A Christian Journal Ran a Book Review of "Warera-no Fukai-na Rinjin (Our Unpleasant Neighbors)"

A book review of Kazuhiro Yonemto's "Warera-no Fukai-na Rinjin (Our Unpleasant Neighbors)," a book revealing the dire reality of deprogramming through religious kidnapping and confinement was published "Revival Japan," in a Christian journal's February 1, 2010 issue. "Revival Japan" is a biweekly mainly read by evangelical Christians. The chief editor is a member of a Pentecostal group, Japan Assemblies of God. In 1999, he took on the "Revival Journal," which was first issued in 1996, and started publishing it as "Revival Japan" in November 2008.

Among the ministers of Japan Assemblies of God, some have been active in the opposition movements against the Unification Church for a long time. Incipit of the review hints that the issues of deprogramming through kidnapping and confinement have been well known within the Assemblies. Also, concerning the issue of religious kidnapping and confinement, it says, "the book suggests we make it a basic rule for parents and child to have loving conversation in a free atmosphere with no mental or physical restraints". Furthermore, it states, "Nowadays, it is often said that the churches are becoming cult-like, even within Christianity. Many say they have been 'mind-controlled'. This book have created an opportunity for us to redefine if this argument is justifiable or not." The review states further, "This book brings up the issues which we, as Christian churches, must also seriously consider".

"Revival Japan" - A witnessing journal that seeks the enhancement of God's Kingdom

Book Review of Our Unpleasant Neighbor
The tragedy of a female believer who was "rescued" from the Unification Church

Reconsidering the "Rescuing" of Unification Church members

The children join the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (referred to the "Unification Church" in the book) whose believers proclaim Sun Myung Moon as the Second Coming. The concerned parents go to a Protestant church to seek for help. They recommend "custody" of the children (who are often older than 20) by way of confining them in an apartment room. The pastors visit these members and persuade them to abandon their faith. This has already been going on for more than 30 years to countless Unification members.

The author is a freelance writer who has been pursuing various cult issues such as the Yamagishi Group. While researching the problems of cults, he realized that there was also a problem on the side that tries to pull them out of these cults, and hence wrote this book.

The author claims that what these pastors call "custody", is in reality, nothing other than abduction and confinement. He identifies the names of the pastors and lists all of the things that they have done. These are pastors well known in the Christian circle.

He gives details about how one woman, Asako Shukuya, was forced into a car in front of a restaurant in Takadanobaba, Tokyo, by nine people including her family, and was confined in an apartment room for a total of five months. During this time, pastors and former members tried to persuade her to leave the church. There was a double lock on the window, and the window pane was covered with a colored sheet to block the view from outside.

She ended up leaving the Unification Church but the extreme stress she experienced left her with a severe case of atopic dermatitis. She was also diagnosed as PTSD. In other words, she became physically and mentally ill because of confinement.

The theme of this book is to determine where the borderline is for families and pastors to conduct "persuasion activities" against a person who has chosen to join a faith (whether it be something called a cult or not).

There are various reasons on the side of the people who want to pull them out. Those who join the Unification Church become unreachable and cause much damage to the society by selling vases at extreme prices. Some want to take them into "custody" in order to prevent them from doing those things. Some families feel that it is an embarrassment and disadvantage to them to have a family member join such an anti-social cult.

The motivations of the Christian Church are a little different. In the case of the United Church of Christ in Japan, the motivation is that of fighting against social evil. The Protestant pastors want to witness. If the purpose of church activity is witnessing, however, the author questions why they don't put the high gratuity payment into the church account.

He also questions the "Mind Control Theory". In the Christian church, they often talk about "church cultism" and testify to having been "mind controlled". The book discusses whether this theory is accountable or not.

The conclusion of this book is that the best thing to do is for parents and children to talk one on one with love, in a free environment where there is no psychological or physical confinement, and that supporters such as pastors should basically stick to helping the parents.

In the epilogue, there is a story about a member who was confined for 12 years and 5 months in an apartment in Ogikubo, Tokyo by his family. Even though the author seems a little biased towards the Unification Church, probably as a result of a thorough interview with the victim, he points out serious problems that need to be addressed by the Christian Church.

Japan Victims' Association against Religious Kidnapping & Forced Conversion