Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: sleepy skunk ()
Date: February 24, 2013 09:53AM

The last post for tonight is a satire from Buddhajones. We've been so serious lately, I hope this lightens the mood in here for a little bit. :)

Notes from a Mystic Law Compliance Officer
by: Nine Lives
Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 13:45:08 PM PST

Our dearest mroaks inspired me to start re-posting items from the "old" BuddhaJones site. This satirical piece was first published in July 2000.

I'm here to set you straight -- you and all your pantywaist friends who think Buddhism is about inner revolution, doing your best, and coming to some sort of realization about your life. That ain't Buddhism. Buddhism ain't Buddhism unless you're kicking butts and taking names. That's what I do. I'm a Mystic Law Compliance Officer. I carry a badge.

Oh, sure, I've seen plenty of dharma bums like you. You think the Mystic Law is self-enforcing. You think that the law of cause and effect functions of its own accord and doesn't need any help from me. That's where you're wrong.

You've heard about the parasite in the lion's bowels? Listen up: Buddhism is like a lion that can't be devoured by predators. But it can be eaten from the inside by a parasite in its bowels. Parasites are people who think they know about Buddhism and claim to protect it, but they destroy it instead.

That's why you need me. Think of me as a righteous colonic, an enema of Buddhism.

Don't be naïve. This city is crawling with parasites. Maybe you or someone you love is one of them. Be paranoid. Be afraid.

I was working the Conformity detail out of Rampart the night the call came through. The lady said her husband was starting to think for himself. He was developing an appreciation for the fluidity and non-dogmatic nature of the dharma. He was enjoying his Buddhist practice, she said.

I'll never forget the sound of her voice: "Enjoying."

It cut me to the core. I see a lot of heresy in my line of work. I never get used to it.

I grabbed a thick stock of scriptural quotations. I needed the strongest ones, snipped out of context and thus made more maneuverable and suitable to my purposes. I planned to use them as a cudgel, which is the best way to use any religious text, whether it's the Bible, the Koran or the Gosho.

My job is not a pretty one.

As I sped to the scene, I reminded myself that I have security clearance for and access to the Buddha's true intent. I'm special. I'm not gonna let some punk challenge me and everything I stand for.

When I showed up at the house, things had gotten ugly. The suspect was in his bare feet, sitting on his living room floor with a bunch of dangerous sympathizers, eating refreshments. They were engaged in illicit conversation about the most sacred and secret teachings. Raving lunatics all.

When I flashed my badge, the suspect menaced me with the following statement:

"I have to find the Buddha within me and within others. No one can do this for me. So why should I bow to a religious authority who is ultimately arbitrary and impotent?"

His group of pitiful dupes turned their glassy eyes to me.

I had no choice but to hit them hard with a quote about demons, evil, and hell.

"That doesn't scare me," the suspect said. "Would you like a cookie?"

The suspect then lunged at me with a deadly platter of presumably drugged bakery items. I subdued him with a quote about not accepting snacks from slanderers.

"OK, then," he said. "Why don't you sit down and join us?"

Maybe I was getting through to him. Maybe the gravity of his error was dawning on him. I recited the 26 Admonitions of Nikko Shonin, read the suspect his Miranda rights, and reminded him of his duty to protect the Mystic Law by exterminating parasites.

Suddenly, his eyes gleamed. He asked, "How do you know that you're not a parasite?"

That's when I called for back up. We shot ten canisters of veiled condescension through the windows. And, after a sustained barrage of spite, we bulldozed his house to the ground.

I didn't waste my breath on the answer to his impertinent question. How do I know that I'm not a parasite?

I know. I carry a badge.


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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: TaitenAndProud ()
Date: February 24, 2013 02:07PM

There's nothing wrong with singing the praises of a great man, people said, and I believed. (But I wondered...what has he actually done that's so great?)

The people I asked had their trump card ready: "If it weren't for President Ikeda, none of us would be able to practice this Buddhism. The priests certainly wouldn't have gone to the trouble of bringing it overseas! That was all President Ikeda's ichinen! I think that's enough to be eternally grateful to him for, because I really appreciate being able to practice this Buddhism. Plus, he works *tirelessly* for OUR benefit."

Oh barf.

I started fighting back in my head. Yes, I can chant just three times today, or just in my mind, or not at all, and all is still well with me. Because I am just as eternal now as I was before and after I learned of Buddhism in this lifetime.

Yep. If a chanting meditation works, then it doesn't matter what you chant. You can chant "Nam Amida Butsu"; you can chant "Om mani padme hum"; you can chant "Watermelon watermelon watermelon." It makes *no difference whatsoever*. There are *millions* of people in the world who chant those other two mantras, and they're getting along just fine.

But mostly I hear or read about how great the Law, chanting, NMHRK or the Gohonzon are as if these are genies and the actual person who made something move in her or his life was secondary to how much s/he chanted and "worked for kosen rufu."

When I look around me, the world doesn't work that way. There are plenty of people who never chant but are happy and resilient and living well.

Ain't that the truth! And when I heard national level leaders like Greg Martin standing up there, declaring that no one who doesn't chant NMRK can experience real happiness, I became very annoyed. How presumptuous! How arrogant! On what authority does he make blanket statements about people he's never even *met*??

In the end, though, it makes no difference. The SGI simply cannot appeal to an educated, democratic culture. Why should educated people accustomed to the democratic process accept a non-transparent, authoritarian, autocratic structure that appoints people as leaders without any input from the members?? Ridiculous! It would be nice if we could get some REAL membership numbers, but there's no way the SGI would reveal that its membership has tanked.

One last comment - when I had breakfast last month with that one friend I had in SGI, she mentioned that the new community center, which is labeled "Buddhism Center" or something like that (funny how the SGI steered waaaaay around the word "Buddhism" until VERY recently), was *purchased*. It's in the Red Rock Business Plaza, with signs "Office Space for Lease" prominently posted. It is *NOT* owned. It is leased - and they don't even get top billing on the big sign listing all the businesses! They're at the bottom! See for yourself: []

Here's the big thing, and many other Buddhists, former SGI ones too, my feel differently: I absolutely believe that I am the Buddha, the Law, NMHRK, the eternal Shakyamuni, the universe itself. My entire life confirms this for me in countless ways. This is what Nichiren said in the Gosho and Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings.

um...didn't you see? This is *CLEARLY* a symptom of your being stuck in the World of Anger! See for yourself:

No exception. Feeling that one is an exception is the world of Anger. You were as bad as the rest of us. Now you are good. You are taking your life back and contributing to a noble cause, revealing the dark side of the SGI cult.

*snork* :D

None of you has probably seen the old Roddy McDowall/Tuesday Weld movie, "Lord Love A Duck", but at one point, Roddy has to go see a counselor, and he's sitting there all peaceful, and she's screaming at him, "You're HOSTILE, you little creep! HOSTILE!!"


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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Spartacus ()
Date: February 25, 2013 04:17PM

"Mystic Law Compliance Officer" from your last post is one the the funniest satires ever. It was even funnier when I read it aloud to my mate using the voice characterization of Joe the cop from the tv show Family Guy. Hats off to Sleepy Skunk! Genius material - can we have some more please?

Oh, about your handle - whenever I encounter some skunk, I know it often makes me very sleepy indeed! Did you dream up this very funny and entertaining bit by yourself? If so, did you come up with the idea while you were getting sleepy ( or getting small as George Carlin used to say)? Just curious.

Again, Kudos!

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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Spartacus ()
Date: February 25, 2013 05:12PM

These are quotes garnished from my morning internet news search. Even though they are from separate articles referencing the cult of war, I find that they are totally applicable to the cult of religion as well. Brainwashing is common a technique employed by both of the cults of religion and war. It is commonly accepted that brainwashing and propaganda work the best on those who have no idea that they are being victimized by the carefully laid snares of the religious/war cult.

"A dense hypnotic spell holds minds hostage and must be broken through... to condemn one's fellow man and woman is to punish them. I think compassion is warranted for those who don't understand the levels at which they're being deceived."


"We actively hide the facts from ourselves through amazing feats of mental gymnastics. This is why it is nearly impossible to convince anyone what it really going on in the world - or within the walls of their home - or inside their own mind. The illusion is pervasive and overwhelming..."

Let us come to fully recognize how the cults of religion and war reinforce each other. Hypnotic suggestions that create inner illusion and delusion are most effective when the willing subject is isolated and unaware. Let us refrain from blaming the unwary victims of cult deception, and place the blame where it belongs, squarely on the shoulders of the leaders/owners at the top of the cult pyramids. They have long used and abused the common man to further their own gains of power and wealth. May we endeavor to bring the lies and deceit of the cultmasters to light without attacking ourselves in the process.

The SGcult's attitude is the same as the war mongering US gummit's, "you either stand with us or you stand against us. In 2003, when the Sgcult refused to condemn the Iraq Invasion/War, I decided to stand against the war-loving SGcult, for the last and final time (show me one single speech from any Sgcult leader or Weird Tribune article that condems the ME wars during the last ten years). Because I am now armed with worldly knowledge and spiritual freedom, I will never, ever stand with any cult again - be it a religious cult or a war cult. But after all, there is not much real difference between them, is there?


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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Nichijew ()
Date: February 25, 2013 11:10PM

Hehe, Tom Cultican quotes Faulkner. Daisaku Ikeda quotes every major philosopher since Hereticles.. Now that's funny, Heretical cles...Hehe. That proves Tom is a great guy and not at all a malevolent SGI cultie... I don't think so [nor does having a sense of humor nor lack of one].


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2013 11:11PM by Nichijew.

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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Nichijew ()
Date: February 25, 2013 11:17PM

Hehe, Tom Cultican quotes Faulkner. Daisaku Ikeda quotes every major philosopher since Hereticles.. Now that's funny, Heretical cles...Hehe. That proves Tom is a great guy and not at all a malevolent SGI cultie... I don't think so [nor does having a sense of humor nor lack of one].


Hinayana teachings are more concerned with intentions. Mahayana, particularly the Lotus Sutra, is more concerned with actual causes, whether done with or without a good heart.


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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: TaitenAndProud ()
Date: February 26, 2013 12:21AM

He didn't quote Faulkner, Nichijew. You didn't even *read* it, did you?

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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: sleepy skunk ()
Date: February 26, 2013 01:00AM

More on Byrd from Buddhajones:


Remembering Byrd
by: brooke
Sun Aug 01, 2010 at 11:56:47 AM PDT

We're approaching the two-year anniversary of the death of Byrd, also known as wahzoh. I did not know her personally; I knew her from her very personal blog. After Byrd died, DD remarked:


Byrd was brave for putting verbal snapshots of herself online. She allowed people who would otherwise be strangers to witness her life.

I was a witness to her life, in a way. Also, I was a witness to what happened after her death. Two years after the fact, looking back, I see it was a turning point in my attitude. Continued after the jump...

Immediately prior to her death, Byrd was officially shunned by her sangha for publishing her frank and insightful views online. I wrote about it here. (Byrd's writings have since disappeared from the web.)

Having been a member of that sangha in the past, I shouldn't have been surprised at how they reacted to Byrd. Potentially destructive dynamics were at play in that sangha, I knew, but I was surprised at the hostility and cruelty directed at Byrd. She was the opposite of hostile and cruel. She was thoughtful, intelligent and articulate.

Members of that sangha continued to trash Byrd after her death. Prior to that, I believed my former sangha would eventually lighten up and become, somehow, more "Buddhist." In seeing how they responded to Byrd's death, I lost all hope regarding that sangha's potential for reform. It became clear to me that it is not a healthy place for anyone to explore Buddhism, and never will be.

Ironically, Byrd would probably be very sad to hear me say this. I know there are many people online (and on this board) who will defend that sangha no matter what, and will accuse me of "Gakkai bashing."

Hmf. Time softens hard edges, and we tend to forgive as we forget, and vice versa. Two years after Byrd's death, I feel less emotional about it all. I simply feel awake to and aware of the fact that not all sanghas are worthy of the word sangha, and that these counterfeit sanghas do far more harm than good.

Reverend Ryuei wrote on his blog about what happened with Byrd:


My second phone call yesterday was from a member of my Sangha who called to tell me about the spiteful words being said about Byrd (who was, however, not named but it was clear it was about her) by another member of this same organization on a yahoo newsgroup. This person had been one of the people who was involved in banning Byrd from the activities of her chosen Sangha. One reason was because she dared to attend a retreat I was leading and had pictures of her and myself together at the retreat on her blog here at fraughtwithperil. Byrd died a few weeks later of a heart attack, but her body was left undiscovered for something like two weeks. None of her ostensible Sangha members ever thought to check up on her - afterall she was persona non grata due to her association with me. The apartment was later swept by a Hazmat team and for quite a long time sealed up. When these psuedo-Buddhists finally came in they found that Byrd's butsudan had been knocked down (it could have been by her abandoned cats or later the Hazmat team) and was collecting cobwebs (supposedly - and even then not surprising as her apartment had been sealed for quite some time). This psuedo-Buddhist posted that everything Byrd had ever written was questionable because due to the condition of her butsudan she had been neglecting her practice). So much presumption here! I don't even know where to begin. But to impugn the reputation of a woman who has passed away, furthermore a woman who the poster was instrumental in alienating and isolating before her death due to some misguided sectarian agenda and paranoia!

I wholeheartedly agree with Ryuei's assessment:


It is so obvious to me why people are scared of Nichiren Buddhism. No wonder they don't want to have anything to do with us when this is the kind of pettiness, meanness, sectarianism, and total lack of compassion that has come to characterize Nichiren Buddhism.

What drives me nuts of course is that it is not Nichiren Buddhism per se, it is a certain group within a certain group or some individuals within certain groups (though they all seem to be members or ex-members of the same group) that acts like this. But they manage to scare off everyone else by creating a really horrible reputation for us all.

Can Nichiren Buddhists repair our "really horrible reputation" by trying extra hard to play nice with or just ignore abuses within our larger sangha? I don't think it's helpful for good people to zip their lips when the topic of a harmful sangha comes up. It doesn't help to apologize and make excuses for a harmful sangha that won't change. It needs to be discussed openly and frankly.

And yet, it doesn't help to continually criticize a harmful sangha, either. People tune it out as "Gakkai bashing."

For myself, I have developed a circle of friends of many faiths -- including Nichiren Buddhists, Catholics, Tibetan Buddhists, respectful agnostics and others -- and we all feel as we're on the Island of Misfit Toys with regard to our various faith communities. Perhaps this is the way it's supposed to be...

Still, I long for a global Nichiren Buddhist sangha in which all can find refuge. Such a sangha does not exist yet.


I highlighted parts that particularly stuck out while reading this again. With the many different types of people that end up interested in SGI or who are actually in it still, it's probably good to use many approaches. Some harsh, some not so harsh so we can reach out to as many people as we can. I think we're all on the same page here and with everyone's different contributions (aeeioy, that word is ruined too) maybe more people will be likely to find inspiration from any of us and they leave or never join to begin with.


Spartacus, there is nothing interesting about my name unfortunately. I saw a documentary on skunks and I've become kind of obsessed with them. That and I'm always sleepy. Always, never fails. I hate winter.

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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: TaitenAndProud ()
Date: February 26, 2013 03:41AM

I don't believe it is possible for any intolerant religion or belief system to go global. It will invariably splinter into rival sects due to the brittleness of its "all or nothing" mindset.

And yet, it doesn't help to continually criticize a harmful sangha, either. People tune it out as "Gakkai bashing."

There *is* a way that it is helpful. When *something* has either NO reputation or a FAVORABLE reputation, people are more willing to give it a try. When something has a BAD reputation, people are more likely to steer clear.

For those who are *in*, it is regarded as "Gakkai bashing". And they feed off it, interpreting it as a "sign" they're doin it rite. Let them believe so. However, the negative reputation will diminish their chances of attracting new members. Look what's happened in Evangelical Christianity - the most important demographic, the Millennials, overwhelmingly has a negative view of it (both from inside Christianity - half or more - and outside - 97%), and this group is the least likely to join/attend churches, whose memberships are graying, dying, and then selling off the properties. Do not underestimate the importance of a GOOD reputation, or the high costs of bad behavior leading to a BAD reputation!

Our most powerful weapon is our own personal experience. That is something no one can challenge - we speak the truth. That's as far as we need to go - overplaying our hand can backfire badly and rob us of influence. I ran across this quote earlier today - it's about Christianity, but it applies equally well to us here:

“In progressive circles it’s common to trash talk religion. This is damaging,” she says. “Most people who’ve moved away from evangelism still have family members who are religious. Those outside the community need to be sensitive and not make churchgoing people their target.”

WE are no longer affiliated with the SGI, but we may have friends or even family members who are. Their affiliation does not make them bad by definition or by default. There is no reason to make broad sweeping generalizations that may well be false when we have the most potent tool at our disposal - our own experiences. THOSE are our best strategy, and because they're honest and truthful, they are above reproach. We need not feel guilty for speaking out about what we saw and experienced, because these are facts. We have no need to stretch the truth or outright make stuff up.

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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: sleepy skunk ()
Date: February 26, 2013 07:14AM

An interesting point I found/stole from Buddhajones

Even Tiger Woods understands Buddhism more than SGI:

Tiger Woods talks about Buddhism
by: brooke
Fri Feb 19, 2010 at 09:40:34 AM PST

Shambhala SunSpace has the skinny on Tiger's recent statement, including this gem:

"Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously, I lost track of what I was taught."

Well said.

So basically everything about them from looking to the Gohonzon, to Ikeda, to the leaders -- is all against Buddhism. I've seen some rather addictive, OCDesque behavior from some people as far as religion and rituals, and SGI is no exception. It seems like a lot of us lost track somewhere down the road.

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