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'Happy Science' cult leader Okawa dies at 66

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didn't he see it coming?

27 ( +27 / -0 )

Only 66. I guess El Cantare up in heaven couldn't wait to be closer to his greatest apostle.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

One of the most successful scam artists in Japan.

I wonder what about Japan in particular make the populace far more susceptible to gullibility than others. Could it be that Japanese society places a strong emphasis on conformity, which can make it difficult for individuals to resist the pressure to conform to the beliefs and practices of a cult?

Or is it the genral lack of critical thinking skills, with the education system placing less emphasis on independent thinking and more on rote learning, which seems make it more difficult for individuals to critically evaluate the claims of a cult such as "Happy Science?"

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

his own son Hiroshi.In 2020, he told the New York Times his father had "relentlessly lied to his followers."

"I believe what my father does is complete nonsense."

Hiroshi seems to have a good head on his shoulders. Unfortunately his family still reaps outrageous rewards from their tax exempt profits.

Walked by one of their gold and white marble Grecian temple like headquarters the other day.

*At a meeting of the Eastern Science Fiction Association in November 1948, L Ron Hubbard said, “You don't get rich writing science fiction. *If you want to get rich, you start a religion."

He got that right. And when those riches are leveraged to influence sociopolitics it gets worse.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

*If you want to get rich, you start a religion."

I guess, if the leader is ostentatious and rich then that is one way to discern if the new religion is nonsense and a person has a spiritual vacuum inside.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I am simply stunned that someone could conclude that this cult could result from conformity or lack of “proper” education.

In the enlightened west we have a country which voted against its own best interests (Brexit), and another which produces hundreds of cults from Scientology to Charles Manson, believes guns keep them safe even as regular mass shootings prove otherwise, but regards masks & vaccinations as dangerous.

If this is the result of superior critical thinking, I would definitely prefer to be dumb.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

I once had a meeting with one of his female recruiters. I was asked if I wanted to see a beautiful temple. Finally after half an hour I was able to shake her off ( or so I thought ) but the lady kept on following me until I escaped into the catacombs of ikebukuro station.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Good morning Jay

Re: I wonder what about Japan in particular make the populace far more susceptible to gullibility than others.

I wonder if you have never seen or heard a red hot televangelist raise the sick or promise riches.

Japan does no have a monopoly on gullibility.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

"I believe what my father does is complete nonsense."

I agree but its not just your father's cult.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sorry but I don't feel much sorrow in this case.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I once had a meeting with one of his female recruiters. I was asked if I wanted to see a beautiful temple.

Maybe she was just hitting on you with that euphemism.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Karma has been served... hopefully

I am waiting for him to be resurrected though would be his greatest scam!

They banged on about the unification church so much but this scammer rarely got a mention

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well, how to say in a few words, not everything from the other side is wrong. I have been taught that religion is one of the power vehicles of the ruling class. And that seems to be valid everywhere, also if applied to the communist systems themselves where it stems from when simply regarding their manifestos as a religion too; or here in this bunch of cases applied to individual cult leaders like those of Unification church or Happy Science, where the term ruling class is just only replaced by some money hungry leaders who rule over their brainwashed believers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

All the fundamental building blocks of a cult like "Happy Science" are based on human neediness which is satisfied by gullibility producing a form of self-intoxication, what can be termed an "opium of the people", generating huge revenues for the leader and his entourage. Having accumulated funds from his followers Okawa aimed to increase his power and influence as a grifter and skirted on the edge of politics with his "Happy Science" but was unable to compete with more established right-wing conservative political parties. When cults develop in a political direction they manifest a variety of hues to bind and blind their acolytes: red, black, brown, blue and, the latest couleur de jour - orange. Thankfully, Okawa was never able to find a color for his brand.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Okawa launched a political party in 2009 that advocates for a small government based on religious teaching, along with containing the rise of China and limiting the rights of the LGBTQ community.

Coincidence that these religious scammers views always align with conservative, rightist, pro-corporate, hyper capitalist anti-socialist views?

They are the words of God!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Walked by one of their gold and white marble Grecian temple like headquarters the other day.

These things annoy me. Its not just that they festoon their buildings with gold and marble faux Greco-Roman highlights. Its that they slap those features onto what are otherwise generic contemporary office buildings, which just looks so bad on so many levels. One near where I used to live had all these gold statues of angels on the exterior of the upper floors, but the ground floor looked like a regular office building. Who do they think they are fooling? Oh right, themselves.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Okawa looks to me more like a comedian than the cult leader. As a spiritual medium, he had performed a series of "seances" in an attempt to communicate the spirit of the dead.... as well as the living figures! :)

Those invited are Jesus Christ, John Lennon, Hayao Miyazaki (alive), Donald Trump (alive), Vladimir Putin (alive) , to name only a few. "Who will be able to communicate the spirit of Mr Okawa?" is now a hot forum discussion topic underway.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I wonder what about Japan in particular make the populace far more susceptible to gullibility than others. Could it be that Japanese society places a strong emphasis on conformity, which can make it difficult for individuals to resist the pressure to conform to the beliefs and practices of a cult?

Oh yeah, that would explain why countries with a non-conformist culture like the United States don't have any problems with cults at all. They just have totally normal things like Scientology, Heaven's Gate, The People's Temple, the Branch Dividians, QAnon and stuff like that. Completely different, clearly.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

limiting the rights of the LGBTQ community

would

" lead humanity to happiness"

Sounds like that would have fairly broad appeal to some of the regulars on JT.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They have close ties to Scientology, and borrow some of the COS’s tactics, such as recruiting celebrities and luring followers into higher level (more expensive) membership ranks with celebrity meet and greets.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I like to inform ,inspire and persuade ,I never had tolerant for ignorance and ignorant people,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the Japanese "Happy Science" cult who claimed to be able to communicate with the spirits of everyone from Jesus to Donald Trump

LOOOOOOOL !!!..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Apparently the cult is now asking people to pay ¥30,000 to pray for his reincarnation lol

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Not surprisingly they also push extreme right wing and xenophobic agendas. Hey! You can also buy 'spiritual' vaccines and blessings to combat COVID for a mere 40,000yen.

But they're loaded. They built a university campus in the Chiba countryside not too far from place. It's empty because the gov't won't recognize them as an educational institution. I go fishing around there sometimes and it's one of the weirdest things I've ever seen.

Good riddance to bad trash.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Their is no excuse for educated people too be ignorant,but their education do know help,when you embrace critical thinking,you have a FireWire,that stop you from giving into poor judgement

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As the old addage says "Good riddance to bad rubbish"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

the Japanese "Happy Science" cult who claimed to be able to communicate with the spirits of everyone from Jesus to Donald Trump

Communicating with ghosts is par for the course for many religions/cults. Nothing new here.

Or is it the genral lack of critical thinking skills, with the education system placing less emphasis on independent thinking and more on rote learning, which seems make it more difficult for individuals to critically evaluate the claims of a cult such as "Happy Science?"

Plenty of cult followers in societies with more focus on individuality.

If you’ve ever lived in the US, you’ll find scammers who can heal all your ills with ‘donations’. They can even look after you in the ‘life to come’.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I used to know a chap who was a member of Happy Science.

He thought nothing of paying ¥300,000 to virtually attend a 60-minute sermon given by this charlatan, during which the advice of experts such as Churchill, Thatcher and Rasputin would be channeled in order to gain insights on how to navigate life's challenges.

In a way, if people are so gullible as to pay so much moolah for such obvious bolleaux, it's difficult to blame Okawa for taking the money.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

bolleaux

What a lovely word.

In a way, if people are so gullible as to pay so much moolah for such obvious bolleaux, it's difficult to blame Okawa for taking the money

I dunno. Blame the scammer more than the scammed. Religious leaders, politicians, news networks etc.

The stupid will always be with us.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"who claimed to be able to communicate with the spirits of everyone from Jesus to Donald Trump, "

Jesus, I can believe but hell no, Trump never listens to anyone.

Did he die happy?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

To be honest, I can't see much difference between this new religion and the older more established ones.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

wallaceToday  12:53 pm JST

"who claimed to be able to communicate with the spirits of everyone from Jesus to Donald Trump, "

Jesus, I can believe but hell no, Trump never listens to anyone.

It says nothing about telling Trump anything; only communicating with him.

Totally different meaning.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

When these so called tv Evangelista and wako,s die, funnily enough they seam to leave a vast fortune behind in there bank accounts, I wonder if this guy will follow suit as well?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder what about Japan in particular make the populace far more susceptible to gullibility than others.

I have a theory and its because there isn't a strong presence of other cults/religions like Christianity or Islam in Japan. So naturally, in a country with basically millions of atheists, there is going to be a lot of potential new followers. But also, like others have said, perhaps it has something to do with the nature of the education system in Japan which does not develop critical thinking skills.

Speaking of Trump, the US is proof that you can still have a cult like following, even if you aren't particularly religious.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nationalism is cultism

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"communicate with the spirits of everyone"

The correct interpretation would be to talk and listen with spirits.

But yes, telling Trump anything will always be a challenge.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have a theory and its because there isn't a strong presence of other cults/religions like Christianity or Islam in Japan. So naturally, in a country with basically millions of atheists, there is going to be a lot of potential new followers

Interesting idea.

You do find those with predispositions to religions/cults often try different flavours though. They can jump around from sect to sect or try something entirely new. Maybe atheists tend to be more skeptical of any supernatural, unsubstantiated claims.

It’s not a huge jump from believing in Crystal healing to communicating with ghosts

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Okawa's father was a member of Japan Communist Party.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Okawa's father was a member of Japan Communist Party.

"Salvation" comes in many forms. Cults speak to the needs of lost sheep wandering lonely in the wilderness of a soulless world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

us reamer

Until Japan lost the war to U.S., Emperor was the central entity of the Japanese people's mind. They lost the god and salvation as well becoming lost sheep wandering in the wilderness.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nagoyajin

In the enlightened west we have a country which voted against its own best interests (Brexit)...

You've been well and truly triggered, I see, by Brexit. Try to understand that whenever people lose a vote, they consider the other side was mistaken. In the 1975 referendum on the EEC, we lost the argument, but at least we didn't whinge about it for 7 years!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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