Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Nichijew ()
Date: September 17, 2018 04:47AM

So glad to see this forum is still alive. Now we only have SGIwhistleblowers (for those truly Taiten) and the Eagle Peak Blog (for those who wish to practice independently).

Clarity, it is amazing how, not long after one is lovebombed to death, one is treated as an object or non-salaried employee. Sooner or later the true nature of Soka Gakkai leaders comes out. For me, it was their distorted doctrines and corruption that had me running (after 19 years). The corruption of dharma teachers receiving upwards of $400,000 a year to do the same job as the non-salaried leaders (encourage the members and teach Ikeda's distorted doctrines) is disgraceful and offensive. Shakyamuni Buddha and NHichiren would be appalled (and angered). I do what I can to bring these phonies down, it is a major part of my Buddhist practice as a disciple and believer of Nichiren. How dare they alter and distort his teachings; How dare they behave in such a grotesque manner!

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: lostmyway ()
Date: November 23, 2018 03:30PM

Hello Mark, I have been following this blog whenever I have the time. I am an ex-UK member who has done a couple of posts. Want to say something now about my own experience of how SGI treats members. I joined in 1985 after being introduced by a friend in Malaysia. I was living in Devon and members were few and far between at that time. I received Gohonzon at a Gojukai ceremony in 1987, from the priest and this was the happiest day of my life, very emotional, I was crying with happiness because I knew that in Buddhism, I had found my path. So, all seemed OK and we had Study meetings and Tozan's to chant for world peace and I never at that stage saw anything wrong, our leaders were mainly supportive and tried to answer any questions honestly, so far as I could tell. Bear in mind, that I don't think we had the internet then, and if we did, I did not have any access to it, or I might or might not have woken up a lot sooner.

In 1989, Pres. Ikeda aka Ikea, visited the newly purchased Taplow Court in Berkshire. His visit coincided with the imminent death of my father, so you can work out for yourself what my priority was. I was in London to say goodbye to Dad and went to the then Richmond Centre to chant and pray for him. That was OK, I did pray in front of the Gohonzon enshrined there, although the doors were not open. In early 1991, I left the organisation after the Priesthood Split for a couple of years. Only got to hear SGI version of events though and it was pretty virulent towards Priesthood. I can't believe even now, the rubbish we were being told. Now, in the light of all i have read, it makes perfect sense. A common feeling amongst a lot of members was it was like being the child of a divorcing couple and caught up in the slander. I left and for two years and practised the best I could on my own. I finally went back to SGI because I missed my friends in the organisation and genuinely wanted to work for Kosen Rufu. (love Cousin Rufus, BTW)

Later on, back in Devon, we had A Senior WD Leader who was Japanese (she is now deceased) but she was married to an English MD Leader. We were in this big-ish meeting and all the WD were gathered around and this leader asked us all to state why Ikea was our Mentor in life. I was the only person who said that I did not regard him as my Mentor; he had his mission, I had mine and I only followed Nichiren. She had, as we say here, a face like a slapped arse on hearing that!

I had also been asking a question about the Japanese Bathroom at Taplow Court. I was told that Japanese members had contributed money to pay for this installation. My question was: did they know they were contributing specifically for this? I personally thought it was a wicked waste of money but if people had no problem with donating their money for it, who was I to argue. My point was: Did they know? I then got shouted at in a Member's house by the same Senior Leader who asked me what business it was of mine? I was totally humiliated by her in front of other members, who were too embarrassed or intimidated to defend me. It was apparently, wrong to question anything. I think I began to change at that point. We were told we can go up to Taplow Court at any point to look at the financial accounts and I think SGI UK do their tax returns etc here, but that might be because they absolutely have to.

Fast forward a bit. All this time, I still had my original Gohonzon from NSUK and I attended a meeting which was at Chapter Level, and was told when I registered my attendance, by someone I did not even know, that Robert Samuels had brought my Nichikan Gohonzon with him to exchange. Bear in mind, I knew nothing about this;' the initial line was that a Gohonzon was a Gohonzon and if you wanted to retain your original Gohonzon, you could. Then I heard at least one member, a real IKedabot, say that the NS Gohonzon was evil.

I loved my Gohonzon, not least because of the happy memories of my Gojukai and the promises I had made. I found out that this had all been arranged, behind my back and with no reference to myself, by my Local WD Leader. When I unpicked what had happened and confronted this leader, she said she had used her wisdom! The real laugh is, this person no longer practices, that I am aware of anyway. To be fair, she was totally supportive when i had cancer in 2011. They were also very paranoid if they knew a NS Priest was visiting UK and issuing 'warnings', never worked out what they they thought the Priest would do.

Crunch time for me, was when they really started to push MDM here and that Gandhi, King, IKeda exhibition. I made NIL effort to go and see it, stopped buying Art of Living and cancelled my Direct Debit to SGI UK. Finally left last year and returned to Nichiren Shoshu. Without proselytising, I am now doing REAL Gosho study, which I love and this site supported me to leave SGI. Thank you everyone! I am going to repay my debt of gratitude by continuing to post and support others here.


Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: lostmyway ()
Date: November 23, 2018 06:18PM

Forgot to add a couple of other things: My Nichikan Gohonzon was given to me at the meeting I spoke about in a first aid room! There was another member who was also having her Gohonzon exchanged. It all felt a bit hole in the corner, like I was doing something shameful. I now know I was.

When I left finally last year, I resigned through the SGI UK website, writing a letter to Robert Harrap. He did reply to me personally and gave me a lecture about Sensei's heart and being with Sensei. I replied that I had no confidence in President Ikeda. I then received an e mail from a Senior WD leader in Devon, asking to visit me. This woman, who does not even know me well enough to know when my birthday is, who I have only ever associated with at Chapter Lectures and other meetings was suddenly 'my friend, who wanted to reach out to me.' I agreed to the visit, so I could engage and debate with her. At the last minute before she had failed to arrive in time for Morning Gongyo I looked at my e mail to see a message in which she pleaded she was not up to the four hour round trip. She did not have the guts or politeness to actually telephone me to say that she was coming. But stated in her e mail her belief that SGI is our best hope (her words exactly). I replied asking her what 'best hope of, exactly?' I am still waiting for her reply. If SGI is truly our 'best hope' shoot me now.


Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: lostmyway ()
Date: November 29, 2018 12:08AM

Hello again

I am working my way through this blog and am up to page 320 where there is discussion of SGI accounts, by Simplify. Like me, an ex SGI-UK member. I followed the link which led me to Charities Commission. It seems that in 2005 SGI UK was removed from the Charities Commissioner List. Interesting and first I have ever heard from it. Does anyone know the reason for removal?

Re: Former SGI members
Date: June 27, 2019 08:32AM

"There was some problem in a temple in Brazil -- maybe the priest accused of embezzling money?"

Just to clarify, the problem that SGI-USA General Director George M. Williams and his entourage (which included Steve Gore) were sent to deal with was the embezzlement of $2 million by the Brazil General Director, Roberto Saito, from the Sho-Hondo Construction Campaign funds that were collected in Brazil. The Brazil SGI members found out about it and made a big stink. Here's the rest of the story:

Mr. Gore entertained doubts about Mr. Ikeda, who used money as freely as water, and determined to leave the organization over a certain incident. "In 1974, it was discovered that Brazil Soka Gakkai General Director Robert Saito (currently Honorary General Director) was embezzling the organization's money. Vice President Satoru Izumi (currently Chief of the Supreme Guidance Council) came from Japan to handle the incident, and the three of us, he, NSA General Director George Williams (currently General Director Emeritus) and I, set off for Brazil. In the end, he was told that if he returned the money, no questions would be asked, and we collected $1 million."

"We put it into 2 suitcases and conveyed it to Los Angeles. At the same time, Williams said that he had purchased uncut gems as souvenirs and he asked me to carry them. He handed 3 boxes of gems over to me. But when we arrived at the L.A. airport, the customs agent called out my name and told me to show him the boxes of gems. When I did, rings and such with processed diamonds were rolling around inside the boxes. The customs form said they were uncut gems, so I was immediately arrested as a smuggler. In the meantime, Williams and Izumi passed through Customs carrying the suitcases. They used me as a scapegoat."

SGI indoctrinates its membership to automatically assume that, if there was financial malfeasance, it must have been a priest doing it, but what you'll find is that the Ikeda cult is big on projection: They attribute to and accuse the priests of what they themselves are doing.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Date: June 27, 2019 09:35AM

"I think in my early days it was really helpful being part of something."

When I joined SGI-USA (then going by "NSA" - Nichiren Shoshu Academy/Nichiren Shoshu of America), we genuinely believed that we were going to convert the whole world within 20 years! That was when "kosen-rufu" would be realized! Within just 20 years! With something that huge at stake, you can kind of put your life on hold while you do what you have to do to make the big thing happen, right? YOU are going to be a key player in saving the world! And how much easier is it to fall into that thinking when you aren't real happy with your life?

>I devoted almost a year of my life to Rock the Era (2010). My development in other areas stood still while I devoted every spare minute to Rock the Era. Now I wish I had had time to develop in other ways. It feels very Japanese to me — the emphasis on sacrificing your time, and silent unquestioned acceptance about certain things. Source

SGI has changed the definition of "kosen-rufu" now. They know it's game over, so now "kosen-rufu" has no terminus; it's just this endless process, work work work and never even *retirement* to look forward to. Good luck with that, guys.

Re: Former SGI members
Posted by: CarolMarks ()
Date: July 23, 2019 02:57AM

This post was first written in 2009,ten years ago Is Mav still checking this or has he completly moved on,what you wrote really resonated with me especially today in 2019 when many people are so fired up politically they absolutely cant keep their political views and opinions out of there businesses and religions . Its become worse at the SGI and I'm at the cross roads of this practice because of it.

A little about me, I started practing in West Hollywood and continued to another chapter in West Los Angeles. I attended all events at the L.A friendship and actually happened to be a little more liberal at the time (how can not living in L.A) however politics werent brought up as much as Mav said yes the undertones of the ultra liberal mindset were there but I was able to deal with it and attend meetings ect. I absolutely loved my practice and made some really good friends,however I noticed when I started to question the hypocrisy of the bashing of the temple members and we are the good ones you are the bad ones,similar to the ultra liberal mind set of if you are different from us your the bad guy,you're evil .we're good and theres no room to think differently this was a red flag years ago that turned me off and has now come full circle to how I feel today. I DREADED when they would get into temple bashing at meetings. It was so off from a Buddhist nature, very self rightous and arrogant sometimes I would ask if we were going to get into "Temple bashing" before the meeting because if so I wasnt going. I all of a sudden needed guidance and got about two home visits to talk about this,it like always seemed to go in one ear and out the other with the leaders and they would almost look at me with pity and tell me we are going to chant about it...WHAT???

Fast forward to 2016 I moved to another part of the country ,like Mav I just became more conservative in my views and support the current administration,well omg drag me to the stake and watch the loving evolved buddhists stone me to death,so loving and tolerant ...NOT!!!! I can almost guarantee at every meeting there will be bizarre name calling like the orange POS in the white house and other digs and slams to conservatives this has become more than I can handle , this is suppose to be a buddhist meeting and you feel like you are on the Occupy Democrats FB page,not that theres anything wrong with that HOWEVER my point is this organization has turned into a biased political party bashing those who dont think like them. I have never seen the SGI this corrupt and un Buddhist

I recently brought a friend to a meeting at this particular meeting they tried shoving Michelle Obamas book down everyones throat and suggested it for reading,who are these people just to assume you have the same beleifs ,the arrogance and hypocrisy thats in the SGI now is staggering and heartbreaking.

I got to see some of the true colors of big leaders around the 2016 election on facebook ,while ones FB page is there and they are allowed to post what they want their actions hardly match what they preach,the gloating and laughing at certain women who may have posed nude and how trashy they are and they have no place in the White house,well Mr Boddhisava of the earth yu certainly have comapssion ,what if that woman happened to be abused or molested as a child and theres reasons they d what they do,or gloating and laughing a certain daughters buinsess was boycotted,my point is these people have the nerve to call themselves Buddhists when they are nothing more than self righetous, arrogant, biased members of a group thats become so poisoned.

The entire if your thinking isnt in alighnment with ours then you need help, you need chanting ,your evil and we are good is just to much for me to deal with anymore ,my question is ,is it possible to be in the SGI as a conservative without having to listen to snide remarks nasty remarks about conservatives and all.

I have thought about telling the group how I feel but I know this would be met with walls up and feeling differetly about me.Im not sure the ultra liberal mindset is accepting of anything other than their own views.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Date: October 20, 2019 09:36AM

"I AM focused on SGI being the topic of the thread. I am not discussing other organizations, just mentioning them. What does making money "fair and square" mean exactly? Even if SGI tried to be the most virtuous religious organization in the world (and stock market) it would only be a matter of time before some critic would attack them for some investment practice he didn't agree with. My point is that I can see SGI as a cult without holding it to an impossibly high standard."

In 2002, without anyone in the SGI membership knowing, SGI purchased a 20-bedroom luxury mansion in North Tustin, CA, for $12 million - to be used for...what? By whom?? No one knows! Outside of the top leadership, who *definitely* know, and aren't talking.

This property went on the market in early 2018 for nearly $20 million - that's $1 million per bedroom! Want to see the newspaper article about it? []
Want to have a look around? []

Anyone care to defend this as proper and sensible religious-group activity? How would the SGI membership feel about stretching themselves to donate until it hurts, when SGI is using the money for this?

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: CarolMarks ()
Date: February 14, 2020 09:44PM

Noone can defend this,they are corrupt and extreme liberal mindset.

Re: Soka Gakkai International -- SGI
Posted by: Drusilla ()
Date: June 11, 2020 09:25AM

Hello, old pioneer member here, glad to escape the SGI cult too.

I feel utterly blasted, mentally and emotionally.

50 years of this, and I wish to heck I'd gone with the temple.

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