Jack and Jill met in a wedding reception and are nibbling on some finger food. Both resigned as leaders some months ago after feeling disappointed by the ruthless and arrogant behaviour of top leaders in terminating capable and sincere leaders who spoke up against the top leaders.
Jack: I don’t understand this. Many leaders in the organisation are well aware of the improper manner of handling money matters, contribution without receipts, frequent renovations that costs hundreds of thousands without check and balance and to top if of, there are absolutely no attempt to reform and to introduce strict governance to prevent corruption. Instead, we see the massive sacking, unprecedented, of good leaders who spoke up.
They decided to stay as leaders and continue to assist bad people in cheating the money of the sincere and trusting members. Some knew a little but decided to put their heads in the sand. Others focus mainly on achieving organisation’s goals, like shakubuku, and refrain from any discussion on governance matters. They also choose to believe that the leaders in Johor were plotting to overthrow the GD.
I really don’t understand, James? Why? Why so many decide to remain as leaders despite knowing that something is really rotten up there? Are they so gullible as to believe the conspiracy story and evil-labelling of everyone who ask question or disagree with the General Director?
Jill: There are many reasons. Each has their own personal reason for choosing to stay with the organisation. You are not them, and they are not you. I respect their decision. Whatever they may be. I still regard them as my friends.
Jack: I guess many are afraid. Afraid that they may stand to lose all their good fortune if they leave the organisation. Worse still, be labelled as anti-Gakkai. Unwilling to court trouble or risk ruining their reputation, they choose to keep their mouth shut. And their eyes too to the injustice and cruel action of seeing their fellow senior leaders being humiliated, defamed and character assassinated.
Top leaders are saying that if you leave the organisation, your good fortune will vanish. If you so much as associate with those dissenters, you will accumulate great bad karma in your life. Tell me who is not afraid when being threaten like this?
Jill: Maybe it is because of their ‘honzon.’ Honzon is the fundamental object of devotion. It is what dedicate your life to. It is the center of your life and you build your universe around it. Some people places money above all else, and spend their entire lives making money, even to the extent of betraying friends, compromising their principles and committing fraud. Others places their honzon in their love life. They live and die for their partner. Everything they do, they do it for their lover. Some dedicated their entire life, all their waking hours, to their career.
The problem with these ‘honzons’ is that they are all impermanent. When they focus their lives on these matters, they are seeking happiness in them. Thus, seeking the Law outside oneself. Ultimately, when circumstances change, as they always do, their entire universe falls apart.
Thus, the Daishonin asked us to place our ‘honzon’ in the Law. Do not seek the Law outside yourself. This Law is our own life, our Buddha nature. As the Buddha is permanent, unchanging, we will never be deadlocked. Thus, chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo itself is reminding us, again and again, that we are the entity of the Mystic Law. This is what our practice is about.
Jack: And the leaders?
Jill: Some may have mistaken the organisation for the Law. The organisation is a means to spread the Law. A tool, not the Law itself. It is an organisation that is made up of people, and thus, it certainly susceptible to human failings of power, greed, and arrogance. But they fail to grasp this and believe that this organisation is different. It is special and it is incorruptible. Any and all criticism are regarded as attack by devilish functions. You can’t reason with them.
When they see the problems in SGM, they simply cannot accept the reality that their ‘honzon’ is faulty and need fixing. It affects their serenity. Thus, they tell themselves that everything is all right and we just have to forget about it, closed their eyes and ears, shut their mouths, and it will go away. By itself. They long for the days before the Johor scandal erupted. The good old days.
Instead of placing their ‘honzon’ in the Law, inside themselves, they put it in an external entity, an organisation. Unfortunately, the top leaders of the organisation today are no longer working for the sake of the members, but only interested in preserving themselves. One top leader in Johor chose to sacrifice over 300 leaders resignation to stepping down and resolving the issue. Instead as placing the happiness of the members at heart, the top leaders (Executive Central Com) members felt that they cannot back down to threat. Or show weakness. This will imply admission of fault. This is how they view it. That’s how selfish they are.
Personally, I don’t think the organisation is doing the right thing, nor teaching the right thing. Today, they are indoctrinating the leaders to always support, protect and absolute obedience to the SGI and Sensei appointed General Director. Something is very wrong in their doctrine. But few see this.
Jack: It is sad to see that these individuals do not have the courage to speak their mind and stand up against the top leaders when they are wrong. How are they going to protect the members if they cannot even speak up when the crisis was at the peak? Wonder if they still do gokuyo (monetary contribution) now.
Jill: I am quite certain many still do. Failure to do so have consequences you know. There is a list to check who have and who haven’t contributed at each Special Gokuyo (twice a year) distributed to the leaders. However, I don’t think they give as much as before.