"I'm so relieved to be out and away from the gakkai." -- Former Soka Gakkai Regional YMD leader
I can relate to your post, I was once of a similar mind, constantly at odds with the org and the practice and the people, but desperately trying to defend it's "righteousness" bc that is what they train us to do.
You realize they train us to be narrow-minded in the SGI, right? Looking back on it now, I can't believe I held onto it so strongly, for so long.
There is a whole wide world out there, that has nothing to do with SGI, and there is nothing wrong with that. The rest of the world and reality itself actually imo is vastly more multi-faceted and flexible....the gakkai is old, rigid and covered with cobwebs of the past. The landscape of SGI is one of forced direction from the top-down, manic, arrogant, stubborn and exhausted leaders and members, guests are put off by the fake, forced happiness and in the back of every members head is a constant stream of how they can "win" at all times. Settling in contrast the background or the distance of "winning" is a quiet desperation at the thought of there being any kind of failure, actually when there is failure it is covered up, chanted away or explained away by something ikeda said in the all-too-many SGI books and publications which I can now confidently say are some of the most pretentious, monotonous and maddeningly repetitive pages of the same old text. Like a maze of endless loops, with no way out, only to go on and on forever clinging to the gohonzon, ikeda, and senior leaders.
There is nothing wrong with admitting truth to oneself, and there is nothing wrong with making mistakes in life and being a human being. I fear that, while I regret to say so, SGI in the end robs us of our true personalities, our ability to stand alone as dignified human beings and even our very nature as sentient, emotional and complex living beings.
Looking back on my time spent among and as a higher-up leader, I'm so thankful that it didn't take me much longer than a few months among this "exclusive" crowd of leaders to realize the pressures they were laying on me were blatant expressions of absolute and reprehensible disregard for my real-life struggles outside of the org.
Quite frankly, they don't care what your problems are, they barely acknowledge them before flapping their tongues in a condescending rapport of invalidation, disrespect, forced happiness and deflection. Everything is always "explained away" before a true conversation can unfold.
At any rate, whatever your problems may be, their answer is always the same: force the ideals of the org onto more new people. They seep this poison into our minds, confusing us on a very basic level as far as the concept of inter-connectedness and compassion/communication goes, to the point where we externalize everything far away from where such thoughts and ideas should be held.
The soka gakkai externalizes everything, you are not allowed a moment's respite in the form of soothing self-reflection or quiet brainstorming, because they make us chant, chant , chant instead!!!
The chanting becomes a source of mind-numbing after so long, which we mistake as benefit. Even mixing up such basic words such as fortune and benefit, everything has now become so intentionally polarized that we are lost in this mad sea of gakkai-life. And it wears on us day after day, no one can escape that trapped feeling. We truly believe we are bound to the scroll for all eternity, truly, what version of active and living hell could be much worse?
The org seeks to drain all people of their time and energy, it gleefully steals away our hearts (and I think the gohonzon does, as well) and we are left with only this rigid, un-balanced and inflexible way of living our lives, which happens to be very lonesome.
I'm so relieved to be out and away from the gakkai.....I have had the opportunity to face my true self, to deal with reality on reality's terms, get closer to family, cut out TONS of energy-draining vampire-friends, see with eyes unclouded by overt religious zeal, and just learn to be a balanced, normal person like all the rest of humanity that isn't a part of the gakkai world.