The Words of the Burton Family
Japanese and American survivors of religious kidnapping told of the continuing crisis of forced conversion in Japan to veteran journalist Pat Kinney on a public-access station in Northern New Jersey recently. The program, which airs on selected New Jersey stations at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 3, 2011, is the first U.S.-based TV program on the Japan-abduction scandal that has affected more than 4,000 Unificationists in Japan.
The program, which airs on selected New Jersey stations at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 3, 2011, is the first U.S.-based TV program on the Japan-abduction scandal that has affected more than 4,000 Unificationists in Japan.
Mr. Luke Higuchi, the president of Survivors Against Forced Exit (SAFE) told of being drugged by worried relatives who kidnapped him and illegally confined him in a solitary-confinement cell in Japan for more than a month in 1989. At the time, Mr. Higuchi was 25 years old and married to a Korean woman, also a Unificationist. He explained that anti-Korean bigotry was a factor in his parents' decision to snatch him.
Lies and false reports of the paid faithbreakers also played a part. "The faithbreakers group in Japan confused my parents, misinformed and manipulated them to kidnap their own child," Mr. Higuchi said. He finally escaped after five months of confinement by pretending to renounce his faith in the beliefs of the Unification Church.
Gail Veith, a mother of three young adults in Tarrytown, New York, told of her forced confinement experience in California in 1979.
Ms. Veith was let go after 10 days of mental torture because she steadfastly refused to speak to the teams of faithbreakers who pelted her with questions and accusations; after 10 days they were exhausted she told Ms. Kinney.
"It was mental torture. They go at you day after day. But I decided to remain silent. I would have no give and take with them," Ms. Veith said on the program, adding: "Finally, they gave up. The deprogrammer told my father, 'She's hopeless. Just give me my money and let me go.' "
Ms. Veith said she was very happy with her marriage and the three children they have nurtured together. "Rev. Moon matched us," she explained. "Rev. Moon is an amazing matchmaker. If you want a husband, you ask Rev. Moon. He will get you the perfect husband. The main job of the Unification Church is making happy ideal families. We both have happy ideal families," Ms Veith explained. We both [Mr. Higuchi and I] have happy ideal families," Ms Veith explained.
"If the deprogrammers had succeeded, we wouldn't have had these wonderful husbands and children," she added.
"And wives," Pat Kinney responded, looking at Mr. Higuchi.