2.Systematic Deprogramming Exposed by Dr. Koide

A lawyer appears at confinement site
Asserts Deprogramming is "not illegal"

Dr. Hirohisa Koide (46) who works as a physician in a city hospital has experienced losing the dignity of his life as he was abducted and held inconfinement for 2 years beginning in June 1992 by a Christian group leadby Takashi Miyamura, a professional deprogrammer.

Dr. Koide's Book "Escaping the Kidnappers"
Until now, there have been many members of the Unification Church who have been locked up in confined rooms and were forced withpersistent slandering of its religious founder, drilled and inspected intentlyabout its doctrines, and faced one-sided criticism about the church's activities. From such abuse, he was on the verge of losing his faith indilemma with sympathy to his parents crying in tears begging him to Dr. Koide's Book abandon his faith.

Many people have been deeply scarred through "deprogramming" .which completely neglects freewill of a person . and Koide also carries deep wounds in his heart, buthis attitude while his confinement was unique.

Since his youth, Koide believed in Tenrikyo, a relatively new Shinto-based religion, but always carried a hazy view about God that he could not justify. He said that through the inquisition by thedeprogrammers, he instead found answers to his doubts in the teaching of the Unification Church. Healso had many deep spiritual experiences with God during that time.

"That is why I was able to hold onto my faith" Koide said, "there was not a day that God did notshow His grace in my confinement." He said he even experienced the Holy Spirit while the minister wasgiving him lectures on the Bible attempting to demoralize and deprogram him. However, the scars hehas carried since his confinement do not heal easily. Even after his release, the horrors of his confinement still haunt him through nightmares which continue till this day.

Koide is disappointed that his book he wrote about his kidnap experience, "Escaping theKidnappers," which exposed the systematic organization of professional deprogramming, was bannedin the anti-Unification Church community.

For a while after being abducted, from morning to night Koide continued telling the confinersto stop such coercive and violent religious persecutions that neglects fundamental human rights. Hekept on arguing about this expecting that eventually they would come to their senses.

As some replied, "There are no fundamental rights to the members of a criminal group", Koidebelieved that some other would start to wonder" even a suspect of a crime has the right to a lawyer." Ifsome of the kidnappers get fed up with Koide's attitude and start using violence, then some may think"this is violent persecution after all". Such conviction of Koide started to arouse anxiety amongst thekidnappers.

To deal with such anxiety of the followers, Miyamura brought in a lawyer named HiroshiHirata. Hirata inspected the chains on the lock of the door, made sure that the windows were fixed shutso that it could not be opened, and examined the guards at the door, and then he faced Koide's family and asserted, "what you are doing is not illegal."

Koide recalls upon hearing this he was so shocked that he lost all his physical strength,thinking "this is not illegal? Are even the lawyers conspirators?"

"Lawyers are supposed to protect the fundamental human rights" wondered Koide, "but Hirata's words and actions completely denied not only human rights but the freedom of faith." This is asmall excerpt taken from his book. It has been 10 years since his book was first published, and Koidesometimes wonders whether Hirata still believes what he said was right.

To our inquiries, Hirata only says, "I visited Koide on the request of his parents. However, I donot know if there was a chain on the front door. I did not make the statements that Koide has wrote in his book."

(Sekai Nippo June 24, 2009)

Japan Victims' Association against Religious Kidnapping & Forced Conversion