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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dominic Berry says: May 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm

I’ve been studying this subject for three years. The process of ascertaining facts is very much hampered by the fact that on the long communication route from Japan to the world, no negative fact or argument about the SGI can travel far within the SGI and no external information about the SGI is available to members of the SGI than the SGI itself. This means that their internal PR is whatever they can get away with.

The honorary degrees are a joke. SGI has enormous funds – about three trillion dollars I believe, and these funds are donated to universities in return for honorary degrees. Soka University graduates are always on hand to write up the right kind of articles on any given subject, but nothing Ikeda has ever written was ever published in a respectable peer-review publication on any subject at all. His guidance isn’t very interesting to anybody in any field of the humanities. At all. Not because his ideas aren’t popular. (such publications are used to hosting controvertial debate). He just doesn’t say very much at all which isn’t basically common sense to most of the planet. Indeed his donation to Buddhist thought as a philosophical tradition is to make out that ‘Ichinen Sanzen’ is Positive Mental Attitude. That and the idea that democracy, dialogue and modern science are naturally integral to Japanese Buddhism. This overlooks the obvious facts of Japanese history, which was that while democracy, dialogue and modern science have been well established traditions in the west, Japan had developed sophisticated alternatives to each of them. The Americans forced them to adopt modern science at gunpoint. MacArthur forced them to adopt a nominal democracy after WW2. They still have problems integrating debate and free speech into their society at every level. But to read the SGI literature, Mr Ikeda would like to be given a Nobel Peace Prize for inventing all of them. That much seems to me to be a fact-based criticism of the whole SGI myth.

Among other things I notice that at the time of the split, members entering SGI culture centres were told by supervising staff that they could not enter unless they were prepared to step on a photograph of the face of the high priest. If they would not do this, they were asked to explain themselves and / or leave. This was a nationwide practice throughout Japan. So much for the spirit of ‘peace through peaceful dialogue. This isn’t normal behavour in Japan any more than it is in the west. I live in Japan. I don’t believe this could possibly have happened outside of Ikeda’s knowledge. It was far too widespread and no official apologies of any kind have ever been offered. Indeed when the President of the Kometo party complained about it, he was hounded our of both Kometo and the SGI for saying so. That is all fact.

The head of the SGI study department switched to Nichiren Shoshu and published his apology for creating so much nonsense deifying Ikeda. He said that he and his department invented 80% of what is commmunicated as Ikeda’s spiritual guidance on life. The remaining 20% was written by one other man who ghost wrote the ‘Human Revolution’. As this writer died, there will be no more such mini-novels. That is fact, and there s a list of all the names of the study department staff who manufactured Ikeda’s ‘guidance’ for him. This explains why the guidance tends to be rather common-sensical rather than shockingly insightful, avoids any controvertial opinon whatsoeveer and as a consequence, tends to be rather boring.

The Head of the Kometo Party admitted that whatever the Japanese Constitution, like every other respectable democratic constitution stipulates about a division between church and state, the SGI and the Kometo party in Japan are effectively staffed by the same people and centrally managed by Mr Ikeda personally. There have never been internal votes for Kometo leadership. Ikeda personally appointed each Kometo president.

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