Monday, April 17, 2006

Memories



After I read everything I could I was mentally exhausted from all that I had absorbed. I called Asher and told him about David. He didn’t want to believe it, but agreed to do some research of his own concerning Mahikari. I lay down on my bed, crying. I didn’t know exactly what I was crying about. All I knew was that I felt like I had been betrayed, like there was a piece of me missing. I had been so faithful in my devotion to Mahikari and yet it was all for nothing. I felt like I had wasted all 15 years of my life.

I closed my eyes and started reminiscing on all my years in Mahikari. It was as though my diary had fallen open, pages flipping, stopping on an entry here or there. It stopped on one entry…an entry a few years ago. I didn’t want to think about it, but my mind was already pulling me under, forcing me to look at it.

I saw a little girl with blonde hair and endlessly dancing green eyes. I heard her little laugh, saw her smile. No…I didn’t want to think about Erica, but the images of my baby sister swirled around in my head…too painful to bear, but too beautiful to push away all at the same time.

Before I knew it I was back in the dojo again…sitting in the hallway as my parents spoke with the Kanbu. Erica was playing in the nursery with the other kids.

I heard my mother’s voice shaking as she spoke, “She has cancer…osteosarcoma…bone cancer.”

“We’re sorry to hear that, Beth. What are your plans as far as treatment goes?”

A tall man with brown hair said.

My mother shrugged, “I don’t know. I was hoping I could come and ask for your suggestion.”

She glanced at my father for support.

An Asian lady smiled at them, “The honest truth, Beth, Brian, look at your child. Does she look ill to you? Does she show any signs of sickness? Would you have even known about this if you hadn’t taken her to the doctor for a check up?”

My father shook his head, “No…she looks perfectly healthy.”

The Asian woman continued, “She has been receiving okiyome her entire life, she is a strong child…the reason she shows no sign of sickness is because she is a child of light. Doctor’s sometimes make a diagnosis out to be worse than it is in order to make money. Take my advice, offer Erica okiyome and see if she improves…if her condition worsens then take her to the doctor and see about chemotherapy. I am sure it is nothing to worry about. Medication, especially such potent medicine in a small child…it’s just like poison. The Goseigen warns us about using man-made medicine. Why do you think their hair falls out when they receive chemo? Because their bodies are rejecting the treatment, it is not meant to be inside the body. She is clearly suffering from terrible karma from a past life…she must compensate through this suffering. Triple your divine service and make sure you offer a significant donation.”

Another memory.

Erica crying, too weak to stand. The cancer had spread by the time we realized how bad it was. Erica was never much of a complainer, but had she been more of a complainer maybe my parents would have taken her to the doctor. Even at her tender age, she still believed the teachings; saying things to me like, “Sissy, its okay…mama says light is going to make me better.”

When we took her to the doctor he said that in the early stages something could have been done…in the very least Erica’s life could have been prolonged. Now he gave her a 5% chance of survival. My parents continued to go to dojo, both of them missing work to make sure they were on their knees offering okiyome and receiving okiyome, trying to erase their sins and impurities. All we could do now was wait for Erica to pass, as Kanbu had decided with a 5% survival chance that chemo would be a waste and only cause the spirit trauma. Su-God clearly wanted Erica and who were they to deny Him what He wanted?

Erica died at the age of 9 on August 13th 2002. She would be 13 now, finishing her last year in middle school. My brother Connor, Erica’s twin, has not been the same since she died; he always says he feels like something is missing...that psychic bond that twins share. My sister died because Mahikari did not think chemotherapy was a good idea and because my parents believed them.

After Erica passed I often heard whispers about how my parents had clearly not donated enough time, money, and effort to the center. In the minds of kumite Erica was dead because of our family’s sins and impurities. My parents threw themselves into the teachings even more after that. Determined that what happened to Erica would never happen to any of their other children. God had made an example out of Erica, but they had gotten the hint now. Despite my anger I too threw myself deeper into the teachings, more afraid of the consequences of my negative karma than ever before.

When my brother Connor turned 10 a few months later, the first thing he did was take Primary Kenshu because my parents said that we needed more Mahikari members in our family in order to protect ourselves. I pulled myself out of my reverie. It was all clear to me now…my sister was dead because of some cult’s money making scam…because they would rather my parents donate that money to their organization rather than spend it on chemotherapy.

The anger inside of me was like a tornado. I went into Erica’s room; it was the same as it had been before she died…a child’s room. An innocent room with stuffed animals and a vanity with play make-up. I lay down on her little bed, my feet draping over the edge. I grabbed her blanket (her Bobo) and held it to my chest, breathing in her scent that still remained on it. Something had to be done…I didn’t know what and I didn’t know how, but I was going to make sure that Erica had compensation. My first instinct was to turn in my omitama and abandon Mahikari for good, but that would not make a loud enough sound. I needed to do something bigger.

But what?

(Art by Nene Thomas)

4 Comments:

Blogger Joe said...

Once again, I am so upset by this I want to scream. I would like to hear from other ex-members regarding medical neglect brought on by taking SM advice. Also, I would be curious about any legal recourse in Civil Court.

6:32 AM  
Blogger Asher Kennedy said...

Your sister is in a better place now, far away from Mahikari and its lies. I know that doesn't help because we all want her here, but its true. This reminds me of a song called Streets of Heaven by Sherrie Austin. Since you like to incorperate songs into your posts maybe you'd like to use that one.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Darcy said...

I blame your parents just as much as I blame Mahikari. There is no way you cannot see that a cancerous child is not getting worse. They get fatigued and stop wanting to do much of anything. Your parents held onto hope that the okiyome would kick in for too long. That's the problem with Mahikari of course, the kids are the ones who get hurt the most when they realize that all the teachings are bullshit...those who don't will end up just like their parents...spreading the lies.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Jejune said...

This is so dreadfully shocking, Lara, and I am so sorry for you and your family... Quite horrific.

I think there must have been some sort of cancer 'incident' at our Dojo, because a few years after I'd joined, they started talking about how we needed to still be screened for things like breast cancer, and that we needed to combine True Light with medical treatment - basically, I think they were covering themselves legally.

4:20 PM  

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