Current Page: 11 of 747
Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: jojaroyd ()
Date: April 01, 2009 11:30PM

Quote
jojaroyd
I remember last year I went to an FNCC conference four four days at the end of June/Beginning of July. It was a Student Division meeting.

For those who weren't SGI members or don't know, FNCC is Florida Nature and Culture Center, a place SGI members go for four-day-long meetings. The Student Division is college-aged members.

Anyway, we had a HUGE session on Soka Spirit. They played a video from the protest outside the Columbia building that Nichiren Shu was having their meeting at. It was pretty weird. The first part of the video showed some members holding a poster (don't know what it said, it was in Japanese) outside of the hotel room the new Nichiren Shu high priest, Nichinyo Hayase, was staying. He came out and there was verbal conflict between them both. The SGI members kept asking to have a dialogue with him, over and over, and Nichinyo kept saying he won't talk to SGI members. The SGI members weren't really very aggressive, and they didn't say anything bad or negative, but it was still really creepy that they went to where he was staying and video taped it. Come on, if they really wanted a dialogue, or expected him to accept their invitation, why would they be recording it? It's very assumptive and invasive.

The next clip was taken the next day. Basically it had the SGI members outside the Columbia-building protesting. They would approach Nichiren Shu members and try to interview them, only to be threatened by a couple Nichiren Shu leaders. (Physical threats.) SGI members were selling their copy of the gosho, telling passing Nichiren Shu members or strangers who weren't even attending the meeting that their translation was more accurate, and that Nichiren Shu had an incorrect translation. I guess I thought it was really strange to approach people who knew NOTHING of SGI or Nichiren Shu, and just start letting them be aware of this conflict between the two. They interviewed Nichiren Shu members as they left the meeting. Anytime they tried to talk to a member, the Nichiren Shu members acted really pissed and said something bad about SGI. The only people who said anything meaningful were guests, who were shooed away when Nichiren Shu members realized they were talking to an SGI member.

I dunno, seemed pretty juvenile on the whole from both sides.

During the FNCC session, they also handed out a flyer that SGI members were giving out at this protest. It was horrible! Like a freaking tabloid cover, except with priests of the Nichren Shu sect. Pretty disgraceful. Said something about hiring strippers while in Brazil.

After the session, we were all divided into smaller groups to talk about what we saw. In the small group I was in, one guy kept voicing opinions somewhat to the point "What's with all the drama? Why can't we just leave them alone? That handout was really extreme." He basically was talked down and told why he SHOULDN'T have non-aggressive feelings for this sect. This is all because Nichiren said that if you see someone slandering "the law" you have to speak up, or you're slandering the law yourself (essentially.) I agreed verbally with the other SGI members, even though in my head I agreed with this guy who was speaking out. I felt way too pressured. Really sucked. Thankfully I'm past that now. :P

There was also a big toso going on in Chicago that day. Apparently Nichiren Shu sect was having some big meeting at their Chicago temple, and SGI members there decided to have a huge meeting and chanting session to pray the meeting was a failure (I guess.) At the FNCC conference, we were told to chant for the Nichiren Shu members to "wake up" and find SGI, chant against the Nichiren Shu leaders who were evil and corrupt, and to chant for the success of the Chicago meeting. I happen to know that I was missing a meeting with a similar toso in my hometown, and I also know that these meetings were all being held at the same time across the country.

Really now.

Whoops! Tsukimoto pointed out to me that in my last post I wrote "Nichiren Shu" when I meant to refer to the "Nichiren Shoshu" group.

I mixed them up because they sound so similar, and because I'm used to hearing this group refereed to as "the Nikken sect" at SGI meetings.

Just thought I say that so I don't cause further confusion.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: jojaroyd ()
Date: April 01, 2009 11:31PM

I also accidently double posted. So I'm editing out the double post with this. Perhaps a moderator could delete this post?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/01/2009 11:32PM by jojaroyd.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: dragon14 ()
Date: April 07, 2009 10:51PM

Quote
The Anticult
also, if you think about it, its really terrible that SGI is so antagonistic to families.
A family member should be able to make up their own mind, and do what they think is right, and not have to worry about losing their family, just by rejecting the SGI process.

Why did Ikeda do this? He designed it, as he knows that social family pressure will keep more people in the tribe. Not many people want to get rejected by their entire family.

So SGI can ultimately really be a harmful thing. Even in western familes, it can drive a husband and wife apart.

So speaking out openly against SGI, could help people decide not to bother with it in the first place.
SGI forcefully recruits people, so a forceful anti-recruitment is essential.

But getting out on an SGI family, that is something else. Its similar in any group, like Christian Science families, or Mormon, etc. You reject the religion, often they reject you too.
The people who design these religions are not dumb!

This one is so true. There were numerous times where the "guidance" I received was that wives and visiting friends and family would "have to understand" that the cause of Kosen-rufu was more important than these important personal events. My wife nearly left me early in our marriage, and she still hasn't completely forgiven me for leaving her alone so much in a place she had just moved to and knew nobody in while I did SGI activities like a maniac. I stopped doing that 20 years ago, too!

So many times, Josei Toda was quoted as saying "the Soka Gakkai is more important than my life". And so many people misinterpreted it to mean that they should be doing Gakkai activities six days a week, and telling eveyone they saw about chanting, otherwise they weren't worthy of being Buddhists.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: tsukimoto ()
Date: April 11, 2009 04:09AM

Quote
KittyLuv
As far as the Nikken sect goes, it's alive and well on the enemies list. Here's something from a flyer I got at the Queens center last year. This was set for May 18th, 2008 and it's titled:

"Declaration: Let's Prove the Justice of the SGI on May 18th

On May 18th, the Nikken sect (Nichiren Shoshu Temple) is planning to hold a large gathering of temple members and guests at Columbia University. We must not allow the temple to spread its distortion of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism at the very same university where our mentor shared an important message for humankind in 1996. As SGI members practicing Nichiren Buddhism correctly in the same spirit as our mentor SGI President Ikeda, each one of us has a responsibility at this critical time in our movement for kosen-rufu to pray and take action to reveal the true corrupt nature of the Nikken sect."
.



The campaign that Kittyluv mentioned was in 2008....and the fight still goes on. SGI's Mid-Atlantic Zone has a daimoku campaign that is going on until April 24, 2009.

"The Leaders of the Mid-Atlantic Zone have determined to encourage everyone to fight for justice with a multi-faceted daimoku campaign to help as many temple members as possible leave the temple and rejoin SGI." [sgiwatch.blogspot.com]


If I were still in SGI, I think that having to listen to weeks of this would make me want to go out and join the temple. And I don't even like the temple.

Another blog offers a response, and a different perspective to this, discussing the ideal of respect for all. [nichirenslions.blogspot.com]

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: tsukimoto ()
Date: April 11, 2009 10:06AM

Quote
dragon14
So many times, Josei Toda was quoted as saying "the Soka Gakkai is more important than my life". And so many people misinterpreted it to mean that they should be doing Gakkai activities six days a week, and telling eveyone they saw about chanting, otherwise they weren't worthy of being Buddhists.

I'm reminded of when my women's study group was reading "The Human Revolution." There was a chapter in which the character, Shinichi Yamamoto, who is a thinly-disguised Daisaku Ikeda, has just been promoted to the presidency of the Soka Gakkai. Yamamoto's wife prepares a funeral meal. When Yamamoto asks her why, she replies that their household will no longer have a husband and father. He will be away on Soka Gakkai business so much, it will be as if she's a widow, raising their sons alone.

This was presented in the novel, and by the leader who was doing the study group, as "oh, how noble." It was the example that we were all supposed to follow: the Soka Gakkai is more important than our lives. Our friends, families, spouses and children just need to understand that we've got a great mission here to save the world, more important than their need to be with us.

That chapter bothered me even back when I was an SGI loyalist. Now that I'm out, it just seems so sad -- and sick. The leader who led the study group interpreted Mrs. Yamamoto's preparing the funeral meal with her acceptance of her husband's grand mission to save the world. I've always felt that it was the act of a woman who was deeply angry.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: dragon14 ()
Date: April 12, 2009 04:40AM

Quote
tsukimoto
Quote
dragon14
So many times, Josei Toda was quoted as saying "the Soka Gakkai is more important than my life". And so many people misinterpreted it to mean that they should be doing Gakkai activities six days a week, and telling eveyone they saw about chanting, otherwise they weren't worthy of being Buddhists.

I'm reminded of when my women's study group was reading "The Human Revolution." There was a chapter in which the character, Shinichi Yamamoto, who is a thinly-disguised Daisaku Ikeda, has just been promoted to the presidency of the Soka Gakkai. Yamamoto's wife prepares a funeral meal. When Yamamoto asks her why, she replies that their household will no longer have a husband and father. He will be away on Soka Gakkai business so much, it will be as if she's a widow, raising their sons alone.

This was presented in the novel, and by the leader who was doing the study group, as "oh, how noble." It was the example that we were all supposed to follow: the Soka Gakkai is more important than our lives. Our friends, families, spouses and children just need to understand that we've got a great mission here to save the world, more important than their need to be with us.

That chapter bothered me even back when I was an SGI loyalist. Now that I'm out, it just seems so sad -- and sick. The leader who led the study group interpreted Mrs. Yamamoto's preparing the funeral meal with her acceptance of her husband's grand mission to save the world. I've always felt that it was the act of a woman who was deeply angry.

Yes, I remember that chapter as well. Leaders harped that The Human Revolution was the blueprint for Kosen-rufu. And most that I talked to over the years seemed to believe it. In their minds, their spouses "came around" to their way of doing things. I also saw more than a few divorces among Gakkai members due to "unreconcilable differences". Evidently, one side wanted the other side at home more often. But being "married to the Gakkai" seems something like being "married to the mob". I stopped letting myself get dragged around through all of that 20 years ago, and I still wrestle with regret over it.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: evergreen ()
Date: April 12, 2009 05:31AM

Thank you for the websites. I will start looking into them. Sorry I didn't write back right away.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: Rothaus ()
Date: April 22, 2009 05:03AM

I was I member since 1986 and was a teenager when I joined. Looking back I got to know some wonderful people while in SGI. Similar to some of the posts above I began questioning the movement after the schism from Nichiren Shoshu.

I started questioning the interpretation of Nichiren Shonins teachings as taught by SGI/NST and secondly I had my reservations about the organisation of SGI as such.
The split led me to undertake my own research into the history of Nichiren Buddhism which is more diverse than SGI or NST ever told us. Especially questions concerning the Dai-Gohonzon, Nichiren as a Buddha and the position of the high priest got me thinking. Information on the issues was always highly censored by SGI and certainly no alternative views were ever voiced. Instead rumours were spread for instance about the Nichiren Shu (who do not regard Nichiren as a Buddha and who are generally regarded as the oldest Nichiren school).

One observation I made is that both, SGI and NST, rely upon a leader, a person. There is the supreme position of the high priest in NST which after the split was replaced with adulation for Daisaku Ikeda beyond belief. This leader cult ridicules the so called mentor/disciple relationship. A relationship which indeed is important to Buddhism – but it should be a personal one. Not a relationship to an ageing man in Japan who is the world’s only worthwhile ‘mentor’.
That’s why SGI looses a great number of members at the moment – when I became part of the organisation there was no talking that I have to understand ‘the heart of Sensei’ (Ikeda is often referred to as a Sensei, a term some readers might know form marshal arts for instance). If one is critical of the mentor/disciple issue as taught by SGI one will be looked upon with dismay. Any criticism of Ikeda or the organisation as such is regarded as slander – no wonder nobody speaks up. When someone speaks up they are most likely to leave after a while. The organisation is just as equal as the dahrma so to speak.
The so called leadership of SGI gets dubious in terms of its structure the higher one moves up the ranks and the decision making process in nowhere near being transparent.

And then there is the peer pressure. One is pressured to fight, to struggle, to win in order to bring the movement forward and show “actual proof”. For a faith based organisation, there was little room for when one does not succeed, the usual things called life where things do not always go according to plan. It’s not really part of the concept. The Gakkai has also developed a language which at times seems quite martial and dramatic – most of the time over the top.
This becomes evident in the conflict with the former priesthood, comparisons were made that were absolutely not on like speaking of SGI as a ‘fortress of justice’ and comparing the priesthood with a cancer – it was/is close to a fascist vocabulary.
In the end it has very little to do with Nichiren, it’s about Soka Gakkai and Daiskau Ikeda – not Buddhism.

I wish officials and universities would take a much closer look who and what they are dealing with when handing out honours.

I still see myself as a Nichiren Buddhist and make efforts to seek closer ties with the Nichiren Shu, which is difficult when coming from an organisation that dominated even ones private life. On top of that Nichiren Shu does not have a lay organisation. In some ways this may be good as one is forced to really practise Buddhism for oneself and not for the sake of an organisation.

Leaving SGI is difficult, not that I was pressured to stay – okay a lot of people left messages on the phone who before could not care less, but it’s simply the way SGI dominates your life the longer you have been part of it. When I left, I lost most of my friends. Since one participates in so many activities it comes natural to also socialise on a private level. So it takes time to see the world with ones own eyes again and I would encourage anyone who does so - take a fresh look at Buddhism and Nichiren.


‘The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.’
Paul Valéry

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: April 28, 2009 07:59AM

this is a cross-post from a new SGI thread. [forum.culteducation.com]

Maybe its better to repost those posts in this main SGI thread, for future reference?
One thread keeps everything together...


(cont'd from other thread)
That is the same experience that can be seen with many SGI people, in that what they are doing is not "Buddhism". Its more than kinda nuts to say Greed, Lust, Vanity, hate your enemies, and Worldly Power, are Buddhism?
uh...not quite!
Ikeda is just using methods he is calling "Buddhism", to manage and control large groups of people. Similar perhaps how "Roman" Catholicism was used by the Romans and after to manage large masses of people. And the guys at the top didn't live by the same rules either!

also, there are many other groups who claim what they do is some kind of Buddhism.
Why? It seems that in the west, Buddhism still has a good reputation, and now is trendy, like Yoga. So they call whatever they are doing Buddhism, and it gives them a fig-leaf to hide behind.


There is a so-called Korean "Zen" group, the Kwan Um School of Zen from Seung Sahn, who do all sorts of aggressive, dishonest, and harmful stuff. Their leader Seung Sahn even told people to disregard Buddhist texts, and find the Buddha inside.
Well, what if what you are finding is not the Buddha within, but Bubba within? What if you find a greedy, dishonest, lazy, corrupt, sex-abusing Bubba within, and then act like you are a evil "Buddha" who can do anything you want, including having sex with your students, like Seung Sahn did?
(Seung Sahn) Kwan Um School of Zen [forum.culteducation.com]

There is also a type of OMing sex-chanting group/cult, who do all sorts of stuff, like women getting naked from the waist down daily at 7am, and have strangers "massage" them wearing surgical gloves...and they call that "Buddhist" too. They also call a private for-profit capitalist corporation a "commune". Same method.
OneTaste is not "Buddhist". [forum.culteducation.com]

So Greed, Vanity, Lust, Deception, Political Power, Narcissism, capitalism, lying, promiscuous sex, hating your enemies, revenge, drugs, booze, that's the New Buddhism.


What is NOT Buddhism of course, is the 4 Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
What did the Buddha know about Buddhism, after all?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/28/2009 08:01AM by The Anticult.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: gingermarie ()
Date: May 01, 2009 05:54AM

Hi Everyone,
Thank you for all your input. It has been so informative and helpful in my decision making.

I have been in the SGI for longer than I care to admit. I did leave for a little while in 1989, just be lured back in to a kinder gentler SGI. Not! I moved to a rural area in 2000. A year or so later I was made a district leader. For six years I put up with an abusive co-leader. I kept bringing this to the attention of the senior leaders who told me that this was an opportunity to change my karma. As a reward for all my trials,(or so my husband says), they appointed me several tiers up. Lately, I have been unhappy with the constant mentor/disciple talk overly pushed at every moment. I was shocked to hear recent guidance from Mr. Ikeda saying that the way to enlightenment was through the mentor/disciple relationship! I was also part of the Soka Spirit committee until I was asked by a very top Women's leader to spy and lie about who I am at a Nicheren Shoshu meeting so that I could develop a personal relationship with the membership there. That was the last straw. I decided that there were too many things not adding up and I found this website as well as buddhajones and fraught with peril.

Now that I have spiritually left the only thing for me to do is phyiscally leave. Tsukimoto, I am glad to hear that it took time, I can understand and appreciate that. I haven't mustered the, for the lack of a better word, courage, and then there's my husband.

My husband is a district leader. He is not your "normal" leader. He doesn't buy in to Sensei, doesn't read the publications, rarely does gongyo. Yet, he enjoyes his activities. He asked me if I could "fake it" I don't know what else to tell him. Faking it goes against my grain, however, I do know the whispering, and questioning that will occur once I officially resign my position. I hope he has the guts to take it. Any thoughts?

Options: ReplyQuote
Current Page: 11 of 747


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.