Monday, November 20, 2006

What do we know about this man?

By "this man", I mean Yoshikazu Okada, the person that the various Mahikari organizations claim as their founder. You would expect that it takes a very high level of trust for people to believe anyone's claim that he received revelations from a high-level deity.

For one thing, such a claim is almost literally "incredible". For another, a revelation experience is kind-of invisible...no outside observers see or experience it. There is no way Okada or Sukyo Mahikari can prove that revelations occurred, if they did, or prove where or what the revelations came from. If anyone believes Okada's claims, they do so on trust.

So, for most people, I imagine, any hint of lies on the part of Okada should be enough to cancel that trust.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you will have seen that, even within official Sukyo Mahikari publications, there are plenty of inconsistencies concerning Okada's revelation claims. Inconsistencies are usually a pretty good indicator that a story involves at least some lies.

In addition, there are the blatant lies...Okada claiming to be a "lay-man", claiming that the name Kotama was given to him in the first revelation, making out that the "raise your hand" revelation was something surprising and new to him. Since we have very good evidence that Okada was a staff member of SKK, was already being called "Kotama", and had previously practiced "raising the hand", all these are obviously lies.

Perhaps it would be a nice change to move on to things that can be physically seen (can potentially be proved or disproved), rather than unseen things like supposed revelations. One would think that the potentially provable/disprovable biographical details about Okada provided by Sukyo Mahikari would be true...at least, it didn't occur to me for a long time that some of them might be false.

The basic overview provided of Okada's life after he left the military goes something like this: he invested his family's fortune in various factories; the factories were all destroyed by bombing, leaving Okada with enormous debts; Okada then devoted himself to paying off these debts and worked for a construction company from 1949 till about 1959; and he completed paying off these debts just before starting Mahikari.

I've seen numerous references to these debts. They appear to have been Okada's main focus from the end of the war till the start of Mahikari. Why did Okada mention them so often? Was it to bolster the claim that he worked for the Tada construction company? We now know that he was employed as an SKK staff member during at least some of those years, but Okada apparently didn't want us to know that.

If SKK staff worked the long hours that Sukyo Mahikari staff do, it seems unlikely that Okada could have simultaneously worked for Tada. Perhaps he worked for Tada at some stage...we really don't know...but someone must know these details! (There is an experience story in the September 2005 International Journal which supports the claim that Okada worked there at some stage, but few details are given.)

Similarly, if SKK staff received the low wages that many Sukyo Mahikari staff do, its hard to see that being an SKK staff member would have helped much to pay off Okada's debts.

Not only that, in a tape transcription in the first edition of the Sukyo Mahikari International Journal, Okada claimed he trained under a Buddhist monk for at least a year and a half in what sounds like a residential manner. (He gives no details of when or where.) Logically, this could not have been while Okada was in the military, nor after he started Mahikari, so this must have been during these years when he was supposedly trying to pay off his enormous debts. Do Buddhist trainees get paid anything?

If Okada did not earn much money, who paid the debts? (I can't help wondering at this stage about Greenwood's suggestions that there might have been some sort of right-wing imperialist "sponsor" behind Okada.)

So, which is the lie? Did Okada lie about trying to pay off his debts? Did he lie about the Buddhist training? Did he lie about the construction company? Did he lie about succeeding in paying off his debts?

Okay...what DO we know? Did Okada actually have any debts at all?

In Okada's acceptance speech for the infamous medal of Zante, quoted in Daiseishu, he says:

During the war I was the president of a company that manufactured military aircraft. In addition, I ran three other companies, including one that dealt with textiles. As these were all enterprises of national importance, I was immediately impoverished when the war ended.

Hang on...didn't he claim elsewhere that all his factories were bombed in one night near the end of the war? There's no mention of bombing here. Doesn't this sound like he was impoverished simply because his "enterprises of national importance" no longer had a market? Were his factories not bombed after all?

Anyway, to continue the above quote, Okada then said:

But thanks to the swift measures of Shoshiro Kudo, who is now chief manager of the Tomin Bank, and of Fukuda-sensei [who later became Japan's Prime Minister], I was able to get out of the situation smoothly.

Huh? What's this? Again, we are told no details, but this certainly doesn't sound like the words of a man who supposedly had to spend over a decade trying to pay off enormous debts!

Were the debts a lie, too? How much DO we know about this man?

Were the factories a lie? (Sukyo Mahikari could always claim that all records of those were lost in the bombing, I suppose.)

Was the military history a lie? So far, I've not managed to find Okada's name on any of the military record lists I've searched, but it seems silly for me to keep on searching lists when someone somewhere probably knows exactly what is true and what isn't.

For that matter, was his name actually Yoshikazu Okada? He could have been anyone!

[April 2007 note: Since writing the above, I have found a listing of all the 1922 graduates from the military academy that Okada attended. Yoshikazu Okada did indeed graduate in that class, so the name and that part of his military history is verified. I've not managed to verify any of the other details of his military history yet though.]

Isn't it about time kanbu and/or kumite started asking for details and proof of the various claims made about Okada?

For example, who exactly were the "Shinto authorities" who did the tenjo investigation of Okada's soul? Where and when did Okada do his Buddhist training? Where exactly were the factories and the coal mine Okada invested in when he left the military? Who employed him, and when and where, after the war? What exactly did he do during the war? Are there bank records that show Okada paying off his enormous debts? Where is the list of Imperial Guards that shows Okada was a standard bearer?

Probably some of the biographical details supplied by Sukyo Mahikari are true, or partially true, but which ones?

I can imagine kumite brushing aside one or two minor inconsistencies in the stories simply because they think they have proved from their own experience that okiyome "works", and because various experiences have seemed to be proof that the "laws of the universe" are as taught by Okada. How many lies need to be uncovered before kumite rethink, very carefully, whether their experiences could perhaps be interpreted differently?

4 Comments:

Anonymous butterfly said...

Anne

It seems all rather confusing - more like a smokescreen about Okada and his life before he started the SMBK organisation. Somebody out there knows the Truth about Okada. Lies can no longer be concealed. Who exactly designated that he be God's representative on Earth? Isn't each one of us his representative on Earth? In fact I cannot fathom how any loving Creator of All That Is who loves each one of us unconditionally would put out all those rules, regulations and rituals that SM peddles to its members. If they are so great why hasnt the majority of the world embraced SM/rushed urgently to the dojo doors to receive salvation? Then again, I guess its a case of being "not chosen"!! I think the only extraordinary contribution he brought to his organisation SMBK and continued by SM is the practice of spirit investigations by bringing much harm and spirit disturbance to many of its members.
Seriously, how qualified are staff members to cope with the repercussions of a spirit investigation gone wrong? It would be interesting to know if there are ex members who left because their spirit disturbance was not solved. Maybe some of them would have sought help from people who do cult deprogramming. Sadly, the solution that SM espouses is to give more light!

November 23, 2006  
Blogger Anne said...

I agree. If SM expects people to believe that Okada was conveying the truth as told to him by God, surely SM leaders should be willing to answer truthfully any questions about Okada's past.

I think it is crucial that those questions are asked and answered before the truth gets lost in the mists of time. Even now, people who knew Okada personally during the 40s and 50s would be getting quite old...

If any readers of this blog are still members of Mahikari, or otherwise still in contact with Mahikari staff, I fervently hope they will start asking questions about the inconsistencies in Okada's biographical details before it is too late to find out the truth.

November 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried to ask a member about similarities between johrei and mahikari, but the matter was brushed aside.

November 23, 2006  
Blogger Anne said...

Thanks for trying. Brushing things aside seems to be a common strategy.

BTW, I've just heard that at least one person who was trying to post a comment thought that the comment had got through and that I had rejected the comment...please note that I almost NEVER do that! A variety of opinions are very welcome here. I think it must have been some sort of technical glitch in Blogger.

If you have tried to send a comment and it hasn't appeared here, please just try again, or send me the comment in an email (and I will put it on the blog as a comment). Thanks!

November 24, 2006  

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