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Death of a Cult Leader

Wanted Dead or Alive

By John Charles HarmanPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 11 min read

Death of a Cult Leader

A Buddhist Leader Is Accused Of Rape

The SGI spent over 10 million dollars and it took nearly 12 years to get the rape case settled. In the end there were no consequences for the cult leader. There were and probably are more crimes from money laundering to tax evasion that are covered up mainly through propaganda efforts by the SGI. How many other rapes have been covered up we may never know.

The main reason I write this article is because I am a lay member with Nichiren Shoshu since 1974. At that time the SGI was the main lay organization of Nichiren Shoshu. In America it was called NSA or Nichiren Shoshu of America run by George Williams. After the excommunication Williams was set aside.

I was 19 years old when I began the practice. I lived in Santa Monica, Ca. The headquarters for the US lay organization was also in Santa Monica. The Nichiren Shoshu Temple was near Riverside. We went there once in a while for various ceremonies. I didn’t speak with the Priests at the temple very often because the lay organization was fairly large and had leaders who had been practicing a lot longer than me so it was much easier to get guidance or advice from them. I was fairly active in the organization but also very busy with work and school.

In 1980 I graduated UCLA with a degree in Kinesiology. After my graduation I began to get more involved in the lay organization. I decided to go on what is called Tozan (pilgrimage) to the Head Temple in Japan.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences at the Head Temple. Magical might be the best description. I met many Priests and they were incredible humble and gracious.

The last few days of the trip we spent in Tokyo. Our group of about 40 people stayed in a very nice hotel. We were told there would be a big meeting in the hotel and we would meet the leader of the lay organization, Daisaku Ikeda. The meeting was nice with a lot of cultural type performances. Ikeda though was not impressive to me. He was a short sort of overweight man that chain smoked while he watched the performances and also after when he gave his talk. The whole event was very lavish and the focus was on Ikeda whom most idolized as “Sensei” as he was head of the lay organization.

By about 10:00 PM or so we were back in our rooms hanging out, talking about the event and drinking beer. You could get beer in vending machines! Almost immediately we got word some members would be invited to go to Ikeda’s suite to have a private “guidance” session with Ikeda. The six guys in our room were all excited. We had no idea Sensei was staying in the hotel! Immediately two of the guys went over to one of our “leaders” room to ask who could go. They were told it was only for “leaders” and maybe a few members. We all assumed a few members were going to be randomly picked to attend the meeting.

Looking back I see it was a scam, a sham, a manipulative deception from the top down.

Only one person was invited and that person obviously didn’t know others were not invited.

By 11:00 PM the rumors flew around the hotel like wildfire. The lovely blond school teacher from the Midwest, a newer member at that, had actually been the ONLY person invited to Ikeda’s room. He greeted her alone in a bathrobe with his junk hanging out. He attempted to rape her but she ran out of the room. She was scurried out of the hotel and put on a plane that night. The full on cover up began and the remaining members were drilled that the whole incident was a complete lie and that is why they had to take her to the airport. Nobody really said much about that incident afterwards.

I remained fairly active in the organization after we returned to the US. We had a number celebrities, including Herbie Hancock, Tina Turner and Patrick Duffy in our chapter which had four hundred or so members. The chapter consisted of 4 districts.

By 1990 they formed a new district and made me the district chief. At the same time news was going around that Ikeda was fighting with the Priesthood. The SGI constantly made light of the news. Then it was announced that Ikeda and SGI were being excommunicated. Immediately the SGI leaders started slandering the Priesthood.

I was not happy with the situation so I asked to have a guidance session with Mr. Kikamura, one of leaders of the SGI in the USA.

I sat down and asked him to explain exactly why the SGI was being excommunicated. He was a thin man in his 60s. Immediately Mr. Kikamura laughed in my face and questioned my loyalty to Ikeda. I did not like his attitude and told him directly, “Why doesn’t Ikeda just apologize for whatever he did wrong and move on!” Again, he chuckled and dismissed my opinion.

My Mother was Catholic. I had studied nearly every religion and philosophy there was so I was not about to side with a lay organization that was being excommunicated because the leader was an egomaniacal fool. I stood up and looked directly at Mr. Kikamura and said, “I resign my position as district leader. SGI will lose millions of members. Myself, and everyone I know has never had any problems with the Priesthood. Actually they are incredibly humble people.” I left and never looked back.

Late in 2023 the Buddhist cult leader, Daisaku Ikeda died. At least that was the formal announcement because few have seen the 95 year old’s decrepit body for almost 20 years! He had not been seen in public for a long, long time. Over that time period the organization put out various messages from him often accompanied by older video on rare occasions.

The “temporary President” of the SGI along with the 300 or so Vice Presidents constantly assured the 10 million or so followers that he was in great health. The rumors were he had a stroke and was in a coma. Either way, in order to keep the cult going and pay the nearly 100 million combined annual salaries of the 300 or so Vice Presidents they had to claim he was alive and well. He was the leader of a multi billion dollar cult and much of the assets were in real estate in various countries.

Over the past 15 years or so much of the Real Estate outside of the home country, Japan, has been sold. The Vice Presidents continue to fight over the assets while at the same time keeping the cult going so more donations can come in.

Every cult watchdog type group has the SGI labeled as, “a dangerous cult” and not many cults get that label. Irregardless of the cult label that has not prevented their activities.

There is little to no difference between a cult and a terrorist organization. Both, in general, either plagiarize or make up some doctrine with the cult leader at the top of a hierarchy. If you recall, Jim Jones was a devout Christian. Isis, Hamas, and other such groups are devout Islamists. The fact the SGI does not commit outwardly violent acts along with making donations to the UN and various universities so Ikeda could receive honorary degrees has allowed the cult designation to be easily argued against by the SGI. The fact that Nichiren Shoshu rarely talks about the SGI assured that after the excommunication the SGI could go hog wild on the internet to slander the Nichiren Shoshu Priesthood, promote themselves as the authorities on Nichiren Buddhism and continue to recruit. They had been the main lay organization for the Orthodox Nichiren Shoshu since the 1940s. Ikeda had helped grow the group to such a large extent in Japan that eventually they organized and formed a political party. The Komeito political party still exists in Japan even though after the excommunication the vast majority of lay members returned to support their local Temple and the Priesthood.

Mainly because the SGI lost so many lay members in Japan they focused more on retaining the overseas members so they changed the actual practice and went even heavier with the online slander of the Priesthood. For a time a number of nations banned them because they recognized SGI was a dangerous cult.

Similar to what we saw with the recent Twitter files where the US government conspired to take out Donald Trump for political motives by using the internet and social media to push falsehoods and block truths; the SGI has pushed falsehoods for nearly 35 years with free reign! Social media platforms have done a decent job of keeping terrorist cults off of their platforms but they have and continue to do a very poor job keeping cults that don’t promote terrorism off their platforms.

Now with AI and more avenues to shine a light on fallacies we are just starting to see more truth revealed.

Most people recognize a cult by a variety of indicators. They use fear and guilt to keep members. They take your money. They are quite often started as branch from an orthodox religion. Soka Gakkai International or SGI does all of those.

Shortly after SGI was excommunicated from Nichiren Shoshu the High Priest Nikken Shonin gave a lecture which hopefully will help some people to realize the value of the Priesthood in Nichiren Shoshu.

“Dispelling Darkness

Through the Lotus Sutra

New Year's Address, January 1, 1992

I would like to express my heartfelt joy to all members of the faith of Nichiren Shoshu around the world as we greet the beginning of the 740th year since the founding of Nichiren Shoshu.

Our founder, the Daishonin, states in the "Dosho Domyo Gosho":

The sun dispels the deepest darkness. A woman's heart may be likened to the darkness, (2000 years ago women in India were not on equal footing as men) the Lotus Sutra to the sun.

(Gosho, p. 595; cf. MW, vol 2, p. 223)

As soon as the sun begins to rise in the eastern skies of a world shrouded in the darkness of night, the glow of its brightness continuously grows stronger until the world is wrapped in a brilliant light.

The Gohonzon of the Lotus Sutra is compared to this sun, while the wisdomless heart of a woman, or of all living beings, which knows neither the superiority of the doctrine of the Lotus Sutra nor itself, is compared to the great darkness of night. Because the teachings of the Lotus Sutra express the supremely important significance of the mutual possession of the Ten Worlds and ichinen sanzen in all life, and indicates humanity's future and eternal attainment of joy-ous, virtuous fortune, they are compared to the light of the sun.

But it is not directly that sun, the sun whose light and warmth shines down upon the earth, which gives life to all living things. That is only the effect of the light and warmth, which has emanated from the sun and reached the surface of the earth. The Buddhist Law of the True Buddha, Nichiren Daishonin, is eternal and makes it possible for its light to reach the surface of the earth is the priest who receives that teaching and transmits it to later generations. For that reason, in "The Four Debts of Gratitude (Shion Sho)," the Dais-honin emphatically explains the essential basis for the Treasure of the Priest: As for the gratitude owed to the priesthood, both the Treasure of the Buddha and the Treasure of the Law are invariably perpetuated by priests. For example, without firewood, no fire generates and without earth, no plants grow. Even if Buddhism exists, if priests do not learn the teaching and propagate it, it shall not be transmitted through the two thousand years of Shobo and Zobo down to Mappo.... It is stated, "Know that someone who harasses a priest extinguishes the great torch of Buddhism." It is truly difficult to repay the debt of gratitude we owe to the priesthood.

(Gosho, p. 268; cf. MW, vol. 5, p. 11)

In spite of this, the Ikeda SGI is the only organization which disobeys this admonition by the Daishonin, not only by erroneously interpreting Buddhism as it sees fit, but also by arrogantly looking down on the seven hundred year old transmission and tradition of the Treasure of the Priesthood of Nichiren Shoshu, and by trying to take control of the religion by means of its wicked doctrine which reverses the roles of the priesthood and the laity.

Even though the priesthood has been pointing those errors out through compassionate admonition for some time now, on the contrary, because of the SGI's redoubled efforts to betray and slander us, we can see no indications whatsoever of reconsideration or repentance.

Consequently, on November 28th of last year, the priesthodd made the momentous decision to immutably excommunicate both Soka Gakkai and SGI, as the fairest way to deal with the situation, and clearly proclaimed that from that time forward, neither organization had any relation to Nichiren Shoshu, either at home or abroad.

From my heart, I would like to express my joy to you members of the faith of Nichiren Shoshu around the world who, as soon as possible last year, infallibly saw through the basic aberration of the Ikeda SGI, left the Gakkai to become either a direct temple follower or a member of Hokkeko, and secured your correct station in faith.

Anything that has no true substance may appear to be strong in its ardor for the present, but that does not last for long. Even if the tremendous torrents of water from a great rain storm should create a limitless deluge, after the rain has stopped, in no time at all, the water will completely vanish. It is a temporary condition. That is truly what the Ikeda SGI is. However, anything that is truly substantial will continually overflow with its own endless virtuousness.

In other words, just as the water from a spring flows without ceas-ing, in the same way, the seven hundred year old lineage of the Law of Nichiren Shoshu will inexhaustibly continue into the limitless future to shed the light of that great Buddhist Law upon the lives of multitudes of people around the world hereafter.

Nichiren Shoshu will unswervingly protect its members throughout the world and further the blessings of their correct faith.

Please feel free to consult the Overseas Bureau of Nichiren Shoshu about any matter whatsoever. I pray that this year you will receive great benefit through the great faith of your Daimoku to the Gohon-zon, and that with this conviction, you will lead others in our advancement towards Kosen-rufu. Finally, I would like to conclude my New Year's message with my prayers for the health and untold happiness of each and every one of you.”

It is more than 30 years since Ikeda and SGI were excommunicated There is saying “Great good always follows great evil”. I can understand that now as I see the SGI cult in rapid decline. Nichiren Shoshu continues to thrive.


About the Creator

John Charles Harman

Award winning author/musician in Orlando, Florida. BS Kinesiology UCLA

Popular novels - Romantic/ Crime/Drama “Blood and Butterflies” in production for a TV movie.

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