Cult? (Buddism)

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by enlightenment, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    My g/f has an older female friend who, tbh, seems like a harmless oddball.

    But she is OCD about Buddism. Or should I say, SGI Buddism. See link

    SGI UK Website

    Now, I do not profess to be a Buddist expert, or even, as my user name suggests, very enlightened.

    But I see what I see, and what I see is tantamout to cultish and controlling behaviours, such as a compulsion to chant, lest 'bad things' happen to you. And they seem to also actively recruit, another thing which made me uneasy. Not to mention the 'membership fee' if you want to be a 'full member'..

    Surely one does not need such rigid rules and money to practice true Buddism?

    Imo, this particular group tend to target fairly young, but troubled individuals, esp female, and use social pressure to ensure that they attend meetings, etc..

    Am I making a fuss about nothing?
     
  2. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Ah, the old, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo people.

    I always considered this a pretty sketchy form of Buddhism.

    Just thank God she's not a Christian. ;)
     
  3. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    Where do we see this doctrine?
     
  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Enlightenment,

    I'm afraid I have the same opinion of SGI and Nichiren that you do. I used to live in Japan, and I had some bad experiences with them. I advise you to stay clear of her.

    In my humble opinion, SGI is a "way-out" form of Buddhism -- as a matter of fact, I make it a point to not have religious discussions with them.

    Please do not judge Buddhism by the goings-on in SGI and Nichiren. There are other forms of Buddhism that you may find appealing.
     
  5. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    Nick, just to make totally clear. I am not at at interested in this '*******' form of Buddism, but my gf's older friend is, and what she was saying to my g/f, and how she was saying it, made me feel uneasy. I tried to point out to my g/f (who is somewhat naive, and a bit emotionally fragile), the 'dangers', and initially my g/f was resistant to my best intentions.

    It is only with hindsight that she has seen for herself how cookie they are, and she has disengaged herself a bit. Now the women has turned to my g/f's younger friend, who is also fragile, emotionally and psychologically.

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  6. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    What does that mean, CZ?
     
  7. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    I've heard of this sect for nearly thirty years. Their practice consists of chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo... over and over.

    Hopefully there's more to it than that.

    While I won't go so far as to call it a cult, it always struck me as somewhat sketchy. Anybody who knows more about this group is welcomed to enlighten me as to the value of their practice.
     
  8. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    S'pose we could get into a whole thing about what a cult is, and when does a cult become a cult..

    Membership fees encouraged?

    Social pressure to attend meetings, and engage in other activities

    Being suprer sensitive to any challenge to their system

    In a v subtle way, use methods to undermine anyone you see as a threat

    OCD style chanting, with the dire warning that negative things happen, if you don't...

    Makes Scientology seem appealing :D
     
  9. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Enlightenment,

    I have always thought of a cult as something that attacks members who try to leave. But I think you are right about the point that says members are told divine consequences will also occur if the main religious practice of the group is not followed. Good point.
     
  10. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Condoning vengeance instead of mercy? That would make some "secular" movements cults, as well.
     
  11. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Enlightenment,

    Thanks for the update. I am glad that your girlfriend has disengaged herself from the woman. Now we need to worry about your girlfriend's younger, more susceptible friend....
     
  12. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    Thanks.

    I don't see this lot as inclined towards a physical attack. More of a psychological one. They create a sense of guilt if you wished to disengage from their 'activities'.

    Steve
     
  13. enlightenment

    enlightenment New Member

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    Here's the thing. I went down to live in their town for a while. While I was there, her friend was slating the group, and how intense it was, etc. A few short weeks later, she is attending all the meetings, and chanting. This is a girl with a bit of a fractured past, a ropey present, and someone inclined, in my experience, to tell damaging lies about people. Her and this cult perhaps suit one another..?
     
  14. GlorytoGod

    GlorytoGod There is a River

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    a mate of mine taught me that chant years ago not heard it for a long time,

    what have you got against Christians ?
     
  15. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    GG,

    I think what citizenzen is saying is that, because Christians have such a reputation of being proselyters, that if the girl became a Christian, she would be doing even more proselytizing.
     
  16. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    I tend to think of a cult as devotion with obsessive-compulsive disorder on a group level.

    I would say that chanting "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" over and over again would fit this definition.

    I hope that helps.
     
  17. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Actually it was even simpler than that. It was just a stupid jab at Christians... better to be in a mindless Buddhist cult than Christian.

    I thought the wink would indicate the tongue-in-cheek nature. I'll try to be more grown up in the future... but I can't make any promises.
     
  18. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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  19. AndreG

    AndreG New Member

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    I would be more worried about your own judgements of the one you love:
    naive, unable to make her own decisions.
     
  20. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    There is a bit more to it than this one chant, Citizenzen.

    "Appropriate means" is a concept of Buddhism that appears to be utilized by this and similar groups. The initiates are introduced to chanting as a first step and it appears to fill a specific "need" (attachement?) for many of those who adopt this practice.

    Unfortunately, the progression into further teachings of Buddhism, including the exploration of the Dhammapa, does not appear to be encouraged and many of the practitioners show resistance to such "enlightenment," especially by the new converts.
    This has been re-inforced by their "teachers.":(

    "Convert-itis" is a rather strong emotional attachement to overcome whether it be religious, political, or philosphical in nature.

    I guess that "follow the money" might well apply to groups displaying similar properties.:confused:
     

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