Japanese family structure creating loophole exploited by lawyers and faith-breakers
Part 1 of Norishige Kondo’s speech 10th Sep. 2023
Norishige Kondo (近藤徳茂), author and Deputy Director of the Legal Affairs Department of the Family Federation of Japan, spoke 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 Japanese Victims’ Association against Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion. At the symposium, several victims of horrendous deprogramming attempts spoke. His speech was titled, “Response of Public Institutions to the Abduction and Confinement Issue”.
Kondo was introduced by Nobuyuki Kaeriyama, a spokesperson for the association of victims, with the words,
“In the second part, we will have presentations on the issue of abduction and confinement from a professional standpoint. The first presenter will be Norishige Kondo (近藤徳茂). He will speak on the subject of the response of public authorities and other organisations to the issue of abduction and confinement.
Kondo was born in Tokyo in 1960. Upon graduating from Waseda University’s Faculty of Law, he joined the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (Unification Church).
He has worked in the legal field for many years. In 2016, he served as Director of the Legal Affairs Department at the national headquarters of the Family Federation, and in 2017 as Director of General Affairs Department. Currently, he serves as Deputy Director of the Legal Affairs Department and is also in charge of legal affairs for the Japanese Victims’ Association against Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion.
He has co-authored the book ‘Don’t Family Federation Members Have Human Rights?’ Let us all welcome him with a warm applause.”
Thank you very much, everyone, for joining us today.
Yes, I will make a presentation on the issue of abduction, confinement, and faith-breaking in Japan and the United States, as well as the response of public institutions.
Abduction, confinement, and forced de-conversion in the USA
First, I would like to talk about the kidnapping and confinement in the United States and forcing persons to leave a religious organisation.
In the United States, there used to be an organization called CAN, short for Cult Awareness Network.
Cult Awareness Network was a group of people who systematically organized the abduction and confinement of members of new religions, and pressed them to quit.
One of the characteristics of abduction, confinement and forcing persons to quit a religious organisation in the United States, was, as I have said, that it was mainly carried out by professionals who were contracted for the job for a large fee.
In addition, the methods used were quite violent, such as assault, battery, abduction and confinement, as well as food and sleep deprivation.
It has also been claimed that several thousand members of a new religious groups became victims.
In the United States, those were not only members of the Unification Church. The victims included also members of various new religions such as Hare Krishna, Children of God, Church of Scientology, etc.
Concepts such as mind control and brainwashing were used to justify the abductions, forcible detention, and faith-breaking.
I’ll mention Ted Patrick [Theodore Roosevelt Patrick Jr. (1930-)], and he was a specialist deprogrammer.
When his own son became involved in a new religion [Children of God], Ted Patrick himself began to perform faith-breaking. He is called the father of deprogramming in the United States.
Deprogramming may also be called “forced conversion” or “forced exit”.
Patrick boasted that he had deprogrammed 1,600 people himself. However, his aggressive tactics led to criminal charges against him. He was convicted four times.
I’ll also mention Margaret Singer (1921-2003). She was a psychologist. She proposed the brainwashing theory. However, her theory was rejected in 1987 by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Sociological Association (ASA). Her theory of brainwashing was also thoroughly rejected by the California Supreme Court.
This person is Rick Ross, a specialized faith-breaker. He was involved in multiple coercive de-conversion cases which he was referred to by Cult Awareness Network (CAN).
However, in 1991, he was sued for abducting and forcibly detaining Jason Scott, a member of the United Pentecostal Church International, attempting to break his faith. Ross lost the case. At the same time, CAN was sued. This eventually led to CAN’s bankruptcy. Thus, the abduction-for-money campaign in the United States came to an end.
Abduction, confinement, and forced de-conversion in Japan
Next, I would like to talk about the abduction, confinement, and forced de-conversion in Japan.
In Japan, a policy was adopted based on the failures in the United States. Specifically, the first step was to ensure that the family members were the ones responsible for abducting, confining, and forcing people to leave a religious organisation.
Even if the family hired a third party, such as a private detective, a system was put in place to ensure that the family was present at the scene of the abduction and confinement. Of course, the family members did not act on their own, but rather in close contact with the de-conversion specialists in the background, whom they received instructions and guidance from.
However, in the event that a legal problem might arise, an agreement would be made in advance with the de-conversion specialist that the family takes full responsibility.
The faith-breaker could then offer excuses such as saying that he had only been called, that he had no idea that the believer was being held captive, and that he thought that the believer was staying of his or her own free will.
With this kind of system in place, even if the police were to intervene, the family would be able to exclude them using the idea that they were having family discussions.
Featured image above: Norishige Kondo speaking 10th September 2023 in Tokyo. Photo: Screenshot from live transmission by Japanese Victims’ Association against Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion
More about loophole exploited: Father Tricked by Deprogrammers to Kidnap Son
Even more about loophole exploited: In the Clutches of Abusive Deprogrammers
Yet more about loophole exploited: Lawyers and Deprogrammers Hand in Hand
And even more about loophole exploited: Japan: 4300 Abductions and Forcible Detentions
More about loophole exploited: Heroic Battle against Evil Japanese Practise
More about loophole exploited: Gross Human Rights Violations in Japan