Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: August 19, 2013 09:26PM

Along with all of that, corboy, we learn that it's ok to be dishonest - especially to ourselves. Ignore it and it ceases to exist. Don't talk about it, and it doesn't exist as an issue. The evil isn't that we lie to others (although that's not a good thing), we haven't learned to be honest with ourselves and can go into a panic when we can't escape from an essential truth. Confusion. Denial. Excuse-making (enabling). Covering up. Looking the other way. The coping mechanisms are as destructive as the dis-ease. Somehow, maybe in an effort to convince ourselves that we have some level of control over a situation, we convince ourselves that somehow, we are responsible for what's going on . . . if we assume a level of blame, then it becomes "our issue," which gives us the illusion that all we have to do is to take the right actions or say the right words, and everything will right itself somehow.

I wrote in an earlier post that I had never met an sgi member who came to the practice as a happy, functional person. I think we're all broken, to a lesser or greater degree, and we were convinced by other equally effed-up members that this practice was the way to become whole. Honestly, I think it did help me to some extent - not the organization itself, but through the practice. Chanting helped me find a quiet place in my mind to figure some things out. I came to a peaceful place with my mother, who lived her life in fear that the world would find out that she wasn't the person she said she was (her relationship with everyone was based on a complex web of lies about her background) - once I understood that she was driven by that fear, I could have some compassion towards her and her extreme remoteness. I never told her that I'd met members of her family (that she'd broken contact with once she left Wales), and how they had completely denied her existence because she'd married a catholic; this was her truth, and I didn't think it necessary to confront her with it. My father (a dry drunk, with an absolute addict's personality) is another story . . . whether I emotionally reconcile with him or not is still kind of an open question that I'm fine with not having answers to for now. They're both gone now, so I need to come to that resolution on my own. But I've gotten to this point by practicing sgi-flavored Buddhism, which was easy and uber-accessible. Now that I see how screwed up they are, it's time to move on.

I went to an Al-Anon meeting years ago (I went into adulthood as a substance-abuser magnet), and one of the women there made a comment that has stuck with me. She said that she knows in her heart that when she was born, her parents didn't look at her and say "hot-damn, here's a kid we can eff up." No matter how screwed-up and misguided most parents are, they want their children to have better lives than they did, and the lengths to which they'll go are extraordinary. There are some shockingly horrible people out there who should've had their reproductive organs removed before puberty but, like Ann Frank, I prefer thinking that most people are essentially good,

Like our screwy families, we do the best we can, and we make the best decisions possible based on the information (and level of judgment) that we have at the moment.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: newfuture ()
Date: August 20, 2013 02:49AM

Wow... the past few posts have been very very interesting.

Talking of people wanting something for nothing... when I was involved with the landmark education group, one of the first things they asked me was 'why do you work so hard?'. I was taken aback by this question as 1) I have never considered that I work 'so hard' - I just do what I need to do to get where I need to get and 2) I couldn't understand why the question was delivered as a criticism/judgement.

I was then told "If you knew who you really were you wouldn't have to do so much or work so hard". The inference was that my working hard (by nature I enjoy being productive and busy!) was due to some deficit or lack in me. Now that I understand their distorted ideology, I see that to them 'doing' is a bad thing and that my focus should have been on 'being'. To them, working hard is a 'strong suit' - i.e. something you do as a compensation or to cover up who you 'really are'.

I had variations of this question asked of me several times and was often told to 'relax' or 'slow down' etc etc. It was the first time that my work ethic had ever been treated as a some kind of disease. I was told often to "just be" - whatever that means. I also know now that they didn't want me working hard on my own personal goals, but on their goals. They tried very hard to make me think that focusing on my own goals and working in the way that normal people do was a very bad thing that I needed to stop doing and tried to redirect me on many occasions, to the point that I saw that they were trying to actually destroy my career and everything I had ever done to be successful in my life.

I never went into landmark wanting something for nothing and in fact, I worked ridiculously hard, doing multiple programs and volunteering there at the same time, as is my nature... This led to an extreme form of burn out as I just became totally worn out by their increasing and never ending demands which never got any better no matter how much I did. But I do see that they try to make people believe - and there are people there who are indeed lazy/slackers and so like this mentality - that the answer to success in life is 'being' not 'doing'. They even tell you that the secret to success in life is "be--> do--> have" which if you really look at it doesn't make any sense. More than anything I stayed in landmark for 18 months because I was so confused and bewildered by what they were saying that I kept on trying to make sense of it. But I suppresed my doubts using their own brainwashing unfortunately by thinking 'oh, is this a racket? etc etc'. Other than that I've never been one to usually suppress doubts!!!!

Funnily enough however, the friend who got me into landmark - a very successful guy in many areas: career wise, v happily married, wealthy, solid guy - had told me that he credited all of his success to landmark. Now of course I know that when he told me all of this he was under the influence and under pressure to bring guests. The reality is that he's successful in his life because he's a hard working, intelligent man with a good heart. I believe that if it was not this man who had introduced me to landmark, I would never have gone and would never have listened to anyone else - but he didn't seem to me to be the sort of person to be into anything odd, and I trusted his perspective (it kills me now to know that other people did landmark because they also trusted my perspective!!)

The main way to getting what you want out of life is simply to work at it, to be focused, tenacious and to persevere. But certainly these cults like to imply that all you need in life is to pay $500, listen to something for 3 days and then boom, get a breakthrough and that's it. The sad thing is that the landmark programming almost undid 28 years of hard work that I had been doing in my life on my education, career etc!!!

Regarding familiarity, I recall saying at one time that I felt I was 'at home' in landmark. Just before I got out I realized that this was not a good thing, since my 'home' had been an environment in which my father was verbally and physically abusive and used similar coercive/dominating/oppressive techniques that landmark did. Thankfully as soon I had the realization that it was starting to feel like that, I fled from landmark.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: rattyboy ()
Date: August 23, 2013 01:24AM

I have page 314 as the last. oh well. things got kind of wordy after that anyway. this is a test to see if we're still on board

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: simplify ()
Date: August 23, 2013 01:52AM

I'm on board at page 314 - looks like we've lost over half the messages as they were up to about page 650.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: August 23, 2013 06:53AM


It may be that two years of this message board have been lost due to system administration errors at the ISP.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Date: August 23, 2013 07:11AM

Wow - finally! I've been trying to find the board for days now, and it's taken all day for me to get back on. Had to make a new identity, as you see. Is this the result of the sale of the Rick Ross site? I must say, this is entirely consistent with the worst possible outcome...

Page 314 is as far as it goes. This sucks big green ones.

And the new moderator messages are kind of scary :/

Corboy? Are you there? Do you happen to have or remember your last few messages? You had one about your situation growing up, and I had some comments to make...

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: August 23, 2013 07:49AM

The ISP failed to backup the board entries properly.

Everyone approved in the past two years will have to rejoin and become a member again.

All posts and everything else entered in the last two years is gone.

This was due to a profound failure at the ISP level, which became evident through the redevelopment process.

It's very sad, but there it is.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: simplify ()
Date: August 23, 2013 08:01AM

Were there no backups?

It is a pity to lose all the research that was posted on here such as SGI-UK accounts etc.

But what I'll miss most is the part where Tsukimoto's dog got Honorary Life Membership of Oxford University's Bodleian Library (in the UK). Just like Senseless.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: August 23, 2013 08:04AM

I am just as upset as everyone else.

But it seems that two years of everything is lost and there is nothing I can do about it.

It was the system administrator's job at the ISP to backup everything and apparently he failed do that regarding this message board for two years.

Two years of logs are lost.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: August 23, 2013 08:21AM

It is a shame that so much valuable information has been lost, but it is what it is. I'm just glad everything is back up and running - I thought my computer was verklempt. I never did get to the part where Tsukimoto's dog received that award; I had no idea that Oxford had canine obedience courses ;-) !

Strangely, everything at the new job is great, even without chanting. I haven't been thrown into a fiery pit of hell, there have been no observable devils, and I actually got my computer at work a day before I was scheduled to. I haven't gotten smited on the train . . . it seems like this not-chanting stuff is working just fine. Amazing what you can do on your own. And the extra time in the morning not sitting in front of the magic box is kind of wonderful!

By the way, I did finally get around to sending my gohonzon back to the community center the other day. They can smudge it, burn, consecrate it with senseless pee for all I care. I really feel like it was closing the door on that chapter of my life - I'm big on closure.

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