Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Confirmation that Okada was an SKK kanbu

A couple of days ago I stumbled across the Encyclopedia of Shinto website, published by the Kokugakuin University. This appears to be a work-in-progress, and they are currently adding articles to the section Schools, Groups, and Personalities.

About 2 weeks ago, entries were added for Sūkyō Mahikari and Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyōdan . The SMBK entry confirms what we already knew - Okada was a kanbu in SKK before founding the Mahikari organization.

Even though I think most former members already believe this fact, the Sukyo Mahikari organization continues to deny that Okada was ever an SKK kanbu, and I suppose most current members believe that denial. The Winston Davis book contains this fact. Greenwood's book and the Exposed site both report the testimony of older SKK members, according to which both Okada and Keishu were members of SKK for about 10 years, and Okada was head of an SKK branch. However, current members perhaps consider that these sources involve bias. Therefore, it is useful to have this fact confirmed by an independent academic body.

In my view, the crucial point in any discussion of Okada and SKK is not so much that he was involved in another religion before starting Mahikari, but that deliberate lies have been told. If you've not seen it already, the letter in which Mr. Tomita (writing on behalf of Keishu) denies that Okada was a member of SKK can be viewed here.

Incidentally, we now also have an up-to-date indication of size, as the Sukyo Mahikari article gives a "nominal membership" figure of approximately 490,000.

This encyclopedia looks like being a rather useful resource. Each article is brief, but they do provide information, not otherwise readily available in English, concerning post-war religious groups and leaders. Keyword searches can be for words in "Heading Only" or "Heading & Text".

If you browse through various of the "new" Japanese religion articles you will get an idea of the post-war religious climate in Japan and the prevalence of revelations and healing rituals. You'll notice a number of features similar to those of Sukyo Mahikari, particularly in the numerous offshoots (and offshoots of offshoots) from Omoto and SKK. In many cases, the founders of these religions originally belonged to one of the other "new" religions before they (or their faction) left to form a new group.

Here are just a few of the recent additions to the site:
Seichō no Ie
Shūkyō Hōjin Byakkō Shinkōkai
Jieidō
Subikari Kōha Sekai Shindan
Makoto no Michi

This last link is rather interesting (but I wish the article had more detail!). Makoto no Michi is the group who conducted the tenjo investigation of Okada's soul, and Nobuo Shioya is the person who received revelations from Omine Rosen concerning the meaning of the role of Yo (as stated in Sukyo Mahikari kenshu textbooks). Since it is starting to look like this group played a major part in the shaping of Okada and his teachings, you might want to look at this short article!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Butterfly said...

Anne

Is this some sort of sick joke..Keishu, claiming to be God's Representative on Earth , hiding behind a Mr Tomita and denying/lying that Okada had ever been a minister in SKK. Photos dont lie! Arent we in the Golden Age where Truth will be revealed?So Truth will reveal all the deceit that SM has used to
stop its members from questioning its "rules and regulations" in order to maintain strict control.

June 10, 2006  
Blogger Anne said...

No doubt Keishu and Tomita thought they could get away with that lie because, up till then, the only evidence suggesting a link with SKK was in the book by Winston Davis. Kanbu managed to disparage that book thoroughly enough that very few kumite read it while they were still members, even though they knew it existed.

According to Garry Greenwood's book, he was in Japan talking to SKK people and was given that photo at roughly the same time that Tomita wrote that letter.

Remember, until recent years, very little information was available outside Japan concerning Sukyo Mahikari, Okada, and many of the other "new" Japanese religions. We had no way of checking many of SM's claims...and we still don't really have much opportunity to do that.


So far we know that the SKK statement was a lie, the dog story was a farce, the bosatsu no gyo claim looks exceedingly doubtful, the claim that Okada was working for a construction company during the time we know he was an SKK kanbu sounds impossible, the tenjo claim was grossly misrepresented, Okada was using the name Koutama years before he claimed God gave him that name in a revelation...what else might be false?

It only takes one deliberate lie to shatter trust. Tomita did the world a huge service when he wrote that letter!

June 11, 2006  

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