EDIT: Since I wrote this review, a number of SGI members, who are not Yelpers and have no reviews, have reached out to me by messaging me here. Please know that I will block SGI members who reach out to me "just to talk" based on this Yelp review. This is a platform for user experience reviews. The below is one such review. Thanks.
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SGI practitioners chant for material things. They also chant for non-material things. I believe there are issues with SGI.
My personal experience lasted three years and went as follows:
1. I visited the home of SGI practitioners. 2. We chanted daimoku. 3. There would be a talk session. 4. Someone in the group talked about how evil Jews are. 5. The Japanese people in the group (who had been with SGI for a long, long time) would enable the "evil Jews" and "Israel is evil" talk by stating, "Why are *they* like that?" 6. I would counter the "evil Jews" moderator and tell him he didn't know what he was talking about, and let's switch the topic. Usually, he would then extol the virtues of Hamas. I wish I were making this up. 7. Another time, we had a meeting on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and no one bothered to mention Martin Luther King Jr. At all. Daisaku Ikeda ALWAYS talks about MLKJr as if Ikeda wants to emulate him. It was bizarre that MLKJr. was overlooked. Or maybe this was part of the plan? When I spoke up and said, "I think we should remember that we are having this meeting on MLKJr. day and the right thing to do would be to mention him," a Japanese SGI member stood up almost school-marmy to ask me to be quiet. Again, bizarre. 8. I had to complain about the meeting "topics" to higher ups at SGI. Nothing discussed on this issue or resolved. 9. I then advised the higher ups that I was sending my SGI stuff to Japan, to Mr. Ikeda, with an explanation why. 10. When I decided to leave SGI, I was followed on the train by SGI folks for several days. This had never happened before. I posted something on my social media channel about it, and it stopped.
The person who recruited me, I found her posting tons of anti-Israel stuff on Facebook. I mean, really hateful, biased stuff. She is from Nigeria (doesn't the whole world have a bone to pick with THAT country?). I thought SGI was a loving, accepting, Buddha-like group. (Also -- I could be wrong, but I believe SGI's position is officially anti-Israel).
Once, during a home visit, a Japanese SGI practitioner commented on my gas fireplace as being a "nice Jewish fireplace." I had never heard that expression before, but I was more shocked that the Japanese SGI lady would think that was a perfectly normal thing to say to another person.
There are wonderful things about Nichiren Buddhism.SGI...I am not 100% sure about.
I was introduced to SGI many many years ago. It has apparently since been re-organized after scandals, but I am, as of tonight, not sure that the re-organization has helped much. When I joined, the organization was accepting of all comers. I came to NYC and didn't find where to go, so I have just continued my practice on my own. Tonight, I was invited by a friend to her home for dinner. There I found that everyone was SGI. I thought that would be pleasant. Instead, one person accused me of not knowing Spanish, and when I spoke Spanish, which he did not understand, to him, he told me to go back to Puerto Rico (I am not from Puerto Rico) One woman was telling tales about an armless saint. She told me I have never been to Japan (I have, but she insisted it was not true - I did not have my passport on me to show the visa, and I don't think I should have been made to feel such a necessity - why would a person I don't know accuse me of lying?) Another gentleman told me that I would have to go to upstate NY to experience the proper SGI (I'm sorry, I work 7 days a week and cannot afford to take time off to do that - when did this religion become elitist? When I started with SGI, we worked to help the homeless). In short, I do not really think I would like to become involved with such a racist, exclusivist, and ignorant group. I will just continue chanting by myself, and chant for my friend to keep her eyes open to what is going on around her. When I was SGI, people were welcoming, and we did not jeer at others because of their background, and we did not tell others that they could not have a good practice if they did not go to Japan or if they did not go to some other city. What is the organization about anyway? Tina Turner likes it, but then she has a lot of money and can go wherever she wants to go whenever she likes. What was the racism about? What was the nastiness about -- I had never met any of these people but they turned on me like a pack of wolves, and all I said was that yes, I chant. It was a very sick experience. If it had been my first introduction to SGI, I would never learn another thing about what there is there. As it is, I just think that SGI has made some ugly turn, and I don't want to be involved with it (I will also be very shy of accepting invitations from this friend ever again, seeing as she didn't see to mind seeing her friends attack me so viciously. I suppose she needs these new friends, but they may eventually cause her to lose all of her old friends)