As slogans which essentially explain Soka Gakkai are the following list of nine subjects:
Soka Gakkai Based on Nichiren Shoshu.
Soka Gakkai to Fulfill Saint Nichiren's Dying Injunction.
Soka Gakkai of Obutsu Myogo [unity of politics and religion].
Soka Gakkai of Kosen Rufu.
Soka Gakkai, The Philosophy of Life of The World.
Soka Gakkai, The Essence of Oriental Buddhism.
Soka Gakkai, The Creator of Gain, Goodness, Beauty.
Soka Gakkai of Mercy and Philosophy.
Soka Gakkai, The Thought of The Twenty First Century.
In a word, their aim is to thoroughly hammer these into the membership. It is correct to say that Soka Gakkai intends to "breed" their membership to conform to the "owner's thought."
It is much simpler for the leaders of Soka Gakkai, by the magic of words and the display of slogans, to control and mainpulate the membership than it is for them to teach them what religion is really all about. The membership sees only the slogans and as a result they give the staff a carte blanche. As far as the uncritical membership is concerned, the meaning of the slogans is irrelevant. We may say that they could care less about the slogans. Since they are completely ignorant about their meaning it does not matter too much about their form. Once a member has been brain-washed by Soka Gakkai, it is Soka Gakkai itself which becomes the object of the fascination. Therefore all slogans serve to fasten them to Soka Gakkai. Soka Gakkai forever!
The most important work of the staff, even more important than their own religious service, is that of thoroughly indoctrinating the membership with these slogans. For the membership, their life is mainly concerned with chanting these slogans and "Nam-myoho Renge kyo." Besides, they directly relate religion to material gain and loss in their lives, and Buddhism for them means victory or defeat in life. They spend their days, from morning till night, always denouncing other religions as evil religions, and unreservedly displaying their fighting spirit.
The original task of religion is to help human beings, but for the Soka Gakkai member it is the mounting pressure of "business" which is the principal activity of their daily lives. Perhaps in repeating this ceaseless struggle they are aiming at profit and gain. This activity is in sharp contrast to the expressions of their slogans. Nevertheless, every time they open their mouths, the staff members utter such expressions as: "It is you, the members, who are the Soka Gakkai." However, up to the present time, it is the staff rather than the membership which has been propping up Soka Gakkai. So when someone among the membership does something disgraceful they will nonchalantly reply: "among so many members there are a few crude ones," implying that only among the enlisted ranks are there a few soldiers who are crude, but not one amongst the officers and non-commisioned officers. It is not exaggerating to say that the members exist only for the purpose of being ordered around by the staff. The "support by the members is mostly in the form of their purchases, which consume the vast output of publications of Soka Gakkai, and their offerings which are necessary to maintain the organization. That is to say, they are esteemed as "osaisen teikyo sha" (contributors of offerings).
Soka Gakkai's charity follows the system of always giving priority to the merit of the group, rather than to the expedience and merit of faith. After all, the first consideration is the maintainence of the organization and the cultivation of its power. Under such circumstances it is required of the member that he incessantly practice shakubuku, and by so doing may become a "hancho" (group captain) or a "butaicho" (corps leader). In ordinary life members who would never be able to gain any title, of a kind can through the favor of Soka Gakkai, have the honor and responsiblity of such a title as "chief" and it is for them a deeply emotional experience beyond our imagination. The performance of Soka Gakkai's staff in stimulating moderately a desire to succeed in life and a dissatisfaction with society in general, and in concentrating on these slogans, is indeed a skilful one.
Such stimulation and caressing of the membership, and the manner in which this tactic is increased or decreased in tempo, according to the existing state of things, is displayed to the highest degree at election time.
"Victory through the efforts of the Youth Division."
"Victory depends upon the Women's Division." "Toward complete victory by united efforts of all members." Such inspiring words, one after the other, fairly leap out of the mouths of the staff members, and when they come from the lips of President Ikeda, the members are deeply moved, and are much more zealous, so that with a sincerity that borders on stupidity, they engage feverishly in election activities that come close to violating the election laws. For the member, Soka Gakkai is absolute, and it is not necessary that he know what the policies are all about.
A friend of mine did a rather mischievous thing. It was on the occasion of receiving a telephone call with this request:
"Please vote for the Komeito candidate."
"Did you call me up on your own volition or were you asked to do so?", my friend inquired.
"I called you up on my own," came the reply after a pause. My friend: "Do you know your candidate's platform?"
My Friend: "Please explain his platform to me."
Caller: (Apparently consulting with someone) "He stands for cleaning up politics and establishing clean government." My friend: "So do all the other candidates. Any other policies?"
Caller: (Consulting with someone for a while). "To defend the Constitution and promote peace.
My friend: "All the other parties advocate this too. Any more?"
Caller: (Again after consultation with someone) "Reduce taxes and lower prices.'
My friend: "All the other candidates advocate this too. Any others?"
Caller: (After being silent for a while) "Welfare economy and welfare of the masses.
"What is the difference between your platform and that of the Democratic Socialist Party?"
Caller: (No reply)
My Friend: "Is there some policy which is characteristic of your candidate which is different from the policies of the others?"
After a while slams down the receiver.
My friend's mischief might have been carried to the extreme, but members engaging in electioneering, in spite of being unable to answer even such simple questions, embarrass themselves, and in a way, we can't help feeling sorry for them.
At the present time, Komeito's earnest activity in the Diet and Soka Gakkai's serious movement is mainly concentrated on four points: Opposition to the minor constituency system; prohibition, except by individuals, of political contributions; relaxing rectrictions of election campaigning; and investigation of political corruption.
At present, the minor constituency system poses a certain danger which could mean the downfall of Komeito. Under the minor constituency system Komeito has no real capacity to send successful candidates in large quantity into the Diet. In this regard, they cooperate in a frantic effort even with the Communist Party, although ordinarily they find it difficult to live under the same sky with them.
By revising the law concerning the Regulation of Political Funds and Expenditures and limiting contributions to individuals and amounts they can contribute, and finally, in the future an attempt to abolish political contributions altogether, would mean the end financially for the other parties. If political contributions from the financial world and the labor unions are prohibited, the Liberal Democratic Party, the Socialist Party, and the Democratic Socialist Party will all be dealt a hard blow. These three parties put in an extraordinary amount of money into elections in comparison to Komeito. If they should be limited in their financial support, they would find themselves in a most difficult position.
If contributions by individuals were prohibited, the amount of money which parties other than Komeito can receive from their members would be so small that it would be out of the question, since the other parties are not well established in their organization. Even the Communist Party, in order to carry on their political activities and campaigning, is using ever larger sums of money, and they would certainly suffer. The number of the Communist Party's members who pay membership dues, is, as a practical matter, very small. By comparison, Komeito does not need to spend large sums in elections, and it is so well organized and flexible that it at any time can mobilize millions of its party members, so that if contributions were prohibited, they would suffer hardly at all. Soka Gakkai with this setup would well prepare Komeito's fund.
Relaxation of restrictions of election campaigning refers to freedom of house-to-house canvassing, unlimited advertising and freedom of repeated calls, etc. The principle tactic used by Komeito in election campaigns is the house-to-house canvass, which they devoloped in their shakubuka activities and which they can use to great advantage. In the present election law, to practise this type activity is difficult and even if the term is limited during election, is a severe blow to them. At any rate, in their assertions about freedom of election campaigning, it is the house-to-house canvass which comes to the surface very clearly.
Finally, the investigation of political corruption refers to a clean up in the political world. Since Komeito is a new political party, they have little temptation toward corruption. For this reason, they are in position with peace of mind to make their entrance to purify the political world. Being in such a position they can in their own way, seriously injure the other parties. Demand for clean up of the political world would be most profitable to Komeito.
Concerning the controversial small electoral system: 1) Votes for unsuccessful candidates increase 2) a great danger of one-party dictatorship 3) gerrymandering for a party's interest is practised. 4) factional strife is intensified 5) corrupion of elections increase 6) regional bosses have an advantage 7) election campaigns become fiercely contested, etc. These are the reasons for their opposition to the small electoral system.
They say that the reason that the Liberal Democratic Party supports this system, in spite of its harmful influences, is no other reason than that they are aiming at one-party dictatorship, the revision of the present Constitution for worse, not better, to promote military re-armament. For these reasons, Komeito opposes it, but finally in introducing the Opposition of re-armament, they are the same as the Socialist and the Communist Party. In so far as other parties are opposed to this small electoral system, they will work together with them.
In the long run, Komeito's tactics of raising political movement is completely self-centered. There is no other party which shows so openly their party interests and party concerns. Besides, their party policies and interests are thoughtless. They really care very little whether the people of the nation appreciate them, and speaking excessively, if only President Ikeda praises them, they are satisfied, and so they will continue th~ir present course.
Political leadership with a view to heightening the political consciousness of the members is almost unpracticed Instead they prefer that they become and remain ignorant. Perhaps we could express their desires thus: "Become more foolish! Then you will follow us silently". It is no exaggeration to say that they are leading the party members in their own way to follow ignorantly, silently, and to gather votes as Komeito orders and are keeping them under the party's control.
If democracy takes one false step, there is a good possiblity that it will turn into mob rule. One of the problems lurking behind the motives for which the Soka Gakkai, as a religious power itself, entered the Diet, is that of ~~ignorantization" of the people concerning Democracy. If Soka Gakkai~Komeito is not in the vanguard of the popularization of politics, but is rather benighting the people, then we must admit that this is a most serious problem. "