The SGI is a Destructive Cult

The SGI is a Destructive Cult by Definition:

1). Destructive cults actively recruit new members, often through deceptive “front” organizations. The SGI has the Boston Research Center, the Institute for Oriental Philosophy, and others where their affiliation to SGI is rarely if ever mentioned.

2). Destructive cults claim to offer absolute Truth. Their teachings are not (to them) mere theory or speculation. The most effective cult doctrines are those which are unverifiable and unevaluable. The SGI claims that their believers are the only Nichiren Lotus Sutra believers capable of obtaining Buddhahood, going so far to claim that all SGI members are Buddhas while those of the Nichiren Shu and Kempon Hokke are “deluded Shakyamuni worshippers”.

3). Destructive cults reduce everything to a bi-polar attitude: “for us, or against us.” Anyone who criticizes the SGI, no matter how wise, is a fool and anyone who praises the SGI, no matter how foolish, is wise. Daisaku Ikeda writes, for example: “Seven years have passed since then. The outcome of the struggle of good and evil and the workings of the law of cause and effect have been strict and uncompromising. The decline of the crazed and destructive Nichiren Shoshu is clearly apparent. The victims, unfortunately, are the lay believers who practice with the temple, who are not aware of Nichiren Shoshu’s evil and have been deceived by the priests.”

4). Destructive cults generate some kind of external “pet devil” with which to threaten their members if they should doubt, or fail, or ever leave the group. The SGI has dozens of “pet devils”. Those who leave will have misfortune on their jobs, in their families, in the social lives, have accidents, fall into hell, etc. President Toda stated: “If you keep this up, you’re going to come to a pitiful end in life.” and “Betraying the Soka Gakkai is betraying the Daishonin. In the end, they’ll receive the punishment of the Buddha, you’ll see.” Ikeda says, “To take action to fight against whatever forces appear as the enemies of the Soka Gakkai is our most noble mission.” Matilda Buck says, “How tragic it would be for even one person to have found the great means of bringing forth Buddhahood only to be diverted to another, seemingly similar, path that is incapable of leading that individual to his or her deepest happiness.” This is the gist of the Gakkai’s attempt to chain the members to the Gakkai way of life. The Biggest ”pet devil” is Nikken of the Nichiren Shoshu: “When Buddhism speaks of “devilish functions,” what does that really mean? These represent whatever tries to prevent us from advancing in our Buddhist practice. In a sense, they are frightened when we expand the Buddha?s forces, because the realm they want to control will then be changed into a pure land. In our case right now, this function is being manifested in the current high priest of Nichiren Shoshu.”

5). Destructive cults lead their members to believe they are somehow superior to all other humans on the earth. In many of Ikeda’s speeches we see how the SGI members are to view themselves: “Sons of the Gakkai”, “inheritors of Myoho”, “Lions of the Mystic Law”, “the sole group of true believers”, “Truly praiseworthy are you who resolve to work hard for kosen-rufu and the SGI. You are the most noble of all people.”

6). Destructive cults put the will of the group above the will of the individual. This is often reinforced with simplistic games or rituals of some type designed to make the individual subservient to the group. If you search, you will find such quotes from the eternal Soka Gakkai mentor, “the Soka Gakkai is more important than my life.” We also see the special Soka Gakkai holidays like May 3rd, day of mentor and disciple, and such slogans as, “reaffirming the prime point of the Soka Gakkai” We can see inordinate references to Soka Gakkai, SGI, and Ikeda in nearly every experience given by an SGI member. There used to be dress and hair (short) and beard (none) codes for the SGI Young Men’s Division and on Saturdays everyone had to dress in white pants and white tee-shirts.

7). Destructive cults teach that the end justifies the means. How they misuse upaya (expedient means) is a travesty. Flirtatious shakabuku by young women’s division, telling people they can get new cars and even drugs if the chant, teaching people that they will immediately become Buddhas if they join the SGI, and the list goes on and on how they utilize the ends justify the means philosophy of Machiavelli, the antithesis of the Buddha’s teachings.

8). Destructive cults teach strict obedience to superiors and encourage the development of behavior patterns that are similar to those of the leader. Is there any doubt why the Soka Gakkai is known throughout the ten directions as the Ikeda cult? Guidance division, never criticizing leaders, “follow no matter what”, this is so apparent to everyone but the brainwashed SGI member himself. Lately, the SGI has abandoned any subtle pretense with such overt youth division guidelines as, “Reveal your true identity as Shinichi Yamamoto” and “I want to be Shinichi Yamamoto”.

9). Destructive cults offer acceptance by the group for good performance, and conversely, withhold it for poor performance. Moving up the ladder from Jr Group Chief, to Group Chief, to District Chief, to Chapter Chief, to Area Chief, to Territory Chief, to Joint Territory Chief and so on. Busting people from their position or moving them at the leaders will.

10). In destructive cults, fear is a major motivator. Guilt is a close second, and shame is third. Only the cult leader is perfect, so everyone below is fearful that those above will find out their shortcomings. Cult members feel constantly guilty for having those real or imagined shortcomings, and are ashamed that they haven’t worked harder to get rid of them.

“Never talk about your problems to the members until they are resolved.” “Did you know that so and so got hit by a car and is paralyzed. He should have stayed with the Soka Gakkai.” “She turned in her SGI Gohonzon and lost her job and her house.” “He committed suicide not soon after joining the Nikken sect.”

11). Destructive cult members swing from emotional highs, to emotional lows regularly. Lows are not long tolerated, and result in more indoctrination, or even ejection from the group if they last too long.

“You have weak faith.” ‘You had better go for guidance if you want to quickly resolve that problem.” Rumors to stay away from depressed individuals. Not inviting less than enthusiastic members to certain meetings or not telling them about “important” meetings. Lectures about “emotionalism” unless the emotion is rapture. Every last former SGI cult member will attest to this.

12). Destructive cults tend to re-write their members’ past, manipulate their present, and distort their future. Disrupting time orientation is an honored technique of all such cults. Human Revolution, New Human Revolution, New New Human Revolution. Need I say more?

13). And, finally, there is never a legitimate reason for leaving a destructive cult. The only reason members leave a perfect system, is because they are imperfect in some respect, and will be punished for it. “He was angry.” “He was jealous.” He couldn’t get along with his leader.” “He had weak faith.” (even if he continues to chant three hours a day and does shakabuku with the Nichiren Shu or the Kempon Hokke). No matter which destructive cult you choose, the above 13 items will almost universally apply.


15 responses to “The SGI is a Destructive Cult

  1. Soka Gakkai is Korea religion
    It is not Japanese religion. An executive has much staying in Japan.Soka Gakkai is expelled by Buddhism
    Therefore it is not recognized as Japanese Buddhism anymore and is said to be a harassment group from the world.
    The trick of their invitation is totally same as a trick of the mind control of the challenge religion.
    I decide a target without permission and do the personal life survey by person and do a stoker.
    It is hard to calculate an authorized person to use the mass demonstration tactics not one and does it
    Therefore I do not readily have you scramble even if I go to the police and, as for the victim, am treated mental disease.
    The victim nominates a fact of this damage for a net.
    Unfortunately it is a fact that there are a lot of victims who committed suicide.
    Unfortunately it is a fact that there are a lot of victims who committed suicide.
    It is only pain. As for the victim doing nothing, why must it be done monitoring, a stoker, the personal life investigation into religious cult?
    The victim wants you to stop it many times. I say that they do not mean to enroll in Soka, but they do not stop it at all. The harassment of Soka Gakkai increases in this way on the next day when I appealed for damage.
    I am really annoyed.
    And this is a crime. I think that it is murder.
    The religion is free. However, is it a thing to force doing a crime to a hating person? ?
    And this is Korea religion not Buddhism.
    I pray for harassment disappearing early

  2. Re: “Nichiren says follow the Law, SGI follows the person!”

    When the Nichiren Shoshu excommunicated the Soka Gakkai back in, what was it, 1990 or 1991, I was already a leader in the organization. I left in 2008 or 2009. Anyhow, what I didn’t realize until just recently was that, under Japanese law, for the Soka Gakkai (SGI) to continue to claim its religious exemptions as a religious group, it had to change its doctrines. It had to become a NEW religion. Because the parent organization, Nichiren Shoshu, had excommunicated the SG, that meant that the SG would no longer be considered a religious organization, as it had previously identified itself as the main lay organization of Nichiren Shoshu. Since Nichiren Shoshu had publicly and legally declared that SG was no longer affiliated with Nichiren Shoshu, that meant that the SG could no longer ride on (actual Buddhist organization) Nichiren Shoshu’s coattails. Let it be known that the SG and SGI’s affiliation with the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood had been a prominent claim within the SG and SGI to demonstrate the validity of this extended lay organization. So this is where and when various changes began to occur. The prayers were changed; the Three Presidents (especially that glory hog Ikeda) were emphasized, and more and more, the members were exhorted to follow “the most wonderful path of mentor and disciple”. It started out as “master and disciple,” but given our country’s history of slavery, there’s just a tad of a negative connotation to “master” so they changed even that.

    Notice that this fundamental change of doctrines was never publicized. It was never even publicly acknowledged. The members were never told about this legal requirement or its ramifications. THEY WERE NEVER TOLD THAT THE SGI WAS CREATING A BRAND NEW RELIGION. I think that one of the doctrines they adopted was “Hate the priesthood no matter what”, because that was sure an unpleasant focus for a looooong time.

    Now, if you look at their publications, what you find is about 95% Ikeda. Stories about Ikeda, reports of Ikeda’s activities, writings purported to be by Ikeda, etc. etc. etc. It’s become the All-Ikeda Organization. I guess that would be the best way to make it new – make it all about the worship of Ikeda! Nobody’s done THAT before, not specifically!

  3. All this is deeply deeply disturbing for fresher who has joined up BSG barely a month ago. Better be safe than sorry is what I’m thinking. But of course I will have to talk first to the girl who introduced me.

  4. @chhanda43 – Do not think it as a religion, follow the self disciplinary rules. It will help you to win over yourself and later others around you. If you are not sure what you want, like, achieve — no one, no organisation, n number prayer and praying methods can help,

  5. Hi Chanda!I had the same thoughts after reading all this…especially since I also joined the practice less than a month back. Just out of curiosity & for the sake of some unbiased guidance, what was your final decision?Did you continue with the practice or not?

  6. I joined around 1968, still in High School…..I quit after going to the main temple and seeing both the Dai-Gohonzon and Mr. Ikeda….. It was a turbulent time in the states, and many people, young and old, were looking for answers….the Nam war, the racial struggles, the social upheaval, the drugs everywhere, and the disaster of JFK’s murder/which I call a coup….anyway, chanting is the source…I came back to Buddhism after finding my way into oblivion/hell……I am thankful for finding Buddhism …..we are all, exactly equal children of the Buddha…..sakyamuni, nichiren, and ourselves are tied together, I am sure……don’t worry about Mr. Ikeda…remember what happened to Nichiren…he always, always cared for his followers, even when he was completely oppressed and devastated by the heretics in japan at the time…….the three president’s were not perfect……of course, but Makiguchi died for the fulfillment of world/peace….
    Toda was his hope in life, in a way,… Ikeda became Toda’s hope after the immense tragedy of world war 2, and all that hellish misery which no nation should have to suffer……………………….life is very difficult, I believe………..and as long as you can see the gohonzon with pure eyes, and chant with a pure feeling….from the heart… will reach happiness….[another name for enlightenment] the gakkai is intended to keep you on the path, dharma way, you know……Mr. Ikeda has his flaws, I get that much, but I know that daimoku and the lotus/sutra [gohonzon] are the pure life within us and outside us…they are the cosmic bridge which some might call god, allah, or whatever…..You don’t have to even like the other members, …….I have had many, many bad experiences with members who didn’t happen to like me, for one reason or another……on the other hand, some were
    extremely kind and compassionate.

  7. The SGI group I was introduced to is the complete opposite of this. No one is superior to anyone else snd half the meeting is talking a out our problems and illnesses. No one at any time has preached that you must be SGI or youll end up in hell. No other group is put down. Sorry you had such a nevative experience.

  8. The SGI group I was introduced to is the complete opposite of this. No one is superior to anyone else and half the meeting is talking about our problems and illnesses. No one at any time has preached that you must be SGI or you’ll end up in hell. No other group is put down. Sorry you had such a nevative experience.

  9. I stumbled across sgi by accident over the summer. I attended about 5 introduction meetings because I had found them to be therapeutic (we would gather in a circle and everyone spoke for a few minutes about what they are trying to overcome). However, I did find things happening quite fast as far as being asked if I’d like to receive their gohonzon and being called a “buddhist”…. had no idea what i was doing and said “sure” to receiving a gohonzon having no idea of how much of a big deal it is. I received the gohonzon in front of a large group of people, was congratulated and had members shaking their hands with me…. no idea! lol. Long story short, I am not a nichiren buddhist. I went to the meeting at first because it was stated to be about Buddhism – never prior to that had I heard about this sect – and I’m not interested in forgoing the religion I do practice to chant to the gohonzon which according to their own website, has characters that represent the devils (ie, mother of devil, daughter of the devils…) There is so much they didn’t mention to me, and I find that cruel and wrong.

  10. I was invited to many meetings by a friend. Very quickly, I was asked to pay $70.00 to join. I said that I didn’t have extra money for that, and nobody bothered me again. I do find it a bit alarming that members are told over and over to recruit new members, and that goals re set for this.
    My friend, though, seems to have mostly given up on me. I never found any sort of help from chanting. No extra money, no better apt., as I was told would happen. I also find chanting loudly for hours to be very annoying. Not peaceful, like my regular meditations.
    Other friend have told me that it seems to be a cult. I found it to be just kind of silly, rather like Jesus Freaks were in the ’70’s; telling everyone that there is Only One Way, etc.
    Once in a while, my friend invites me to a bigger meeting, and I go along to be polite, but mostly, I don’t go to any, and nobody bothers me to join otherwise.


    • I do not know if you are just being sarcastic or you really believe in this. I do not believe that any philosophy is pure or impure. It is how one perceives it to be. Hence, you must not declare that people are “losers” just because they do not follow the philosophy which you support.

  12. I do not believe that any ideology is wrong or right. It is what one strongly believes in that makes it right for that person. It is purely subjective. Hence, I would not say that SGI is the best philosophy or the worst philosophy. I have been practicing Nichiren Buddhism since a month and I had a good experience. I was not asked for money, people are very friendly and we discuss about personal issues, share experiences and everyday philosophies that change our lives. I was surprised to read experiences of people in which they were asked money or were told to convert their religion. I was given a book Faith 24*7 which clearly said that I do not need to change my religion and that SGI is a philosophy and not a religion. Hence, I am happy practicing.

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