The history of Sukyo Mahikari in Belgium

This summary comes from the translation of the precious book written by the Belgian journalist Alain Lallemand "Les
Sectes en Belgique et au Luxembourg", 1996 edition

On November 14 1974, is created in Brussels the "Organisation to achieve a new civilisation with the true light" or "Sekai Mahikari Bunmei Kyodan" asbl (asbl means in Belgium non-profit-making association). The founders belongs to a privileged social class (traders, managing directors, pensionned officers) and gathers around a Masakatsu Kubo, a
Japanese living in Paris. The powers are given to a Brussels accountant, Emile Vandenhende, who played a big role in the
organisation. When I came in SM, he was director of Brussels' Dojo, but he was dismissed one or two year later with an explanation of "spiritual disturb". In July 1980, Vandenhende founded in Luxembourg, with a couple living there, the asbl "Mahikari-Luxembourg, association to achieve a new civilisation with the true light".

Belgium will be the legal structure who will gather all members in Europe and Africa. The "European and African Organisation for the spiritual purification with the light of God" is not an asbl under the law of 1901, but an international association with a religious purpose (called AIBR, law of 1919). Its statutes are published (it is a bad joke) on April 1 1982 and gathers all the top of the movement, i.e. its international president (Yukio Konabe, director representative of
Keishu), a japanese missionary in Brussels, another missionary in France and the Belgian president, Vandenhende, who becomes treasurer-secretary of the International Association. At this moment, Belgium, namely via its president who is given a proxy, controls in 1983 a series of appellations such as Sukyo Mahikari (no longer SMBK), Shidobu Europe-Afrique, Dojo Europe-Afrique, etc. On February 10 1984, they decide the creation of a dojo in Badalona, in Spain, as well as they will decide the creation of all centres in Europe and Africa.

In mid-eighties, the movement is given another orientation under the influence of Gaston, Count of Marchant and Ansembourg, born in Etterbeek (Brussels) in 1938 and who has been trying to sell his castle since the sixties. In fact, there are two castle, in the locality of Tuntange, the old one is not to sale and is still in the hand of the family.  The other or Grand Castle, was built in the 17th century (previously a kind of ironwors), extends on 51 ares and has rich garden (2,39 hectares). It was occupied during some time by the "Miami University", but was in ruins. As local authorities were long
to react, the arrival of SM was a good thing for the count. 

In July 1985, Vandenhende is dismissed and replaced by Konabe and the count. Later, Konabe will be replaced by Mokushiro Obuchi, propriety manager, who will became the most important man in the international movement outside Japan. Obuchi live in Martinique and became president of the Luxembourg association in October 1985. A bank account is open in Luxembourg (a kind of "fiscal paradise" in Europe) with only some thousands francs (Belgian and Luxembourg francs have the same value, 1 AUD is +/- 25 BEF or LUX). In October 1986, Mokushiro Obuchi, his wife Takako, the Count of Ansembourg, a Japanese managing director and a Akihiko Koriyama (propriety manager living officially in the Dojo, so they make business from the Dojo then!) decide to create in the castle the societe anonyme (+/-limited company) "Yoko Shuppan - Europe". So from missionary in the 70s the people in SM are becoming managing or propriety director. 

Based on a capital of 1,5 LUX, the company will have as purpose "the diffusion of publications, the organisation of seminars, meetings with or without food preparation, the sale of cult objects, education or any other activity able to help the expansion of Mahikari in the world". Almost all the capital (1.460 shares out of 1.500) are in the hands of Mokushiro Obuchi, chairman of the Board. Managing director: the... Count of Ansembourg. 

On January 19 1987, before a solicitor in Luxembourg, Mr Elter, the castle (Act 37/1987) is sold to the Mahikari Association. It is not the international association, nor the Luxembourg association, nor Yoko Shuppan which purchases the propriety, but the Japanese association "Sukyo Mahikari Gifu-Ken", represented by Mokushiro Obuchi, "regional director of Europe and Africa of Sukyo Mahikari". From a legal and administrative point of view, he is only the president of a commercial company. It reveals the confusion between the different association, commercial or not, of the movement. The castle is then purchased for 160 millions yens (39.944.000 Bef, and not for the "symbolic franc" as we say in French and as it is said in SM, another myth) under a legal act which is quite unusual because of a proxy in Japanese made by SM to Mokushiro Obuchi. This proxy is interesting because the person giving it is Keishu Okada, resident in the world temple in Takayama. 

After the operation is achieved, Mokushiro Obuchi can leave, what he did in May 1987. His successor, at the head of Yoko Shuppan and Mahikari Luxembourg, is Tadashi Shirasaki, I knew as shidobucho. In August 1992, Shirasaki raised the capital of Yoko Shuppan to 3,5 millions of Luxembourg francs, for the account of another managing director of Gifu (Japan). The losings of 1991 are around 2 millions francs and are reinjected under the form of fresh capital. From the Ansembourg headquarters, the international association, which remains Belgian, will be controlled by the Japanese representatives in Ansembourg. And only Luxembourg will supervise the continental activities : the publication, namely in German, are often edited under the responsibility of Yoko Shuppan - Europe. In Ansembourg is made the altar for Europe and Africa. 

The "Compagnie de Construction" in Luxembourg restores the  underground tubes and the walls. The budget engaged in 1993 is around 150 millions francs, supported by the Japanese.

Sukyo Mahikari has now an important Flemish pole (Houthalen, Bree, Kempen, Zwevegem, etc.), quite independent from  Luxembourg. In the French-speaking part of Belgium, there is a centre financed by the Japanese in Verviers, 4 Drève de Maison-Bois (Heusy). Finally, the Brussels centre has moved from quai du Commerce to go to chaussée de Ninove (Pedestraat). 

Home | A-Z Index | Site Map