Simplify, that memo is valuable...and it really reflects the SGI of the 1990's. I well remember attending meetings where members were urged to chant for the failure of Nikken's (who was then high priest of Nichiren Shoshu) trip to New York City. I also remember a meeting where a leader told us that the Nichiren Shoshu priests were coming to American cities, and if we saw any, we needed to report this to our leaders immediately! They made it sound like this was something we should be absolutely terrified of -- invasion of the body snatchers or something!
Nobody I knew ever saw any priests -- and a bunch of bald Japanese men would certainly be noticeable around here, especially if they were wearing their robes.
I can't copy the whole memo here, as it is fourteen single-spaced typed pages, but here are some excerpts.
------------------Excerpt, the Kitano Memo, 1997------------
To: The people responsible for SGI-D HS (men's division ?)
From: Peter Kuhn SGI General Director Germany.
Copies to: SGI-D SOKO
Ref: Info. from 16K SGI-European Summit on 20/21-l2-1997
SGI-EU Summit with Gen. Sec. Kitano.
20/21-12-97 Villa Sachzen.
..........As reported, (by SGI-USA and SGI-Taiwan), the actions of the Nikken sect have become more dangerous and we must keep them under careful observation.
.......What we, at all costs, have to watch are the malicious strategies of the Nikken sect overseas. Initially, they target a member and organize a core group of about ten members as a "unit". Eventually, this becomes a basic group and this will be legally registered. Then the intrinsic members of the local management of the organization are taken over/replaced as we have seen in Panama. Following this, Obayashi, who is the person responsible for Nichiren Shoshu overseas affairs, or a Priest of the Nikken sect, comes and takes over the Chairmanship. Next follows the building of a Temple which is also the house or home of the Priest. He then takes over responsibility for the planning and activities of the Temple members and the organization expands.
Mathematically viewed, the attack of the Nikken sect starts from point to line, from line to the lateral dimension, and from the two dimensional to the three dimensional.
......Before the beginning of our fight, I would like to confirm three points:
Initially and especially we should be "pro-active", in other words, be informed of all the movements of the Nikken sect and apply a practical system of "counter-action". As you have already been informed, the SGI Strategy Dept. has been founded at the SGI-Head Office. In the past, the movements of the Nikken sect have been carefully monitored outside of Japan and in conjunction with the Bureau of the European Continent, counter- activities were instigated. Moreover, the Strategic Department has been provided to strengthen this system.
.......Many people will have to suffer because of that. Nikken has no interest in establishing Kosen Rufu.
......TAK (SGI Priest watchers ?) gave information regarding the movements of the Priest Ishida who arrived in Europe on a trip to Sounbeek-Stuttgart -Munich-Berlin-Oslo-Zurich.
.......Because an HSL (senior leader) of the Women's Division, (Mrs. Etsuko Yuasa), of the SGI-D had a "strange feeling" about a member who had recently resigned in writing from SGI-D, she telephoned this members house. Her son answered the telephone and said she could not come to the 'phone at the moment as there was a Ceremony taking place. The HSL heard slow Gongyo taking place in the background and suspected the worst. Together with her husband, UHSL, she got into the car and drove straight to the members house.
The member who had resigned opened the door and asked what they wanted. Both told her they wanted to speak to the priest. They were let into the flat and saw immediately that a Gojukai Ceremony had taken place because the Gohonzon of Nichikan had been replaced by one by Nikken. Apart from that, two of our members were also present. A young woman, (Naitoku), who had received Gojukai from the Priest without receiving Gohonzon, and a young man who had in the past received information both about the Priests and about the Soka Gakkai in order - as he said - to inform the members about the views of both sides so that they could build up a correct picture.
The Leaders introduced themselves and so did the priest. A short conversation followed and then the HSL left the meeting. They informed TAK immediately and called the responsible persons to a meeting at their house. Mr. Tak and Y. Matsuno also decided to attend that meeting at which more than ten leaders were present.
In the meantime, information regarding the possible flight plans of the priest Ishida had arrived at Tak's. Immediately, all those responsible were contacted in the various cities. The visit to Stuttgart had only become known to us after the Priest's visit but, in the case of Munich, it had been possible to find out where the priest went after his arrival at the Airport. Apparently, a meeting with five Danto members took place there. While our members were waiting in the car outside the house, they were spotted and the Police were called. The Police arrived and ;questioned the passengers but as nothing criminal was going on, they went away again.
The SGI members learned by "coincidence" the name of the hotel where the priest Ishida stayed overnight and they confronted him a total of three times.
.......However, the priest was so shocked about the meeting with our members in Munich, that he altered his plans and, apparently, flew early in the morning directly to Copenhagen and then on to Oslo.
As there are only a certain number of flights to Oslo, we were able to notify the person responsible for Norway in time for him to be present at the Airport when the Priest arrived. He was also able to identify the Danto members who were there to meet Ishida. Our members greeted the Priest jovially.
....... In the Temple, they had only done Gongyo together and it had been explained to them that lay members were not permitted to study the Gosho by themselves as they don't have the capacity, or ability. Only the Priests have this ability.
......l. Gather correct information about the movement. Method, time, use counter-action. Fight through the word/dialogue. 4. Supply excellent information for the members. Explain how they can win in any dispute.
The HSL will compile a list of Danto members finding out what each one of them does and their situation. The members in the front-line have the best means or opportunity of contact with the Danto members. If a leader appears, the Danto may decline to speak with us but if an "Old Friend" appears it usually results in a dialogue....Further to those members who do have contact with Danto members: "Even if it takes three or seven years before they understand what Nikken is about, please continue to cherish your contact with them. Invite them for meals and gradually introduce the subject before starting to talk about the situation - do not confront them with this straight away".
.....SEPARATE PAGE WITH PHOTO & DESCRIPTION OF REVEREND ISHIDA
This Priest is active in Germany now.
Possibly Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart & Koln.
-------------------------End of Excerpt, Kitano Memo---------------------
Yes, this is quite different than the memo sent out to the public, that Simplify posted. The language of the whole Kitano memo is very militaristic. The SGI leadership regarded the SGI/Nichiren Shoshu split as a war, and they consider it justifiable, even good, to do the following:
1. Perform surveillance on people who have joined, or who have expressed interest in, Nichiren Shoshu.
2. Phone people's homes, and listen for background noise.
3. Keep written lists of SGI members/former members who have joined, or expressed interest in Nichiren Shoshu.
4. Monitor priests' activities; confront and harass priests.
5. Members are to seek out information on Nichiren Shoshu priests and lay members, and report this information to their leaders.
6. Members are to pretend an interest in, and friendship for, Nichiren Shoshu members, with the goal of persuading these members to return to SGI.
7. Distribute priests' pictures and information about their whereabouts as if the priests are suspected criminals.
In other words, this is war! Nothing like a war to grab people's attention...and distract them from things that perhaps the leadership does not want them to be asking, and thinking about. No, let's unite people by giving them a common enemy to hate! Let's make them very afraid, so afraid of the evil priests that they'll cling to SGI for safety!
Two quotes especially interested me. One was the quote that Nikken had no interest in Kosen-rufu. The other was that temple members were not allowed to study the Gosho because the priests felt that ordinary people could not understand it. I think SGI was accusing the priests of doing what the senior leadership of SGI is doing. Nikken had no interest in peace, or Buddhism? Does Ikeda? Or is it all about his money, his power, his prestige....his stocks in companies that make weapons? And do SGI members really study the Gosho anymore, or just Ikeda's interpretations of the Gosho?
I was told, back in the 1990's, that Nichiren Shoshu was incorrect Buddhism because members were told that their enlightenment came from following the high priest. Yes, but SGI members are now being told that their enlightenment and benefit comes from taking Ikeda as their mentor --- so how is that different?
Ah, the old "Tu Quoque" argument -- "You do it too!" If I secretly fear that I might be greedy, dishonest, a coward, I will project that onto everyone else, and accuse them of greed, dishonesty, cowardice. And if they try to say "No, that's YOU!" --- well, they're a bunch of greedy and dishonest cowards! Who's going to listen to those avaricious, cowardly liars!