This is not the place for a Nichiren debate but I will post your comment on my blog and respond fully. If you condemn Nichiren you condemn the Mahaparanirvana Sutra and ultimately the Buddha himself. You condemn the peaceful practitioners and martyrs of the Kempon Hokke, Nichiren Shu and Nipponzan Myohoji schools. The Buddha taught many things. You ignore that Nichiren Daishonin qualified his stance by stating that in this day and age "killing" evil priests means not giving them alms. You also ignore the statement by Nichiren that his believers should not take up alms against their oppressors.Quote
TaitenAndProudWhile it is true that the Buddha renounced all power, Nichiren Daishonin had an insatiable greed for it - take a look, from the Establishing the Correct Law for the Peace of the Land gosho, aka Rissho Ankoku Ron:Quote
Actually, the Buddha renounced his position of power and Nichiren Daishonin never sought power.No freedom of conscience for Nichiren! But I'm sure the facist state Nichiren is advocating *is* more "tranquil" than a democracy O_OQuote
"If you wish to bring about the tranquility of the empire as soon as possible, first of all, you had better put a ban on the slanderers of the True Dharma throughout the nation.Wow. So now *murder* is a virtue! THINK! Does *THIS* sound like Buddhism???Quote
You, my guest, have seen clear statements in the Nirvana Sutra outlawing slanderers of the True Dharma. Yet you ask me such a question. Is it because you don't understand them, or is it because you don't know the reason for them? What the Nirvana Sutra means is not that we should outlaw disciples of the Buddha at all but that we should solely chastise slanderers of the True Dharma.
Those who wish to uphold the True Dharma should arm themselves with swords, bows and arrows, and halberds, instead of observing the five precepts (against killing, stealing, adultery, lying, and drinking alcohol), and keeping propriety. ... Therefore, those laymen who wish to defend the True Dharma should arm themselves with swords and sticks in order to defend it just as King Virtuous (who killed numerous monks) did.
One who kills an ant will fall into the three evil realms (hell, the realm of hungry spirits, and that of beasts and birds [aka hell, hunger, and animality]) without fail, but one who eliminates a slanderer of the True Dharma will reach the stage of non-regression, and eventually will attain Buddhahood. ... King Virtuous, who killed slanderers to defend the True Dharma, was reborn in this world as Shakyamuni Buddha.The Buddha never spoke a harsh word to *anyone*. And he *NEVER* "chased" or "punished" people! I think we've heard enough from ol' Nicki the Stick!Quote
On the other hand, if he accuses the destroyer of the dharma, chases him out, or punishes him strictly, such a man is My disciple, one who truly hears Me.That's right - it's *FINE* to kill those who don't agree with you! THAT is what Nichiren sought, for *other people* to kill all the leaders of rival Buddhist sects so that HE, Nichiren, could be the One and Only, the "Pillar of Japan". He desperately wanted to be a superstar. But he wasn't superstar material.Quote
King Siladitya of ancient India was a sage who protected Buddhism. Punishing only the ringleader, the king spared the lives of other members who rebelled against him, banishing them from his kingdom. Emperor Hsuan-tsung of T'ang China was a wise ruler who protected Buddhism. He executed 12 Taoist masters, eliminating enemies of the Buddha and restoring Buddhism.Freedom of speech - bah! What a *stupid* concept! EVERYONE should be *forced* to join the One Troo Religion, which, in the US, will no doubt be defined as Christianity. Sure you want to go this direction, Nichijew? Either EVERYONE is free to choose whatever religion they please, or YOU will be forced to go through the motions of practicing a religion that is abhorrent to you (or at least doesn't fit you and isn't meaningful to you in any way). Is that what you want? THAT is what Nichiren was advocating.Quote
If you wish to bring about peace in our country and pray for happiness in this life, as well as in the future, then waste no time. Think hard and take the necessary measures to thoroughly deal with slanderers of the True Dharma.
Is it not the best way to prevent calamities from overtaking the land to ban the one evil teaching, the source of all the troubles, instead of having various devotional services?And that last bit shows a most unBuddhist, unbecoming, and despicable disdain for people performing essential tasks for the benefit of all society. Clearly the hyper-competitive world of anger talking. I'll go ahead and quote myself from an earlier post on this thread:Quote
Slanderers of the True Dharma will be suffering in a large hell due to their cumulative evil karma of destroying the True Dharma. ... When their serious crime is reduced and they are allowed to be reborn in the human world, they will be born in the family of the blind, outcasts, or base people who clean toilets and bury dead bodies. Or they will be born without eyes, mouth, ears, or hands functioning properly."Want to see naked power-mongering? Read on:Quote
What a horrid, judgmental, arrogant man!! Look how he blames the poor, the destitute, and the handicapped for causing their own problems because of evil behavior from previous lifetimes! Do you think this is an appropriate perspective for a modern person to hold? Notice that Nichiren defines "slanderers of the True Dharma" as "anyone who preferred a different flavor of Buddhism." Naturally, "the True Dharma" meant "Nichiren's own interpretation." Nichiren obviously wished harm on the competition; he just wanted OTHER PEOPLE to do it. He wants fascism - he wants the government to adopt and enforce his own personal intolerant attitude (and make him famous in the process).That's from Nichiren's own hand, from the Nichiren gosho On the Selection of the Time. And what Nichiren recommended - that all the other sects of Buddhism be wiped out so that HE could be a national celebrity and control the whole enchilada - wasn't done, and guess what? Japan still exists as an independent country today! Nichiren warned that, if the Powers That Be didn't do *exactly* as he said, Japan would be invaded by Mongols and become a Mongolian vassal state - THAT never happened, even though the Powers That Be ignored Nichiren's power-mad ravings.Quote
All the Nembutsu and Zen temples, such as Kenchoji, Jufuku-ji, Gokuraku-ji, Daibutsuden, and Choraku-ji, should be burned to the ground, and their priests taken to Yui Beach to have their heads cut off. If this is not done, then Japan is certain to be destroyed!
I recommend we do the same. Outdated philosophies from primitive stages of human social development should be left behind or only regarded as anthropological sources - evidence of how different people and their societies were back then. Every text that has no concept of fundamental human rights and human freedoms is incompatible with modern culture and is, in fact, the very "evil" that will harm many people. Nichiren's intolerant teachings are the "evil teaching" that will destroy the nation! We do not need to move backward. There is no "transcendent knowledge" that could only be known to ancient people who thought that supernatural woo ran the world, and there is no "great secret of life" that some primitive Joe (or Joe-san) managed to think and thus figured it all out - for all time. That's just ignorant, lazy thinking. People can and must think for themselves. No one out there has the answer to your life. Only YOU can figure it out.
Kazue Elliot reveals the truth about the Ikeda pseudo-Buddhist cult at the ~ 5:40 mark, "...Everyone is looking for power..." Actually, the Buddha renounced his position of power and Nichiren Daishonin never sought power. Fascism and fascists seek power at any cost. Ikeda is a disciple of Machiavelli, not Buddha and the Lotus Sutra ["The Machiavellian personality is characterized by manipulation and exploitation of others, with a cynical disregard for morality and a focus on self-interest and deception." -- Wikipedia].
I knew Kazue Elliot, pioneer of cult - she was my senior leader's leader. Top dog over the back biting WD heirarchy, this woman was beyond scary. Her ice cold veins oozed with power, manipulation, and control. When she set her gaze upon you, it felt like been watched by the all-seeing evil eye from the Lord of the Rings story. Elliot the slavedriver had a thinly disguised aura of cunning and ruthlessness about her. The plastic smiled WD slave overseers immediately turned from vicious whip lashers to obediant servants whenever mafia don Elliot was present. You had to see the look in her eyes and hear the sound of her voice to understand how her fake smile was a total facade. This was the woman that my leader emulated in leadership style. Constant games of power and deceit covered by sickly sweet voices and smiles that quickly disappeared when being subjected to the angry wrath of a demon from hell. Simply displease a cult leader like her and prove my point.
Elliot acted as cheerleader in charge when her senior leader(s) were present. Always sucking up to her more powerful slave overlords (Williams and Ikeda), yet bitch-commanding her slave underlings - perfect examples of manifesting the worlds of animalism (slavery) and anger (ego and resentment). In a cult, the closer one rises to the top, the more one reeks of the rotten core that comprises the center (I refer here to dear leader, of course).
PS At the end of the video linked above, there is another HQ WD leader sitting with Elliot (she also speaks briefly during video). Does anybody recall this other slave master's name? I think it might have been Takakua or something like that. She was almost always in the cult entourage from LA, and for me, a face even scarier than Elliot's.
I am not familiar with your blog.Quote
This is not the place for a Nichiren debate but I will post your comment on my blog and respond fully. If you condemn Nichiren you condemn the Mahaparanirvana Sutra and ultimately the Buddha himself. You condemn the peaceful practitioners and martyrs of the Kempon Hokke, Nichiren Shu and Nipponzan Myohoji schools. The Buddha taught many things. You ignore that Nichiren Daishonin qualified his stance by stating that in this day and age "killing" evil priests means not giving them alms. You also ignore the statement by Nichiren that his believers should not take up alms against their oppressors.
Nichiren advocated lifelong attachment - clinging - to his teachings, which is the *opposite* of what the Buddha taught and completely at odds with the second of the Four Noble Truths (the origin of suffering is attachment).Quote
However, ultimately no truth for the Maadhyamika is "absolutely true." All truths are essentially pragmatic in character and eventually have to be abandoned. Whether they are true is based on whether they can make one clinging or non-clinging. Their truth-values are their effectiveness as a means (upaaya) to salvation. The Twofold Truth is like a medicine;it is used to eliminate all extreme views and metaphysical speculations. In order to refute the annihilationist, the Buddha may say that existence is real. And for the sake of rejecting the eternalist, he may claim that existence is unreal. As long as the Buddha's teachings are able to help people to remove attachments, they can be accepted as "truths." After all extremes and attachments are banished from the mind, the so-called truths are no longer needed and hence are not "truths" any more. One should be "empty" of all truths and lean on nothing.
To understand the "empty" nature of all truths one should realize, according to Chi-tsang, that "the refutation of erroneous views is the illumination of right view." The so-called refutation of erroneous views, in a philosophical context, is a declaration that all metaphysical views are erroneous and ought to be rejected. To assert that all theories are erroneous views neither entails nor implies that one has to have any "view". For the Maadhyamikas the refutation of erroneous views and the illumination of right views are not two separate things or acts but the same. A right view is not a view in itself; rather, it is the absence of views. If a right view is held in place of an erroneous one, the right view itself would become one-sided and would require refutation. The point the Maadhyamikas want to accentuate, expressed in contemporary terms, is that one should refute all metaphysical views, and to do so does not require the presentation of another metaphysical view, but simply forgetting or ignoring all metaphysics.
Like "emptiness," the words such as "right" and "wrong" or "erroneous" are really empty terms without reference to any definite entities or things. The so-called right view is actually as empty as the wrong view. It is cited as right "only when there is neither affirmation nor negation." If possible, one should not use the term. But
We are forced to use the word 'right' (chiang ming cheng) in order to put an end to wrong. Once wrong has been ended, then neither does right remain. Therefore the mind is attached to nothing.
To obtain ultimate enlightenment, one has to go beyond "right" and "wrong," or "true" and "false," and see the empty nature of all things. To realize this is praj~naa (true wisdom). [www.thezensite.com]
So, now, the district no longer has even the autonomy to decide its own name! Nice!!Quote
SGI-USA District Names
SGI-USA has decreed that district names will be controlled by the headquarters. The reason(s) for this are not clear. The announcement in OrgMemo 028 merely states that they want the names to represent geographical areas: "With pride in this fact, toward November 18, 2013, we ask that all district and group names be changed to represent geographical locations in their city, community or neighborhood relevant to where meetings take place or members reside. Also, when reporting to Sensei about our local organizations, he will be able to see geographically the advancement of kosen-rufu".
Makes little sense. It looks to me like an exercise in increased control over the membership; a continuation of the top down operation of SGI-USA. There are over 3000 districts. If each district has at least two groups (and some will have more), then over 9000 names will have to be reviewed and approved. A herculean task. Done by volunteers (we hope). And then, when new districts or groups are formed, proposed names must be submitted to whatever group is assigned this task.
SGI-USA is a dynamic organization. Districts/groups come and go, reorganize, combine. Following such dynamism may prove to be difficult, Another admin responsibility foisted upon the membership. Perhaps this is the new youth 'leadership' flexing its muscle. The frequent turnover in senior youth positions suggests that all is not well in the youth hierarchy. We once had a strong, vibrant youth division when George Williams was General Director. There were various youth ensembles named by Mr. Williams: Ohio Morning Sun, Sweety Seven, others I don't remember.
George Williams was demoted in the early nineties and replaced by Fred Zaitsu. Zaitsu pledged a million "Friends of the SGI" in a years time. Didn't happen. He once told me that SGI-USA was preparing to make the budget accessible to the membership. That didn't happen either. (This had been a bone of contention for some time, perhaps still is but no one talks about it anymore). He was replaced by Danny Nagashima who, wisely, made no unreachable goals. He is now in his third uneventful term.
Anyway, after the departure of Mr. Williams, the youth division sort of melted away, Some will say that the youth aged and not enough youth appeared to fill the aging ranks. In actuality, it appears that many youth simply left the organization. Some former members have posted anti-SGI rants on various websites. A recent zone 16 March commemorative meeting elicited a whopping 36 members and 4 guests. Sad.
So now, after several reorgs and a giant decrease in the number of chapters which caused the demotion of many chapter leaders (these former chapter leaders are now available to support the districts much to the chagrin of current district leaders), we are taking another step towards admin nightmare by renaming the districts and groups.
Posted 3 weeks ago by Joe [sgiwatch.blogspot.com]
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I *love* this guy!!Quote
SGI-USA Reboots - Again
In the beginning there was NSA (Nichiren Shoshu Academy or Nichiren Shoshu of America - take your pick). President Ikeda visited the USA in his first overseas tour in 1960 and established four districts: Hawaii, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington DC. Masayasu Sadanaga, who later changed his name to George M. Williams, became the top leader. NSA was on its way.
Throughout the 60's and 70's NSA charged ahead. There were conventions, parades and endless propagation activities. There was unity, there was YOUTH! President Ikeda was welcomed to USA.
NSA grew and grew. George Williams became headquarters chief. Headquarters Leaders meetings were held in Santa Monica. The enthusiasm was boundless.
After a while things seemed to slow down. Many members became disaffected. Weak faith? Extremely authoritative leadership? Lack of leadership? Perhaps all of that and more. Yesterdays youth matured, got jobs, started families. President Ikeda said that gakkai activities were a leisure time activity. Leisure time became scarce.
In 1991 Nichiren Shoshu High Priest Nikkan excommunicated all the members of the Soka Gakkai. NSA hemorrhaged members who flocked to the temple. NSA became SGI-USA. George Williams became persona non grata after a while and disappeared from sight. Fred Zaitsu became acting General Director and promised 1 million friends of the SGI within one (maybe three) year. Did not happen.
Zaitsu was succeeded by Danny Nagashima, still generally directing, who promised a new day. A couple years ago it was announced that the base of SGI-USA was complete and phase 2 was initiated with the creation on the East, Central and West Territories. Another new day for SGI-USA.
For years President Ikeda has said that the district is the front line of kosenrufu. Everything depends of the district he says. In response, SGI-USA set about creating as many districts as possible. In the process Areas, Zones and Regions proliferated and SGI-USA became top heavy.
Realizing that the districts were not achieving anticipated growth (duh), in January 2011, Area and Chapter leaders were encouraged to assign themselves to a district, not to take charge, but to provide support and encouragement. This, it was thought, would alleviated the situation. It did not work.
So now SGI-USA has seen fit to energize the districts by combining Areas and Regions into General Chapters. This action is expected to free up some senior leaders who can be re-assigned as District Leaders.
Many district leader positions are currently unfilled. 20% of districts have 0 or 1 leader. Where'd they go? Recently a very senior leader remarked that George Williams drove "many members off a cliff". Well, he hasn't been around for a long time. Who do we blame now?
Currently there are 22 Zones, 99 Regions, 327 Areas, 996 Chapters and 3094 Districts. After the Area/Region reorg there will be about 600 General Chapters thus freeing up about 1700 leaders to take responsibility in districts. Some of these might be the same leaders who failed to achieve spectacular results over the past two years.
Changes should be in place before the end of the year. Onward ho!
Posted 9th August 2012 by Joe
SGI USA Contribution in Full Bloom
SGI USA's contribution period is almost here! From April 28th - June 3rd contributions will be accepted. Cash, check, credit card, on line - no problem. If you haven't contributed you will, no doubt, be visited by a sincere member who will encourage you to contribute to kosenrufu. Contribute early, contribute often.
There is a DVD making the rounds that contains some experiences and encouragement from Danny Nagashima. Even though senior leaders will explain that just because you contribute doesn't mean you'll be rich, the experiences emphasize the miraculous. One couple received a huge check a few weeks after contributing an entire paycheck. A young man experienced rapturous joy after contributing. Yada yada yada.
Don't worry about where the money goes - it goes for kosenrufu. SGI USA has never given an accounting of how the money is spent. Only generalities - community center upkeep, staff salaries, etc. Never any specifics. SGI USA CFO Adin Strauss wrote the following: CFO Comments <- click there. This link doesn't always work. It usually comes up on the third or fourth click. If at first you don't succeed ...
The same article is in the 30 March World Tribune page D. He wrote, "A more specific breakdown of our revenues will be available online by the end of May ...". In the April 8, 2011 WT he said essentially the same thing. We still don't have any specifics. I'd like to put his picture here but I couldn't find one that's postable - but it's in the WT.
Here's a link to the 8 April 2011 WT. Like the other one, it doesn't always work. Maybe it's my browser. Adin's article is at the bottom of the page. Picture included.
Anyway, use your best judgement. Don't mortgage your house.
Posted 25th April 2012 by Joe
The Two Ways of Practice and Study
It has been said that without study there can be no Buddhism. Over the past few years SGI-USA has been promoting President Ikeda's lectures in Living Buddhism as the vehicle of study. I wonder, is this the best/only way to conduct study? SGI-USA is currently wrapping up the Essentials Exam. The study guide for this did include some terms, a Soka Spirit article, and some info about Nichiren Daishonin.
The zone/area has been conducting gosho prep lectures based upon the current President Ikeda lecture in Living Buddhism. These lectures have been presented to district leaders by zone and region leaders. They have been savored by some, denigrated by others (me).
These prep lectures take a lot of time absorb the information and to organize as I have discovered in my attempts to present something of value to the members. It appears that zone/region pre-prep lecturers don't have sufficient time to properly prepare. They resort to highlighting various passages of President Ikeda's written lecture, reading those parts, and pronounce themselves extremely encouraged.
Posted 5th May 2011 by Joe [sgiwatch.blogspot.com]
World Peace Gongyo
World Peace Gongyo was held at 10am at Mt Rainier Community Center on Sunday 6 Feb. The main attraction, of course, was the 45th Headquarters Leaders meeting video. Before that we were treated to another video promoting the May contribution (and it's only February). The first part was an experience by a long practicing member about her contribution activity. Although senior leaders repeatedly remind us that contribution is about our sincere desire to support kosenrufu and not about receiving benefits, I inferred from the experience that she believes that her contributions resulted in great benefit. Most contribution experiences are like that. I don't think that you can buy your way to happiness. Matilda said that it's appropriate that she should be the main cog in the contribution wheel because her last name is Buck.
Posted 7th February 2011 by Joe
It kind of made it easier to blame the right person huh?Quote
I remember when I was a YWD at first. I was the most active member of my group, which was named for a woman I never saw. Ever. I never understood why my group should be named after someone who never bothered to show up! Finally, after many months, I got its name changed to mine (that was the "rhythm" back then, that the group leader's name be affixed to the group). And then a coupla months after that, I was promoted to District and my group went who knows where! :P
The last time (I think) that I heard Matilda Buck speak, she offended me with her stupidity. She was telling this cockamamie story about how a boy saw a butterfly struggling to get out of its chrysalis (she probably said "cocoon" - what a dumbass - that's moths), so he helped it by gently opening the chrysalis. The butterfly flew out, then dropped dead. His father explained that the butterfly had to struggle to get out, beating its wings valiantly, or else it couldn't survive. By helping it get out, the boy had inadvertently killed it. There was a lesson in that for all of us, no doubt *eye roll*
Hogwash. Complete pile of sh*t. When the larva-cum-butterfly is still in its chrysalis, its wings are completely soft and shriveled. The chrysalis splits open, the newly hatched butterfly squeezes out and then hangs upside down from something nearby. At this point, the butterfly is extremely fat and bloated - filled with fluid that the butterfly's body pumps into those soft and shriveled wings, expanding them to their full length. Once fully extended, the wings gradually dry and harden in the air. A few minutes later, the butterfly is ready to fly away. But that bullsh!t about the butterfly having to "beat its wings" to get out of its chrysalis in viable condition is insultingly stupid. ANYONE with the least knowledge of basic biology would see right through that in an instant. I wrote a letter of complaint about that - why couldn't ol' Mrs. Buck have bothered to EDUCATE herself to the level of a 3rd grader before going out there and putting her foot in it, embarrassing herself and the rest of us in front of any marginally educated guest who wouldn't give her a pass just because she happened to be a senior leader? Never heard back :P
I doubt anyone here could mistake that as a compliment. :)Quote
Matilda Buck reminds me of Sarah Palin. A LOT. And that's not a compliment O_O
WTF?? Whatever happened to George M. Williams' booklet, "A New Common Sense"? I had it (I think I threw it away) though I never read it O_O You can still get copies - cheap: [www.amazon.com]Quote
SGI President Ikeda's collected lectures in the book My Dear Friends in America is not available in the SGI-USA bookstore. General Director Nagashima has declared this to be SGI-USA's roadmap for the future. I guess we'll be driving aimlessly.
Posted 17th January 2011 by Joe
A Roadmap for the Future
Well, here we are in 2011. Happy New Year! It's the Year of Capable People and Dynamic Development. We could also call it the Year of Sameness. See the 12 November World Tribune for an article about the October SGI-USA Central Executive Committee and Executive Council (What a mouthful).
Still at the helm is Mr. Excitement, Danny Nagashima.
On the horizon for 2011 is a succession of monthly district meetings and monthly 'study' meetings, with the same go getem style of leadership. One difference that I saw is the de-emphasis of monthly focus such as Women's Division month in February and the August Men's Division month. Also, the annual contribution period has been shortened by a week (it will be April 28 - June 5).
SGI-USA study has little to do with learning about Buddhist philosophy; it's more about getting on the bandwagon of 'mentor and disciple'. The January prep lecture for chapter leaders is a case in point. A YMD and a YWD leader shared 'lecture' responsibility. It was a pretty ho-hum affair with readings of various points in President Ikeda's written lecture and desultory comments by the lecturers. It was mostly about how we have to make a vow for shakubuku and following the mentor and disciple relationship. That's what almost all the lectures in 2010 were about. Bright spots were provided in a few instances by Bill Aiken. But he seems to have abandoned the prep lectures in favor of youth division presenters. Bill! Come back Bill!
President Ikeda's My Dear Friends in America appears to be the new bible for supporting activities. In his closing words to the CEC, General Director Nagashima spoke of President Ikeda's 1990 address "Cultivate a New Common Sense". In it President Ikeda talked about how Thomas Paine's small, 50 page pamphlet Common Sense altered the destiny of America during its struggle for independence.
President Ikeda elaborates: "When the long entrenched barriers of 'common sense' people's hearts are broken down, a new common sense, borne on the wings of lively dialog, begins to take shape. This signifies the beginning of a new era and of fundamental change in society".
Mr. Nagashima called My Dear Friends in America our version of Common Sense. "This", he said, "is our roadmap for the future."
Posted 7th January 2011 by Joe