A.C.T. HOME FOR CONTROVERSIAL SECT
by NORMAN ABJORENSEN
A Japanese-based religious sect, under investigation in a number of
countries, has been given a hectare of prime land in Canberra for a
national headquarters. Documents providing for the use of the land in
Holder were signed with the Sukyo Mahikari organisation in December,
according to ACT government officials.
An official announcement is to be made next weekend at a national
gathering of sect members in Canberra.
Officials involved in the process were not aware of any
investigations into the activities of Sukyo Mahikari, according to
A parliamentary commission in Belgium is examining the activities of
the sect there, and a number of other European countries have also begun
In Singapore, officials are reviewing the sect's tax status as a charity
in view of the funds being channelled offshore.
The head of Sukyo Mahikari in Australia, Dr Andris Tebecis, who has just
returned from a visit to South Africa where, he says, the sect has the
blessing of the President, Nelson Mandela, says he is surprised at
allegations levelled against it by former members.
Dr Tebecis said there seemed to be a vendetta against the organisation.
"We have a lot of people prominent in public life as members, and I
am a member of Rotary," he said. Dr Tebecis said he could not
understand why former members such as his one-time number two, Garry
Greenwood, a former Canberra photographer, could claim that the
organisation was anti-Semitic.
Mr Greenwood has published a widely circulated book on the Internet,
All the Emperor's Men, alleging it is a sinister and racist organisation
whose financial dealings are highly questionable. "It is nonsense
to claim that our teachings are based on the so-called Protocols of the
Elders of Zion," Dr Tebecis said. "I am certain that most of
our members would never have heard of them." Dr Tebecis said he was
most reluctant to get into a slanging match with his organisation's
critics, but he did want to emphasise that Sukyo Mahikari stood for
peace and unity of religious thought, not division. "I don't think
it is possible to accuse us of being anti-Semitic as we have many Jews
among our members, even a rabbi from Melbourne." "We are compatible
with all religions and I think the composition of our membership bears
that out," he said.
(Front page of Sunday feature section)
Secrets of a doomsday sect
An organisation which believes in Japan's right to world sovereignty has
gained a toehold in the ACT, says Norman Abjorensen.
Oshienushisama, left the head of Sukyo Mahikari, which she founded after
losing a court case in which she sought to become the successor to her
adoptive father, Yoshikazu Okada, as head of Sekai Mahikari Bunmei
Kyodan. Making her one of the richest people in Japan. Below is
Okada, a senior army officer and fervent believer in the divinity of the
Emperor of Japan, who founded the predecessor of Sukyo Mahikari.
JAPANESE doomsday religious sect which is becoming an increasing object
of official scrutiny in several countries has been given a grant of
land, at the Australian taxpayers' expense, by the ACT Government.
The sect, known as Sukyo Mahikari, has, behind a facade of benign
spiritual enlightenment, a doctrine based on world domination and
veneration of the Emperor of Japan. It is also profoundly anti-Semitic,
drawing part of its teaching from the discredited and fraudulent
Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
At a more mundane level, it also has links to a failed business
venture in which adherents were encouraged to invest and lost their
Sukyo Mahikari (Japanese for True Light Supra-Religious
Organisation) enjoys charity-religious status in Australia as a
non-profit organisation and is therefore exempt from income tax. Many
people who have left the sect have complained about the constant
pressure to make donations, all of which are sent back to Japan where a
lavish headquarters has been built.
According to former members, some of whom held high office in the
organisation, untaxed funds running into hundreds of thousands or even
millions of dollars have been sent to Japan. Total Australian
membership, now thought to be about 2000 (several hundred of whom are in
Canberra), is falling, largely because of an exodus of members uneasy
over links with the Aum Supreme Truth sect, responsible for the deadly
gas attack on a Japanese subway station two years ago. Both share a
world view based on the Protocols; both believe the end of the world is
Sukyo Mahikari Australia Ltd is registered as a non-profit company
whose principal activity according to the articles of association is
"conducting and maintenance for religious worship". The sect
is asset-rich, a fact not known to many of its members, overwhelmingly
middle-class professionals. According to records, it owns several
thousand hectares of property in NSW, including a rural property near
A prominent member of the sect in Perth, where a third of the
membership has reportedly left in the past 12 months, boasted that a
story on the sect would never get into print. He declined to elaborate.
A high-profile member of Sukyo Mahikari is Jo Court, wife of the Premier
of Western Australia, Richard Court. Sect members in Perth say he has
accompanied his wife to many gatherings at the centre in Second Avenue,
An inquiry to Mr Court's office about the sect was not answered. (The
West Australian reported on February 18, 1994, that the Premier's office
had confirmed Mrs Court's membership of the sect, but added that it was
none of the newspaper's business.)
New members are introduced to the sect's philosophy slowly. For
example, they are not told that Sukyo Mahikari is based on the concept
of the Japanese Emperor being the divine supreme ruler of the world. Nor
are they told of the belief in Japan's imperial right to reclaim world
sovereignty based on the notion that the world belonged to Japan in
ancient times. Nor that Australia was named after a Japanese god, or
that the Japanese people are the chosen people of God.
IN JAPAN, the sect
runs a military-style youth wing and is active in politics, using its
youth members to work for candidates for the ruling Liberal Democratic
Not only does the sect adopt most of the discredited Protocols,
alleging a Zionist conspiracy for world domination, it teaches that the
Jewish Star of David actually belongs not to the Jews but Sukyo
Mahikari, and that the Jews deserved the Holocaust because they betrayed
God by letting Solomon's temple be destroyed. A chilling link with the
sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway by the Aum Supreme Truth sect is
contained in the advanced members' seminar texts for Sukyo Mahikari,
obtained by The Canberra Times. A chapter drawing on the writings of one
Kido Honda, extracted from his The Future Course of Japan, makes
reference to an 'awesome plan which will terrify the bravest hero: it is
the subway. Before long the capital of every country in the world will
have a subway, and we will be able to destroy all the government
institutions and the important papers of these governments at the same
SUKYO Mahikari has
long planned a national headquarters in Canberra and last December
documents were signed with the ACT Government for a 1 ha land grant in
Mulley Street, Holder, for, as the documents say, "a place of
worship, religious association and community activities". The sect
has five years in which to build on the site.
A major thorn in its side has been the defection of its former No 2
in Australia, former Canberra photographer Garry Greenwood. Greenwood,
who now lives in northern NSW, has published a damning critique of the
sect on the Internet, entitled All The Emperor's Men, in which he
alleges financial irregularities and the systematic brainwashing of
In Belgium, a parliamentary commission is investigating the sect's
activities, especially after it was found to have infiltrated the police
force; similar investigations are under way in Germany, France, the
Netherlands, and Switzerland.
In Singapore, the Government is reviewing the sect's status under the
Charities Act which requires that 80 per cent of all collections after
expenses, to be spent on charitable activity in Singapore. Former
members say not one cent is spent locally.
The soldier who began it
WHAT is known today as Sukyo
Mahikari was established in June 1978. Its acknowledged founder is a
senior Japanese army officer, Yoshikazu Okada, who took part in one of
the most brutal events of the century, the rape of Nanking in 1937.
A fervent believer in the divinity of the Japanese Emperor, he became
after the Japanese defeat in World War II a minister in a Shinto-based
religion called Sekai Kyusei Kyo (SKK) but was asked to leave after 10
years because of his growing interest in the occult, notably exorcism
He then founded a new religion which he called Sekai Mahikari Bunmei
Kyodan (SMBK), promoting "divine revelations", essentially the
same as SKK, and the practice of radiating light from hands as a healing
His adopted daughter, who took the name of Oshienushisama, became his
chief devotee, and when Okada died in 1974 a bitter court case was
fought over who should succeed him. Oshienushisama lost and broke away
to found Sukyo Mahikari.
All property of the sect is in her name, making her one of the
richest people in Japan, where she has built lavish memorials, shrines
and a 45 m-tall pyramid, most of which are closed to members.
An American academic, Winston Davis, in a 1980 book entitled
Dojo, made a comprehensive study of the sect and its practices of
magic. He described it thus: "as a religion...virtually slow magic,
and ...as magic it is fast religion".
It has spread all over the globe, its Australian regional
headquarters based in Canberra looking after a mini-empire stretching as
far as South Africa. The head of Sukyo Mahikari here, variously
described as spiritual director, president, and chairman, is Latvian-born
Andris Tebecis, a highly qualified scientist who was once at the John
Curtin School of Medical Research, where he carried out micro-electrode
research on the cat brain and studied altered states of human
consciousness in the Psychology Department at the Australian National
He came across Mahikari while he was in Japan in 1975 as a visiting
professor. He, his Japanese wife, Yasumi, and a Luxembourg-based
Japanese man, are the listed directors of Sukyo Mahikari Australia Ltd,
a company incorporated in the ACT, and set up as a trustee of four
trusts - Sukyo Mahikari School Building Fund, Sukyo Mahikari Australia
Fund, Sukyo Mahikari South Africa Trust, and Sukyo Mahikari School
According to the latest detailed returns lodged with the Australian
Securities Commission, Sukyo Mahikari Japan is "the ultimate
controlling entity of trust funds" and $90,242 was remitted to
Japan in 1995, and $196,832 in 1994. In 1995, $105,922 was paid to the
directors, one of whom received more than $100,000. There is no
suggestion that Dr Tebecis or his fellow directors have either acted
improperly or taken part in business activities other than as described
in the articles of association.
Attempts to talk to Dr Tebecis last week were unsuccessful, as Sukyo
Mahikari headquarters in Canberra said he was in South Africa. A woman
who answered the telephone said there was no-one else who could speak on
behalf of the organisation, and it was not usual to respond to criticism.
THE ANGER OF THOSE WHO GOT OUT
STEVE ALLERTON is a
down-to-earth sort of a bloke, a marine engineer by profession, who
devoted 14 years of his life to Sukyo Mahikari, met his Japanese wife
through the sect, and was married under the organisation's auspices. He
was also skinned for $10,000.
"Sure, the money hurts," he said in his Kaleen home,
"but what hurts far, far more is the fact of feeling betrayed, of
being sold out by something you believed in as a real force for good in
"I think it is only when you get outside something like this you
see how dangerous it really is - not dangerous in the physical sense,
but in the far more subtle way of mind control. You can be intimidated
without knowing it at the time.
"The whole time you are told that only members matter and that
everyone else, the outside world, is of no relevance. That's why people
suffer a bit when they leave, because they have been cut off from
something they were taught to rely on, and I have found that mostly they
don't want to talk about it. There is something morally sick about it
A computer buff, Allerton decided to look into the Internet to see if
anyone else had been burned by the organisation, and to his surprise he
has become the virtual linchpin of an international movement of former
Sukyo Mahikari members.
"You know, I was made to feel as though there was something
wrong with me, and for a while I suppose I believed it - until I found
there were hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people with similar
experiences in the United States, Asia, Europe and so on. There is
now a world-wide opposition movement."
Another Canberra resident, a woman who spent 20 years in the sect,
says she was attracted by the belief in building a better world, and
while she enjoyed many beautiful spiritual experiences, "mind
control came in later and the whole thing went sour for me".
The woman, who did not want her name used, says she had to undergo
counselling for the damage that had been done to her.
Louise Sullivan, a former journalist now working as a story teller
and stand-up comedienne in Canberra, devoted 16 years to Sukyo Mahikari,
attracted by the ideals, but eventually repulsed by what she calls
"the sheer hypocrisy...of a business run on religious
principles". She says she needed counselling to extricate herself.
"I was told I would be attacked by spirits if I left...There was
that sort of intimidation... "Look, a lot of good things happened
in those years, a lot of miracles, but now I'm furious, raging and angry
with myself for being so naive." While an active member interstate,
Sullivan says she became aware of embezzlement going on, but it was
covered up. "This is a very dogmatic organisation. No questions are
to be asked."
When Allerton started asking questions, he was firmly told he was out
of line, and that he was suffering "a spiritual disturbance".
One particular response to his questions irks him intensely: "If
the answer does not help with your elevation, then you don't need
The $10,000 lost by Steve and Yumi Allerton was invested in a venture
called International Corporate Golf Tours Unit Trust, a business which
aimed to capture a slice of the lucrative Japanese golf-tourism business
in Australia. "It was set up as a business run on religious
principles and I guess we felt we were putting something concrete into
our faith," he says. The trust was established by deed dated
November 1, 1991, with a total unit investment of $270,000, but failed
to lodge required annual returns in 1993 and 1994 and was placed in
liquidation on application from the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation on
October 6, 1994.
Craig Shepherd, of Ferrier Hodgson and Company, the court-appointed
liquidator, said last week that the matter had been finalised, but there
was "no way in the world" that any investor had been able to
recover any funds. He could not say what had happened to the money. The
matter has been referred to the Australian Securities Commission.
One investor engaged a private investigator to probe the company's
affairs and the subsequent report noted anomalies from day one. After
the trust was established, a promotional booklet produced in conjunction
with AN Travel Australia Pty Ltd, now called QGS Tours Pty Ltd, sought
funds from the unit trust which were invested in the trustee company for
the unit trust, International Corporate Golf Tours Pty Ltd. Here was a
prima-facie conflict of interest: how can a company which is acting as
trustee for monies belonging to others, ie, the unit holders, invest in
The anger of sect
members who got out
CORRESPONDENCE relating to
the trust's administration appears on the letterhead of International
Corporate Golf with a central Melbourne address. It also contains other
corporate names: ICG Sport, ICG Tours, ICG Golf Academy and
Professionals Golf Shop.
A search of Australian Securities Commission records located a
company called ICG Sports Pty Ltd, whose directors were listed as Roland
Simpson, Alfred Orpen, and Ross Woodham, the last-named a signatory to
the trust deed of International Corporate Golf Tours.
"Both Roland Simpson and Alfred Orpen are members of Mahikari, a
Japanese religious movement," the private investigator's report
says. "A number of other Mahikari adherents appear to have been the
main people approached to participate as investors in the unit
trust." The report has since been handed to the Australian
Securities Commission. ASC records show that both Orpen and Woodham, who
live in Melbourne, are directors of a company called Top Green Cleaning
Products Pty Ltd, which markets a detergent under the brand name Down to
Earth which is being sold as an environment-friendly product through the
Scout Association and the Mahikari organisation.
The other director, Simpson, now ill with cancer, was interviewed for
this article, and explained that he was no longer connected with Sukyo
Mahikari, but with the sect from which it had sprung, known as SKK.
Simpson, the former managing director of International Corporate Golf
Tours, said the cancellation of tours by Japanese in 1992 had hit the
company hard and money had been lost in promotional costs. The venture
had no connection with Mahikari other than the sect's adherents being
among the directors and investors.
"I had retired as managing director because of my health by the
time of Liquidation, which I think had more to do with poor management
than anything else," he said.
He had lost his house in the business and was now living with his
parents-in-law. Asked if he was aware of any questionable practices
involving the sect in Melbourne,Simpson said he had become aware of
"certain irregularities" which he had detailed in a report to
headquarters in Canberra, but had heard no more about it.
"I'm not saying they were corrupt, but I saw enough to make me
very uneasy, and the secrecy just seemed to make it worse," he
said. "A lot of people who found the truth were upset."
The Allertons are by no means the only people in Sukyo Mahikari to
have seen their money vanish in front of them.
A Brisbane businessman, Andrew Campbell, said he had bought a
building for the sect for a headquarters and a church in suburban
Taringa for $150,000 and spent a further $100,000 on renovations, but it
had never been used. "But a year or so later the property was sold
and the money just disappeared," he said,. He said it was no use
asking about it as he would have been told that it was "better to
build upstream -- that is, Japan, because once Japan was right, the rest
of the world would follow". He has been out of the sect for three
years but remains angry at the disparity between ideals and practice.
"If I'd been ripped off by God's representative on earth, I might
feel differently," he said. "If things are good you are asked
to give, and if things are not good, you are asked whether you are
giving enough. Either way, they win. But they will destroy
themselves--and all from the inside."
THE CANBERRA TIMES FRIDAY MARCH 7 1997
SEEKING TO CREATE A BETTER WORLD
Most religious movements have been investigated but nothing
adverse has been found about Sukyo Mahikari,
writes Andris Tebecis
SUKYO MAHIKARI is an
international, apolitical, non-denominational organisation which
originated in Japan. It is concerned with trying to establish a better
world by improving the quality of life through the Light of the Creator
God and universal principles expounded by the founder, Kotama Okada,
generally known as Sukuinushisama.
Since he died in 1974, the organisation has been headed by Keiju
Okada, generally known as Oshienushisama.
Mahikari members are encouraged to incorporate the practice of the
Light and the teachings in a common sense way that fits with their
lifestyle, and is appropriate for their family, work, school or other
situation in society. A major theme of practice is to achieve love and
harmony in families.
Sukuinushisama and Oshienushisama have received awards not only in
Japan but internationally for their efforts towards promoting
humanitarian principles, assistance to the needy, international
exchange, elevation of human resources, education and so on.
On behalf of the Sukyo Mahikari movement I wish to correct some of
the many mistaken claims and allegations in the story published by The
Canberra Times last Sunday, which was based largely on the unquestioned
acceptance of statements by former members of the organisation with axes
Sukyo Mahikari is not a "doomsday sect", nor does it have
any connection with the Aum Supreme Truth sect. Given the intensive
investigation within Japan of the Aum sect, any such connection would
have become exposed and become a matter of public notoriety. Sukyo
Mahikari is not based on the "concept of the Japanese Emperor being
the supreme ruler of the world". Nor are its teachings in any way
based on the so-called Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Sukyo Mahikari has hundreds of thousands of followers in almost 100
countries. They come from all walks of life and all kinds of
religions--Christians, Buddhists, Shintoists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and
so on. Members also include leaders from the major religions, including
rabbis. To allege that Sukyo Mahikari is anti-Semitic is not only false
but inconceivable. One of the major aims of Sukyo Mahikari is to unite
Another major aim is youth education, involving the teaching of
ethics, morality and decorum. Some Mahikari educators have been able to
introduce high-level values to the curriculums of a number of primary
and high schools in both Australia and New Zealand. One of the
activities of Mahikari youth is community service, such as cleaning up
the environment, planting trees and so on. It is nonsense to claim that
the Mahikari organisation runs a "military-style youth wing".
Mahikari members are not involved in politics. Members are taught to
follow the laws of their country and to be good citizens. Sukyo Mahikari
Australia Ltd has been incorporated in Australia since 1977. For more
than 10 years all its legal matters have been taken care of by the law
firm Deacons, Graham and James (formerly Sly and Weigall), who would not
have done so had they not regarded the organisation to be of high
integrity and reputation.
The allegation that the organisation's "financial dealings are
highly questionable" are totally false and unfounded. The
organisation's financial records are audited annually by the accounting
firm Ernst and Young, and submitted to all appropriate authorities,
including the Australian Taxation Office. No irregularities have ever
been reported. The failure of a golf company that was formed by some
Mahikari (and non-Mahikari) members reported in the story has nothing to
do with the Mahikari organisation. It was an entirely private matter.
Sukyo Mahikari Australia Ltd derives no income from any businesses.
It is totally funded by voluntary donations made by members. There is no
coercion to make donations In fact, there is not even a membership fee.
The land approved by the ACT Government to build Sukyo Mahikari's
Australian headquarters has been bought by the organisation, not by
IN KEEPING with Sukyo
Mahikari's aims, it is intended not only to consult with the community
concerning this project, but to encourage the involvement of the
community so that as many as possible may benefit from the spiritual,
educational community and other benevolent activities that will be held
Sukyo Mahikari Australia does own a small rural property near
Canberra which is used for training in organic agriculture and youth
education. It does not own "several hundred thousand hectares of
land in NSW" as alleged, nor any other rural property in Australia.
The article referred to investigation of the Mahikari organisation by
authorities in Europe (including Belgium) and Singapore.
This is understandable, as in the recent past some religious
movements have received adverse publicity(such as the sarin gas attack
by Aum Supreme Truth, the mass suicide by a Christian movement in Europe
and so on) and so most religious movements have been investigated. Such
investigations are to be welcomed. The fact is, nothing adverse has been
found about Sukyo Mahikari.
The very essence of the Mahikari organisation is the Light of God, a
point that is not mentioned in the Canberra Times article.
My book, Mahikari, Thank God For The Answers At Last (available at
Mahikari centres, most libraries and possibly some book stores) is a
comprehensive introduction to the Mahikari organisation and contains
many cases of the wonderful effects of the Light of God.
I was a neuroscientist, a professor of psychosomatic medicine, when I
first learned about the benefits of Mahikari more than 20 years ago.
One of the things that first impressed me was that the energy
radiated from the hands actually works, not only on humans but also on
non-human systems, such as plants and animals. Sukyo Mahikari is
something that can be researched objectively as well as through
experience. Sukyo Mahikari has been an open organisation since its
inception. Its many centres are open to everyone, non-members as well,
without any obligation.
There is no coercion to join the movements. Also, member are free to
leave any time. Anyone who is interested in finding out more about
Mahikari is welcome to visit the Canberra Mahikari Centre at 3 Badham
Street, Dickson. Dr Tebecis is Regional Director of Sukyo Mahikari
Australia-Oceania in Canberra.
CANBERRA TIMES Sunday May 11, 1997
JAPANESE SECT DANGEROUS:
report by NORMAN ABJORENSEN CT Sunday May 11, 1997
A Japanese-based sect with an Australian regional headquarters in
Canberra has been labelled as dangerous by a parliamentary commission in
The sect known as Sukyo Mahikari, granted tax-free status as a
charity by the Australian Taxation Office, already is being investigated
by the Australian Federal Police for possible links with another
Japanese sect, Aum Supreme Truth, which was responsible for the fatal
sarin gas attack on a Japanese subway station two years ago.
Sukyo Mahikari has denied any connection and accused disgruntled
ex-members of trying to smear the organisation.
Police said they also were concerned at allegations of brainwashing,
especially of children, raised by ex-members of the sect, according to
The Belgian Government established a parliamentary commission on
sects last year after increasing public concern about their activities.
In a 700-page report issued last week Sukyo Mahikari is listed along
with Sukaya Yoga and Scientology as being among the most dangerous.
The report, to go before Parliament, recommends a number of
counter-measures including the establishment of a permanent watchdog
body to monitor various sects, inform the public of their activities and
offer help to ex-members. The report quotes a senior investigating
official as describing Sukyo Mahikari as "one of the most important
and dangerous in our country".
The sect, along with several others, is criticised for illegal
practice of medicine and the potential danger it represents to people's
health. The Belgian commission, which heard representatives from the
various sects defend their practices, took issue with Sukyo Mahikari's
claim of "light" radiated from the hands being able to cure
illness, including the disappearance of cancer cells in a short time.
The commission said this kind of "ambiguous teaching" could
influence vulnerable people unduly.
According to testimony of former members, Sukyo Mahikari was said to
be "a far-right group using the swastika". Another former
member, echoing comments by ex-members in Australia, testified the
"Sukyo Mahikari tries to reinforce the guilt feelings of members
who should purify for mistakes they made in a previous life".
"They are invited to work voluntarily to compensate their errors.
In fact, the group creates a so-called problem in order to give it a
Sukyo Mahikari Australia (estimated membership, 2000-3000) signed an
$81,000 lease with the ACT Government late last year for a new national
headquarters complex on community-use land at Holder.
The office of the Attorney-General and Minister for planning, Gary
Humphries, said the ACT Government had made no independent assessment of
Sukyo Mahikari in processing the application, which represents a
significant public subsidy, but had relied on the religious-charity
status conferred on it by the Australian Taxation Office.
Letters to the Editor
The Canberra Times Thursday March 6 1997
SUKYO MAHIKARI CULT HAS POSITIVE WORLD VIEW
YOUR Sunday feature (CT, March 2, p.17) missed the fundamental fact
that Sukyo Mahikari is truly non-sectarian and bases its totally
positive world view on the understanding that the origin of the world is
one; the origin of all human kind is one; and the origin of all
religions is one.
Jewish members can see in your anti-Semitic slurs yet another attempt
to promote hate of Jews in the guise of support, and Shinto members will
reject your racist anti-imperial doggerel aimed at capitalising on
yellow-peril fears of some sections of our society.
Buddhist members of Sukyo Mahikari know that the golden age predicted
by Buddha for the coming millennium has nothing to do with doomsday
cults and destruction of society by subways. These allegations play on
the fears of the culturally isolated in Australia who are experiencing
difficulty with our experiment in multiculturalism.
With a Christian background that took me into monastic life for 10
years and with 19 years' experience in Mahikari, I have found in
Mahikari a wondrous way of evolving into a non-sectarian, universal, -
yes, really catholic - world-view that sets me free with the freedom of
children of God.
Truly non-sectarian, Sukyo Mahikari is uniting all religions, races
and creeds. My friends with back-grounds in the religions mentioned, as
well as Hindu and Muslim friends in Sukyo Mahikari, are deeply
disappointed by your blatant pushing of fear buttons in the Australia
psyche that have exceeded their use-by date as we move optimistically
into the 21 st century.
The Canberra Times Thursday March 6 1997
MEMBERS SHOULD TAKE A FRESH LOOK
CONGRATULATIONS to The Canberra Times for taking on the issue of the
dishonest and distorted religious group, Sukyo Mahikari (CT, March 2,
The Australian Government's active support of Mahikari's expansion in
Australia shows that they too have fallen victim to the organisation's
untruths, resulting in gravely misplaced public funds, also resulting -
much more importantly, I believe - in the strengthening of the
organisation's very firm grip over its Australian members' spiritual and
I was involved with the sect from the age of six when my mother
joined in Canberra. My parents were going through the process of divorce
at the time and my mother no doubt found in Mahikari a sense of new
purpose and social support that she badly needed for her new life as a
Just over a year ago, at the age of 21, I came across information
that claimed that our supreme and unquestionable "divine
revelations" had been stolen straight from another Japanese
After undergoing my own research in Japan, I found this and other
harsh condemning facts concerning the organisation to be true. I was
shocked in the deepest sense and, like every other ex-member, went
through serious emotional trauma in the process of extricating myself
from the perception of reality that Mahikari had built so solidly within
me. The article was wonderful for alerting the Australian public to the
unsavory nature of the organisation's roots. However, I would like to
sent out a special and caring plea to Mahikari members.
The organisation seems to attract to its suspect ranks particularly
caring and dignified human beings. I would like to ask them all to step
back for a moment and truly allow themselves to take a fresh look at the
new information that is now easily available to them.
MAHIKARI STANDS CONDEMNED BY ITS OWN WORDS
As a neutral observer in the Sukyo Mahikari debate fired by the
article of Dr Andris Tebecis (Canberra Times Friday 7 March) I was
willing to give the cult leader the benefit of the doubt and located his
book 'Mahikari; Thank God for the Answers at Last'.
Within a few minutes I came across the following interesting quotes:
"Christ did not die on the cross but died peacefully in Japan. I
visited the grave and confirmed all that I had read.... Christ first
arrived in Japan at the age of 21. After studying Shintoism for 10 years
he returned to Judea to teach it. The authorities opposed this and
decided to crucify him. Jesus' brother Isukuri volunteered to die on
Jesus' behalf. Christ returned to Japan at the age of 37 and ultimately
settled in Japan passing away at the age of 106." (P.355)
Well there go the foundations of all my Christian beliefs. Presumably
Dr Tebecis' cult plans to become the universal religion by undermining,
not uniting, the teachings of all the others.
Other interesting quotes spread through Dr Tebecis' Mahikari book:
"I can now understand why the Japanese people have held the long held
belief that their Emperor is Divine." (p 396) "Japan is the cradle of
all religions......, the Country of the Origin of spirit, where humans
were first created." (p 417)
Obviously all my history and religious teachers got that wrong too.
Dr Tebecis on the Jews: their "promise with God has been broken. It
is no wonder that the Jewish race has been persecuted." (p 416).
These quotes seemed at odds with the glowing words in Dr Tebecis'
article in your newspaper so I decided to investigate further and found
in official Mahikari documents the following gems:
"There is no need for the observance and support of the religious
teachings found in the various established religions." (p 25 Sunkyo)
"The principle of democracy is not acceptable. Therefore the words,
orders and indications of the master of divine teachings (the leader of
Sukyo Mahikari) should be supreme." (p 21 Sunkyo)
"Before the turn
of the century there will be a widespread cataclysm".(p269 Mahikari
That to me (if not to Dr Tebecis) sounds suspiciously like the
teachings of a doomsday sect.
As a humble Australian taxpayer I returned to more mundane matters
revealed by the Canberra Times.
How can a so called-charity send
tax free to Japan over $200 000 in one year clear profit notwithstanding
the millions of dollars sent there to build and buy real estate ? On
what basis did the Australian Tax Office give this organisation tax free
Do the members know, and approve, that one of Mahikari Ltd's
directors in Australia is paid over $100 000 a year from their
donations? Why is the ACT government subsidising expensive real estate
in Holder for this organisation to recruit and train lieutenants for its
army? Direct answers from somebody (on earth) please.
Perhaps then the rewrite of Dr Tebecis' book could be called, "Thank
you the Canberra Times for the (Honest) Answers at Last".
(CAN.TIMES March 13 1997)
THE TRUE LIGHT REALLY DOES HEAL
I refer to the wild allegations made about the Sukyo mahikari
organisation in the Canberra Times(march 2 and March 8). Not only are
they untrue, but the most important essence of the Mahikari
organisation, the True Light. is missed entirely.
As a health professional, I have observed the healing/ purifying
effect of this True light with great interest and amazement, on simple
injuries, to more complex ones like helping control high blood pressure
where drug therapy was ineffective, as well as total recoveries from
chronic and life-threatening diseases where modern medicine has not been
able to help.
Although our understanding of how this healing/purifying energy works
is so far limited, the universal common sense teachings seem to work
with the "light", to help achieve an inner change, usually
seen with unusual recoveries.
It should be emphasised here that the Sukyo Mahikari organisation
does not negate modern medicine where necessary. It is compatible with
and works in harmony with all fields of health.
To support any form of spiritual, mental or physical suffering with
"light" and to guide people to this organisations peaceful
atmosphere is very effective, a privilege and a joy.
Besides the unusually high human qualities each member strives for,
members give their time with love, and at no cost!
Now, that is practically unheard of in our
(Canberra Times 13/3/97)
OBFUSCATION LED TO DISENCHANTMENT
It is not surprising that Dr. Tebecis should spring to the defence
of the Sukyo Mahikari organisation of which he is director for the
Australia-Oceania Region (CT,March,p.11).
What is surprising is that he should go so far as to state that there
is no membership fee. Unless the organisation has waived the requirement
in recent years, he simply must have forgotten that to become a member
of Sukyo Mahikari one undertakes a primary three day course. The
attendance at this course requires a not inconsiderable sum to be paid
to the organisation.
If he does not regard this as a membership fee, then how does he
regard the monthly donation that is sought from members in order to
maintain their spiritual connection?. His leaders are not slow to point
any break in this donation. To say that these payments are not
membership fees is specious.
The success of most voluntary organisations depends on the ability to
encourage members to pay fees, and in this Sukyo Mahikari is singly
Dr.Tebecis' statement that there is no coercion to make donations
does not additionally explain the engendered climate in which members make
oblation for numerous events occurring in their lives.
My disenchantment after a number of years' membership come not in
relation to payment of donations but from the obfuscation surrounding
the facts of the organisation's origin, the life of it's founder, and
its present leader.
IS THAT WHAT WE ALL FOUGHT AND DIED FOR?(CT 11/3/97)
When I read N. Abjorensen's "Secrets of a Doomsday sect".
(CT March 2, p.17) I felt like Alice in Wonderland.
If what he says is correct, then it's Australian membership is
thought to be about 2000 (with several hundred in Canberra) and the ACT
Government has given the sect a hectare of prime land in Canberra for a
national headquarters, at the Australian tax payers expense. He states
that, behind a facade of benign spiritual enlightenment, its doctrine
is based on world domination and veneration of the Emperor of Japan, its
founder, Yoshikazu Okada, having taken part in the brutal rape of
Nanking in 1937.
Many members are resigning in disgust and another claimed to have
been skinned of $10.000 and now feels betrayed.
I myself have never heard of this sects existence, and all I can say
is this: Is that, what I and thousands of ex-AIF soldiers risked our
lives for (and many died for) in the second World War, to find that 2000
fellow Australians were seemingly conned into a sect believing the
Emperor of Japan to be the divine supreme ruler of the world
sovereignty, the Japanese being the chosen people of God?
And our ACT Government welcomes them with a block of land at Holder?
Are we complete idiots?
(CAN.TIMES March 7 1997)
Sukyo Mahikari sect unjustly slurred
THE RECENT articles concerning Sukyo Mahikari (March 2, p.17) have
demonstrated once again that the commitment of The Canberra Times to
adhere to its own published standard of ethics is indeed hollow, and
proof of the adage that the truth should never be allowed to get in the
way of a good story. It is also interesting to note that The Canberra
Times has given similar treatment to Sri Chinmoy. It is a pity that your
paper's own standards of service to humankind - and the Canberra
community in particular - are so grossly insignificant in comparison
with those of spiritual leaders such as Sri Chinmoy and Sukyo Mahikari's
Oshienushisama, whom you so freely criticise.
Furthermore, this is not "news": Sukyo Mahikari has had a
centre in Canberra open to interested members of the public for 20
years, and for around 10 of those years our regional headquarters has
also been here. The purchase of land in Holder (purchase, not free gift)
is to accommodate a larger and purpose-built facility for worship and
educational uses as the regional headquarters.
Over the organisation's 20 years in Canberra, Sukyo Mahikari has been
active in the community, with stalls, for example, at ACT Alive during
the Canberra Festival, and we have also held many public meetings,
library displays, etc, to give members of the community the opportunity
to find out what values Sukyo Mahikari represents. Had your reporter
even done the most cursory of research for his piece, he would have
discovered the book Mahikari: Thank God for the Answers at Last, which
would have gone some way to present a more accurate view of the
MICHELE DE LAINE,
(Canberra Times March 10 1997)
Mahikari has served me well.
I TAKE issue with the gross inaccuracies in the sensational article,
"Secrets of a doomsday sect" (CT, March 2, p.17). Twenty years
ago I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma that spread into my
lymphatic system. I also had a serious gambling addiction.
My experiences are recorded in the book Mahikari - Thank God For The
Answers At Last, which has been in circulation for many years and is
available in public libraries. Thanks to Mahikari, I no longer suffer
from these afflictions.
Your reporter should have read this book. He would have found on page
25 that the Mahikari founder was made a Knight Commander of the
Sovereign Greek Order of Saint Denis of Zante in 1971.
This organisation, founded almost 1000 years ago, is a benevolent
order devoted entirely to the humanitarian principles of brotherly love
and assistance to the needy without discrimination as to colour, race or
Allegations linking Mahikari with the Aum Supreme Truth Sect are
ludicrous. In September 1996, [Mahikari leader] Oshienushi-sama guided
that Mahikari members are required to live in love and harmony with all
people and that they should never, ever resort to violence or upset the
harmony of society.
This letter from John Teagle stimulated a world wide search for The
Sovereign Greek Order of Saint Denis of Zante......with interesting
results, we were advised by experts that this "award" is a