I offered to drive part of a family to a big 'rock the era' meeting. There was the line of clappers outside and Mr. Nagashima on a big screen looking like the great and powerful Oz, lots of beating on tires and young people dancing and doing skits. The meeting went 40 minutes over to make time for a youth leader from California going on about the 1000 dialogues and the 2 hundred something honorary degrees. After the 40 minutes over time we weren't allowed to leave even though there were only 3 of us wanting to get to my car; not waiting for one of the busses. Women's division turned us around 3 times. We were going to try exiting the church style pew seats in this venue by the center aisle but a young woman ( byakuren) was posted right at our means of egress with her back toward us, ignoring us. We had been only a few rows from the exit but had to wait a Half an Hour to exit! That is 70 minutes past the planned ending of the meeting and just in time for adding another half hour to the usual 2 hour drive at the beginning of rush hour traffic. The locals somehow slipped out way before us. Now that wasn't the end of the world, but being diverted and blocked without any consideration for individuals daily lives? Someday that young 'blockerin' can work at a table and do team blocking for world peace.
I'm not sure I can think of of a time I was more disgusted or scared by large group behavior.Quote
@Hitch. re: above message: I felt a parallel to what happened in Jonestown if one didn't drink the Kool -Aid. In the Jim Jones mass event Some were injected with cyanide and it is believed that resisters were shot. Not all suicides. Okay, maybe an exaggeration, but you had to be there. My hypnotic trance had been stripped away a bit through research and my straying from the program so that helped me notice things that day. I had noticed the limited capabilities of the stoic YMD at the entrance of the parking garage. These humorless and unfriendly drones had a bug up their butts that only allowed them to hold signs and provide basic info. When I presented this incident of being kept from leaving to a Men's Division member later, he said "That's alright". That is all he said. I was speechless. What's alright? I had just explained all the details and what we thought about it and he brushed it off. He was usually a nice guy, but not when I stood on the precipice of criticism.
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.
That leads me to another observation. During my SGI times I often heard “experiences” when people were “victorious” and showed “actual proof”, tears rolled in those meetings and everybody was “encouraged”.
Maybe its just me but whenever things went wrong though like marriages breaking up, dysfunctional family situations within Soka families, severe illness like cancer you name it … if those people were not “victorious” they some how vanished form the scene. I am not sure if they just stayed silent or if they were told to sort things out and not show up at meetings.
The support one received from the peer group always seemed to be guaranteed if one was struggling or on the way to succeed, it got rather silent when someone’s life clearly did not go into the desired direction.
What I noticed is that many SGI memebers even never admitted of having troubles especialy in terms of family troubles or marriages breaking apart - they seemed to have been achamed to talk of things like that. This was wide spread among memebers with a Japanese family background.
Most of them did not strike me as any more or less successful in life than other people.
Can't wait for the big fight over SGI's money [more than ten trillion yen] when the cultmeister dies. I'm stocking up on popcorn. Shakyamuini had two robes and a begging bowl and Nichiren ate grass and brachen. They both rejected honors and awards, Shakyamuni rejected monetary offerings, and Nichiren rejected a temple and official recognition by the Shogun. Ikeda takes money from desperate old ladies and except for his inner circle, he pays the staff peanuts. Thus I heard.
When I first left the SGI, if I had challenges in my life I would fight that much harder to overcome them because I just knew that, if I failed, I would be used as an example of "what happens if you stop chanting" (I still have friends in the org so they know what's going on in my life). I've relaxed a bit about that. Life is good and bad whether you chant or not and I don't care what the SGI thinks anymore. But I am 5 years cancer free all without the "benefit" of the SGI and it feels great.
I was a YWD leader in my district, but it was something that was kind of forced on me. I never felt like a "leader" and it was one of the many things that caused me to leave the SGI. I never saw myself as abandoning anyone I was just choosing not to help anyone travel a path that I felt was wrong. We all have to make choices in life. Choosing not to follow the SGI isn't abandonment.