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Switch to Forum Live View SGI and Daisaku Ikeda
8 years ago  ::  May 28, 2010 - 3:43PM #31
Posts: 1


I am SGI member and I want to make it clear that members are not worshipping Ikeda. Ikeda has repeatedly said that every member has to read the Gosho everyday. In the Gosh it is stated that “Rely on the Law not upon the person" This means that if the gold in the hands of a foolish person is still gold. Many people did not understand this verse and they turn to have different meaning. Is sad.

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8 years ago  ::  Aug 01, 2010 - 1:14AM #32
Posts: 270

Checklist to determine if SGI is a cult:

  • 1. The Guru is always right.
  • 2. You are always wrong.
  • 3. No Exit.
  • 4. No Graduates.
  • 5. Cult-speak.
  • 6. Group-think, Suppression of Dissent, and Enforced Conformity in Thinking
  • 7. Irrationality.
  • 8. Suspension of disbelief.
  • 9. Denigration of competing sects, cults, religions...
  • 10. Personal attacks on critics.
  • 11. Insistence that the cult is THE ONLY WAY.
  • 12. The cult and its members are special.
  • 13. Induction of guilt, and the use of guilt to manipulate cult members.
  • 14. Unquestionable Dogma, Sacred Science, and Infallible Ideology.
  • 15. Indoctrination of members.
  • 16. Appeals to "holy" or "wise" authorities.
  • 17. Instant Community.
  • 18. Instant Intimacy.
  • 19. Surrender To The Cult.
  • 20. Giggly wonderfulness and starry-eyed faith.
  • 21. Personal testimonies of earlier converts.
  • 22. The cult is self-absorbed.
  • 23. Dual Purposes, Hidden Agendas, and Ulterior Motives.
  • 24. Aggressive Recruiting.
  • 25. Deceptive Recruiting.
  • 26. No Humor.
  • 27. You Can't Tell The Truth.
  • 28. Cloning — You become a clone of the cult leader or other elder cult members.
  • 29. You must change your beliefs to conform to the group's beliefs.
  • 30. The End Justifies The Means.
  • 31. Dishonesty, Deceit, Denial, Falsification, and Rewriting History.
  • 32. Different Levels of Truth.
  • 33. Newcomers can't think right.
  • 34. The Cult Implants Phobias.
  • 35. The Cult is Money-Grubbing.
  • 36. Confession Sessions.
  • 37. A System of Punishments and Rewards.
  • 38. An Impossible Superhuman Model of Perfection.
  • 39. Mentoring.
  • 40. Intrusiveness.
  • 41. Disturbed Guru, Mentally Ill Leader.
  • 42. Disturbed Members, Mentally Ill Followers.
  • 43. Create a sense of powerlessness, covert fear, guilt, and dependency.
  • 44. Dispensed existence
  • 45. Ideology Over Experience, Observation, and Logic
  • 46. Keep them unaware that there is an agenda to change them
  • 47. Thought-Stopping Language. Thought-terminating clichés and slogans.
  • 48. Mystical Manipulation
  • 49. The guru or the group demands ultra-loyalty and total committment.
  • 50. Demands for Total Faith and Total Trust
  • 51. Members Get No Respect. They Get Abused.
  • 52. Inconsistency. Contradictory Messages
  • 53. Hierarchical, Authoritarian Power Structure, and Social Castes
  • 54. Front groups, masquerading recruiters, hidden promoters, and disguised propagandists
  • 55. Belief equals truth
  • 56. Use of double-binds
  • 57. The cult leader is not held accountable for his actions.
  • 58. Everybody else needs the guru to boss him around, but nobody bosses the guru around.
  • 59. The guru criticizes everybody else, but nobody criticizes the guru.
  • 60. Dispensed truth and social definition of reality
  • 61. The Guru Is Extra-Special.
  • 62. Flexible, shifting morality
  • 63. Separatism
  • 64. Inability to tolerate criticism
  • 65. A Charismatic Leader
  • 66. Calls to Obliterate Self
  • 67. Don't Trust Your Own Mind.
  • 68. Don't Feel Your Own Feelings.
  • 69. The cult takes over the individual's decision-making process.
  • 70. You Owe The Group.
  • 71. We Have The Panacea.
  • 72. Progressive Indoctrination and Progressive Commitments
  • 73. Magical, Mystical, Unexplainable Workings
  • 74. Trance-Inducing Practices
  • 75. New Identity — Redefinition of Self — Revision of Personal History
  • 76. Membership Rivalry
  • 77. True Believers
  • 78. Scapegoating and Excommunication
  • 79. Promised Powers or Knowledge
  • 80. It's a con. You don't get the promised goodies.
  • 81. Hypocrisy
  • 82. Denial of the truth. Reversal of reality. Rationalization and Denial.
  • 83. Seeing Through Tinted Lenses
  • 84. You can't make it without the cult.
  • 85. Enemy-making and Devaluing the Outsider
  • 86. The cult wants to own you.
  • 87. Channelling or other occult, unchallengeable, sources of information.
  • 88. They Make You Dependent On The Group.
  • 89. Demands For Compliance With The Group
  • 90. Newcomers Need Fixing.
  • 91. Use of the Cognitive Dissonance Technique.
  • 92. Grandiose existence. Bombastic, Grandiose Claims.
  • 93. Black And White Thinking
  • 94. The use of heavy-duty mind control and rapid conversion techniques.
  • 95. Threats of bodily harm or death to someone who leaves the cult.
  • 96. Threats of bodily harm or death to someone who criticizes the cult.
  • 97. Appropriation of all of the members' worldly wealth.
  • 98. Making cult members work long hours for free.
  • 99. Total immersion and total isolation
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    7 years ago  ::  Sep 17, 2011 - 3:59PM #33
    Posts: 2,483
    In every Religion and Religious sects there are good people and bad people and I'm sure its no different with SGI.
    "A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry
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    7 years ago  ::  Sep 30, 2011 - 10:52AM #34
    Posts: 595

    With respect to the question of what is or is not a so called cult, in all cases it all must come down to what is most true and correct.  Each person should always be conferred the utmost respect and have the right to decide for themselves.  But in just about all cases involving a spiritual teaching which proportedly offers a doorway to the higher consciousness the person entering must always proceed forth on faith first.  The practice of Nichiren Buddhism is no exception.  

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    7 years ago  ::  Oct 17, 2011 - 5:01PM #35
    Posts: 595

    Apr 1, 2008 -- 10:01AM, Truth27 wrote:

    Hello,  As someone investigating SGI for the purpose of possibly becoming a member, I am curious about the place of Daisaku Ikeda as "mentor" to all members.  He is a flawed human being, as are we all.  Should he be so venerated as to be seen as a model for all SGI members?  He is the inheriter of administrative leadership of a Society for the Creation of Value from Makiguchi and Toda.  That seems to be all that matters in my eyes.  That he keep the lay organization organized and running.  Should he be venerated for that?  Is that a Japanese thing that SGI is coopting?  What will happen when Ikeda dies?  Will we venerate whoever replaces him in this manner?  Or will authority be less centralized and demogogic?  What are peoples thoughts?  Are people required to orient themselves with Ikeda as their "mentor" in order to truly be a member of SGI?  If so, why?  Thanks.

    Since I have been practicing in concert with the same practice, goals, intentions, views  and respect for Daisaku Ikeda's leadership and Buddhist wisdom throughout my life I have a clear grasp of this question and can offer an insightful answer.  

    It is very difficult to walk in another man's shoes and see the world the way they see it. Daisaku Ikeda is a Japanese man born at a time of great turmoil and a horrifc reality during the age of world war two. He lost two brothers in the war, his home was bombed out and he witnessed his mother go through great suffering.  The Japanese of the time were going through great soul searching as to the direction of their country and questioning the spiritual and philosophical foundations upon which their culture was founded. At the heart of all human cultures one finds the same universal values common to all life and humanity; a desire for peace, happiness and love of family and friends.  These are conditions which bring joy and pleasure to all human beings.  Of course such conditions require the youth filled passions of strength of body and mind, the love and honor of one's parents and good health. All human beings are guided by and seek to indulge in the universal values of life. 

    Men like Daisaku Ikeda and his Japanese mentors, practitioners of Nichiren Buddhism before him were living through a period of a growing social consciousness regarding the value, meaning and purpose of democratic institutions and the fostering of a democratic governmental system and the empowerment of the grass roots people.  This proces began with the actions of Nichiren 700 years earlier and was picked up by the leaders of the Soka Gakkai during the turmoils of the second world war.

    The process of democratization among the nations of the Earth is a developing phenomena that has been unfolding since mankind began to organize into large centralized social bodies anchored by the phased development of expanding economic systems. When viewed from the standpoint of the social consciousness and evolutionary cognitive capacity these are all relatively recent developments of the last 5000 years. 

    In the evolution of human conscousness, the role of religious / spiritual throught is central.  And within the evolution of religious views Buddhism stands at the very forefront of a supremely intelligent self reflective thought process. Among Buddhisms many virtuous is the principle of honesty, sincerity and fidelity to that which is most true and yields the manifested effects of actual benefit and good fortune to peoples lives. In terms of benefit there are many layers of benefit as we expand our view from individual to collective to the most all encompassing and universal forms of benefit. Buddhism addresses the range of these matters from their roots to their most far reaching range.  This is a component of the BUddha's mastery of the laws of Life and the most correct forms of living and the taking of actions.  

    Within the trajectory of Buddhism's flow from India, to China and Japan there is much proof, in terms of theoretical Buddhist principles, documentary proof and actual proof which substantiates the ever deeper insights in Buddhist philosophy.  These developments are reflected in the threads of philosphical discourse which have come to be distiguished by concepts such as Hinayana, provisional Mahayana, universal mahayana, esoteric Mahayana and exoteric Mahayana.

    As for the development of the latter form, exoteric Mahayana, this principle derives most principally in the development and study of the meaning and philosophy of the Lotus Sutra; the most revered, most honored and celebrated teaching of Mahayana Buddhism.  It is in the 23rd chapter of this sutra that we find the following teachings,

    “O Nakṣatrarājasaṃkusumitābhijña! Just as the ocean is the greatest of
    streams and rivers and of all waters, this Lotus Sutra is the most profound of
    the sutras taught by the Tathāgatas. Just as Mount Sumeru is the greatest of
    mountains—greater than Earth Mountain, Black Mountain, Mount Cakravāḍa,
    Mount Mahācakra vāḍa, and the ten jeweled mountains—this Lotus Sutra is
    the greatest of the sutras.

    “O Nakṣatrarājasaṃkusumitābhijña! This sutra saves all sentient beings.
    This sutra makes all sentient beings free from suffering. This sutra greatly
    benefits all sentient beings and brings their aspirations to fulfillment, just as
    a clear, cool pond satisfies the thirsty, as a fire satisfies those suffering from
    cold, as clothes for the naked, as a caravan leader for merchants, as a mother
    for her children, as a boat for the traveler, as a physician for the sick, as a
    lamp for the gloom, as a treasure for the poor, as a king for the people, as the
    sea for traders, and a torch for those in darkness. In the same way, this Lotus
    Sutra frees sentient beings from every suffering, all the pains and bonds of
    illness and of birth and death. If there is anyone who hears this Lotus Sutra,
    copies it, or moves others to copy it, their merit will be limitless even if it is
    measured through the Buddha’s wisdom.

    We the find the following statement.

    “Those who hold to this sutra are the best of all sentient beings. The bodhisattvas
    are the best of all śrāvakas and pratye kabuddhas. In the same way, this
    sutra is the best of all sutras. Just as the Buddha is the King of the Dharma, this
    sutra is the King of Sutras.

    For this reason, O Nakṣatrarāja -
    saṃkusumitābhijña, I will entrust you with this chapter ‘Ancient Accounts
    of Bodhisattva Bhaiṣajyarāja.’ During the period of five hundred years after
    my parinirvāṇa you must spread it far and wide in Jambudvīpa and not allow
    it to be destroyed. You must not give Māra and his men, or the devas, nāgas,
    yakṣas, and kum bhāṇḍa demons any chance of destroying it. O Nakṣatrarāja -
    saṃkusumitābhijña! You should protect this sutra with your transcendent
    power. Why is this? Because this sutra is good medicine for the ills of the
    people of Jambudvīpa. If there is any sick person who hears this sutra, his
    illness will disappear, and he will neither die nor grow old. O Nakṣatrarāja -
    saṃkusumitābhijña! If you see anyone who holds to this sutra, you should
    scatter blue lotus flowers full of scented powder on him

    The above passages point to the profound mandate, vow and mission of those who aspire to the Buddhist path in the latter age of the Dharma.  Considering that timing is everything, the founding leaders of the Soka Gakkai are men who aspire to the great mandate of the Lotus Sutra, "to spread this teaching far and wide" proceeding with the great confidence and support of all the Buddhas.  This is a matter of one's own faith, practice and understanding of the deepest principles of Buddhism and actions taken in the world to carry them out. 

    This matter can only be understood within one's own self experience within matters of faith and practice. This is the inner meaning of the following phrase made by the Buddha in the 2nd chapter of the Lotus Sutra concering the wisdom of expedient means and the paramita of wisdom.

    “O Śāriputra! To put it briefly, the buddhas have attained this immeasurable,
    limitless, and unprecedented Dharma. Enough, O Śāriputra, I will
    speak no further. Why is this? Because the Dharma that the buddhas have
    attained is foremost, unique, and difficult to understand. No one but the
    buddhas can completely know the real aspects of all dharmas. 





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