Tuesday, April 18, 2006

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.


At 7:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is okay to nurture good values in young people, but if they become fanatic about it, then everything goes haywire. In mahikari most of the youth are so fanatic, they do not think independently,i cannot explain but somehow the sponteinitythat is so characteristic of youth is missing

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Kara said...

I remember reading something by a former member who said during yoko farming the youth was not even allowed to take a drink of water without permission from the Kanbu. The strict emphasis on discipline and obidience disables these children from thinking for themselves and making decisions without direction.

At 1:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Hype, No B.S., Our Team does most of the heavy lifting for you.

At 4:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sound like a bunch of whiners who have nothing better to do than bad mouth & bring down the name of the organization. You fail to recognise the good work done by Oshieoushisama. You have not understood the concept of it at all:)

At 2:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. The emphasis of Sukyo Mahikari is the Universal Laws & the Laws Of Creation. Going back to Nature & God & His Laws. The only way to do it quickly before we completely destroy ourselves & our environment is to purify ourselves with the Light of God & become awaken to the Divine Will. Imagine if the universe was as confused & chaotic with full of conflicts like us we would have ceased to exist a long time ago. SM is not about Japan or It's founder it is all about God & his Laws. There definitely is a need to change ourselves, our way of living before we completely destroy the earth. The environmental issues are plaging us by the hour. You seem to be holding a dogmatic view of Christianity. You are unable to accept any radical approach to an existing religion. It is something that can be compared to pre Galileo's time where it is mentioned in the Bible that the earth is flat when it was proven otherwise by Galileo with the help of a telescope. Only here there is no telescope to prove but your own awareness and the voice of your own soul. The fact that the quality of life in all its aspect is degenerating should give you enough proof.

At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the writer show the same level of vehemence towards pentecostal churches who target vulnerable single parents, addicts and people who have very limited resources?

These churches preach a very strong message of fire and brimstone, hell etc and then also have a mandatory tithe of 10% of all earnings.

There are many religions who believe that only by being a member of their particular religion will you be 'saved' permitted to enter heaven etc.

I have never heard anyone in Sukyo Mahikari express the opinion that only members of Mahikari can experience a postive afterlife.

There may be members of the organisation that have that opinion, but it is not an official teaching of the organisation.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Bergspprofilens vindar said...

In my experience with Sukyo Mahikari Seiho there is this possibility of getting a good clean up without getting a membership. These 5 types may come to Mahikari of free will and get the Spirit of Light and the blessings that follows living their behavioural patterns as a polishing with each other. To become a member takes it to a new level of humility and sincere obediance.
When we have recieved the Light though we should live in respect for what we have recieved and be mindful of the Law that penetrates the Human Spirit.
I think its ok to be "fnatic" about mahikari because life is short and in heaven its nice to have good memorys of love and harmony from earth.

At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am thankful for this website. I am a Mahikari member, who was also told many things in order to convince me that I needed Mahikari to be saved. After a horrible experience I had with another member this year, I am questioning everything and now I am really seeing the light...that I was vulnerable, didn't know how to better resolve my problems thinking the light was the only way. While the people mean well, I mainly participated in events and activities out of guilt and shame--this isn't spiritual development, but now that I know I am living more rooted in reality now.


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