Gralow's account was closed likely due to her needing a break from Twitter or that she violated some rules on there. Lord knows she and the rest of the world needs a fucking break from Twitter. Tulsi Gabbard sure does, She spends half of the time on there spreading misinformation and divisive dribble. Luckily most of the comments on those posts are filled with people who see right through her shitshow performance/Stepford wife act.
Fohr, there are many insightful devotees who are obviously good people. I come mainly form the angle of what is the core ideology and what is it's functional expression and final offering. Do we have a practical example of that? I am not talking about some swami/guru who was born and raised form birth in the general social/religious structure of these cults—your Puri Maharaja's and other stalwart practitioners who are FAR from anything you see nowadays. But it begs the question, how much of the way they lived their life and what they said and believed is applicable, sustainable if one is not literally born into such a dogmatic system of through?
Anyone both materialistic, atheistic or devotee can admit and see there is some wisdom in scriptures, be that Gita or the bible or whatever. Many of the basic concepts are not the issue. The issues arise more in notions of surrender, self-abnigation, so-called purity and perfection and absolutes. And then there is the myths and their lack of historical verification and in most cases inconsistently between sciptures of assorted stories revealing quickly (not even with scholarly exposé) that such things are made by humans, imaginative or otherwise.
Many of the practices that are touted as "the golden ticket", i.e. chnat, dance, be happy—eat food offered to god etc—these are present in most religious institutions. So really the details are what is being explored by me. Not the fact that it's fun to chant with people and play drums and guitar. Gospel music is wonderful, so id Islmic devotional chnats and the poetry of Rumi and Jayadev etc. It's the fundamental offering of the chaitanya saint that is in question. Where is it scripturally revealed and promoted? Nowhere. The chanting of the Mahamantra and radha diety—again, few if any mentions in any reputable script. So what is it then? A 500 year old religion akin to Mormonism? Piggybacking on "5000 year old veda!!!"? In a "unbroken chain of spiritual masters!? Come on now. We all know that this is not true. Very little research needs to be done to reveal as much and show that such things are fabricated, distorted or shoehorned into a particular narrative.
Epilepsy, schizophrenia, assorted psychosis and hallucinatory states abound, no doubt. One cannot build out an entire spiritual tradition based/rooted in visions and private revelations. Well, one can, but one has to quickly hope it is otherwise pleasant enough to simply become yet another religion that has it's odd scriptures, but, "hey look! We like to chant and party!" thrown into the mix to appeal and have followers ask as few questions as possible. and that is largely what it's adhernats do. And questioning, like in all spiritual traditions, is mostly discouraged and faith is put forth as paramount and the final word is scripture no matter the lunacy we are sure to encounter every few pages.
Then, like in Butler's cult, you have a guru who is vulgar towards disciples, says off-color stuff for a chap laugh and has a history of controversy attached to him. And one can say similar things have arose in the backstories of any number of contemporary gaudiya gurus. That they were like dicatators and totalitarian in their opinions and views is marketed as "lion-like", that they are watering down the teachings or bending traditions is branded "merciful". God is naturally "all attractive" so his stealing clothins from 12 year old girls is "wonderful pastimes" only understood by the "pure devotee" etc etc. Much of the lingo of cults spans the gammut, but it is what many followers lock into. You can almost tell who is a devotee when you hear them speak: Material world, demons, karmis, pure, absolute, supreme personality etc etc. Not to mention the sanskrit/bengali lingo that is adopted as a sort of "esoteric" language that signifies a person who has been in it for a long time so they must be "advanced". I have known several such advanced souls who are shooting heroin at night and having sex with other men's wives and giving beautiful lectures in the morning after doing puja.
I think it is natural that modern practitioners are going to need a bit more than "chant and it will all be revealed!". Most 20-40 year devotees are aware that the "mantra" only works if given by a pure guru. They know that there are all manner of "offenses" one can commit and the mantra loses it's potency or even has the opposite effect. Eventually, one is left with the feeling that there is little one can do to get "grace" except just show that they "believe". But believe in what exactly? That when they die they will wake up in the cow planet goloka and be at peace? Or that they will take birth again and again as long as they can serve the servant of the servant forever and they don't even care about going "back home"? What is the actual goal and is there a systematic and practical way that it is achieved? We understand it is a descending process, but then why even try or hope or do better or feel bad when you "slip"? It's neither here nor there what you do. You are not the doer. So it is by gods grace that one goes home. Shradha is the key...
Well, I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky... now what?
Has anyone read this book?: [en.wikipedia.org
A brilliant read and explains or theorizes a lot about consciousness and the evolution of how scriptural texts originated in a time before consciousness was fully formed in humans as it expresses itself in contemporary times. It's an interesting idea and I enjoyed it.