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11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteAwaken7 Can somebody please tell me why do members from SGI need to put offerings to the area around the Gohonzon? And what kind of offerings they need to put? What do you do with the water or the apple after you offer it? Do you eat it or do you throw it away? ! SGI and Nichiren Shoshu members put the following things on their altars (which can be just a small stand or end table -- I had
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteobsidianMy b/f wasn't a lifelong member. He just joined back in January. However, he was pulled in very fast. By April, he was no longer himself. When I contested SGI, he would say that I was closed-minded and negative. I never gave him an ultimatum, because he recognized it himself. He knew that it was either SGI or me. Sadly, he decided that SGI was what he wanted in his life. He love
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteYzak One experience I had was with a SGI graduate student from a UC, that I wanted to chat with him about how universities work here in the US and all of that. He invited me to Starbucks to talk, OK thats fine. When I was talking about my academic interest, and that I was(and still am) very motivated to do something great with my life but don't know actually what is it, Guess what? he&#
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
Quotequiet one I think that SGI really tries to fill people full of fear. If they have any questions, any doubts, or just don't want to belong anymore, they are told that they are making a terrible cause and that they will loose everything that is good in their lives. Even missing a meeting is a terrible cause, according to some SGI leaders. If a person is led to believe SGI's dogma,
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
Quoteobsidian Honestly speaking, I never considered SGI a cult per say, but I would definitely call it a cult the way that crazy woman is running her district. She is a leader. The psychic angle is what she uses to entice certain people. That's how she drew my b/f in. She is a fruitcake. She did a reading for me and it turned out to be mostly wrong or general stuff that you could apply to an
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteYzak One time, when I was organizing a SGI club in my college, I meet this Japanese girl who is a "Fortune Baby" (being born and raised in this Buddhism) to talk about how to organize the club. I suggested for the final meeting we were going to have, that we should discuss about how this Buddhism thinks about problems in society in general. Example: Poverty, Violence, Race, Sexual
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
Certainly, a lot of it makes sense. Studying the writings of Nichiren Daishonin, having respect for all members, protecting the privacy and confidentiality of members, not engaging in or condoning sexual misconduct, not borrowing/lending money from members, not using SGI to promote your own business...that's all good. Others, like not using SGI to promote political activities, come on!
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
SGI Code Of Conduct BACKGROUND: Because of the organization’s endorsement of appointed leaders, the members place their trust in them. Therefore, the SGI-USA has an ongoing responsibility to ensure that the members’ trust in the organization is never violated and always protected. In the past, the code of conduct existed as generally accepted standards for leadership but was not formally doc
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteobsidianFrom my point of view and what I've seen of SGI, my biggest problem is their "mentor-disciple" method of teaching. You don't get to choose your mentor and the mentors don't need to have any qualifications or training as far as I know. On top of that, there is no regulation on what the mentors can and cannot do. My ex's mentor for example is using SGI to
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteThe Anticult Firings: Its interesting about those SGI firings. Is that happening in other locations too? Maybe they are having trouble, and want to clean house. Or maybe they just purge the ranks once in a while. Very interesting SGI talks about "not taking money" in the Code Of Conduct. Seems SGI fears some local leaders are scooping up some money? And the part about not t
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
If there is anyone reading this thread who doesn't know what a Gohonzon is -- it's a scroll with Chinese and Sanskrit characters. Nichiren Buddhists look at the Gohonzon when they chant. The Gohonzon is usually kept in a Butsudan, a container. Mine is a small wooden box with doors that I can open when I chant, though Butsudans can also be large and elaborate. You usually put t
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
I kept my Gohonzon, and still chant to it. Nobody from SGI has ever contacted me and asked for it back. If they did, I would tell them that I'm keeping it. I know of former members who have chosen to give their Gohonzons back to SGI -- but this was the choice of the ex-member. They did it on their own initiative; nobody told them to. If you don't want to give your Gohon
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteMav On a day like this, I feel really appreciative of being alive. And I feel that without chanting or attending SGI meetings! :) Like quiet one, I enjoy the spiritual aspect of the Nichiren Buddhism and enjoy chanting. I can really relate to her about not wanting to cut the spiritual connection completely. Does anyone feel like that? One thing I have to say that SGI does (or did) well
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
Quotelthomas I was dating a member who was emotionally and verbally abusive. To make a long story short he dumped me in a way that was extremely cruel, almost to the point that I am sure that he is a sociopath. I remember telling one of the members and the only support that I got was: Kiesha this is buddhism working in it's way for you. You must chant for his happiness. A long time ago a
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
Quotelthomas No matter what it is that I do, it is never enough. If I am sad or having a bad day, I am considered to be not practicing correctly when it is perfectly normal to feel these emotions as a human. I remember a few times being told that if I ever left SGI that, "my life would never be the same" and that life would be even harder with only a semblance of happiness. At
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
Awaken, I'm grateful to have this forum too. It has helped me to post and read other people's posts. You saved yourself too, by resisting your "friend's" attempt to push you into SGI -- and with your willingness to look for other information on SGI. I remember being at a meeting, back when I was in SGI, and the leader told a guest, "You can be both a Chri
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteMav Group think, the herd mentality, when the whole auditorium at an area meeting has some leader making snide comments against conservatives, it's hard to muster up the courage to speak out. You feel quashed. Sometimes, I really wonder if for somebody like me, who's actually "old-school" Asian in mental outlook (even though my girlfriend is an all-American girl from O
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuotegingermarieMav, you wrote: "It amazes me how SGI-USA members who zealously preach equality and feminism here in the US never look at the obvious inequality depicted on those monthly Ikeda videos they watch from Japan: how the men sit on one side of the auditorium and the women on the other. That's where I would reform first if SGI has any guts. Make it so that both sexes could sit
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteMav I realized as I got older and after becoming a lawyer that I was just more conservative and traditional Vietnamese than I thought and couldn't handle the ultra-liberal mindset of most of the SGI-USA members here in LA, who seem to always bring politics, activism or ethnocentric ideas into the meetings and activities. In other words, they couldn't keep politics out of the relig
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteMav At first, I kept waiting for the "other shoe to drop," like waiting for a disaster to befall me as I had heard would happen to members who went taitan. Well, I'm happy to say that my life has its ups and downs as always, but I'm doing quite alright with my life otherwise. Feel like I woke up from some kind of long dream or brainwashing experience as Anticult describ
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
Quotegingermarie I had posted about a Men's Division co-leader that I had trouble with. He was difficult and verbally abusive toward me and other members. I kept getting guidance after guidance, and calling this guy on his nonsense to no avail. The leaders, although they listened, kept telling me that it was my "opportunity" to change some fundamental darkness of my own! Even
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteRothaus That sums up my experience quite well too - and I am in europe. Although I would add the "experience" part. Thing is if one had problems that could not get solevd then it was certainly due to ones lack of faith and not accepting I keda as your mentor. Lookong back this quite a smooth way to keep people comming bach - its actually the oppoisite to the much celebrated self
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteThe Anticult They have their inner circle, and those folks would be profoundly indoctrinated into SGI. But they also seem to have decided to have a much larger public base, which requires less intensity. The basics seem to be like a standard western church, attend a "service" once a week or so, give donations, and buy stuff. From SGI's point of view, that is perfect. They
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteevergreenI am wondering if anyone has had this experience - Once I started talking about my feelings and my disagreement with SGI etc., I feel like I have had a string of bad luck. I know, I know I should be talkling in terms of karma, but I feel like this is a series of bad things, just one thing after another nonstop. Its making it hard for me, as I keep thinking "my life was better
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteThe Anticult But the MOST serious problem, its becoming very clear, is that SGI under Ikeda uses some VERY potent "brainwashing" techniques on people, that have nothing to do with the technical religious aspects, or the Lotus Sutra, or anything like that. He is using many of the common cult brainwashing techniques on people. Perhaps focussing just on the religious and philosoph
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
Quotewakatta Does anyone know of orphanages, homes for battered women or cancer research laboratories funded by NSA/SGI money? All I know of are a handful of "Universities". I was once told that there was no place for charity in the Soka Gakkai and that if I really cared about someone I'd chant for them to be Shakabuku'ed where they would change their destiny. In the mean
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuoteevergreenJust wanted to say that Nichiren did not focus on practicing traditional/historicaly known Buddhism. He taught Bonnu Soku Bodai - earthly desires equal enlightenment. He took stories from Hinayanna practice, but ultimately taught Mahayanna practice. I do agree that some people and the SGI might misinterpret Nichiren's teachings. I went to an Ivy League school and fortunat
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuotejojaroydQuotetsukimoto I wasn't the only one trapped in YWD or YMD -- a lot of the members in our area were gay, and so were not going to marry or have children. The guidance at the time was, of course, to chant more daimoku and do more shakabuku so that they'd become straight! That was before SGI realized that many gay members were very dedicated, willing to contribute lot
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
Guess what came in my mail today? I received a Mothers' Day card from SGI, with a picture of President Ikeda and his wife Kaneko; they're smiling sweetly and wearing cute, matching blue outfits. The poem says: Mothers, never forget your smiles, They are even stronger Than the ruler's power Your smiles are the force that creates peace and happiness Let's
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
11 years ago
tsukimoto
QuotegingermarieWakatta, You had said "My point is that when the structure that binds the whole story together is found to be false or rickety, then were do you go to find ground truth? Do you continue to soldier on, knowing that things have been seriously distorted or changed or abandon the thread as having become damaged beyond rescue?" So well said. That is my quandry. I am i
Forum: Former Cult Members and Affected Families
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