So now, the argument stands as follows. I’m told just how inadequate and rigid I am because I will not accept this person’s rigid view that the cult’s way is the one and only way. It’s Nichiren chanting or you are shit. I am terribly misguided, she says, since I won’t even consider what she’s saying. She claims I’m a fool and any education beyond Nichiren is worthless. She says that since I am so closed minded, I’m obviously suffering terribly since I do not follow her cult. I’m cult-deprived, clearly.
The year was 1985. I needed a roommate, so advertised over at the local college. I received a call from one of the students. I was certainly NOT thrilled about having another student live with me since the current two that lived with me were quite a pain in the butt. However, the two who were my current roommates told me, “She’s cool,” so finally, I figured I’d let this new one stay.
Um, yeah. She was a bit pushy. Very. She had an air of, “I’m better and have better ideas about how to live than you do,” like 24/7, all the time, trying to “teach” me constantly. “Hey, buzz off,” I wanted to say to her. “Leave me alone. Just go away.” Then, she tried to teach me how to chant. “But I’m fine the way I am. Let me be the way I already am. I didn’t ask for a lesson. Maybe later.” Thing was, she wouldn’t quit. She wouldn’t give up. She was like annoying glue. You couldn’t get rid of her!
Not only that, she was never satisfied. More and more. So I chanted with her a half hour, but the next week, she insisted on an hour a day, then two hours. Wow, after it increased past two hours a day AND rides to her three-hour meetings a couple of times a week, I sure was glad she upped and moved back to Greece in a flash one day.
Never mind all those long distance calls to that Greek boyfriend I had to pay for.
Years later, I was told, “Nichiren Buddhists aren’t supposed to be like that.” Or, rather, “We aren’t like that.” Know what? Each and every one will tell you that. It’s a damn lie. Every one of them proselytizes to their friends and families and anyone who crosses their paths. You will find that the difference between denominations and cults is that those in mainstream denominations can live among those of varying faiths and accept differences. Members of cults are completely intolerant and push away those that are not also aligned with them, even their own family members.