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|Frequently Asked Questions|
A: No. The IRG is a group made up of SGI-USA members who vary in the level of their participation in SGI-USA activities, but it is not intended to be a separate or competing organization. It's intent is to support the organization of the SGI-USA in its continued growth and in fully implementing President Ikeda's guidance regarding organizational reform, as given during and after his 1990 visit to the United States. When these goals are achieved, the IRG intends to disband.
FAQ: Does the IRG intend to use World Tribune or other organizational mailing lists to contact members or to disseminate its information?
A: No. The IRG has submitted its material formally to Mr. Fred Zaitsu, SGI-USA General Director, with copies to selected members of the national organization's staff, and will continue to do so with the new leadership. In addition, the IRG material is available to anyone by request, via mail, fax, or e-mail. In addition, the IRG has established a web site where its materials may be viewed and, if desired, downloaded. IRG maintains a "watch" list of interested persons who have expressed a desire to receive official communications and submissions, and these are usually e-mailed. Certain IRG members are involved in on-line forums, and IRG materials are made available on these as well. Other than the national leadership recipients, IRG material is only provided to those who ask for it. (Note that the on-line forums may constitute a "gray" area, in that not every person on a forum will have made a request, however, the nature of these forums remains public and voluntary. Private e-mail addressees are only included by request.) The IRG has no plans to acquire subscription or membership lists and send its materials to persons or groups who have not requested them.
FAQ: Is the IRG advocating that the business of the SGI be conducted via elections/elected officials?
A: Not necessarily. What is presented in the Democratization paper is a series of examples of various methods utilized by other groups. The IRG position is that a faith-based democratic structure, from the "bottom up, not top down," as President Ikeda urges, is our goal. The details should be worked out by the membership, in public forums. While we do not claim to have the answers, we feel that elections and campaigning are probably not right for us, but rather a consensus-style method of decision making. The bottom line is that the members should participate in deciding these issues, rather than being given the answers from "the top."
FAQ: Is the IRG calling for an end to the Divisional System?
A: The IRG received many valuable comments and criticisms from members across the country. As a result of the dialogue that was generated, the IRG has modified its position on this issue, and has since told the CEC:
" Since the original submittal and dissemination of our Democratization proposal we have received a lot of input on this issue, and we find ourselves in substantive agreement with your comments. Most of the persons who have commented to us like the system in its current form, with minor suggestions as to how to make it work better. These things are, as you state, already happening. We encourage continued review, but withdraw this issue as being something of major concern to us."
It should be noted in addition that the IRG has no issues with the formation and support of, on local levels or nationally, interest groups which might appeal to specific members, such as women's or men's groups, youth groups, gay/lesbian groups, children's groups, etc., as long as their primary goal is to support the practice of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism.
FAQ: How can I become more involved with the IRG?
A: In addition to occassionally asking for your permission to represent you as a supporter of the IRG to the SGI-USA Central Executive Committee and, if you are able, to represent yourself as such to your leaders and fellow members, we now offer a discussion board for ongoing dialogue about the issues we have raised, and we encourage anyone to participate. Should our proposals be accepted and an actual open dialogue is begun, there may be more opportunities to be involved. We will broadcast those opportunities on the Watch List as they arise. Most importantly, we are always interested in your feedback. Please talk to us via email or regular mail, and -- keep watching!
FAQ: Are the egroups IRGdaimoku and IRGosho both projects of IRG?
A: NO, they are unrelated. Only IRGdaimoku@yahoogroups.com is an official IRG discussion group and thus focuses solely on the reformation of SGI-USA.
IRgosho@yahoogroups.com is an inter-sectarian study of Nichiren Buddhism. It was begun by the participants of IRGdaimoku [not IRG central] to create a forum to discuss doctrinal issues outside of the IRG agenda. Once again, IRGdaimoku and IRgosho are NOT affiliated, even though many of the participants are the same.
FAQ: Does the IRG disclose the names of its supporters, or use them on any non-IRG related lists?
A: Only if specifically given permission to do so. The names of the individuals on the "watch" list are not given to anyone outside of the IRG central committee. The IRG has requested interested persons to allow the use of their names on a support petition, and these names will be in the public domain when the petition is delivered to the SGI-USA leadership, and posted on the web site. Only the names of persons who have specifically given permission will be used.
FAQ: Is it okay to show your documents to my leaders or members to see what they think?
A: Absolutely, we welcome the opportunity for any member or leader to read or comment on our documents or positions. In fact, we encourage it. We also welcome any new additions to the "watch" list. If anyone, no matter what their standing with the organization is, would like to be on our official "watch" list, please invite them to let us know by emailing us at IRG_central@yahoogroups.com with their name, geographic location (optional), position (optional), years of practice (optional) and email address. They will then be added to the list. As stated above, this list will be confidential and NOT used for any other purpose other than to inform you of our actions.
FAQ: Can anyone get copies of our material in a way that is not internet?
A: Yes. Write us and request copies and we can U.S. mail them or fax them. (Sorry, we don't have a dedicated phone for incoming messages.)
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