Mahikari Exposed

Information Control in Mahikari

by Fiona
September 2001, last updated July 2011

  1. Introduction
  2. Behaviour Control
  3. Information Control
  4. Thought Control
  5. Emotional Control

Information Control

1. Use of deception

  1. Deliberately holding back information

    There is much of the real nature and history of Mahikari which is not revealed to group members. The real early history of the group and its founder Okada are misrepresented in all group literature. Members also never see financial reports pertaining to the group.

    Australian members (and I suspect most other kumite around the world) did not know about the battle over the succession of leadership when Okada died, until this matter was raised in the media in 1997. Only then did the organisation attempt to explain the situation to members, holding a once-only lecture on the 'true history of Sukyo Mahikari'.

  2. Distorting information to make it acceptable

    Okada's personal history has been changed to better suit Mahikari teachings, as has the history and true nature of the successor, Oshienushisama (Ms Okada).

    It is also claimed that Ms Okada was Sukuinushisama's adopted daughter, while they were actually lovers. This is hotly denied by the organisation, but older Japanese kumite who knew Okada personally said that this was common knowledge.

  3. Outright lying

    Much is made of the Order of Saint Dennis of Zante that Okada was awarded by the International American Institute. The emblem appears on Mahikari flags, and Okada wore the medal around his neck at all official occasions. This medal is from the discredited heraldic Greek Order of Saint Dennis of Zante, and can be purchased for a few hundred dollars American even today. This Order gave their medal to high profile people, such as US Presidents Eisenhower, Truman, and Kennedy, to gain credibility for themselves. Okada used the false kudos of this award to boost his own standing, while the Order used the false kudos of the 'Holy Master' Okada to raise its own credibility.

2. Access to non-cult sources of information minimized or discouraged

The general feeling was that members could read other things, so long as you kept in mind that Mahikari teachings were the highest level teachings, and the only true ones. People were warned about the dangers of psychics, mental practices, and 'pseudo-truth teachings' [ie those from all other religions]. It was a very different matter for Doshis [priests] who were expected to only study Mahikari's Divine Teachings. Since the Divine Principles were the highest teachings of all, there was no need for them to read anything else.

Much is made of "useless human knowledge" throughout Mahikari teachings. References to how pathetic human thought, philosophy, and reasoning are can be found in just about any Mahikari teachings. Here are just a few examples:

  • "Human theory, which is completely useless, is unnecessary."

    [Goseigen, Time of Transition of the World pg 180]

  • "It is the man-first belief (SHIN) to make most of the words uttered by man through the thought originated in the human mind. It is the man-first respect (AOGI, KO) to believe and respect the word which is uttered with a selfish and useless theory produced by men who have gone far away from the spiritual power and the Law of Arrangement of the Divine Spirit who created all."

    [Goseigen, Religious Belief and Mahikari's Path pg 141]

  • "Human wisdom can never lead anyone to the spiritual awakening of God's Arrangement. It can be mastered only when one becomes sincerely obedient to Su No Kami (SUNAO)."

    [Norigotoshu, Sunao, Japanese Page 96-5, English Page 147]

  • "I was an atheist before I was introduced to Mahikari. As an atheist, I had neither apology not gratitude to God. I looked at all happenings with a shrug. I tried to look for an explanation with the help of so-called intellectual and rational exercises of the mind, and whenever I came face-to-face with a deadend, I closed my mind to any deeper penetration into the various situations. I now realise how foolish I was."

    [My Journey to the Reality of God, by UP, MAAJ Vol 10 No 10, October 1992, pg 24]

  • "The poverty of today's medical science is due to ignorance on the questions of food, human life, physical functions, etc. Contrary to the often-heard phrase, 'progressing medical science', it lacks the ability to prevent cancer, leukemia and other diseases incidental to civilizations due to incomplete knowledge about the food --> blood --> cell process. Without a change in the way of thinking of doctors today, these problems will not be resolved."

    [Primary Kenshu Textbook, 1981, Chapter 7, pg 20]

  • "It is important to grasp correctly every word and phrase I transmit as Divine teachings. Furthermore, it is important to be thorough in your transmission of the teachings, without altering anything with your personal opinions. You must be extremely careful when you listen to Divine teachings in order that you do not interpret them to suit your own convenience. One of the weak points of human beings is that they hear things in a way that is convenient to themselves."

    [Sunkyo, The Golden Divine Teachings and the way they should be Transmitted, Mini-teachings by the first Oshienushi (Okada), MAAJ Volume 13, Number 5, May 1995, pg 2]

  1. Books, articles, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, and other critical information

    Critisicm of the group, members, staff, and teachings is seen as spiritual opposition to the Righteous Gods by evil deities, who are trying to being a stop to the efforts of Mahikari to bring about God's Plan on earth.

  2. Former members

    Former members are all 'disturbed by evil spirits', so of course members would be foolish to listen to them. I left in early 2000. A year later another member that I knew also left Mahikari - when we met up she was surprised to find out that I had left the group as well, as it hadn't been discussed!

    People who leave are seen as being not strong enough, no will-power, throwing God's blessings back in His face, disturbed by evil spirits and deities who are trying to destroy Mahikari, not pure enough, and having been given 'their chance' in this life to follow God, but having blown it.

    Stories abound in the organisation of what terrible things happens to people who leave, or who are less than serious and devoted in their efforts. There are even stories about bad things that happen to people who accidentally leave their Omitama [Divine Pendant] off for a day.

    Very few members actually stay in contact with ex-members (apart from family members), so they don't usually see that life goes on really happily and healthily after leaving the group. All that they experience is that person leaves the social group of the Dojo, and then no-one hears from them again, apart from occasional bits of news if someone has bumped into them by accident. It is very rare for a member to closely question an ex-member about why they left. When I was a member, I knew that it was too threatening to me to ask those kinds of questions. I was having trouble staying in and being devoted in any case, so this sort of critical discussion was too confronting for me to handle.

  3. Keep members so busy they don't have time to think

    Giving Light and being active is encouraged more than thinking about things. People who discuss teachings and the Mahikari organisation critically are often labelled as 'disturbed by attaching spirits'. There are always a lot of activities on at the Dojo [Mahikari Centre], and members are encouraged to give up 'useless human knowledge' and practice giving Light and following teachings in an obedient manner above all else. The general attitude is that understanding of the teachings come through the practice of giving Light, so the more you give, the better your understanding and awakening will be.

3. Compartmentalization of information; Outsider vs. Insider doctrines

  1. Information is not freely accessible

    Information about the history of the group and the founder is tightly controlled. Members are only given a history in the Primary Course, and probing or critical questions are not answered.

  2. Information varies at different levels and missions within pyramid

    There are different teachings for the Primary, Intermediate, and Advanced Courses.

  3. Leadership decides who "needs to know" what

    There are definitely levels of disclosure. Most run of the mill members are not given much information. Staff members typically know a bit more.

    In March 1997, when there was a lot of anti-Mahikari articles in the media, the group prepared a hand-out for members called "Sukyo Mahikari - The Facts". In this some details about various financial dealings were revealed for the first time to members. The sum total of their response to the allegations of being a mind controlling doomsday cult, and so on, was incredibly pathetic:

    "Any Mahikari member or non-member with even minimum experience of the organisation's activities would realise that these allegations are false"
    [Sukyo Mahikari Australia-Oceania Regional Headquarters, 30 March 1997]

    The few financial details that they let out at this time were news to all members, apart from staff. Members are never given an annual financial report on the dealings of the group.

    Information on what Mahikari groups in other cities and countries are doing is also very limited. Most members have a natural desire to know what is happening within the group world-wide, but it is very rare for such information to be made public. Information on who has left, especially amongst the staff members, is tightly controlled.

4. Spying on other members is encouraged

  1. Pairing up with "buddy" system to monitor and control

    Reporting 'upstream', Group Carer, letting staff know if someone wasn't looking after Omitama properly, or doing something wrong.

  2. Reporting deviant thoughts, feelings, and actions to leadership

    Again, reporting 'upstream' was used for this.

5. Extensive use of cult generated information and propaganda

  1. Newsletters, magazines, journals, audio tapes, videotapes, etc

    The Mahikari Australia-Oceania and Asia Journal is produced monthly, via a team of volunteers in Canberra. This is the main way that teachings and members' experiences are circulated to members in print. Sometimes videos of things such a Nostrodamus' predictions are shown to members during training sessions, but this is uncommon. Nowadays members who are teachers and personal coaches often organise training sessions.

  2. Misquotations, statements taken out of context from non-cult sources

    Throughout the Course Textbooks and books by Andreis Tebecis... the Bible, other religious texts, lots of scientists, and doctors are misquoted.

6. Unethical use of confession

  1. Information about "sins" used to abolish identity boundaries

    Members will often disclose deep secrets, distressing events, and doubts to their group carer, or Mahikari staff, as they are in the positions of being 'up-stream' and therefore trusted as divinely-inspired counsellors.

    I had the experience of being physically ill and culture shocked in a foreign country, without a Dojo nearby. I phoned the closest Mahikari centre (100s of km away) and spoke honestly and frankly with the Dojo Chief, whom I had never met. I had assumed that since this person had this role, they would be supportive and compassionate, helping me through what was a very difficult time in my life. I was trying to put teachings into practice, and trying to cope, but wasn't managing very well. I needed support and help. However, this person, who was also a Doshi [priest], was damning, saying that I obviously had no understanding of basic teachings about the Principles of Cleaning, and was extremely cold and unhelpful. This phone conversation deeply affected me. I felt utterly crushed.

  2. Past "sins" used to manipulate and control; no forgiveness or absolution

    Especially during the hypnotic spirit-investigation sessions. You will pay for transgressions even if don't know what they are or what you did wrong.

Last Modified: 11 January 2020