and the Letter
George (who is in his 80's) phoned me saying: “I got a letter from the temple.”
I asked: “What does it say?”
He started to read: “Dear SGI or former NSA member, Please pay attention to the following points that I wish to make for your sake. Error has crept into the philosophy of SGI believers, and although this error (or these errors) may seem to you to be small or insignificant, this is not so. Correct faith and practice have always been the cornerstone of Nichiren Shoshu, and by following the wrong religion, you will wind up in hell....”
He told me that it was signed by Rev. Shoshin Kawabe. I let him know that Kawabe was the new priest of the local Onshitsu-ji temple. I was interested to get a copy of this letter, since the temple was denying that it was sending these letters. (They were targeting old and sick people and trying to scare them into giving up Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism.)
George agreed to make copies for Hiro, Bill, and myself when we came and visited him.
After Gongyo, I asked George what he felt about the letter. He said: “Nikken is jealous of Daisaku Ikeda. That's what this is all about.” (George doesn't miss much.) Then he said that the letter from the priest mentioned a “counterfeit Gohonzon.” He asked me what kind of Gohonzon he had. I told him that he had a Nikken transcribed Gohonzon. George asked: “Who transcribed your Gohonzon?” Hiro and I have Nichikan Gohonzons, and Bill has a Nittatsu Gohonzon.
He asked: “You mean that I have a Gohonzon that was transcribed by Nikken?” We said: “Yes.” “Where is his name on my Gohonzon?” he asked. We showed him where it was.
He asked: “Can I exchange my Nikken Gohonzon?” We said “Yes, but you should understand that the Gohonzon is found in faith alone.” We told him he did not have to exchange his Gohonzon unless he knew that it was the right thing for him to do.
He said: “I want to exchange my Nikken Gohonzon for the Nichikan.”
George doesn't miss much.
The first chance he had he exchanged his Nikken Gohonzon.
We had been visiting George on Thursdays because he was too sick to come to regular meetings. Two weeks after he received his Nichikan Gohonzon he called me up and said: “They can't find the cancer. They say I am in total remission.”
He came to the District General meeting.
Which was the first meeting that he was able to attend in years.