I remember one of my first leaders meetings, which must have been back around 1988, and this one young woman, who I think was either a group chief or a chapter chief, was saying something that's always stuck with me. She said that, when a new person joined, their initial fee got them a gohonzon and a month or three subscription to the World Tribune weekly newspaper. She went on to say that, when these new people did not choose to continue their subscriptions, the person who had shakubukued them was *REQUIRED* to pick up the subscription and pay for it out of their own pocket, so that the subscription numbers would never go down! She was saying that this was proving to be a severe obstacle for shakubuku, because she was already paying for, like, 10 subscriptions, and she wasn't willing to get stuck paying for more.
One more thing - when I was still a member, I was involved in Soka Spirit and went to this meeting up in LA. A big cheese YWD leader opened her remarks by saying, "Since I've been practicing, I have helped more than four hundred people get gohonzon!" Much clapping. "Do you know how many of them are still practicing today? Two." No clapping. But this is the reality.
Welcome to all board newcomers! Congratulations on opening your eyes and getting out of the cult that is SGI.
Thank you! Never been happier!
Crazy pot smokers, abusive behavior, so-called "fortune babies", I won't restate it all here, but at various points in the thread I have described my experience with all of these things as an unfortunate "Youth!" member of what was in the 1970's, NSA.
When I joined in 1987, it was still "NSA". The other stuff was still going on. The overall feel was very militaristic.
The one fortune baby I personally knew of (I babysat the poor child) was born to a father that beat the mother so badly she had to leave the state to get away from him. Eventually the man was convicted of attempted murder, I think. Both mother and father were devoted members, and the father had a leadership position. I know that higher level leaders knew about the abuse because the mother told me she went for "guidance" numerous times. Yet, this man was allowed to retain his position. Why would untrained and unqualified people even attempt to give anybody "guidance" about such a serious situation? What's worse than the missing training is the missing compassion. This woman had two children from a prior marriage and I was afraid for all of them.
That's so sad. When I was still practicing where I started, in Minneapolis, there was this young girl, and her mom was a District Leader and her divorced husband was still in the organization as a leader at some level. Then I learned that he'd been convicted and imprisoned for *raping* that young girl, when she was just 11 or 12! The mom said to me that they'd been co-District Leaders at that time, and she'd wondered why he started staying home from District meetings. To rape her daughter, that's why!
When I practiced in North Carolina, this rather scary couple moved into my District, from New York or somewhere. The wife was clearly the dominant personality, abrasive and outspoken. The husband typically just sat there like a doughy mass. I tried to like them, but she scared me. She used to tell us about what "strict guidance" she'd been giving him - all my leadership training had emphasized that wives must *NEVER* give guidance to their husbands, but I said nothing. The only reason I can defend such a policy is that it is wrong to raise one person in the couple above the other. But anyhow, he'd apparently had enough, and he threatened her with a gun. She jumped in her car and took off. He got into his car and took off right behind her - ramming her car with his. They were playing the 911 tape on the news. She was chanting the whole time, in between the screaming. The police joined up; she pulled into the parking lot of a 7-11 and waited while the police took off after her husband. He doubled back to the parking lot and shot her dead.
Those two incidents enabled me to overcome my delusion that Nichiren Buddhism was so "correct" that it would reliably motivate people to become better. I was so deluded! :P
It wasn't until I was out that I learned, from this board, that SGI and Ikea both have billions of dollars in assets. Billions! Yet members are hounded to provide free labor and cash contributions too. This is what makes SGI's blasphemous likening of Ikea to Gandhi and Martin Luther King even more hypocritical and sickening. Gandhi and King never aspired to acquire wealth, and both endured considerable suffering during their respective campaigns for freedom. What has Ikea ever sacrificed? Why SGI members cannot understand this boggles the mind.
Agreed. It's just gross. One interesting detail I learned about the Buddha's teachings, when I started reading outside the SGI's approved reading list, is that there is a sort of "planned obsolescence" incorporated in the Buddha's teachings. Attachment causes suffering - that's one of the 4 Noble Truths. Notice that it's not "BAD attachment" - ALL attachment, whether good or bad, virtuous or evil, causes suffering. It doesn't matter how we categorize it, in other words - our job is to rid ourselves of attachments in order to rid ourselves of suffering.
Clinging to a religion or belief system is just another form of attachment. In the course of ridding ourselves of attachment, we must let go of our religious beliefs at some point and proceed unencumbered. All by ourselves. The point of the Buddha's teachings is to help us learn how to think and how to perceive and understand reality, so that we can then become free to live within it. To say that people must "chant until the last moment of your life" shows a deep misunderstanding of the principle of attachment within Buddhism. In the end, in order to become enlightened, the Buddhist must leave Buddhism behind. It's a revolutionary thought and one completely at odds with all the religions that seek to profit off everybody they can sucker in.[/quote
There are a lot of sad tales of leaders seemingly fighting soo hard for Kosen-Rufu and the Mentor, and their private lives are filled with tragedy and delusion that never appears to get addressed properly. What sobering examples you relayed here, TaitenAndProud. What sobering examples.
It's so much about chasing The Carrot of Absolute Happiness.
SGI uses the money to buy Mr. Ikeda over 300+ honorary doctorates. 300+! Does that not ring an "huh???" from members? If some did look into it without accepting at face value, they'd see that most of these universities are obscure and probably were very happy to accept the donation.
Savoy, the quote you used was mine (freeheartandmind), not taiten and proud's. No biggie, just wanted to clarify.
Nichijew, why is it that you say that your wife is alive today BECAUSE you left the SGI?