The systematic lies and disreputable tactics of the lawyers who try to destroy the Unification Church/Family Federation in Japan.
by Masumi Fukuda
On March 1, 2022, the Tokyo District Court dismissed the plaintiff’s claim for damages in a lawsuit filed by S, a former believer of the Family Federation, against the church and some of its members. She claimed that she was told about an ancestral karma, a karma pushing her towards sexual relations, a karma to kill and wound. She became worried that illnesses, accidents, and other misfortunes might occur if she did not donate money to exorcise her karma, and she was thus forced to donate 21 million yen. However, it was discovered that when S was still a devotee, she had sent a letter to the believer who was mentoring her expressing her joy and gratitude for her faith.
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.
Another major deciding factor in the church’s victory of that case was a written document S had signed at a notary public’s office indicating that she had voluntarily made a donation when she was a believer.
However, to deny the validity of this written document, S made a series of false claims at the trial. For example, she claimed that she was pressured by the church’s believers to write the statement, citing the fact that her husband’s cancer surgery was successful, and he recovered. However, it was revealed that, in fact, both the discovery of her husband’s cancer and the surgery took place after S had signed the statement.
As in the previously mentioned case decided by the Tokyo District Court on August 21, 2002, where the defendant falsely claimed that she was pressured to make a donation because her uncle had worked for the Japanese police in Korea, the same technique of falsely confusing the timeline was used here as well. In both cases, it is reasonable to assume that the lawyers, not the plaintiffs who were unfamiliar with the rules of the trial process, took the lead in preparing false statements. It is worth noting that in both cases, the attorneys for the plaintiffs were leading lawyers of the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales, such as Hiroshi Yamaguchi and Hiroshi Watanabe.
The lawyers from the Network are also suspected of fabricating evidence by combining images from two different videos and falsely submitting them as if they were from a single recording. In an extremely vicious case, a plaintiff, represented by a Network lawyer, sued for the return of 600 million yen in donations but was found to have spent nearly 400 million yen of that money for other uses, and lied systematically at trial. Therefore, we must question the ethics of these lawyers. The claims of the Network can no longer be trusted at all.
As we can see from lawyer Masaki Kito’s numerous statements, the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales has also repeatedly made baseless, slanderous, and false allegations against the Family Federation. Here is a typical example.
On September 16, 2022, a Tokyo meeting of the Network was held in Ichigaya, Tokyo. Attorney Hiroshi Watanabe, who has been mentioned earlier, gave the keynote speech. At that time, he distributed a list to the participants. He said it was an internal document of the church.
Under the title “Feedback on Emergency Counter Measures for Persons in Situation of High Danger, August 18,” there was a color table with the following explanation: “We will provide feedback on the implementation of ‘emergency measures’ for believers who were found to be in a situation of high danger in the risk assessment survey.” The table showed the number of people classified as AA or AAA, in each of the12 districts, and the total number of people was 911. Although the meaning of the numbers was not immediately clear, lawyer Hiroshi Watanabe proudly explained: “I think this document was probably produced by the Unification Church in 2012… The Unification Church lists donors who donated more than 100 million yen, such as the mother of the suspect Yamagami, as ‘highly dangerous.’ And it states that there are 911 such people throughout Japan. They are divided into AA and AAA. AAA probably means those who donate a billion yen or more. If the church would not take counter measures about them, they would be dangerous. They state that they must take measures.”
He continued: “These 911 people were recruited by believers who hid their true identities. The believers did not tell that they were from a religious organization or the Unification Church, and those people were lured in. They were then threatened, deceived, and had all their property taken away, leaving their families in a collapsed state. If these people sued, the church would be in serious trouble. So, they thought they needed to take measures to prevent this. I think the material shows the anti-social nature of the Unification Church.”
I would like to thank him for his detailed explanation, but in fact, this document is not a list of top donors. AAA refers to believers who were at an extremely high risk of being abducted, confined, and deprogrammed, not to those who donated more than 1 billion yen.
I do not know whether lawyer Watanabe misunderstood and explained it in this way by mistake, or deliberately fabricated a false story. However, it is an episode that shows the maliciousness of the Network, which uses any material for its propaganda to discredit the Family Federation.
This press conference was spread by the media. Therefore, the Family Federation was again accused of being greedy and trying to squeeze money out of its top donors.
In 2012, the number of abduction, confinement, and deprogramming cases had decreased considerably, but the danger still remained serious enough that such a list had to be made and measures taken.
Since the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales was deeply involved in the criminal abduction and confinement of believers, I urge them to sincerely face the truth of what this list means. However, considering their true colors, this is highly unlikely and probably impossible. The question remains: who is more “anti-social,” the Family Federation or the National Network of Lawyers Against Spiritual Sales?