Re: Has Anyone?
Date: September 30, 2009 05:18AM
Yes, I was a Soka Gakkai (sect of Japanese Buddhism) member for almost 20 years. I met them at a very low point in my life; a good friend of mine had just joined and began encouraging me to go to meetings with her. Everyone seemed so warm and positive. I joined and spent a great deal of time on Soka Gakkai activities, planning and working at various activities. At the time, it seemed like we were great friends, idealistic people who wanted to help others and save the world.
Then I began noticing that nobody ever called me -- unless they wanted me to do something for the Soka Gakkai. Also, at the same time, I began having a lot of concerns about the organization itself -- how nasty and unBuddhist it was to other sects of Buddhism, how they demanded all your time, how members had no choices and no say in how the organization was run, excessive attention and admiration of the leader. I eventually left, and I haven't maintained my relationships with anyone that I knew in the Gakkai. Once I was no longer interested in doing things for the organization, they were no longer interested in me. I ask myself now, why I ever thought that these people were my friends.
I agree with Mary -- the sharing and information on this website, and other cult - information websites is very helpful. I feel like my eyes have been opened, and it's good to know that other people, in different groups, have had similar experiences.