Upgrayed - At least one leader in my Area would say we are meeting to study the "Novel", referring to the New Human Revolution. This probably applied to this publication of more recent alleged events since some living members might remember the truth.
I remember one incident, because it was so weird to me at the time: a transplanted Japanese ymd came over to a group of us sitting in the some seats near the front of the room, right in front of the butsudan, and he was literally clutching the human revolution book to his chest, about to cry, saying "zis is a plecious book by plesident Ikeda zato we should sutady tugeza wis allu of our hato" (translation = "This is a precious book by President Ikeda that we should study together, with all of our heart.") He then walked away, hunched over, because he was too emotional to stand straight up. The entire group of us were stunned into silence and we just looked at each other, silently agreeing that what we just encountered was a nut case.
Not "Guidance" but a wish of mine: I'd like to urge members on the fence to go cold turkey for 3 months and not even open the butsudan doors or attend meetings. Even if you have to talk to your Gohonzon ( if that is what you do) and say: "I have these doubts and need to do this in order to honestly assess for my self, the very self I have entrusted to you, scroll, or Prez Ikeda", and then look at the fear you might be experiencing by even thinking for 5 minutes "What if I stopped the chanting?" How does it feel to own that fear? How does it feel talking to a photo or a scroll and trying to assess if it is alright, in your own personal bill of rights, to harbor doubts?
One thought that entered my mind as a kid and never
left me, is the bizzare fact that people are chanting to a piece of paper. A piece of paper. It's reality knocking on the door, to be let in.
They serve water and fruit to it, they stand guard over it at kaikans, they bow to it, they place leaves in their mouths so as to not breathe on it, you can't photograph it, you can't point your feet towards it, they spend hours upon hours in front of it, chanting, sitting on bended knee, sometimes even aggressively bobbing up and down, back and forth, loudly chanting, and I've also heard horror stories about how somebody accidently spilled something on it or ripped it and went on to suffer unspeakable agonies, accidents and even premature death.
Even in bizzaro-land, this stuff takes the cake.
Hitch - My incident I posted many pages back about being blocked by 2 Women's division members from leaving a big auditorium, don't picture Japanese WD. It was 2 African American women over 35 yrs of age. Very determined nevertheless.
The Japanese WD were always the least of my worries, because I knew how to handle them and play their game. My problems were standing up to other ymd (members and leaders) who were much older than me (in some cases, grown men), controlling me, blocking my way, and even engaging in power hungry displays of dysfunctional manipulation (solely because of their position and the fact that they knew that they could get away with it within the insulated gakkai cult world). I can state as a fact that the youth division activities/practices were where the biggest mind games were played on fellow members, more so than in any of the other divisions.
One way that I deal with current members if I ever encounter them, is to remind myself that they don't normally respect common everyday bounds of courtesy and manners (in words or actions), therefore I'm under no obligation to do the same in return. I never hesitate to physically remove them if they overstep, push them back if they start to intrude, and respond bluntly if they try to psychologically manipulate. Every time I have ever done so, they are stunned and it takes them a minute or two to recover (they simply aren't used to it). I hate to say it, but you have to treat them like you would a mentally ill person.
Let them have their beliefs, but firmly draw a line and do not allow them to cross it. Do not challenge their delusions, but do let them know that you do not buy into to same thought patterns or share their version of reality. Turn it all around on them, take charge, redirect them and control the encounter to what your desired goal is (even if it is something as simple as putting distance between you and them). If it's an aggressive falsely confident "leader", all you have to do is challenge his or her fallacious thought patterns with critical thinking and then sit back and slowly watch their carefully constructed, hallow, facade begin to crumble (or get angry, depending on their true nature).
I've never gone to them, seeking to do any of this. They have always come to me, leaving me no choice in the matter. Always defend your right to think for yourself, your right to self-determination and your right to not be manipulated in any way, shape or form.