Troubles In The Temples: Chapter 5.2 - Why This Is Happening and What Can Stop It +
[Part two of two parts]
____ How A Jewel's Value Is Measured By Absence ___________
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss
15 days after Keiro was displaced, on Sunday, December 4th, 2005, Nichiren Shoshu announced that Nikken would retire immediately, but no successor was named as of that time. Seemed like an even swap.
I was certain that this would anger the men's division region leader, but the ex-marine and I were following through (boldly) with what the older Japanese men's division leader had said in the sincere manner of actually trying to make this restructuring work by writing a memo suggesting how this should be done, instead of what I really thought the true intent was, to bury Courageous Heart and forget about doing disassociations. [I would later turn out to be right about that, as we shall see.]
By the time we finally got to the day of the December 10th, 2005 meeting to discuss the Courageous Heart restructuring, it had become a bigger meeting with Linda Johnson from the National leadership. The ex-marine was really excited about this, it was a chance to discuss things on a different level, this was going to be a problem that had to be handled everywhere, and we had the solution to supporting Courageous Heart down to the Chapter level: Courageous Soka Care of Temple members!
On the way there with the ex-marine, I picked up the Tuscan girl. She was really angry about something and very feisty. She said she wanted to ask Linda Johnson about a bunch of the questionable things (from her perspective) we were doing in Courageous Heart and Soka Spirit. I knew she had been talking to someone, and this was giving me a heads up about what the meeting was going to be like.
I told her that if she wanted to confront me in the meeting in front of the national leader, that was OK, but I told her that she might want to wait and see what happened, because I knew that there were already going to be plenty of people launching attacks on me directly.
I also told the Tuscan girl and the ex-marine that I was leaving the state very soon. Although my assailants at this meeting didn't know this consciously, I was leaving and this was their last chance to nail me: so I was absolutely certain that the flower of their anger would make good use of this final opportunity and emerge in full bloom. I also knew that the recent death of my father had taken some of the wind out of my sails, and that my enhanced vulnerability might make things difficult. No matter, into the fire we leapt.
Linda Johnson started off talking talked about the NST High Priest Nikken's 'retirement' and announced something that I did not know: the new high priest was going to be a Hayase.
I was aware of the three priest sons of Nichiji Hayase, named Gikan (Nikken's thug-enforcer), Gijun (Nikken's son-in-law) and Giyu. I asked her which of the three it was. Linda Johnson said that she didn't know which one it was: just that it was going to be a Hayase.
At this point in the meeting, we turned to the issues at hand, described in the ex-marine's memo that I had helped him write. At the outset, we were handed a big surprise, Linda Johnson had not received the memo until just before the meeting, so she had no time to read it and consider its merits, even though it had been in the men's division region leader's hands for a week.
So, the memo would have to be read aloud. Instead of having the ex-marine read it, the men's division region leader (#1 no-priest-bashing-guy) read the ex-marine's memo in a Stentorian tone. It was not a very positive reading.
Then he handed it off to the older Japanese men's division leader (#2 no-priest-bashing-guy), the new Region leader for Soka Spirit, to comment. He launched into a direct attack on the ex-marine (and myself) for not getting permission to put this into motion.
The ex-marine responded that he had done precisely what the older Japanese men's division leader had asked him to do. He was clearly irate at getting hauled up for punishment for boldly forging ahead in a difficult area.
I reminded the older Japanese men's division leader that he had said no less than three times during the meeting on 11/20 that it was our task to push the Soka Spirit effort down into the districts and Courageous Heart with it, I had done that and I was in Orphea's group in her husband's district doing this Courageous Heart activity, and she was sitting right there nodding. [Kind of like the Marshall McLuhan moment from Annie Hall. Thank you, Keiro, my Soka Spirit Region Leader for asking me to join that district, what foresight!]
I also reminded him that the ex-marine had asked to write up the memo for the follow-on meeting, and that the older Japanese men's division leader had agreed with that.
The older Japanese men's division leader said, "I just think you should have gone about it another way." That would have been fine to say initially, but after falsely accusing us publicly of insubordination, when the facts of the meeting could be easily contradicted by multiple witnesses, it was effectively an admission of prevarication, or incredibly bad memory.
Now, nobody had attacked me for sending out the memo to a wider audience of Courageous Heart supporters and inviting them to the meeting, and I was certain that was what they were really upset about. They had really wanted to kill this thing in private. However, I would not be neglected for long: my turn would come soon.
I then received a chorus of complaints about my many absences from the region, and not joining someone's district nearby me.
I did not state the obvious (once again), because I was off my game. I did not mention that I had joined a different group for the purposes of disassociating Eurydice and her entourage as a district activity, which they already knew. I did not mention the half-dozen other things including my brother's sudden death the year before (one book end to this activity) that I had to go to another state and handle, and the slow death of my recently deceased father in another state (the other book end to this activity) that drew me away during most of the time in the region and my failing efforts to start a company elsewhere. I did not mention that Sensei had said that "In the SGI, the leaders are servants to the members," and that I had not heard that turned around the other way. I let all of that go.
Orphea caught a look on the Linda Johnson's face and maybe misread it as judging us and exploded, "All we are doing is trying to disassociate Temple members and all we get is endless resistance, persecution and abuse from the leaders!" At least she stuck up for us; I was in no shape to even make a peep. Later on, she was mortified that she had yelled at Linda Johnson and didn't know where it came from, but I knew. I was her member and she was my group leader: it was simply a lioness protecting her wounded and threatened cub.
The men's division region leader finally launched into his old refrain, about some of the Soka Spirit people being divisive and destroying unity, by challenging the Zen practices of others, etc. More defense of Zen and always more defense of Zen. And then he said, "And what's this about one Temple member being worth one hundred shakubuku?" he sneered. Gee, I thought, "Sensei was the one that said that, and we heard it from Linda Johnson, who's sitting right there."
This was the stuff of fantasy: I could only wish that I had Nichiren's courage to rebuke slander of the Law openly in the SGI, but I had not done that, even though Nichiren says to refute evil on the spot. Instead, I kept silent and would typically mention these things privately out of fear of creating disunity. And here I was, the cautious coward being publicly accused of heroic deeds, over and over. Third-party public heroism is better than none, I guess.
I looked at the men's division region leader and was surprised to see that my defeated state had drawn something out of him: he had an angry teeth-grinding grimace of gloating hatred on his face as he looked straight at me. It wasn't just in my head; the people sitting around me were also frozen by that visage. I noticed that Linda Johnson threw him a look sort of like "What's up with that?"
I guessed that it all meant something, but I was completely deflated, sapped and enervated.
That was certainly not your typical Buddhist meeting! Afterwards, I took the ex-marine to the airport to fly to the Caribbean for a few weeks, where his next great adventure would start about a year later after finally leaving town for good, and then I dropped off the Tuscan girl at her place on the way to my place. The ex-marine was still incredibly angry at for the public misstatements of what had happened at the meeting on 11/20/2005, falsely accusing him of insubordination, which no marine would countenance. I told him, "Let it go, you'll have a nicer trip."
I had effectively been relieved of Courageous Heart duty by the leadership, so I could have just dropped reporting for Eurydice's disassociation, but I did not. This was because the people down in Southern California had contacted me with some news.
In the morning of Thursday, December 15, 2005, I received an email from a source (undisclosed), which gave me the information I needed from Tokyo Headquarters: that the new High Priest was Hayase Gikan whose noke (senior priest) name was Nichinyo. I furiously started to write, because I had to beat the formal announcement that would come from Nichiren Shoshu: I wanted to make the formal announcement.
That evening, I received an email from the Soka Spirit womens's division leader from Southern California saying that she and her friend were going to try and home visit Eurydice at the resort on 12/26/2005.
So, a little after noontime of Friday, December 16, 2005, I reported that to the group, including her email text and the prologue from the newly-translated book by the reform priest "The Self-Appointed High Priest", so that the Soka Spirit womens's division leader from Southern California (she was a recipient of these reports) could arm herself against Eurydice's NST partner, who was almost certainly going to be fortified after seeing the visiting priests and Hokkeko leaders.
I did this first, because it is a more important activity than even scooping NST on announcing their new High Priest. Sensei asked me to do this specific task through Mrs. Hachiya and others, and it comes first with me, ahead of everything else that I might want to do more. That's what it means to pursue someone else's dream, the dream of the mentor. That dream always comes before whatever you think is important, and you do not necessarily need to know why. Just do it.
Fortunately, Nichiren Shoshu left the posting window open for me to crawl through and that same day December 16th. 2005, at 22:28 UTC I posted the Formal Announcement: Nichinyo (Gikan) Hayase to be 68th High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu. To see that posting, click below.
I would have made it prettier, but I was working against the clock, and I knew Nichinyo would not appreciate it and would need to strike out at someone. Since I was out of his reach, my NST counterparts (Craig Bratcher, Derek Juhl, Michael Cody, Mark Porter, et al) in the newsgroup ARBN would receive the full force of Nichinyo's impotent fury. They all stopped posting a little while later, never to return (until 2010, Cody started posting under another name, but I exposed him to his priest's public view and they apparently silenced him.) Nichinyo, et al, perceive that those guys are the specific cause for my appearance here and they are quite correct in that.
____ How Can You Leave Anything, Really? __________________
"It takes a minute to say hello and forever to say goodbye." - Unknown.
I moved away from that region at that point. However, I kept up the email stream, because my new location was remote and I remained connected to Orphea's group in her husband's district.
On Thursday, December 29, 2005, the men's division region leader sent us all an email asking if we had any disassociations to report for 2005 in the report to 'HQ'. Biting my tongue really hard, 90 minutes later I reported back summarizing everything I knew about any possible progress on anyone in our database of Courageous Heart members and their Temple members. Being a little hacked off about the irony of this and more than a little suspicious of how the report would be handled, I BCCed (sent a blind complimentary copy to) Pat Kelleher, Edward Clark, and the lady Soka Spirit leader from Southern California: just in case the ball got dropped, so that 'HQ' would know we had not just been sitting on our collective backsides all year, or just complaining endlessly in defense of Tantric Reiki and Zen practices.
On Friday, December 30, 2005, I received an email from the first Reiki master kindly thanking me for all my efforts. I immediately replied that I was happy to do it.
After that I maintained contact only with the ex-marine (my replacement firebrand) and the Tuscan girl (she who summoned up the multitude). I got no further calls from Orphea regarding Eurydice ... until Wednesday, March 1, 2006.
She called me and had updates on the disassociation, she said she was new to email and just could not get the word out to people effectively. So, I did what she asked and reported that Eurydice had been in contact again after a long lapse in communication. I knew that she must not be getting my kind of support from anyone (nobody there chanted as much as I do every day, or was interested in facilitating Courageous Heart using my methods).
After some Holocaust study I felt drained by the stories. So, I procrastinated and spent my time carefully reading and rigorously studying through to some deeper understanding of every line of The Opening of the Eyes Gosho through to the end, which I had never done straight through up to this point.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, March 7, 2006, Orphea called and said Eurydice was going to be back in the region immediately, so I summoned the troops for action in my absence.
Also, Eurydice's longtime friend and former boy friend had submitted new information about her, that she was only nice about the SGI around Orphea and ourselves, and that she bad-mouthed us when she was bringing in her new members: creating Gakkai-haters of her new Temple disciples.
A men's division Courageous Heart hero (on the chanting list and receiving reports) emailed me urgently and said he could hook Eurydice up with a recording facility for her music and had done a little Courageous Heart work (a vast understatement, his covert activity story is legend in Courageous Heart), he was offering to help and that was really a good thing. So, I forwarded his offer to Orphea.
In the evening of the same day Orphea called again and I reported that Eurydice and ner NST partner were there and they were going to have dinner with Orphea and her husband.
On Saturday, March 11, 2006, I reported that after four days of waiting and being stood up for dinner, Orphea thought that Eurydice must have simply blown out of town without calling. I determined in my report that we simply had to stop Eurydice from creating new Gakkai-haters in Nichiren Shoshu.
On Tuesday, March 14, 2006, I received a letter from the men's division region leader about an Appreciation Meeting coming up for region Courageous Heart persons at the Santa Ana CC on April 1st, 2006.
I was in a different Zone now, so I felt I should not go. However, I communicated with the ex-marine and the Tuscan girl to promote all of our Courageous Heart members and Soka Spirit supporters from the region. At first the Tuscan girl wasn't even interested in going: she thought it was for Courageous Heart people and did not perceive herself as one. I informed her differently and after a day or so, she started calling and contacting all of the members, until she got so many together that they filled a big tour bus full, and all were paid up to go. Then, on the Friday night (3/31/2006) before the Saturday meeting in Santa Ana, her father fell fatally ill and she could not go, herself. A bookend death for her as well.
On Friday, March 17, 2006, I reported a disastrous turn of events: that Eurydice was bringing one or more guests to a Nichiren Shoshu meeting for the first time in a couple of years. I quoted Nichiren about evil friends (akuchishiki) and mad elephants, and described Eurydice as a powerful akuchishiki.
This was a serious setback for our efforts, and I talked about what we had done as a partial success, because standing up for what's right is a victory. It was not a "total victory": that had eluded our grasp. Since my reports always went to the Zone through Nancy Miller, Pat Kelleher and Ed Clark, I was making my best effort to poignantly alert the Zone to the situation so that they might take this one last opportunity to finally arrange Eurydice's meeting with Danny Nageshima at Santa Monica.
Apparently this was effective, or the April 1st Appreciation meeting allowed Orphea to get her point across directly to someone who could make it happen: on Tuesday, April 4, 2006, I reported that the lady Soka Spirit leader from Southern California had called from L.A. with the news that Eurydice was going to meet immediately with the SGI leaders in Santa Monica. After that point I was out of the loop and I never got another call from Orphea, who was probably out of the loop as well. It was all in the hands of the closers, now. Our part of this story was finished ... well, nearly finished.
Keeping the flame of Courageous Heart alive in the region was now the province of the ex-marine. I have two short passages from him (I did ask for permission to put them in this report).
On Sunday, August 6, 2006, the ex-marine sent out his final memo on the proposed organizational changes to the Soka Spirit organization in the region to support Courageous Heart activities there. He was still fighting to try and get things moving.
This was the ex-marine's account of his phone call with the men's division region leader regarding the Soka Spirit organizational document that the ex-marine created in early August, 2006:
.. I first called to see if the document had been received by
.. the men's division region leader, the answer was yes. The
.. initial response was that it was too harsh and that the
.. leaders would get together and have to talk about it and
.. see "what they could come up with to make it work" but
.. that he would keep me posted every step of the way. He was
.. busy and said we can get together on it another time and
.. talk all about it.
.. When I hadn't heard back in 5 days, I put through another
.. call to the men's division region leader. He was busy and
.. said he would call back in 1/2 hour, and he did. This is
.. the substance of our phone conversation:
.. the men's division region leader: There was nothing in the
.. document about Shakubuku.
.. the ex-marine: No one ever mentioned anything about
.. Shakubuku at either meeting. If it had been a topic, I
.. would have included it in the document.
.. the men's division region leader: Well if I had been there
.. it would have been in.
.. the ex-marine: But you weren't at the planning meeting.
.. the men's division region leader: I know.
.. [Note: He and the older Japanese men's division leader
.. were both at the CC the night of the planning meeting,
.. neither one attended. The older Japanese men's division
.. leader was temporarily in charge of Soka Spirit for the
.. region. The only attending Area Leader was the Courageous
.. Heart hero with the music studio.]
.. The men's division region leader: But shakubuku is the
.. most important cause that the organization is making right
.. now and should be the focus, that the best way to do Soka
.. Spirit is from the "ground up" and in that way we gain
.. more membership.
.. the ex-marine: Shakubuku takes place at many levels, and
.. in this case is more than two fold.
.. It's helping general members develop a stronger practice
.. through encouraging and supporting them to study to
.. understand the mind of Nichiren.
.. It educates them on the basics of the NST issue so they
.. cannot be recruited.
.. And as for the core reason concerning the Soka Spirit
.. movement, it acts as the critical supporting mechanism for
.. the Courageous Heart movement. Getting the Temple members
.. back is an extremely important type of Shakubuku. This is
.. what President Ikeda wants.
.. the men's division region leader: The proposed Soka Spirit
.. meeting on Sunday will interfere with the youth activities.
.. The leaders having their own Soka Spirit toso in unison
.. will be tough because of scheduling.
.. The document you created, sounds like -Chas. (me)
.. We cannot promote Soka Spirit as a separate group.
.. [This is a constant refrain, since I had told him about
.. the Shoshinkai and Yamazaki, from the Untold Story of the
.. Fuji School. A little knowledge can be deadly.]
.. Please, please be considerate on this matter because of
.. the internal struggles between the leadership, and between
.. the leadership and active Soka Spirit members that this
.. issue has caused in the past.
.. the ex-marine: Well..... you can find whatever reasons you
.. need in order not to do this, but when President Ikeda
.. says that combined Soka Spirit/ Courageous Heart movements
.. are the most important thing that needs to be done right
.. now or the organization may not survive: I pay attention.
.. the men's division region leader: Don't worry brother,
.. we'll get it worked out the best for everyone.
.. [It was at that time that I sadly came to the realization
.. that the men's division region leader did not want the
.. Soka Spirit and Courageous Heart movement to take hold in
.. the region. He would do whatever he had to do to sanitize
.. and contain it, so that the "priest-bashing" would stop.]
.. Finally, this was the ex-marine's analysis of the current
.. status at the beginning of August, 2006 for the region
.. Courageous Heart and Soka Spirit activities, which he
.. reported to the top leaders in the SGI-USA:
.. Courageous Heart activities are at a low ebb in the region.
.. The last Japanese Courageous Heart contact, when I called
.. her, reported no activity in almost 2 months. She was the
.. last member actively reporting anything.
.. Orphea has been on the ropes in her practice for six months.
.. She is coming back now, and is again talking to her Temple
.. Member, Eurydice.
.. Eurydice had some fortune recently after a long
.. stretch of hellish trouble (they are in lockstep).
.. Eurydice's good fortune came after Orphea said she would
.. chant for her to break through. When Eurydice and her NST
.. partner were driving and chanting, he (whom she brought
.. deep into the Temple, along with a mob of others) pulled
.. over and roughed her up. Eurydice then stated to Orphea,
.. "my practice isn't working, but yours is." ...
.. We used to have 12 hour tosos at the Community Center the
.. Saturday before the NST meeting, to support the last
.. Japanese Courageous Heart contact in attending. This has
.. We used to have Soka Spirit tosos every Sunday at 9:30AM
.. to 11AM, so they would coincide with the NST meeting on
.. the 3rd Sunday, or if they had it on another Sunday. This
.. has ceased. ...
.. The directive from the leaders: that they were taking over
.. the Courageous Heart effort, which resulted in our
.. planning document to accomplish moving the Courageous
.. Heart mission into the Chapters ... that directive appears
.. to have ended the Courageous Heart efforts, and the
.. region leaders have not taken up that mission themselves.
On Friday the 25th of August, 2006, the ex-marine sent a letter to the leaders of the SGI in the United States, which had those three passages included along with his diagnosis and prognosis for what would eventually result from this state of affairs. They have that report, which is poignantly entitled "Last Man Standing In the Region: To Refute The Distortions Of The NST Priesthood."
Not much later than that, the ex-marine started having real political trouble at work, and then was abruptly laid off and could not get a new job in the his business: he was being severely ostracized. His apartment complex was sold and the new management had decided to turn it into condos. They started moving in some violent thugs who threatened the long-term tenants, which started a wholesale evacuation. the ex-marine started making moves to resist this trend, but it was unstoppable.
the ex-marine could see the end of his money and he had always wanted to go back and see if he could make a go of it as an expatriate in the Caribbean. Since he didn't have an American passport, and had some difficulties getting one (ex-wife financial disputes), and they were changing the rules of travel in local countries to require passports soon, and only for a little while longer could you still travel to the Caribbean with a driver's license: clearly it was now or never. He asked me my opinion and I told him that in his predicament and with his desire to go to the Caribbean and with some separation money coming in from the union for a while, I would just go. If it didn't work out, he could always come back broke and find someone like myself to take him in. So in December 2006, the "last man standing" was hopping on a jet and was leaving the region.
____ How the Environment Can Get PTSD _____________________
"Deru kugi wa utareru. A nail (kugi) that sticks out is hammered. What is implied by this proverb is that there is unwisdom in being too forward, and wisdom in lying low. Impudence courts disaster." - Japanese Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases (Fifth Edition), by Rokuo Okada
On Friday, November 3, 2006 I received one of the men's division region leader's postings in which he announced that Shin Yatomi had lung cancer. I was lost in the middle of doing a huge research report that I told Shin Yatomi I would do for him at the FNCC for Soka Spirit in 2002, and there was no way to finish it quickly for him to look at, because much was still left to be discovered. I did not finish it until May of 2009 after his death, and it can be found here:
Remember the tall and handsome youth division member who was the one at the Tuscan girl's toso that Eurydice was so entranced by?
At the end of 2006, he was living in a house with some roommates. He was the house leader, the one responsible for paying the bills, etc. One of his roommates became a problem for everyone else and since the youth division member was responsible, he had to be the one to ask the problem guy to leave.
The other fellow became so upset that after the youth division member had left the house, the angry roommate went into the youth division member's room and trashed it, and then broke into his butsudan and ripped his Gohonzon in half. The youth division member had his Gohonzon enshrined at this time, because I had told him that the best way to protect the Gohonzon was to have it enshrined and to chant to it. Clearly in this particular case, that tried and true recipe for success was not enough.
The youth division member called me, broken hearted and told me about this. I told him that it was not his fault, and he shouldn't worry about that, this was what could happen when you made a truly enormous cause to defeat the devilish function, like disassociating Eurydice and her followers. I told him that I would get some help for him. In the meantime, he was chanting to his taped-together Gohonzon.
Over the next few years, I tried to get youth division leaders in the old and new regions to help the youth division leaders in the region to see their way to helping this Courageous Heart youth division member out. I could not get anyone to focus on this issue long enough to deal with it, it was like a blind spot had formed around him. After a while he started to drift, losing one relationship after another and moving around from place to place in chaotic fashion. He was becoming a serious concern to his mother, my girl-friend at that time. He had lost hope in the SGI, and the taped-together Gohonzon went astray in one of the moves after a couple of years (it could still turn up somewhere, somehow). I am still in contact with him and I will get him back into the SGI, somehow.
On Monday, January 29th, 2007, one of my youth division friends who had just recently graduated to the men's division, a men's division leader was to have his first Courageous Heart meeting as the new Soka Spirit leader for my new region, so I drove the 3 hours to that Buddhist Center to be there for the occasion. I had previously had a bumpy relationship with the former Soka Spirit leader he was replacing, and I was hoping that things might improve.
After gongyo, I walked up to him, who knew what I had been through in the other region and the fact that I had been acting in response to the Keiro, the Soka Spirit region leader's request. I asked him if I could attend his Courageous Heart meeting, and he turned to former Soka Spirit leader and asked her if that was OK. She made a face like she had smelled something awful, and she turned to me and said no. I drove home, chanting all the way as usual.
Less than 48 hours after that, on Thursday, February 1st, 2007, while at home I received a phone call from the ex-marine in the Caribbean. In that call the ex-marine said that the Tuscan girl had just called him to tell him that Edward Clark (Wendy's husband) had declared that Eurydice was disassociated from NST and living in Vermont with her sick sister, who had also been previously disassociated from the Temple. More contacts with her had to be made to guarantee no backsliding, but Eurydice was now disassociated from NST.
Alone in the middle of a lightly populated area and now completely isolated from everyone I had worked with in Courageous Heart, now I was being given my victory. Where was the esprit de corps, the glow of victory?
No matter, an ugly victory is infinitely superior to a beautiful defeat, so I was actually happy with and grateful for this outcome. "... where there is unseen virtue, there will be visible reward." WND, p. 907. To me, the greatest reward is actually winning: everything else is gravy.
I was astonished, however, at the lengths that the devilish function would go to, to undermine any networking we might do, or any credit we might receive, or just stealing the thrill of victory we might have enjoyed together from our participation in this difficult accomplishment of disassociating Eurydice.
I was assuming, of course, that this isolation was similar for everyone else involved, and not just myself and the ex-marine (now in the highlands of the Caribbean.)
If we were all isolated in the same way, then this implied that what we did together was something spectacular: it was like we were experiencing a post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) episode, but it wasn't flowing inside out, it was coming outside in from all directions. It was PTSD of the environment, as if the whole world was reverberating like a bell, and very, very unhappy about it.
So, I decided to meet with my former friend, the new Soka Spirit leader from my new region to discuss my ostracism. I was now armed with the fact that I had facilitated and participated directly in a Courageous Heart team effort (1) under the leadership of Keiro, the former region Soka Spirit leader there, (2) that had successfully disassociated a top Temple member, and (3) in all likelihood some number of her followers (at least her very sick sister, and her wannabe partner who would almost certainly follow her out of the Temple). I wasn't looking for any praise, simply the end to an unjust ostracism: I was a Courageous Heart member who had methods that had been proven to work and those methods should be shared.
After I explained all of that to him, the new Soka Spirit leader from my new region told me that none of it mattered. They didn't want me around. I knew what was happening: we had figured out how to win doing disassociations and that was being stymied very effectively by feelings that had nothing whatever to do with the enterprise of defeating the Temple. I told him that at any point I would be happy to give my experience and discuss our approach. I told him I wasn't looking for any credit or appreciation; he could take our methods by calling Keiro, the former region Soka Spirit leader there and hearing it from her and presenting that himself.
He just was not interested. Sadly, since I originally left this new locale in 2004 to head towards the field of battle, the Temple activity in this region had grown significantly: going from one meeting to three, according to recent information from another friend. We do know how to turn this around, if anyone really desires to.
Ostracizing those who have had success is no way to win in this difficult area. Those who are trained in ostracism and practice those politics are destined to lose. I yearn for what Toynbee calls the "creative mimesis" of the youth, who have not been trained to ostracize those who have struggled and won over great obstacles, and therefore know innately how to win. They care less about personalities and more about victory.
____ When Trouble Arrives In the Caribbean ________________
"If trouble comes when you least expect it then maybe the thing to do is to always expect it." ― Cormac McCarthy, The Road.
On Friday, March 9, 2007 I received an email from the Sunas, the stalwart lady Soka Spirit area leader and dear friend of Keiro, the former Soka Spirit region leader when I was there, documenting again that Eurydice had been disassociated. She said that Edward Clark was going to try to home visit Eurydice in her current abode. She also mentioned that people had asked about me, and that they were chanting for me. Although I recognized the humanity of what she said, I really thought that there was something at stake in the region far more important than my (-Chas.) immediate health and welfare.
Following up on that thought, I sent a reply to Sunas the next day. I mentioned that I had already heard about Eurydice from the ex-marine. I mentioned that I was happy and trying to do Courageous Heart in my new region against some resistance (an understatement, of course).
My final words were: "I would rather that you all focus on shutting down your NST meeting there and disassociating those Temple members than wasting efforts chanting for someone who chants three hours a day already. So would President Ikeda."
At the end of April, 2007, I moved to my new region from my temporary abode in the middle of nowhere. I arrived to an ice-cold reception from the local leaders. Apparently all the heat generated against me in the region and through the various dialogues I engaged in with leaders regarding mixing practices with the practice of the Lotus Sutra had come home to roost there. I heard from my new women's division district leader that the women's division region leader was absolutely petrified at the thought of my arrival; upon close inspection, my district leader could not see what was so scary about me. I simply knew that I was going to pay a heavy price for my 'sins', and I did not begrudge it. "Never give in, never give in. Never, never, never, never." – Winston Churchill.
I later learned that the current married leaders for my new region were good friends with the women's division area leader from the region of the disassociation battle, the one who wanted to be a "fly on the wall" at the meeting with Bruce Kraut, and who was also one of the Reiki masters selling services on the side, according to the ex-marine, who seemed to know everything about everything in that place. I surmise that there was cross region communication of the scary sort paving the way for my cool welcome there, but by now I had come to expect this, and this just meant that I had to keep my head down and survive it.
On Sunday, June 3, 2007 I received a copy of the region news memo from the men's division region leader of the disassociation relaying that Shin Yatomi had died. The death of Shin Yatomi would turn out to be one of the more tragic personal setbacks in my life: in terms of its impact on the completion of my mission. There was simply not going to be any replacement for one so singularly brilliant and knowledgeable in the issues regarding the NST priesthood, the reform priests and the Hokkeko.
Shin Yatomi had been the target of all my efforts in writing my report on the Toynbee analysis of the influence of Shinto on the Fuji School: many years of difficult, time-consuming and painful research and writing were directed at him as the star receiver and reviewer of my work. Even up to this moment, I have only gotten a couple of people to actually read it: it takes a bright and inquisitive mind and a lot of determination to get through it. That was Shin in a nutshell, and his loss was and continues to be a great wound to the Kosen Rufu movement: kind of a permanent blind spot. Here's a posting with URLs (a pdf Google doc: it;s safe) into my report to a posthumous Shin Yatomi:
After going to the Caribbean, the ex-marine had settled into a tiny community in the central highlands, in his little village teaching English and doing some other jobs to keep himself alive. But what he mostly occupied himself with was to shakubuku the deeply Catholic people there. Within a half a year he had 6 different families chanting, over 70 people practicing Nichiren's Buddhism. In the Caribbean, the ex-marine was known as "Alejandro", because there is no Spanish equivalent name for the ex-marine.
The SGI was nowhere to be found around those mountain valleys at that time; the ex-marine was the very first to penetrate into that territory in a sustained way. I told him that he absolutely had to get that isolated group of daimoku chanting highlanders connected up to the SGI in an urban center of the Caribbean, or all his efforts would be for naught. I also mentioned he would encounter heavy obstacles doing that. But I mentioned that everyone I knew that did a hundred shakubuku became a millionaire, some losing that money and then becoming a millionaire again, and then again after losing that once more. It was apparently a sticky benefit.
There on the Southern coast was the nearest big city, so he went there and got connected himself. While the ex-marine was there, he had an accident on the back of a motorcycle (this is the Caribbean-equivalent of a taxi), and really banged up his hand badly. He called and told me that he didn't have enough money for an operation to repair it (in the hundreds). I told him if it wasn't life-threatening, I wasn't good for it, and to chant for it. After some daimoku, someone there loaned him the money and he got his hand fixed.
He subsequently got the hooked up with the SGI in what was now effectively a large, new district some distance from his little village. And now they were officially doing Kosen Rufu in the that part of the Caribbean.
A couple of months later, near the end of 2007, he called me with an astonishing story. He was traveling back to his little village from the big city on the Southern coast (the route is treacherous: after going along a minor highway, you transfer to a sometimes steep, narrow and dangerous mountain road). He was traveling on one of the private buses, filled to bursting with poor people. He said he had always had his fears about these buses on those mountain roads, so he always took the front seat by the door, or stood in the door-well, out an excess of caution and survival instinct.
On this particular trip they were driving up a steep grade, just passing one of the many Catholic shrines on the side of the road, when an overloaded heavy truck careened down the hill directly at them, without any brakes. After a failed attempt to avoid the truck by the bus driver and a side-swiping collision, down the steep side of the mountain the bus flew. the ex-marine managed to leap through the door and flew out of the bus down the hillside, striking a rock with the back of his head.
After a brief blackout, the ex-marine came to and spotted the bus way down the hillside wrecked, with the former passengers littering the hillside. He sped down the hill to find that the bodies littering the hillside were just that. As an ex-marine with sniper training and special operations experience behind enemy lines, the ex-marine is also an excellent medic. He entered the bus, where he encountered a scene of total carnage. He could not perceive any life in the bodies in the wreck: that made him the only survivor.
The ex-marine heard a high-pitched whimpering from someone's dog in the back of the bus. He pulled the bodies away that muffled the sound, revealing the source: a tiny injured girl of five or so. After performing a rapid triage examination, he determined that she was mortally wounded and would not survive more than a couple of minutes: she had been opened up and was rapidly bleeding out from too many wounds to deal with.
Her eyes were open and she looking at him in her dying agony. He got up six inches away from her and stared into her dark brown eyes with his brilliant blue eyes and told her not to worry, everything was going to be all right: all she had to do was listen closely to him. And he chanted Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo to her in a very clear voice while she passed away. Then he pulled her tiny body out of the bus and waited for the authorities. I think she must have thought he was an angel, but he was much better than that: we all are.
After finding out who the little girl was, the ex-marine located her parents, who were not on the bus, and told them the story of her last moments. The ex-marine paid for a grave marker for the little girl in the his little village cemetery stating that she was a bodhisattva of the earth and had received the transmission of the Law of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. In his mind, this was a way that she could continue to do shakubuku for her parents. After a while, the little girl's parents joined the ex-marine's group of Buddhists and started chanting as well.
The ex-marine, although younger than me, is someone I look up to in admiration. He is a bodhisattva-Buddha that Nichiren himself would find remarkable, I believe. Like someone out of a Hemingway novel or Homeric myth. This is absolutely not an over-statement. He has so much raw courage, that I could not possibly respond with any less through all of this enterprise.
And of course, like any Greek hero this story soon turned tragically against the ex-marine as well. Two weeks after all this happened he started to have pressure and a swelling on the back side of his head where his head struck the rock after his hasty exit from the doomed bus. He was driven to the hospital from his little village by a cadre of Marine guards from the U.S. embassy at the big city on the Southern coast. Their captain had looked up the ex-marine's information in the DOD systems, and found out about the nature of his service injuries which occurred during a special operation, which was successful before he was injured (those injuries were also to his head and skull, of course: the ex-marine's poor head) and had decided that the ex-marine needed a uniformed Marine escort out of the mountains in one of those huge up-armored embassy SUVs.
Once in the hospital, the surgeons said he needed immediate surgery to survive. Unlike the American hospital system, they required a down-payment of $2500.00 to do the operation and a balance of $6000.00 afterwards. He didn't have it, and his children in Boston didn't have it either. It was up to me, so I wired it to him. My policy at the time and to this day was not to lend money to SGI members, only to give it to them as a gift, and only when survival was at stake. This qualified for that. After getting patched up, he called me saying that the hospital was coming hard at him while he was in recovery for the balance of the hospital bill. I told him that I was interested in his survival, but not his comfort (Supervivencia, sí. Comodidad, no.), so he would have to face the music on his own. He told me later that there was a grim scene with the hospital administrators in his hospital room, afterwards.
Last I heard (at the time of writing this originally in January, 2011 as a report to Courageous Heart, one of ten reports) from the ex-marine was a year before on Monday, September 7, 2009, when I received a picture of him from the Caribbean in an email. He looks fine, but I haven't been able to find any word about his whereabouts and I haven't heard from him in a year.
[I have heard since that time, and we are in contact: the ex-marine is fine, with a wife and son who now chants, although he is struggling mightily with his marriage and Catholic in-laws.]
Sometime in early 2009 the ex-college football player called me, letting me know that he was the new Soka Spirit leader for my former region of the disassociation. I congratulated him and wished him well. He imparted to me that the last Japanese Courageous Heart contact was going around saying that I had been a spy for the Temple. This was particularly ironic, since I had stuck up for her in writing to President Ikeda, and since I had always been unfailingly supportive of her.
And I had thought that being put on the list for concerned daimoku was bad. At first I laughed.
After two seconds I realized that I had to take it seriously and refute it thoroughly. I said, "This is unbelievably wrong and a serious injustice. There are few people that are despised more thoroughly by the Temple hierarchy than myself. Also, I have gone to bat for this very Japanese lady in writing to President Ikeda in her defense, saying 'that a very senior pioneer member had been publicly verbal abusive and disrespectful towards this great champion of Kosen Rufu'."
Now the world was completely turned upside down on its head, even further!
In January of 2010 I noticed that there was a recurring monthly Courageous Heart meeting on the schedule at the region's Buddhist Center on the first Thursday of the month. This was a new entry in the public calendar; previously those meetings were off the schedule, which would guarantee that I would not be able to attend. So, I showed up and the meeting was being led by a new leader, because my former friend had moved on.
I asked if I could attend, and I mentioned that I had a collection of old friends connected to the Temple from my practice in a nearby adjacent region in the early seventies. She said that I could and offered some ways to participate.
I said that before I did anything, I would have to report on my activities, since I had been out of contact for some time and many things had transpired. I mentioned that my YMD training from the old days had admonished us that after being out of contact for a while during an activity, you must make a complete report before starting off doing something new; otherwise timely reports of quality would never get made. Hence, the other reports were written and now this one is complete. There are a few more to come (although this was by far the hardest one to recount).
____ What Are My Summary Observations and Suggestions _____
1. To do Courageous Heart work in a serious way, you must don the armor of perseverance described in the Lotus Sutra. From the SGI dictionary: armor of perseverance ( Jpn ninniku-no-yoroi ) Also, armor of forbearance. A metaphor for the spiritual endurance with which one withstands insult or persecution. The armor of perseverance is also that which protects one against evils and hindrances. The "Encouraging Devotion" (thirteenth) chapter of the Lotus Sutra says: "In a muddied kalpa, in an evil age there will be many things to fear. Evil demons will take possession of others and through them curse, revile, and heap shame on us. But we, reverently trusting in the Buddha, will put on the armor of perseverance. In order to preach this sutra we will bear these difficult things."
2. Struggling against the negativity and forced isolation does not appear to help. The power of the 'function of dividing' (as Sensei calls it) seems to overwhelm any resistance that you or that others working on your behalf might bring to bear. You simply have to face your exiles and persecutions with as much courage and positivity as you can muster. As they say, suck it up and hang tough with a smiling, bright and cheerful disposition. Those that abuse you will be disarmed by your erstwhile efforts to be charming in the face of adversity.
3. Instead, you should focus your energies to fight against the slander of the Law that makes itself the enemy of Soka Spirit and Courageous Heart activities. It is simply much easier and more rewarding (inconspicuous benefits) to spend your time and effort defending the Lotus Sutra, Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism and the SGI than it is in defending yourself. If you are going to be despised anyway, why not be despised for defending something that is absolutely wonderful and rarely well-defended in a thorough and consistent manner?
4. Never cease your efforts and never quit trying to score a win. You can win even after everyone, and even you, have declared yourself a loser. "Never, ever give in to the negative function." – Susie Yamagata. It is an important principle: with many aspects:
5. If you find yourself pounding your head against a brick wall and unable to break through on some effort related to Courageous Heart, Soka Spirit or just plain Kosen Rufu? Chant to find the person whose mission it is from beginningless time to do this impossible thing, such as the Tuscan girl of this writing. Apparently, (it has been my experience) you simply have to pound away in defeat until they show, or they might not hear that thumping sound and you might miss them. Frustration is the enemy of victory. If some critical task is clearly not your forte, find a miracle-worker (typically a much younger person: that is Toynbee's creative mimesis at work).
6. Avoid criticism. You cannot imagine the roles that members have chosen in the infinite past, which are necessary for the ultimate success of our enterprise. Some are quite dark choices. Nevertheless, as chaos theory clearly has shown in predicting the weather and even the movement of the planets around the Sun: the tiniest change in the pattern of events, even the movements of a single butterfly, can create a storm on the other side of the world within a few weeks, due to propagation of errors and perturbations, multiplying those tiny effects hugely. Nothing is determined and anything can change the outcome in a complete reversal of fortune even at the last second: this is Plato's peripeteia. Hang in there like Plato's dramatic heroes do.
7. Avoid impugning the motives of others. At one point in the midst of a difficult struggle, a Women's leader looked at me and asked, "Don't you simply want to be happy [abide with others in peaceful harmony]?" I immediately responded, "My happiness is defeating the Temple before Sensei passes away, and no other thing will satisfy me." Her question was the creation of my answer: manufacturing steel requires a forge.
8. Try to look at the big picture, the ultimate outcome of which was not possible without all the pieces that played into it (both those that were pleasing to you and displeasing to you). What contribution of which SGI member could you change, without risking the end result? Then who can you criticize? They are all Buddhas. It is Nirvana. From Unseen Virtue and Visible Reward , WND p. 907, "Again, you must be on good terms with those who believe in this teaching, neither seeing, hearing, nor pointing out anything about them that may displease you. Calmly continue to offer prayers."
9. Remember that which most people forget the implications of. The Devil King is on the Gohonzon (upper right side) for a reason. From the SGI Dictionary: "The king of devils, who dwells in the highest or the sixth heaven of the world of desire. He is also named Freely Enjoying Things Conjured by Others, the king who makes free use of the fruits of others' efforts for his own pleasure." Nichiren Daishonin (in the Ongi Kuden) asks us to "wipe out" the slanderous Temples, by converting their misled followers. This is clearly theft from the viewpoint of a slanderous priest whose only desire is apparently to send his private herd to Avichi Hell for countless kalpas. In spite of that, we can go ahead and steal those lives from hell with complete impunity: "making free use of the fruits of his [the slanderous priest] efforts". I even think we can take great joy from that, as well, but it's good not to get too carried away with demonstrations of that.
____ 2020 Postscript.1: Why Is This Happening? ____________
Unfortunately, the lessons learned by the SGI leadership from these experiences is that although it is well-known in Courageous Heart in D.C. and now other places as well, how to shut down NST Temples and disassociate Temple members, even top Temple members, it is the wide opinion that the disruption caused by these region-wide disassociation campaigns makes these potential enterprises by Courageous Heart insupportable using the D.C. methods, and my former region's variations on those methods.
The leadership, up to the top and down, has refused after many efforts from myself, and probably many others, to restart these kinds of regional mass disassociation campaigns. This they are doing in spite of the repeated pleas from Sensei to defeat the Temple before he passes away, which they have ignored. I completely understand this policy, since the widespread application of what we went through is a burden too large to bear by typical human beings trying to keep this lid on disruption by the chaotic combinations of these forces of good and evil (this is independent of who perceives which are villains, heroes and innocent victims of collateral damage.) This is the basic misunderstanding of 'peaceful' practices of the Lotus Sutra according to Nichiren Daishonin, once more.
Even though I am totally dedicated to fulfilling what might be Sensei's final desire before he passes away, I get it.
And this is completely my personal failure: getting the idea across to any and all levels of leadership, that Sensei's urgent request simply cannot be answered by "no." I have not been able to summon the personal charisma, or logic, or the supernatural powers required to move them off the dime.
Apparently the Buddhas in the ten directions do not suffer from this kind of limited thinking, nor have they needed to be convinced by me, and thus they have proceeded on a global plan to knock out the Temples of NST, and the rest of the slanderous temples, too: Nichiren Shu, Shinto, Tendai, Zen, Nembutsu, Shingon, Precepts, Hinayana/Theravada, Yakushi-Kyo Temples, Martial Arts Dojos, Zendos, Yoga Centers, etc. There may be many waves of this pandemic after we reach herd immunity, propagated by ignorance and anti-science belief systems resistant to any countering evidence-based experience of anyone. If I am right, then the experience of the President as pandemic victim, will not in any way cause him to tone down his rhetoric, because his true mission to defeat the temple is not yet completed. And that means he will win re-election, despite all signs of defeat.
This is all fueled by the creation of the anti-science wing by the fossil fuels lobbies at the turn of the century, championed then by George W. Bush and now by Trump, in reaction to the climate change scientists. This is the effect of that deadly combination of the three poisons: greed, anger and foolishness sustaining the three calamities: famine, warfare and pestilence.
If you look at the ascendance of those two Presidents, they were both carefully cultivated from 1991 at the same time as the excommunication, and the countless prayers by individual members of the SGI regarding that situation. In other words: if we didn't have them to lead the way in this alternate Courageous Heart campaign, we would have had to invent them. President Obama was like the Phantom City, and we are trekking through the desert of undemocratic political desolation again.
In Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism, even Trump, and G.W. Bush before him are Buddhas, along with their enablers Putin and others, driving Kosen Rufu towards its next phase. As I've stated before, this is not the comfortable path, we chose this path by ignoring Sensei's concerns regarding defeating NST Priesthood before he passes away, and although he has patiently hung on this long, the Buddhas in the ten directions have, in their enlightened wisdom, taken matters into their own quite capable hands. Our discomfort and tragic loss is the side effect: the punishment received (called batsu, a word you don't often hear bandied about these days) from not pursuing Sensei's final great desire.
You can agree with me or not, but that disagreement is a mirror to the practice of ignoring the science, evinced by the President and his followers and the anti-science lobby writ large for fossil fuels, green energy, evolution, paleontology, carbon and other dating methods in geology and now, viruses. Science is easier to ignore than the pages of the Letter to Akimoto, regarding the mixing of practices with the practice of the Lotus Sutra and the four dictums: (1) "Nembutsu leads to the hell of incessant suffering," (2) "Zen is the invention of the heavenly devil," (3) "True Word will ruin the nation," and (4) "Precepts is a traitor to the nation." Of course he did not include Tendai, Shinto, Nichiren Shu squatting on Minobu and the NST Priesthood squatting on Taiseki-ji, Yakushi-Kyo Temples, etc., but we get the idea, Nichiren Daishonin.
The mentor and disciple principle in Buddhism is apparently now being proven on the grand scale, by the batsu we are receiving for ignoring Sensei. And that's how we have arrived at this juncture.
____ 2020 Postscript.2: What Can Stop It? _________________
There is a paradox in Philosophy that many have heard about called the unstoppable force and the immovable object:
But it's a paradox that cannot exist in real life. One or the other (or neither) is true, but never are both true. One must win, and that is the unstoppable force of Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, the Law at the heart of the Lotus Sutra. If we are negligent and never lift another finger, NST will fall. Even though many of us have never wavered in our efforts and determination to defeat NST, that is not enough to prevent complicity with that negligence and we will SHARE THE BATSU, baby. I myself was one of the first to come down with Covid-19 in March and exited on April 2nd. If I wasn't in the best shape of my life since the high school wrestling team and weighing 155 pounds and riding a bike to work every day, and practicing salt water nasal flooding 4 times a day whenever I catch a cold to avoid sepsis/bronchitis/double pneumonia, I'm sure I would be dead, too, because it was a rough hell ride for three weeks.
And when Courageous Heart members take up the fallen banner, the disruption caused by the PTSD of the world, when they ring the universe like a gong by making these galactic causes of disassociating temple members en masse ... those reverberations will be focused back on the heads of those perpetrators of this enormous good. But that kind of disruptive and risky SGI business might be considered as something to do, in the kind of situation we find ourselves in currently, due to perpetual cabin-fever. As the U.S. President said, "What have you got to lose?" Well, yes, things can get worse and definitely will before they get better, especially for the person attempting to go nose-to-nose with the devilish function. Cowards need not apply, but unjust imprisonment and exile and imprisonment of heroes breeds super-heroism.
On Persecutions Befalling the Sage, p. 997:
... In these twenty-seven years, however, Nichiren was exiled
... to the province of Izu on the twelfth day of the fifth
... month in the first year of Kōchō (1261), cyclical sign
... kanoto-tori, and was wounded on the forehead and had his
... left hand broken on the eleventh day of the eleventh month
... in the first year of Bun'ei (1264), cyclical sign kinoe-ne.
... He was led to the place of execution on the twelfth day of
... the ninth month in the eighth year of Bun'ei (1271),
... cyclical sign kanoto-hitsuji, and in the end was exiled to
... the province of Sado. In addition, countless numbers of
... disciples have been murdered or wounded, banished or
... heavily fined. I do not know whether these trials equal or
... surpass those of the Buddha. Nāgārjuna, Vasubandhu,
... T'ien-t'ai, and Dengyō, however, cannot compare with me in
... what they suffered. HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE ADVENT OF
... NICHIREN IN THE LATTER DAY OF THE LAW, THE BUDDHA WOULD
... HAVE BEEN A TELLER OF GREAT LIES, AND THE TESTIMONY GIVEN
... BY MANY TREASURES AND BY THE BUDDHAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS
... WOULD HAVE BEEN FALSE. In the 2,230 and more years since
... the Buddha's passing, Nichiren is the only person in the
... entire land of Jambudvīpa who has fulfilled the Buddha's
Quoted here from the Lotus Sutra - Chapter 2: Expedient Means, p. 70:
... Shariputra, you should know
... that at the start I took a vow,
... hoping to make all persons
... equal to me, WITHOUT ANY DISTINCTION BETWEEN US,
... and what I long ago hoped for
... has now been fulfilled.
Although I am the least worthy bodhisattva in any room I might occupy, there are no distinctions between us and that makes us all equal to Shakaymuni preaching the Lotus Sutra, or Nichiren Daishonin in 1253 chanting the daimoku for the first time, or on Sado Island writing The Opening of the Eyes Gosho letter, or Mr. Makiguchi dying alone before they could send him home and pretend they didn't kill him in the Tokyo Detention Center, or Mr. Toda chanting alone in his cell with hand made beads and no Gohonzon after hearing of his mentor's death, or Sensei leading the shakubuku of 11,111 new members in his chapter, to the delight of Mr. Toda, or setting foot in America 60 years ago. No distinctions means none, zero, zip. We are in identity with the Daishonin and the rest, as long as we take action and "never give in to the devilish function" - Suzie Yamagata.
I will reiterate our methods:
"If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail." – Winston Churchill.
1. Assigning a daimoku team of Courageous Heart members to chant for each danto member as much as they could, especially when they were being visited by their SGI contact.
2. That specific daimoku team was alerted via phone tree calling, texts and emails regarding imminent events for that specific Temple member.
3. Following those interactions up with progress reports on what happened during those interactions.
Our methods, suggestions and an experience:
4. Danto anonymity is accomplished by assigning the danto members anonymized pseudonyms and a brief anonymized description, so that signup sheets for daimoku teams and emails could be posted.
5. Signing up has directions to sign up for no more than three (to prevent dilution.)
6. Those signup lists support the creation of distribution lists for activity alerts and progress reports.
7. Both the alerts and reports could be anonymized as well so as to remain engaging in the narratives: there is a dynamic tension between the engaging quality of potentially identifying narrative detail and anonymity that has to be judged as appropriate.
There are many possible variations of this, but they probably should all include a daimoku team solidly behind the Courageous Heart contact at the critical moment and chanting for the disassociation of a small number of danto NST members per team member, with a layer of anonymity for all danto members in any public postings, emails and texts (to avoid any potential violations of privacy and litigation thereof.)
However, since the likelihood of senior leaders and above stepping onto the platform of this particular guillotine is unlikely, and as we were told in my former region of the disassociation by those taking over that effort: Courageous Heart disassociations down into the district level!
Any district that wants to do Temple member disassociations, should be able to find out the information regarding Temple members in their geographically realigned domain, from their Courageous Heart/Soka Spirit leaders, if they know of any. If they are reticent to share, or have nothing for you, chant and you will find them by Courageous Heart sonar from determined daimoku.
When I first started out doing Courageous Heart (out of desperation to change my karma) in our completely moribund district under the leadership of the women's division leader back in 2000, we tried to track people down and follow every lead, and were having trouble. We would chant together for hours to find them all.
Then I made a friend in my company, a lady that liked my inventiveness, and at her house I met another friend of hers, who was also a Nichiren Buddhist. We compared Gongyo books and hers was from NST copyright 1991, looking brand new. I went ah-HAH, silently. Without any further questioning and not wanting to raise her alarm, I went to the Courageous Heart leader in the region and asked about this woman, She recognized the name and said she was part of a large (10 or so) SGI family, but they weren't very active, her mother was a pioneer member, they had a lot of misfortune and deaths of young family members, etc. I said it was a new NST gongyo book and that meant recent NST attendance.
Some time later, I walked into the Buddhist Center when there was a pioneer appreciation meeting, they were all eating, and someone pointed out an older Japanese lady who was staring at me by that family name, and I when I swiveled around to look at her I got probably the worst evil-eye I have ever received from anyone, a look of pure daggers, hatred and loathing. Internally I raised my arms straight up in the silent game-winning-touchdown-cheer: "YES!"
Other people later said that their connection to the Temple was all denied by them, but they didn't see the 1991 copyright date on the new NST gongyo book. HA!
That's Courageous Heart sonar from daimoku tosos or domei daimoku (remote tosos,) and it does work.
During this time our district had grown by a ton of youth division just showing up and bringing their friends, all we had to do was manage the chaos as everyone else did the work, and of course, we continued our efforts to disassociate Temple members. We split our formally moribund district into three groups, one of which went to chapter size explosively, all three became districts within 3 years and the explosive one split again, and another one split again making 5 districts since. She was made a chapter leader and I left the region to go do battle in a disassociation in the region narrated above. So, without someone doing Courageous Heart work in the district, they all quieted down and are still doing fine. Apparently a finite and permanent change (5x) was made in the peace of the land.
And if you have trouble getting people to sign up to chant for your anonymized danto list? Just remember the Tuscan girl, who filled the list and then the expanded list twice over during the craziness of the people trapped in the New Orleans Superdome and begging for help with no hope, because "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job!" was in charge of FEMA for George W. Bush, the proto-Trump for Hurricane Katrina, the proto-pandemic. I would imagine people are feeling just a little more helpless now, than they were then and maybe willing to make a good cause or two, if someone eager, earnest and youthful called them.
Note that even after we were scattered wide and far as if by a giant hand, and were no longer doing any emailing or reporting on the efforts to disassociate Eurydice, nevertheless she was eventually disassociated. What remnant of our campaign was still operational and why was this point so carefully focused for us by the isolations of the "function of dividing"?
What remained was the list of names of SGI members to chant for Temple members that was created solely by the efforts of the Tuscan girl, even though it was summarily ripped from the wall of the Buddhist center sometime after the big showdown, and that is the answer. Names on a list. I will include something at the end on the critical importance of having a list, and thoughts about just who is being saved.
I would suggest that the youth division lead the Courageous Heart effort, but whoever. We certainly weren't young.
____ 2020 Postscript.3: How That Will Go __________________
"A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week." - General George Patton
Your story goes here ..........
If the readers have no faith in Buddhism or care about Sensei, I can't reach them with this writing. If they do have some faith or concern, maybe they will suspend disbelief long enough to give it a try. Remember, I am not the one that made the statement about one disassociation being equal to 100 shakubuku and the kind of fortune that brings to your life. Ask Linda Johnson, Patrick Kelleher or Mrs. Hachiya. See if I'm lying. If it's true and your personal fortune is not all that great, and I suspect from our common karmic circumstances that it is not, then it's worth a try.
Now, can we all stop begrudging our leaders and fellow members in the SGI? Because when they become perfect, that's when suffering and persecution will be inflicted by external forces, and they will be unrestrained by our SGI guidelines. I myself have nothing but deep gratitude for the human "imperfections" of SGI leaders in the past: it has bought us time, but the Buddhas in the ten directions are calling the end of this phase and moving us along into something new.
When the "guardian at the gate" of the Temple is finally beaten, and that is coming as surely as day follows night, then we will be outside their protection on the mean streets and facing true peril from external threats. When that time comes we will all need to summon truly raw courage, and some will take a stand and some will fail in their resolve. It's easier for those of us who are old and feel the proximity of the end to have that necessary kind of courage, it is truly the youth who will face the harshest test. If you wondered why the Aryan Christian militias have formed here, and why the evolution from Islamic Red revolutionaries to Al Qaeda to ISIS has occurred, well, you can probably stop wondering what their ultimate purpose is.
There is still some time to change the current pandemic-rush-to-fascism before the outcome of the election, which probably won't be decided before December/January, if the members of the SGI feel motivated enough to act in their districts on their own volition. We did and no one complained, it was our right to disassociate Temple members in our own district. Following the Jesuit Principle, "It is better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission."
Even if the election is overturned and we become an authoritarian state, this can all be turned around on a dime by our own action. Trust me, we can change this in our districts. Or we can be lazy and let the Buddhas in the ten directions follow Sensei for us and suffer the incumbent punishment (batsu.)
Getting the signed up names on the list, of members chanting for Temple members, is the most important thing. That appears to have an effect eventually, independently of what happens.
Finally, I express my deep gratitude at the enormous patience of Sensei for hanging in there with us while I negotiated the pitfalls and struggles involved in this. Writing the final version of this and attempting to cloak those involved, while still telling the story was a difficult thing. Sensei is so much better at this kind of narration in the Human Revolution and the New Human Revolution. I am no where near adequacy in this, writing is not my forte and I am too slow grinding through the philosophical barriers. Compared to Nichiren Daishonin, his followers Nikko, Nichimoku and Nichikan, and the three Presidents, and the Courageous Heart leadership ... I am worse than amateur, I am a junior apprentice, a fumbling intern. Nichiren Daishonin would have torn into all of this like Jogyo! Thank you Sensei for staying alive and I pray long enough to see something happen from this somehow, some kind of way, somewhere, in time for a glorious victory meeting at the uplands of an extinct volcano in Japan.
____ Essay: The Sovereign's List __________________________
... "At the point when his ambitions have been realized and he
... could walk away from the war a rich man while 'his Jews'
... die in Plazow and Auschwitz, Oscar Schindler desperately
... spends every penny he has bribing and paying off Nazi
... officials to protect and save his Jews. Later accounts have
... revealed that Schindler spent something like 4 million
... German marks keeping his Jews out of the death camps - an
... enormous sum of money for those times." - Louis Bulow
The questions for those of us seeking success in Courageous Heart work in the SGI, are:
... "Why did Schindler do it?"
and more practically:
... "How could Schindler possibly carry this off, all the while
... being challenged by determined evil again and again?"
This essay will be in the form of significant quotes from scenes in the movie "Schindler's List", punctuated with what I believe are obvious correlations to Schindler's lessons ... which should be deployed in our Courageous Heart efforts to forge the ultimate victory: the disassociation of the temple members, that will cause the reformation of the Fuji School. Put another way, the Hokkeko members are the "enablers" of their own "abusers": the Nichiren Shoshu Priesthood.
What we want to understand is, what are Schindler's useful practices that can be shared, and lead to success.
... Amon Goeth: You want these people?
... Oscar Schindler: These people. My people. I want my people.
... Amon Goeth: Who are you? Moses? How much would you pay
... for a person?
Translation: These members. My members. I want my members.
This is the view of the Sovereign, who is like the Lion King. In the three virtues of the Buddha, Sovereign, Teacher and Parent (from the study material on "The Opening of the Eyes"):
..o The virtue of sovereign lies in protecting people.
..o The virtue of the teacher lies in guiding people.
..o The virtue of parent lies in lovingly raising people.
The prominence of the first virtue of Sovereign is, I believe, the essential gating factor, which will rule whether we have success or failure in the fight with the devilish function at work in Nichiren Shoshu. Being the Sovereign, manifesting that determination over and over, is what allowed Schindler to save 1200 Jews, 'his Jews' from the death camps at Auschwitz.
Here, he reacts when he finds his workers have been moved in his absence, from the protection of his factory.
... Oscar Schindler: I go to work the other day. Nobody's
... there. Nobody tells me about this. I have to find out, I
... have to go in. Everybody's gone.
... Amon Goeth: They're not gone. They're here.
... Schindler: They're mine! Every day that goes by, I'm
... losing money. Every worker that is shot costs me money. I
... have to find somebody else. I have to train them.
... Goeth: We're going to be making so much money, none of
... this is going to matter.
... Schindler: It's bad business.
... Goeth: Scherner told me something else about you.
... Schindler: Yeah, what's that?
... Goeth: That you know the meaning of the word 'gratitude.'
... That it's not some vague thing with you like it is with
... others. You want to stay where you are. You've got things
... going on the side, things are good. You don't want
... anybody telling you what to do. I can understand all
... that. You know, I know you. What you want is your own
... sub-camp. Do you have any idea what's involved? The
... paperwork alone? Forget you got to build the f--king
... thing, getting the f--king permits is enough to drive you
... crazy. Then the engineers show up. They stand around,
... they argue about drainage, foundations, codes, exact
... specifications, parallel fences four kilometers long,
... twelve hundred kilograms of barbed wire, six thousand
... kilograms of electrified fences...I'm telling you, you'll
... want to shoot somebody. I've been through it, you know, I
... Schindler: Well, you know, you've been through it. You
... could make things easier for me. I'd be grateful.
The sharp-shooting camp commander Amon Goeth, is like evil incarnate. They are truly good and evil standing side by side. For Schindler to wrest the Devil King's victims from him, he must be the Sovereign: only a king can take away the subjects of a king. He must think of them always as subjects of his domain, and not subjects of the other.
In his every communication, Goeth tells Schindler that they are borrowed persons, and that they are in actuality dead. Then he twists the knife.
... Amon Goeth: You're cruel Oscar. You're giving them hope. Now that's cruel!
Truly horrible for Schindler ... is the fact that he cannot give away his position to the enemy. There are people that float by, and he will not be able to save everyone. Everyone is not his subject. He can overstep, and then destroy everything.
... Oscar Schindler: So, what can I do for you?
... Krause: They say that no one dies here. They say your
... factory is a haven. They say you are good.
... Schindler: Who says that?
... Krause: Everyone. My name is Regina Perlman, not Elsa
... Krause. I've been living in Krakow on false papers since
... the ghetto massacre. My parents are in Plaszow. Their
... names are Chana and Jakob Perlman. They are older people.
... They're killing older people now in Plaszow. They bury
... them up in the forest. Look, I don't have any money. I-I
... borrowed these clothes, I'm begging you - please, please
... bring them here.
... Schindler: I don't do that. You've been misled. I ask one
... thing: whether or not a worker has certain skills. That's
... what I ask and that's what I care about...Such activities
... are illegal. You will not entrap me, Miss Krause. Cry and
... I'll have you arrested, I swear to God.
Between Itzhak Stern, the leader of Schindler's people, and Schindler, there is a complex relationship. Sometimes, Stern leads the way forward, and at other times Schindler leads. They are eternally unified in ultimate purpose, but have transient differences in strategy and tactics.
... Oscar Schindler: People die, it's a fact of life. He
... wants to kill everybody? Great, what am I supposed to do
... about it? Bring everybody over? Is that what you think?
... Send them over to Schindler, send them all. His place is
... a 'haven,' didn't you know? It's not a factory, it's not
... an enterprise of any kind, it's a haven for rabbis and
... orphans and people with no skills whatsoever. You think I
... don't know what you're doing? You're so quiet all the
... time. I know. I know.
... Stern: Are you losing money?
... Schindler: No, I'm not losing money, that's not the point.
... Stern: What other point is -
... Schindler: It's dangerous! It's dangerous to me. You have
... to understand, Goeth is under enormous pressure. You have
... to think of it in his situation. He's got this whole
... place to run, he's responsible for everything that goes
... on here, all these people - he's got a lot of things to
... worry about. And he's got the war. Which brings out the
... worst in people. Never the good, always the bad. Always
... the bad. But in normal circumstances, he wouldn't be like
... this. He'd be all right. There'd just be the good aspects
... of him - which - he's a wonderful crook. A man who loves
... good food, good wine, the ladies, making money -
... Stern: - killing -
... Schindler: He can't enjoy it....What do you want me to do
... about it?
... Stern: Nothing, nothing. We're just talking.
... Schindler: (He pulls out a slip of paper and reads a
... name) - Perlman.
... Schindler unstraps his expensive wristwatch and instructs
... "Have Goldberg bring them over."
In spite of their differences, or maybe because of them, they are constantly throwing their lot in with each other with small symbolic gestures, again and again, never letting the rifts widen too far.
... Itzhak Stern: How many cigarettes have you smoked tonight?
... Oscar Schindler: Too many.
... Itzhak Stern: You smoke, I smoke half.
Finally written down with purpose ... typed with formal spacing and great care, is the List.
... Oscar Schindler: That's it. You can finish that page.
... Itzhak Stern: What did Goeth say about this? You just
... told him how many people you needed, and - you're not
... buying them. You're buying them? You're paying him for
... each of these names?
... Schindler: If you were still working for me, I'd expect
... you to talk me out of it. It's costing me a fortune.
... Finish the page and leave one space at the bottom.
... Stern: The list is an absolute good. The list is life.
... All around its margins lies the gulf.
Translation: A Sovereign must know who his subjects are ... he must keep track of them with great care. He must have a completed list of temple members. It must have enough information to track what their status is, who is connecting with them and who is determined to chant for their disassociation. And the people who are determined to do the disassociation and those determined to chant for the disassociation need to see List, maintained and displayed with care. [In my region, we displayed it anonymized, for security.]
Finally, inexorably, there is a test of the Sovereign, at the critical moment.
Schindler's Jews are sent, by treachery and manipulation, on a train into Auschwitz. There, under the shadows of the chimneys of hell itself ... Schindler is forced to reveal the extent of his determination, and that he will not allow only some to be saved and some to be damned. And this is the property of the completed List, it is a completed determination, but only if you defend the List which describes the domain of the Sovereign.
... Oscar Schindler at Auschwitz: What are you doing? These
... are mine. These are my workers. They should be on my
... train. They're skilled munitions workers. They're
... essential. Essential girls. Their fingers polish the
... insides of shell metal casings. How else am I to polish
... the inside of a 45 millimeter shell casing? You tell me.
... You tell me!
Translation: These are my members. They should be in my meetings. They are essential to Kosen Rufu.
Schindler is aware of cause and effect ... that you can undermine your efforts by attacking those on your side, those who are fighting the same enemy.
... Itzhak Stern: We've received an angry complaint from the
... Armaments Board. The artillery shells, tank shells,
... rocket casings, apparently all of them have failed
... quality-control tests.
... Oscar Schindler: Well, that's to be expected - start-up
... problems. This isn't pots and pans. This is a precise
... business. I'll write them a letter.
... Stern: They're withholding payment.
... Schindler: Sure. So would I. So would you. I wouldn't
... worry about it. We'll get it right one of these days.
... Stern: There's a rumor you've been going around
... miscalibrating the machines. They could shut us down,
... send us back to Auschwitz.
... Schindler: I'll call around, find out where we can buy
... shells, pass them off as ours.
... Stern: I don't see the difference. Whether they're made
... here or somewhere else.
... Schindler: You don't see a difference? I see a difference.
... Stern: You'll lose a lot of money, that's the difference.
... Schindler: Fewer shells will be made. Stern, if this
... factory ever produces a shell that can actually be fired,
... I'll be very unhappy.
Those in greatest peril, at greatest risk ... can make no ethical mistakes, because they are so near the tipping point. All slanders must be carefully avoided in the midst of a disassociation effort, while walking the razor's edge. Schindler got that fine point.
A General can be unhorsed at the critical point in the midst of a battle by the tiniest mouse. He may miss perceiving or affecting the particular movements that determine the outcome, thus losing the battle, the war and an entire nation.
After guiding his Jews past the frightening hurdles at the end of the war, he gathers them together and tells them what he must do.
... Oscar Schindler: I'm a member of the Nazi Party.
... I'm a munitions manufacturer.
... I'm a profiteer of slave labor.
... I am a criminal.
... At midnight, you'll be free and I'll be hunted.
... I shall remain with you until five minutes after
... midnight. After which time, and I hope you'll forgive me,
... I have to flee.
From the Gosho On Prayer', "It makes no difference if the practitioner himself is lacking in worth ... One does not throw away gold because the bag that holds it is dirty.": WND p. 345. This clearly applies to Schindler, as well. Nevertheless, he must pay a reduced sentence, at least, for what he has done.
In his final moments with Stern before departing, Schindler mourns the limitations of his power ... his inability to save more lives.
... Oscar Schindler: I could've got more...I could've got
... more, if I'd just ... I could've got more ...
... Stern: Oscar, there are eleven hundred people who are
... alive because of you. Look at them.
... Schindler: If I'd made more money ... I threw away so
... much money, you have no idea. If I'd just ...
... Stern: There will be generations because of what you did.
... Schindler: I didn't do enough.
... Stern: You did so much.
... Schindler: This car. Goeth would've bought this car. Why
... did I keep the car? Ten people, right there. Ten people,
... ten more people ... (He rips the swastika pin from his
... lapel) This pin, two people. This is gold. Two more
... people. He would've given me two for it. At least one. He
... would've given me one. One more. One more person. A
... person, Stern. For this. I could've gotten one more
... person and I didn't. I didn`t ..."
Truly amazing, is that which he did accomplish.
Also true to his words and to escape the potential wrath of the Nazi Hunters, Oscar and Emilie Schindler emigrated to Argentina in 1949, where former Nazis at risk typically collected. After eight years there, he parted from his wife and returned to Germany, where he died at Frankfurt on October 9th, 1974. When he was asked shortly before he died, why he wanted to be buried in Israel, Oscar Schindler explained, "My children are here ...". At the end, he was a Sovereign only of the heart.
The Schindler Jews made sure that his wishes were respected. His body was taken to Israel in a lead coffin, and born through the streets of Jerusalem to the Christian cemetery, like a fallen King.
All over the world, the Schindler Jews have remembered him.
One of the Schindler Jews, Murray Pantirer, emigrated to the United States to set up a construction firm that made many different kinds of housing developments that all had one thing in common.
Each development has at least one Schindler Street, or a Schindler Drive or a Schindler Way. To mark their gratitude, Pantirer and his partner Zuckerman have dedicated at least 25 streets in New Jersey to his memory.
To the first question at the top of this essay:
... "Why did Schindler do it?"
He made simple explanations during his life, because they were people and the Germans were wrong.
For those doing Courageous Heart work, the explanations will be more diverse, more difficult and complex in coming.
I would imagine that for most in America, the answer is simple. We have a tradition to upkeep. We never, ever purposely leave fallen comrades behind in war. We will always take great risks to extract and save even one person. Three searchers die in an extended search to find a lost child in the snow. Any other course is ... un-American. Most Americans really are good people.
During the New Orleans Katrina debacle, the Coast Guard upheld that American tradition. The Coast Guard was on the scene quickly and performed over 30,000 rescues. They had their all-time best day, while the rest of the local, state and federal government had their worst. In this pandemic it has been a host of service workers, first responders, nurses, doctors and others while the administration denied the holocaust of the greatest generation.
So it must be, for the first responders of the Courageous Heart movement in the SGI. We need a really, really good day to stop this process that is playing out.
For me, not being such a good person, it is simply because Sensei asked for a total victory and I must respond with a total victory.
And to the second question:
... "How could Schindler possibly carry this off, all the while
... being challenged by determined evil again and again?"
In my experience narrated above, it's because of the List, and for those reading this that I was compelled to write, in following through to accomplish that total victory.
Combined with the practice, actions and the determination to follow Sensei, the List is the materialization of the future total victory. Like member's lists in the districts.
"The List is an absolute good. The List is life. All around its margins lies the gulf."
Another question for us to think about is this: That list will have Temple members and SGI members - but just who is saving who?
I know that I owe my life to the compassion of Eurydice who was the ultimate chooser, and who appeared along with Orphea, Keiro, Sunas, the ex-marine, the ex-college football player, the Reiki masters and all of those others, in order make a partial victory for Sensei, and to save me from total failure.
Thank you, Eurydice, and all the rest, you all know who you are.
[End of part two of two parts]
At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:
Since I attained Buddhahood
the number of kalpas that have passed
is an immeasurable hundreds, thousands, ten thousands,
millions, trillions, asamkhyas.