Confirmation bias galore in the members' illogical justifications for such events. I'm also of the opinion that the $GI CULT Org. numbers spiked in the NY area post 9-11. Same theme. Same modus operandi. Same manipulation. Same results (unfortunately).
So what? Christian churches likewise saw a surge of attendance increase - for just a few months. Then their attendance numbers dropped to below pre-9/11 levels.
I made no other statements beyond the personal "opinion" that $GI cult numbers increased, in the aftermath of 9/11. Such a phenomenon is to be expected during times of societal anxiety in any nation.
I also believe that hard-core fundamentalism increased as well (both, in the religious and atheistic domains), in response.
I have no doubt that in $GI's case, numbers eventually dropped, because the N$A/$GI CULT Org. has always
had big problems retaining new converts over the long haul. The cult org. just can't help itself, it naturally drives many of its "members" away, with time.
Also, based on my anecdotal observations via youtube, the NY area cult org. clips look a lot like the "new" hardcore circles that I grew up in on the west coast in the old N$A (with FNCC and $oka Cult U., being the other exceptions).
Intuitively, from watching the videos and from my own experience with the cult, my sense is that the numbers of youths joining the cult must be way down [because recently you see more and more Japanese Americans featured in the cult videos rather than Caucasians and African-Americans]. It could also be that the more diehard Ikedabots are Japanese Americans. Anyway, my thoughts.
I see the same kind of thing, in my original area. The vast majority of the "YOUTH!" are members' kids who have simply grown up in the cult org., rather than independently joining up from the outside. Time will tell, if even they remain, though; as they learn how to think for themselves / outgrow the cult org..
Many, including African-Americans, that I see, are of mixed ancestry, with one asian or Japanese parent / grandparent somewhere in their family line.
The gakkai cult org. still, however, attracts a small number of caucasian asianophiles to its ranks, like a magnet. That hasn't changed and has always been a constant, as far as I can tell.
I mentioned earlier on that I was the subscription coordinator in my district; I attended a number of area meetings, and the average percentage of members having subscriptions ran around 27% for each district. That being said, once weird tribune and lying Buddhism were combined under one subscription, quite a few families in which one partner received one sub and the other partner got the other, didn't renew with each partner getting their own sub. We were actively discouraged from buying gift subscriptions for other members (they needed to make that cause!), but a lot of members bought them for non-member friends and family members. As everyone is aware, though, district numbers are wildly inflated.
Weird Tribune subscriptions used to be the "official" barometer for cult org. membership numbers. As such, the stats were always heavily
manipulated (padded) in novel and ultimately unsustainable ways (hence, one facet behind the fall of Williams-Sadanaga). Lots of denial, lies, wishful thinking, fear, and creative ghost subscriptions were a common part of the cult org. subscriptions con-game. In the cult motherland, it's all justified as an informal means of "gokuyo" (cult org. donations / support, that promises magical-mystical slot machine payouts in return).
The manipulation never ends. One of the most offensive little sgi events was that stupid freaking exam. One of the many cracks started to form when I saw how seriously other district members took it . . . they would agonize over, spending hours and hours studying. For what? I have to admit that I never studied and always did well when taking it - it just wasn't that hard. I dodged it this year, fed up with the BS surrounding it.
Regarding the exams . . . . I HATED them, with a passion. I never could get into any of that crap, like others seemed to. I think they were used as a gauge to identify and promote cult members up the cult org. "leadership" ladder (i.e., an official way of documenting the kool-aid consumption of the members, how much they were retaining, processing it, etc.).