A brilliant post by tsukimoto:
And the chanting -- leaders will often recommend that you do hours a day, especially if you have some problem that you're trying to change. We chanted at the beginning of meetings -- which made us more inclined to accept what was said at the meeting. And then we chanted at home too. I knew that chanting made me feel more relaxed; I underestimated how suggestible it made me! Now that I'm chanting less, I find I'm also more inclined to question things that other people tell me. One of my co-workers commented on this last week when we were at the same meeting. She said "You asked some great questions about the new proposal -- you were shyer a few years ago, you didn't do that." Well -- WAS I "shyer" in the past --- or maybe TOO tranquilized from chanting?
The whole chanting business has always been too much hocus-pocus and magic wand waving for my tastes. The only thing, perhaps, that I disliked more than chanting, was sitting on the floor, (as per my previous post - literally on your knees) to do it, too.
In the following quote, I placed my comments in bolded blue
I felt very angry for about a year after I left SGI (I was not chanting at all for awhile.) Other members have mentioned feeling very angry too after leaving SGI. (Rothaus, you mentioned "detoxing.") I do think that part of it is just recognizing how badly we were treated in SGI...and connecting with the anger that we may have repressed for years. Definitely, that was part of it for me. And if you're chanting less, as I was, that may also be part of it.
I think that being angry at SGI, and how we were manipulated, is healthy. People have had horrible experiences: Check!
--Manipulated into giving their last dollars to SGI and ending up homeless. (and no support from SGI once that happened.)
--Pushed to give money to SGI, as a child. Check!
--Selling valued possessions to give money to SGI.
--Being berated harshly when a family member is dying
--Telling an abused wife that she should just chant and try to be a better wife!
--Verbal abuse and humiliation. Triple Check!
--Being told to chant more rather than seek medication and therapy for mental illness. (by someone with no training in health or psychiatry.)
--Discouraged from going to school and pursuing career/personal goals. Check!
--Forced to work in the hot sun with insufficient food and water Check! , and then humiliated Check! for fainting.
Many common threads
with my time in the organization, too. It's amazing at how similar it all is.
These things are just wrong -- decent people don't do things like that! And no, the leaders who did these things will never apologize for them.
I don't want to be bitter my whole life -- but I also don't want to forget that many SGI leaders are liars, manipulators, exploiters of the vulnerable. I think that the answer is not repressing the anger, but channelling it-- warning others of these users, and being more aware of how people can manipulate me -- and more assertive if someone tries to.
Maybe the anger is a sign of waking up from the SGI trance.