“Lord of the Rings” star Orlando Bloom participated in a “religious ceremony” in England this month, which demonstrated the teen idol’s commitment to Soka Gakkai International (SGI) reported Teen Hollywood.com.

But has Bloom become the latest celebrity cult casualty?

All religions have their heroes and embarrassments. Whereas the Dalai Lama of Tibet is seen as the bright positive light of his faith, SGI’s leader Daisaku Ikeda may be the bad boy of Buddhism.

SGI certainly is a controversial Buddhist sect with a troubled history and it has been called a “cult.” Ikeda its absolute ruler is a business tycoon and the power behind a Japanese political party called New Komeito.

Orlando Bloom and 60 other SGI devotees attended an hour-long religious service. At the end the actor best known for his role of Legolas in the Rings trilogy received a Gohonzon; a religious scroll that SGI devotees seem to believe is somehow imbued with supernatural powers.

Pop icon Tina Turner and Patrick Duffy star of the soap “Dallas” are other noted celebrity members.

SGI is known for its chanting. Members believe they can chant for almost anything, such as more money, a new car or whatever they want.

SGI leader Ikeda has been called “a grasping power-monger.” And New Komeito and SGI are feared by many Japanese.

One former high-ranking member publicly accused Ikeda of rape in 1996.

A Web site was launched by former members “to inform the world about the reality of Soka Gakkai, its anti-social activities and infringements on human rights, and to provide assistance to those who have suffered or are currently suffering from the distress associated with membership in Soka Gakkai.”

Sounds like something Orlando Bloom and his handlers should be looking into?


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