No question, many SGI true believers just force themselves to believe it.
Example, they worked hard, made lots of calls, show up on time, have talent, etc.
so they get some career success...instead of patting themselves on the back, they tell themselves its the chanting-Karma that did it.
Or if they mess up due to being lazy, arrogant, or incompetent...its "bad karma".
They really believe it.
Humans can believe almost anything, they can believe there are aliens living in golden cities beneath the earth, some sects believe that.
So the SGI-Karma stuff is pretty tame compared to some crazy belief systems.
As far as "mentor" that is SGI Newspeak.
SGI-USA propagandists chose the "mentor" word, as its trendy in business in the West now, and sounds inoffensive.
But its not Mentor/Colleague.
Again, Disciple is chose carefully, as that is from the bible for most folks. A disciple is a religious FOLLOWER who follows orders.
but its not really "mentor".
That is what SGI is really selling. You do worship a "Master".
The real concept SGI is selling is...
Ikeda is the Master, and you follow orders and work for free.
Of course that is the classical cultic power-relationship, the Master totally dominates and controls you, your mind, and your life.
So SGI constantly doing that, is simply cultic Master/slave cultic brainwashing, that is all it is.
Over the holidays, I had lunch with a former boss, who was my mentor when I was in my early 20's. When I worked for her, she let me know that she valued my skills and hard work. She encouraged me, advised me, taught me new skills, and gave me more responsibility.
We are still in touch, though I work for a different organization now, and she has long since retired. She was a real mentor to me, and such a contrast from Ikeda. For year, she and I worked very closely together, talking every day. How can a person like Ikeda, that you've never met, possibly be your mentor? For me, the very essence of mentorship is that close, two-way relationship. Your mentor knows you well enough to give the advice you need. You see, and interact with her so you learn that her advice is actually worth taking!
While I appreciate my former mentor's encouragement and coaching....I don't constantly think of her. I don't feel that I have to imitate her. She would never WANT me to be obsessed with her, or to become a clone of her. At this point, I think she simply wants my friendship -- and for me to have the kind of career and life that I want.
At this point, I've got some skills and knowledge that she doesn't, and she has some skills and knowledge that I don't. We are friends, and equals.
Can you imagine members saying that "I'm equal to Ikeda!"? I can't imagine it either. You can NEVER be equal to Ikeda. You can NEVER get to the point where you don't need him (according to SGI.) You can never move on. Merely being grateful is not enough; you can never repay your so-called "debt of gratitude," no matter how much you give or do. Friendship? Nobody is friends with Ikeda. To be someone's friend -- you have to consider them your equal. Does Ikeda consider anyone to be his equal? Hardly! In his world, people are either his admirers -- or his enemies.
Ikeda wants people to follow the person. Ikeda.
It seems every single sect or cult works in this fashion. It doesn't work to get people to follow an idea or even a group, they need to be trained to follow a PERSON.
And like Ikeda, it doesn't matter if they have never met the person, but its personality marketing.
There must be psychological reasons that this works, to make followers subservient and obedient to the Master.
The human brain must be wired-up to go into submission to an Alpha authority figure, like primates in a troupe.
So that is all Ikeda has been doing, its how he manages and "leads" his followers. Its not up to them to think for themselves, but to follow his thinking.
Of course in the west, he has had to conceal this, and they use the term Mentor for that, when in fact Ikeda is the old-school Master with absolute authority.
this is another reason why SGI is such an absurd affront to Buddhism.
It really functions as the opposite to Buddhism, in slavishly following a charismatic leader, chanting for a new Mercedes, getting fake SGI Karma-points for converting others to SGI, getting fake SGI karma-points for giving Ikeda all of your cash...cash-4-karma....
It just goes on and on, its so incredibly absurd.
But Ikeda knows many humans want to chant-for-miracles, which is primitive wishful thinking trying to escape the human condition, and Ikeda has made billions by exploiting this human vulnerability.
Jean Gilbert, Ireland’s Womens Division Leader Brutally Murdered In Front of Her Three Children
Earthly Desire Equal Enlightenment in the Soka Gakkai is taught from the perspective of a common mortal rather from the perspective of the Buddha.
The members are taught by their leaders that any desire or goal the member has, as long as they chant Namu Myoho renge kyo, is equal to Enlightenment. They are encouraged to chant for cars, boyfriends, houses, fame, even drugs and sex and that is equal to Enlightenment at the moment the desire is fulfilled.
The Wish Granting Jewel to these base depraved men and women of the Soka Gakkai is not the Great Wish for attaining Buddhahood that is bound to the Pure and Perfect Consciousness hidden in the core of being [Amala] but rather those common shallow wishes bound to the Five [Sense] Desires [Touch, Taste, Smell, Hearing and Vision]
Since this matter is of utmost importance, I will give an example of a Soka Gakkai leader who believed faithfully in this perverted doctrine of the Soka Gakkai. She was the top senior leader of a country who lived and breathed the Soka Gakkai and every doctrine and principle taught therein. She was a physically beautiful women of forty five years old with golden blond hair, bright green eyes and a near boundless determination to spread the twisted teachings of the Soka Gakkai, such as the primacy of the Oneness of Mentor and Disciple and Enlightenment Equals Earthly Desires. Married for fifteen years, she had three beautiful children, five, seven and eight years old, and a husband who worshipped the ground she walked on. He was absolutely supportive of her practice which kept her away from home for long periods, doing those insipid slanderous Gakkai activities. The husband, though having a business of his own, split the duties of taking care of the children with a nanny and he was content because he loved his wife and children and was willing to sacrifice whatever it took to make his wife and children happy and to promote the Gakkai’s vision of “Spreading the True Teachings” [Kosen Rufu].
During one of these activities, ten years earlier, she met another top senior leader in the Men’s Division and they immediately hit it off, having so many things in common: Their love and admiration for Sensei; endless activities for “Kosen Rufu”; and spouses and families who chant and support them. Her feelings for this man however, far surpassed those of a mere comrade in faith. Every day for ten years, morning and evening, when she did Gongyo and Daimoku, she always included in her prayers the wish to be with this man. Out of the blue he contacted her revealing his very same desire to be with her. They began an affair and then they both determined in front of the Soka Gakkai no-honzon that they would leave their spouses and be together thus realizing in their very bodies the Gakkai teaching of Earthly Desires are Equal to Enlightenment. They chanted and planned, planned and chanted for everything to go the way that it “must’ since their desires are equal to Enlightenment.
This was the day. This was the day she would tell her husband that she found her true soulmate and she had chanted long and hard about it and it would be. Not 10 seconds after she had told him, he ran to the kitchen, picked up a kitchen knife, and in front of their three children he stabbed her four times in the back. She lingered in agony for several hours.
This is the result of the perverted teachings of the Gakkai that makes common mortals out of Buddhas.