Soka Spirit
Part II: 3. Operation C

Problem with Nichiren Shoshu

Nevertheless, in 1990, the 67th high priest, Nikken Abe, contrived to sever the temple’s relationship and disband the Soka Gakkai. His aim was to bring Soka Gakkai members directly under the control of the temple.

In July 1990, High Priest Nikken, together with the senior executive leaders of Nichiren Shoshu, devised a strategy known as Operation C, intended to cut off relations with the Soka Gakkai. High Priest Nikken tried to destroy the Soka Gakkai and directly connect the SGI members to the priesthood.

The priesthood’s document states: The objective of this strategy is to remove Honorary President Ikeda from his position as sokoto, or head of all Nichiren Shoshu lay organizations and thoroughly demolish the SGI organization.

Nikken’s strategy was put into action in December 1990. Under the pretext of revising the by-laws of Nichiren Shoshu, he dismissed the Soka Gakkai leaders, including SGI President Ikeda.

Behind these arbitrary measures was the biased opinion that priests hold unquestionable authority in all religious affairs and lay believers must simply obey priests in all matters. By this time, the priesthood had experienced substantial physical development of the head temple grounds and secured its financial foundation due to the generous donations of the Soka Gakkai and its members.

Once Operation C went into action, Nikken stated that if only 200,000 Soka Gakkai members came over to the priesthood side, he would be satisfied. In other words, this is the number of lay SGI believers needed to maintain the priest’s present livelihood. Nichiren Shoshu, while apparently concerned about the number of members it could separate from the Soka Gakkai, expressed no concern for the faith or future happiness of the body of believers as a whole.