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We know that Nikken is consumed with absolute power. That is why any decision making rights on the part of the members were excluded in the by-laws of the priests' organization when we were associated with them. In addition, the membership has no right to stand up to unethical or inappropriate behavior on the part of the priests because of the threat of excommunication. The people were denied their most fundamental rights.

In the beginning, we accepted such an organizational contract with the priesthood out of necessity. They had control over who would receive the Gohonzon. They were established over a long period of time (status quo) and had claims of legitimacy. We even pledged to protect the priesthood in our show of good faith and respect. If any member dared to challenge the behavior of a priest he was branded a traitor, accused of causing disunity and corrupting the teachings. In such a system, where the priesthood had absolute authority and the lay believers had no rights, they would go so far as to deny us the right to protect the teachings even when the priests were violating the 26 admonitions, because we accepted the structure that gave the priests absolute power. Then, any objection by us would just be seen as treason and outright rebellion against them. From an historical point of view, we never could have stayed with them in such an organization where the rules were dictated and the rights of the people were even denied to fulfill the mandate of the Buddha. We had to stand up.

Such a system that reveres authority supports the view that people are inferior and incapable of discriminating judgment. It treats the believers like infants. Thus it is in complete opposition to the intent of the True Buddha who respected the integrity of the individual first and foremost. He believed in the people's capacity to directly understand the heart of his teachings.

The problem lies not only with Nikken but with this type of system itself.

Even if Nikken were to resign or pass away, another Nikken would surely appear. This type of system guarantees it. This is far different from the system Makiguchi envisioned for our organization when he spoke of the people overseeing the actions of the leaders in order to eternally protect the teachings and the organization itself.

The one thing that Nikken fears most is a fully empowered people. Now it becomes perfectly clear that we have found the perfect strategy in our campaign to defeat him. It also becomes clear that only a people whose duties and responsibilities are chartered within the by-laws of an organization, can move with clarity and purpose to eternally protect the Law and preserve the organization of the people.

The empowerment of the people goes hand in hand with the need for a mandate in concrete form. Why do people who are fully aware and empowered need to be mandated by written decree? The answer is that in any organization there are rules and procedures to sustain its level of social intercourse between people. Those rules set the standard and represent the values of that organization. This must be so that each individual's rights and responsibilities are protected under the mantle of the by-laws of the organization. As an example, in the case of segregation, it was not until the people set the standard by written law that they became fully empowered and it became part and parcel of our value system. 

Of course, people gain courage from faith so they can empower themselves, but until their rights are written into the system, only then will it become an acceptable standard. Only then we can say that we have crossed the bridge to a fully empowered people. 

Now this standard becomes the catalyst to involve people to take responsibility with their faith in making the people's mandate abiding and continuous. Under Nikken people would never have been permitted such control.

Then the direction we must take is perfectly clear:

The appearance of Nikken accelerates our growth and reveals our true purpose of faith in this world: to empower the people directly to stand up and exercise their fundamental rights. 

This has been clearly expressed in Sensei's poem "The People". It goes directly to the spirit of Buddhism. Anyone that would obstruct this process would be going against our own stated purpose of faith and the attainment of kosen-rufu and in a sense unknowingly aiding Nikken. Fully empowering the people in our own organization is an absolute necessity. This change in our thinking is not to be interpreted as blatant criticism or imply that the sincere efforts of the leaders and members have been ineffectual, it is just another step, a positive action that will create an indomitable force to finally dismantle Nikken.

While it is true that the fundamental strategy to defeat this man lies in chanting abundant daimoku, it is only the conviction and determination in the daimoku of a fully empowered people that gives rise to the spontaneity to sustain such a formidable campaign. It is this kind of determination that will evoke the power of the Buddha that would uproot and wash away his evil schemes that would pollute our land.

When the people stand up to abuse of power on the part of any authoritative figures and take action in their daily lives, they truly liberate themselves from such evil influences. This summons up the determination to fight against evil and releases the righteous anger that Makiguchi speaks of which is necessary to defeat it. 

They have experienced the strangulation of abusive authority and now they know they can win against it. Now they have the passion to stand up to it. When there is not a mandate for the people, there always arises a mindset in which people wait for direction from the authorities. They become accustomed to letting other people make decisions for them, finding security in the protection of the authorities. This gives rise to an attitude of passive appeasement. This destroys righteous, wholesome, healthy anger and the will of the members to participate in the battle to stand against evil and defeat it.

That is why we must take the next step and empower the people so that we can eternally preserve the teachings and honor the sincere efforts of those members who have taken us this far, especially to protect this glorious history and the Law against Nikken's evil influence.

In "The Universal Salty Taste" (MW 4, p.3) Nichiren Daishonin states, "There are six kinds of flavors: The first is subtle, the second is salty, the third is pungent, the fourth is sour, the fifth is sweet and the sixth is bitter. Even if you prepare a sumptuous feast of a hundred different dishes, it will not be fit for a great king's feast if it lacks the single flavor of salt. Even the rarest of delicacies of all lands and seas will taste insipid without salt." The people are the salt of the earth. Just as a dish without salt tastes insipid, an organization where the people are not fully empowered will lack the basic ingredient to achieve success and fulfillment.

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