Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: July 17, 2013 08:21AM

"Mourning" is a pretty good word to describe it. I have no family close by and, after having moved around so much after the past few years, didn't really have any friendships outside of the org. That's made it a little tough, but this mb has helped a lot. I only left the org about six weeks ago, but I'm gradually starting to come out of myself and walk in the real world again. It's amazing how isolated I'd allowed myself to become. Oddly, the woman who shaku-buku'd me (whom I've known since high school) remains a very good friend. While she doesn't support my decision to leave, she supports me (if that makes any sense). She knows why I left (BS from the district leaders), but I haven't told her how deeply I've come to hate the organization or that I submitted an "official" resignation to Klub HQ or that I'll be returning my gohonzon . . . I just don't feel that she needs to know that right now.

I think the only consolation possible is to realize that in an ordinary, every day world, the friends we had in sgi would not have had their minds so poisoned. And to know that we're free now, to make friendships where ever. however and with whomever we want. We really do have control over our lives now!

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: nuevopionero ()
Date: July 17, 2013 09:21AM

((((((( meh )))))))

Hope you're not offended by the virtual hug from a virtual stranger.

The isolation, the lack of friends outside of the org. is as you wrote, "a little tough".

One of the most painful things for me was realizing that I really had no real friends within the org. The few friends I have outside of the org., as well as my neighbors who never practiced at all, were the only ones to show real friendship and compassion during a very difficult time for my family.

No matter the years of efforts as part of the "gakkai family" (what a joke), not a single one cared the least little bit - not a phone call, not a visit to the hospital or here at home - when my partner was diagnosed with cancer in '07. He'd been practicing almost 25 years, never missed a district meeting or krg, and all he said to me is, "I told you so". For years he'd been busting my chops about so many hours either in front of the gohonzon or away from home, so much money spent, all for those who in the end really didn't give a shit about me or my family... definitely a WTF!!! moment.

Obviously, it was a wake up call, and even though he's never chanted a single daimoku since '07, he's still here, and has never been happier. go figure...

There's life after sgi, a wonderful life.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: nuevopionero ()
Date: July 17, 2013 09:35AM

and, meh, I understand completely you not wanting to offend the person who introduced you to the practice. it's wonderful that you're still friends.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: rattyboy ()
Date: July 18, 2013 02:22AM

Just some thoughts on SGI and trance induction - I've found that just doing "Sancho" or chanting NMRK 3 times was enough of a trigger to reset me in the Gakkai ways whenever I was meeting with a leader and it was known I was planning to discuss something challenging. I felt a softening of my intent and would not speak my objections as effectively, which of course could be attributed to the magic science of the Mystic Law from one point of view (wrong!), but it had the same effect as being offered rice cakes or a gift from sensei or listening to a remark about one's sincerity in regard to the practice. All techniques which may not be passed down in a handbook , but they are done because they were modeled behaviors. And they impede dissent!

Without being told what to do, If you see people love bombing members who traveled from soooo far away, you are bound (and determined!) to join in. Bound, indeed. Like in 'real' life: At a birthday party, Try not saying 'yay' with the crowd after the candles are blown out.

So.... a short recitation of 3 NMRK doesn't allow distraction in thought, unity and focus. Its like hooking your trailer up to the main vehicle again.

If, for whatever reason, I ever visit a member again I will not accept the invite when they say: "Let's do Sancho". And that is if they don't suggest full blown gongyo. It seems like a fair trade to just do Sancho, but it carries rehooking power (in the mind..potentially). It isn't magic. Closer to science - the science of mind control, IMO.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: TaitenAndProud ()
Date: July 18, 2013 03:55AM

Quote

One of the most painful things for me was realizing that I really had no real friends within the org.
I likewise found this deeply painful, and embarrassing, too. A combination of "How could I have been so wrong about them?" and "What's wrong with me that I wasn't able to cultivate a more meaningful friendship, despite all my altruistic efforts?"

I found my SGI friends to have been almost uniformly "takers." They wanted stuff from me - emotional support, actions, tasks, activities - and so long as I was there to do them, they "played friendly." But when things changed - when I graduated from YWD HQ leader to just plain WD member (!) and wanted a more mutual relationship, one where I could expect to get at least *some* of my needs met (or even voice my own opinion in a conversation!), I was either frozen out or outright attacked when I did the basic things of maintaining a friendship (like making a phone call)! It was horrible!

I remember one YWD, the Chapter YWD leader who took over from me as YWD HQ leader after I moved away (and then was promoted to Territory YWD leader, a newly created position, which "proved" that I was a terrific leader because you always want the leaders you raised to surpass your top leadership position yadda yadda yadda), was supposedly a pretty close friend. Well, some months before I and my new husband left, she went and got certification (hahaha) for "Rolfing." And she thought I should get "Rolfed." And she let me know that I should get "Rolfed." Well, I'd moved away to go to a distant university, and had totally embraced the "starving student" lifestyle, as we were both starving students. My SGI "friend" kept telling me I should get the 10-session series of "Rolfing" for $85 per session - $850. I finally told her that I could sell my car to raise the $850 for "Rolfing," which I was surviving just fine without, which would leave me unable to get to classes, which was my purpose in moving away - to get that degree. So I could either choose to pursue my degree as planned, or I could derail my plans so that she could get my $850. And, of course, I would need to get my ass back to Minnesota (I was in the US VI) for the "treatments", naturally. Just so she could get a few hundred dollars more. Even though my complying with her suggestions would basically ruin my life. She didn't CARE!!

I also pointed out that, if she and her fellow "Rolfers" truly cared for the health and well-being of others, as they claimed, they would offer their "services" on a sliding scale, so that even poor people, who arguably are the most in need, could be "helped." She said that, if people didn't pay full price, they wouldn't "appreciate it." I pointed out that, when something actually WORKS, it doesn't matter whether people "appreciate it" or not - babies who need antibiotics benefit from them even though they don't "appreciate it", and comatose people benefit from medical treatments without enough awareness to "appreciate it." I pointed out that, if people had to "appreciate it" for it to work, then that was acknowledging that it was nothing more than the placebo effect and depended on people deluding themselves that it was something it wasn't. She didn't like that very much, as you might imagine O_O

SOOO many stories of shabby treatment and callous disregard from my so-called "friends" in "the most ideal family-like organization in the world." Ugh. I don't even like to think about it. It's just icky.

The fact that we can meet and hang out here, in virtual space, is a terrible threat to all the religions. Teh intarblaags is the unforeseen fatal threat to religions - it carries the double whammy of freely-available information from all sides (not just the cult's own propaganda) AND the opportunity to meet and form valuable relationships with like-minded individuals. This is why so many religions (including the SGI) discourage internet activity. We can become friends and enjoy our mutual interests despite being so physically far apart that we will likely never see each other's face. Religions have long held society hostage by threatening people who weren't willing to join with social ostracization. Now, the Christian church finds that its threats that apostates will be social outcasts are increasingly toothless - there are enough other religions (for those who feel they need one) and non-religious people within society that the person who is contemplating leaving the church knows that there are plenty of other opportunities for him to socialize. Being an apostate is no longer a scarlet letter; religions typically have such small memberships that all they can do is to try to manipulate/coerce their memberships into being isolated from society. Besides, within Christianity (as within Nichiren Buddhism), the various sects are so antagonistic that they'll eagerly accept, if not lure, other sects' (former) members. And the SGI does this just as much as any sect of Christianity does (or tries) - from their cultspeak private language to the demonization of those who don't fall into lockstep (see "taiten members" and "danto/Temple members" for examples) to the various activities that appear weird and offputting to non-members, it all serves to isolate the individual so that he will be more likely to fear leaving. Which, of course, benefits the organization. NOT the individual.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Hitch ()
Date: July 18, 2013 04:48AM

Quote
rattyboy
Just some thoughts on SGI and trance induction - I've found that just doing "Sancho" or chanting NMRK 3 times was enough of a trigger to reset me in the Gakkai ways whenever I was meeting with a leader and it was known I was planning to discuss something challenging. I felt a softening of my intent and would not speak my objections as effectively, which of course could be attributed to the magic science of the Mystic Law from one point of view (wrong!), but it had the same effect as being offered rice cakes or a gift from sensei or listening to a remark about one's sincerity in regard to the practice. All techniques which may not be passed down in a handbook , but they are done because they were modeled behaviors. And they impede dissent!

Without being told what to do, If you see people love bombing members who traveled from soooo far away, you are bound (and determined!) to join in. Bound, indeed. Like in 'real' life: At a birthday party, Try not saying 'yay' with the crowd after the candles are blown out.

So.... a short recitation of 3 NMRK doesn't allow distraction in thought, unity and focus. Its like hooking your trailer up to the main vehicle again.

If, for whatever reason, I ever visit a member again I will not accept the invite when they say: "Let's do Sancho". And that is if they don't suggest full blown gongyo. It seems like a fair trade to just do Sancho, but it carries rehooking power (in the mind..potentially). It isn't magic. Closer to science - the science of mind control, IMO.

I agree completely.

A common refrain that I often heard was a variation of this kind of theme, "Are you missing gongyo recently?" / "How much (daimoku) are you chanting?" / "I recommend you start a 'million' daimoku campaign goal for yourself - challenge yourself." / "Let's chant about it, first" or "Let's talk about if after we've done gongyo or 30 minutes daimoku."

In the early days, it had an effect on me (weakening my will, temporarily, the higher the "leader" the longer the half-life potency), but not so much in the later days.

It takes enormous resolve to stand up against the group-think and pressure. It was all pure manipulation.


- Hitch

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: nuevopionero ()
Date: July 18, 2013 05:50AM

oh, T&P, you hit the virtual nail on the head:

"I likewise found this deeply painful, and embarrassing, too. A combination of "How could I have been so wrong about them?" and "What's wrong with me that I wasn't able to cultivate a more meaningful friendship, despite all my altruistic efforts?

"I found my SGI friends to have been almost uniformly "takers." They wanted stuff from me - emotional support, actions, tasks, activities - and so long as I was there to do them, they "played friendly."


^^^^^^^ THIS!

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: TaitenAndProud ()
Date: July 18, 2013 01:19PM

Well, to be fair, in his 1969 book, "The Gathering Storm in the Churches," Dr. Jeffrey K. Hadden found that:
Quote

Clergy have come to see the church as an institution for challenging man to new hopes and new visions of a better world. Laity on the other hand, are in large part committed to the view that the church should be a source of comfort for them in a troubled world. They are essentially consumers rather than producers of the church's love and concern for the world, and the large majority deeply resent clergymen’s efforts to remake the church. … Innovative clergy have been systematically separated from the parish pastorate. Jeffrey K. Hadden, The Gathering Storm in the Churches: The Widening Gap Between Clergy and Laymen, p. 206-207 [Hadden 1969:85, 206-7]
We see this same concept echoed in "Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America" by sociologists Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith (2000):
Quote

As we have seen, the organization of American religion encourages religious groups to cater to people's existing preferences, rather than their ideal callings. The congregation often looks to religion not as an external force that places radical demands on their lives, but rather as a way to fulfill their needs. Those who are successful in the world, those of adequate or abundant means, those in positions of power (whether they are aware of this power or not), rarely come to church to have their social and economic positions altered.

If we accept the oftentimes reasonable proposition that most people seek the greatest benefit for the least cost, they will seek meaning and belonging with the least change possible. Thus, if they can go to either the Church of Meaning and Belonging, or the Church of Sacrifice for Meaning and Belonging, most people choose the former. – p. 164
The reason these excerpts are germane to our topic on this board is that SGI-USA members come from the exact same cultural milieu as the congregation members described above, and, as you can no doubt appreciate, the SGI-USA members show these characteristics in spades. Where the SGI-USA has taken this trend and turned it malignant is the fact that its "clergy", the leaders, are the worst, most egregious, and most flagrant examples of this disdain and contempt for the needy. At least, during the Civil Rights Era, SOME Christian clergy (notables include Dr. Martin Luther King) stood up and demonstrated publicly for the redress of racially motivated wrongs (in spite of being far more likely to be "fired" by their congregations for so doing). I can't think of a single leader within the SGI-USA who has *EVER* gone out on a limb and bucked societal privilege to advocate for minority rights that were being trampled. Not one.

The fact that the SGI-USA NEVER contributes *ANYTHING* to the needy, NEVER has any sort of "emergency fund" or "poor box" to provide the needy with immediate tangible aid, the fact that the SGI-USA *insists* that everyone needs to "chant to fix his own problems" (to summarize) and keeps every single penny it collects for its own enrichment shows that the SGI-USA is manifesting THE WORST of this all-too-American religious tendency to put MY OWN PROFITS ahead of all other concerns. It was a great embarrassment to me that, when Hurricane Andrew decimated towns in Florida, the SGI-USA sent the YMD Brass Band to play for the victims. Yep, that was our contribution, folks. I'm sure the people who were in desperate need of food, water, medicine, clothing, toothbrushes, and shelter were deeply grateful for that effort O_O

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: July 18, 2013 08:11PM

Well, it isn't nicknamed "prosperity Buddhism" for nothing - certainly, a few people have prospered greatly from it; Senseless always looks pretty fat and happy.

That ick-eda puts himself into the same class of human being as Gandhi and King always sickened me; the latter two were men who spent their lives out on that limb, sacrificed greatly, worked diligently to improve the world they found themselves in and eventually were killed for their beliefs. Mcbutterpants' greatest sacrifice was to put up with a crappy airline meal or two. Absolutely disgusting. He's done nothing but enrich himself. Even the Mormons financially support each other through hard times.

Wouldn't making hurricane victims listen to sgi music be banned under the Geneva Convention? Or at the very least unconstitutional? Like those poor people hadn't suffered enough . . .



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/18/2013 08:12PM by meh.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Nichijew ()
Date: July 18, 2013 09:39PM

Quote
nuevopionero
oh, T&P, you hit the virtual nail on the head:

"I likewise found this deeply painful, and embarrassing, too. A combination of "How could I have been so wrong about them?" and "What's wrong with me that I wasn't able to cultivate a more meaningful friendship, despite all my altruistic efforts?

"I found my SGI friends to have been almost uniformly "takers." They wanted stuff from me - emotional support, actions, tasks, activities - and so long as I was there to do them, they "played friendly."


^^^^^^^ THIS!

Hi np and welcome. Not to mention, loans never repaid, books never returned, and an apartment lost [long story]. SGI "we are all Buddhas"? Certainly not.

Nichijew

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