We appeal to eradicate religious kidnapping and forced conversion against believers of the Unification Church
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Victim's Voice

January 15th 1999

Mitsuko ANTAL



 I was born on May 21st 1971 in Honjo City, Saitama Prefecture. I am the eldest daughter of Ishikawa Family. I have one-year older brother and a twin sister. I passed through a local high school in April 1990 and was enrolled to the Elementary Education Department, the Kanto Junior College. I graduated in March 1992, and in April I became a full time employee at the Isezaki Credit Bank.

2.Meeting the Unification Church:

 I began studying the Principle, teachings of the Unification Church, in April 1992 after my younger sister and a nurse Yukiko introduced me. I joined the Unification Church on July 26th of the same year. At the end of March 1995 I quit my job and began living in a church facility, from which I commuted to a part-time job.
 On May 25th of the same year. I went to my parent's home to speak to my father about my joining the Unification Church. My father suddenly became very angry and strongly demanded that I leave the church.
 The next day, my mother called my aunt, Kimiko Sato, telling that I had joined the Unification Church. My aunt, who was a communist, immediately bought a book written by Rev. Keiko Kawasaki who was enthusiastically committed to working against the Unification Church. They began preparations to remove me from the church.
 On August 25th of the same year. an international wedding ceremony (Blessing) of 360,000 couples was to be held by the church in Seoul, South Korea, and I desired to participate. To receive this marriage blessing marriage, the church founder, Rev Moon, would introduce a Korean spouse to me. Right before I attended the ceremony with Lee Soo Yong in Korea, I sent a letter to my parents announcing my participation in the Blessing Ceremony. In May 1996 I received a letter notifying that Mr. Lee had withdrawn from the engagement.

3.Kidnap plan by relatives

 I happened to find out a plan to kidnap me in September 1995. My younger sister informed that my aunt and uncle prepared to kidnap and confine me. My parents had been introduced to the leader of an anti-church parents group, Mr. Usui, in a meeting with Rev. Aizawa, pastor of the Tachikawa Church, Tokyo. Usui fabricated a story that the Unification Church members were trained to steal anything of value. Usui tried to make my parents believe that the Unification Church was a very scary place. Usui's guidance was that the way for members to leave the church was through kidnapping.

4.First kidnapping

On May 20th 1996 in the morning, I went to renew my driver's license at the license center in Konosu City, Saitama Prefecture. I was told to wait in the video room. I was then led by a clerk to the dispensary room. There, I saw my parents, uncle, aunt and others waiting. A total of six people were there. They kidnapped me by a van to Nishiki-town, Tachikawa City.
 I was taken to a condominium No.515, where three sets of chain and padlocks were installed on the entrance door in addition to the usual lock. The windows were made of thick glass, and the door to the porch had a block below so the key would not work.
 In the beginning of my life in confinement, my father spoke stories which I hated to hear. He was speaking and I was listening. Unaware why, but I stopped speaking altogether from the morning of the 5th day. My facial expression became fixed and did not change. This situation continued for a while.
 On June 2nd, I felt abnormally heavy mental pressure. I stayed in the toilet and sat in front of the entrance. Owing to my attitude, my mother cried and father became irrationally upset and angry at me. When I tried to resist, my parents put my face down on the floor and held my arms behind my back, shouting “This is the parental love!” They bound both my feet with a cord. Why are they doing this? I am not a criminal! I cried out for about 40 minutes, Then, I started to feel as if I were no longer myself. I shouted, laughed then cried again, repeating this emotional state for about 20 minutes until I fell asleep.
 On June 12th. convinced of no way to escape on my own, I managed to show that I did not believe in the church any longer. The next night, the 13th night, I wrote to my father, confessing that I no longer believed in the church and that I became aware of mistakes in the Principle. Moreover, I stopped talking for several days.
On June 19th around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Rev. Aizawa came for the first time to the condominium. For about one hour he criticized the Principle. After this, he came to the condo frequently and kept up the criticism, which took words out of context. On his fifth visit, while he was criticizing about The Fall, a chapter in the Divine Principle, I had to pretend that I understood there was a mistake, or I could not be liberated from my kidnapping. With tears, I said that the Principle is wrong. With my tears. everyone felt that I understood I was wrong. The next day, Rev. Aizawa asked me about the amount of my donations and cost of the Blessing. He said that he would help recover the amounts through an attorney.
 On July 7th in the afternoon. I left the condo by car with my parents for Rev. Keiko Kawasaki's Yamura Church in Yamanashi Prefecture. There, I was confined in a “rehabilitation” facility for UC members who had confessed to leave the church while being confined. Everyone lived together like a community on the 2nd floor. There were many sisters including Takida, who was in my church, or Uchida who was kidnapped and held at the same Tachikawa condo where I was confined. In this situation, it was not easy to go outside.
 On July 9th around 11 o'clock at night, people around me were asleep. I quietly changed my clothes under futon, took my bags and made my way to the entrance and got out. I escaped!. But I remained anxious for fear of another kidnap attempt.

5.After my escape

 In November1996, I went to America as a missionary. I phoned my parents to inform about my trip on December 2nd. I arrived in New York on December 5th. I moved to Washington DC to begin my mission work. In March 1997, due to visa expiration, I returned to Japan and started a part-time job in Tokyo. In June 10th, I started living in an apartment No.108 in Akishima City, Tokyo. I visited my parents’ home for the first time since the abduction. I stayed one night, not speaking about the Unification Church at all.
 Around September 18th I returned to America to attend the International Marriage Blessing Ceremony of 3,600,000 couples held on November 29th at RFK Stadium in Washington DC. I attended with an American, Mr. Christopher Antal. On December 4th, I returned home to my Akishima apartment and re-started my part-time job.

6.Second kidnapping

On May 16th 1998 around 8:30 AM, while I was sleeping in my Akishima apartment, my roommate and UC member, Ms Jinnai, had left for work. At nearly the same time my parents barged into the room with scowling faces. I was extremely scared. About five minutes later, three of my uncles, Seigo Ishikawa, Kiyohiko Abe and Tatsunori Abe, and my aunt Kimiko Sato also entered into my room. I was taken to a waiting van. I was kidnapped again and taken to an apartment No. 202 in Ota City, Shimotajima, Gunma Prefecture.
 The front door of the apartment was padlocked with triple chains. In addition, each window had a special device and clasp on them so they did not open. As for the room arrangement, it consisted of three rooms and dinning/kitchen. One room was a data room, used to store UC-related materials and always locked.
 After the second confinement began, I cried whenever I was in the toilet or bath, because of my profound disappointment in the cruel, cold attitudes of my parents as well as no way out of this place. On the first or second day of confinement, I was driven by a subconscious impulse to take a cutter knife from my pencil case into the toilet to commit suicide. I remember entering the rest room but I don't remember cutting my little finger. But I came to my sense, realizing that suicide is prohibited by the Unification Church as suicide makes God grieve more. So I stopped it.
 On May 21st in the afternoon. Rev Yosio Shimizu came to the apartment for the first time. Rev. Shimizu told me that he had consulted with my parents about protecting me, He said he is protecting me. I yelled at him, claiming this is a ridiculous way for parents and child to talk. Then he said that, as I had escaped once, this is the best arrangement to prevent your escape.
 For the first week, Rev. Shimizu came almost every day. Then, every other day, then every three days. Afterwards, he came less and less. Rev. Shimizu said if I stayed in the church, it would cause social upheavals and I would have a life in prison. He scolded me while my parents kept quiet.
 On July 8th around 9 o'clock PM, Rev. Shimizu came and told my parents that I had attended in the blessing in America last year with my spouse who is an American and very committed to the Unification Church. I apologized to my parents for lying about my marriage. Rev. Shimizu yelled, “You are truly a big liar!” He urged me to write a letter nullifying the marriage. I rejected it. Rev. Shimizu pledged to break my marital union by any means, hitting me three times in the face with a floor cushion. As I was speaking to my parents, he hit both my shoulders very strongly three times with his hands. Every time, this caused me tremble and fall forward.
 Rev Shimizu talked about my desire of committing suicide, and said that I should die. His remarks caused strong mental stress to my mind. After that, whenever Rev. Shimizu said anything to me, all I heard was, “You should die, die!” Finally, Rev. Shimizu said that my parents would accept my marriage on two conditions: my spouse leaves the Unification Church and he lives in Japan. In order to accomplish these conditions, he wanted information on my spouse. He urged me to tell everything. When I agreed to this, Rev Shimizu was very happy. Rev Shimizu gathered information on my spouse and others from Steven Hassan in America.
  This whole situation of my accepting Rev. Shimizu's conditions gave me a great shock, causing me to want to commit suicide a second time. As before, I took a knife into the toilet and cut my hand under my pinky finger. As blood started to show, I again remembered that suicide would make God sad, so I stopped.
 On July 19th. I heard my mom and aunt talking about me. My mother said that I was a criminal. I felt strongly indignant and despaired since I had no idea how long my kidnapping would continue. I tried to commit suicide a third time in the toilet. I had heard that if I cut inside the elbow, I could quickly die. So I did, but the knife was not sharp enough and there was not much blood. Then, I cut my wrist and blood appeared. If I cut one more time, much more blood would come out, but the pain was so acute that I came to my sense and stopped. Looking at my wrist, I thought I should stop this and should never give up and wait for the moment.
 In the night of July 22nd , when Rev. Shimizu came to the apartment, my aunt Sato asked him if it was okay for Mitsuko to go out. Rev. Shimizu permitted me to go out under my parents’ supervision. On July 24th before noon. I went out in a car together with my parents for the first time since I was brought to the apartment.
 On July 25th around noon. My father removed the plastic coverings from the window facing the porch on the south side of the room. He also took away some window-blocking metal and wood so the windows could be opened.
 On July 26th around 11 o'clock in the morning. I was alone with my parents. My father was sleeping, while my mother was working on the computer in the data room. At this time, the window facing the porch was not locked. I thought it would be possible for me to escape. I climbed out of the window on to the porch, then climbed over the porch handrail. I took hold of the rain gutter pipe, but it broke as I held on to it. I fell to the ground, landing on my feet and fell on my back hip. I felt a sharp pain in my outer right thigh as well as pain in the thumb joint of my left hand. Because of the loud noise of the gutter breaking, I thought someone would become aware of my escape, so I ran as fast as I could.

With a help of a passing car. I could return to the Akishima church facility. Later in the afternoon, I could meet my husband Chris again.

7.After the second kidnapping

 On July 27th. At the Isshin Hospital in Toshima Ward, Tokyo, I was diagnosed with a left first lumbar vertebra side projection fracture. It took three weeks to recuperate. On August 20th. I went to the Takahashi Psychiatric Clinic, where the doctor diagnosed with nervousness, insomnia and a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system due to injuries and stress.


My parents were guided by the lies of the anti-UC ministers into a misunderstanding that the Unification Church is a criminal organization. They were made to believe that kidnapping and confinement for custody and rescue of UC members were not illegal. If this situation continues, I believe it is very possible that my parents will try to kidnap me again.
 I received the vicious injuries repeatedly by Rev. Shimizu under the guise of “custody” and “rescue”. He advised my kidnapping and confinement, repeatedly threatening to assault me. During confinement, I tried three times to commit suicide. Rev Shimizu completely destroyed our parents-child trust. I received serious mental anguish. He must take full responsibility for my mental and physical damages so that he will never be allowed to commit this kind of criminal action.


The above is attested to on 1999 January 15th

United States of America State of Maine, York Harbor

Mitsuko ANTAL

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