"Ok, first, and I don't care how this sounds... but I'm not interested in any replies, "advice", quotes or "guidance" from SGI members that may follow this post.
SGI has become a very real problem in my life.
I am not a member of any other sect.
I have no experience of any other form of Buddhism but this one, that of Nichiren, and that only via SGI (UK).
After being part of SGI for three years, I only managed to distance myself from them by moving away, geographically, from the SGI circles I knew. Where it not for this happening, I might not have seen what it was doing to me.
I am glad to have had the opportunity to see this.
I will not pass comment on whether they are a cult or not, because society is full of cults, the cult of the car, Christianity, sports fan groups, all could be said to have some elements of cult-like activity at some stage or other, so the label is not important.
To anyone who can't decide in the face of so many conflicting viewpoints are valid or not, I will offer my opinion, but it is an opinion based on direct experience from within the SGI organisation. Be very wary of this group.
In my experience, there is no evil agenda practiced in private that makes SGI a subversive sect. The danger lies with the very subtle and gradual brainwashing that takes place, I do not know if this is due to decisions made by the high leadership, or if because it has become a self perpetuating ideal. Whatever the ideal is, it is not open minded, it does not tolerate members thinking for themselves and not towing the Ikeda party line, and it alienates those that do. I see the org. as a very cynical sect now, oh so ready to re-mold itself to whatever culture it is in purely in order to increase its membership. I have wasted three years with SGI. These are my feelings and my experiences. It is dangerous to manipulate people who have chosen to trust and base their spiritual goals on such an organisation. It gets under your skin. I am so very glad I have left, all that remains is a near-Catholic guilt for having left - after being told by a Japanese member I will definitely "go to hell" if I return my Gohonzon. To those that might say "oh but there are idiots in every organisation", I would just reply that this Japanese sentiment is merely repackaged to suit the English members but the pressure remains the same. I agree with France, who have had great distrust of SGI, they are a subtle, subversive and insidious group whose methods are becoming more cunning. Stay clear, is my closing advice."