Christian leader and expert claims persecutors have to use cult label in order not to be held criminally liable
3rd part of article by Haruhisa Nakagawa titled “After the assassination of former Prime Minister Abe due to misinformation, an unreasonable dissolution request will be made”, originally published 22nd Sep. 2023 by salty-japan.net. Republished with permission. Translated from Japanese. Original article. See 1st part See 2nd part
Haruhisa Nakagawa is Executive Secretary of Tokyo Christian Theological Institute, President of Japan Christian Theological Institute, and SALTY Editorial Committee Member. SALTY is the Japanese Christian opinion website salty-japan.net. He conducted an undercover investigation of the Unification Church in 2012.
The other half of the truth 2: The peculiar nature of the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales
According to Consumer Affairs Agency data from 2021, cases related to the Unification Church account for only about 1.9% of all nationwide cases of spiritual sales (marketing), with over 98% having no connection to the Unification Church.
However, Attorney Tatsuki Nakayama points out that on the website of the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales (NNLASS), all 128 cases listed are 100% related to the Unification Church. The network of lawyers was 100% aimed at attacking the Unification Church. In other words, 100% of their attacks were targeting less than 2% of the cases. For over 98% of the cases, they do nothing at all.
In response to my interviews, Attorney Tatsuki Nakayama stated,
“Almost all (98%) of the lawsuits over torts filed against the Family Federation (Unification Church) as defendants have had lawyers from the NNLASS serving as plaintiff representatives. If there have been victims of the Family Federation (Unification Church) all over Japan, it is strange that other lawyers have not served as plaintiff representatives.”
To remain neutral concerning this issue, is the most reasonable approach. That seems apparent to anyone. And I am not the only one who thinks that there may be other motives within the NNLASS. The movement driven by animosity towards the Unification Church needs to a halt for a moment, and carefully consider the situation.
The other half of the truth 3-1: The problem of kidnapping and confinement in faith-breaking
Among the anti-Unification Church individuals, there are those who have to treat the Unification Church as a “cult”. Otherwise they must not only carry the moral responsibility, but can also be held criminally liable.
Such significant truths are being concealed, and many Christian pastors and others are involved in this matter. Therefore, I have to address this issue. This also serves as self-reflection on behalf of Japan’s Christian community.
Many of those who are currently attempting to sway public opinion by labelling the Unification Church as a “cult”, may have been well aware of the reality of kidnapping and confinement, or perhaps even deeply involved. That is why this issue must be approached with great caution, as it is indeed a horrifying matter. For those who harbor some kind of animosity towards the Unification Church, there may be criticisms directed at me such as, “Are you defending a heretical form of Christianity?” However, this is a “more profound issue” that transcends such dimensions.
The method used for this kidnapping and confinement is referred to as “guarded persuasion”. This is classified as so-called “ideological brainwashing”. It is often closely related to the term “mind control”. The general difference between “brainwashing” and “mind control” is the presence or absence of physical coercion as a means. When the Chinese Communist Party is said to be conducting “re-education” in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, it involves “ideological brainwashing”. In other words, individuals are educated while being detained and confined.
Now, what the members of the NNLASS and their affiliates call “guarded persuasion” involves bringing the parents to the fore, suddenly restraining an adult with a group of individuals, and forcing him into a car, keeping him in a state of captivity until he renounces his beliefs.
They never release the believers until they give up their faith. In the longest case, this captivity lasted for as long as 12 years and 5 months. There are numerous outrageous instances of “guarded persuasion”. It is truly horrifying.
This issue must be addressed separately in another article. The facts are further obscured by the request to dissolve the Unification Church. There is as well this other “half-truth” to consider. If this “truth” is not discussed, and things progress, it would mean that this “half of a truth” will also remain “half of a lie”.
The other half of the truth ３-2: Forced faith-breaking based on kidnapping and confinement is today’s witch trials
Article 38 of the Constitution specifically stipulates the prohibition of “detention” and “confinement”. It should be included in the Penal Code, because globally, physical restraint is regarded as an outrageous violation of human rights. There is global consensus about this, based on historical lessons.
1. No person shall be compelled to testify against himself.
2. Confession made under compulsion, torture or threat, or after prolonged detention or confinement shall not be admitted as evidence.
3. No person shall be convicted or punished in cases where the only proof against him is his own confession.
The early Christian Fathers of the Church, such as Origen, Irenaeus, and Augustine, engaged in “heresy refutation”, never “forced faith-breaking based on abduction and confinement”. The refutation of heresies contributed to the development of orthodox doctrines of Christianity.
However, forced faith-breaking based on abduction and confinement, on the other hand, bears more resemblance to witch hunts in the late Middle Ages. In this context, the idea of being “possessed by demons” has been replaced with “under mind control”. The orthodox Christian Fathers’ way of thinking was to eliminate heresy in order to protect the correct teachings. They did however not engage in detention and abduction for the purpose of faith-breaking. Especially in Western countries, there have been historical reflections on the “witch trials”, and lessons have been learnt from those failures.
What about Japan and the Japanese people?
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, article 9, stipulates, [Editor’s note: In original Japanese text called “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”]
“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.”
[Editor’s note: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 9, says: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.”]
Japan also ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1979. Christians especially must not repeat that mistake again.
Featured image above: One-leaf print on a witch burning in Derenburg (County Reinstein, now district of Harz, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) AD 1555. Photo: R. Decker / Wikimedia Commons. Public domain image. Cropped
“Persecutors May Be Held Criminally Liable” – text: Haruhisa Nakagawa
1st part of the original article.
2nd part of the original article
See also: Lawyers Manipulating, Coercing, Lying
See also Pure Activism in Japanese Media
See also Heavily Biased Japanese Reporting