"Dedicated to those Soka Gakkai Members who wish to know the truth"
Gakkai Propagandists Used Dubious Documents to Tout: Bogus "Project C"
The Gakkai is still claiming, "It wasn't by choice that we left Nichiren Shoshu, the Gakkai was expelled because of "Project C." They say, "In the summer of 1990, Nichiren Shoshu became jealous of the growth of the Gakkai and devised "Project C" ("C" for "cut") to remove Ikeda Sensei as sokoto (head of the Hokkeko Believers Association) and excommunicate the Gakkai from Nichiren Shoshu." This Gakkai claim is an outright lie. It is as if one were to say the heavens above are actually the earth below. And yet, consistent with the Soka Gakkai's leadership principle that a lie told 100 times becomes the truth, thoroughly propagandized Gakkai members around the world seem to have swallowed this story.
The strategy behind the Gakkai's campaign is simple: first, create the impression that, the Gakkai is a "victim," then manipulate the members' shared consciousness as "victims" to cut their emotional attachment to the Head Temple. The logic of their scheme can be illustrated as follows: suppose someone wished to forcibly detach a child from his parents. Reasonable sounding explanations such as, "You were abandoned by your parents," could be used. A steady diet of such poisonous lies would cause the child to lose trust in his parents and gradually grow to harbor hatred towards them. In just such a manner, the Soka Gakkai skillfully exploits human psychology to turn the Gakkai members away from the Head Temple.
So just what is the truth behind what the Gakkai calls, "Project C"? The fact is, Nichiren Shoshu never had a "Project C" or any other kind of scheme to cut the Soka Gakkai from Nichiren Shoshu. Not surprisingly, it is the Soka Gakkai which, ever since the period following completion of the Shohondo, held the objective of controlling Nichiren Shoshu or, if that were not possible, becoming independent from Nichiren Shoshu, as was explicitly stated in the Gakkai leadership's "Hojo Report" dated June 18, 1974 and "Yamazaki and Yahiro Report" dated April 12, 1974.
When the Gakkai's intentions became clear, 66th High Priest Nittatsu Shonin resolutely determined to protect the Daishonin's Buddhism even if it meant the membership of Nichiren Shoshu would shrink in numbers. His seriousness of purpose was conveyed in his comments at the Current Events Discussion Meeting of February 9th, 1978, "I pointed out all the issues (to Daisaku Ikeda) including the Gakkai's references to Nichiren Shoshu as if it were a slanderous temple. And I went on to say, 'with such statements it's natural that the problem will not go away. Young priests insist that they will sever the relationship with the Gakkai. I'm controlling their moves now, but if we are to finally break off with the Gakkai, I think it's necessary to make things clear by convening the assembly of Nichiren Shoshu."
At that time, the Gakkai apologized to Nichiren Shoshu temporarily putting an end to the matter. However, the Gakkai's intention to, "Control Nichiren Shoshu or become independent from it," endured as they vigilantly awaited their chance.
Their malevolent plot resurfaced in 1990, which had been designated by the Gakkai as the "Year of Completion." Beginning in spring, Ikeda's speeches within the Gakkai started to include unconcealed criticisms of Nichiren Shoshu and the leaders began to arrogantly exhibit belligerence towards the priesthood. Alarmed by these developments, Nichiren Shoshu made preparations to inquire as to the Gakkai's true intentions at the next communication meeting between the Gakkai and Nichiren Shoshu scheduled for July 17th. However, it seems that information had been leaked to the Gakkai in advance.
On the day of the meeting, the moment the Gakkai participants took their seats, they began by stating, "We will now say all we have to say today." Whereupon, using highly abusive language, the Gakkai representatives launched into a one-sided litany of groundless charges against High Priest Nikken Shonin and criticisms of local Nichiren Shoshu temples. When they had, to their full satisfaction, exhausted their list of grievances, the Gakkai leaders, led by Akiya, rose as one saying, "That's all for today!" and walked out leaving the dumbfounded Nichiren Shoshu priests no chance to respond.
Shocked by the Gakkai's hard attitude, the priesthood hastily convened a meeting the following day at the Head Temple with High Priest Nikken Shonin in attendance for the purpose of discussing how to cope with the Gakkai.
When we look back on the events of the summer of 1990, we should remember that the Soka Gakkai was an organization which had already committed numerous unacceptable acts including: attempting to coerce High Priest Nittatsu Shonin, bringing several priests before their "kangaroo court" for alleged offenses and spreading malicious rumors about Nichiren Shoshu at their meetings and in personal communications. All of this had been carried out with the belief, "In the long run, there is no other choice but to cleverly separate [from Nichiren Shoshu]" (quote from the Hojo Report) which had been formulated at the time of the "Line of 1976." It was understood that if Nichiren Shoshu were to attempt to correct such an organization, it would have to be prepared, just as Nittatsu Shonin had been when confronted by a similar situation, for the worst-case scenario, that is, to break off with the Gakkai. As a matter of fact, it was clear to everyone that without such awareness, it would be totally impossible to change the Soka Gakkai.
After having discussed the issue thoroughly, the conclusion of the meeting was stated as follows: "In order for us to say what must be said, we must correct our attitude so the Gakkai will not be able to take advantage of our shortcomings. It is necessary for us to strictly tighten up discipline within the priesthood." And it was decided to, "postpone for the time being" responding to or questioning the Gakkai. In spite of this, the Gakkai began a propaganda campaign saying that ""Project C" to cut off the Gakkai was formulated at that meeting" based on their contention that the words, "Project C" were found in a note jotted down by a priest attending the meeting. It seems that this priest mentioned, "Then this project can be called project G," to which the High Priest responded, "It's not G but C." The memo allegedly obtained by the Gakkai only describes the latter statement made by the High Priest and since it is a phrase used in a personal memo, it's not certain that the High Priest even said it at all. In the context of the meeting, if such a statement was made, it meant, "If worst comes to worst, be prepared to face the situation where there is no choice but to "cut" (off) relations." There is absolutely no justification to conclude that the July 18th meeting was, "a strategy meeting for Nichiren Shoshu to cut the Gakkai."
Even before the Gakkai brought up the memo, they were making a big ruckus about a document of dubious origin, which the Gakkai claimed was a plan sheet prepared by Nichiren Shoshu to cut the Gakkai. They further claimed that since the words, "Project C" appearing in the suspicious document correspond to the word "C" in the above mentioned memo, "Project C" was proved to be a scheme formulated by Nichiren Shoshu. But this is a ridiculous conclusion. It turns out that the reason the words correspond is that a person heard about the word "C" coming up during the meeting on July 18th, and decided to create a likely plan using the letter "C "which he then anonymously sent to tease the senior leaders of the Gakkai. At any rate, the plan described in the dubious "Project C" document is not at all like the real actions taken by Nichiren Shoshu after July 19th. Obviously, the anonymously authored document is a fabrication of someone who did not even attend the meeting in question.
And finally, when the Soka Gakkai was excommunicated from Nichiren Shoshu in 1991, President Einosuke Akiya called to the Gakkai members throughout Japan saying, "Congratulations on the day of our spiritual independence!" Do not his words eloquently proclaim that it was the Soka Gakkai, which left Nichiren Shoshu, just as they originally planned?