SGI President Ikeda Guidance (NHR 103 VALIANT LEADERS 33, PG 66 – 68)

“Next, turning to the subject of how leaders should respond to and deal with the various reports and information they receive in their organizational roles, Shin’ichi Yamamoto said: “Because of your position as leaders, you will sometimes have access to members’ personal information or come to learn of private matters. We have, of course, a duty to maintain confidentiality. I would like to reconfirm that we should never on any account disclose such confidential information to anyone, even family members or close friends. “We often hear of people in society, motivated by self-interest, prejudice, or envy, who spread false rumours to try to defame honest people. Since this is commonplace in the world at large, it is not impossible that people making false accusations to discredit other members could appear within the Soka Gakkai, too. Indeed, devilish functions appear in the form of such disruptive workings seeking to undermine our unity for kosen-rufu.

“Therefore, leaders shouldn’t accept at face value every report or piece of information that comes their way. It is important that they carefully substantiate everything, analyze the situation wisely, and exercise astute judgement. If leaders are easily misled or deceived, and end up sidelining members who are actually making sincere efforts, it will dishearten other conscientious members and disrupt our movement for kosen-rufu. I remind everyone that, in light of the Buddhist teachings, this is a grave offence. I hope all leaders, including our new chapter leaders, will be fair, impartial, warm-hearted, and wise leaders who can clearly discern the truth. The reason that Shin’ichi spoke in such detail about the behaviour of leaders is because seemingly minor problems could potentially grow to seriously compromise the organisation for kosen-rufu. To draw a parallel, viruses are so small that they are invisible to the eye, yet when they reproduce, they can cause illness and even death. Big problems start small. Being attentive to small problems is the way to prevent major problems.”