Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Apocalyptic Sect

I: Sukyo Mahikari is an apocalyptic sect (only its members will be saved).

Most religions seem to think that they are the chosen ones, and that all others are going to hell or some variation of hell. While Mahikari teaches reincarnation it paradoxically teaches that members must prepare for the Baptism of Fire, when the world will end and only members of Mahikari who are enlightened enough will go on to live in God’s civilization. All other religions are false pseudo-truths. Here are some quotes from Primary Kenshu Textbook, reiterating that fact…

Sukuinushisama said, "Religions can no longer be of service to God. Therefore phenomena of perishing will occur in religions themselves. So, past religions will deteriorate. It can't be helped.”

“Fortunately, all of you (Mahikari members) are people who were drawn towards God just at this time of the Conversion of the Divine Will. In fact it was inevitable, but from your point of view you probably think it was a coincidence that you come to receive Mahikari Kenshu. You are permitted to participate in the Plan of God.” Pg. 153

This text indicates that all other religions are false and only people who have attended Mahikari Kenshu are “permitted to participate in the Plan of God”. As we all know according to Mahikari, God’s plan is to save as many people before the Baptism of Fire occurs and wipes out all of mankind, but kumite.

Here is another quote from the Primary Kenshu Textbook… “The Baptism by Fire will come, and there is no other way for mankind to be saved but to make a U-turn in sonen".

The only way that one can change their sonen is by offering light, which requires you to join Mahikari. Receiving okiyome from a kumite is not enough as it does not get rid of sins and impurities as quickly. It is better to offer okiyome and then receive okiyome, thus melting twice as many sins and impurities.

The text continues to say… “So God is urging Yōkōshi (Mahikari members) to build a Shrine for Su God to provide a calming down of such phenomena. We have to pray to God asking for time to be given to us so that Yōkōshi, at least as many as possible, can repent. And it is our responsibility to prepare a holy place for the descent of Su God. We have to fulfill this promise no matter what happens. It is a covenant between God and Sukuinushisama.

Sukuinushisama told us precisely, "Since this covenant was made, I cannot save you unless I build it throughout my life. Otherwise my power of salvation will be taken away by God". Therefore, for Yōkōshi it is absolutely essential to construct Suza no matter what.

If we don't achieve this, Yōkōshi cannot be saved. For this reason a great destiny has been bestowed on Yōkōshi by God. God is not bestowing all the salvation on us wastefully. I want you to realize that we have responsibilities as well.” Pg. 164-165

Let me translate that in laymen’s terms, “Give me all your money, build a huge shrine, worship me day in and day out or you’ll be wiped out.” But wait there’s more. Tertiary Kenshu states: “Our (Mahikari members) mission is to search for seed people as soon as possible to increase in numbers; for initiations. That is God’s arrangement. We must reach as many people as possible and unless we do this we will not be harmonized with God’s sonen and will not be in tune with God. If humans don’t make sufficient effort they will be left behind and will not be able to ride on God’s will.” Pg. 16

How terrible it must be for kumite to believe that God is such a tyrant. How terrible to believe that He cares for you that little that He will wipe out everyone who does not receive primary kenshu. What kind of God is that? Not the kind I would like to serve. If God is such a tyrant then I want no part of Him.

“The great mission was given to Sukuinushisama to seek people from the coming century-this system of giving initiation. We should seek for seed people. By receiving omitama, on the third day of this initiation, without discrimination of sex or age, God’s light will come through. This is the teachings of Mahikari and no other is necessary. Other teachings and philosophies of religions of the past could only bring intellectual understanding; it was impossible to lead people beyond the law to the unseen spiritual field.” Pg. 22

Sukyo Mahikari is a Totalitarian Sect

(Mahikari Tai Members Marching at Ceremony)

(Nazis Marching During Parade in WWII)

H: Sukyo Mahikari is a totalitarian sect (use of the swastika, the symbol of Nazi and extreme-right movements).

This is common knowledge to all Mahikari members. Mahikari Tai members have a swastika on their uniforms. Okada taught that the swastika was a Japanese symbol of peace. All Tai members have this on their uniforms except for those in the United States. If they had that garbage on their sleeves here they would probably get jumped when they went to have their parade.

This is one thing I never understood. How can these youth members know what the swastika stands for to most people, and yet still wear it proudly? They should be ashamed of themselves in my opinion…and what do the Jewish Mahikari members think? Oh, yeah…I forgot, the Holocaust was the Jews faults in the first place so they should be fine with it. I am not going to say much else, I am only going let you look at this photograph and judge for yourself. This photo gives me goose bumps. It looks very reminiscent of the Nazi marchers.

As for right wing…Mahikari teaches that democracy cannot exist. They want a theocracy. A theocracy is a government with God as the head, but most people will attest that they have never heard God speak to them directly, which makes it difficult for God to govern a country if He remains silent. Which means what? That there has to be a middle man to talk with God and relay His message to the people who do not have direct communication with Him. Who would that person be? None other than Keishu Okada, who supposedly speaks directly to God while the rest of us are left in the dark. So...what does that mean for those of us who do not believe that Keishu has any more direct communication with God than anyone else? That Keishu will be the one running the government through this theocracy, not God. Sorry to foil your plan Mahikari, I am not buying it.

Concerning the swastika and it's meaning: Kotama taught that the horizontal line of the swastika symbolized water power, which was the US and all countries to the west. He taught that the vertical line of the swastika symbolized fire power and the east, which would be Japan. He preached that fire power was going to over power water power because water could only flow vertically, while fire was versatile. Through these subtle suggestions he pushed his chauvinist Japanese propoganda; teachings his followers that Japan was holy and better than all other countries and would eventually rule.

Severing the Links with the Family and Friends

G: Severing the links with the family and friends.

At first, Mahikari encourages new members to try and persuade their family and friends into joining the cause. The Goseigen states that if a member cannot get their own family to join, they will be unable to save anyone else. Due to this it is extremely important for Mahikari members to try and offer their families light, take them to the dojo, tell them about the basic teachings, as much as possible in order to garner a new member. It is forgivable if the member is unable to pull their mother, father, siblings, or other older family members into the sect, however, it is frowned upon if they are unable to get their spouse and children to join.

Members are told that if they cannot get their families to join that it is because of the member’s sins and impurities and that they need to donate more money, offer more light, and do more divine service. Once members families join Mahikari, Kumite are pressured to get their friends to join, there is even a prize if they can get at least ten new members into the sect, it’s called a Goshintai (holy shrine). The Goshintai is awarded to members when they bring in enough members; however, it is more work than a reward.

The links get severed when someone wants to leave Mahikari or when they want to tell the member the truth about Mahikari.

When someone leaves Mahikari officially, members are told that the departing member was spiritually disturbed. Spiritual disturbance is the typical response from Mahikari, regarding anything that does not follow their beliefs or criticizes their doctrine. Once a person had been labelled spiritually disturbed, Mahikari members are urged not to communicate with that person, as spiritual disturbance is contagious. All former members are either a) spiritually disturbed, b) throwing God’s gift in His face, C) not strong enough to continue the divine plan.

The other circumstance when a member is asked to sever the link between family and friend is when the person they are pitching Mahikari to disagrees with the teachings. This usually occurs when a members has read up on Mahikari and knows what an axe wound it really is.

I remember one circumstance when a woman I knew was friends with a kumite. She wasn’t a member, but she was interested in Mahikari because her intended was a member. She read what she could to try and find out what it was like, and then would speak with her kumite friend about what she had learned. Usually her kumite friend would tell her to disregard the internet as all the former members on the net were “overacting”. She even went so far as to say that Garry Greenwood was dramatizing events in his book All the Emperor’s Men.

The kumite encouraged the young woman to read Dr. Tebecis book instead, but the woman assured her that she would read everything she could in order to make a concise decision. After reading all she could find she decided that Mahikari was not the path for her. When she spoke with the Kumite about her decision and attempted to explain what she had read that had brought her to that conclusion, the kumite listened, but then ceased communication immediately afterwards. This Kumite threw away a perfectly good friendship because she was an extremist who was only looking to get another member…probably wanted that Goshintai prize at the end of the tunnel, if she didn’t already have it. (You know who you are if you’re reading this, Miss Texas Dojo) Maybe you need to take the time to read your Goseigen…I’m pretty sure it says:

How can you become men free from disease and poverty and ones with love and harmony? If you cannot respect others as you respect yourselves, you are desecrating God’s children and have made light of the Parent God

The Goseigen also says that not even Kumite are safe from the Baptism of Fire, so I would start praying if I were you. You might be going to the same place that woman who chose not to join Mahikari is going.

Once a potential member has made up their mind about Mahikari and decided not to take Primary Kenshu, they are discarded because they aren’t even good enough to be friends with a kumite. You are either with Mahikari or against Mahikari. There is no in between. There is no, “I don’t agree with your beliefs, but you’re a good person so lets continue to be friends.” No, there is none of that. You’re either a Mahikari member, or you’re not worth their time.

I have Asher’s permission and I am going to use him as an example here. Asher’s mother is in the process of disowning him because a Doshi told her that she needed to dust off the dirt from her feet; he would pull her down before she would pull him up. Kana, if you’re reading this you are a disgrace of a mother. I could never abandon my child for anyone, or anything. You have a very intelligent, kind, and talented son and you don’t deserve him. In my opinion you should have been sterilized, but then that wonderful child wouldn’t be here so I take that back. I hope you have a great life clutching onto those false teachings until kingdom come.

Proselytism Targeting Vulnerable People

F: Proselytism targeting vulnerable people.

There is a specific group of people who find their way to Mahikari. The first group of people are those who are ill, terminally or otherwise. These people come to Mahikari normally because they read the information on the website or hear about Mahikari through members, who present a testimony of people who have been “cured” by true light. This gives the ill person hope and they begin attending the dojo in order to cure their illness, if for some reason the illness goes into remission, the members automatically attribute it to the light. Mahikari members always assume that A caused B because B followed A.

This group of people are extremely vulnerable, because they just want to get well. They will try anything to cure themselves. I have diabetes, but when I was younger I had juvenile diabetes which is much more severe. I was told by the doctor that my kidneys could never go through the strain of having children, but I had wanted kids my whole life. When I joined Mahikari and my friend told me that okiyome might be able to make me strong enough to have children, I was sceptical, but I would have tried anything. I have a son now, but the strain was tremendous and I won’t be able to have anymore children. The doctor feels that one more might kill me.

The second group of people are the environmentalists and humanitarians. Mahikari appeals to the side of them that wants to save the world from its current state of chaos. The Mahikari philosophy of connecting everyone and creating a peaceful society appeals to these ideological people. Mahikari constantly pushes the environment issue; it is one of the main discussions that take place during monthly ceremony.

These people are vulnerable because of their bleeding hearts. They are kind, wonderful, compassionate people, who see how nasty this world has become and want to make a difference. They want to prevent war and live peacefully. Mahikari teaches that through the divine teachings we will all be connected (races and religions) and peace will eventually ensue. After the building of Suza the world will start reverting back to the Garden of Eden. These people want to believe this lie so badly that they remain in Mahikari. Eden hasn’t come back yet, and I bet those people are still waiting for Keishu’s lie to come true.

The third group of people is the ones who want an easy way out when it comes to God. These people normally work a tremendous amount of time and struggle to accept a God that is jealous, vengeful, and destructive if not obeyed. The Bible says that you are judged by your faith alone, not by your works. This is hard for some people to deal with because in order to be faithful they would first have to love God and obey His will. Mahikari appeals to these people because they like the idea of paying for forgiveness and spending an hour a day giving light in order to erase sins, rather than putting out the effort of actually getting to know God. Now…that’s not saying that Mahikari doesn’t preach about a vengeful God, they do, the Goseigen also states that not even kumite are safe from the Baptism of Fire, however, there seems to be a common belief amongst kumite that they are all saved despite the Goseigen’s warning. I remember so many people who would come only on monthly ceremonies, pay their membership fee, and leave immediately after. It was as though they thought God only judged them by the amount of money they paid.

These people are not vulnerable at all, just lazy.

The fourth group is children. When I say children I mean people from the ages of 0-25…I don’t think I was fully an adult until I was in my mid-twenties. Mahikari has always taught that it is important to have as many children as possible in order to raise them as kumite. As soon as you are married you are encouraged to begin a family, trust me, I know. I was pressured to start a family as soon as I got married at 20.

Once the child is born they are raised in Mahikari, naturally they adopt the same beliefs their parents practice; they learn what they see. It’s all fun and games until their tenth birthday. As soon as that child turns ten they begin being harassed by members of Kanbu to join Mahikari. As if that isn’t bad enough the child begins being harassed by their parents because not only is Kanbu harassing the child, but also the parent to encourage the child to become a member.

I remember one man I spoke with recently, he’s now 22 but he spoke with me about his experience, he said, “My mom, dad, and older brother were all members…I felt obligated to join when I turned ten and everyone started asking me about Kenshu. Almost like it was a birthright I had to accept. I took the class against my better judgment and before I knew it I was in Mahikari Tai and a Tai-Cho. Now I have left the organization and I don’t think I would have joined if the pressure hadn’t been present. Giving light didn’t appeal to me, even at that age.”

If your parents are members everyone assumes that you will be too and most children don’t have the courage to say how they feel. They feel like they will be disappointing everyone if they don’t take Kenshu. They are by far the most vulnerable because they won’t speak for themselves.

And last we have the religiously conflicted person. These people have a problem with traditional religion and seem to go from religion to religion until they find one that fits their own theories about life and the after-life. Reincarnation appeals to most people because they like the idea of second chances. Most people fear the harsh Christian philosophy of, “Follow the Bible or you’ll go to hell.” Mahikari suggests a much lighter sentence which states that if you are bad you will not go to heaven, but rather a place where you will be purified and then reincarnated into a new life until you chose Mahikari as your religion and then you will graduate to the next level. To the religiously conflicted person, this sounds pretty good, most people like second chances. You can screw up as much as you want and get away with it forever.

Exploitation of cheap labour and voluntary work

E: Exploitation of cheap labour and voluntary work as a form of purification of the soul and of redemption.

There is no possible way that Mahikari can deny this claim. All anyone need do is contact a Socho, Hancho, or anyone else who works at the dojo who is not directly below Keishu or the head of their countries sector. Keishu’s Doshis are well paid to maintain her house, serve as bodyguards, garner new members, and God knows what else. High level Kanbu members like Dr. Tebecis are very wealthy because of their increased wages. Mahikari pays for their homes, cars, food, and anything else they want.

Sochos, on the other hand, get paid a teachers salary, sometimes less, and are told that they are erasing their sins and impurities by maintaining the dojo. Some Sochos even live at the centre if they are not married with children.

Hanchos don’t get paid at all, but instead are told that they should be honoured to do divine service for Su-God. I once knew a Hancho who was at the dojo every night (neglecting her family in order to offer divine service), working with children during monthly ceremonies, bringing in flowers, aiding Doshis with Kenshu classes, taking Tai members on fieldtrips, bending over backwards for Mahikari and did she ever see a dime? No, instead she was asked to donate even though she was doing all of this divine service.

Fear is used in order to keep members from complaining about divine service. They are told that Kumite have more sins and impurities than normal people, that is why God has called them to be members of Mahikari, to erase their sins and impurities faster through true light, divine service, and evangelism.

Guilt is another factor used to keep Kumite in line. Kumite are told that they must make sure that their families are all members. “If you cannot even save your family you will not be able to save anyone else.” is often what Kumite are told. Kumite are also told that if someone they love refuses to become a member that it is because of the kumite’s sins and impurities, not the reluctant person’s impurities. Kanbu will then encourage them to do more divine service, telling them that the sooner they erase their own impurities the sooner their loved one will join. This encourages members to spend more time at the dojo, and instead of building a relationship with the person they want to bring into Mahikari, neglecting them in the process of spending every waking moment at the centre.

What it boils down to is this; Mahikari members are told that there are three ways eliminate your sins and impurities.

1) Offering True Light (No donation with true light means stealing from God)
2) Making Donations (Always the best way)
3) Divine Service (IE: volunteering to look after the centre, organizing ceremonies, purchasing flowers, harboring members of Kanbu when they visit, taking care of shrines and Goshintai, cleaning the centre, taking last minute trips to other states or countries without question and at their own expense, etc)

As you can see any kind of physical labor is considered divine service and therefore members should be grateful and do these task without expecting compensation.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Financial Extortion Justified by Various Spiritual Reasons

C. Financial extortion justified by various spiritual reasons (i.e. donation of 10% of one’s income to receive True Light, courses, etc.)

Now, we all know that it’s quite an expense to join Sukyo Mahikari. Most churches simply allow you to join, but in order to join Mahikari you must first meet the approval of the Kanbu…(IE: You must be devoted and you must be willing to keep up with the fees.) Nowadays it’s getting harder and harder to join Mahikari…Kanbu are not above telling someone that they need to spend more time receiving okiyome and studying the teachings before they become members. Kanbu will tell you that the reason behind this is to ensure that the person is spiritually mature enough to become a Kumite.

However, we former members have a theory of our own…spiritually mature could translate into brainwashed enough to believe everything they are going to throw at you in Primary Kenshu. Once you are ready…to take the Primary course (in the US) you pay $100-$120…that in itself is steep for a lot of people. I knew a man once who wanted to join, but his income would not allow it. He was living off of roughly $1200 a month. Kanbu worked with him…they allowed him to make payments (anything to get the money). Once you join there is a 10% tie you are supposed to reach monthly…however, that’s not uncommon…Christian religions suggest the same thing in order to maintain the church. The difference is that Christian religions don’t make God out to be a money hungry tyrant who demands that you pay or He cuts you off. Christian religions teach that you give what you can.

My husband has just recently stopped making donations to Mahikari…I guess he decided that Keishu probably has enough to take care of herself for the rest of her life. Anyways, the Doshi approached him last monthly ceremony and asked him if he wanted to make a donation. He said he had noticed it had been a while since my husband had offered “gratitude”, monthly or just to receive okiyome. My husband told him that he didn’t want to give a donation and he told me later that I should have seen the look on the Doshi’s face. He said it was priceless. The point I am trying to make is that Mahikari teachings don’t just talk about offering money, the Kanbu is not above blatantly asking for it. It’s like the Sheriff of Nottingham coming after the villagers for their taxes…goodness…I bet Mahikari members could use Robin Hood right about now.

Okay…after you join you make a donation whenever you visit the dojo…which is roughly between $1-$10…depending on the person. Then if you want to move up to secondary levels, you pay $700-$740. Tertiary is the steepest because have to travel to Japan for the classes, but the cost is $1000-$1200. In the end…someone who joins and move up to tertiary levels has paid roughly $1800…that doesn’t include donations…say a person donates $5 every time they visit the dojo…now say that person visits the dojo every day (which many do) that means $35 a week…by the end of the year they would have spent $1825. Now, say they stay in Mahikari for approximately seven years…that’s about how long it takes most to move up to a tertiary level…in those seven years in donations they would have spent $12,775. Now add that together with the cost of taking all the Kenshu classes and you have $14,575…that’s a lot of money.

Granted, we would have to subtract money for when the person is ill or goes out of town…but as you can see the amount is still staggering.

And how about that 10% tie? Well let’s play a game shall we? My father makes approximately $2500 a month. $2500 multiplied by .10 is equal to $250…that means someone like my dad (who makes a pretty average living) would have to pay $250 a month to maintain a monthly membership in Mahikari. That’s $125 bi-weekly and $8.93 a day. Now…$8.93 a day multiplied by 365 days in a year is equal to $3259.45. So if my father was at the tertiary level in Mahikari, donated $5 a day for okiyome, and paid his monthly membership fee…annually he would pay $17,834.25.

Now…total, in a year my father makes $30,000…with Mahikari fees it ends up being over half of his pay. Is it extortion? Many people would say no because the people involved give willingly, but again…they would be cut off from God if they didn’t, right? Not only that, but they are donating to a cause that has so much shrouded truth hidden in it’s depths…you have to ask would they be donating this money if they knew the truth? Probably not…so yes, I think extortion is the appropriate word to use.

Outrageous Payments for the Purification of the Spirit

B. Outrageous payments for the purification of the spirit, the mind and the body as a guarantee against illnesses.

Mahikari prefers to call them ‘donations’, not payments. Call it whatever you want, but when it’s mandatory it’s all the same thing. Mahikari would argue that donations are not mandatory, but when your option is to pay or risk your spiritual connection with God being severed…I would say that sounds pretty mandatory to me. It’s difficult to find text in the Goseigen stating specifically that you are supposed to offer donations…most of it just babbles on about compensation…however, anyone who has ever been a member of Mahikari, especially if you have chosen to move up to secondary or tertiary levels, knows that the Kanbu is constantly harassing you about making donations and paying your monthly membership fee.

Part of the reason that the Goseigen is so vague on the subject of donations is because the demand for donations didn’t really come about until Keishu took over the organization. Of course, Kotama asked that his followers make donations with a positive attitude, however he also stressed that if the money was not offered out of the goodness of ones heart, that God would see right through you and it was better to not donate at all.

The monthly membership fee was something that was taught when Keishu started sending her monthly lessons to the dojos around the world when Kotama died. Shortly after she started claiming to be God’s rep. on earth…she began taking it upon herself to write lessons and lectures, which were sent to dojos globally. I believe a couple of her ‘sermons’ have since been added to the Goseigen…two of them if I am not mistaken. I remember getting a copy of the little pages to put inside my Goseigen…I believe one was about donations and the other…serving God by protecting the current leader of Mahikari at all costs?...something to that effect…I tried to forget.

The only thing the Goseigen does say is… “Once thou have known God’s revelation and Law and have understood the law of offering gratitude for all good and bad from the bottom of thy heart, thou shall not allow man to neglect the mind to make recompensation for God’s blessings.” 79 (JP130)

This doesn’t come out and directly say “HEY, give me all your money!” But it sets the premise for Keishu’s later teachings about donations. Offering gratitude for all good and bad…well… lets think about how one can offer gratitude…there are only two ways (as Mahikari teaches) to offer gratitude…1: Offering okiyome…2: Donations…offering okiyome would be the choice for someone who lacks money…however, members are also taught that to take okiyome without offering a donation is like stealing from God.

Primary Kenshu text book pg. 89 says…
"In everyday life, if you wish to enjoy a more comfortable journey, you must pay for the comfort... In our approach towards God, this principle also applies. So, for the price of your happiness, as apology for your accumulated sins, and as appreciation for protection you received during the month, it is important to give your donation with a sonen of sincerity in helping to carry out God's plan and to make the ceremony grand."

Okay…what did that just say? You must show appreciation for the protection you received during the month…doesn’t that imply that you are paying for protection? You also pay for omitama, which is supposedly your protection from evil spirits that might harm you…isn’t that not paying for protection?

"When you do not willingly offer Otamagushi or do other services to God you must face other forms of compensation, which may be a great loss, as purification."

Okay…now this sounds like a threat…though I am sure Mahikari would call it a ‘warning’. If you do not make donations you will have to compensate in other ways…such as a ‘great loss’…now it doesn’t say what kind of loss so the readers mind is left to wonder. It could be the loss of a loved one, loss of money, loss of ones home, loss of transportation, death…there are so many things a person can lose.

"Even if you say you believe in God, it is only false praise unless you express your sonen in material form. Sukuinushisama has kindly taught us how to believe in God with words such as 'Respect the significance of donations'."

I find it rather sad that Mahikari members think that God is interested in something as trivial as copper, silver, and paper money. God’s kingdom is paved in gold, what would He do with copper and silver? Those metals are cheap in comparison and besides…He’s God, He can snap His fingers and make money appear. For that matter…Keishu Okada must be rich…think about it, if every Mahikari member donated $1 or it’s equivalent every day…she is getting approximately $100,000-$500,000 a week…it’s ridiculous. However, Mahikari warns its members about people who might suggest, dare I say it, ‘that they use their money the way they want.’ Mahikari cannot deal with lost revenue, so they have cut off any possibility for members to question why they are donating.

Primary Kenshu Textbook pg. 84

"People often say, "That's a money-making religion. They're telling you only the good things. You are stupid. You are being fooled. It's your right to work, earn and spend as you like by yourself. If God has great love, it's natural that He saves us.”

Maybe if people keep saying that it’s a money making religion…perhaps it’s true? I don’t know…all these former members on the internet must not know what they’re talking about. We’re just grinding our axes…even though we’re the ones who have nothing to lose or gain from this. Mahikari is the one trying to prevent lost revenue. I feel bad for the members that think that they can pay their way into God’s favor. God loves everyone. He doesn’t rate you based on how much you pay…if He did you would then be paying for God’s love.

These are the words of those who don't know clearly the difference between the wrong way and the true way, or the true God and an evil deity. Moreover these are the people who have never experienced anything mysterious. What a pity if you are wheedled by these people into going away from the entrance of Mahikari's house, the place of salvation of the supreme God (Su-God). That would mean leaving the gate of happiness and taking the road to hell by yourself. You would only have gotten a glimpse of the inside. Now please be careful, for this itself is the sign of the revival of disorders caused by evil spirits."

Well…I guess I am taking the road to hell by myself…and you know what? It feels good. You members cannot imagine what it’s like…to have a mind of your own, make your own decisions, to enjoy life without obligation, to enjoy the world God has created for you with open eyes…it’s amazing. I thank God every day for taking me away from the entrance to Mahikari’s house…

(Thanks to KitKat for finding all the Primary Kenshu texts.)

Rejection of Scientific Medicine to the Benefit of Religious Healing Techniques

A. Rejection of scientific medicine to the benefit of religious healing techniques such as the laying on of hands, the purification of the spirit, the mind and the body.

As all former members can attest, Mahikari is very opposed to both science and medicine. The Goseigen is crystal clear on the supposed “dangers” of taking medication and relying on science for answers. Yet Mahikari members quoted on this site are attempting to deny Mahikari’s anti-science stance. “Some people receive True Light with the hope that they will be healed or that their condition will improve. The aim of the art of Mahikari, however, is not to heal illnesses but to revive the original divine power of men, children of God, through purification of their spiritual, astral and physical body, to allow them to participate in the accomplishment of the divine work and to make progress on the path of divinisation. The art of True Light is no substitute for medical or psychological therapy. Sukyo Mahikari recommends, therefore, that if a person has a physical problem, he should see a qualified medical doctor or physician. Similarly, if a person has an emotional or mental problem, he should seek the help of a professional therapist or counsellor.”

As usual, we, the former members are wrong.

Clearly we’re all just crazy and making everything up. Professional therapist or counsellor? I seem to remember my In-Laws giving me quite a hard time whilst studying psychology. They would say that people didn’t need to talk to psychologists; they needed to receive light and join Mahikari. Let me remind everyone reading this, that my father-in-law was once a Socho…I have no idea what his position is called now; something insanely high up there. My point is, that if someone as high up as my father-in-law is saying therapy and counselling is wrong, there a strong possibility that most Mahikari members feel the same way. Or at least they are taught to think the same way. I am just going to begin by quoting the Goseigen.

It is the present ‘‘intellectually poisoned’’ man who has soiled and defiled the supreme wonderous works of God’s wisom, filled it up with villiany and has neither realized the blunder, nor the necessity to apologize to the Creator. Isn’t it correct that man has hardened his brain to its core with poisons, and argues for the sake of arguing with whatever minute part of Wisdom he still possess? Man is counterfeiting everything and is proud of it ; swagger and self-conceited, insisting on his science, wisdom, and freedom of his pursit of knowledge. He has changed the Divine Science into a monsterous science, God’s knowledge into one that will self destruct. And ‘‘true medical science’’ which should be the ‘‘ sublime science’’ into something completely different, far from the Divine Principle of perfect health. 60 (JP 102-103-104)

Ahhh...I see. Well, call me crazy, but I think that sounds pretty opposed to science, don’t you? Primary Kenshu notes also talk about how you cannot depend on intellect for anything. The minds of man is useless and pondering why parts of Mahikari doesn’t make sense will only confuse the spiritual mind. Mahikari’s advice on how to deal with the fact that some of the teachings are difficult to understand? Don’t think about it. Don’t question it. Just be sonao. Focus on the sublime and not the scientific.

Intellectual poison has polluted man, the child of God, from all directions, who at one time was a godly man, and changed him into a clot of poison that has even penetrated the brain where it still remains. 61 (JP 105)

Do humans recognize a means to stop this intellect and power ? Unfortunately, no they do not. They will end up being blown away. 62 (JP 106-107)

Let me start out by saying, I find it difficult to picture God saying that human being will be blown away. There is another verse in the Goseigen that says something to the effect that anyone who doesn’t follow Mahikari will be ‘‘beaten to a pulp’’. Can’t see God saying that either. The above text indicates that because man is so thirsty (greedy, if you believe the Goseigen) for knowledge and power they will end up being blown away.

Mahikari believes science is the wrong way, the only way is spirituality. Spirituality and Science cannot co-exsist together. I don’t know about the other former members, but when I first joined Mahikari, there was a constant emphasis on ‘the end of the world’, the ‘dawn of a new society that only kumite will survive’.

I know members in Australia who even say Kanbu went so far as to make them pack an emergency bag of what they would take with them if the end should come. My husband is still a active member of Mahikari ; and although the ‘end of the world’ theory is rejected by many now, my husbad says Kanbu now preach about how man, with their nuclear weapons, will destory the world. Hence supporting the Goseigen text that states men will be ‘‘blown away’’.

This ties into the whole idea that science is wrong. Men created bombs by using scientific knowledge, thus the world will be blown away because of bombs made by men through the use of science.

Modern man have gone too far. It is because of human greediness. It has tempted man to use medicine as a means to make money and has also tempted him to consume it. It is because of his avarice. It has made man desire only the pleasures of comfort without delay. There is no reaping before sowing in the arrangement with God. Avarice is one of the greatest causes of negative karma. 62 (JP 106-107)

For those of you who don’t know what the word avarice means, the definition is: Avarice: Immoderate desire for wealth; cupidity.

The Goseigen states that God gave men natural remedies to cure severe illness. Those sorts of ‘‘medicine’’, if you can call it that, is acceptable in the eyes of Mahikari. Things like green tea, herbs, and organic foods are tolerable. However, those things should always be complimented with okiyome. Anything made by a pharmaceutical company that has to be bought or paid for is wrong. The fact that man has marketed science made medicine is unforgivable; science is evil and the bane of man’s existence. Anything that is not organic and of God is wrong. This text also goes onto to say,

“It has made man desire only the pleasures of comfort without delay. There is no reaping before sowing in the arrangement with God.’’

Let me put it this way...say you have a headache, you take some Tylenol, your headache pain goes away...there’s nothing wrong with that, right ? Wrong ! Not in a Mahikari world. Whenever you are ill (as Mahikari teaches) instead of taking medications that only masks the pain (again as Mahikari teaches) you should simply suffer through it and be greatful that God is cleansing away your toxins. Otherwise you are ‘‘desiring the pleasure of comfort without delay’’...basically God expects you to suffer through sickness and maintain a sonao attitude. This attitude of no medication or treatment has even gotten some of it’s members killed. Case in point? On the Mahikari Exposed site


there is an experience story written by a woman named Christiane. She talks about how her husband was diagnosed with a sever illness that the doctor instructed they handle right away. However, instead of heeding the doctor’s warning, Christiane consulted a member of Kanbu, who told her that the doctors were only in their profession to make money. Christiane told her husband they had nothing to worry about and just continued to give her husband okiyome...not long after that her husband passed away due to complications brought on by his condition. All the Kanbu member could say was that because her husband died in such a violent way, her family and ancestors had just rid themselves of severe spiritual impurities and negative karma.

Wow...pretty cold hearted if you ask me. There is no comfort in the standard Mahikari responses. Now, let me bring this post to a close...Mahikari says that all non-organic medicine was made by man, not God to poison the body and mind...rather than God gave man the ability to create these medications to improve their health and prolong their lives...so if the Mahikari belief is correct and man is independent of God...then God is not in control of the world as we know it. He just watches as we destroy ourselves. I think I’ve proved my point. Mahikari Says...Science+Medicine=Destruction and Evil...

Sukyo Mahikari Observatory

During my next series of posts I am going to be responding to this website:


I started reading this thinking that it was an anti-Mahikari site, but what I found was that it is more pro than anything. It defends Mahikari on all of the issues listed below, attempting to look neutral, but in the end siding more with Mahikari than the former members who have been there. I am going to break this down slowly, using references from the Goseigen and other texts, to show the fallacies in this article. List of allegations concerning the dangerous nature of the movement

A. Rejection of scientific medicine to the benefit of religious healing techniques such as the laying on of hands, the purification of the spirit, the mind and the body.

B. Outrageous payments for the purification of the spirit, the mind and the body as a guarantee against illnesses.

C. Financial extortion justified by various spiritual reasons (i.e. donation of 10% of one’s income to receive True Light, courses, etc.)

D. Use of the donations for financial operations and investments abroad.

E. Exploitation of cheap labour and voluntary work as a form of purification of the soul and of redemption.

F. Proselytism targeting vulnerable people.

G. Severing the links with the family and friends.

H. Sukyo Mahikari is a totalitarian sect (use of the swastika, the symbol of nazi and extreme-right movements).

I. Sukyo Mahikari is an apocalyptic sect (only its members will be saved).

Keishu Okada

The following is my personal speculation. I am not liable if the name of Keishu Okada gets smeared through this post. I have stated that these are my personal assumptions based on my knowledge of Mahikari and the history of Keishu Okada and Kotama Okada.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made…” Genesis 3:1

The bible uses the symbol of the serpent in the Garden of Eden to represent Satan. In the Bible, snakes are used to symbolize evil and deceit throughout its teachings. As I have been reading other blogs, talking with former Mahikari members, and sucking up all the latest Mahikari news…I have come to find that in my mind, much like Satan was the villain of Christianity, so too is Keishu Okada the villain of Mahikari.

Not necessarily an obvious villain; just as Satan pretended to be a friend of Adam and Eve’s when all the while he was plotting to make them fall from grace by disobeying God…paradoxically Keishu pretends to be God’s representative on earth, praying for the lives of mankind, while in reality she is well aware that she has no more power in deciding the fate of the world than you or I.

Throughout this post I plan to point out and examine all the lies surrounding Keishu Okada’s past. I will tell you her version of events and then my own version. This is strictly speculation, but you have to admit it is speculation that makes sense.

Alright…here we go….

Keishu Okada was born in 1925, which would make her 81 years old. Since becoming the head of the Mahikari faith, Keishu has said little, if anything about her past. Where she was born, who her parents were is a complete mystery. How she met Okada is an even bigger mystery. In most biographies she isn’t even mentioned until Okada falls ill and needs a replacement. There is a reason for that, I’m sure. Mahikari likes to keep anything scandalous or incriminating under wraps. Many websites wouldn’t dare say anything negative about her; for fear that someone might hit them with slander charges. Well…I am going to say how I feel. In the United States we are protected by freedom of speech, which means I am allowed to say whatever I want, about whomever I want, and the target of my article can’t do a thing about it. Here is my version of events…

Keishu Okada was born in 1925 in Japan. Her family were members of a religious group called the SKK: Sekai Kyusei Kyo or Johrei if you live in America (founded in 1935 when Keishu was 10.) The SKK is an organization which practices a healing technique in which the hand is raised a few inches in front of the forehead or any other various points, in order to heal a person through a spiritual energy.

(Sound familiar?)

SKK members remember Keishu and her family well. When Keishu had just turned 30, she met a married SKK priest named Yoshikazu Okada. They formed a friendship and soon a sexual relationship. Around this time Yoshikazu was relieved of his duties as a member of Kanbu in the SKK due to sexual misconduct and unorthodox teachings.

I have read everything I could find on this particular subject and the articles never seem to reveal the woman’s name with whom Yoshikazu was sexually involved with. Having experienced the ugly side of sexual misconduct in a Japanese religion (check out my Memoirs of a Kumite blog for details on that), I can say that Kanbu is not kind to members who take part in sexual activities outside of wedlock. I can only imagine the repercussions for a member of Kanbu.

How shameful.

I would be willing to guess that the woman was Keishu Okada. When Yoshikazu was kicked out of the SKK he was enraged. In his anger he created a new religion called Mahikari, when he was 58 years old. Keishu soon left the Johrei as well and was one of the first to join Yoshikazu, or Kotama as he was being called by then, on his religious quest.

You never hear about any of this in Mahikari…why? Because Yoshikazu chose certain verses from the Bible and from Buddhist teachings to prove that he was the one true Messiah. The Buddhist teaching states that, 3000 years after Buddha’s death, a layman with no previous religious experience will rise to show everyone the true path. Yoshikazu wanted everyone to believe that he was this layman in the prediction. Therefore, some of his history had to be eliminated in order to achieve this illusion.

Mahikari has just recently fessed up to the fact that Kotama was a member of the SKK among other religions. Eventually there was so much evidence contradicting the supposed truth that Keishu’s representative made a statement to explain that Kotama had been involved in other religions whilst on his spiritual quest. It only took Mahikari 30-something years to admit it. What is also funny to me, Anne pointed this out recently, how Yoshikazu wanted to denounce all other religions as pseudo-truths, but yet he sure did use them quite frequently to credit himself. Of course Mahikari members will say that since he was a Messiah he had the ability to differentiate from what was true and what was false…completely brainwashed, I repeat, completely brainwashed. God gave you common sense, people, use it. I feel like an idiot for believing any of this garbage.

Back to the story…Keishu and Kotama continued their relationship, but for some reason neglected to get married; probably because Kotama was already married at the time. Eventually his wife caught wind of what was happening, so she divorced him and took their two children with her. After that scandal there was no way Kotama could marry Keishu; his reputation would be ruined and everyone would know why his marriage ended in divorce court. They continued to keep their relationship a secret, however, former members have been quoted as saying that the relationship was quite obvious, but no one questioned their great savior’s judgment. Eventually Kotama legally adopted Keishu in order to have an excuse for her constant presence.

After the adoption Keishu’s life became rather quiet. We hear nothing else from her until she is involved in the infamous legal battle. When Kotama passed away, it was assumed by everyone that his best friend, and second in command, Sekiguchi, would take his place. He had made that clear when he was well enough to speak and communicate his wishes. Because of this clarity, he felt no need to leave a last will and testament restating the fact. Despite this, Keishu remained by her “fathers” side while he was dying. When he passed she left his bed chambers and told several Kumite that her father had anointed her the new spiritual leader. No one was in the bedroom; no one heard the conversation…though many have said that in his state of sickness and delirium, Okada couldn’t have relayed such a message. Keishu took Sekiguchi to court, but in the end there were too many witnesses stating that Sekiguchi was supposed to be the new leader, and not Keishu. In her anger, she split off the supposed one true religion and created Sukyo Mahikari (a carbon cut copy of Mahikari, but with her as the leader).

After she started her own organization, she made sure that much more emphasis was put on donations and gratitude. She also began referring to herself as God’s representative on earth. In later years, she set her sights on expanding to other countries besides Japan. She saw dollar signs $$$$ in her new religion and she wanted to utilize it. Many members followed her when she created her own religion, believing her tales of her father changing his mind at the last possible minute. However, many stayed with Sekiguchi.

I suppose I find it hard to understand how people can believe someone who lied about so many things. How can you believe a word that comes out of her mouth after she had been proved a liar time after time after time? She has a silver serpents tongue…it a shame that so many people are blind to that fact.


Since starting this blog I have received several emails from people asking me all sorts of questions about Mahikari. Many have family members and friends involved in the sect and are curious about what their loved ones are doing whilst at the dojo. Others just want more information. Here are some of the basic questions I get asked daily about Mahikari. I hope this helps the readers who are contemplating joining Mahikari. All of these questions will be answered in my opinion based on my personal belief system.

Was Mahikari the first organization to practice The Art of True Light?

-The answer to this is no. There is another group that offers okiyome, or as they call it Johrei. They were once called the SKK, but now I believe they are simply going by the name of the energy in which they believe they can radiate through the hands, “Johrei” (pronounced Jo-Ray). They were founded by a man named Mokichi Okada (no relation to Yoshikazu Okada) in 1935, approximately 24 years prior to Mahikari. So as you can see, the organization is in no way original as it claims. Here are some of the Johrei’s official sites so you can look at the staggering similarities for yourself. The comparison is clearly there…things such as sangetsu flower arrangements to spiritually enlighten you, yoku gardening is practiced by the Johrei as well, okiyome, environmental education, omitamas (they have pendants but unlike Mahikari they do not believe that the pendant is necessary in order to offer okiyome)…everything that Mahikari practices, the Johrei practice as well.

http://www.johrei.ca/ http://johreidc.org/index.html

What should you do with your pendant once you leave Mahikari?

-Burn it! Just kidding…seriously now, this is a personal choice and not one that should be taken in stride. You shouldn’t be wearing it and caring for as you have done in the past that merely feeds the sickness you are trying to rid yourself of. I wore my pendant for a long time after leaving and it was merely prolonging the healing process. I think you should dispose of the omitama the way you feel is right. It is a burden that is being lifted off your shoulders and you should deal with it the way you see fit. I burned mine because that was what was going to be therapeutic for me. Some people return them to the dojo to make a statement, others keep them, some throw them away, some bury them (like a funeral, I suppose)…it just depends on what feels right to you.

Have you ever witnessed a spirit disturbance?

-I have witnessed nothing more than what occurs at Pentecostal churches, however in those churches, I believe they say that when a person acts as though they are possessed it is because they are receiving the Holy Spirit…not because they are spiritually disturbed. Pentecostal churches see those reactions as a positive thing, whereas Mahikari believes them to be negative and evil. Whenever something like that occurred, I couldn’t help but find myself thinking, “Maybe they’re faking it. Maybe they are just trying to make us believe they’re possessed.” Now that I think back on it, with all the lies Mahikari has told, they are not beyond asking someone to act out as though they are possessed. I personally don’t believe that spirit disturbance exists. I remember a woman coming to our dojo a long time ago, none of us had ever seen her before, but she claimed to be visiting the US with her family. When she was receiving okiyome she began screaming and kicking and lashing about as though she was disturbed. The Doshi then proceeded to enter the room at the perfect moment and save the day by “talking things out” with the spirit. The woman calmed down and then all was well. We never saw her again. I have always wondered if maybe Mahikari would pay someone to come to the dojo and act out of sorts in order to strengthen members’ belief in spirit possession. The fear of being possessed if ever leaving Mahikari is an excellent scare tactic. My other theory would be that during the shallow meditative state some people enter during okiyome…maybe something occurs almost like a form of hypnotism…causing people to behave as though they are disturbed. I have never witnessed a spirit disturbance that occurred whilst a regular kumite offered okiyome…it always seemed to happen when a Socho, Doshi, or a high member in Kanbu was offering. This causes me to believe that maybe Kanbu are taught a different technique for offering okiyome that causes a bizarre reaction.

How does Sukyo Mahikari vary from Kotama’s original organization Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyoden or SMBK?

-I have heard so many Kumite telling potential members that the reason Mahikari gets such a bad reputation is because of the SMBK. The SMBK was Okada’s original organization, after his death there was a power struggle between Sakae Sekiguchi and his adoptive daughter/concubine, Keishu Okada, for the secession of the leadership. Due to Keishu’s frivolous claim that her father asked her to lead his organization on his death bed…and with no witnesses to back up the claim, Sakae Sekiguchi was given leadership of the group. SMBK is now run by Katsutoshi Sekiguchi; Sakae’s son. Both groups follow the same book, the Goseigen, and practice Okada’s teachings…yoku gardening, flower arranging, okiyome, building of Suza…they are one and the same other than the fact that their current leader is different. The claim that Sukyo Mahikari has acquired a bad reputation due to the SMBK is another of Keishu’s frivolous accusations…the SMBK tries it’s hardest to stay out of the limelight. Sukyo Mahikari is the half of the organization that seems to be constantly in the news and pushing for publicity. I don’t seem to remember SMBK getting bashed quite as hard as Sukyo Mahikari on the internet either. For those of you who have been told by Kumite that the organizations are different, rest assured, they are one and the same.

Is it true that Mahikari members are discouraged from reading anything that is opposed to their teachings?

-Very true. Within the walls of the dojo there are publications written by Mahikari members. Most of the information is written about personal experiences and about the greatness of Kotama Okada. When in doubt members are encourage to read the publications at the dojo or speak with Kanbu to put their mind at ease. However, if you only talk with Mahikari members you will only get the Mahikari answers. Kumite are told by the Kanbu that any members, who reads negative internet or book sources, are spiritually disturbed and are begging to have attaching spirits latch on. They are told that the authors who write negative things on the internet are disturbed and should be paid no mind. Kanbu have also been quoted as saying that former members have an “axe to grind”…the truth is, former members are attempting to tell their stories on the internet to inform people of their experiences with Mahikari. We have nothing to gain by exposing the truth, whereas Mahikari is totally dependent on offerings from members. Departing members means lost revenue. I encourage everyone to read all you can about Mahikari if you are considering membership…the good and the bad. At least then you will be making an informed, independent decision.

Faithless: After Mahikari

It seems like Mahikari not only causes psychological damage, but also spiritual damage. Since departing Mahikari I have spoken with many former kumite; and what I have found through talking with them is that after Mahikari, for many of them, spirituality, faith, and God are things of the past. So many have left Mahikari since it first began in the late 60’s and the number of former members continues to rise. The constant devotion and donations to Mahikari is no longer an acceptable way of life for many people. Leaving Mahikari is a traumatic experience, if you were unfortunate enough to get sucked into believing all the teachings. It is probably one of the hardest things, many Kumite will ever do. ZT talked about this in one of his recent posts…he talked about what hurts; and leaving Mahikari causes a lot of hurt when someone has devoted themselves so completely, entirely, and selflessly to the cause. You wake up one morning and realize that everything you thought was essential to life…seems so asinine and stupid. You find yourself wondering around incoherently, wondering what to do next. There is a void in your life, a space…you start thinking…

What am I going to do instead of going to dojo? What are my friends going to think? What will my family say? Am I spiritually disturbed and that is why I am thinking these things? Should I still care for omitama…Goshintai? Maybe I am just overreacting and there is a perfectly good explanation for these terrible findings? Did I really waste (X) amount of years on Mahikari? Would God allow me to be lead astray like this for so long?

It is those very questions and doubts that keep so many people locked in the Mahikari spell all their life. Can you imagine what someone like Dr. Tebecis would do if the truth about Mahikari suddenly registered in his mind, if all of a sudden it just clicked and he realized all the lies that he had been told and all the lies he had spread to others? What would Dr. Tebecis’ life be like without Mahikari? It’s his bread and butter, his everything, if he was suddenly without it the entire foundation upon which he has built his life would come tumbling down. I know so many people who live and breathe the dojo; they schedule everything around whether or not they will be able to get to dojo.

Some quit their jobs and devote every waking moment to Mahikari and the dojo. Could you imagine what their lives would be like without it? It would virtually stop.

They might still have their families, but then again if their families are kumite…they might not. That is what it is like to leave Mahikari for those of you who don’t know and are thinking about joining. In the end you are so dependant on Mahikari, the Kanbu, okiyome, and the dojo that you don’t know what to do without those elements in your life. You lose so much, especially if you were unfortunate enough (like myself) to pull your family and friends into it.

When you’re ready to leave, doesn’t mean the people you love will be ready to leave.

It isn’t as easy as Kumite make it out to be. Kumite say you can leave whenever you want, but when you do, you are shunned. Mahikari and its members won’t talk to you anymore because you’re disturbed, and to associate with you would be like holding themselves back spiritually. But that isn’t the worst part.

As I said, for many, after Mahikari is a life without spirituality and God. I would be willing to say that 75% of ex-members I have talked to have either become agnostic or atheist since leaving Mahikari. Their faith in God is completely shaken because they believed whole-heartedly in the Mahikari cause…only to find that it was lies.

When I ask them why they don’t believe they will say, “If God exists, why did He point me in this direction? Why did He allow me to become victimized by this cult?”

My answer to them is always the same, whether they want to hear it or not. God didn’t point you in this direction; YOU went in that direction because you wanted to. God didn’t allow you to become victimized by a cult, YOU allowed yourself to be victimized by a cult.

Some of them have lost 20 or more years because of Mahikari. I have read comment after comment on former member sites that say, “Mahikari has ruined spirituality for me for the rest of my life.” That is how much this cult is hurting people. It turns everyone involved into a mindless lemming, following the crowd, being obedient, and paying, paying, paying.

Many will not leave Mahikari (like Dr.Tebecis)…why?

Not because they’re weak people, but because of the embarrassment of having to admit they were wrong and because of the fear of what is beyond the dojo walls. They start thinking…what next? What can I do with my life now? Where do I direct my focus? Where do I use this energy and desire to improve the world? What will I do instead of Mahikari?

That is was keeps people involved in Mahikari long after giving light has lost its reward. If you are lucky enough to get out, some come out stronger and ready to take on the world, others become reclusive and faithless. It is a tragedy that Mahikari has the ability to turn once vibrant and spiritual people into half of what they were before.

It’s like a leech that sucks the life from you and then discards you. I have been lucky, but if you’re reading this and are truly considering Mahikari as a spiritual path, remember this…you might not be as lucky.

My Answers to Dr. Tebecis

I have been reading over Dr. Tebecis’ “Answers to the Critics” from Thomas David’s pro-Mahikari site. What I am finding is that the answers simple aren’t good enough, not good enough to satisfy me anyway. I am going to break this down bit by bit and by the end of this we should have Dr. Tebecis’ “Answers to the Critics” and my answers to Dr. Tebecis. Here is what the Doc had to say about internet sites such as mine…

Media publicity

There is an extreme view on the Internet that Sukyo Mahikari has a hidden agenda – that the Emperor of Japan is going to rule the world and that the organization is a front to achieve this. Such a distorted view simply could not subsist in Japan. Practically everyone in Japan knows that members of the Imperial family are strictly traditionalistic when it comes to religious matters, following traditional Shintoism and all the rites and practices that come with it.

-This is true; nowadays most people do know that the emperor is just a symbol. However, Mahikari wasn’t created in 2006…Okada had his first revelation in 1959, exactly 14 years after WWII, where the emperor of Japan had just lost his power and right to claim his divinity. Many people were angry that the emperor was forced to step down and still followed him. Okada was one of those loyal followers, having been in the army and served his country. So whether or not Japanese people know that the emperor is just a symbol is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that Okada incorporated his devotion for the emperor of Japan into his teachings, and encouraged his followers to be loyal to the current emperor. Mahikari members are taught that one day the emperor will reassume his position as the leader of the world. Someone who only takes primary Kenshu will not find out anymore than surface data, but those who become enlightened enough to take secondary and tertiary Kenshu find out rather quickly about the importance of the emperor. So the question isn’t whether or not Japanese people know the Emperor is strictly traditionalistic, the question is whether or not Kumite know that the Emperor is strictly traditionalistic.

The Emperor of Japan, as any head of state or person in high office, would not show favoritism to any religious organization in Japan or elsewhere.

-I don’t know about that. If I was an Emperor and I had a religious group who was willing to worship me and place me back in the dictator position I was in prior to WWII…if I was going to be able to rule over a country again…I think I would be a little enthusiastic about it. I think I might show favoritism towards a group who was willing to worship me like a God. That’s like saying a celebrity who is getting free clothes from a famous fashion designer is not going to show favoritism towards that designer for giving them free merchandise. It’s an absurd thing to say. If Donna Karen is going to give me free clothes and jewelry, but Louis Vuitton, who makes equally as beautiful clothes, wants me to wear his dress but he wants me to pay for it…who do you think I am going to go with? It’s the same thing. If the Emperor has a choice to support a religious group who would rather keep him in his current position, versus a group who wants him to be in a leadership role again, where he has more power and prestige, which do you think he will favor?

Why has this view appeared amongst some previous Sukyo Mahikari members? It could be because the founder gave teachings that things started in the “land of the origin of spirit”, and that in extremely ancient times there was a leader from the land of the origin of spirit who was the representative of God for the peoples of the world. These teachings need to be taken in context. In ancient times when humankind appeared on earth, there was no country called Japan, no nationalities or borders, only land. People were all of the same origin and spread out to different parts of the world. Japan today is a part of what in ancient times was called the land of the origin of spirit.

-Stop right there…let’s reread that comment, shall we? “Japan today is a part of what in ancient times was called the land of the origin of spirit.” And I guess that means that the rest of the world wasn’t a part to the Land of the Origin of the Spirit. I guess that means the other land masses just came up from nowhere. Despite science telling us that it would take eras to form something of the scale and magnitude of a continent.

Sukuinushisama said that the people of the land of the origin of spirit does not only refer to Japanese people. Various teachings of Sukyo Mahikari point not to ‘a chosen people’ but to the importance of having harmony amongst people of all backgrounds as brothers and sisters. For example, in the Yokoshi Prayer Book, a verse of a divine song (entitled “The Land of the Origin of Spirit”) says, Japanese and Jewish people, you are not the chosen ones. Another says, Americans, Russians, Chinese, Japanese and Jewish people are all brothers. It is absurd that you now have discord among yourselves.Related to this matter is another allegation made in the media and on the Internet – that Sukyo Mahikari is racist, in particular, that it is anti-Semitic. There is no truth in this allegation. The passage cited above from the Yokoshi Prayer Book already makes this clear.

-See my last post…Letter to Thomas David...

Sukyo Mahikari welcomes all people, irrespective of their religion, race or background.

-As long as they are willing to conform to a Japanese way of life and accept Mahikari as their primary religion.

There are a number of Jewish Sukyo Mahikari members in Australia, with whom I communicate. The first Mahikari doctor in Australia is a Jewish woman whom I guided to Mahikari in 1976. In Canberra, I often talk with a good friend of mine, a Jewish man who became a Sukyo Mahikari member in Perth years ago. This man used to be the principal viola player for the London Symphony Orchestra and also had a position with the Carl Pini String Quartet. He told me: “The Light and the Mahikari teachings have not only furthered my progress as a musician and teacher but they have deepened my understanding of Judaism”.

-“They have deepened my understanding of Judaism.” I can see where Mahikari might deepen his understanding of Judaism. Mahikari teaches about karma; which teaches us that everything that happens throughout our lives is due to our negative karma. We have accumulated negative karma through our past lives. Perhaps the reason it has deepened his understanding of Judaism is because he now knows that the Holocaust happened because his ancestors or maybe even he in a past life, failed to construct a temple to enshrine Su-God. Thus everything that happened to Jews throughout history can be blamed on no one but the Jews. Due to their karma, it’s their fault and they deserved it. They should be thankful for the suffering they endured because it means that their negative karma is diminishing because living through trials cleanses away toxins and negative karma. Now, if that is how this man means Mahikari has strengthened his understanding of Judaism…because he can now accept the atrocities that happened because he knows he was deserving of it, I completely understand. The guilt factor is something most kumite come to accept and understand. All negative things that happen are the fault of the person they are happening to.

Another Jewish member in Canberra was the vice-principal of a high school and told me that she found the Mahikari practices invaluable in helping to fulfil her role as an educator. There are many Jewish kamikumite throughout the world. Also, I have attended Sukyo Mahikari ceremonies in the World Shrine where Jewish rabbis and dignitaries made complimentary remarks about the organization in their public speeches.

-This might be an assumption, but I would be willing to suggest that most people who make these public comments, have only taken primary Kenshu, if that. Therefore, they learn only what Kanbu want them to learn; the basics and nothing more. Those people know nothing about the future teachings that discuss the inaccuracy of all religions other than Mahikari and about the superiority of the Japanese race.

I feel that any misconceptions about Sukyo Mahikari controlling or looking down upon other races will gradually be dispelled as the organization spreads and people find out how altruistic and universal it really is.

-Not if I can help it. I guess that prediction was incorrect, considering that many people are leaving Mahikari and Dojos are fighting to pay their bills. Not to mention (I speak for the US only) people are becoming more cult-aware and are learning how to detect these kinds of greedy, money obsessed, cults before they get in too deep. Besides, most people’s lives are too busy to participate in something as time-consuming as Mahikari.

Another matter worthy of clarification is the allegation on the Internet that Sukyo Mahikari has links with the movement, Aum Supreme Truth, in Japan. The Japanese police have discredited Aum Supreme Truth as a terrorist organization, so it is understandable that people who know little about Sukyo Mahikari would be shocked by any report that the organization has a connection with Aum Supreme Truth. There is no connection with Aum Supreme Truth and never was.

-Just because Mahikari hasn’t bombed any subways cars yet, doesn’t mean there was never a connection.

It is true that a Japanese one-time Mahikari member who came to Australia became a member of Aum Supreme Truth, but she did this many years after she had given up Mahikari. I knew her well – Ms Yasuko Shimada, who came to Adelaide in South Australia in 1974 and helped plant the first seeds of Mahikari in Australia, a little over a year before I came across Mahikari in Japan. She married an Australian man and was able to gain Australian citizenship. She was certainly a pioneer for Mahikari in Adelaide. However, for various reasons she got divorced and gave up Mahikari in the early 1980s, years before Aum Supreme Truth was even founded. We heard from acquaintances that she was trying different religions.

-The poor woman was probably searching for something else to replace her previous Mahikari activities with. After leaving Mahikari many members have a rediscovery period that can be both traumatic and painful. It’s only natural for someone to search for something to fill the new gaping void in their life. Thus, if Ms. Shimada was experimenting with religions, there is a very strong possibility that this experimentation was brought on by the damage done by Mahikari. It’s like a drug addict coming down from a high; they overindulge in other things, such as food, to satisfy their addiction...to fill that void. Okiyome is an addiction in itself, an addiction that can leave a person feeling empty after leaving. These former members have been so accustomed to getting this “fix” of okiyome, so accustomed to centering their world around getting to the dojo, that without Mahikari they feel empty and not sure what to do with themselves after they leave. I blame Mahikari for any misfortune this woman had. I have experienced the same pain that she and many other have had to endure. You feel lied to, manipulated, and used…

As far as I know, Mahikari members lost touch with her for years and were surprised by media reports that she had become a member of Aum Supreme Truth years later.

-Lost contact? Or cut her off because she wasn’t a kumite anymore and therefore not worth having as a friend?

People come and go in all kinds of organizations, and there is no way any organization can be responsible for what people do elsewhere years after leaving that organization.

-I beg to differ. The emotional trauma one experiences when leaving Mahikari is enough to make anyone crazy. Members become so dependant on the organization…they ask the leaders for advice and permission to make big decisions, they are told to be obedient to the leaders as a child is to a parent, they are taught to lean on Mahikari with every fiber of their being, and most importantly they are discouraged from thinking for themselves… when someone leaves Mahikari, the newfound freedom is more than they know what to do with. The day opens up when going to Dojo for half the day is taken out of ones schedule.

Of course, history has shown that sometimes organizations registered as religions have, in fact, had hidden agendas or have exploited people. It was a good move by governments, not only in Japan but around the world, to investigate religious organizations to assess how genuine they are. Mass suicides in religious movements in Europe and Canada a few years ago, as well as the sarin gas murders by Aum Supreme Truth in Japan, prompted governments to look closely into religious organizations, resulting in some reassurance for the public. The Japanese government enacted religious law reforms in which all religious organizations were scrutinized, and there were a number that were either closed down or are under surveillance. From all this, it became clear that in Japan, Sukyo Mahikari is held in high regard as an organization that stands for good in society. Media reports in Japan have cited Sukyo Mahikari as one of the fastest growing new religions attracting the public. More and more research reports on new religions in Japan are also indicating their surprise that Sukyo Mahikari is growing rapidly, not only in Japan but overseas.

-Was growing in the 80’s and early 90’s…now the spell seems to be broken and we former members can breath easier knowing that less and less people are being hurt by this organization; and just because the Japanese government recognizes it as a religion, doesn’t mean other countries do. In the United States, Mahikari is considered a cult; no better than the Moonies or Manson Family.

When shocking allegations appear about religious movements that are not well known, some people are quick to use the words ‘brain-washing’, ‘sect’ and ‘cult’ even though they know little or nothing about the organization concerned, or even what defines a sect or cult.

-Well…we former members know a thing or two about Mahikari. If Mahikari is being labeled as a cult on the internet, it is deserving of that title. We former members who have lived through Mahikari and experienced it have earned the right to call Mahikari what it really is; a cult.

Sukyo Mahikari is not very well known in society outside of Japan when compared with mainstream organizations that have been in existence for centuries, so it is understandable that the public can become alarmed by negative claims in the media and on the Internet.

-I will do my best to keep the public alarmed. They have every reason in the world to be leery of Mahikari.

I was in Australia in 1997 when media reports criticizing Sukyo Mahikari in Australia appeared. At that time, I was the Regional Director of Sukyo Mahikari Australia-Oceania Region. Understandably, a number of Mahikari members became confused, particularly because of some anxiety from their non-Mahikari relatives. In order to help allay people’s concerns, I invited the Australian Federal Police to come to our Sukyo Mahikari Headquarters in Canberra and examine our records, files, accounts or anything else they wished. Three Federal Agents came, and during the amicable conversation they raised no concern about the integrity of Sukyo Mahikari. In fact, they offered their support, indicating that they would come quickly to our aid if any problems occurred from people who did not know the facts and wanted to cause trouble.

-Did they read the Goseigen? Did they read the Kenshu notes and class material? I bet not.Otherwise they would have seen the truth about Mahikari. Not to mention anything incriminating could have been stashed or moved to someone’s home by then.

In 1996 a Parliamentary Commission in Belgium investigated dozens of religious and spiritual organizations, including Sukyo Mahikari. At that time media reports labeled Sukyo Mahikari as a ‘dangerous sect’. Sukyo Mahikari staff members contacted the Department of Justice in Brussels about this allegation and the Commissioner General of the Criminal Investigation Department (Department of Justice) in Brussels replied in writing on 26 May 1998 that he had not given any indication that the organization was dangerous and that he is not responsible for the interpretations by the media. Even the organization for observing sects, “Information and Advice Centre on Harmful Sectarian Organizations”, legally established in 1998 as a consequence of that parliamentary commission, replied in writing on 13 December 2001 that in the documents of the Centre there is no evidence of anything presented before a judge, of illegal practices, harming individuals, families or the society, or disturbing public order, by Sukyo Mahikari.

-If this had taken place in the United States, things would have been different.In England, on 4 March 1999, Scotland Yard wrote to Sukyo Mahikari’s lawyers in London confirming that “nothing untoward was found” when officers visited the London Mahikari Centre and that as far as they were aware, Sukyo Mahikari was “not being investigated by the Metropolitan Police for any suspected criminal offence”.

-The damage Mahikari does is psychological, not physical. You can’t look for psychological damage in files. You have to experience if for yourself.

Negative publicity can have a good outcome. It usually makes people look more carefully at organizations and how genuine they really are, and as a result many people can be reassured and even discover the value of the organization. Within Sukyo Mahikari as well, many people’s faith has been strengthened through these experiences. Also, we now feel that we have a responsibility to not be so passive but to help society know more about Sukyo Mahikari so that people can make informed choices.

-And we as former members have a responsibility to not be so passive but to help society know more about Sukyo Mahikari so that people can make informed choices. We are doing the same thing Dr. Tebecis is doing, but counteracting his efforts.

The Mahikari organization has been spreading mainly by word of mouth. Other than some public talks, public activities and media coverage, there have been no high-pressure campaigns or advertising. Also, not much Mahikari literature has been available for the public.

-True, Mahikari has started to make things even more secret in order to pull in more members. Crazy teachings are pushed aside until the person is brainwashed enough to accept everything without question.

However, the Mahikari organization has always been open in that the general public is welcome to visit Mahikari centers, to experience the Light of God, to talk to members, read the literature, and attend ceremonies, study classes and so on.

-As long as they don’t read the negative publications on the internet; as long as they get the Mahikari perspective of things and no one else’s perspective.

There is no obligation to continue, although of course, members are pleased if someone wishes to do so.

-Of course, more money to Ms. Okada so she can pray for us and save the world. Yea!

People may visit once or twice or come dozens of times. They may become members or not. There are people who leave the Mahikari organization, in which case their views are respected.

-Yeah…so I guess he’s going to deny that those people are clearly spiritually disturbed. Respected? Ha! How about cut off and regarded as possessed by spirits? That sounds more accurate.

There are also some people who wish to come back to the Mahikari organization years later, and do so. Unlike the early years when people could become Mahikari members with little or no prior preparation, nowadays, most Sukyo Mahikari centers have guidelines for preparation in order to help potential members to really know what they are getting into. Such people are encouraged to receive the Light of God many times, to attend some activities, read the literature and talk to members so they can make informed choices. Young children may also become members, but only if at least one of their parents is a member. Teenagers require the permission of their parents if they wish to become members.

-More preparation is done to separate the weak minded from the rebellious.

Sukyo Mahikari derives no income from any business. It is totally funded by voluntary donations made by members. It is taught that offerings only have significance if they are made willingly and with gratitude.

-Guilt money that people feel obligated to pay because they are so ashamed of themselves for things they have done in their past lives. They pay for forgiveness. So of course it is donated with willingness, they want to be forgiven for their wrong doings. All the bad things that have happened to them are their fault.

As Sukyo Mahikari spreads and as more literature on Mahikari becomes available to the public, I envisage that more and more people will be able to see what this organization stands for and evaluate it appropriately.

-The literature is written by members and is biased to their opinion. Unless you read both the positive and the negative and draw your conclusions after you have read everything, you will not be making an informed choice.