Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: holly_golightly ()
Date: February 29, 2012 02:34AM

Quote
Shavoy
@holly_golightly...still spinning over reading that whole Human Revolution stuff you went through. When it came up that it was more than likely ghost-written, he still had approval over the final product. So that he, as the Hero, comes across, like you said, 'incredibly boastful and false', doesn't seem to bother him one iota. Did anyone ever try to challenge the content in these sessions? 'Representatives of Sensei for the members'........

Well I think the older members were quite bored of the human and new human revolution, and didn't really bother with the books unless they were leaders. But being in the Youth Division and part of this special activity as well, there was a big drive to embed HR and NHR in our lives, and also the with the 'Volume 10' campaign I mentioned before.

Anyone who did express boredom with the books were advised that they weren't 'reading them with their hearts' and they 'needed to look beyond the words, to truly understand the heart of our mentor' and of course to 'chant about why you find them boring'. So I guess it was an 'emperor's new clothes' syndrome. No-one wanted to appear foolish and shallow by not seeing the true intent of our master. I'll admit I was one of the biggest culprits with this. Admittedly it was interesting to read about President Toda (or PI's, ghost writer's interpretation of him). However, it was difficult how to work out when reading President Toda's advice to a young woman that they should always remember to take their make-up off at night, how this was going to help me 'understand my mentor's heart' :)

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Shavoy ()
Date: February 29, 2012 04:34AM

Quote
holly_golightly
Quote
Shavoy
@holly_golightly...still spinning over reading that whole Human Revolution stuff you went through. When it came up that it was more than likely ghost-written, he still had approval over the final product. So that he, as the Hero, comes across, like you said, 'incredibly boastful and false', doesn't seem to bother him one iota. Did anyone ever try to challenge the content in these sessions? 'Representatives of Sensei for the members'........

Well I think the older members were quite bored of the human and new human revolution, and didn't really bother with the books unless they were leaders. But being in the Youth Division and part of this special activity as well, there was a big drive to embed HR and NHR in our lives, and also the with the 'Volume 10' campaign I mentioned before.

Anyone who did express boredom with the books were advised that they weren't 'reading them with their hearts' and they 'needed to look beyond the words, to truly understand the heart of our mentor' and of course to 'chant about why you find them boring'. So I guess it was an 'emperor's new clothes' syndrome. No-one wanted to appear foolish and shallow by not seeing the true intent of our master. I'll admit I was one of the biggest culprits with this. Admittedly it was interesting to read about President Toda (or PI's, ghost writer's interpretation of him). However, it was difficult how to work out when reading President Toda's advice to a young woman that they should always remember to take their make-up off at night, how this was going to help me 'understand my mentor's heart' :)

Did anyone ever claim to have reached that "understanding"? And exactly what is, (in SGI terms) the "true intent" of the master? Did a leader/leaders ever spell that out?

holly, you were trying to do the best you could with what you had to work with, you were just trying to follow the SGI way. As you found out, when something becomes wayyyyy too much work with unhappy results, well, there you went.

I never caught that from President Toda, about removing make-up at night....

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Hitch ()
Date: February 29, 2012 06:15AM

Re: Former members rejoining other groups - You folks have opened my eyes here. Like I said, I only have a sample of "1" to compare it to and I never "joined" as a willing adult. I had no choice in the matter and it was literally shoved down my throat at times. It was "normal" for me up 'till a certain age, but then slowly started to become more and more awkward as I got older and naturally began to question things and think for myself.

Looking back, I have mixed feelings about it all. On the one hand, having experienced it all and gotten out by myself has shaped my critical thinking worldview. On the other hand, I also regret all the time I wasted in my life partaking in the silly "practice" (jr. pioneers - I never liked, ymd - the crazy farm, gojokai - hated with a passion, brass band - all the stupid marching and the even more stupid fellow members, gakkai undoukai "field" day events, culture festivals - the intense, endless practices made some of my school years a blur in my memory, soka-han - aka: the naziesque bluecoats "training", the mind numbing never ending meetings, tosos, non-substantive experiences and lame senior leader speeches, etc., etc., etc., and I could go on). Such is life, we have our regrets, hopefully learn from them and move on.

I suppose we all go thru our own unique retrospective mental processing of it all. I'm interested to know how others here repackaged and filed away this chapter of their life (and I know that some are still in the process of doing so, as well).

This mb and the responses above from corboy and anticult surprised me and got me thinking. As long as the "need" to believe for some is still there, nothing will ever really change. Fascinating.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Hitch ()
Date: February 29, 2012 07:34AM

Quote
holly_golightly
Well I think the older members were quite bored of the human and new human revolution, and didn't really bother with the books unless they were leaders. But being in the Youth Division and part of this special activity as well, there was a big drive to embed HR and NHR in our lives, and also the with the 'Volume 10' campaign I mentioned before.

Anyone who did express boredom with the books were advised that they weren't 'reading them with their hearts' and they 'needed to look beyond the words, to truly understand the heart of our mentor' and of course to 'chant about why you find them boring'.

Re: Ikeda's (N)HR novel, poetry, published dialogues -

Simplistic transparency, insipid and vacuous, respectively. The so-called poetry is especially grating to me for its hypocrisy and ignorant analogies. I never pretended to enjoy his sophomoric works and often expressed such feelings and reservations. They never did like that.

I remember one fellow being so brainwashed that he wished he had been born Japanese and envied the Japanese members because they could read Ikeda's writings unfiltered in his original language - DIRECTLY from the master, so-to-speak. He had convinced himself that that was the be all, end all of the practice. How does one even respond to that kind of thinking?

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Nichijew ()
Date: February 29, 2012 02:17PM

Good question Hitch. I deal with my SGI ordeal by fighting them tooth and nail so no one has to experience what I experienced and so no one need encounter men such as they. In a sense, many of us were complicit and we too brought many people down. Fighting the Soka Gakkai, for me, is also an act of repentence. I also have another agenda, to promote what I believe is a better way because it is faithful to the teachings, teachers. and myself. My SGI memories are fading, as if it were another person who believed and participated.

Nichijew

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Hitch ()
Date: February 29, 2012 04:50PM

Quote
corboy
Finally, Anticult noted that many recruiters for these groups EXPLOIT our usual politeness. These persons are using sophisticated covert sales techniques and they cannot be silenced by a simple refusal, because THEY DO NOT RESPECT OUR BOUNDARIES.

They treat the word 'No' as a signal to 'Keep Pushing'

The only way to deal with these sharky recruiters is not listen, and if necessary slam the door or talk restraining orders.

The saddest thing of all is that this cultic crap erodes the social contract.

This is absolutely true with the sg(i). With some of the more persistent and whacked out members, I learned that you do indeed have to be very graphic in your refusals and strong in your push back. Once they know what kind of person they are dealing with, they will leave you alone. Problem is, politeness and considerateness are only seen as weaknesses and aggressively exploited. Most people naturally fall into the latter category and it doesn't help (in this situation).

Quote
The Anticult
SGI gets people to work for free.
Many other sects do the same.

They do indeed and this goes along the same lines of some of my regrets with my wasted time in the organization. And the more time you give them, the more mental abuse, mind games and power trips you will get exposed to.

Quote
Nichijew
Good question Hitch. I deal with my SGI ordeal by fighting them tooth and nail so no one has to experience what I experienced and so no one need encounter men such as they. In a sense, many of us were complicit and we too brought many people down. Fighting the Soka Gakkai, for me, is also an act of repentence. I also have another agenda, to promote what I believe is a better way because it is faithful to the teachings, teachers. and myself. My SGI memories are fading, as if it were another person who believed and participated.

Nichijew

Thank you for your honest and sincere response. In that spirit, I'd like to share with you some of my honest thoughts on some of the things you mentioned:

Complicity - I never subscribed to all the aggressive shakubuku nonsense. My non-buddhist friends always knew about my religion and we would sometimes compare/share philosophies. We never tried to convert each other, because we respected our differences and remained friends regardless. At one point, I was pushed into a youth division leadership position and I gave it the ol' college try - once. I felt so slimy afterwards that I quickly told them "no thanks." I felt like a complete fraud, like a snake oil salesman manipulating people. I'll never forget that and looking back I think it was a kind of turning point for me because from then on out I realized that I had to stop fooling even myself, first.

Agenda - I was a long time lurker to this mb (mainly the sg section) before I decided to join and share my "experiences." I did so, not to fight against past injustices (because trust me, I could name names and really start some fires, but I won't), but to offer (perhaps) a unique perspective of somebody who grew up in the practice, has seen behind the curtain of the top pioneering usa leadership and has a perspective of the gakkai from the Japanese side as well. I share my experiences in hopes that they may add to the weight of evidence in this 350 page thread that may help others to also eventually see the light as to the true character of the sg(i) cult.

My sg(i) memories - they're always guaranteed to bring me a good laugh, that's for sure.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/29/2012 04:58PM by Hitch.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Nichijew ()
Date: February 29, 2012 10:09PM

Great Hitch. I name name and leave no prisoners. Here is a letter I received about a year ago that I just opened and happened upon today:

"I somehow knew SGI started out for the post WWII poor and hopeless. In order to raise to the heights they have is amazing. Sensei is a sharp man who has his hand in everyones pocket in SGI. SGI members are led to believe under Sensei that Chanting will bring worldly treasures and anyone who believes otherwise is a fool. Read the Lotus Sutra Read the writiings of Nichiren Daishonin. Nichiren stood up against a monarchcy like the one that exsists today. Shame on you Sensei. You are a con man not a man of peace. Listen to yourself." -- robob

Phil Ohrenstein and Stan Zir, during a youth division meeting on saturday, were running around the first Park Avenue NY Center with a loud chainsaw, yelling at the top of their lungs, NEVER GIVE UP... NEVER GIVE UP.... EVEN IF THEY CUT OFF OUR HEADS. Kasahara was up on the dais smiling. They gave up...hehe

Nichijew



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/29/2012 10:14PM by Nichijew.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Shavoy ()
Date: March 01, 2012 03:02AM

It just seems to me that aggressive shakabuku comes across as the antithesis of respect and tolerance for the various spiritual beliefs in this world. Especially in not-taking-no! for an answer. It also falls in with the SGI frames of 'I am going all-out with SGI propagation, because I am promised that my evil karma will be eradicated, if not in this lifetime, of course, then definetely the next one---it's promised to us!' ....and 'I have to let the whole world know what a wonderful man Daisaku Ikeda, our Sensei, is!'

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Hitch ()
Date: March 01, 2012 05:18AM

Nichijew - that chainsaw behavior is insanity incarnate. Reckless and irresponsible behavior were commonplace in the ymd back in my day. It seemed to me that the salaried gakkai leaders always knew who to use and in what capacity all the way down to selecting the most reticent of the young members as guinea pigs in their delusional escapades. I also slowly started to notice that those same "leaders" would behave one way with the adult members and in an entirely different (disrespectful, condescending, authoritarian and psychotic) manner with the youth division (when the adults were safely out of sight). Literally, very, very two-faced. Looking back, I can honestly say that some of them are genuinely mentally ill.

Shavoy - the whole organization is the antithesis in behavior to what they purport to stand for and believe in. I've seen it countless times and none seem to even recognize the hypocrisy with which they lead their lives.

For some, mental illness and living in an imaginary world is a more reassuring happiness and preferable to being sane, facing the real world and living with uncertainity and doubt. That's just my take on it all, anyway.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: rattyboy ()
Date: March 01, 2012 09:09AM

I tried to be an inspired YMD expressing my interest in keeping my own youthful diary or reading the works of literature that Ikeda had read but was given cold stares when expressing this. I must have been "outa rhythm". I never understood the Dementor/ Cipher relationship.
Today I remembered NSA days and a YMD saying to a group of others while preparing for a parade that he objected to carrying a rifle, dressing up like a Minuteman from the American Revolution, I think, but he was told by the other YMD that he better get guidance. Possibly someone else said "Yeah I thought that wasn't very Buddhist either but then I got guidance. " Nothing like "Yeah, I know what you mean, what do you guys think?".
I'm so glad I'm beginning to have real natural dialogues with people. It feels foolish writing that, but really, I'm beginning.

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