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Forced De-Conversion Victim Statements

 

T.Y. (name withheld by request)

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

Confined: August 27-November 10, 1987

Faith-breakers: Rev. Enomoto, Rev. Kato, Tamiya Taguchi, Shinpachi Takahashi, Mitsuo Toda

WRITTEN STATEMENT

November 12, 1987

 

Profile

 

In September 1980, I joined the Collegiate Association for Research of Principles (CARP) at Kyoto University. After graduating, I became a CARP leader and took care of the younger members.

 

In 1987, I was abducted and then confined against my will for 76 days. I escaped from this confinement through my own effort and finally gained freedom. When I look back at this most abnormal event of my life, I now deeply cherish the value of freedom.

 

Abduction

 

On August 27, 1987, around 10 am, after a medical examination at Kyoto University Hospital, I was abducted by people who called themselves the Hokkaido Group, which harbored fear concerning supposed secret maneuvers of the Unification Church, CARP, and the Federation for Victory Over Communism.

 

Four men grabbed both my arms and legs and threw me into a jumbo taxi against my will and took me directly to the Nagoya airport.

 

In the car, I was handcuffed and treated like a criminal. I questioned my father, "On what authority do you treat me this way?" He just replied that if I studied the Bible, I would understand what he was doing.

 

A chartered Cessna waited at the airport and took me all the way to Hokkaido at Homei Jutaku,2-1-20 Toyohira Sanjyo, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo City. This was the place where I was confined. We arrived at 6 pm. They had installed iron bars on all the windows.

 

My thoughts went out to our CARP members of the university; they would be worried about me. I asked to make a phone call, but instead my mother called the dormitory. That was only the first day, but no matter how much I begged, they never allowed me to make a phone call. That hurt me.

 

Confinement

 

I decided to begin a hunger strike. On the fourth day, the chairman of the group, Mr. Mitsuo Toda, came and told me that he wouldn't let me go easily. He said, "No matter how many years it takes, I will make you deny your faith because you are one of their leaders." I thought about the possibility of staying confined for years and decided to give up the hunger strike.

 

Each day, two people would spend two to four hours trying to convert me. Among them were Rev. Enomoto of United Church of Christ in Japan; Rev. Kato, a vice chair of the Church of the Twelve Apostles; and Mr. Tamiya Taguchi, a former member of the Unification Church. They took turns meeting with my father in the office and then trying to convince me.

 

They said that the Unification Church was a criminal group and that I had to leave the church as soon as possible. When I accused them of illegal activities and refused to listen to their self-righteous doctrine, my father beat me. Mr. Shinpachi Takahashi, an employee of the post office, continued trying to convince me for eight hours straight one day while I was only half conscious due to the physical abuse.

 

I would more than welcome the opportunity to discuss the Bible in a situation where neither of us is abducted or confined. However, they took my freedom, locked me up and denied my freedom of speech. And it was only a one-way conversation.

 

Day after day, I was subjected to such constant and demeaning stress and pressure. The mental agony was almost greater than I could bear. Everyone who came to convince me had their mind set that all CARP members, including me, were criminals and needed to be confined. They didn't even give me a right to respond and said, "If God is with the Principle, why don't you free yourself?" I was deeply insulted and filled with anger.

 

Writ of habeus corpus

 

I didn't know anything about a petition for habeas corpus that was filed on my behalf until a court-appointed attorney, Mr. Iwaki, came to the office on September 27. By then, 10 days had passed since the order was issued, but neither Toda nor my father had told me about it. After the attorney's visit, my captors repeatedly tried to convince me to drop the case.

 

I wanted to get out of the situation as soon as possible. So I requested to be a part of the preparatory investigation on October 13, but it was denied.

 

On October 14, I received the results of the investigation and found out that an inquiry would be held on October 28 and November 16. This meant that I would have to stay in illegal confinement for another month. I felt quite dejected. I worried that the court would move forward apart from my will.

 

At the first hearing on October 28, I waited in a separate room of the Sapporo District Court together with two security guards. I was halfway to giving up hope because I expected that Mr. Toda would not allow me to say anything. However, 15 minutes before the hearing, I was able to meet with my attorney, Iwaki. I asked him to let me stand before the judge. After the attorney discussed this with the judge, the court allowed me to enter, so I grabbed a paper I had prepared and waited for my opportunity.

 

Eventually, I wasn't able to speak directly to the judge, but Iwaki explained my heart very well and I thought that the judge understood. The counsel for the plaintiff requested parole, so I thought I would be freed soon. Many days passed, however, and the situation didn't change at all.

 

I was still being confined and began to worry. I constantly prayed to God and thought about what I could do. I began to think that they were trying to turn this from a criminal case into a civil case between my father and me. At the hearing, my father had claimed that he asked Mr. Toda and others to do this and tried to cover up for Mr. Toda. I know my father; he is not the type of person who is able to organize these things for himself. I was angry that he didn't realize how abnormal this was.

 

After the hearing on October 28, they made it look like they had loosened my confinement. However, the reality was the total opposite. They completely locked me up. My parents stayed with me 24 hours a day to watch me. We didn't exchange even a single word during that time. It was such a strange situation. On October 29, I submitted a written oath saying that I would not attempt to escape; it was rejected. I was very disappointed.

 

Escape

 

I began to think that if I left it to the court to take care of the situation, it would just prolong the decision and I would not be able to get out of this place. At the same time, my mental state was already close to the limit. I felt I would not be able to remain under such circumstances much longer, so I made an escape plan.

 

I started a hunger strike again and pretended to be going insane. On November 1, three days after beginning the hunger strike, I became violent. I turned a table upside down and threw cups and plates. Mr. Toda thought I might not make it until the 16th, so he permitted me to go out, accompanied by guards.

 

Day by day, I gained permission to take walks more frequently. Finally on November 9, they allowed me to go for a jog. The first day I came back obediently, but on the second day, November 10, I finally ran to freedom.

 

Now that I have regained my freedom, I am dropping the petition that Mr. Toshiaki Ise filed on my behalf. However, I am not able to forgive my captors for the crime of keeping me in illegal confinement for 76 days.