Demonise the enemy is the first order in a war. It is only by seeing the enemy as evil and not human, that the army can pull the trigger without hesitation. If the army can feel that the enemy is also a father, a son, or a husband and no different from them, they would not be able to pull the trigger. Their humanity would disturb them. This propaganda to demonise is necessary to garner support for one’s cause.
Buddhism, on the other hand, stresses on the importance of seeing the other party, the enemy, as also human and each person is, originally, a Buddha. With this shared humanity as our foundation, we can sit down and resolve our differences over a cup of tea. Like Buddhas. Without it, we would resort to violent means, such as termination and ex-communication. Violence means are against the spirit of Buddhism.
We are deeply worried that SGM top leaders may justify the sacking of the 16 leaders from their leadership positions and the ex-communication of 6 leaders who joined the NBA by accusing them of malicious intention, betrayal and plotting to overthrow the top leaders. This will add salt to injury to these individuals and fuel their anger and pain.
Similar strategy was being used after the dismissal of a Vice General Director and ten central leaders in Johor back in May last year. Bad things were being spread about these individuals. It was unfair. To speak bad about someone without giving the opportunity to defend is wrong. This is not Buddhism and certainly not the Gakkai we want to see.
It is not difficult, unfortunately, to convince people that these individuals were out to create confusion and destroy our beautiful and harmonious SGM. The ‘human shield’ video clip that was widely circulated clearly showed their emotional state, drowned in anger and frustration. The case against them, that they are being unreasonable and inappropriate behaviour, can be built easily.
However, for those who knew these leaders on a personal level, it would be a very different story. We should give the opportunity to all members of SGM to know these individuals as a person, a human being, and we hope, this may act as a deterrent for attempts to demonise them with unfounded allegations.
Our appeal to all SGM members
We appeal to all SGM members to pray for the absolute happiness of the sacked leaders. This is Buddhist compassion. Mr Ikeda often said that those who suffered the most are the ones that we must first reach out and make happy. These individuals fit this category.
Let us send our earnest daimoku to their lives. Whether you agree or disagree with them, we appeal to you to set the differences aside, and to pray for their happiness. We firmly believe this is also what Mr Ikeda, our mentor, would want us to do.