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Forced De-Conversion Victim Statements

 

T. K. (name withheld by request)

Confined: 1994

Faith-breaker: Shinya Waga 

WRITTEN STATEMENT

April 5, 2010

 

Profile

I was born on January 23, 1964. and was brought up in Koriyama city, Fukushima prefecture. My father is Hiromichi and my mother is Noriko. In April 1982, I entered Teikyo University’s Literature Department as an English major. While attending school I lived alone in Hachioji city, Tokyo. In March 1986, I graduated from that university. In April, I joined the Sento Evuansu(?) corporation.

 

Around July 1987, on the sidewalk near Hachioji station, I was asked questions in a survey about the purpose of life and if I wanted to know the cause of unhappiness, etc. I was interested and started to study the Unification Principle. I was convinced of its truth, so I joined. After that, through my life of studying the Bible and Unification Principle, I realized the existence of God and of spiritual benefits. I engaged in witnessing activity. At that time I belonged to the Hachioji church, but after February 1993 I transferred to the Chofu church.

 

House arrest

Around the autumn of 1994, my parents, who live in Fukushima, contacted me and asked me to come home so they could hear about the Unification Church. I was worried because two times previously I had been held under loose “house arrest” at my parents’ house. My parents had never before wanted to hear about the church, yet this time they said they wanted to listen carefully. I prepared a summary of its activities and the contents of Unification Church doctrine and returned home because I believed my parents.

 

My father, mother and younger sister welcomed me in a peaceful and friendly atmosphere. The first day passed in conversation and meals in a family atmosphere.

 

From the second day, the three of them brought notebooks and pencils to the table to sit with a serious attitude to listen to the Principle. I put a large white paper outside the transparent glass window and from inside I used a marker to explain Unification Principle.

 

My father said, “I will listen until I understand, even if it takes several days. I have a lot of time.” I asked, what about your work? Don’t worry, he told me, I took the day off. As I was explaining the doctrine, my younger sister started showing an understanding of the contents and she was removed from the room midway through. Then just my father and mother continued to listen.

 

As a result, my doubtful feelings grew, and I asked the true purpose of our gathering. My parents bowed to me on the ground and said, “Please, please meet Dr. Waga,” and they stayed on the ground for a short while. I rejected their request, and when I refused I was sent to my room, where I was placed under a state of house arrest.

 

My aunt (the younger sister of my mother) telephoned me and said, “Do you know how much the family and relatives worry about you? You’d better take a good hard look at yourself. How much money do you think we spent on you?”

 

(Afterwards I heard from my mother that it was about three million yen. My father even switched jobs, throwing away his position as general manager of Yokubenimaru Supermarket, where he had worked for a long time. I think he was prepared to pay the church withdrawal expenses from his retirement lump-sum payment.

 

The circumstances completely changed from the first day’s warm atmosphere, and the whole family came to look at me sharply, with a violent attitude toward me as they pushed me down and restrained me in a full Nelson (wrestling lock).

 

Confinement

 

On the third day, my father placed me in the family car with unreasonable force. He drove, while my mother and younger sister held me down. We left my parents’ house, and on the way my father communicated by telephone with someone. Father delightedly said, “Dr. Waga will meet us.”

 

After riding a long time, we arrived at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Sodegaura, Chiba prefecture, where I was confined. My family was always at my side. Pastor Shinya Waga continued to insult the Unification Church. Ex-members of the Unification Church, one man and one woman, came and spoke about when they were in the Unification Church. They spoke of the human relationships they didn’t like and the mistakes in the doctrine. I think these two people usually slept in that church, and during the period when I was there, they stayed from breakfast until bedtime.

 

Every day at breakfast a young woman who is a former member spoke insults about the Unification Church. A different person came each morning. On the second day of my stay there, I heard ex-believers’ stories about people who believed they had been swindled into making donations to the Unification Church or regretted what they considered forced marriages.

One day, I went by van to the nearby seashore with the three members of my family, driven by Pastor Waga. He pointed to the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line highway,  which at that time was under-construction, and said, “When this road is open to traffic, I will ‘fly’ all over Japan, rescuing young people like you from the Unification Church.”

I had an overpowering impression of nausea at life in the Seventh Day Adventist Church[1], which was stifling, even going to the rest room under constant supervision.

Escape

 

On the third day, either because they were being careless or by accident, no one was there when I was on the way to the toilet, so I left the church and took a train to the Chofu church. In the train I feared that someone was giving chase and would find me and take me back, so I shrank down, fretting like a fugitive in a scene out of a movie.

 

I returned to the Chofu church safely; but afterward, because of the circumstances of my confinement (during which I was the victim of continuous violent language), I couldn’t sleep at night and had no motivation to do anything for days. In addition, whenever I had resisted, the whole family had held me down with sheer force, and I cannot wipe this fear from my mind.

 

Conclusion

For three years after this, whenever I sent New Year’s cards to my relatives, they all rejected them and the cards were returned to me. Even when I telephoned, they said, “I’m sorry. I cannot speak to you.” They continue to reject communication with me.

 

In 1997, my parents contacted me and told me they had cut off their relationship with Pastor Waga, so it reached the point where I could occasionally visit my parents’ home. However, when I visit, my relatives don’t want to take family photographs and they don’t want my children to meet my sister’s children. They also won’t tell me their cell phone numbers or mailing addresses. This distrustful situation continues to this day. This means, until my faith in the Unification Church stops, normal association with my relatives is not possible. They did not invite me to the wedding of my younger sister or the funeral of a relative. I am an outsider.

 

There is no trust between parents and children and among relatives due to the activities of kidnapping and confinement. This is regrettable because my children have feelings of uneasiness and are lonely, and I am sad to have created this condition in them.

 

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[1] An investigation by Seventh Day Adventist officials at the Church’s international headquarters in Silver Spiring, Maryland revealed that Rev. Waga is not listed in the Adventist registry of ministers. The mainstream Adventist church does not approve of forced conversions such as those practiced by Rev. Waga.