June 18, 2012

The Bizarre Teachings of Ryuho Okawa

As the much-heralded Namboole Stadium event of “Happy Science” founder Ryuho Okawa approaches, the curious would do well to closely examine his teachings. 

Okawa is an occultist—a spirit medium. On one level, the story is simple and grim: In 1986, Okawa took the advice of supposed spirits of the dead, who persuaded him that he was the most powerful being in the universe. The result is Kofuku-no-Kakagu, or “Happy Science.” These supposed spirits of the dead—for it seems that virtually all of them claim to have lived before—still control Okawa and his cult. 

The Bible harshly condemns the practice of necromancy in Leviticus 19:31, 20:6; Deuteronomy 18:10–11; 1 Samuel 28:3, 9; 2 Kings 21:6, 23:24; 1 Chronicles 10:13; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 8:19, 19:3. 

The teachings of “Master” Okawa are many-layered. The deeper one goes, the stranger they become.

Among other things, the man who claims to be God is constantly consulting with spirits to produce such outlandish articles as this one. Note Okawa’s prophecy: “North Korea will collapse in the year 2012. Like the Berlin Wall, Panmunjom will be taken down.”

In fact, Okawa’s site The Liberty web GLOBAL has bizarre messages from the “guardian spirits” of a number of political leaders and other famous people.

Want to know what the Republican presidential candidates are really thinking? Just ask their guardian spirits:

And did you know that Barack Obama was the last king of the Aztecs?

This may play well in Japan, but it will probably look absurd to the Ugandan public. 

A final note: Regarding Okawa’s spirit messages and earlier predictions, one scholar writes that “study of [Okawa’s] prophetic utterances in Nosutoradamus senritsu no keiji [The terrifying revelations of Nostradamus] and elsewhere reveals very little original interpretation of Nostradamus. Examination of his alleged communications with higher spirits suggests plagiarism on a grand scale, with the spirit of Nostradamus managing even to repeat a mistranslation from a popular Japanese rendering of the Centuries. It is little wonder, then, that Okawa is anxious to keep his prophecies from the eyes of the rest of the world….” (Trevor Astley, “The Transformation of a Recent Japanese New Religion: Okawa Ryuho and Kofuku no Kagaku,” in Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 22/3–4 [1985], p. 377)