Thursday, April 13, 2006

Letter to Thomas David

Well...I was interested in seeing what a kumite would think about the questions that plagued my mind whilst still a part of Mahikari. I wrote a letter to Thomas David, a kumite and youth member in Australia. I asked him a few questions, that I figured he would be more than happy to answer in order to defend Mahikari and their practices. He seemed like a kind (yet misguided) young man, and I was interested in his opinion. However, I received no response. Not even a letter to decline to answer. Could it be that kumite have no way to answer these kinds of questions? When I was a kumite, it seemed to me that we were called to always defend our faith no matter what. I suppose that's changed in the last two to three years. Anyway, here were my questions and if Mr. David ever decides to thoughtfully respond to these questions, I will replace this post with his and my "interview" answers.

Dear Thomas,

Greetings. My name is Darcy Cobbden. You might know me from my Mahikari blog on the net. As you probably also know, I spent my late teens to mid twenties involved in Mahikari and have grown quite opposed to it since leaving in the recent years. My husband and several other family members are still very much involved in Mahikari and I have been trying to motivate them to leave for the last few years. You’re probably wondering why I am writing you. Let me start out by saying that I am not writing to attack you or to try and push my opinion down your throat; I am just interested in your opinion as a human being and as a member of Mahikari. I looked over your site and was quite impressed with it. You have done an excellent job of displaying the positive aspect of Mahikari. I can tell that you truly love your faith and are genuine about helping people and spreading the teachings. I wanted to ask you a few questions, if I may. Feel free to omit any questions you feel uncomfortable with. I always try to get both sides of every story and since religion is something my husband and I have just agreed to disagree about, I don’t feel comfortable asking him about Mahikari anymore. I’ll answer these questions with my opinion as well, so you can get to know me as I hope I will be able to get to know you. Consider this a little friendly debate, if you are willing to participate.

1. How did you get involved in Mahikari? I became involved in Mahikari when I was 18. A friend of mine had been a member for approximately a year when I met her. She took me to dojo and eventually I joined the organization.

2. Do you feel that Mahikari is anti-Semitic? If not why? (I know your site talks about this in the answers to the critics section, but I was curious about your opinion, in your own words.) I am on the fence here. The idea that Hitler was an instrument of God and that Jews deserved their lot…is difficult for me to digest. When you look at the photos of the Holocaust…see the children dying and sick, it’s hard for me to believe that God would be so cruel as to inflict that upon any of his children, whether they failed to properly build a temple or not…and if that truly is the reason for their fate, does that mean that God is a materialistic God, that He would punish an entire group of people for not building a gold encrusted temple? My husband argues that it’s their Karma, but if that is the case did I deserve to get abused as a child? Was that due to my Karma and should I just accept it as an appropriate punishment? My husband says no, but what is the difference? That’s like saying a child with cancer deserves to die. I don’t believe that Mahikari has ever come out and said, “We hate Jews” but at the same time, can you not understand where some people draw these negative conclusions from? Mahikari does say that Jews were punished appropriately by God, basically saying that the Holocaust was a necessary evil that took place and that the Jews deserved what they got due to their negative Karma. Most people would say that is rather anti-Semitic, even though it is a basic principle of Karma in all religions and not necessarily just a principle of Karma in Mahikari. How do you feel about this?

3. Do you think that Mahikari conceals information about the teachings? When I was a first introduced to Mahikari, I was a Christian, I was assured by everyone that religion wasn’t important and that I could still attend Christian church and follow those beliefs, that giving okiyome was the only thing that mattered…however, after taking Primary Kenshu, I came to find that the Mahikari teachings said that Jesus was never crucified, that someone else replaced him on the cross, that he was buried in Japan, and studied Shintoism prior to spreading his own doctrine. That means that it would be impossible for me to practice my religion as was claimed by kumite originally. In order to follow Christianity you have to follow a few guidelines, these guidelines are as simple as ABCA: Admit that you are a sinner and that you need a savior.B: Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is the Lord.C: Confess your sins and commit your life to HimD: Don’t wait until it’s too lateHow would I be able to follow those beliefs and yet be a devoted and obedient kumite? It is impossible. Mahikari basically implies that the Bible and all other religions are nothing but lies, so how can you tell people they can continue to follow those paths? Wouldn’t they then be following falsehoods and lies? Why then does Mahikari withhold that information from perspective members until they have attended Kenshu? Or do you feel that all information is available to them from the start?

4. Christians are a primary target for Mahikari recruitment, due to the fact that 76% in the United States alone is Christian or Catholic. There are 2.1 Billion Christians or 33% worldwide. Do you think Christians would be as willing to join Mahikari, if kumite came out from the time they first attended the dojo and told them that Jesus was never crucified? I honestly don’t think I would have ever joined Mahikari if I had known then what I know now. If someone had told me that Mahikari doctrine teaches that Jesus was never crucified…I think I would have run out of there as fast as my legs could carry me. Mahikari basically states that the Christian savior was a coward and that he allowed someone else to die in his place…that his sacrifice was something that never occurred. It’s my opinion that members conceal that information from perspective members (especially Christian perspective members) in order to prevent that kind of negative reaction. Christianity and other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism, conceal nothing from perspective members…it’s always available and common knowledge. While Mahikari has levels of spiritual involvement…the more you pay the more you get to know.

5. Mahikari believes that it is the one true religion. However, there is now not just one Mahikari organization, but two. When Okada died, as you probably know, there was a power struggle over Mahikari. In the end it was split into two factions. How do you know that Sukyo Mahikari is the correct organization? How easy would it have been for Ms. Okada to lie about her adoptive father/lover anointing her as the new spiritual leader? No one witnessed Okada ever telling her that she would be his successor. The new leader of the original Mahikari has Okada’s omitama. There are also now two Suza’s. So how can kumite follow her without knowing the truth? In my opinion, maybe God split the organization because he disapproved of it. Why else would he allow the splitting of the supposedly one true religion? The key word is one, isn’t it? The origin of the world is one; the origin of all religions is one? If it is supposed to be the one true religion, why did Ms. Okada fight so hard to split it? Isn’t she undoing what her father set out to accomplish? Why not be sonao and just accept that someone else was going to be the leader of Mahikari?

6. Speaking of Suza…wasn’t the building of Suza supposed to turn the world into the new Garden of Eden? Wasn’t spiritual disturbance supposed to be ended? What happened? Seems to me that spiritual disturbance has gotten worse, not better. Maybe God was angry that there were two temples built. Obviously God is not going to want to spend his enshrinement in more than one place. What do you think?

7. Also, something I never quit understood, if there is only one God, why is the prayer to the Material Gods spoken before all main events. Wouldn’t that mean that Mahikari was polytheistic…since Gods are mentioned multiple times…material Gods, messenger Gods, etc…?

8. Do you believe in the devil? I was actually just curious about this. Some Mahikari members I know do believe in Satan, others don’t.

9. What is your opinion on the SKK? They are an organization that offers okiyome as well. They were founded almost twenty years prior to Mahikari. Some people say Okada was a member of the SKK before forming Mahikari. What do you think? And how can Mahikari claim to be original due to the ability to offer okiyome when this organization does the same thing? Further more, the founder of the SKK has stated that the pendant is not needed to offer okiyome, but that it is only a symbol that the wearer is a member. How do you feel about that?

I will think of more questions as they come to me. Thank you for taking the time to read this and thoughtfully respond. I will be more than willing to answer any questions that you might have for me was well.

All the Best,

Darcy Cobbden

It has been a few days and yet no response from Thomas. Do you think maybe I upset him? Or that he couldn't think of anything to say to my debate questions and answers? If any of you want to apply your opinions to these questions, feel free.


At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christians are protesting against the film 'The Da Vinci Code". i wonder how they would react to Mahikari views on Jesus Christ.

At 1:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a way to dintinguish truth vs falsehood.

It is using kinesiology muscle testing - I have tried it. Consciousness can be calibrated. Mahikari says that teaching of Buddha and Jesus are "water age" pseudo-truth teachings. Only Mahikari teahings are truth. Well, Buddha's teaching calibrate very high. So does Jesus's.

Also end time prophesies are from a lower realm of astral world that seems pseudo-real (calibration: 70). Mahikari teachings talk about
catacalysm - this disillusioned me when it never came. Don't want to live my life preparing for a catacalysim - rather live in truth, love, compassion etc - virtues espoused by Buddha, Jesus etc.

Statement like "You are full of deep sins and impurities" made somebody I know (a kumite) go weak with kinesiology muscle testing.

At 2:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darcy, would you please remove the above post with the email address...don't want to be spammed! Thanks.

At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I don't have time to respond to all - but I just wantd to clea something up. When members pray, they are using the power of intention. As you have study Joe Campbell, I'm sure you will understand the concept of the power of myths. Well, addressing #7 above in that frame, this is how it was explained to me: we pray to the material ASPECT of God, not to a different GOd. This gets you in the frame of mind to address the aspect of God that created all material things. The idea of GOd is too much for our mind to grasp all at once, so we pray to different parts of him/her to be able to focus our intention and gratitude. Also, when you pray to "messenger Gods" you are just praying to God through pray directly to God is very powerful, and must be undertaken only when in deep spiritual meditation. In other words, don't take it lightly when you talk to od, and if you are not in the frame of mind, talk to "messenger Gods" as a way of sending your intentions up through channels that bring it to him.

And, for pete's sake, someone taught you a whole bunch of misinformation about Sukyo Mahikari! Anti-semetic? Please. You sound like Bill O'Reilly! How is someone supposed to respond to that?
NO! I guess would be appropriate.

At 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding #3, Mahikari "conceals" the teaching that Jesus di not die on the cross because it is too radical a belief for Westerners to absorb. You know what's worse? The Crusades. The Catholic church has done a grand job of pushing their teachings down every guilty conscious they could find. I'm sure you have read of "Indulgences." They made a fortune off of people's insecurity. Why in God's name would they ever think of revealing that Jesus did not die for their sins on the cross? They would not be able to keep people under their thumb for all of 3000 years. Rent the Medici, put out by PBS.

In other words, we dont' know what the truth is. Mahikari says Jesus is buried in Japan and went Shinto before he died. Maybe. Maybe not. All I know is that light is real, and so is sabotaging it.

End of days prophecies are not what Mahikari teaches. Members are taught that the earth will go through a cleansing period - this can be thought of as global warming - and that many disasters will occur - and they are starting to with great frequency. They want their members to be able to be strong, and go out in the world and give healing light through the hands so that the trauma of disasters such as New Orleans will be a little more bearable.

I wish you could see the altruistic side of this. It has nothing to do with money, or power. That is a mind set that you have brought to the table, not Mahikari.

Also, kinesiology is very valuable - and I agree that confessing that you have "sins and are unpure" is negative and harmful. That is why Catholicism has such low vibrations - guilt and shame are all over it.

But, Mahikari does nothing if not spread positivity. Why don't you post something about how positive the members are? The only time we say we are impure is when we pray to God to purify us so that we may become vehicles for him, and Divine light. I feel it makes me a bit humbled, and I welcome the opportunity to come clean - THTA resonates highly for me, ....and test high kinesthetically.

Jesus and Buddha's teachings test high because they are universal truths. They came in the water-age before their time. They were messengers of God (or God incarnate if you wish).

At 6:10 PM, Blogger anon said...

Three cheers for the previous comment! I cannot believe the amount of carping and nitpicking about Mahikari out there. It may not be the perfect organisation but let's concentrate on its many positives. The world is in crisis (however you interpret it) and everyone is arguing the 21st century equivalent of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin!

At 5:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you again Darcy for sharing another perspective. We don't need more blame and guilt in the world, nothing heals in that light. Compassion and love for others yes. Unfortunately Mahikari reinforces process- and religious- addiction and low self-esteem, teaches very little, if anything, about loving oneself and other human beings, that you have to earn the right to cleanse your impurities, etc etc. This shows little faith that God loves humans UNCONDITIONALLY. There are many other aspects of the practice and teachings that are very subtle, hidden behind friendliness and smiles.


Post a Comment

<< Home