Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Date: January 27, 2011 08:56PM
Backnforth, this is a good point. I know that we've discussed this topic on the thread -- exactly where, I couldn't tell you. This thread is longer than some books; I swear, we need an index and a table of contents.
Many pages back, we had a discussion about SGI-USA leaders who appointed an abusive boyfriend to be a leader -- he then murdered his girlfriend, also an SGI member. Rothaus, if I remember correctly, also wrote about having a friend or relative with an abusive husband, and her leaders advised her to stay with the husband and chant for him to change.
There were posts about Women's Division members in Hokkaido, being expected to go out in the bitter-cold Hokkaido winter -- pregnant or carrying their small children -- to do shakabuku. One of these women, a leader in Hokkaido, spoke of being reprimanded by her child's teacher. The child told his teacher of always having to eat dinner alone because his parents, SGI-Japan leaders, were always out at meetings. Posters have also written about mentally ill SGI members whose leaders have advised them to do more daimoku, rather than take medication and get psychotherapy.
I think that SGI's biggest problem is that it has gotten away from teaching and practicing Buddhism. The emphasis is not on learning about the principles of Buddhism and how to apply those principles to your life, it's all Ikeda and growing the organization. People who rise in the organization are the Ikedaists. So there are nonstop activities -- and if you're a dedicated SGI member, that leaves you with little time to develop relationships with other members, nonSGI friends, or family members.
You're told that you get benefit if you "shakabuku," lots of people (get them to join SGI.) So that encourages members to just look at friends and family with the agenda "Get them to join," rather than just enjoying time with them. Yet once the person joins -- quite often nobody pays them any further attention. There's no concern about developing them, helping them to grow in their faith and understanding. SGI's got its numbers, met its quota for the month -- who cares what happens to these people after they join? It's become just a numbers game --- and really, does Headquarters care, so long as donations keep coming in?