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Monday, March 13, 2017

"I'm done"

"Hi folks, After 33 years with the SGI, I'm done. Not sure if I will chant anymore. I haven't for several weeks. The final moment came for me when chanting at the home of a couple of "senior leaders." It was my first visit to their home. In their altar room, next to the altar was a curio cabinet containing their various SGI awards. Although I have always felt the SGI was tinged with cultishness, it was only in that moment that I realized the depth of it, and that I could no longer continue in the org. There's more to it than that. I'm not angry with myself for staying so long. I'm not sad to leave people I have considered close friends. I feel free in a way I haven't felt since, ironically, I started the practice in 1983. I appreciate reading the experiences of others who have left as I worked to de-indoctrinate myself. -- Jude"

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A horrible form of abuse.

"People are approached from the standpoint of doing something for their personal lives, and, little by little, they are told that the only way they can advance their personal lives is to advance the organization. Once you've made that connection, that advancing the organization is advancing your personal life, then they have total control over you. So, watching the people who have been abused over time and just fleeced, you know, year in and year out for money, that certainly is a horrible form of abuse."-- BBC World News, October 14th, 1995

SGI True Believer Model

"To some extent there is a bit of complicity on the part of the leaders. Most have been practicing for a long time, and in that course of time they have become "indoctrinated" into the way of thinking of SGI. Take the money handling issue for example, to a very senior member the level of trust of the higher-ups is so great that they may actually become insulted when questioned about what NSA/SGI does with the money. They truly believe it is being funneled into building community centers, colleges, etc. That is what makes things so shady because the very people you would look to as watchdogs of your interests are fully bought-into the dogma. I have sat at planning meetings in which a member's concern is repeated by a district or chapter leader and the hombu folks merely shot glances of bemusement or eye-winks at one another and moved onto the next topic. I guess they felt they were acting in "enlightened self-interest" at those times. 

To some extent I agree with Anticult. The "True Believer" model is the most efficient and to some extent mitigates the question of leadership motivations since for the most part, there is the assumption that bad behavior never elevates itself to the level of the higher leadership involvement. 

The True Believer model means that if a member questions ANYTHING about how SGI is run, leaders question your faith in Buddhism. "Why did we lose our community center?", "Why do we have to have women's division meetings in February?", "What happens to the money I donated?" and "Why can't SGI's finances be independently audited?" are taken as "I don't really believe in this Buddhism." The questions DON'T mean that a person doesn't believe in Buddhism...they are totally SEPARATE from the doctrines of Buddhism. The senior leadership has just chosen to cut off all debate by saying that apples are really oranges. I know members who call this "the wall," as in you might as well be talking to the wall. 

It would be like a Catholic saying "I think Father Joe is using the collection money to buy whiskey!" -- and being told, "If you can say things like that, you obviously don't believe in Jesus Christ!" -- Tsukimoto

The Object of Worship of the Original Doctrine by Rev. Tetsujo Kubota (from the Tradition of Nichiren Doctrine)

The Object of Worship of the Original Doctrine by Rev. Tetsujo Kubota (from the Tradition of Nichiren Doctrine)

"The Three Great Secret Dharma" refers to:

(1) Object of Worship of the Original Doctrine (Hommon no Honzon),
(2) the Title of the Original Doctrine (Hommon no Daimoku), and
(3) Precept (Ordination) Platform of the Original Doctrine (Hommon no Kaidan).

"Object of Worship" (honzon: "the Principal Revered or Holy One") means the Object of Faith or Belief. Incidentally for a disciple of Nichiren an explanation concerning the "Object of Worship" which goes beyond the Patriarch's teaching is not allowed. The teaching of Nichiren Shonin is absolute.

After founding his sect at age thirty-two Nichiren Shonin spread the teaching in Kamakura. At this time it seems that he worshiped the Title "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo" alone with the Hokekyo placed in front of it. After he received the standing image of Lord Shakya at Ito at age forty, that is, after the Ito Persecution for the Dharma, according to the "Letter on the Kings of the Country of the Gods", he installed the image of Lord Shakya and the ten fascicles of the Hokekyo.

According to the "Letter to the Great Assembly of Seichoji" written about this time, he says, "Having written an oath of the utmost sincerity, I, Nichiren, prayed with hands joined, to the Object of Worship..." And the fact that he prayed joined to the hands of the Object of Worship is proof that he was worshiping the statue of Lord Shakya. (It is presumed that behind the statue of Lord Shakya he worshiped the single Title "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo" but there is no evidence for this.) Moreover, as he says in his letter to the wife of Daigaku Saburo, "You worship the Seven Characters three times a day" (291), the believers at this time were worshiping the Single Title ("Namu Myoho Renge Kyo"

In the tenth month of the eighth year of Bun'ei (1271) after the Persecution at Tatsunokuchi Nichiren Shonin was kept in custody at the residence of the local chief (jito) of Echi (the modern Atsugi City), Homma Shigetsura. On the ninth, the day before they said he was to be exiled to Sado, he recorded an Object of Worship (gohonzon) with a willow twig. A single Title ("Namu Myoho renge kyo") (with Fudo to the right and Aizen to the left represented by Sanskrit characters, as we face it) and the side inscription "Written at the village of Echi in Homma in the Province of Sagami" with the year, month, and day of its revelation. It is said to have been written using a twig broken from a willow tree.

Throughout the first period after he had gone over to Sado, the Objects of Worship that he wrote had the Title, the Two Buddhas Shakya and Taho and also Fudo and Aizen written symbolically in Sanskrit characters, the side inscription "Drawn in the Province of Sado" and the year, month, and day of revelation. There are many examples of this form and it is called the "Hundred-copy Object of Worship of Sado".

In the second month of the ninth year of Bun'ei (1272) with the great motive that "they will put an end to the inconceivability of Nichiren" he composed "On Opening the Eyes (Kaimoku Sho)" and implied that in terms of his Original State (honji) he was the manifestation of the Bodhisattva Jogyo.

In the fourth month of the next year he composed On the Object Worship of Contemplation (Kanjin Honzon sho ). In this work, which he called "my own great matter", explained in doctrinal terms the substance of the Object of Worship of the Original Doctrine. On the eighth day of the seventh month in that same year he revealed and drew an Object of Worship called the "Mandala First Revealed on Sado" (Sado Shiken Mandara), but regrettably the original autograph has not come down to us. But fortunately a copy still exists, so from this we can understand its arrangement. There is one at the Head Temple Myomanji which the disciple Temmoku received and was given in the sixth month of the following year. (A version on silk) There is a side inscription, "The Shramana Temmoku received and was given [it]. For some reason it does not say, "Bestowed and given [to the Shramana Temmoku"]. The arrangement of this is closest to "Mandala First Revealed on Sado".

On Sado the Saint himself kept the image of Lord Shakya enshrined:

"When I was in the Province of Sado between mountains and wilds far away from a village was a samadhi place (gosammaisho: a cremation ground or graveyard) called Tsukahara. There was a hall with a single room and four walls in that place. In the roof the boards did not meet and four walls were ruined. In the rain it was like being outside and the snow Piled up inside. There was no Buddha [image]. Neither was there a single reed tatami mat. However, I set up [the statue of] the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya which I have kept from the beginning and grasped the Hokekyo in my hand, put on a straw raincoat and held up an umbrella, yet for four years no person appeared and they gave me no food." ("Reply to the Bhikshuni Myoho", STN, v. 2, 15)

He kept and guarded this image of Lord Shakya after he entered Minobu as well. ("On the Matter of Forgetting the Sutra Which He Kept") Furthermore, he bestowed mandalas on believers.

"Although this mandala in terms of its written characters is five characters or seven characters, it is the Teacher of the Buddhas of the Three Ages; it the certifying text of the attainment of Buddhahood by all women. It becomes a torch on the paths of the underworld; it becomes an excellent horse on the Mountain of Going Forth in Death. It is like the sun and the moon in the heavens. It is like Mount Sumeru on earth. It is the ship for the Sea of Birth-and-Death. It is the Guiding Teacher for the Attainment of Buddhahood." (On Offering to the Mandala of the Sublime Dharma, STN, v. 1, 698)

The Saint, himself an exile and, what is more, in the countryside on an isolated island, was not able simply to obtain Buddha images and perform the "Eye-opening" dedication. In this respect a mandala could be drawn as soon as paper, ink, and writing brush were to be had and also was easy to transport. Moreover, there was nothing more welcome for lay donors than the mandala, which was in the Saint's very own hand.

In the eleventh year of Bun'ei (1274) Nichiren Shonin entered Minobu and the laudatory text of the Mandala which he wrote out in the twelfth month of the same year is as follows:

"Since the Extinction of the Great Enlightened World Honored One there have passed in succession more than two thousand two hundred and twenty years. Even so among the Three Countries of India, Han [China] and Japan, there has not yet been this Great Obiect of Worship (dai honzon). Either they have known but not yet spread it or they have not known it. Our Compassionate Father, by means of the Buddha Wisdom, has hidden and retained it, leaving it for the Latter Age. At the time of the last five hundred years, the Bodhisattva Jyogyo come forth in the world and for the first time spreads and proclaims it."

What we should note on this Mandala is:

(1) The fact that the mandala is called the Object of Worship (honzon). There are those among one group of scholars who "say that the Mandala is not the object of Worship but assert as the Object of Worship the statue of the Buddha. However, the Saint himself said "the Mandala is the Object of Worship (honzon)".
(2) "Namu Tensho Hachiman to sho butsu" (Adoration to the Buddhas, Amaterasuomi-kami, Hachiman and so on) means he reveals the Original State (honji) of the national gods of Japan.
(3) He calls himself "the Bodhisattva Jogyo". The Saint was a person of humility and had only implied this in On Opening the Eyes (Kaimoku sho), the letter of the Revelation of the Person. It is on this Object of Worship that he first says this. The one other place he refers to this is only when he says through the mouth of Shijo Yorimoto, "His Reverence Nichiren Shonin is the Bodhisattva Jogyo, Messenger of the Lord of the Three Worlds, the Father and Mother of All Beings, the Tathagata Shakya." (The Deposition of Yorimoto, STN,v.2, 1358)

With the passage of time in the Bun'ei (1263-1274), Kenji (1275-1277), and Koan (1278-1282) periods the Saint inscribed the Mandalas at various times in all sorts of forms, the Abbreviated Style, the Quintessential Style and the Expanded Style. The Abbreviated Style consists of the Title ("Namu Myoho renge kyo"), the Two Buddhas Shakya and Taho with the Two Spell Kings (Myoo), Fudo and Aizen, in Sanskrit characters. The Quintessential Style means he added the Four Bodhisattvas Converted by the Original Buddha. The Expanded Style means the whole of the Ten Realms are included.

When we view the more than one hundred twenty extant autograph specimens of the Mandala, there are various sorts, those of the first part of the Bun'ei period all having "Namu" affixed to the various deities and those of the Koan period having it affixed only to the Four Holy Ones (the Two Buddhas Shakya and Taho, the Four Bodhisattvas, Jogyo and the others, Shariputra and so on), those where there are the Branch Body Buddhas (Bun'ei) and those where there are not (Koan) and so on. Former Teachers have divided them into the Unrevised (Bun'ei and Kenji periods) and the Revised" (Koan period), separated them into those Following Others' Intentions (zui ta I) (Bun'ei and Kenji periods) and those Following His Own Intentions (zui ji I) (Koan Period), and classified the Bun'ei era as the Practice Period, the Kenji era as the Adjustment Period, and the Koan era as the Perfection (or Completion) Period. (Note)* "Revised": the word "Revised" means to "redo something incomplete". And so there are scholars who say we must not use the word "Revised", viewing Nichiren Shonin in the same way as a unenlightened worlding. However, is not the fact that the Saint studied and thought these out something superlative?

Indoctrinated into Ikedaism rather than Buddhism.

"It was however, in retrospect, a rather enclosed, insular world which in a way cut itself off from society. When I first met the Buddhist leader, Dick Causten, he said in a very peroquial way to me “I am here to teach you Buddhism”. This is obviously what he thought but I think his statement was misplaced. He was an arrogant, charismatic man who was hardly a spiritual leader. There were regular meetings and impassioned sermons about changing individual and group karma by chanting. It then became apparent that there was an overseeing heirachy which was controlling and dictated the kinds of themes and discussion material that were produced by the head office. These themes were produced by the dominating figure of the worldwide organization called the Sokka Gakkai. His name is Daisaku Ikeda and he was in fact producing and creating a form of Buddhism which was to do with Ikeda and the way that Ikeda viewed and understood life. We were being indoctrinated into Ikedaism rather than Buddhism. It was a very subtle process. In 1976, there were a handful of Buddhists chanting in England and what was initially clarifying and intense and life changing gradually became hierachical, controlling, demanding and distorting. This was because the interpretations that they put on the teachings of the Buddha were distorted by the Japanese hierarchy. There was also a lot of favoritism on who was to be this leader or that leader of a particular division a. And the organization was divided into mens division, womens, young womens, young mens and childrens division. I would not say it was like the moonies but you can accept anything if you get used to it. So theory, thought, discussion were gradually relegated to advisors and people who gave guidance. These people had no experience in guidance and no understanding of counseling in any shape or form. They were chosen by the hierarchy on high according on what was considered to be their depth of faith. Empowerment was given to some and not to others, dependent upon the foibles and ideas of the various leaders who somehow thought they had a direct conduit to the infinite through their depth of faith. This is how an organization initially democratic and based on the significance and importance of the individual becomes distorted into a church and a hierarchy which disguises all its various conflicts and rituals under the disguise of faith."

Nichiren takes a back seat to Daisaku Ikeda in the SGI

"When learning about Buddhism it is essential we read the publications of Daisaku Ikeda, Nichiren's writings being solely for reference!" -- SGI-UK Youth Division Leader

The So-Called Taisekiji Succession Documents

The So-Called Taisekiji Succession Documents

If the so-called transfer documents from Nichiren to Nikko were at Taisekiji, why did [Nichiko] Hori Shonin, acclaimed as the most outstanding Buddhist scholar in modern Nichiren Shoshu history, in the “Essential Writings of Fuji School Vol. 1, p. 33, say that he had to rely on the copies of “Seven Teachings on the Gohonzon” and “On the Birth of the Original Buddha” that were not kept at Taisekiji Temple?

Nichiko "Shonin" writes,:

“I copied the copies made by Nichizan of Awa Province”

Rev. Tetsujo Kubota, from Kempon Hokke Shu, makes the following points:

Taisekiji claims that in the ninth month of the fifth year of Koan (1282) at Minobu and on the thirteenth day of of the tenth month at Ikegami Nikko received succession documents from the Great Saint. Taisekiji boasting, calls these the “Two Successions” (Nika sojo). But these two are forgeries. On the contrary, they hurt the reputation of their own patriarch Nikko. We will give the reasons below:

(1) If Nikko had been give the approval by the Great Saint of these “Two Successions”, he would have naturally performed the duties of Chief Officiant at the time of Nichiren Shonin’s funeral. However, the forward echelon had Nichiro and the rear echelon Nissho; Nikko was on the left side of the rear echelon.
(2) If the “Two Successions” were true, there would have been no necessity for choosing Six Senior Monks and so on and if he had chosen them he would have made Nikko first. The Six Senior Monks were said to be not in order but they are listed in order of having become Nichiren's disciples.
(3) In the “Two Successions” it says, “The ruler of the country establishes this Dharma (Truth) and erects the Precept Platform of the Temple of the Original Doctrine (Hommonji no Kaidan) at Mount Fuji.

However, according to the “Matters that the Whole Fuji Following Is to Know” (Fuji isseki monto Zonchi no koto), a credible record of Nikko, Nikko says,

“The previous teacher did not set which province and which place. But the general rule of the Buddha Dharma is to choose the very best place to erect the temple.

And that being so, Mount Fuji in Suruga is the most famous mountain in Japan. Therefore, they should erect it here.”

Thus the “former teacher” Nichiren did not fix any place where they should build the Precept Platform of the Temple of the Original Doctrine (Hommonji no Kaidan).

From this fact the “Two Successions” are forgeries.

(4) As to Nikko’s departure from Minobu, had the Two Successions been genuine, he would have certainly rejoiced to go to Fuji. However, in reality, as recorded, he felt regret.

For the above reasons the “two Successions” are bare‑faced forgeries. Even in the Nikko lineage thoughtful people deny the “Two Successions”.

Next, let us try to consider the division of Nichiren’s mementoes. In contrast to Nissho, who received “the Annotated Hokekyo” and Nichiro who received an “Object of Worship: one Standing Statue of Shakya”, Nikko received only “a Horse (one); saddle; tabi; hat; kosode”; etc.

We may tell by looking at Nikko’s “Reply to Lord Hara” that Nikko himself felt dissatisfied by this division of mementoes:

“In place of the Buddha which Daikoku Acharya seized away….” To write that the distribution of mementoes was “seized away” is not reasonable.

Now in Nikko’s “Reply to Lord Hara” he says,

“Is not the Doctrine of Nichiren Shonin the doctrine that, though it is the Tathagata Shakya who is the Original Teacher Who First Gave Rise to the Mind of Enlightenment for the sake of the beings of the Three Worlds, they abandon Him and rely on the Buddha Amida, and so become people who commit the Five Rebellious Sins and fall to the Unremitting Hell?” and so he reverences the Buddha Shakya as the Original Teacher. Or again Nikko states in reverence “the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya of Namu Myoho renge kyo who is the Fundamental Intention (honkai) for Nichiren Shonin’s coming forth in the world”.

In the current Taisekiji branch of the lineage of Nikko’s disciples (Nichiren Shoshu and the Soka Gakkai) they assert that Shakya is a “husk Buddha” and Nichiren is the Original Buddha, “Shakya is like a husk of a cicada and it is Nichiren who is the Original (True) Buddha”. The origin of that assertion is from a reaction to the distribution of mementoes: The image of the Master of Teachings Lord Shakya which Nichiren Shonin kept all his life that went to Nichiro’s lineage.

By the way, after the Great Saint’s decease, the second and third battlelines (generations) in each lineage began to spread the teachings in each region at the risk of their very lives, but, by contrast, as the generations went on from the third to the fourth generation they followed self-interest and asserted that their own lineage had Nichiren Shonin’s special teaching and precious objects and were the orthodox succession and gradually they came to proclaim different doctrines and set up conflicting theories.

From an accumulation of several letters and excerpts from the Manual of Nichiren Buddhism by Rev. Senchu Murano:

Taisekiji Temple preserves the so-called “Two Transfer Documents.”

According to the Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts, published by Nichiren Shoshu International Center in 1983, these documents are:

1. “Nichiren Ichigo Guho Fuzoku Sho” supposedly written by Nichiren at Minobu in September 1282

This document says that Nichiren transferred the entirety of his teachings to Nikko and entrusted him with the mission of propagating true Buddhism.

2. “Minobusan Fuzoku Sho” supposedly written by Nichiren on October 13, 1282.

This document says that Nichiren appointed Nikko as the High Priest of Minobusan Kuonji, and proclaimed that all the disciples of Nichiren should follow Nikko.

The documents are listed as the “Minobu Sojo” and the “Ikegami Sojo” in the Nichiren Shu Shugaku Zensho, Volume II.

Both documents appear for the first time in the “Kyakugojikkajo”, written by Nikkyo (1428-1489) in 1480.  The contents of these two documents are different from those preserved at Taisekiji Temple today.  This is proof that several forgeries had already been made by the time of Nikkyo. Nichido (1283-1341), the fourth Chief Priest of Taisekiji Temple, clearly states in his “Nikkyo Shonin Goden Soan (The Biography of Nikko) that Nikkyo stayed at Minobu for three years, not six as falsely reported.

Minobu Sojo bears the statement that the Hommon no Kaidon should be established at Fujisan Hommonji.  Fujisan Hommonji is another name for Nishiyama Hommonji, which was founded by Nichidai (1294-1394), who had been ousted from Kitayama Hommonji due to a succession dispute.  It appears the Minobu Sojo may have been forged by a chief priest of Nishiyama Hommonji.  At one time, Nishiyama Hommonji was on friendly terms with Taisekiji. Therefore, Taisekiji had no objection to keeping the document although the place of the Kaidan was assigned to Nishiyama Hommonji, and not to Taisekiji.  The two temples became hostile to each other after Taisekiji produced the Ita Honzon.  Incidentally, the dictionary published by Nichiren Shoshu omits the statement about Fujisan Hommonji in the Minobu Sojo that the Hommon no Kaidan should be established at Fujisan Hommonji.

Nichi-u the fourth Chief Priest of Taisekiji Temple said this honzon was transferred from Yashiro to Taisekiji, therefore making Taisekiji the only temple which preserves the most legitimate honzon.

BUT…in the “Fuji-isseki-monto-zonji-no-koto” by Nikko, it states that Honzons should not be engraved on a plank, because it would belittle the value of handwriting.

Quite interestingly, the dictionary published by the Nichiren Shoshu omits the statement about Fujisan Hommonji in the Minobu Sojo that the Hommon no Kaidan should be established at Fujisan Hommonji.

These forgeries were made not by Nikko, but by some of his successors who wished to justify their school by claiming that it was orthodox while other branches of Nichiren Buddhism were not." 

Kyochi Myogo [The Fusion of Subject and Object] and faith

Question: "I have been struggling most recently with how Nichiren approached the question of the subject-object dynamic. In a round about way, its related to my flopping around on the Dharmakaya concept. Basically, I am wondering if the Dharmakaya can be understood as a sort of transcendent subjective (I realize that I am being very clumsy with the treatment of the subtle concepts).

I recalled the concept of the fusion of objective reality with subjective wisdom (jp kyochi myogo) and found in the SGI dictionary that the concept is set forth in Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra - one of Chih-i's commentaries on the Lotus Sutra. Basically, it is a description of the enlightened state, in my understanding, where the subjective is fused with objective reality. 

It is my understanding that Nichiren taught that one is able to achieve this fusion when one chants. 

I was wondering if anyone could elaborate on this idea or if anyone has any knowledge of how Chih-i explains the concept. Thanks"

Answer: Were you only able to become one with the Law while chanting, it would be impossible to benefit people or surmount life's hardships or persecutions. A person is one with the Law and equal to the Three Bodied Tathagata Shakyamuni when one lives the Lotus Sutra whether chanting, converting others, or doing the laundry. There is a reason the Lotus Sutra and Nichiren teach that faith is first and foremost. If it were only possible to become the Buddha while chanting, we would only opt to chant and would be no better than the forest dwelling monks or those who practice Zazen or Vippisana for hours on end. We chant to become the Buddha to benefit the living.

3000 Worlds in a Momentary Existence is intimately tied to The Fusion of Subject and Object. You are what you eat is another expression of an understanding of Fusion of Subject and Object, if not taken literally. From the very first, we were all taught you become what you devote (Namu) yourself to. 3000 Worlds in a Momentary Existence of Life and the Mutual Possession of the Ten Worlds explains the Fusion of Subject and Object. There are two ways to look at the Ten Worlds and their mutual possession. The first is that everyone possess all ten. The other way is that everyone gravitates to one or several of the worlds. From moment to moment, those who are in the Lower Six Worlds are transformed, principally by conditions into remaining in the Lower Six while those in the Four Higher Worlds transform themselves principally through causes requiring great effort through will power consciousness (Ichinen).

If we look at the objects of the beings in the ten worlds, we see that the objects perfectly match the subjects as does the environment in which are found the various beings. 

A 600 lb morbidly obese man's object is food. He is nearly always thinking about food, talking about food, procuring food, or eating food. Whenever he sees food, whether on TV or in a restaurant, he experiences hunger and even while eating giant portions of food he is never satieted. The man's house is a mess with plates and half eaten bowls of food scattered all over his house, the sink stacked with dishes, and an extra jumbo sized refrigerator. The man's heart, liver, and muscles are immersed in fat. This man spends most of his life in the World of Hunger. This man has attained the Kyochi Myogo (Fusion of Subject and Object) of the World of Hunger. 

A Buddha's object is his teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha of the Juryo Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the Three Bodied Tathagata possessing the Law Body, Namu Myoho renge kyo. He is always thinking of the Law, the Buddha, and 'By what shall I cause the masses of beings to enter the Supreme Way and rapidly attain Buddhahood." Whenever he sees a person, through his words and behavior, he teaches the Law. His abode is the Land of Eternal Quiescent Light. He glows with the radiance of the Thus Come One. This man spends most of his time in the World of Buddhahood. This man has attained the Kyochi Myogo of the World of Buddhahood.

Nichiren on how to preach the Lotus Sutra

"According to the above passage of the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai, in this latter age the persons who are lacking in good roots are many, and those who possess them are few. Therefore, many people are doubtless destined to fall into the evil paths in their next existence. And if they are destined for the evil paths in any case, then one should preach the Lotus Sutra to them forcefully and thereby allow them to create a “poison-drum relationship” with the sutra. Hence there can be no doubt that this latter age is the proper time in which to preach the Lotus Sutra to all people, thus enabling them to create a reverse relationship with it by slandering it."

"I know I am on the right path" -- SGI leader

"How could a blind man know if he were on the right path when even a fully sighted man caught in the thicket of wrong views is sure to lose his way?" -- Nichiren

The ordinary believer Nichiren or the wise man Ikeda?

"...Ordinary people in this latter age cannot depend upon others just because they are said to be wise. The people of our present age can hardly hope to compare to the wise persons of long ago. And thus, even the words of someone who is looked on as ignorant, if they are supported by clear passages of proof in the sutras and treatises, are by no means to be scorned."

The one Buddha and all Buddhas

"In the case of the Lotus Sutra, however, all the sutras preached in the first forty and more years are included within this one sutra. The Buddhas of the worlds in the ten directions, who are all endowed with the three bodies, are one and all gathered there, for, as it is explained, all are emanations of the one Buddha, Shakyamuni. Therefore, this one Buddha is none other than all Buddhas, and all Buddhas are thus brought together within the two characters of myōhō."

The "absolute pacifist" Daisaku Ikeda's love affair with the murderous Napolean Bonaparte

What Daisaku Ikeda fails to teach, 

"Three hundred thousand men fought on this murderous day of Sept.7th with an unexampled implacability. Eight hundred canon vomited forth death into the ranks of the two armies. This battle to which the Russians have given the name Borodino and which the French call the battle of La Moscova is one of the most murderous battles which were ever fought...." -- Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Court of the First Empire, Volume 3 By Claude François baron de Méneval

How can intelligent thinking people be drawn into the SGI cult?

by meh from the Cult Education Institute...

While this article focuses on Scientology and Landmark Education, it speaks universally to how intelligent, thinking people can be drawn into a cult.

. . . In fact, indoctrination is tantamount to slow, methodical abuse. And just like other forms of abuse, often by the time you realize what what’s happening, it’s too late. Cults like Scientology initially seem to share universal values. They ask you to just keep yourself open to possibilities. Slowly, they keep pushing until, finally, they’ve established their way of thinking, first as the better alternative, and then as the new normal.

So subtle – I remember one of the things that drew me to SGI was its assertion that it was an organization dedicated to world peace and humanitarian causes. As a wilted flower-child, how could this not appeal to me? It was Buddhism, or so I was told . . . the most pacifistic philosophy going! The mysticism was irresistible, and the people I met were so kind and accepting. To someone relatively new in town who hadn’t made many friends, this was an added bonus. By the time I realized that things weren’t quite as they’d been presented, I was willing to go along with it – it was my new normal, you see.

Both Scientology and Landmark also share similar recruiting methods, using its members as de facto evangelizers. In conversations about Landmark, my boyfriend’s mother repeatedly put me on the spot, forcing me to defend my beliefs. Suddenly I felt like the closed-minded one, arguing with a woman who had welcomed me to her family with open arms.

Certainly, it had to have been my own close-mindedness that started questioning things, right? It couldn’t be that I was seeing cracks in the façade of the practice – they kept telling me, over and over again, that the practice was perfect. I was flawed. When I went to my leaders for guidance, they were kind and understanding, and they gently explained what I had to do to correct my mistaken views – chant more, study more, become a heart-to-heart disciple of my mentor who loved me personally and had only my best interests at heart.

When it came to Landmark, she had an answer for each of my hesitations. I lost sleep. I was under impossible pressure not to disappoint. My hair began to fall out; I had a bald spot the size of a quarter. Finally, I agreed to go to a Landmark “Completion” ceremony, believing it to be a graduation ceremony for her and her peers. In reality, the ceremony was a workshop where those who had “completed” their training were supposed to bring in uninitiated friends and family, and put pressure on them to join the Forum.

Of course – an answer for everything, and tricking people into coming to recruiting meetings. All meetings are recruiting meetings, if there is a non-member there. A non-member will be descended upon with more interest, approval and unwarranted affection than they’ve probably ever received in their lives. There is only goal here – to seduce that member into the group. After they leave, they will be flooded with phone calls, home visits . . . whatever it takes to get them to become one with the herd.

That’s when I realized just how deep the indoctrination had reached. This wonderful, intelligent woman had been a part of the Landmark “community” since 1988. She credited her bravery and personal successes to its methods. At this point, questioning its motives meant questioning her own values, her own sensory and emotional perception. How does one explain to someone who they have spent years of their life and thousands of their hard-earned dollars on something that amounts to a cult?

Does this sound familiar? Every success, whether it was personal, professional or financial, had to be credited back to the good old Mystic Law. A cult-member is utterly without their own power – nothing positive can be accomplished without sufficient placation of the Mystic Law. It is the source to everything good, and the gohonzon stands as its portal.

Members become so closely absorbed into the cult that their own identities are lost. Questioning any of its methods or motives becomes personal; they’ve lost their individuality, and they aren’t even aware of it . . . in fact, they refuse to even examine that possibility. To leave the cult would be to lose whom they’ve become. “I am the SGI” is more than just a banal motto – it’s a firmly-held belief. You don’t need to be you any more.

Indoctrination, in this way, is self-sustaining. To not believe would mean losing something very tangible. Organizations like these are in this way self-policed, the same way a simple game like Truth or Dare is intrinsically enforced by groupthink. Organizations are acutely aware of this, using groupthink, itself, is a methodology.

And that groupthink is reinforced at every opportunity. Every meeting opens with gongyo and closes with a trance-breaking sancho. In between, everyone speaks the various company lines and receives plenty of reinforcement from the other members. Good dog! You don’t want to lose their approval, because it has come to mean almost everything to you. Being accused of creating disharmony is less forgivable than holding up a gas-station.

The prime point of the Lotus Sutra?

It should be an easy matter for SGI to come here to refute our assertion that the oneness of SGI mentor and disciple is not the prime point of the Lotus Sutra. It is not even an inconsequential point. They have devoted literally thousands of pages to explaining this concept. One need only do a Google search, "oneness of mentor and disciple", for example:

Suck up to the rulers [as SGI] or admonish the rulers [as Nichiren and us]?

“Moreover, I know the depth of the obligation owed to one’s ruler far better than you do. If you really wish to show that you understand your debt of gratitude, then you should admonish the ruler from the depths of your heart and forcefully advise him. To follow his orders even when these are contrary to what is right is the act of an utter sycophant and the height of disloyalty.

“King Chou of the Yin dynasty was an evil ruler, and Pi Kan, his loyal minister. When Pi Kan saw that the king was going against what was right in ruling the nation, he vigorously admonished him. As a result, Pi Kan’s breast was ripped open, but after his death, King Chouwas overthrown by the king of the Chou. To the present day, Pi Kan has been known as a loyal minister, and King Chou as an evil ruler.

“When Kuan Lung-feng admonished his sovereign, King Chieh of the Hsia dynasty, he was beheaded. But King Chieh has come to be known as an evil ruler, and Kuan Lung-feng as a loyal minister. We are taught that, if one admonishes one’s sovereign three times and still one’s advice is not heeded, then one should retire to the mountain forests. Why do you nevertheless remain silent while the ruler commits misdeeds in your full view?"

“I have gathered together a few examples of worthies of ancient times who did in fact retire from the world to dwell in the mountain forests. Open your obstinate ears and listen a moment! During the Yin dynasty, T’ai-kung Wang hid himself in a valley called P’o-ch’i; in the Chou dynasty, Po I and Shu Ch’i secluded themselves on Mount Shou-yang; Ch’i Li-chi of the Ch’in dynasty retired to Mount Shang; Yen Kuang of the Han dynasty lived in a solitary lodge; and Chieh Tzu-sui of the state of Chin became a recluse on Mount Mien-shang. Are we to call these men disloyal? Anyone who would do so is a fool. If you understand what it means to be loyal, you will admonish your sovereign, and if you want to be filial, you must speak up."

55 year SGI member excommunicated for enshrining a Nichiren Gohonzon

Since we enshrined the Denpo Gohonzon 5 months ago,after taking down SGI's Nichikan Gohonzon a serene atmosphere has pervaded throughout the house hold and in our daily life and many benefits have been flowing like what the SGI Gohonzon was supposed to do. 

The 3 great secret laws is definitely working through this Gohonzon. I told this to 2 senior SGIA leaders today who came to our house to take back their SGI Gohonzon before excommunicating my wife that had been a member for 55 years. The first half was in Okinawa the 2nd here in the land down under Australia 

You are right when you said this will happen. 

Fancy being excommunicated over having an authentic complete Nichiren inscribed Gohonzon, how bizarre is that

They were insistent that it is more important to have faith in the Ten World Gohonzon that is within than the outward image of Gohonzon and that the other worlds that are missing in the Gohonzon exist in the worlds that are there in the Gohonzon. Mutual possession of the ten worlds kind of thing but with a few of the worlds missing, if you know what I mean 

They said Nichikan was a great Priest who made right the wrongs of the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood that's why they chose his Gohonzon 

They did sansho before the Denpo Gohozon when they arrived and before they left, they said all Gohonzon's are equal. 

Nichiren said on first day of the tenth month of the second year of Kōan (1279) "Buddha fulfilled the purpose of his advent in a little over forty years, the Great Teacher T’ien-t’ai took about thirty years, and the Great Teacher Dengyō, some twenty years. I have spoken repeatedly of the indescribable persecutions they suffered during those years. For me it took twenty-seven years, and the great persecutions I faced during this period are well known to you all. (On Persecutions Befalling the Sage) 

If you look at the charts of the progression of the Gohonzon there was a significant change, in that for the first time Devadatta appeared in the Gohonzon. The true presentation of the oneness of good and evil is now complete and ready for transformation by Myoho Renge Kyo.

Soka Gakkai Land