My mother taught me a few things.
1. Money cannot buy happiness
But it seemed that SGM did not think so. You see, in the 16 March 2017 Soka Spirit Newsletter, the author wrote:
Having money is often associated with “treasures in a storehouse.” Making sincere financial contribution is truly an act of using this “treasures in a storehouse” to “accumulate treasures of the heart.” And the treasures of the heart that we accumulate will bring happiness and peace for not just ourselves, but our families, communities, country and eventually the entire world.
Tell me if I’m reading this wrong because it seemed to me that SGM was saying that Money CAN buy happiness. Isn’t this pretty misleading? The timing of the Newsletter was just a month before gokuyo. What was the intention here?
2. When you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything
The statement above has a lot of wisdom in it. Sometimes when the situation is sensitive, the wise man will not say anything in case saying more will make the situation worse. Well, in the same Soka Spirit Newsletter, SGM was trying to justify the purchase of art collection! If that FAQ were published in a normal memo to all leaders, it wouldn’t be that bad. But to put it in a Newsletter meant to “refute” other parties, it will be seen as a justification for purchase.
3. Do not lie
When you lie to cover the truth, you have to create more lies to cover your lie. You see, GD pointed out that certain blogs are telling a one-sided story. Or that these blogs twisted some facts. And yet, in the 26 April Soka Spirit Newsletter, SGM wrote the following in regards to the Bukit Rahman Putra Gohonzon incident:
The BRP centre depicted in the video was supposed to be used to advance kosen-rufu but unfortunately it had been misused to disrupt kosen-rufu and became a venue to spread baseless and malicious lies and accusations against SGM. The leaders who misused the centre refused to heed the numerous advice of SGM regarding the proper use of the centre.
In this blog, we laid the facts bare: there was a change in tenancy agreement. There was also a fact in which leaders acted out of fear of losing the Gohonzon and inadvertently changed the lock of the center. These caused SGM to consider not renewing the tenancy. Heck, SGM even sent a formal letter stating that they are terminating the tenancy because of the locks being changed.
So, why then did SGM authorized such a Newsletter which painted a negative picture of the members in BRP? Are there any proof of the venue have “been misused to disrupt kosen-rufu and became a venue to spread baseless and malicious lies and accusation against SGM?” Can the accuser (the SS Newsletter) provide dates/time and witnesses?
This is an official SGM newsletter, not some blogger website and so, such accusations need to be backed by facts. Is the impression of the Newsletter to create hatred against these members and to defame the owners of the venue? Why add oil to a fiery and sensitive issues? Why justify the actions by wrongly condemning the other party? Is it fair and right to publish such things to the owners of the venue? Is the Newsletter also trying to mislead the general membership of SGM into believing that these individuals are indeed evil?
Therefore to imply that SGM take away the Gohonzon of the local centre owner is not true at all but was twisted to give false impression to discredit SGM. Therefore SGM was legally and morally right to remove the Gohonzon. In fact SGM must do so in accord with the spirit of Nikko Shonin.
According to the ‘The Untold History of the Fuji School’ published by the SGI-USA Study Department, the reason Nikko Shonin depart from Mt Minobu were due to the Steward of the area, Hakiri Sanenaga, committed four actions that contradicted the Daishonin’s teachings. They were;
- erected a statue of Sakyamuni made and regarded it as an object of devotion
- visited a Shinto shrine
- made offering to a stupa of the Nembutsu sect
- built a place of religious practice for the Nembutsu sect.
It is preposterous to equate the incident of BRP with the spirit of Nikko Shonin. How do they even draw the parallelism? By the mere fact that they repossess the gohonzon? Can the Newsletter outline specifically the ‘slanderous’ act of these members?
It is saddening to see such bullying by SGM top leaders through an official Newsletter to defame and cast these ordinary members in such a bad light. How do you expect these members to defend themselves against the official Soka Spirit Newsletter?
We, at QuietRevo, cannot do much as our reach cannot match that of official SGM publication, nor are we an official voice. And many of our members will believe printed words so long as it is an ‘official’ source. But we strongly feel that we need to air the other side of the story and provide some discussion on the accusation of spreading malicious lies.