I feel nervous & fearful "WHAT IF"WHAT IF SAYING BAD THINGS WILL SEND ME TO HELL. WILL SOMETHING BAD HAPPEN. AM I SPENDING MT FORTUNE? How crazy is that? I actually know when they r chanting for me. Oh yeah, I forgot. I got a note from my district leader saying they should have a new meeting house soon! Lets be victorious! Which remibds me THE MEETINGS WERE HERE! WHAT HAVE I DONE? I let members down. Then i realize its propoganda but i still buy into it!
jlynneda, I felt a lot of guilt and anxiety when I began questioning SGI. SGI, like many groups, uses a lot of fear and guilt-mongering to keep members from questioning and leaving. Some is overt, telling members that they will lose all of their good luck and fortune if they leave SGI. Some is more subtle. How do we get so indoctrinated with this mindset? It's not that we're dumb....you look at the posts on this forum, and there is a lot of intelligence and insight.
Many of us encountered SGI at a low point in our lives. We were vulnerable and idealistic, and SGI leaders know how to exploit that. Humans are also social. We need others, a sense of belonging, and the feeling that we fit in. You spend time with people...you start accepting, even unconsciously, their standards and habits. "Not normal" can start to feel really normal. You look, for example, at riots. People who have never looted and destroyed things -- never even considered doing that --- will do that. It just seems normal because everyone else is doing it.
It took many of us years to develop our SGI-think (and feel). I couldn't undo this kind of thinking/feeling overnight...but over time, the fear and guilt lessen. Journaling, talking with others who've left SGI, this website, have all been a huge help to me...and just the passage of time has helped. I've left SGI, I've been openly criticizing it -- and my life has been fine.
At this point, if something awful happened to me? Well....that's life. People get sick, become disabled, lose beloved family members and the like, whether they have ever been an SGI member or not. People who are dedicated to SGI have also experienced horrible losses. Just look at some SGI leaders: Josei Toda, the second president of SGI, died at age 58. Ikeda lost his first-born son. The Kasaharas lost their son. Ronnie Smith died of cancer, and his son suffered from mental illness. Matilda Buck spent years with an alcoholic husband. David Aoyama was on a plane that crashed into the World Trade Center...I could go on and on, there are lots of examples like this.
I am not gloating, and I would never wish suffering on anyone. My point is, that SGI keeps telling people that serving SGI will prevent them from suffering from misfortune. They talk about "actual proof." Well, the actual proof here -- is that loyalty to SGI doesn't
protect you from misfortune...and leaving SGI doesn't cause horrible things to happen to you.
SGI is not even consistent about its doctrines. Before 1990, the organization was saying that the high priest inherited the transmission of the law, and everyone needed to have a Nikken gohonzon....and then, all of a sudden, no, no, no, the high priest is an enemy of the law, he didn't inherit the transmission of the law -- and everyone needs to trade the Nikken gohonzon for a Nichikan gohonzon. We needed to do the long gongyo, and then all of a sudden, no, we needed to do the shortened gongyo, but chant more daimoku....and SGI has also been fooling around with the silent prayers for years.
SGI will do and say whatever serves SGI....period. jlynneda, you have not let anyone down...these people are just trying to mind-f--- you! Ignore, ignore, ignore them! Your life belongs to YOU -- not them!
Yes -- I wish I'd left SGI sooner. I'm sorry that SGI took so much of my past, but all the more reason not to let them have any of my present and future! I can't change my past, and you can't change yours -- but you CAN take your life back, and have the present and future that YOU want, no matter what your age now. If SGI took forty years of your life...you can't change that. If they don't get forty-one years -- you've won.