I made a mistake today that I regret. Some women from the SGI called me and told me not to be a stranger. I reconnected, and I thought I am strong enough to deal with them. I even let someone come and home visit me today. It was her first time to my house. I could sense she became very judgemental about my Gohonzon, and where I put things. I actually had printed out a quote in the recent months that was more meaningful to me. I put it away, and took out some of the SGI stuff. That was mistake number one, because it is not matching what is true for me right now.
Then, she told me it was May Contribution month, and she asked me what my intentions were. Blah, blah, blah! I feel sick now knowing I had a person from the SGI come over, but I also wanted to see where I stood, or if I really was attached to the SGI.
She told me that I need to order publications, and then I will get all my questions answered about my life.
In the interim, I have found new ways to support my life without the need of the SGI. It feels so good to make friends with non-SGI members. I don't know why I am surprised that sounded so brainwashed when she answered my questions.
I am still stunned that I let her into my house. I feel sick when I think of the SGI.
As I see it, being in SGI is a habit...and habits can be difficult to break. People vow to give up smoking, and overeating....and maybe do very well for weeks or months -- eat sensibly, don't touch a cigarette. Then something happens, good or bad, and they find themselves lighting up, or eating a box of doughnuts. It doesn't mean that they've failed, and that it's time to give up. They just need to go back and follow their plan. Change is just difficult, one step forward, two steps back....but I've seen people change all kinds of habits. Those who have done it, just persist. They fall off the bike and get right back up on it. Don't look at your contact with SGI as a mistake, look at it as a learning experience. You've talked with your former leader, and now you know for sure that there's nothing there for you.
Manipulative people are also very good at taking advantage of other people's courtesy..and some SGI leaders are very manipulative people. Bullies, con artists, manipulators are masters of doing something rude or intrusive, and counting on the fact that many people hate confrontation. If someone does confront the manipulator for rude, overly aggressive, or intrusive behavior, the manipulator is very good at turning it back on them -- making the other person feel as if he or she is rude, too aggressive, oversensitive, or paranoid for even questioning the manipulator's inappropriate behavior.
Dealing with SGI members? My suggestion is that if they text you, e-mail you, or leave a message on your answering machine -- hit the delete button. If they do catch you on the phone, or you run into one of them when you're out shopping....be polite, say hello, ask them how they are -- but DO NOT discuss your involvement with SGI with them. Just say, "Not interested," if they ask you to come to a meeting, donate zaimu, or if they can home visit you. If they push, and ask why -- I say, "Just not interested. Gotta go. Bye." Any discussion with these people is useless. They're not listening, just looking for opportunities to manipulate you back into SGI.
Interesting, in eighteen years, I never heard of "sansho goma." Maybe it was because of practicing in such a remote area. Our chapter leaders were a couple who were living together without being married, as were other members. We had a small number of YWD, and even fewer YMD, so your chances of finding a someone you wanted to date in the Youth Divisions were small anyway. We all dated nonmembers. You'd have no love life otherwise. I can't remember our leaders ever talking about this.
I did have two Japanese YWD friends who returned to Japan. One was given guidance to marry another SGI member, who turned out to be a very jealous, possessive sort....and I fear, possibly abusive. I don't hear much from her. My other friend did live with her boyfriend. Her leader told them to tell their neighbors that they were married. Appearances are everything, and I don't think that the Japanese generally take domestic violence seriously. If police are ever even called, they probably just tell the wife to stop annoying her husband.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/2012 05:22AM by tsukimoto.