Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Yukari's Testimony - From Lawyer's Letter To Abduction and Confinement

If you are here for the first time, previous article will help you understand more.

Sachiko submitted a disciplinary claim against the lawyer, Hiroshi Watanabe to the Daini Tokyo Bar Association in April 2010.  Yukari came to know Sachiko’s action against the lawyer on someone’s blog.  Yukari decided to submit her statement to the disciplinary committee to support Sachiko’s claim.

Here is the Yukari’s statement submitted to the disciplinary committee.

Yukari’s Story

Yukari was a member of the Unification Church, and left the church (Dec 2007) as a result of deprogramming.  After the withdrawal from the church, she found a new job.  Her family members supported her to go back to the society during the rehabilitation period after leaving the church.  

Yukari started with her situation after the withdrawal from the church in the statement.
(Reference URL:  )

For the past 2 years or so, I had had nothing to do with the Unification Church, and have spent normal daily life such as commuting to the work.  We as a family have had peaceful time.

I signed a document at the time of withdrawal from the church.  The document says, “I, Yukari will have nothing to do with the Unification Church for the future.  If I breach it, I will get expelled from the family."
If my family knows that I write a statement, they will suspect my contact with the Unification Church.  My father does not like behaving dishonestly.  He also has an inflexible character, so he will keep what he’s determined to keep.  My father will dispel me from the family if he finds out.

Therefore, I hesitated to write and submit the statement. 

Yukari explained how she decided to submit her statement to support Sachiko’s claim to the disciplinary committee against the lawyer.
(Reference URL:  )

  1. After leaving the Unification Church
After I left the Unification Church, I found a new job and have spent normal life to commute to my work in Tokyo from home in Saitama.  My family supported me to re-enter society as they promised to do so.  I really appreciated my family.

More than 2 years have passed since I left the Unification Church.  However, when I recalled the memories of the past, it brings back awful memories about the Unification Church, about the confinement in the apartment etc., and I feel unstable.  This happens to me even now.

Therefore, I try not to recall the past memories about the days of the Unification Church, the days confined in an apartment and the days at  “Home of Life*”

(*translator’s note: “Home of Life” was a place where Yukari stayed for 4 months and half after the initial confinement in an apartment.  Yukari mentions this as “psychological confinement”.   The situation how she moved to “Home of Life” will appear later on this page.)
  1. I found a Watanabe’s letter on the net.
One day, when I was on the net, I incidentally found a blog of Mr. Kazuhiro Yonemoto.  There was a label called “Lawyer Watanabe’s Mysterious Letter”, and it made me feel uneasy and also curious. 
I nervously clicked on the link, and I learned the following:

  • A letter of lawyer Watanabe was delivered to Sachiko’s parents.  Sachiko was a Unification Church member.
  • The letter repeated many times not to let their child know about the letter, and urged parents to consult the lawyer without being noticed by their child.
  • Sachiko submitted disciplinary claim against the lawyer, and Mr. Kazuhiro Yonemoto supported the claim by presenting a written statement.
I was so shocked to see the contents of the letter.  The series of my events of abduction, confinement and withdrawal from the church were completely matched with the lawyer Watanabe’s letter.

·         A letter was delivered to my parents, and my parents learned that I was a member of the Unification Church.
·         My father consulted the lawyer Watanabe.
·         My parents and brother confined me in an apartment, and urged me to see a Christian minister, Kawasaki.
·         After my withdrawal from the church, I was asked by lawyer Watanabe to claim refund of the donation I made.  The lawyer Watanabe demanded a commission from the successful refund.

  1. Curiosity grows, and I contact the blog’s owner, Mr. Kazuhiro Yonemoto.
I became curious how many parents received such letters from the lawyer, and what happened to them afterwards.  I also wanted to know more about the facts in relating to the Sachiko’s disciplinary claim. 
I felt uneasy, but I thought I should contact the blog’s owner, Mr. Kazuhiro Yonemoto.  I found his telephone number on the blog, and I called him.
Mr. Yonemoto said the lawyer Watanabe was denying all the claims.  Mr. Yonemoto suggested that I should write a statement based on the facts.

However, as I already left the church, and if my parents suspects me, I would be kicked out of home and have to leave my job.  I worried what would happen to me?
I struggled for 10 days.  After the 10 days, I started to feel that I should say truth rather than keeping uneasy feelings inside of me.  I think I am an honest person, and not good at telling lies by my nature.
  1. I have something to say to Lawyer Watanabe.
It’s not easy to say something to the lawyer Watanabe as he took care of us.
However, he could have urged my parents to talk to me (instead of referring my parents to a deprogrammer).  Then we had a discussion in the living room at home.

The letter says, ”It is impossible to get out of the Unification Church by one self for the rest of the life. ”  But many leave the church after they find something wrong in the church.

If the discussion is done at home, the confinement in the apartment and staying at “Home of Life” were not necessary.
I feel sorry to my parents when I think how my parents were puzzled and bemused by the threatening letter, which had similar contents as the letter delivered to Sachiko’s parents.

My family and I are peace loving people.  My feelings changed to anger when I thought how the exaggerated contents of the letter fuelled fear to my parents.

If Lawyer Watanabe has good knowledge of the Unification Church issues, he could have met me and persuaded me by himself.

The Lawyer Watanabe told my parents not to let me know about it, but guided my parents to see a Christian minister.

My father had to be absent from his work for a month, and rented an apartment and fitted some tricks on the door.

It started with the Lawyer Watanabe’s letter, and all are the results of consulting the lawyer.

There is a question why Lawyer Watanabe did not show up at the discussion even though he was enthusiastic enough to send such serious letter to my parents. 
I’m not sure if the letter is “advertisement”, but I think the letter was a tool of operating activities after all.

I still feel sad that my parents did not talk to me when they received the lawyer’s letter.  But I understand that my parents couldn’t do that because the letter said not to tell their child.  I feel sorry for my parents.

*The headers were added by Yoshi(translator) in this section.

Yukari explains in the statement how she was kidnapped, confined and left the Unification Church in the statement.
On Saturday, July 14, 2007, it was a day-off and I was at home.  My family said, “Let’s go out to dinner”, and I got in a car with my parents.  My elder brother said he would join us later at the restaurant.  A little while later in my parents’ car, I received a call on my mobile phone from my brother.

My brother said, “I got injured, and can’t move.  Help me.  Can I talk to Dad?”

My father said after he talked with my brother, ”Let’s go and rescue him.”  My father put my mobile phone into his pocket, but it didn’t worry me at all at that time.  But, I found out later that it was their plan to take away my mobile phone to prevent me from contacting someone.

When we entered the apartment, my elder brother was on the futon mattress.  After we all entered the apartment, the front door was shut and I was surrounded by everyone.

At this stage, I noticed that this was the “kidnapping and confinement” which I was taught by the Unification Church.  The apartment was a small monthly apartment with one bedroom.  All the windows were covered by card boards, so the room was dark without the lights on.
The front door was installed with 2 special locks with chain.  My father always had the keys on his waist.  They said they learned such methods from those who experienced the protection and persuasion.

I felt unrealistic feelings for a few days, and I was crying in my mind.
Then my father brought a book, the Divine Principle (a book of the doctrine of the Unification Church) and said, “Can you please teach us as I don’t understand what it says?”  So we all together started to read the book by paragraph by paragraph. 
If we finish reading the book, we started again.  Such reading sessions continued for 10 days.  Then my father said, “There are not many materials here.  Can we move to a place where we have more things such as books or videos?  There is a nice and kind old lady, and she can teach us anything.  The place is different from here, and the main door is not locked.  You can run away if you wish.”

I seriously consider the option for 3 days.  After I heard my father’s words that “It will have more freedom than here at the old lady’s place.”, I agreed to move to that place.

The place of the old lady was called “Home of Life” in Komoro City in Nagano.  Her name is Ms Kyouko Kawasaki.  I learned much later that she was a Christian minister belonging to United Church of Christ of Japan and that she was a minster at the Tanimura Church in Tsuru-shi, Yamanashi.

I stayed at Home of life for 4 and half months from the end of July, 2007 to Dec 15, 2007, when I wrote a letter of withdrawal from the Unification Church.

My father stayed there with me for the first 2 weeks, and he went back to work.  Then he visited me every weekend (Sat & Sun).  My brother also went back to work.
I heard that I was on sick leave for my work and that my father sent a resignation application to my work as the discussion prolonged and I was unable to work.

I didn’t expect to leave my work at all, and I didn’t want to leave my work as I liked the work and colleagues.  But it was not a situation to say such things.  I had mixed feelings very much about it.

For the last 1 month at Home of Life, my mother also went back home, and I continued the study by myself.  I read books on Anti Unification Church.  Ms Kyouko Kawasaki talked about the issues of the Unification Church.  I watched the videos on the Unification Church.  The videos were copies of TV programs in the past.  There were Bible study sessions as well.

As my father said, the front door of Home of Life was not locked.  I thought of running away at the beginning.  But I felt that such escape did not solve anything.  I had strong feelings that I wanted to understand each other with my parents above all.

It didn’t matter if it was locked or not.  I didn’t want my parents feel sad.  The life at Home of Life seemed to be free, but I thought it was psychological confinement.

I learned some contradictions on the Unification Church and the past history of Sun Myung Moon by the study sessions at Home of Life.

I gradually started to have a question if Sun Myung Moon was a Messiah.  I could re-consider the Unification Church’s activities such as recruiting without showing real identity and making new members offer high amount donations.

On Dec 15, 2007, I handed the letter of my withdrawal from the Unification Church over to Ms Kawasaki, and I returned home from Home of Life.

I feel sorry to my family as I made them worry.  (I heard that my parents commuted to Ms Kawasaki’s place for 6 months.  It took 2 hours to get there.)
I also really feel sorry to my parents that they had to spend lots of money.

The following part is the scene how Yukari learned that her parents received a letter from a lawyer, and the scene when Yukari met the lawyer after the withdrawal from the church.
(Reference URL: )

I asked my father at Home of Life.

Yukari:  How did you know I was a Unification Church member?

Father:  I received a letter from a lawyer.  The letter said so.  I was shocked and I couldn’t believe it.

Yukari:  What’s the name of the lawyer?

Father: He is a lawyer called Mr. Hiroshi Watanabe.  I couldn’t believe it, and I checked his lawyer’s office on the web.  I learned the office existed and it was a proper law firm.  A lawyer does not say something inappropriate, so I thought that it was not a lie.

I was shocked to hear it more than a little.  I came to a sad realization because a complete stranger told my parents such important thing before I talked with my family about the Unification Church.

Later I heard from my mother that my parents were introduced to a Christian minister Yoshisato Yoshida of Matsudo Church, United Church of Christ of Japan, but that my parents did not get along with the minister and then Home of Life was introduced.

After I wrote a letter of withdrawal from the Unification Church, I claimed the refund of donations which I made.   My father said at Home of Life, “We need your money back as the church was wrong.”

I thought in my mind that I didn’t have to claim the refund because I attended the seminars by my will and I bought some jewels which I liked.  My father needs to draw a clear line between things, so I thought I had to obey my father.

In a short while later after I returned home, we all visited the Lawyer’s office.

The lawyer Watanabe asked me to write down the details of the items that I paid.  I wrote down seminar fees, donations, totaling about 2 million Yen (US$25,000), and also wrote down the purchased items such as jewels and paintings, totaling 1.66 million Yen (US$20,000).

Later Lawyer Watanabe said that he got a refund of 1.5 million Yen (US$18,750) from the other party, and it was transferred to me.

At the end after everything was done, I received a notice from the lawyer to pay 200,000 Yen (US$2,500) to him on a success-fee basis.

I recalled that when I met him for the first time, he said that he was voluntarily working though this issue.  I felt suspicious a little about the success-fee.  But anyway he took care of all of our family, so I concluded that it was like that.
Lawyer Hiroshi Watanabe is actively involded in Deprogramming in Japan

Her testimony clearly indicates that:

1.       Her parents received a letter from Lawyer Watanabe

2.       Her parents consulted the lawyer

3.       Parents were introduced to a Christian Minister

4.       Yukari was abducted and confined in an apartment

Yukari stated “It started with Lawyers Watanabe’s letter, and all are the results of consulting the lawyer” in the statement.

The lawyer Watanabe’s letter has a logical and clear link to her actual abduction and confinement.  Yukari testified that Lawyer Watanabe’s letter played a critical role towards her abduction.
The lawyer, Hiroshi Watanabe is actively involved in deprogramming by sending out such letters to parents and by cooperating with Christian ministers.  His role was similar to CAN (Cult Awareness Network) who introduced deprogrammers to parents.

The lawyer’s letter is a tool to look for the opportunity of deprogramming.   

Professor James T. Richardson (University of Nevada, Reno) says as follows in his article (published online - 12 Feb 2011) in the law journal, Crime, Law and Social Change.  The article title is "Deprogramming: from private self-help to governmental organized represssion".

Perhaps the most striking thing about the deprogramming in Japan is that they often involve Christian ministers. 

The Japanese Bar Association has become actively involved in the anti-UC campaign, with some of its members being quite successful at filing legal actions of various kinds to harass and deter UC activities.


If Professor Richardson knew about the lawyer’s acts – active involvement in deprogramming, what would he say?   Lawyer’s active involvement in deprogramming would be a shocking and scandalous revelation, and it’s more than the most striking thing. 

This series of articles will continue. The next article will be about a man who appeared in Ken’s Story.  He hand-delivered the lawyer’s letter to Ken’s parents.


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