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Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: Hitch ()
Date: June 02, 2013 08:07AM

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meh
. . . . one of the reason I joined sgi was because of its self-proclaimed members-first policy, . . . .

. . . . I responded to the md leader with a polite but firmly-worded email reminding him of how we're supposed to support the members and quoting ikeda about the organization existing for the members, not the other way around.

Cult doublethink-doublespeak 101. It's absolutely everywhere in the $oka Gakkai Cult Org.. It's baffling sometimes how many don't even notice it.

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meh
Anyway, I received no response from the md leader but a few days later the general chapter wd leader contacted me. I could hear in her voice that every single sphincter muscle in her body was tightly clenched. She implied (nothing is ever direct, and gentle words are always used) that I should keep my pie-hole shut, because other members might feel that there was disharmony in the group. Horrors. This was about a 30-minute long conversation in which she also implied that the widow who had requested a toso hadn't been attending district or study meetings (apparently she should be dumping her traumatized children at the curb for the sake of sgi), so she probably shouldn't be asking to have tosos. I was also chewed out for sending out unauthorized emails. This defied logic for me, and the start of my separation from the group.

This is a good example of the kind of manipulative control freak character that I mentioned earlier. This kind of dysfunctional behavior and treating people like children who can't think for themselves (which they really believe is the case, when it comes to "The World of Faith") is very common, especially with those serving "leadership" positions. They higher up you go, the worse it gets, because the "leaders" actually start to believe the delusion that they are living (i.e., that they are some kind of oracle).

Basically, if you don't do what they say, then they start in with the manipulative guilt tripping tactics. If you stand firm, hold your ground and push back (many don't, because of the brainwashed fear that's been implanted into them), . . . . (see below) . . . .

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meh
I was very upset about this conversation and (naturally) sought guidance from one of my co-district leaders whom I really respected. Initially, she was somewhat outraged on my behalf, told me that I had done the right things and should keep doing them. I was a little more than stunned when she called me a week and a half later to tell me that there had been a leaders' meeting and that I was no longer doing the schedule or having a planning meeting at my place for the month of June (they've been held here for more than a year). The reasoning behind both were clearly rubbish, and I could hear the discomfort in her voice. It was at that point I realized that I had no place in an organization that encouraged this kind of dishonesty and discouraged supporting someone in need or protecting someone. I'm not good at being told what to do, and I'm especially not good at being lied to.

. . . . Then they will simply deflect responsibility utilized some warped logic and / or simply outright lie. Regardless, the end result is always the same: it's always *YOU* who is the one to blame, creating "negativity" (cult-speak lingo) and interfering with Cousin Rufus.

It's all mind games and manipulation. They people who can do it the best, without conscience, make the best "leaders", until something happens and the cult org. may even eventually eat them up, too.



- Hitch

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Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: June 02, 2013 09:36PM

Double-speak, indeed. I spoke to a couple of friends yesterday; they're both members, but we have a lot of mutual interests outside the practice so I'm hoping to preserve the friendships once (and if) they get over my "defection." It seemed as if they were unable to get through a couple of sentences without reverting to jargon. I really understand that it's a common language - words have specific meaning within this whole context - but it was surprisingly irritating . . . lots of eye-rolling at my end of the phone conversations. And not just a little bit of embarrassment, because that was my language up until just a couple of weeks ago. I felt like reaching through the phone, shaking them and asking them to listen to themselves. It wouldn't help them, though - after 40+ years each, I think that sgi is so ingrained in their identities that they wouldn't know who they are without it. I don't mean to sound condescending, since I'm still going through withdrawal; I'm glad I could hear the zombie-haze descending, though, because it really fortifies my belief that leaving the org is one of the smartest things I've ever done in my life.

And yes, for a group that shrieks from every available rooftop about personal responsibility, the warped logic prevails. It is my fault and my karma that caused the poor behavior of others that sent me running out the door this past Friday; it obviously had nothing to do with my desire to no longer deal with a pack of candidates for the proctologist's office. Now that I've read through a number of posts on this site, it's really putting a lot of things together that I wish I'd been open to thinking about sooner. I'm grateful that I never fell into the ikeda-idolatry, but I no longer view him as basically a good guy with selfless intentions. Selfless, my auntie . . . I could afford to put on that appearance if I was as wealthy as he's become.

I'm one of those people who find it very difficult to throw away books, but let me tell you, I'm going to do a little "victory" dance of my own as I dump all of my sgi books in the dumpster today; I don't want them to fall into the hands of some other gullible person. My gohonzons? I don't know what I'm going to do with them; I don't want to return them and have 'em issued it to someone else after doing some magical-sgi-hokey-pokey to cleanse them of my evil influence. Once again, I don't want to participate, even tangentially, to someone else's lunacy. Some of the superstition clings, I suppose, that keeps me from throwing those away. Maybe I should hold onto them as reminders to not be so easily drawn into trading myself for a pack of magic beans.

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Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: sleepy skunk ()
Date: June 03, 2013 04:24AM

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Hitch
Cult doublethink-doublespeak 101. It's absolutely everywhere in the $oka Gakkai Cult Org.. It's baffling sometimes how many don't even notice it.
When you join what you think is a Buddhist organization working for world peace, you're probably not thinking "am I being screwed here?" It's the image they project and it's effective enough. Otherwise so many would not be joining even if they do leave, people are still joining for a reason.

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Hitch
This is a good example of the kind of manipulative control freak character that I mentioned earlier. This kind of dysfunctional behavior and treating people like children who can't think for themselves (which they really believe is the case, when it comes to "The World of Faith") is very common, especially with those serving "leadership" positions. They higher up you go, the worse it gets, because the "leaders" actually start to believe the delusion that they are living (i.e., that they are some kind of oracle).

Basically, if you don't do what they say, then they start in with the manipulative guilt tripping tactics. If you stand firm, hold your ground and push back (many don't, because of the brainwashed fear that's been implanted into them), . . . . (see below) . . . .
One of the best ahem..."experiences", is watching those people lose their mind when you don't obey their every command. Very entertaining stuff. That is one of the uhhh "benefits", of leaving. You can watch that any time you want because they can't do a thing about it.

Hitch I have another question for you since you were in this spot at one time. What happens to leaders when a member leaves, are they held accountable in any way or even punished?

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Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: Hitch ()
Date: June 03, 2013 05:38AM

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sleepy skunk
One of the best ahem..."experiences", is watching those people lose their mind when you don't obey their every command. Very entertaining stuff. That is one of the uhhh "benefits", of leaving. You can watch that any time you want because they can't do a thing about it.

Boy oh boy (!), you got that right, Sleepy Skunk! Some of the YMD leaders had downright outward conniption fits after a while (it takes time to build up to that point, though, after they try all of the other gakkai cult playbook manipulation tactics, without the expected results).

It all depends on the person though: some would try to use their pseudo-mystical-delusional cult org. "authority" to exclude you from doing things (didn't work, just made me happier) / others will blow a gasket and outright yell, even scream, at you (didn't work, I would just calmly back up and walk away, after giving them an unmistakable look that they are out of line and have a screw loose) / others will silently nod, then spread the official word for others to start giving you the silent treatment (this was from a "senior" salaried leader, whose horse-sh*t I wasn't buying - how's that for "compassionate" officially sanctioned model "buddhist" behavior?) / and yet others may completely go bonkers and resort to lashing out physically in utter frustration (I've mentioned this before and it only happened to me once, from a Japanese WD cult org. queen who was always used to people deferring to her and getting her way, BUT I also saw the same kind of reaction from other WD during the priesthood breakup when they would go into attack mode against temple members).

Those "experiences", are some of the best stories I have from my time in. Hilarious memories, now, but definitely not at the time they happened.

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sleepy skunk
Hitch I have another question for you since you were in this spot at one time. What happens to leaders when a member leaves, are they held accountable in any way or even punished?

Both heads and sh*t roll uphill in the gakkai cult org. (when it doesn't work going down, it just starts to roll back up). There is nothing they can do to you as a common, ordinary "member", other than offer empty threats of mystical damnation and / or excluding you from "activities" (which can never be permanent, unless you are a danto - temple - member. Now that the gakkai itself has been excommunicated, I understand they do the same thing with some.)

One reason they go berserk when members walk is because the numbers go down. When said numbers reach enough critical mass (whether it be district / territory / national / etc.), that's when it starts to flow (just ask Mr. Williams / Sadanaga). No leader is immune. Punishment is in the form of being stripped of your "leadership" position and all the (perceived) perks that come with it (authority, member adulation and the brainwashed benefit of being able to serve Cousin Rufus for those who really believe it - taking away your force field shields that protect you from "fundamental darkness", etc.). I'm sure salaried leaders also face a pay and travel cuts, if they screw it up badly enough or don't live up to expectations (don't forget, it's always *YOUR* fault, nobody else's). This is why "leaders" can sometimes get unscrupulously evil and manipulative, if they come under enough pressure.

The Achilles heel, for those that genuinely believe (members, "leaders", salaried drones), is the magical thinking --> it's a double-edged sword that can cut them both ways.


- Hitch

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Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: June 03, 2013 10:11AM

Sleepy skunk and Hitch . . . the more I read here about the commonality of experiences across a range of other districts, the happier I am that I watched all of my sgi books go bye-bye in the trash. My punishment for being a bad zombie was to not be allowed to distribute the monthly schedule or have meetings at my place. Oh, boo-hoo. It was the sheer arrogance that these ding-dongs felt that they were in a position to discipline me and the utter hypocrisy behind the whole thing.

And the numbers are a joke. I was the subscription coordinator for my district, and people who haven't attended a meeting for the three years I've been here were counted. "Oh, those aren't just cards in the box, they're people's lives! We must chant for them to come back!" And hound them mercilessly after every member care meeting. I've had six phone calls in the past 48 hours from one of the leaders; I finally emailed her and told her (nicely) to buzz off, and that I wasn't coming back because I found that the organization was incompatible with my conscience. That was hours ago, and I haven't heard from her since. That's not to say that they won't sic somebody else on me at some point, but at least I can turn the phone ringers back on.

Being new here, I have to ask - does Cousin Rufus = ikeda?

Sorry - I think I double-posted . . .

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Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: Hitch ()
Date: June 03, 2013 12:44PM

"Cousin Rufus" is kind of an inside joke on this mb. It comes from a fellow (mis)fortune baby (I've forgotten her moniker on here) who heard the "Forever Sensei" song as a little girl and mistook the "Kosen Rufu's on the way!" portion for, "Cousin Rufus' on the way!" Who's Cousin Rufus --> it's "Kosen Rufu" and everything and anything or anyone that has to deal with the Gakkai Cult Org.. So, yes, it can also be The Dear Leader Ikeda. [www.suruga-ya.jp]

Re: Padded numbers and deceiving statistics in the Gakkai Cult Org:

Yep, they did the same thing when I was in, too. Nobody wants to be held accountable for numbers going down, so they just pretend that they haven't. Remember that wishful-magical thinking tendency that we've been talking about? Well, there it is again. They always have the "faith" that "sleeping" or "taiten" members may one day return - that's also why they contact you during zaimu time, even years later or suddenly just pop-up somehow (home "v"-isitation) . . . they are under pressure (again) to get the numbers back.

Hardcore gakkai members also routinely pay for multiple subscriptions of "The Weird Tribune" and / or $eikyo $himbun in their families so as to keep those cult stats padded. They rationalize it in their mind as "making a cause" for Cousin Rufus. Paying more $$$$ to the Magic Cult Org. Karma Influencing Machine, by putting a subscription "officially" in somebody else's name (a troubled family member for example), somehow mystically shuttles "fortune" their way and "lessens their karmic retribution" in this lifetime (all cult-lingo, btw). I kid you not. They believe it and they do it, all the time. (There are many stories on this board about this kind of stuff, the numbers padding game.)



- Hitch

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Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: June 03, 2013 09:44PM

Okay, I've wiped my eyes after laughing about Cousin Rufus. Oh. My. God. That terrible, terrible music. You'd think with Tina and Herbie we could do a lot better than "Forever Senseless." I always wanted to stand up and start singing "The Internationale" - given my singing abilities, that would've been sufficient punishment for anyone in the room. And, I know that this has been discussed to death on this board, but the poetry and photos? I need to start a cult of my own so that I can flog my poetic insights and sensitive pics of my dog. He's very cute, and when he sleeps he assumes mystical shapes that foretell the future. And he barks in tongues.

I feel like a kid in a classroom with the teacher gone; I can finally laugh out loud at the absolute craziness of all this stuff . . . before, I was compelled to run to the ladies' room at the community center to overcome my guilty giggles. Now I see that it was a matter of good taste.

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Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: sleepy skunk ()
Date: June 04, 2013 10:58AM

"Forever Senseless" does have a ring to it doesn't it?

I felt the exactly same way after leaving and made some weird posts just because I felt finally free. It's strange since I honestly didn't feel it was hard to leave them. I had no magical thinking going on, no unbreakable bonds or anything like that. Sure I was there for a few years but I got out unscathed. I felt liberated in the sense that obligations were no longer held over my head. Knowing I'm getting away from the crazies helps too since I have no idea what was coming next or what kind of strange thing they might have tried to get me to do.

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Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: meh ()
Date: June 04, 2013 07:29PM

Gotta love that weird logic; one of the leaders (I could never keep the hierarchy BS straight) just knew that she had COPD because she had tried to commit suicide; it couldn't have possibly had anything to do with the facts that she smoked for a zillion years and weighed about 300 lbs., right? I'm embarrassed to admit that I bought into that kind of twaddle myself, but there were always a certain number of doubts about the ikeda-worship, nsa-hatred and a lot of other things. Those cracks in the fa├žade were what made it relatively easy to walk away from the swamp of mishegoss, I think. I would watch the dvd's at krg every month and look at the members there . . . all the men dressed like ikeda and all the women dressed like mrs. ikeda, and I felt that there was something deeply wrong and kind of scary. I attributed it to the differences between japanes and american culture, but those folks were absolutely zombified. And most of the people surrounding me in the kaikan were the same way, hanging on every word, clapping like a pod of trained seals and viewing the whole phenom as if they were watching the second coming unfold before their eyes.

What the heck was I thinking? I guess that's the key . . . when you have ikeda-san to tell you what to think, you really don't need to form any independent thoughts of your own - all the organization has to do is catch you when you're at a low point in your life, and it's easy to persuade you that there's a magical hokey-pokey that can make everything better. I always said that nobody came to sgi because their life was in great shape. That seems so sinister in hindsight.

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Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: Shavoy ()
Date: June 05, 2013 02:40AM

Bingo, meh, about those darn KRG videos!!! Oh my goodness! I used to like going to KRG back in the day. But one of the final death nails in my own SGI coffin were those videos. Ikeda All The Time Now. I mean, we could not get away from The Man, it was very much apparent that SGI truly is a cult of personality. Back in the day, members actually had fun! Yeah, seriously! We could plan the meetings for member participation with themes taken from real life. Not SGI Sole Sanction of Ikeda All the Time. As Taiten&Proud says: Lest we forget the REAL prime point: It's Daisaku Ikeda.

When I read about your friends who lapsed into jargon, I've seen that, too. The die-harder they are, the more lap-sy it gets. Even from members who feel they are more free-thinking and not towing the Ikeda Line.

I'm guessing you won't be hearing from that particular leader anytime soon. I love what you told her about incompatibility with your conscience--genius! And I totally relate to that, too!

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