Once again, I have to praise these mb's for the information provided. This particular topic has so many pages that it's almost impossible to read every posting, but stumbling across random conversations always offers much food for thought.
Waaaay back, around page 305, are some comments about a website called The Victims of Soka Gakkai Organization (toride.org). Doing a google search took me to the site, and I found information that provided additional clarity on the destruction of the Shohondo. Having only started to practice in 07, of course that story was buried in the resentful history of the relationship between sgi and ns (nichiren shoshu); I had only heard the party line about how the horrible beasts of the priesthood had vindictively destroyed what was a building designed to stand for 10,000 years. I had mental images of tiny little Japanese priests whacking away with sledge-hammers, gleefully tearing down a beautiful building, with no motivation other than spite. While I never bought into the soka-spirit thing, it was a troubling image to me and I admit that I thought it was a pretty nasty and vengeful thing to do. Senseless destruction of a thing of beauty seemed like such an ugly act.
While digging around on VSGO, I came across the following article:
This seems to be pretty factual (although, of course, I have doubts about the veracity of a lot of things at this point); first and foremost that the temple actually belonged to nichiren shoshu. One of the big issues was the expense of operating the facility - because of how the windows were installed, it was necessary to keep the a/c running at all times to reduce mold growth; this was incredibly expensive. A larger issue was that location and construction style and materials were poorly selected. The building was essentially destroying itself - because of the level of salt indigenous to the location and in the structural materials were causing rapid deterioration and rusting of the structural steel in the building, causing it to actually rust through the decorative marble façade-work. The building couldn't be repaired, but only torn down to be reconstructed using more suitable materials.
Okay, I can see that the decision to destroy it was probably accompanied by a certain amount of smugness by the priesthood, but they really didn't have much of a choice. The building, along with being prohibitively expense just to keep operating, was falling into a type of disrepair that couldn't be corrected and would eventually become dangerous. Since it was their building and those costs fell on them, it was certainly up to them to decide how to deal with the situation - they made what seemed to be a pretty pragmatic decision.
So here is yet another example of how sgi spins history to suit its own purposes in order to connive its members into loyalty. Nothing like having a vicious wolf lurking around to keep the sheep together.
Oh, and this article also discusses the funding for the building. Members were told that all funds raised during the specific shohondo campaign would go into building it. Turn your dollars into a column in this architectural wonder! Or a window, or a tile in the floor! This article states that the org acknowledged that 35.5 billion yen were raised but never mentioned that a further 12 billion were raised. The shohondo was built using interest from those donations, and a number of other facilities were built using the actual donation money, despite what was being broadly presented to members.
Once again, this information is based on this article; it has some credibility with me, because it doesn't seem to slant in favor of either sgi or ns.