever been. I slowly stopped caring. I slowly stopped checking every update. I stopped messaging my sasaeng friends. I could not drag myself following their busy schedule anymore. I began to hate my life, my future. I always knew that these sasaeng actions won’t lead me to anything but I always ignored these thoughts. I pretty much deluded myself into a non-existing relationship with the members. I finally stopped when I found myself being so resentful that I contemplated something so embarrassing and illegal, I don’t want to reveal here, but I will say that for some sick reason I desired revenge against the members.”
Question: “When you were a sasaeng, what exactly did you do? Did you actually stalk them? Did you sell private information?”
Answer: “Yes, we pretty much sold something we could find. I exchanged a lot of sasaeng material with other sasaengs as well. I bought illegal flights, I bought illegal photos… private photos, private information, private telephone numbers… The more information you have, the more you crave and you can also sell these to other sasaengs as well. You don’t make a good living out of it but it’s good money. It’s good pocket money. Contrary to popular belief we sasaengs are not an exclusive group. It’s not hard to find us or to find leaked information. All you need is to know one trustworthy source. On the subject of stalking: I did a couple of things that I’m not very proud of. The worst thing that comes to my mind is taking the same flights as BTS.”
Question: “What exactly happens when sasaengs take the same flight as an idol group?”
Answer: “Well it depends on the size of the plane, the amount of sasaeng fans, amount of managers and security, and most importantly, the flight period. If there is enough time and the plane is on the smaller size, sasaengs have a better chance to sneak into the business or first class to take private photos. If it’s a big plane with several hundred passengers it’s much harder to look for the boys without getting caught.”
The ex-sasaeng then also went on to say that flight information is a popular item to purchase among sasaengs because their idols are trapped in an enclosed space with them.
“The reason why illegal flight information is so popular amongst sasaengs is because in that situation the members are so vulnerable, they can’t escape. That’s the only place where they can’t escape from sasaengs. We are all trapped in the same small enclosed space for hours and that situation makes it so attractive for sasaengs. I’ve been to ones where I was in the same first class as BTS. I saw how two sasaengs always went to the toilet when one member needed to go. They acted as if they didn’t know them but it was obvious that they were sasaengs. I watched them, and every time one member finished, the two sasaengs went into the toilet to do whatever perverted thing they needed to do. It was a creepy experience.”
She went on to say that sasaengs who were unable to get first-class tickets still found a way to use the same toilet as BTS on the flight.
“There were also some sasaengs from the economy class who pretended to search for the toilet in the first class. The flight attendant asked them kindly to return to the economy class, and they would answer something like that the drink cart was blocking the aisle to the rear lavatory. They frequently used that as an excuse to use the same toilet as BTS. A lot of these pictures and videos stay private. They rarely get leaked on the internet because if you do, you pretty much exposed yourself as being a sasaeng and get targeted by other fans or sasaengs. In the worst case, you get blacklisted by the entertainment company which means you can’t go to their concerts, fan meetings, or any other events.”
Question: “Did you ever stop and think, ‘Hey, what the f*ck am I doing?’”
Answer: “Of course I feel remorse. In 2017 and in the beginning of 2018 I kept thinking how I don’t want to continue this anymore. It has been challenging for me to stop it. I was very… I am very depressed… Months and months… I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep… The only thing I loved was this boy group. They were the reason why I woke up. Every minute of my life I thought about this boy group… Every single day, I only cared about them. I couldn’t stop thinking about them. I was so obsessed that I didn’t care about my health, I didn’t care about their health. I just wanted to be close to them. I craved to see them up close. I wanted more material on my phone. I wanted more personal material that I can take of them. In a lot of ways they are like a drug. Once I saw them in real life, I couldn’t stop myself chasing them, stalking them…”
Question: “Were you only a sasaeng of BTS or did you also have other groups that you followed?”
Answer: “No, I was only interested in BTS. I liked other K-Pop groups too, but I was never as invested in them as I was for BTS.”
Sherliza revealed that the ex-sasaeng sent her a list of other sasaengs who sell information. She then asked why it would be a bad idea to expose them.
Question: “Why is it a bad idea for me to expose them here and there on my YouTube?”
Answer: “Yes, it’s a very bad idea to expose these people to the public because first, you are, in a way, encouraging your audience to look up these accounts and buy private information. Before the interview, you told me how you had quite a few subscribers commenting on your BTS video how they were sympathizing with the sasaengs and they would do the same if they could. Second, you don’t have any control over who will find your video and who will go and use that information to buy illegal stuff and there is a good chance that they could fall into that messy stalker lifestyle too. Right now, there is an abundance of fake sasaeng information going around on Twitter and Instagram. A lot of private Instagram accounts are selling fake sasaeng information as well.”
Question: “So how are you doing nowadays?”
Answer: “I am still a very dedicated fan of BTS. I realized that my past actions were very wrong and I’m actually in therapy for two months now. I’m doing alright. Of course, here and there, I still have old temptations but I try to ignore them.”
It’s always interesting to learn what went through the mind of a sasaeng and how they managed to break free from their toxic lifestyle. Hopefully, this ex-sasaeng has maintained her mindset and continued appreciating BTS and other K-Pop idols in a healthy way.