Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: Luz ()
Date: January 19, 2013 04:11AM

Hi!
It has been a bit more than 6 months since I stopped chanting. First I was scared, then angry and now just happy to be out of SGI. Indeed, my life has blossomed, no fight with my husband, I start running and the best, I built my own company and it is working so well!!
Yesterday I had visit from a member, I had not seen her in 6 months and she came back with her boring crap about this buddhism. I did not really want to talk about it but she was selling all these ideas and I get tired. I just saw her as a lonely 49 years old lady looking for a job and a bit agressive when I told her that I was happier now.

So it was worth it to stop and SGI is a cult, no doubt.

Take care!

Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: Hitch ()
Date: January 19, 2013 05:27AM

Quote
Luz
Hi!
It has been a bit more than 6 months since I stopped chanting. First I was scared, then angry and now just happy to be out of SGI. Indeed, my life has blossomed, no fight with my husband, I start running and the best, I built my own company and it is working so well!!

Yesterday I had visit from a member, I had not seen her in 6 months and she came back with her boring crap about this buddhism. I did not really want to talk about it but she was selling all these ideas and I get tired. I just saw her as a lonely 49 years old lady looking for a job and a bit agressive when I told her that I was happier now.

So it was worth it to stop and SGI is a cult, no doubt.

Take care!

Bravo!! And CONGRATULATIONS!

You've perfectly described what happens when leaving the gakkai cult. I was so relieved when I first broke away, relieved to get away from all the dysfunctional members (leaders!), the psychological mind games and the manipulation. The further my time in receded into distant memory, the happier I got (with good things continuing to happen), as I slowly began to see and understand things more clearly. It definitely takes time.

As for the cult member who "home visited" (cult-speak) you, again, spot-on analysis! The cult regresses people to be dependent and fearful (although they ironically believe just the opposite). Their lives are regressed and then they go into a perpetual stasis, never growing, never changing and in some cases, never really solving their problems (just avoiding them thru delusional activities and the magic chant). When they do solve their problems, just as everyone else does, thru nothing more than their own efforts, they are programmed to give credit over to The Dear Leader by default. I posted a cult clip on another thread where a cult member at a cult reach out public activity stated "It allows us to OWN our own successes." It's completely the opposite, Ikeda and the cult org. "owns" your successes and you are conditioned to "repay your gratitude" back to the cult org. thru time, activities, money, etc..

When you dare contradict them, either in words or, as in your case, thru "actual proof" (again, cult-speak), they invariably react by getting nasty and even angry. They begrudge your happiness and success, especially when it comes to someone who has rejected their belief system. If it happened while you were still a member, you'd have to give an "experience" at a cult meeting - a magical benefit. If it happens after you go taiten (leave the cult org.), it breaks their "mystic law" (a ridiculous, meaningless, nonsense term), they don't understand it (because they can't think) and they get angry (hence, her aggressiveness).

The $oka Gakkai is absolutely a pseudo-buddhist cult of a rich Japanese con-man.

Congratulations, again, on getting out, reclaiming your sanity and walking away from the chains. Unfortunately, many others don't (or can't) make it out.


- Hitch

Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: Hitch ()
Date: January 20, 2013 07:33AM

Here's the clip mentioned above [www.youtube.com].

At the 0:26 min. mark, somebody asks the cult vendor about the cult philosophy.

The answer: "It allows us to OWN our own victory and our own successes." (Then the magic chant.)

Deceptively welcoming. The bait? Smiles, free (lotus) flowers (seeds, potted soil) and most importantly, the magic words "NMRK."

After you are in, the switch.

The cultie mindset is that everything that happens in life (mainly the good) is due to The Dear Leader being your "MASTER" (this term was used for decades before they changed it to be more politically correct and minimize the negative connotations that accompanied it) in "Life."

The trap: thought reform, pure and simple.

CULT.



- Hitch

Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: sleepy skunk ()
Date: January 27, 2013 12:48AM

Hi all, I'm a recently departed member and I was wondering what to expect from the former members since I have known many of them for as long as I was in to, get to know some actually nice people who are unfortunately mixed in with the nuts. I'd say it in a nicer way but that is actually being so in this case. Everyone probably knows by now and I'm expecting a windfall of love-bombing. Are there any post-departure manipulation techniques I should also be looking out for? I'll probably relate my experiences in the other thread. Sorry for the jargon. I assume this will end when I've distanced myself enough.

-the sleepy skunk

Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: Shavoy ()
Date: January 27, 2013 04:31AM

Quote
sleepy skunk
Hi all, I'm a recently departed member and I was wondering what to expect from the former members since I have known many of them for as long as I was in to, get to know some actually nice people who are unfortunately mixed in with the nuts. I'd say it in a nicer way but that is actually being so in this case. Everyone probably knows by now and I'm expecting a windfall of love-bombing. Are there any post-departure manipulation techniques I should also be looking out for? I'll probably relate my experiences in the other thread. Sorry for the jargon. I assume this will end when I've distanced myself enough.

-the sleepy skunk

Hi, sleepy--yup, go to the SGI thread itself for tons of encouraging info!

Lovebombing---that depends where you are at. Where I'm at now, no lovebombing exists. Other areas in the country (I'm assuming you are in the USA) may be heavier-duty.

Remember, you have the innate right to practice and believe what you choose to believe. If SGI no longer fits the bill, so be it. Be firm. Once they realize your interest is just not there, it will drop off and die away. Your SGI friends should respect your wishes (not that they themselves won't try and encourage you to stay, that is what they are told to do--but--STAY FIRM!)

Do check out the SGI thread---fascinating stuff!


Shavoy

Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: sleepy skunk ()
Date: January 27, 2013 06:19AM

Quote
Shavoy
Hi, sleepy--yup, go to the SGI thread itself for tons of encouraging info!

Lovebombing---that depends where you are at. Where I'm at now, no lovebombing exists. Other areas in the country (I'm assuming you are in the USA) may be heavier-duty.

Remember, you have the innate right to practice and believe what you choose to believe. If SGI no longer fits the bill, so be it. Be firm. Once they realize your interest is just not there, it will drop off and die away. Your SGI friends should respect your wishes (not that they themselves won't try and encourage you to stay, that is what they are told to do--but--STAY FIRM!)

Do check out the SGI thread---fascinating stuff!


Shavoy

Thank you I will. I've been reading it for the past little while on and off while lurking. It is true what they say about being discouraged from even looking at these sites. It is going to take months just to get to page 500 and still keep up with the current material, haha! The more the better because I think we need any leverage we can get and what's better than 500+ pages of real experiences, not fake ones we heard all the time.

About the love-bombing, one thing I've heard a lot and have not seen for myself was the positive experiences of people in really big places where I guess you could say the really fancy Buddhist centers are, and where the other centers are. Some say they get a lot of support and great advice, while I personally found it to be total bunk and call all of that probable confirmation bias at work. Maybe they have been helpful but I do wonder if they'd be doing it if they didn't think they were just making more "good causes." Some members frown on those who are wanting to be social with the other members too. Then other places seem to be all business were it's get in, get out and that's the end of that until next meeting. Those members are the ones I wondered about their sincerity or how much they practice (back when I cared, I guess) or if they're just there to network.

A part of why I took so long to leave was the fact that we seemed so different at times, yet not at others. I was always defending my choice to those who care about me. "No it's not a cult", I'd say. Now I have to explain to everyone why I've left and it's quite a humiliating experience I won't soon forget. Thankfully I didn't pass on any but one card to someone, who I have to talk to soon and hope that they didn't listen to me and accept my apology for being so naive.

It was not all bad looking back, but I wouldn't repeat the experience if I had to. I considered practising on my own doing things as they were meant to be, not their way, but I've since decided against it. I can't risk my mental health doing this kind of stuff for what rewards exercise can also give me. I know it doesn't look like much of a cult but the details are hard to argue against, aren't they? I'm still getting calls but that is all right. I can handle that the same way I handle telemarketers and other irritating calls.

Has anyone run into any really big problems trying to leave? I'm not talking quite Scientology levels of scary but is there any one thing that makes them go away for good? I've read here that if you give away your scroll that's it, can that be all there is other than the members doing what every other overly religious person does? I'm just glad I'm not in Japan, I'd be terrified if I were there right about now.

-the sleepy skunk

Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: Shavoy ()
Date: January 28, 2013 04:19AM

@sleepy--It says a big Something that the SGI thread is the biggest one in this category. 500 pages+? Plus all the views? (You know there have to be at least some current members AND leaders checking in regularly).

When you mentioned about socializing with other members outside of SGI activities being frowned upon, that happened with me and one of my closest friends at the time back in the day. We hung out a lot outside of activities (we were leaders at the time) and that got the burn of the higher-ups. We were told not to do it anymore. It was so unnecessary and painful. We stood up to them and spoke our minds. It did stop, but, boy, how ridiculous. The thought behind the whole thing was that we could possibly risk damaging our pure faith and cause problems for the unity of the organization.

The whole experience was not at all totally bad for me, either. I did get a lot of it, really did. Would I join today if asked? No. How it has morphed into an Ikeda-Worship cannot be so easily hidden anymore. It has to be obvious to a lot of people who attend a meeting for the first time, or--take a glance at the World Tribune, for starters.

I do not know where you're at, but I'm suspecting people might get a more aggressive response in their request to leave in a place like L.A. The ones I've known who've left do not get a follow-up. Didn't you say that you did return your Gohonzon on the SGI thread? How was that?

Shavoy

Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: sleepy skunk ()
Date: January 28, 2013 09:34AM

Quote
Shavoy
@sleepy--It says a big Something that the SGI thread is the biggest one in this category. 500 pages+? Plus all the views? (You know there have to be at least some current members AND leaders checking in regularly).

When you mentioned about socializing with other members outside of SGI activities being frowned upon, that happened with me and one of my closest friends at the time back in the day. We hung out a lot outside of activities (we were leaders at the time) and that got the burn of the higher-ups. We were told not to do it anymore. It was so unnecessary and painful. We stood up to them and spoke our minds. It did stop, but, boy, how ridiculous. The thought behind the whole thing was that we could possibly risk damaging our pure faith and cause problems for the unity of the organization.

The whole experience was not at all totally bad for me, either. I did get a lot of it, really did. Would I join today if asked? No. How it has morphed into an Ikeda-Worship cannot be so easily hidden anymore. It has to be obvious to a lot of people who attend a meeting for the first time, or--take a glance at the World Tribune, for starters.

I do not know where you're at, but I'm suspecting people might get a more aggressive response in their request to leave in a place like L.A. The ones I've known who've left do not get a follow-up. Didn't you say that you did return your Gohonzon on the SGI thread? How was that?

Shavoy
Yes it does, and for some reason the number of pages didn't end up being a red flag as much a while back as it has been lately. That is something I'd have expected from the Scientology thread and nowhere else. Thus my ignorance of cults, cultists and cult-like activities.

I can't believe they tried to separate you two. I can't say it would never have happened here but it seems quite unlikely. Unless because I was a lowly commoner I hadn't seen the evidence of this attitude towards kinship in the group. I was mostly discouraged from reading books outside SGI approved sources and told that if I was not careful of who I hung around they could drag me down or worse. Especially if they were ex-SGI. Maybe that is why no one but the more socially involved commoners have anything to do with each other outside of meetings and activities. Did they at least just say that if you're going to hang around you should be doing "Buddhist" activities like giving away free labor or solicitation? They should try to be more utilitarian than they are! Slacking off won't achieve Cousin Rufus after all! Glad you stuck with your guns, it seems to work at times. I'd be curious to know the real reasons they don't want leaders to hang around after activities. It's probably something so basic that I can't even imagine what it is. It's always about the org and keeping the money river flowing.

Having not read the materials I didn't see the Ikeda worship right away, it took a few crazies to do that. Looking back I do notice the lack of Buddhist focus and the focus is on nothing. Turns out it wasn't nothing, it was just the focus was on Ikeda and being disinterested any such idea, I did not notice. The publications we focused on did not seem to focus on Ikeda. Maybe this is on purpose so people don't see it right away. My first meeting was rather uneventful, otherwise I might have not joined. I think they've gotten smarter with that one. There is a definite attitude for when they bring in a new person as I've seen talk of it when I was in the org.

I'll be PM-ing the details for now, with so much to say.

Yes, I've heard the LA people are an interesting lot.

Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: TaitenAndProud ()
Date: April 18, 2013 04:08AM

Quote

When you mentioned about socializing with other members outside of SGI activities being frowned upon, that happened with me and one of my closest friends at the time back in the day. We hung out a lot outside of activities (we were leaders at the time) and that got the burn of the higher-ups. We were told not to do it anymore. It was so unnecessary and painful. We stood up to them and spoke our minds. It did stop, but, boy, how ridiculous. The thought behind the whole thing was that we could possibly risk damaging our pure faith and cause problems for the unity of the organization.

Hi, everybody! I can go you one better on the anti-socializing!

Back in the late 1980s, when I first joined and for those first few years, there was a vibrant and active Youth Division. Of course, this was when so many of these "youth" were in their late 20s, even early 30s (ha ha ha), and there was quite a gap between the teenage children of leaders and members and us young adults.

At one point, a bunch of us young adults decided to schedule regular gosho study sessions amongst ourselves. Guess what? Our adult-division leaders declared that we would not be allowed to do so, "because the YMD and the YWD are just going to be 'studying' each other instead of the gosho!"

OMG O_O

To this day, the stupid takes my breath away.

And given that some 90% of our YMD and about 20% of our YWD were GAY, that just intensifies the stupid to the nth degree!

Can you *IMAGINE*, spewing about "faith, practice, and study" being "essential" and then telling people they must not study???

Re: On Leaving SGI
Posted by: Rangdrol ()
Date: May 07, 2013 11:55AM

Congratulations! It took me three years to leave, after having spent there for a total of 7 years! You are wise. yes, SGI is a cult of "postitive-thinking" and that is a cult in itself, selling millions of books, healthcare products, etc. around the world. Read Barbara Ehrenreich's book “Bright-Sided. How Positive Thinking is Undermining America."

Nichiren Daishonin must be examined closely, with the eye of a scholar. He believed that Japan was coming apart (storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, Mongol invasions, etc.) because the Japanese were not practicing the "correct" religion. Doesn't that sound familiar? He beleived the world was going to end, just like many Christian Evangelicals in the US and Canada.

Nichiren read the Lotus Sutra and misunderstood a portion of the text which predicted the coming of Maitreya, the fifth Buddha, in three, 500 year periods. He erroneously considered himself to be living in that time, and believed it was he who was the fifth Buddha, Maitreya, Mi-roku, I think, in Japanese, and that is why he set out to create his own Mandala, the "scroll-in-the-box" as I call it, and created a new mantra!

It was not uncommon for this to happen, in Japan, because this was also the time of the birth of the Amida Buddha sects, where some Buddhists (which arose from the Tendai sect (794–1185)) decided that it was no longer necessary to observe the Buddhist laws, all one had to do to be reborn in a pure land (another sect called the Pure Land sect) was to chant the mantra of Amida Buddha. In the Pure Land sect, they argued that it was only necessary to chant the name of Amida once to attain enlightenment! Several different sects were formed in this Kamakura (1185–1333) period, including the Zen, the Pure Land, and Nichiren schools. Later, monks even had young male lovers at their beck and call, and it was totally acceptable! It only stopped when the Catholics rowed into town in the 15th century. So, again, Nichiren was a bit wacky, and his letters, written while he was isolated on Sado Island, are testament to that.

I am including a reference that will serve those who are interested in understanding the complexity of Japanese Buddhist sects from the Nara to the Kamakura periods, and the history of the Buddhist clergy.

O sumi Kazuo. “Buddhism in the Kamakura Period.” In The
Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. 3: Medieval Japan, ed. Kozo
Yamamura. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press,
1990.

After I left NSA/NSC I was so disenchanted with "Buddhism" that it took me seven years before I could look inward, again, and return to the path. To recover, basically.

The famous Buddhist maxim goes like this: “O monks and wise men, just as a goldsmith would test his gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it, so must you examine my words and accept them, not merely out of reverence for me.” I don't know who said or wrote this, but it just means that we dont have to have "faith" just because others do, it means that we should have our own experiences, which are important realizations on the path.

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