Sunday, 15 April 2012

CULT vs SGI


On factnet.org they have a list of the 8 warning signs of a destructive cult.
             Let’s see how the SGI compares to this…
  
1
A destructive cult tends to be totalitarian in its control of its members' behaviour. Cults are likely to dictate in great detail not only what members believe, but also what members wear and eat, when and where members work, sleep, and bathe, and how members think, speak, and conduct familial, marital, or sexual relationships.
SGI members are encouraged to develop themselves individually through faith, study and practice.  We all have our own individual human revolutions.  There are no strict rules governing what to eat, what to wear, etc.
2
A destructive cult tends to have an ethical double standard. Members are urged to be obedient to the cult and follow cult rules as well as confessing all to the leaders. But, outside the group they are encouraged to manipulate outsiders or non-members, and either deceive them or reveal very little about themselves or the group. In contrast respectable faith groups teach members to abide by one set of ethics and act ethically and truthfully to all people in all situations.
Everyone within the SGI is using their faith in Nichiren Daishonin’s buddhism to improve their lives and the lives of others.  We are all trying to be better people in all our relationships both inside and outside of SGI meetings.  We are encouraged to study and to freely talk to others about our beliefs and encourage them to study and learn more about our faith.
3
Destructive cults have two basic purposes: recruiting new members and fund-raising. Other faith groups also perform such tasks, but these are incidental to their main purpose of improving the lives of the members and of humankind in general. A cult's real goal is to increase the prestige and often the wealth of the leader.
Like all religions, the SGI wants to expand its membership and raise funds for administrative fees, building management fees and educational purposes.  If you benefit from this Buddhism why wouldn’t you want to share it with others and encourage them to join?  With regard to fund-raising, contributions are only allowed by members who sincerely want to make donations.  Non-members are not allowed to contribute and no-one is forced to make donations.  At the end of the day the main purpose of the SGI is to improve society and secure the happiness of ALL humanity. 
4
A destructive cult appears to be innovative and exclusive. The leader claims to be breaking with tradition, offering something novel, and instituting the ONLY viable system for change that will solve life's problems or the world's ills. But these claims are empty recruitment methods and members who are then subjected to mind control to inhibit their ability to examine the actual validity of the claims of the leader and the cult.
The SGI is based on spreading the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, a buddhist monk from 700 years ago.  The writings and speeches of President Ikeda explain the wonder and meaning of Nichiren Daishonin’s writings and teachings and help us to deepen our understand of Shakyamuni’s Lotus Sutra.
Whether you become a member, or just attend meetings as a guest, you are encouraged to study to prove to yourself the validity of the teachings. 
5
A destructive cult is authoritarian in its power structure. The leader is regarded as the supreme authority and members adhere to the leader's wishes.
Leaders within the SGI are basically there to organise meetings and provide administrative information.  Leaders are by no means perfect and have their own human revolution to do.  Also, any leader or lecturer that is arrogant enough to think they are better than other members needs to rethink their position.  We are all Buddhas and all Buddhas are equal.
6
A destructive cult's leader is a self-appointed messianic person claiming to have a special mission in life. For example, a leader of flying saucer cults claiming that beings from outer space have appointed them to save members from harm.
President Ikeda is respected as a mentor – someone who we can look up to as a role model – but ultimately our future happiness depends on us.  President Ikeda’s mission is to achieve peace throughout the world and the happiness of all humanity by encouraging us in our practice.    
7
A destructive cult's leader insists on being the focus of members’ devotion and allegiance.
The focus of the SGI’s practice is the Gohonzon and our own Buddha wisdom.  President Ikeda is a respected mentor, but he doesn’t claim to be descendent from a God or a divine being, to have any secret information or insight only available to him or be able to grant our wishes.  He just explains his understanding of Nichiren Buddhism and encourages us in faith to be the best we can be within our communities.
8
A destructive cult's leader tends to be determined, domineering, and charismatic.  They use these qualities to persuade followers to abandon or alter their families, friends, and careers to follow the cult. The leader then takes control over followers' possessions, money, time, and lives.
Through his position as president of the organisation, Daisaku Ikeda has been able to engage in dialogues with other world leaders and scholars, but he never dictates how members should live their lives.  We are not encouraged to cut off family members, quit our jobs, hand over all our savings, etc.

UPDATE - In reply to Mark from the Kempon Hokke's comments, please go to the following pages for further discussion:

Mark's comments as a blog post: http://nichirenbuddhist.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/cult-vs-sgi-part-2.html

My reply to Mark's comments: http://nichirenbuddhist.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/cult-vs-sgi-part-3.html

Mark's replies to me: http://nichirenbuddhist.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/cult-vs-sgi-part-4.html

53 comments:

  1. The SGI is a Destructive Cult [in three parts.

    The SGI is a Destructive Cult by Definition Part 1

    1). Destructive cults actively recruit new members, often through deceptive “front”
    organizations.

    The SGI has the Boston Research Center, the Institute for Oriental Philosophy, andothers where their affiliation to SGI is rarely if ever mentioned.

    2).Destructive cults claim to offer absolute Truth. Their teachings are not (to them) mere theory or speculation. The most effective cult doctrines are those which are unverifiableand unevaluable.

    The SGI claims that their believers are the only Nichiren Lotus Sutra believerscapable of obtaining Buddhahood, going so far to claim that all SGI members are Buddhas whilethose of the Nichiren Shu and Kempon Hokke are “deluded Shakyamuni worshippers”.

    3).Destructive cults reduce everything to a bi-polar attitude: “for us, or against us.”

    Anyone who criticizes the SGI, no matter how wise, is a fool and anyone who praises the SGI,no matter how foolish, is wise. Daisaku Ikeda writes, for example:

    “Seven years have passed since then. The outcome of the struggle of good and evil and the workings of the law of cause and effect have been strict and uncompromising. The decline of thecrazed and destructive Nichiren Shoshu is clearly apparent. The victims, unfortunately, are the laybelievers who practice with the temple, who are not aware of Nichiren Shoshu’s evil and have beendeceived by the priests.”

    4).Destructive cults generate some kind of external “pet devil” with which to threatentheir members if they should doubt, or fail, or ever leave the group.

    The SGI has dozens of “pet devils”. Those who leave will have misfortune on their jobs, in their families, in the social lives,have accidents, fall into hell, etc. President Toda stated: “If you keep this up, you’re going to cometo a pitiful end in life.” and “Betraying the Soka Gakkai is betraying the Daishonin. In the end, they’llreceive the punishment of the Buddha, you’ll see.” Ikeda says, “To take action to fight againstwhatever forces appear as the enemies of the Soka Gakkai is our most noble mission.” Matilda Bucksays, “How tragic it would be for even one person to have found the great means of bringing forthBuddhahood only to be diverted to another, seemingly similar, path that is incapable of leading thatindividual to his or her deepest happiness.” This is the jist of the Gakkai’s attempt to chain themembers to the Gakkai way of life. The Biggest ”pet devil” is Nikken of the Nichiren Shoshu:

    “When Buddhism speaks of “devilish functions,” what does that really mean? These represent whatever tries to prevent us from advancing in our Buddhist practice. In a sense, they are frightened when we expand the Buddha?s forces, because the realm they want to control will thenbe changed into a pure land. In our case right now, this function is being manifested in the currenthigh priest of Nichiren Shoshu.”

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  2. The SGI is a Destructive Cult Part 2

    5).Destructive cults lead their members to believe they are somehow superior to all other humans on the earth.

    In many of Ikeda’s speeches we see how the SGI members are to viewthemselves: “Sons of the Gakkai”, “inheritors of Myoho”, “Lions of the Mystic Law”, “the sole group of true believers”,
    “Truly praiseworthy are you who resolve to work hard for kosen-rufu and the SGI.You are the most noble of all people.”

    6).Destructive cults put the will of the group above the will of the individual. This is often reinforced with simplistic games or rituals of some type designed to make the individual subservient to the group.

    If you search, you will find such quotes from the eternal Soka Gakkaimentor, “the Soka Gakkai is more important than my life.” We also see the special Soka Gakkaiholidays like May 3rd, day of mentor and disciple, and such slogans as,
    “reaffirming the prime point of the Soka Gakkai”

    We see inordinate references to Soka Gakkai, SGI, and Ikeda in nearly every experience given by an SGI member. There used to be dress and hair (short) and beard(none) codes for the SGI Young Men’s Division and on saturdays everyone had to dress in whitepants and white tee-shirts.7).

    7).Destructive cults teach that the end justifies the means.

    How they misuse upaya(expedient means) is a travesty. Flirtatious shakabuku by young women’s division, telling peoplethey can get new cars and even drugs if the chant, teaching people that they will immediatelybecome Buddhas if they join the SGI, and the list goes on and on how they utilize the ends justifythe means philosophy of Machiavelli, the antithesis of the Buddha’s teachings.

    8).Destructive cults teach strict obedience to superiors and encourage the developmentof behavior patterns that are similar to those of the leader.

    Is there any doubt why the SokaGakkai is known throughout the ten directions as the Ikeda cult? Guidance division, never criticizing leaders,
    “follow no matter what”, this is so apparent to everyone but the brainwashed SGI memberhimself. Lately, the SGI has abandoned any subtle pretense with such overt youth division guidelinesas, “

    Reveal your true identity as Shinichi Yamamoto” and “I want to be ShinichiYamamoto”

    9).Destructive cults offer acceptance by the group for good performance, and conversely,withhold it for poor performance.

    Moving up the ladder from Jr Group Chief, to Group Chief, toDistrict Chief, to Chapter Chief, to Area Chief, to Territory Chief, to Joint Territory Chief and so on.Busting people from their position or moving them at the leaders will.

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    1. Did you get "decommissioned" from a leadership position or something? Or did you just become jaded and cynical for other reasons because you have not met the burden of proof that the SGI is a cult. It is a life choice to live a kinder, gentler life that actually respects people, even those that don't share one's position.

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  3. The SGI is a Destructive Cult Part 3

    10).In destructive cults, fear is a major motivator. Guilt is a close second, and shame isthird. Only the cult leader is perfect, so everyone below is fearful that those above willfind out their shortcomings. Cult members feel constantly guilty for having those real orimagined shortcomings, and are ashamed that they haven’t worked harder to get rid of them.

    “Never talk about your problems to the members until they are resolved.” “Did you know that soand so got hit by a car and is paralyzed. He should have stayed with the Soka Gakkai.” “She turnedin her SGI Gohonzon and lost her job and her house.” “He committed suicide not soon after joiningthe Nikken sect.”

    11).Destructive cult members swing from emotional highs, to emotional lows regularly.Lows are not long tolerated, and result in more indoctrination, or even ejection from the group if they last too long.

    “You have weak faith.” ‘You had better go for guidance if you want to quickly resolve that problem.” Rumors to stay away from depressed individuals. Not inviting less than enthusiastic members tocertain meetings or not telling them about “important” meetings. Lectures about
    “emotionalism” unless the emotion is rapture. Every last former SGI cult member will attest to this.

    12).Destructive cults tend to re-write their members’ past, manipulate their present, anddistort their future. Disrupting time orientation is an honored technique of all such cults.

    Human Revolution, New Human Revolution, New New Human Revolution. Need I say more?

    13).And, finally, there is never a legitimate reason for leaving a destructive cult. The only reason members leave a perfect system, is because they are imperfect in some respect,and will be punished for it.

    “He was angry.” “He was jealous.” He couldn’t get along with hisleader.” “He had weak faith.” (even if he continues to chant three hours a day and does shakabukuwith the Nichiren Shu or the Kempon Hokke). “No matter which destructive cult you choose, theabove 13 items will almost universally apply.The author of these 13 points [whose name escapes me] then goes on to conclude:Study the methods of est, LaRouche, Transcendental Meditation, Truth Station, Soka Gakkai, TheWay International, Children of God, Temple of Set, Synanon, Scientology ®, The Peoples Temple,
    Unification Church, Hare Krishnas, House of Judah, Ramtha, Garbage Eaters, Rajneesh, ECK, ChurchUniversal and Triumphant, Elan Vital, Posse Comitatus, or any of the others…. they use the same techniques, even though each of them claims unique and absolute ownership of the “truth.”

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    1. You sir are an idiot! Where did you get your research from? Were you drunk? What a fool to make these claims. Your information is totally wrong and you need to stop criticizing SGI - you are probably jealous and want to be a priest so bad...or is a priest of some crazy cult. Everything you wrote is absolute crap, never read anything so full of crap before. Stop blogging - you suck at it - get a life!!!

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    2. I just wanted to say thank you. My grandma is a chapter leader in sgi and she forces me to go to meetings. Its always nice to read something that's so true that it becomes stress relieving.

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    3. You've answered your own complaint with your last statement: ".... they use the same techniques, even though each of them claims unique and absolute ownership of the 'truth'...." I notice there are few to no Eastern philosophies included in your list of "religious" organizations. Would you consider the proliferation of "self-help" books that are loosely based in Eastern philosophies part of a "cult" movement? There are tons of them and they also all claim to contain the "true" way to happiness.

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    4. I don't understand any of this poster's arguments for the SGI being a "cult." Maybe he got his membership suspended or something because this version of the SGI does not line up with my understanding at all. Now, Jonestown, David Koresh's group, Charles Manson's crew, Heaven's Gate are/were cults with something in common. They were all prepared to go toe to toe with the government if need be, and they were all prepared to commit mass suicide in order to achieve "nirvana." I don't see any of that in the SGI, and if you want to call Ikeda a charismatic leader (required for a cult), go ahead, happy people tend to be charismatic. Ikeda simply enjoys life in all its manifestations.

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    5. In reply to number 11 above: I, sir, have Bipolar disorder and naturally swing from high to low. My lows can last anywhere from a day or two to weeks, and I have never been asked not to come to meetings when I am in that state. If anything, members are more encouraging and supportive during those times. I tend to try to "eject" myself during those times, and if I do not want to go to a meeting, or need someone to fill in for an obligation, members help but don't push. I do not know what happened to you, but I feel bad because you seem to feel pain and fear over your experience of the SGI. Although, nothing you write suggests that you are a former member. Rather, it suggests the perhaps you did some reading on your own or maybe a family member or friend is a member and you are fearful on those accounts.

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    6. I really like the basic philosophy behind Nichiren Buddhism and a lot of the aspects make a lot of sense to me (poison into medicine, Human revolution, mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, everyone having a Buddha Nature/mission, etc), but I don't always agree with everything the organization does. Chanting has never really appealed to me and I think people who say it is the end-all-be-all of the philosophy are kind of missing the point. I pretty much never chant, but I follow the basics of poison into medicine, Ten Worlds etc, and have been pretty happy with my new level of self-awareness. I think my life is better since learning about the practice because it happens to work for me. I really wish there wasn't so much emphasis placed on chanting, though. It's just...very rigid and has always seemed really, really weird to me. I used to do it because I felt obligated and also felt bad that I didn't like it, but now I've realized it doesn't work for me. I will do it at meetings or with other people, but it's not part of my routine. I also HATE the idea of Shakabuku (or however its spelled). This practice is NOT for everyone and there are hundreds of ways to live a productive/happy life. To say it is the only path to enlightenment also seems to go against most of the basic principles. And giving your life for the SGI? I thought that our lives WERE the most valuable thing? Personally, if I have another obligation or don't feel like going to a meeting, I don't go. Sometimes, I feel a bit guilty about it, but in the end, I think the practice should be about making one's own life richer. If going to every meeting and hearing experiences enriches your life, then, by all means, go for it! If not, I don't think you should feel obligated.

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    7. I don't agree that it's about a sect that is rightcheous. I believe it's all about the individual people who practice and whether they care about other people enough to put the Lotus Sutra's intentions into action.

      It's easy to find fault with other sects or people since we are not all perfect, but it's not easy to do things after practicing so that people want to join a religion "because" of it's compassion and how their life drastically changes after participating in the religion. I think people should be open-minded about this.

      I find since this dispute has continued many people are actually becoming more compassionate in many different sects of Nichiren Buddhism. Compassion is about caring and consideration for the suffering of others to begin with. In Nichiren Buddhism it's about doing the practice consistently and strongly to get results from practicing.

      I notice a big difference in people who practice consistently and strongly, as well as taking action vs. people who don't. Walking the walk is much different than talking about it.





      Gold is gold, and growth comes from a strong Buddhist practice.

      .

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  4. Chill.................

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  5. History has been full of error fighting over RIGHT and WRONG...........stop getting judgmental...whoever gets in to the dilemma of being right/wrong rarely gets peace of mind and many of the precious years of life are lost....... imperfection is human life...accept it and lose the need to judge.....you will feel much lighter and happier when you can live with imperfection.

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    1. To the poster above: I agree there has been much error in thinking and arguing over what is right and what is wrong. What is most important is what works for you as a person....my grandmother was a dyed in the wool Christian. It worked for her. Christianity does not work for me, but I never judged her beliefs because she was satisfied and soothed by her belief in God and Jesus as the savior. It brought her comfort and helped inform her vision of the world. She was far from a perfect person, but her strong beliefs and attempt to live within the parameters of her chosen faith made he a good, decent and strong person. She did not judge others' imperfections, she simply accepted them as part of that person. Was she "brainwashed" by Christianity? No. That's just how she was. If Buddhism (of any sort) allows you to recognize and accept yourself and others as imperfect beings, you will indeed feel happier and your life will be more positive. Judgmental behavior is generally the realm of people who are unhappy with themselves, and are transferring it onto others.

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  6. Haha.. I find it amusing to read what BUKU has written. Actually, I must say I have heard many of the things he mentioned that SOKA members do or say as I have been practicing for 30 years... But I am amused because I have never thought of the same words in the way that he does:) I think it is all a matter of perception.

    Anyway, I think there is no point in pointing out right or wrong. Faith and belief are very personal matters:) Buku is free to think what he want... But I dun think it is advisable or even necessary to contemplate who is right or wrong here.. after all, one of teachers (incidentally not from SGI) said this and I agree totally.. "LOGIC is like the whore, who follows the man with the highest price.." If you want to argue something on logic, there is always a way to out argue the other person.. so it never ends:) I think perhaps chanting for Buku that he finds his happiness no matter where he may find it would seem the best:) Just my two cents:)

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    1. You make a good point about right and wrong. I do not think there is a right way or a wrong way to experience faith and belief. There is what works best for you. If it is Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism or any other "life philosophy," what I feel is most important is to try to lead a life that respects others, is compassionate towards others, and recognizes the inherent worth of all. What is unhealthy is negativity and judgment of others choices. You are not in their shoes, so to speak, so you do not really know why they choose the way they do. All you can do is respect their rights, be compassionate about their situation, and not judge it. It isn't your life.

      Perhaps, if more people simply took an attitude of respecting and acknowledging the inherent worth of all lives, and treated others accordingly, the world might not look like the map of a warzone. There is no point in arguing right ways from wrong ways. It is counterproductive to a healthy society. Just let people be, and try to be the best YOU that you can be.

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  7. Okay a quick question....

    Does SGI and President Ikeda truly believe they are the sole authority on all things Nichiren Buddhism - and how do they convey that to their general members?

    (Answer very carefully because reality my contradict you)

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  8. I believe Nichiren to be the "sole authority on all things Nichiren buddhism".

    The SGI is just a Lay movement that purveys this philosophy/religion as a way of life.
    I have made it my way of life and feel this practice is correct and superior to the
    few inferior alternatives...eh?

    Seriously! What a question! If I asked a similar question pertaining to "the sole
    authority on all things Christian" of say, a Catholic Pope, a Southern Baptist, a Mormon Elder, etc., what answer would you expect to hear?

    Research/learn and choose your own path. We do, after all, create our own experience.


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    1. Excellent reply. We all are ultimately in charge of our own existence and how we choose to live and think and believe. What's wrong with believing in compassion, respect, and inherent value of life? Most major world religions do have those ideas at their core. They just differ in doctrine and ritual.

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  9. Over half of the books in the SGI bookstore is either written or has provided commentary by Pres. Ikeda. Need I say more.

    (Answer very carefully because reality may contradict you)

    To further answer your rebuttal. I take it you don't have a clue to the inner workings of the Christian faith outside of what may have saw on an televangelist program (Joel Osteen or John Hagee) The Pope may be the sole authority of the Catholic Church but the Pope doesn't speak for everyone in the Christian faith. Even that observation would be a radical deviation from what SGI claims to support. No matter how much the believers want to window dress it.



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    1. And what do SGI members claim to support? President Ikeda is not believed to be a perfect enlightened human being, but he has done much research on the writings of a long ago Buddhist monk named Nichiren who also did not proclaim his perfection or understanding of Buddhist theory. He just read a lot, and thought a lot, and the result are his writings.

      There are many people called "Humanists" in this world who do not subscribe to Nichiren Buddhism, but can see the worth of the nature of a philosophy that promotes the "humanistic" idea that all life is worthy of value, respect, happiness and compassion. Just look at the world today, and the amount of war, uprising against oppression, and migrations from areas where people are disrespected in some of the most personal of ways, and then try to tell me that a philosophy of humanism is a bad thing.

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  10. Given that there is so much emphasis in defending the “leader” – No one here thinks SGI is a cult?

    It's really amazing and that is no complement

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  11. One could say the same for Catholics defending their Pope...or Tibetan Buddhists and the Dali Lama. Seriously, if you added 13 million people to the rolls of a religion, I would be strutting your stuff too. As for book stores...one will not find many Mormon books in a Jewish book store, or Catholic books in Baptist book store, etc. I mean really, your arguments are repetitive and nebulous...and certainly not convincing to anyone on this site. Tsk, tsk...such a hate.One could say the same for Catholics defending their Pope...or Tibetian Buddhists and the Dali Lama. Seriously, if you added 13 million people to the rolls of a religion, I would be strutting your stuff too.As for book stores...one will not find many Mormon books in a Jewish book store, or Catholic books in Baptist book store, etc. I mean really, your arguments are repetitive and nebulous...and certainly not convincing to anyone on this site. Tsk, tsk...such a hater!

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    1. Good point on the bookstore comment. What else would one expect to find in an SGI bookstore other than SGI materials? It is a matter of simple logic. That, and I do not find (at least in my area) that members "defend" President Ikeda more than they wish to emulate him. I am pretty sure that Ikeda can "defend" himself, although I cannot see him engaging in such a non-productive type of conversation. When he does engage with others, he does so with the idea of working with others of a like mind to create a world that is peaceful, and values all of its creations. That does not seem like a bad goal to me.

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  12. ^^^My point exactly

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  13. There are 1.5 Billion Muslims strutting there stuff. It is truth, correct doctrine, and behavior which makes a religion great not numbers [so teaches Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin. Check out the Kempon Hokke for authentic Nichiren Buddhism which matches Nichiren Daishonin's teachings like the print matches the woodblock.

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  14. Truth and doctrine is perception in the eye/mind of the beholder. Your truth and idea of a "correct" doctrine, much like the "Muslims strutting" you lump into one major generalization, are obviously different than my perception. You are entitled to your opinion...but that is all it is...an opinion. As for behavior...I believe your "hate" message matches your intentions as surely as the print matches the woodblock.

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  15. As a District leader going through a stressful life changing event, I find that the genuine support and compassion of not only my "leaders" (many of whom are some of my best friends) but other members is inspiring rather than intrusive. My "higher ups" have encouraged me to keep my position (I was going to give it up due to the fact that said life changing event involves a member of my district), but to take time off in order to get my life back together. I do not know of any cult that would encourage that. Even if you leave the SGI, I have NEVER heard of anyone directly saying, implying, inferring or any other devious method of speech that their life is going to go downhill. As is evidenced by my current situation and that of others I know where I practice, your life can go downhill even while practicing. We simply view these life challenges as ways to grow your character, to learn how to handle obstacles with grace and dignity. What is wrong with that? Maybe if more people worked on themselves in order to become mentally more stable, we wouldn't have a world where everyone is only out for themselves and everyone else be damned. Nichiren Buddhism does not claim to be the ONLY path to "enlightenment". It does acknowledge other ways and means to the same life condition. What Nichiren Buddhism DOES say is that the problem AND the solution lie within oneself, not in some intangible divine being. Many world religions involve chanting, and other vocal means of meditation. If Nichiren Buddhism were a "cult", then why are there so many members who are not of Japanese, or other Asian descent? Why would it encourage you to practice even if by oneself? Cults generally ONLY perform their rituals together as a group lest anyone stray or start to form an opinion of their own. Nichiren Buddhism ENCOURAGES members to question, to have opinions, and to study all manner of material in order to better their understanding of the world and themselves. Buddhism of any form is a Life Philosophy, a way of living with and in the world in a gentle and kind way. It does not claim to be the only way. We have no problem engaging in dialogue with people of different faiths. It is, in fact, encouraged to engage in dialogue with anyone, and not necessarily with the motive of "converting" that person. It encourages its members to respect all life, to be compassionate to everyone, and to know that every life is worthy of happiness. How is that like a cult which is by nature an insular organization? I am thinking that maybe said poster had a bad experience with the SGI, and now likens it to a cult. I do not feel trapped and unable to leave or stay as I please. Every religion believes that their way is the only way, especially organized religions. Or maybe, perhaps, said poster is too entrenched in Western philosophy that they are not open to other, less pragmatic philosophies?

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    1. You've been brainwashed. SGI is an evil cult.

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  16. For the author of "The SGI is a Destructive Cult"... Can you please explain if and when you were once a member of the SGI. And at what point how you decided you are speaking the truth? And what was the turning point in your life that caused you to come to this conclusion about the SGI. Your statements are missing great amounts of information about the SGI. I would touch on ever mistake I have seen, but they are too numerous and it would take hours so I cannot understand how could make so many misinformed mistakes. Please explain.

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  17. That whole time you spent bashing the SGI, when you could've been chanting the whole time.

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  18. Mark,

    Since we last talked everything has changed for myself, you, and MP. I disagree that things will ever be the same and I don't mean that in a bad light, necessarily.

    What direction you take will absolutely make a difference, for it is the will of Nichiren Daishonin that people respect Buddhism, do their practice in a safe and meaningful way, as well as to take care of members sincerely, have deeper faith, and have meaningful lives without slander, provocation, and being harassed.

    You may disagree with the direction I have taken, but we are going in different directions due to me chanting and having an experience about the meaning of Nichiren Daishonin's life.

    With that said I wish you, Romero, and MP well, but please consider what is going on with SGI, what you didn't know about KHS, what you didn't consider about Buddha statues, and try to realize what is best for everyone out there if you side with something that is going to lead people off of a straight path to Buddhahood and hurt people because it is not as helpful.

    Just a thought, and we have been friends in the past and shared our views. Again, I wish to be honest with you. Pleaee chant for a correct practice of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism if you believe in faith. That, I believe, will lead you to it!

    OMK

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    1. Hi Dee,

      I am not Mark, but I guess you are trying to contact him through my SGI blog which he has commented on before. Since he left Kempon Hokke he deleted his account and someone told me his new blog site is http://markrogow.blogspot.co.uk/

      Having said that I join you in encouraging him to chant and am sure he will find the correct path in life as long as he maintains a sincere faith and devotion to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra.

      Robin

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  19. You can kill the messenger [of the Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin] but not the message. Not one point I made about the SGI personality cult has been overturned. The reason I left the Soka Gakkai, the straw that broke the Bodhisattvas back, was a regional meeting I attended in New York: Daisaku Ikeda was mentioned more than 100 times, Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra never, and Nichiren Daishonin ["a thirteenth century monk"] and "Gohonzon" were mentioned one time. You remain in the Soka Gakkai at your own peril.

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  20. I joined the Soka Gakkai once. Then after witnessing all of these older members getting raptured over President Ikeda video, I thought maybe it was time that I left.

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    1. So you did not look into the SGI for yourself, but you stared at everyone else like a judgmental beast. How sad your life must be to depend on others for your Buddhahood. If you would have listened to Ikedas speech instead of looking around paying attention to others, you maybe would be elated as well. pay attention to yourself. Continue to learn. If you stop half way you can achieve nothing and all of your efforts will have been in vain.

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  21. I took the liberty to visit the SGI website and and read the lyric sheets for all SGI sanctioned music which is nothing more but love ballards dedicated to the Ikeda God-head.

    http://www.sgi-usa.org/memberresources/resources/sgimusic/index.php

    WOW! the fact the Ikeda worship/cult argument is even debated is astonishing.

    Let the Ikeda-bots tell it, I am a unhappy negative person. I would prefer to be grounded in reality than to be happily in denial. That would help explain so many of these long winded post I've been reading on here.

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    1. Some people see filth in the crotch of a tree, that would be you. You are viewing songs in a negative light. If you read Ikedas writings, youde see how much your life has been helped, but you are not consistantly doing so obviously otherwise you too would be indebted with gratitude. The mentor disciple relationship is important, so if you saw songs about that, then the reason is because of our gratitude. Again follow the law and not the person, the Daishonin says this, Ikeda is not "God head" , you are a Buddha too. Not realizing you are a Buddha, you are an ordinary being, awakened to the fact that you too are a Buddha, you are a Buddha.

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  22. Please send your daimoku and money to help fund our secret wars and jedi mind tricks on the masses. In the spirit of Kosen-Fufu your allegience to us is dependant for it is better for us that you surrendered power than it would be if it was taken by force. Ikeda will always be thinking of you.

    Stay guilliable my friends

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    1. Your perception is gravely mistaken....nobody is asking for money except the priesthood, and there is one important month in the SGI works on contribution but, its not required in order to build new Culture Centers to expand because it is rapidly growing. Yes there is proof of what the money is spent on. You are foolish to spread lies.

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  23. Ihate sokka gakki.
    I get tired of invitation of heavy religion
    Though it is said that I do not mean to enroll, I am persistent
    They investigate a personal life and work as even a stoker
    But suicides increase without having you handle it even if you say to the police in Japan not having the cult method
    I am really annoyed. I want you to stop pirating it because I do not mean to enroll

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    1. In response to you feeling pressured to join... I'd like you to understand that I am an SGI member, and I do not go around thumping it on people, if they dont want to join it is their loss, I move on because there are people looking for it. If youre not ready that is your own choice to be in that position. At the end of your life I believe you will look back and see how close minded you were to look at individuals instead of learning about the Buddha way itself, for yourself. "Follow the law and not the person." there is a reason Nichiren Daishonin said this. Take care of yourself. And hate is something nobody should feel, you should have compassion for the greed, anger or ignorance that causes them to make mistakes.

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  24. Those of you looking at individuals for the validity of this practice are sadly mistaken. You are Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo... do not look outside of yourself for your Buddhahood. We are graced with Ikedas presence. I hope you will take the opportunity to get one of his books and you will definitely gain benefit. Find good friends in faith, it multiplies our happiness when we suffer. Never seek this Gohonzon outside of yourelf. Your soul is Nam Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo. We are all equal yet different. Love yourself no matter what and have confidence in yourself.

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  25. Anonymous says - "So you did not look into the SGI for yourself, but you stared at everyone else like a judgmental beast. How sad your life must be to depend on others for your Buddhahood. If you would have listened to Ikedas speech instead of looking around paying attention to others, you maybe would be elated as well. pay attention to yourself. Continue to learn. If you stop half way you can achieve nothing and all of your efforts will have been in vain."

    WOW! You really insulted my intellegence. For the record, the unwaivering Ikeda worship is probably the 6th thing thats wrong with SGI. I strongly encourage you to get a clue.

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  26. If you care to know and feel free to refute but even I will guarantee that you will be stuck on point #8

    THE 10 THINGS WRONG WITH THE SOKA GAKKAI

    1. SGI don't really teach Buddhism
    2. New Kiemto is the political arm of Soka Gakkai.
    3. Doesn't disclose finances
    4. 20 + years later, still can't get over the NST split.
    5. Since the split with NST, don't really have much of any Nichiren traditions to stand on however conveinently supplimented that "New Human Revolution" garbage which is really just New Age bullshit.
    6. SGI is really not really that tolerant of other faiths, especially other Nichiren practicioners.
    7. BLATANT IKEDA WOSHIP
    8. SGI members normally can't give straight answers to simple questions with regards to their beloved organization. - Especially when it comes to Ikeda
    9. Random acts of paranoia which occurs at the community centers
    10. The mind games

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    1. #8
      The SGI is the only world peace organization practicing Nichiren Buddhism networked throughout the entire world, arm in arm together we who are good stand together. We are able to connect with the entire world while we are active members SGI members. . We see each other again and again through out our life time. We teach and learn from each other. Our lives are that much more enriched, there is nothing in the world like it. Daisaku Ikeda is a great thinker, and if you took the time to read his guidance and books and other materials, dialogues with other great thinkers, your life would be richer.

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  27. May I also add that for a bunch of self-described Buddhist, SGI has to be some of the most emotionally unhinged people to be around. I took it upon myself to get a little background on the destruction of the Shohondo and presented some of the theories floating around and SGI members lost their minds. Remember the key word here is "theory" but anything that didn't conform the official SGI "fact"...they accosted me like I supported Al Qaeda, dog fighting or drowning babies - yes, that level of hosility.

    Then again there is not much going on in the SGI mind studies department that suggest controlling ones emotions. I really could give less a damn about what Ikeda has to say about anything for the actions of his minions speaks volumes.

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  28. On the Assertion that I am a Buddha....

    I'm sorry, I still enjoy the occasional drink which is a violation of the 5 precepts therefore, I can't be a Buddha. I also enjoy having erotic thoughts of women which is also a big no-no of those precepts. However atleast the huge difference is that I HAVE ZERO DILLUSIONS OF THESE THINGS which cannot be said with regards to any member of the SGI.

    It is suggested that Buddhahood within SGI could be immediately attained - We got that out of the way, I am a Buddha - I am enlightened even though I am a little hungover -- Follow the logic on this - I guess Shakyamuni and Nichiren were retards because it took them a lifetime to reach Buddhahood and yet SGI Buddhahood could be attained by forking over $20 and getting a Gohonzon. THIS IS WHAT SGI LOGIC IS TELLING ME. Of course Ikeda's wise words will always be there just in case I don't feel a little Buddhist at the moment and the majority of people think that Nirvana was just some awesome band from the 90's.

    If Buddhahood is a permanent state of mind then why do I need the SGI? I'm a Buddha - Buddha's don't need religion - they are the embodiedment of it. THIS IS SGI LOGIC - I'M PRETTY SURE YOU DON'T LIKE THAT IT'S BEING USED AGAINST YOU.

    Oh and there is the study aspect. The Mentor-Disciple relationship. We all need REAL testimonials from the greats who have studied and can have their coventant named hoised as a genuine testament SGI faith. Something like the Zen school - Like Dogen and Haikai - I GOT IT - AN SGI HALL OF FAME. A place where all SGI members dead and alive could be declared Buddhas for the entire world to see true testament to SGI faith and be celebrated by those who aspire to be - Sadly, no one has reached that level yet.

    SGI has two Buddhas (Toda and Ikeda - Makaguci don't count because SGI was a school under his tutilage) and to boast of having 12 million members with no one reaching the Buddha promiseland makes them miserable failures.

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    1. Are you actually drunk. you just need to keep studying. Asserting who is who and what is what. Follow the law and not the person. Comparing yourself to others is the world of anger.

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  29. I blame the SGI and it's practices for attempting to kill myself. They recruited the woman I love and through cult methods she become a prostitute and broke my heart.

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  30. I went invited to a chant session.. it was a great vibe and very chill. Unless someone comes right out and tells me some crazy stuff (which no one did) .. I didn't see any of this and there were people there from different join period. To truly know it's most likely a cult is if most of the room is new and joined on the same day. That is a clear sign of a recruitment. These people were very chill and into their chant and praising to one another. I felt peace there. Although I like my Church I grew up in.. most Christian Groups I went to are the crazy ones. and Jesus never said to start wars. Jesus also was known to have studied prayer in What is now India. Some people (Sadly) call it "The Lost Years Of Christ". Jesus may have learned to study early forms of what is Buddhism. There is One Creator. Just accept that. I don't see this as a cult like Heavens Gate or Rev Moon or Jim Jones. It's people chanting on the same vibe to heal and have inner peace. Bless All of you!

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  31. It is universally easy to insist that events that happen to a person are the responsibility of someone else or some organization. But it remains a constant truth, we own our choices and the results thereby. NMRK

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  32. Mark,

    When people are angry and consider "sides" before they notice someone else's Buddha nature, then I feel there is definitely a problem with the direction things have taken since 1991. Sharing information is fine, however, I don't agree bullying, defaming, or harming ANYONE is respectfully teaching others. I don't always agree with what is being said, and I have accumulated many years of information, myself.

    I believe kindness and practicing VERY strongly these days is imperative for all Nichiren members. Included should be all the parts of the practice, then you have a well-rounded Nichiren Buddhist I chant for all Nichiren Buddhists to practice "correctly" That's my take on things.

    TATA


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