Practicing faith in the wilderness

Robert and Kelly have known each other for a very long time, longer than either of them can remember.

Robert: Are you still with the organization? Do you still come out for discussion meetings?

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Kelly: Two years ago, I was sacked from my leadership position. It’s not shameful for me. On the contrary, I am a little proud of myself, having the courage to spoke up, didn’t hide at the crucial moment, pointed out the errors and what needs to be changed, knowing my chances are slim at best, and the consequences on me almost certain. It was painful, nevertheless, when it was announced. It was utterly frustrating and sad. I was mildly depressed. .

SGM is an organization that I grew up in. In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the organization is closer to me than my very own family. It had taught me [almost] everything and I am deeply grateful to Mr Ikeda and to all my seniors who had encouraged, shaped and guided me. Without which, I would be much lesser than what I am today. This has not changed a bit today.

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My choice to stay away from meetings and the organization is not because I am angry or bitter at the members or look down on them. Also not because I feel there is nothing to learn or gain from these meetings today. I do want to contribute and play my part, make our meetings and activities more joyful and I also think that I can play a role in learning together.
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The primary issue is I do not believe in the cause anymore. The rhetoric of leading people to happiness, treating people with sincerity, and  being compassionate in our actions make me squirm and uneasy. Hypocrisy overload. Today, the local leaders, in their efforts to promote gokuyo [monetary contribution], is unknowingly and foolishly partaking in the grand scheme of scamming members’ hard-earned money. It’s their sincere offering. Money is one thing, but sincerity is priceless. And the new Constitution, made to sign by all leaders, stipulate that one cannot ask question.

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The rhetoric of being necessary to stay in SGM in order to practice correctly is also flawed. The axiom of follow the Law, not the Person comes to mind. When the organization is following the Law, like in the first 20 years of its inception, we can say that this organization can lead people to the correct path. But today is different. The very basic tenets of respecting each person, being compassionate and zero tolerance for corruption, treating members’ sincerely and appreciating each person, are all but forgotten. In fact, it is going the opposite direction of the basic tenets of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism, and the Gakkai spirit of the three presidents. Protecting thieves, white washing, cover-up, chopping whistle-blowers, restricting members from posting photos with the terminated, labelling sincere leaders as trouble-makers. These are all wrong and to claim that ONLY SGM can lead people to the correct path and absolute happiness is laughable.

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I believe more and more thinking people are able to see through this ugly nature of the top leadership today. And it is sapping the vigour and fervor for kosen-rufu among these leaders and more and more choose to stay away or resign and be a member.

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I am not trying to persuade you to leave, Robert, or to resign. I just feel that I wanted to share with you why I choose to stay away. We have been with the organization for the most part of our lives. It is difficult to imagine of practicing this Buddhism outside it. There is even fear and concern of whether we will stray or backslide. My take is that, I need to try. I cannot be a part of a corrupted organization and play a part in enabling the top leaders to ride rough shod over sincere leaders and kowtowed to authoritarian leaders, the very thing that Nichiren himself fought against. That part is certain. I regard the few decades of my earlier practice as training for me to be truly independent and mature in my faith.
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An organization function to support and assist our faith. Not to make us reliant and weak, and dependent upon the organization. Also, organisations are made up of people. No organization is immune to greed, anger and stupidity.

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3 thoughts on “Practicing faith in the wilderness

  1. It is true indeed. The organisation today has lost its original spirit – leading others to absolute happiness. Mostly are just “Parrot-talk” – repeating the same propaganda of “Leaving the organisation will lead you to suffering ” + “There will be no absolute happiness outside the organisation even when one chants the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra”.

    By parroting these statements with NO sense of guilt or feeling of slander towards Nichiren Daishonin himself shows that the Organisation now is in the mode of Inchantikas (disbelief – Ignorant) which is the cause of Slander.

    The Question – “Is the organisation above Nichiren Daishonin and the Gosho?? – so much so that the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra will only be effective when one chants and practice with the organisation?” (Referring to earlier parrot statement). If the answer is Yes , then the organisation has turned Slanderous. If the answer is No, then it means that the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra is effective regardless whether one practice with the organisation or not. This is the Question that Top Leaders need to answer with Gosho citation to support their Parrot statement.

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  2. Wasted my time to finish reading the article

    1. HOW DO YOU JUDGE CORRUPTION?

    SGM has appointed crowe howardth as internal auditor to check and go through all the financial history of sgm account. The final result shows that there is not any suspicion of corruption. So do you want to say CROW HOWARD IS BRIBED BY SGM AND HIDE THE TRUE ACCOUNT INFORMATION??? Ridiculous, it is the five largest audit firm in Malaysia and they would’nt do such silly thing to burry its prospect as integrity is the most important thing in this industry. Please stop spreading such rumour in social media and cause misleading to public. Thanks

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