"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."