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Forced De-Conversion Victim Statements

 

G. I. (name withheld by request)

Confined: December 1984-May 1985

February 1986-August 1986

Faith-breakers: Rev. Shinya Waga, mental hospital staff

WRITTEN STATEMENT

April 8, 2010

 

Profile

 

I was born to Genjiand Noriko, in Himi City, Toyama Prefecture. There were several Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in our neighborhood. My grandfather had been a principal of a local elementary school, read the Analects of Confucius at home, while fulfilling the roles of a Buddhist parishioner and representative of the local shrine supporters.

 

Before graduation from Tokyo University I was to take a trip around the New Year. I had become interested in a tour featuring "An Introduction to  American Christian Culture" under the auspices of Rev. Sun Myung Moon. I began to study Christian culture, using the Bible, and American history. During the holidays in May 1984…I learned more about the life course and teachings of Rev. Moon.

 

Toward the year's end, my company's executives began to ask me about the Unification Church's organization and its political activities, especially the Victory Over Communism campaign. I kept quiet as I did not know the  proper answers.

 

First abduction and confinement

 

One day, my father came from Toyama and had a dinner with me at my uncle's home and spent the night there. The next day I found myself in the Psychiatric Ward of the Kanazawa University Medical Hospital.

 

The doctor advised me not to read the Divine Principle and prescribed medicine every day. In a few weeks, I was diagnosed with a certain sickness and asked to shuttle between my home and the hospital for treatment.

 

At home I did not meet people or stroll around the vicinity, only watched TV. My family used to mention negative TV reports on the Unification Church. They also showed me magazines to justify their assertion that the Unification Church was a horrible entity.

 

Unsure whether it was due to the effects of the medicine, I felt unable to control my body freely. As for my job, because I had been listed as being on leave for medical reasons, in May 1985 I could return to the company.

 

My parents repeatedly warned me on the dangers of the Unification Church, without thanking the church for making my American tour possible or referring to my health condition. I got curious about what was so menacing about the church. At the tour office, I asked questions about the Unification Church, VOC and the Divine Principle. I also attended  church services and studied at its video center, while reading the Divine Principle carefully.

 

After returning to the job, I kept on taking medication on the doctor's advice, as I got nervous and unsettled, eager to move around and noticing bad physical conditions. Eventually, , as I felt more stable, the doctor reduced the dosage of my medicines.

 

Because my company's executives resumed questioning me about the Unification Church, I decided to quit that job. Later when I visited the Sekai Nippo premises, I was employed by its associate company, San Tesco Ltd. By then, I could live a fairly normal life without medication.

 

Second abduction and confinement

 

In February 1986 I had become accustomed to the new job and the life of Unification faith. While I was in prayer at the company's dormitory in Eifuku-cho, Suginami-ku, Tokyo, my mother abruptly showed up and I was forcibly pushed into a vehicle by several people accompanying her. It was so swift that I could not notice their faces and my dormitory mates were astounded and unable to stop them.

 

This time, I was taken to the psychiatric ward of Toyama Central Hospital, where I noticed followers of so-called new religious movements in Christianity and Buddhism. I had to spend my days drugged, with my parents seeing me once a week.

 

Gradually, I was allowed to go to in-house shops or out to the neighborhood around Sougawa Street. But I could not think of escape because I was unable to control my body, being too agitated to move around without medicines.

 

Meanwhile, in a telephone book I found the address of the Unification Church’s Toyama Church, which was located near the hospital. With permission, I could stroll around, and I found the church signboard. Luckily, the church's general affairs staff received me and contacted my dormitory at  Sekai Nippo in Tokyo.

 

When I could talk with my acquaintances there, I was so relieved. I was also informed of the rising number of incidents of abduction and confinement of Unification Church members across the nation. Though I asked them to  contact the police and lawyers, I was advised to keep my communication with them secret for a while. I returned to the hospital.

 

In mid-August 1986, I was discharged but was advised to visit the hospital for medication. While assisting in my parents' affairs, I searched for a job in Toyama Prefecture.

 

Around that time, I was visited by Pastor Yuri of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church (SA) as well as former Unification Church members. They obliged me to read the Bible while making many critical and abusive remarks against the Unification Church. They would not debate biblical paragraphs but only indulged themselves in reading the Bible.

 

Nonetheless, together with my mother, I began attending the SA church in Toyama City, where parents involved in the Anti-Unification Church Parents Association held meetings. They were discussing how to criticize the Unification Church under the guidance of Pastor Shinya Waga. I also took part with my mother in a lecture critical of the Unification Church by Mr. Ito,  editor-in chief of the weekly magazine Asahi Journal'. His criticism, however, was full of one-sided derogatory remarks, that were far from the facts and reality that I had witnessed in America.

 

When I had a chance to sit side by side with Pastor Waga, I asked about his favorite paragraphs of the Bible. He answered, John 15:13: "There is no greater love than sacrificing your own life for your friends." Concerning some parents whose children joined the Unification Church, he remarked: "The Unification Church people are much better than those parents."

 

After liberation

 

I got a job at a company where I could commute from my parents' home, thinking that my parents would not mind my activities as long as I stayed with them. From home, I attended the Unification Church in Toyama City, participated in the Marriage Blessing Ceremony in 1992 and started my own family.

 

When my father passed away in February 2008 from a stroke, I still had not been able to share with him the truth of the Unification Church and Rev. Moon's life. My mother still takes at face value most of the information distributed by the opposition groups, believing that I am brainwashed. She continues to speak ill of the church. She even dares to split my family and cause an unnatural and unhappy situation.

 

Conclusion

As I try to express my anger over my ordeals of abduction and virtual confinement in psychiatric wards, I am still unable to discern what is in me other than unspecified frustration. I am not certain for what and to whom I should direct my anger, but plainly put, I was, and still am, terrified by the experience.

 

Analytical knowledge of my experiences will result in a superficial understanding. As I reflect on the causes of my abduction and confinement, they seem to lead into a debate on freedom of religion, speech and thought. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights since December 1948 has guaranteed a variety of rights, including safety of life and body, prohibition of slave labor, torture or cruel punishments, freedom of thought, conscience and religion as well as freedom of expression, assembly and association. However, it did not have the power to enforce these noble stipulations. In spite of many commendable endeavors by the United Nations, therefore, they have reached certain dead ends…

 

 

Although the victim's name has been withheld, qualified researchers may confirm his/her identity by contacting us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .