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Thursday, July 31, 2014

"We don't worship Sensei" -- Nichiren Buddhist [or Indian Gakkai cult members say the darndest things]

Sensei is a God just like Krishna:

Krishna and Arjuna at Hahabhrat
By Deepak
When I joined some three years ago, chanting against Nikken seemed strange, because in Indian society and Hinduism itself, there are so many streams and thoughts existing side by side that Indian people are very tolerant, by and large. In fact, Shakyamuni is considered to be a Hindu independent thinker, who after being profoundly affected by the inherent suffering in life sought ways of living a happy life. So I was really confused on how to chant for Nikken's destruction.

Then, while chanting one day, I remembered the story of Mahabharat (a story of a battle between two branches of a family — Kauravas and Pandavas). The Kauravas (100 in number) cheated Pandavas (five in number) of their kingdom. The climax came with the battle of Mahabharat. In this battle Krishna (God himself) fought on the side of Pandavas. When asked whose side are you fighting for, Krishna replied, "I am on the side of the Dharma."

He had no qualms about taking up arms fighting with all his might, using strategy, politics, everything at his disposal, to defeat the Kauravas, because they embodied adharma (evil) in their views and actions.

Krishna was very clear. In fact, before the battle started, the two armies faced each other. Lord Krishna was Arjun's chariot driver. Arjuna lost his nerve and cried to Krishna, "All who I am facing are my brothers, uncles, teachers ... my own people who I love and respect".

Krishna replied "They are who you say they are, but they are on the side of adharma, irrespective of what their reasons were. And your foremost 'kartavya'(duty) is to fight adharma. And in any case, they are your relatives only in this life."

So to me, Nikken is definitely adharma. Nichiren Daishonin made it his prime duty to refute evil and false beliefs and today Sensei fights Nikken single-mindedly and uses all his resources — dialogue being the foremost — I think it is my duty to also refute the evil of Nikken. Because, basically, his actions hurt rather than help people — they do not take people closer to the Gohonzon. Nikken's practice is only to serve his own ends. In this world everyone is doing that.

Who is there who takes any pain for others?  It is only Sensei and the SGI who I see as an beacon of compassion and strength in our times. I am sure there must be others, but definitely not Nikken. Lots of people start with the right intentions, but get influenced on the way by easy circumstances, wealth, or power. 

Sensei fights just like Krishna and the Daishonin, and he teaches us just like Krishna taught Arjuna. The most important reason why he fights Nikken because Nikken uses the same Gohonzon to cheat and mislead people. His deeds by themselves may not seem great and he may appear as any other misled person who needs to be corrected compassionately, however, the consequences of his deeds are far reaching.

I can save a person bent upon committing suicide by asking him or her to chant. Conversely I can destroy a person by destroying his or her faith. That is why kosen rufu is a huge responsibility. Despite my shortcomings and weaknesses I am trying to commit myself to Kosen-rufu — that is why my benefits and protection are great. I am trying to accomplish Kosen-rufu in the Latter Day of the Law!

More difficult than throwing Mt. Sumeru.


A Journey of Self Discovery [A top 3 post on the true nature of the Soka Gakkai cult]

A Journey of Self Discovery 
By D--- B------- 
Soka Gakkai World Tribune 
September 15, 2000

Expectations- we can't avoid them. Whether we try to live up to them or not is up to us. One of the things we hear in the SGI is that we should reply to President Ikeda's expectations. As children, we strive to live up to our parents' expectations, to reply to their love for us. If we are lucky enough to have teachers who care, we strive to live up to their expectations. In becoming adults, we leave the realm of our parents' expectations. As the American poet and author Robert Bly says in Imn John, we search for a "second father" or "a second king."

Once we leave the realm of our parents' expectations, whose expectations do we live up to? Our own? Our friends? We tend to set our expectations just within the limits of our comfort zone and do not realize our own potential or genius. It is the mentor who sees the greatness in us that we don't see our- selves who spurs us beyond our self prescribed boundaries. Bly says that through a mentor "a hint will come to us as to where our genius lies. "A mentor helps us "rebuild the bridge to our own greatness or essence."

As Bly explains, living up to the expectations of a mentor is not about pleasing someone else or feeling burdened. It is about the process of self-discovery through the mentor-disciple relationship. President Ikeda, as a mentor and teacher, is encouraging us to realize our potential.

In early Europe, craft guilds were opportunities for youth to leave the realm of their parents and apprentice under master craftsmen and become masters themselves as masons or carpenters. In the artists' studios, students would paint some of the less important background scenes. Under the guidance of masters of various fields, youth developed their skills.

In The Human Revolution, the character Shin'ichi Yamamoto, representing a young President Ikeda, left the realm of his father's expectations and entered into that of his mentor in life, Josei Toda. As depicted in the book, Toda visits Shin'ichi's father one day and asks, "Will you entrust Shin'ichi to me?" After contemplating Toda's character, and acknowledging Shin'ichi's feelings for Toda, his father consents. Toda exclaims: "How splendid! I, Toda, will be entirely responsible for Shin'ichi. Please set your mind to rest" (vol.6, pp. 106-08).

Shin'ichi chose Toda as his mentor at their first encounter as depicted earlier in the book. It is important to note that the disciple chooses the mentor. A mentor does not recruit disciples or say, "Follow me?' We must see the greatness in the mentor and decide for ourselves. Bly states:

"We can each ask ourselves: Is there anyone we know or have heard of who possesses true greatness? If so, we should leave with him or her"

Early in my youth I faced a huge test in my relationship with President Ikeda. I loved him from the first and considered myself his disciple. But I was very young and had no clue about the obstacles that I would face in the future. 

After a particularly severe set back in my life, I felt that I had failed as a disciple. Before I realized it, I was overcome with negativity. "I have failed him;' I thought. And my heart broke. I had to think deeply about what he really meant to me. What is a disciple? What does a mentor think about a disciple?

I came to understand that I had a very shallow view of the mentor-disciple relationship. When I realized that President Ikeda's belief in me, his belief in my potential, was unconditional, I was able to pull myself out of the depths of that hell.

One reason I like the book The Eternal City is because the mentor-disciple relationship between Bruno and his mentor, David Rossi, is tested. Although he believed himself to be a strong disciple, Bruno is forced to wrestle with doubts over his relationship with his mentor.

In his case, he was faced with doubts about the character of his mentor. In my case, I was faced with doubts about my capacity as a disciple. Bruno was also forced to examine his relationship with his mentor on a deeper level. Malicious and false accusations about Rossi had come to Bruno's attention while he was in jail. He asked himself: "Really, what kind of man is he? What do I really know about him?" Through profound contemplation, he awoke to the true character of his mentor and dispelled his doubts. He came to understand what his heart already knew.

In my own examination of my relationship with President Ikeda, I realized that, by assuming that he would give up on me or be forever disappointed in me, I was discounting his capacity and compassion. He doesn't expect that we won't stumble at times, but he does expect that we will stand back up and carry on.

We can get focused myopically on what others think of us. "He doesn't believe in me;' or "She doesn't like me," or "I wasn't appointed this position because they are against me." But we are all comrades in faith, standing shoulder to shoulder, not front to back, following our mentor, President Ikeda, not one another.

Many years ago, I happened to be in Tokyo when a journalist was interviewing President Ikeda. TIns reporter was marveling at the extensive organizational powers of the Soka Gakkai. As he was asking President Ikeda how he had achieved this, the reporter started describing the typical organizational pyramid - all the members at the bottom and layer upon layer of leaders up to President Ikeda at the top. President Ikeda stopped him and said that is not how he views the Soka Gakkai.

He took out a pen and drew a straight line with a point in front of it like this: 


He explained that the line represents all the members of the Soka Gakkai and the point is himself. There is no separation between President Ikeda and each member. He is no closer to top leaders of the organization than he is to the newest member. There is no one between our mentor and us. When we obsess on our organizational position or the opinions of others we are viewing ourselves in that mythical pyramid. President Ikeda has said that he writes so much because one to one dialogue can only reach so many people. I believe that is why SGI-USA General Director Nagashima says that President Ikeda wrote the July 21 poem' "Soar Into the Vast Skies of Freedom! Into the New Century" to each of us. President Ikeda doesn't write for a mass audience. I think he feels he is indeed writing to- touching- each of us. I heard the mentor disciple relationship explained once as the mentor being like a transmitter and the disciples like receivers. President Ikeda is always transmitting. It is up to us to receive the message.

Several months ago I heard a young woman describe her struggle with the mentor-disciple relationship. She was devoted to her practice, to kosen Rufu and her members. She was acting as a person of the same mind as the mentor. But al though she respected President Ikeda and thought he was "a great guy" as she put it; her heart was closed to him. And this troubled her. She was frustrated by the fact that she "just didn't get it." This was some thing she pondered through many prayers.

Then one night as she was standing alone out under the stars at the Florida Nature and Culture Center, she had an awakening, a realization. It was a matter of trust It wasn't President Ikeda; it was her ability to open her heart to him. Her father had been a very respected professional, but behind closed doors he was an abuser feared by the family. She realized that this was the "wall" between herself and President Ikeda. All other chanting and prayers had led her to see this and suddenly she "got it" and tears began to flow down her cheeks. Her receiver was turned on.

When a mentor touches our hearts, when we are confident that he truly cares for us, we are motivated to reply to his expectations.

How could you not want to reply to someone who says to you as he once said to me:

"Tell me what I can do for you. I will do anything for you" and mean it with all his heart.

If it wasn't for you Nichiren Buddhist, I never would have found this. Thank you from the botttom of my heart!

Thank the Gohonzon for the Wayback Machine

SGI tried to get rid of the evidence but the Wayback Machine came to the rescue

You may also plug in the following URLS into the Wayback Machine for the kind and gentle Soka Gakkai cult:

Steven  Sonoda - [Nigel Llyod]
Steven Sonoda [ttazaki]
Steven. Sonoda - [Domeinews]
Steven. Sonoda [Kachiyuke Soka]
Steven  Sonoda [Susumu Kato]
Steven  Sonoda [Koichi Tomoda]
Steven. Sonoda [Masafumi Taisei]
Steven  Sonoda  [anonymous]
Steven. Sonoda [watchbuddh]
Steven  Sonoda [anonymous]
Steven  Sonoda [nichiheret]


  1. FINALLY ...

    “No matter which destructive cult you choose, the above 13 items will almost universally apply". The author of these 13 points [whose name escapes me] then goes on to conclude: Study the methods of … …. they use the same techniques, even though each of them claims unique and absolute ownership of the “truth

    It really feels like we are talking about two different versions of the Soka Gakkai and I can assure you within the UK, Canada and Japan I have never witnessed any of this behaviour. If I did, I would speak up about it or leave the organisation. I certainly wouldn’t be able to have a blog recommending it to others.
  2. I've proven my points. Time to close your blog and become a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin.

    If the SGI-USA is practising in such a way, then the members really need to take their leaders to task and teach them the real spirit and intention of Nichiren Buddhism. I guess some of these people just give up and leave the organisation, becoming a source of online negativity, but they should really chant for the courage to confront the leaders and clarify the SGI’s position in accordance with the teachings in the Lotus Sutra and the Gosho. I must remind you of one definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. 
  3. Tell that to the Independent Reassessment Group, the Singapore or the Italian SGI reformers. They were either squashed like bugs, excommunicated, or made to feel so uncomfortable that they were forced to leave.

  4. If I did my best to bring the SGI into line with its original intention to propagate the true Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin and failed, ultimately, I would either become an independent Nichiren Buddhist or look for another sect that seemed to be more in touch with the true spirit of Buddhism. 

    Maybe you would have had better luck [snicker]?

    As I mentioned earlier, the only negativity I have come across was the obsession with continually criticising Nikken about 7 years ago rather than moving forward, and this is the same thing that annoys me about a lot of the anti-SGI sites. 
  5. SGI has changed? The leopard has changed its spots? Oh, I forgot, the New Human Revolution

  6. If others are happy to follow the alleged non Nichiren teachings of the SGI-USA that you mention, then that is for them to deal with. If I left the SGI, I wouldn’t feel a need to criticise the SGI as this only provides fuel to the “if you are following the true teaching, enemies will emerge” fire. 
  7. The Nichiren Shoshu, Nichiren Shu, Kempon Hokke, and I myself say the same thing. Who is right? Nichiren teaches that the one who preaches with Sutra in hand is right. That obviates all of you.
It’s much better to put your point across by focussing on the correctness of your faith rather than continually criticising a group (and feeling sorry for their deluded members) that doesn’t seem to care what you say or will spin it into a positive for them.

You would like that Nichiren Buddhist and so would your General Director.. Nichiren teaches, however, that there is no Buddhahood without refuting evil: 

"If, knowing the best path, one sees one’s parents or sovereign taking an evil path, can one fail to admonish them? If a fool, crazed with wine, is about to drink poison, can one, knowing this, not try to stop him? In the same way, if one understands the truth of the Buddhist teachings and knows the sufferings of fire, blood, and swords,79 can one fail to lament at seeing someone to whom one owes a debt of gratitude about to fall into the evil paths? Rather one should cast away one’s body and lay down one’s life in an effort to save such a person.”"

Nichiren Buddhist claims I didn't answer responses 5-13 [here are 12 and 13]

12).Destructive cults tend to re-write their members’ past, manipulate their present, and distort their future. Disrupting time orientation is an honored technique of all such cults.

The Human Revolution is an account of the growth of the Soka Gakkai from the end of World War 2 to Daisaku Ikeda becoming president and the New Human Revolution continues from this point onwards. While it may take some licence with changing people’s names, some events occur out of sequence (flashbacks?) and some periods are skipped (it's not a daily diary), I don’t think it’s a deliberate manipulation to distort the truth, but rather a narrative structure decision.

What things are omitted? Usually cult leaders will try to rewrite their history by hiding criminal backgrounds, or any negative information they don’t want to come out. The Human Revolution and New Human Revolution don’t always paint the presidents as perfect and mention most of the controversies, such as vote tampering, confronting priests at the head temple on the 700th anniversary, etc. It’s not exactly a whitewash of a history of abuses. Obviously the best incidents will be highlighted and the lowlights played down as often happens when any historical period is covered by an organisation.

Basically the Human Revolution series includes guidance from meetings, advice on how to be a good leader and much more. The purpose of the Human Revolution is to at least get an understanding of those early days and the growth of the organisation and one of the key elements of the series is the advice about how to be a good leader based on Nichiren Buddhism. Leaders that are weak in faith or take advantage of others are rebuked. Leaders with airs of supremacy or pride are rebuked. The overall theme of the series is on becoming an outstanding person within the workplace, within your community and within your family.

I suggest you read the following before I point out your fallacies, misunderstandings, spins, and lies about the Soka Gakkai [the Ikeda sect] and Nichiren's Lotus Sutra Buddhism. An entire post will be devoted to all of your points. Dominating Tradition Soka Gakkai and the Creation of History
13).And, finally, there is never a legitimate reason for leaving a destructive cult. The only reason members leave a perfect system, is because they are imperfect in some respect and will be punished for it.

“He was angry.” “He was jealous.” "He couldn’t get along with his leader.” “He had weak faith.”

Within the UK, the reason people leave is not described in any of the above terms. Leaving the Soka Gakkai as seen as a decision someone has made because they didn’t feel Buddhism was right for them at this moment. Some members may be disappointed that a friend no longer wants to practice but ultimately everyone has the choice whether to follow Nichiren Buddhism or not for whatever reason they may have. 
I think more than a few left because they wanted to practice Buddhism, not Ikedaism nor Gakkaism. Most leave because of the bad taste in their mouth from the lies and the distortions.

You can still be friends with ex-members, there’s no excommunication or forbidding us to mix with such a person. They are not dead to us. I’ve only know two people leave in my time in the UK in the three districts I’ve practised in, and in both cases it was seen as a decision that was made because now wasn’t the right time for them to continue their faith. They may have felt they didn’t see proof in their lives, which is fair enough. They have been introduced to Buddhism though and are welcome to return at any time (either in this life or the next).

There certainly is excommunication. Who are you kidding? As far as being introduced to Buddhism, they were introduced to Ikedaism, not Buddhism. I mean really, even by definition, "The teachings of the Buddha", one only has to attend several meeting where Ikeda is mentioned many dozens of times and Shakyamuni Buddha not even once, to know that Ikedaism is not Buddhism.

Nichiren Buddhist claims I didn't answer responses 5-13 [here are 10 and 11]

10).In destructive cults, fear is a major motivator. Guilt is a close second, and shame is third. Only the cult leader is perfect, so everyone below is fearful that those above will find out their shortcomings. Cult members feel constantly guilty for having those real or imagined shortcomings, and are ashamed that they haven’t worked harder to get rid of them.

Maybe I’m in the minority but I’ve never experienced (or been made to feel) fear, guilt or shame.
You are not very well read regarding your Sensei's guidance and poems, Do I really have to put them up here to prove my point? I will, you know. All those guidances about what happens to those traitors who abandon the Soka Gakkai, the poem, The Victorious Future of Mentor and disciple, for example. I actually feel sorry for you Nichiren Buddhist, Deeply sorry.

“Never talk about your problems to the members until they are resolved.”

Most of our discussion meetings usually have an element where someone talks impromptu about a problem or challenge in their lives and updates on how they are progressing.

When I’ve attended summer courses or other big events there are usually 2 or 3 outstanding experiences. They are motivational, but nothing compares to the progress I see in members in my district. When I’ve seen them in meetings in floods of tears talking about an insurmountable problem and watch the progress they make over the weeks and months ahead, you can see the transformation taking place. You then see a new more confident, happier person. This is the proof of this Buddhism, not hiding your problems and then talking about it afterwards. If members want to hide their problems, that’s up to them and I certainly wouldn’t force people to “confess all in front of the group”.
Before or after the experiences at big events were edited by a higher up leader? As far as tears and then progress towards " an insurmountable problem", many people, whether Buddhist or not, are overcoming "insurmountable problems" every day and everywhere. What is important is a correct faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra which leads to Buddhahood, This one can not find in the Soka Gakkai.

Similarly, when members have left the Soka Gakkai, we have tried to encourage them to continue with their faith, but have never wished any of them ill will or gloated if they subsequently experienced suffering in their lives.
Let us not speak falsely now, the hour is getting late. “Let us proudly advance on the supreme road to Kosen rufu as we bring an end to the Nikken sect, which has now become an evil existence and having destroyed the Law of True Buddhism, can only be detrimental to society.” -- Daisaku Ikeda WT, March 1, 1993, p. 4
"One after another, these thankless traitors who had appeared among the Daishonin's followers met untimely deaths -- several of them being thrown from their horses. Daishonin declares that their fate constitutes "punishment for their treachery against the Lotus Sutra," and he identifies that punishment as"conspicuous and individual" ("On Persecution Befalling the Sage," WND, 997). As many of you may know, those who betrayed their faith and forgot their debt of gratitude by turning on the Soka Gakkai -- an organization acting in complete accord with the Buddha's intent and decree -- are *all* meeting the most pitiful, wretched ends." -- Guess who? 
Really? All those millions of people who left the Gakkai? Those tens of thousands of people who converted to the Nichiren Shoshu, Nichiren Shu, Honmon Butsuryu Shu, Kempon Hokke, or those who went independent? Leaving the Gakkai is not turning on the Gakkai? How many who have left the Gakkai have many good things to say about the Gakkai? One or two?
11).Destructive cult members swing from emotional highs, to emotional lows regularly. Lows are not long tolerated, and result in more indoctrination, or even ejection from the group if they last too long.

Here are some examples of SGI speech used to control their members: “You have weak faith.”. ‘You had better go for guidance if you want to resolve that problem”. Rumors to stay away from depressed individuals. Not inviting less than enthusiastic members to certain meetings or not telling them about “important” meetings. Lectures about “emotionalism”, [unless the emotion is rapture about the SGI and the mentor]. Every last former SGI cult member will attest to this.

From my experience of the SGI, lows provide you with an opportunity to grow and advance in faith, which ultimately proves the effectiveness of the practice, so I don’t know why you would be encouraged to stay home or avoid such people. I’m always inspired by the depth of faith of members that can come to a meeting while in the depths of their suffering. It shows that they feel safe within the district and acknowledges the non-judgemental compassionate attitude that we as members share.
You are not yet a former SGI cult member. Not my experience nor the experience of any of the hundreds of thousands of former SGI cult members. Those I have known who contracted serious diseases that weren't cured fairly rapidly or who suffered severe protracted loss [unless they were top leaders], were treated as pariahs.

I often find people that are less than enthusiastic about Buddhism ask the best questions at meetings. This could be a guest at a meeting, someone at the start of their faith that wants clarification or even a member of 10+ years that is having a crisis of faith. These questions can reveal the limitations in their understanding which we can try to explain to them. This can also highlight the limitations of other members within the district that chant sincerely and seem to know what they are talking about, but whose explanations are not in accord with Nichiren Buddhism.
No unenthusiastic [about Sensei] member will ever be allowed to speak for more than a minute. 
Every last SGI member's or leader's explanations are not in accord with Nichiren Buddhism. Interfaith, for example, is not in accord with Nichiren Buddhism. The "great benefit" of chanting for a female marijuana seed is not in accord with the Daishonin's Buddhism. A living mentor in the seat of the Law is not in accord with the Daishonin's Buddhism. The Daigohonzon itself is not in accord with the Daishonin's Buddhism, nor the Nichikan Gohonzon, nor chanting Nam Myoho renge kyo instead of Namu Myoho renge kyo. 

Discussion meetings are a place to discuss, not just to sit and listen to indoctrination and I’ve never heard of anyone in the UK being turned away from a meeting. Although, another Buddhist sect I used to attend (can’t remember the sect but it involved silent meditation – discussion group – silent meditation) asked me not to attend because my questions were confusing the other members!!

Lying again. Confusing members about the greatness or lack of greatness or mistakes of Sensei, or even the perception of confusing members, is considered Ha Wagoso, breaking the unity of believers. Yet, speaking about general members or lower level leaders in less than glowing terms or even downright slander is not only tolerated, it is encouraged.

Nichiren Buddhist claims I didn't answer responses 5-13 [here are 7, 8, and 9]

  1. 7).Destructive cults teach that the end justifies the means.

    From the shakubuku taught in the UK and by President Ikeda, you should just talk to people as you see fit. Bring it up in conversation naturally rather than forcing your Buddhism on everyone. The expedient means isn’t a “do anything and everything possible to reel them in” strategy, but an appreciation that people may talk to others or introduce them to Buddhism in different ways. i.e. mentioning Buddhism in daily conversation (what did you do last night? I went to a Buddhist meeting.), introducing it to a friend or colleague who is suffering (when I’m suffering, I find that chanting helps) or by living a good life and being a role model within your community. I usually introduce the topic of Buddhism when co-workers ask me why I don’t stress out at work when angry customers shout at me. If flirtatious shakubuku existed and was effective there would be many more male members in the district. Also, does this really work, surely you might be tempted to attend a meeting, but converting to another fate based on a bit of flattery from a pretty girl is ridiculous. Also, if you didn’t like the religion you wouldn’t stick around.

  2. Shin Yatomi: IT seems a long time has passed since the priests at Taiseki-ji told the members of SGI that they could not sing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” in German. To do so, they announced, is tantamount to praising Christianity and thus a “slander” of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism. This argument seemed rather ominous then, but now such a narrow, dogmatic approach to this Buddhism seems quite laughable. Over the last eight years, we have learned to look at the Daishonin’s Buddhism from the standpoint of its essential humane spirit, reason and common sense. And we have come to grasp more deeply a simple yet important truth: religion exists for the sake of people, not vice versa.

    Can you sense the Creator, world?
    Seek him above the starry canopy.
    Above the stars He must dwell.
    Be embraced, Millions!
    This kiss for all the world!
    Brothers!, above the starry canopy
    A loving father must dwell.
    Can you sense the Creator, world?
    Seek him above the starry canopy.
    Above the stars He must dwell. — From the Chorus of Ode to Joy

    Dengyo the Great and Nichiren Daishonin disagree with the late Shin Yatomi. They assert that we prove the validity of the religion, it is we who make the religion great, not the religion that makes us great. The human being is central in Buddhism.

    Shinsuke Yatomi: With SGI President Ikeda’s constant efforts to communicate the essence of the Lotus Sutra and the writings of Nichiren Daishonin, the Daishonin’s Buddhism has entered a new era, no longer confined within the framework of Japan’s ethnocentric, esoteric religious culture.

    Me: In the SGI’s topsy turvy ends justify the means world, win is lose, lies are truth, and evil is good. You can be sure that if an SGI member or leader asserts that the SGI has demolished Japanese ethnocentric, esoteric religious culture, that SGI has exported Japanese ethnocentric, esoteric religious culture. First of all, SGI Japan calls all the shots and even in America, who is the General Director of the Soka Gakkai? A Japanese. Is the mentor Disciple relationship the prime point of the Lotus Sutra or of the Zen Bushido tradition? If you have any questions about this I will gladly answer them for you.

    Shin Yatomi: For decades the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood endeavored to impose this culture upon the SGI’s efforts to spread the Daishonin’s Buddhism as a world religion. This atmosphere—characterized by a tradition of absolute priestly authority and emphasis on formalities—did have a shackling effect. Nevertheless, we were able to maintain our conviction that the Daishonin’s Buddhism is a religion that can offer the universal values of humanism to all people of all nations, cultures and ethnicities. It is based on this perspective that we have been deepening and refreshing our understanding of how best to practice and communicate the Daishonin’s Buddhism in today’s world.

    Me: The “Master Professor of the Soka Gakkai” sounds more like any Group Leader of the Youth Division than a Master Professor of Buddhism. SGI is all about conformity of thought [cult]. The doctrines and talking points of the Soka Gakkai are formulated above by people like Shin Yatomi and then it is drummed into the heads of every member, repeating the same messages over and over again. That is why every Group Chief from Japan to the Netherlands to Brazil, spews these very same Gakkai talking points, almost word for word. There is nothing remotely close to the Soka Gakkai conforming to the cultures of the countries it has invaded [Zuiho Bini].

    Shin Yatomi: One expression of this refreshed understanding is Article 7 of the SGI Charter: “SGI shall, based on the Buddhist spirit of tolerance, respect other religions, engage in dialogue and work together with them toward the resolution of fundamental issues concerning humanity” (December 8, 1995,World Tribune, p. 5).

    Me: More of the east is west, up is down lies of the Soka Gakkai. SGI will respect freedom of religion, and other religions? Then why the never ending war against the Nichiren Shoshu, the Nichiren Shu, and the Kempon Hokke? The true teachings of the Soka Gakkai are only taught to the highest leaders:

    “Our enemies are the evil religions. Evil religions drive people to hell. True Buddhism makes Buddhas out of all people. Nichiren Daishonin said the source of all unhappiness and misfortunes of people is evil religion. It was our teacher, Mr. Josei Toda, who repeated this great saying.”– Daisaku Ikeda

    We, the disciples and believers of Nichiren are honest and upright. We don’t make a show in public of respecting and tolerating all religions and then in private teach that all other religions and practices, save for the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, lead to hell. We rain down the Law equally to all persons.

    SGI as the Pearl Harbor of “Buddhism” comes to mind. The very heart and soul of Nichiren's disciples is Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land. It is the fifth and final principle of our American charter: 5). Uphold the principles of Establishing the Peace of the Land Through the Propagation of the True Law (Rissho Ankoku Ron).

    Shin Yatomi: Some have raised the question: Isn’t “respecting other religions” a slander of the Law? Aren’t we abandoning the Daishonin’s spirit of shakubuku—to lead people to a correct understanding by refuting erroneous teachings’ To answer directly, respecting other religions, or those who practice them, does not in itself constitute slander of the Law, nor does it go against the Daishonin’s spirit.

    Me: Yet, in their top leaders meeting they scheme and plot how to destroy the Nichiren Shoshu, the Nichiren Shu, the Kempon Hokke, and all other religions.

    The Daishonin says about all other religions and philosophies:

    “On the other hand, even if one does not commit a single evil deed throughout one’s entire lifetime, and observes the five precepts, the eight precepts, the ten precepts, the ten good precepts, the two hundred and fifty precepts, the five hundred precepts, or countless numbers of precepts; even if one learns all the other sutras by heart, makes offerings to all the other Buddhas and bodhisattvas, and accumulates immeasurable merit, if one but fails to put one’s faith in the Lotus Sutra; or if one has faith in it, but considers that it ranks on the same level as the other sutras and the teachings of the other Buddhas; or if one recognizes its superiority, but constantly engages in other religious disciplines, practicing the Lotus Sutra only from time to time; or if one associates on friendly terms with priests of the Nembutsu, who do not believe in the Lotus Sutra but slander it; or if one thinks that those who insist the Lotus Sutra does not suit the people’s capacity in the latter age are guilty of no fault, then all the merit of the countless good acts one has performed throughout one’s life will suddenly vanish.”

    Nichiren also teaches very clearly that Confucianism, Brahmanism [Hinduism], and Taoism are shallow evil religions.

    Shin Yatomi: In order to shed light on the meaning of Article 7 of the SGI Charter, we must examine in a little more detail what is meant by “slandering the Law.” Prior to 1991, under the influence of the priesthood, the meaning of slander as it applied to our religious faith was ambiguous, and was often misinterpreted and misused. We often heard: “It’s a slander to point your feet at the Gohonzon.” Or, “It’s a slander to put a gongyo book on the floor.” We were also told that criticizing a priest constituted inexcusable slander, and that even “singing ‘Ode to Joy’ in German is a slander.”

    IN fact, the priesthood’s tendency has been to use the term slander to describe any act that displeased them. This might be compared to a religious authority with a dogmatic belief in a Western religion promising his critics that they are “going to Hell” because of their criticism of him. To preserve their authority, the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood used the concept of slandering the Law as a tool to intimidate believers and often to defend their view of certain Japanese cultural traditions as essential Buddhist practice.

    Me: That is why we members of the Kempon Hokke go directly to the source, the Lotus Sutra and the writings of Nichiren Daishonin to determine what is and what isn’t a slander and who is and who isn’t a slanderer. This is known as the Transmission Through the Scrolls of the Sutra. The Soka Gakkai just replaced one person [Nichiren Shoshu High Priest] for another [Three Presidents] in following persons rather than the Law. We follow the Law and not persons. We ARE as different as night and day.

    Shin Yatomi: “The Law” in “slandering the Law” refers to the Lotus Sutra. Of course, as Nichiren Daishonin made clear, the Lotus Sutra of the Latter Day means the sutra’s essence, the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. But since the Daishonin expounded the Law of Nam-myoho-renge-kyo on the basis of the doctrines contained in the Lotus Sutra, when we examine the Buddhist concept of slander in terms of its doctrinal meaning, it is appropriate to take “the Law” to mean the Lotus Sutra. “A slander of the Law,” therefore, literally means a slander of the Lotus Sutra; it is speech or conduct that denies the teaching and ideal of the Lotus Sutra.

    Me: How would the SGI know what constitutes slander of the Law of the Lotus Sutra? They have repeatedly taught that Myoho renge kyo has lost it’s power in this age. Let’s also not forget the teachings of The Fourteen Slanders Gosho, Letter to Lord Matsuno and Chapters 3 and 10 of the Lotus Sutra. It is equally as bad to slander the Sutras’ Votaries. In Nichiren’s other writings and Chapter 21 of the Lotus Sutra, we see how doubly bad it is to slander the Supreme Votary of the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren Daishonin. What bigger slander is their of Nichiren Daishonin than to alter his teachings [whether for the the sake of expediency or for the sake of the top Senior Leaders accumulating material riches]? Slandering too, is acting in an underhanded manner when propagating the Law as an envoy of the Thus Come One. Since we are the only true honest and upright votaries of the Lotus Sutra at this time and in this land, it is a great slander to treat us with any less respect than SGI would their teachers, sovereigns, and parents. Yet, over and over again they slander the faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha of the Original Doctrine, Nichiren Daishonin and their disciples and believers.

    Shin Yatomi: What is the teaching and ideal of the Lotus Sutra? The Daishonin expressed what he saw as the quintessence of the Lotus Sutra in the form of the Gohonzon, using the doctrine of the three thousand realms in a single moment of life (ichinen sanzen) as his theoretical foundation. Based on the Lotus Sutra, T’ien-t’ai expounded the doctrine of three thousand realms in a single moment to explain that all beings are entities of the Mystic Law, endowed with the Buddha nature. In other words, the fundamental message of the Lotus Sutra is that all living beings have the Buddha nature and thus are infinitely precious and worthy of respect.

    Me: This is the most important doctrine of the Theoretical Section of the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren taught in the Opening of the Eyes that the most important doctrine of the Lotus Sutra is found in the Essential Teachings, the Immeasurable Lifespan of the Tathagata. This is the reason that all beings are worthy of respect, because all beings are our mothers, daughters, Fathers and sons, and we theirs. In like manner, the Buddha of the Juryo Chapter is very real, our teacher throughout the Three Existences. To deny this Buddha is to deny our own father.

    Shin Yatomi: The sanctity of life and the inherent dignity of all people are at the core of the Sutra’s teaching.

    Me: As we have seen, this is not true in the case of the Soka Gakkai. For the sake of expediency, the Soka Gakkai throws out the fundamental principles of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin. For the sake of advancing itself [financial interests], it throws to the wayside the principle of the sanctity of human life and its inherent dignity. Lastly, for the sake of the binding and shackling SGI principle of living mentor and disciple, it abandons the primary teaching of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin that each and everyone of us is a Three Bodied Tathagata endowed with all the merits and virtues of Shakyamuni Buddha.

    Shin Yatomi: From this perspective, we can define slander of the Law as any denial of the sanctity of life or the inherent dignity of all people.

    Me: Then, no one is a bigger slanderer than the top SGI-USA Woman’s Division Leader and capital murder prosecutor, Linda Johnson. Nothing is more important than Actual Proof. “What does Bodhisattva Never Disparaging’s profound respect for people signify? The purpose of the appearance in this world of Shakyamuni Buddha, the lord of teachings, lies in his behavior as a human being.”

    Shinsuke Yatomi: This interpretation of slander is consistent with the Daishonin’s perspective. He criticized major Buddhist sects of his day as slanderous of the Lotus Sutra. His was not merely a criticism of doctrine, however. For example, the Daishonin criticized the Pure Land (Nembutsu) sect not just for denying the Lotus Sutra’s validity on a doctrinal level. The Pure Land sect views this world itself as defiled and detestable; it teaches believers that they can only be happy in the afterlife if they are reborn in the Pure Land through reciting the name of the Amida Buddha. What lies at the core of the Pure Land teaching is despair and an escapist attitude.

    The Daishonin stated: “If you chant the Nembutsu incantation often, you will come to feel like injuring yourself” (Gosho Zenshu, p. 1509). The Daishonin denounced the Pure Land sect because it denied people’s potential to overcome their suffering and thus diminished the inherent dignity of their lives. Historically, the Pure Land sect was often manipulated by the authorities as a tool to oppress and control people. This is in complete opposition to the ideal of the Lotus Sutra, which is to empower people through awakening their inner potential.

    Me: Nearly in every paragraph that he writes we see the subtle and advanced persuasive “lies are truth and truth is lies” techniques of the Soka Gakkai. The Soka Gakkai denies the ability of the people to awaken their inner potential by making the people dependent on the mentor and the Soka Gakkai itself. In a sense, they are no different than the Nembutsu, exchanging not Amida for Shakyamuni Buddha but the mentor of the Soka Gakkai and the Soka Gakkai itself for shakyamuni Buddha.

    Of course too, several vital points of the Daishonin’s refutation of the Nembutsu is not even touched upon. There is no saving power in Amida Buddha, a Buddha who never set foot in this Saha world, unlike Shakyamuni Buddha. Another vital point in the Daishonin’s refutation of the Nembutsu is that the Amida Sutras teach that Amida will accept all people into his Pure Land, except those who have committed the Five Cardinal Sins and those men, like the men of the Soka Gakkai, who are of incorrigible disbelief. The concluding Sutra of the Lotus Sutra, the Fugen Sutra, proclaims that those who commit the Five cardinal Sins and incorrigible disbelievers against the Dharma, are the very ones who are saved by the Lotus Sutra. If you are really interested in a refutation of the Nembutsu I have a thesis in three parts by Graham Lamont.

    Shin Yatomi: THE Daishonin’s criticism was also directed toward the Shingon sect, not merely because it proclaimed its doctrinal superiority over the Lotus Sutra. The Shingon sect was essentially an esoteric teaching in which believers relied on priests to perform rituals so that they might receive blessings from the transcendental Dainichi Buddha; it promoted people’s dependence upon an imaginary superior being and diminished their ability to reason. Such an idea fundamentally contradicts the ideal of the Lotus Sutra, which asserts the importance of self-reliance by pointing out the existence of Buddhahood within each person.

    Me: “Self reliance” in the Soka Gakkai is an oxymoron. Leaving this aside for a moment, I have already proven the Shingon concept of Master [Lama] and the Gakkai’s, are one in substance or are your memories as poor as your illumination? Again and again we see the Gakkai’s ends justifying the means, east is west, and lies are truth philosophy. They are a “True sect” who has adopted the provisional teachings. They are as bad as the Shingon, a false sect who has adopted the teachings of Ichinen Sanzen. They get me sick. Were Nichiren alive he would refute them far more vigorously than I.

    Shin Yatomi: As we see in those two instances of the Daishonin’s criticism of other Buddhist sects, slander of the Law is more than just vilifying the Lotus Sutra; it is to deny the sutra’s underlying humanistic principle. For example, if a child speaks ill of the Lotus Sutra or its practitioners while completely ignorant of what he or she is doing and of what the essence of the sutra is about, should we admonish this child as a slanderer of the Law? While maybe in need of some schooling in manners, that child should certainly not be taken to task as a slanderer. On the other hand, what if a government official or a doctor superficially praises the Lotus Sutra or the Daishonin’s teachings, but is led by corruption to give tacit approval to the use of contaminated blood supplies while knowing their potential for spreading disease’ Some people, although though not directly critical of the Law, act counter to the Sutra’s teaching about the inherent dignity of all people.

    Me: Non Sequitor. The example of the child hardly follows from the Daishonn’s life and death struggles to refute the Nembutsu and Shingon. By the same token, we should not praise the child who slanders the Lotus Sutra nor should we believe that the child is incapable of understanding the Supreme Law of Cause and Effect. To do so is to disbelieve Myo Ho Ren Ge kyo. The Dragon King’s daughter was but a child. Nichiren Daishonin explains these concepts much better than I. Yatomi is grasping at straws in order to shoehorn the broad and deep teachings of the Lotus Sutra into the narrow shoe of the Soka value creation philosophy.

    Shin Yatomi: WHAT if a Christian minister in your neighborhood church were to ask for your cooperation in a neighborhood watch program to prevent crime or a community cleanup? Is lending this Christian minister your support considered to be a slander of the Law? Of course, it is not. In this case, discussing the safety of your community with those who embrace religions other than Buddhism has nothing to do with slandering the Law.

    Me: I would tell the preacher that I already watch out for my neighbors welfare and the cleanliness of my community by chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo. I would also tell him that he should abandon the shallow and embrace the profound and chant Namu Myoho renge kyo if he is really interested in protecting the community.

    Shin Yatomi: What is most important is to promote the happiness and peace of all humanity.

    Me: Which is impossible, according the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren, were one complicit with slander or failing to utter the lion’s roar.

    Shin Yatomi: Since Buddhism exists for us to achieve this goal, it is only natural to have dialogue and cooperate with those of different religious beliefs in the process of bringing such a Buddhist ideal to reality.

    Me: Only in the Soka Gakkai ends justify the means philosophy [which is antithetical to the teachings of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin] does one abandon the principles of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin in order to realize the Lotus Sutra’s goal. This is so absurd as to be incomprehensible. It is teachings like these that will destroy Buddhism and the reason that Shin Yatomi destroyed his own castle from within. To me, it is not even sad. It is instructive.

    Shin Yatomi: From this viewpoint, Article 7 of the SGI Charter declares that we “respect other religions.” This is not to say that we compromise our religious beliefs and abandon the Daishonin’s spirit of shakubuku. The concept of “respecting other religions” is easier to comprehend if we understand its intention, which is to respect the people who practice those religions. It must be pointed out that showing respect to other human beings, regardless of their religious beliefs, is different from accepting or advocating their belief.

    Me: The Oneness of Person and Law only functions in those who embrace the Lotus Sutra. It fails to function in the lives of the Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Soka Gakkai blasphemers. The Soka Gakkai abandons the Lotus Sutra’s concept of the oneness of person and Law ["Since the Law is Supreme the person is worthy of respect"]. There is no distinction between the Law [teachings one embraces] and the person who we are. If the Law is inferior, so is the person who embraces that Law, according to Nichiren Daishonin.

    Shin Yatomi: What is shakubuku then? Is it not to strictly refute erroneous teachings? Shakubuku may be defined from a number of perspectives. For example, A Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts explains that shakubuku is “a method of propagating Buddhism by refuting another’s attachment to heretical views and thus leading him to the correct Buddhist teaching. The term is used in contrast to shoju, or leading another to the true teaching gradually without refuting his misconception” (pp. 376–77). Ultimately, however, shakubuku is to speak the truth of the Lotus Sutra—the universal potential of enlightenment possessed by all people. So shakubuku is not simply a matter of using harsh words or roundly refuting other religious beliefs.

    Me: The “universal potential of enlightenment possessed by all people” is the prime point of the Theoretical Section of the Lotus Sutra. It is not the final truth of the Lotus Sutra:

    “When we come to the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra, then the belief that Shakyamuni first obtained Buddhahood during his present lifetime is demolished, and the effects of the four teachings are likewise demolished. When the effects of the four teachings are demolished, the causes of the four teachings are likewise demolished. Thus the cause and effect of the Ten Worlds as expounded in the earlier sutras and the theoretical teaching of the Lotus Sutra are wiped out, and the cause and effect of the Ten Worlds52 in the essential teaching are revealed. This is the doctrine of original cause and original effect. It reveals that the nine worlds are all present in beginningless Buddhahood and that Buddhahood is inherent in the beginningless nine worlds. This is the true mutual possession of the Ten Worlds, the true hundred worlds and thousand factors, the true three thousand realms in a single moment of life.”

    Then, several passages down we read;

    “Having pondered this, I am of the opinion that, though the Lotus Sutra teaches that persons of the two vehicles can attain Buddhahood, this view tends to be overshadowed by the opposite view propounded in the sutras that precede the Lotus. How much more so is this the case with the doctrine that the Buddha attained enlightenment in the remote past! For in this case, it is not the Lotus Sutra as a whole that stands in contradiction to the earlier sutras, but the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra that stands in contradiction both to the earlier sutras and to the first fourteen chapters of the theoretical teaching of the Lotus. Moreover, of the latter fourteen chapters of the essential teaching, all of them with the exception of the “Emerging from the Earth” and “Life Span” chapters retain the view that the Buddha first attained enlightenment in his present lifetime.”

    Therefore whether it is is shoju or shakabuku that the Soka Gakkai practices it is, at best, the shoju and shakabuku of the Theoretical Teachings of the Lotus Sutra. It is hardly the shoju and shakabuku of the true teachings. How could it be? Were it the true teachings of shoju and shakabuku, there would be no reliance on a living mentor in the seat of the Law, by virtue of the immeasurable lifespan of the Tathagata.

    Shin Yatomi: T’ien-t’ai in his Hokke Gengi (Profound Meaning of the Lotus Sutra) explains that since the Lotus Sutra expounds the truth, it naturally refutes the provisional teachings (i.e., to teach it is to practice shakubuku) while the Nirvana Sutra, which was taught after, and serves to confirm the validity of the Lotus Sutra, accepts the provisional teachings (i.e., shoju).

    Put simply, shakubuku is to speak the truth of the supremacy of the Lotus Sutra while shoju is to accept other religious teachings while teaching the benefit of the Lotus Sutra’s teachings.

    Me: This is precisely why we [the Kempon Hokke] read the Lotus Sutra in light of the Lotus Sutra itself and in light of Nichiren Daishonin. Tientai read the Lotus Sutra [and the Nirvana and other sutras] in light of the Theoretical Section of the Lotus Sutra. Tientai’s practices included, reciting the name of Amida and Shikan style meditation. To repeat, Nichiren teaches:

    Having pondered this, I am of the opinion that, though the Lotus Sutra teaches that persons of the two vehicles can attain Buddhahood, this view tends to be overshadowed by the opposite view propounded in the sutras that precede the Lotus. How much more so is this the case with the doctrine that the Buddha attained enlightenment in the remote past! For in this case, it is not the Lotus Sutra as a whole that stands in contradiction to the earlier sutras, but the essential teaching of the Lotus Sutra that stands in contradiction both to the earlier sutras and to the first fourteen chapters of the theoretical teaching of the Lotus. Moreover, of the latter fourteen chapters of the essential teaching, all of them with the exception of the “Emerging from the Earth” and “Life Span” chapters retain the view that the Buddha first attained enlightenment in his present lifetime.

    The forty volumes of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, preached by the Buddha in the grove of sal trees just before his passing, as well as the other Mahayana sutras except the Lotus Sutra, have not one single word [to say about the fact that the Buddha attained enlightenment in the remote past]. They speak of the Dharma body of the Buddha as being without beginning and without end, but they do not reveal the true nature of the other two bodies, the reward body and the manifested body.55 How, then, can we expect people to cast aside the vast body of writings represented by the earlier Mahayana sutras, the Nirvana Sutra, and the major portion of the theoretical and essential teachings of the Lotus Sutra, and put all their faith simply in the two chapters “Emerging from the Earth” and “Life Span”?”

    Cast aside NOT Accept.

    Shin Yatomi: Because we communicate the Daishonin’s teachings based on our firm belief in the universal potential of enlightenment possessed by all people as expounded in the Lotus Sutra, and we hold these principles to be supreme, our method of communicating the Daishonin’s Buddhism is basically shakubuku. The distinction between these two methods, however, may not be always clear-cut. Sometimes it is more appropriate to adopt shoju based on the spirit of shakubuku…

    Me: Ornate rhetoric and meaningless talk.

    Shin Yatomi: …Nichiren Daishonin stated: “T’ien-t’ai declared that the practice should ‘accord with the times.’ His disciple Chang-an interpreted this to mean, ‘You should distinguish between shoju and shakubuku and never adhere solely to one or the other.? The Lotus Sutra represents a single truth, but its practice and propagation vary according to the people and the time” (MW-1, 175)…

    Me: From he perspective of the immeasurable lifespan of the Tathagata, this, the Latter Day, is the very time for shakabuku. Nichiren Daishonin only practiced shoju among those who had already taken faith in the Supreme Law, his beloved disciples. The Soka gakkai pratices more shakabuku against their own disciples than they do those of the provisional teachings or non-Buddhist teachings. Even towards his teacher Dozenbo, Nichiren practiced shakabuku but not towards his beloeved disciples.

    Shin Yatomi: …Instead of being overly concerned about which method to choose, what is most important to keep in mind is the goal of propagation—people’s happiness. RELIGION is inextricably bound with culture. Even if we recognize a need to examine the value and philosophical correctness of various religious doctrines, it is very difficult to justify being critical of another culture.

    Me: Practicing as the Soka Gakkai teaches one will never realize the promise of the Lotus Sutra, Supreme and Perfect Enlightenment nor will one encounter the Three Obstacles and Four Devils, particularly the King Devil of the Sixth Heaven [persecutions by the Government]. If the culture is a culture based on the belief in a creator and the saving power of Jesus Christ, Allah or Brahma, it must be thoroughly refuted in light of the immeasurable lifespan of the Tathagata and the Law of Myoho renge kyo [the simultaneity of cause and effect[, and the ultimate responsibility of the individual for both weal and woe. The Time and not the country, sequence of propagation, or capacity of the people is the most important consideration in the propagation of the supreme Law. The Soka Gakkai has become complicit in slander of the Suprme Law by accepting rather than casting aside inferior teachings. Honest and upright is the way of a votary of the Lotus Sutra not to defeat an enemy through stealth and cunning.

    Shin Yatomi: In countries with little relation to Buddhism, and where religious values and cultural values are deeply intertwined, to disrespect or denounce a religious belief is tantamount to disrespecting and denouncing the culture.

    Me: Nichiren Daishonin would love baseball, football, and basketball, he might even love the music of the Eagles and Michael Jackson and he would be playing poker instead of Go. Somehow, I don't believe he would have much use for the mega churches and phony preachers who suck the life and money out of their congregations. Had he found himself in a Muslim country he would be known as the Aryasinha of Mappo.

    Shin Yatomi: ...Buddhism makes clear that its teachings should be spread while showing respect for and taking into consideration the culture and traditions of the place where it is being propagated...

    Me: Ornate rhetoric and meaningless talk. Nichiren Daishonin showed no consideration for the provisional teachings of his own country. Would he have accepted the provisional teachings of another? He was highly critical of Confucianism, Brahmanism, Taoism, Shintoism, and provisional Buddhism, wherever and whenever it was found. The ends justifying the means philosophy of the Soka Gakkai is what has watered down the religion of the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren Daishonin and were it to continue to advance, it would destroy the Mystic teachings of Buddhism.

    Shin Yatomi: Although the basic attitude of the Daishonin?s propagation was shakubuku, his writings indicate that he exercised flexibility in his method of propagation. He states: “It is natural for a rooster to crow in the morning but strange for him to crow at dusk. Now when the true and provisional teachings are utterly confused, it would be equally unnatural for one to seclude himself in the mountains, carrying out the easy practice of shoju, and avoid refuting the enemies of the Lotus Sutra. He would lose all chance to practice the Lotus Sutra”(MW- 1, 105). In this passage, the Daishonin refers to a situation in which the true and provisional teachings of Buddhism are confused. In such a case, the Daishonin suggests that a clear distinction be made between what is a true Buddhist teaching and what is a provisional Buddhist teaching through the method of shakubuku.

    THIS situation, however, may not represent today's American society where the majority of people are unfamiliar with Buddhism. In this regard, the Daishonin states: “When the country is full of evil persons without wisdom, then shoju is the primary method to be applied, as described in the Anrakugyo [Peaceful Practices] chapter. But at a time when there are many persons of perverse views who slander the Law, then shakubuku should come first, as described in the Fukyo chapter”(MW-2, 183).

    Me: Yatomi conveniently left out the next paragraph that goes on to explain his contention; “In the Latter Day of the Law, however, both shoju and shakubuku are to be used. This is because there are two kinds of countries, the country that is passively evil, and the kind that actively seeks to destroy the Law.”

    Muslim, Hindu and Christian countries are, in fact, countries that actively seek to destroy the Law. The SGI of course has nothing to worry about in this regard. It is hardly based on the Law of Namu Myoho renge kyo [in principle]. China too, for limiting the freedoms of speech and religious expression may be counted among the actively evil countries. America is not a monolithic society. it is composed of states, some secular that are only passively evil and others like the bible belt states that are actively evil. The SGI always practices shoju except against other Nichiren sects. How perverse is that?!

    Shin Yatomi: The Daishonin explains that when a society is ignorant of Buddhism, shoju, the tolerant way of propagation, may be a better approach…

    Me: Nichiren doesn’t say that at all. A society may be ignorant of Buddhism and be actively evil in trying to destroy Buddhism and the Law. And the Brahmans are not ignorant of Buddhism. We see how well the tolerant approach has worked in the United states, all those hundreds and thousands of Bodhisattvas abandoning their faith in Namu Myoho renge kyo thanks to the tolerant approach [shoju] of the Soka Gakkai.

    Shin Yatomi: However, when confusion in the realm of Buddhism is the chief concern, shakubuku, the method of strictly refuting error and directly revealing the truth, may be the primary method. The strict stance the SGI has taken toward the errors and abuses of the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood accords with this idea.

    Me: The criticisms of the orthodox sects, however, are totally unwarranted and a cause for the Soka Gakkai members for falling into the Lower Realms of existence. Just look at Clown and CL.

    Shin Yatomi: In another writing, the Daishonin said: “However, slander can be either minor or serious, and there are times when we should overlook it rather than attack it. The adherents of the Tendai and Shingon sects slander the Lotus Sutra and should be refuted. But without great wisdom it is very difficult to differentiate correctly between their doctrines and the teachings which Nichiren expounds. Therefore, at times you might be well advised to refrain from attacking them, just as I did in the Rissho Ankoku Ron"”(MW-1, 158). In the “Rissho Ankoku Ron,” the Daishonin refutes the teachings of the Pure Land sect, but does not refer to the teachings of the Shingon or Tendai sects. Here the Daishonin explains that although other religious sects, such as the Shingon and Tendai sects, contradict the Lotus Sutra, if the timing and condition of people are not appropriate, it is wise not to refute them.

    Me: Within eleven years of the writing of the Rissho Ankoku Ron however, the Daishonin was revealing that the evils of the Tendai and Shingon are a thousand, a hundred thousand, ten billion times more evil than the Nembutsu. The Soka Gakkai teachings are far worse than the Tiendai and Shingon becuase it has brought confusion to the teachings of the Great Pure Law of Namu Myoho renge kyo. Just as the Nembutsu was far easier to refute than Tiendai and Shingon, the Soka Gakkai is far easier to refute than the Nichiren Shu. When the time is right, we of the Kempon Hokke will turn our attention to the Nichiren Shu’s aberrant religious practices.

    Shin Yatomi: In a letter written to a believer who had previously practiced the Pure Land sect and chanted the Nembutsu incantation, the Daishonin writes as follows: “Women who put their faith in the Lotus Sutra should chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo sixty thousand, a hundred thousand, or even ten million times a day, and after that, if they still have some time to spare, they may now and then murmur to themselves the name of Amida or one of the Buddhas”(MW-3, 26–27). Of course, if you chant daimoku one hundred thousand times a day, you would not have time to even sleep, let alone to chant the Pure Land sect’s incantation. In this letter, although the Daishonin clarifies the erroneous teachings of the Pure Land sect, he does not tell her to stop chanting the name of Amida Buddha. The Daishonin simply tells the recipient to chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Once again, we can see the Daishonin’s flexible stance toward communicating his teaching to others. Had this believer been told never to chant the name of the Amida Buddha, she may have been unable to accept the Daishonin?s teaching. Religious beliefs and attitudes are deeply rooted in people?s minds; our sensitivity and understanding toward those to whom we are communicating are therefore critical, as the Daishonin demonstrates.

    Me: If Nichiren Daishonin taught the above to any man or woman of even a modicum of faith and understanding, that person would get the message. Certainly, he didn’t say they may now and then genuflect before the cross, lay twillum, or face Mecca and offer a prayer.

    Shin Yatomi: THE ultimate purpose of communicating Buddhism to others is to help them become happy, not to prove the superiority of Buddhism over other religions. As we can see in the Daishonin’s examples, he was always concerned about how to lead people to the truth revealed in the Lotus Sutra—to their inherent enlightened potential. The Daishonin’s views transcended narrow, religious sectarianism. He wrote, “I, Nichiren, am not the founder of any sect, nor am I a latter-day follower of any older sect” (MW-5, 195).

    Me: The strawman reveals his ugly self, yet once again. It is impossible to become Buddha failing to embrace the exclusive faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra, having absolute faith in the superiority of the Lotus Sutra. What teachings is Shin Yatomi propounding? the provisional teachings, at best.

    Shin Yatomi: He did not try to spread his teachings to prove his own greatness; his sole concern was people’s happiness, as he states: “Nichiren has been trying to awaken all the people of Japan to faith in the Lotus Sutra so that they too can share the heritage and attain Buddhahood”(MW-1, 24). Based on his clear sense of purpose in propagation, he exercised a great deal of flexibility, while not compromising in proclaiming what constitutes the true essence of Buddhism.

    Me: To Shin Yatomi, “murmur a few Nembutsu now and then after chanting ten million Daimoku”, is a great deal of flexibility. He is as phony as a three dollar bill and is not a disciple of Nichiren Daishonin. He is [was] a disciple of Ikeda. This is precisely why he was unable to lessen his karmic retribution.
  3. The great irony of the Soka philosophy is that those who promote it, the supposed avatars of Beauty, Goodness, and Gain, are ugly and bad and therefore experience loss [in the spiritual realm]. We must ask ourselves why they chose Makiguchi's philosophy of Beauty, Goodness, and Gain over Kant's philosophy of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth in the first place and why they chose Nichiren Shoshu over the teachings of the Buddha in the Lotus Sutra and the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin in his authenticated writings.

    Makiguchi and the Soka Gakkai replace truth for gain because of greed [Hunger], ego [Anger], and ignorance [Animality] and, precisely because they have replaced truth with gain, their claims of beauty and goodness is beauty and goodness in name only. Similarly, because they have abandoned truth for gain, they have abandoned cause and effect for gain. By adopting gain at the expense of truth [or gain at the expense of cause and effect], it is easy to see why their devotees have become liars and smiling backstabbers: Their philosophy is one of ends justifying the means. They have detached [or fooled themselves into believing that they have detached] effects from their causes. This is why both SGI leaders and members, instead of reaping the beauty and good from the Lotus of the Supreme Truth, reap the retribution of Hell, Hunger, and Animality in this and every future existence until, of course, they have paid off their heavy karmic debt, again encountered the Lotus Sutra and become its votaries..

    They chose the Nichiren Shoshu because only the Nichiren Shoshu [for the sake of worldly riches] was willing to overlook replacing  the truth of the Lotus Sutra with gain. They themselves had already done so more than six hundred years ago with the advent of Nichiu the leper. It is not an accident that like met like to form their unholy union. There is a profound karmic bond between the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu. There is also a profound karmic significance to their appearance in the Latter Day... as a stark contrast to the beauty and goodness of the true votaries of the Lotus Sutra.
  4. “Because there are disputes in Buddhism, there arise disputes in the secular world. Mount Hiei has lost its calmness and a lot of troubles have been occurring in Kyoto.” (The Way To Argue Buddhist Doctrines)
  5. How prophetic. Today when there is no calm on Mt. Minobu and Mt. Fuji, how much worse are the troubles in Tokyo, Washington, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Islamabad, and Bangkok. Nichiren attributed his situation to the Buddhist sects going against the Lotus Sutra and abandoning Shakyamuni Buddha. The situation today with the Soka Gakkai and the Nichiren Shoshu is much worse, these sects having abandoned the Essential teachings of the Lotus Sutra and Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Nichiren goes on to say,

    “The Nembutsu school goes against the Lotus Sutra and follows the three Pure Land sutras, so they look upon Amida Buddha as their premier object of devotion and look down on Shakyamuni Buddha. The True Word priests regard Mahavairochana as the supreme Buddha, so they look down on Shakyamuni Buddha. As for precepts, Mahayana and Hinayana are different but both regard the Thus Come One Shakyamuni as the most important. Other Buddhas only give testimony to his words. Various schools have differences but they should look upon Shakyamuni. Only worms born of the lion’s body feed on the lion. Non-Buddhist teachings cannot defeat Buddhist teachings, but disputes from within will destroy Buddhism. This is the dying words of the Buddha. In Buddhism they believe in Hinayana and lose Mahayana, and they believe in provisional Mahayana teachings and lose true Mahayana teachings.”

    The worms of the Fuji School (SGI and NST) feed on the Bodhisattvas of the Earth and Nichiren Daishonin. They bore into the Gohonzon, Lotus Sutra and Gosho, eradicating Buddha Shakyamuni of the Original Doctrine and destroying the principles within. They further confuse the people by asserting their superiority over the Hokke sects and deprecating the sincere disciples and believers of Nichiren.

    The very worst offender is the Soka Gakkai. As Nichiren states in the Pure and Far reaching Voice, “What is superior it takes to be inferior, and what is inferior it takes to be superior. That is the reason why now, when its prayers are being used in an attempt to ward off the Mongol invaders, such prayers are on the contrary about to bring the invaders down upon us.” The SGI is the very reason the world is in such dire straights. Just as the vibrations from a slanderous mind will cause the head to split into seven pieces, the vibrations of slanderous minds of the Ten Million Soka Gakkai members is causing the world to be disordered and to split into seven pieces.

    Instead of adorning the superior teachings with value creationism and human revolution, they replace the Lotus Sutra with these inferior teachings and replace Shakyamuni Buddha with Daisaku Ikeda.

    Nichiren states,

    “But, leaving aside for the moment the question of which is superior and which inferior, I can say that, far from bringing you deliverance, the practice of these teachings will lead to rebirth in the evil paths. (A Sage and an Unenlightened Man).

    As far as the slanderous Nichikan Gohonzon, the most perverted doctrine in the history of Buddhism, 

    Nichiren states:

    “Nevertheless, the schools of Buddhism other than Tendai have gone astray concerning the true object of devotion. The Dharma Analysis Treasury, Establishment of Truth, and Precepts schools take as their object of devotion the Shakyamuni Buddha who eliminated illusions and attained the way by practicing thirty-four kinds of spiritual purification. This is comparable to a situation in which the heir apparent of the supreme ruler of a state mistakenly believes himself to be the son of a commoner. The four schools of Flower Garland, True Word, Three Treatises, and Dharma Characteristics are all Mahayana schools of Buddhism. Among them the Dharma Characteristics and Three Treatises schools honor a Buddha who is comparable to the Buddha of the superior manifested body. This is like the heir of the supreme ruler supposing that his father was a member of the warrior class. The Flower Garland and True Word schools look down upon Shakyamuni Buddha and declare the Buddha Vairochana and the Buddha Mahavairochana to be their respective objects of devotion. This is like the heir looking down upon his own father, the supreme ruler, and paying honor to one who is of obscure origin simply because that person pretends to be the sovereign who abides by the principles of righteousness. The Pure Land school considers itself to be most closely related to the Buddha Amida, who is an emanation of Shakyamuni, and abandons Shakyamuni himself who is the lord of teachings. The Zen school behaves like a person of low birth who makes much of his small achievements and despises his father and mother. Thus the Zen school looks down upon both the Buddha and the sutras. All of these schools are misled concerning the true object of devotion. They are like the people who lived in the age before the Three Sovereigns of ancient China and did not know who their own fathers were. In that respect, the people of that time were no different from birds and beasts.” (Opening of the Eyes)

    Nichiren Buddhist ceremonies in the SGI, those of the founding fathers, Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin, are all but completely ignored while on May 3rd, for example, all praise is given to the Three Presidents of the Soka Gakkai. At their large meetings instead of singing songs in praise of the Lotus Sutra and Shakyamuni Buddha they sing songs in praise of Daisaku Ikeda. To make matters worse, the SGI political party Komeito is supported by the LDP rulers of Japan. 

    Nichiren states:

    “The great evil doctrine of these ceremonies over the years steadily made its way to the Kanto region, where it was embodied in the superintendents or attendant priests of various temples who repeatedly performed these ceremonies. The performers of these ceremonies from the beginning could not distinguish between correct and erroneous teachings, between superior and inferior doctrines, but assumed that it was sufficient merely to revere the three treasures. So, without a thought, they employed these ceremonies. And now not only the provinces of Kanto but the chief priests and superintendents of Mount Hiei, To-ji, and Onjo- ji have all come under the jurisdiction of the Kanto authorities, so that, as a result, the latter are in the position of supporting these ceremonies.”

    Hasn’t the great evil of these ceremonies spread to all corners of the world, every district meeting singing Forever Sensei and Sensei For You? Is there any wonder why their prayers for peace are unanswered. to the contrary, war, conflict, and disasters rage ever more intensely in every corner of the world.

    The SGI which embraces the expedient teachings whereby the ends of lying and withholding justify the means, make a mockery of the essential teachings, the Great Direct Way to Buddhahood. Daisaku Ikeda, for example, never once mentions in his peace proposals, Namu Myoho renge kyo or Buddha Shakyamuni. Another example are the many meetings and SGI ceremonies where Nichiren, the Lotus Sutra or Shakyamuni Buddha aren’t even mentioned once while “SGI” and “Daisaku Ikeda” are proclaimed dozens of times. Nichiren states in the Entity of the Mystic Law:

    “T’ien-t’ai says, “Even successors of the Buddha of the provisional teachings do not know people who have received instruction from the Buddha of the theoretical teaching, and people taught by that Buddha do not know people who have received instruction from the Buddha of the essential teaching. ”The Great Teacher Dengyo explains, “This is a direct way but it is not the great direct way. “He also says, “Because they have not yet understood the great direct way to enlightenment.” The point being made in these passages is clear.

    Thus, although it is said that the bodhisattvas had already gained entrance [to enlightenment] through the various sutras, the term “gained entrance” is simply applied here in a temporary manner as a means of disparaging the achievement of the people of the two vehicles. Therefore, even the great bodhisattvas of the pre-Lotus Sutra teachings and the theoretical teaching arrive at the realization of the lotus of the Buddha only when they are exposed to the essential teaching, and achieve a true cutting off of delusion only when they hear the teachings of the “Life Span” chapter.”

    In Teaching Practice and Proof, Nichiren teaches us,

    “How naive are those who cling only to the stump of one sutra without knowing which are superior and which inferior among all the sutras! Even if one cannot [read all the sutras and] discern this for oneself, there can be no mistaking that the Lotus Sutra is the only sutra whose truth was attested to by Shakyamuni Buddha, Many Treasures, and the Buddhas who are Shakyamuni’s emanations.

    Should one nonetheless view the Lotus Sutra as false and misread the Buddha’s words “I have not yet revealed the truth” as “I have already revealed the truth,” one’s distorted vision would be inferior even to that of cattle or sheep. Exactly what is meant by the passage in the “Teacher of the Law” chapter: “Among the sutras I have preached, now preach, and will preach, this Lotus Sutra is the most difficult to believe and the most difficult to understand” ? Does the Immeasurable Meanings Sutra not make it clear that Shakyamuni taught the practice of Buddhist austerities spanning myriads of kalpas before declaring, “In these more than forty years, I have not yet revealed the truth” ? These passages are nothing less than the Buddha’s own statements of the relative superiority of the various sutras he expounded during his some fifty years of teaching. The relative superiority of the sutras corresponds to whether or not they lead to Buddhahood.”

    The teachings of Value Creationism and Human Revolution do not lead to Buddhahood yet the SGI teaches these instead of the Lotus Sutra. They base their assertions on treatises and not the Lotus Sutra, not even the treatises of the Daishonin but rather those of Nichikan, Toda and Ikeda. They disgard the Lotus Sutra as too profund to be understood or not applicable to the people of the Latter day. They disgard the Lotus Sutra which leads to Buddhahood in one thousand out of one thousand instances while embracing the teachings of the Three Presidents that never once in seventy five years as practiced by millions and millions of SGI members has led to Buddahood, even once. 

    Nichiren states in Those Initially Aspiring to the Way:

    “Therefore, when people declare that their own sutra surpasses the Lotus Sutra, or that their own school is superior to the Lotus school, they are like persons of inferior rank calling someone of high rank a commoner, or retainers whose families have for generations been in the service of a certain lord turning against him and declaring him to be their servant. How can they escape grave retribution?”

    Daisaku Ikeda’s wisdom is as brilliant as the sun and moon, and his virtue is extolled far and wide, yet he is confused as to which teachings are shallow or deep, inferior or superior, and has led millions of people astray. This is the reason that he has suffered personal and specific retribution.

    Not reflecting nor learning a thing, he flaunts his knowledge and acts as if he were wise, though he is an ordinary person, who regards the superior teachings as inferior and the inferior teachings as superior. He regards the powerless teachings of the Soka Gakkai as those leading to enlightenment, and declares teachings inappropriate for the people’s capacity to be appropriate for them. Thus he believes that the teaching of Value Creation and Human Revolution is superior and the Lotus Sutra is inferior and that the former suits the people’s capacity but the latter teachings do not. (excerpted and paraphrased from the One Eyed Turtle and the Floating Log)

    Nichiren states:

    “Thus they place such pronouncements (Value Creation, Human revolution, peace proposals) on the same level as the Lotus Sutra, considering the two to be of equal authority; or they regard these teachings as superior to the Lotus Sutra; or they reason that though their teacher’s pronouncements are inferior they are well suited to the capacity of the people.” (The Teaching that Accords with the Buddha’s Mind)

    “Remember this about the theoretical and essential teachings of the Lotus Sutra: Which is shallow and which profound, which superior and which inferior, which lenient and which severe, and which subordinate and which primary must be judged in accordance with the time and the people’s capacity.” (On Establishing the Four Bodhisattvas as the Object of Worship.

    The SGI teachings are based on the gentle methods of the Theoretical teachings rather than the strict and superior Essential teachings. It has brought confusion to the Buddhist order.

    Since the wealthy, influential and powerful SGI hates the disciples and believers of Nichiren, the ignorant people choose SGI which is and detest the disciples and believers of Nichiren who are superior. As Nichiren says, “It is as though one were to assert that a dog is braver than lion, or that the stars appear brighter than the sun.”(One Eyed Turtle) We are considered men of erroneous views although we practice according to the teachings and they are considered men of correct views though they distort the teachings. Despite all this, we feel as Nichiren, “tears spring to my (our) eyes and joy fills my (our) entire body.” (ibid. One Eyed Turtle)

    Nichiren states:

    “As more Buddhist sutras were brought to China, it became apparent that some were superior in content or more profound than others. They belonged to different categories such as Hinayana and Mahayana, exoteric and esoteric, provisional and true. To illustrate, all stones are invariably inferior to gold, but gold itself is divided into several grades. No gold found in the human world can match the gold mined from the Jambu River.1 But the gold from the Jambu River is in turn far less valuable than the gold stored in the Brahma heaven. In the same way, all the Buddhist sutras are like gold, but some are finer and more profound than others.” (The Supremacy of the Law)

    Toda was confused, believing the fools gold of the Taisekaji teachings were superior to the twenty-four carat gold of the Lotus Sutra and teachings of Nichiren. Spreading such vile teachings, the SGI members and leaders accumulate slander upon slander which, by now, has now grown into a Mount Sumeru of slander. Is there any doubt that the world, far from being a better place for the spread of the SGI teachings, has become a boiling cauldron of death and despair? There is no doubt!

    How can this most distressing of situations be remedied?

    Nichiren states:

    “I decided that I would not heed the claims of these eight or ten schools, but would do as the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai did and let the sutras themselves be my sole teacher, in this way determining which of the various teachings of the Buddha’s lifetime are superior and which are inferior.”

    To remedy this situation and repay our debts of gratitude to Shakyamuni Buddha, the Lotus Sutra, our parents, brothers, wives, and children and to all the people of Jambudvipa, we can do exactly as Nichiren did. We can investigate thoroughly the teachings of the various Nichiren sects matching them with the Lotus Sutra and the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin:

    “Among the various sutras, there must be one that is the monarch of all. Yet the ten schools and seven schools I have mentioned all argue with one another over which of the sutras it is and can reach no consensus. It is as though seven men or ten men were all trying to be the monarch of a single nation, thus keeping the populace in constant turmoil.

    Wondering how to resolve this dilemma, I made a vow. I decided that I would not heed the claims of these eight or ten schools, but would do as the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai did and let the sutras themselves be my sole teacher, in this way determining which of the various teachings of the Buddha’s lifetime are superior and which are inferior. With this in mind, I began to read through all the sutras.

    In a scripture called the Nirvana Sutra, the Buddha says, “Rely on the Law and not upon persons.” Relying on the Law here means relying on the various sutras. Not relying upon persons means not relying on persons other than the Buddha, such as the bodhisattvas Universal Worthy and Manjushri or the various Buddhist teachers I have enumerated earlier.” (Repaying Debts of Gratitude)


    Lastly, coming to the just and correct conclusion that the Hokke sect is superior and the teachings of the Lotus Sutra alone leads to Buddhahood, we can spread these teachings far and wide, repudiating the wrongs of the Soka Gakkai, Nichiren Shoshu, provisional Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. The world will become peaceful, calm, and secure. When,“The Buddha is looked upon as the sovereign and the gods as his ministers; the relations between superior and inferior are correctly ordered in accordance with the rules of propriety, and therefore the nation should be well governed.” (King Rinda) Then, we will experience a new world, a land of Eternal Quiescent Light.
  6. The bodhisattvas of the teachings preached before the Lotus Sutra or of the theoretical teaching have, in a certain sense, eradicated delusion and gained understanding of truth. Nevertheless, in the light of the essential teaching, they have gained only a temporary cutting off of delusion, not the kind that extends beyond a certain dimension. Therefore, it is said that they have in fact not yet cut off delusion.
  7. 8).Destructive cults teach strict obedience to superiors and encourage the development of behavior patterns that are similar to those of the leader.

    Your examples again refer to a practise that I’ve never come across. If I do have a problem with a leader’s attitude, behaviour or advice, I’ll talk to them about it, and when I became a leader I told the members in my district to let me know if I became too self-righteous or preachy.

    Leaders are no better or worse than the other members (including President Ikeda). They will try to support members spiritually or through study lectures, etc. but they shouldn’t expect special treatment or praise for this extra responsibility. I guess the problem comes from leaders with small personalities that feel they should be treated with reverence by their members. If you have a problem with a leader, talk to them and let them know they’re getting above themselves. 
  8. The very label of "leader" and "member" proves point 8. Nothing further needs to be said.

    9).Destructive cults offer acceptance by the group for good performance, and conversely, withhold it for poor performance.

    Promotion or demotion within any organisation can be a sore subject, especially when you think people don’t deserve the recognition. How should you decide who is the next district leader, HQ leader, etc. Typically, people with the longest practice and strongest faith will advance and those with shortest practice and the weakest faith will remain as members. Is that a cult? I don’t think so. How does your sect decide who will replace your leader(s)?
  9. We have only 2 leaders, Shakyamuni Buddha and Nichiren Daishonin. Then there are no questions about equals and superiors.

    It only becomes a cult if leaders with God-like status only advance those that worship and revere their status.
  10. SGI in a nutshell. That leader with god-like status is Ikeda and if you don't fawn over him to the point of frothing at the mouth, you will remain a distric chief, as yourself.
  11. I guess the problem is that sometimes, the pool of potential leaders is small and there is really no one suitable for the position. In such a case a leader may develop their own sense of self importance, especially if they are not respected within their working community or neighbourhood. I think the only reason to demote or “fire” a leader should be if they bring disrepute to the organisation or lord it over the members. There have been leaders I have respected and leaders I haven’t. 
  12. Good for you. You won't go very far in the SGI organization.

    To me leaders should be living the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin and the Lotus Sutra. We should be working to improve ourselves and society not sitting back and letting the members get on with the work. We are all prone to all ten of the Ten Worlds and there will be times when leaders suffer or slip in their judgement, but they should prove the validity of the teachings by overcoming their suffering through their faith, practise and study, and the support of other members.
  13. How can they live the Buddhism of Nichiren in the Soka Gakkai which practices Ikedaism?