Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Mahikari in context (1): Psychic research, Chidori-kai, Omine Rosen, and Tenjo

You may recall from earlier blog posts that Sukyo Mahikari credits Dr. Nobuo Shioya and a spirit known as Omine Rosen with providing the explanations of Yoshikazu Okada's role of Yo. The SM primary kenshu textbook says that, the explanations in the kenshu text were explanations of the role of Yo based on divine revelations which a Dr. Shioya received from Omine Rosen on Dec. 24, 1948.

On the subject of Okada's divine roles and Tenjo, the SM secondary kenshu textbook says, As Sukuinushisama [Y. Okada] himself was surprised at the Divine Revelation, some of the Shinto sects who considered themselves to be the legitimate religion were also surprised. ……..[These people asked if they could] make a prayer for an indication from God about the identity of Sukuinushisama's soul and his mission. ………we will attempt to describe some of them [these roles] through a rough outline based on some parts of the Divine Revelation using the objective method of "Tenjo" (the heavenly-stick)…..end of which is a brush used in the automatic writing of Japanese.

The above quotes are the main explicit evidence within Sukyo Mahikari publications that indicate a historical link between Y. Okada and Chidori-kai, a psychic research group established around 1947 by Nobuo Shioya (1902- ) and Makoto Ogiwara (1910-1981) (founder of Makoto no Michi). [See note at end of article.]

You may recall from earlier posts that the Makoto no Michi group, one of the new post-war Japanese religious groups, uses Tenjo as a divination means and received "revelations" from the spirit known as Omine Rosen. Various Japanese websites which discuss Japanese new religions refer to an "association" between Y. Okada and Makoto no Michi. Also, contributors to Japanese Mahikari-related discussion sites cite various evidence that it was the Makoto no Michi people who performed the Tenjo investigation of Y. Okada's soul, in June 1960.

In my on-going quest for information that might answer the question of why Y. Okada decided to establish a new religion, and what shaped his teachings, we have been searching for more information about Nobuo Shioya, Omine Rosen, and tenjo. In the process, we stumbled across quite a lot of information about the historical and social context in which the Mahikari groups arose. It will require a series of blog posts to deal with the numerous connections between the various relevant personalities and religious groups. This first post focuses on Chidori-kai and Omine Rosen.

One useful resource has been a website, maintained by a representative of a group called the Shinri Kenkyukai (divine-principles research group), which claims to promote no particular religion, but which quotes extensively from material written by the founders of various new Japanese religions. According to this website, Chidori-kai was an association established jointly by Nobuo Shioya and Makoto Ogiwara for the purpose of psychic and spiritual research. A major focus of this research seems to have been the use of psychic or spiritualist means, including the use of spirit mediums and tenjo, in order to learn about the spirit world and receive divine guidance. Chidori-kai itself was not styled as a religion, and the participants in its meetings included many members of various new religions, including members of Sekai Kyusei Kyo (SKK) and Seicho no Ie.

We've seen no direct evidence that Y. Okada attended Chidori-kai meetings, but this is certainly a possibility to be considered. Y. Okada was a member of SKK at the time Chidori-kai was established (around 1947).

The above website includes accounts of Ogiwara deliberately entering a trance state in which the "divine spirit", Omine Rosen, spoke through him and answered questions asked by Shioya. Omine Rosen is credited with having given "revelations" to various people by various methods (I plan to write more about the influence of this "spirit" in future posts). Just briefly, for now, Shioya claims that he received revelations from this spirit over an 8-year period, from 1947 until 1955. Kura Fukuda, the woman that Mr. Tomita mentions as a practitioner of tekazashi in his letter that denies Y. Okada was a member of SKK, also claims to have received revelations from Omine Rosen. In addition, apparently, Masahisa Goi established his religion, Byakko Shinkokai, on the basis of a revelation from Omine Rosen. Even Chidori-kai itself was supposedly founded in response to divine will, as revealed through Ogiwara.

We've already seen, from the SM kenshu textbook, that Omine Rosen revealed the explanations of Y. Okada's Yo-related roles: acting for the god of Yo (Yonimasu Oamatsukamisama) in the physical world; the role of yonimasuhara concerning assisting with the divine plan; the role of karamara for helping to change the world from evil to virtue; and the God of Yo for bringing about a world of true harmony on earth in accordance with God's ideal.

This is pretty important stuff! One would have to be very confident that Omine Rosen was a divine spirit and not, for example, a fox spirit.

Perhaps I should digress for a moment at this point and suggest you look at this site, which talks about how easily people are fooled into thinking there is a paranormal explanation for ideomotor actions (actions which genuinely feel like they are not produced by oneself).

To return to the original story, the kenshu text says that the explanation of Y. Okada's role of Yo was revealed to Shioya by Omine Rosen on Dec. 24, 1948. However, according to Sukyo Mahikari, Okada was engrossed in paying off his wartime debts (rather than in religious activities) and did not receive his first revelation concerning establishing his religious organization until February 1959. The revelation in which Y. Okada claimed God told him about his role of Yo was dated May 15, 1959. So, what happened? Sometime after May 15 1959, did Y. Okada contact Shioya and ask if he knew anything about the meaning of "Yo"? Had Shioya noted down and dated the details of his revelation from Omine Rosen, just in case anyone needed to know?

Until recently, I assumed that Okada's association with Shioya must have begun after Okada was dismissed as a staff member of SKK, that is, after 1953 at the earliest. That was before I knew that some SKK members attended Chidori-kai meetings. Did Okada, perhaps, attend Chidori-kai gatherings as early as 1948?

We have not seen any direct evidence that places Y. Okada at Chidori-kai activities. The influence from Shioya could well have occurred later. However, it is interesting to look at the texts of some other "revelations" from Omine Rosen.

The following is a quote of part of a revelation Shioya claimed he received from Omine Rosen around 1947:

Humans have been continuing to behave incorrectly for a long time and have made their souls and bodies impure. However, the time has come when their sins and impurities must be scrubbed away. The earth has also become impure, and must also be cleansed, purified, and repaired. Accordingly, various cataclysms of nature (tenpenchii) will occur. Many people will die, but those who have purified their souls and bodies will survive these great purifications (Omisogi). Then, a heavenly country with true peace will be created in this purified world.

Sound familiar? The wording does not sound exactly like Y. Okada's teachings (perhaps because this is our rough translation of the quote!), but the meaning is an exact match for his teachings concerning the future of the world.

In a separate passage, again from Omine Rosen, Shioya says:

After this great upheaval, a world of true peace will be born. There will be no national borders, and the world will be one. However, there can be only one center in a truly peaceful world, and a world without a center is not true peace. The one who is assumed to become that center is the current Crown Prince [now the Emperor of Japan]. Mysterious phenomena appeared in heaven when the current Crown Prince was born.

Now, I don't remember seeing that particular content in Okada's teachings, but it is consistent with his teachings that, after the world had been purified by the convulsions of nature, the world would be united under a theocracy headed by Japan and its Emperor.

Incidentally, according to one of Shioya's predictions via Omine Rosen, the great convulsions of nature should have occurred between the year 2000 and 2005, and according to another quote from Shioya, the peak can be expected between the year 2000 and 2009. If all this talk of doom and gloom is making anyone nervous about the next couple of years, please take a look at this enormously long list of all the end-of-the-world predictions that have failed between 2,800BCE and now!

The Shinri Kenkyukai site also quotes from revelations that Kura Fukuda claimed that she received from Omine Rosen, as follows:

Each of the sounds, a-i-u-e-o etc., of the 51 Japanese syllables (since three of them occur twice, there are actually 48 sounds) has a meaning, and each row, such as the "a" row, "ka" row, etc., has a meaning. Each of these 51 sounds contains an extremely profound meaning. Solving these meanings enables the history of mankind to be understood, and enables the future state of the world to be predicted. Human history has been unfolding in the sequence of the 51 sounds, and is currently entering the era of the storms of ra-ri-ru-re-ro.

In a quote from other revelations from a different spirit, Kura Fukuda says:

In the "a" row, the world began. In the "ka" row, the gods appeared. In the "sa" row, crops were made. In the "ta" row, the history of wars began. The "na" row was a time of elaborate civilization. The "ha" row was the time of the spread of knowledge leading to prosperity. The "ma" row was a time of conflict between good and evil, and between holiness and worldliness. The "ya" row is the time when God's divine plan is understood. The "ra" row is the increasing turbulence at the end time, in which violent convulsions of nature (tenpenchii) occur. After these trials, there is the "wa" row when everything is peace. A wonderful, wonderful world will come about.

I don't remember exactly where I heard those teachings, but I remember something very similar, in one of the Sukyo Mahikari kenshus I think. Incidentally, the website also includes other writings about these 51 (some say 50) sounds, and the website author notes that Nobuo Shioya also received the same teachings from Omine Rosen, in 1950.

The above quotes are just a fraction of the familiar-sounding material that is credited to people other than Y. Okada on that site, but it is enough to raise an awful lot of questions. "Where, or what, or who, exactly, was the source of Okada's supposed revelations?", and "Where do any "revelation" experiences come from?"

Note re Makoto no Michi: The information we originally had stated that Shioya and Ogiwara co-founded Chidori-kai, which then changed its name to Makoto no Michi, and that Shioya subsequently split from Makoto no Michi and formed his own religious group, called Makoto no Michi Kyokai, in 1955. Now I'm not sure what happened. The Makoto no Michi site says that it was founded by Ogiwara, not both men. Was Makoto no Michi established as a religious body alongside the pan-religious Chidori-kai, for example, rather than replacing it? Certainly, Chidori-kai and Makoto no Michi seem to have many practices and influences in common.

More to come soon, I hope…

Sunday, May 20, 2007


"The world of Mahikari---No.5: Mu and Lemuria", by phoenix3000





  .....(略:「真光の世界とはーその3: アトランティス」で引用)......

  上に出ていたりしていますが、今の日本の敷島の隆起にもなり、南洋群島や太平洋のマーシャル、カロリン諸島などになるわけです。(P.294 −296)


『祖師(聖凰真光大導主)御講述 中級 真光研修用テキスト:第二十三 有史以前太古の大陸 世界文明の流れの概略図』
『祖師(聖凰真光大導主)御講述 上級 真光研修用テキスト:第七 世界五大文明 五大宗教発生源とその流れ』

英語版「暴かれた真光」のこのページに行くと、真ん中あたりに、英語版ですが、地図を見ることができます。左端に書いてあるのは、Atlantis was developed by the people of Mu で、元の日本語版には『アトランティスはムー帝国が開拓した』とあります。


  注1 参照: http://www.isis.ne.jp/mnn/senya/senya0732.html 
  注2 参照: http://www.yamaguchi.net/archives/000357.html 

(参照: http://www.enpitu.ne.jp/usr10/bin/month?id=104303&pg=200305 ------ 2003/05/29 レムリアの誕生・復活)


光玉の説明では、日本はムー大陸と繋がっていて、日本はムーだった、と言っています。が、チャーチワードによって描かれた地図では、日本はムー大陸の一部でもありませんでした。それを無理矢理つなげようとするためでしょうか、事実を述べているといった口調ではあるけれど、どうもこじつけのような説明がちらほらと見られます。チャーチワードのムー大陸の地図はここで見ることができます。この地図が示すムー大陸の西は日本には達していませんし、東の端もアメリカ大陸に達していません。真光の研修テキストの世界地図では、ムー大陸の西端は日本まで延長してあり、東の端はアメリカ大陸との空白を埋めるべく、仮想大陸レムリアが目一杯に大きく描かれています。こんなことで、ムー大陸の断層がアメリカの西海岸に出ているなん て、変な話です。それに、もしムー大陸の断層がこれらの海岸に出ているのなら、調査して、その断層 を見つけることはそう難しいこととは思えないのですが。




  これらの島々から出たいろいろな証拠によって、当時の文明や信仰がわかってきておりますが、  .....(略)... 当時は石の文明でしたから、石板とか石碑または粘土版が何千と出てきていますが、それがアメリカ  の西海岸から出たものと同じようなものであり、またビルマあたりや日本から出ているものと同様のものが多くあり、しかも石に書かれた文字も同系統のものであることが明らかです。したがって、これらの発掘されたものを総合すると、アメリカ西海岸からビルマの方にわたっては、一連の文明があったことがわかります。  (P.297−298)


  日本の古文献を見ますと、日本は元ミューといっておりました。ところが、ムー大陸のムーは MU (MOO)と書いてムウと発音していますが、これはまたミューとも読めます。結局同じことで、日本の太古文献でミューといっていた日本はムーだったといえます。 そのムー大陸の一番北の端が、三保の松原(静岡県)になり、ミユが転じてミホとなっているという関係があります。(P.296)








  注3 参照: http://homepage3.nifty.com/boumurou/tondemo/dic/mu.html
  注4 参照: http://www.isis.ne.jp/mnn/senya/senya0732.html



Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Amatsu Norigoto and Amatsu Norito

Amatsu Norigoto is Sukyo Mahikari's main purification prayer. Amatsu Norito is the name of purification prayers used in Shinto, Aikido, Omoto, and Sekai Kyusei Kyo (SKK). ("Norigoto" and "Norito" both basically mean "prayer".)

You may remember in primary kenshu that new kumite are cautioned to make sure they say "taka amahara", in order for the prayer to reach the righteous gods, rather than the term "taka magahara" that appears in Shinto prayers. For some reason, I had the impression that Amatsu Norigoto was basically a Shinto prayer that had been modified by Yoshikazu Okada, so I started looking for the Shinto version. A Google search on "Amatsu Norigoto" turned up nothing, but "Amatsu Norito" produced lots of hits.

I found various Shinto versions of Amtasu Norito, including a very long version which you can reach from the top link on this page. This version does not look much like the SM Amatsu Norigoto, but it does include the "taka magahara" phrase (3rd line) that Okada warned about. Perhaps there is a Shinto version somewhere that Okada adapted to form his Amatsu Norigoto, but by far the closest Amatsu Norito that I found is the SKK (or Johrei) version seen on this site. This SKK version, in turn, is very similar to the Omoto version of Amtasu Norito seen here.

Below I've given a line-by-line comparison of the SM, SKK, and Omoto prayers, along with the English translation of Amatsu Norigoto found at the Logan's site.

The blue text is SM's Amatsu Norigoto. Under that, the text of SKK's Amatsu Norito appears in black, then the Omoto version is in green text.

You'll notice that many lines are either similar or the same. The main differences between the SM and SKK prayers is that the SM one omits some parts of the SKK version, and adds in a couple of SM-specific lines. The names of the gods are also changed to reflect SM teachings.

Line 1 has no equivalent in the SKK version, and appears related to the kenshu teachings on the principle of Pa, so this line was probably just added to the start of Amatsu Norito by Y. Okada. Line 2 is similar to the SKK text (which is a shortened version of the Omoto text), but it adds in the "manifests as fire" part (moe-ide-masu). Line 3 is the same in all versions, except that in the SM text, "mikoto" is changed to "michikara" (divine power).

Line 4 is Y. Okada's description of his god, and replaces lines 4 and 4b of the SKK text (which are very similar to the Omoto text). Line 5 is the same as the SKK version except for using "harahido" instead of "haraido", but is identical to the Omoto text. The content of Line 6, about purifying impurities, is much the same in the SM and SKK versions, but the SM version adds in "of the spirit" (tamahi no). Line 7 asks for purification, and again the three versions are similar, except that the SM version adds in "by True Light" (mahikari mote).

Line 8 is an SM-specific line asking to revive the power of a child of God, and has no equivalent in the SKK and Omoto versions. Line 9 is almost identical in all three versions, and lines 9b and 9c have simply been omitted from the SM prayer.

Line 10 is identical. The Omoto Amatsu Norito that I found stops with Line 10. In the repeated part towards the end of the prayer, Line 12 is identical to the SKK version, and in Line 11, the name of the SKK god is simply replaced with the name of the SM god. Line 11b in the SKK version is a similar repetition, naming a different god, but this is omitted in the SM version. The final repeated line is almost identical in the SKK and SM versions.

1. In the divine spiritual world of infinitesimal but truly existing high energy particles
1. Gokubi jisso gengen shikai
1. [no equivalent line for SKK and Omoto]

2. in the throne of heaven where the spirit of God is now manifesting itself as fire
2. Taka-amahara ni kamu tamahi moe-ide-masu
2. Taka-amahara ni kamzumari masu
2. Taka amahara ni (mototsumi oyasunu ohokami amata no kamigami o tsudoite toko towa ni) kamizumari masu

3. by the power of the divine fire and water principles
3. Kamurogi Kamuromi no michikara mochite
3. Kamurogi Kamuromi no mikoto mochite
3. Kamurogi Kamuromi no mikoto mochite

4. Father of all living existence and man, Amatsu Su of True Light, Creator God
4. Bansei to hito no mioya kamu amatsu su no mahikari ohomikami
4. Sume-mioya kamu Izanagi no mikoto Tsukushi no Himuka no Tachihana no
4. kamu Izanagi no mikoto Tsukushi no Himuka no Tachihana no

4b. [no equivalent line for SM]
4b. Odo no Ahagi-hara ni Misogi harai tamou toki ni nari maseru
4b. Odo no Ahagi-(ga)hara ni Misogi harahi ta(mafu) toki ni nari maseru

5. and great gods of purification
5. harahido no okami-tachi
5. haraido no okami-tachi
5. harahido no ohokami-tachi

6. our various impurities of the spirit
6. Moro-moro no sakagoto tamahi no tsu-tsumi kigare o ba
6. Moro-moro no magagoto tsumi kegare o
6. Moro-moro no magagoto tsumi kegare o

7. please purify by True Light
7. mahikari mote harahi kiyome misogi tamaite
7. Harai tama-e kiyome tama-e to
7. Harahi tama-e kiyome tama-e to

8. please revive in us the original power of a child of God
8. Kami no ko no chikara yomigaerase tamae to
8. [no equivalent line for SKK and Omoto]

9. these our wishes
9. mosu koto no yoshi o
9. maosu koto no yoshi o
9. maosu koto no yoshi o

9b. [no equivalent line for SM]
9b. Amatsu-kami kunitsu-kami ya-o yorozu no kami-tachi tomo ni
9b. Amatsu-kami kunitsu-kami ya-o yorozu no kami-tachi tomo ni
9c. [no equivalent line for SM]
9c. Ame no fuchi-koma no mimi furitate-te kikoshi-mese to
9c. Ame no fuchi-koma no mimi furitate-te kikoshi-mese to

10. most humbly and respectfully we pray
10. Kashikomi kashikomi mo maosu
10. Kashikomi kashikomi mo maosu
10. Kashikomi kashikomi mo maosu

11. Father Creator, original God of True Light
11. Mioya motosu mahikari oho-mikami
11. Miroku Omikami

12. please bless and protect us
12. mamori tama-e sakiha-e tama-e
12. mamori tama-e sakiha-e tama-e

11. Father Creator, original God of True Light
11. Mioya motosu mahikari oho-mikami
11. Miroku Omikami

12. please bless and protect us
12. mamori tama-e sakiha-e tama-e
12. mamori tama-e sakiha-e tama-e

11b. [no equivalent line for SM]
11b. Oshi-e-mioya nushino-kami mamori tama-e sakiha-e tama-e [repeated]
(pause for silent prayer in SKK version)

13. Bless our spirit, may it flourish in Thy kingdom forever.
13. Kan-nagara tamahi chi ha-i mase
13. Kan-nagara tamachi ha-e mase

13. Bless our spirit, may it flourish in Thy kingdom forever.
13. Kan-nagara tamahi chi ha-i mase
13. Kan-nagara tamachi ha-e mase

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Two Mahikaris

The other I day I heard something really, really astonishing. I was talking with a former member of Sukyo Mahikari. He had been a member for well over 10 years, and he had never ever heard of the Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyodan (SMBK) group (i.e., the "other" Mahikari) until after he left Sukyo Mahikari and started reading the former-member material available online. I thought all members and ex-members knew there are two Mahikari groups!!

Well...er....actually, there are more than two, but SMBK and Sukyo Mahikari (SM) are the largest and best known of the groups that trace their lineage to Yoshikazu Okada. Others include Shin Yu Gen Kyusei Mahikari Kyodan (which split off from SMBK in 1974, the year Yoshikazu Okada died), Subikari Koha Sekai Shindan, Mahikari Seiho no Kai, and Yokoshi Tomo no Kai.

Is there anyone else out there who did not hear of SMBK until after they left SM?

In case anyone else does not already know, here is a quick outline.

1959: Yoshikazu Okada founded his spiritual organization which he called, at that time, L. H. Yokoshi Tomo no Kai.
1963: Y. Okada registered his organization as a religious corporation under the name Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyodan (SMBK) (Literal meaning: world true light civilization religion)
1974: Y. Okada died, and a succession dispute erupted between Keishu Okada and Sakae Sekiguchi
1978: Keishu Okada registered Sukyo Mahikari (SM) as a new religious body
1982: Settlement of the succession dispute in the Tokyo High Court

Thus, between 1974 and 1978, there were effectively two separate groups or factions, both known as Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyodan, or "Mahikari" for short, and both claiming to be the "true" Mahikari. According to an older former member who joined SMBK during that time, kumite were quite unaware that any dispute was going on. If they happened to belong to a dojo that sided with Sekiguchi, they remained in SMBK. If they happened to belong to a dojo that sided with Keishu Okada, they ended up in SM. Kumite were not told that Keishu Okada had, in legal terms at least, founded a new religion. They had joined SMBK, had an SMBK omitama, had an SMBK Goshintai at their dojo....but suddenly, in 1978, they "left" SMBK and "joined" SM without doing (or knowing) a single thing!

The above former member told me that, suddenly, all the pamphlets promoting SMBK had to be replaced because the name of the organization was now Sukyo Mahikari. She asked why Keishu had changed the name....the new name was presented as being a simple name change (rather than the name of a new organization)...and was told briefly, in hushed whispers, that there was a renegade kanbu called Sekuguchi who headed an illegitimate faction of SMBK. Since Keishu did not want the "true" Mahikari to be asscoiated with that group, she was renaming the organization as Sukyo Mahikari.

The former member commented that everyone was quite relieved to have a shorter and more easily remembered name. Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyodan was a bit of a mouthful. Everyone used to just call the religion "Mahikari" anyway, and they continued to do so for a number of years after the "name change" to Sukyo Mahikari. The emphasis on using the full name of Sukyo Mahikari is a later trend.

Incidentally, she also told me that, at that time, everyone thought that Keishu was Y. Okada's biological daughter, since she was always referred to simply as his daughter in SM publications, kenshu, study periods, and so on. So, the few people (in Western countries at least) who knew anything about there being any sort of succession dispute within SMBK assumed that, as his daughter, it was only natural that she should be the second leader of SMBK. Most kumite did not find out that Keishu was adopted as an adult by Okada until sometime in the 80s. SM did not start referring to her as his "adopted daughter" until kumite found out about this from other sources (perhaps from Winston Davis's book, Dojo).

Starting with the replacement of the promotional pamphlets mentioned above, SM systematically began removing all traces of the SMBK name from SM literture. Kenshu textbooks now have the Sukyo Mahikari name on the cover. Other publications which contain Y. Okada's SMBK teachings avoid the issue simply by saying "edited by" or "translated by" Sukyo Mahikari, and by saying that the copyright belongs to Keishu.

The official North American SM site avoids any mention of SMBK by saying, Sukyo Mahikari has its roots in an organization that Mr. Kotama Okada founded on August 28,1959, to promote Mahikari practice. A bit further on, without once mentioing SMBK, it says On June 23, 1978, Ms Okada announced that she had formally registered Sukyo Mahikari as a religious organization, with herself as its spiritual leader.. Both statements are technically correct, although a careful reader might wonder why it took 19 years for Y. Okada's group to become registered as a religion. (As seen above, Y. Okada in fact registered his group as the SMBK religion in 1963.)

Other writers say things like "the Mahikari organization was founded by Yoshikazu Okada", or "the founder of our spiritual organization", or "our founder". Of course, there is no organization called simply "Mahikari", and as stated above, the term "Mahikari" is used loosely to refer to both SM and SMBK. Sneaky! Without actually saying so, such wordings give the impression that Y. Okada founded Sukyo Mahikari. This is not true. He founded SMBK, and Keishu founded SM. She, however, also downplays that fact, and promotes the myth that Y. Okada founded SM. In her teachings on June 1, 2002, for example, she said, When our founder, Sukuinushisama, established this spiritual organization...

So, how did Keishu manage to found a new religion, and sort-of slide existing SMBK members into it as SM members, without anyone noticing?

Pages 228-229 of Daiseishu contain the text of Keishu's announcement concerning the establishment of SM, on June 23 1978. It contains 8 paragraphs. The first concerns the Holy Founder's Day (on which day the announcement was made). The next 5 paragraphs are the dramatic announcement that prepaprations had been made for the construction of Suza, and that Suza would be built in Takayama. Paragraph 6 is full of those long names of ancient Japanese gods that make most Western listeners stop concentrating properly on what is being said. Paragraph 7 begins, In order to fulfill this holy mission, and based on divine revelation, I hereby announce the establishment of Sukyo Mahikari. We are now taking a fresh step toward the construciton of Suza.....etc., etc. That was it! The establishment of Keishu's new religious group rated only a single sentence, snuck in amongst all the news about Suza. Personally, I think she was hoping nobody would notice.

I remember reading that sentence when I was a kumite, and trying to work out what logical connection there was between establishing SM and building Suza. Even now, the only logical connection I can think of is a legal consideration. If Keishu's faction proceeded with building Suza while her faction and Sekiguchi's faction were both called SMBK, would Suza legally belong to Sekiguchi's SMBK if Keishu lost the court case over the succession? Of course, Suza was supposed to be a shrine for Y. Okada's "Su God", for the purpose of saving the world from annihilation, so worrying about which faction it belonged to seems a bit illogical.

It also seems somewhat inconsistent of Keishu to spend emormous amounts of Kumite's donation money on 8 years-worth of court cases, at a time when many kumite were scrimping and saving whatever they could to contribute to the urgent (or so she said!) construction of Suza

By the way, just in case any of you don't already know this, SMBK has also built its own shrine for "Su God", but they call theirs Su-za. There's is a picture of it here. If you follow that link, you can also see Y. Okada's original goshinmon (divine emblem) at the top left corner of the page.

I presume you did know that the SM goshinmon is not Y. Okada's original symbol, didn't you? SM continued to use the original SMBK symbol up to 1982, when one of the conditions of the court settlement was that SM was no longer allowed to use that symbol. At that time, Keishu added the yellow star around the original symbol to form the current SM symbol. Kumite were simply told that SM now had a new symbol, and that they could have a new badge, free of charge, on the condition that they gave back the SMBK badge first.

With that occurrence, pretty well all traces of SMBK disappeared from SM. I do have a prayer book here, though, that has the SMBK symbol on the cover and a copyright statement in the name of the North American branch of SMBK. The original edition was published in 1976, but this is the Sixth Edition, and is dated 1984. Surely, the revenue from the sale of all editions after 1978 legally blonged to the SMBK copyright holder. I wonder if they got that money?

SM has really gone to incredible lengths to erase SMBK from its "official" history. Quite recently, SM published a new official Japanese website. Even if you can't read Japanese, do take a look at the very familiar photo of Y. Okada in his purple kimono on this page. Please compare it with the original version of this picture below.

Guess what! Someone has air-brushed out Okada's SMBK goshinmon! Not only that, SM has attempted to claim copyright, in a rather strange way. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you'll see "Copyright©1959 - 2009 Sukyo Mahikari , All Right Reserved.", but SM did not exist in 1959! (When this site was originally published, the copyright statement just said "Mahikari" rather than "Sukyo Mahikari", but there is no group called simply "Mahikari".)

This site also has a timeline of SM history (in Japanese) here. This is what the "official" history of SM includes:
Feb 1959 Sukuiushisama received divine revelation concerning establishment of the organization
Aug 1959: Opening ceremony of Yokoshi Tomo no Kai
Aug 1960: First anniversary ceremony of establishment of the organization
Aug 1964: Fifth anniversary ceremony of establishment of the organization
Sept 1964: Beginings of Mahikari Tai (youth group)
April 1966: Formation of Mahikari Tai
Aug 1969: Tenth anniversary ceremony of establishment of the organization
1970: The light of God spreads overseas!
(First to Paris, then to other European and African countires)
April 1971: Formation of national unified Mahikari Tai
Sept 1971: First Paris primary kenshu
Sept 1973: Sukuinushisama's trip to Europe
June 1974: Sukuinushisama appointed Keishu Okada as the second oshienushisama
June 1974: Sukuinushisama died
July 1979: Ground breaking ceremony for Sekai So Honzan
Etc., etc.

Anything missing? Where is the 1963 entry concerning Okada registering SMBK as his religious organization? Where is the 1978 entry concerning Keishu registering SM as a religious organization? There's nothing in the official timeline to indicate how Okada's Yokoshi Tomo no Kai ended up as Sukyo Mahikari.

Given all the lying by omission and deliberate creation of false impressions outlined above, perhaps I should not have been so surprised that an ex-member had not heard of SMBK. I simply did not expect that SM could be that successful at whitewashing its history!