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    Forced De-Conversion Victim Statements

     

    K.F. (name withheld by request)

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

     

    Confined: 1. March 31-May 17. 1988

    2.March 19-April 12, 1991

    Faith-breakers: Pastor Mamoru Takazawa, Atsuyoshi Ojima, Tokura and Mr. and Mrs. Shimomura

    WRITTEN STATEMENT

    [no date provided]

     

    Profile

     

    On February 23, 1985, I was introduced to the Divine Principle at the International Hope Center in Kita-ku, Osaka City. Beyond advising life's morality, the teaching touched my heart, convincing me of the existence of God and showing life’s hope and purpose. I have been a UC member since May 6, 1985.

     

    I was the victim of confinement [my second time], beginning around 7:00 pm on March 19, 1991 in Aiwa Bldg. Room No.304 (Kitanagasa-Dori 6, Chuo-ku, Kobe City) near Japan Railway's Motomachi Station. The confinement continued until 8:00 am on April 7 of the same year, followed by a state of house arrest on the second floor of the Kobe Makoto Church (Tatsuike-Dori, 1-Chome, Chuo-ku, Kobe City) until April 12.

     

    The people involved in my confinement included my family and kin as well as the Kobe Shin Church’s Pastor, Mamoru Takazawa, and his follower, Tokura, and Atsuyoshi Ojima, a member of the West Japan Evangelical Luthern Aotani Church (Nakajima-Dori 2, Chuo-ku, Kobe City).

     

    Until I could escape from the Kobe Shin Church at 2:10 pm on April 12, I was bombarded with rebukes, abuses and unfounded gossip about the Unification Church and Rev. Sun Myung Moon. I was coerced not only to quit my engagement in the UC but to convert to the faith of the established Christian church.

     

    Because of my past experience of confinement between March 31 and May 17. 1988, I could think of no alternative but to express my intention of quitting the UC in order to get out of this abnormal situation imposed by the church ministers and my family.

     

    Throughout the ordeal, I managed to keep calm, but my spiritual torment was truly unbearable. Their acts on the religious pretext of rescuing or witnessing to people, even manipulating the families concerned, are absolutely unforgivable. They are tantamount to religious persecution against the UC. Pastor Takazawa repeatedly examined whether I had been truly converted. He even declared: “Without resorting to the confinement method, we cannot bring you out of the UC!”

     

    In this statement, I want to disclose the true story of the incident.

     

    Parents’ opposition

     

    About nine months after I had joined the church, in January 1986, I was unable to attend my cousin’s wedding due to my circumstances. This created a negative impression on my parents, leading to the first confinement, which took place right after the relatives met, purportedly to discuss my future, on March 31. When the meeting ended inconclusively, I was placed virtually under house arrest.

     

    My parents had become acquainted with Taguchi, a disciple of Pastor Hisoka Murakami of the Assembly of God in Japan Hichijo Church (Nishi Hichijo, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City), who was engaged in abduction, confinement and deprogramming, as well as Shimomura of the Anti-UC Parents Association. These individuals spoke to my parents about numerous rebukes and attacks on the UC. My father, in particular, got so convinced that the UC was a dreadful entity that he began acting violently to me as I would not change my attitude. On May 11, on a rainy night, I sneaked out of the house and returned to the UC.

     

    Abduction and confinement

     

    On March 19, 1991, I went to my parents' home for a religious ritual honoring my late grandfather, after one year and eight months away. Though most of the relatives were present, the ritual had a strange atmosphere: my grandmother was absent for her husband’s memorial; someone substituted for a monk in reciting the Buddhist prayer; nobody was about to visit his tomb. It turned out to be a fake event only intended to entice me there and confine me!

     

    Pretending to go for a ceremonial meal afterward, we got into a van and another vehicle. I was made to sit in the middle of the third row of the van, flanked by my mother and aunt. On the way, the vehicle following ours disappeared, and I was forcibly taken into an apartment in Kobe.

     

    When the car stopped, three people including my uncle pulled me out and carried me up to the third floor. “Please help me!” I screamed again and again, to no avail. The following day, around 6:00 pm, Pastor Mamoru Takazawa showed up at the apartment, thus initiating the forced conversion. On March 23, his church member Tokura came, and after March 24, Atsuyoshi Ojima of the West Japan Evangelical Lutheran Aoya Church came over almost every day.

     

    The apartment’s entrance was tightly secured, with its door double-locked. All the windows were shielded with wooden boards, while their sash parts were wire-chained through holes pierced through, making them very hard to open. Only the air conditioner functioned to refresh the air inside.

     

    When I wanted to open the curtains to ease the tense atmosphere, it was not allowed. Judging that I could not escape from such a tightly guarded room, after the first-night arguments with my parents and sister, I made myself subdued from the second day.

     

    Under Takazawa’s direction, there was no telephone, TV or radio, newspaper or magazines in the room. His instructions seemed to be so thoroughly implemented that there were even no supplies like paper, pencils or ballpoint pens. My father was advised not to use shaving razors but an electric shaver. On the other hand, stocked in the room were books like the Bible, Divine Principle, The Will and the World', True Faces of the anti-UC ministers. My parents and sister were obliged to purchase and read the Bible.

     

    Conversion pressed

     

    Pastor Takazawa came over on the day following the abduction. Convinced that  verbal resistance to him would only put off my liberation from confinement, though furious inside, I offered a cup of coffee to the pastor. Then Pastor Takazawa challenged me by saying, “You must be thinking 'God damn the pastor!' Isn't it so?” I said, "On the contrary! You are unlike my what I imagined--not a dreadful personality but a kind and humorous type of person!” He was visibly delighted to hear that. “That’s good! It should make our debate smooth.” He seemed to be a moody person, so I judged it vital to make him loose. I pretended to be listening intently to his words and reacting positively.

     

    A couple of days later, in order to fake my departure from the Unification Church, I removed my Blessing ring. Noticing it right away, Takazawa put a Blessing ring on his finger. Its original owner, a male ex-member, had served the UC for eight years before being converted by Takazawa and leaving the UC. When he handed this ring to me, I was very moved and wept. He was testing to see whether I had really abandoned the UC. He even said, “I don’t hate you, because you are merely deceived. You are constantly suffering owing to your leaders and Rev. Sun Myung Moon.”

     

    About 10 days into the confinement, my sister told me, “In the churches of Pastor Takazawa or Ojima, many parents and family members are waiting for their turn at confining their children for deprogramming.”

     

    Takazawa and Ojima disclosed many things behind the previous cases of abduction, confinement and conversion, counting on my renunciation of UC faith. It was revealed, for example, that my family and relatives were encouraged to take action by the Shimomura couple, who had helped their two daughters, Michiko and Rumi, renounce their UC faith.

     

    It was evidently clear that behind those actions, Takazawa and Ojima had provided numerous and specific pieces of advice. Takazawa revealed out of his own mouth how he had approached my parents. “I urged your parents to prepare 1.5 million yen by selling all the cows raised on their farm.” He told me, "Your confinement and conversion were particularly expedited through the good offices of Shimomura. Your parents were encouraged to make up their minds by the fact that Shimomura’s daughters were saved even after their decade-long UC involvement.”

     

    Prior to my abduction and confinement, they had planted baseless information concerning the UC in my parents, sisters and even  my relatives.

     

    The fund of up to 1.5 million yen, prepared by my parents, was far beyond the necessary expenses such as the apartment’s deposit, key money, rent and miscellaneous costs. The pastors’ engagement was hardly aimed at salvation and witnessing only.

     

    When there was a tip that the apartment of confinement would be visited by lawyers, the police and UC people, there was a mini panic. On May 5, after discussion among the Shimomuras, Pastor Takazawa and my parents, they loosened all the locks except for the entrance that had been very rigorously locked.

     

    They tightened my guard so much so that I was scolded even for gazing out through the curtains. They also tried to make the room appear as normal as possible so that nobody would suspect the ongoing confinement.

     

    Takazawa suggested, "Probably a total of ten people including the police, lawyers and UC followers would come over. We shall allow only the police officers into the room. We should explain that parents and children together are studying the Bible, hardly a confinement." His posture and countenance were tense. He must be aware that his deeds constituted a crime, I suspected.

     

    By around April 6, a series of deprogrammings by means of criticizing the UC dogma and activities conducted by Takazawa, Ojima and Tokura was completed. Later, Takazawa pressed me to hand over my Blessing ring to him. Thinking that if I did not deliver the ring, all my efforts, including the faked renunciation, would have been in vain, I reluctantly delivered it to him.

     

    On April 7, namely 19 days after my confinement began, I was allowed to go out of the room. Subsequently, I was relocated to the second floor of the Kobe Shin Church, whose windows had aluminum frames that could not be opened. Besides, I was constantly under surveillance by my parents, Takazawa, Ojima and Tokura.

     

    On April 7 and 8, Rumi Shimamura, who was abducted and confined toward the end of November 1999 and left the UC, stayed overnight to watch me, giving little chance to escape. The conditions, therefore, were similar to life in confinement in  Room No. 304.

     

    In the afternoon of the same day, an annual congregational assembly of the Kobe Makoto Church was convened in its main hall, and I was asked to attend. The congregation heard about the 1999 fiscal reports, whose figures showed conspicuously higher donations and expenditures in comparison with 1998. According to accounts by the congregation's representative, the increase in both credits and debits were attributable to UC-related factors.

     

    Most of the parents, including mine, who had consulted with Pastor Takazawa donated a lot of money in preparation for an abduction and confinement. But as I have observed the pastors' attitudes, the donation was spent for their personal purposes as well. The majority of the attendees at the service were ex-members who had left the UC through abduction, confinement and deprogramming and those parents who were receiving Takazawa's instructions to bring their children out of the UC.

     

    On April 9, Takazawa urged me to write down UC members' names, ages and their parents' addresses as far as I knew. He handed me a sample and some paper, but I did not write anything.

     

    In the afternoon of that day, the Otsu UC leader Okuda, my husband, lawyer Oda and three UC members visited me. But I asked them to leave the Kobe Makoto Church, as I did not want to see any scuffle there.

     

    Escape

     

    On  April 12, past 2:00 am, my mother, who was lying next to me, and my father in the next room with its door open did not notice my movement. I went out through the entrance of the church, then unlocked a small door to freedom!

     

    Conclusion

     

    Although the abduction and confinement were carried out by my parents, sisters, uncle, aunt and cousins, their actions were premeditated meticulously, beyond their own capacity, and professionally coordinated and organized. It was evident  that these actions were actually directed by Pastor Mamoru Takazawa, Atsuyoshi Ojima, Tokura and the Shimomura couple.

     

    I believe that acts of abduction and confinement are nothing but organized religious persecution against the Unification Church, even by exploiting the UC followers’ families. Pastor Takazawa and his group of people carry out these actions, which are unacceptable legally and socially, by manipulating the families’ concerns for their children and brainwashing them.

     

    Yet, they use the pretext of “a parent-child matter” to avoid legal challenges. These is indeed wicked and unfair behavior on their part.

     

    Such acts that would undermine freedom of faith by those malicious means should not recur at all. I would not have reclaimed my liberty had I not faked my conversion. Though I tried to appear calm and submissive to them, I did suffer from tremendous psychological damage while my freedom was oppressed. Such acts should never be tolerated.

     

    In the hope that no more victims like me would emerge, I have stated my experiences imposed by Takazawa, Ojima, Tokura and the like.