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Lawyers Manipulating, Coercing, Lying

Masumi Fukuda

Activist lawyers manipulating clients, evidence, legal system

From July 2023 issue of Hanada. Photo: Bitter Winter

Japanese award-winning author Masumi Fukuda, known for her investigative journalism, exposes in the July 2023 issue of the magazine Monthly Hanada, an extreme network of leftwing lawyers manipulating the legal system in Japan, the media and the public opinion. For decades, activist lawyers in the network have been using tactics like coercing former members to join their lawsuits against the Unification Church, fabricating evidence, and extorting money from a perfectly legitimate religious movement, that is constantly being persecuted and slandered by those lawyers.

The network was in fact established in order to destroy the Unification Church, now called the Family Federation. What the Japanese journalist is unmasking, essentially boils down to the activist lawyers, many of them communists, using trumped-up charges against a new religious movement, while the “crime” it has committed, is to be against communism.

Bitter Winter, an online magazine on religious freedom and human rights, published Fukuda’s findings in a series of four articles in English. The first one appeared 23rd June, the fourth and last 27th June.

Monthly Hanada
From front page of July 2023 issue of Hanada

The first article describes the legal battle between the Unification Church in Japan and a group of anti-cult lawyers who want to dissolve the church. Fukuda argues that the church is not a “cult”, but a legitimate religious organization, that has been persecuted and slandered by the lawyers and the media. The article also exposes the hidden motives and connections of the lawyers, who have been profiting from lawsuits against the church and collaborating with former members and other anti-cult groups. The investigative journalist claims that the request to dissolve the church is unreasonable and unjust, and that it violates the freedom of religion and human rights of the church members.

Fukuda points out that although the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has been petitioned many times by the activist lawyers’ network to dissolve the Unification Church / Family Federation, the ministry has no case to do so. The investigative reporter states,

“Although the MEXT has now exercised its right to ask questions for five times, it has not ‘collected enough evidence’. In fact, it has not found a single piece of evidence. This is the best proof that the religious organization is innocent.” (The Plot to Destroy the Unification Church in Japan. 1. Why the Church Should Not Be Dissolved, written by Masumi Fukuda, published in Bitter Winter 23rd June 2023.)

The second article Bitter Winter published, details the devious tactics of the anti-cult lawyers, who have been suing the Unification Church in Japan for decades. It is revealed how the lawyers have been manipulating the legal system, the media, and the public opinion to create highly image-tarnishing lawsuits against the church. The article also exposes how the lawyers have been coercing former members to join their lawsuits, fabricating evidence, and extorting money from the church. Fukuda claims that the lawyers have been violating the law, the ethics, and the human rights of the church members.

Toru Goto
Activist lawyers caused great damage and suffering to Unification Church members. Here Toru Goto after 12 years of forcible detention. Photo: FFWPU
Hiroshi Watanabe
Key member of activist lawyers’ network – Hiroshi Watanabe. Photo: Screenshot / Bitter Winter

In the third article, Masumi Fukuda makes shocking revelations about the fraudulent lawsuits that the anti-cult lawyers have filed against the Unification Church in Japan. The article shows how the lawyers have used false or exaggerated claims to accuse the church of brainwashing, extortion, and other abusive methods. Fukuda shows how the courts have been biased and unfair towards the church, and how some judges have ignored or dismissed the evidence presented by the church. The third Bitter Winter article claims that the lawsuits have been unjust and unlawful, and that they have caused great damage and suffering to the church members.

The final article in the series, brings to light the real “anti-social” group, the anti-cult lawyers who try to destroy the Unification Church / Family Federation in Japan. This article exposes the systematic lies and disreputable tactics of the lawyers who have been spreading false information and propaganda about the church. We get insights into the hidden agenda and interests of the lawyers, who have been collaborating with anti-cult groups, former members, and media outlets to discredit and harass the church. The writer claims that the lawyers are the ones who are violating the social norms and values, and that they should be held accountable for their actions.

Here is an example of the fabricated evidence that Fukuda mentions,

“The plaintiff also submitted as evidence several notebooks and passbooks in which she had noted each time she made a donation or other contribution. However, when the defendants analyzed these notes, they found that some of them had not been written at the time of the donations, but later, in order to fabricate favorable evidence for the trial.”

(From The Plot to Destroy the Unification Church in Japan. 4. The Real “Anti-Social” Group, the Anti-Cult Lawyers, written by Masumi Fukuda, published in Bitter Winter 27th June 2023.

Fukuda writes,

“For almost all religions, including the former Unification Church, donations, endowments, and charitable gifts are expressions of piety and are offered willingly to God. For example, not a few overseas Christians donated vast tracts of land or even their entire wealth before the end of their lives and died penniless. Will their relatives sue the religious corporations for depriving them of the inheritance they expected to inherit?

It is not unusual for other religious corporations to receive donations of hundreds of millions of yen. It is problematic to unilaterally criticize only large donations made for the altruistic reason of ‘promoting world peace’ or ‘the good of humanity’.

Hiroshi Yamaguchi
Head of the activist lawyers network – Hiroshi Yamaguchi. Photo: Screenshot / Bitter Winter

Unfortunately, however, even if the donors are convinced at the time of the donation that they are donating freely, as time goes by, their faith may wane. Their relatives may rush to the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales to recover the donation.

The donors may be persuaded by lawyers from the Communist Party of Japan or the former Socialist Party that they have been ‘deceived’, and a lawsuit against the religious organization for the return of the donation may follow. In fact, there are many cases in which relatives consulted with the Network on how to force the donors-believers to sue.” (The Plot to Destroy the Unification Church in Japan. 3. Fraudulent Lawsuits, written by Masumi Fukuda, published in Bitter Winter 26th June 2023.)

Featured image above: Masumi Fukuda, april 2023. Photo: FOREF 

“Lawyers Manipulating, Coercing, Lying” – text: Knut Holdhus

Read more about lawyers manipulating in Illegalities of Activist Lawyers Exposed

Read even more about lawyers manipulating in Japan Times: Warning Of Terror

Also Bitter Winter has more articles on Japanese leftwing activist lawyers manipulating the country’s legal system.


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