Omamori (miniature pocket mandalas / "good luck charm" in Japanese) gohonzons were a huge deal back in that time period, huge, like a status symbol. I believe they were in personally inscribed somewhat heavy metal cases then, now they are cheap-o plastic versions.
I remember the "200 Years From Now" events, and the song, very well. I also had to wear (the same?!?) minute-men cult wear in the 80's in the brass band - I hated it. They must recycle those uniforms for years and years. I also remember they kept fleecing us brass band members for uniform cleaning fees after every event or every month, but problem was, they weren't actually cleaning the things, just saying they would, but never doing it and keep taking the money. Lots of people complaining about, too. If you didn't fork over, you got screamed at, put on a list and hit up harder next time or couldn't participate in the next event. It was nice little mini-extortion they had going on there.
Agreed, 100% on the "taiten" psychological cult manipulation. It was put into my head for the very first time in Jr. Pioneers, when I learned and memorized the "Kaimoku-Sho" in Japanese & English:
"No matter what obstacles we may encounter, I Nichiren and my disciples can eventually attain Buddhahood unless we hold doubts about true Buddhism. You should never doubt the protection of the Buddhist gods. You should never be sorry that you are not leading a peaceful life. Although I have taught this to my disciples day and night, many have deserted the Lotus Sutra. At a crucial moment, the foolish will often forget what they have promised".
From what I understand, btw, the above is also a deliberate twisted misinterpretation of the original (perhaps Nichijew can elaborate). More calculated and intentional controlling manipulation.
Here is another translation of the above passage:
"Not only I, Nichiren but also my disciples will reach the land of Buddha unfailingly so long as we hold on to unwavering faith no matter what difficulty confronts us. I have always told my disciples not to have doubts about the lack of heavenly protection and not to lament the lack of tranquility in this world. I am afraid, however, that they might all have doubts about this and no longer listen to me. It seems only natural that ordinary people, in face of harsh reality, will forget what they had promised..." -- Kyotsu Hori
The only difference with this passage and the SGI passage is that the SGI passage is translated from the modern Japanese translation and the Hori translation is from the Chinese original and the part about listening to Nichiren. They don't listen to Nichiren. That is not to say that all the SGI translations from the modern Nichiren Shoshu translations are faithful to the originals. I have many examples of significant deviation from the originals but it is beyond the scope of this forum to go into details. Suffice it to say that those passages that agree with SGI [Daisaku Ikeda] doctine are left unaltered but those don't are changed subtly or not so subtly.
This passage has been twisted by the SGI interpretation to mean unyielding allegiance to the Soka Gakkai and mentor Daisaku Ikeda rather than the Law and Nichiren.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2013 10:38PM by Nichijew.