I recall a district meeting held sometime in the late 80's at my home in eastern France. A young school teacher, very bright and talkative, was speaking about how great Ikeda was and how he was the leading personality in the world fighting for peace. Her devotion was such that her eyes would fill with tears. She wasn't alone, there seemed to be a lot of women who felt like she did. I thought that their emotions may be getting the better of them and that maybe there was something lacking in their lives - and there was. Turns out that none of them had a good relationship with their fathers, or a dysfunctional one at best. From that time on, I would ask discretely of anyone, when the right moment arrived, if they had a good relationship with Dad and rarely was the answer yes.
Sometimes because of circumstances beyond our control, we need a surrogate mom, or dad, if one of them was missing when we were growing up. This has been a generally understood reality of early development so necessary for us to grow into well balanced individuals. The Pacific war with japan left that country in a deplorable state. There were millions of homeless people. Families were torn apart, massive unemployment was everywhere especially in the countryside. Young people flocked to the cities where there might be a better chance to survive. When they arrived, they were confronted with a new life in cities where they had few connections if any. Meeting up with members of the Soka Gakkai and its strong and charismatic leader, Josei Toda, was just the thing for many allowing them to make some sense out of their lives. The Gakkia became their family and Toda became Dad. Nothing wrong with that. It was a different time and place with different needs to fill.
Do we really know why we join SGI? Maybe we need to find out.