Former Unification Church President Tanaka Makes Startling Statement: “My Parents’ Home is Full of Psychic Merchandise
Exclusive Scoop! The present state of the church revealed at the "Internet Conference for Believers
He said, “It is no use talking nicely here, so I would like to say some things in a way that will be understood by all of you. If there are any gaffes or outbursts, I will hold Director Sawada responsible for all of them (laughter), and I would like to spend some time talking to you all.
(Laughs) I would like to spend some time talking to you all.” Tomihiro Tanaka, 66, former president of the Unification Church of Japan, was urged by Takuya Sawada, director of the General Affairs Bureau, who was acting as moderator. Unlike his two previous press conferences (July 11 and August 10), his speech was full of emotion.
On August 19, 40 days after the shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the headquarters of the former Unification Church held a “Special Net Conference” for public officials across Japan, and FRIDAY obtained the audio data exclusively.
The “public officials” are those in charge of the field offices of the church’s branches throughout Japan, and the general public was not allowed to view this meeting. The purpose of this online meeting was for the head of the head office to answer the questions and points of view of the congregation, which had been absorbed from the field beforehand. The congregation members frankly raised questions about the issues of the psychic business and donations. However, the answers given by the executives of the head office to these questions were mostly vague. From the point of view of the believers, who were hoping for a change in the organization, the content of the answers was far from satisfactory.
The director of the General Affairs Bureau presided over the meeting, and the director of the Public Relations Department first spoke about his stance and response to the media coverage. The director of the Future Talent Bureau spoke about the efforts of second-generation believers, and the deputy director of the Church Growth Bureau introduced media coverage of positive content for the Faith.
President Tanaka appeared as the grand finale of the one-hour and 20-minute conference. At the press conference, he had been making a torrent of claims on the part of the church, but at the meeting for his own people, he revealed his “true feelings” one after another, which surprised the audience.
First of all, he expressed strong caution about the existence of the “Liaison Conference of Ministries and Agencies Related to the Former Unification Church Issue,” which was set up by the government in August.
The government is preparing this kind of thing. I feel that the fact that the government is preparing something like this is an unprecedented crisis that the church has never faced before. If I were an opposing lawyer, I would have all the damages that are being collected now, all the damages that are being collected now, all the damages that are being collected now, all the damages that are being collected now, I would have them all rush into this liaison council in September. Then, I would take up the issues that are really problematic from the consultations that are coming in from all over Japan and have them presented.
I don’t think the people who are requesting refunds from us are the ones who are the ones who don’t have a problem. It is rude to say that there is no problem, but we can still deal with them. But those who ran straight to the damage attorney’s office without facing us from the beginning, we are not even aware of them. We don’t know what kind of problems will erupt. If we don’t have that sense of tension and awareness of crisis running to the very end, we really don’t know where Satan will come in.
There are several vases at my parents’ house.
The next topic the chairman addressed was the issue of “psychic sales,” a subject that is highly criticized by the public.
At the second press conference, I said, ‘Our corporation did not and still does not engage in psychic sales. I received several letters to the chairman from shokuguchi (church members) who were shocked by this. There were messages saying, “I was doing it,” and “You were doing it right, weren’t you?
In response to these questions, the chairman revealed the situation of the cult.
It was admitted in court that the so-called “psychic business” was being conducted by the congregation, and they lost the case. However, it has been our consistent assertion, and has been continued in court, that the “church itself” does not engage in psychic sales. If I were to say, ‘The Church has been doing psychic work,’ the moment I say that, all the previous court cases will be overturned. It is that big a deal.
If I were asked if the corporation had engaged in psychic sales itself, I could only say, ‘No, we didn’t.’ But it was only because of the excesses of the congregation. However, there are people who have sensed the damage caused by the excessive behavior and talk of the believers, and we must be sincere in dealing with that.
Finally, the surprising “confession” was made.
If you go to my parents’ house, there are several vases and two taho-tou (pagodas). Anyway, our house is full of psychic products (laughs). I don’t have any, but that’s the world in my house. My mother is really grateful and still has faith. The realization that people have been saved by such things, you can’t deny that.
He is a man who proudly states at a press conference that “I have not done any psychic sales in the past or at present,” even though his own mother also purchased a large amount of psychic products. …… Believers who heard this statement were outraged, saying, “I disagree with the term ‘psychic sales.
The term ‘psychic sales’ was coined by an opposing organization, and we do not use such a term in our organization. We don’t use such a term in our organization, and we don’t give them instructions. Therefore, they reason, “We don’t do it. The congregation knows that such an excuse cannot be accepted at this point in time.
The story also went on to talk about Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, the suspect. The chairman refuted reports that the church had been making large donations to the suspect’s mother even after her bankruptcy.
I can assure you that there is no such thing as being pressured to donate large sums of money (even after the bankruptcy). I can assure you of that. With children, even if I did donate, how much could I donate in one month? We can only imagine. However, it is not possible for us to obtain the family’s financial records from the Yamagami family, examine them, and report them to society, so we would like to say what we can in due course, along with the police report.
On the other hand, he also expressed his regret over the fact that Yamagami committed the murder.
I can say this about the case. If they had continued to interrogate the Yamakami family, this kind of thing would not have happened. （I am sure that when the Yamagami family started to distance themselves from the project, they visited the families and faced their problems and did not create a culture where they could share their pain with the families.
Believers have also voiced their dissatisfaction with the church’s attitude toward the issue of high donations, which was a major cause of the shooting.
It is an undeniable fact that believers are practically forced to make donations. There are many believers, not only the Yamagami family, whose lives are made difficult by the donations. However, Chairman Tanaka and other top leaders simply say things like, ‘We will clarify the rules,’ and I don’t sense any serious attempt to tackle the donation problem itself. If they are truly committed to building a healthy cult, I hope that they will confront the excessive donation system.
Deeply connected Diet members
The chairman also received requests from believers to hold a press conference every day, to which he responded
He replied, “Society is not this naive, providing me with a place to make my point every day. If I were to hold a press conference for the third time, it would be to announce the resignation of Chairman Tanaka. If that were the case, I think the media would all come flying to me.
(laugh),” he joked at one point.
Tanaka spoke for about 30 minutes, revealing his feelings. He concluded his speech with a message of encouragement from President Han Hak-chul-ji, the “Mother of Truth.
Immediately after the mass protests in Korea on August 18 against criticism of the former Unification Church, Mother called me directly to the head of the Japanese subsidiary. He called me once a year or so and said, ‘Did you see this rally in Korea? And he said, ‘Hang in there,’ and I felt again that the mother was also pouring her heart and soul into it.”
In addition to Chairman Tanaka, there were other noteworthy comments at the “Special Net Conference. One of the speakers was Shunsuke Uoya, Secretary General of the United for Peace in the Universe (UPF), an affiliate organization known for the video message sent by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The UPF is a well-known organization to which former Prime Minister Abe sent a video message.
He said, “I am concerned that politicians are distancing themselves from UPF or leaving the organization. （He introduced a question from a believer, “What is the current state of Senator Inoue (Yoshiyuki Inoue), an endorsing member of the church?
He has not changed his mind at all, and he is grateful for the fact that he was elected with our support. However, the Liberal Democratic Party has asked him to keep quiet, and he is not allowed to speak publicly. The same is true for the other Diet members who are deeply connected to him. Even if they are not far from his heart, they have no choice but to bend over and let it pass because of the hysteria in the media. The situation is so severe that even local Diet members are unable to fight the media’s pursuit head-on.
From his true feelings about the psychic business to his relationship with politicians, ……. Journalist Eito Suzuki, who has been pursuing the cult for many years, talks about the contents of the “Special Net Conference,” where shocking revelations continued to be made.
First of all, I was frankly surprised that President Tanaka mentioned so much about the problems faced by the former Unification Church. Statements such as, ‘As a corporation, we can only say that we did not engage in psychic sales,’ and ‘My parents’ house is full of psychic products,’ clearly show that his statement at the press conference that there was ‘no psychic sales’ was nothing more than a technicality. It is also noteworthy that he mentions a member of the Diet who has been revealed to have a relationship with the cult: the UPF executive said that there are members of the Diet who still ‘have not left their minds. If the LDP’s attitude of severing all ties with the cult is just a formality, and in fact there are members of the Diet who are still connected to the cult, this is a big problem.
This magazine interviewed the cult regarding Chairman Tanaka’s statement that his parents’ home is full of psychic products. The organization responded in writing as follows.
In the press conference, Chairman Tanaka said, “The trouble commonly known as ‘psychic sales’ was caused by some of our followers, and we are not in a position to have led such a business. In that stance, he merely made a statement to the effect that he himself had purchased products sold by some of the believers.
As usual, the claim is that “the term ‘psychic sales’ does not exist within the cult. Therefore, I didn’t do it,” it seems. However, the hearts of the congregation have already begun to turn away from the attitude of the head of the cult, who is trying to ride out the problem with contradictions.
*Some of the statements made at the “Net Conference” have been abridged to the extent that the content is not compromised.
From the September 30 and October 7, 2022 issues of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Screenshots of the "Net Conference" taken by believers （1-6)