Culty Kyushu

Kyushu MapI had a couple of three day weekends over the past month and I decided to take advantage and go on a nice three day and two night vacation. The destination? Kyushu, one of the four major Japanese islands. Since coming to Japan I have only visited two of the these islands, Honshu and Shikoku, and to eager to discover some new places. So how was my trip? Well, the easiest way to describe it would be to say… it was very culty. That’s right culty. It would be easy for the untrained eye to walk across this island and not see anything particularly out of the normal other than the usual Japanese idiosyncrasies. However, what I witnessed in my three days traveling around this large island was frightening to say the least.
Fukuoka Food Stands
The first five minutes after arriving were normal enough, me and my travel companion had to kill time between our train arrival and our bus departure in Fukuoka, the biggest city on the island. We decided to walk around and search for some illusive street venders which were supposedly famous in the city. We couldn’t find one. Very curious indeed. How could a city famous for its food on the street, have none anywhere to be found? Cult activity? Hmmm.

On our way back from our long walk we stumbled upon a large Buddhist temple. The temple seemed pretty popular since loads of cars were going in and out. They even needed a guy directing traffic outside. Thinking it was possibly some famous attraction in the city, we went inside the walls. It took us ten seconds to figure out something wasn’t quite right. This was no temple, it was more like an office complex, with weird symbols gilded on every orifice. A sudden feeling of dread took over me. Flash backs to my own cult experience filled my mind as we ran past the guard to get out of there. Did I mention that the cult I had joined was founded in Kyushu? Did I tell you that? It’s kind of important. Anyway, my friend informed me that since we had entered the grounds, the tracker implants that my cult had injected into me unknowingly, had probably triggered alarms at the main cult base, and that they would be after me. Crap! In the end, no secret cult agents came pouring out to get us, but the idea did keep us on edge for the rest of the vacation.
Saigondenji Temple
The next incident came during our second day of vacation. We were chillin’ around an active volcano called Mount Aso. We were walking around the area when we came across the ruins of an old Buddhist temple. My friend, being a real working archeologist, did a quick survey of the area. After about a minute he was able to determine the cause of its destruction, fire. We couldn’t say when it burned down but it was fairly being that all the trees and were burnt to shit and the ground all the metal around was warped to all hell. We thought about the nature of fire for a second. Fire…fire…fire… We looked at each other and quickly came to the same realization. Fire? Burned down Buddhist temple? Those dirty cults, they struck again. You could feel the sacrilege in the air, the hatred, the suffering. Needless to say we got out of there real quick.
Next incident. On that same day we set up camp in a town called Takachiho. The area is famous for its place in Japanese mythology. We found a hotel quickly enough, and even did a little sightseeing before we decided to get unhealthily drunk. We had eyed an interesting looking bar/restaurant (called an “izakaya” in Japan) when we arrived, so we decided to go honor the funny looking establishment with our patronage. We went inside and was greeted by a man wearing large glasses with perfectly circular lenses, and a greased back 1950’s style yakuza haircut. He directed us to the counter. The very large barkeep, and owner of the place, was quick to inform us that he was a karate and boxing master, and to look at the photos of himself plastered all over the restaurant. Most of the photos were idealized pictures of the bartender in a sea of clouds wearing traditional garb and inspirational messages written in large fonts. Not only was this picture all over the bar, but on three or four large flags waving in the wind outside. It was obvious at that point that we had walked right into a cult base. We finished our food and drink and got out as soon as we could, not after cautiously accepting a clear unknown drink from the man which may have been brainwashing potion.

We had planned to get out of the cult populated town early the next morning, but the bus we planned to get on was conveniently full. We had to wait for another five hours for the next one. We decided we probably shouldn’t stay in one place to avoid detection, so we began circling around the area, not frequenting one place for more than a half hour. However, when we stopped to eat in a place we chose for its lack of customers, as soon as we sat down a group of young people came in. They numbered seven and by the looks of them (skinny jeans, bandanas, and long hair) they were trouble. For a while none of them did anything suspicious and we were beginning to feel a little bit at ease, but then came the look. A girl, the obvious leader of the group, sporting wild long black hair and fake eyelashes, turned her head and began to stare at us, mouth slightly opened, eyes wide. I looked at her back, but she continued to stare. A staring contest ensued. I nodded at her, a “ok, please stop staring at me now” sort of desperate nod. She nodded back, but she wouldn’t look away, mouth still slightly open. She was salivating. My heart beat faster. I was scared. I was no match for her mouth derived powers. We quickly ran out of the store, but the cult outriders were soon on our backs. They chased us around until we begged a passing bus to let us on. We never would of gotten away if we hadn’t suddenly became parkour masters. Driving away we could see them dissolve into cultish mist through the back window.

The time finally came for our bus, and we were glad to leave. It was the scariest experience of our lives. How could an island as big as Kyushu be so densly populated by crazy cultists who want to burn us at the stake? Needless to say, I’m back safe in the normal Japan, where you find only the occasional cult. It’s a good feeling to be alive after a brush of death. Won’t be going back anytime soon…unless… unless they tracked my movements back here. Woah. I forgot about the tracker. Crap, better hide.

See you next time?


Ken-chans worker

My Path to Cultdom

A couple of posts ago I talked about some of the crazy Buddhist cults we have all around the world. And yes, I announced that I had in fact been a part of one. Today, I’ll try and tell my story and a little bit about the group. All these events happened about a year ago.

Fujitaisekiji Kenshokai, members in the millions

It was late spring of 2010. My second year on the job teaching. My main concern at the time? Women. Oh, yes, I was obsessed. I could not find a loving companion to rock the casaba with. My life was not complete. Of course I had women I was interested in, the problem was they weren’t interested in me. To this day I still don’t know why, cause I’m totally awesome. Anyway, a few months prior, the school got a new cute female teacher! She was nice, energetic, and young! Oh yes, I had the eyes for this voluptuous pussycat. But, being that were in a work environment, I couldn’t really do anything about it. But one day out of the blue she actually asked me out! It was completely random! Needless to say, I was ecstatic. My first break in months. Ever since this job had started, I had seriously the worst luck with women ever, and now I was finally getting asked out by a girl. Not only a regular girl, but a girl who wasn’t afraid to take the initiative. Frickin sexy, and super rare in Japan.

They day of the big date came! She decides to come by car and picks me up. We go to a cafe in a place only accessible by car (this will come into play later). So we start a talkin’! We were talking for about five minutes before I realized that we didn’t really have anything in common, and being with her was a drag. Still wanted to get into bed with her though so I was riding it out like a trooper. That’s when she dropped the first bombshell. She had a boyfriend. Now, okay, I shouldn’t have been too upset. But really, my heart was aching. And not the kind of aching you get when you’re heartbroken. This aching was full of “What the fuck!?” and “Why am I here!?”. This is also where she makes her second and most sneaky move. She tells me that actually, she invited me out for a reason. A reason? She takes out a book and asks me what I feel about buddhism. Crap! By this point I’m already far into her trap. She then spends the next hour taking to me about buddhism, this guy named Nichiren (a Japanese buddhist prophet), and this special group that she’s part of. Here were the main selling points:

-All young people!
-You look damn good when you die!
-You will get everything you want in life!
-No bad things will ever happen to you!
-Doomsday philosophy!

The literature she showed me. It's entitled "A Japan that goes against the great sage Nichiren is doomed".

I’m quite stunned at this point. Was this actually happening to me? I couldn’t do much other than nod. All I could do was wait for the inevitable question. And when that question came all I could do was nod my head and say “Ok, I’ll try it”. Now you’re probably asking yourself why I even said yes. It’s a hard question to answer. Well not really. One, I have a hard time saying no to anything, and two, I had just realized why she had brought me to this cafe only accessible by car… crap.

Have you ever imagined what it’s like in a cult center? I feel like I had some idea from watching TV and movies my entire life, but when I was actually brought to one , I realized that it was worse than I could possible imagine. When I walked into the place it was a sensory overload. First thing I noticed was the smell. It smelled like a dank hospital. Like your dying grandma in a hospice. Not pleasant. Second, the sounds. The muffled sounds of someone yelling from a TV, applause, and crying babies. Yeah, crying babies. And third, the sights. It was a very small, darkly lit room, with people sitting around in fetal position. Needless to say, it was uncomfortable.

My hot recruiter shuffles me into another room (the previous room was more like a hallway). I was surprised to see about 60 people stuffed into a space the size of a bedroom, watching a recording of speeches made at what seemed to be a large gathering of the cult. The room was packed, but I managed to find a little bit of space to sit down. I felt like I was being watched at all times, I literally kept looking behind me just in case someone was getting ready to stab me. What can I say, it was my first time at a cult center! One strange thing I noticed was the way they clapped at the television. We were definitely watching a DVD, yet everyone in the room felt the need to clap at the end of everyones speeches like they were actually there. Yes, I clapped along as well to avoid getting stabbed. Finally, when Mr. Supreme Leader Asai Sensei got up to speak, everyone sat up and looked very attentive. He spoke about how Japan was going to be invaded by China, and how a big earthquake was coming. After all that, everyone in Japan would finally realize that this cult was the way to go. Pretty standard if you ask me. The end of the speech brought thunderous applause (still a recording, by the way).

After the speeches were done, they turned on the lights, and people started trickling out. It was now time for my initiation ceremony. After a small fee of about 6 bucks, I was given my prayer beads and prayer book. We chanted for about 20 minutes and that was it! I was officially a cultist! The woman who preformed the ceremony asked me after why I had decided to join them, I couldn’t say a thing. It was also explained to me that every time you chant (you’re supposed to twice a day), you must face towards Mt. Fuji. Islam needs to file for some copyright infringement on this shit. It was a long day, and my recruiter finally let me go home and reflect on what I had just done.

After a great deal of soul searching, I told my recruiter I was through after about a week. It took about a month to actually get her to stop trying to convince me otherwise. She even called in backup in the form of another cultist from a city about 500 miles away to try and stop me from quitting. Thinking about it, I’m lucky I got out at all.

Moral of the story, beware of hot chicks who ask you out out of the blue, they’re actually cult recruiters.


Buddhist Cults: Yes They Do Exist

When people think of cults, Buddhists probably aren’t the first group that comes to mind. You probably think of Tom Cruise and scientology, or crazy suicide kool-aid. But there are many cults based on the facets of Buddhism all over the world. I should know, I joined one.

But before I get into my experience with crazy Buddhist cults, here are a couple of famous ones you’ve probably already heard of.

Soka Gakkai, 12 million members

These guys are spreading around the world like wildfire. You may of received one of their pamphlets, seen one of their commercials, talked to one of their many members (including Orlando Bloom), or walked around one of their beautiful college campuses. Seems like a nice little, happy, group of Buddhist.

Their leader, Daisaku Ikeda, seems like a pretty cool dude too, except those dreams he has of taking over the cworld (he’s actually been quoted saying stuff like this).  Their members devote their lives to his word. Their main goal is the conversion of large populations of people, so they can take over and control governments. His first target? Japan! He already has a very large following there, including, yes, a political party with members in parliament. Yikes!

The Dhammakaya Movement, members in the millions

This one pretty weird. It’s based in Thailand. The central complex, the biggest buddhist temple in the world, seriously looks like giant UFO, and houses around a hundred thousand people. If that wasn’t enough, they’re currently building one that houses a million. Yes, a million fucking buddhists all in one building. Followers surround this UFO and practice elaborately choreographed nazi-like rallies. They group claims that they are are non profit, but at the same time hey actively encourage people to give thei monks money and gifts, saying it would bring them good Karma. Fucked up right? Can’t get enough? Tune into their 24 hour cable channel for all the half naked, orange robed monk you can get. Creepy as shit.

Aum Shinrikyo, At it’s height about 50,000 members

Ohhhh, Aum. Where to even begin? How could a group that gets its ideas from such a peaceful religions be so deliciously evil? Not only did they make home brood sarin gas and release it into two Japanese population centers, they’ve been linked to several assassinations of lawyers and ex-members. Yes, assassinations.

The founder, Shoko Asahara, started it off as a yoga class at his one room apartment in Tokyo. How he got from that to a 1 billion dollar net worth religious organization that wanted to destroy the world is beyond me. And don’t forget the head gear they were made to wear. They were rigged up with electrodes that were said to focus the brain waves of Asahara straight into the heads of the wearer. So who were all these people stupid enough to follow this guy? Mostly highly educated, rich professionals. Yeah, whatever. Show me that electrode hat you wore again? Yeah.. you’re a retard.

So, yes, I joined a buddhist cult. I’d say out of these three it was somewhere in the middle on the craziness scale. Anyway, I’ll get into all that next time!

Cya around guys!