How campaigners against Family Federation uses smear tactic to cover own criminal acts
Second part of an opinion letter to the court concerning the request for a dissolution order against the Family Federation (formerly the Unification Church), written 12th December 2023 by Rev. Haruhisa Nakagawa (中川晴久), Pastor of Christian Church of the Lord’s Sheep (主の羊クリスチャン教会), Executive Secretary of Tokyo Christian Theological Institute, President of Japan Christian Theological Institute. He conducted an undercover investigation of the Unification Church in 2012.
Translated from Japanese. Original article.
2. Changes in my perception of the Unification Church
My perception of the Unification Church changed significantly in 2013. At that time, I was already serving as a pastor. To gain firsthand knowledge of the inner workings of the Unification Church, I conducted an undercover investigation. After several attempts, I personally visited the Yokohama Family Church of the Unification Church. I entered and asked, “I think I, too, should live with some teachings in my life, but what are the teachings here?” To my surprise, this approach yielded positive results. Subsequently, I could confidently say, “I am currently attending the Yokohama Family Church.” I also visited other related facilities approximately 20 times and conducted interviews with believers.
I decided to go undercover because I had unanswered questions. The stories told by natural defectors from the Unification Church (those who naturally drifted away from the faith) were vastly different from the stories commonly told in society. After quitting, many of those defectors struggled with the fact that they had had positive experiences within the Unification Church. Even if they wanted to reject the church, they struggled with how to handle those cherished memories. To address this, I often share an analogy about a storage shelf as room décor,
“Imagine a shelf where different items are neatly stored in their designated places. Although each item has its own label – some marked ‘good’ and others ‘bad’ – the overall arrangement creates a beautiful interior. Similarly, you can organize your experiences and memories on the ‘shelves’ of your life. Some belong in the section ‘this was good’, while others in the section ‘this was not good’.”
This perspective often resonates with natural defectors, giving them a feeling of having solved the problem. During my undercover investigation, I realized why those words had an impact. Within the Unification Church, there exists a strong bond among believers – a genuine sense of connection and camaraderie. They encourage and support each other while earnestly living their faith. Through this understanding, most of my problems with the Unification Church were resolved.
As a result of this, I personally felt my interest in the Unification Church waning. The passing of the founder, Sun Myung Moon (in 2012), also contributed to this shift. However, in hindsight, the primary reason was that since the Unification Church’s “Declaration of Compliance” in 2009, there have been significant organizational reforms, and no social issues to speak of. Over the past year, my perception underwent further transformation as I noticed that the Unification Church’s efforts at improvement were reflected in statistics such as the number of inquiries to the Consumer Affairs Agency.
If that’s the case, my only reason for being critical is because it is a “Christian heresy”, which is an issue within the religious framework, akin to denominational disputes.
3. “The other half of the truth”
The Catholic theologian Hans Küng came with a famous statement during the Second Vatican Council, “Half a truth is also half a lie.” His words resonate with the issue of the Unification Church, where half of the truth is presented while “the other half of the truth” is not spoken at all. In that case, as Küng suggests, the part that is presented becomes half a lie.
The crucial truth that must be clearly conveyed here is “the other half of the truth”. It pertains to the fact that the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales (全国霊感商法対策弁護士連絡会 – Zenkoku Benren) collaborates with an organization involved in abduction and confinement of Unification Church followers. Behind the relentless efforts of the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales to dismantle the Unification Church lies the existence of numerous victims of abduction and confinement. While the Unification Church claims the number to be 4,300 persons, the actual number is likely much higher. Because the police did not intervene, the groups behind the abduction and confinement operated with impunity.
In cases of abduction and confinement, Christian pastors were involved. They absolutely do not want the actual criminal acts of abduction and confinement to be brought to light. That is why, for them, the Unification Church must be portrayed as “extremely wicked and immoral”. It became necessary to dismantle the Unification Church. To achieve this, negative remarks and slander against the Unification Church must be propagated. Particularly, recently in Yahoo! News articles that frequently target the Unification Church, you’ll find the reporter using the term “XXXX”. This reporter is one of the perpetrators who assisted in pressing Toru Goto, who was held captive for 12 years and 5 months, into leaving the Unification Church.
Even within the Christian community, some individuals who currently play a central role in addressing cult-related issues were once involved in abduction and confinement under the guise of “protective persuasion” alongside Takashi Miyamura (宮村峻) from the Ogikubo Glory Church (荻窪栄光教会) [in Tokyo]. In essence, due to the media’s lack of attention and the paralysis of police intervention, those involved in abduction and confinement continue to operate with impunity.
See part 1.
Featured image above: Faith-breaker Takashi Miyamura (宮村峻). Photo: Japanese Victims’ Association against Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion
More about vicious smear tactic: Sinister Plot of Hostile Lawyers Exposed
Even more about vicious smear tactic: Lawyers Exploiting Fear of the Unknown
Yet more about vicious smear tactic: Lawyers and Deprogrammers Hand in Hand
And still more about vicious smear tactic: Lawyers Manipulating, Coercing, Lying
And even more about vicious smear tactic: Illegalities of Activist Lawyers Exposed