I went through the study material from 2009 and there Ikeda compared his exclusion to a witch- hunt in nazi style. He named it discrimination of Culture and Art - he said that was the starting point of the split, in Dec.'90- because he wanted Beethovens 9.th Symphonia "Ode der Freude" made for the new Soka Hymn and Nikken disagreed because the lyrics (by Schiller) are glorification of christianity, which is absolutely correct. Another disagreement could be, IMO, that the Joy/ Happiness in the song is a daughter comming from the land of Elysium and Elysium is an equivalent to "pure land" in buddhism. The hymn would have fitted perfectly to ikedas cult concept of embracing the millions ($$$ not people) and all men become myoho brothers and myoho sisters of course by pimping up the lyrics. Hmm, the man is good in stealing art, have you noticed that the emblem of SGI is a copy of Michelangelos star in Rome?
The split with the priesthood roughly coincides with the time that I was extricating myself from the cult org.. I still had, however, access to copies of "The Weird Tribune" (thanks for this name, rattyboy!) and I remember reading the "official" gakkai (USA) propaganda detailing it all, even discussing it with some of my friends of other faiths. The Beethoven incident, according to the cult org., is the seed that started it all. That, of course, is a false statement / misrepresentation by the cult org.. The animosity between the $oka cult org. and the priesthood is rooted in decades old hostility that was suppressed / hidden from USA cult org. members. If you understood Japanese, though, there were always rumblings and intimations of a rocky relationship going on, but it was NEVER openly discussed with the general membership, at meetings, or in English, until the stuff hit the fan around '89-'90. Thereafter, there was no holding back.
That's an excellent find, btw, regarding Michelangelo's star in Rome. Fascinating, but definitely not surprising! The gakkai cult is again exposed as the hack organization that it is.
IMHO, it's one thing to say, "Here is what the SGI was promoting, which apparently had no other purpose than to inflate the membership rolls", and it's a completely different thing to say, "SGI members are brainwashed and exploited."
Generally speaking, I have sometimes come across as too sharp in my criticisms of the $oka Cult Org., by those with a different temperament than myself.
I try to be cognizant of the fact that I can sometimes come across as a bit harsh for some on this mb and have tried to tone it down as much as I possibly can and / or preface my statements with a warning disclaimer beforehand. That said, I do prefer the latter
statement above. Blunt talk can sometimes cut thru the fog, too.
Re: The Ikeda swimsuit (yikes!) bronze at the sho-hondo
When I went on tozan, I didn't see it. I believe the priests made him remove it. When I learned about it, I did ask pioneering Japanese members about it and their reaction was two-fold: first, one of surprise that I knew about it, and second, one of anger, denying it and feigning ignorance. Plus, based on what I know about these pioneering members' standard behavior model, they were lying like a rug, too.
That's all just my own anecdotal experience. As far as I'm concerned, that's Ikeda in the bronze relief and it would be typical of his psychopathological narcissism to do such a thing to put one over on the priests and satisfy the delusion that he is the daishonin reincarnated, thereby having a way to get members to chant to his likeness at the front base of the sho-hondo bustudan (which is where it was).
Any way you slice it, that hilarious bronze relief stunt is the product of one very sick mind. Definitely not the kind of "Master" (err, I mean "mentor") that I'd want in my life.
On that note, here's another recent video from the USA cult org. apotheosizing The Dear Leader [www.youtube.com
]. (This kind of meeting, especially the mc, brings back lots of bad memories for me. I can't believe that I ever sat through that kind of crap for so long, before. I definitely would not have the tolerance to do it today; just going thru selections of this clip was enough for me. Good luck to those of you who have the stamina to watch the entire thing, because I sure as hell didn't. I really feel sorry for that "mayor" of the city getting roped up in it, too.)