1, Organization and the activities
SHINJI SHUMEIKAI, a religious institution, is headquartered in Sigaraki-cho of Shiga prefecture and has branches, branch offices and meeting places both nationwide and worldwide.
Shinji Shumeikai is a religious cult group, one of which rose recently in Japan, and famous or rather notorious for its "hand-stretching toward the other person in the name of healing". In the past or even now, the cult members stop a passer-by on the street, and ask him/her if they can pray for their happiness and welfare before stretching their hand toward the unsuspecting person in the name of "Jyorei (purifying the soul)". That is how they have practiced recruitment of new members.
This is a religious cult whose members worship MOKICHI OKADA and his successor MIHOKO KOYAMA (deceased in 2003) and now its head is MIHOKO's daughter HIROKO KOYAMA. The KOYAMA family through their familial connection occupies powerful and important posts in the group.
They proclaim their holy goal is "Making a heaven on earth".
Their alleged "Heaven on earth" is a perfect world where illness, poverty or war cannot exist. They claim that the proof that their religion is the only and true one is their ability to build an ideal world and society which even Jesus Christ was not able to achieve.
In the headquarters compound of the group, Shigaraki-cho, sits a gigantic MIHO museum, which was build on huge amount of money extracted and taken (they claim it was a pure donation by the members) from the members. The total sum is about 250 million dollars for construction cost alone. Buddhist statues and works of art are displayed in the museum.
2, Cult built on Miracle
The cult members of Shinji Shumeikai hang what they call "OHIKARI", a kind of guardian charm. This OHIKARI is a pipe and assurance that the founder MOKICHI OKADA (believers call him "MEISHU-sama") can give them spiritual power. Here is how "hand-stretching healing method work according to their claim. The hand stretching healing delivers not only the practicing person's power but also the power from the founder already in the spiritual world through the air, and the power reaches to the OHIKARI. The power reached then transmits through the believer's body, then the power physically goes out of the person's body toward the patient.
They claim that this very miracle power can heal any illness, protect the believer from accidents before they happen, or lessen the damage if it ever happens, send truant children back to school, or make one's business or financial situation better, and so on..
Shumei believers claim their God (MEISHU-sama) gave them diamonds out of nowhere (what they call "diamond miracle"), or gold-made DAIKOKU-sama (financial god) and turtle (turtle is regarded as happiness bringing creature in Japan). They claim when they drink or apply water flowing in the headquarters compound, illness and physical damage will heal. So, they say there are countless miracles in their religion.
On the other hand, their logic goes this way; when bad luck happens to a believer or the family, it is because of their karma. The only way to repay the karma is through Shinji Shumeikai Jyorei, they say. They claim this Jyorei or hand stretching healing method as "the only and true way to purify the soul", "the only and true way to survive the JUDGMENT DAY, "a day without Jyorei is a roller coaster toward the hell", or "Jyorei is a science in the 21st century" when they preach the efficacy of Jyorei.
They deny modern medicine. Their conviction is that any drug or medicine is a poison. The cult members never go to doctor's or take any medicine. They try to cure practicing Jyorei at the time of illness or physical damage. Though they claim Jyorei can cure any discomfort or illness, some are reported to have died due to no or little care. Their logic? Of course, they died of their own karma and dirtiness of the soul. So, they never suspect or even question the legitimacy of Jyorei.
These believers practice denying modern medicine not only on their own, but also on their family members who may or may not be the member. Especially when the mother is a cult member, they don't take sick children to the hospital, making the illness worse sometimes causing death. Sometimes a simple cold can lead to pneumonia. It is a risky demeanor.
According to Shinji Shumeikai's teaching, the world of spirit is segregated into 181 levels, the top of which of course lives MEISHU-sama, their founder. The remaining 180 levels consist of 60 levels of heaven, middle 60 level (our real world belongs here), and hell 60 levels. Each level is furthermore separated into 20 steps, for example, heaven is composed of the first, second and the third heaven. They say they can go up to a higher level if they contribute money to the religious cult.
They stress that unprecedented change is coming before our eyes. The only way to survive this epoch-making unprecedented disaster is to become a member of Shinji Shumeikai. They say members must save as many people as possible through recruitment.
Shinji Shumeikai says that the Great Hanshin Earth Quake was a form of what they call "The Last Judgement". Officials of the group went to the quake stricken area just to see how the last judgement was like, being dressed like victims for their study without helping those affected.
What they believe "MEISHU-sama faith" is said to be "transcending all religions" and they claim it to be the best and most powerful religion in history. The diamond miracle mentioned above was proven to be made of a plastic children's toy worth 10 yen and the gold miracle was proven to be a good-luck talisman worth 50 yen or so. Furthermore, the miracle water was proven to be tapping water.
3, Missionary work and money donation
In order to become a new member, one has to participate in a three-day "teaching instruction" and pay 30.000 yen to obtain an OHIKARI.
The cult forces its members to donate money or recruit new members. When they cannot meet the target for money donation, they are forced to go to loan shark to lend money, go out on the street or visit homes to recruit new members. The upper hierarchy members verbally abuse those who still cannot meet the money target in front of many members and make them promise to meet the donation target next time.
The cult has "summer missionary", which is the month to strengthen their missionary activities. The cult forces the members to practice "self-sacrifice", in which members must abandon their job or school to meet the target for new recruitment. Some left school or job because of the abusive practice of self-sacrifice.
The cult also has "daily gratitude donation". Members must donate 100 yen for every meal (three meals a day or 300 yen, amounting to 10.000 yen per month) to show their faith and gratitude for safe daily life. This has become a common practice of the cult. Besides this practice, members must pay donation each time they come to worship their god.
They also have three levels of money donation; peach seed level donation (100.000 yen), peach level donation (1 million yen) and peach tree donation (10 million yen). Whenever a good luck happens to a believer, they tell the person to donate according to the level of the luck saying "your luck is given by MEISHU-sama". But whenever a bad luck happens, they again tell the person to donate, saying "your plight was prevented to this degree, so thank MEISHU-sama and donate".
It is reported that when a family member of a believer fell to illness, Shumeikai threatened to force money donation claiming "this illness is a curse of your ancestors, so if you don't donate right now, your family would die out".
4, Organizational change
Today, some former members took legal action alleging that they were deceived and they want their money back. Numerous claims are coming to each branch and location. This is all due to the fact that the cult forced very severe quota. So, the cult management decided to shift their organization to a more moderate system, which they call "new system" to conceal what they really do from the public. This is partly because of the circumstances where these cult organizations are put into hardship and societal scrutiny after the AUM SUPREME TRUTH religious colt did criminal act.
Because of this trend, conspicuous activity on the street is curtailed, but internal money donation scheme is not changed to this day.
There has not a change in their miracle based recruitment scheme. Recently, Shumeikai lied that a Shumeikai member gave Muhammad, who came to Japan from Iraq for his lost eye treatment, Jyorei (hand healing) resulting in a quick healing of his eyes. They say his eye operation was done on June 9 ahead of the scheduled June 11 operation thanks to Jyorei power for quicker healing. We have investigated this bogus story and found out that none of this happened and all was a lie by Shumeikai.
5, Criticism to the Cult group
There are many cases of divorce or broken family because mother abandoned the role as caregiver, or a believer paid huge amount of money for donation secretly/
Money donation has gone up so high that some million yen donation has become a commonplace. Some reportedly donated more than 20 million yen.
In order to whistle-blow the plight and evil deed incurred by Shumeikai, web-sites, such as "Shinji Shumeikai Victims Association Network" and "Protect Your Family From A Religious Cult", have been established on internet.
A law suit claiming the cult to repay the extorted money donation to the victim is on-going.
To these claims, there has no response from Shumeikai and they even claim that they never forced any member to pay donation and they are all voluntary.
Shumeikai has bases overseas and is active in recruiting new member. France designated Shumeikai as "cult" (French call cult as "sect", so officially this is sect designation). Besides Shumeikai, the French congress designates Unification Church(Moonies), Jehovah's Witnesses, Institute for Research in Human Happiness, Soka Gakkai, Reiyukai, Mahikari-kai as cult.
This is a rough overview of Shinji Shumeikai. For further information and, please visit our website "Protect your family from religious cult" at http://www.geocities.co.jp/Technopolis/9575/
The truth of Shinji Shumeikai
The genuine situation of the religious cult described by former members' testimony