Saturday, 12 May 2012

Cult vs SGI: Part 2

Mark, a member of the Kempon Hokke, responded to my Cult vs SGI post in the comments section of that blog.  Here are his comments, which come from his blog on May 12th:

And my response to these points can be found here:

Mark is no longer affiliated with the Kempon Hokke, and now practices with his new organisation The Lotus Sutra Society.  His new blog address is

The SGI is a Destructive Cult by Definition 1). Destructive cults actively recruit new members, often through deceptive “front” organizations.

The SGI has the Boston Research Center, the Institute for Oriental Philosophy, and others 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 unverifiable and 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 while those 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 the crazed and destructive Nichiren Shoshu is clearly apparent. The victims, unfortunately, are the la ybelievers who practice with the temple, who are not aware of Nichiren Shoshu’s evil and have been deceived 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 the nbe changed into a pure land. In our case right now, this function is being manifested in the currenthigh priest of Nichiren Shoshu.”

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

In many of Daisaku Ikeda’s speeches we see how the SGI members are to view themselves:

“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.

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 or imagined 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 so and so got hit by a car and is paralyzed. He should have stayed with the Soka Gakkai.”
“She turned in her SGI Gohonzon and lost her job and her house.”
“He committed suicide not soon after joining the 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.

Here are some examples of SGI speech used to control their members: “You have weak faith.”. ‘You had better go for guidance if you want to resolve that problem”. Rumors to stay away from depressed individuals. Not inviting less than enthusiastic members to certain meetings or not telling them about “important” meetings. Lectures about “emotionalism”, [unless the emotion is rapture about the SGI and the mentor]. Every last former SGI cult member will attest to this.

12).Destructive cults tend to re-write their members’ past, manipulate their present, and distort 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 his leader.”
“He had weak faith.”

(even if "he" continues to chant three hours a day and does shakabuku with the Nichiren Shu or the Kempon Hokke). “No matter which destructive cult you choose, the above 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.”


  1. You guys on here on completely wrong in so many ways. Youa re confusing the SGI with the Nichiren Shoshu who are all these things, not the SGI! If you did the correct research you would see that SGI was NEVER affiliated with Nichiren Shu. SGI was once a lay organization of Nichiren Shoshu. Nichiren Shoshu and Nichiren Shu are two VERY different Nichiren schools (thought I would add this in to help the idiots on here)

    SGI moved away from Nichiren Shoshu's doctrines, but the Nichiren Shoshu doctrines are the ones which conflict with Nichiren Shu.

    Here is a thumbnail of the primary differences in doctrine between Nichiren Shoshu and Nichiren Shu (there are others).

    Nichiren Shoshu believes Nichiren to be the Original Buddha. Nichiren Shu reveres Nichiren as the founder of our order, and as fulfilling the role of Bodhisattva Superior Practices, or Jogyo, just as Nichiren himself wrote.

    Nichiren Shoshu believes that the wooden gohonzon known as the Dai-Gohonzon is a special, superior Omandala. Nichiren Shu considers it to be an Omandala no different than any other.

    Nichiren Shoshu teaches that Nikko was the sole successor to Nichiren's teachings, and that the other five senior disciples broke faith and abandoned Nichiren's teachings.

    Nichiren Shu teaches that all of the six senior disciples kept faith with their master and his teachings, and all of them are legitimate successors to Nichiren. Studying the history of all six of Nichiren's senior disciples after his passing is worthwhile in regard to this issue.

    Nichiren Shoshu teaches that the Nichiren Shoshu High Priest inherits the legitimate succession in an unbroken line from Nikko. Nichiren Shu has no high priest; there are several abbots, and these are elected positions. Nichiren Shu teaches that each of us inherits the legitimate succession directly from the scrolls of the Lotus Sutra.

    Soka Gakkai International (SGI) is a lay Buddhist movement linking more than 12 million people around the world. Soka Gakkai members integrate their Buddhist practice into their daily lives, following the Lotus Sutra based teachings of Nichiren, a 13th-century Japanese Buddhist priest. It is a lay Buddhist movement within the school of Nichiren Buddhism and is regarded as one of the largest Japanese new religions.

    SGI (Soka Gakkai) has a different interpretation of the Master-Disciple relationship -as commonly accepted in Traditional Buddhism - and defines it as Mentor-Disciple relationship: "The foundation of the relationship between mentor and disciple in Buddhism is the shared pledge to work together for the happiness of people, to free them from suffering.

    The mentor-disciple relationship in Buddhism is a courageous path of self-discovery, not imitation or fawning. SGI do not have priests, they are not a cult and we do not worship people, a specific person or give out money amd personal possessions. They are not like that, Soks Gakkai is about the individual not about the leaders.

    Get your facts straight!!!!

    1. SGI seems like a group of scared people, chanting to a piece of paper, worshiping one man in Japan, neglecting their own lives. It's completely fear-based psycho-tactics and manipulation.

  2. The Gakkai is most certainly a cult..I am an ex member .I wasted more than seven years of my life on that nonsense..Lost people who do not have much sense of their own culture fall for it. It is just another jap superiority trip..Boring and dry as hell and nothing to do with Buddhism.

    1. I'm not sure if I agree with you 100%. You seem hurt and upset. I do get this feeling that the Gakkai is a fear-based approach to life.

  3. Why do I not believe that someone who was associated with the SGI (or had any Buddhist instruction, for that matter) would spout the hateful drivel in the above comment? I do believe that you have wasted "more than seven years of your life"...somehow that rings true.

  4. Like any religion, there are people if they do not understand something will spout hate, instead of really trying to understand. I have known someone whose mother is Buddhist and he rides her hard for not converting to a catholic. I also work with people who believe if you are not of their religion then you are with the devil. It is a shame that in the US we still can't be open about our religious believes for fear of retribution. Just because your experience was perceived as bad will not be the some for everyone. And since you seem to have hate in your heart you weren't a good match anyway.

  5. The interworkings of the SGI is so complex that it has to be explained in 2 parts.

    Rest assure, SGI IS NOT A CULT!

  6. "The interworkings of the SGI is so complex that it has to be explained in 2 parts."

    The workings of Nichiren's sangha is simple and can be explained and experienced in one sentence: Namu myoho renge kyo [" The essential thing is simply to have a heart of faith in the sutra." -- Nichiren].

  7. It might be more helpful, instead of throwing poisoned darts around everywhere, to consider that the entire human race is a 'cult' - it is the 'cult of humanity'. Whether we individuals can live up to the honour of that title, depends on our behaviour as human beings. Whatever 'organisation' you may belong to, you are not immune from the failings of the human condition which arise from not obeying the precepts of Buddhism. Likewise, regarding your 'worthy actions' it is better to continue this way in an unassuming way, conducting your life in an honourable manner without the need to broadcast your virtue abroad. This is the path - and it is not easy.

  8. Good for you Unknown. That is precisely the behavior of the "eternal SGI mentor", Daisaku Ikeda.


  9. SGI works for world feace culture and education.The happiness of all humanity is the goal.

    1. Dear Anonymous...please read:

  10. Peace, culture, education, and the acquisitionj of wealth... [Singapore only]

    Total funds ~ $89,000,000.00 Cultural fund $239,000.00 Salaries and related costs ~ $2,900,000

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  13. Please write to President Ikeda demanding that SGI divest from Mitsubishi which manufactures cluster bombs and components for weapons of mass destruction.

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  15. I began practicing in 1974 and left before the excommunication in 1991. I now affiliate with our San Francisco Temple.
    I was District Chief in Santa Monica. When the VIce President or Board Members would come from Japan, mr. kikamura would take them to strip clubs and massage parlors. I met the real pervert, Ikeda, in Japan in 1980. He tried to get this blond school teacher in our group to have sex with him. She was invited to his suite in Tokyo, and had on a robe, then opened it front of her and the female interpreter. My friend, John, was livid, he was a newer member. He and I confronted the translator. She said it was “Normal” and a “Great Honor” for a Young Woman’s Div to be selected to sleep with Sensei. I am 63 years old, so I don’t need to BS anyone. SGI is a BS organization, all about money. The Temple I go to in SF, absolutely NEVER pressures anyone to donate. Far worse is how Ikeda has totally perverted the teachings and practice of Nichiren Shoshu. Is Ikeda dead? I hear his death is being hidden.
    It is sad the SGI continues to spread lies about the Priesthood. All the Priests I have ever met are very calm, humble and sincere. Most have a very extensive knowledge of all the Gosho and the history of the Priesthood. It is pretty interesting when you get them to talk about their lives. Our Chief Priest, has a lovely wife and beautiful daughter.

    Nichiren Shoshu is considered the Orthodox School of Nichiren’s Buddhism because Nichiren Daishonin transferred the essence of True Buddhism to Nikko Shonin. Nichiren Shoshu has the documents and an 800 year plus history of Priesthood.