Sukyo Mahikari's omitama
I've come across two people recently who have left Mahikari, but still have omitama kept in a cupboard and are trying to decide what to do with it. What did you do with yours?
Come on. Don't be shy. Please post a comment, anonymously if you wish, and tell us what you did with omitama after you left Mahikari. There are no right or wrong answers. Are you still wearing it? Is it in a cupboard? Did you return it to dojo? Did you get someone else to return it for you? Is it floating around somewhere in the back of your socks drawer? Did you open it? What happened next? Did you then experience worse luck, better luck, or no noticeable change?
I'm just trying to collect some facts and figures here. I think most kumite are burdened with strong fears about what will become of them if they don't wear omitama, so it'd be nice to have some statistics (and I think they would be reassuring ones) to give them. Something like, out of 160 ex-kumite who no longer wear omitama, only one has had a car accident, three have broken a limb or had a serious health problem, and none have been hit by lightning or a bus...
In my case, I sort-of side-stepped the issue by continuing to wear omitama for several years after leaving Mahikari. It then sat on a shelf in a cupboard for another year or two. It's so long ago, I really don't remember clearly, but I suspect I then wanted the cupboard space for something else, and my life was progressing just fine without wearing it. At that stage, I still hadn't worked out exactly what I thought about Mahikari, so I just "played it safe" and returned omitama to dojo.
I really don't think it matters what one does with omitama. (Doing nothing at all with it is fine too.) Returning it to dojo suited me at the time, and these days I rather like the idea that it is one of probably hundreds of thousands of unwanted omitama at HQ somewhere. What on earth do they do with them all?
Returning it also, as it happens, worked out very well for me. The doshi I returned it to just happened to mention Garry Greenwood's book, All the Emperor's Men, which I didn't know existed at that time. Reading that was my first step towards starting to realize how deceptive Mahikari is. If I didn't know better now, I'd call that a "divine arrangement"!?!
Actually, over the years since I left Mahikari, I've experienced many lucky coincidences and examples of general good fortune...the sort of things that, when I was a kumite, I would have regarded as clear evidence of "divine arrangement" or the "protection of omitama". I've not been counting, but my subjective impression is that the number of such occurrences of good fortune have been just as higher, if not higher, than when I was a kumite.
My personal view is that omitama itself is just an object, and that it is one of the things used by the Mahikari organization to entrap us. Firstly, we are told that omitama is wonderful and will protect us. Then we are told about all sorts of possible spiritual calamities (purely fictional) and taught to fear them, so I think we all ended up with phobias about the dreadful things that might happen if we did not wear omitama and obey the rules surrounding its care.
People like Hassan write about how, if a cult controls our actions, it can then easily control our thoughts and feelings. I wonder if that is the sole reason that we had such detailed rules about how to handle omitama? The daily ritual of washing hands with special soap, etc., and also the extreme care with which we rewrapped it, inevitably made us feel like it was a precious and sacred object. Our own repeated actions imbued it with a sacredness that it does not have!
Psychologically, too, its hard to let go of the idea that omitama is important, simply because we have spent so much time taking care of it in the past. To decide, now, that we have been duped about this makes us feel very foolish indeed. Besides, it was nice, wasn't it, to feel that we had something special protecting us?
I've not heard of anyone whose life has taken a turn for the worse after getting rid of omitama. We do know that omitama doesn't necessarily protect people...you may have read the account in Garry Greenwood's book about the five dedicated Mahikari Tai people who were killed in a horrific accident? I've heard of other accidents, too, where omitama has not provided protection.
I really think this whole omitama thing was just designed to make kumite feel that they couldn't get along, or lead a happy life, without Mahikari. Mahikari mind control certainly makes heavy use of our fears (false fears which were generated by Mahikari doctrine in the first place) as a means of controlling us...as do many other cults.
The good thing about Hassan's Combatting Cult Mind Control is that it gives many, many examples of this sort of thing in other cults. It's easy to see these mechanisms at work in other cults, because our residual mind control thoughts and feeling do not kick in from our subconscious in the way they tend to if we are thinking about Mahikari itself.
Hassan's second book, Releasing the Bonds, gives practical self-help tips on getting rid of fears that have been embedded in our subconscious. Sometimes, though, I think simply reading about other people's experiences in other cults is sufficient to unlock a lot of the mind control effects.
Certainly, it would help reassure people who are wondering what to do with omitama right now if they see LOTS of comments here from former members who got rid of omitama years ago. (Actually, the vast majority of former members are probably busy getting on with their lives and are not even reading this...so, those of you who are, please comment!)