No.3 The Response of Soka Gakkai Headquarter to the Soka Gakkai Members Who Did Not Sign the Written Pledge (October 2008-December 2009)
“We always have to raise our voices courageously for the happiness of people and peace. Voices the words of wisdom. Anyway, the point is actions. To live is to struggle.” (The guidance of Ikeda sensei)
No one is perfect. Because we are imperfect, the faith exists. Because we are imperfect, we struggle. Because we are imperfect, we have a mentor. Because we are imperfect, the value of lives are created.
This is the same as the organization. Because it is imperfect, the struggle of the three presidents (Makiguchi sensei, Toda sensei, and Ikeda sensei) have taken place. Because it is imperfect, it developed.
Therefore, You! Without criticizing or complaining, Initiate the actions to transform imperfection to perfection. Take actions for what you believe is right. As long as the disciples carry on the struggles, Soka is justice. As long as the disciples carry on the struggles, imperfection itself can be perfection. Therefore, You! It is in your inner self that Soka Gakkai exists. You yourself are Soka Gakkai. Transforming yourself, itself, is to lead to developing Soka Gakkai, Do not forget it even for a moment.
Even though the problem happened within Soka Gakkai community of a local district, the corporate body of Soka Gakkai were about to investigate it. From this, I felt that they would do whatever they could to make us sign the written pledge. The submission of the statement which was requested by the Staff Disciplinary Committee- Wrong is wrong. we had already made a strong determination. Let’s behave sincerely with all our hearts, and we made a vow to say everything which we thought is right. Then, we put our heart and soul into creating the statement for our reasoning and submitted to the Staff Disciplinary Committee. I don’t think we are totally right. Rather, I have many weak points, and also make many mistakes. Then, I do not have any intention to say it was not my fault at all. However, it is important to know what is wrong with me all the more in order to improve the bad points. Otherwise, it is impossible to reflect on ourselves throughly and earnestly. However, in the inquiry conducted by the audit committee, they did not tell us of what the youth leaders accused us and what were their arguments, which was really important for us to know. There were no documents which were handed to us from the audit committee, and we did not know even what was approved and disapproved by them. Moreover, the conclusion of the audit committee was that the both sides must sign the written pledge and receive equal punishment over the problem. The punishment to the side who slandered and harmed the members was just to sigh the written pledge, whereas the members who were harmed seriously were demanded unfair self-reflection, and the audit committee attempted to end this issue just with the both side signing the written pledge. It also said that the both sides never brought up this again. The side, who suffered the most from the problems, was not the Soka Gakkai staff who had connection with the top leaders, but the members who did not. The conclusion of the audit committee was the indulgence for the Soka Gakkai staff who had a connection, and also it was a notice to the Soka Gakkai members to accept the conclusion meekly and silently. The judgement was totally unacceptable. especially in Soka Gakkai where put its members first. Actually, a leader of Soka Gakkai staff of the Youth Member’s Devision, who was considered to have self-reflected and apologized for the issue, claimed in the community of the local district afterwards “It will come to light which is right and wrong soon.” “They are just putting on a bold front.” “They are not strong enough, and will come to apologize to us.” The leader continued to blame and slander us. The judgement of the audit committee did not lead to the settlement of the issue. Moreover, what the audit committee inquired and found out was kept secret and withheld from us. They attempted to end the inquiry, making us to obey their decision with silence.
What we had experienced in the corporative body of Soka Gakkai was the same as this. Even when one cause a serious problem, the one will be forgiven as long as the one follow what the one’s boss told, and the one will be protected as a result. In contrast, if one does not follow even if the one’s argument is right, the one will be kept away from the organization. Therefore, saying their opinions to the one’s bosses itself is regarded as causing a problem.
However, right is right, and wrong is wrong. we wrote down our true feelings and thoughts, and submitted to the Staff Disciplinary Committee. I thought we did not have any regrets no matter what punishment I would receive. In April 15 2009, the result of the investigation by the Staff Disciplinary Committee was notified to us. It said “No problem with us as Soka Gakkai staff (employees)” The judgement of the Staff disciplinary was opposite to the one of audit committee. “Good circumstance is unusual. Bad circumstance is usual.” We were very happy from the bottom of our hearts.
■ The True Nature of Soka Gakkai Headquarter, Where Our Report Have Not Reached Ikeda Sensei.
A half year after the Staff Disciplinary Committee reached the judgement, “no problems with us as Soka Gakkai staff (employee)”, the top leaders of the Soka Gakkai headquarter began to criticize us. In October 29 2009, Aomori vice-president took part in a meeting for Soka Gakkai young staff, and he commented as following “These days, among your young staff, there are ones who are dissatisfied with the decision made by the headquarter and have raised their voices. They have not followed our guidance. This is totally unacceptable.” In his words there was vaguely suggested criticism of us. We had to clear up their misunderstandings. With my tremulous feet, I visited Aomori vice-president. “Could you possibly take time for me to talk and hear my story?” Then, he responded “No way to meet you” “You should be careful of the way you act!” He refused our request flatly. Moreover, after several days, Masaki Soka Gakkai administrator made vaguely suggested criticism of us in a meeting. “There is one common thing among problems I have dealt with in every division. That is they always misunderstand that they understand Ikeda sensei the most, and criticize leaders, citing the guidance of Ikeda sensei.” Criticism in public- We have not criticized the leaders but only would like them to know the truth. I thought we had to solve their misunderstandings. I had to ask for a dialogue and had to know the reasons why they criticize us. Then, I chanted daimoku with my whole being and visited the administrator. “I speak to the whole, but I don’t talk individually.” “No way! ,No way!” he told me just like that and left the place. I did not understand why every top leader had denied talking and hearing our story. They had avoided even talking with me though they went on criticizing us publicly. My colleagues also kept away from me.
This is wrong, definitely.
The Staff Disciplinary Committee had made a judgement that we had nothing to blame on as Soka Gakkai staff. However, apparently,we were avoided by even the colleagues with who we have had a close relation before, probably because they thought it was dangerous to talk with us. I was almost defeated. All I could do is to chant daimoku during commuting to and from work and during working. Then, the words of Ikeda sensei came up on my mind.
“If there should be something wrong, visit Hasegawa Soka Gakkai vice-administrator. Then, he will report it to me. I will look into the problem throughly. However, if I found your report something false, I have to punish you. Otherwise, it is not fair.”
I made a determination that I would devote ourselves to report to Ikeda sensei about the problem of the inquiry and top leaders, who had avoided talking with me and hearing my story. In December 14 2009, I visited Hasegawa Soka Gakkai vice-administrator. Looking at my tremulous feet, I thought I was not strong enough. There, I asked to Hasegawa Soka Gakkai vice-administrator whether or not he could read the letter which I brought with me, and hear my story about it. However, he told me “Don’t use Ikeda sensei.” He refused my request. Obviously, it was against Ikeda sensei’s direction.
It was unacceptable. It was totally unacceptable. The true relationship of the mentor and disciple is to keep the promises with the mentor whatever happened with our whole being. There is no more serious sin than breaking them. My body shook with anger. Tears welled up in my eyes. I will never ever give up. “What should we do to report this to Ikeda sensei?” I chanted earnestly.
President Harada, Masaki Soka Gakkai administrator, and Aomori vice-president criticized us in the meetings, and when each of us pleaded them to take time for talking and hearing our story, they refused it. Even Hasegawa Soka Gakkai vice-administrator refused, who was appointed by Ikeda sensei as the contact person to Ikeda sensei. Even so, I can not help thinking that in order to report this to Ikeda sensei I had to ask leaders close to Ikeda sensei. Then I decided to visit Miyagi vice-president, a son of Ikeda sensei. I were neither sure if he would meet me nor talking with me and hearing my story. Nevertheless, there was no way but to keep going. Even if it causes more misunderstandings about me and us, the important thing, I thought, was to do what I can do then. Other than that, I could not think of the right way.
Author:The Three Former Soka Gakkai Staff
Shuichi Kodaira; graduated from Soka high school in March 1995 graduated from Soka University in March 1999 started working for Soka Gakkai in April 1999 dismissed by Soka Gakkai in October 2012 excommunicated from Soka Gakkai in June 2014
Kiyoshi Takigawa; graduated from Soka University in March 2000 started working for Soka Gakkai in April 2000 dismissed by Soka Gakkai in October 2012 excommunicated from Soka Gakkai in June 2014
Yusuke Noguch; graduated from Tokai University in March 2002 started working for Soka Gakkai in April 2002 dismissed by Soka Gakkai in October 2012 excommunicated from Soka Gakkai in June 2014