The Ability of the Former Unification Church’s “Monitoring Staff” to “Strike Back” at the Media
Third in a series of lawsuits against "Miyaneya" (Yomiuri TV) and lawyers! What are the future targets? Who is the leader? What are the true feelings of current believers?
The press conference was a “declaration of war.
On September 29, just two days after the state funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Federation of Families for World Peace and Unification (formerly the Unification Church) held a press conference and filed a lawsuit against two commercial broadcasters and three lawyers, claiming that they had damaged the reputation of the church. The church announced that it had filed a lawsuit against two commercial broadcasters and three lawyers, seeking a total of 66 million yen in damages for defamation of the church.
The first was a comment made by lawyer Masaki Kito on “Miyaneya” (Yomiuri TV), in which he said, “They even have their followers engage in prostitution to raise funds for their organization. The second comment was made by Kentaro Motomura, a lawyer, on “Miyaneya,” who said, “Missionary activities themselves have already been recognized as illegal. The second was a comment by lawyer Hideteru Yashiro on “Hiruobi” (TBS): “The external criminal acts that this cult is committing, etc.” At the press conference, the cult announced that they would be collecting funds for the second time. At the press conference, the cult also suggested the possibility of a second or third lawsuit. It is an unusual lawsuit to target specific media and lawyers” (reporter from the society section of a national newspaper).
Why did the cult force a legal battle? It is said that the cult’s prohibition has something to do with it. An old believer explains the background leading up to the lawsuit.
A long-time member of the group said, “We have been urging the media to take action against them for some time. However, the main focus of this lawsuit is Kido’s ‘……’ statement until he was forced into prostitution. In addition to the claim that it is untrue, the cult places great emphasis on chastity education for its followers, including a firm prohibition on premarital sex. This teaching is, so to speak, the core of the doctrine. It is precisely because these words could shake the faith itself that there was such a strong backlash.”
The media monitoring department of the cult supported the sudden and dramatic turn of events in the lawsuit.
The Church checks not only TV programs, but also magazines, Internet articles, and YouTube. “The Church is checking not only TV, but also magazines, online articles, YouTube, and other media. We try to keep track of who said what, when, and even what they said. That played a role in the lawsuit against this statement. We are prepared to continue filing lawsuits against any statements that we believe are factually incorrect or defamatory. The next names that come to mind are lawyer Hiroshi Yamaguchi, who is a leading critic of the cult, and journalists Yoshifumi Arita and Eito Suzuki.
In fact, at a meeting held on August 19, the head of the Public Relations Department said, “The Public Relations Department will also take legal action against Kito, Yamaguchi, Arita, and Suzuki Eight for their comments and various human rights violations,” and the group’s internal network meeting was also held on the same day. There were also scenes that hinted at this counterattack.
On the other hand, the reform of the church will be carried out in parallel with the court battle. The man who will play a major role in this is Hideyuki Teshigahara, who serves as the head of the Reform Promotion Division.
Mr. Teshigahara originally raised his hand after the cult bashing began, saying that he wanted to stand up and explain the situation. Perhaps it was because he had played a “dirty role” as the head of personnel for many years, and had also done the “shoulder patting,” but even within the cult, where most people are mild-mannered types, he is known as quite a roughneck. He also has a strong sense of faith, as evidenced by the fact that he holds retreats twice a year at the organization’s facility in Chiba City.
In fact, Mr. Teshigahara is said to have initiated a number of powerful appointments in the past.
In fact, Mr. Teshigawara has initiated a number of personnel changes by force. “On one occasion, a public official who had been working in an urban area was suddenly ordered to go to a local church by himself because he could not meet the expectations of the upper management. Even believers who had initially expressed reluctance at the appointment eventually had no choice but to accept it, saying, ‘I can’t go against Mr. Teshigahara. The people around him were also fearful that he might be next. Many public officials are so frightened that they cannot sleep at night before the annual personnel announcement.
The issue surrounding the former Unification Church has developed into a legal battle. The problem of the former Unification Church, which has led to a legal battle, still seems to have no clue to a solution.
FRIDAY, October 21, 2022
PHOTO： Yuya Kawasaki (Seiji Miyane) Hiroshi Saito (Mr. Teshigahara in '95) Kyodo News Service JIJI News Service