The Words of the Selle Family

Faith-breaking Abduction Victims Tell Their Stories on Talk Radio in New York

Angelika Selle
September 13, 2011
President of WFWP USA

(From left to right) Luke Higuchi, Angelika Selle, Michiko Pressky, John Flowers, and Dorothy Hill.

Radio host John Flowers broke new information and aired first-hand accounts of faith-breaking practices in Japan on the John Flowers Show in Dutchess County, New York on September 9, 2011. Veteran radio personality Flowers interviewed American and Japanese victims of forced conversion, known as "deprogramming" by enemies of new religious movements. The guests were representatives of the Women's Federation for World Peace (WFWP) and Survivors Against Forced Exit (SAFE).

The talk show, based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., airs on WHWV radio 950 AM, which can reach up to 100,000 listeners, according to Flowers.

Dorothy Hill, a resident of Red Hook, N.Y. and a WFWP chairwoman, Michiko Pressky of Tarrytown, N.Y., and Luke Higuchi, a resident of Leonia, New Jersey, all members of the Unification Church and victims of religious kidnapping in the United States and Japan, gave accounts of their suffering at the hands of paid faith-breakers. Angelika Selle, President of WFWP USA, Ichiko Sudo, a representative of SAFE and WFWP, and Sammi Vanderstok, a representative of WFWP, also had an opportunity to provide their perspectives about the issue of religious kidnapping in Japan.

Ichiko Sudo began with an overview of the faith-breaking of Unificationists that has gone unprosecuted for 40 years in Japan, speaking on behalf of young men and women who, unknown to the public in Japan and the United States, had been kidnapped by "deprogrammers" and held in forced confinement for up to several weeks and even months. Sudo showed photos of the victims to Flowers, and he described them on the air, giving special attention to the photo of Toru Goto, a six-foot Japanese Unificationist who had weighed less than 90 lbs. after 12 years of confinement.

Selle then explained WFWP USA's involvement in this issue after having found out that many of the victims in Japan were also members of WFWP. In response, WFWP joined with Rev. In Jin Moon, the daughter of WFWP's founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and with SAFE and other organizations to meet personally with Congressmen and Senators, and to raise awareness about the faith-breaking. Selle called on listeners to help WFWP and SAFE give a voice to the women victims in Japan, some of whom had been raped, and all of whom had been emotionally abused.

Later in the session, Hill tearfully recalled her experiences on how paid faith-breakers, with the help of her parents, had abducted and confined her for 40 days in 1975. This interview was Hill's second visit on Flowers' show, having spoken about WFWP's peace-promoting activities a few years ago. Higuchi and Pressky then followed with their accounts of their abductions in Japan.

After the allotted one-hour session, Flowers felt the need to continue the sharing and extended the show. Furthermore, impressed with Sudo's speaking abilities, he invited her to be his co-host for the rest of the session. Sudo asked additional questions on the issue of faith-breaking to each of her colleagues, including college student Sammi Vanderstok, who said that religious kidnapping needs to be highlighted and brought to American campuses.

A listener from Austria called in to speak with Selle and commended the members of WFWP and SAFE on their good work. In conclusion, Selle invited the audience to visit and to support SAFE and WFWP's work with human rights. 

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