Zante - Myths used to substantiate Sūkyō Mahikari (Part 4)
The next topics from my list of Sūkyō Mahikari's substantiating myths are meeting the Pope and being friends with Swami Rama, and receiving the order of St. Dennis of Zante.
The kenshū story about Okada receiving the order of St. Dennis of Zante has already been discussed on the A Study of Mahikari Culture page of the Mahikari Exposed site. For those of you who may not have already seen this, I'll give an overview here.
According to the Mahikari organization, the International American Institute awarded Okada the title Knight Commander and the decoration of The Sovereign (Greek) Order of the Knights of Saint Dennis of Zante in 1972. This is the medal you see Okada wearing in the photo above. They claim the award ceremony was attended by many very prominent people, and that the people who had previously received this award included American Presidents, Popes, Cardinals, and Archbishops.
The Mahikari Exposed site states that: A world wide search of data bases, libraries and feed back from chivalry experts has revealed the following: This self styled Order was founded by a certain notorious 'count ' Pericles Voultsos in the 1940s or 50s and was distributed fairly widely by him. Since it was a complete invention and didn't mimic a genuine Order it was not challenged...The ploy of these self styled 'orders ' to gain membership is to send their award to well known personalities and then use their names as 'members '.
The Exposed site also reports the following: When an organisation called the International American Institute was contacted in Washington DC, USA., it claimed it had nothing to do with giving out awards for service to the world and thought the award mentioned above was probably bogus. No other listing for an International American Institute of Academy has been found world wide to date.
Well, that all seems pretty clear. I don't think Sūkyō Mahikari can use that award to boost Okada's reputation anymore. How embarrassing for the poor guy.
[Feb 2007 note: When I wrote the above, I assumed that Okada was the victim, rather than the perpetrator, of this hoax. Now I'm not so sure. If you look at the account of the presentation ceremony in Daiseishu (p. 175-181), you will note that nobody from the International American Institute was present to bestow the award. Mr. Takeo Fukuda attended "as the respresentative of the sponsors", and Mr. Toshio Matsuda presented the medal and certificate. So, who organized and paid for the glittering reception? Did the medal come in the post? Or did someone within the Mahikari organization fabricate the entire thing, including making the medal?]
Meeting Pope Paul VI (in 1973) and being friends with Swami Rama are not actually "myths" of course. These are facts. The only thing I want to comment on here is the logic.
Mind control did not make us completely blind. Even though we were taught, and believed, that Okada was the only one to know "all the truth", I think we still knew, objectively, that Sūkyō Mahikari is quite a minor player in the religious world. It was reassuring to see photos of Okada meeting the Pope and to hear of friendly comments from Swami Rama. Logically, however, this does not make sense.
Okada taught that all other religions contain only part of the truth, and that, The more you support such religions and traditions the more you will be standing in the way of the progress of the divine plan (from Sunkyō, pp. 25-26). Why should we have cared what the leaders of other religious groups thought of Okada? Why does Sūkyō Mahikari even mention these facts?
[Feb 2007 note: Mahikari publications talk of Swami Rama in glowing terms, but for a different perspective, do an Internet search on him and see the various accusations of fraud and sexual misadventure.]