On May 6, an America-based internet medium, Rest of World, posted an article, based on arbitrary and biased view on THE FACT, the Happiness Realization Party (HRP), and its umbrella organization, the Happy Science Group. It concludes THE FACT as “the pro-Trump disinformation business”, and criticized the Happy Science Group. Why have they released such an article? Who will benefit through the article? THE FACT has closed in on the truth.

Eiichi Satomura (Policy Chief the HRP)


アメリカのネットメディア、Rest of Worldが5月6日付の記事で、『日本のフリンジ宗教運動が親トランプのソーシャルメディア帝国を築いた理由 ”How a fringe religious movement in Japan built a pro-Trump social media empire”』と題し、THE FACT、そして幸福実現党、その母体である幸福の科学グループに対して、独断と偏見に基づく記事を掲載しました。THE FACTを「トランプ支持派の偽情報発信ビジネス」と断定し、幸福の科学グループを批判するRest of World。いったいなぜ、このような記事を書いたのか?この記事によって利益を得るのは誰なのか?ザ・ファクトが迫りました。



Counterargument against Rest of World

On May 6, an America-based internet medium, Rest of World posted an article, based on arbitrary and biased view on THE FACT, the Happiness Realization Party (HRP) and its umbrella organization, the Happy Science Group.
I have heard the name of the net medium, Rest of World, for the first time this time. It was founded by Ms. Sophie Schmidt, a daughter of a former CEO of Google, Mr. Eric Schmidt. Sophie Schmidt has an experience of working for a Chinese company. It is an internet medium, founded by such a person.

In short, Rest of World claims in the article that THE FACT’s coverages on the American Presidential election are inaccurate. For example, it writes, “THE FACT spreads the widely debunked claim”, “pushes unfounded theories purportedly” and “the pro-Trump disinformation business.” It criticizes THE FACT in this way.

Anyway, people, who regularly watch THE FACT must know well. THE FACT was started in 2013. Our basic motto has been “to report the facts that mass media don’t report.” THE FACT was born to respond to the voice, “various major media, such as newspapers and TVs, don’t actually report the most important news.” In its history of 7 to 8 years since then, we have been reporting the opinions, views and ideas – which bring up important problems, but aren’t reported unfortunately – based on the freedom of speech and press. I believe nothing is wrong with our reports. Incidentally, we have accepted the result of the previous Presidential election in the U.S. However, it is also true that we have been taking up various voices that there were electoral frauds. In fact, the final result of the suspected fraud has not been determined. Despite this fact, Rest of World claims that THE FACT is wrong and/or baseless. It is just a speculation. I would like to state this.

In other words, what I want to say is, for example, an interview of the Trump camp was suddenly cut off during its live broadcast, and Mr. Trump’s SNS account was banned one-sidedly. This kind of suppression of speech is taking place in the U.S., the land of liberty. This fact cannot be overlooked. This is the reason why we have been covering this topic.
Rest of World might have planned the article because it didn’t like our claims, “Are you okay, Americans? Is freedom of speech in the U.S. okay?” They might have thought, “Asians are cheeky.” However, I will say this to Rest of World as many times as I have to. If you want to say something, please do it based on accurate facts and correct points of view.

Besides this, Rest of World’s article is full of arbitrary and biased views. For instance, it claims one-sidedly that HRP is an “ultra-right” political party. What is “ultra-right” then? They don’t provide any clear definition for the term. So, I dare tried to interpret it. In the article, there are such lines as, “a hard anti-China stance that routinely crosses into overt Sinophobia”, “a pledge to remilitarize Japan through constitutional revision”, and “denials of Japan’s wartime atrocities.” They seem to be claiming that these lines are the evidences and conditions of an “ultra-right” political party. To begin with, however, we are not “Sinophobic” whatsoever. Further, we are criticizing the problem of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), despite their claim of “a hard anti-China stance.”

We have friends in China too. In fact, I have been in contact with the democratic movement activists in China; although it has become difficult to contact them recently. It is the same with Hong Kong. In this sense, I don’t understand what the line, “a hard anti-China stance that routinely crosses into overt Sinophobia”, means.

If a political party which advocates “a pledge to remilitarize Japan through constitutional revision” is “ultra-right”; all the Japanese conservative parties are “ultra-right.” “To protect your nation” is an idea commonly accepted globally now. How is this “ultra-right”? If we are “ultra-right”, it is no exaggeration to call all American political parties, including the Democrats and Republicans, “ultra-right” as well.
As for “denials of Japan’s wartime atrocities”, I don’t understand at all what we are trying to deny. They may be talking about the issue of comfort women. However, as you know, the women, who used to announce themselves to be comfort women, recently started to claim that their claim was wrong. How can Rest of World insist that HRP is “ultra-right” by taking up such a thing? I feel that this is a blind assumption. This article is written based on very uncertain information.

There are many other examples. For instance, Rest of World claims that HRP borrowed media strategies of Falun Gong and promoted pro-Trump political strategies. This is a biased view. To tell the truth, THE FACT covered Mr. Trump for the first time in December 2015. Mr. Trump was at that time fighting the Republican primaries. It was said that Mr. Trump would hardly win. Nevertheless, THE FACT, based on its original research and point of view, reported that there was a possibility of Mr. Trump becoming the big storm center. You can check this on the internet. I want Rest of World to confirm at least this level of fact, before releasing an article.

Latest Information from the U.S. “Why is Mr. Trump popular? American view of history”【Live broadcast on December 26, 2015】


Besides, regarding our support for Mr. Trump, it is not blind acceptance. We don’t support everything about him. It just means that there were some policies of Mr. Trump with which we could resonate. However, we have criticized some policies of Mr. Trump which we couldn’t support, such as his policy on the Middle East. By the way, supporting Mr. Trump is not necessarily beneficial for us in Japan. Rather, there are more anti-Trump people in Japan. Therefore, there is no benefit THE FACT and HRP can gain from supporting Mr. Trump.
It’s just important to inform people what is right and what the truth is. This is the reason why we have been reporting and voicing our opinion. I would like to state this stance of ours in addition.

There are many other examples of lack of understanding and preparation in the article.

For instance, the first party convention of HRP was held in May 2009. I was there. Rest of World writes, “mostly tabloid journalists showed up to the press conference.” However, this is completely mistaken. Reporters from all major Japanese newspapers were there. Reporters from news agencies were there too. Reporters from TV stations were there. I don’t know how many of them have written articles. However, it is wrong to state that “mostly tabloid journalists showed up.”

Also, the article mentions the sarin gas attack by Aum Shinrikyo. People living overseas may not know this, but Happy Science has actually received a letter of appreciation from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police for its cooperation in solving the case.

21 years from the subway sarin attack – How was the Aum incident resolved?


Based on this fact, I would like to say that the article’s claim, “Happy Science retreated from public life [after the incident]”, is a lie. After 4 months from the attack, and in December the same year, Happy Science conducted two large public lecture events at Tokyo Dome. Furthermore, Happy Science has been continuously releasing its movies since then. Happy Science has never retreated from public life. This kind of mistake in basic understanding can’t be overlooked. Also, one of the commenters in the article has been convicted in court for illegally trespassing Happy Science property. I would like to state this too, in order to be fair, that this article contains opinions of such biased people.

Also, the article writes, “[Happy Science claimed] it could defeat Covid-19 with ‘spiritual vaccines.’” They criticize Happy Science as a weird cult that claims such a thing. However, I dare say here, to the people who have little knowledge of Buddhism and Japanese Shintoism. “Driving plagues off” is an important role of religion in Japan from old times. It is still being conducted at various Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples even now. It is a natural thing for religious people to pray for the health and happiness of other people. In Japanese, there is a term, “wonder-working.” A lot of actual examples of defeating infectious diseases are recorded in the history of Japan.
Especially, the Great Buddha of Todaiji temple in Nara – which is the symbol of Buddhism in Japan – was erected to stop the pandemic of smallpox at that time. It was built with such a wish. Many foreign tourists visit the Great Buddha in Nara. So, please let me add this information too.

So far, I have presented various points to explain the reason why Rest of World’s article is biased. The final point is the reason why Rest of World has released such an article, without conducting any proper research. Why have they written such an article, for example, without interviewing me? After reading the article, I’m very much concerned about their prejudice against Falun Gong. For example, Rest of World makes an impression as if the Chinese government’s persecution on Falun Gong is Falun Gong’s fault. However, observing the Canadian parliament’s current move and various other movements; it is difficult to dismiss the Chinese government’s persecution of Falun Gong as fantasy. I myself have interviewed a member of Falun Gong once. In Beijing, members of Falun Gong are being persecuted, similar to the “burning of the Classics and burying Confucians alive” that occurred in ancient China. Nonetheless, this article doesn’t mention such persecution at all. It ignores such a fact, implying it’s Falun Gong’s fault. This is a strange view.In sum, there may be an intention to use any means to shoot down the people who support Mr. Trump. This article might have ended up a biased one, maybe because of the CCP behind it.

THE FACT will continue to report to our viewers regarding this case and other matters.

Rest of Worldの記事に徹底反論!〔日本語訳〕

アメリカのネットメディア、Rest of Worldが5月6日付の記事で、THE FACT、そして幸福実現党、その母体である幸福の科学グループに対して、独断と偏見に基づく記事を掲載しました。このRest of Worldというネットメディアは私も今回初めて知ったんですけれども、Googleの元CEOのエリック・シュミットの娘、ソフィー・シュミット氏が立ち上げたネットメディアだということなんです。このソフィー・シュミット氏は、実際に中国企業で働いていた経験もあるという、そういう人物が立ち上げたメディアです。

このRest of Worldの中で、要するにTHE FACTの大統領選に関する報道が不正確だと、こういうことを言っているわけです。例えば「広く否定されている主張を喧伝 ”promotes the widely debunked claim”」したとか、「根拠がない” pushes unfounded theories purportedly”」、あるいは「トランプ支持派の偽情報発信ビジネス” the pro-Trump disinformation business”」などと書いているわけです。

それはともかくとして、THE FACTについて、THE FACTをご覧の皆様はよくご存じだと思います。2013年にTHE FACTは立ち上げました。基本的に「マスコミが報道しない事実を伝える」をモットーとしてきております。たくさんの新聞・テレビなどのメジャーマスコミは実は肝心なことを報道しない、そうした声にこたえるためにTHE FACTは誕生しました。そしてその中でこれまでの7年間、約8年間の歩みの中で言論の自由・報道の自由に基づいて残念ながら取り上げられない、しかし重要な問題提起をしている意見、見解、考え方を報道してきました。私はこの報道というのは何ら間違っていないと思います。先の大統領選においてもあれだけ様々な不正に関する話、ちなみに私どもは、選挙の結果は受け入れています。しかし不正があったのではないかという様々な声を取り上げさせていただいているのは事実です。そして現実に未だに、例えばこの投票の白黒ははっきりついていません。にもかかわらず、このRest of WorldがTHE FACTに対して間違っているとか、根拠がないというのは、私はそれは憶測であると、このように言わせていただきたいと思います。

つまり私が言いたいのは、今アメリカでは現実に大統領選の開票のさなかに、トランプ陣営のインタビューが途中でテレビ中継が切られた、あるいはトランプさんのアカウントが一方的に停止されている。このように本来なら、自由の大国であるアメリカにおいて今、言論の自由が封殺されている、この事実は見逃せないということで報道してきました。どうもこの辺のRest of World誌は、この辺の「アメリカの言論の自由、あなたたち大丈夫ですか?」というどうも我々の物言いがもしかしたら「生意気である」と。「東洋人が」と。こういうつもりでこういう記事を組んだのかもしれません。ですが何度も言います。言うなら、正確な事実、あるいは見解に基づいてモノを言ってほしいと思います。

そのほかにもこのRest of Worldはもうちょっと独断と偏見のオンパレードなんですよね。例えば、幸福実現党を「極右政党 ”the far-right”」と一方的に言っています。その極右って何なのか?どうもその理由がハッキリしないんです。あえてこちらで理解するとこういうことかなと。記事には、「中国恐怖症に陥るほどの激しい反中姿勢 ”a hard anti-China stance that routinely crosses into overt Sinophobia,”」、「憲法改正による日本の再軍国化の訴え” a pledge to remilitarize Japan through constitutional revision”」、さらに「戦時中の日本の残虐行為の否定 ” denials of Japan’s wartime atrocities”」、これがどうも極右政党の証拠、条件だと言いたいようなんですけれども、まず基本的に中国恐怖症なんか全然陥っていません。さらに言えば反中姿勢と言いますけれども、私たちは中国共産党の問題を指摘しています。



そのほかにもまだまだたくさんあるんですよね。例えばトランプ氏についていろいろとモノを申すのが、法輪功がやった手法を真似たんだという見解もあります。偏見です。ハッキリ言って、THE FACTがトランプ氏について取り上げたのは2015年12月です。トランプ大統領がまだ共和党の予備選挙の中で、とても共和党大統領候補になるのは無理だろうと言われたときにTHE FACTは独自の取材と観点で、これは大きな台風の目になると、トランプ大統領の可能性はあるぞということで報道しました。これはネットで、THE FACTを確認いただけると思います。ネットで調べてから言っていただきたいと思います。

なおトランプ氏の支持については、これは別にトランプ氏の全てが良いとか、そういう妄信ではありません。あくまでトランプ氏の考え方の中に共鳴できるものがあったということであり、部分的にたとえば中東政策においてはその考え方は違うと思うこともハッキリ言っております。ちなみにこの日本ではトランプ支持というのは必ずしも利益になる考え方ではありません。むしろトランプ反対派が日本には多い。だから別に我々、THE FACT、幸福実現党にとって何らトランプ氏支持で利益を得るようなものは何もないんです。

そのほかにもこのRest of Worldの記事には理解不足のもの、あるいは準備不足と言えるようなものがたくさんあります。



また記事の中ではこんなことも言ってるんですね。「霊的ワクチンでコロナを撃退できると主張した” it could defeat Covid-19 with “spiritual vaccines.””」と、こういうことを言うことで奇妙な教団だという批判をしています。私、海外の日本の仏教あるいは神道事情に詳しくない方に敢えて言わせていただきます。日本では古来より「疫病退散」というのは宗教の重要な役割でした。それは今も各神社、寺院で行われています。人々の健康と幸福を祈るというのは、宗教者として当たり前のことです。そして実際にそういう風な「霊験あらたか」という言葉が日本語にはありますけれども、そのような霊的作用で疫病が、流行り病が退散したということは日本の歴史においてたくさん書かれているわけです。何よりも今の日本の仏教的な象徴と言える奈良の東大寺の大仏は、当時の天然痘の大流行に当たってその流行を止めるために、その願いもまたあの大仏建立にはあったということ、これもどうか奈良の大仏様には多くの海外の方も旅行に行かれていますので、付け加えさせていただきたいと思います。

ここまで、Rest of Worldの記事が偏ったものであるということを様々な点を挙げて話してきました。最後の問題は、何でこんな記事を書いたのかというのかということです。キッチリと調べもせずに。たとえば私に対する取材もなしに、こういうことを書いたのかというところ。ここなんですけども、この記事を読んでいて非常に気になるのが法輪功に対する偏見です。例えば法輪功に対する中国政府の弾圧が、あたかも彼らの認識、法輪功の人たちの認識の問題であると言わんばかりの所があります。しかしこれは例えば今、カナダの国会が動いたり、様々な動きを見てさすがに法輪功に対する弾圧が空想であるかのようにとらえるのはもう無理があります。私自身も一度、法輪功の方に取材したこともあります。現実に北京でも法輪功の焚書坑儒と言えるような弾圧も起きています。それにもかかわらず、この記事にはそういうことが、法輪功の人たちの認識なんだということで無視されている。これはおかしな見方だと思います。


THE FACTとしてはこれも含めて今後、ファクトを追って皆様にもご報告させていただきたいと思います。

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