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Soka Gakkai boosts advertising on TV

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Soka Gakkai, a religious organization that originated from Nichiren Buddhism in 1930 and is closely associated with the coalition New Komeito party, is now boosting its TV advertising.

Soka Gakkai has sponsored programs on local TV and radio stations as well as advertised itself in magazines for a long time. On Oct 4, a TV commercial of Soka University, Soka Gakkai's affiliated organization, was aired as a sponsor for Fuji TV's news and sports program “Live 2008 News & Sports!” One of the program's production staff said, “It was the first time that Soka Gakkai's TV commercial appeared on a nationwide major TV network and appeared as a sponsor for a news program. It was good timing for them at a time when the general election was expected to be held that week.”

The ad for Soka University is not just being aired during programs that Soka Gakkai sponsors but also during programs on other networks, such as NTV, for example.

A politician of the Demcratic Party of Japan said, “For the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, which form the government, support from Soka Gakkai members is essential. I think the TV ad campaign is aimed at bringing them together for the next election.”

A spokesperson for Soka Gakkai said, “In general, students tend to decide which universities to apply to in the autumn. That's why we broadcast the TV commercial in early October. It had nothing to do with any election strategy.”

A spokesperson for Fuji explained that Soka University is officially approved as an educational institution by the government. "There's no problem with broadcasting their TV commercial.” Meanwhile, an NTV spokesperson said: “We screen TV commercials based on the guidelines shared by other commercial broadcasters.” One insider speculated that Soka University possibly paid 100 million yen to Fuji TV for the commercial.

Although Fuji TV and NTV say there is nothing wrong with broadcasting Soka University's TV commercials, media professor Takaaki Hattori at Rikkyo University pointed out: “It's not problematic at all for the university to have TV commercials. But being a sponsor for a news program is questionable. While TV stations are currently suffering from decline in advertising revenue, they should remember they are news organizations and be careful about accepting sponsorships from political parties. Otherwise, their stance toward politics will be called into question by viewers.” (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


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dodgy dodgy Buddhist cult.I prefer TV ads than sound trucks though.

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More separation between church and state, please.

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It's a cult that exists merely to make money and should be treated as such. I'm sure it would be if it didn't have so many members.

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This crowd get Buddhism a bad name.

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"dodgy Buddhist cult"

"It's a cult."

"This crowd get Buddhism a bad name"

You people don't know much about the Soka Gakkai, do you? A cult is, for, example, Aum Shinrikyu. Calling the Soka Gakkai a cult is like calling the Roman Catholic Church a cult.

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Sarge, they are a "cult", they were even kicked (excommunicated) out of Nichiren Buddhism in 1991... but money buys a lot of love, here(Japan) and abroad.

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hereandthere - The group that Nikken heads is a cult. The Soka Gakkai isn't.

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Calling the Soka Gakkai a cult is like calling the Roman Catholic Church a cult.<

Oh dear. I was very manipulated and coerced into this religious cult. Yes, I call it a cult b/c the mentality and actions I experienced are exactly what other known cults do. Thank god I was able to break away but I still have scars from that experience. The mere mention of the SGI gives me chills. Bad memories. Bad experience. If it works for you, great but I prefer to run far far away from anyone involved in the SG and New Komeito.

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It's a cult that exists merely to make money and should be treated as such.

Whatabout those churches believing that their members should donate 10% of their gross earnings to them?

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xpompey8- Yeah i saw them, it was American church, moron chuch i think, oooh 10% that is scandelous.

If this group is affiliated with a political party, isn't that illegal?

If not it should be the cheeky swines!!

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Thanks to the LDP-Komeito coalition, the Japanese Diet is unable to pass a bill into law without the approval of Daisaku Ikeda. This is democracy? Phooey.

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Daisaku Ikeda has this twisted idea that honorary degrees from world universities ... are the most important thing in the world ... so he currently has scores and scores of them ... continually trying to prove he's some kind of academic/intellectual - when in reality he's just the slightly creepy face of this cult-business-political party called sgi.

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The SG demands a lot of "economic donations" from its worshippers.

If anyone has been a victim of SGI or know someone who may be in danger, have a look at these websites:

http://www.toride.org/eindex.html

http://www.rickross.com/groups/gakkai.html

http://www.culthelp.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=867&Itemid=11

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Hmm, the old Cult/Religion debate... All religions begin as cults, and become more mainstream as they get bigger. I think Soka Gakkai is the same.

While I agree the SG has a creepy, us-versus-them mentality towards other religions and society at large, especially among the upper leadership, I have found most rank-and-file members I've met to be fairly normal people. I think they get the same sort of spiritual support from belonging to SG, as anyone does from any religion.

For me, the most interesting aspect regarding SG, is the negative attitude towards it held by Japanese society at large. This organization has been around since the 1930s. I can't believe they've never had a commercial on TV. I see their posters all the time on the subway...

Oh and regarding Komeito, I seem to recall that Japanese law on Political parties means that officials from SGI cannot simultaneously hold positions in the Komeito. Of course, everyone knows Komeito follows SG.

Personally, Komeito makes me sick. They are supposed to be a party representing a global Buddhist peace movement, but they support the right-wing, nationalistic LDP government? They have no principals, all they care about is gaining power. Makes me doubt the sincerity of SG high officials as well...

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When religion becomes political. Too much money, no imagination.

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a lot of tv tarentos are Soka Gakkai's member. religion is a business

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greensatindress: "The SG ( SGI ) demands a lot of economic donations from its worshippers"

They do not.

"a victim of SGI"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! There may be a lot of people who have been helped by the SGI, but there are no "victims."

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Sarge...

The worship of Ikeda is what makes them a cult. Always has, always will. They even rewrote their prayer book to make room for him in with their past presidents. Their absolute devotion to everything that "sensei" says, does, farts, etc... is what makes them a cult. They are almost as devoted as the supplicants of the Obamasiah.

And oh.... by the way... Nikken Shonin has NOT been the head priest of Nichiren Shoshu for more than a year. I think it's time for you to upgrade your SGI provided propoganda.

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Wow! So the Soka Gakkai is the same as Aum Shinrikyo? All Soka Gakkai members worship Daisaku Ikeda? This makes me laugh! It is one thing to be scared of a religion one does not understand and another to just believe everything you read or hear and take it as complete truth. Will Aum Shinrikyo have a political party or university (not only in Hachioji but also in Orange County, California, USA SUA is Soka University of America look up their homepage) anytime soon?

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Here are some other Soka Gakkai ads:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpGHoGxseMQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhAhMPCRLZw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmPARYaOUgw

Shibuya crossing video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3QjaUvS5dM

In the USA, within the organization they tell the members, they would never advertise or proslytize on TV as Soka Gakkai is a "life to life " organization. I guess the global financial crisis trumps principles in the SGI.

Mark

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Mark: "In the USA, within the organization they tell the members, they would never advertise or proslytize on TV"

Sure, Mark, just make up stuff and post it.

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Be careful what you watch on TV and elsewhere.

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I think all religions are horrid and intolerant. How would they act if my boyfriend showed up wearing his pvc gear. Get out !!! I bet. They use suckers money to do tv adverts, says it all really, the low class scumbags.

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There may be a lot of people who have been helped by the SGI, but there are no "victims."<

Well, we can see who on this forum has been brainwashed, hung out to dry and folded by the SG.

So what do you call the people who have NOT been helped but rather hurt by the SGI?

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Soka Gakkai is a quasi-religious organisation that is extremely rich. So rich that it has a powerful political party here in Japan. Most converts are content to donate a large amount of their income, which kind of makes a joke of it's belief that it is a religious organisation. 10 years ago I met an extremely beautiful Japanese girl in London (believe me, I have known some beautiful Japanese women in my time) who would meet me for dinner and drinks. Before I knew it she was trying to get me to attend the Soka Gakkai temple in Battersea Park, South London. I worked her out pretty quick and that's what they are all about.

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greensatin - What people have been hurt by the SGI?

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They are supposed to be a party representing a global Buddhist peace movement, but they support the right-wing, nationalistic LDP government?

the only valid criticism of SGI that i've seen from anyone here so far, and the only problem that i have with SGI.

i was quite surprised to find out how negatively SGI is viewed here in japan. after knowing a few SGI members over the years, it was hard to understand the vitriol. i view SGI as no more or less sane than any religious grouping. there are some extremely bright people involved and some extremely susceptible ones as well.

but most criticisms here could extend to any/all religions.

the only valid one being what kukai asked: what the hell business does a buddhist organization of "peace" have with the LDP?

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In general, Kukai and Openyoureyes are right. Buddhists have no business whatsoever in the world of politics, and those who are practicing Buddhists know that. Historically, most of the issue that Japanese people find with SG boils down to two or three things: past things, like the shakubuku, dabbling into politics, and being socialist rather than communitarian (as Japanese people have historically been). They have been, as it were, the nail that sticks up that needs to get hammered back down. Most people in Japan and elsewhere wish they would stop being so pushy, much like Mormon and jehovah's Witnesses' missionaries, and just go away.

Doctrinally, I find their claims to be the "only true form of Buddhism" (borrowed from Nichiren and his rampant nationalism) to be utterly ridiculous and not worth serious discussion (though I could, and could do so using their beloved Lotus Sutra). That's why I have zero sympathy when they complain about criticism.

Mike B - there are some that are quite tolerant. I don't know what pvc (polyvinyl chloride, or some new internet abbreviation?) you're talking about, but so long as it doesn't distract from the services, most people don't care. One that I would recommend is Shinnyo-en. They tend to be quieter, and much less well-known. Orthodox Christian monastic communities are also quite accepting, though they tend to be quite ethnic.

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"Buddhists have no business whatsoever in the world of politics"

But Shintoists, Christians, Muslims, Hinduists and atheists do, right? LOL...

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don't get me wrong. i don't exclude the religious from participation in politics. i personally wish that religious influence on politics and government would lessen the world over, but i would never presume to exclude those with religious beliefs from participating in politics and government.

i just question SGI's partnership with the LDP, and what that association says about the nature of the organization and its leadership structure.

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Sarge, it's obvious your SGI, as only Gakkai members defend the SGI, proclaim it victimless, etc... One other thing I've learned in over 25 years of dealing with the SGI... Don't argue with them, the "human revolution" has confused them on all things, especially those dealing with The Daishonin, Lotus Sutra or NST. "debating" with you will just turn into a negative thing. Not gonna do it.

ELBUD.... Trust me.... Soka University existing in California does not validate the SGI, or even to use the conversation you were having... make them any better than Aum. What it DOES prove is that the SGI is wealthy beyond your understanding.

There is a specific REASON they are involved in politics, and that would be because they can accomplish more as politicians then they can under the SGI banner. SGI is viewed negatively by a large percentage of people. It's just another form of power play.

Green: Fight on. When your right, your right....

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sarge, please don't try to put words in my mouth. I would have said the same thing about the other denominations if this article/piece had been about whatever other denomination. They have no business in the world of politics either.

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openyoureyes - I can see your point, to some extent. Religious people do not always do religious things, and often that means concentrating on matters of a "this-worldly" persuasion. You do have to put food on the table somehow, after all. What I was trying to get at is that the focus of religion in general, and especially Buddhism, is to concern oneself less and less with the phenomenal world (which is seen as devoid of a permanent existence) and the matters within it. That's why, by and large, Buddhists have been quite wary of the political realm, and with good reason. It's pure delusion at best and ego worship at worst. And Buddhists are supposed to be trying to avoid/refrain from that.

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Good for them, I think religion should be mixed into politics. They are ingredients in governing that complement each other. Look at the success Salem, Mass., 15th Century Spain, and the Taliban have had with it. What the world needs is more fundamentalists who are not afraid to rule by the sword.

You know, that's the hallmark of the Soka Gakkai, is the individuation of Japan and the homogenation of international Buddhism; homogenation in terms of dogma. They love their church and I don't think that it actually makes zombies or unquestioning people. I think it's actually a church that values intellectualism, but certainly, it can become very dogmatically rigid.

SARCASM OFF

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My ex-girl friend was a deeply involved Soka Gakkai member. I got to know more about the "religion" and I really liked what some of the beliefs. It's more like a life philosophy than religion I feel. Before I met my ex I felt pretty negatively towards religion but my beliefs really changed... though I would never commit myself to any particular religion. Her life really changed in a huge way through Soka Gakkai. She gained more self-confidence and gain a better handle on her emotions and life in general. I think it's important for people to gain better control of their lives in whatever way they can...

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Greensatindress. There are many people who have been hurt by Soka Gakkai, so your story is definitely believable. That a Soka adherent would attack you and scorn you is to be expected. Sarge is obviously a member or close to it.

I don't think anyone who is not a member who has researched the history and activities of SGI would not be concerned about their increase in political power. Most non-Japanese who join don't know about it's history and the distrust that most Japanese do. Of course they go there, are treated well and end up brainwashed. Unless they disagree and want to leave. But you have no doubt experienced all that.

And yes, they are incredibly rich. If they weren't Mr Ikeda wouldn't have the honorary degrees that he does. But credit to them, they know how to use money well for their cause, and Ikeda is a brilliant leader, organizer and money maker.

For the record, I don't think it's wrong for religious people to be involved in politics.

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psst..........S-0-K-a

Gakkaiiiiiiiiiiii.............. say it softley They are listening.
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I think it is ridiculous to say that something like Honoroary Doctorates from world class universities can be bought with money. Giving an HD degree is a big pride for any University and they do a lot of research before conferring it.

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I hope I'll still be able to see this world one day when people aren't so separated by religion and race, each group of ideas attacking the other and simply just see each other as equal human beings. I'm only 17, so I hope one day that day will come while I'm still alive

I was surprised at what a negative reputation Soka Gakkai had in Japan when i visited this summer;;maybe its because Japanese people are very formal and "follow the rules" type of people? In Los Angeles where I live its kind of like "cool, ur soka gakkai. i'm mormon. lets go grab a coffee." haha. not "oh my god you are soka gakkai. "

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but then again soka gakkai doesnt have a political group and things like that in america..people just think of it as like a buddhist peace organization

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Neither have I heard of Soka Gakkai having any political affiliations anywhere else in the world, though its a different matter that many known personalities have appreciated the activities of Soka Gakkai and got associated with it in the form of seminars and exhibitions for peace and environment without becoming member of Soka Gakkai.

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For those of you who dont seem to know, Soka Gakkai = Komeito = Soka Gakkai. "Buddhist" they may be, but they are also part of the Soka Gakkai/LPD Fascist alliance that has misruled Japan for the past number of years.

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I read Komeito's mission statement "people-centered politics, a politics based on a humanitarianism that treats human life with the utmost respect and care". This coalition is in favour of Japanese people so as to promote people centric policies. If LDP were to rule by itself I dont know what kind of policies would have been thrust upon common people. Also Komeito party leaders cannot be leaders in Soka Gakkai. Besides endorsing Komeito because of its policies, Soka Gakkai members have no connection with it. (Ref: Komeito website)

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If you criticize Soka Gakkai (or any other religion) be careful you know your audience well enough that they are not actually a member to avoid embarrassment (or post online anonymously like I am now). I had a very nice private student who is/was one (I don't know what she's doing now). But if you ask Japanese non members they will often tell you the general image of them is they are a bit...well...less than educated. Again SG members please don't blast me because this what often Japanese people, in Japan say- it's not my opinion. The general non SG population could be wrong but that's what they say. But I knew one person who had a Master's degree...

For me, personally, they are annoying with persistence and sometimes deception.

One person tried to get me to join more than once by pulling an Amway- now an ex-friend.

They bug people weekend mornings to vote for the politician(s) SG supports.

If someone is in a life-changing and perhaps challenging situation such as personal tragedy, pregnancy (positive-usually, but still challenging), divorce, sickness or other thing they may seek you out very annoyingly when you really don't need it and you want to be left alone. But with that 'help' it's pretty much a campaign to support that group since they always bring and/or leave SG material where you can easily find the picture of Mr. Ikeda.

...stuff like that, but the above are my personal experiences.

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Criticising becomes a problem when it is not based on actual facts or when it is misunderstood. Earlier Soka gakkai was looked down as an organisation of sick and poor. Through practice members have been able to bring about changes in their lives and now SG is taunted as organisation of rich and powerful. I know about members making efforts to introduce others going through some problems and sometimes emphasising about the practice but it is natural for anyone who has seen tremendous results to be emphatic about it. Don't you naturally tell others about a fantastic movie you saw and really enjoyed it and push to recommend "You must see it!!!". One may feel annoyed about it because of one's personal beliefs, but there is definitely no deception as there cannot be 12 million people worldwide who could be deceived so easily and then their governments showering praise and rewards. Mr. Ikeda is actually respected by various scholars and statesmen for his efforts to bridge gap within communities and for his tenacity even amidst criticism. His writings provide answers to various issues effecting individuals and society. Quite a few of his proposals have been adopted by UN, latest being treaty to ban use of Cluster Bombs.

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12 million members eh? And how many in USA...?

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One more question.

...banning the use of cluster bombs. Yes, they are terrible. But how involved was Mr. Ikeda in that? Was he really a significant part of this treaty? In other words if it wasn't for Mr. Ikeda would the ban NOT exist, or at least would it have faced major obstacles before being passed? Are you implying he was the original and most significant person to draw up this treaty and push it through?

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if it walks like a cult, and it talks like a cult. it is a cult. Looks likes its Japans answer to Mormanism. Or Scientology.

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It may not be the most significant influence in the ban on bombs but an influence at least, else why should he be conferred UN Peace Award and World Citizenship Award by NAPF unless these organizations are fake or lack any substance. There may be only a few hundred thousand members in US but more important is the contribution they are making in communities – Victory Over Violence campaign, Culture of Peace Series supported and appreciated by UN. If it is such a harmful effect on society why would US President send congratulatory message to Dr. Ikeda or Herbie Hancock attribute his Grammy to his faith in Buddhism. But if someone already has biased views even these initiatives would be looked down as propaganda. The image of cult is created by media. For truth one should look and analyse official releases and statements instead of gossips or rumors floating around.

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"...Vice-General Director McCloskey tells the mass media that the SGI-USA has 350,000 believers, but recently, he admitted to a certain group of people that the actual number of members is close to 20,000..."

Look above. There are not 300,000 members in USA. I'm from USA and before I came to Japan I had no knowledge of SG at all. Scientology has around 55,000 members (really) in USA and people know them. But SGI-USA with "300,000" members and hardly anyone knows them? Do you really want to argue there are that many members in USA?

Also, 12 million members in Japan is about 10% of the population. I don't think so. I have met more people here going to Christian church than SGI so that number is really inflated. I can't believe that for every 10 random people I meet in Japan one will be SG.

Is Mr Ikeda really that great with all these awards? It seems if you play the game right and have enough power you can make yourself look good and get all kinds of awards and respect even if you don't really deserve it. I mean Tom Cruise says Scientology is great. And Ted Haggard used to meet GWB regularly in the White House until he was busted out by a gay hooker. Hell, it seems Osama Bin Laden had the support of the US at one time. Also, Saddam Hussein.

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It's not about the show of strength but about what values are being spread in society. Even if there are a few thousands or just hundreds, but important is what contribution are they making to the communities we live in. The power of Mr. Ikeda that every one talks about is actually the power of ordinary people who have awakened to their own potential to overcome various hardships and now as responsible citizens are contributing to their communities. I am sure you must have heard a lot of experiences of SG members, if someone doesn’t believe is a different matter. Though everyone talks about the great riches, but has anyone seen how are these utilized – culture centers where people can meet and inspire each other, research institutes to deepen understanding about various issues affecting humanity, exchange programs transcending borders to bridge bonds amongst people, organizing relief activities when some disaster strikes (none of these are profit centres). These initiatives that matters the most to people and are so crucial for a sustainable future are taken for granted or ignored and all scandalous and spicy news that are mostly partial truth becomes the headlines of the tabloids. The greatest strength of SGI and its members is their strong belief in the human spirit and that is exactly what has brought change to America also – spirit of not giving up, the spirit of “Yes we can”.

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himanshu- It's called brainwashing pal.

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Don't say anything bad about SG or DI. They are both cherished by as mentioned 12 M people here. I used to have a good friend who made tofu who still is a devoted SG member. They are very kind people and dedicated to their craft. I don't think ALL SG people are pushy, just that sometime, somewhere in a conversation the topic will come up. Its what they live and breath, just like say "JESUS" people (devoted Christians) or Muslims etc.

But as has been mentioned above, for those of us who are NOT SG followers, don't expect to have level playing ground in a conversation about the faith. We are not them, they are not we. Sort of similar to ware ware vs gaijin syndrdome when you think about it.

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zurcronium - "If it walks like a cult, and it talks like a cult, it is a cult."

Except that the Gakkai doesn't walk or talk like a cult. Calling the Gakkai a cult is like calling the Vatican a cult. Aum Shinrikyu is a cult. Like comparing apples and oranges.

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Greetings. I am Commander Gakkai. Please come and join my army of religious crazies.

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I love how the critics of SGI, love to promote SGI on every website they can find.

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Who keeps thinking there are that many SG members? According to Wikipedia SG "claims" 13M worldwide and 10M in Japan alone. I really don't think so. Let's break this down. I estimate there are about 200 people living in my condo bldg. 8% of that is about 16. There are NOT 16 SG members living in my building. I've lived here for almost 10 years and I would know. Also I work in several public schools. Each school has around 25-30 staff total. That means for each school I work at there are 1~3 co-workers who are SG. Again NO!!! This is about as credible as claiming Dr. Ikeda is a great world peace leader.

Religion? Cult? It's up to anyone to decide. But whatever you want to call them they are ANNOYING. No, not all of them. But enough of them to conclude that SG itself is an annoying organization that encourages its followers to do annoying things.

I challenge anyone to ask Japanese people you know well (non SGs) their opinion of SG and most of the responses will be negative. I had a private student who is a licensed accountant said something to the effect that (but he said it's something he shouldn't say publicly) the members are not so educated, compared to the general population. Another student who said she knew several SGs (or children of them) in her school and as soon as she turned 20 she was ANNOYINGLY contacted by her former SG classmates for voting. She really got pissed off. Again, they do stuff like that.

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Except that the Gakkai doesn't walk or talk like a cult. Calling the Gakkai a cult is like calling the Vatican a cult. Aum Shinrikyu is a cult. Like comparing apples and oranges.

I wouldn't even say that SG is a "cult" of a certain religion. It's more like a lay organization with political approach.

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ANNOYING is a very subjective word. Even parents can be ANNOYING for constantly asking child to study harder, but it doesn't mean they are thinking bad about their children. It is just a matter of sharing one's belief based on personal experience of deriving joy from some activity. If there are so many people talking about it there has to be something substantial otherwise in today's time no one has time or likes to deliberately ANNOY other and face their wrath and exclusion from society. Any organisation which supports only rich or only poor or any particular community would be a communist and closed organisation. However that is not the case with SGI as there are poor people, rich people, highly qualified scholars, not so educated people, people from different regions and cultures. What is common is that all are trying to change their lives for better and those who are getting results share it with others. Is anything wrong in it? Since there are many people who have seen results, that's why so many talk about it.

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SG is obviously very dodgey. I`ve met several members who all share the same characteristics of being cold and selfish with a friendly facade.They appear to have been brain washed. Recruiters hang around in oncology departments offering hope to the desperate and then robbing them of their life savings.SG funerals are bizarre to say the least.

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well i know several SG members from Kansei and they are friendly and cheerfull. Not at all cold or selfish has some would like to see them. But true some think there organisation is a sect. They are classified like that in France.

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The above accusations are all completely baseless and have been thoroughly refuted and proved false many times earlier also. The values and activities of SG is based on respect of all life and the members of SG live in society as responsible citizens. Its just that the initiatives to help others is misunderstood as some kind of drive to "recruit". If SG were such a dodgey organisation, why would scholars all over the world look forward to the advancement of activities and philosophy of SG. Nelson Madela has twice come to Japan to meet SG president and its members and praised their efforts despite such criticism. British Historian Arnold Toynbee has published a book with SG President hoping for a better world. Ex-Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev has requested for a dialogue with SG President regarding concerns over humanity in the 21st century. Recently Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid expressed his desire to hold dialogue with SG. Other important people who have praised SG for its efforts are: renowned scientist Linus Pauling, Economist John Galbraith, American Revolutionist Rosa Parks, and many other social workers and Nobel Prize winners have endorsed the values and philosophy of SG. Even Japan Times acknowledged the contribution of SG to community and published a series of articles by SG President concerning various issues faced by society. Either all these people are great fools or we need to get rid of prejudiced views which is mainly created by irresponsible publications.

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Wow, exact same arguments used by other cults. You don't do a good job of defending it.

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A "cult" keeps itself confined within a protective cocoon. SG on the other hand is mainly criticised for its active involvement in addressing various social issues. A "cult" is suppossed to be harmful for its members and community. SG on the contrary has contributed to the welfare of the people and development of the community.

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*I am a Nichiren Practitioner, but I do NOT particularily care for the Soka Gakkai -- at least in America! (SGI-USA). If you leave the organisation or quit, they retaliate by trumping criminal charges such as rape, murder, and paedophilia, et al! I know I was accused of being a paedophile myself! (The YMD are all LEGAL ADULTS *as in California, one must be at least 18 years of age to join! (Paedophilia is legally defined as relations with MINORS, i.e. juveniles who are under age and children! There are no adolescents and children in the Young MEN'S** Division (YMD) of the Gakkai! Uh ... so... where is the paedophilia?

This is the typical Gakkai mentality, to ruin and discredit someone's life if they should decide to drop out! NICHIREN, if he were to be alive today would absolutely have a royal fit if he learned of this sort of behaviour on the SGI's part!

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, STAY OUT OF THE SOKA GAKKAI (at least in America)! (There are at least 36 other Nichiren Sects to go to without all the corrupt sheninagans of Ikeda and the SGI, but the SGI-USA is in particular very bad! This is the worst for of slander against the Gohonzon , Gautama Siddhartha, and indeed NICHIREN proper!

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I have lived with SGI/Japan member that tried to shakubuku me.

Granted at time of my life I was down and the members of the SGI I met were very sincere and helpful. As specially the local Komeito Official at my City-Ward. Even read a good part of the Gosho bit most was similar to a positive thinking, etc book.

Looks like the big money donation business was dropped when the original group split in two.

In the end the pushes to attend meetings, video showings, etc just got to noisy with being told if you don't attend your superior/senior will get upset.

But that was the same reason why I left the christian church. I also got a profession, family and a life and simply can't and won't be didacted when to attend meetings, etc.

HTH.

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