I came across the two posts below, outside of this regular "SGI" thread, and would like to respond to them here, within the main thread (because many may miss them otherwise, like I did) -
Sorry about the re post, I am new to this forum. This is where I meant to put it.
This is my first post. I have been practicing Theravada for 4 years now. I do both sitting and walking meditation daily. I strive to be mindful always. So when I met a lovely woman who said she was a Buddhist thought this could be a great relationship. As I got to know her though she said she couldn't date me because I practiced Theravada. I had never heard of such a thing from any Buddhist (religious prejudice). I then found out that she was SGI. I went to a concert at their New York City center and I couldn't believe how different it was from where I practice. People talking about their greed and envy as if it were a good thing. Totally the opposite of what I practice. I then did some research online and to my surprise on the bottom of the Google page (for suggested alternate searches) was SGI cult. That is how I found this site. So after doing more research on SGI, both on what they had to say and from the many people who had negative things to say about it this is my opinion. I do not think SGI is Buddhism- it ignores so much of what Buddha taught. Buddha was enlightened by meditating, not by chanting. Buddha gave up a life of luxury to find an end to suffering, not to chant for greed and possessions he chose to gave up. If they are going to follow what Nichiren taught call it Nichirism. Who was Nichiren to say what really is Buddhism? Who was he to say that other forms of Buddhism are inferior? He is to Buddhism what David Koresh and Jim Jones are to Catholicism- a self serving, bastardization, half truth. And a half truth is a full lie. Back to the ex girl friend. When I told her that her reasons for leaving me were religious prejudice, She got very excited and asked to explain herself. She said she was brought up this way, that that is what SGI taught her. In doing my research I have found this to be true- SGI teaches prejudice. Yet they claim to be for world peace. Sounds kind of like the Nazis. I asked her if she was brought up in Hitler youth would it be alright to hate Jews. She had no response.
Now is what I wrote attachment? I don't think so. I think I am stating how things really are, not wishing they are different. If you think I am wrong please post a reply.
Metta to ALL,
I am just going to share a little bit more as to why I chose to leave SGI. I can recall about two years ago, I was dating a member who was emotionally and verbally abusive. To make a long story short he dumped me in a way that was extremely cruel, almost to the point that I am sure that he is a sociopath. I remember telling one of the members and the only support that I got was: Kiesha this is buddhism working in it's way for you. You must chant for his happiness. A long time ago a woman was at a meeting and there was a guy who was sitting across from her she felt a connection to him so, she introduced herself to him and asked if he would like to come over and chant with her. The man ended up raping her. [This member later ended up telling me that it was meant for this to happen because she chose this life in a past life]. I was shocked and appalled but yes I did stay. I stayed because I was in tremendous pain and really depended on these people. This was about two years ago. I never really was quite the same after that and in the back of my mind somewhere knew that I would end up leaving, I just did not know when until the day after yesterday. A few of the young women struggled as a result of being in relationships and were basically told the same thing. That they should chant for someone else's happiness who had treated them so badly. I swear to God it was like being in a soap opera that I could not get out of, but I sincerely wanted to be enlightened. I tried my hardest. I will say this, the only thing that the chanting has done has, subdued my anxiety and made me feel better. Has it made me feel happy? I don't know and don't think so. It's ok though, because I believe that happiness is a concept that is sometimes abstract and very concrete. I get happy if I hear a song from my past, see a smiling baby, etc. etc. It's kind of sad to me that a quote such as Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo is used for ulterior motives instead of what it should be used for and that is to make people feel at ease or happiness if they choose to. Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo is a good thing, at least I believe, but other people have taken it and have chosen to turn it in to something else. Once again thanks for everyone's support who've responded to my messages. This is somewhat of a difficult time for me but I know that I can be happy in this lifetime without the SGI.
Being manipulated and abused by other psychotic "members", or even worse, so-called "leaders", is something that I've seen happen to others from my time growing up in the $oka Gakkai U.S.A. cult org.. It was always twisted back onto the victim as somehow being a mystic or karmic destiny, to encounter such an episode or individual within the cult org. / this lifetime, etc.. In essence, an "opportunity" for the victim to expand their "life condition", face their "karma" head-on, chant for the "abuser" to become a better person, as well as themselves in the process, and change their "heavy" or "thick" karma.
Some really sick, dysfunctional, self-serving and warped psychology going on.
It wasn't a common occurrence, but I saw a few cases. I saw and knew enough from experience to recognize these types of psycho "members" and keep my distance. In fact, I was pursued by a few dysfunctional gakkai cult member ladies over the years from my time in. In one case, the girl was just really, extremely, mentally fragile (truly messed up in head and should be seeing a psychiatrist regularly) and in the other two cases extremely controlling, manipulative (sorry for the bluntness) aggressive, nut-jobs. In ALL cases, I instinctively knew to stay away, keep at arms length and walk in the opposite direction.
There is definitely a subset of whacked out members who are walking time-bombs, just waiting to go off on others. Of course, you can potentially find this anywhere in life, but the ones that I saw and encountered in the cult org., at least to me, seemed to be downright extreme and dangerously toxically volatile.