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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

"Hi, could you tell me about the old SGI conventions?"

The three SGI conventions I went to were: Boston [year?] with that giant photograph of Ikeda next to George Washington and Ben Franklin; New York 1976; and Chicago [1982?]. Despite putting on the biggest parade in New York City history [July 4th] and the non-stop pre and post-parade activities, very few new people joined. 

What I got out of the conventions is, you can take the leaders of SGI out of Japan but not Japan out of the leaders: Lots of walkie talkies; marching; standing in the sun and under the stars; milling around the control center; people movements; "protecting" leaders; chanting to pictures of Ikeda; working up to a hundred hours a week for a month or more in advance; costumes; brass band; shows; fireworks; cheap food; little sleep; rally after rally.... SGI was both militaristic and cult like.

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