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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Robin "Nichiren" Buddhist of the Ikeda Sect Responds (2)

2).Destructive cults claim to offer absolute Truth. Their teachings are not (to them) mere theory or speculation. The most effective cult doctrines are those which are unverifiable and unevaluable.

Mark: The SGI claims that their believers are the only Nichiren Lotus Sutra believers capable of obtaining Buddhahood, going so far to claim that all SGI members are Buddhas while those of the Nichiren Shu and Kempon Hokke are “deluded Shakyamuni worshippers”.

Robin: First, all religions (Christian, Islam, Judaism and even their subdivisions Catholic vs Protestant, Orthodox vs unorthodox, etc) claim that they are the one true path to heaven, the promised land, etc and the others are deluded, so this doesn’t automatically indicate a cult.

Mark: There are two general schools of thought within most religions, pluralism and exclusivism. The SGI is neither animal nor bird, it is a bat. Privately it eschews other religions but publically it celebrates interfaith, contrary to the teachings of Nichiren. It is their claim to absolute truth at the expense of the Nichiren Gohonzon and the orthodox believers that distinguishes it as a cult. More importantly the lack of actual proof in the lives of SGI leaders and members, despite your unverifiable and unevaluable testimonials, proves that it is a cult.

Robin: Second, from a brief look at most Nichiren sects (including your blog) there seems to be the same view that people should quit the SGI as they won’t find enlightenment under these false teachings and instead follow the correct Buddhism of our sect.

Mark: True about quitting the Soka Gakkai and joining the Kempon Hokke, and "from a brief look at my blog", it might seem that we endorse all disciples and believers of Nichiren to join the Kempon Hokke. From a deeper look and what the Kempon Hokke actually teaches, it is not the Nichiren sect one belongs to but the doctrines upheld and the behavior of the individual. It is a stretch to call the Soka Gakkai a Nichiren sect or SGI members Nichiren Buddhists since you fail to follow many of the tenets of Nichiren and as a group, especially SGI top leaders, you exhibit extremely poor behavior.

Robin: Finally, you have a new post on May 12 that says SGI teachings are dangerous to kids because an online SGI quiz asks “Who is a Buddha?” with the answer “Everyone”. Surely to support this 2nd cult point, the answer should be “Only SGI members”.

Mark: This was not the point of the article although I do indeed possess statements by Ikeda and his leaders where it is either explicit or implied that SGI members are Buddhas to the exclusion of others. The point of the article was that teaching children that "everyone is a Buddha" is dangerous because it will place an indiscriminately trusting child in danger. Were it even true that all SGI members were Buddhas, why the background checks of those who would lead and teach children?

21 comments:

  1. Privately it eschews other religions but publically it celebrates interfaith, contrary to the teachings of Nichiren.

    Throughout the Gosho, Nichiren is critical of the four most popular religious groups of the day that slandered the Lotus Sutra. In Nichiren’s time the majority of the Japanese people were following misguided Buddhist sects as it was about 300 years before other religions started to enter Japan.

    Despite our differences, I’m sure we both agree in principle that the problems, disasters and suffering in the US and the world today are due to people having turned their back on, or their ignorance of, the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra.

    The three largest groups in the US that have done this are the millions of followers of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, rather than the thousands of self-destructing SGI Buddhists.

    To secure the peace of the land in America with the same determination as Nichiren, you need to refute the MAJOR RELIGIONS of the day that have turned their back on the Lotus Sutra, rather than pointing out the misguided beliefs of less than 1% of the population, surely?

    Nichiren’s focus was on converting the population of Japan to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, not correcting a handful of misguided Ikeda worshippers.

    Even if you have decided to give the world’s major religions and more established “cults”, such as Scientology, a pass, why do you hardly ever refute other Buddhist sects, including Zen Buddhism which WAS one of Nichiren’s four and is probably more established than the dying SGI?

    Personally, I believe your focus on the SGI seems to be a personal preference rather than based on the teachings of Nichiren or the Lotus Sutra. Or are you just using the SGI to warm up before you tackle the big three?

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  2. The SGI’s long term goal is obviously for everyone to embrace the Lotus Sutra and the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, but the focus of shakubuku has changed over the years. Currently, we are focused on teaching people what we believe in, rather than criticising everything they believe in.

    To this end, I think our inter-faith initiatives have two benefits. Firstly, they allow us to co-operate with other religions or faith groups to achieve positive improvements in society, especially within multi-cultural communities. And secondly, they are opportunities to advertise ourselves as Nichiren Buddhists.

    In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha says he has used various means and examples to teach people, surely co-operating with other faiths (particularly non-Buddhist faiths) and letting people know what Nichiren Buddhism is about is an example of this. Why does it always have to be confrontational?

    I don’t know the exact percentages, but just as your members are not drawn solely from the SGI, NST and Nichiren Shu, a lot of SGI members have converted from other religions (especially Christianity and Hinduism) or been atheist, rather than coming from other Buddhist groups. By mixing with other faiths, working alongside them and telling them our beliefs, we have been able to convert people to Buddhism without needing to criticise their faith.

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  3. This is out of order again. Don't know why some posts keep dropping out? Anyway, this was the first part...


    "Privately it eschews other religions but publically it celebrates interfaith, contrary to the teachings of Nichiren. "

    Throughout the Gosho, Nichiren is critical of the four most popular religious groups of the day that slandered the Lotus Sutra. In Nichiren’s time the majority of the Japanese people were following misguided Buddhist sects as it was about 300 years before other religions started to enter Japan.

    Despite our differences, I’m sure we both agree in principle that the problems, disasters and suffering in the US and the world today are due to people having turned their back on, or their ignorance of, the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra. The three largest groups in the US that have done this are the millions of followers of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, rather than the thousands of self-destructing SGI Buddhists.

    To secure the peace of the land in America with the same determination as Nichiren, you need to refute the MAJOR RELIGIONS of the day that have turned their back on the Lotus Sutra, rather than pointing out the misguided beliefs of less than 1% of the population, surely?

    Nichiren’s focus was on converting the population of Japan to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, not correcting a handful of misguided Ikeda worshippers.

    Even if you have decided to give the world’s major religions a pass, why do you hardly ever refute other Buddhist sects, including Zen Buddhism which WAS one of Nichiren’s four and is probably more established than the dying SGI?

    Personally, I believe your focus on the SGI seems to be a personal preference rather than based on the teachings of Nichiren or the Lotus Sutra. Or are you just using the SGI to warm up before you tackle the big three?

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  4. This is part one of this reply. For some reason it keeps deleting or not going through. There's a couple more to go, but gotta dash to work now. I'll post next 2 parts when I get back...

    "Privately it eschews other religions but publically it celebrates interfaith, contrary to the teachings of Nichiren. "

    Throughout the Gosho, Nichiren is critical of the four most popular religious groups of the day that slandered the Lotus Sutra. In Nichiren’s time the majority of the Japanese people were following misguided Buddhist sects as it was about 300 years before other religions started to enter Japan.

    Despite our differences, I’m sure we both agree in principle that the problems, disasters and suffering in the US and the world today are due to people having turned their back on, or their ignorance of, the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra. The three largest groups in the US that have done this are the millions of followers of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, rather than the thousands of self-destructing SGI Buddhists.

    To secure the peace of the land in America with the same determination as Nichiren, you need to refute the MAJOR RELIGIONS of the day that have turned their back on the Lotus Sutra, rather than pointing out the misguided beliefs of less than 1% of the population, surely?

    Nichiren’s focus was on converting the population of Japan to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, not correcting a handful of misguided Ikeda worshippers.

    Even if you have decided to give the world’s major religions a pass, why do you hardly ever refute other Buddhist sects, including Zen Buddhism which WAS one of Nichiren’s four and is probably more established than the dying SGI?

    Personally, I believe your focus on the SGI seems to be a personal preference rather than based on the teachings of Nichiren or the Lotus Sutra. Or are you just using the SGI to warm up before you tackle the big three?

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  5. "More importantly the lack of actual proof in the lives of SGI leaders and members, despite your unverifiable and unevaluable testimonials, proves that it is a cult"

    What is the lack of actual proof in the lives of SGI leaders and members? Some leaders go through suffering and hardships but so did Nichiren. I have practiced in four districts - in Japan, in Canada and two districts in the U.K. and have seen a lot of actual proof in the lives of the SGI leaders and members in all four districts. None of us have lived in a permanent state of misery and have continually moved forward in our lives to overcome the sufferings of death and sickness, to improve our living conditions and to achieve successes within our workplaces and communities. New problems sometimes come along, but with our practice we can quickly overcome them. Is this progress and ability to overcome adversity I’ve witnessed and experienced all coincidence or luck?

    What does Kempon Hokke view as an evaluable and verifiable proof? Do all of your members have this proof? Do all of you live lives free of stress, problems, suicide and sickness? Do your members always exhibit joyfulness in their lives or do they suffer from depression and the stresses of life? Does your practice keep these problems at bay or do you overcome the problems and suffering that manifests in your lives through your practice?

    How do you view the persecution and abuses that Nichiren Daishonin faced as well as his followers that were also persecuted and beheaded. Is this level of suffering proof that his Buddhism didn’t work. He certainly didn’t live a problem-free existence and nor did his followers. What do you consider the verifiable proof of this Buddhism from Nichiren’s life?

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  6. "From a deeper look and what the Kempon Hokke actually teaches, it is not the Nichiren sect one belongs to but the doctrines upheld and the behavior of the individual. "

    If the Nichiren sect is not important to Kempon Hokke, but the doctrines upheld and the behaviour of the individual, which other Nichiren sects do you approve of? And, if there is another Nichiren sect you don’t have issue with, how does Kempon Hokke distinguish itself from that sect?

    Also, the behaviour of individuals is their responsibility, even if it may reflect on the reputation of the faith. We may try to live our lives in harmony with the teachings of Nichiren and Shakyamuni, but members may slip from time to time, either spiritually or lawfully.

    If you do get members like this, in a large organisation or if they are high profile figures, their transgressions are more likely to be noticed and reported in the media or by other faiths. i.e. the behaviour of Roman Catholic priests’ or the actions of some evangelical leaders can have a negative effect on the image of their faith group, etc. and will be plastered all over the newspapers.

    If you only have a few members, any individual transgressions are less likely to be picked up on outside of the close-knit group and if they are it’s unlikely their faith will be mentioned in a newspaper article.

    "Were it even true that all SGI members were Buddhas, why the background checks of those who would lead and teach children?"

    Isn’t this a legal requirement for some countries rather than a free choice for individual organisations? Someone I work with was complaining the other day that she had to have a background check to supervise the kids in her church’s Sunday school even though she has been going there since she was in Sunday school.

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  7. This is first part of this reply but for some reason keeps dropping out... Fifth time lucky

    "Privately it eschews other religions but publically it celebrates interfaith, contrary to the teachings of Nichiren."

    Throughout the Gosho, Nichiren is critical of the four most popular religious groups of the day that slandered the Lotus Sutra. In Nichiren’s time the majority of the Japanese people were following misguided Buddhist sects as it was about 300 years before other religions started to enter Japan.

    Despite our differences, I’m sure we both agree in principle that the problems, disasters and suffering in the US and the world today are due to people having turned their back on, or their ignorance of, the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra. The three largest groups in the US that have done this are the millions of followers of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, rather than the thousands of self-destructing SGI Buddhists.

    To secure the peace of the land in America with the same determination as Nichiren, you need to refute the MAJOR RELIGIONS of the day that have turned their back on the Lotus Sutra, rather than pointing out the misguided beliefs of less than 1% of the population, surely?

    Nichiren’s focus was on converting the population of Japan to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, not correcting a handful of misguided Ikeda worshippers.

    Even if you have decided to give the world’s major religions a pass, why do you hardly ever refute other Buddhist sects, including Zen Buddhism which WAS one of Nichiren’s four and is probably more established than the dying SGI?

    Personally, I believe your focus on the SGI seems to be a personal preference rather than based on the teachings of Nichiren or the Lotus Sutra. Or are you just using the SGI to warm up before you tackle the big three?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Robin: The SGI’s long term goal is obviously for everyone to embrace the Lotus Sutra and the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin,

    Mark: Correction. Tp embrace the Buddhism of Nichikan and the Three Presidents. The SGI merely adopts the Daimoku and the name of Nichiren for credibility.

    Robin: but the focus of shakubuku has changed over the years. Currently, we are focused on teaching people what we believe in, rather than criticising everything they believe in.

    Mark: Even taking Nichiren's teachings out of the context of their relative importance and the entirety of his teachings [on shakubuku and shoju], it is clear that he teaches to never rely solely on one or the other. He says nothing about one teachings for public consumption and another for private consumption, This is just duplicity and hypocrisy. Also, Nichiren performed the gentle practices predominantly with his disciples and the forceful practices with everyone else. The SGI leaders often perform the forceful practices with their own members and the gentle practices towards everyone else. More broadly, the SGI performs the forceful practices against other Nichiren believers and the gentle practices with everyone else. The sGI can not destinguish black from white because they have abandoned Shakyamuni Buddha for daisaku Ikeda. They are a topsy turvy cult hardly in the mold of the Master Nichiren. It is a stretch to call yourselves Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism.


    Robin: To this end, I think our inter-faith initiatives have two benefits. Firstly, they allow us to co-operate with other religions or faith groups to achieve positive improvements in society, especially within multi-cultural communities.

    Mark: Apparently, a benefit to the Soka Gakkai is a detriment to the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin. Ryokan built roads and bridges and promoted social programs but he was an enemy to the Daishonin. Those to whom you curry favor are also enemies of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin. It is actions like these of the Soka Gakkai that will destroy Buddhism in no time.

    Robin; And secondly, they are opportunities to advertise ourselves as Nichiren Buddhists.

    Mark: We advertise ourselves as Nichiren Buddhists by acting as Nichiren Buddhists rather than Universal Universalists or Bahai's. Man, are you off! As Nichiren would say, "A pity, a shame"!

    "In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha says he has used various means and examples to teach people, surely co-operating with other faiths (particularly non-Buddhist faiths) and letting people know what Nichiren Buddhism is about is an example of this. Why does it always have to be confrontational?"

    Mark: Nichiren Daishonin and the Essential section of the Lotus Sutra, let alone Namu Myoho renge kyo, are the teachings and practice of abandoning expedients. Tientai's was the teachings of expedients. It is just an excuse for the SGI to promote itself at the expense of the teachings. In the end the SGI teachings afford no benefit to the individual and society. The ends fail to justify the means [lying[.

    Robin: I don’t know the exact percentages, but just as your members are not drawn solely from the SGI, NST and Nichiren Shu, a lot of SGI members have converted from other religions (especially Christianity and Hinduism) or been atheist, rather than coming from other Buddhist groups. By mixing with other faiths, working alongside them and telling them our beliefs, we have been able to convert people to Buddhism without needing to criticise their faith;

    Mark: Unlike Nichiren, the only faith you are converting people to is faith in the Ikeda sect. There is very little conversion going on in the Soka Gakkai. Interfaith is merely protecting your own interests. The real reality is that the Gakkai is hemorrhaging members. It is a revolving door, at best, of a tangential faith in the Lotus Sutra. Actually, it something much more insidious

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  9. This is first part of this reply but for some reason keeps dropping out... Fifth time lucky

    "Privately it eschews other religions but publically it celebrates interfaith, contrary to the teachings of Nichiren."

    Robin: Throughout the Gosho, Nichiren is critical of the four most popular religious groups of the day that slandered the Lotus Sutra. In Nichiren’s time the majority of the Japanese people were following misguided Buddhist sects as it was about 300 years before other religions started to enter Japan.

    Mark: And how much worse will it be after his passing. Now, true Nichiren Buddhists have to battle the likes of the Soka Gakkai, the Nichiren Shoshu, Rissho Kosekai, the HBS and factions within the Nichiren Shu as well as the Tendai [Mikkyo] Zen, Pure Land and the Therevadans. It is an even more daunting task for Nichiren's disciples and we are hardly equal to the Master.

    Robin: Despite our differences, I’m sure we both agree in principle that the problems, disasters and suffering in the US and the world today are due to people having turned their back on, or their ignorance of, the Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra.

    Mark: Without a clear mirror, how difficult it is to see the ugly face of your own sect which has turned its back on the Lotus Sutra and teachings of Nichiren for value creation pedagogy and the teachings of the oneness of mentor and disciples. Do you think the calamities in Japan is due to the efforts of the Kempon Hokke to return to the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin or to the SGI for bastardizing these teachings/ Think carefully about this.

    Robin: The three largest groups in the US that have done this are the millions of followers of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, rather than the thousands of self-destructing SGI Buddhists.

    Mark: "Self destructing SGI Buddhists." Now you are on to something. I don't think this is what you meant to say so i will answer you in the light of what I believe you meant. You even go against your own principles when trying to make a point, that the change of destiny of a single individual will change the destiny of an entire nation. The converse is also true. The change in destiny [for the worse] of an individual will change the entire destiny of a nation for the worse. To SGI, everything is a numbers game. To the Kempon Hokke it is the quality of Enlightenment of the individual. Also, you want to have your cake and eat it too. On many levels the SGI is the cause of the ever increasing poverty, war, famine, and natural disasters we see on the planet. Nichiren teaches that the closer a teaching is to the truth without actually being the truth is the greatest danger to Buddhism and society. He also teaches that the provisional teachings, for example, the SGI Ikeda sect teachings, always precede the true teachings, the Kempon Hokke Nichiren Lotus Sutra teachings. The theoretical teachings that we are all Buddha's but there are some Buddhas more worthy than others has preceded the actual teachings that we are all Buddhas capable of protecting and converting the masses of beings. You would do well to convert to the true teachings and abandon the provisional.

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  10. Robin: To secure the peace of the land in America with the same determination as Nichiren, you need to refute the MAJOR RELIGIONS of the day that have turned their back on the Lotus Sutra, rather than pointing out the misguided beliefs of less than 1% of the population, surely?

    Mark: No Nichiren sect has done more to refute Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism than the Kempon Hokke. No Nichiren sect has done more to to teach the exclusive faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra than the Kempon Hokke. Still, Nichiren teaches that there are, in the Latter Day, two types of countries, those that are passively evil and those that are actively evil [The Opening of the Eyes]. The US is at most, a country that is passively evil because we can, for the most part, spread the true teachings without overt persecutions. The SGI nation [the so-called self claimed claimed Third Civilization of the Soka Gakkai is an actively evil nation because it mixes the sublime teachings of the Lotus Sutra with the Shingon teachings of Yui Yoga [Guru Yoga[and the Zen teachings of Master in the seat of the Law.

    Robin: Nichiren’s focus was on converting the population of Japan to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, not correcting a handful of misguided Ikeda worshippers.

    Mark: Were Nichiren alive today, he would be SGI's biggest detractors, far more than we of the Kempon Hokke for the reasons sighted above.

    "Robin: Even if you have decided to give the world’s major religions a pass, why do you hardly ever refute other Buddhist sects, including Zen Buddhism which WAS one of Nichiren’s four and is probably more established than the dying SGI?"

    Mark: You know nothing of the Kempon Hokke. We know everything about the Soka Gakkai. Perhaps that is why you lie about us and we tell the truth about you. Would you like to see our essays on Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and Ghandi which are far better than Ikedaism.

    Robin: Personally, I believe your focus on the SGI seems to be a personal preference rather than based on the teachings of Nichiren or the Lotus Sutra. Or are you just using the SGI to warm up before you tackle the big three?

    Mark: The big one IS the Soka Gakkai. The big three are the Soka Gakkai, Nichiren Shoshu, and Shoshinkai/Kenshokai. The little Three are Christianity, Hinduism and Islam. Our criticim of the little three is no less terse than our criticism of the Soka Gakkai, only less voluminous. The Q'uran and bible is easy to overturn. They overturns themselves with their words of hatred. Hindu's reality of the caste system is likewise easy to refute. SGI's false words of peace [while utilizing yet destroying the teachings of the Lotus Sutra are far more difficult to refute.

    Nichiren had a similar situation with Taoism, Brahmanism, and the provisional Buddhist teachings and there are even more parallels with his refutations of Pure Land [easy] and Tendai [difficult].

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  11. Let us not forget the manifest reality of war thanks to Christianity and Islam or the twenty million buddhists who died at the hands of the Muslims and Rajputs.

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    1. Anyone who spent time in the SGI or NSA can attest to the moving targets with its ever evolving focus, using new phrases and new 'themes' for the year, dropping the old ones, a way of getting away from any orthodoxy they held onto originally. (that tired explanation of teaching math on a first grader's level and moving up in accordance with people's capacity [which is another plagiarized yank from Lotus sutra orthodoxy] - but the subject doesn't even resemble math by the fifth version of things. .. ) But after the break between NST and SGI, the stray from any Nichiren orthodoxy became more like a sprint, and now is completely sterilized in the SGI, and seemingly the Ikeda Sect moved that way as a rebellious tactic with no regard to Nichiren's teachings. Any simpleton would know they are being led down a slippery slope, the members just hope that Ikeda ultimately means well and is telling some truth about his divine pervasive powers that he exercises so freely. Unfortunately it is all smoke and mirrors, and the SGI is a demon feeding off of the vitality of the people for power, for profit. It is unfortunate. Peoples' loyalties - especially from the old members who did all the changing/investing in him,make it hard to stop now. If the goal of an SGI member is to truly practice this faith for a lifetime with the hope of getting to a stage of never backsliding, then it is important to leave the SGI and find the true teachings of Nichiren. If a person is looking for camaraderie being hounded for time and money all the time in a top down org, and spending their energy on whatever the SGI theme of the year happens to be, then by all means they are in the right place.

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  12. Refutation of your third point[s] to follow.

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  13. calling oneself a nichiren buddhist while turning ones back on what nichiren lived and taught is the height of hypocrisy. mouthing the namu myoho renge kyo(namu = return ones life to the myoho renge kyo, the essence of the lotus sutra) while teaching and believing that the lotus sutra has no real relevance is madness both of these above should be considered evil. both nichiren and tentai concur that the true entity is one but has the potential to manifest enlightenment or a deeper delusion according to whether it encounters good influences or evil influences. according to nichiren , good influences are the eternal buddha, the lotus sutra and those that uphold and teach it correctly(nichiren). evil influences are those that teach something else and uphold arbitrary opinion(ikeda and his sgi). once again, nichiren teaches; that to mouth the daimoku while cherishing something different in ones heart is not the daimoku of nichiren or the lotus sutra. the bottom line is that sgi spreads delusion and not the enlightenment of the eternal buddha. according to the teachings of the buddha, this is the greatest evil that could possibly happen. even murder is of lesser consequence.

    anyone that calls themselves a nichiren buddhist does not have to be perfect. however, they should have some idea of what the correct teachings of nichiren are. if one cannot awaken from their own slander; then regardless of how many parties they throw, they have no business teaching nichiren Buddhism to others.

    in the clear mirror of the lotus sutra the sgi is an evil organization and those that protect their erroneous teachings are evil as well.

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    1. Well said! The SGI certainly is peddling delusion and it is as much of an evil influence as Nichiren discusses over and over in his writings about the Nembutsu, or when Nichiren teaches about for instance, the Kanji chapter of the Lotus Sutra, calling one type of enemy of the Lotus Sutra a 'hunter who spies sharply as he stalks a deer.' We should consider how many people incapable of doing anything else would be unemployed were the SGI to dissolve.

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  14. if only they would read the lotus sutra and try to practice what it teaches........
    gassho

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  15. Thanks appolobartender. I'm certain, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of this and other quarters completely agree with you.

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  16. yes shinkei and appolobartender and mark. yes!

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  17. Greg Romero,

    How do you like it in the Kempon Hokke America? What enlightenment have you experienced since you joined the KHA?
    I am curious!

    I don't make judgements about people without experience! I don't know you. I do know a little about Mark! Any comments, or am I on ignore? I am very curious!

    OT

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  18. Why would you be on ignore D?

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