I no longer chant, I don't do gongyo, and I don't do guilt. it's a part of my life that's simply over.
I'm with you, nuevo. While I have no family connection to the gak-eye, I do have a pseudo-friend who's still in whom I have lunch with every once in a while, if only to get the fly-on-the-wall update on what's going on.
Let's see...some of the highlights:
Jt. Terr. Japanese WD leader told me to take down my artwork because it consisted of large (5 foot tall) Nichiren Shu antique gohonzons. She couldn't explain why it was wrong for me to have them, and ended up telling me I should chant until I agreed with her. Two weeks later, she dropped dead.
Former WD District leader met the love of her life, another woman, and in just a year, lovergirl dropped dead. Brain stem blood clot - very ugly. They both practiced. And then that former District leader's young son was crushed under a heavy gate - he's crippled for life. But at least they got a fat settlement - that counts as a benefit, right? Even though it's acknowledgment that your son will never walk again?
My latest WD District leader is now dead - I don't think she was even 50 when she died (it was after I stopped attending activities) - and now her husband is preparing to marry his cousin. Yay!
My pseudo-friend was chanting balls-to-the-wall for her convicted felon ex-jailbird husband to go straight when he was released from prison; 6 months after their son was born, he participated in two notorious jewelry store robberies with a gang and is now in prison for the rest of his life.
That's just those people I knew personally. We can look at Study Dept. leader Shin Yatomi, dead young from cancer; and Culture Department leader Pascual Olivera, dead young-ish from cancer; and David Aoyama, dead in one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center (so much for Fatman Ikeda's hypothesis that, if there had been ONE person who chanted on the Titanic, it wouldn't have sunk); and Guy McCloskey's son, dead at, what, age 29?? Where's this "protection" we're supposed to believe is "activated" when people chant? Why is Fatty McFatFat Ikeda's eldest son dead at only age 27 or so?? Isn't Ikeda supposed to be the one who knows best how to practice yadda yadda yadda?
So much for the "actual proof of the Mystic Law", huh? With THAT as "inspiration", I think I'll just continue to NOT chant, thank you very much.