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Forced De-Conversion Victim Statements

 

Y. H. (name withheld by request)

Confined: March 1987

Faith-breaker: Masayuki Hiraoka

STATEMENT OF FACTS

April 10, 2010

 

Profile

 

I was born in Toyonaka city, Osaka, as the second daughter of my parents, Yasutoshi and Hitoko on August 11, 1962. I have two sisters: Yasuko, who is three years older, and Rei, who is four years younger.

 

I joined the Unification Church (UC) during my sophomore year in college through Niigata University’s Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (CARP) in January 1983.

 

Confinement

 

When I returned home to my parents’ house in Nagano city in early March 1987, my family suddenly proposed to take me out by car. My mother grabbed my hand and urged me to sit in the middle of the back seat. I had to sit between my mother and my elder sister, and although I asked them where they were taking me, they would not tell me. Ahead of and behind our car were unknown cars that accompanied us. Along the way, when I told my family that I wanted to go to the bathroom, they passed me a urine bottle they had prepared. When I refused in surprise, my father stopped the car and told me to do my business in the grass. My family and the others were watching over me so that I would not escape. The place we arrived at was an inn in the mountains in Nagano prefecture.

 

At the inn, Minister Masayuki Hiraoka of the Nagano Evangelical Lutheran Church was waiting with all kinds of books, magazines and tapes criticizing the UC in order to break my faith. There were also around five former UC members who criticized the UC. My family members, together with one more observer, were always there at the confinement place to keep an eye on me. “There is no way you can escape,” they said. Since I was not familiar with the area, I did not have the confidence to run away safely, even if I were to succeed in escaping from the inn. The fear of being recaptured kept me from making any attempts to escape.

 

Since I had heard of cases where the victims of confinement were raped or hospitalized in mental hospitals, I immediately made up my mind to fake a conversion and acted as though I was listening to them obediently. But the minister and my mother did not believe me. Former members and Minister Hiraoka took turns coming to the inn and making me listen to criticisms of the UC and its doctrine. One of the former members said that Minister Satoshi Moriyama, who was the first Christian minister to conduct forced conversion through kidnapping and confinement, was like a messiah to her as she spoke of her experience of leaving the UC after being kidnapped and confined. Another former member told me that the only point she was not fully satisfied with about Minister Hiraoka was his remarks on the nonexistence of the spirit world.

 

My parents said they had also met Mr. Takashi Miyamura, who is a professional faith breaker for UC members. My father was disgusted with and angry at Mr. Miyamura’s highhanded behavior, such as not putting away his cigarette while talking with them.

 

Escape

 

My father persuaded my mother and the minister to believe me. While I kept on acting as if I had converted, I was moved from the inn in the mountains to an evangelical Lutheran church in Nagano city. In late March, after about a month of confinement, I escaped from the evangelical Lutheran church in the early morning when the oversight got lax. Since I knew of the possibility of my parents being acquainted with anti-Unificationist ministers, I had always concealed some money with me in case I got confined. All my other belongings had been taken away, but thanks to that money, I was able to take a taxi, call the UC in Nagano on a public phone and have them find me. Later on, I was told that the minister and the others, who found out that I had escaped, were lying in wait at the Nagano UC, supposing I would show up.

 

For a few years after this incident, the fear of being confined again made it difficult for me to return home, especially on set dates such as my elder sister’s wedding. My father, who had believed in me the most, was shocked by what I did, and his emotional pain has not yet healed. I am angry at Minister Hiraoka for disrupting my family and trying to break my faith. My mother once told me that she spent more than 10 million yen to make me leave the UC.

 

During the confinement, Minister Hiraoka told me one-sided criticisms of the UC. Despite his being a minister, he called Rev. Moon “Sun Myung Moon” without an honorific title and derided UC members. When I saw his character, I became convinced more than ever that the one who is truly practicing the true love of Jesus Christ is none other than Rev. Moon. Anti-Unificationist groups do not provide UC members the environment to discuss their faith freely.  Rather, they deprive us of our freedom and make us listen repeatedly to one-sided information in a confined state. I feel resentment toward the fact that Japan, a democratic nation, has allowed such vicious violations of human rights to go unsolved for decades.

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