Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Date: May 24, 2011 08:49AM
To me, the problem is not that SGI asks for money, since all religious organizations do that, many quite aggressively. To me, the red flags are these:
1. SGI ties financial contribution with benefit, usually financial. I can't tell you how many "experiences" I've heard where someone gave a big contribution to SGI, and then they somehow came into some unexpected financial windfall...an insurance claim was finally settled in their favor, they got a raise that they hadn't expected, sold artwork that they had created for more than they thought they could get, were awarded a substantial scholarship, things like that. It leads members to think that something similar will happen to them, if they make a generous donation. If the donor gives big, doesn't get that windfall? Well, the leaders can say that it wasn't their karma, or they didn't give with the right attitude.
In this thread, one poster, a young man without much money, spent money that he didn't have to buy a plane ticket to one of the big SGI conventions. His leaders encouraged him to think that this would improve his financial fortune. Well, it didn't. After returning from the convention, the young man ended up homeless, and of course, the SGI members who urged him to spend this money did nothing to help him.
There was an experience on one of the pro-SGI websites, also discussed here. This young man donated his emergency fund to SGI. After the donation, this fever that he had been suffering from for a long time cooled -- medical miracle here. Oh, and the guy also got a good car, somehow -- someone gave it to him, or else just gave him a really good deal, I forget which.
2. Red flag number two is that SGI does not tell members what is done with the money that they contribute. Leaders give you the impression that you need to contribute, or the electricity in the community centers will be turned off, when SGI is in fact incredibly wealthy, owning an extensive portfolio of stocks, and expensive real estate. Where exactly do your donations go? SGI will never tell you.
3. If SGI's not asking for money, they're asking for your time. There is tremendous pressure on members to do loads of free work for SGI -- paperwork, planning meetings, cleaning and painting the community centers, etc.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2011 08:50AM by tsukimoto.