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.

-Maxim

Coming Out of the Closet (Kinda)

Okay, so I’m an asshole. I can’t get away from it. I love to make fun of people and I love make them feel horrible about themselves. It’s like a social African safari with me. You have the weak little zebras and gazelles, and you got the fucking lions. Not to boast, but I’m definitely a fucking lion. Now, it’s not always, black and white, lion and gazelle. Most of the times there are levels in between, like hyenas, or vultures, or elephants. The difference is, lions actively seek out and kill the gazelles. Those other freeloaders start picking at the corpse once you’re done. No, you don’t have to be a terribly strong person to be a lion, you just got to act like one. So if some poor person gives me the opportunity to make an ass out of them, eight times out of ten I’ll probably take it. It’s a bad habit, but I can’t help it.

So back on topic. There was this gazelle, no, not even a gazelle. Gazelles at least run away. This guy was a sheep or something. He was a self proclaimed introvert that introduced himself to me one day at a bar. And so the story begins…

Most times when you make fun of someone, they do one of two things. Take it like a man and make fun of themselves with you, or leave/not want to hang out with you anymore/hate you. But there are also people who just don’t get it. They just don’t understand that that they are the butt of all the jokes. That we’re not laughing with them, we’re laughing at them. Yes, he was that guy. But you know, once I got started thinking about this guy I realized, without this guy, the nights were not nearly as fun. So I would call him to go out with the specific reason just to make fun of him. Yes, I am that much of an asshole. My friends were already over it, but I just couldn’t get enough.

We didn’t just make fun of him directly. We would lie to him. We would create personalities. We would perform elaborate plays. I was the jew-hating racist, and my friend was my partner in hate-crime. This guy would passively listen to most of our personalities, simply dismissing our rouse as “not intelelectual enough for (his) participation”, sometimes throwing in the “Are you guys being serious?”. However, when it came to me and my friend talking about our violent love affair, or our escapades in bed, he got all in a huff. He loved women, and only women,e he proclaimed. He did not want to hear of our “disgusting and unnatural” talk of homosexual love. Yes, he was one of the most homophobic people I had ever met. Naturally, since this bothered him the most, we pushed it the most.

Sadly to say he moved away after about six months. Yes, it was sad but we got over it pretty quickly. Here’s where the story gets interesting.

Zoom ahead six months to now. I’ve had absolutly no contact with this kid since he left. Then out of the blue I get a call from him. I didn’t pick up. I was done with this guy. He called again 10 minutes later. Hmm, no. Not picking up that one either. He called again. Didn’t pick up, BUT, it got my mind wondering. “WTF?”, I thought. “Is this kid ok? Am I his one phone call from the police station? Is he out for vengence? Is he standing in front of my apartment with an axe?” I couldn’t possibly imagine what this kid would want from me after 6 months. I mean, he wasn’t exaclty the most social guy ever, but I’m sure he had found someone in that big city he moved to to annoy. My curiosity got the better of me, and I called him back. I’ll try to cronical the conversation the best I can.

Me: Hey, how are you?
Him: Hey, I’m good. How’s life over there?
Me: Same as it’s always been I guess.
Him: You know I’m over here in the city now.
Me: Yeah, I know, I know.
(small talk)
Him: Okay, let me jut get to the point
Me: Okay…
Him: Remember 4 or 5 months ago you invited me out to drink at…what was that bar again? Saylaaa….seeelaa….
Me: Swla. (Pronounced soola)
Him: Yeah, Swla. Remember that?
Me: 4 or 5 months ago?
Him: Yeah, you made a comment to me to the effect that you wanted me to go with you on the last train back to your neighborhood to stay over…
Me: Wait…what? Can you say that again?
(at this point i’m thinking he needs a place to stay)
Him: You know, you invited me out, and you wanted me to come with you on the last train to your apartment.
Me: Okay, sure…
Him: Ok, I’ll just say it. Were you coming on to me?
Me: Um…..what do you mean?
Him: I mean were you actually coming on to me?

At this point it all comes back. After months of not speaking to this guy, I had forgotten the extent in which I had preformed my act in front of him. I didn’t remember the specific episode he was talking about, but I had certainly alluded to him many times that I wanted to…do him… Not really, just to bother him… you know…since he was so…homophobic… At this point I had to decide on whether to continue the act, or to just tell him straight up we were making fun of him the whole time. I chose the middle path, like Bhutan.

Me: Yeah, man. I don’t know. It was a long time ago.
Him: Yeah it was.
Me: So, man. I dunno, it’s been a really long time. Have you been thinking about this for a while?
Him: Not that much.
Me: I just mean, you call me out of the blue when I haven’t seen or spoken to you for 6 months. It must of been on your mind a lot.
Him: I’m just curious. I’m a curious person.
(he changes the subject)
Him: So how’s your girlfriend? Things going good?

Couldn’t get a straight answer out of him, but by now it was pretty obvious. It’s always the most homophobic people. We talked a little bit more. Sensing I really couldn’t contain myself anymore, I decide to end the conversation.

Me: Yeah, I should go. I’m kinda busy right now. I’m working on my blog.
Him: Seems like everyone has blogs these days.
Me: Yeah, but it’s a comedy blog, it’s not really about me so much (Except now). Thinking maybe I want to get into comedy.
Him: If you can make me laugh right now you can be a comedian.
Me: No, not like stand up, more like well thought out, written material.
Him: Make me laugh right now and you can be a comedian.
Me: I…can’t….
Him: I just crushed your dreams.
Me: I really got to go…
Him: Ok. If you ever need a random friend to talk to, or a place to vent, give me a call.
Me: Thanks…you too man.
Him: You shouldn’t of said that! Haha!
Me: ha..ha.. Bye.
Him: Bye.

And that was it. I can’t believe he was brooding over this for months. It’s kind of sad really. That I was the guy he half came out to. Makes me think that I should try and fix my assholeish ways to aovid things like this in the future. Nah. It’s sad but its still hilarious.

Till next time.

-Maxim

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!

-Maxim

Squiggly Lines Around the World: Canji Edition

Squiggly lines are everywhere. I’m using them right now. You’ve probably used them too. They’re very convenient. But in my world travels, I’ve seen that different countries use different kinds of squiggly lines. Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why the hell would they use DIFFERENT squiggly lines? Our squiggly lines are just fine…and more American!” That’s a great question. I’ve been researching for days on the subject and I think I’ve found the reason. Most of them are anti-American, anti-Western hippies. Now I have been living in one of these countries for a while now, and I think I have begun to decipher some of their squiggly lines. If we could all try and learn some of their squiggly lines, I think we could really stick it to them. I will share with you some of my findings today.

Country: J-Land, Squiggly Lines: Canji (pronounced CAN like coke can, and JI like gee-whiz)

Now it has been said that there are over a million Canji in J-Land. From the outsiders perspective it may seem like a pretty daunting task to learn them all!  According to legend, they made the first Canji by just using the shape of the object to write the squiggly line. Neat, huh? Thanks to me I have found three of the simplest and most important Canjis. I will teach them to you today.

Canji #1

Canji number one is one of the most important squiggly lines in J-Land. It’s quite simple!

Remember, they based these squiggly lines off of real objects. What do you think it means? Take a guess!

You’re right! It is the Canji for person!

Canji #2:

Here is Canji number two. Equally as important as number one.

I know, it is a lot harder then Canji number one. Don’t get scared off! Just remember that they used REAL THINGS to make their system of squiggly lines! Do you have it?

Right again! It’s the Canji for mouth.

Canji #3

Here it is, the last Canji. Actually, it’s two for one! One of the most important in all of J-Land.

Have you figured it out yet? By now you should be a pro!

What could it be?Tetris of course!

Wow, great job! It’s the Canji for Tetris. Isn’t it amazing that they had the forethought to create a squiggly line for Tetris, even though it wouldn’t be created for thousands of years?

That does it for todays edition of Squiggly Lines Around the World. Remember these next time you’re in J-Land (and China!), and really stick it to those hippies.

Until next time!

-Maxim

The Beginning

This is it. The beginning. My blog. Let me just inform you that I have started this on a complete whim with no idea of where this will be going. Will I even continue writing through the week? As with most people, that’s probably based on how popular and awesome it becomes…which I must say is very, very likely.

The question: Can I even do this?

The answer: Probably not, but my heart says YES!

Let’s break this down.

Reasons why I can:

  • Extreme short term confidence: I usually start things with this amazing confidence that I will be able to succeed and excel above all others. This includes when I get into drunk fights against opponents much larger than me.
  • An inordinate amount of free time: This is a doozy. The down time I have at my job allows my mind to wander to the abyss of my imagination. This is where I get many of my ideas, including the one where I decided I want to be some sort of rock star.
  • Interesting interests: This may be a piggyback off the confidence thing, but I think what I like is interesting and other people should like it… or learn to! Not to come off as a self-centered jerk or anything but… yeah… I REALLY DO THINK THAT!
Chicken confidence

I'm the one on the right.

Reasons why I can’t:

  • I can’t write: You may have noticed by now, but I can’t write for shit. Excuse the language. If I could write, I would be able to replace shit with some other magical, less offensive, word to express my feelings. I’m more of a verbal wordsmith. I run my mouth off and piss people off. I can’t do that in writing! For most people this would be a deal breaker… you can’t write then don’t. Keep to facebook. But not I.
  • I give things up quickly: Remember when I said I have lots of confidence in the short term? Well, that runs out awfully fast. An example: Yesterday I wrote a song. I thought this song would make me an immediate rock star. I got home and realized I couldn’t even play my own song on the guitar… and my voice doesn’t sound like Jack Black (that’s the way I sung it in my head).
  • I’ve got no friends: Pretty self explanatory.
  • It won’t become awesome.
  • It’s slightly embarrassing.
  • Boobs.

Woah, got super negative at the end there! What happened to all that confidence?! Anyway, logic states, based on my proven method of reasoning, that I shouldn’t do this. But I’m gonna.

Stay classy and keep reading, blogsphere. To end, one of the ultimate confidence songs of all time… from the Karate Kid with Mr. Miyagi… “You’re the Best Around” by Joe Esposito.

-Maxim