Robin "Nichiren" Buddhist of the Ikeda Sect responds to the post, The Soka Gakkai is a Destructive Cult by Definition:
1). Destructive cults actively recruit new members, often through deceptive “front” organization
Robin: Many thanks for responding to my post. I’ll try and respond to your points as best I can. I’ve had a quick look at your blog to try and familiarize myself with your beliefs.
I found it a little difficult to search around your site though and while some people may look forward to all the SGI / IKEDA posts, I have enjoyed reading the articles I’ve come across that focus specifically on the LOTUS SUTRA and would genuinely like to know more about the BASICS of Kempon Hokke, but as the blog seems predominantly anti-SGI, it’s hard to find the basics of your faith and practice. As a gentle suggestion, it might be an idea to add labels to your posts, so that people can find SGI, LOTUS or KEMPON posts more easily.
Mark: The basics of the Kempon Hokke are the same Three Treasures and Three Great Secret Laws as taught by Nichiren Daishonin and the principle of the Transmission Through the Scrolls of the Sutra [Gohonzon and Twenty--Eight Chapter Lotus Sutra] and Writings of Nichiren Daishonin. We Chant the Daimoku, Namu Myoho renge kyo and recite the Second and 16th Chapters of the Lotus Sutra as prescribed by Nichiren:
Robin: Personally, as an enquiring mind, I would much rather have the facts of your religion and then decide for myself what to believe in rather than just be continually told why I shouldn’t believe in something else.
Mark: The writing, Establishment of the Correct Law for the Peace of the Land teaches, "Rather than offering up ten thousand prayers for remedy, it would be better simply to outlaw this one evil."
The facts of our religion are easy to research and readily appreciated through our faith and practice. Outlawing the "one great evil" of the Soka Gakkai is a difficult endeavor. Our struggle with the Fuji sects is no less serious and profound than Nichiren's struggle with the Pure Land and Shingon.
Robin: While the anti-SGI stuff may attract a lot of support from like-minded people, it may turn off some people that are actually interested in learning the differences between the Nichiren Sects and deciding for themselves which one is teaching the true Buddhism of the Lotus Sutra. Countless examples of why the SGI is wrong, is not proof that Kempon Hokke is right and may turn away the very audience you are hoping to reach.
Mark: Several points: At this time, we are far more concerned about quality and preserving the correct teachings than we are with numbers. The spread of the true teachings will last as long as the Latter Day, for ten thousand years and more and the number of faithful believers, according to Nichiren [at least for the forseeable future], will be less than the amount of dirt that can fit on a fingernail; we are growing at a rate of hundreds of percent a year and our members are not drawn solely from the SGI, the Nichiren Shoshu, and the Nichiren Shu. We are attracting new members, with little or no background in Nichiren's Lotus Sutra Buddhism who are as fresh as the first blossoms of spring.;I advise you to worry more about the deeply flawed teachings of the Ikeda Cult that is hemorrhaging members than the Pure and Perfect teachings of the Kempon Hokke that is experiencing steady growth.
1). The SGI has the Boston Research Center, the Institute for Oriental Philosophy, and others where their affiliation to SGI is rarely if ever mentioned.
Robin: The Boston Research Center is now called the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue and the Institute for Oriental Philosophy mentions its association with the SGI on its UK homepage and the history page of the IOP Japan page. Maybe these have just been updated since your post on May 12.
Mark: The SGI also has dozens, if not hundreds, of deceptive front organizations, some that you might be familiar with, such as Victory Over Violence, and others that I'm sure even you are not familiar with, for example: SGI has several charter schools in the United States where even some of the teachers don't know that they are funded and sponsored by the Soka Gakkai; Artists for Peace and Justice; the Japanese equivalent of our 7/11 chain; travel agencies; recording studios; iShining and Phiten products; PCE International; and The Shachokai, a group which consists of CEOs from SG front companies; the World Poetry Society; and here's a list of Soka Gakkai owned companies:
Not to mention their association [cemetary business, banking etc.] with the largest defense contractor in Japan, the Mitsubitchi corporation.