Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2007 Letter to Kumite

Dear Kumite,

This letter contains information that I feel is important for all kumite. Please read it through once, and think about it for at least a little while. Imagine the consequences if you found proof that Yoshikazu Okada did not receive revelations from God. What would you do? I'm not sure if I have absolute proof, but I do have some strong evidence, which I have summarized in this letter. You can easily verify much of this evidence for yourselves from Sukyo Mahikari publications and other cited sources, so please do not brush it off as merely the words of 'evil spirits'.

I've always admired the sincerity, unstinting effort, and large-heartedness of Sukyo Mahikari members, even though I left Mahikari some years ago and no longer believe the teachings. Could all that sincerity and effort be misdirected? I needed to be 100% sure, so a couple of years ago I began a quest to find proof of whether or not Yoshikazu Okada's teachings are correct.

I did find enough evidence for me to feel quite sure that Okada's teachings are not true, but by then I really wanted to know why Okada started the Mahikari organization. Did he deliberately set out to con people (and if so why), or did Okada genuinely believe what he taught?

In pursuit of that answer, I found a surprising number of examples of provable deception. Some of these are summarized below, and I hope you will evaluate this evidence for yourselves. Of course, it is entirely up to you to decide whether or not you think these items are significant, but I feel honor-bound to at least share them with you.

1. Mr. Tomita lied about SKK.
You are probably already aware that Yoshikazu Okada and Ms. Okada were members of Sekai Kyusei Kyo (SKK) from about 1947, and that Y. Okada was an SKK staff member from about 1949 to 1953. There are a number of academic studies of Sukyo Mahikari that mention this, and the online Shinto Encyclopedia also states that Y. Okada served as the head of a branch of SKK ( http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/entry.php?entryID=638). Verbal confirmation from SKK staff is reported on the Logan website at http://home.earthlink.net/~delogan/expstory.htm. Even so, in a letter written on behalf of Ms. Okada in 1994, Kazumi Tomita claimed that Y. Okada studied the Jorei [SKK] organization, but it is not true that he was a member of it. A scanned copy of this letter can be seen at: http://mahikariexposed.com/letter.htm. Ms. Okada, and probably Mr. Tomita too, must have known this was a lie. Why was it so important to hide Y. Okada's SKK past?

2. The dog story and/or the first revelation cannot be true.
You probably remember the story about how Y. Okada wondered if he was being tricked by a fox or badger spirit when he received the revelation from God that included the words Rise. Your name shall be Kotama. Raise your hand. The world shall enter severe times. So, at first Okada did nothing. Then, when walking down the street, he saw a sick dog, raised his hand, and the dog became well. As a result, Okada had the confidence to begin giving tekazashi to people. The dog story gives the impression that tekazashi was something new and unbelievable to Okada. However, he had practiced the SKK version of tekazashi for years. How could he have been surprised? This photo shows people performing the SKK style of tekazashi (note the different symbol on the box, far right).

3. Okada was called "Kotama" before 1959.
Okada himself mentions this dog incident on pp. 280-281 of Gotaidanshu (a collection of interviews with Okada published in 1985). Okada said, It was 27 February 1959, I think, when I was worshipping God at home, and I heard a loud voice say, "Thy name shall be Kotama. The world shall enter severe times." My daughter said..."if God gives you a name, you should ask him for a little more elaborate name." I said, "It's not right to complain." So, I called myself Kotama. Then He said to me, "Raise the hand and cure people of diseases."... For about a week, I was not at all inclined to act on this. However, without planning it, I tried raising my hand to a dog, and this cured the dog. Here Okada is clearly claiming that God gave him the name Kotama as part of the February 27 revelation, and that he started using the name Kotama from that time. However, according to SKK sources and various people writing for the Japanese-language online Mahikari discussion groups, SKK members habitually addressed Okada as Kotama Sensei (teacher) when he was an SKK staff member, years before the 1959 date given for the above revelation.

4. Raise the hand and cure people of diseases.
You will notice in the above that Okada quotes God as saying, not just Raise the hand, but Raise the hand and cure people of diseases. Why, then, does the Sukyo Mahikari North America website (at http://www.sukyo-mahikari.org/) say It is emphasized that the Art of True Light is not a healing art ?

5. Who has edited Goseigen?
You probably also noticed that Okada quoted God as saying, Thy name shall be Kotama. The world shall enter severe times. Later (Okada does not say how much later), Okada mentions the "raise the hand and cure peopleĆ¢€¦" part. This change in sequence of God's instructions might seem like a minor point at first (deleting the healing part is not minor). However, if you look at the 1973 Japanese edition of Goseigen, you will see that the text of this revelation does say, Thy name shall be Kotama. The world shall enter severe times. In the 1973 edition, there is nothing in this revelation at all about raising the hand. Why? The 1969 edition includes "raise the hand", and the current edition does too, but this text does not match the above quote from Okada in Gotaindanshu. Has someone been editing the words that supposedly came from God? And if so, who? This raises a sticky question. If Okada (or the Mahikari organization) really believed that the content of the revelations were the words of God, would they have dared change even one word?

6. Which Shinto authorities performed the Tenjo investigation?
Okada perhaps anticipated that people might think he had made up the revelations himself, and the revelations are the main "evidence" of Okada being some sort of special soul. According to the secondary kenshu textbook, the Shinto sects who considered themselves to be the legitimate religion were suspicious of Okada and asked permission to investigate his soul. We are told that a Shinto divination technique, called Tenjo, was used to ask God about Okada's soul, and that the Shinto authorities were amazed to discover that Okada was the Soul of Yo. Who exactly were these "Shinto authorities"? According to printed matter seen by people writing on the online Japanese Mahikari discussion sites, this Tenjo investigation was conducted by either Makoto no Michi (co-founded by Dr. Nobuo Shioya in 1948 and previously known as the Chidorikai psychic research group), or by its offshoot Makoto no Michi Kyokai (founded by Dr. Shioya around 1955). There is a little information about Makoto no Michi at http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/entry.php?entryID=617. These groups were new minor post-war psychic/religious groups, rather than generally accepted Shinto authorities. Since we've not seen the printed matter mentioned above (we've just read about it), perhaps you could check this information by asking senior Sukyo Mahikari staff where Okada's Tenjo investigation was performed.

7. Omine Rosen and Yo.
To return to the problematic dog story for a moment, kumite might think that Okada was surprised by being told to raise the hand because he was no longer an SKK member (and presumably no longer wore the SKK "omitama"). However, it would seem that Okada had a close association with Makoto no Michi in the late 50s and early 60s, and the members of that group perform tekazashi without any sort of omitama. For those that read Japanese, there is a lot of information concerning Makoto no Michi at http://www.makoto.or.jp/. According to this site, specially trained members receive revelations from the divine spirit world via guiding spirits, including a spirit known as Omine Rosen. Makoto no Michi people use Tenjo and other forms of automatic writing to conduct divinations, and use seance-like techniques to receive "revelations" from spirits. Page 7 of the 2004 primary kenshu text book tells us that points (1) to (4) of the explanations of the role of Yo are based on divine revelations which Dr. Shioya received from Omine Rosen on Dec. 24, 1948. Since his role of Yo is a cornerstone of Y. Okada's teachings, this implies that Okada had a very close connection with, and enormous respect for, Dr. Shioya and the spirit known as Omine Rosen.

8. Origin of the "Mahikari" name.
The above kenshu text indicates some sort of connection with Dr. Shioya, but written material from a March 1962 Makoto no Michi Kyokai journal, quoted by a writer on the Japanese discussion sites, suggests that Okada was a member of that group. Apparently, some sort of divination technique was used to assign each member (referred to as a "kumite") one of the 50 Japanese syllables as his or her role, and Okada is referred to as a "Yo" person. He appears to also have been a group leader, and his group is referred to as the "Mahikari" group. The intriguing thing is that, at the time this journal was published, Okada's spiritual organization was still called L. H. Yokoshi Tomo no Kai. (Okada changed the name to Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyodan [SMBK] in November 1963.) What does this signify? Did Okada name his organization after a Makoto no Michi group? Did Okada's group within Makoto no Michi perhaps break away, under Okada's leadership, and form a separate new religion? We simply don't have enough facts concerning this time to know what happened, but something is odd.

9. Buddha's "after 3,000 years" prediction.
According to primary kenshu, Buddha predicted that, After 3,000 years a man will appear from ordinary folk who will reveal the correct (righteous) laws and teachings. It is claimed (or implied) that this man was Yoshikazu Okada. A quick Internet search on Buddha will show that most Buddhists believe that Buddha lived about 2,500 years ago. The Nichiren school, though, does claim that Buddha lived about 3,000 years ago, which may be what Okada had in mind when he quoted the above. However, over the last few years, Koya Okada has mentioned Buddha in his teachings on several occasions, and each time he has said that Buddha lived around 2,500 years ago. Incidentally, some Buddhist predictions mention the coming of the Maitreya after the teachings of the current Buddha are completely forgotten, or after 5,000 years. Have any of you actually seen the text that contains the 3,000 years prediction?

10. Einstein and God.
Again from primary kenshu, on the subject of mesons, Y. Okada quotes Einstein as saying, There is will in the universe (cosmic consciousness), and Okada interprets this as meaning that Einstein was referring to God. Somehow, Okada makes it sound like Einstein, if still alive, would have been in agreement with Okada's teachings concerning mesons, high energy particles, and the Principle of Pa. However, if you read Albert Einstein's 1939 article entitled Science and Religion, you will see that Einstein did not believe in God. It would be interesting to know the source and context of the above quote from Einstein.

11. The St Dennis of Zante hoax.
Most of you probably know by now that the St. Dennis of Zante decoration that Y. Okada was supposedly awarded by the International American Institute (Daiseishu, p. 175) was a hoax. For those who have not heard about this, there is an explanation of the hoax under Credibility? on the Mahikari Exposed site at http://mahikariexposed.com/mahikari.htm. This site seems to suggest that Okada was the victim of this hoax. However, according to Daiseishu, there were no representatives of the International American Institute at the glittering reception held to award this decoration to Okada. The award was presented and the speeches were made by a Japanese politician and a banker, supposedly on behalf of "the sponsors". It is hard to imagine what actually happened. Did Okada receive the medal in the mail? If this was a genuine award, surely the people giving the award would have hosted the reception and been eager to present the award in person. Did Mahikari staff organize the reception and ask the Japanese dignitaries to "represent" the sponsors (since there were no genuine sponsors)? Okada, at least, must have known the award was not genuine.

12. Okada's war debts.
According to various Sukyo Mahikari publications, Okada had massive debts to pay off after the war due to the bombing of his factories. We are told that he sold boots immediately after the war, and that he worked for the Tada construction company from 1949 until he resigned to start the Mahikari organization in 1959. We are told that his prime focus during those years was paying off those enormous debts, and that he did not complete paying them off till just before the revelation discussed above. Okada himself said that he was disinclined to believe that revelation because he was a businessman who had been solely concerned with paying off war debts. We now know that Okada was employed as an SKK staff member from 1949 to 1953, but Sukyo Mahikari claims he was working for Tada at that time. In addition, Okada claimed (in taped teachings transcribed in the August 2002 Sukyo Mahikari International Journal) that he trained at a Buddhist temple. According to the details mentioned in that story, this training must have spanned at least 18 months. No dates are given, but that also must have been during the years when he was supposedly working for the Tada construction company. If Okada was really focused on paying off debts (if the debts in fact existed), would he have spent time on SKK and Buddhist training? Some of these claims may be true, but they can't all be!

13. War criminal.
Finally, again from Daiseishu, you may remember the various mentions of Kiyoharu Tomomori, a senior staff member in SMBK and later in Sukyo Mahikari. There is a long story by Tomomori in which he reminisces about his time at the military academy with Yoshikazu Okada (pp. 15-19). Tomomori led the group who accompanied Okada on his 1973 trip to Europe (p. 185). Tomomori, as one of Okada's long-term friends, held his hands as he died (p. 223). Tomomori is also mentioned several times in the account of the court proceedings at the time of the split into factions after Okada's death, which you can see at http://mahikariexposed.com/truth1.htm. According to this site, Tomomori cautioned Ms. Okada to not take any action without first consulting with him. He represented her faction in discussions, and accompanied her in court. You perhaps mistrust this information related to the court case, since it was originally published by SMBK, but it does suggest that Tomomori was quite an influential figure in the formation of Sukyo Mahikari. According to an official list of war criminals at http://home.comcast.net/%7Ewinjerd/IMTFE_2.htm, Kiyoharu Tomomori was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death (later changed to life imprisonment) at the Yokohama war trials. You can easily check this information for yourself from the links and references provided under Okada, Sukyo Mahikari, and the Japanese Military (Parts 1 to 3) in the February and March archives of the After Mahikari blogsite at http://anne987.blogspot.com/2007_03_01_archive.html.

So, what is the relevance to me of all the above? Sometime during the early stages of my involvement in Sukyo Mahikari, I decided that Y. Okada knew more about how the universe really works than I did, simply because okiyome seemed to be a good thing. With time, this morphed into believing that everything Okada said was absolutely true, although I don't remember ever consciously deciding that. In adopting that belief I, in effect, gave Sukyo Mahikari almost complete control over my life. It enabled them to convince me that I had enormous sins and impurities from my previous lives, despite the fact that I had no evidence of that (other than the content of Okada's teachings), and that I should do everything possible to erase those impurities. It enabled them to convince me that there are previous lives, again without any hard evidence, and that our lives are determined by our karma (no hard evidence).

The belief that everything Okada said was true led me to channel my altruism into countless hours of giving light. It made me devote all my energy to helping to save the world, and made me think that the practice and promotion of Sukyo Mahikari was the most effective way of doing that. Okada's teachings encouraged me to think that human wisdom is worthless, and that human emotions are largely controlled by attaching spirits (again no hard evidence). These teachings implied that my own thoughts and feelings were unreliable, and that I should therefore just do what Okada said (what Sukyo Mahikari said).

Now, I admit that I cannot disprove any of the teachings about the unseen world. However, the starting point for me "giving" Sukyo Mahikari the above degree of control over my life was that less-than-conscious decision to believe that everything Okada said was absolutely true. Would I have decided to believe that if I had known, at that time, that Okada lied about the dog story, the tenjo investigation, the name Kotama, the Zante award, etc.? Or, would I have trusted that the Sukyo Mahikari organization passed on Okada's teachings correctly if I had known that they had lied about Okada's SKK past, hidden his connection to Makoto no Michi, and distorted the doctrine concerning healing?

Looking back, I find it hard to believe that I accepted Okada's unverifiable claim that he received revelations from God, and that he therefore spoke the absolute truth about the universe. That was an extremely flimsy basis for giving away years of sincerity and effort.

After years of practicing Sukyo Mahikari, perhaps you feel, as I did, that you have proved the truth of Okada's teachings by your own experience. The way I interpreted my experiences, however, was governed by my beliefs. One simple example would be the kenshu promise of ken wa fu. If someone becomes ill despite practicing Sukyo Mahikari for years, a non-member might interpret that as proof that Sukyo Mahikari does not "work". However, since members are taught to believe that they have a lot of negative karma that needs to be erased, a member will probably interpret a serious illness as a wonderful opportunity to erase impurities. These are two very different interpretations of the same experience, and the key belief responsible for that difference in interpretation is the unprovable belief that the sick person has heavy karma.

When I joined Sukyo Mahikari, I did not have access to any of the information outlined in the above summary. My decision to believe Y. Okada's claims was not a fully informed decision. I imagine yours wasn't, either.

I hate to think that your efforts to make a difference in this world might be going to waste. When I left Mahikari, I did not leave behind my desire to make a difference, or my desire to know the truth. I did, however, learn to be very wary of being misled by any "gurus" who claim to have superior knowledge about unseen, unprovable matters.

Best wishes,


PS: I believe that all members of Sukyo Mahikari, and all former members, have a right to know about the findings outlined above. Since kumite tend not to read Mahikari-related information on the Internet, I hope that some of you who are reading this will want to pass this on to other current and/or former members. (Give them the URL for this page, print this page and give it to them, or just talk to them.)


See the evidence for yourself

I've just discovered a mistake in the above letter. Sorry! In Item 5 above, I mentioned that the first revelation in the 1969 edition of Goseigen includes the words 'Raise your hand'. It does not.

The words 'Raise your hand' (te o kazase) are not included in the text of the first revelation as published in both the first and third editions of Goseigen. This means that 'Raise your hand' was not part of the text published in Goseigen until the fourth edition, or later.

This raises a number of questions. Who inserted 'Raise your hand' into the Goseigen text? When? And Why?

My mistake arose because the person who sent me photocopies of the "1969" edition thought it was a 1969 edition on the basis of the date at the end of Y. Okada's preface. There is no publication date given in that edition. It is now clear that this edition must have been published after Y. Okada's death, because Ms. Okada is shown on the publication details page as being the copyright holder. This must have been either the fourth edition or a later edition.

I've just received a photocopy of parts of the first edition of Goseigen...the real first edition this time! According to the publication details page, this was actually published on January 1, 1970, even though the preface is dated 1969. It does not say if this is the first edition, but the publication details page of the 1973 edition says that the first edition of Goseigen was published in 1970.

I've posted scanned images of the relevant pages so that you can see for yourselves that text has been added in later editions of Goseigen. Just click on the "See the evidence for yourself" link.

If 'Raise your hand' was not originally part of that revelation, the first implication is that the dog story discussed above has no credibility at all. Why would Okada need to test out tekazashi in response to that revelation in 1959, as claimed in the intermediate kenshu textbook (1983), if the revelation did not include the words 'Raise your hand'? The next implication is that someone has edited the 'words of God'. Was this Y. Okada, or someone else?

The current SMBK edition of Goseigen has the same wording as the current Sukyo Mahikari edition, that is, it does include the words 'Raise your hand'. This suggests that 'Raise your hand' was first included in the text published in Goseigen either just before or almost immediately after Y. Okada's death in June 1974. If either faction of Mahikari had added these words after the split occurred, then these words would not appear in both the current versions of Goseigen. In any case, these words did not appear in the text published in Goseigen until the next (or later) edition after the 1973 edition.

If we assume that God exists and that God gave Y. Okada the revelations that he published in Goseigen, then the exact content of those revelations would obviously be a secret between Okada and God. It is possible that Okada decided, for some reason, to omit those three words temporarily when he authorized publication of the first few editions of Goseigen. However, he did not indicate in any way that he had omitted anything at that place in the text (even though he did indicate an omission earlier in that paragraph). Since we are told that Okada enthusiastically promoted tekazashi as a core activity of his organization, it seems highly unlikely that he would have chosen to omit those particular words from the published text (if God had in fact told him to 'Raise your hand'). It seems much more likely that either he or someone else added in those three words sometime after March 1, 1973.

Since I don't know the date of publication of the fourth edition of Goseigen (if that is in fact the edition in which 'Raise your hand' first appeared), I don't know if that edition would have been authorized by Y. Okada or someone else. I wonder if the photocopies I was originally sent are from the first edition that included 'Raise your hand'? You'll notice that the scanned copies of the relevant revelation look identical, exept for the addition of those few characters. The publication details from that edition look highly irregular. There is no publication date at all, and no publisher is shown. The publication details page shows Y. Okada as the person who received the revelations, and shows Ms. Okada as the copyright holder. (Is she really the copyright holder?) Was this edition deliberately left undated so that kumite would not know when 'Raise your hand' was first included in Goseigen?

Perhaps the most far-reaching implication, for those who believe that Goseigen contains the words of God, is that it is highly likely that God did not say "Raise your hand". Why, exactly, have we all spent 1,000s of hours raising our hands?

The above discovery highlights the fundamental problem with any revelation claims. How do we know that God said any of the things that Y. Okada claimed were the words of God? In addition, how do we know that Y. Okada actually said any of the things that Sukyo Mahikari material, published after his death, claims he said?

Sukyo Mahikari might claim that God told Y. Okada to raise his hand at some other time, as they suggest in the "Sukyo Mahikari 30-Year Chronicle". However, this does not alter the fact that, according to the 1970 and 1973 editions of Goseigen, 'Raise your hand' was not part of that highly significant 1959 revelation, and later editions of Goseigen say that it was.

See the evidence for yourself