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Stranger than Fiction IV: What Even Are Cults

2020.11.21 16:54 authordm Stranger than Fiction IV: What Even Are Cults

I have been taking you through quite the tour in this series, starting with Taiping Rebellion’s lessons for Villains, the Real Secret Societies, and the Anti-Capital Nature of Magic. I am enjoying these quite a lot because I am learning some new things and I do not have to meticulously cite my sources, which is great since most of this has been stuff I know and am pretty familiar with and I don’t care to remember where I heard it from. But, I’ve been leaning on my prior knowledge, mostly.
This one is a bit different. I have put some time and effort into researching this one because two of the three stories I will tell were somewhat unfamiliar to me. The whole field of sociology and religious studies is one I have only shaken hands with occasionally. In fact, the idea of researching ‘Cults’ is incredibly fraught in academia because of the negative connotations of the word, the massive scope of what is or is not a cult, the tendency to get really political and moralizing in researching them, and, in some cases, the very real danger that by researching a dangerous organization you become one of their targets. So, while I assure you that I have done some work and tried to come to some reasonable arguments, the conclusions I make are only for your D&D game. Do not assume that this is in any way indicative of the various fields of study that work on these groups.
So let’s talk about real cults. I bet there isn’t a DM out there who hasn’t used cults in their games at some point, because they are such a staple of the genre. My goal is to identify some characteristics of real cults so that we can add them to the ones in our games and provide some depth and character to them. Real cults have an undeniable power over people, and there are reasons for it that I think are lost in the fantasy genre.
I identify five characteristics of cults and then will go through three examples to show these characteristics in action in history. The five characteristics are: a godlike leader, flexible beliefs, reinvention of the self, isolation of believers, and elite membership. The three stories I will tell are three wildly different manifestations of cults: Heaven’s Gate, Aleph, and the personality cult of Mao Zedong. There is a lot of space to cover, and a lot of repetition in showing how each story exhibits each of the five characteristics.
This is a long one, I am pushing the word limit. So, I give you permission to skip the whole body and get to the conclusion; that will, in what is a long enough post by itself, summarize how to build a cult and some questions to think about when doing so for your D&D game. There's also a TL:DR right below if you're really in a hurry. No judgment at all, this is a long one.
TL:DR; five characteristics of cults are godlike leader, flexible beliefs, reinvention of the believer, isolation, and elite membership. That’s a useful framework to build reasons why cults can recruit people in your world. Specific lessons from the stories are that people crave the feeling of a chosen community, will defend it by resorting to extremism when that community is threatened, and tend to trust their leader entirely when it comes to deciding what it means to build and defend their community.

Heaven’s Gate

39 people, including the founder and leader, of the Heaven’s Gate cult died in a mass suicide in 1997. For those of you that are old like me, you may remember looking up to the skies in 1997 to see the stunning sight of the Hale-Bopp comet. Those in Heaven’s Gate believed that there was an alien ship hiding in the comet’s tail, and that it was going to take them away from their mortal coil and transport their consciousness to a greater plane of understanding and evolution. They committed ritual suicide to beam themselves up.
This is a good starting point for our stories about cults because it is really about the cultists, their leader, and their beliefs. They didn’t commit any massive acts of violence, except against themselves, which makes it easier to pry at what drove them to believe something that seems so nonsensical on its face. It shows how a few simple characteristics can create such a strong bond between people and their faith, regardless of any setbacks that seem like it should have shaken them out of this state.
God-like Leader - Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles were the founders and leaders of Heaven’s Gate. They mixed sci-fi, the bible, and the occult into this belief that the Christian God was real, and he was an alien, which directly led to the creation of the History Channel (this claim is disputed). In all seriousness, Ancient Aliens might not have been their invention, but they took it to a religious level and spread the word as prophets, people destined to tell the fate of the world as foretold in The Book of Revelations, but with their alien spin. Both Applewhite and Nettles even later claimed that they were gods; they argued that Jesus and God were incorporeal aliens that could take over bodies, and that Applewhite was the same alien spirit that had once taken Jesus for a ride, and Nettles was the spirit of God. So the leadership of Heaven’s Gate quite literally made themselves out to be Gods.
Flexible Beliefs - Nettles and Applewhite had been running this thing since the early 70s and had led their cult around the US. They begged on streets, avoided anybody who might recognize them, and focused on reaching a higher evolutionary level on their own. They were a vaguely public group, a wandering community of believers that preached around the country. They picked up some ex-hippie, truth-seeker believers as you imagine with 1970s cults, but they also recruited scientists and even a serious major party candidate for the Colorado State House.
Nettles died of cancer in 1985. I bring this up, because it radically altered the group’s trajectory. She was supposed to be divine, how could she die before her time? Rather than fracturing the group, they changed their beliefs to one where bodies were vehicles. While they claimed to be alien spirits in human bodies, they believed up until Nettles’ death that they would be taken corporeally by alien spacecraft to their immortality and evolution. After her death, they changed their beliefs to focus on the spirit being taken rather than the body. When confronted with challenges to their doctrine, the beliefs changed.
Reinvention of the Self - Heaven’s Gate asked its membership to completely change themselves in order to attain the evolutionary level above human. There were two levels of this; first, in their life on earth they had to rid themselves of all the pitiful human traits they could, such as gender, personality, possessions, and more. Second, when the time came they would literally be taken by aliens to ascend to the next level. Cults offer both a promise and an action, in this way. There is a reward at the end, a great achievement that will change the individual and even mankind, but to deserve it they needed to reinvent themselves in the here and now.
Isolation of Believers - Like many cults, Heaven’s Gate asked its believers to leave everything behind to follow the leaders. In their early years, they were nomadic as people gave away everything to follow them around the US. After 1985, they began to become even more reclusive, primarily contacting the outside world through their website (which is still active and maintained by two, anonymous, remaining members). About a year before the mass suicide, they began renting a compound for everyone to live in, shut out from the outside world.
Elite Membership - Here is, I think, where Heaven’s Gate really stands out as a story, because while all the cults we’re looking at exhibit this characteristic, Heaven’s Gate personifies it best. Membership in Heaven’s Gate was not easy; not only did one have to give up everything and lead an ascetic life, they really had to prove themselves as a cut above normal people. Not everyone was ready for the evolutionary level above human, so the entire life of membership was a test that people were expected to fail. To gain and maintain membership in Heaven’s Gate meant that you were special and different, more advanced than most humans. And as the noted reinvention of the self, the cult promised that this cream of the crop would be rewarded by ascending to a higher level of consciousness in which all would finally be revealed. Heaven’s Gate attracted smart, capable people because it told them sure you’re smart and capable, but that’s just the start.
People like feeling not just smart, but like they are holders of secret knowledge. There’s something about knowing the world’s secrets better than the common man that is enticing and seductive. A cult plays into this by giving that feeling to them; more importantly, it makes them work for it. A religion puts its beliefs up front (generally) for people to see, but a cult gates that knowledge off and releases it slowly to believers to make them feel special, different, chosen.
This is the lesson I want to draw from for our D&D, that cult membership isn’t entirely illogical. I mean, it is, but it works by preying on some common psychological exploits. Faceless, fanatical cultists are faceless by choice, not because you need a villainous mob. They gave up their faces and individuality in service of a greater power because it knows they are special, because it gives them secret knowledge, and because they are an elite and chosen group who has worked for and deserves the rewards that will come in the promised end. That’s something to remember when making a cult in your game.


Better known as Aum Shinrikyo or just Aum (Aleph is how they’ve rebranded), this group was responsible for the 1995 Tokyo sarin gas attack that killed 13 and injured thousands more. This was only their highest profile attack, as there were a few other sarin uses before 1995 and the 1989 assassination of a lawyer, and his family, who was involved in a case against Aum.
With this story, I want to get at what made them violent like this and understand how a yoga study group became terrorists. I will go through a lot of their history and doctrine only on the surface because I want to focus on what pushes cults to go extreme. Also, what they believe in is really hard to pin down, and I don’t really want piles of Aum sites in my browser history lest I end up on some watch list.
God-like Leader - Shoko Ashara (not his given name) started preaching in the early 1980s; by the 90s, he was a popular guru lecturing and publishing books about spirituality. On the one hand, he claimed that his teachings were meant to identify and preach to a more pure, original form of Buddhism by referring back to Buddha’s secret teachings; on the other, he also incorporated ideas from Christianity by claiming that he alone could take on the sins of the world to redeem people. He even claimed to be Christ in 1992 (this is a common theme in my series, it seems).
What is important here is that the cult centered on the reverence of this one guy because of his special, spiritual qualities. Whatever he was, belief in and service to him was portrayed as the only path to spiritual enlightenment. In fact, the point of the cult was to convert people into clones of Ashara, sometimes even using specially made brainwave devices to transmit Ashara’s thoughts and personhood into other people. He also sold his bathwater, so really a trendmaker in that sense. He was executed in2018 for his role in the 1995 sarin attack.
Flexible Beliefs - Again, I am having difficulty pinning down their beliefs, but I think that is the point I want to make. Throughout its history, Aleph has predicted various kinds of doomsdays; the passing of one for-sure date of the end of the world just meant that they recalculated to find the next date. The execution of the leader hasn’t quite killed off the cult. Like with Heaven’s Gate, while there is a sort of core belief, the real power of the group is in the rituals and foundation of a community, and the beliefs will change whenever necessary if they are ever challenged by the interruptions of reality.
Reinvention of the Self - Aleph members, like Heaven’s Gate, are told to give all of their belongings to the cult and give up their lives to join. As noted, one of the goals of the cult is to literally clone the leader by making all the cult members into versions of him, whether through indoctrination, brainwashing, or the brainwave devices. Once again there are also two layers to this; by giving up all the things that made them individuals and taking on the persona of Ashara, they are advancing to a new level of consciousness. Ashara draws from Buddhism here in that the goal of consciousness is to realized the truths of the world. Ashara argued that he knew them, so by becoming Ashara, they can make steps towards attaining this perfect nirvana where they have become enlightened beings outside of the bounds of the mundane world, outside of the physical universe.
Elite Membership - Changing up the layout here to leave the most important for the end, but this is a crucial component of the story. Taking on this new self and stepping outside the bounds of the mundane world had a purpose; it was how they were going to save the world. Or at least live through the end of it. Ashara argued that the world was going to end, probably in a nuclear winter caused by the third world war. Only through their belief in Ashara could believers be saved, and with enough believers, the fate of the world could be reversed.
I’ll take a quick detour here to explain that, as best as I can. Karma is a familiar enough concept, but we generally get it wrong. I’ll relate a personal experience. In my philosophy course we were learning about karma, and the basics are that if you do bad deeds, you’ll eventually have to pay off that karmic debt by having bad done to you. I asked my philosophy teacher who was explaining this, “what about some kid in the back seat of a car hit by a drunk driver, what did they do?” The answer was, “well, to a Buddhist, probably something awful in a previous life, as did the drivers of both cars, the families impacted, and everyone hurt by that event.” Karma is not direct, it’s a universal system of waves that we are creating, reverberating throughout infinite time and reincarnations. Everyone is connected, every event is just the waves of karma shifting our fate and balancing the karmic debt from thousands of lifetimes of ripples.
That might help explain what Aleph and its believers thought, because they seemed to think that their devoted group could change the world through the power of their karma. By following their leader, living lives of good karma, and serving this one shining light that promised to fix the infinite pattern controlling all fate, they could suck away all the bad in the world and prevent these karmic waves from destroying everything. I’m going on hunches here, but that’s the connection I see.
So people in Aleph were an elite group of the best of mankind united in a mission to save the world from itself. Not just that, but Aleph specifically targeted certain people for recruitment, offering university graduates and high skill people a relief from their workaday lives and a belief in something bigger. For a 90s, cutthroat capitalist, 60+ hour workweek Japan, the idea that they could do something really meaningful with their lives and transcend the mundane was attractive. Shit, I barely do 40 in a job that isn’t that bad and I can feel it.
Isolation of Believers - I saved this for last because this is where it gets violent. One of the ways that cults overcome the doubts when beliefs are reinvented, one of the ways that it makes people believe they are elite and unique, is by isolating its members from outside influences. They get put into a bubble where only the desired behaviors are reinforced by new secret knowledge and access to the leader, and any contradictory information is screened out. Heaven’s Gate did it, Aleph did it, and so, as we will cover, did Mao.
But in the case of Aleph, their isolation was not just from the rest of the world around them, their isolation was viewed as a fortress to protect them. Going back to the karma, these people saw themselves as the last hope for mankind, the calm center of the storm trying to spread that calmness against the encroaching waves. Part of what made them a cohesive community and made them commit was because they thought the world would push back on them. They had to fight against bad karma. And remember, karma is not individual, it is a universal pattern that links every person together, not a direct action/reaction dyad. The people that resisted Aleph did so as part of this universal system of bad karma shaking the pattern. Aleph’s little pocket of good was under attack by the system, almost like Agents taking over individuals in the Matrix. And Aleph was under attack. They were sued for fraud and kidnapping by parents whose kids joined the cult and faced numerous legal battles about all sorts of other, very legitimate, complaints of illegality.
So how does a yoga, self-help group become terrorists with biological weapons? Because they saw themselves as an isolated bastion trying to save the system from itself, they viewed their attackers not as people but as expressions of that system, and because the fate of the universe hung on them and them alone. It might have seemed like just some lawsuits to outsiders and the resulting attacks as absolutely inordinate retaliation, but on the inside this was a defensive war for the future of the world.
So there’s the D&D lesson from Aleph; to protect their community and their ideals and their mission, a cult can very quickly become violent, extremely so. But they won’t see this as retribution and violence, but as a necessary evil taken only in defense against those already attacking the group. Even the end of the world, as cults are prone to seek in D&D, might be justified to believers as a defense against something worse.

Mao Zedong

When you think of the Cult of Mao, you probably see images of the posters from the Cultural Revolution. You think of the million teenagers cramming into Tiananmen Square, all waving their little red books, just losing their shit at seeing Mao as if he were one of the Beatles in their first American tour. This is definitely the biggest incarnation of a cult that we’ll look at, but Mao started small and the Cultural Revolution was as much an attempt to recapture the magic of his first cult as it was a totally new expression of his cult.
Mao is an interesting case of a cult leader because he is the only one without any trappings of a deity, and yet he is probably the most deified of them all. He shows that when you add charisma and mythical heroism to the cult leader, the cult can feel like a special and embattled minority even when it is the clear, dominant, and oppressive majority.
Flexible Beliefs - I’ll cover Mao, the person, last. I don’t want to get into the arcana of dialectical materialism here to show how Maoism changed, but rather I’ll focus on people as a stand-in for flexible beliefs. Because one of the big hallmarks of Maoism, as it played out in China, was how replaceable every believer was, and how once deposed their entire history of support for Mao and Maoism became a sham. I’ll give a quick biography to demonstrate the point.
Peng Dehuai was one of Mao’s closest associates from the very beginning in 1927 and a superb military mind. While Mao wrote about guerilla warfare and led politics, Peng led the troops in doing it. Peng supported Mao when he was just an upstart in the Communist Party, he supported Mao when he eventually became leader, and he supported Mao in the Korean War after taking over China, he was there every step of the way without question. But in 1959, he wrote a letter arguing that Mao had gone a little overboard with this whole Great Leap Forward thing and that it looked like the movement (which led to a massive, unquantifiably deadly famine) might have had some adverse consequences. The entire party turned against him, his entire history was purged, and he was routinely publicly humiliated during the Cultural Revolution and accused of being a deep-capitalist plant the entire time.
Peng is not an isolated incident. Mao’s second in command, Liu Shaoqi, suffered similarly and he was killed during the Cultural Revolution for being a traitor and spy despite having given his life to the Communist Party and 20 years to Mao. Lin Biao, who took over behind both Peng and Liu as head of the military and Mao’s #2, went harder on the Mao cool-aid than anyone, but in a mysterious set of circumstances his plane crashed while he was fleeing the country and everything he’d ever done was portrayed as a great deception and betrayal of Mao.
Reinvention of the Self - Mao got his start as a cult leader in Yan’an during the Rectification Movement. The Party, he argued, suffered from a lack of unity; everybody had their own readings of Marxism and therefore the group lacked cohesion. Rectification was an intense movement of reeducation where everybody grouped up into small groups, read the works of Mao and other approved texts, commented, and then criticized themselves and their own failings in front of this group. Failure to be sufficiently sincere in your self-criticism meant you had to do it again. And again. And again. At the end of this, people had been reinvented into a cohesive force, a group capable of saving China.
This first movement was something almost mythical. The people that went through it went on to rule China for 40 years (Deng Xiaoping was the last living leader from Yan’an). But Mao decided that the first 20 years had made that group soft, so he got the Cultural Revolution off to replace them with a new group. And that blueprint, of groups forming to study, to criticize, and to reenact the wars of the revolution by fighting now against the entrenched state bureaucracy, was a quite deliberate attempt to recreate Yan’an on a national scale.
In both cases, the reinvention of the self was a proxy for the reinvention, the revolution, of China. When the students of Yan’an were rectifying themselves to create Party unity, they imagined it as the prerequisite to finally saving the country from the imperialism of Japan and beyond. When the students of the Cultural Revolution memorized the little red book together in the office buildings of bureaucrats they had overthrown, they saw themselves as the only hope for global communism against the traitorous capitalist-roaders in China and in the USSR.
Isolation of Believers - Mao managed this by effectively taking over the country. Whereas many cults have to really work to get their people away from outside influences, when you can shut off the whole country to foreigners and you can totally control the media to say whatever you need it to say, isolation is pretty easy.
But there’s an extra step here. They still need to isolate within that isolation to feel unique and special, as I’ll cover later. In Yan’an, they managed it by being out in the boonies. Yan’an, though it is the heart of ancient China, is a backwaters in modern times. The mountainous terrain and muddy roads make it nearly inaccessible. Out here, away from Japan’s attacks, away from the Nationalist government in the South, the beleaguered Communist Party found a home having run away from all that. And more people came, similarly undergoing their own trials to arrive at this heart of resistance.
During the Cultural Revolution, the young Red Guards tried to recreate this by going on tours around the country to revisit these spaces, but more significantly, their isolation was psychological. Universally, they created their own groups and attacked the rest of society; anybody old was suspect, including teachers, government officials, and often their parents. They isolated themselves in the belief that the old revolution had failed, long live the next revolution.
Elite Membership - Everything about the Communist Party is an elite organization. Even though Mao warned them that they should keep close to the masses, the Communist Party recruits only a percentage of the population, picked based on merit (or connections) to become part of the ruling group. Each level is another layer of prestige, all the way to the top. But it takes a lot work to be there. During Yan’an, it meant undergoing rectification, and the same process continued throughout Mao’s tenure. During the Cultural Revolution, Red Guard groups popped up styling themselves as the true believers, sometimes even fighting each other over who was the most correct and closest to Mao.
More importantly, in every case, these people believed that China was unique and elite in the world. Even when their goal was fighting against other Chinese, both in the revolution and in the Cultural Revolution, they felt like they were saving China and indeed the world. They were the forefront, the vanguard, of revolutionary change.
God-like Leader - Mao’s biggest departure from the cults we looked at earlier is that he made all of this happen to a population of a billion, not the forty of Heaven’s Gate or even the (alleged) tens of thousands once in Aleph. A billion. The most populous country in the world. And yet all the tactics that seemed to serve a small, dedicated group like a religious cult worked here. In a country they controlled, they still felt isolated. In an elite group of specially picked members, they still felt special and unique. In a place that had already been reinvented as a Communist nation once, they still had to do it again. And in a land of a billion, nobody was able to point out the absurdities in how beliefs changed so wildly.
A main reason for that is Mao himself. I said that the Cult of Mao kinda got its start in Yan’an, but that’s not quite true. By the time he reached Yan’an, he was already a sort of mythic figure. He’d escaped the white terror of 1927 (when the Nationalists hunted down all Communist Party members they could find in a sudden betrayal of their alliance), and in fact had totally called that it would happen years before. He built up a rebellion in the mountains, redistributed land, created a Communist state, before the Nationalists were able to bring a war to him. And he got away, walking with his handful of followers over 10,000 kilometers, crossing bridges under fire, constantly pursued, until finally reaching safety in Yan’an. He was the hero of this battle-scarred group and the nucleus of China’s revolution. His survival was a thing of legends, and it was all because he knew the path before he walked it, had been right at every turn.
This is, again, describing him in 1942. Not 1966 when the posters of him being the glorious sun shedding the light of revolution on his adoring followers sprung up, well after he had colossally screwed up as a leader multiple times in the intervening years.
The cult leader has a lot of power over his people, in every case they are portrayed as not just god-like, but infallible and essential. Mao really embodied this. His every word was the truth, and his existence was the prerequisite for the success of the revolution, for the salvation of China. That’s why people could be so subservient, why they could kill themselves in a mass suicide at Applewhite’s command, or commit atrocities for Ashara, or denounce their parents and kill their teachers at Mao’s whims. God-like, in a cult, means that they must be followed and they must be revered because they are the keys to the belief structure and the final goals of the community. So when Mao’s followers attacked their elders, they saw themselves as the embattled few saving the world when they were, in fact, already in total control. They believed Mao when he told them otherwise, regardless of the evidence in front of their eyes.
So there’s our lesson from Mao for D&D, and I think this is why cults are so common in our settings; it is so easy to single out such a important, powerful, and chaotic leader. The nature of a cult, the way it is formed, necessitates that the leader is infallible and essential, that they must be followed to the ends of the earth. That is a very easy person to make a villain.


Whew, this has been a journey. Thanks for making it through it all. And if you skipped it, no judgment, that is a lot of words to provide a historical context for a few points I want to make about a game we all play for fun.
So I think our five characteristics are a useful way to start understanding cults. Historically speaking, they are present in our examples, and they are pretty key components of what makes a cult a cult as opposed to a religion or political party or canasta club. So I’ll repeat them here, summarize some basic lessons, and prompt a few questions to help you build a compelling and terrifyingly realistic cult.
God-like Leader - the leader of a cult is often a prophet or even portrayed as a manifestation of a god, quite literally being god-like. But even without the religious dimension, they are god-like in that they are infallible and essential. They might totally contradict themselves, they might be a prophet one day and an avatar the next, they might suffer all sorts of set backs, but to be god-like, they have to show that it was all part of their vision. They couldn’t reveal the truth until they were ready. They allowed misfortune to test their followers. They are never wrong and are the key piece to reaching the goals of the organization.
Some questions; do they do this cynically, fully aware of what they are doing and manipulating it, or do they believe in it themselves? What myth or legend has made their charisma? In the world of D&D, what powers towards deification can they actually gain or use for the purpose? How much does the cult serve only the leader, and if a lot how is this justified?
Flexible Beliefs - There is usually some core at the center of a cult, a basic secret about the reality of the world and humanity’s place in it, but everything around it can change, and cultists won’t see the dissidence. To put it simply, for a doomsday cult, doomsday can always be tomorrow even though each successive day proves them wrong. The most important thing is that the purpose of the cult is served.
Some questions; what is the core, unchangeable belief at the center of the cult? What actions can they take to get there? Why is it persuasive, what does it offer them? How can it adapt whenever proven wrong? What is the leader's role in redefining the cult's beliefs? Can it survive without the leader?
Reinvention of the Self - every cult asks its people to reinvent themselves. This is such a powerful tool, it’s used almost everywhere, from the military to business retreats. Because when you reinvent yourself alongside others who are going through the same process, you become a particularly tight-knit community. But what separates cults from common uses is that that transformation has to be powered by a belief that it is happening for a reason and that they are becoming a more advanced type of person for having gone through it.
Some questions; what are the rituals they use to reinvent themselves? What are they trying to attain? How do senior members initiate the new ones? Are there additional levels of reinvention beyond the first? What does a reinvented cultist look like or act like? Should they literally gain some powers?
Isolation of Believers - for all of this to work, especially the flexible beliefs and the reinvention of the self, people have to be isolated from the rest of the world. They might literally sequester themselves away, but for a villainous group, they instead take extreme measures to keep the world away even as they live and act within it.
Some questions; how does the cult keep information from outside from getting in? What are the punishments for letting information in? How do they interact with the world when they must be out in it? How does the cult isolate people from their friends and family?
Elite Membership - Cults don’t just gather the gullible, they appeal to even particularly smart and capable people because they appear to be a special group that not everyone can be part of. There are always requirements to join that not everyone can meet, and this makes the cultist feel like they are part of an elite group. That feeling reinforces all the rest of the characteristics. But that feeling of being different is complementary to the feeling that they will get elite rewards for their sacrifice. They are elite because they will be the first (or only) to gain something once the cult’s objectives are attained.
Some questions; why do cultists see themselves as unique and special when they are part of this organization? What prerequisites are there to membership? What do they have to do to prove that they deserve membership? How are various levels distinguished from each other within the cult? What do they gain, what secret knowledge is dispensed with membership, what boon is granted?
Thanks for reading! I have a podcast and a blog that you can find at www.marriednd.com or @marriednd.
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2020.11.05 07:55 foxypandas420 Matching Dating Sim

Hiya there, long time anon lurker first time poster ive been racking my brain trying to figure out this assignment/project I have to do
any insights or well in depth help would be nice
Matching Project in C++
Your company has decided to diversify into matchmaking. As a first step, it is offering a service to pair people for a first date and asked you to write the software for the pairing. Initial requirements are relatively simple:

* Pairing will be between males and females only for now.
* Each profile will specify the user's **id** along with attributes **country**, **diet**, **drinking**, **gender**, **language**, **religion**, and **smoking**.
* The company expects each user to prefer to be paired with users sharing the attributes. E.g., a user from USA will want to be paired with another also from USA.
* The importance a user gives to a match on an attribute is indicated in an accompanied weight value. E.g., for country, you may get a tuple (USA, 0.340077), which specifies that the user is from USA and that the match is worth 0.340077 to him/her.
* The company calculates a compatibility score for each pair by combining the user weights for each matching attribute. E,g, if user A matches with B on country and they assign weights 0.3 and 0.4 respectively for it, they will contribute a value of 0.7 to the score (0 if they don't match).

Your job is to pair each male with a female for their first date so the pairs represent the most compatible matching across all the users. The logic is to be placed in **Match::pairs()** in **match/match.cpp**, and you need to write unit tests for it in **test/match_test.cpp**.

The *data* package provides a **profiles()** function that you can use to get a list of randomly generated profiles - you are guaranteed to get half males and half females. For this project, pair 100 users (50 males with 50 females). Use this data to create a report pairing each male's **id** (first column) with the matching female's **id**, along with the compatibility score. Sort these in the alphabetical order of the male **id**.

Only edit the files match/match.cpp (the logic that implements the match), test/match_test.cpp (the unit tests), and report.cpp (the integration test that tests the whole thing with 100 users and prints a report as explained in README)
You can run the unit tests with bazel test test/match_test - note that this will pass right away because there is nothing being tested, you will need to add your own tests that check all the requirements stated in the README or you will NOT get credit
Run the integration test with bazel run report - I put in some placeholder code to give you an idea of how to print tabulated data as asked in the README

#ifndef DATA_DATA_H_
#define DATA_DATA_H_
enum Country {

enum Diet {

enum Gender {

enum Language {

enum Religion {

struct Profile {
uint32_t id;
Gender gender;
std::tuple country;
std::tuple diet;
std::tuple drinking;
std::tuple language;
std::tuple religion;
std::tuple smoking;

std::vector profiles(uint16_t count);



#ifndef MATCH_MATCH_H_
#define MATCH_MATCH_H_

#include "data/data.h"

class Match {
static std::map pairs(std::vector &);



#include "data/data.h"

#define WEIGHT (static_cast(std::rand()) / RAND_MAX)

std::vector profiles(uint16_t count) {
std::vector profiles;

Gender gender = FEMALE;
for (uint16_t i = 0; i < count; ++i) {
std::rand() % 900000U + 100000,
gender = gender == MALE ? FEMALE : MALE,
{static_cast(std::rand() % 3), WEIGHT},
{static_cast(std::rand() % 4), WEIGHT},
{std::rand() % 2 > 0, WEIGHT},
{static_cast(std::rand() % 3), WEIGHT},
{static_cast(std::rand() % 3), WEIGHT},
{std::rand() % 2 > 0, WEIGHT}

return profiles;

#include "data/data.h"
#include "match/match.h"

int main() {
std::vector up = profiles(10);
for (auto p : up) {
printf("%d, %d: %f, %d: %f, %d: %f, %d: %f, %d: %f, %d: %f\n",
std::get<0>(p.country), std::get<1>(p.country),
std::get<0>(p.diet), std::get<1>(p.diet),
std::get<0>(p.drinking), std::get<1>(p.drinking),
p.gender, 0.0,
std::get<0>(p.language), std::get<1>(p.language),
std::get<0>(p.religion), std::get<1>(p.religion),
std::get<0>(p.smoking), std::get<1>(p.smoking));
blank -Enter logic here test/match_test.cpp blank - Enter logic here
submitted by foxypandas420 to programmingrequests [link] [comments]

2020.11.05 03:05 Seeker_Alpha1701 Attempting to suppress Kalimat Press, a Baha'i publishing company

Baha'is often whine about their fellow believers being persecuted by the Islamic authorities in Iran. Ironically, the Baha'i leadership itself has sought to suppress freedom of expression among Baha'is themselves, most notably in its shameful treatment of Kalimat Press.
Below are highlights from a series of messages, one article, and two blog entries referring to this matter.
Letter from the Universal House of Justice to Kalimat, 1999
3 August 1999
Dear Bahá'í Friend,
The Universal House of Justice has reviewed the letter of 8 May 1999 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, signed by you on behalf of Kalimat Press and copied for the House of Justice, on the subject of the manner in which Kalimat has promoted to Bahá'ís Juan Cole's book, Modernity and the Millennium. We have been asked to write as follows.
A good deal of the work of Kalimat Press, which you have ably directed during the twenty or so years of the firm's existence, has constituted a significant contribution to the advancement of the Cause we all love and seek to serve. It is clear, too, that, beyond the administration of Kalimat's activities, this valued contribution owes a great deal to your own creativity and professional talents. These circumstances move the House of the Justice to share with you candidly the deep concern it feels regarding your relationship with the Bahá'í Faith.

Why would a Bahá'í or a Bahá'í publisher who is genuinely devoted to advancing Bahá'í scholarship and to encouraging confirmation of believers in Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant seek to persuade his Bahá'í readers that a device intended as the mainspring of an attack on their Faith is "an indispensable book for any serious student of Bahá'í history"? How could an effort to represent to the Bahá'í community such a work as "a brilliant, scholarly analysis of the life and teachings of Bahá'u'lláh" serve the Cause of God? What moral benefit do you imagine a Bahá'í reader could conceivably derive from taking seriously the theories of an individual whose apparently ungovernable malice has made his activities the focal point of contention and disharmony among any believers unwise enough to be influenced by him?

In the past, you have expressed bewilderment that your actions should have required the intervention of senior Bahá'í institutions. The House of Justice expects that you have now understood clearly what is at stake and that you will resolve, unambiguously and at once, to abandon the course you have, alas, been pursuing.
The House of Justice will pray ardently at the Holy Threshold that you will be granted the courage and will to meet the spiritual challenge you face.
With loving Bahá'í greetings, Department of the Secretariat
Letter from the National Spiritual Assembly to Kalimat, August 2005
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States
August 22, 2005
Dear Bahá'í Friend:
The National Spiritual Assembly noted in your July 13 email message conveying news of your forthcoming publications that you intend soon to distribute a reprint of Abbas Amanat's Resurrection and Renewal: The Making of the Babi Movement 1844-1850, with the addition of a new preface in which — according to your description — Mr. Amanat comments on developments in the field of Babi-Bahá'í studies since the original publication of the book in 1989.
Word has reached us from independent sources that Mr. Amanat's preface is severely critical of institutions of the Faith. Not having seen it, we have drawn no conclusions about the preface and are obviously not in a position to comment on it. We hope that Kalimat Press is exercising appropriate care in the nature of the material it propagates and is mindful of the need, especially during this critical period in the Faith's development, of safeguarding the high station and dignity of institutions that derive their being from the wellsprings of Bahá'u'lláh's mighty revelation.
We look forward to your reply.
With loving Bahá'í regards, [National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States]

Editor's note, 2014

Following this letter, Kalimat removed the following four titles from their website: Modernity and the Millennium by Juan Cole, Church and State by Sen McGlinn, Resurrection and Renewal by Abbas Amanat, and The Bahá'í Faith in America by Bill Garlington, as the publisher believed these were the ones the Baha’i Administration found objectionable. Those titles remain unavailable, and the publisher confirms that they have no plans to resume sale of them. [-J.W., citing personal correspondence, 2014/12/21]
Open letter from the US National Spiritual Assembly, December 2005
December 29, 2005
To all Local Spiritual Assemblies
Dear Bahá'í Friends,
Enclosed [below] for your information is a copy of our letter of today’s date addressed to Kalimát Press. We ask you to comply with the decision we have made that all national and local Bahá'í agencies cease to distribute books and other items marketed by this publisher. However, you may continue to sell whatever you may have in stock until your inventories are depleted. Individuals are free, of course, to decide to purchase books from any publisher.
Our decision was regretfully reached as a result of increasing concern in recent years that a number of titles handled by Kalimát Press, aside from those which have enriched Bahá'í literature over the years, contain matter inimical to the best interests of our Faith. It is highly inappropriate for Bahá'í institutions, which are obligated to safeguard such interests, to provide channels of distribution for publishers promoting such titles.
With loving Bahá'í greetings, [National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States]
Letter from the National Spiritual Assembly to Kalimat, December 2005
December 29, 2005
Dear Bahá'í Friend,
We write to inform you of our decision to instruct the Bahá'í Distribution Service and all other national and local Bahá'í agencies serving our community to cease to acquire and sell any titles marketed by Kalimát Press. We have been impelled to so decide out of a serious concern that your company is increasingly offering titles that are inimical to the best interests of the Bahá'í Faith.
Yours in His service, [National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States]
Letter from the National Spiritual Assembly to an individual, January 2006
January 30, 2006
Dear Bahá'í Friend,
The National Spiritual Assembly has received your email messages of December 31, 2005 and January 10, 2006 and appreciates the concerns you have shared in response to its decision to cease to distribute books and other materials published, produced or marketed by Kalimát Press. First, we wish to assure you that the National Assembly has no issues with your titles ___. As you state, the manuscripts for these books were properly submitted to the National Assembly for literature review and subsequently passed.
Our decision to cease to distribute books and other items handled by Kalimát Press was reached, as indicated in our December 29, 2005 letter to all Local Spiritual Assemblies, not so much because of any specific titles but rather in light of the pattern and motives of Kalimát Press in promoting books over the years that include material that is harmful to the interests of the Bahá'í Faith. You have, in your own letter, given a good assessment of the problems inherent in such action. However, continued support of Kalimát Press under these circumstances, through distribution of its products, would be illogical and contradictory to the principles and purposes of a Bahá'í institution.
Letter from an individual to the Universal House of Justice, May 2006
May 21th, 2006
Dear friends of the Universal House of Justice,
I have learned with shock and dismay about the expulsion of scholar Sen McGlinn, from Leiden, in the Netherlands, and about the boycott of Kalimat Press on the part of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States of America.

What seriously worries me is the rather narrow conception of intellectual freedom in general, and scholarly research in particular, that Bahá í authorities have foisted upon Bahá’í men and women of learning.
That attitude is evidenced in a document issued on your behalf by the Department of the Secretariat on November 14 2005, and subsequently disseminated onto the Internet and onto official Bahá’í Bulletins such as Note Bahá’í in Italy. That paper does not mention Mr. McGlinn explicitly, but makes it easy to recognize him by quoting, out of their proper context, some sentences from the Foreword to his new book Church and State, self published in the Netherlands and distributed in the USA by Kalimat Press.

Since all the books published by Kalimat Press have passed Bahá’í Review, one must infer that the problems lie with the titles that Kalimat distributes. Among them one can’t avoid to single out Mr. McGlinn’s Church and State, professor Juan Cole’s Modernity and the Millennium, Dr. William Garlington’s The Bahá’í Faith in America: three outstanding, stimulating works that happen to apply, from different perspectives, the methods of contemporary western scholarship to the study of the Bahá’í Faith.
All three appear in Kalimat Press’ series “Studies in the Bábí and Bahá’í religions”, that has significantly raised the standards of Bahá’í scholarship, and made Bahá’í studies an acceptable subject in academic circles worldwide. This in itself is no small accomplishment, and one our Beloved Guardian would have no doubt appreciated. Labelling any of these books “inimical to the best interests of the Faith” might not only result in damaging the cultural standards of the community as a whole; it might also put at risk the teaching of the message of the Blessed Beauty to prominent and well-educated people.
Shoghi Effendi was adamant that it was our duty as Bahá’ís to contact men and women of learning, distinction and responsibility:
“The more people of capacity who accept the Faith, the higher will become the standard of the entire group. (17 June 1942, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi)

As an Italian Bahá’í, I find it depressing to think that the precious work of our open-minded, enlightened and devoted community, that has a leading role in many progressive activities (including inter-faith dialogue, development of integration policies for destitute immigrants, and of academic programmes for the enhancement of business ethics) should be put in jeopardy by the expulsion of an honest, devout scholar in the Netherlands, or by the boycott of a distinguished independent publishing house.
Since I am a professional journalist, I have sometimes been called to lend a hand in PR work in favour of our beleaguered sisters and brothers in Iran. It is my duty to warn the Universal House of Justice, may God enlighten and protect it, that academics, politicians and prominent journalists in Italy are unlikely to give their heartfelt support to an organization that expels scholars for doing (or publishing) scholarly research.
For all the above reasons, I beseech you to reconsider your decision to expel Dr McGlinn. Please, give him back the place in the Bahá’í community that is the right of “a receptive soul who hath in this Day inhaled the fragrance of His garment and hath, with a pure heart, set his face towards the all-glorious Horizon”. Please, encourage the Bahá’ís around the world to benefit from reading, engaging, confronting his deep and honest intellectual efforts, as well as those of Kalimat Press, its owners, directors, and authors. Please, consult with the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and urge them to remove the ban on Kalimat Press that risks strangling a meritorious publishing house.
Best regards,
Response from the Universal House of Justice to the above letter, June 2006
12 June 2006

Every individual has the right to hold and express personal views. This does not mean, however, that whatever is said is consistent with the Bahá’í Teachings. Bahá’u’lláh has established the criteria for understanding and practicing His Faith, and no one who professes to be a Bahá’í can systematically propagate personal interpretations that violate these criteria.
An individual who insists upon a personal view in an effort to change the essential character of the Faith places himself outside the circle of Bahá’í belief. Concerns with Mr. McGlinn’s actions have nothing to do with his treatment of topics such as church and state; yet, the extent that he uses these themes as a vehicle to justify and broaden his presumed authority to "criticize, clarify, purify and strengthen the ideas of the Bahá’í community" cannot be ignored.
You have also inquired about the decision of the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States not to market the books of Kalimát Press through Bahá’í agencies in that country.
Individuals and institutions have not been prevented from purchasing Kalimát’s books or from keeping them in their libraries. Rather, the National Assembly has simply decided that Bahá’í agencies will not sell them.
The use of the word "boycott" in this connection misrepresents the action taken by the National Assembly. The general policy in this regard, well known to Bahá’í institutions and publishers of Bahá’í books, is that even after a text is reviewed, publishers do not have the right to expect that a National Spiritual Assembly, through its Publishing Trust or any other agency, will stock, promote or advertise the publication or offer it for sale.
With loving Bahá’í greetings, Department of the Secretariat
Open letter from independent publisher Special Ideas, June 2006
Written by Justice St. Rain
Saturday, 03 June 2006
As Special Ideas celebrates its 25th anniversary, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the pioneers of independent Bahá’í Publishing at Kalimat Press, who took the heat, took the risk, and made the sacrifices so that I — and all of you other artists, writers and musicians out there — could express ourselves freely without being told that we couldn’t or shouldn’t.
When I became a Bahá’í in 1974, there was one publisher of Bahá’í materials in the United States. One. Sure, there was George Ronald Publishing in England, but everyone knew that it was owned by a member of the Universal House of Justice, and had been started at the recommendation of Shoghi Effendi, so it was almost as official as the Publishing Trust. The idea of an individual just deciding to start publishing an entire line of Bahá’í-oriented materials was almost unthinkable. Then something amazing happened.
I was working at the Bahá’í Publishing Trust when I first heard about Kalimat Press. The children’s book The Gift had been out of print for several years, and we were struggling to finish up The Secret in the Garden when suddenly, along came — not one, not two, but FIVE new full-color children’s books priced at only $2.50 each. You remember The Black Rose, The Unfriendly Governor and The Scottish Visitor, don’t you? Chances are you either read some of these to your children, or had them read to you as a child.
Later, when Kalimat produced a line of Bahá’í greeting cards, the Trust scrambled to copy them with a line of their own. Kalimat was setting trends, raising the bar, and shaking things up. By the end of my first year at the Publishing Trust, I looked at what Kalimat Press was doing, and looked at what I was doing at the Trust, and realized that I could probably accomplish a lot more by following Kalimat’s lead and striking out on my own. I gave notice and started working on my own line of Race Unity materials. (Do you remember the “United Doves” campaign?)

Recently, there has been some confusion over a National Spiritual Assembly decision concerning Kalimat Press materials. While I don’t claim to understand the reasoning behind its decision, I can, I hope, dismiss some of the rumors that have been circulating in response to it.
First, and most important, this was a decision to discontinue distributing materials through official administrative channels. Individuals are still free to purchase and read whatever they like.
I have been told in writing that I am free to sell any and all of Kalimat’s books; that individuals are free to purchase them; and that there are no specific books that have been banned or labeled inappropriate for distribution.
Furthermore, every book Kalimat publishes has been approved for publication by the Review Office of the National Spiritual Assembly [of the Bahá'ís of the United States]. The Review Office would have halted the publication of any book it considered inaccurate, undignified or untimely.
The rumors that one of their books is written by a covenant breaker, that a book puts Bahá’ís in Iran in danger, that a book was published over the objections of the National Assembly, or that Kalimat Press disobeyed any specific directives of the National Assembly are all false. Period. Whatever specific reasons the National Assembly has for making its decision has not been communicated to Kalimat Press or to me. So I suggest that we stop making guesses about what we don’t know and start focusing on what we do know: Namely, that Kalimat Press has served the Community faithfully for a long, long time, and they deserve our gratitude and support. If you like Prayers of Ecstasy, The Diary of Juliet Thompson, The Scottish Visitor, or any one of their other wonderful publications, and would like to see more of the same in the future, then now would be a good time to say “thank you” with a purchase of a Kalimat Press book. Since you can’t get them from the BDS anymore, we will be carrying their complete line. If you don’t see it in this catalog, check on-line or give us a call. We are still getting stock in.
Justice St. Rain, publisher
Open letter from the United Kingdom National Spiritual Assembly, July 2006 (published in the UK Bahá'í News Service)
National Spiritual Assembly [UK]
23 July 2006
Dearly loved Friends
The National Spiritual Assembly has taken the decision that Bahá'í Books UK and its agents will cease to distribute books and other items marketed by Kalimat Press with immediate effect.
The National Assembly's decision was reached as a result of increasing concern in recent years that a number of titles published by Kalimat Press, aside from those which have enriched Bahá'í literature over the years, contain matter inimical to the best interests of the Faith. The National Assembly believes that it would therefore be inappropriate for it, as the institution obligated to safeguard such interests in the United Kingdom, to provide channels of distribution for such material.
Bahá'í Books UK and its agents may continue, however, to sell whatever Kalimat titles remain in stock until their inventories are depleted. Further, individuals are free to decide to purchase books from other suppliers.
With loving Bahá'í greetings
National Spiritual Assembly
Letter from the Universal House of Justice to an individual, 2006
24 November 2006
Dear Bahá’í Friend,
Your email letter dated 9 September 2006 has reached the Bahá’í World Centre and the Universal House of Justice has asked us to convey the following reply.
As you are an author directly affected by the recent action of the National Spiritual Assembly regarding material marketed by Kalimát Press, your concern is well appreciated.

It is very much to be regretted that well-meaning writers like yourself are caught up in this situation, and the House of Justice sympathizes with you. In your case, the featuring of your work on Alain Locke in a recent issue of World Order, a periodical sponsored by the National Spiritual Assembly, should indicate to you that your contribution to Bahá’í literature is highly regarded. The predicament in which Kalimát’s behavior has put you and other authors of the good books it publishes will no doubt be overcome with the passage of time. You have only to be wisely patient until it becomes clear what course of action you may follow.
The House of Justice appreciates the spirit in which you wrote to it and will remember you and your family in its supplications at the Holy Threshold.
With loving Bahá’í greetings, Department of the Secretariat cc: National Assembly of the United States
Letter from the Universal House of Justice to Kalimat, 2006
26 November 2006
Dear Bahá’í Friend,
Your email letter dated 5 September 2006 has reached the Universal House of Justice, which has asked us to reply as follows. The letter indicates that you have written out of a desire to resolve the difficulty for Kalimát Press arising from the recent decision of your National Spiritual Assembly that Bahá’í agencies in the United States are no longer to distribute books published or handled by the company. Your stated purpose for writing is to find a way “to restore good relations” with national communities whose National Assemblies have taken a similar decision.
The House of Justice sees that at the core of the National Assembly’s action is its concern that you have for many years pursued an ideological agenda which is at variance with the spirit and interests of the Bahá’í Faith; and Kalimát Press has been used as an instrument in its promotion. Bahá’í institutions have attempted in various ways to apprise you of this concern, but to no avail. The House of Justice understands that the National Assembly felt there was no choice but to opt for the action it took. It has not imposed administrative sanctions on you.

In our letter of 3 August 1999 addressed to you on behalf of the House of Justice, relevant issues were discussed lovingly, openly and amply, but you have until now disregarded the counsel it conveyed; and you have done so even when you were subsequently reminded of the importance of the letter’s contents. You are urged once again to consider the advice you have already received.
You may be assured that the House of Justice will supplicate on your behalf at the Holy Threshold.
With loving Bahá’í greetings, Department of the Secretariat cc: National Assembly of the United States
Letter from the National Spiritual Assembly to Kalimat, 2008
June 10, 2008
Dear Bahá'í Friend,
The National Spiritual Assembly received your email message of March 20, 2008, inquiring as to how Kalimát Press might go about reestablishing its business relationship with the Bahá'í Distribution Service and with other agencies of this institution. Please pardon the delay in our response, owing to the high volume of work at the National Center, which in recent months has included preparations for the 100th Bahá'í National Convention.
You have received several letters from the National Assembly and the Universal House of Justice which explain the reason for our decision in December 2005 that national and local Bahá'í agencies cease to distribute books and other items marketed by Kalimát Press. As the Supreme Body has written in its letter to you dated November 26, 2006, "you have for many years pursued an ideological agenda which is at variance with the spirit and interests of the Bahá'í Faith; and Kalimát Press has been used as an instrument in its promotion. Bahá'í institutions have attempted in various ways to apprise you of this concern, but to no avail." In spite of the ample guidance lovingly provided over the years, the National Assembly has not observed from the tone and content of your communications that you have taken to heart the counsels received thus far and that you sincerely desire to rectify the problems identified by the Faith's institutions.
The National Assembly would be interested to learn your thoughts on this matter. However, until it sees that you have understood the spirit of the concerns already expressed and demonstrate a genuine aspiration to change accordingly, the National Assembly cannot expect your future activities to differ from those of the past, and will thus have no cause to consider reestablishing its business relationship with Kalimát Press.
Please be assured of our ardent prayers in the luminous Mashriqu'l-Adhkár that the Blessed Beauty may bestow upon you His wisdom and protection.
With heartfelt Bahá'í love, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States
Letter from the Universal House of Justice to an individual, 2015
May 2015
Dear Bahá'í Friend,
Your letter dated 10 December 2014 seeking clarification regarding Kalimat Press was received by the Universal House of Justice and forwarded to our department for response. As a result of concerns that Kalimat Press was pursuing a particular editorial agenda, offering certain titles that were not in keeping with the best interests of the Faith, in 2005 the National Spiritual Assemblies of the United States and Canada asked Local Spiritual Assemblies to no longer distribute its publications. Individuals are free, of course, to decide to purchase books from any publisher.
With loving Bahá'í greetings, For Department of the Secretariat
(Describes the company itself and the efforts to suppress its operations.)
RESPONSE FROM DAN MAY : (written in 2006)
To all those concerned:
Perhaps you don’t understand – we already view ourselves as no longer members of the Baha’i community and we regularly attend Unitarian and Buddhist activities.
We do not present ourselves as Baha’is and do everything we can, when people try to introduce us as Baha’is, to politely disabuse them of that perception.
We have not attended feast in over a year, or for that matter, any other official Baha’i activity.
I think that it would be best for all those concerned, that we simply be allowed to withdraw.
We are deeply disillusioned with the unofficial and official Baha’i views on the war in Iraq, with the rise of Baha’i fundamentalism and intolerance and with the growing “ghettoization” of the Baha’i community in general.
We increasingly feel unwelcome at Baha’i events where everything seems to be scrutinized by rather mindless “Ruhi Book” mentalities rather than thoughtful discussions of the Baha’i Sacred Texts.
One-size-fits-all mass theology serves to only alienate anyone and everyone who wishes to pursue spiritually inspired and independent investigations of the truth. There appears to be, these days, little room or toleration for Baha’i scholars, Baha’i scholarship, or thoughtful approaches to the Baha’i sacred texts.
We are outraged over the Kalimat Press decision! We are, therefore, increasingly embarrassed to be associated with the Baha’i community. We often hear from our colleagues in the academic world, that they too perceive the Baha’i community as increasingly becoming more and more fundamentalist, alarmist, and cultish.
In October 1994 the electronic mail list Talisman was created by Indiana University professor John Walbridge for scholarly discussion of Baha'i history, doctrines, and current affairs. Walbridge is a specialist in Islamic philosophy, and his wife Linda, an active participant in the list, is an anthropologist specializing in contemporary Islam in the United States; she also teaches at Indiana University.
Talisman's initial core group of participants with scholarly and literary backgrounds included Juan R. I. Cole, then-director of the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan and now professor of history there. Two participants were publishers: Anthony Lee of Kalimat Press, a Baha'i publishing house; and Steven Scholl of White Cloud Press, publisher of the annual "Common Era: Best New Writings in Religion" and other interfaith-oriented titles.
Beginning with a dozen or so subscribers, Talisman grew in the first year to more than a hundred, most of whom were not academians. After eighteen months of existence, Talisman became the focus of a series of investigations ordered by authorities at the Baha'i World Center in Haifa, Israel.
Liberal scholars on Talisman scrutinized several aspects of current Baha'i theology and administration, including the exclusion of women from the Baha'i governing body, the Universal House of Justice, even though Baha'i claims to teach the equality of the sexes. Academians familiar with source documents debated whether or not Baha'u'llah had intended this exclusion, and advanced textual arguments in favor of reconsideration.
Another frequent bone of contention was the policy of literature review, which requires that any Baha'i who writes about the faith for any publisher submit the work for prior censorship by a "review committee" composed of the Baha'i National Spiritual Assembly in the country of publication. Scholars were particularly emphatic about wanting to abolish this policy - which had been deemed "temporary" when introduced early in this century - on the grounds that it compromises scholarly independence and integrity.
submitted by Seeker_Alpha1701 to exbahai [link] [comments]

2020.10.22 16:18 BlancheFromage Dictionary of SGI Buzzwords, Catchphrases, and Clichés

Within the SGI, there is a "private language" that only the indoctrinated members understand. New recruits typically find this a bit confusing, but it also presents itself as a compelling challenge to master this new language, in order to become "fluent" with the group and feel like a "real member". Even when the words are English words, SGI uses a different definition, which makes their speech confusing and difficult to understand.
But here is your solution! The Big List of SGI words, concepts, phrases, and clichés all broken down in plain English - your very own SGITropes!
We've been kind of working on this "behind the scenes" for a while now - time to bring it all together! Add your suggestions below (unless they're in the Big List linked above - I'll get to those) and I'll work them into the master document. I'm in the process of working on this; I'm going to be saving it periodically so I don't lose it and so I can see that the formatting's good. Alphabetically:



























submitted by BlancheFromage to sgiwhistleblowers [link] [comments]

2020.10.18 00:32 annemoriarty The disappearence of Emanuela Orlandi and Mirella Gregori: almost 40 years without answers. And there's no theory that makes sense or gets us closer to the truth.

Emanuela Orlandi,15-year-old girl, was the daughter of a clerk working at the Prefecture of the Papal Household [that manages the Papal residence in the Vatican] and disappeared in Rome on June 22, 1983. Her disappearance was then linked to the disappearance of another Roman teenager, Mirella Gregori, who disappeared on May 7, 1983 and was never found again. What at first seemed like a common case of two missing girls, soon became one of the darkest cases in Italian and Vatican history, involving the Vatican itself, the Italian State, the Vatican bank , the Magliana Gang [criminal organization], the Banco Ambrosiano [Catholic bank] and the secret services of several countries. The real nature of the events has never been defined.
flyer with photos and info of the girls: https://images.app.goo.gl/ERHHSNA7epWqFgca6
*** Sorry for any mistake, English is not my native language, I hope everything is understandable 🌈
Mirella Gregori was the youngest daughter of the owners of a bar in Volturno Street in Rome. She lived with her parents and was described by everyone as an absolutely normal girl. She attended a technical high school in Rome. On May 7, 1983, Mirella went to school and returned home around 2pm, after spending some time with a friend in a bar near her home. That friend said they had talked about normal everyday things and could not provide any other information. Back home, Mirella was called on the intercom by someone called "Sandro", who was pretending to be her friend, and to whose requests to go out Mirella exclaimed: "If you don't tell me who you are, I won't come out!". Then she said they could meet at 3pm. Around 3 pm the girl went out, telling her mother that she had an appointment at Porta Pia with an old classmate, who, after being heard by the investigators, declared that he was busy elsewhere that afternoon and had a alibi. Since then, the family has not heard from the girl. The mother reported that her daughter, shortly before she disappeared, bragged to her that she was able to find the money to buy an apartment that her parents could not afford; however, that idea at the time was dismissed as a joke.
Emanuela Orlandi (born in Rome on January 14, 1968) lived in the Vatican city with her parents, brother and sisters: she was the fourth child of five. In June 1983 she had just finished the second year of high school at the Vittorio Emanuele II National Boarding School. She had considerable musical talent and had attended for years a music school in Piazza Sant'Apollinare in Rome, not far from Palazzo Madama [office of the Senate of the Republic]. There she attended piano, flute, choral singing and solfeggio courses.
The day of her disappearance, Emanuela went to music class around 4 pm, but left at 6.45 pm, ten minutes earlier than usual. Then she phoned her older sister Federica from a telephone booth, saying that she would be late because the bus didn't pass and that a man had stopped her on the street offering her a job during a fashion show for the sum of 370,000 lire [about 500 euros today]. It was a job of a few hours as a promoter of cosmetic products of a well-known brand [Avon] during a fashion show in the Sorelle Fontana atelier, in a few days; however, her sister advised her not to heed such a proposal and suggested that she return home as soon as possible to discuss it with their mother. This was the last contact Emanuela had with her family. Later, it was found that the cosmetics company in question - which moreover employed only female staff - had nothing to do with the job offer allegedly made to the young woman and it also turned out that, in the same period, other adolescents of the same age of Emanuela had been lured by a man under the false pretext of advertising cosmetic products at events like fashion shows.
After the phone call, Emanuela together with two classmates (Maria Grazia and Raffaella), reached the bus stop in Corso Rinascimento. According to the girls, Emanuela alluded to a very attractive job offer she received and, warned by them, said that she would first ask permission from her parents and that she would still be careful to avoid nasty surprises. Around 7:30 pm, first Maria Grazia and then Raffaella got on two different buses headed home, while, according to Raffaella, Emanuela didn't get on the bus, because it was too crowded, and said she would wait for the next one. From this moment, all traces of the girl are lost. According to another later version, after the phone call Emanuela confided to Raffaella that she would stay there and wait for the man who had made her the offer, to inform him that she would first ask permission from her parents to participate. Raffaella then reported that she had seen Emanuela (from the bus window) talking to a curly-haired woman, who was never identified, although some suggested that it was most likely some other student of the music school.
When Emanuela didn't come home, her father Ercole and her brother began searching at the music school and in the vicinity of it, they contacted the principal of the school who provided the telephone numbers of some of Emanuela's classmates and advised to wait before alerting the police; nevertheless Ercole Orlandi went immediately to the "Trevi" Commissariat to report her disappearance, but the staff invited him to wait before filing a complaint, suggesting that the girl had stopped for dinner with friends and forgot to call home. The complaint was formalized the following morning (June 23) by her sister Natalina. The next day (24 June) the Roman newspapers "Il Tempo" and "Il Messaggero" published the news of the disappearance and a photograph of the girl, with the plea for help from the family and their telephone numbers.
On June 25, after a series of unreliable phone calls, a interesting phone call arrived from a young man. His name was "Pierluigi", 16 years old. He said that together with his girlfriend he had met two girls in Campo dei Fiori [Roman square]; one of them was selling cosmetics, had a flute with her and said her name was Barbara. "Pierluigi" also reported that "Barbara", at the invitation to play the flute, refused because to do so she had had to wear glasses, which she did not like and had added that she would have preferred a Ray-Ban model like the one that the alleged girlfriend of "Pierluigi" wore.
Three hours later "Pierluigi" called back, adding that "Barbara's" glasses were "teardrop glasses, to correct astigmatism" but refused to meet with Emanuela's family or letting his girlfriend talk to them, claiming that she was distracted and unreliable. These calls appeared reliable to the family, (Emanuela was astigmatic, she was ashamed tof wearing glasses and played the flute). On June 26, "Pierluigi", during another phone-call answered by Emanuele's uncle, added some information about himself: he said that day he was with his parents at a restaurant by the sea. He also communicated that "Barbara" said that she was going to play the flute at her sister's wedding scheduled for September, but refused any further collaboration to track down Emanuela and meet her uncle in person; indeed, when Emanuela's uncle asked him to meet in the Vatican city (at Emanuela's parents' house)"Pierluigi" was surprised and asked the uncle if he was a preist. The investigators found out that among Emanuela's friends there was indeed a boy named Pierluigi, who, however, was on vacation elsewhere at the time of her disappearance.
On June 28 it was the turn of "Mario", who claimed to be the owner of a bar in Rome, near Piazza dell'Orologio [very close to Ponte Vittorio, along the route that Emanuela usually took to go to the music school]. "Mario", who had a strong Roman accent, said he was 35 years old. He claimed to have seen a man and two girls selling cosmetics, one of whom claimed to be from Venice and was called "Barbarella". During the phone call from "Mario" a small detail was significant: when asked about the height of the girl, he hesitated and then said "She's quite tall", but Emanuela was barely 5,2 feet tall. In the background, a second voice was heard, saying "No, more!".
In another phone call, "Mario" explained that "Barbara" had confided to him that she had voluntarily left the house because she was tired of the domestic routine, but that she intended to return at the end of summer, for her sister's wedding. The family, considering this hypothesis impossible, lost faith in the phone calls from "Mario" and "Pierluigi". Years later, it was suggested that "Mario" was a man close to the Magliana Gang [criminal organization], but this hypothesis was never proved.
In the days following Emanuela's disappearance her brother and some friends discovered that a young woman, described as very similar to Emanuela, had been noticed talking to a man (both from a police officer and a traffic policeman on duty in front of the Senate). The man was about 5,7 ft tall, between thirty-five and forty, slender, elegantly dressed, with a long face, balding, he carried a briefcase or bag and drove a green BMW Touring. The policeman claimed there was a casing, perhaps a haversack, in the man's hands.
A collaborator of SISDE [Italian secret services] and friend of Orlandi's cousin, Giulio Gangi, soon managed to track down the "tundra green" BMW; he discovered that it had been repaired (despite being undocumented) by a mechanic from the Vescovio district. A blonde woman had brought the car to this mechanic; the damage involved the breakage of the glass of the right front window, but this breakage did not seem to have been caused by a direct action from the outside towards the inside, it was from the inside towards the outside. Gangi quickly tracked down the woman in question, but she refused to cooperate and on the way back to his office Gangi discovered that his superiors had been informed of what he was doing, despite using fake documents and a fake license plate.
Gangi had also checked the Fontana sisters' atelier, where he was informed that a lot of girls had showed up, deluded to be able to participate as presenters of cosmetics. That possibility was definitely excluded by the director. A year after Emanuela's disappearance, a Roman teenager was lured by a young fake promoter of cosmetics; the man was stopped but turned out to be unrelated to the Orlandi case.
Wikipedia page about the attempted assassination of the Pope (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attempted_assassination_of_Pope_John_Paul_II
Wikipedia page about the Gray Wolves (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_Wolves_(organization)
Wikipedia page of Mehmet Ali Ağca (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehmet_Ali_A%C4%9Fca
On July 3, 1983, the Pope John Paul II addressed a plea to those responsible for the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, formalizing for the first time the hypothesis of the kidnapping. On July 5, a phone call came to the Vatican press office. At the other end of the phone a man, who spoke with a strong Anglo-Saxon accent (and for this reason was immediately renamed by the press "the Amerikano"), claimed to be holding Emanuela Orlandi hostage, arguing that many other elements had already been provided by others members of his organization, "Pierluigi" and "Mario", and requested the activation of a direct phone line with the Vatican. He asked to release by July 20 Mehmet Ali Ağca [turkish terrorist, member of the terroristic organization Grey Wolves, he shot the Pope in St. Peter's Square a couple of years earlier]. An hour later, the man called Orlandi home, and played a tape of the recorded voice of a girl with Roman accent, who repeated a phrase six times, perhaps extrapolated from a longer phrase: «School: Vittorio Emanuele II National Boarding School, it's my third year of high school».
On July 8, a man with a Middle Eastern accent phoned a friend of Emanuela, saying that Emanuela was their prisoner and that they had 20 days to release Ali Ağca, then asked for a direct phone line with the Cardinal Agostino Casaroli [Secretary of State]. The young friend declared that she and Emanuela had exchanged telephone numbers on the same day of her disappearance, to keep in touch for the preparation of a concert, adding that Emanuela had transcribed her number on a piece of paper that she had placed in her jeans pocket. On July 17, a tape was found in which the request for the release of Ağca and the request for a direct phone line with Cardinal Casaroli was confirmed; the voice of a girl on the tape was begging for help, saying she felt ill; it was found that the voice had been extrapolated from a film and was not Emanuela's. The phone line was installed on July 18. A few days later, in another phone call, "the Amerikano" asked Emanuela's uncle to make public the message contained on the tape.
The phone calls from "the Amerikano" were 16, all from telephone booths. Despite the various requests, and the alleged evidence, the man (never traced) did not open any real leads. No evidence was ever produced that the girl was actually hostage of the Gray Wolves, the organization of which Ağca was a member of. In the press release of November 20, 1984, the Gray Wolves declared that they kept Emanuela and Mirella Gregori as prisoners. The "Turkish lead" of the Gray Wolves, however, has been disavowed by 'former Stasi [East German secret services] officer Günter Bohnsack, who stated that the East German secret services exploited the case of Emanuela Orlandi and wrote fake letters to Rome, to consolidate the thesis that connected Ağca with the Gray Wolves, in order to exonerate Bulgaria from the accusations during the investigation into the attack on Pope John Paul II.
On February 2, 2010 Pietro Orlandi, Emanuela's brother, had an interview with Ali Ağca, in which the terrorist confirmed the hypothesis that the kidnapping was orchestrated by the Vatican (already mentioned in the phone call of July 5). He mentioned the name of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re (considering him a person informed on the facts) and reassured him that "Emanuela is alive and will soon return home". According to the former Gray Wolf, the girl “now lives in a secluded villa in France or Switzerland. She will come back home ». A year later, the recording of the interview was published on the show "Who has seen it?" [Italian true crime show], where they censored the cardinal's name. There, Pietro Orlandi announced that he had spoken with the cardinal himself, that denied the words of the terrorist.
Wikipedia page of Cardinal Battista Re (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Battista_Re
According to some newspapers and publications, the identikit of "the Amerikano" corresponds to Monsignor Paul Marcinkus, who at the time was president of the IOR, the Vatican "bank": SISDE specialists, analyzing the messages and phone calls received by the family, for a total of 34 communications, considered them reliable and linked to those who had carried out the kidnapping. The mysterious person had a thorough knowledge of the Latin language, better than Italian, was probably of Anglo-Saxon culture and had a high cultural level and knowledge of the ecclesiastical world and the Vatican, in addition to the in-depth knowledge of different areas of Rome (where he probably had lived).
Wikipedia page of Monsignor Paul Marcinkus (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Marcinkus
Wikipedia page of the Gang (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banda_della_Magliana
Wikipedia page of De Pedis (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrico_De_Pedis
Wikipedia page of Cardinal Poletti (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugo_Poletti
Wikipedia page of Roberto Calvi (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Calvi
Wikipedia page of Michele Sindona (English): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michele_Sindona
On July 11, 2005, an anonymous phone call arrived at the editorial staff of the program "Who has seen it?" in which it was said that in order to solve the case of Emanuela Orlandi it was necessary to go and see who was buried in the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare. They had to check "the favor that Renatino did to Cardinal Poletti". It was thus discovered that "Renatino", the deceased man buried there, was none other than a boss of the Magliana Gang, Enrico De Pedis. A journalist managed to obtain the photos of the tomb and the original documents relating to the burial of the boss, commissioned by Cardinal Ugo Poletti, then president of the CEI [Bishop Assembly]. On February 20, 2006, a repentant of the Gang, Antonio Mancini, claimed in an interview with a journalist of "Who has seen it?" that he recognized "Mario"'s voice as the voice of a hitman at the service of De Pedis, called Rufetto. However, the investigations conducted by the Public Prosecutor's Office did not confirm Mancini's statement.
A postcard depicting a southern town was then sent to the editorial staff, with the following text: «Leave Renatino alone». The same year Sabrina Minardi, ex-wife of footballer Bruno Giordano, said in an interview that between the spring of 1982 and November 1984 she had a relationship with De Pedis. In 2007 Antonio Mancini released statements relating to the involvement of De Pedis and some Vatican exponents in the disappearence of Emanuela Orlandi, revealing that in prison, at the time of Emanuela's disappearance, "it was said that the girl was ours [of the Gang], one of us had taken her ". Mancini's declarations also seem to be confirmed by Maurizio Abbatino, another repentant of the Gang who, in December 2009, revealed some rumors among the Gang members on the involvement of De Pedis and his men in the kidnapping and murder of Emanuela. In June 2008 the press reported the statements that Minardi had made: Emanuela was killed and her body, locked up in a sack, was thrown into a cement mixer in Torvaianica [Roman district]. On that occasion, according to Minardi, De Pedis also got rid of the body of an 11-year-old boy killed in revenge, Domenico Nicitra, son of a old member of the Gang. Little Nicitra, however, was killed on June 21, 1993, ten years after the time period described by Minardi, and three years after the death of De Pedis himself, which occurred at the beginning of 1990. According to the woman, the abduction of Emanuela would have been materially carried out by De Pedis, at the orders of Monsignor Marcinkus "because they wanted to send a message to someone above them".
In particular, Sabrina Minardi said she arrived by car at the Gianicolo bar, where De Pedis had told her to meet a girl she was supposed to "take to the Vatican gas station". A dark BMW arrived at the meeting, with "Sergio" ( the driver of De Pedis), then a red Renault 5 arrived with a girl called "Teresina" (the housekeeper of Daniela Mobili, a friend of Minardi) and a confused girl on it, recognized by the witness as Emanuela Orlandi. Then, "Sergio" put Emanuela in the BMW that Minardi drove. Left alone in the car with the girl, the woman noticed that she "was crying and laughing together" and "looked like a drug addict." When she arrived at the gas station, she found a man "who looked like a priest" waiting in a Mercedes with a number plate of the Vatican City. They took Emanuela.The girl then spent her imprisonment in Rome, in a house owned by Daniela Mobili (Minardi's friend) in Pignatelli Street, which had "an immense basement that almost reached the San Camillo Hospital" (whose existence, in addition to a small bathroom and an underground lake, was ascertained by the investigators in June 2008). The housekeeper of Daniela Mobili, "Teresina", took care of Emanuela; according to Minardi, Daniela Mobili was close to Danilo Abbruciati, another leading exponent of the Magliana Gang.
Mobili denied knowing Minardi or having a role in the kidnapping, since in those years she was, like her husband, in prison. However, Minardi has referred in the past to the housekeeper "Teresina", who actually worked at the apartment at that time, even though she did not have a driving license. Subsequently, Minardi cited another member of the Gang, who, traced by the police, confessed that the refuge in Pignatelli Street was indeed a hiding place, "but not for the kidnapped, [but] for the wanted. It was the refuge of "Renatino" [De Pedis] », denying the connection between the former boss of the Magliana Gang and the kidnapping of Emanuela Orlandi.
Minardi said she had dinner twice together with De Pedis (at that time already wanted by the police) and Giulio Andreotti [seven time shady Italian Prime Minister] and that it "has nothing to do directly with Emanuela Orlandi, but with Monsignor Marcinkus, yes". Minardi's statements, although they were recognized by investigators as partially inconsistent (due to the woman's drug use in the past), gained more credibility in August 2008, following the discovery of the BMW that Minardi herself said was used for the transport of Emanuela Orlandi and which appeared to have belonged first to Flavio Carboni, an entrepreneur investigated and then acquitted in the trial on the death of Roberto Calvi [Italian banker], and subsequently in one of the Gang members'. The publication of what Minardi said sparked protests from the Vatican, which, through Father Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Holy Press Office, spoke of "a lack of humanity and respect for the Orlandi family ", and he defined as" false the accusations made against Archbishop Marcinkus, who has been dead for some time and who's unable to defend himself ".
On June 30 of that year the show "Who has seen it?" transmitted the full version of the anonymous phone call of July 2005, left private until that moment. After the revelations on the tombs of De Pedis and Cardinal Poletti, the voice added "And ask the bartender in Montebello Street, that his daughter was also with her ... with the other Emanuela." The bar turned out to belong to the family of S. D. V., a friend of Mirella Gregori. The staff of the program was also threatened by another anonymous phone call from a certain "Blond". On November 21, another interview with Minardi was broadcasted on Rai News 24, where she said that Emanuela Orlandi had spent the first fifteen days of imprisonment in Torvaianica, in the house owned by Minardi's parents.
On March 10, 2010, the existence of a new suspect was announced, it was Sergio Virtù, indicated by Sabrina Minardi as the trusted driver of De Pedis, and who allegedly had a role in the kidnapping of the girl. The man was under investigation for aggravated voluntary homicide and kidnapping. Virtù was arrested on the day of the interrogation for other crimes and transferred to the Regina Coeli prison. He had two previous sentences for fraud crimes. Virtú denied any wrongdoing on the matter, in particular that he had known or had friendly relations with De Pedis. There were also some statements by another woman, defined by the investigators as a former cohabitant, who also allegedly had a role in the kidnapping and had received compensation for this.
In July 2010 the Vicariate of Rome gave the go-ahead for the inspection of the tomb of De Pedis in the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare and the DNA sampling was compared with the DNA of De Pedis's brother, relatives of Emanuela and Antonietta Gregori, Mirella's sister.
In July 2011, the district prosecutor of Rome arrested some members of the De Tomasi family, accused of crimes including usury and money laundering; according to the investigators, Giuseppe De Tomasi, known as "Sergione", affiliated with the Magliana Gang, was the same person who phoned the Orlandi family in 1983, identifying himself with the name "Mario", while his son, Carlo Alberto De Tomasi, was the author of the phone call to the show "Who has seen it?" in 2005. In 1984 De Pedis was arrested in an apartment in Vittorini Street, propriety of Giuseppe De Tommasi. Sergione, as told by the repentant Abbatino, was pardoned by De Pedis and organized his wedding reception in June 1988. He also attended De Pedis funeral. De Tommasi defended himself by saying that he could not have made that call in 1983 because he was in prison. On July 24 Antonio Mancini, in an interview with " La Stampa", stated that Orlandi was actually kidnapped by the Gang to obtain in return the money invested in the IOR [Vatican Bank] through the Banco Ambrosiano [Catholic bank] (as also hypothesized by judge Rosario Priore). Mancini added that he believed they wanted to ask for 20 billion and that it was De Pedis who put an end to the phone calls, despite the fact that the money had not all been returned, but obtaining in exchange, among other things, the possibility of being buried in the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare, as it actually happened later.
On May 14, 2012, the tomb of De Pedis was finally opened but inside there was just the body of the deceased who, as wished by the family, was cremated. It was then excavated more thoroughly, but only small remains of bones (dating back to the Napoleonic period) were found; no traces of Emanuela and Mirella's DNA was found. Four days later, on 18 May, Monsignor Pietro Vergari was investigated for complicity in kidnapping. In October 2015 the GIP [preliminary judge], at the request of the Public Prosecutor's Office and due to lack of consistent evidence, closed the investigation into the disappearances of Emanuela Orlandi and Mirella Gregori, started in 2006 due to the statements of Sabrina Minardi and which found six people under investigation for murder and kidnapping. In 2018 Abbatino revealed that he learned from Claudio Sicilia [member of the Magliana Band] that De Pedis was behind the kidnapping.
“It was for the money he gave to the Vatican. Money ended up in the IOR pockets and was never returned. And there were not only the billions of De Pedis but also the money of the mafia. The murder of Michele Sindona [italian banker and criminal] and that of Roberto Calvi [italian banker] are linked to the Orlandi kidnapping. If the first one is not resolved, the truth about Calvi's alleged suicide and the girl's disappearance will never be solved. In my opinion it was not an order [from the mafia] but a thing done in agreement. I know of Renatino's relations [De Pedis] with Monsignor Casaroli. I can confirm the Gang's relationship with the Vatican. But I have never met Don Vergari. He may also have done charity but he was certainly not Catholic, Renato was a Buddhist. Relations between the Vatican and the Magliana Gang date back to those years [at least to 1976]. And they are due to Franco's [Magliana Gang member] friendships. There was a homosexual boy, his name was Nando. It was him who brought Franco to Casaroli. Casaroli was known. Franco knew him. And I know that this friendship was "inherited" from Renatino."
According to Father Gabriele Amorth [excommunicated priest, exorcist, and all around not a reliable person], Emanuela Orlandi was drugged and then killed in an orgy of pedophiles held in the Vatican. This is the hypothesis that, in an interview released in May 2012 to" La Stampa", was advanced by the man defined by the newspaper as the "world leader of exorcists"; the theory is also published in his book "The Last Exorcist". In the interview, the exorcist stated the following: «As also stated by Monsignor Simeone Duca, Vatican archivist, parties were organized in which a gendarme was also involved as a" recruiter of girls ". I believe that Emanuela ended up as a victim [...] I never believed in the international lead, I have reason to believe that it was a case of sexual exploitation resulting in murder shortly after the disappearance and concealment of the body. The crime also involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy ”. The same hypothesis, with the addition of the involvement of Monsignor Paul Marcinkus, was made by the collaborator of justice Vincenzo Calcara, former mafia affiliate, who reported to the show "Who has seen it ?", in 2014, an alleged statment of a mafia boss, affirming that Orlandi died during a drug and sex party and that she's buried in the Vatican with other alleged young victims.
An anonymous source, in 2005, stated that Emanuela died, perhaps accidentally, following a "convivial meeting" held in a house near the terminal of the bus that the girl took to return home. The house was propriety of a high prelate or a person close to the Vatican, and her body was probably hidden nearby. No proof of this was found.
In June 2011, during a live debate on TV about Pietro Orlandi's book "My sister Emanuela", a man who declared himself a former SISMI [Italian military secret services] agent stated that "Emanuela is alive, she is in an asylum in England and is always sedated" . He added that the cause of the kidnapping was the knowledge by Ercole Orlandi, Emanuela's father, of "dirty" money laundering activities, linking the kidnapping to the death of Calvi [italian banker].
In September 2017, the journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, author of two other books concerning the Vatican, published "The impostors. Inquiry into power". In May he came into possession of a report dated March 28, 1998 sent by the then leader of the APSA [who administers the patrimony of the Holy See] Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti (who died three years earlier) to the archbishops Giovanni Battista Re [substitute for the General Affairs of the Secretariat of State] and Jean-Louis Tauran [in charge of Relations with States] titled "Summary report of the expenses incurred by the Vatican City state for the activities relating to the citizen Emanuela Orlandi" and in the first paragraph reads: "The Administrative Prefecture of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See has received a mandate to draw up a summary document of the economic services necessary to support the activities carried out following the kidnapping and the subsequent events of the citizen Emanuela Orlandi. "
The document, which would prove that the girl was alive, was allegedly stolen in the night between 29 and 30 March 2014, from the safe in an armored cabinet of the Prefecture of Economic Affairs, which was under the responsibility of the secretary Monsignor Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda. Balda was arrested on November 2, 2015, as part of the so-called Vatileaks 2, for providing confidential information for the publication of the book "Via Crucis" by Gianluigi Nuzzi (which ended up under investigation together with Fittipaldi who had written "Avarizia") and was then pardoned by the Pope. Francesca Chaoqui, a member of COSEA [Pontifical referent for the organization of the economic-administrative structure] under Balda's control until his arrest, revealed that in the safe, in addition to the dossier on Orlandi, there were also dossiers on Michele Sindona [criminal and banker] and Umberto Ortolani [shady banker] (as also confirmed by Monsignor Alfredo Abbondi, head of the Prefecture office), on the IOR and on the political expenses of Pope John Paul II during the Cold War and she also said that the theft was faked by Balda himself.
The report in Fittipaldi's possession was typewritten with a font dating back twenty years, it did not contain official stamps and therefore could also be a fake. It listed the expenses between January 1983 (six months before the disappearance) and July 1997 for a total sum of 483 million lire [around 250000 euros] used to investigate at the Atelier Fontana (from which the girl made the last call home before her disappearance), then they investigated the secretary of State Agostino Casaroli, the president of the CEI Cardinal Ugo Poletti, the boarding and lodging at the Catholic student hostel in London, Emanuela's travel and medical expenses, the trips to London by senior representatives of the Vatican [...].
In June 2017, the Orlandi family had already filed an application to be able to view "a dossier kept in the Vatican" (Pietro Orlandi had learned of its existence in February / March according to their lawyer). Monsignor Angelo Becciu (substitute for General Affairs of the secretariat) denied its existence, however, Cardinal Re assured that "the secretariat of state (of which he was substitute in 1997) had nothing to hide" and on the phone with Fittipaldi stopped the conversation.
In October 2018, the Vatican permitted the DNA analysis on some bones found during restoration work at the Vatican Nunciature in Rome. The investigations, entrusted by the Holy See to Italy, and in particular to the Rome prosecutor and the scientific police, were aimed at comparing those bones with Emanuela Orlandi's DNA. However, the bones found in the Nunciature did not belong to Emanuela Orlandi, nor to Mirella Gregori. From the analysis of the Scientific police the bones of the Nunciature undoubtedly dated back to a period prior to 1964. And above all they were attributable to the skeleton of a man. On 11 July 2019, a further inspection was carried out in two graves in the Teutonic cemetery, those of Princess Sofia of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Bartenstein and Princess Carlotta Federica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, following specific leads. But no human remains were found inside.
documentary (Italian): https://youtu.be/ObQCgKGivqc
Wikipedia pages (English):
submitted by annemoriarty to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]

2020.09.29 20:29 BlancheFromage Today's Conspiracy Theory!! 2030!!

So you know how the next "significant" milestone the SGI has to look forward to is May 3, 2030.
May 3 - because Toda and Ikeda
2030 - because of Ikeda's deciding when the Soka Gakkai's forerunner organization, Soka Kyoiku Gakkai, an educators' group formed by Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, was founded in order to make his "Seven Bells" numbers end on the right year (1979). The Soka Kyoiku Gakkai held its initial meeting in 1937 so shouldn't that be the founding date?
So "2030" is a meaningless, manufactured "anniversary" to get the culty sheeple ginned up toward. What are their assigned goals going to be? My guesses:
Anything else?
Oh, wait - almost forgot about the Conspiracy Theory! There's one for the year 2030 - not lying!
Where's it coming from? Another ultraconservative, fascist secret society. The infamous and notorious Club of Rome that Ikeda bought his way into.
Here's your background:
Ikeda is an honorary member of the Club of Rome, right from their website The founding of the Club of Rome by Rockefeller in Bellagio, Italy Some more unraveling of the Club of Rome - take a look at the line up The Club of Rome has indicated that genocide should be used to eliminate people who they refer to as "useless eaters." The War Against Population - NSA and Club of Rome Yes, we live in a dirty world with the dirty elites running it - more on The Club of Rome
SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a congratulatory message to the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Club of Rome held Oct. 17–18, 2018, read at the annual general assembly on October 16, 2018.
This year marks the 110th birth anniversary of Dr. [Aurelio] Peccei, the Club’s co-founder. The memory of our encounters is indelibly etched in my heart and mind. Like a warm and trusting father, he shared with me—frankly and passionately—his most deeply held beliefs and insights. The impression that he made, and my sense of gratitude, will remain with me always.
blah blah blah
blah blah blah
I would like to close this message of felicitation voicing my vow to continue to support the work of the Club of Rome by working with the world’s youth based on a sense of shared responsibility for the human future. - Message to the 50th Anniversary Conference of the Club of Rome
Before It Is Too Late (hardcover) by Aurelio Peccei and Daisaku Ikeda..........Price: $32.50 M/O#: 1104
Aurelio Peccei is the late Westernewartime resistance fighter, industrialist, and founder of the first think tanks to severely assess humanity's chances for survival. SGI President Ikeda and Mr. Peccei present their views alternately as individual statements and dialogues on the complex web of natural and human-made problems threatening the habitability of the planet Earth. Source
When I was a member I read "Before Its Too Late," written by both Ikeda and Aurelio Peccei, founder and first president of Club of Rome. I used to think the CoR was a great organization because Ikeda was in it and praised it! That's what goes on in members' minds, if the SGI or Ikeda is associated with something, it must be good, instead of investigating a person or organization based on its own merits.
What is unfortunate about SGI members is their lack critical thinking, as I lacked. Over the years being away from SGI I have made conscious efforts to apply logic to any situation, ask questions: who, what, where, when, and why. Those under mind control (as I was) do not ask these questions -- blind faith, denial, even where there is evidence that proves otherwise. When I discovered what a rotten organization the CoR is, I was horrified to think I indirectly supported it because of my involvement with the SGI.
The hypocrisy of Ikeda and the SGI is stunning -- they use the good principles of Buddhism for evil purpose. What happened to the "sanctity of life"? How does that fit in with the belief depopulation is good for the planet? We know the SGI is a cult, but I question: is the SGI a death cult? Or perhaps all cults are death cults? Just look to the cults of Jim Jones and Heavens Gate, for example; the members involved in those cults ended up dead.
You hit the target that mind-control blinds all of them. So true. Source
Now here's Club of Rome's position - the sanitized version:
Four decades ago, the Club of Rome predicted looming economic collapse in its iconic report The Limits to Growth. An update of the analysis sees much the same picture.
On the eve of one of the twentieth century’s most notable economic shocks — the 1973 oil crisis — an influential group of researchers released a now-iconic report entitled The Limits to Growth.
The work, which received wide attention and proved controversial, painted a bleak picture of humanity’s future. Left unchecked, it said, economic and population growth would deplete the planet’s resources and cause economic collapse around 2070.
More than four decades later, the report’s main conclusions are still valid, according to a group of independent researchers who have updated the work using more-sophisticated analytical tools. Like the 1972 report, the latest work was commissioned by the Club of Rome, a group of liberal scientists, economists and industrialists that was founded in 1968.
Whoever's paying gets to dictate the conclusion.
The update, released on 17 October in Rome for the club’s 50th anniversary, makes for a sobering read. Although its conclusions are not quite as drastic as those of the original report, it says that humanity finds itself in something of a catch-22.
Business-as-usual or accelerated economic growth will mean that the world will not be able to meet the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs) — a suite of social, environmental and prosperity targets for 2030 — the authors conclude. And even if governments were to substantially strengthen what the authors call “conventional” policies to meet social goals such as the eradication of poverty and hunger, and achieving quality education for all, they would be in danger of missing environmental goals.
“It is quite disturbing to see that we’re still facing the same dilemma the Club of Rome described almost 50 years ago,” says Julia Steinberger, an ecological economist at the University of Leeds, UK.
Conventional policies won’t do
"Everybody's just gotta CHANT!"
The original report was a quantitative analysis based on a computer model that calculated likely future outcomes for the world’s economy. Criticism focused mainly on the authors’ assumptions about how long natural resources would last.
Some economists called the book’s pessimistic conclusions “irresponsible nonsense
Did someone say "SGI"??
while others criticized the validity of the model — World3, a dynamic economic model developed by US economist Dennis Meadow, co-author of the book — that the authors had used to predict energy consumption, pollution and population growth.
The latest version of the report was compiled by researchers with the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo. They used an Earth-system model that combines socio-economic and biophysical variables, alongside a wealth of historical and new socio-economic data, to draw up their conclusions.
This model’s elements interact with the passage of time, and it is much more robust than World3, says Steinberger.
The researchers found that the world is currently on track to meet only 10 of the 17 SDGs by 2030. Efforts to satisfy social SDGs with conventional policy tools will come at the price of unsustainable or wasteful use of natural resources such as water, land and energy. Hence, environmental goals, including stabilizing climate, reducing pollution and maintaining biodiversity, could fall by the wayside, they say.
To prevent human civilization from more environmental damage than it might be able to endure, the authors call on world leaders to consider policies that they deem unconventional.
Novel: Scientists FORCED to chant NMRK...FOR SCIENCE!!! Or "Why faith-based books should be BANNED!"
Only more extreme economic and behavioural changes will allow the world to achieve all 17 SDGs together, the authors say.
These policies might include rapid phase-out of fossil fuels , greater use of family planning to stabilize populations, and actively encouraging the reduction of wealth inequality so that the richest 10% of people take no more than 40% or so of income.
The report is a vindication of the Club of Rome’s initial world view and a welcome alternative to mainstream economics’ focus on growth and equilibrium, says Steinberger.
“Most of The Limits to Growth’s original conclusions still hold true,” said Johan Rockström, a sustainability researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre and a co-author of the report, at its release. “This is scientifically satisfactory, but for societies it’s not.”
Club of Rome has a skeptical take on the future
Forty years ago, the Club of Rome released "The limits of growth." Now, it has released another look into the future. But how accurate are such predictions?
This points to an old dilemma: Is a prognosis a neutral scientific statement or is it a call to action? Ossip Flechtheim, one of the fathers of modern future studies already in the 1950s described his field as a synthesis of ideology and utopia not in line with a traditional concept of science.
"A synthesis of ideology and utopia not in line with a traditional concept of science"?? How better to describe Ikeda's "grand vision"??
What do they want to do? Depopulate the world!
What's SGI's vision of its utopia? When 1/3 of the population is converted. That number will do nicely as a target population for the whole world! The rest can just be erased!
Where does THIS fit into the Club of Rome 2030 conspiracy theory? For such an important question, we of course must consult the ConspiracyWiki!
In the August, 1980 edition of Fusion magazine, Howard Odum, a marine biologist at the University of Florida, who was a member of the Club of Rome, was quoted, saying: “It’s necessary that the U.S. cut its population by 2/3 within the next 50 years.” He did not mention how this should be accomplished. Source
"Within the next 50 years" - given a start date of 1980, what's the end date? 2030!
And if the US cuts its population by 2/3, what's left? 1/3!
Throughout the world, the Club of Rome has said that genocide should be used to eliminate people who they refer to as “useless eaters.“
Oh dear!
U.S. Association of the Club of Rome
In 1976, the U.S. Association of the Club of Rome (USACOR) was created, its purpose is to shut down the U.S. economy gradually. Henry Kissinger was then, and still is, an high ranked member in the service of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, a member of the Club of Rome and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Kissinger met with Ikeda, you know O_O. In 1975 - well after the Club of Rome had been created. The US Association of the Club of Rome did not emerge fully formed from Zeus' forehead as Athena, Goddess of War, supposedly did; by 1975, everybody involved was fully informed about what was going on.
Backtracking a bit:
The Club of Rome was created in 1968 by the Morgenthau Group, its original purpose was to create a New World Order by the year 2000.
Welp, missed that target!
The Club of Rome has an hidden agenda to divide the entire world into ten regions or kingdoms.
This gets interesting - bear with me. Here's the map. Notice something peculiar? JAPAN, which is all of about 10 square miles and 100 million people out of the world's >7 billion, gets to be its OWN "kingdom"! Not even the world power USA gets to be its OWN "kingdom"! So what's up with Japan's obviously "special" status?
Here's the list of the "Ten Kingdoms":
Imagine, the all-powerful USA having to share a "kingdom" with Canada and Mexico!. Notice how the "Kingdom" of "Western Europe" pretty much fits the outlines of the EU.
Can't talk about the European Union without talking about Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi:
Ikeda not only linked to Club of Rome, but met up with and praised the starter of the EU, Count Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi
We've been talking about Kalergi a bit - notice that he's got his OWN conspiracy theory, the Kalergi Plan aka "the Coudenhove-Kalergi Conspiracy" - far right, anti-semitic, white nationalist, etc. It's the kind of ethnically-superior, nationalistic rhetoric Ikeda would definitely get behind.
Richard von Coudenhove-Kalerghad his own idea for how the world's nations should be grouped - into five "superstates" (map from the 1920s). It pretty much keeps the British Empire intact; lumps Mexico, Central America, and South America in with the USA; sticks Japan in with China (serves them right); keeps the borders of the Soviet Union; and divvies up Africa among the continental Western European colonial powers (France, Belgium, Portugal, Amsterdam, whoever else), which are all lumped together. Can't we all just get along??
Coudenhove-Kalergi cuts quite an intriguing figure. Not only is he the one who proposed Beethoven's Ode to Joy as Europe's anthem, he also served as inspiration for Victor Laszlo, the fictional resistance hero in Casablanca. Source
Et tu, "Dr. Beethoven"??
Kalergi's mother came from a wealthy Japanese family, you know.
In 1922, Coudenhove-Kalergi co-founded the Pan-European Union, together with Austrian Archduke Otto von Habsburg. A year later, he published the manifesto Pan-Europa, and in 1924 he founded an eponymous journal, which ran until 1938. In 1926, the first Congress of the Pan-European Union elected Coudenhove-Kalergi as its president, which he would remain until his death.
Notice how, as soon as he seized the presidency of the Soka Gakkai, Ikeda changed all the rules to make himself dictator for life as well. Perhaps Toda wasn't Ikeda's most influential role model...
Ikeda intended to take over Japan, elevate Japan to World Power status alongside the USA and the Soviet Union, export his own minions throughout the world and use them to take over entire countries on a grassroots basis. BOY that didn't work O_O
"Some day 20 or 30 per cent of the people in the United States will become members of Nichirens Shoshu and disciples of President Ikeda." World Tribune
I'll take the world. Japan is too small. The world is waiting for me. Firmly protect the future of Japan for me! Ikeda
"...while I daydream plot scheme make plans to rule the werld! Muahahahahahahaha!!
And the best way to take over the world would be to take ovecolonialize the world's top superpower, the United States! I've described how (and why) this was such an Ikeda kind of goal here. He'd install his firstborn son Hiromasa as viceroy President of the United States (see "remaking the rules", above), which was the consolation prize for the firstborn being passed over for Daddy's inheritance rights - those were to go to the second son who resembled Daddy more strongly (again here). Hurts to be the ugly sister... Source
Just an aside - a company in Rome (since we're on the subject) claims to be on the forefront of human cloning...
So NOW - finally - on to the rest of the "1/3 of the world's population" bit.
Under the “business as usual scenario,” world society proceeds in a traditional manner without major deviation from the policies pursued during most of the 20th century. In this scenario, society proceeds as long as possible without major policy change. Population rises to more than seven billion by 2030.
And humanity gets an "exceeded expectations" review on its 2011 performance review!
But a few decades into the 21st century, growth of the economy stops and reverses abruptly.
Hmmm...how could anyone cause that to happen?? O_o
blah blah industrial decline, which forces declines in the service and agricultural sectors. About the year 2030, population peaks and begins to decrease as the death rate is driven upward by lack of food and health services.
Today we review a study from Australia that compares the business as usual scenario to 2100 presented by the Club of Rome in its Limits to Growth book to the observed trends in population, resource depletion and pollution for the last 40 years.Results indicate a very close match and leads to a fear that the collapse that was indicated in the BAU scenario around 2030 may still take place, given the reluctance of many of the world’s largest resource consumers and polluters (China, USA, Russia, Brazil, Canada, etc) to replace carbon fuel with alternative fuels. Added to that is the very real concern that the transition to renewable energy, along with decreased population rates recommended by the Club of Rome may not be possible before the impending collapse.
I'm afraid that there are too many very rich and powerful people who have way too much invested in fossil fuels and the status quo to embrace and promote a change to renewable energy.
“As pollution mounts and industrial input into agriculture falls, food production per capita falls. Health and education services are cut back, and that combines to bring about a rise in the death rate from about 2020. Global population begins to fall from about 2030, by about half a billion people per decade. Living conditions fall to levels similar to the early 1900s.” Source
The population of the US will likely peak at about 300 million by 2030, before declining (UN 1998 Revision).
And the US population earns an "exceeded expectations" review on its 2006%20%2D%2D%20The%20United%20States,the%20U.S.%20Census%20Bureau%20estimates.) performance review!
And no shortage of related crazy!
It appears that this plan has been green-lighted by the elite, as recent MIT research validates the conclusions drawn by Limits to Growth at this crucial time when we see the world economy imploding, and a jack-booted green police ready to hit the streets. According to MIT, we are headed toward a guaranteed planet-wide economic collapse and "precipitous population decline" if we do not heed the words of The Club of Rome. Source
The sky is always falling - somewhere...
This worldview was encapsulated in a follow-up book to Limits to Growth, called The First Global Revolution, which 21 years later laments and chastises the failure of wider humanity to aggressively implement the Club's previous suggestions, while openly touting manipulation as a way toward global unity.
There are many key passages in this book that give a clear indication of the mindset leading us through the present into the future, but a particularly striking section comes when they discuss the "limits of democracy:"
Democracy is not a panacea. It cannot organize everything, and is unaware of its own limits.
In its present form democracy is not well suited for the tasks ahead.
We overlook (psychologically speaking, we deny) our ignorance and say we lack the political will. The crucial need is to revitalize democracy and give it a breadth of perspective that will enable it to cope with the evolving global situation. In other words, is this new world we find ourselves in governable? The answer is probably not with the existing structures and attitudes. Source
Notice how neatly these points line up with Ikeda's disdain for democracy?
"When democracy is put into practice by the unthinking masses, liberty will be misinterpreted as license; rights will be claimed while duties remain unfulfilled; and the loss of order will allow evil to become rampant." - Complete Works of Daisaku Ikeda, page 176
Rather than having a great number of irresponsible men gather and noisily criticize, there are times when a single leader who thinks about the people from his heart, taking responsibility and acting decisively, saves the nation from danger and brings happiness to the people. Moreover, if the leader is trusted and supported by all the people, one may call this an excellent democracy. - Ikeda, quoted in The Sokagakkai and the Mass Model, p. 238.
Don't like democracy? Just make up some other governing structure and call that "democracy"! Or maybe "Buddhist democracy"!
But within Ikeda's worldview, the 1/3 of the world population that will consist of his followers will be the ones calling all the shots, running the whole show - the only ones who count:
Dear Leaders, We received a call from Sensei's secretariat informing that Sensei and Mrs. Ikeda are very concerned about the Chennai floods. Sensei has further asked that the following message be conveyed to the members in Chennai: "Please convey my heartfelt sympathy to the members in Chennai who are affected by the recent flood. Along with my wife, I am sending daimoku." With best regards, BSG Administration
Notice how Ikeda's sole concern is for his OWN cult faithful. Everybody else can go rot.
The purpose of shakubuku is actually to DOMINATE others - FOREVER! So they'll be your servants in future lifetimes! It's PURE SELFISHNESS!!
"ALL of us in the SGI are "old friends of life", "old friends across eternity", precious beyond measure and linked by bonds from the `beginningless' past. We have treasured this world of trust, friendship and fellowship. How sad and pitiful it is to betray and leave this beautiful realm! Those who abandon their faith travel on a course to tragic defeat in life. ... IN our organisation, there is no need to listen to the criticism of people who do not do gongyo and participate in activities for kosen-rufu. It is very foolish to be swayed at all by their words, which are nothing more then abuse, and do not deserve the slightest heed." - Daisaku Ikeda
"IGNORE everyone who isn't in OUR group."
SGI does NOT want dialogue
If you aren't going to talk with anyone outside of your group, what's the use of having them around at all?? It's YOUR fellow members who are going to be running everything, making all the important decisions, after all:
"If you stick with me, if you devote your life to following this teaching and helping to spread it, you'll experience things you never believed possible. Think of your friends, the ones who are giving you such a hard time about practicing. I bet you that ten years from now they'll be married, working at gas stations or in offices, raising a couple of kids, going to the movies on weekends. Stick with me, and in ten years you'll be the leader of five thousand people, perhaps ten thousand. In ten years you'll have abilities that will change the destiny of this planet. Ten years from now the organization will be unrecognizable, compared to what you see today. Right now we're in a phase of developing leaders for the future. Once that phase is completed, those leaders will be ready to take charge of important areas of society. We'll have senators, doctors, lawyers, and yes, writers, developed through the [SGI]. Of course I cant tell you exactly how long that will take; it won't be a sudden transformation, either. But within ten years, I think it's safe to say you won't see anything remotely resembling what you see today. ...you will be growing up into one of the leaders of this country." SGI leader from 1970
"When Kosenrufu is accomplished, (Kosenrufu is a Buddhist term. According to Ikeda's interpretation, it is a situation where most people have become faithful Soka Gakkai members), some of us will have gained influential positions in Japanese politics such as in the House of Councilors or the House of Representatives. They will usually have at least 100,000 yen to 200,000 yen in their wallet. They will wear nice clothes which will not be purchased in monthly installments but will be paid for in cash. Let's meet in the Diet Building or the Prince Hotel. We must place the Soka Gakkai members in all the key positions of Japanese government and society. Otherwise Kosenrufu will not be accomplished." - Ikeda, September 6th 1957, Seikyo Shimbun (SG's daily organ newspaper)
Clearly, "kosen-rufu" depends on seizing political power FIRST. THEN they can impose whatever they want on everybody else.
And notice how SGI intends to destroy all culture and replace it with SGI's OWN Ikeda-centered "culture".
submitted by BlancheFromage to sgiwhistleblowers [link] [comments]

2020.09.17 10:15 NSGTAXI One way and round trip from Delhi to Dehradun

One way travel trip is like an advantage for any customer as it helps you save a lot of money. Because in one way travel you only pay for reaching your destination there is no need to pay extra money to the cab service provider for returning.
Let’s take an example to make it more clear suppose you want to travel from Delhi to Dehradun and there is no plan to return to Delhi so you only have to pay for reaching Delhi to Dehradun.
· Saves a lot of money.
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· No worry about going back from a trip when you are enjoying your holidays you can go back as per your wish.
The round trip includes two journeys with the same taxi service provider. A round trip can also turned out to be an advantage for any customer.
To make it more clear what a round trip is let's understand it with a simple example suppose you want to travel from Delhi to Dehradun and you also want to come back to Delhi again in the same taxi so it will include two journeys Delhi to Dehradun as well as Dehradun to Delhi back.
· The headache of booking a taxi twice will be no more as you travel both the journey with the same taxi service provider.
· Round trip service can be considered as cheap yet comfortable and economical means of transportation.
· When you hire a taxi for a Round trip, you saves both your energy and time at the same time. The reason behind this is there is no need to move around to search for transportation choices again and again.
NSG TAXI is a well-known taxi service provider which is popular in the city for providing the best taxi service in Delhi as well as all over India with the motive of serving people with best taxi service in India. What all customer needs is comfortable and reliability which provide the best experience throughout the journey.
Serving our customers the best service comes in our priority list. Beside this we provide our taxi service in many cities such as Delhi, Dehradun, Jaipur, Mumbai, Pune, and many more to make your journey tension free.
All along with you are free to select whether you need Pick & Drop Service, Outstation Taxi service, Roundtrip Taxi service. At low charges, you can hire us from anywhere in India. We are always there for our customers. Genuine charges, well-disciplined drivers, and satisfaction are everything that comes under our services.
As we explained above the difference between a one-way trip and a round trip you can easily decide which kind of service do you want and you can hire us according to your need .We provide you the option of online booking on www.nsgtaxi.com all you need to do is visit our website and fill the necessary details such as pickup location, drop-off location, pick-off date, drop-off date, pickup time, car type and you are done .it’s very simple and anyone can book us online easily and enjoy your journey happily.
This place is also known as Gucchu Pani. People believe that it’s a place where Lord Shiva used to live. This river is situated near Sahasrashara. It’s uniqueness is that water flows down from the center of the cave. Its cave is a limestone formation when you reach there you will surely feel blessed being with Mother Nature and enjoy in the mesmerizing beauty.
This place means a thousand-fold spring another name of Sahastradhara is sulfur spring. It is known for its medicinal and healing properties in water which contains sulfur. It is a famous tourist place because its beauty attracts every person and force them to visit this place at least once when you visit Dehradun.
It is an amusement park as well as a resort for families and friends to spend a great time together. It is believed that Fun Valley is one of the biggest amusement and water park in the north. It is established in lavish greenery at the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas. It is an ideal place to visit because it provides great entertainment at reasonable prices.
Known as Tapkeshwar Mahadev Temple, It is believed that in ancient times this place was the house of guru Dronacharya so also known as Drona cave.
It is believed that all the wishes come true who gets the blessing of lord shiva in this temple. It is one of the most visited place in Dehradun.
The Forest Research Institute is covered in 4.5 square kilometers. This is a leading institution in the world of forestry research in India is located in Dehradun. Many Bollywood films shoots in the forest research center. Its beauty is enhanced because of the presence of Tons River. The foundation is fully prepared with facilities like workshops, book repository, herbarium, etc
Built by 'Ram Rai', the older son of the seventh Guru of the Sikhs, Sri Har Rai Ji it is the oldest and a popular gurudwara of the Sikh religion. A yearly fair is held every year and tourists loves to come to visit there and take blessings for their bright future
This place is also known as the Buddha temple complex. It is the largest Buddhist center in India. Hundreds of persons gain spirituality here regularly. It is surrounded by greenery as well as the biggest memorial of Lord Buddha. This alluring site should doubtlessly be visited if you are organizing a trip to Dehradun.
submitted by NSGTAXI to u/NSGTAXI [link] [comments]

2020.09.14 05:42 BlancheFromage "Nichiren's meat tusks"

In case you all didn't notice, you're in for some kind of treat today. Some days, I just love the way google translate mangles the Japanese. Like this bit with the "fruit report"...
Anyhow, we're talking about the Onikuge here, Nichiren's "living" tooth with the gum tissue miraculously growing all around it!!
Among these treasures, there is an especially mysterious one, the Onikuge, a tooth of Nichiren Daishonin. He himself pulled a tooth which had become loose, and gave it to his favorite disciple. A tiny bit of flesh that still adhered to the root of the tooth has grown larger for the past 660 years and now, almost the whole surface of the tooth is covered with flesh. Unbelieveably, this is a living tooth.
Since the Onikuge is thus a mysterious and valuable treasure, it is not customarily shown except on special occasions. However, in recent times, it was opened to the view of all worshippers on the 700th anniversary of Nichiren Shoshu, 1952, and at the ceremonies of Odaigawari (ritual ceremony for the installation of the High Priest), held in 1957 and 1960. At the 1960 ceremony, 200,000 worshippers, including medical specialists and physiologists, were permitted to have the honor of seeing it from a distance of 20 inches, and they were deeply impressed with its dignity, for the Onikuge looks alive and shines with a pearly luster.
Dignified tooth!
There is nothing in the world more mysterious than this sacred Onikuge. It tells us without speaking, the dignity of Buddhism and the mystery of life. ...from the Nichirenshoshu Sokagakkai - 1960 Source
Wanna SEE it?
That's from our earlier reporting on the...thing here.
There is nothing more consistent with reason and common sense than a tooth that continues to grow living tissue after having been separated from its original mouth housing for over seven centuries! So much for "Buddhism is reason. Buddhism is common sense."
Apparently, the story goes that when the "gum tissue" grows enough to completely encircle the base of the tooth, that will indicate that the time of kosen-rufu is at hand:
In the course of the conversation the priests told me various details of religious services and activities of the Taisekiji. The ceremony for the accession of a new abbot upon the death of was conducted on November 17,1959,and Nittatsu Shonin (age 58) became the 66th abbot in the direct succession from Nichiren. At this time the tooth of Nichiren with flesh growing on it—said now to have completed the circumference and thus ushered in the time of the dissemination of the doctrine—, and other treasures were shown to the believers. Noah Brannen
That "the time of the dissemination of the doctrine" = "the time of kosen-rufu", and "the circumference" means "has grown all the way around the tooth".
It's a SIGN!
So the inauguration of Nittatsu Hosoi as High Priest of Nichiren Shoshu marked the official acknowledgment that the time of kosen-rufu was at hand! THE TOOTH HAS SPOKEN!
By this time (late 1959), Toda was over a year dead already. He died in April 1958, but his Soka Gakkai had by then already made impressive strides in converting masses of people to Nichiren Shoshu. The concept of "obutsu myogo", or a theocracy headed by Nichiren Shoshu, was already in widespread usage; in fact, when Ikeda formally formed the Komeito ("Clean Government") party, its platform included this concept in its definition and platform, under the premise that this "fusion of Buddhism and politics" would create an ideal governance and benefit all the people.
It is likely that the reason Makiguchi, Toda, Yajima, and the other 18 members of the Soka Kyoiku Gakkai were imprisoned by the Japanese authorities for "lèsé majesté", or "treason", was for statements like THIS:
During discussions held with Society members both collectively and individually, I have often had occasion to discuss His Majesty. At that time I pointed out that His Majesty, too, is an unenlightened being (bonpu) who as Crown Prince attended Gakushūin (Peers’ school) to learn the art of being emperor. Source
Therefore, His Majesty [the Emperor] is not free of error. . . . However, were His Majesty to become a believer in the Supra-eternal Buddha (Kuon-honbutsu), then I think he would naturally acquire wisdom and conduct political affairs without error. - Tsunesaburo Makeguchi, 1st President of the Soka Gakkai Source
That's kinda a bad thing to say - that the Emperor is prone to error during wartime when all the people are expected to throw in together toward the national cause.
We DO know that neither Toda nor Makiguchi was in any way against Japan's war effort - both enthusiastically supported it, in fact. Source
So we're left wondering.
The purist Nichiren Shoshu belief is that, because the Emperor's legitimacy is defined by Shinto, which according to Nichiren Shoshu is an illegitimate religion (because it is not Nichiren-derived), the Emperor is an illegitimate ruler.
Makiguchi was influenced by Tanaka Chigaku, a firey intolerant ultranationalist Nichirenist whom Makiguchi followed for a little while before ending up converting to Nichiren Shoshu because he lost an argument. Tanaka Chigaku's views were extremely exclusionary - he advocated for a Nichiren-based theocracy as the later Soka Gakkai did.
But anyhow, the "Nichiren's meat tusk" had spoken - the planets were aligned, the signs and portents were auspicious, the prophecies were coming true - and so it was clearly time for Nichiren Shoshu, via its lay army member organization, to take over the position of "state religion" of Japan and thus direct the entire country forever. Because that's what Nichiren wanted and what Nichiren predicted.
So now let's go read the rest of that google translation, shall we?? We'll do our best:
At Taiseki-ji Temple, the head temple of Nichiren Shoshu, there was nothing useful to hand down during the times of the founder Nikko, the third ancestor day, the fourth generation Nichido, the fifth generation Nikko, and the sixth generation date and time. However, after the 9th Lord's Day [9th High Priest's appointment], the treasures of Taiseki-ji became more and more lively as the ones that were useful one after another were forged and forged.
One of them is Nichiren's "Onikuge," which Nichiren Shoshu Taiseki-ji calls himself, such as Nichiren's teeth that fell out of Nichiren's mouth during his lifetime and had gums. Needless to say [it is a fake].
At Taiseki-ji Temple, the head temple of Nichiren Shoshu, the "Nichiren's flesh fangs" are preached to believers as follows. At Taiseki-ji, scallops [the growth of tissue on the magic tooth] are also called "gosho-kotsu".
Nichiren Shoshu Taiseki-ji's "Gosei Bone Preaching" officially explains "Nichiren's flesh fangs" before the believers as follows.
"At the time of this alternative ceremony, I opened the teeth of the great saint's raw bones and decided to allow the deeply confident people to worship. Please live in a clean belief and later in the auditorium. Please do not hesitate to visit us. In the olden days, there was a Buddhist sutra in Hanto, where I preached before I was alive, and where I could translate it. It is said that even though he attaches to the Buddha after his death, only his tongue should not be burned, but when he attaches to the sutra after his death, he does not burn his tongue and emits a blue light on the blue lotus flower. It should be said that it is a mystery of Buddhist law, truly in the same direction as Hanchi and Japan. Please keep this in mind and worship with a sword.
prayers This raw bone is used by the great saint when he was about fifty years old, and his teeth were pulled out and served to his superiors on the day. He was given and played, saying, "My Buddhist law is the most victorious and secret Dafa, and Sakyamuni is foretold by the Lotus Sutra, and Masahoya is timely at the end of the law. Therefore, he cannot get the flight such as Kusanda. I was told that it was a distant mystery, and I made it necessary to illuminate the darkness of this law, the darkness of all ages, and there was no doubt that Ichiten Shikai Hiroshi was proclaimed." It is a treasure of my family that tells me that Ichitenhirofu [Onikuge] will be proof of it, and it is a raw bone that shines as a brilliance for 700 years.
At the time of the alternative ceremony of this mountain, all of the ancestral saint's autographed idol, the raw bone, the ash bone, the first Buddha, the amulet, the news, the second ancestor Nikko Shonin and the successive idols, various holy treasures, etc. remain. We will take care of you with the utmost care and will protect you with your own body. Nanmu Myōhō Renkakyo. " (Preaching at the time of the Nichiren Shoshu head temple Taiseki-ji-67 II high priest Date sensible alternative memorial service of 1980 April 6, 2009)
it is downright confusing sentence, but, in short 700 years ago, teeth and to that fell out from the mouth of the Nichiren It is a substitute that the sticking gingiva is alive and growing, and at Nichiren Shoshu Taiseki-ji, it is opened and worshiped in front of worshipers at the time of Nichiren's distant memorial service and the alternative memorial service of the lord once every fifty years. There is.
In the era when Soka Gakkai's second chairman, Josei Toda, was in charge of the "Shakubuku Great Advance" ["Great March of Shakubuku"], Nichiren's "Meat Fang" was introduced by Josei Toda as follows.[:]
"From April 20th, you will be allowed to see the scallops in the mountains [at the Nichiren Shoshu head temple, Taiseki-ji], and this is a strange thing about these scallops. I don't know if you heard it, but I would like to say it again. Nichiren Daishonin-sama [stated, "]I pulled out my teeth when I was alive.["] There was a little meat under the pulled out teeth. However, this meat was 700 years old. In the meantime, it's gradually increasing, and it's just wrapping the teeth [growing around the tooth]. Can you explain this? And it's pulsing, it's sweating, it's alive. [Ewww gross] Is there anything like that? No matter what the Buddhist sect [the other Nichiren sects call bullshit] says that the scallops are overwhelming, there are absolutely no such teeth other than Fuji Oishiji [the Nichiren Shoshu head temple Taiseki-ji]. Also, from Sendai, people who have good luck and see this raw bone. When I return, I would like to tell everyone about the actual situation that I have seen with my own eyes and tell them as the pride of my Nichiren Masamune [Shoshu]. April 1, 1956, Sendai Branch Flag Return Award Ceremony Sendai City Public Hall" ("Lectures by Dr. [Jo]Sei Toda" from the first edition on October 12, 1958) "Meat fangs are the teeth of Nichiren Daishonin .... At one point, the day superior is a Daishonin. When I was on my side, the teeth of the great saint were wobbly, and I took those teeth and presented them to my superiors on the day. He received them with the sleeves of his clothes and was slaughtered. And it had flesh underneath. It was predicted that all this flesh would wrap its teeth when it was scalloped."
"From what I'm seeing, the meat grows thicker year by year. I think this is medically unexplainable .... This meat gradually grows and wraps [around the] its teeth. I'm the first When I worshiped, it was a time of 650 years of mourning. At that time, I had teeth about the tip of the match stick, but most of the other parts were wrapped in the glass. I put it in a treasure tower made of gold, put it in a box again, put it in another box, and put it in a long tooth. I'm not giving it, but ... I'm sure I'm alive. It's really strange. " (From the first edition of" Lectures by Dr. Kiyoshi Toda , "October 12, 1958)
The lord [High Priest] is also surprised at the big boobs, but the fake ones are fake ones. No matter how big the mullet is, the fake one will not be real.
This is the translation!! O.O
I'm NOT embellishing!
This Nichiren's "flesh fang" is not a Nichiren's tooth, but a forgery by someone in posterity. In other words, it is a bright red fake. From April 6th to 7th, 2006, Nichiren changed from 67th Abe Nikken to 68th Hayase Nichinyo with the new lord [High Priest] of Nichiren Shoshu 68th Nichinyo Hayase. It was held at Taiseki-ji Temple of the Shoshu sect, but this "Nichiren's tooth" was also held here, and in the 21st century, a fake thing that someone in the posterity forged was "Nichiren's tooth". A ridiculous show show was held at Taiseki-ji, which he called himself. Source
Wacky, eh??
submitted by BlancheFromage to sgiwhistleblowers [link] [comments]

2020.08.15 06:11 BfastLunchDinner 26 [M4F] Philippines/Europe/NA - I am finally ready to be in a relationship

Wellllll I don't usually post to dating subreddits but here I go. I am a 26 year old Filipino who hasn't been in a relationship before. Sad I know, maybe fate has been toying with me for the past few years. I am 171cm or 5'7 skinny to average built guy at 56kg. I would say I am pretty active as I go to the gym almost everyday
I am a chef as a profession, also an instructor at one point so that's one thing I'm good at, I think. I have studied, worked and traveled in NA and Europe so I love traveling as much as cooking, discovering new cultures and cuisines is one of the pleasures of life that I most certainly cherish.
As for my hobbies, I would say I like pretty nerdy & childish things. I love Disney movies and adult animation like Rick and Morty, Archer, South Park, etc. I'm also fond of anime and the fantasy genre. I am into documentaries about crime, nature, economics, politics and modern life. I am doing photography in my spare time and trying to get myself into astrophotography as well (I even have a tattoo of the planets!). In terms of music, I have a pretty vast genre that I enjoy listening to but what stands out is probably reggae, 90s, alternative rock, reggaeton, rap& hip hop, oldies, RnB and chill. Probably while smoking trees and drinking 😉 (I enjoy it in moderation socially). I love video games! PC and Ps4 gamer for fantasy and jrpg or rpg are my favorite like dragon age, final fantasy ix, god of war, and dota 2. I'm fascinated about the latest technology and try to watch and observe how things will be in the future.
On a more serious note, I am a spiritually inclined individual. I do meditation everyday with Buddhist practices. Trying to keep mindful about everything so you can call me a very open minded person who is trying his best to be a pacifist. Professionally, I am aspiring to be a management consultant for the hospitality and restaurant sector. I dream of becoming my own boss and building a management consulting firm as well as a well valued critic of food and hotel services.. I like networking with people and meeting new friends all over the world.
About you: I do like someone who I can talk to and be reliable in holding up a conversation.. in terms of age, I don't really mind but I prefer anyone within my age (20-30) I don't mind if you're taller, but I do prefer women on the slimmer side, and someone who can be a bum as well. 🤭
Here is me if you're interested to what I look like. It would be great for you to send a picture also so that I can see the one I'm talking to. Peace outtt
submitted by BfastLunchDinner to ForeverAloneDating [link] [comments]

2020.08.14 18:04 DopeyDeathMetal I am a recovering heroin addict and I have recently become complacent in way of life.

I am a year and a half sober now. I'll start by saying, that despite any other hiccups in my life, things are INFINITELY better than they were 2 years ago when I was totally alone, strung out on dope & crack for days on end. I must make sure I am always grateful for that.

That being said, when I was first getting sober, which I did through a 12-step program coupled with a Buddhist meditation practice, I was much more gung-ho about the changes I was making. I was going to 1-2 meetings a day, going to the gym every day, working two jobs, working with a couple sponsees myself, doing lots of reading and journaling, etc.
Now in recent months, a lot of that has slowly fallen by the wayside. Of course, I recognize that COVID-19 played some part in this. It has affected all of our lives. But I also can see my part in this, and my using it as an excuse. I don't go to the gym because I don't feel safe there. However, I have started riding my bike every day. I'm currently furloughed from my place of work and for a while, all I did was play video games, play guitar, and ride my bike. It was awesome for a while but it suddenly hit me last week that I have become complacent and not making quite the forward progress that I want to be making.
I guess I just want to share with some strangers about where I am at and also open myself up to some advice as well. I'm trying to implement some more structure and routine into my life again. That's probably the biggest struggle for me, holding myself accountable and setting daily goals.
Today, I woke up early like I used to. I made coffee, I watered my plants, I meditated, I reached out to some friends, I called my sponsor, I went for a bike ride and picked a couple things up, I did some research on starting a small business (because I make my own hot sauce and want to try and sell it). All of these things were things I had been dragging my feet about. I had fooled myself into thinking I was happy and content with where I am, which I am, but the reality was I had also become stagnant and let my inner addict behaviors take over. I was becoming anxious and insecure and resentful again.
Alan Watts said to stop measuring days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence. That's one of my favorite personal mantras as the present moment is all we ever have, and it does no good to beat ourselves up for not being productive ALL the time. I would rather be totally present and mindful in my non-doing than to be elsewhere mentally while checking things off a list that are supposed to make me better. It is about balance for me. Mindfulness and meditation is not a supplement for other paths to self-improvement. It is merely another tool in the toolbox and I was using it as a guise for what had really become depression for me. I started talking to a girl recently and she is amazing, the first girl I have considering dating since I got sober. And I want to be the best version of myself for her as well as for me.
So I ask any of you who are in a similar boat to please forgive yourself and take a moment right now to feel your breath and make small steps to doing what you want to do. Love yourself. And I, like anyone else, always want to be open to new ways to be better. I want to find some ways to help others and be of service, even if it is as simple as lending an ear to another addict/alcoholic. I want to write the best music I can and keep working on my creative craft. I want be kind to everyone I meet, starting with myself.

I guess I'll stop rambling. I just needed to get some of this out there. I wish all of you to live your best life.

EDIT: I just wanna give a collective thank you to everyone who has wished me well in this thread. I am always available to talk for anyone struggling with something similar, or not! Just anyone who needs an ear to bend.
submitted by DopeyDeathMetal to DecidingToBeBetter [link] [comments]

2020.08.11 09:09 jw_mentions /r/AmItheAsshole - "AITA for telling my Jehovah's witness aunt that her religion has no place in a non religious conversation."

I am a bot! Please send NotListeningItsABook a private message with any comments or feedback on how I work.
EDIT: As of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020, the post is at [121pts25c]

About Post:

--- --- Notes
Submission AITA for telling my Jehovah's witness aunt that her religion has no place in a non religious conversation.
Comments AITA for telling my Jehovah's witness aunt that her religion has no place in a non religious conversation.
Author TheFooli5hswings
Subreddit /AmItheAsshole
Posted On Tue Aug 11 02:31:12 UTC 2020
Score 121 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Total Comments 54

Post Body:

For context my brother and I were talking about on how immortality would actually suck, because everyone around you would die of age, but you wouldn't die, then my aunt chimes in with "when Jehovah fixes everything we'd all get to live forever" and I responded " Your bible has no say or power in this conversation" and, tried telling her that immortality would make you quiet depressed because you'd miss dead loved ones, and " I'd honestly prefer death than live forever" with her guilt tripping response of "It hurts me that you don't want to live forever with me", at that moment I wanted to leave the room to prevent it from escalating after she said "you two always want to be right, but won't listen to anyone else, especially when i talk about hope", I didn't leave because then my aunt would have said "Oh did I hurt your little feelings" so I just ended the topic of immortality and changed it. Am I the asshole for not wanting to believe in a old book or her religion.
Edit: so sorry I started a war in the comments section

Related Comments (25):

--- --- Notes
Author Lucky-Language-9942
Posted On Tue Aug 11 10:43:12 UTC 2020
Score 3 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 2
Body link
Im hindu n my aunt is a JW and as much as she talks about her religion she's always respected mine never tried to convert me but I'm pig headed anyway n we get along great, no quotes no remarks nothing, jeez I must be really lucky NTA if you felt uncomfortable with the topic she shouldn't have pressed on unless the JW in my country were thought differently
--- --- Notes
Author salemonadetea
Posted On Tue Aug 11 07:39:44 UTC 2020
Score 5 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 3
Body link
Really, pre Covid , they couldn’t leave fast enough, after I said I was a disfellowshipped apostate. Lol
--- --- Notes
Author Cheese_store
Posted On Tue Aug 11 10:12:03 UTC 2020
Score 1 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 4
Body link
As a JW myself, NTA. She shouldn’t have talked to you that way and or pushed it in the conversation. We learn to be respectful of other people and their beliefs, so I’m very sorry this happened and she behaves that way
--- --- Notes
Author AdorableScorpio
Posted On Tue Aug 11 09:28:10 UTC 2020
Score 2 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 3
Body link
I think they were just telling how they didn’t appreciate the aunts opinion because JWs have a very “unique” way of pushing their beliefs on everyone... after all it’s their only purpose in life - recruiting people to be JWs... I should know I live in a house full of them
--- --- Notes
Author Cheese_store
Posted On Tue Aug 11 10:23:17 UTC 2020
Score 2 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 2
Body link
I’m not sure what you mean. I chose to become a Jehovas Witness. And I respect people who has another religion or belief. It’s not my decision to make :)
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Author AccordingE
Posted On Tue Aug 11 07:30:19 UTC 2020
Score 7 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 1
Body link
NTA - JW's are a cult more than a religion. They use any excuse and opportunity to "convert" people
Source: was raised as one
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Author TheFooli5hswings
Posted On Tue Aug 11 10:13:00 UTC 2020
Score 1 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 3
Body link
Wait, your not angry for not being part of the Jehovah's witnesses?
--- --- Notes
Author anders_andersen
Posted On Tue Aug 11 10:50:07 UTC 2020
Score 5 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 0
Body link
JW aren't half as educated on the Bible as they think they are. They are well versed in Watchtower doctrine though.
Source: was a JW for over 30 years, have become an atheist, know a lot more about the Bible now.
--- --- Notes
Author varmapriyanka99
Posted On Tue Aug 11 11:31:27 UTC 2020
Score 0 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 0
Body link
What is disfellowshipped??
--- --- Notes
Author throwRA_stolemytop
Posted On Tue Aug 11 11:10:35 UTC 2020
Score 10 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 0
Body link
As the daughter of a JW I can tell you that their version of immortality is different from what they were discussing. When they say immortality they mean after Armageddon Jehovah will resurrect those that follow Him and those that haven’t turned their back on Him and wipe their memories of their loved ones so that they aren’t unhappy in “paradise”.
What OP was talking about was immortality in the sense that a few are immortal and you see the world around you change and the people you love die. They are talking about very different kinds of immortality.
As someone who has heard those very same lines it’s annoying and not at all related to the discussion at hand.
--- --- Notes
Author AdorableScorpio
Posted On Tue Aug 11 10:34:10 UTC 2020
Score 4 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 0
Body link
Agree 100% . Former ex JW here
--- --- Notes
Author TheFooli5hswings
Posted On Tue Aug 11 10:28:23 UTC 2020
Score 1 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 0
Body link
Oh yeah I'm a member of that sub, she keeps saying "you liked the Jehovah's witnesses when you were younger" which was when I was a real little guy
--- --- Notes
Author ectrosis
Posted On Tue Aug 11 03:10:59 UTC 2020
Score -6 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 1
Body link
I didn't judge the religion itself in regard to the AITA question. FWIW, I quite agree with your characterization of it as a menace. However, you give individual members too much credit. Most of the JWs I've known were just poor schmucks you couldn't train to line dance, let alone proselytize convincingly, and who honestly bought into the same dream that any other cult would have sold them.
--- --- Notes
Author StarrryNight3
Posted On Tue Aug 11 10:18:00 UTC 2020
Score 4 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 1
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I bet if you do more digging you'll have an even stronger reaction the next time she brings her religion up. There is a way to get her to leave you alone regarding her religion. It's not guaranteed to work - the JW religion requires that she tries to recruit you at every opportunity. Here's the method: JWs are forbidden from accessing negative information about their religion. The information is called "apostate" and seen as an attack by Satan. If you bring up "apostate" info every time she brings up her religion... it should eventually train her to avoid bringing up JW topics. She'll likely protest the accuracy of your info and try to prove you wrong the first few times, so be prepared. JWfacts.com has all the information you'll need and it's kept accurate/up-to-date. exjw is another good resource.
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Author StarrryNight3
Posted On Tue Aug 11 09:57:24 UTC 2020
Score 2 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
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Being "apostate" basically means no longer agreeing with a JW doctrine (doesn't matter which one). The punishment is being shunned/dissfellowshipped, but there are many other reasons JWs shun/disfellowship someone.
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Author OriginalSilentTuba
Posted On Tue Aug 11 03:04:56 UTC 2020
Score 39 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 13
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You might lose your pension. Normally I’d say you’re absolutely right, but not with a JW; they do services and bible study pretty much every night of the week, and (weirdly and sadly) take that particular verse pretty seriously. I had a very close friend growing up who was a JW (we’re still friends, she is no longer a Witness), and have a family member who is as well. I’ve been to JW weddings, and the misogyny is blatant, and all over the ceremony and vows. (Direct quote from a wedding I went to: “Should a wife be subservient to her husband? Not necessarily...”)
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Author Kratt957
Posted On Tue Aug 11 09:27:45 UTC 2020
Score 1 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
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ESH. Although Jehova's Witness is an odd religion, her comment was kinda cute. You could (and should) have swallowed that camel and instead said "yeah that sounds nice." Instead it kinda looks like you hurt her feelings. I dont think that this is even an "annoyed at religion" type of issue, but more a personality issue. Just because most people here dont like religion, does not mean that it was not a bad thing to do. Of course hurting your aunt's feelings like this is a bad thing to do, it should be unnecesarry to ask.
What is worse: Bringing up religion in a comment or responding in a way that someone says "it hurt my feelings"?
Must say I am really surprised with all the NTA commemts here. Bringing up religion in a quick comment that could have been over in seconds is apparently worse than making your aunt sad.
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Author lacksadaysicle
Posted On Tue Aug 11 09:06:54 UTC 2020
Score 8 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
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I lived in a house near a JW worship centre (dunno the proper name) and they regularly knocked on my door on weekend mornings, waking me up. The first few times I would tell them politely “no, thank you” and go back to bed. This went on for months. Every weekend there would be a knock on my door. Finally one day I answered the door wearing only my piercings.
They never knocked on my door again. 😈
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Author salemonadetea
Posted On Tue Aug 11 06:34:14 UTC 2020
Score 16 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
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I agree, JW’s are very educated about the Bible and read it in it’s entirety. A lot of them study other religions including the Koran, Book of Mormon, Buddhist teachings and Catholic so they can be knowledgeable when speaking to people of other religious beliefs. Extremely well versed and if you love a good discussion on religion, they will keep you entertained for hours. I find the best way to stop them from coming to my door, is just tell them I’m disfellowshipped. They don’t speak to those disfellowshipped.
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Author AccordingE
Posted On Tue Aug 11 07:42:13 UTC 2020
Score 3 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
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Ah! The apostate would be what scared them, there is NO coming back from being and apostate whereas I could technically return if I wanted
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Author AlaskaNebreska
Posted On Tue Aug 11 08:25:29 UTC 2020
Score 1 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
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What does one do to be a disfellowshipped apostate? Dance? Drink a beer?
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Author dreaminrewind
Posted On Tue Aug 11 07:59:33 UTC 2020
Score 9 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
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Yep. Came here to write exactly this. I was also raised a JW. I now have a healthy distrust of organized "religion" in general.
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Author Aesthetic_thot
Posted On Tue Aug 11 09:32:04 UTC 2020
Score 3 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
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NTA. I've encountered a lot of exjw stories and imma tell you something. Jehova's witnesses isn't a religion, it's a cult. It's a mind controlling, misogynistic, propaganda-filled cult. They will twist people's minds to shun their own family members that left. They will claim that outsiders, or 'worldly people' are going to die in armageddon which they teach to children. They will not hesitate to abuse children who just want to celebrate their birthday. They will make your peers look down on you for getting a piercing or dyeing your hair. They use funerals like some jw advertising, with the dead guy only being 5% of the whole speech. I advice you to avoid your aunt but also to keep an eye on her. Her opinion on immortality isn't even hers, it's just what the watchtower wants her to think. And if she has children, try to convince them out of the cult. Better PIMO than PIMI.
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Author AccordingE
Posted On Tue Aug 11 07:34:59 UTC 2020
Score 9 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
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You are half correct (I was raised a JW)
Yes they study their version of the bible religiously. The "Religion" wasn't established until the late 1800's by Charles Taze Russell.
What JW's study is the "governing body's" (people in charge) interpretation of the bible, and all material produced by them is again written by the governing body.

ETA: their bible "the new world translation" is not used by any other "religion" except them
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Author euqinimodlt
Posted On Tue Aug 11 10:10:19 UTC 2020
Score 1 as of Thu Aug 13 02:28:44 UTC 2020
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Nta. Coming from an ex jw, thank you for shutting her down. It’s all total bullshit anyways.
submitted by jw_mentions to jw_mentions [link] [comments]

2020.08.08 14:59 ajfh18 My story

I was born into it. My grandmother had discovered JW in her late teens. My grandfather was a non-believer for a long time. Their family still had Christmas,etc. for a few years. My mother was baptized while pregnant with me, my father on the same day. When they got divorced my father dropped it completely, he is now a self-proclaimed Buddhist. My mom has never been very good about following all the rules, she definitely has an alcohol problem. She lived with a man she was dating for around 10 years, he was not a part of JW. She married a non-believer who had previous experiences and had no interest in even trying to rejoin. Growing up I never really had an issue with JW other than not really wanting to go to the kingdom hall 3 times a week. My grandma dragged me with her in the door to door ministry service when I wasn't in school. I was forced to go with people that weren't her so that it was harder for me to say no to knocking on the doors and speaking to the ones who answered. I have crazy social anxiety and have for probably my entire life so this was extremely difficult for me. As I got older my expected responsibilities grew, but so did my disenchantment. I was made to start giving some of the weekly scripture readings at bible study in front of the whole congregation. My anxiety made this incredibly difficult but I was well spoken when I could speak and I enjoyed reading so it wasn't really that big of a deal. I remember not really liking the fact that I would be critiqued by an elder after the meeting. That made me pretty uncomfortable honestly. It got to the point where I was getting dangerously close to having to give the small talks towards the end of the meetings. This made me extremely anxious as I did not think I could come up with a coherent line of thinking about anything to do with the beliefs. Around the same time (I was about 13-14) I started attracting the attention of some of the girls that were my age in the congregation. Two specifically. They were cousins. Long story short I had a number of inappropriate texting conversations with both of them, and dated one. Their parents decided to look through their phones and i was blackmailed into not dating the one girl anymore or they would tell my family and the elders. We dated in secret for a few more months but broke up partly because I was growing more distant from JW and partly because we were teens and that's what teens do. I became more and more distant until I just stopped going to meetings. I never told my mom I didn't want to go I just stopped going and she never asked about it. I'm kind of grateful for that honestly. I was worried my grandparents would disapprove greatly and I was scared of being cut off from them as they're my favorite people on the planet. It was awkward for awhile but they came around. That part of my family still regularly attends meetings (before COVID made it go virtual). My uncle seems to be a lifelong Bethelite. He rarely comes home to see us. He used to be my favorite person in the world but has since disappointed my family too many times. He missed my wedding. I recently learned that another family that had kids around my age thought I was special needs because I didn't talk much or interacf with their kids. Their kids were idiots and I was a gifted kid so nice try. They had the nerve to ask my mom about it. Love that. I'm now a tattooed, pierced, occult-interested adult and I'm so glad to be out of that extremely dysfunctional organization. I've since learned that many of the people in my congregation have disassociated or have been disfellowshipped due to extra marital affairs or substance use. Some of which were the parents that blackmailed me as a child. I still run into some members from time to time as I still live in the area and I worked at a local grocery store for a long time. They're pretty friendly and don't bring anything uncomfortable up. But you can tell they aren't completely comfortable talking to me (don't worry guys I'm not either). I was never baptized so I was never formally disfellowshipped to my knowledge which is why they even talk to me in the first place. I find it funny that most of the times I ran into them I was wearing some crazy band t-shirt, had hair down to my shoulders and a handful of visible tattoos (a ghost and pagan rune of all things lol). My story isn't all that dramatic or controversial but I wanted to get it out there in case it could help someone else going through a similar situation. Our home was subject to a handful of shepherding visits and my mom had to have a private meeting with all the elders at one point. I'm not sure what's keeping her in. Family I guess. I'm just glad she hasn't held it over my head and we have a very good relationship. Feel free to message me if you want my advice or to talk privately
submitted by ajfh18 to exjw [link] [comments]

2020.07.27 17:30 pahohi1327JJul Christian and Single Da-ting S-ite

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2020.07.27 12:45 Str8Outta2750 So what really happened? The Disappearance and Suspected Murder of Quanne Diec (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia - 27 July 1998)

Today (27 July 2020), on what marks the 22nd Anniversary of her disappearance - I've decided to post this case which, as a young person, got me interested in Missing Persons Cases in the first place. The case I refer to, is the disappearance; and suspected murder; of Quanne Diec - whom disappeared on her way to school, from the Western Sydney suburb of Granville, on the morning of 27 July 1998; aged just 12 years old.
Quanne (pronounced “Queenie”) has managed to remain in the consciousness of many Sydneysiders (and perhaps many Australians) over these past two decades. Her disappearance was headline news in Sydney at the time – with the New South Wales Police putting out a strong appeal to the public for her whereabouts. Quanne, to this day, has never been located – and is suspected as having been abducted and murdered.
The case remained cold for years – until November 2016, when a suspect, Vinzent Tarantino, walked into Surry Hills Police Station in Sydney to confess to Quanne’s abduction and murder. Tarantino (born Victor David Gerada), a person with a documented history of mental health issues, then recanted his confession, pleading Not Guilty and stood trial for charges relating to Quanne’s disappearance and homicide. He was acquitted by Jury on 6 November 2017 on all charges presented. Understandably, a controversial situation all round – and one which sadly brings Quanne’s case back to square one. So, what really did happen to Quanne?
Background and Case Outline
Quanne Diec was born in Sydney on 12 May 1986 (her Date of Birth has also been published as 12 July 1986), to Vietnamese refugee parents – Sam Nguyen Diec and A Muoi "Ann" Ngo, both of whom are of ethnic Cantonese Chinese-Vietnamese background, arriving to Australia in 1978; and had two older siblings - her brother Sunny; and her sister Tina.
The family lived in a single story dwelling, in Western Sydney suburb of Granville - which was a very working class suburb; and had been traditionally a predominately Anglo-Australian in its population; although it began to be characterised by a very strong Lebanese-Australian community (established mainly by refugees from the Lebanese Civil War) from the 1980's onwards. The suburb's refugee population is a result of it being not far away from what was the Villawood Migrant Centre (which since has become the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre). Her father owned and ran a small mixed-business (i.e. a convenience store) in the South-Western Sydney suburb of Casula.
Quanne had started high school at the start of 1998; enrolling at Strathfield Girls High School, located in the Inner-Western Sydney suburb of Strathfield, about 10 kilometres (6 miles) away from her home. During Term 1 of high school, she was driven to school every morning by her father. However, Quanne; beginning to seek her own independence; started insisting that she be allowed to travel to school herself, via train. Although both of her parents had concerns about this, they relented - allowing Quanne to walk by herself to Clyde Railway Station, then catch the train to Strathfield for school, from the start of Term 2 (Source: MamaMia via MSN).
Monday, 27th July 1998 started off in the Diec household as any Monday did. It was raining that morning; and was early into Term 3 of high school for Quanne. She got into her school uniform, packed her lunch, said goodbye to her sister Tina (who was still in bed), then her mother Ann leading her to the front door to see her off – Quanne then headed off, waving to her mother, whom watched until her daughter disappeared out of sight as she entered Factory Street (Source: SMH).
Quanne got as far as the Australia Post International Mail Centre (now known as the Australia Post Sydney Gateway Facility) – which is (according to Google Maps) about 350 metres (approx. 380 yards) from her home; and about 550 metres (approx. 600 yards) away from Clyde Railway Station. She was captured by one of the Mail Centre’s CCTV camera at approx. 7.43 am, walking up Factory Street. The same CCTV camera captured about eight seconds later, what NSW Police described as a “shadowy figure” whom appeared to be following Quanne. However, another CCTV camera located at the other end (Northern side) of the Mail Centre captured no image of Quanne – indicating she disappeared between these two points along Factory Street; and failed to make it to Clyde Railway Station (Source: SMH).
As her parents had assumed she made it to school; and conversely her school assumed her absence was due to illness – the alarm was not raised about her disappearance until that afternoon, when she failed to return home from school. Quanne was reported as Missing to Granville Police Station by her parents that evening, at around 5.00 pm.
NSW Police were prompt in putting out a public appeal for Quanne, with all mainstream media outlets within metropolitan Sydney covering Quanne’s disappearance as headline news. In the immediate days following, the NSW Police also set up a mannequin at Clyde Railway Station, dressed as Quanne at the time of her disappearance (wearing her Strathfield Girls High School uniform); and handing out flyers containing Quanne’s photo to rail commuters. Soon after, the NSW Police formed Strike Force Lyndey, to specifically investigate Quanne’s case.
Quanne’s case deeply resonated with the Sydney public; with the media continuing their interest and coverage of her case in the weeks and months following. The profile of her case reached such a point, it resulted in the highly unusual move of the then incumbent Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, announcing a an increase to the reward for information on her case, from $AUD100,000 to $AUD200,000 (normally, announcements regarding rewards are done by the senior hierarchy within NSW Police).
Publicly, it appeared that no promising leads regarding Quanne’s disappearance were forthcoming. However, an anonymous male caller phone the NSW Crime Stoppers Hotline, who gave information suggesting that the Police search the Duck River, which runs between Granville (on its western bank) and Auburn (on the east). (Source – via Tapatalk. Note – articles originally published by Australian Associated Press (AAP))
It should be noted there are two tributaries in the area named Duck – there is Duck Creek, which is largely channelised – but starts in the suburb of Guildford, flowing due North-East through to Granville, then into the Duck River at Clyde. The Duck River itself starts off from a series of drains in the suburb of Yagoona, flowing due north through or past the suburbs of Birrong, Sefton, Chester Hill, Auburn, South Granville, Granville, Clyde, Rosehill; and eventually into the Parramatta River at Silverwater.
However, it was the Duck River which became the focus of the investigation. On January 12 and 13 of 1999, the NSW Police, along with volunteers from the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), drained a 300 metre (approx. 330 yard) section of the Duck River around the South Granville and Auburn area – about 1.5 kilometres (or nearly a mile) south of the Diec family home. No human remains were found; and the items that were recovered from the river bed – as set of vehicle registration plates, a crowbar and items of clothing, were eventually ruled out as being connected to Quanne’s disappearance.
After the NSW Police concluded their search of the Duck River, the anonymous male caller again contacted the NSW Crime Stoppers Hotline, this time claiming the area which the Police covered in their search wasn’t the right area; and that they had missed vital clues. The NSW Police put out a public appeal in early February 1999 to the anonymous caller to contact them again – believing this person was connected to the case; and had further and vital information. However, it appears this person made no further contact; and no further searches of the Duck River were conducted.
Another lead in the investigation was the vehicle possibly involved in Quanne’s abduction. Some of the information which NSW Police released at the time, appears a little confusing. However one witness, a woman, reported to Police seeing a girl getting into a “Transit-type van” (presumably a large European bonneted van, such as a Ford Transit). NSW Police went as far as conducting hypnosis on this witness, in an attempt to jog her memory for further information – but to no avail.
It should be noted also, that Australia Post were using Ford Transit vans within their fleet at the time of Quanne’s disappearance – although these vehicles were generally painted red with Australia Post signwriting.
There was information from a witness, of a van seen in the area that morning, with a registration number starting with either “PAO” or “PAQ”. Police put forward an appeal for the owner of the van to come forward. Eventually, investigators did track down that vehicle – a Mitsubishi Express van, with the NSW Registration Number PAQ-205, belonging to a Communications Equipment company called Benelec (Images of Vehicle - Sources: Nine News, SMH). The vehicle was distinctive, in that it had prominent signwriting. However, their employee and driver of that vehicle – Victor Gerada, became a person of interest in this case.
Victor had grown up at Second Street, Granville – just off Factory Street and near where Quanne was last seen. Although he had moved from that address, his father Godwin was still living there; and he was still a frequent visitor. Prior to his employment with Benelec, he had been a nightclub bouncer – having worked at various venues, including within Sydney’s notorious red-light district of Kings Cross.
It has been reported, allegedly unbeknownst to the officers on Strike Force Lyndey at that point, that Victor Gerada was also concurrently under the witness protection program. Gerada, in his employment as a bouncer, had witnessed the gruesome aftermath of the notorious Blackmarket Café/Hellfire Club bikie murders, in the Inner-City suburb of Chippendale on 9 November 1997 (note – “bikie” being an Australian colloquial term for a “one percent” or outlaw biker). This crime can be read about further here – but in short, it was a dispute between the Bandidos and Rebels Motorcycle Clubs – resulting in the deaths of three Bandidos, in the basement of the Blackmarket Café Nightclub. Ultimately, Gerada was never called up to testify on the stand as a witness (Source: Daily Telegraph).
However, reports suggest that Gerada began living a very transient life from this point onwards; which also spiralled out of control due to his Post Traumatic Stress and deteriorating mental health. Possibly due to these reasons, it appears the investigation’s focus on Gerada – who would later legally change his name to Vinzent Tarantino (a homage to Hollywood director, Quentin Tarantino; and the character Vincent Vega from Tarantino’s film Pulp Fiction) – eventually waned.
Another potential sighting of the suspect vehicle (along potentially with the suspects), is by Quanne’s father. Sam Diec testified on the stand at Vinzent Tarantino’s trial (via the aid of a Cantonese interpreter) that he saw a white van, with two men inside, in their street that morning – which he felt was unusual, as their street was a dead end. He also stated that the van was “running very slowly and the driver was staring at me”, to which he felt “very strange” (Sources: SMH, 7 News via YouTube).
There was another person of interest, during the investigation, whom also allegedly drove a white van. The individual – whom is unnamed in media reports; and is now deceased – was a male employee of the Australia Post International Mail Centre; and was a Vietnam Veteran. This person was also brought to attention during Vinzent Tarantino’s trial – with both the Prosecution and Defence respectively making statements regarding him.
It was reported the Crown Prosecutor at the trial, Pat Barrett, had informed the jury regarding this person of interest, including alleged accounts by his former co-workers, that he reportedly made “revolting racist and sexist” remarks; and was described as being a “beast” and “smelly”. However, the Prosecution also stated about this POI, with regards to Quanne’s disappearance, that it was the “extent of anything implicating him in any way”. However, Tarantino’s barrister, Belinda Rigg SC, countered and argued there was “a reasonable possibility” that this individual was involved in Quanne’s disappearance.
Many shocking allegations and aspersions regarding this individual, arose during the course of Tarantino’s trial and reported in the media. This included accounts that he expressed a hatred towards Asians; and also openly expressed very lewd and deviant sexual views. On the latter, it’s alleged he stated having an interest in young girls and having “deviant views” on Asian women. It’s also alleged that he bragged about having sex with young Asian girls; and most disturbingly, openly discussed about what sexual acts/fantasies he wanted to perform upon girls aged between 10 to 12 years old (Sources: SMH here and here, News.com.au here).
It’s alleged this individual took leave from work, just after Quanne’s disappearance. Although there appears to be no published reports confirming this, it implies this person was working on the day of her disappearance. There are no other published reports or public statements regarding this individual being discounted as a person of interest in Quanne’s case.
There is also the account of a witness, named Romain Maas – who’s evidence was highlighted by the Defence during Tarantino’s trail. According to Mr Maas, he saw on the morning of Quanne’s disappearance - a man he described as “Lebanese-looking” leading an Asian girl across the road, whilst gripping her wrist. He claims to have been outside when he heard a shout or yell; and then heard the girl say “Help me” – the man who was with her then said “she’s my girlfriend”; with Mr Maas then deciding not to get involved (Source: SMH).
With regards to the original investigation, although Quanne’s case did remain in the consciousness of the Sydney public and continued to receive sporadic media attention, it appeared to have hit a brick wall and had gone cold. For 18 years, Quanne’s family had held hope that she was still alive and would eventually return home one day. They refused to move from their Granville home for this reason; and as practicing Buddhists, continued to pray for her return. Sam Diec even went as far as travelling to other parts of the country in the search for his daughter, following information of alleged sightings. That hope eventually came crashing down for the Diec family, when what appeared to be a major development happened.
The Confession, Arrest and Trial of Vinzent Tarantino
On Sunday, 20 November 2016, at around 3.40 pm in the afternoon, a man walked into Surry Hills Police Station – not far from the Sydney CBD. He presented himself, telling the officer on duty “I need to hand myself in for a homicide… it’s all been building up for me and it’s too much”. He was taken in by detectives, whom proceeded to conduct a formal interview – which took place just after 8.00 pm that evening.
This man would eventually declare during the interview, that he had abducted and killed Quanne Diec on 27 July 1998, claiming his motivation was: “… I was in a lot of debt and I had this stupid idea of ransom…”. He further elaborated: “It was a stupid ransom attempt and it went wrong and I just want to resolve it for the family and try and bring the girl home for her family… I was going to let her go and I just panicked". He claimed that he’d taken Quanne, whilst she was walking to Clyde Railway Station; and had strangled her – then had taken and buried her body in bushland to the south of Sydney (Source: ABC).
That man was Vinzent Tarantino (formerly Victor Gerada) – as mentioned above in the Background and Case Outline, had been a person of interest in the original investigation by Strike Force Lyndey. As previously mentioned, Tarantino’s mental health had deteriorated in the intervening years. He was still extremely paranoid that the Rebels Motorcycle Club were still out to get him, - as retribution for speaking to Police following the Blackmarket Café murders. He had changed his name, but also had moved addresses on several occasions due to these fears – and went to extreme lengths to conceal and distance himself from his past. His paranoia of the Rebels was still very strong, even at the time of his confession – stating to Police during his interview: “…now my partner’s been threatened with gang raping; and my father and brothers have been threatened to be killed in a contract killing” (Source: ABC).
However, Tarantino also experienced a number of mental breakdowns and psychotic episodes over the years; including violent outbursts and attempts of self harm and suicide. Some of these incidents also involved Police intervention, which resulted in violent confrontations. One such incident, Tarantino reportedly threw a Molotov cocktail at Police officers; and sprayed another officer with petrol (gasoline). He also reportedly had a violent alteration in 2006 with his then partner – after she found out he hadn’t disclosed the truth about his past to her (Source: SMH).
Even during presenting himself at Surry Hills Police Station, his mental health was still a topic. He was found to be carrying a 35 centimetre (13.78 inch) kitchen knife when he presented; which was apparently a pattern of Tarantino’s behaviour from his previous breakdowns. Tarantino was also charged with carrying an offensive weapon, in relation to the knife – which was dealt with separately to the charges he would face relating to Quanne; and which he plead Gulity to and received a conviction for (Source: Nine News via MSN).
Also whilst at the Police Station, one of Tarantino’s brothers called his mobile phone – his brother spoke to officers, warning them: "[he] has psychological issues and I'm worried about him".
Tarantino’s mental health and his paranoia of the Rebels, would be continuing themes throughout his legal proceedings.
Following the interview, Tarantino was informed by Detective Sergeant Wayne Plumeridge (the custody manager on duty at Surry Hills Police Station) that he was under arrest – Tarantino responded that he understood his arrest; and also allegedly stated “I’m a grub, I don’t deserve a trial”. Police proceeded to charge Tarantino in relation to the abduction (specifically – “detain for advantage”) and murder of Quanne; and was remanded in custody (Sources: SMH: here and here).
The following day (Monday, 21 November 2016), Tarantino faced Central Local Court in Sydney for a preliminary hearing. He did not apply for bail – and was formally refused bail. However, during proceedings, Tarantino made a remark in court, against his own solicitor’s advice: "I believe my brother … and my partner … have been murdered in retaliation for what I've done" – a statement which was untrue (Sources: News.com.au, ABC).
On that same day – NSW Police also conducted a forensic search of his father’s home in Second Street, Granville. Police also conducted a Press Conference, conducted by Superintendent Scott Whyte of the Rosehill Local Area Command. At this conference, Supt. Whyte stated that Tarantino had been a person of interest in this case; and also alleged that Tarantino told detectives information “…that only the murderer would know”.
On Wednesday, 23 November 2016 – Police took Tarantino, under guard, to a location he claimed to have buried Quanne. Tarantino had told detectives he had taken Quanne’s body to bushland, just off Appin Road in Bulli Tops – south of Sydney and just north of the regional city of Wollongong. He stated that he took Quanne’s body – initially leaving it in bushland a short distance from the road, but then returned, placing it into and moving it with a wheelie bin; and along with a shovel, a machete and a glass covered candle; found and buried it in a spot. Tarantino lead detectives on the search, which was filmed by Police – however, he seemed somewhat confused and disoriented of the location. After five and a half hours of searching, no remains or other evidence was located (Sources: Daily Telegraph, SMH here and here).
The NSW Police later conducted a second search for Quanne the following year – starting on 31 July 2017, over a three day period – in bushland within the district of Cataract, a neighbouring locality to Bulli Tops. Sam Diec was present at this search for his daughter; however again, Police were unsuccessful in locating any remains or evidence (Sources: ABC, Nine News).
A second formal interview was conducted by Police with Vinzent Tarantino on 28 November 2016, in which detectives attempted to obtain more specific details about the crime. It appears further clarification wasn’t forthcoming during this interview, however Tarantino did express that he felt terrible about what had happened (Sources: ABC and News.com.au).
Tarantino remained under custody, in remand – his committal hearing not commencing until early March 2018. However, Tarantino’s position changed during this period – he had recanted his confession and was now denying he had abducted and murdered Quanne. He would enter a plea of Not Guilty. His committal hearing (set down for five days), was conducted within the first week of March 2018 at Parramatta Local Court. Evidence was tendered by the Crown Prosecution – along with calling witnesses. A trial was set down, following the committal hearing – but it was another 18 month wait (Source: Nine News).
The trail commenced on 9 September 2019, in the NSW Supreme Court, with Tarantino pleading Not Guilty. The trail would last for two months. The Crown Prosecution’s case was that Tarantino had abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered Quanne; and that he confessed this crime to two ex-partners, a former friend; and to his own brother. The Defence argued that Tarantino did not abduct and murder Quanne and had made a false confession – motivated by his psychotic state and his belief the Rebels Motorcycle Club were still after him, believed he would be safer being in custody (Source: 7 News, SMH).
Tarantino and his Defence did agree that he was present in the area, on the morning of Quanne’s disappearance – and did pick up a female from Factory Street in his work van. However, the Defence claims that female, whom Tarantino allegedly picked up, was an adult sex worker, whom went by the alias of “Dee” (Source: SMH). However, no-one (Police, Prosecution or Defence) could not locate this alleged sex worker, to obtain a statement or call as a witness (Source: SMH). The Defence also argued there was “a reasonable possibility” that another person of interest, the Mail Centre worker (as outlined in the Background and Case Outline section above) was responsible for Quanne’s disappearance and murder.
Several witnesses were called up in the trail. All immediate members of Quanne’s family gave evidence on the stand – her parents Sam Diec and Ann Ngo, both of whom utilised the assistance of a Cantonese translator, along with her brother Sonny Diec and her sister Dr Tina Diec. Notably, Sam gave his eyewitness account of seeing a white van with two men in it, driving suspiciously in their street (as outlined in the Background and Case Outline section above).
The Prosecution also called witnesses, in regards to Tarantino’s alleged confessions. One was his ex-girlfriend, Laila Faily. Ms Faily testified that Tarantino confessed to her that he’d taken Quanne and ended up killing her, because “…she was making too much noise”. She also testified that she accompanied Tarantino on a drive to a National Park, in his van (stating that it had a “strange smell”) – and that he stopped the van and removed a wheelie bin from the back. Ms Faily also stated that Tarantino told her he had a fetish for “girls in school uniform” and asked her during sex “do you want me to do what I did to her?” (Sources: Nine News via MSN)
Tarantino’s barrister sort to discredit this witness, arguing inconsistencies in her previous statements. Also, Tarantino denied and took offense to Ms Faily’s evidence that suggested he had raped Quanne Diec, stating it was the “worst fabrication” (Source: News.com.au). Tarantino also now claimed the contents of the wheelie bin did not contain a body, but instead contained firearms, along with cocaine stored within a Tupperware container (Source: SMH).
Another witness was a former friend, Geoff Maurer – whom testified that Tarantino confessed to “taking an Asian girl”, but things went wrong and Tarantino, in his words, had “cancelled her out” (Source: MamaMia via MSN).
Evidence was tendered by the Prosecution, that Tarantino admitted years later to another ex-girlfriend, that he killed Quanne during a botched ransom bid (Source: MamaMia via MSN).
The Prosecution also tendered evidence, of a recorded phone conversation that Vinzent had with his brother, Allan Gerada – alleging he said: “I killed a kid Allan, I’m fucked” (Source: SMH).
However, Tarantino’s Defence contested that these confessions were “false”, which he made up in the belief he needed to do so protect his and his loved one’s lives (Source: MamaMia via MSN).
His barrister, Belinda Rigg SC, conceded that her client’s “world” was different to her own, and that although he was firmly of the view he “did not” have a mental illness, the jury could possibly conclude he was psychotic at the time of his confession – and advised the jury “You are required to consider another man’s mind” (Sources: SMH, ABC, Canberra Times).
Two forensic psychiatrists – Dr Andrew Ellis and Dr Adam Martin; and a clinical and forensic psychologist – Dr Katie Seidler, were called upon to give evidence regarding Vinzent Tarantino’s mental state. All agreed that he had likely suffered a mental illness for some time.
Dr Ellis tendered that Tarantino was most likely suffering a psychosis, at the time of his confession; and suggested a likely diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. Dr Martin also tendered that Tarantino most like had either schizoaffective disorder or schizophrenia. Dr Seidler tendered that Tarantino became embroiled in a delusional thought system; and had struggled with “…a psychotic condition for almost two decades”. Dr Martin however conceded that neither he, nor Dr Ellis or Dr Seidler, had the opportunity to examine Tarantino before writing their reports, quipping “It’s all a bit speculative” (Sources: SMH, ABC).
Tarantino’s mental health state was also punctuated by his courtroom behaviour – frequently interjecting and making outbursts during proceedings. The presiding Judge, Justice Robert Beech-Jones warning Tarantino on his second day of evidence, after the jury left the courtroom – to “keep acting like that” if he wanted to convict himself and stating “I understand your outburst… This is not the place of outbursts” (Source: SMH).
The jury retired for deliberations on 29 October 2019 – with Justice Robert Beech-Jones discharging one juror; with the remaining 11 person jury proceeding to consider their verdict (Source: 7 News).
The jury returned on 6 November 2019 – delivering the verdict of Not Guilty on all charges relating to Quanne’s abduction and murder. Vinzent Tarantino was immediately released from custody by the Judge.
Tarantino made comments to the awaiting media outside of court, including criticisms of the media’s investigative journalism and not meeting their obligations to ‘seek the truth’ – but also made the comment to the media to “get their chequebooks ready”. He also accused the Police of ‘changing evidence’ in the case, which he claimed to have ‘proof’ of. Tarantino also made the allegation, regarding his role in the search at Bulli Tops: “Because I had a gun pointed at me in the back of the Correctional Services van. That happened” (Sources: SMH, Sky News via YouTube).
The Diec family were absolutely devastated by the verdict. The family held a press conference outside Granville Police Station. Quanne’s cousin, Christine Woo, broke down while delivering a statement on behalf of the family – the full video from 7 News (via YouTube) can be seen here.
My Opinion and Theories
Obviously, it is very sad and destressing that after 22 years, there is still no answer on what happened to Quanne. Her family – and especially her parents, Sam and Ann – have and still carry a lot of pain after all this time. At this point, it appears the investigation is at a dead end; and it’s difficult to see whether that answer will ever be found.
Firstly, my opinion is that Quanne was indeed abducted from Factory Street at Granville – outside of the Australia Post International Mail Centre; and forced into a van against her will. I also believe there was a sexual motivation to this crime – and sadly I believe that Quanne was unfortunately sexually assaulted before being murdered.
As to who actually did it – from my perspective, there does appear to be more than one person of interest in this case.
Keeping this short and sweet, I do not believe Vinzent Tarantino (owing to his mental health) or the Mail Centre worker (whom I suspect was actually inside the Mail Centre at the time) were responsible for Quanne's disappearance.
My opinion is, the two witnessed by Quanne’s father, Sam Diec driving suspiciously in a white van along Seventh Street, are the prime suspects. I’m also inclined to believe the eyewitness statement of Romain Maas too. As troubling as Mr Maas’ reaction to the events he encountered might be, the man he described as seeing – I’m inclined to believe was the passenger of the van that Mr Diec had earlier seen.
I’m inclined to believe these two men were local to the Granville area, or if not – had familiarity with it. I also suspect that Quanne may have been stalked in the days or weeks leading into her disappearance.
Regarding the location of her remains – and returning to that anonymous caller to Crime Stoppers, who gave the Duck River tip off - I’m inclined to believe the information that they gave maybe true. I don’t believe the caller is either one of those two men – although I do suspect the caller could be either a close friend, or a relation to one of, if not, both of the men.
Looking at Google Maps (here) and Street View, along with historical aerial images from the NSW Government’s Spatial Information Exchange (SIX) Viewer website (aerial image from 1998, here) – I think it's highly plausible that Quanne was disposed of in the vicinity of the Duck River, although my leaning is towards the parklands along the South Granville (western) side of the river, around the vicinity of Mackay Road, due to their relative seclusion – compared to the Auburn (eastern) side of the river. Perhaps Police were just slightly off looking in the right spot?
Alternatively, another possible location is a significant bushland reserve south of this locality, on the soutside of Wellington Road, to the west of Auburn Golf Course.
We can only hope however, that someone can be forthcoming with new information to the Police, that can not only identify and bring the true culprits to justice; but also finally locate Quanne. I hope she finally receives the proper and dignified farewell that she deserves; and that her family can finally have some peace.
submitted by Str8Outta2750 to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]

2020.07.24 07:42 subreddit_stats Subreddit Stats: spirituality top posts from 2017-02-04 to 2020-07-23 18:21 PDT

Period: 1265.69 days
Submissions Comments
Total 1000 39697
Rate (per day) 0.79 31.35
Unique Redditors 652 10055
Combined Score 170708 157895

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 3677 points, 19 submissions: shortyafter
    1. At some point you just gotta own what you are. (482 points, 180 comments)
    2. Behavior and habits are not related to spirituality. (404 points, 276 comments)
    3. You don't have to improve yourself. You don't have to do better. It's OK to relax. (302 points, 56 comments)
    4. You were wrong to doubt yourself. (258 points, 42 comments)
    5. Things get better. (227 points, 32 comments)
    6. We're taught to be false. (226 points, 53 comments)
    7. I'm just a guy and there's no need to bully myself into doing better. You can just be a human. (199 points, 101 comments)
    8. Reality is real. (199 points, 359 comments)
    9. People are always going to misunderstand you. (198 points, 44 comments)
    10. "Are you really just going to do nothing and wait for a miracle?" (191 points, 67 comments)
  2. 3236 points, 13 submissions: TheEmployedMoth1
    1. Sit in silence, drive in silence, do the dishes in silence, work out in silence, go somewhere that is silent. Do everything in silence and limit the outside noise. Do one thing at a time, mindfully. Unravel your thoughts. Start going in, back to center. (540 points, 79 comments)
    2. You must get serious about your life right now, not later, not tomorrow, now. Take what you know and start your practice, learning along the way. The sooner you start your journey, the happier you'll be. Don't let time cover you in mediocrity. Do your greatest work, and don't feel guilty. (425 points, 78 comments)
    3. Most of us don't live in this world, and I mean truly live. We hibernate and wait for ourselves to wake up. We're waiting to be saved by something that will never come. (334 points, 71 comments)
    4. Children are the best at keeping their individuality alive. They do things for the love of it, the fun, the feeling. In their art, speech, and play, you see pure, unconscious creation. (327 points, 49 comments)
    5. Imagine the possibility of life if we all opened up and took off the mask. If we dropped the character and stopped the self-deception, we'd realize that we are just like each other: scared, alien, and dying for true laughter. (324 points, 85 comments)
    6. Whatever you want to call the thing we call God, we are the expression of it. We are all part of the one consciousness, the human consciousness, evolved over thousands of years. We are a part of the process of time: something much greater than we can explain or understand. (304 points, 51 comments)
    7. This world is for our play; we are meant to experience and enjoy it. But we have succumbed to work, and everything we do is a serious matter. We rarely play for the fun of it. Children know this secret; children know creativity. (301 points, 34 comments)
    8. Being optimistic is fine. If that works for you, metaphorically, then good. But there must be a balance between optimism and the real situation. If you go too far in the way of optimism, without realism's grounding, you can start to believe the illusions you tell yourself. (159 points, 47 comments)
    9. To live a life worth living, a life you are satisfied with, you must live by values other than what you see in the mainstream. Don't chase the normal, the average. Express your heart and enrich the world. (114 points, 24 comments)
    10. Love: we spoil what should be a private endeavor, by letting outside influences dictate its trajectory. (113 points, 9 comments)
  3. 2235 points, 10 submissions: Lvl40bard
    1. Don’t forget guys, these bodies are simply vessels to carry our souls inside this physical existence. (365 points, 30 comments)
    2. You are the teacher you are seeking. You are the student also. (352 points, 17 comments)
    3. Please trust yourself! You are powerful and you always have been. (291 points, 31 comments)
    4. Stop everything you’re doing right now. Look around. Listen. See. Hear. Smell. This is all that exists. And it’s different for every one of you. (260 points, 49 comments)
    5. Don’t get caught up in the meaning of words. Words are but human constructs. They have as much power as you give them. (216 points, 29 comments)
    6. I hope this helps someone, because it sure helps me. (201 points, 22 comments)
    7. Life is really insane. It’s almost as if we are meant to not know everything. So as to live the “right/happiest” way. (181 points, 38 comments)
    8. I strongly believe there is a connection between vivid dreams and spirituality. (147 points, 29 comments)
    9. Does anybody else feel like theyve gained a lot of knowledge from your emotionally/mentally lowest moments? (137 points, 30 comments)
    10. Left a bunch of subs I felt like we’re bringing unwanted vibes into my life. Joined a bunch more peaceful, philosophy, and Buddhist subs instead. (85 points, 16 comments)
  4. 1831 points, 9 submissions: insaneintheblain
    1. “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” ― C.G. Jung (332 points, 48 comments)
    2. "Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider(...) (289 points, 82 comments)
    3. “To find out actually what takes place when you die you must die. This isn't a joke..." - Jiddu Krishnamuti (240 points, 29 comments)
    4. Albert Einstein on what makes a genuine Scientist (208 points, 19 comments)
    5. You don’t need anything to meditate (208 points, 51 comments)
    6. “The psychotic drowns in the same waters in which the mystic swims with delight.” - Joseph Campbell. (202 points, 38 comments)
    7. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ― Mahatma Gandhi (198 points, 13 comments)
    8. "A mystic is anyone who has the gnawing suspicion that the apparent discord, brokenness, contradictions and discontinuities that assault us every day might conceal a hidden unity." - Rabbi Lawrence Kushner (81 points, 15 comments)
    9. You do not realise it - but you are in the midst of a war. (73 points, 36 comments)
  5. 1737 points, 6 submissions: dugzdunny
    1. Remember the Bubonic plague led to the emergence of the renaissance, one of the greatest epochs for art, architecture, and literature in human history. This is the time to hone our crafts. (608 points, 45 comments)
    2. This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. -Allan Watts (546 points, 63 comments)
    3. Allan Watts said it best... (253 points, 21 comments)
    4. I’d love to take part in another global meditation! (168 points, 61 comments)
    5. Just wanted to say I love you all! (92 points, 13 comments)
    6. Global Meditation Tomorrow! (70 points, 9 comments)
  6. 1610 points, 13 submissions: world_citizen7
    1. Your higher self knows... (295 points, 91 comments)
    2. A message to those who might be suffering right now (214 points, 18 comments)
    3. May the universe/God bless your 2019 with the best year of your life. (193 points, 14 comments)
    4. For those suffering from extreme hopelessness, disdain or depression... (131 points, 34 comments)
    5. I would like to thank the spiritual reddit community: (131 points, 12 comments)
    6. What the HELL has happened to us? [SERIOUS] (118 points, 155 comments)
    7. Detachment: (93 points, 19 comments)
    8. Sometimes the best apology is changed behavior (80 points, 8 comments)
    9. A simple exercise to test your self value and feelings of worthiness: (78 points, 36 comments)
    10. How to deal with negative mental chatter (73 points, 21 comments)
  7. 1608 points, 6 submissions: itsbui
    1. April is cancelled. Consider this the month that YOU change. Self care, family, friendships, networking, creating, all of it. (654 points, 48 comments)
    2. Do your affirmations and MEAN IT. They will change your life. Trust. (233 points, 30 comments)
    3. It’s been roughly two weeks on lockdown. Many many people are reporting anxieties and need for spirituality. (216 points, 35 comments)
    4. Mass awakenings bringing onslaught of negativity and toxicity to the surface. (212 points, 48 comments)
    5. The progression, and why it is crucial you must stay YOUR course, no matter what is going on. (160 points, 80 comments)
    6. Please stop playing the waiting game. Healing doesn’t have to mean stalling. Your soul is in constant motion. Everything in the universe is in constant motion. Resistance, apprehension and fear can be disguised as healing. (133 points, 13 comments)
  8. 1449 points, 8 submissions: redditKeyy
    1. Whenever you are lost, just remember; you are on a giant rock flying through infinite space (575 points, 38 comments)
    2. You can be aware even if you are in an environment of completely unaware people. You do not have to pretend being asleep just because of pressure or anything. You are not bothered by that. (177 points, 27 comments)
    3. That voice in your head that is constantly trying to make you feel guilty or ashamed about everything (165 points, 33 comments)
    4. When is humanity going to ask the biggest question; "Who am I?" (151 points, 64 comments)
    5. You are not seeing life, you are projecting life with your own thoughts and beliefs you were conditioned to believe in (121 points, 29 comments)
    6. You are close to freedom and suddenly something makes you doubt your self, you do not believe you can go on! Do not give up. (120 points, 16 comments)
    7. Do not entertain the mind and its stories, do not buy into them (73 points, 10 comments)
    8. The only spiritual practice you will ever need! (67 points, 5 comments)
  9. 1425 points, 2 submissions: YourDailyGinAndTonic
    1. I can't help but feel happy that the world is actually slowing down for a change (1225 points, 167 comments)
    2. I feel an intense love for everything and everyone and it's growing stronger every day. (200 points, 59 comments)
  10. 1411 points, 4 submissions: thecosmicbutterfly
    1. “I can do nothing for you but work on myself...you can do nothing for me but work on yourself!” - Baba Ram Dass (468 points, 22 comments)
    2. You ARE who you’re looking for (418 points, 32 comments)
    3. “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” — Max Ehrmann (399 points, 24 comments)
    4. It’s not so much about the end result, enjoy the process of what you pursue instead. (126 points, 14 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. BearFuzanglong (1860 points, 263 comments)
  2. shortyafter (1455 points, 580 comments)
  3. world_citizen7 (1439 points, 272 comments)
  4. insaneintheblain (893 points, 136 comments)
  5. Holiday-Strike (637 points, 17 comments)
  6. yalllove (571 points, 124 comments)
  7. The_Bad_thought (567 points, 109 comments)
  8. Celestial444 (564 points, 27 comments)
  9. aspieboy74 (456 points, 166 comments)
  10. Camiell (453 points, 37 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. I can't help but feel happy that the world is actually slowing down for a change by YourDailyGinAndTonic (1225 points, 167 comments)
  2. Seems like “Normal People” are starting to realise something. by SunRayy18 (1013 points, 164 comments)
  3. You are exactly where you need to be. Everything is unfolding perfectly for your soul to have the precise experience it has always wanted. There is a deep purpose to it all that you can't fully understand right now. by relaxandgodeeper (958 points, 93 comments)
  4. Hi you... exactly you... scroll no further... I mean YOU, of all people. You are a good human, you are beautiful🌞💎 by dontknow19639 (906 points, 73 comments)
  5. Today I gave a struggling mom on the street corner $20. Directly after, I went to get a nail in my tire patched. When I went to pay the dude said no worries by gribzydib (757 points, 76 comments)
  6. Did you really have a bad day or did you have 10-30 minutes where you let your thoughts run undisciplined which led you to a bad vibe that you let carry you away. C'mon guys, you run this shit! HEAD SPACE. PAY ATTENTION. by bowlessy (751 points, 70 comments)
  7. We suffer more in our imagination than in reality by ArtsyDevou_19 (731 points, 60 comments)
  8. I faced my fear of being ‘alone’ and parted ways with my boyfriend today. Wishing myself the world of possibilities and new beginnings. Please take care of me universe. 😢🥺🌷🌻🧚‍♀️🌎 by dannis2cents (684 points, 78 comments)
  9. I don’t know you, but I love you. by Rapid3003 (679 points, 103 comments)
  10. I stopped explaining myself when I realised people only understand from their level of perception by blissbish (670 points, 78 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 321 points: Holiday-Strike's comment in Got banned in depression thread because I was saying spirituality and mindfullness will help
  2. 256 points: niennaisilra's comment in I think we need to talk about the narcisism in this sub and how it's praised
  3. 208 points: Celestial444's comment in I want to leave this world
  4. 206 points: JonWood007's comment in Corona Virus is going to change humanity.
  5. 203 points: world_citizen7's comment in Today I gave a struggling mom on the street corner $20. Directly after, I went to get a nail in my tire patched. When I went to pay the dude said no worries
  6. 193 points: TheAnswerIsWithin's comment in "Spirituality is about questions. Religion is about answers."
  7. 174 points: BlackMixen's comment in Does anyone else have people in their lives that aren’t on the same journey as them?
  8. 173 points: jasonborne10002's comment in Hard to date people that aren’t spiritual?
  9. 163 points: Camiell's comment in If energy never dies that means we have to “live” forever and it’s never ending
  10. 161 points: tonksloopy's comment in I think we need to talk about the narcisism in this sub and how it's praised
Generated with BBoe's Subreddit Stats
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2020.07.16 20:00 Andinio Today is the 760th Anniversary of "On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land"

Sixth in "On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land" series.
All posts in series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Related series on Nichiren and Militarism
Posted on July 16th, 2020, the date of the 760th anniversary of Nichiren’s submission of Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land.
“The people of today all turn their backs upon what is right; to a person, they give their allegiance to evil.”
In Post 5 we examined how this statement at the end of Chapter One could be understood by someone living today (namely, me). Now we want to discuss how Nichiren used it himself given the scope of the calamities facing his nation.
We want to draw from the famous statement of Thomas Paine:
"These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
Nichiren wrote “On Establishing” during a time of unbearable conflict and suffering. The insights of only the deepest of thinkers and the boldest of actors were desperately needed. As John T. Brinkman [states](www.jstor.org/stable/44362100):
“Nichiren presented a doctrine powerful enough to save a people who suffered the trial of institutional collapse and the torment of natural disasters. He confronted the lack of true faith that rendered a people fragile within and vulnerable from without with the one faith he judged restorative of national purpose….In fact, the faith he defined offered a compelling sense of credence and creativity that has endured through the centuries (pp. 248-249).”
Nichiren showed tremendous resolve and he used all the intellectual tools at his disposal. He relied on the Buddhist theme, already well-established at his time, that linked the protection of the nation to faith in the Lotus Sutra. He drew from a new religious focus on interior response that had developed in Kamakura Buddhism. Both Anesaki and Brinkman note that Nichiren affirmed the common belief in those days that people were living in an age of decline with diminished human capacity that hungered for simple expressions of the truth rather than complicated systems of doctrine or contemplation (Anesaki, Nichiren, p. 42; Brinkman, p. 259). However, whereas other religious groups such as Nembutsu sought rebirth in the Pure Land and Zen offered a concentration on inner processes, “[Nichiren] would wed a heretofore unknown intensity of faith with the external, social action of man” (Brinkman, 248).
According to Lopez & Stone (2019), Nichiren also built upon the T’ien T’ai (Zhiyi) concept of the nonduality or inseparability of person and land:
"We have already seen how he saw the disasters of his age as stemming fundamentally from the rejection of the Lotus Sūtra in favor of inferior, provisional teachings no longer suited to the age. Conversely, he taught that—because people and their environments are inseparable—spreading faith in the Lotus Sūtra would transform this world into an ideal buddha realm. He famously argued this claim in his treatise 'Risshō anokoku ron', written early in his career, and maintained it throughout life" (pp. 189-190).
Writes [Pier Del Campana](www.jstor.org/stable/2383617) in Great Historical Figures of Japan:
For [Nichiren] religious ideals were inseparable from society and had to be realized in society. Salvation could not be achieved only at the level of individual meditation, because, first, no individual exists by himself, and secondly, because a living being can only realize itself through action and not by mere spiritual activity (p. 112).
So Nichiren’s message was that every single person needed to wake up and cast off limiting systems of thought. Let’s return to Thomas Paine and his age of severe crisis, “Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.” Paine also stated, “ ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”
submitted by Andinio to SGIWhistleblowersMITA [link] [comments]

2020.07.11 06:33 MopeyLoser M17 and I’m afraid to go against my mom

It’s been almost a year with me a M17 and my white girlfriend F18, we got together last year October 18th. We met online and we barely met in person the times we have met was her being my homecoming date, breaks i have at work and or me sneaking out pretending i was working but going to visit her but me going out does not happen often. We call on discord and FaceTime almost everyday because that’s the only time I had even before COVID hit the United States I was never allowed to go out to anywhere because of my Vietnamese mom just never letting me go out, turned me down all the times I asked to go out and the only times I went out is when an asian friend was there to be able to speak Vietnamese and or Cantonese to her. I barely have any asian friends and I only went out a couple times in my life time. And even then when I went out they have to have someone there to supervise me
for example I went to a friends birthday party at the mall which was like a small hang out only because my mom was in the mall too, waited out the 5 whole hours I was there and drove me home when I needed to and that was the only time i ever been "out" and i was 16 at the time it was because there was one Vietnamese friend there and that was it.
the more time i was with my girlfriend on the phone and or just on the computer my mom would complain about it and say its "that girl again". Talking to monks from Vietnam whenever anything does not go her way. going on tantrums over it, leaving the house and coming back. going as far as even if i were to keep dating her my entire life would go into shambles because of a prediction from Buddhist monks. My mom has started to take my phone away at nights because i would sleep in call with her sometimes. now i have stopped and she still takes it away from me. assuming i call her 24/7 when i need to take my phone back from them to check on my job and or my schooling in the canvas app. i would never realized how sheltered i was and how horrible my mom is without my girlfriend she means the world to me and i want to be with her. my mom wants me to date only asian girls to be able to "understand our culture" but i dont want that i just want a person that makes me happy. as i talk about this with her it just gives her stress and anxiety knowing that my mom not accepting her and that it just makes me anxious with her presence and or talking against her. As I was thinking about our anniversary that’s coming up soon I was crying to the thought that if I went out without my moms permission she would like yell at me and or hit me that thought just gave me fear and put me to tears i got extremely anxious. I talked to my sister and hopefully my other siblings soon about this and she says I have trauma from my mom. I dont know what to do. i still want to go out and celebrate at least my anniversary with my girlfriend but at the same time the fear can just almost petrify me in my footsteps she would beat me when i got out of line and my other siblings too.
it was scaring to me seeing my sisters getting beat right in front of me and to just shoo me back inside of my room and or making me watch in tears. she stopped only because of a CPS (child protective services) visit but she just complains more behind my back on how stupid i am and even ease drops on my conversations i have in my own room. the only way i knew about that was beacause my siblings told me that mom told them to "talk some sense into me" also my mom telling me she ease drops on me as well. its just jaring to me and i dont know what to do. we are in a pandemic and there is my anniversary coming up that is very important to my girlfriend and me i just dont know what to do.
submitted by MopeyLoser to Advice [link] [comments]

2020.07.11 06:28 MopeyLoser M17 and I’m afraid to go against my mom

It’s been almost a year with me a M17 and my white girlfriend F18, we got together last year October 18th. We met online and we barely met in person the times we have met was her being my homecoming date, breaks i have at work and or me sneaking out pretending i was working but going to visit her but me going out does not happen often. We call on discord and FaceTime almost everyday because that’s the only time I had even before COVID hit the United States I was never allowed to go out to anywhere because of my Vietnamese mom just never letting me go out, turned me down all the times I asked to go out and the only times I went out is when an asian friend was there to be able to speak Vietnamese and or Cantonese to her. I barely have any asian friends and I only went out a couple times in my life time. And even then when I went out they have to have someone there to supervise me
for example I went to a friends birthday party at the mall which was like a small hang out only because my mom was in the mall too, waited out the 5 whole hours I was there and drove me home when I needed to and that was the only time i ever been "out" and i was 16 at the time it was because there was one Vietnamese friend there and that was it.
the more time i was with my girlfriend on the phone and or just on the computer my mom would complain about it and say its "that girl again". Talking to monks from Vietnam whenever anything does not go her way. going on tantrums over it, leaving the house and coming back. going as far as even if i were to keep dating her my entire life would go into shambles because of a prediction from Buddhist monks. My mom has started to take my phone away at nights because i would sleep in call with her sometimes. now i have stopped and she still takes it away from me. assuming i call her 24/7 when i need to take my phone back from them to check on my job and or my schooling in the canvas app. i would never realized how sheltered i was and how horrible my mom is without my girlfriend she means the world to me and i want to be with her. my mom wants me to date only asian girls to be able to "understand our culture" but i dont want that i just want a person that makes me happy. as i talk about this with her it just gives her stress and anxiety knowing that my mom not accepting her and that it just makes me anxious with her presence and or talking against her.
As I was thinking about our anniversary that’s coming up soon I was crying to the thought that if I went out without my moms permission she would like yell at me and or hit me that thought just gave me fear and put me to tears i got extremely anxious. I talked to my sister and hopefully my other siblings soon about this and she says I have trauma from my mom. I dont know what to do. i still want to go out and celebrate at least my anniversary with my girlfriend but at the same time the fear can just almost petrify me in my footsteps she would beat me when i got out of line and my other siblings too. it was scaring to me seeing my sisters getting beat right in front of me and to just shoo me back inside of my room and or making me watch in tears. she stopped only because of a CPS (child protective services) visit but she just complains more behind my back on how stupid i am and even ease drops on my conversations i have in my own room. the only way i knew about that was because my siblings told me that mom told them to "talk some sense into me" also my mom telling me she ease drops on me as well.
its just scaring me at this point thinking about it and i dont know what to do. ill have to stay in this house for at least another year or 2 before i can get my Bachelors degree because i was taking running start and im already starting to get sick of my mom getting more annoyed with her but at the same time my fear growing as i keep thinking what she can do when i leave on a whim to like move and or to even visit my friends.
i can move to my girlfriends house after i get my degree and just be there after i get my degree but the thought of my mom just getting mad just scares me and i dont know what to do. as of right now because being in this house just makes me uncomfortable sometimes just with her presence alone, i cant even call my girlfriend at this point without being called out and being berated by both of my parents. my dad though does it he is just annoyed that my mom is complaining so much about it i dont hate and or blame him as much. he connected with me and actually acknowledged my girlfriend and was even complementing her too. my mom has even wanted to destroy my own personal computer that i spent 1000$ dollars on because "it makes my room too warm and it takes up too much space" when i need it for school, work and sometimes games too. just to throw it away. my mom i just dont know what to do.
submitted by MopeyLoser to AsianParentStories [link] [comments]

2020.07.09 17:22 shiny_mark Wild Mutations - Public Test Train - Patch Notes

Right now we are testing the upcoming Wild Mutations update and are looking for feedback on new features, balance, and bugs.
The public test server will copy your progress from the live version of the game into a new save file. This is a one-way copy only. Progress on the test server will not be migrated to the live game.
Note: all changes are subject to further modification before release.
Major changes:
  1. NEW FEATURE - 35 new mutators that can be used in all game modes.
  2. NEW FEATURE - you can now add mutators to standard runs (single player). Note that using mutators prevents all progression because you can make very easy runs - you do not gain XP, master cards, or unlock new covenant levels when using mutators.
  3. NEW FEATURE - 15 expert challenges to test your skills. Unlocked after winning a run at Covenant 25.
  4. NEW FEATURE - unlockable card mastery frames. Collect them all!
  5. NEW FEATURE - featured community challenges. In the Community Challenge area (previously called Custom Challenges) there are a bunch of challenges both featured manually by the dev team and also algorithmically based on popularity, high scores, difficulty, and more. Create some challenges, share them with friends, and see if they get featured! Updates every 24 hours currently.
  6. BALANCE - numerous balance changes. More information on balance strategy and a full list of changes is below.
Instructions to Participate in the Public Test Train:
  1. Make sure Monster Train is not running
  2. Right click on the game in your Steam Library
  3. Click "properties"
  4. Click the "BETAS" tab
  5. In the dropdown menu, choose "public-test-server"
  6. Press close and wait for the game to update
Providing feedback:
Please use the F8 feature in-game, the official Monster Train Discord, or this subreddit for feedback.
Balance strategy:
First of all, we just wanted to say a bit about our balance philosophy. Overall our goal isn't some type of 'perfect' balance where all cards are used with similar frequency or there aren't super powered combos. Our goals instead with the current round of balance changes are twofold: firstly we wanted to target the outliers - cards or artifacts with very high win and pick rates and ones with very low rates. Ideally this means that it's never a 'no-brainer' to either pass on or pick a card or artifact and as often as possible the choice depends on the current state of your run. Secondly we wanted to start shifting our balance 'target' to higher covenants - as we've launched and more players have begun to climb the covenants we both have enough data and believe the playerbase as a whole is at a high enough level that we're doing more of our tuning targeted around the top end of play. The end result is that some cards that are balanced at a high end of play may be slightly stronger or weaker in the lower covenant end of play, and that's ok. Our goal here is rather to make sure the end-game depth is as diverse as possible with the biggest practical impact being around updating the scaling values on certain cards to make sure they're viable at all covenant levels. As usual all balance is an ongoing process and especially in a game with as many pieces as this one we expect to continue to tune and adjust frequently around the launch of the patch as a wider range of players gets their hands on the changes.
We also wanted to call out one specific change here as well, and that's the shift from morsels 'dying' when eaten instead to them 'despawning'. We wanted to recognize that this does remove a fun synergy between the Remnant and Umbra clans that many of us enjoyed, however both clans when not in this combination we felt were too weak and wanted to make some changes. Specifically, we wanted to buff both Harvest triggers on Remnant and the impact of some of the Morsels. Our goal with these changes was to make these clans more playable in other combinations without making this clan combo the 'must use' one. It also had an added benefit of not making the core mechanic of the Umbra clan as punishing against enemies with Harvest triggers themselves, which was an interaction we had already considered possibly overly punishing.
Clanless Gameplay Changes:
  1. GAMEPLAY - Advanced Prototype now adds 5 attack and 5 health to Train Stewards on top of other benefits.
  2. GAMEPLAY - Automatic Rail Spikes damage increased 5X -> 10X.
  3. GAMEPLAY - Gift of Gratitude coin increased 30X -> 40X.
  4. GAMEPLAY - increased status effect stack maximum from 999 to 9999, which was requested multiple times in the context of Frostbite primarily.
  5. GAMEPLAY - Iron Dropcage now triggers even if the unit can't move, for example if it's in the bottom floor and you cast Dripfall on it.
  6. GAMEPLAY - Iron Dropcage now triggers on Flying Bosses before the relentless phase if you cast a spell like Dripfall on them.
  7. GAMEPLAY - Iron Dropcage dazed stacks reduced 3 -> 2 since it is now much easier to trigger.
  8. GAMEPLAY - Most Blessed Sword damage increased 10X -> 30X.
  9. GAMEPLAY - new status effect: Fragile. If an affected unit takes any damage to their health, they die. This appears in several new mutators.
  10. GAMEPLAY - Revenge triggers now also happen when a unit takes lethal damage and dies.
  11. GAMEPLAY - Thy Holiest Shield damage shield stacks reduced from 3X -> 2X.
  12. GAMEPLAY - Volatile Gauge random ember cost increased from 0-3 -> 0-4. Volatile Gauge had the highest win rate of any artifact in the game at high covenant levels.
  13. GAMEPLAY - Winged Steel card draw reduced 2 -> 1.
Hellhorned Gameplay Changes:
  1. GAMEPLAY - Alpha Fiend attack on strike increased 3 -> 5, health increased 20 -> 25.
  2. GAMEPLAY - Deranged Brute bonus attack per stack of Rage increased 2 -> 3.
  3. GAMEPLAY - Hornbreaker Prince's Wrathful path Rage on Revenge increased 1 -> 2 at level 1 and goes up from there.
  4. GAMEPLAY - Onehorn's Tome ember cost increased 5 -> 6.
  5. GAMEPLAY - Ritual of Battle Rage gain increased 6 -> 8.
  6. GAMEPLAY - Welder Helper armor gain increased 15 -> 20.
Awoken Gameplay Changes:
  1. GAMEPLAY - Awake regen decreased 4 -> 3.
  2. GAMEPLAY - Cycle of Life Spikes reduced 4 -> 3.
  3. GAMEPLAY - Husk Hermit attack increased 3 -> 5.
  4. GAMEPLAY - Pyre-Gro redesigned. Now it causes you to draw 2 fewer cards next turn and gain +1 ember per turn for the rest of battle.
  5. GAMEPLAY - Razorsharp Edge attack gain increased 8 -> 10.
  6. GAMEPLAY - Shattered Shell attack gain on Slay increased 2 -> 3.
  7. GAMEPLAY - The Sentient's Explosive path damage increased 15 -> 20 at level 1, 30 -> 40 at level 2.
  8. GAMEPLAY - Vinemother's health increased 20 -> 40.
  9. GAMEPLAY - Wilting Sapwood attack increased 5 -> 15.
Stygian Gameplay Changes:
  1. GAMEPLAY - Gifts for a Guard ember cost increased 2 -> 3.
  2. GAMEPLAY - Glacial Seal ember cost increased from 1 -> 2.
  3. GAMEPLAY - Guardian Amulet Sap decreased 3 -> 2.
  4. GAMEPLAY - Hoarfrost Effigy ember cost increased 2 -> 3.
  5. GAMEPLAY - Lodestone Totem ember cost increased 1 -> 3.
  6. GAMEPLAY - Nameless Siren Rage gain increased 1 -> 2.
  7. GAMEPLAY - Siren of the Sea attack and health gain on Incant increased from 1/1 -> 2/2.
  8. GAMEPLAY - Stygian Spike frostbite amounts increased from 1X -> 5X
  9. GAMEPLAY - Titan's Gratitude damage increased 25 -> 30.
Umbra Gameplay Changes:
  1. GAMEPLAY - Antumbra Morsel health increased 4 -> 5, health gain on eating increased 3 -> 4.
  2. GAMEPLAY - Crucible Warden health increased 10 -> 20.
  3. GAMEPLAY - Ember Forge capacity reduced 4 -> 3.
  4. GAMEPLAY - Furnace Tap Rage reduced 4 -> 3.
  5. GAMEPLAY - Magma Morsel attack increased 3 -> 4, attack gain on eating increased 3 -> 4.
  6. GAMEPLAY - Morselmaker attack increased 0 -> 5, health increased 10 -> 15.
  7. GAMEPLAY - Morsels that get eaten no longer count as deaths for Harvest or other mechanics.
  8. GAMEPLAY - Penumbra's Glutton path gains slightly more attack and health at levels 2 and 3.
  9. GAMEPLAY - Perils of Production ember gain increased 2 -> 3.
  10. GAMEPLAY - Shadoweater Gorge damage and heal both increased 5 -> 10.
  11. GAMEPLAY - Shadowsiege capacity increased 5 -> 6.
  12. GAMEPLAY - Teeth of Gold damage to back unit increased 2 -> 3.
  13. GAMEPLAY - Void Binding ember cost increased 0 -> 1.
Remnant Gameplay Changes:
  1. GAMEPLAY - Big Sludge Rage gain on Harvest increased 2 -> 5.
  2. GAMEPLAY - Bounty Stalker attack gain reduced 10 -> 8.
  3. GAMEPLAY - Devourer of Death's subtype is now Wickless instead of Tomb.
  4. GAMEPLAY - Dripfall ember cost reduced 2 -> 1 and now applies Dazed 1.
  5. GAMEPLAY - Engulfed in Smoke ember cost increased 1 -> 2.
  6. GAMEPLAY - Entombed Explosive Extinguish damage increased 35 -> 50.
  7. GAMEPLAY - Melting Spout now adds Burnout 1 to Tombs in addition to the health gain.
  8. GAMEPLAY - Molten Encasement Stealth on death increased 1 -> 2.
  9. GAMEPLAY - Paraffin Enforcer Rage gain on strike increased 2 -> 3.
  10. GAMEPLAY - Rector Flicker's Accumulator buffed to add attack at each level, starting with +1 at level 1.
  11. GAMEPLAY - Rector Flicker's Burn Bright path stats reduced 60/60 -> 50/50 at level 1 and are also down slightly at levels 2 and 3.
  12. GAMEPLAY - Rector Flicker's Dark Calling path now Reforms 2 units per turn at all levels and adds bonus attack at levels 2 and 3.
  13. GAMEPLAY - Remnant Host ember cost decreased 1 -> 0.
  14. GAMEPLAY - Tomb units now all have 1 health.
  15. GAMEPLAY - Votivary ember cost reduced 1 -> 0.
  16. GAMEPLAY - Votive Key now applies Endless to the first unit summoned each turn.
  17. GAMEPLAY - Wickless Baron attack gain increased 1 -> 3.
  18. GAMEPLAY - Wickless Tycoon base stats increased from 3/20 -> 10/25.
New Mutators:
  1. A New Challenger - Your Champion is randomly replaced by one that is not from your primary or allied clan.
  2. A Simple Plan - Non-Champion units cost +2 ember. Start with Sketches of Salvation.
  3. Arcane Allergy - Enemy units enter with Spell Weakness 1.
  4. At Your Service - Start with 2 additional Train Stewards and Advanced Prototype.
  5. Big Chungus - All friendly units get +1 capacity.
  6. Bleeding Cash - Lose 1 coin whenever a friendly unit takes damage.
  7. Buying Power - Merchants provide a card duplication service.
  8. Come Prepared - Add 12 additional random cards to your starting deck.
  9. Dante’s Comedy - Start with Dante the Deceptive and 3 Dante’s Candle.
  10. Extra Pyre - Your Pyre gets +80 health.
  11. Fallen Champion - Remove the Champion from your starting deck.
  12. Final Shard - Your Pyre starts the run with fragile and damage shield 2.
  13. Googly Eyes - All units have googly eyes in battle.
  14. Gravity - At the end of the turn, descend friendly units.
  15. Highly Reactive - Triggered abilities on friendly units trigger an additional time.
  16. Hivemind - Friendly units count as all subtypes.
  17. Levity - Enemy units get haste.
  18. Luxury in Limbo - Additional unit banners appear in Limbo.
  19. Multi-Pyre - Your Pyre gets multistrike 1.
  20. Ninja Training - Minor bosses enter with stealth 5.
  21. No Fluff - All cards have 1 fewer upgrade slot.
  22. One Track Mind - The path you take on the map is chosen automatically.
  23. Protect the Pyre - Start with Boon of the Blacksmith, Precious Plating, and Pyrewall.
  24. Puny Things - All units have 1 capacity.
  25. Return on Investment - Spawn an additional Collector in battles that already have a Collector.
  26. Sacrificial - Apply fragile to the first friendly unit summoned each turn.
  27. Starry Suffering - Friendly units enter with dazed 2.
  28. Strike Hard - All units get multistrike 1.
  29. The Math Challenge - Room combat previews are disabled.
  30. Tissue Paper - Apply fragile to non-boss enemy units when they enter the Pyre Room.
  31. Upgraded Drafts - Cards in reward packs and unit banners come with a random upgrade.
  32. Vampiric Touch - All units enter with lifesteal 3.
  33. Volatile Spells - The targets of spells are chosen randomly.
  34. Wand of Cure Light Wounds - Restore 5 health to all units after combat.
  35. Zoom, Enhance - All cards have 1 additional upgrade slot.
Other Changes and Bug Fixes:
  1. ART - mutator icons have been normalized and updated for consistency.
  2. ART - swap art in Concealed Caverns events for purge/duplicate cards to more closely match the map icons.
  3. AUDIO - play victory music when you win a Hell Rush.
  4. BUG FIX - fixed a bug in the featured challenge UI if you clicked your mouse like a madman trying to open a challenge.
  5. BUG FIX - fixed a bug where you could permanently get stuck in a lower resolution when using Exclusive mode, multiple monitors, and lowered your resolution below your monitor's native size.
  6. BUG FIX - fixed a bug with multiplayer emote keyboard mapping.
  7. BUG FIX - fixed a rare multiplayer error message appearing during battle intro.
  8. BUG FIX - fixed a situation where some cards in Run Summary did not update their dynamic body text based on certain upgrades. Was seen with Spike of the Hellhorned and Doublestack for example.
  9. BUG FIX - fixed a softlock in a rare situation with Wiltwings.
  10. BUG FIX - fixed a very rare exception on PCs with broken file systems that cannot save the game at all. Affected players can still play now without softlocking but no progress will ever be saved.
  11. BUG FIX - fixed an issue with our handling of dates if you were using a calendar like the Thai Buddhist calendar. Affected players could not start a Hell Rush and had date display issues.
  12. BUG FIX - fixed issues with Molluscmage Magic Power gain accumulating improperly.
  13. BUG FIX - fixed minimap coin reward icon.
  14. BUG FIX - fixed multiple issues with the official Monster Train data API. If you're interested in access, contact us on Discord.
  15. BUG FIX - fixed some card animation timing that was not going fast enough in Super Ultra speed.
  16. BUG FIX - fixed some problems in Hell Rush when abandoning and using "new run" to re-enter another rush.
  17. ENGINE - if your data files are corrupted and art doesn't load properly (seen various times from users on Steam) tell the person how to verify integrity on Steam to fix the problem.
  18. ENGINE - Run History has been rewritten to store most data locally. For existing players it has to be migrated. Broadly, all single player runs stay local to the user now instead of being uploaded to our servers. All multiplayer runs are always uploaded (helps with cheat detection and sharing among other things). Single player runs can still be shared but require opting-in to make that happen. The result of this benefits both players and the dev team. For players, run history should be more stable to internet connection loss and loads faster with local storage. For the devs, server load is reduced.
  19. ENGINE - significant load time speed up for the first time you visit clan select after booting the game. On different machines we have seen between 3x and 10x speed up.
  20. MULTIPLAYER - prevent players from playing multiplayer modes if they are not on the latest game version.
  21. UI - "reset save" functionality reworked in settings menu to try to prevent people from using this by accident and not realizing that it will wipe progress.
  22. UI - added a notification to the main menu that tells you if there is a new daily challenge you haven't seen yet or a new set of featured custom challenges you haven't seen yet.
  23. UI - added information in the Logbook about how many single player end-game challenges you've completed.
  24. UI - changed Haste to not show stacks.
  25. UI - Logbook option moved to the main menu.
  26. UI - changed main menu text to say "standard run" and "challenges" instead of "singleplayer" and "multiplayer" to try to get more people to try the "challenge" modes.
  27. UI - status effect count is always visible even if it's 1 for all stackable status effects.
submitted by shiny_mark to MonsterTrain [link] [comments]

2020.07.09 04:45 twoffo Shura Bayashi (修羅囃子; The Band Of Pandemonium) Album Discussion Thread Round #1

Shura Bayashi (修羅囃子; The Band Of Pandemonium)

Release Date: January 22, 2003 Running Time: 71m:59s Label: Tri-M Album Cover: Shura Bayashi
CD Details (Japanese): 『修羅囃子』


Heavy Metal Hard Rock Doom Metal Stoner Rock
Shinji Wajima Guitar, Vocals
Ken-ichi Suzuki Bass, Vocals
Goto Mashiro Drums, Vocals


Streaming Services:

Track List

Song Romaji English Youtube Setlist.fm
東洋の魔女 Touyou no Majo Oriental Witch 人間椅子 東洋の魔女 12
Oni Spotify: 鬼 12
愛の言葉を数えよう Ai no Kotoba wo Kazoe-you Let's Count the Words of Love 人間椅子 ツアー「地獄の道化師」@新宿ReNYライブ生中継(2016/07/10): 14. 愛の言葉を数えよう 28
月に彷徨う Tsuki ni Samayou Misled by the Moon Spotify: 月に彷徨う 4
野球野郎 Yakyuu Yarou Baseball Dude Spotify: 野球野郎 13
最後の晩餐 Saigo no Bansan Last Supper Spotify: 最後の晩餐 5
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2020.06.19 20:18 BlancheFromage Tsunesaburō Makiguchi The War-Mongering Ultra-Nationalist

Pretty much everything SGI tells its members about its history, including about its founding personages, is false. Makiguchi was no pacifist. Let's look at the evidence, from Brian Daizen Victoria's paper, "Sōka Gakkai Founder, Makiguchi Tsunesaburō, A Man of Peace?:
Having revealed the “dark side” of wartime Japanese Buddhism,, I was, as a Buddhist, initially glad to learn of the putative war resistance of Makiguchi Tsunesaburō (1871-1944), founder of a Nichiren sect-affiliated, lay Buddhist organization today known as Sōka Gakkai (Value-Creating Society). When I first learned that Makiguchi had died while imprisoned for his religious beliefs, there seemed to be no question that he was a genuine martyr for Buddhism’s clear doctrinal commitment to peace. Thus, my investigation of Makiguchi’s wartime record began within the context of sincere respect for his actions. I hoped to discover what enabled this man to sustain his commitment to peace when the overwhelming majority of his fellow Japanese Buddhists, both lay and cleric, had been unable to do so.
My interest in Makiguchi and his organization only increased when, in September 1999, I attended a reception in the library of the University of Adelaide where I was then teaching. The reception was held to acknowledge the donation of some forty Sōka Gakkai-related books to the university by the Australian branch of Sōka Gakkai International (SGI). As I glanced at the titles of the donated books, I could not help but notice how many of them related in one way or another to “peace.” One of the books was entitled A Lasting Peace, a second Choose Peace, and a third, Women Against War.
This is actually a red flag, the same as when someone insists upon informing you that he is both "humble" and "well-mannered". If he genuinely were humble and well-mannered, it would be obvious; it wouldn't be worth remarking upon, certainly not from himself!
What further proof was needed of Makiguchi and Sōka Gakkai’s longstanding commitment to peace than these books?
Nevertheless, as a longtime student of the wartime era I had at least to consider the words of Yanagida Seizan (1922-2006), widely recognized as Japan’s greatest 20th century scholar of early Chan (Zen) Buddhism in China. Yanagida had described the reaction of Japan’s institutional Buddhist leaders to the end of the Asia-Pacific War in August 1945 as follows:
All of Japan’s Buddhist sects -- which had not only contributed to the war effort but had been of one heart and soul in propagating the war in their teachings -- flipped around as smoothly as one turns one’s hand and proceeded to ring the bells of peace. The leaders of Japan’s Buddhist sects had been among the leaders of the country who had egged us on by uttering big words about the righteousness [of the war]. Now, however, these same leaders acted shamelessly, thinking nothing of it.
Acting shamelessly? Isn't that the primary characteristic of Ikeda and his cult of self-worship??
Was it possible that Yanagida’s comments might extend to the leaders of lay Buddhist organizations like Sōka Gakkai as well? Sōka Gakkai adherents, of course, vehemently dismiss this possibility, pointing out that Makiguchi and his chief disciple, Toda Jōsei (a.k.a. Jōgai, 1900-1958), were clearly victims of Japanese militarism, arrested by Japan’s military-dominated government in 1943. Not only that, unrepentant and unyielding, Makiguchi died in prison of malnutrition on November 18, 1944. How then could Makiguchi been anything other than a genuine Buddhist martyr to the cause of world peace?
It will come as no surprise to learn that this is exactly the position Sōka Gakkai currently takes: “The Sōka Gakkai . . . is a peace organization, and it was one of the very few groups in Japan in the 1940s to oppose World War II. Its founding president, Makiguchi Tsunesaburō, died in a Japanese prison during the war rather than compromise his religious and pacifist beliefs.”
Similarly, the narrator of a Sōka Gakkai-distributed videotape extolling the life of Ikeda Daisaku (b. 1928), current president of Sōka Gakkai International (SGI), described the wartime imprisonment of Makiguchi and Toda as follows: “In 1943 they [Makiguchi and Toda] were arrested and jailed for their antiwar beliefs. In the face of maltreatment and abuse, Makiguchi died in prison at the age of seventy-three.”
The reality is that a total of 22 people from that group were arrested and imprisoned, and THREE of them - Makiguchi, Toda, and Shuhei Yajima - never recanted. Both Toda and Yajima were eventually released, and Yajima was right there with Toda rebuilding the Soka Gakkai - he even replaced Toda as General Director when Toda resigned due to his malfeasance in his credit cooperative collapse. Shuhei Yajima has been written out of Soka Gakkai history because who needs a third wheel (Ikeda prefers the narrative that it was Always and Only just him and Toda, to the exclusion of all others, as tight as possible a focus on just him and his "mentor") and because Yajima ended up entering the Nichiren Shoshu priesthood and becoming a full-fledged priest (along with his son after him).
Ikeda writes that Toda’s wartime imprisonment was the critical factor influencing his decision to join this organization:
The initial reason I joined the Sōka Gakkai was because I thought I could believe in Mr. Toda since he had spent two years in prison during the war for opposing militarism. I didn’t understand anything about the content of the Buddha Dharma. I believed in the person of Mr. Toda, and following “the path of unity between master and disciple” with Mr. Toda became “the path of [my] human revolution.”
Yeah, but Ikeda is candid about how much he lies when it's convenient for (or "improves") his narrative, and there are several different narratives with different scenarios for why he joined, which suggests NONE of them are actually truthful. I suspect that Ikeda was a yakuza thug sent to keep an eye on Toda and make sure he was making his racket protection payments - one persistent detail is that Ikeda joined Toda's business in collections...
The above statements notwithstanding, the question must still be asked, why had Makiguchi and Toda been arrested, especially in view of the fact that they were not arrested until July 1943, six years after Japan had begun its full-scale invasion of China and a year and a half after attacking the United States.
Also, notice that Toda and Yajima were released before the war ended, before the USA dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was not until after those events that Toda developed his fabled "antiwar" stance.
As this article will reveal, there is much more to the story of these two men’s imprisonment than mere “antiwar beliefs” or opposition to Japanese militarism.
Before exploring this issue further, however, let us briefly look at the life and thought of Sōka Gakkai’s founder, Makiguchi Tsunesaburō. Special emphasis will be placed on those secular ideas which initially garnered him the respect of some of Japan’s top military and political leaders in the 1930s as well as those later religious beliefs which eventually brought him into conflict with Japan’s wartime ideology.
The Life and Thought of Makiguchi Tsunesaburō
Makiguchi Tsunesaburō was born on June 6, 1871 in the small and impoverished village of Arahama-mura in Niigata Prefecture in northwestern Japan. Little is known about his childhood other than that his father abandoned both him and his mother soon after birth, eventually leading his mother to attempt murder-suicide by throwing herself into the Japan Sea while holding Makiguchi in her arms.
Nothing traumatic about THAT!
The end result was that an uncle, Makiguchi Zendayu, raised Makiguchi until he was about fourteen years of age. At that point the young Makiguchi decided to move to Hokkaido to live with a second uncle, Watanabe Shiroji. Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, was then in the process of being rapidly developed by migrants from Japan’s more southern islands. Eventually Makiguchi succeeded in gaining entrance to Sapporo Normal School where he trained to become a primary school teacher.
Following graduation in 1893, Makiguchi began a career in education. While he quickly became recognized as an able teacher, his pedagogical views led to frequent clashes with officials of the Ministry of Education, school inspectors, ward assemblymen, city councilmen, and top officials in the city of Tokyo where he eventually moved. This in turn resulted in frequent transfers from one school to another. For example, in Tokyo he served as principal at a total of six primary schools from 1913 to 1932 at which point his teaching career came to an end.
In late 1903 Makiguchi published a 995-page book entitled Jinsei Chirigaku (The Geography of Human Life). This book is distinguished by its focus on the mutual relationship between nature and man, rather than simply describing the physical features of the earth that was the typical approach toward geography at the time. It met wide acceptance, including among government officials, despite the fact that its author, as a normal school graduate, was seen as lacking the proper academic credentials to have written such a work. Makiguchi’s book became the standard reference in geography for students studying to take the government teachers’ exam.
Makiguchi identified two new trends emerging in the world. The first of these was already well established: the struggle for survival that in the past had led to war was gradually changing into economic rivalry between nations. In addition, Makiguchi claimed to see a day coming when economic competition would give way to what he described as “humanitarian competition” (jindōteki kyōsō) in which competition would be based on mutual benefit.
His future ideal notwithstanding, Makiguchi recognized that the world of his day was very much one based on economic rivalry. Employing military terminology, Makiguchi described this economic rivalry as follows:
Merchants should be regarded as the chief soldiers on the battlefield of real power, i.e., the battle infantry, while their merchandise constitutes the bullets. In addition, industrial manufacturers are like artillerymen, while their manufacturing sites are the cannons. Farmers and others engaged in primitive production are the quartermaster corps providing both military rations and ammunition. . . . The current government should be seen as the Imperial Military Headquarters, concentrating much of its peacetime efforts on drawing up battle plans [for the economy]. Similarly, government officials and other parasitic professions are like specialized soldiers of various types who are responsible for protecting and assisting the main fighting force.
The above passage suggests that Makiguchi was very much a realist when it came to the military-like nature of economic competition. One is tempted to see in Makiguchi’s writings the blueprint for what came to be popularly known in the postwar era as “Japan, Inc.” This said, it should not be forgotten that similar thinking lay behind the 1930s mobilization of the nation’s human and economic resources to fight “total war,” with all production workers assuming the title of “industrial warriors” (sangyō senshi).
In other words, Makiguchi was no "visionary"; he simply perceived what was going on and drew the same conclusions others had.
If in one sense Makiguchi was a man ahead of his times, in another sense he was very much a man ‘of his times’. That is to say, Makiguchi singled out Czarist Russia as one of the nations blocking the world’s transition to purely economic rivalry. Additionally, its expansionist policies posed a military threat as well. According to Makiguchi:
Nations like Russia still employ the authoritarian methods of old to enlarge their national territory. . . . It is my view that the sole cause of the present danger to world peace is Russia’s promotion of its own viability. That is to say, in the present age of economic struggle for existence, Russia seeks to exploit weaknesses among the international powers in order to acquire what it must have -- access to the oceans. Thus it is in the process of expanding in three directions, from the Dardanelle Straits in eastern Europe to the Persian Gulf in western Asia and the Yellow Sea in the Far East.
In identifying Russia as solely responsible for endangering world peace, Makiguchi allied himself with the views of the Japanese government of his day. The following year Japan launched a surprise attack on Russia, ostensibly to “protect Korea’s independence” and prevent further Russian encroachments on Chinese territory, especially Manchuria. Following its victory over Russia in 1905, Japan started to take over Korea for itself, turning it into a full-fledged colony in 1910. As for Manchuria, Japan steadily increased its control of this area so rich in the natural resources Japan needed to develop its economic and military might.
Did Makiguchi, perchance, view Japan’s own colonial expansion as a threat to world peace?
A second book
The answer to this question is contained in a second book Makiguchi wrote that was published in November 1912. Entitled Kyōdoka Kenkyū (Study of Folk Culture), this volume was an extension of the ideas contained in Jinsei Chirigaku with special emphasis on their relevance to the life and structures of local communities. The publication date is significant because two years had already elapsed since Japan’s annexation of Korea. If Makiguchi were an ‘anti-imperialist,’ or in any way opposed to Japan’s expansion onto the Asian continent, this would surely have been his chance to say so.
But he didn't.
Makiguchi’s new book, like its predecessor, enjoyed a wide readership resulting in ten reprintings over the next twenty years. Significantly, the tenth reprinting, appearing in April 1933, was both a revised and expanded edition. Moreover, the publisher of this new edition was Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai, with Toda Jōsei listed as the organization’s representative. Although in 1946 Sōka Gakkai dropped the word kyōiku (education) from its title, journalist Murata Kiyoaki notes: “Sōka Gakkai considers November 18, 1930 . . . the founding date of its prewar predecessor although formal inauguration came later.”
Murata’s quotation is significant because it means that the new 1933 edition of Kyōdoka Kenkyū must be considered representative not only of Makiguchi’s own thinking in 1912 but that of Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai in 1933. The 1933 date is also important because, as historian Hugh Borton states, “By February 1932 Japan was already well along the fascist road.” Were Makiguchi and his followers, including Toda Jōsei, taking the same road less than a year later?
In Makiguchi’s defense, the preface to the 1933 edition supports an assertion made by Murata that Makiguchi’s approach to education “was bound to clash with the ‘orthodox’ theory of government educational authorities, who wanted to establish a highly centralized educational system.” That is to say, while in his new preface Makiguchi expressed satisfaction that interest in issues related to rural education had increased significantly since his book was first published in 1912, he nevertheless lamented the fact that this newfound interest was being fostered not by local educators themselves but “as always, the impetus is coming from bureaucrats in the central government . . .”
Makiguchi explained that his goal was to see rural educators take the lead in developing educational initiatives attuned to their own communities. Nevertheless, the critical question concerns the end to which Makiguchi believed rural education should be directed. In the book’s concluding chapter Makiguchi wrote:
Regardless of social class, everyone should be conscious of the nation’s destiny, harmonizing their lives with that destiny and, at all times, prepared to share that destiny. It is for this reason that the work of national education is to prepare us to do exactly this, omitting nothing in the process. . . . However, in order to do this, and prior to placing ourselves in service to the state, we should first contribute to the local area that has nurtured us and with which we share common interests.
In reflecting on these words, it should first be noted that Makiguchi wrote the above specifically for the enlarged 1933 edition. Despite championing rural education under local control, in 1933 both he and Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai shared a vision of education that was as ‘state-centered’ as any of his contemporaries. Only a few years later, millions of young Japanese would be called on to sacrifice their own lives, not to mention those of their victims, in the process of “placing [them]selves in service to the state.” Makiguchi’s quarrel with the central government’s bureaucrats was thus not about whether or not service to the state should be promoted, but simply how best to attain that goal.
If, as the above quote suggests, Makiguchi believed the ultimate goal of rural education was to serve the state, what was the emperor’s role in this? Though critical of patriotism based on “superficial reasons,” Makiguchi wrote:
His Majesty, the Emperor, on whom is centered the exercise of Imperial authority, exercises this through his military and civilian officials. *The reason he exercises this authority is definitely not for his own benefit. Rather, as leader and head of the entire nation, he graciously exerts himself on behalf of all the people. It is for this reason that in our country, the state and the emperor, as head of state, should be thought of as completely one and indivisible. We must make our children thoroughly understand that loyal service to their sovereign is synonymous with love of country. *. . I believe it is only by so doing that we can clarify the true meaning of the phrase “loyalty to one’s sovereign and love of country” (chūkun aikoku).
You'll notice Ikeda quickly adopted this same attitude - that he was the essence of the Soka Gakkai and that he was "graciously exerting himself for the happiness of all people" and suchlike bushwah. You can see that exact sentiment expressed in Ikeda's definition of "democracy". See also these comments:
Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, fondly referred to as ‘Sensei’ or ‘teacher’ in Japanese, is a global peace philosopher, who has devoted his entire life for the happiness of humankind...In his 62 years of practicing this philosophy, he has exerted millions of kalpas of effort...so as to create a beautiful world. ...I feel his spirit pulsating in my life. But I need to exert millions of kalpas of effort, just like him, and be his sword at all times. ... One world with Sensei! Source
In urging his fellow educators to make the nation’s children “thoroughly understand that loyal service to their sovereign is synonymous with love of country” we once again find Makiguchi situated squarely in the mainstream of the ultra-nationalism that increasingly characterized the 1930s. In May 1937, for example, the Ministry of Education published a pamphlet entitled Kokutai no Hongi (True Meaning of the National Polity). School children were admonished “to live for the great glory and dignity of the emperor, abandoning the small ego, and thus expressing our true life as a people.” By July 1941, in a second Ministry of Education tract called Shinmin no Michi (Way of the Subject), the entire Japanese people were instructed that “even in our private lives we always remember to unite with the emperor and serve the state.”
As of 1933, Makiguchi advocated the widely held proposition that loyal service to the emperor and state was of paramount importance, synonymous with love of country. It was exactly this educational ideology that provided the foundation for the Japanese military’s demand for absolute and unquestioning obedience from its soldiers, claiming “the orders of one’s superiors are the orders of the emperor.”
Korea and China
In the 1933 edition, Makiguchi also touched on Japan’s colonization of Korea. Makiguchi claimed that Korea, prior to being annexed by Japan in August 1910, had long been in a state of anarchy, leaving it unable to either defend itself or protect its citizens. Not only that, the Chinese people presently found themselves in exactly the same situation.
The clear implication of the latter claim was that China, like Korea before it, would greatly benefit from Japanese control. Needless to say, this was a sentiment shared by the Japanese government as seen, for example, in the Amau Statement of April 1934 issued by its Foreign Ministry. China, the statement declared, was not to avail itself of the assistance of any country other than Japan. As Hugh Borton notes: “Any individual or concerted action by the Western powers to bolster the faltering resistance of China would not be countenanced by Japan. If China was to be a unified nation, it would be so at the sufferance of Japan and under its tutelage.”
This said, it is equally clear that Makiguchi’s chief concern in writing favorably about Japan’s expansion onto the Asian continent was, as ever, directed toward the manner in which Japan’s children were to be educated. Makiguchi saw in a discussion of Korea’s recent past and China’s present, a golden opportunity to demonstrate to Japanese children just how fortunate they were to be living in Japan.
In the Soka Gakkai and its international SGI colonies, we see the same "Japanese supremacy" attitude.
Makiguchi continued:
It is when we look at these concrete examples [of Korea and China] that thoughts about our own country emerge. . . . The result is that we cannot help but feel grateful and want to repay the debt of gratitude we owe [the state]. . . .
The practical application of the study of folk culture is to provide the fundamental basis for an understanding of the state by having [our children] look at situations like these that are right before their very eyes. I feel very deeply that we must vigorously seek to create persons of character who will in the future lead a state-centered life, having first acquired the germ of the idea of serving the state at the town and village levels.
Makiguchi demonstrates yet again that his ultimate concern was implanting in Japan’s children a willingness to serve the state. Makiguchi simply believed he knew how to do this in a more effective way than the central government’s bureaucrats who showed such little concern and understanding of local conditions.
Makiguchi was not alone in his opinions, for at the time of the creation of Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai in 1930 he enjoyed the support of some of Japan’s most prominent citizens. For example, when he published the first volume of his Sōka Kyōikugaku Taikei (Value-Creating Pedagogical System) in 1930, then Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi (1855-1932), who presided over the Japanese invasion of Shanghai in January 1932 and the establishment of Japan’s puppet state of Manchukuo the following month, provided a calligraphic endorsement in classical Chinese.
Further evidence showing the support Makiguchi enjoyed is contained in the ninth issue of Kankyō (Environment), a magazine created to promote his ideas on educational reform. Dated November 20, 1930, the ninth issue contained a statement endorsing Makiguchi’s efforts signed by twenty-eight prominent individuals, beginning with Inukai Tsuyoshi, but also including Imperial Navy Admiral Nomaguchi Kaneo (1866-1943), Minister of Justice Watanabe Chifuyu (1876-1940), Supreme Court Judge Miyake Shōtarō (1887-1949), and many other prominent political and business leaders. Their endorsement concluded:
In recognition of [Makiguchi’s] merits and with deep respect for his character, and to show our respect for his efforts toward the perfecting of his invaluable educational system, it is our duty, and is moreover a great privilege allowed those of us who know him, to extend him our moral support. To this end we are herewith honored to establish this group to support Value-Creating Pedagogy.
Nichiren Shōshū
In June 1928 Makiguchi converted to Nichiren Shōshū (Orthodox Nichiren sect).
Because Makiguchi lost an argument.
At the time of his conversion, Nichiren Shōshū was a very small branch of the overall Nichiren sect. In a government survey conducted at the end of 1939 it had only seventy-five affiliated temples and fifty-two priests. This compares with a total of 4,962 temples and 4,451 priests for all other Nichiren branches. Its small size, however, did not deter this branch from claiming that it alone had faithfully preserved Nichiren’s teachings, teachings which represented the only authentic religious truth extant in the world.
Nichiren Shōshū’s claim to unique possession of universal religious truth did not prevent its clerical leaders from participating in the ultranationalist frenzy of the day. Representative of these is Arimoto Kōga (1867-1936), former director-general of religious affairs for the branch and abbot of Myōkōji temple in Tokyo. In September 1929 Kōga created the “Society to Protect the Nation through the Orthodox Teaching” (Seikyō Gokoku-kai) with headquarters at his temple. This was in direct response to a decree issued by the Ministry of Education earlier in the same year calling for a general spiritual mobilization of the people.
The prospectus Kōga drew up for the new organization ended with the following injunction:
Now is unquestionably the time for we [sic] religious leaders to be active, to advance, and to struggle. . . .We must not only stand in the front echelons but in the second and third echelons. We must move forward, doing our utmost to develop a fighting spirit that will guide the entire military.
Protecting the state is our duty. Guiding the people is our responsibility. That is to say, we have created this association in order to rally all the people of this nation, totally devoting ourselves to using the power of the orthodox teaching [of Nichiren] to maintain law and order in the state. Furthermore, we seek to employ the majesty of the true [Buddha]-Dharma to preserve social order, thereby sweeping back the tide of rapidly falling public morals. Isn’t this the original mission of Buddhism?
Kōga’s ultranationalist activities by no means ended with the creation of the above organization. On March 25, 1933, he published a thirty-five-page pamphlet entitled “Proclamation for the Celebration of the Flag Festival.” The first chapter contained the following statement:
It is the state that the people must protect with their blood and defend to the death. Similarly, the people must protect the national flag with their blood and defend it to the death. The national flag is sacred and therefore no one, under any circumstances, can be allowed to insult or encroach upon it.
Branch Leadership
There is, of course, a danger in reaching conclusions about the political orientation of an entire branch based on the actions of only one priest, no matter how powerful a figure he may have been. Yet, as religious critic Ōki Michiyoshi notes: “There is general agreement between Kōga’s thinking and that of the branch as a whole. . .” The truth of Ōki’s assertion is nowhere better illustrated than in the following “exhortation” (kun’yu) issued by Suzuki Nikkyō (1869-1945), head of Nichiren Shōshū, on December 8, 1941, the date (in Japan) of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor:
Today we are truly carried away in everlasting emotion and stand awestruck at the glittering Imperial Edict declaring war on the United States and Britain that has been so graciously bestowed upon us. . . .We are fortunate in having an army and navy that is incomparably loyal and brave under the August Virtue of His Majesty, the Emperor. Our gratitude is boundless for the wondrous fruits of battle that have already been achieved on the first day of the war and look forward to a bright future. However, in view of the environment we find ourselves in, this next great war requires that we be prepared for the inevitability of a long struggle.
Therefore, adherents of this sect must, in obedience to the Holy Mind [of the Emperor] and in accordance with the parting instructions of the Buddha and Patriarchs, brandish the religious faith acquired through years of training, surmount all difficulties with untiring perseverance, and do their duty to the utmost, confident of certain victory in this great war of unprecedented proportions.
In January of the previous year, for example, Nikkyō had expressed his sect’s “unending gratitude and enthusiasm” for the imperial military’s accomplishments in its war against China, urging his fellow Japanese to work ever harder “to accomplish the goal of constructing a new East Asia.”
Having noted this branch’s fervent endorsement of Japan’s war effort, it is important to examine just what it was about the emperor that made his mind “holy” as quoted above. That is to say, did Nikkyō, as the branch’s head, subscribe to the then prevalent belief that the emperor was a divine descendant of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu Ōmikami?
The answer to this question is contained in yet another article written by Nikkyō appearing in the April 1942 issue of the sect’s monthly organ, Dai-Nichiren (Great Nichiren). Entitled “The True Meaning of Religious Faith” (Shinkō no Hongi), Nikkyō described the relationship between Nichiren, Japan and the Imperial family as follows:
Because of his love for his birthplace, Saint [Nichiren] referred to it as Awa no kuni [lit. “province of safe refuge”]. Were I now to speculate what he meant by these words, I suggest that he wanted us to realize just what a joy it is to have been born in this Imperial land, with its unbroken line of emperors reigning over an incomparable national polity, the Imperial ancestress of whom is Amaterasu Ōmikami, the object of our respectful reverence.
As the above makes clear, the leadership of Nichiren Shōshū had no difficulty in revering Amaterasu, a Shintō goddess, or recognizing the emperor as her descendent and therefore partaking of her divinity. This said, it is noteworthy that the only way Nikkyō was able to connect Nichiren directly to his emperor-centric viewpoint was by speculating on what the latter had in mind when he referred to his birthplace as a “province of safe refuge.” The fact that Awa (safe refuge) is actually a place name, used in pre-modern Japan to refer to the southern part of present-day Chiba Prefecture where Nichiren was born, makes this connection even more tenuous. No matter how flimsy the pretext, Nikkyō was willing to employ it in his effort to turn Nichiren into an advocate of modern Japanese ultra-nationalism.
Let us turn next to Nikkyō’s opinion of American and English society by comparison with that of Japan:
Why is it that the Americans and British are being defeated, i.e., why are they so weak? It is because, unlike we [sic] Japanese, they have an unhealthy national polity, lacking in the concepts of loyalty and filial piety serving to unite together as one all segments of their societies. The Japanese people, on the other hand, enjoy total unity between the front lines and those in the rear, all harboring the desire to repay the debt of gratitude they owe the state with their death. All the people of this country, having become soldiers, possess a spirit united in accomplishing the goals of this holy war through becoming balls of fire. It is exactly for this reason that the imperial military has been invincible in its advance through the Philippines and Malaya, the object of admiration by the whole world.
What is striking here is just how similar Nikkyō’s view of the Western enemy is to that held by such figures as Yasutani Haku’un or the many other institutional Buddhist leaders introduced in my book Zen at War. In one sense this is not surprising, for despite its image as a “new religion,” Nichiren Shōshū, unlike its lay subsidiary Sōka Gakkai, has had a long history and was very much a part, albeit a small part, of traditional institutional Japanese Buddhism. Its roots can be readily traced back to Nikkō (1246-1333), one of Nichiren’s six chief disciples, who shortly after his master’s death quarreled with his fellow disciples over doctrinal matters. Over time this led to the formation of Nichiren Shōshū, the head temple of which remains Taisekiji located in Fujinomiya near Mt. Fuji.
Taisekiji temple
During Japan’s long medieval period, Nichiren Shōshū, like the branches of all traditional Buddhist sects, accepted its role as one element of a de facto state religion. Furthermore, with the existence of institutional Buddhism as a whole threatened by the Meiji government’s adoption of an emperor-centric version of Shinto, i.e., “State Shinto,” it is not surprising that institutional Buddhist leaders of whatever sect ended up promoting an extreme form of nationalism that emphasized absolute subservience to the state, emperor worship, and ethnic chauvinism. In this sense, Nichiren Shōshū was no different than the other branches of traditional Buddhist sects that sought to demonstrate their ongoing usefulness to the state.
Continued below:
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