Well, Hitch, all Russians are partly asians, partly because of location (huge part of the country is located in asia), partly because from 1237 till 1480 Russia was occupied by Mongolo-Tatars. That's why all Russians, even though caucasoids/whites, but also have some mongoloid facial features (wider jaws, eyes little narrower and so on).
As for the lady I got mixed up with, she was not a daughter of an asian leader. She is American, and not asian, she is white/caucasian. But she was a very close friend of SGI-USA leader Danny Nagashima, and she personally knew the cult leader Ikeda.
The SGI has an old saying, "AIDS isn't a problem it's an opportunity."
"Again, we value the sanctity of life but we are going to protect ourselves first" is what the youth the leader at the Interfaith Conference says at the 2:03 mark of the above posted video link.
The youth gestures to Rabbi Askelrad at the beginning of the statement then points to his own chest at the end. Telling gestures with at least 3 aspects.
Obviously refering to the words and beliefs of the previous speaker but offering something more profound.
The youth also makes the distinction between tolerating those others on the outside and looking out for #1, his SGI.
And of course, refering to the previous moment when he valued the sanctity of the rules and his need to correct the disunity of the non- stander, the youth sheepishly makes his stand.
Reading about the paranoia that surrounds the Gakkai HQ gives me the creeps. There was a lot of paranoia around during the "switchover" 1990-mid-nineties, about. When I had to travel to California for medical reasons, I wanted to attend a meeting out there in the LA area. Well, got through to the main HQ and got the number of the person most local to where I was staying. Arranged to be picked up in front of the hotel.....the directions could not have been more clear and this person was very familiar of the area. I waited...and waited...and waited. Noone ever came. I flashed back to the initial conversation I had with main HQ, and there was definitely a perceptable air of suspicion on their end about who I was, etc. I was a little surprised at this at the time. Shouldn't they be happy, a member here from 2,000 miles away, who sincerely wants to attend a meeting?!?
Picturing these moments of probing by members reminds me of a confrontation years ago that I had with some sort of christian group that was using cult-like tactics in our brief sidewalk encounter. At the time I'm sure I had been mulling over my involvement with SGI and had already been doing cult research. It seems like I had been for years. I was in an unfamiliar part of a city I rarely visit when a group of about 8 people approached me, one person in front of me telling me something about their group and a person on my right handing me some pamphlet. I noticed they had formed a circle around me, 1 or 2 of them off the sidewalk in the street in order to do so. "I know what you're doing!" I said. Looking at a woman who was the best dressed of the lot I said " You're the leader. Make them stop!" She waved at them to open the circle. As I walked away I turned back and said to them: "You might want to rethink what you are doing and why you are with this group". I don't think I had ever been so direct and assertive about anything without expressing anger. Very matter of fact about my opinion and personal needs and what I perceived. All that pent up non-action toward extricating myself from SGI and Ick-eda's mandate for better living came into play before this new mind virus could even get into my airspace. I remember my words because it felt like a strong moment. And then I was on my way. But. I spent way too much time with SGI letting doubts wash over me. In the SGI group circle in which the leader mentioned leaders needing money ("believe me!" he said) as I posted earlier in this forum, it wasn't going to be easy to question him in front of so many of my peers. So I didn't. - Many of them having given experiences, perhaps with tears attached. But still I gasped silently to myself like a few other times at that gathering and others.
I haven't encountered an SGI member in quite a while. I think the directness could be there, but the less involvement the better. "Do not engage in any discussion" I had to tell myself after a while. That worked.
@bobze39, your experience is triumphant, indeed! So did the defamation hinge on the fact that your advisor was gay solely, were there other things they tried to dig up in vain to get to you? All those emails alone--yikes. So ridiculous.
Shavoy, I'd like to share with you a bit what I learned from Defamation 101 class, which I took in USC and later in life (figuratively speaking).
It doesn't really matter what you say about the person. The point is to keep attention of people on the person. So when you send blanket e-mails to the person's coworkers, it really doesn't matter what you say as soon as email contains the person's name and photo. There is only one message "WATCH OUT FOR THIS PERSON". It's really enough. Read the excerpt from Tsukimoto's post on page 308:Look at the instruction No.7. Did you notice that the instruction doesn't specify what to say about priests? Because it's enough to attract people's attention to them, to ask people to "watch out" for them. That's the real art of defamation! When people watch out for someone, they already look at this person with prejudice. They start misinterpreting his words, and they are afraid of him, so they start distancing themselves from this person. That's it! The goal is achieved. Because the real goal of defamation is to isolate someone socially. Then it will be difficult for this person to get a job, to maintain income, to survive.Quote
Yes, this is quite different than the memo sent out to the public, that Simplify posted. The language of the whole Kitano memo is very militaristic. The SGI leadership regarded the SGI/Nichiren Shoshu split as a war, and they consider it justifiable, even good, to do the following:
1. Perform surveillance on people who have joined, or who have expressed interest in, Nichiren Shoshu.
2. Phone people's homes, and listen for background noise.
3. Keep written lists of SGI members/former members who have joined, or expressed interest in Nichiren Shoshu.
4. Monitor priests' activities; confront and harass priests.
5. Members are to seek out information on Nichiren Shoshu priests and lay members, and report this information to their leaders.
6. Members are to pretend an interest in, and friendship for, Nichiren Shoshu members, with the goal of persuading these members to return to SGI.
7. Distribute priests' pictures and information about their whereabouts as if the priests are suspected criminals.
bobze39, thanks for bringing out how defamation works, how it's more subtle than banging someone over the head outright. That SGI did/does that, gives the creeps. So much for respecting the dignity of every human being.
So they say....SGI supports the members. My question is, how? What do you feel that you gained from participating in SGI activities? I don't mean from chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, or from the practice of Buddhism -- I'm asking about being in SGI itself. Do you feel that you have gained anything positive from SGI itself -- apart from chanting or learning about Buddhism?
I enjoyed some of the activities and met some interesting people, but that probably would have been true if I'd taken up folk dancing, joined the Sierra Club, or gone to cooking school.
When I joined SGI, neither my personal life nor my professional life were going well. Listening to experiences from other members made me feel hopeful that I could change my life. I was able to get my life going in a more positive direction -- and for years, I thought that this was due to SGI and chanting. Now, I suspect that I would have done so whether I ever heard of SGI, or chanting or not. People who have never heard of SGI have problems and manage to solve them. I was able to make positive changes in my life before I joined SGI.
That's one of the chief negative aspects of SGI -- I fell, without realizing it, into the mindset that everything that happened to me, good, or bad, was somehow related to SGI. Other disadvantages are how SGI took huge blocks of time, and the guilt-tripping, the feeling that I could never do enough for SGI.
So...has SGI supported you? If so, how? If SGI did/does support you -- is that support worth what you might have lost or given up to be a member?
That was another reason why I bailed. I could not see myself giving "guidance" to anyone. I just knew I wasn't qualified. Period. Who is qualified? Those who went to school to be a minister, psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker; are sought after through the proper channels and are compensated accordingly, not an SGI leader. Most
SGI leaders work for free, and as they say, "you get what you pay for." I can give free advise as good as anyone, here it goes; tip of the day, "don't bet on the horses!"
I tried to keep it as simple as possible. I was more wondering if from everyone's personal experiences if anyone here had any success with at least convincing (a) SGI member(s) to look at their organization more critically. I concede failure my behalf, once again my apologies, but as always you all have produced some very meaningful responses.Quote
For anyone who reads this: What would be the most effective method to "shakabuku" someone out of SGI or any other cult?
Well, good luck with that.
Of course it would depend upon the depth of committment or dependency the individual had to SGI. Kind of like convincing someone deep in substance abuse to simply "stop doing that".
The only person who can "Shakubuku" a person out of a cult like SGI would be that individual themselves.
Somehow you'd have to penetrate into the cult mind set and cause them to "doubt" that they have all the answers. Slowly then they will follow the bread crumbs back to reality.
(Yep, speaking from personal experience here...). The more intelligent and committed the person, the tougher it would be to get them to doubt themselves enough to begin reevaluating their beliefs. Many of the people on this board can relate to what I'm saying, it just doesn't happen overnight because the culty "magical thinking" sets up "detour" signs throughout your mind to anything that resembles critical thinking. Usually it takes an external event to get you thinking....
Crazy on how the mechanics work here in the USA, given that many SGI members come from other religious backgrounds one could wonder why is it that the same reasoning and doubts for the previous faith can't be applied to the SGI faithful.Quote
KR - There are no easy answers to your question. It depends on the person. A part of the person has to be receptive and open to the idea of questioning and doubting (i.e., a part of them has to want it for themselves). The trigger that gets them to that point is also different for different people (for some, it is a single event, for others it is an accumulation of events). I'd say the starting point would be to focus on the trigger(s). Then, slow reeducation and critical thinking are the only way out. Even then, some people will have doubts, panic attacks and possibly relapses. Whereupon you will have to start over again. Persistence is also important. People who truly *need* the cult and its support mechanisms, however, are going to be the most difficult to get to, maybe even impossible. For those, the *need* to believe overrides all else and, as mentioned above, their door of doubt is completely shut. Unfortunately, they are probably beyond reach.
@KR...I see members who feel they are truly happy practicing with the SGI. They are getting benefits which satisfy them and have no reason to doubt P.I. or the leaders. A lot of the leaders profess great conviction in what the SGI has done for them. They appear genuinely happy. For me, the first light bulb was the very apparent ego-ism that is the majority of the New Human Revolution. I was happy, too. But seeing how Shin'ichi Yamamoto portrayed himself in the NHR as all-knowing Saviour (ghost-written or not, P.I. always has the final say) just hit me as the antithesis of humility, not very Buddhist.