Thursday, April 13, 2006

FAQ's

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.

29 Comments:

At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i logged on to the johrei site and i am stumped. The same teachings{but more loving and joyful},the same technique of purification, the almost same amatsu prayer.... So, what do we do now?

 
At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mahikari does not believe spiritual disturbances are "evil" they believe it is all part of the cleansing process, similar to the Pentacostal churches you described. Also, it's not a cult! You sound like you must have had a terrible experience!

 
At 12:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Mahikari they always talk about attaching spirits and deep sins and impurities. If something goes wrong, they say it is your bad sonen or you have a spirit attachment. In fact I have seldom come across any kanbu/doshi who helps you to love yourself the way you are. I am not finding faults but this is the truth.

 
At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been a member of Sukyo Mahikari 4 18 years now. It is the best religion, group, organization, cult, or (whatever people may call it.) for anyone who desire to know the true God the creator of the univers. I was born and grew up in a christian family (Baptist Church) with Sukyo Mahikari I become a better christian and love my Jesus Christ much more...

 
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At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My being a member of Sukyo Mahikari for over 16 years was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have had countless experiences with the Light and have witnessed many amazing things as a result of God's Light. You might want to address why you joined Sukyo Mahikari and honestly ask yourself if you joined only to help yourself. Purification is a step-by-step process, and if people expect overnight salvation, they will be sorely disappointed. This a path of service to God. If one is only searching selfishly, then spiritual experiences will be hindered. Instead of downing this organization, I hope you can find a meaningful spiritual path on which you can serve God with joy. I know I did!

 
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