Notice that the target is "love bombed" in the beginning, encouraged and praised endlessly for his "efforts in faith." Every time he shows up at a meeting, everybody is as thrilled to see him as if a movie star had shown up! Leaders offer to come over and chant together. Confirmation bias is encouraged, where the "hits" are endlessly significant while the "misses" are ignored. The leaders will of course be so concerned about what's going on in the target's life, what his goals are, etc. Whenever the target shares personal information, he is encouraged to "chant about it", "turn poison into medicine", and "WIN!!" (none of which are Buddhist concepts). But THAT is how they establish the link between the SGI practice and the person's goals in life, thereby setting up a perfect context for habit formation. I know that in my early years of practice, I felt that I wouldn't want to even try going without it! THAT's how dependent I was on magical thinking, believing that I couldn't make it in life without some sort of magical crutch.Quote
Habits (or wonts) are routines of behavior that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously. In the American Journal of Psychology it is defined in this way: "A habit, from the standpoint of psychology, is a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience." Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks. Habituation is an extremely simple form of learning, in which an organism, after a period of exposure to a stimulus, stops responding to that stimulus in varied manners. Habits are sometimes compulsory. The process by which new behaviours become automatic is habit formation. Examples of habit formation are the following: If you instinctively reach for a cigarette the moment you wake up in the morning, you have a habit. Also, if you lace up your running shoes and hit the streets as soon as you get home, you've acquired a habit. Old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form because the behavioural patterns we repeat are imprinted in our neural pathways, but it is possible to form new habits through repetition.
As behaviors are repeated in a consistent context, there is an incremental increase in the link between the context and the action. This increases the automaticity of the behavior in that context. Features of an automatic behavior are all or some of: efficiency, lack of awareness, unintentionality, uncontrollability.
As you can see, the "trial period" the SGI advocates is on the upper end of this range - but of COURSE they only are promoting a "reasonable" trial period, right?? I mean, surely you don't think it's magical enough to work in, say, 2 days! There has to be enough time for the target's practice to become a habit AND for his thinking to be influenced by SGI functionaries. He has to have enough time to be coached in regarding everything in his life as a manifestation of his SGI faith.Quote
Habit formation is modelled as an increase in automaticity with number of repetitions up to an asymptote.
In fact, the habit formation is a slow process. Lally et al. (2010) found the average time for participants to reach the asymptote of automaticity was 66 days with a range of 18–254 days.
Of course, the new member's "handlers" will emphasize that the SGI practice is the absolutely best approach to accomplishing the new member's goals!Quote
This is because only the initial repetition can cause a large increase in automaticity. After that, each new repetition will generate less amount of automaticity. This relationship continues until the behaviour reach its limit of automaticity.
The habit–goal interface is constrained by the particular manner in which habits are learned and represented in memory. Specifically, the associative learning underlying habits is characterized by the slow, incremental accrual of information over time in procedural memory. Habits can either benefit or hurt the goals a person sets for themselves.
"Chant for whatever you want!"Quote
Goals guide habits most fundamentally by providing the initial outcome-oriented impetus for response repetition.
The longer you're in, the more difficult it will take to eradicate that habit from your psyche. But don't worry - it CAN be done!Quote
In this sense, habits often are a vestige of past goal pursuit. Although, when a habit forces one action, but a conscious goal pushes for another action, an op-positional context occurs. When the habit prevails over the conscious goal a capture error has taken place.
There are many techniques for removing bad habits once they have become established. One example is withdrawal of reinforcers—identifying and removing the factors which trigger the habit and encourage its persistence. The basal ganglia appears to remember the context that triggers a habit, meaning they can be revived if triggers reappear. Furthermore, it's better if you recognize your bad habits and eliminate them as soon as possible. As you get older, it becomes more difficult to remove them because the many repetitions have helped with the building of the habit, and each repetition has unfortunately left its mark. [en.wikipedia.org]
More good things in this articleQuote
As they teach the lessons, they will ask you to keep various commitments. If you make the commitments they ask of you, you will agree to live all of the required aspects of the Mormon lifestyle and will agree to be baptized.
While the missionaries want you to understand and embrace the doctrines they teach, they are more interested in you making and keeping the commitments. In fact, their main objective is to get you to make and keep the commitments that lead to dedicated membership in their church. When they ask you to make a commitment they tend to put you on the spot, asking for an immediate yes or no answer to a question that can have serious consequences and shouldn't be made without serious forethought. Because of that, it is wise for you anticipate the commitments they will ask of you and to be prepared to respond.
But in order to do that, you should take a moment and clarify in your own mind why, specifically, you are talking to them. Their objective is to convert you into a dedicate Mormon. What is your objective?
Your Objective, Strategy, and Tactics
Integrity: Are you one of the few that is truly dedicated to the truth, or would you rather just keep on believing what is comfortable regardless of whether or not it's true?
Why Study Mormonism? Is there a better use of your time (as well as of mine)?
(Corboy note: If you live in an area where politics and business are heavily influenced by the LDS, then it is good use of one's time to do this. The USA recently had a Presidential candidate who was LDS. And the issue is probably going to come up again. )
It Matters What We Believe by A poem by Sophia Lyon Fahs.
How Much Study Is Required to make a quality decision regarding Mormonism? Consider this.
How to Investigate
It's Hard Watching A Boy Go On A Mission
Wednesday, Sep 14, 2005, at 08:09 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: MISSIONARIES - SECTION 1 -Guid- ª
My step son is leaving on a mission in a couple weeks. Although I went on a mission, I forgot how many little things are changed by going on a mission. I'm not talking about putting college on hold, or quitting a job, I am thinking of the seemingly insignificant things.
My step son is a good kid. He is quiet. He hasn't ever drank. He is an A student. He has had a steady girlfriend, he says they aren't physical, except for holding hands and hugs (it seems to be true from being around them for two years). He wears baseball caps and T-shirts. He has a goatee. He likes rock music, Pepsi, and pizza. He loves Xbox and golf.
My TBM wife took him shopping last week. They bought two suits and about 12 white shirts. He got two pair of Doc Martens. He bought several ties. Yesterday he bought a bunch of temple garments, preparing for the temple next week. He says he is nervous to go, but he says he really wants to go, and is excited.
I have never heard him talk about the church. I have never seen him read scriptures. He says family prayer, goes to church, and goes hometeaching. He is going on a mission because it has been expected of him for all his life. In two weeks his life will be completely different.
He will wear white shirts everyday. He will carry scriptures with him wherever he goes. He will shave his goatee, and cut his hair. He will rise early each morning and study scriptures, he will talk about the church to strangers all day. He won't see or talk to his girlfriend, family, or friends. He will be in a strange place doing strange things.
His TBM family is elated and proud of him. He is doing what is expected of him. So why do I feel like he is having a lobotomy? I see the life and personality being sucked out of him. He'll be doing things against his natural personality, learning how to cross people's personal boundaries, how to talk about religion with non interested persons, and how to make people believe like he does.
It's not fair. The church puts so much guilt on these kids. The kids try to make themselves believe god is calling them. He feels he is doing what god wants.
How did the church get so much influence in his life? How can a healthy 19 year old give away two years to a dishonest, deceitful church?
It makes me sick to see him give up so much for a big lie. I want to take him aside and tell him everything. I would then be treated like a possessed devil, so I sit silently and ache for him. Can't we do something?
My my! "I wanna be a hero!!" Such shallow, bellicose, and belligerent scenarios! Here's a clue: REAL Buddhism is about accepting reality as it is, not attempting to bend reality to one's will:Quote
Nichiren Daishonin: "Buddhism primarily concerns itself with victory or defeat, while secular authority is based on the principle of reward and punishment. For this reason, a Buddha is looked up to as the Hero of the World, is called the one who rules at his will.” (WND-1, 835, “The Hero of the World”).
...“The Hero of the World,” where the Daishonin states: “Buddhism primarily concerns itself with victory or defeat” (WND, 835). The Soka Gakkai’s founding president, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, deemed this passage to contain the “life of religion.” Translated from Japanese. Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Makiguchi Tsunesaburo Zenshu (Collected Writings of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi) (Tokyo: Daisanbunmei-sha, 1987), vol. 10, p. 47
Josei Toda, second President of the Soka Gakkai, used to say “Society revolves around reputation. Governments concern themselves with what is right and wrong. But in Buddhism, the criteria is victory or defeat.” [www.sgi-es.org]
In the words of SGI President Ikeda: "Buddhism concerns itself with winning. When we battle a powerful enemy, either we will triumph or we will be defeated--there is no middle ground. Battling against life's negative functions is an integral part of Buddhism. It is through victory in this struggle that we become Buddhas."
^ Between those two, which sounds more Buddhist? And which sounds more like Hitler Youth??Quote
Through our own efforts, let us vibrantly make the impossible possible, confounding all expectations to the contrary. That is the great and noble Soka path of mentor and disciple. Stand up with firm resolve. Advance with vigour. The spirit of indefatigable challenge is the spirit of youth. To achieve success in our own lives and open a new age of Soka, let us valiantly uphold the banner of victory!" - Daisaku Ikeda, from SGI Newsletter No. 7706, The New Human Revolution--Vol. 22: Chap. 1, A New Century 36, translated Feb. 6th, 2009
Most people have heard of nirvana. It has become equated with a sort of eastern version of heaven. Actually, nirvana simply means cessation. It is the cessation of passion, aggression and ignorance; the cessation of the struggle to prove our existence to the world, to survive. We don't have to struggle to survive after all. We have already survived. We survive now; the struggle was just an extra complication that we added to our lives because we had lost our confidence in the way things are. We no longer need to manipulate things as they are into things as we would like them to be. [www.buddhanet.net]
EVERYTHING is wrong with THAT one! "Defeating", "repelling", "pride" - ALL simply manifestations of delusion and attachment! Yeah, comparing yourselves to others - THAT's real Buddhist! The compulsion to compare oneself with others is actually a manifestation of the World of Anger, one of the 10 worlds, and a low one at that.Quote
As direct disciples of the Daishonin, we have summoned forth the three powerful enemies of Buddhism. And defeating their schemes and repelling their onslaughts, we have carved out a great path of kosen-rufu. This has been the unrivaled pride of Mr. Makiguchi, Mr. Toda and myself as Soka Gakkai presidents. It is indisputable proof that the Soka Gakkai is the foremost organization in the entire world acting in accord with the Buddha's will and decree. from SGI-USA "For Today & Tomorrow"
"Winning in the end" = delusion + attachment. There *IS* no "final victory" as a goal in REAL Buddhism.Quote
What matters is winning in the end; the wins and losses along the way are of secondary significance. It's final victory in life that counts and that is the reason for our Buddhist practice. No matter how powerful or famous or privileged a person might be, Nichiren Daishonin says, from a Buddhist point of view it is all nothing more than a dream, an illusory pleasure; true happiness can only be attained by revealing the state of Buddhahood within your own life. from SGI-USA "For Today & Tomorrow"
Anger: Here, awareness of ego emerges, but it is a selfish, greedy, distorted ego, determined to best others at all costs and seeing everything as a potential threat to itself. In this state we value only ourselves and tend to hold others in contempt. [www.sgi.org]
I remember hearing some version of that early on in my practice. Can't remember any specific commentary, but the implication was that everyone who chants improves. I saw it in my own life, because the various doctrines encouraged me to take responsibility for my own life. Granted, this was a bit of a double-edged sword and it didn't always turn out well - sometimes my attempt at taking responsibility for a situation was like me stabbing myself in the back, when what I should have done was exercise responsibility by holding the other person accountable.Quote
We chant the right way, so join us and chant NYRGK
Nobody joins the SGI because he is already happy and fulfilled O_OQuote
Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt
1. The first feature of Ur-Fascism is the cult of tradition.
Traditionalism is of course much older than fascism. Not only was it typical of counterrevolutionary Catholic thought after the French revolution, but is was born in the late Hellenistic era, as a reaction to classical Greek rationalism. In the Mediterranean basin, people of different religions (most of the faiths indulgently accepted by the Roman pantheon) started dreaming of a revelation received at the dawn of human history. This revelation, according to the traditionalist mystique, had remained for a long time concealed under the veil of forgotten languages -- in Egyptian hieroglyphs, in the Celtic runes, in the scrolls of the little-known religions of Asia.
This new culture had to be syncretistic. Syncretism is not only, as the dictionary says, "the combination of different forms of belief or practice;" such a combination must tolerate contradictions. Each of the original messages contains a sliver of wisdom, and although they seem to say different or incompatible things, they all are nevertheless alluding, allegorically, to the same primeval truth.
As a consequence, there can be no advancement of learning. Truth already has been spelled out once and for all, and we can only keep interpreting its obscure message.
3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action's sake.
Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Hermann Goering's fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play ("When I hear the word 'culture' I reach for my gun") to the frequent use of such expressions as "degenerate intellectuals," "eggheads," "effete snobs," and "universities are nests of reds." The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.
4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism.
In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge. For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.
5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity.
Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference. The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.
6. Ur-Fascism derives from individual or social frustration.
That is why one of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups. In our time, when the old "proletarians" are becoming petty bourgeois (and the lumpen are largely excluded from the political scene), the fascism of tomorrow will find its audience in this new majority.
Itai doshin! NO MATTER WHAT!! Mentor and disciple! The most ideal, family-like organization in the whole world! SENSEI!!!! Byakuren! Kotekitai! Soka! Zangue! Zaimu! Zenchi-shiki! Sansho shima! The King Devil of the Sixth Heaven! Hendoku iyaku! Icchantika! Devilish functions! Protection of the Mystic Law!! Never criticize your leaders or disrupt the precious unity of the most valuable, diamond-like organization! Make sure your life is in correct orbit around the organization! No onshitsu!! NEVER GO TAITEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Quote
9. For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.
Thus pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. It is bad because life is permanent warfare. This, however, brings about an Armageddon complex. Since enemies have to be defeated, there must be a final battle, after which the movement will have control of the world. But such "final solutions" implies a further era of peace, a Golden Age, which contradicts the principle of permanent war. No fascist leader has ever succeeded in solving this predicament.
10. Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology, insofar as it is fundamentally aristocratic, and aristocratic and militaristic elitism cruelly implies contempt for the weak.
Ur-Fascism can only advocate a popular elitism. Every citizen belongs to the best people in the world, the members or the party are the best among the citizens, every citizen can (or ought to) become a member of the party. But there cannot be patricians without plebeians. In fact, the Leader, knowing that his power was not delegated to him democratically but was conquered by force, also knows that his force is based upon the weakness of the masses; they are so weak as to need and deserve a ruler.
11. In such a perspective everybody is educated to become a hero.
In every mythology the hero is an exceptional being, but in Ur-Fascist ideology heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death. It is not by chance that a motto of the Spanish Falangists was Viva la Muerte ("Long Live Death!"). In nonfascist societies, the lay public is told that death is unpleasant but must be faced with dignity; believers are told that it is the painful way to reach a supernatural happiness. By contrast, the Ur-Fascist hero craves heroic death, advertised as the best reward for a heroic life. The Ur-Fascist hero is impatient to die. In his impatience, he more frequently sends other people to death.
14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak.
Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, as the official language of what he called Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show.
[nichirenbuddhist.blogspot.com] <-- LOL!!Quote
Mark Rogow8 September 2013 18:52
You can kill the messenger [of the Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin] but not the message. Not one point I made about the SGI personality cult has been overturned. The reason I left the Soka Gakkai, the straw that broke the Bodhisattvas back, was a regional meeting I attended in New York: Daisaku Ikeda was mentioned more than 100 times, Shakyamuni Buddha and the Lotus Sutra never, and Nichiren Daishonin ["a thirteenth century monk"] and "Gohonzon" were mentioned one time. You remain in the Soka Gakkai at your own peril.
Anonymous10 September 2013 15:34
I joined the Soka Gakkai once. Then after witnessing all of these older members getting raptured over President Ikeda video, I thought maybe it was time that I left.
Anonymous10 September 2013 16:56
I took the liberty to visit the SGI website and and read the lyric sheets for all SGI sanctioned music which is nothing more but love ballards dedicated to the Ikeda God-head.
WOW! the fact the Ikeda worship/cult argument is even debated is astonishing.
Let the Ikeda-bots tell it, I am a unhappy negative person. I would prefer to be grounded in reality than to be happily in denial. That would help explain so many of these long winded post I've been reading on here.
Daisaku Ikeda10 September 2013 17:17
Please send your daimoku and money to help fund our secret wars and jedi mind tricks on the masses. In the spirit of Kosen-Fufu your allegience to us is dependant for it is better for us that you surrendered power than it would be if it was taken by force. Ikeda will always be thinking of you.
Stay guilliable my friends