Saturday, May 17, 2008

Letter from Andrea

I recently left Sukyo Mahikari because I found it disempowering, fear-based, and sexist. For years I had feelings that it was this way, but I kept saying to myself "well, I like the light so I'll just focus on that and ignore the 'human' stuff." Eventually, however, the "human stuff" became too big to ignore anymore.

What really helped me turn that corner was reading the Conversations with God series by Neale Donald Walsch, which by contrast was totally empowering for me. Those books helped me understand that I was giving away my power by being "obedient" to others higher up in the hierarchy and also to my husband, who was abusing this power and thus mentally abusing me. (Since Mahikari constantly preaches being obedient to your husband because he's the "upstream" of the family, I let him run rough-shod over me for many years until it nearly destroyed me and I finally came to my senses.) I came to understand at a deep level that God helps those who help themselves. We have the power and responsibility to co-create our own reality. We can either step into that and create a wonderful future for ourselves in the way we want, or we can stay stuck and blame a stagnant or unhappy life on all our bad karma or our family's bad karma, or thoughts like "things will be this way as long as it's God's will." If that were true, God wouldn't have given us brains and free will to make decisions for ourselves and to co-create our lives. With Mahikari's focus on "being obedient," it discourages anyone from using his/her brains and free will. So I must ask - if we are only to be obedient, why in fact did God give us brains and free will?

The books also helped me understand how fear-based Mahikari is, and how it uses fear to pull people in more deeply to the organization. This became really clear to me when I told my father, who is also a member, that I planned to leave after a year's worth of careful and private reflection on the matter. He called me twice in the following two weeks to tell me I was making a mistake (I'm 35 years old, had been a member for 12 years, and a Secondary member for 10 of those years) and basically betraying the family. Later he said that "I guess your mom and I will just have to fend for ourselves" and "hopefully God will take care of us anyway." A person's relationship with God is so intensely personal and it's no one else's business. So this reaction really blew me away. But it also made me realize how much fear is used.

Finally as to my comment that Mahikari is sexist, I am a highly successful career woman who has worked her whole life in the public sector, in public service. I have no maternal instincts! Which to me now only means it's not my path this time around. Yet I believe I'm still making a contribution to society. I definitely got the vibe from other members that there's something wrong with me because I'm not having babies or trying to have babies. And the double standards always bothered me - i.e. a male Tai-Cho can serve in that role even if he has a family. A female Tai-Cho has to resign the role if she marries (or maybe it's if she has children? Either way the idea is that the female has to take care of the male in terms of looking after his needs, cooking, cleaning etc. but I didn't ever feel the converse was expected.)

When I talked to the Kanbu to arrange a time to return my Omitama, he asked me lots of questions about whether or not I had really thought about this. We had a long conversation about it. I told him I thought I was on a good path that definitely involved God although not any organized religion, and that frankly I didn't feel the need for an organization to connect me with God since we are all connected automatically, and the connection deepens if we intend it - which I do. I felt very loving as I was saying all this. It was a nice conversation.

I ended up being a bit late to the dojo and called to let the Kanbu know I was running late. When I arrived, I was asked if I would receive #8. I declined. Then the Kanbu asked me to say a prayer with him, and motioned me up to the altar. He motioned that I kneel on the pad right in front of the altar. Then he did the 2 bows/3 claps whole routine with me following along. I was shocked, thinking "didn't he hear anything I said in our phone conversation?" He prayed out loud for the salvation of my soul, sins and impurities of my family, etc. It was so tasteless! At the end he said that now we were going to say the Amatsu Norigoto prayer so if I remembered it I should say it too. I remembered it, but remained silent.

Then we went to the Omitama changing booth. After I removed the Omitama, the Kanbu asked if I felt any different. I said no. He said that sometimes people "feel like they're losing an old friend." Then he asked me how long I had been a Secondary member, how much light I had received lately (I live in a state with no dojo and only a few members), etc. He was obviously gauging how "disturbed" I was. Then he said that when I had called earlier in the evening (to say I was running late) he had hoped that I was calling to tell him I had changed my mind about returning the Omitama. And he said that it would be at the dojo for a year so I could get it back if I wanted. He also said that there would be a Kenshu in September and would I attend? I declined. And finally he said that oftentimes people reconsider and decide to come back to Mahikari.

When I left the dojo, I realized deeply what a goofed up place this is. I found the Kanbu's comments condescending and missionary-like. "I know better than you, and some day you'll come to your senses you poor wayward soul". Of course when I told my father that I returned the Omitama later that day he was clearly ticked off that I had "betrayed the family". But any member reading this would probably say that I'm just "disturbed" and need to receive light more.

How is any of this "of God"???

Saturday, May 03, 2008

宗教と真光の神 (Religions and Mahikari God)

To the English reader,

I'd like to ask you a question about "Go-seigen", if you were a Mahikari member.

Did you believe Go-seigen was the book of the words of Creator God?
Or did you assume it was, because everybody around in the cult seemed to believe it was?

Mahikari followers are made to believe "Go-seigen" is the word of God, but once you are out of Mahikari, it doesn't sound like holy words ("seigen" = "holy words") at all. Using an old-fashioned style, it has some parts which sound grave, yet, it has a lot of twisted expressions and awful words. As a whole, it is by no means written in a lucid, lofty or straight-forward manner. What Mahikari God says is full of ideological and negative things towards the modern era and the people living in it. Okada claims, of course, that these "holy" words are not meaningless ideology [Jp10, Preface]. He may have seen that they sounded like "meaningless ideology" and tried to discourage people from thinking so. If one regards them as the precious words of God telling "divine truth", it will mess up one's perceptions of the real world and ones ways of thinking.

In the Japanese discussion sites, I have seen statements like - "Go-seigen is full of nonsense", " it doesn't sound like God's words at all", "Go-seigen-shu" (the collection of holy words) is "Go-mohgen-shu" (the collection of delusions) etc. It is not easy to gather information on one theme from Go-seigen, but I've picked out some parts which are related to religion from among the words of Mahikari God, who said, according to Okada, "Call me Su-God, and make mankind call me so from now on."






 〔例〕ー《釈迦(ゴータマ)、イエスなど使いに出して、神正法|かみせいほう|の世を予告せしめ、毒気消除の世の来たるべきを予告しおかせたるも、 》p105−6

     《釈迦(ゴータマ)やイエスに仏滅の世、神裁きの世、末法末世や世の終末近み来る等|など|申させても、かえりみんともせず、 》 p248



























 《宗門宗派と申すもの、本来は全人一体化せしむべき役割の崇教を宗教となり下げ、 .(略). 宗門存続の為にのみ神仏|かみほとけ|を利用いたす、大神大仏より見れば盗人|ぬすっと|信仰のみ致すことに夢中と相成り》 p247


 《「宗教阿片」とさえホザカせても未だ気づかず、この界にさえ、我と慢心、天狗の鼻ヒクヒクさせ、神仏|かみほとけ|盗人|ぬすっと|キタナキ乞食すら多くなり、神の大仕組みのお邪魔、知らず知らず致しある不忠不義のミチ歩みて、平然と化衣|けごろも|着あるがいまの宗教と見ゆるよ。 ..(略).. 神主、仏僧、神父等に目くら、ゼンソク、中風等々の業病、早世(早死|はやじに|)、不幸者、悪者すら多くなり》p252−3

 《神仏おみこしにカツギ出して、実は己|おのれ|らの生存の具に供えあるもの多きにあらずや。神仏|しんぶつ|の盗人|ぬすっと|乞食ウヨウヨが宗教時代と思われても、致し方なき哀れなる姿は神いつ迄も見ておれぬなり。害虫となりある故なり。》 p253−4














 《かく相成|あいな|りては仕組みの神、元始|もとはじ|めし神と致しては、宗教をコワス外なからんこと判らざるや。》 p248




 《神は大愛にて辛抱心桁はずれに大にして、一時|ひととき|は御用せしものの流れ(子孫や伝統)哀れなれば、我慢致させあるも、結局亡ぶる外なかるべし。(仏滅神裁きの世などと警|いまし|められた因|もと|)》    p191















*真光は、天啓を受けたオリジナルの宗教ではなく、誰が見ても世界救世教の流用と真の道、生長の家の教義をブレンドしたと分かる代物。 ..大本の分家の分家の末裔が真光 ...ーー真光関係者集合(50)66

*「人類初の最後の救いの業(真光の業)が、天地創造神より降ろされた!」と説いているが、実はパクリだらけの嘘とばれてしまう、痛い真光。 ーー(50)188

*茂吉のほうが光玉より早く、浄霊(手かざし)をしていたし、光玉も救世教和光布教会長として浄霊(手かざし)実践していた訳だし。 ーー(51)704

*救世教(メシア教)からパクっておいて、初級研修会で「人類初」と説くのは盗作画家と同じ。 ーー(51)705

*救世教だって大本からのパクリだけどね。 ーー(51)707

*つまり、真光は、パクリ教のパクリという事か。 ーー(51)710

 本末転倒。真光が真光より古い宗教から部分部分をパクってきたんだろう?もうちょっと謙虚になれよ ーー(51)716,

 正に、パクリの輪廻転生、パクリのデパート崇教と、指摘されている。 ーー(51)735

*この教団と真光系教団を要約すると-- ある幻聴を聞いた人がいて、真に受けて教団を立教。或いは、確信犯として他教団の教えをパクリ加工したということですね。(50)−75