The Words of the Goto Family

Toru Goto Forced to Convert in a Locked up Hotel Room

August 15, 2009
Reporters Group for "Religious Freedom"
The Sekai Nippo Newspaper

Mr. Goto appeals the enormity of religious kidnapping and confinement with a hand held microphone in front of the Ogikubo St. in Tokyo. May 24, 2009

Mr. Goto was a senior at the Nihon University's architecture department in 1986. He used to go to school from an apartment in Nerima, Tokyo. His father served as a managerial position at a major paper company, his mother was a housewife, his brother who is 4 years elder, worked in a construction company, and his sister who is 3 years younger, was a junior college student. Both Mr. Goto and his brother admired their parents, and the brothers and sister got along with each other quite well.

It was around this time when Mr. Goto's brother, who was a member of the Unification Church, introduced the church to Mr. Goto and his sister. About an year later, Mr. Goto joined the church and started to participate in church activities. Soon his sister also joined the church. Since there already was a trust relationship between the brothers and sister, it did not take long till Mr. Goto and his sister got used to the daily activities in the church. They all worked hard; especially Mr. Goto's brother, who was introduced as an outstanding missionary in a PR magazine of the church.

However, in May 1987, the church lost contact with Mr. Goto's brother, who was away to his parents' house. From back then, there have been frequent cases where members of the Unification Church became victims of religious kidnapping and forced conversion. Mr. Goto lost sleep over the worries that his brother was being forced to convert under confinement. At the same time, he was wary of being kidnapped, too. Five months later, in October 1987, Mr. Goto's brother called the church for him. He said to Mr. Goto, "I need to talk to you. Could you come out?" The place he suggested was the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

When Mr. Goto entered a room in the upper floor, his parents were there with his brother. There, Mr. Goto was told that his brother has converted his faith. That moment, Mr. Goto sensed that he will be kidnapped and confined. Immediately, he headed for the door to escape but was too late and was overpowered by his father and brother. "How can you do this to me!" He fought back in rampage but was far inferior to the power of his father and brother. Before he knew it, the door was worked upon to prevent him from escaping.

The next day, Takashi Miyamura, a company president, also known as "Forced Conversion Agent" came to visit Mr. Goto with some former members of the Unification Church. Miyamura started criticizing the Unification Church, its doctrines and activities and tried to persuade him to convert his faith. Simply put, Mr. Goto's brother left the church as a result of their persuasion.

"Miyamura is a professional agent for forced conversion. It seems that my parents asked him for help and were told to kidnap and confine us," says Mr. Goto. His brother had a strong sense of justice by nature and this was the motivation for him to work hard in the Unification Church. But once he converted, his attitude changed completely and started to immerse himself in the activities to eradicate the Unification Church. Guilt ridden by the fact that he introduced the Unification Church to his younger brother and sister, he was now active in persuading them to convert their faith as well.

Back then, Miyamura worked with Satoshi Moriyama, a Christian minister from Ogikubo Eiko Church (Tokyo, Ogikubo) in order to convert the members of the Unification Church. Mr. Goto was moved to a room on the 2nd floor of an apartment building near that church and was forced to attend services there. There was always somebody over watching him, and he was never left alone, not even when he had to go to the toilet.

About a month later, he found a break and succeeded to escape. However, in late 1988, his sister was kidnapped and confined by Miyamura, and ended up converting her faith.

It was September 11, 1995 when Mr. Goto was kidnapped and confined for the second time. He was living in a church, but his relationship with his family seemed to have recovered to the point where he can some times drop by at his parents' house in Hoya city (today's Nishitokyo city) in Tokyo.

He visited his parents' house and enjoyed dinner with his parents, his brother, his brother's wife, and his sister as always. But on that day, something different occurred. "Toru, I need to speak to you," his father said suddenly.

Mr. Goto, paralyzed with fear, was grabbed at the sides by his father and brother and was dragged into the van parked in front of the house. Along the way, Mr. Goto asked if he can go to the toilet, but was instead handed a portable toilet without a word. He had to endure the insult where he had to urinate inside the car. They arrived at an apartment in Niigata city, far away from Tokyo; a place where Mr. Goto came for the first time. 

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