Great analogy! The state of sweetness and light can't hold forever; whether I agree with her or not, her response came from a place of shock and disappointment. Whether we can remain friends is doubtful, but one never knows. I'd certainly be happy to support her leaving the org. Does anyone actually leave after 40+ years? I have to wonder if the programming isn't so absorbed on a cellular level if that's even possible.
I would venture to say that those with 40+ years do leave, but most likely depart - in a casket. Used up, burnt out, beat down, drained, fried, chewed up, spit out, tossed aside, and ultimately forgotten. You know - like a Sadanaga, no further use to the cult.org (that is unless you died and left a nice fat sized trust fund set up with SgCult named as the beneficiary - one of their newer never-stop-giving financial concepts).
But there are some rare cases of escape after a lengthy term of sentence. Although I did repeat the cycle of coming and going over three different time periods, I did manage to make my final departure in 2003 after 31 years. In the words of Dr. King, " Free at last, free at last".
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
Now for a moment of philosophising. There are indeed, a countless number of higher paths to enlightenment for Bodhisattvas with actual seeking minds. I believe it is up to each individual to discover, and then to follow one's own way along one's own path. No one can better know what the right path is than ourself. Our Buddhahood exists first and last within our humanity.
There is no magical solution to all life's problems, there is just our own human creativity and resolve. When we stop seeking all the answers outside of ourselves, and instead endeavor to reclaim our true selves, we begin to experience an elevated level of living happily and harmoniously - without having to artificially rely on anyone or anything externally.
May we wisely create our useful tools/means without becoming enslaved by those same tools/means. May we wisely recognize those who would harm us while pretending to help. May we wisely lead others by embracing good example.
I embrace calm silence with clear mind/spirit - absent grotesque sucking sounds from that unquenchably thirsty energy-vampire, SGIcult. Mmmm! Such sweet relief!!!
So now poor little girl is out on her butt, unemployed and pregnant, no source of income, no medical care - enter the mystic law to rescue her! And of course it did, by helping her find the right lawyer who guided her through the minefield she found herself in, knowing-nods-wink-wink to the captivated audience in the kaikan who is cheering her on! And big fat financial settlement from her former employer, wink-wink, standing ovation, cheers, fist-bumps, yada-yada.
"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us."
The only difference I can come up with is whether the prisons are concrete and steel or insidious and intangible. At least when you are in jail there’s no pretense of freedom-always-around-the-corner.
From Prophetic Charisma: The Psychology of Revolutionary Religious Personalities by Len Oakes
After having settled oneself into the group and made all the initial adjustments to membership (this takes at most a year), a period of disillusionment occurs. No longer can times of unhappiness be dismissed as part of the fitting-in process… The organization itself has grave flaws; members are expected to be honest with each other but dishonest to the outside world (and in time the follower learns that there is not complete honesty within the group either)… This is a time when second thoughts dominate. The follower may also engage in a power struggle with the leader. Eventually, if the new member is to remain, it is on the understanding that he is playing a part in someone else’s game but can bend the play to his own advantage.
–Chapter Seven, The Followers and Their Quest, P. 137
The Gentle Souls Revolution says:
...I never signed up to idolize a person..." Thank you, Backnforth. I agree. For me: Attempts to resell me the same used car (SGI) whenever I'm around an SGI member or members, even at memorial services was ridiculous. Like being in a relationship with someone and always assessing the relationship as great without letting it breathe on its own. Having to hear about #s of degrees the big leader has, the # of countries involved. People always trying to make sure they had the exact #. Certainly not "world reknowned" like other world leaders. Selling him as the humble ordinary man but making sure tons of camera flashes are going off as he steps in and out of his limo.
Meh, The dear leader can only receive degrees from Universities that he can 'buy' them from or have staff prepared to reciprocate with an honour after he has bestowed an honorary degree on them via Soka Uni in Tokyo or California. I suspect this is often helped along by fanatical Gakkai true believers who are on staff at the universities. I think I posted a bit about what seems to have happened at Buckingham University (the only private university in the United Kingdom) a while back in this thread. Ikeda did try to get some connection with Harvard by giving a lecture in a hired room near the campus, but that didn't work out. I'll dig out the posts about these when I have a moment. BTW Meh, have you considered starting at page one of this forum and reading your way through?*. I know it is a pretty daunting prospect, but highly enlightening! I found it an invaluable aid in helping me detach from the cult.org :-) all the best Simplify *(It is amazing how many pages this thread has, far more than are devoted to even better known cults on the forum as far as I can see)