Just some random points that I wanted to add my own thoughts to:
It's funny - my son did come to a new year's day krg with me; he's a stone atheist, but came because it was also my birthday and he knew it would mean a lot. I dragged him out right after gongyo - I was too embarrassed for him to see the circus that was upcoming. Maybe that's when the veil actually started thinning for me a bit, seeing it a bit through his skeptical eyes.
I can relate to so much of what you are and have been saying. I was always
embarrassed to have any of my friends actually see, much less attend, a cult org. meeting. I had no problem telling anyone I was a "buddhist" (or so I thought at the time), but for me to share what actually was going on . . . . . I was very
Just like you said, deep down, I too, knew it was part freak show & circus.
I remember, quite soon after I left the organisation I attended an interview and got the job without a scrap of chanting (one of my first successes without daimoku) and it was a wonderful feeling. The more I do this, the easier it gets to use logic and planning rather than the magical thinking, and the more independent I feel. When I think about the amount of chanting I used to feel that I had to do just to attend a meeting at work or have a normal conversation it reinforces how debilitating it was for me and how I created a prison for myself, with fear of what might happen if I didn't chant.
This is one of the most insidious things about the gakkai cult org.. It imperceptibly takes over and starts to control your life, where everything you do or don't accomplish, is no longer your "own." The gakkai cult has programmed into members' heads, the default doublethink position that they MUST have the help, permission, and blessing of the cult org. for any and everything that happens in their life."It allows you to own your successes . . . "
(as the cult vendor says at the 0:26 sec. mark [www.youtube.com
]) --> No, it tricks you to think
that you "own" them. You don't. The cult org. does. And the cult org. will use that fear and addiction to pull the cult shackles, that you aren't aware of, tied to your limbs, just like a marionette puppet.
Members become so dependent on others thinking for
them and are regressed back to being like a child, paralyzed by fear and uncertainty, needing the "guidance" (cult speak) on what to do next. Chant, work for Cousin Rufus, go to the cult org. "leaders" for guidance, chant some more, work some more for Cousin Rufus, get more "guidance", . . . . ad lib and repeat as necessary until you "magically" get what you wanted (or not, in which case the "guidance" will be changed accordingly to spin and explain it away).
I equate the whole process to this clip [www.youtube.com
]. The Oracle Addiction. In the case of the gakkai cult org., the oracles are the magic paper, Cousin Rufus and cult org. "leaders" (big & small).
Although we can try to be respectful of the beliefs of others, we are entitled to the same respect and it's up to us to set the boundaries. If someone was carrying on a conversation on any other topic, you might feel okay with saying "ew, I really don't want to talk about that"; we've been so bullied by das org, though, that that isn't acceptable when it comes to discussing sgi. It is acceptable. You don't have to be angry or nasty about it, and you don't need to defend your position. I know that you value these people, but they need to understand your value as a person, too. They wouldn't ear-bang someone at work about that stuff, and they don't have a right to force a conversation in a direction you aren't comfortable with!
I surpassed my tolerance threshold with the gakkai cult org., long, long ago. I like your phrase about being "bullied." Spot-on description.
So much of what you say, I agree with wholeheartedly and strongly so.