Sunday, June 27, 2021

Enter the Oversoul

"In nearly 40 years of life outside the military, I've found that cowardly slanderers, bold-faced liars and shameless cheats in positions of power and influence are a dime-a-dozen." - The Apollyon of Shiro.
The preceding quote comes on the heels of Tucker Carlson's despicable slanders and insults against the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley. It was an abominable display of abject cowardice by Mr. Carlson, and his behavior reminded me of the educated cowards who slandered me on the campus of Bridgewater State College years ago. Many aspects of the case are covered in the Summary Judgement, but what was not mentioned was the damage those slanders did to my personal life.

One of the most hurtful slanders came when I was accused of being kicked out of the United States Army on drug charges. In an effort to resolve the slander and clear my name, I set up a meeting with Dana Mohler-Faria, who was then President of Bridgewater State College. I heard that he too was a veteran of the U.S. military, so I naively thought that I would be speaking to an empathetic soul. However, that was not the case.
At that meeting, I attempted to show him my official discharge record: my DD 214. Mr. Mohler-Faria refused to look at it and told me to put it away. He then handed me a waiver of liability, complete with a non-disclosure agreement that forbid any mention of what happened to me on that campus on April 15, 2004.
I realized that I was in danger of losing my place as a lay-priest in the Order of Nichiren Shoshu. That fact was confirmed by members of the Soka Gakkai, which at the time was the intellectual and secular arm of Nichiren Shoshu. The law was clear: until I cleared up the slanders against my name, I was unworthy of the title of 'lay-priest.'

That night, as I sat in front of my shrine, I contemplated my options. As I meditated on the situation and chanted in solitude, those options were narrowed down to two: either I sign away my right to speak in order to return to academic life at Bridgewater State College, or I fight back. I chose the latter and the 26th chapter of the Lotus Sutra became my weapon of choice.

The chapter of the sutra is named 'Dharani'. Dharani means 'spells'. Specifically, they are spells that can be deployed by priests and other practitioners who have been wronged. The guidelines are clear and slander is one of the offenses that qualify a priest to use the spells contained therein. So, free of any impediment, I did what any priest would do. I prayed.

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Actualized in Christ. Nothing follows. Have a blessed day.