December issue of “Zaikai Nippon”/ Academic staff of Hiroshima University leaks personal information of faith to parents of CARP students
Following the November issue of “Zaikai Nippon,” an article accusing obsessive “anti-cult measures” taking place in universities in the December issue released on November 1st.
(Feature “Human Rights in Japan Series” 21st Report, Page 1/4)
The article entitled “Academic staff of Hiroshima University leaks personal information of faith to parents of CARP students/ Frantic efforts to crash specific religion by strengthening ‘anti-cult measures’” was written by a religious journalist, Tadashi Murou.
The article starts with the description of “an academic staff of the Student Service Department of the Hiroshima University named Tanaka” being questioned by “the representative (student) of CARP (Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles)” and giving “awkward answers” and states, “aggravated case of ‘anti-cult measures’ that cannot be overlooked took place in Hiroshima University, a national university.” The article refers to the case where Masanori Tanaka called the parents of the students of CARP, “a confirmed student’s circle formally registered and permitted activities by the University” and made warnings to the parents by saying, “Are you aware that your child is involved in a religion?” as if the student was involved in a criminal group, and criticizes Tanaka’s “deviant behavior.”
Then, it covers the conversation which took place when the CARP representative and one of the victims Mr. M met Tanaka for an interview.
M: “My mother is aware that I am a member of CARP. She is angry because the school called her instead of me. Where did you get my personal information (concerning my faith) in the first place?”
Tanaka: “As the Student Service Department, we have personal information of all of the students. I cannot answer where I got the information that Mr. M is a CARP member. There’s no need to answer because it is an individual matter.”
CARP Representative: “Individual matter? Mr. M is the person involved. The Student Service Department must answer the question and Mr. M has the right to know.”
Tanaka: “I cannot answer that question because there is confidentiality to inside information.”
Murou condemns this “conversation” and says, “Is this the attitude of a University, a ‘chamber of wisdom’? He has secretly gathered students’ personal information that lead directly to one’s spirit and faith and used it to persuade members of a specific religious circle to exit that circle. I have never heard of ‘confidentiality’ that hides the source of information from an aggrieved party. If Tanaka is going to refer to ‘confidentiality,’ he should be clarifying its legal basis.” Then, the article goes on and covers Tanaka’s attitude which “becomes even more irreverent” and states, “One can hardly believe that he is actually an academic staff of a university.”
CARP Representative: “You did not even identify yourself (when you called the parents). You identified yourself only after the parents called back.”
Tanaka: “I’m sorry. I thought I did…”
CARP Representative: “No, you didn’t. There are 2 cases where the parents found out it was you (Tanaka) after calling you back. You have been telling us to identify ourselves as CARP and to disclose all information from the beginning when we recruit students, but you have not done that yourself.”
CARP Representative: “How did you explain CARP in the first place?”
Tanaka: “I didn’t say anything.”
CARP Representative: “Among numerous circles, why did you call the parents of CARP students?”
Tanaka: “Because I needed to.”
Murou evaluates this “conversation” as “Truly absurd. Although the academic staff is very agitated, he is slipping away by making excuses such as ‘this is an individual matter,’ ‘there is no need to answer the question,’ or ‘there is confidentiality to inside information.’ This is even worse and pathetic than aggravated bureaucrat’s proceedings.” Then he says, “The gap between Hiroshima University’s advertizing sign of the ‘chamber of wisdom’ and its reality which would put secret police to shame cannot be criticized enough.”
Then, Murou mentions about the universities that tends to strengthen it “anti-cult measures.” He points out to “compulsory lectures on ‘anti-cult measures’ for incoming freshmen” and “lectures on ‘anti-cult measures’ for faculty members” as “noticeable” cases and introduces specific examples. As was reported in Zaikai Nippon’s 2011 April issue, “national universities such as Osaka University, Chiba University and Ehime University,” and “Nagoya University started to hold a lecture that criticizes the Unification Church and CARP under the name of ‘Campus Life Safety Methodology’ in April 2011.” Then, Murou introduced the activities of each university and faculty in real names. “There have been moves in the National Chiba University, which is known as the university of ‘anti-cult measures.’ In July 2011, the Chiba University invited a groundbreaking anti-Unificationist, Yoshihide Sakurai of Hokkaido University (national university) and Professor Takashi Uryu who is engaged in ‘anti-cult measures’ in Osaka University to hold an open lecture entitled ‘Campus Life and Recruiting Process’ by proposal of Professor Momoko Miyano of the Faculty of Education who is a promoter of ‘anti-cult measures.’”
Moreover, as a “noticeable” lecture, Murou writes about the student service center of a national university in western Japan which invited Professor Hisa Nomoto, vice-manager of the student service center in Ehime University (national university) and held an “anti-cult measures” lecture for academic faculties in September 2011. Murou analyzes the reason behind this university inviting an extramural lecturer of “anti-cult measures” from Ehime University. “Ehime University’s CARP which had nearly 30 members was almost completely destroyed as a result of massive ‘CARP hunting’ that was executed in the University from 2005 to 2007 (Zaikai Nippon’s 2011 March issue). They must have wanted to learn from Ehime University’s process and experience of ‘anti-cult measures’ and use them as reference for ‘anti-cult measures’ in their university.”
Murou introduces the contents of the lecture as below.
“Professor Nomoto’s lecture went over every detail. He gave specific examples such as doing a stakeout near a ferry landing to prevent students from attending religious circles’ training camps. He divided the timeline in three stages of ‘when the problem became obvious’, ‘when we confirmed the efficiency of our effort,’ and ‘when new problems emerged’ and explained how to make countermeasure organization such as ‘anti-cult issues conference’, how to contact CAPR members’ parents, how to gather information from family members, how to build cooperative framework with outside experts such as Christian ministers, etc. As a result of these measures taken in Ehime University, there have been no reports of complaints from aggrieved students since 2007, and it seems like some CARP lairs have been pulled out. While flaunting such results on one hand, Professor Nomoto warned that students who are UC second generations have started to squarely identify themselves from 2011 and are aggressively activizing their activity such as addressing a questionnaire to the University (Zaikai Nippon 2011 November issue). During Q & A session, many faculties of the national university which invited Professor Nomoto said in chorus, ‘CARP is also quite active in our university. As a matter of fact, UC second generations are identifying themselves head-on and urging us to recognize their circle activities.’”
Then, Murou points out, “What is critical is that the goal of Ehime University’s ‘anti-cult measure’ is to annihilate CARP, and it seems that the national university invited Professor Nomoto in order to implement the measures taken by Ehime University. There is possibility that the case of Hiroshima University mentioned above was a result of propagation of the Ehime University method, and it is quite likely that such case will occur frequently in this national university in the near future.”
On the other hand, “What is interesting about Professor Nomoto’s lecture is,” says Murou, “that its contents match with the statements of Rev. Masaharu Takayama of the Kurashiki Megumi Christian Church.” As a basis of this point, Murou sites the ‘controversial remark’, ‘Among them, Ehime University not only asked me to give lectures but to also take part in rescues…,” which was made by Rev. Takayama who is known for his involvement in numerous vicious religious kidnapping and confinement
Moreover, “Rev. Takayama is starting to say that he, who belongs to a specific religion, is thinking of giving a lecture on ‘Biblical Interpretation’ in, of all, national universities on the advice of an anti-UC lawyer.” Murou says, “This anti-UC lawyer and Rev. Takayama are not at all aware that it is against the Constitution for a minister of a specific religion to give a lecture on ‘Biblical Interpretation’ in national universities,” and bitterly complains about their lack of insight.
Then, as a “situation worth noting” during the 2011 Open Lecture of the Japan Society for Cult Prevention and Recovery (JSCPR), Murou introduces an episode where the Chair of the Kansai Victims Association against Religious Kidnapping and Forced Conversion handed a “letter of protest” to each panelist after the lecture. Rev. Takayama was the one who instructed his family and relatives to confine him in a locked apartment room from behind the scene. Quoting a sentence from the letter of protest, <although I was afraid that it will bring back my fearful memories of confinement and cause flashback if I saw Takayama’s face>, Murou refers to the Chair’s motivation for attending the lecture “to protest against JSCPR for inviting a person like Rev. Takayama as a lecturer.” Murou says that the panelists received the letter of protest with respect. The letter of protest declared that <Furthermore, it is as if universities are encouraging religious kidnapping and forced conversion for a “religionist” like Rev. Takayama to cooperate with universities in “cult issues” and is therefore, impermissible>
Finally, Murou states, “Now is the crucial point. The students of CARP must put further active effort in their public relations and awareness building activities toward university affiliates and the society in order to prevent roll back of ‘anti-cult measures’ and to extinguish the ‘measures’ itself,” and concludes the 4 page feature.