Hi, I’m a current SGI member and going to be leaving very soon. I do like the practice and do love reading the Lotus Sutra, but I also have issues with Ikea and his mentor-disciple rhetoric. In fact, after a recent Sunday meeting, I was searching for sites about the org and about the issues I had in mind. This is how I came across this group.
I want to say, reading your posts have uplifted me. Most, if not all, of your experiences somehow coincide with mine.
Anyways, here is something strange that dawned upon me lately.
I am going back to studying Chinese, and I decided to start by reading Mao Zedong’s Book of Quotations that I bought years ago on my first trip to China. This little red book is a bilingual Chinese-English edition. I opened up the first page and something hit me so hard that I couldn’t stop reading the first chapter and had to refer back to a few books of Ikea’s quotations I had to see if I was deluding myself. What I saw that was similar to both writers is that they repeat and hammer in phrases and concepts for the masses to follow. Here is an example that best show my meaning.
“The force at the core leading our cause forward is the Chinese Communist Party. The theoretical basis guiding our thinking is Marxism-Leninism.” Chapter 1: quote 1
Change Chinese Communist Party [hereafter CCP] to SGI and Marxism-Leninism to teachings of Nichiren Daishonin and you get:
“The force at the core leading our cause forward is the SGI. The theoretical basis guiding our thinking is the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin.”
Is it me or does that last quote sound too much like a random Ikea quote?
I also looked through many other quotes in Mao’s book. I don’t think it’s possible to do a substitution on all of them, but the tone, manner, and the need to fight an enemy for a cause is consistent in this volume.
“All reactionaries are paper tigers. In appearance, the reactionaries are terrifying, but in reality they are not so powerful. From a long term point of view, it is not the reactionaries but the people who are really powerful.” Chapter 6:1
I can list more, but this will take too much space; however, do feel free to read up Mao’s Little Red Book here
and tell me I am wrong.
After reading parts of the quotations and comparing those to Ikea’s, I have seen too many parallels coming up. For example, SGI loved holding shows like the Kansai exhibition and now Rock the World. Is it similar to North Korea’s Airirang games
? How about how the way Ikea was supposed to be our mentor, always quoted, studied, and celebrated in songs? This sounds too much like the Cultural Revolution
to me. Plus, as Mao was not the founder, he became synonymous with the CCP as Ikea was with the SGI. The only difference is that the founders were convicted as spies and later pardoned. In the SGI, the founders are given a tip of the hat, but still is nothing known about them except through Ikea’s eyes.
For the record, I am not saying Ikea is Communist. I do know that during the war, Marxist ideology was popular amongst many Japanese youths who were against the Imperial expansion in Asia. It could be possible Ikea read a few things in his youth. Furthermore the ideal of the CCP was to have a more democratic and freer China, of course history has shown otherwise.