October 2001:

1) “How Low Can They Go”
This is a report, pulled from an SGI members’ discussion board, alleging that an unnamed SGI leader “equated” terrorist attacks with High Priest Nikken. Of course, we don’t know who the “leader” is, so we can’t verify that he said this. And, we have no idea what is meant by “equated”: Did he say Nikken’s teachings are the same as Osama Ben Laden’s? Or did he say the terrorists used religion to blind people, as Nikken does? Or did he (or she) say Nikken’s evil is of a different sort from that of the terrorists, but both are evil? Or maybe something else entirely. We don’t know — it’s the subjective judgment of the person making the report, and it’s impossible to tell exactly what was said.

On the other hand, while religious leaders the world over were offering condolences, advice, and guidance, Nichiren Shoshu remained silent on the subject of September 11, until the October 1st issue of Emyo, the organ of the Myokanko that is published at the Head Temple:

"At this time, we should exert ourselves in seriously chanting daimoku and practice thorough refutation — without being swayed by unjust oppression from the slanderers of the Law even in the slightest — in order to avoid the offense of complicity."
In other words, don't offer understanding and compassion to those suffering around the world: be sure to inform them that they are wrong in their beliefs; and in fact don't join them because doing so would be "complicity" — don't accept the suffering of others as our own, but avoid it by "refuting" them.

The Emyo article also implied that the terrorist attacks were caused by the inclusion of the Komeito party in the Japanese government.

When a New York newspaper became aware of the Emyo article and did a story on it, the temple members were quick to disassociate themselves from Emyo, saying it is “not an official publication of Nichiren Shoshu” — even though they have quoted it often, regarding it as being authoritative on any number of subjects. They also stated that the article “was actually taken from the office of the temple, and translated by SGI in the USA for use in their propaganda campaign against the priests and temples on the internet and their newspapers.” (Craig Bratcher on ARBN, 10/26/01).

In other words, the cold, self-serving, inappropriate remarks of their High Priest are the SGI’s fault!

2) “SGI Man in Tonga Loses half the National Budget”
This is a story from The Tonga Star (reprinted in the Sydney Telegraph) alleging that an SGI member disappeared with millions of dollars from the Kingdom of Tonga.

Well, here is the Tonga Government’s statement off of their website (Nichiren Shoshu, Mr. Bratcher and the SG-eye people are aware of this definitive rebuttal, but, of course, choose to ignore it, preferring rather to disseminate what they know is untrue) :


In the past few weeks, there have been incomplete information concerning the investments of the Tonga Trust Fund. Regrettably, this has led to different interpretations and, as a consequence, they have caused much concern and debate about the status of the Tonga Trust Fund investments.

Today, I wish to provide the following clarifications regarding the Trust

The Tonga Trust Fund has a legal and prudent $20 million investment that was due to mature in June this year, but it has had a temporary setback, which has resulted in the need for a deferred repayment schedule.

As soon as we became aware that the schedule of payment formerly anticipated would not be on time, we immediately asked our financial advisor Mr. J.D. Bogdonoff to explore other alternatives and possibilities. The Finance Minister has traveled to California and the United Kingdom to explore these possibilities further.

One interesting programme to which we are giving serious consideration, is to restructure the investment arrangements in order to fully recover the original investment, and to provide the Tonga Trust Fund with a higher
annual rate of earning.

As members will appreciate, there are few investments of any type that are guaranteed, especially those that provide high rate of earning.

As I have stated, Mr. Bogdonoff and the Finance Minister have worked
tirelessly to meet this challenge. Together with the managers of the
original investment, Millennium Capital Management of America, they have been able to secure a special insurance policy from Lloyds Insurance of London. The Finance Minister has reviewed this policy with the underwriters in London. He and the Trustees are even now completing our analyses to be as confident as possible, that a sound and profitable solution has been found — and one which has created an opportunity out of what was a potential problem.

Under this prospective solution, our entire investment, both principal and
interest, are guaranteed. Under the same arrangement and another option which we are considering, we are confident the Tonga Trust Fund — which is in fact, a trust for the people of Tonga — will enjoy a substantial increase, that will provide us security for many years to come.

At another time, we will gladly discuss the operation of Tonga Trust Fund and also provide detailed background on Mr. Bogdonoff, who has provided us with faithful financial counsel for more than five years.

Today, you have the commitment of Trustees of the TTF and of Government that the Fund is under sound management, and we are committed to enhancing its growth for the benefit of all Tongans.