No Dirum, this is what smells of insecurity:
"Any Nichiren related article, whether his body relics or bodily assortments during his lifetime including his so-called Gohonzons are all subject to debate, criticism and academic questioning of its authenticity."
The difference is that Nichiren Shoshu won't let independent academics near it's copies of the Gosho it rests it's doctrine on. That's insecurity.
By claiming that these writings are in some way sacred, it keeps outsiders out, conveniently ensuring it's priesthood and High Priest can claim anything they want.
Again this is not Nichiren's approach. He welcomed independently judged debate. The documents he rested his arguments and doctrines on where freely available to those who might oppose him. In a nutshell, he wasn't scared, he wasn't a coward and had nothing to hide.
Nichiren Shoshu seems to have dumped loads of occult, mystical witchcraft over Nichiren's Buddhism, trampling it whilst perversely revering him as the True Buddha in the process.
This is where SGI learned the trick it is currently trying to pull off with Mr Ikeda and its "Mentor" mumbo jumbo - if you want to gain ultimate control of your followers and make them dependent, elevate the founder figure to a mystical status and keep control of the sacred texts that teach about this mystical figure. Ensure your priesthood is the mouthpiece and intermediary with that mystical creature, if possible is seen to be at one with it.
It's what Catholics did with the Pope, NST has done with Nichiren and now SGI is attempting with its 3 Presidents but especially "The Mentor" - Daiseku Ikeda.
It keeps priests in a job (and makes them prone to the temptations of money, power and influence, as you yourself have already said Dirham), it gives them a very good living and status and it keeps the enthralled, beguiled believers ensnared and dependent. In that respect SGI is exactly a chip off that old rotten block.
NST has a 700 year head start though, they've had centuries to perfect their puppetry and kabuki skills and they've got the elements of history and tradition to sell their illusion.
SGI are media savvy and can employ psychologist, brand and business consultants, ads and marketing executives. NST loved that skill when they got access to it just as much as SGI loved what NST had to offer.
It was a marriage made in hell that enabled both to get their grubby paws on more than they could have possibly hoped for. That's why it fractured. Both wanted to control the dirty pile and fell out when it became clear that neither could.
Arguing over the loot whilst the Law comes a knocking. It's the oldest cause of criminal failure in the book. The only difference is that these two did it in ugly sanctimonious tones and with no regard for the Belibers that might get hurt in the process (like handing out thousands of Gohonzons to people of little understanding, not takeing care of them and causing them to slander the Sutra)
Its got zero to do with religion and freedom of religion but everything to do with wanting freedom to manipulate religion and take advantage of its tax breaks.
Yes God bless American, what happened to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" when NST and SGI got together to lead innocent people down a path to unhappiness in the pursuit of grubby organizational gain? You forgot that bit Dirham. But then you'd rather quote the Constitution than the Declaration of Independence that led to it...lool even I know that and I'm not even American.