I’ve been thinking of writing about Mahikari for some time now. I was in Mahikari for just over a decade, and got out many years ago. I’m surprised at the recent lack of public discussion or revelation about this group. Are ex-members too scared to say anything? You can write your experiences anonymously in many places, like here … telling people your story helps to educate and protect. It helps other ex-members to understand what they went through. It helps people avoid joining up in the first place. While it is classified by scholars as a ‘Japanese New Religion’, it is in reality a religious cult, and a damaging one at that.
I joined Mahikari when I was really young, only 19. I had some chronic health problems, and a very friendly neighbour a few doors down the street introduced me. He was so nice. Sucked me right in 🤦🏻♀️
Mahikari practices ‘spiritual purification’, where ‘Divine Light’ (okiyome or True Light) is ‘radiated’ from the palm of the hand. I became convinced that this Light could cure my health problems (spoiler alert, it couldn’t). True Light is supposed to heal all kinds of conditions, and it could also be radiated at your groceries to purify them of the ubiquitous ‘toxins’, and purify accident sites (to release the suffering earth-bound spirits), and could even make radioactivity poisoning an environment disappear! MAGIC. Fucking magic 🙄
To radiate True Light, the Mahikari member (kumite) has to wear their special Divine Pendant (omitama) around their neck. They are told that this pendant is more precious than their own life. This does a bit of a number on you.
The pendant must never touch the ground, a bed, or a seat, get wet, be put on back-to-front, or touch your body below the waist (pure body is above the waist, impure body is below the waist, where all that sex and poop and yucky things happen, and feet touching the dirty ground. Dirty dirty dirty.). The omitama has to be kept wrapped up in multiple layers (plastic, cloth etc), and pinned into a pocket in your bra or singlet. Members often had nightmares about their omitama getting wet, or broken, or damaged, or dropping onto a bed, or some other 'omitama accident'.
If, horror of horrors, an omitama accident actually happened, it was a reflection on the state of your soul, and a negative reflection at that. A warning. Although sometimes in unusual situations it could be deemed a sacrifice, sacrificing your omitama in place of your LIFE — so maybe if it got wet while you were in the process of nearly drowning, the Mahikari staff would say it had been sacrificed in place of your life. Not so much shame associated in that case.
But usually it was a warning. Because we all had a lot of negative karma. It was time to reflect on your sins. It would have to be sent away to be specially re-purified. You had to make special donations, of grovelling apology and significant funds. The other members would whisper about you. It was all quite humiliating.
I actually never had an omitama accident, yeah bitches, that's how 'pure' I was (what a fucking joke). But even now I still get the occasional 'omitama accident nightmare', and I haven't had one of the bloody things in my house, let alone strangling me around my neck, for years.
More to come. I need to get this shit out of my head.
#Mahikari #cult #omitama #pendant #warning #purity #rituals #JapaneseNewReligion