Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: June 22, 2013 06:44PM

Wait, this is permanent? But the fat little Japanese guy in the white shirt that did it for me told me that it would disappear if I recited the magical incantation he gave to me! Say it ain't so!

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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 22, 2013 10:18PM


In the old days, there was a punk rock group called Straight Edge. They were against drugs, alcohol and meaningless sex.

They'd mark an 'X' in ball point in on their arms.

You can do that. Or hum the lyrics from South Pacific

"I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair."


In all seriousness--here is an article from Navy Times about tattoos and how difficult some can be to remove.

One guy got a tattoo of a pair of eyes on his you-know-what.

And then he had regrets.

(Probably after bombing out on twenty million dates)


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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: June 23, 2013 07:14AM

I do have a couple of well-considered tats (and discreet), but I don't think I have an expanse of skin that would provide enough area for your great posting. None of them are sgi-related - otherwise, I might actually have the offending body part removed. Based on the location of the guy's extra eyes, I think that 90% of his dating failures would have stemmed from just being too weird . . .

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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Spartacus ()
Date: June 23, 2013 05:07PM

I am reposting this cut-to-the-core paragraph I wrote yesterday:

I am so much happier than ever before in my life, I will never again be suckered into such a unhealthy and disfunctional relationship. Since renouncing my membership, I'm enjoying more actual good fortune than ever, and here's the icing on the cake: I will never again have to endure this cult's lies, distortions, manipulations, magical thinking, never-ending meetings/activities, contribution campaigns, get-guidance fetish, willful confusion, publication sales strong-arming, extreme bias, total exhaustion 24/7, mind-numbing tosos/speakers/jargon/peer-pressure/uniforms, brainwashing agendas, creepy father figure worship, racial prejudice, overbearing arrogance, boiling anger, hidden jealousy, destructive criticisms, isolation/aloneness, fake smiles, love bombing, pretend friendships, fanantical members, dumb-ass cult songs, Divisions, savings-draining cult trips, hypocritical guidlines/policies/rules, power hungry psychopathic leaders, or the closed minded world of a dangerous religious cult that supports warmongers while giving lip service to the cause of peace. Gee - what a shame my life will never be filled to the brim with cult crap like that again. :-D

"Best post I've ever seen on this mb with regard to the $oka Gakkai. An excellent summation. This should be a poster and put on the wall, or at the very least, made into a "sticky" for the $GI CULT Org. threads. An absolutely perfect summation, nothing left out and not a single word too many. Perfection."

"Beautifully put and absolutely every aspect covered. Poster, hell - I'm getting a tattoo."

Thanks to my fellow mb posters, Hitch and Meh. Much gratitude for your kind praises of my heartfelt rant.

Hitch - you're the man! Please keep educating/entertaining us by digging up those superb video clips that so clearly illustrate the true nature of the SGcult. Meh - I'm sure your current tattoos are very cool, and although there may not be enough room on your beautiful body for a tat with such a long sentence, I can only imagine that you do not have any offensive body parts whatsoever. :-P

If anyone actually ever puts my power-paragragh rant onto a poster (paper or digital), I want a copy!

Sitting around our summer soltice bonfire last night witha group of friends, a friend read my horiscope aloud - it said I should stop holding back and express myself. Had to laugh at that total miss! If anything, I'm certainly not afraid to speak out.


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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: June 23, 2013 07:00PM

Seriously, Spartacus, there's something in your "rant" that reminds me of the "non, merci" speech from Cyrano. It's important to all of us, I think, to hear our own thoughts, opinions, experiences and emotional turmoil expressed as eloquently as I've seen posted on these mb's.

This is a complicated situation that we find ourselves in. There aren't many places where we can verbalize the feelings of freedom, lifting of guilt . . . all of the emotional experiences involved in leaving a cult. I'm not sure that anyone who hasn't been through it can really understand just how complicated it is. We quit jobs, we leave lovers - that's simple everyday stuff that most people can relate to. I left the catholic church many years ago, and I left the Quaker faith and never looked back. This is as different as night from day. It isn't until you do take those first few steps in the opposite direction that you can really start to see how insidiously sgi (or any other cult) seeps into every corner of your life like a miasma. It gets to the point where every single event in your life becomes an aspect of the Cousin Rufus circus, whether it's making all those green lights or a painfully stubbed toe. Nothing in your life belongs to you; you've handed all control over. They natter about self-responsibility and empowerment, while taking your will away. You abdicate your reasoning mind.

Very few people outside of this experience really understand - I have as yet to read a posting on this board that isn't worth its pixels. We're all bright, intelligent people that got taken in by this BS; those of us who weren't mis-fortune babies were shamelessly seduced and our good will, pure intentions, desires to improve ourselves and the world were ruthlessly exploited and manipulated. How do you articulate this to almost anyone on the outside? How do you make them understand that this can happen to absolutely anybody under the right circumstances? The friends I have outside of sgi that I've talked about this with have, almost to a person, responded with "You? A cult?" Only one (a scientology refugee) gets it. She and I talk a lot!

It hasn't quite been four weeks since I stepped off the bus to crazy-town - I don't miss chanting in my head any more. I've happily gotten rid of every reminder of sgi other than my gohonzons - I'm still not sure what to do with them. I have a beautiful statue of Quan Yin where my butsudan used to be, and she just smiles benevolently at me every time I walk by and doesn't demand a thing. It doesn't seem to bother her at all that I don't do anything other than dust her off occasionally. I've had that statue for years. I don't feel guilty about not doing gongyo any more, and my life seems to be resuming normalcy. There's still a seven-year space in my life, though, that I would feel very weird talking about with anyone other than people I've known for a really long time, but it's impossible for most of them to understand the significance of leaving. This is a big honkin' life-changing event. There's a tv show called "Rectify" about a man who was released from prison after 20 years - I can relate to how disconnected he feels from the real world. Like him, I need to figure out how direct all this new-found freedom.

And, Spartacus, I had to laugh at your horoscope, too - why don't you tell us how you really feel? ;-)

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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 23, 2013 08:07PM

Here is the earlier Navy Times article on tattoo removal from 2007.

Technology has since improved. But its still costly.


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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Hitch ()
Date: June 24, 2013 08:02AM

I find it both interesting and extremely revealing that gakkai cult org. members' blinders are so strong that they feel it's completely normal and secure to post YouTube clips of their cult meetings. Having been to hundreds (or more?) during my time in, it's equally fascinating that absolutely nothing has changed. The themes, the corniness, the format, everything, it's all exactly the same.


Arrive at the cult kaikan (now called "buddhist centers").
Go to the chanting room and recite the magic words to the box, while waiting for fellow cult members to arrive. Lots of talking, nods and waves "hello."
Lots of wanna-be "leaders" running around, some like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to look important, rushing around, dispensing orders.

More people arrive. Everyone asked to please move to the front (don't be shy and sit way in the back). Sitting up front with everyone else, makes you more susceptible to the group peer pressure and artificial enthusiasm.

The magic box with the magic paper is opened.

Eventually, the "senior leader" arrives (if they weren't already waiting in a special cult side office room, being catered to), walks into the chanting room, suddenly changing the atmosphere of the entire room (all the cult members sit up straighter, chant louder and more sincerely).

A whirlwind gonygo (recitation of the prayers) follows ("YOUTH!" meetings, with super loud and super fast versions), with the "senior leader" sitting up front in front of the magic box "leading" it all with a microphone.

As soon as it's finished, feigned guttural applause from all in the room. Then, . . . . "THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! WELCOME TO THE . . . . . [insert cult area name and manufactured cult title group name) . . . . with Mr. / Mrs. ___________ (most likely some Japanese surname or salaried leader)!!!"


The magic box has been closed, while you were distracted.

"We'll start off our meeting with a performance by . . . . ." (different divisions are assigned some mandatory amateur performance task for each meeting --> these things are really thought-stopping and behavior regressing activities to tenderize everyone's minds to be even more [in addition to the chanting session] receptive to the "leader" "guidance" that eventually follows during the last part of the cult meeting).

Here's one example of such a "performance" -

"I'm not like you, and you're not like me
We got a connection I hope you'll see
We are just like . . . . just like . . . .
Fish in the water

I've got your . . . . (?)
And you've got brown
We've got the rhythm now, swimming around
We are just like . . . just like . . . .
Fish in the water

They say we are like Many In Body,
But we are One In Mind
Faith in The Mystic Law forever
But in the end you'll be fine

When evil people drag you down
They don't have
A faith like
A fish in the water

They other day, I heard you say
Let's get to fight, to see better days
We are just like . . . . just like . . . .
Fish in the water"

All cult speak jargon bolded and incorporated into the song. 1st song, first couple of minutes of the clip [].

Then, obligatory cult speeches ("determinations", "goals", etc.) follow, given by various "leaders."

Extremely ignorant confirmation bias "experiences" by members will precede the last portion of the meeting. The bigger, more important the cult venue meeting, the more (superficially) deep (oxymoron, I know), and heavy hitting (e.g., life threatening accident, health problem, financial or personal "obstacles") the story.

Finally, "official" cult org. "senior leader" kool-aid guidance. The more the salaried leader likes to hear themselves talk, the longer it will be.

The magic box is stealthily re-opened.

Once finished, $oka-han might make an announcement (usually about parking or driving safely) and then the cult meeting officially closes with the magic chant repeated three times.

The magic box gets closed again.

After the cult meeting, there is love bombing of newer members or guests, and a special opportunity one-on-one "senior leader" heavy guidance for any member who may be particularly vulnerable, experiencing severe hardships, or otherwise in an acute state of prime manipulation mindset. Other lower tier volunteer "leaders" start dispensing their scheduling demands and requirements for the next cult meeting (there's always another one to start preparing for right around the corner).

Always something for everybody.


I think the title of that cult song performance should be changed from "Fish in the Water", to "Ikeda - Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel."

- Hitch

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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 24, 2013 10:33AM

It is a fragile attainment in human development to be capable of looking at oneself or one's group/society from an outsider's perspective. Or imagine how someone may have a different perspective than that of your group.

It is an even bigger step to be capable of imagining someone might have a perspective different from that of your group and that their perspective is or could be valid.

If your group norm is the only thing you have, with no other perspective available, ability to imagine that outsiders might think your group behavior is amusing, boring, or wierd is not possible. There's no outside platform from which to imagine this.

Thats why control freak authorities and dictatorships hate it when satirical jokes, graffiti, show up. To be capable getting into a closed society and getting its participants to laugh at their own rituals requires an outsider's perspective. Someone who isnt part of the assimilated, someone who can stand outside, be amazed, surprised, dismayed, by what everyone else considers holy and necessary.

Someone who can respond, "WTF??"

(Note: Wise societies do make room for satirical humor instead of trying to eradicate it. Its a sign of a brittle society when the comedians are persecuted.)

Just the capacity to do the thought experiment, "How would an intelligent visitor from outer space see this?" -- that requires a venturesome state of mind. The ability to be of one's society, yet stand apart from one's society and imagine an outsider perspective.

To be a loyal member yet capable of wondering even worrying how one's behavior or one's group might appear to an outsider.

One thing that contributed to Europeans learning to question their own governments was that starting in the 16th Centery, travel picked up, and they began to learn of other cultures, as sophisticated as the Western ones.

Then, in the 18th century, some social critics began to make fun of the unjust societies they lived in by imagining visitors from Persia or China arriving in their countries and marvelling at the foolishness of what Europeans took for granted.

It takes a certain amount of insight to imagine others might find one's behavior or beliefs to be weird or offensive or silly.

But, this is a fragile state. One can easily lose it if isolated from supports that make critical thinking possible. That is why so many groups like SGI try to create wrap around societies, with lots of busy work. So that one forgets what others might think.

Because one isnt socializing with outsiders anymore.


I find it both interesting and extremely revealing that gakkai cult org. members' blinders are so strong that they feel it's completely normal and secure to post YouTube clips of their cult meetings. Having been to hundreds (or more?) during my time in, it's equally fascinating that absolutely nothing has changed. The themes, the corniness, the format, everything, it's all exactly the same.

SGI has become large enough to create a 'wrap around' world for its inmates.

Much more difficult to summon an outsider's perspective in a wrap around world.

And much more difficult to crack a joke.

Authoritarian groups may even try to ID the potential jokers and dissidents and scoot them out. Get rid of the humorists and the critical thinkers and that leaves a more malleable remainder.

Or..domesticate these qualities.

The jokes are directed only at persons who are singled out as scapegoats to be ridiculed.

Persons with critical thinking skills are taught to find fault with scapegoats or anyone who dares criticize the closed society.

But jokes and critical thinking are never, ever directed at the closed society itself.

Thats to puncture the ships hull.

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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Sporatica ()
Date: June 24, 2013 11:43AM

This is definitely longer than I intended it to be.

I joined NSA in 1984. At the time, I was 19. I was told that they were open to dialogue. Being inquisitive by nature, I had many questions, about the practice. Most couldn't be answered. So I went to the temple and asked one of the priests. The answers he gave me, helped to tide me over for a while. But the organization continued to rub me the wrong way.

I didn't have much money, but I was hungry for knowledge. The "guidance" I received was to chant and to read/study. The books were out of my budget. The response to this was "chant" about it. So I did. It came to me that the bookstore should have a reading room, similar to a library where members could donate books, so that less-prosperous members could read them there or even check them out like a library. Needless to say, this did not go over well as there was no money in it. I was confused. My mom went to the temple and bartered the price down on some used books. You would have thought, by the reaction of NSA members, that she had robbed a bank!

Anyway, the more the org demanded of me, the less apt I was to participate. I liked stage crew. Hanging out in the warehouse at night and creating things in an informal environment. But I was soon told that I had to join YWD. I had no interest in YWD. IMHO, they were all stuck up and reminded me of the girls I disliked most in High School. However, I joined drill dance and prepared for the big World Peace celebration in San Diego. What a nightmare.

As far as I was concerned, my time was my contribution. The concept of charging me to work and perform did not sit well with me. I was given more "guidance" and managed to hustle up the (I think) $100 for the trip and the money for a "uniform" that I would wear once in my life. I was not accustomed to being used or abused. That changed in San Diego. i am not going to whine about it now. Suffice to to say, the way we "grunts" were treated was less than optimal.

I like chanting. I really did, but I felt as if my life had been dropped into some Stepford reality. Nothing FELT genuine; the smiles, the camaraderie, the friendships - (for the most part) felt superficial and contrived. Sure, there were others who were newbies, who were genuine and nice - I really liked some of them and I believe the feeling was mutual. However, the higher up the food chain I looked, the less I liked. I'm very sensitive. I can feel a fake smile. I came to know that feeling very well in NSA. Personally, I'd rather be around a miserable person who isn't pretending to not be miserable.

I've never talked about my time in NSA, except with my mother - because we joined together and left together. I've never discussed the things that I did that were so out of character for me, that to this day I feel uncomfortable about my actions. things like Shakabuku in public places. I felt as if I were intruding upon the lives of others. I hated it. I remember convincing a friend that he needed Gohonzon. We went to pick him up to go to the temple. When we arrived, he was sick in bed. We hounded him. He was running to the toilet every 3-5 minutes, and we were hellbent of forcing him into the car and making him suffer the long drive to Etiwanda. I finally listened to my conscience and begged the leaders in the group to please reschedule. I don't like partaking in actions that make me feel like a bad person, and I felt like the lowest of the low that day.

Suffice it to say, I was not leadership material. There was no way I would ever advance up the ranks of NSA, and I was not content to be a good little foot soldier for Kosen Rufu. It's just not my personality type. I'm a headstrong person with a good heart and an extremely strong conscience. None of these attributes served me well in NSA. Wow! I feel like I'm ranting. Please bear with me just a little bit longer.

My time in NSA lasted about a year. I don't recall ever making a conscious decision to leave. It just sort of happened. I moved. Lost touch. And by the time I got around to looking into it again, the Santa Monica Community Center was no longer there.

Which brings me to the here and now. Yesterday, I was looking through Craigslist and I ran across a butsudan. My mother had been talking about how chanting made her feel better, so I went and picked up the butsudan. I opened it to clean, and there was a gohonzon, still hanging, and beads in the drawer. It's a Nikken Gohonzon, and I'm really not sure what to do with it. For some reason, I still have a feeling of reverence toward this scroll. I don't know why some things stayed with me like respect for gohonzon, and other things drifted by the wayside.

I never thought of NSA as a cult. I'm still in a bit of shock, after reading about SGI, the temple issue, the rise of Ikeda, the fall of Williams, the meteoric rise of Matilda Buck and as much as I have been able to find over the past 30 hours, that I was a member of a cult. I contacted the temple via their webmail with regard to giving them the gohonzon. SGI has their new and improved gohonzon, so I didn't even bother contacting them. A part of me wants the temple to get back to me and another part is in fear of being sucked in by smiling faces and the comforting hum of chanting. I really am at a loss, and there is not a single person in my world that I would feel comfortable discussing this with. Any suggestions?

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Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Hitch ()
Date: June 24, 2013 04:47PM

Corboy, I had intended to include the additional comment, with my original post, but had forgotten (your post reminded me):

Throughout my time in "Jr. Pioneers" (the old cult name for the now "ESD - Elementary School Division"), I had no inkling whatsoever that cult kiddy meetings-activities were somehow "not normal." I just went with the flow, without giving it any thought.

However, when I eventually entered the YMD (Young Men's Division), that's when I started to notice that things were, how can I say it (?), a "bit off."

Incidentally, some of the strangest gakkai cult org. YouTube clips, come from those that are filmed at the FNCC cult retreat in Florida, and in some instances, $oka Cult Univ.. I guarantee you that some of the most intense stuff, never even gets filmed, because it all happens behind closed doors (no recording allowed). I would love to be able to re-infiltrate the cult org., go undercover and secretly record hidden camera / audio style the goings on. It would make for classical CULT 101 study-educational material. ("Leaders" meetings, would really knock you out of your socks, too. Deep, deep brainwashing-thought reform, heavy cult speak lingo usage, glassy-eyed looks, intense emotions, etc..) Fascinating stuff, at least for me.

- Hitch

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