Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: dsm ()
Date: June 29, 2010 11:32PM

Blue lady, no one can kill your spirit. You do no harm in speaking out. Once you have made a decision, then go with it. I cannot advise others to be open because I don't know what they face. I have been in a cult that did indeed destroy my life but being secretive and silent did no good, they ran on fear anyway. Since I decided the heck with it and have been almost irresponsibly open, I have found a small and growing support network of people who have noticed the same cult and who are strengthened just by seeing me survive it.

I waited a long time for some others to come of age enough to take this risk upon myself. As I said, it is up to each one of us to examine our situation, our resources, and hte nature of the cult we face.

But never ever believe anyone or anything can kill your spirit, Blue Lady. It just 'aint so. Claim your spirit!

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: Rothaus ()
Date: June 30, 2010 12:04AM

Blue Lady

Sorry if I may sound harsh now, but maybe its time for the first time in your life to be honest to yourself --- AND SPEAK YOUR MIND. Good grief one is not glued to SGI, there is a life beyond SGI.
You have to let go !!!

All I ask you is now is to look up the yellow pages or contact the Rick Ross Institute IN PRIVATE and find out about somebody in your area that ypou can talk to who IS NOT and NEVER was in SGI. After having done so come back and tell us about YOU.

Waht you have done is regretable especially if the other person was not aware you were using her experiences, on the other side to me this is a sign for help. I would rarely say something like this as its not me to interfere with anyones beliefs but do avoid SGI for a while and really do take some time for yourself. Its nothing to be ashamed of as we all went through some sort of a bumpy way out of SGI.

I do respect though that you came forward with this, but never forget to be true to yourself! Nobody said its easy to leave a cult! I wish you from the bottom of my heart that you now take some steps it is really worthwhile!

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: Blue Lady ()
Date: June 30, 2010 01:02AM

I will leave you with this ..
"I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it. "[3] John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton
And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely
“The strong man with the dagger is followed by the weak man with the sponge.”

Thanks Rothaus for the advice I will take you up on that.

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: dsm ()
Date: June 30, 2010 01:17AM

Blue Lady, I faced off with a mafia-involvede cult.

Here are some methods, some of which I was taught by police who helped me get out. They could not prosecute the cult because of "connections".

1. Be so loud and so well-identified that no one who is in power in the cult wants you getting hurt even by accident. They want to be able to say you imagine the dangers, after all.

2. Triple and quadruple report incidents, even if the statute of limitations has run out, copy and re-copy the documents and spread them around among lawyers and law enforcement agencies. Even if the lawyers and law-enforcement agencies can't help you, during the period of considering each case, at least a few individuals will realize that they have no way of knowing how far your reports went and who is ready to spring into action against them if something "untoward" should happen.

3. It helps to identify a little with Clint Eastwood's "Make My Day" scene. It helps to be considered crazy.

If you get accused of being crazy, after all, you can face the accuser and say "Do you really believe I am crazy?' and if the accuser says "yes" then you can say "Well then I won't be held responsible for what I will do to you if you mess with me!"

I actually said that to one of the culties that was harassing me during that period of back-and-forth that seems to be a necessary stage of exitting a serious cult. I have to say it was one of the most satisfying moments of my life.

Blue Lady, they already are mad at you. You can't change that.

So have fun with it. Write a new chapter.

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: doubtful ()
Date: June 30, 2010 02:05AM

Hey Blue Lady, please, please do not beat yourself up over what you have done. First of all you did not use your friend's name. Second, you have not tried to slander or hurt anyone. Third, you obviously needed a community where you could express your concerns and realizations. Finally, you often indicated that you intended to stay with SGI and try to make improvements from within. It is really sad that any organization that has such a lofty goal as world peace through individual happiness would directly or indirectly(through your friend) "persecute" you or anyone. Only you can decide what your course of action will be from now on. I hope that you return under this name or another, whatever makes you comfortable. Life is too short to waste having your peace of mind disturbed. I am confident that you shall look back on the "exposure" as an important step in your recovery from a way of thinking that has limited your relationships and perspective. Furthermore, what does this say about SGI that its leaders feel the need to monitor this forum and call your friend or you on voicing dissent? Other organizations do not. Others can handle criticism from their members. I have said it before: this forum may turn out to be the force that gets SGI to re-evaluate its methods and shape an organization that does not expect people to lose their common sense, courage, wisdom, identity, or seeking spirit.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/2010 02:09AM by doubtful.

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: DrJesusEsq ()
Date: June 30, 2010 04:38AM

Blue Lady-

I agree with Rothaus that you should write as yourself. We all make mistakes and SGI does make us crazy/paranoid as it is.

As it is, a lot of us face some risk when it comes to posting on this forum, no matter what organization they are from. I have friends in the SGI who I love and care for. If they ever do take a look at this forum and see what I have written (especially on my own experiences) they would probably break off our friendship and have the rest of the SGI members in my neck of the woods harass me.

Is this a risk I am willing to take?

Of course! People's lives are at risks here! It took me a long time to have some clarity in my vision, I went through years of confusion, anger, and disappointment. As doubtful has said, this forum is telling of what is going on in SGI. There is no formal or proper way to address grievances, especially if a leader is abusing their power in any way, nor do we have a right to speak up and ask controversial questions. In fact, I found this forum after I got yelled at for asking questions like those addressed here.

Part of my does wish that Soka looks at this forum, calls Japan and tells Ikea, "Yo, Sensei, we got a problem!"

I doubt this is going to happen. I do admire you, Blue Lady, for sticking with the organization and having the tenacity to try to reform things. I have given up at this point.

So please, don't stop writing. Many people in this forum helped got me out of my funk with their experiences. I hope you would continuing helping others with yours.

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: overthetop ()
Date: June 30, 2010 08:44AM

I recently joined SGI believing that the intentions of the organization were of the highest good.
Reading this thread has really got me thinking that I might be better off just getting out now, after a 4 month period, rather than getting sucked in.

During my brief encounter with the SGI, I have already witnessed many of the things those of you who were members for many years have come forward with.

I guess what disturbs me the most is the whole financial aspect of the donations being funneled to a Japanese political party, but there are also many other disturbing things that have really made me stop to question why in the world I bought into it in the first place?

When the SGI "found" me, I was at a very low point in my life and having someone befriend me felt good at the time.

I am looking into other forms of Buddhism and a different Buddhist center to attend.
I am glad I found this forum before my life became engulfed in the SGI, as it was starting to become already.

Thanks to the people in this forum who provide a counter-argument to the well-oiled and funded SGI machine.

I'm so sad about this, I really do enjoy chanting and have met some great people. However, I have decided, I am definately not willing
to support this organization anymore.

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: Nichijew ()
Date: June 30, 2010 08:45AM

well to be honest blue lady when you mention incidents just like the one you mentioned then I guess it would not be hard to find out who you are - SGI does follow this board.
Even though I am on the other side of the big pond I must say that SGI must be shi..g their pants because of this board - its the only one in the net - at least in the west - where people can exchange their current and post-SGI experiences.

Hi Rothaus:

Actually Italy has several boards equally as active as this, for example, No Alla Soka Gakkai.


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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: Morgaine ()
Date: June 30, 2010 09:27AM

Wow,this last few days have been very enlightening on this forum.

I am not saying that any of you are but , we should not be afraid, it is very important to speak up about what is going on. Someone needs to stop the madness, at the end of the day there are many sincere people who simply just want to practice this amazing wonderful Buddhism correctly . I have spoken up so many times, I have been yelled at , ostracized, ridiculed and disrespected, yet somehow, my life has continuosly improved over the years since I started to speak up. The only power some thing has over you is the power YOU give it. ok, getting off my soap box now. Peace to all.

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: doubtful ()
Date: June 30, 2010 01:38PM

@Morgaine, you wrote, "Someone needs to stop the madness, at the end of the day there are many sincere people who simply just want to practice this amazing wonderful Buddhism correctly"

I could not agree with you more. This is an excerpt of a recent notice sent out by SGI re: RTE confirmations at the community center:

** Finally, due to many requests, we will now be open JULY 4th from 8AM to 6PM!! We will be waiting for all the applications of all the youth confirmed at your afternoon BBQ’s!!! YAYYYY!!!!

The notice also indicates that tosos at the center shall continue from 6am-9pm from now through the day of the event. I am sorry to mention any of this. It is not my intention to blast SGI on everything, but does the organization have any consideration of the members' time, plans, family etc? It often claims to care so much about their well-being and safety. Yet SGI has gone out of its way to spend the members' money on accommodations and an expensive venue and then pressure them to fill the place up--and spend countless hours stressing out over the event: chanting hysterically and harassing members over the phone. WHY? Is any of this going to make their lives or their world more peaceful? No, just anxious, resentful, and angry.How can any of this deepen their faith in Buddhism? I hope SGI has not been feeding them some line about how this event will change their lives, bring them closer to their dreams. This is precisely the frenzied desperation I feared months ago. This event shall ultimately alienate more Youth Division than it will introduce or encourage. I know what is happening. Many district members are ponying up the money for uninterested young people to attend. I am aware of some members who have received numerous phone calls because their children simply do not want to attend. Furthermore, the active YD are certainly under a lot of pressure to attend and support in front and behind the scenes. I am certain that many inactive or even former members with young people in their homes have been harassed with phone calls since I know some former members who have been contacted. In a few weeks or months, the participants will look back at the huge demands made on their time and they will be disgusted with themselves and the organization. They will see that they were basically made to stress out over a party in honor of someone they have never met and never will meet. In truth, I am not wishing for the failure of RTE because I am sure most of the participants are nice people who are trying to please their elders. Nevertheless, they have been hoodwinked into thinking they are doing something great and world-saving. Yet by and large none of it has anything to do with Nichiren Buddhism.

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