"I have been reading this thread for about the last 4 hours and it has made me sick to my stomach and close to tears." -- SGI member
"I'm glad you have spent four hours reading this thread. However, whilst it might feel safer to focus on things in the United States, these experiences are certainly not exclusive to the States. The worst extremes of SGI attitudes were, and still are most prevalent in Japan it seems. SGI is not quite so stupid to attempt acting so militantly elsewhere. I used to practice in the UK and the SGI here are no less insidious, having just changed their approach to the level our culture will allow. Barely. Even knowing that SGI used to, or are elsewhere using underhand and cult tactics to affect peoples lives, should be enough for anyone with integrity to distance themselves from such an organisation. Otherwise, I find it akin to locking oneself in a room with ones fingers in their ears whilst humming loudly, trying not to hear whats going on outside. It should be obvious that everyone here seems to have already attempted to "be the change you wish to see", and this approach has not worked. Therefore, this is why the thread is titled Former Cult Members and Affected Families.
You could well be Robert Samuels. No offense intended, but your post certainly smacks of an "official, by the book, response". Of course, any and all are more than welcome to post here. But its not a forum for support of SGI and that should be blatantly obvious. I think you could better serve the voices here on this thread, by accepting and understanding them. If you wish to remain in a group that is unable, unwilling, and not even interested in reform, that is your decision. If you are happy in such a community, that is likewise your prerogative, but if you fly with the crows...
I agree with the other responses, I don't particularly welcome your pity, however. I don't see how pity is befitting to people's experiences here. The word sounds a little inappropriate and somewhat insensitive to the people that have suffered within SGI. They did not suffer at random. The experiences related here bear common themes and are a result of the SGI mindset and structure. Just because you "are not aware" of similar events in SGI-UK, by no means does it mean they do not occur. A "pitying and sympathetic" post is not going to make all these events not exist. There are many more people who do not know where to turn. They have no-one to speak to regarding the discomfort and subtle mind control SGI exerts. Being in an SGI community is by its very nature a pressured way of life. These are my conclusions, and I am not alone. I am very glad to have followed all the "supportive steps and guidance" you have provided, in the past myself, and it had about as much effect as trying to slice a pool of water. Today I return, finally, once and for all my Gohonzon, to SGI-UK. I am so very glad to be rid of SGI's presence in my life - these strong emotions have come about after going through mental torture trying to consolidate my conscience with the nonsense I put up with as a member. I am glad to say my conscience, not SGI's alleged "value creating society", are what has endured, and it is once again guiding my life instead of Soka Spirit. Cult is not a dirty word. Christianity began as a minority cult. I too had many concerns about the cult of SGI, yet I found I could not live between the two worlds - my sense of right and wrong and what SGI was doing to me. The two were incompatible. -- Former SGI-UK member"