Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: March 06, 2014 03:19AM

I've known members of AA who were just as cultish as any sgi member, and narcanon is reputedly an arm of scientology. Sadly, where ever there is someone who needs a little help, there will be some guru or other charlatan there at the ready, to show them the way to eternal happiness and lighten their wallet along the way.

WTF? Has the world always been this way, or is it a relatively recent phenomena? As corboy wrote, we're super-careful about someone working on our computer, but when it comes to somebody tinkering in our heads we seem to give them carte blanche. And even if (and this is a huge if) we know the right questions to ask, they'll blithely lie and twist their truth.

Listen to those tummies!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 06, 2014 08:26AM

Just a quickie -- yes, yes narcanon is an arm of Scientology.

It is totally different from Narcotics Anonymous which is not based on the gnostic theology of L Ron Hubbard, but on the 12 Steps and 12 traditions.

People who are control fiends can turn anything good into a prison.

I used to go to an off-beat Catholic parish.

One family at the place was cultish in the extreme. The mom turned the TV off if pantyhose commercials came on - bad for her boys. But she had no problem letting them watch a video of Battlestar Galactica.

The dad was so extreme that if he suspected someone was not a proper Catholic, he'd go right up to them while they were waiting to receive Holy Communion and interrogate them (!)

He'd take note of new visitors and make a beeline to them to interrogate them. Spookiest eyes in the world and an even spookier smile. (Cue the Twilight Zone music)

He'd been kicked out of several other parishes for this 'communion cop' behavior.

So..thats the tough part. If a sociologist had been sent to study this parish and took only this one family as a sample, assuming they were typical of the parish, they'd have concluded the entire parish was as whacko as this one family.

But there were plenty of others who were pillars of the parish who were not like this family at all, and deplored their behavior.

Now if a group has a very high proportion of control freaks, or consistently turns formerly pleasant people into control freaks thats when to smell a rat.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: March 06, 2014 09:01PM

I have to say I didn't realize that narcanon and narcotics anonymous are two different things.

Anything, given the right mentality, can be given the cult treatment - it's all in the level of rabidity that someone takes themselves to. Some groups, like sgi, just don't attract the casual participants like more mainstream religions do. By that, I mean that I never knew anyone who only went to krg but not to discussion and study meetings; more mainstream religions, you would have folks who would come on occasional sundays and/or holidays, but not on a weekly basis.

Sgi (and I'm sure all cults) capitalize on that control-freak mentality. I'm sure that the catholic family corboy mentions would feel perfectly at home in sgi, as long as the name "Jesus" came up once in a while and they got to cannibalize a savior every week.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Date: March 07, 2014 04:41AM

AA is most definitely a cult. It was founded with the explicitly stated purpose of converting vulnerable people to Christianity. The fact that they backpedaled and substituted "Higher Power" for "God" is a transparent artifice - the verbiage remains clearly Christian, all about "helplessness" and needing supernatural assistance.

"Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it. This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us."
The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 9, page 130.

"On awakening, let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.

... Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. ... We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely on it.

We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be..."
The Big Book, 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, pages 86 to 87.

"In Step Eleven we saw that if a Higher Power had restored us to sanity and had enabled us to live with some peace of mind in a sorely troubled world, then such a Higher Power was worth knowing better, by as direct contact as possible. The persistent use of meditation and prayer, we found, did open the channel so that where there had been a trickle, there now was a river which led to sure power and safe guidance from God as we were increasingly better able to understand Him.

So, practicing these Steps, we had a spiritual awakening about which finally there was no question. Looking at those who were only beginning and still doubting themselves, the rest of us were able to see the change setting in. From great numbers of such experiences, we could predict that the doubter who still claimed that he hadn't got the "spiritual angle," and who still considered his well-loved A.A. group the higher power, would presently love God and call Him by name."
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William Wilson, pages 108-109.

"Of course, the often disputed question of whether God can — and will, under certain conditions — remove defects of character will be answered with a prompt affirmative by almost any A.A. member. To him, this proposition will be no theory at all; it will be just about the largest fact in his life. He will usually offer his proof in a statement like this:

"Sure, I was beaten, absolutely licked. My own willpower just wouldn't work on alcohol. Change of scene, the best efforts of family, friends, doctors, and clergymen got no place with my alcoholism. I simply couldn't stop drinking, and no human being could seem to do the job for me. But when I became willing to clean house and then asked a Higher Power, God as I understood Him, to give me release, my obsession to drink vanished. It was lifted right out of me..."
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 63.

If you want the real information on AA, start here: []

Finally, in Wolf of Wall Street, a book I read on a plane in January, the protagonist joins AA and is instructed to do "90 meetings in 90 days." Notice how similar that recommendation is to "chant for 90 days to see if you like it." It's a cult attempting to get the unsuspecting mark into a cult-oriented habit.

AA is a cult. Steer well clear of it. Not only is it pernicious, it is outright dangerous: AA's own researcher found that AA members were much more likely to DIE within a given time frame than those who had no treatment program at all. And more people in the general public give up drinking on their own than through AA - it appears that AA actively interferes with people's ability to get better. Given AA's focus on helplessness and other such destructive nonsense, this comes as no surprise: []

"Table 8.1 shows our treatment results. After initial discharge, only five patients in the Clinic sample never relapsed to alcoholic drinking, and there is compelling evidence that the results of our treatment were no better than the natural history of the disease. ... Not only had we failed to alter the natural history of alcoholism, but our death rate of three percent a year was appalling."

That ^ is from AA's own supportive researcher, Dr. George E. Valiant. Stay away.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Date: March 07, 2014 04:58AM

On the subject of PTSD and lingering "unfinished business" with the cult, I'd like to share the following quote. It's by Karl Menninger, a mental health pioneer:

"When a trout rising to a fly gets hooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freely, he begins with a fight which results in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape. Often, of course, the situation is too tough for him.

In the same way the human being struggles with his environment and with the hooks that catch him. Sometimes he masters his difficulties; sometimes they are too much for him. His struggles are all that the world sees and it naturally misunderstands them. It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one."

And so those who might say, "It's been over (x) years since you left that organization - so what if it's a cult? You're not in it any more - why can't you just get over it?" are unable to understand. And so those of us who most need support in recovering from this extremely damaging experience are left with even less...

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: March 07, 2014 05:15AM

As long as you have the euphemism "higher power" in there, you're still handing your power over. You admit that you have no power over the offending substance, so you go ahead and abdicate it. I was in a relationship with a an atheist who attended meetings daily; he had a real struggle with the whole higher-power business (seriously, he had much bigger things to worry about).

People who haven't been through this process simply don't get that it isn't as simple as just getting over it. I have a pretty open relationship with my kids (who are in their 40's), but it's only recently that I've been able to articulate to them why it isn't just something you can walk away from and forget. The still don't completely get it, but they're a little more patient. While I totally understand that your problems follow you where ever you go, one of the reasons I'm looking forward to moving in a couple of months is that after all the meetings I held here, I just want to get out of the place.

Anyway, that's why we come here, that's why we're here to support each other - we do understand, and we all go through similar struggles.

It's funny, I decided to read a real fluff-novel . . . total air-head stuff just to take my mind off things, and what do I read last night? One of the minor characters starts trying to shakubuku the main character. WTF? I almost launched my kindle across the room.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Spartacus ()
Date: March 07, 2014 08:04AM

Meh, I had to LOL when I read that you almost launched your kindle across the room. If someone gave me a kindle, that's probably the first thing I would do with it. I think of Kindle as yet another mind/information control mechanism. Only per-approved safe and acceptable books are available on Kindle - banned or controversial books - not so much. I can't help but see Kindle as a means of control that we are being slyly sold on and over-encouraged to use, which provides an all to easy mode of propaganda and censorship to our elite overlords.

Also, I understand that even after you have paid for a book, Kindle can come along and delete that book's contents at any time without your permission or notification. I'm not going to allow any corporation/government the ability to decide what I should or should not read, therefore, as far as I'm concerned, Kindle and all those making big profits off of censorship can go to hell (and have their heads broken into seven pieces as well). I'll stick with real books that don't disappear at the whims of our fascist masters.

On top of all that, to hear how kindle provides books with propagandized SGI trash content tends to boil my blood as well. Fuck Kindle and fuck the SGI. Oh,and while I'm at it, fuck AA as well.

Excuse my angry rant but damn, I feel better already.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/07/2014 08:06AM by Spartacus.

Options: ReplyQuote
Agree with Spartacus
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 07, 2014 09:22AM

Real books are the way to go.

I have found fascinating and informative things in books that I could never have found anywhere else.

Garage sales/jumble sales and thrift stores have yielded treasures - books and pamphlets from long ago.

If we have a power failure, cyber archives and kindle will be in accessible.

And yeah, selection for Kindle is limited. There are all sorts of valuable items published before the internet and that had limited appeal-- but are now useful for research.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: As long as we dont act on it, feel anger to reclaim it
Date: March 07, 2014 11:04AM

On the subject of how those who escape from cults often feel and express quite a bit of anger:

"A cult will reflect your *valid* anger away from itself and your anger will go back to you (shame for feeling anger at group or guru, shame for having boundaries that feel violated, shame for feeling tired when overworked) anger toward skeptical outsiders, and in some cases anger toward those who are designated scapegoats, anger toward those who have left or been kicked out. "

I joined the SGcult, which at that point was still called NSA (not having yet been excommunicated by the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood), in Feb. of 1987. That summer, we were all preparing for the Liberty Bell parade in Philadelphia. A second copy of the cracked Liberty Bell was found or something, and NSA, under national leader George M. Williams, somehow got ahold of it to use as a show of patriotism to get the cult into the public eye and show it off as a model of respectable, admirable, AMERICAN values. Now THAT's marketing!

So we from MN were driving down to the Jt. Territory, Chicago, a coupla weekends a month to practice with them. I was in the Kotekitai at this point (the YWD Fife and Drum Corps). So we would make the 10 or 11 hour drive down, practice with the Chicago YWD, and then come back - all in a weekend. I think we only stayed the one night, but practiced Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

Anyhow, I had relevant experience. I had been playing my instrument for years, and I had been in marching band in high school. I went twice, then midweek, burned the soft inside of my elbow ironing a shirt for work. By the weekend, it was still an open wound, but I went to Chicago anyhow. My burn got infected. So when the YWD HQ leader asked me the next week if I was going, I said no. I needed to stay home, so that I would not be aggravating this almost 2" long burn with sweat and sunscreen.

She sighed and said, "Maybe someday you'll develop the never-give-up spirit."

I said, "Wait a minute. I'm not the one who needs these practices; I'm not one of the girls who was handed an instrument and told 'Learn how to play this.' I'm not going to risk my arm getting more infected, and I do not appreciate being belittled for making a sensible decision."

She agreed that she'd been out of line - perhaps a first within SGI leadership. She had taken over from a much beloved, charismatic YWD leader who'd been in that position for over 10 years, continuing to be the YWD leader even long after she married. So this new YWD HQ leader always felt poorly compared, and she had been through such trauma (raped repeatedly by her brother in law when she was only 12, then blamed for it by her entire family; raped by a Persian prince [wtf?], got pregnant, gave the baby up for adoption) that, though she couldn't say "No" to the HQ YWD leadership position, she was obviously uncomfortable with it and felt inadequate. She was never very good at riding roughshod over others.

See, she didn't have the force of personality to make her charge of "you need to develop a never-give-up spirit" criticism stick, so it didn't. But I was still very new - I hadn't even gotten a gohonzon yet! I would soon learn to never respond with anything but "Hai!". That's Japanese for "yes", not "Hi" as in "Nice to see you!" - and that was the only acceptable form of agreement permitted within NSA/SGI. It took for Ikeda to announce in 1990 that "You're Americans, you speak Engrish, so when you want to respond, you should say 'Yes'" - with the "Yes" over-pronounced and the "s" on the end held out. Imagine - to have to be told we could use our own language!!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Date: March 07, 2014 01:40PM

"Here is an article from the New York Times about betrayal. The person who wrote it notes how very little support the larger culture gives to persons who have been betrayed. A betrayal that disrupts our narrative, our sense of place, hits us especially hard. "

Thanks for that article, corboy. My sponsor into the SGcult was my boyfriend for about 2 years, on and off. He cheated on me - a lot. And I knew about it. One of the most destructive aspects of this sort of situation is when you are *stuck* - you can't leave because you're still too engaged. "Attached", in Buddhist terms. You've deluded yourself to believe that you have to have this person, or you will cease to exist.

So anyhow, that was all fine and dandy - except that I had this coworker. Now married to someone else at work that I didn't know (different department), she had been involved with one of my boyfriend's roommates, a really defective looking creepazoid who made my boyfriend look really hot by comparison, and my first reaction upon seeing him (as a new hire into my department) was, "Oh, well, at least he's not fat." I never got over that - and he didn't either. I needed someone I could be proud of, and this guy wasn't it.

So this coworker used to tell me, "Oh, he was cheating on you a LONG time!" I knew that. But she kept telling me. I stopped interacting with her because, somehow, she couldn't resist reminding me that he'd cheated on me far more than I'd realized. WTF???

I think that, for some reason, she just wanted the upper hand. She wanted something she could hold over me. No reason for me to put up with that.

But this illustrates how shabbily people treat the cheater's victim. See, the cheater, if it's a man, gets a certain amount of macho cred from having an impressive seduction reputation, but his victim? What a fool! What an idiot! What a stupid cow! Might as well rub it in - she doesn't deserve any better.

Options: ReplyQuote

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.