Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: rattyboy ()
Date: July 13, 2010 01:41AM

I'd like to know what people think of some of the 'rock the era' events that have been videotaped and posted by SGI members. You get a chance to rewind and listen to what normally just washes over you. Here is an example, without further comment from me. I think it was from a RTE kickoff meeting in Texas. Part of a speech from a young man on the stage:
"The only way that we can express this debt of gratitude that we owe to each and every one of you is to make sure that every single youth we encounter awakens to their vow to reveal their true identity as Shin' ichi Yamamoto; as a protagonist; as a Bodhisattva of the Earth".

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: overthetop ()
Date: July 13, 2010 02:14AM

I guess the reason I think that the SGI abuses people is that they feed off of people's hopes and dreams for something better in their lives.
They promise a great way to overcome your challenges and be happy, but then turn around and skillfully take advantage of people's efforts and willingness to dedicate their lives to the organization. And it just feels to me like it's all so that the selfish leaders make money. In my mind, this is abuse.

The event was well attended until the very end. I was surprised at how few people were actually singing Forever Sensei at the end of the festival.
The youth worked really hard, including all the Soka Groups and Byakuren. I just don't think it's fair the way SGI makes these kids give so much
of their time and effort to throw some big party all to celebrate Sensei. And, to all the behind the scenes groups, it's always the same people doing all the work. To me is is just abusive and controlling on a mass scale. They do it to control people's lives and take their money. They are prepping these youth to be good little worker ants for the organization.

Maybe I just don't get the spirit of Nichirin Buddhism.
I didn't think Buddhism was all about filling up a big stadium blasting propaganda from the big screen and making their children
march in order singing praises to the dear leader.

I'm starting to sound pretty jaded, I guess.
It probably doesn't help that some of the personal experiences I had made me feel somewhat abused and taken advantage of.

The whole event felt like I was watching a military organization. It's clear that a lot of hard work, sweat and effort was put into the show.

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: ScoobyDooby ()
Date: July 13, 2010 02:30AM

My wife is taking our 13 year old son to Philly for RTE on the 25th. He'd rather sit through a root canal than sing Forever Sensei. He has some SGI friends that are attending the rally which will make it tolerable but he just wants to be hanging out with his neighborhood friends. He hates the rah-rah stuff that occurs at these SGI activities.

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: SGBye ()
Date: July 13, 2010 02:37AM

I have also been perusing YouTube for RTE-related videos, but a lot of them just stirred up feelings of anger inside of me. The one that upset me the most was a video of a RTE kick-off meeting. A bunch of young people are onstage dancing & singing the following lyrics:

We're bringing Sensei back
With our daimoku is how we attack
He is our mentor and we got his back
Double our youth so kosen-rufu lasts

Sensei! The youth are ready
Come to SUA
The LA North Coast Zone will lead the way
To transform the land, so you can stay

We're bringing Sensei back
With 4D unity, we'll bring him back
Let's shakabuku youth, we gotta act
The true disciples are coming up fast

Double the youth, go ahead and rock it
In the district, go ahead and rock it
Work those beads, go ahead and rock it
Victory, go ahead and rock it
Bring Sensei back, go ahead and rock it

It's all there: their obsession over their mentor and having him come to the US, the demands to double the number of young people in the organization, etc. It's been written many times on this board but I'll write it again: What does any of this have to do with Buddhism?! It seems that the religion of Buddhism is basically a joke to them (there's also a video of a rap song with the lyrics "Esho to Funi, Shakya to Muni!") These people are dancing & singing this garbage like fools - oh, and I forgot to mention that one of the persons onstage is wearing a horse mask (don't ask). If there were any guests at this meeting I can't imagine what kind of thoughts were going through their minds.

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: Rothaus ()
Date: July 13, 2010 03:35AM

Dear god that RTE stuff you guys have going on is worse than I thought. On the other hand it reveals SGI true nature even to an outsider. So in a sick sense I hope they do more of that stuff - emperors new clothes style.

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: DrJesusEsq ()
Date: July 13, 2010 04:45AM

I have been having a friend call me up to go to the one in Philly as well. Each time he put the pressure, I remember exactly the whole purpose of North Korea's Mass Games. Same deal, same propaganda BS, and all it happens is that time and energy is wasted on those who really wanted to make a difference.

@quiet_one, There was no word on it in the newspaper!? Funny enough when someone asked me how to spread the word about RTE, I suggested they print an ad in the local papers. He was definitely not into that idea.

Do I smell a conspiracy?

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: Rothaus ()
Date: July 13, 2010 05:07AM

well guys go there ... even if its just to tell the tale ;-)

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: TheVoid ()
Date: July 13, 2010 05:21AM

Have just checked out some of those videos on youtube. I can't believe the absolute rubbish i have just witnessed. If that's Buddhism, Avichi Hell here we come! What nonsense! A song called Nam Myoho Renge Kyo sang to the tune of Rock around the clock! Hang your heads in shame. Can't even describe what a joke SGI is.

i thought Justin Timberlake was the one, 'bringing sensei back!' Or maybe i just heard it that way, this cult speak gets in the brain you know!

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: doubtful ()
Date: July 13, 2010 01:00PM

@SGBye You wrote, "I have also been perusing YouTube for RTE-related videos, but a lot of them just stirred up feelings of anger inside of me."
After reading this I too went to YouTube but I had a different response. I had never looked at the RTE practices. In fact, I have not been on youtube since early this year. I have to admit the few videos I saw were pretty good. Yes, some had corny lyrics or music, but c'mon you would hear things like that at any church function geared toward youth. It was also nice to see young people being so upbeat about the upcoming event--and just energetic. I recalled how I used to be 2o years ago. I was not expecting to feel this way. Finally, I ended up listening to a video of "Forever Sense," but not from the RTE event. Okay, this might not be the right thing to say on this forum, but I found myself singing along and remembering how much I loved singing this song at Gakkai events. The slightly melancholy sound mixed with the military marching sound, when sung well as it was on the video, made me remember some of the good times I had in SGI. I wanted to jump out of my chair with joy! I started to feel like maybe I have been too hard on the organization and the RTE event. Then, I remembered that when I learned that song 20 years ago and whenever I sang it until earlier this year, I was never worshiping Ikeda, but I was grateful that he had directly and indirectly introduced so many to Nichiren Buddhism, that without his influence I may have never heard about it. My point is that I enjoyed the song for so long because I was not being buffeted by mentor-disciple and Ikeda's greatness for most of my 21 years of practice. Therefore the song was an appropriate expression of gratitude. Now, the leaders(and some of the hardcore members) and the publications cannot stop trumpeting his greatness(Gandhi-King-Ikeda exhibit; his gosho lectures; meaningless honorary doctorates; testimonials that always include references to his guidances etc.) and the need to accept him as THE mentor. Furthermore some highly capable study leaders never get used and when they rarely do it appears they are obligated to quote Ikeda. It's a shame that in all probability "Forever Sensei" will not mean the same thing to others who will not experience an SGI that has enough other things in it like thought-provoking study and guidances/speeches; engagement in making the world better locally or globally; acknowledgment of other important Buddhist leaders; or at least some inter-faith activities with other Buddhist sects or teachers instead of a one-dimensional focus on everything.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2010 01:17PM by doubtful.

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Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: Nichijew ()
Date: July 13, 2010 02:00PM

Dear Doubtful:

Hope you are well. Nichiren had gratitude for Dozenbo and even for Hei-no Seimon who tried to kill him. His gratitude however, spurred Nichiren on to correcting these men. Only did he once praise Dozenbo [rather than correct him], when Dozenbo fashioned a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. There are many sincere people in the Soka Gakkai, in Islam, in Brahmanism, in Judaism, in Christianity, and there were many sincere people who embraced National Socialism in Germany.

Next, Nichiren teaches in his most important writing, the True Object of Worship that one can only see in a man's face the Lower Six Worlds. The Worlds from Learning to Buddhahood are hidden. Therefore we have to observe behavior rather than a man's face to accurately ascertain a person's state of life. SGI's behavior in the light of the Lotus Sutra and writings of Nichiren Daishonin is deplorable.

From our [Kempon Hokke's] perspective, interfaith. though politically correct and superficially noble, is not in accord with the Lotus Sutra and writings of Nichiren Daishonin. Therefore, it is a lie for SGI to call itself Nichiren's Buddhism. They are extremely active in interfaith activities. Interfaith, as "world peace", sells.

SGI's corrupt financial practices too point to their top leaders actual state of life. One must get beyond the fluff and their world class public relations to find the actual substance of SGI. The reality of SGI must be pointed out for the posterity of the teachings and the sake of these sincere individuals who think they are practicing Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2010 02:02PM by Nichijew.

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