29 years old medical doctor kidnapped after father was tricked by deprogrammers in Japan
Hirohisa Koide, a Japanese medical doctor and author, gave an amazing testimony of how he was kidnapped, forcibly detained for two years as profesional deprogrammers attempted to get him to give up his faith.
He is the author of “Escape from Kidnapping”, his 232-page story published in Japanese by Kogensha 20th September 2023 – a revised edition of 1996 publication.
He shared his story at a special symposium on the theme “Abduction and Confinement – Who Destroys Families?” 10th September 2023 at the Shibuya, Tokyo headquarters of the Family Federation of Japan. It was organised by the the Japanese Victims’ Association against Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion. At the symposium, several victims of horrendous deprogramming attempts spoke.
Koide was introduced by Nobuyuki Kaeriyama, a spokesperson for the association of victims, with the words,
“The next presenter is Mr Hirohisa Koide. He was born in Tokyo in 1962. When he was a student at the School of Medicine at Jichi Medical University in the city of Shimotsuke, he encountered the Unification Principles. He has been actively engaged in missionary work.
In June 1992, he was suddenly abducted and forcibly confined by members of a group of deprogrammers, including Takashi Miyamura. Over a period of two years, Koide was subjected to numerous brainwashing attempts, but he was able to escape.
Currently, while engaged in medical work, he also devotes himself to exposing the inhumane and criminal methods used by the group of deprogrammers. Today, he will deliver a speech titled ‘Contempt for Belief in God and Buddha, and how National Network of Lawyers (Zenkoku Benren) believe themselves to be saviours’. Let us all welcome him with a big round of applause.”
Here is the first part of Koide’s story
Contempt for Belief in God and Buddha, and how “National Network of Lawyers” believe themselves to be saviours
As I was listening to Mrs. Nakajima’s [another victim] story today, I thought that I myself have been in the position both of a victim, and at one point I was also in the position of a perpetrator. Therefore, I really want to make amends for my wrongdoings and seek redemption. I believe that it is for my own sake that I am able to stand up today and even publish this book.
I, myself, was raised by a father who was deeply devoted to the Tenrikyo faith. Growing up, I was immersed in a world of belief in God and prayer. On my mother’s side, there were many educators and doctors and a tendency to be somewhat skeptical of new religious movements.
Therefore, since I was a child, I grew up knowing that there are two ways of thinking and perceiving things. And, if anything, I wanted to follow the path of religion, but I ended up entering medical school.
This is a photo of the apartment in Ogikubo in Tokyo where I was first confined. (Photo shown) It is a very ordinary apartment. I was 29 years old and working at a general hospital in Tokyo.
It was a general hospital, but the director and the president were followers of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, and there were many working there who believed in God and Buddha. My parents did not agree with me working at that hospital. In fact, they had already obtained a lot of information that made them anxious. They had contact with a deprogrammer named Takashi Miyamura in Ogikubo. And they were preparing to pull me away from the Family Federation and have me meet a deprogrammer.
I myself was not aware of that at all. But I did notice that something was wrong with my parents. And then, in June 1992, when I returned to my parents’ home, I was suddenly surrounded by about 20 relatives, and then my father said, ‘I can’t forgive you for joining and working for a criminal organization. I have prepared a place where we can talk calmly.’ I thought, “Oh no”.
Surrounded by about 10 people, including my relatives, I shouted, “Help me, I’m going to be killed!” But they forced me into a van and drove me to this flat. I have, however, no idea where it was.
I knew that it was a room in a flat somewhere. When I was brought into the flat, I felt I understood it all. I sensed this was the reason why my parents had been acting strangely.
There, I couldn’t see out of the window, and the door was chained. It wasn’t an environment where I could easily escape. To begin with, about ten relatives stayed together with me there.
I was forced to give up my profession as a doctor after just one night. After that, I was never able to contact the hospital. Overnight, I went from being someone who cared about the patients and the ward every day, and who carried a pager, to someone who had nothing to do with them.
Then, relatives and ex-members asked me, “Explain to us the absurdities of the doctrine and the activities of the Family Federation.” Straightaway, I thought that it was not my responsibility to explain that to former believers.
At that time the Family Federation was called Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. So I said, “I’ll introduce you to someone I know there, why don’t you ask him.” I said something like that, but they didn’t take me seriously at all.
And so I made up my mind to say, “Please stop your violent religious persecution. It violates my basic human rights.” From morning to night I kept shouting, “I want you to stop your violent religious persecution. It is in violation of my basic human rights.” No matter what they said, I kept shouting.
Then the relatives of my mother’s side, who don’t really believe in religion, became more worried. Certainly, from a medical point of view, it was unpalatable.
“No, this is definitely a violation of basic human rights.” That’s what they said. Then this Takashi Miyamura came along with his lawyer, and with this, the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales (Zenkoku Benren) made its appearance. This is Hiroshi Hirata. He looked like that. (Showing a photo) He was a bit younger then. He handed out his business cards.
He even gave me one, and then said, “If it’s done by relatives, it’s not illegal.” Then he left. He walked out with a smile on his face. He is a terrible person. I think he probably forgot all about what happened to me and how much my father suffered.
It was a terrible thing to do, to take advantage of his status as a lawyer. My relatives were only social studies teachers, Since the lawyer told them that it was not illegal, they thought, “Oh, he must have his reasons.” From that point on, it seemed like they stopped thinking and were no longer worried about the kidnapping and forcible confinement.
Featured image above: Hirohisa Koide, victim of kidnapping, a 2 year long forcible detention, and attempted deprogramming. Photo: Screenshot from YouTube video by Japanese Victims’ Association against Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion.
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