Emotional Control in Mahikari
September 2001, last updated July 2011
- Behaviour Control
- Information Control
- Thought Control
- Emotional Control <
The use of phobias is a strong one, and it influences cult members
hugely, discouraging them from leaving the group. Before we get into the
BITE Mind Control Model points, I would like to include some quotes from
Steve Hassan's book Combatting Cult Mind Control, which explain
some of the deep psychological and emotional issues involved in
"The structure of a phobia involves several internal components which
interact and cause a vicious cycle. These components include worrisome
thoughts, negative internal images, and feelings of dread and being out
"In some cults, members are systematically made to be phobic about
ever leaving the group. Today's cults know how to effectively implant
vivid negative images deep within members' unconscious minds, making it
impossible for the member to even conceive of ever being happy and
successful outside of the group.
"Members are programmed either overtly or subtly to believe that if
they ever leave, they will die of some horrible disease, be hit by a
car, be killed in a plane crash, or perhaps even cause the death of
loved ones." [Steve Hassan, Combatting Cult Mind Control, pg 45]
"In many ways, cult-induced phobias are so cleverly created and
implanted that people don't even know they exist. Members are so
conditioned to suppress their real selves that they aren't even aware of
their desire to leave. They think they are so happy in the group that
they would never want to leave. Such people can't generate positive
images of themselves after leaving the group."
[Ibid, pg 46]
This describes exactly the experience that I had. The only way I
could deal with being in Mahikari, and cope with what was expected of
me, was to not give myself any choice about leaving. I was petrified of
what would happen if I left, and so I didn't allow myself to even
consider it. As far as I was concerned, I would always be a member.
To everyone else, including my husband and family, I would say how
happy I was within the group, and that it was wonderful, and all the
other things I had to say to project a positive image of the group. But
within myself I knew that I was not comfortable with much of what the
group did and said, and that I didn't feel that I was being truthful or
a good example. I found the teachings contradictory and frightening. I
1. Manipulate and narrow the range of a person's feelings.
"Always smiling Yokoshi" is the catch-cry of Mahikari Centres.
Yokoshi means "sunny, bright, yang, positive". Members are also called
Yokoshi, and they are supposed to be grateful for anything and
everything, and never angry, jealous, critical, or upset. Members are
constantly reminded to view all the events of their lives with
Mahikari-coloured glasses, focussing on God's Will.
"It is good to be awake, it is good to be asleep and it is good to be living.
All is good. How gracious it is that nothing bad exists."
"Shallow is the heart which makes judgments of good or bad. It is like a shallow river where
many ripples of problems always appear."
"When one regards illnesses and misfortunes as bad phenomena, he
has already forgotten the Principle of MISOGI (the cleansing of one's
spiritual contamination) which is brought about by the Great Love of
[Norigoto [Prayer Book] Yoshi Ashi - Good and Bad, pg 177 (verses 115-3 - 115-5)]
"God wishes that people throughout the world today live a life that is pure, cheerful, righteous and obedient to Him. Being pure,
cheerful, righteous and obedient to Su God will be of great help in perfecting the character. The more pure, cheerful, righteous and
obedient people are, the more loving and harmonious society will become.
"When you pray with a sonen (innermost attitude) that is pure, cheerful, righteous and obedient to Su God,
the True Righteous God will answer your prayers. When you pray with a negative, unrighteous sonen, and evil deity will
answer instead. People manipulated by evil deities will come to the wrong decisions.
(MAAJ Vol 15 No 4 April 1997)
2. Make the person feel like if there are ever any problems it is always their
fault, never the leader's or the group's.
This point is extremely valid in Mahikari. If things are going well
in a member's life, it can be directly attributed to their Divine
Service, God's Light, putting teachings into practice and so on.
However, if the member is having troubles, difficult times, doubts, or
serious physical problems, it is due to their negative karma,
accumulated toxins, sins and impurities, their negative sonen [innermost
attitude], and/or spirit disturbance.
3. Excessive use of guilt - Identity guilt
Guilt of many and varied types is used by Mahikari to gain influence over its members.
- Who you are (not living up to your potential)
"If the suffering from disease, poverty or discord continues for a long time in your life,
you should realise that it is a sign of much spiritual impurity.
"If disease, poverty, conflict or disaster linger on, you shall understand that it is proof of your
living in pseudo-truth [Shin-nyo] and the adverse way [Gyakuho]."
[Norigoto [Prayer Book] Mahikari no Waza, pg 132 (verses 87-5 and 87-6)]
"Isn't it an unavoidable duty for each human being to dedicate his faith and
gratitude to God not only for himself but also for others' salvation?
"If you don't appreciate that this is a pleasure, it might be that you received the Divine teachings
with an egocentric attitude, or perhaps you haven't practiced the Divine teachings with a sunao [obedient]
attitude after being initiated."
[Mahikari Primary Kenshu Reference Textbook, pg 81]
"If Divine Grace (goshintoku) remains minimal, one should realize that it is proof
of his lack of truthfulness (Makoto) towards God."
[Norigoto Erabigo to Kumite - Chosen Children and Kumite, pg 174 (verse 112-6)]
"If one does not awaken the people in this world to the Art of God's True Light, Mahikari-no-Waza, he
will wind up being regarded by God as the one who is committing the sin of idleness."
[Norigoto Inori - Prayer, pg 180 (verse 116-4)]
- Your family
All things are in balance, according to Mahikari teachings. For example, a man and woman can only marry if
their 'amounts' of negative and positive karma are balanced. From this, a member can conclude that if their partner
is against Mahikari, or abuses them, or isn't interested in serving God (and therefore of a low spiritual level), they must be
at the same level. Members then feel it is their duty to save their family, and offer even more service to God
and the Dojo so that they can save their family members.
Some Mahikari teachings talk about how at the very least you should be able to bring your family members to
join Mahikari. Other teachings talk about how having one Mahikari member in a family is 'enough' to save the
family. These types of confusing and contradictory statements are very frequent in Mahikari teachings.
"Without this spiritual path, I could not master the way of saving my family in this lifetime."
[Norigotoshu, Kansha Ho-on - Recompense in Gratitude to God, pg 155 (verse 102-3)]
"The family which consists of the souls with much impurity shall eventually sink and that of pure souls shall, sooner or
later, live in the heights.
"How pathetic it is that one thoughtlessly and even knowingly accumulates impurity in his family,
eventually resulting in forceful compensation."
[Norigotoshu, Ohoharahi - The Great Fire of Cleansing to Develop the Positive Spirit, pg 201 (verses 130-3, 130-4)]
Your guardian spirit is also one of your family (ancestors), and if you are of a high spiritual level, then you get a
higher level guardian spirit who can see further into the future and help you more. Conversely, if you drop to a lower
spiritual level, you will be assigned a low level guardian spirit, who is only a bit higher than you.
- Your past
"This is what I teach at the beginning of primary kenshu,
namely, 'As regards Mahikari no Waza, the sonen (innermost
attitude) of the receiver accounts for 70% and that of the giver
(of True Light), 30%.' ... What it means is that even though I
receive the same power and distribute it equally to people,
depending on a person's sonen, God does not permit the same
result to everyone.
"The reason for this is that human beings cannot perceive the
'special relationships' [that have existed] since the Age of the
Gods. If it were only the sins of this life, they could be
disclosed by confiding or confessing. However, matters such as
having violated the laws of the realm of spirit while in the
realm of spirit are far from observable. Needless to say,
ordinary people can hardly ever know what sort of sins and
impurities they have accumulated or what their ancestors have
done against the Righteous Gods, who are to appear at this time.
"Also, even if people do find out about such things, there is
nothing they can do.... After all, the problem of sins and
impurities cannot be removed without Baptism by the Holy Spirit
of Fire of God, that is, True Light."
[Teachings of Sukuinushisama, The True Nature
of Miracles and how repentance of the Soul should be, given
on 8 July 1989, MAAJ Vol 7 No 8 August 1989]
- Your affiliations
Members are encouraged to help all people, of whatever
'level', but to make friends with those of a 'high level'.
"The friends who keep company with you by maintaining selfish
love and lowly ego will sooner or later go away from your
[Norigotoshu, Kekkon o Iwaite - Celebrating a Marriage, pg 297 (verse 188-2)]
- Your thoughts, feelings, actions
Members are reminded time and time again that attaching spirits can make you see, think, and do anything
they like. It becomes harder to trust your own thoughts, feelings, and actions, and the member can start
to feel that they are engaged in a constant internal battle, unsure of which of their thoughts are their own, and
which ones are the whisperings of nasty spirits...
The thought that God is watching absolutely everything you do is also inhibiting. When I attended Group Leader
training we were told that when we die, one of the first things we would get to see was a movie of everything in our
life... every action, every private moment, every righteous deed, every snide comment. This teaching caused much
nervous joking amongst the Group Leaders, but we were all uneasy. Personally, this teaching made me feel very
insecure and anxious.
"There are people who claim that they do not know whether God
exists or not, and thus act selfishly. However, the Parent God
sees through everything and anything, down to the finest detail.
"No matter what you hear or do, as long as you do not forget
the fact that 'the Parent God is watching', you can overcome all
suffering and pain.
"It is extremely important to have the way of thinking, 'to be permitted
to live with Su no Ohomikamisama, the Creator of Heaven and earth."
[Teachings of Oshienushisama, The Sonen of Total Devotion to God, given on 8 July 1989, MAAJ Vol 7 No 8 August 1989]
"I keep apologizing for myself for I have unknowingly contaminated my own God-related sacred soul."
[Norigotoshu, Waga Kokoro - My Heart, pg 243 (verse 154-4)]
"One can change into God or beast at his will. Frightening is the freedom which allows one to have kind of thought in a moment."
"Pitiful is the one who cannot attain the spiritual realization to close the gap between God and himself before repeatedly
receiving God's testing (Kami-dameshi) and sifting (Kami-burui)."
[Norigotoshu, Waga Kokoro - My Heart, pg 249 (verses 158-4, 158-5)]
- Social & Historical guilt
According to Mahikari teachings, mankind has inherited many sins and impurities.
A major one is the ancient sin from locking the Righteous Gods behind the Rock
Door of Heaven.
"Humankind has sins and impurities which are common to all. There is the serious
sin of not having praised and promoted a God-centred world...and producing instead,
a world in which practices and laws prevail that are contrary to those of God...
Even though this was in accordance with the plan of God, it just has to be apologised for."
"There is another sin which is common to all humankind. It is that of having forgotten
the heart of offering gratitude for all the creatures created by God."
"Therefore, people must awaken to their sin and impurity as soon as possible
and apologise for everything there is to apologise for. To offer apology means
to repay one's debt of gratitude...Simply to say, "I'm sorry" cannot be regarded
as offering apology."
[Teachings of Sukuinushisama, "How
going-towards-God based on the righteous path should be",
MAAJ Vol 13 No 8, August 1995, pg 8]
"Mankind shall perish eternally unless they apologize for their sin of placing
curses on Su-no-kami by using the Sakaki plant to maintain the Age of Separation
against God's Will (Sakagi) and by throwing roasted beans to prevent His appearance."
[Norigoto [Prayer Book] Inori - Prayer, pg 179 (verse 116-1)]
4. Excessive use of fear
- Fear of thinking independently
Members are frequently told about how attaching spirits can make then see, think, and say anything - after this
treatment, it is not surprising that many members grow to doubt their own independent thoughts.
- Fear of the "outside" world and enemies
All other religions labelled as "pseudo-truth", all other ways labelled "back the front way". Again, there are many
examples of this attitude throughout the Mahikari teachings.
The main enemies of Mahikari are invisible ones - the Water-lineage Gods, who are currently being replaced by the Fire-lineage Gods.
There are also spirits who are trying to get revenge on members, or stop the group's righteous activities. Anything which makes activities
difficult for the group are generally referred to as being 'spiritual opposition".
Earth-bound spirits can cause accidents, and attaching spirits can make you see, hear, say things. There is also group spirit
disturbance, where a whole nationality will disturb another group - this is used to explain the continuing
problems in Northern Ireland, for example.
- Fear of losing one's "salvation"
"Today God does not need those souls who cannot keep up with
the progress of the divine plan and who are useless for the
construction of the new Spiritual Civilization. (Do not be
conceited just because you are Japanese or Jewish.) It is the
divine will that such useless souls will be erased from existence
by the baptism with fire. The divine plan is that only souls who
have been sufficiently purified will be permitted to remain on
earth as tanebito (seed people)."
[Sunkyo (Great Guideposts on the Path of Divine Wisdom), by Sukuinushisama, The Descent of Holy Spirits, pg 16]
"All shall be perished if they live only with pseudo-true teachings. The great arrangement shall start
in order to unite the world, which has been separated into fragments."
[Goseigen [The Holy Words], Dreams in Life, English pg 174]
"Therefore today's mankind which is heading towards the major peak cannot be complacent or at ease.
I hope you will choose your future path knowing full well that if you become slack, 'the cart of your life' that you
are pulling (uphill) will immediately roll back and end up turning over with a big crash, making everything in vain."
[Extract from Teachings of Sukuinushisama,
Arrival of the Age of Major Compensation - Cleaning and the Path to become Seed People & Let us thoroughly enjoy cleaning"
August 1987, MAAJ Vol 6, No 10, October 1987, pg 8]
- Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group
This is a very real fear, and is even maintained on a daily basis whenever a member takes off their Pendant, Omitama (for a shower etc).
Since the Omitama gives the member God's protection, when they remove it, they are not protected to the same degree. Members
who have their Omitama off for some reason generally feel very tense and anxious. I would sometimes need to leave my Omitama at
home if I was buying a bra (so I could try on different types), or going swimming, or having an x-ray, and it was always an
People who had an Omitama accident (dropping their Omitama, or getting it on the bedding, or a chair etc) were pitied and
viewed with mild disdain, as they obviously had more sins and impurities than other members who hadn't received such a warning.
"By receiving Omitama not only do we receive protection from God at each moment of our life, we are
even allowed to save the lives of others."
"Always wear Omitama around your neck even when sleeping, in
the toilet, or exercising - except when completely impossible."
[Mahikari Primary Kenshu Reference Textbook, pg 70, 71]
- Fear of disapproval
Another big one. The staff at a Dojo can be supportive, but I
have also had experiences where they are personally abusive,
critical, and unhelpful, saying such things as "You obviously
don't have a proper grasp of Divine Teachings if you're upset
about that." Other members also act as a monitoring and
influential group within the Mahikari centre. Situations where
someone made a mistake or voiced opinions which were against the
staff or teachings could be used against them. If someone made a
mistake, doing something impolite to God although they didn't
realise it, then they would be told this was evidence of their
deep sins and impurities, and they would be encouraged to offer
donations and more service to God in apology.
5. Extremes of emotional highs and lows.
The extreme lows for Mahikari members often occur through spirit investigation, when the attached spirit 'takes over' the
member's body, and gives vent to a range of deep emotions, including yelling, weeping, shaking, anger, fear, revenge, and despair.
These sessions can last for up to half an hour at times, and leave the member extremely wrung out. In general they are not
very frequent events.
The teachings delivered at Monthly Ceremonies can frequently be very
strict and frightening. Members are generally encouraged to view all of
their life through 'spiritual eyes', and interpret everything through
Mahikari's world view. This can lead to very distorted ways of managing
their own life, with a great deal of fear.
"I felt a deep emotional pain that I could not fathom, and thought
that perhaps I was feeling such emotion because God wanted me to reflect
on my own actions."
[ "Salvation from practising teachings" by LH,
MAAJ Vol 17, No 1, January 1999, pg 13]
The extreme highs tend to occur during united chanting at ceremonies,
hearing inspirational experience stories, at the Omitama-receiving
ceremony at the end of Kenshu (Initiation Course), special events like
Land Purification Ceremonies, Anniversary Ceremonies, group meetings,
and other times when group members are doing something together.
Many members also experience 'spiritual highs' when they are giving
or receiving True Light. These experiences often serve to maintain a
member's commitment to the organisation despite their misgivings and
6. Ritual and often public confession of "sins".
Members' experience stories are read out by them in front of the
congregation at ceremonies. This is often a very emotional situation, as
the experience story tends to be about something difficult or emotional,
and the member is typically revealing their innermost and 'incorrect'
thoughts and attitudes, and then explaining what things changed to help
them awaken to the reality of Mahikari. The member is generally very
nervous about offering such an experience story, as they have been told that God
is watching them closely at this time, they have to speak in public,
which is a huge fear for many people, and that they have to bare their
soul to a huge room full of people.
7. Phobia indoctrination: programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the
group or even questioning the leader's authority. The person under mind
control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.
- No happiness or fulfillment "outside" of the group
If the only path to happiness is through serving God and giving True Light, how can
you possibly be anything but a damned soul if you leave? The general attitude to people
who have received Light (or even attended Kenshu) and then do not take up the great
opportunity offered to them (to become more involved and devoted) is that they were
given their chance, and 'Oh well', they have missed out.
- Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: "hell"; "demon
possession"; "incurable diseases"; "accidents"; "suicide"; "insanity";
"10,000 reincarnations", etc.
Another young woman who decided to leave the group was told
by the Centre Chief that 'People often get cancer when they leave
Mahikari, you know.' There are umpteen examples of this. The
general theory is that ex-members will have a few years of 'good
karma' up their sleeves, which will help them go OK in normal
society for a while, but then bad things will start to happen.
The huge joy and relief on leaving is also attributed to the
rejoicing of the person's attaching spirits, who have finally
achieved their wicked goal of driving the person away from the
one true righteous path of Mahikari.
- Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.
This happens all the time, and happened to me. I lost all friends within Mahikari, apart from two close friends.
A woman who recently left Mahikari didn't even know that I had left a year earlier - members who leave
are not discussed openly at the Dojo, if at all. I had one member completely ignore me when we met in
public - but this was somewhat unusual. Mostly members are civil to ex-members, but Mahikari is not discussed.
- Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group's perspective,
people who leave are: "weak"; "undisciplined"; "unspiritual"; "worldly";
"brainwashed by family, counsellors"; seduced by money, sex, rock and
From the group's perspective, members who leave have been
controlled and manipulated by evil gods and spirits, and are
egocentric, materialistic, and doomed to a whole host of dreadful things. God's
protection is withdrawn, as are the benefits from having received Light.