29) “Newsweek” 
The Nobuhira rape charges, which, since publication of the news the charge has been made, have been tossed out of court. The judge said in his decision that they were an abuse of the right to sue, and that their only purpose was to drag Mr. Ikeda’s name into the news in a most unflattering way. Addressed earlier.


30) “BBC: The Chanting Millions”
This documentary in effect portrays the Soka Gakkai as a cult movement hungry for money and power. It came about when a private company approached Soka Gakkai for permission to make a documentary on the Soka Gakkai for the BBC “Assignment” series. Both Soka Gakkai and SGI-UK consented to their request based on the following agreement: 

  1. That the program will introduce the international scope of SGI activities;  
  2. That there will be no comparison with Aum Shinrikyo, the notorious cult in Japan and that Soka Gakkai will not be portrayed as a cult organization;  
  3. That a copy of the film prior to the airing, even if it may not necessarily be the final edited version, be sent to Soka Gakkai for preview. 
Unfortunately, all the promises were broken. When the film was finally broadcast, SGI-UK approached the BBC to explain that many portions of the program were factually incorrect. The BBC ignored these explanations

The program portrays the Soka Gakkai as a cult group similar to that of Aum Shinrikyo, with comments like “The Soka Gakkai is not spiritual, it is all about practical things such as personal wealth and political power,” and that “the Soka Gakkai is a political movement.”

Many world literary figures who are acquainted with SGI and President Ikeda have responded indignantly to this documentary. Below are some of the comments from Dr. Alfred Balitzer, Dr. Bryan Wilson, and Prof. Wickramasinghe. 

Dr. Bryan Wilson, Reader Emeritus in Sociology at University of Oxford, to The Times:

The BBC has this last week shown a seriously distorted documentary film purportedly reviewing the growth and activities of Soka Gakkai, a Japanese lay Buddhist movement. Since the BBC shrugs off complaints about misrepresentation, might I seek the hospitality of your columns to correct any false impressions which your readers may have gained from this program?

Since as a joint-author of an objective academic study of the British membership of Soka Gakkai, I am better acquainted with that movement than are the BBC’s producers, I think it my public duty to do what I can to correct the picture which a public service agency has so shamefully broadcast. The film sandwiched information about Soka Gakkai between shots of the tragic havoc of the poison gas attack on the Tokyo underground for which the Aum Shinrikyo sect was allegedly responsible. Since these two organizations have no remote connection with each other, one must conclude that the sole purpose of alluding to Aum Shinrikyo at all in this program was sheer sensationalism, no matter how much this might alarm and mislead the general public. Soka Gakkai members work vigorously for world peace, embrace ecological concerns, support refugee rehabilitation programs, and promote educational and cultural exchange. The program paid scant attention to all this, preferring the tendentious inclusion of material about Aum Shinrikyo, a movement apparently committed to the promotion of chaos and catastrophe. Allusion to this obscure and secretive organization was only the most flagrant instance of the general bias against Soka Gakkai which characterized the entire program, and was about as warranted as would have been a similar reference to the Jonestown People’s Temple in a program about the Methodist Church.

From Dr. Alfred Baltitzer of Claremont Mckenna College to the Director General of BBC: 
I am distressed about a program that is scheduled to air on the BBC program “Assignment”, Saturday, October 14. My interest in the program results from an interview I did with Martin Smith and Julian Pettifer at the campus of Soka University of America on July 8, 1995

I asked [Krishman] Aurora whether the program would suggest a relationship or suggest similarities between the Aum Shinrikyo cult and the Soka Gakkai. After a pause, he told me that he could not answer the question which, of course, confirmed my suspicions. His pregnant pause was particularly distressing to me because at the time of my interview I was told by Pettifer in unambiguous terms that no relationship whatsoever would be insinuated. Had he told me that the program would portray a relationship, I would have refused the interview. To assert such a relationship or to assert similarities between the two groups demonstrates an appalling lack of knowledge about Japanese religions, especially about what sociologists of religion call “the new religions.” Even more, it demonstrates the complete failure to research and understand the difference between a “cult” and a legitimate religious organization. A few days after I spoke to Aurora, I received a copy of the advertisement for the program. It confirmed my worst fears, clearly proving to me that Smith and Pettifer violated their word to me. During my interview with them they stated that they would not treat or refer to the Soka Gakkai as a cult. Pettifer was particularly reassuring on this point. Yet the advertisement for the program reads: “But, as Julian Pettifer reports, Aum is a tiny cult compared to Soka Gakkai...” This clearly labels the Soka Gakkai as a cult. Again, had I known that Smith and Pettifer were going to refer to the Soka Gakkai as a cult, I would never have consented to be interviewed.

From Prof. N. C. Wickramasinghe: 
This week’s BBC2 program “The Chanting Millions” began by recapping the events on the Tokyo subway, and proceeded to cast doubts on the legitimate activities of the Soka Gakkai, a highly respected and successful Buddhist organizations based in Japan, but with worldwide support. As a Buddhist (although not a member of Soka Gakkai) a friend of Soka Gakkai and a personal friend of its president Daisaku Ikeda, I found the comparison offensive in the extreme.

The BBC2 program which made a subtle (even subliminal) connection between the Aum Sect and the Soka Gakkai must surely have caused offense to many millions of honest and devout Buddhists in many countries and in many walks of life. Buddhism in its pristine form is devoted to the ideals of self-knowledge, compassion, non-violence and non-belligerence, and I can vouch from my close knowledge of Soka Gakkai that this organization adheres strictly to these goals.

That pretty much sums up “The Chanting Millions.”

More rebuttal of SG-eye:
1) "Harassment"
2) "Airbrushing and Doctoring Photos"
3) "Internet Domain Games"
4) "Disgusting Articles and Speeches"
5) "Just Plain Crazy"
6) "Gakkai Casts Voodoo Spells"
7) "Arson"

1) " Soka Gakkai — Japan's Militant Buddhists"
2) "Australia — Rush Hour of the Gods"
     "San Francisco Chronicle"
3) "Los Angeles Times"
4) "Straits Times"
5) "Look  Magazine 1963"
6) "Weekly Post — High Priest's Room Bugged"
7) "Mainichi Daily News — Soka Gakkai Leader Arrested for Grizzly Murder"
8) "Weekly Post — President Ikeda plans to appoint his son as successor"
9) "Weekly Post — Indictments by former American Members"
10) "Asia Times: Sex Case Haunts Religious Leader"
     "Japan Times"
     "Honolulu Star Bulletin"
     "Victims of the Soka Gakkai Association"

11) "New York Times (2 stories): 
    1. "Soka Gakkai Linked to Tokyo Stock Scandal"
    2. "Money Found In Dump"
12) "New Frontier Party Is the Party of the SGI"
     "Problems Within the Komeito and the Soka Gakkai"
13) "Other Activities of the Soka Gakkai"
14) "Fight Against Coercive Tactics Mentions SGI"
15) "Japan Times — Invasion of the Body Snatchers"
16) "Leader of SGI Priests Ordered to Vacate Temple"
17) "Weekly Post — Women's Division Leader stabs her SGI leader boyfriend"
18) "TACL January 1992"
19) "Public Records Reveal SGI is Pirating Name of Former Religion"
20) "Problems With Komeito and Soka Gakkai"
21) "Buddhism American Style"
     "How a controversial Japanese religious group wins friends"
22) "Funny Money Stories Uncovered in Japan — Boston Globe"
23) "Far Eastern Economic Review"
     "Weekly Post — SGI Chairman Daisaku Ikeda & Politics"
24) "Minneapolis Star Tribune — Cults of the Nineties"
25) "Broward - Palm Beach New Times"
26) "Time — Power of the Soka Gakkai/Following the Leader"
27) "Manchester Guardian"
28) "Tokyo Journal — Statesman Billionaire God"
29) "Newsweek"
30) "BBC: The Chanting Millions"
31) "SGI Tries To Censor BBC"
32) "U.S. Court Transcripts of SGI Harassment"
33) "SGI Harassment in Korea"
34) "Washington Post — New Cults Flourish in Japan"
     "Sect Bent on Worldly Power"
35) "LA Court Transcript"
36) "Cults on Tokyo Campuses"
37) "Asahi Shimbun — Soka Gakkai Sending Warning Signals to the Religious World"
38) "Who is Daisaku Ikeda — in his own words"
39) "State Senator letter to the United Nations"
40) "Weekly Post — Japan, Haven for Religious Groups"
41) "Cyber Sangha — Millionaire in Harvard Square"
42) " SGI Exchanges Humanitarian Award with Castro"