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!