It's called damage control. SIF's PR team needed to put something out there online to cover their tracks as always. These were posted on Medium at the height of Tulsi's political campaign and were 100% developed b their PR team to cover all basis. Tulsi is recorded in a number of places stating she never heard her guru speak a single ill word. What a load of crap.
Now she is on Twitter making a big deal about schools teaching kids about sexuality and sexual orientation etc. I knew more about the sex acts of fringe homosexual practices, bestiality and carpophelia from Butlers lectures at age 9 than the average kid today going to a public school and learning how to respect and acknowledge a wide range of sexual and gender roles, respectfully, I might add. Butler did not treat his gay disciples nor the topic of sexuality with an iota of respect, seriousness or common sense. Let alone sensitivity.
They have been doing, like ISKCON and Gaudiya Math, a varying degree of damage control since the turn of the century. To prop up his advocacy of giving Brahman Initiation and the obvious challenges that other Vaishnava groups passed to Saraswati thakur, he spent an inordinate amount of energy trying to establish the "superiority" of the Gaudiya Brahmin. Even though, siddhantically, brahminism has little to nothing to do with most bhakti cults, let alone the Chaitanya saints cult of "I am not a brahmin, I am not a sidhra". And for a cult that speaks so much of not being the body, what difference does it make what color cloth you wear or if you sport a brahmin thread and sikha?
Butler's group admits to taking out his lectures from circulation that were "inflammatory" and "offensive". The question is, why is a self-proclaimed representative of the all-loving god speaking in such way to begin with? What great teaching does it impart to call a group of people derogatory names and emotionally and psychologically scar followers who have a particular sexual orientation? Or why smash disciples who take inspiration in their so-called krishna consciousness form other gurus? You would think an authentic guru would be happy wherever his disciple is able to maintain and get inspiration to continue to "never forget krishna and always remember him". But alas, as all things in these cults, it's about power trips to control followers.
Butler is an expert, like many devotees, at spreading false lies, fear-mongering, conspiracy theories, anti-science, anti any other group and even anti other groups like their own. Bhaktisiddhnata was also like this. He spent all his guru days criticizing other Gaudiya vaishnava groups, claiming what he was presenting was somehow superior and better while making things up and being petrified to sit in the same room as his own mother for fear of getting sexually aroused. The big boogieman "maya" is their "satan" and abstraction of evil. The mind and body is always to blame. Bad karma etc. Their solution instead of putting on your big boy pants and taking responsibility? Blame.
Butler and Bhaktivedanta had a knack for garnering cheap laughs from their followers while being vulgar or insensitive about topics like rape, sexuality etc. They preached "equality" but in name only. They preached not being the body, but this only went as deep as their words.
Bhaktivedanta spent lecture after lecture blaming the "demons". Who were these "demons"? Basically, anyone who rationally opposed their group's teachings. In many places such demons were "atheists" or other rational thinkers. Instead of actually trying to discuss/convince/diologue, they do as all these "great" acharyas have done: Slap a negative label on it and move on. Mayavadhi, impersonalists, demons, mlechaas, etc etc. I have shown many links to lectures like this. Even in the writings of bhaktivinode there is mention of any deovtee not striving for manjari bhava as being an "ass-like" devotee. If that is not the height of arrogance I don't know what is.
Their whole scriptural rhetoric is a big blame game of demons and "outsiders" the whole vedic religion is based on a rhetoric of "crushing" the outsiders. After digging through miles worth of total literary trash, the average sincere thinking person will come out of the "vedas" and any gurus lecture with 2 things of potential value to them:
1. Hypothetically, you are not this body.
2. Love god.
Everything else is a monumental pile of hogwash nonsense packaged, repackaged, reassembled, interpreted variously by tom, dick and harry and vomited back out.
And how has "not being your body" manifest for Butler et al? Untold millions to maintain him and his wife's bodies. In ISKCON and Gaudiya Math it's endlessly trying to justify the Swamis and other "stalwart" guru's words about women, blacks people, sex, and all manner of mundane nonsense that modern science has sufficiently answered for. Yet, by hook or by crook they will try to shoe-horn it into some naive vedic fold. If the veda has any scientific rigor and method it's been lost on most rational minds throughout time. Even ancient Inidan scholars like Shankar and Ramanuja interpret such works so divergently that it's laughable they read the same texts. as with all things in life, use your brain and take it all with a grain of salt.
And how has "love god" manifest for the average devotee? Chanting and bouncing around to a medieval papa smurf god and gobbling up silly stories from the equivalent of fairy tale books. Replete with flying swan airplanes, talking animals and intergalactic veena players and multi-headed gods and demons.
Butler and Bhaktivedanta BOTH took titles on their already long ass names to bolster their posts. "Prabhupada" (Gaudiya math were very critical that he adopted the moniker of their guru), "Paramahamsa" "Jagad Guru", "His Divine Grace...". Holy fuckign shit guys. Any person with an ounce of air in their skull can easily see the complete lack of humility in these clowns. A real saintly and humble person would never accept any worship, sitting on thrones, long complicated titles and their special brand of snuff tobacco and Chinese food delivery. 2 main qualities pop up to my mind when I hear the lectures of these "acharyas": Arrogant and Delusional.
Anything after or in between those two words is simply a show put on for their disciples to sell them what they are delusional enough to think has any rational and redeeming value. In the general sense for this group it was to try to mesmerize and convince people that singing some songs will "elevate", "purify" and give you "god realization". Which is code for 2 basic things: That god is everything, or that god lives on some distant cow planet where you will one day be born as a 12 year old farm girl who helps god run off with his lover to play eternally. Take your pick.
It's fine to chant and practice some of this stuff superficially as a fun way to be peaceful, make friends and enjoy good food. But anything deeper or beyond that and you are 100% in a cult. The kids who grew up in Butler's schools in the PI have had assorted results. Some stayed in the cult, some stayed in the periphery and some went even deeper. I wonder which of them were happiest?
I can speak to myself, I became happiest when I fully abandoned this path. it was a dysfunctional burden on my psyche and life in general. It became old going to kirtans and listening to the lectures. It gnawed at me what I was hearing and seeing and I saw no real examples of anything I wished for my own life or the life of my kids. And while I can admit that life has been at times hard, confusing or disruptive, I always feel I have a choice and it's up t me to fix things in a rational way. I also feel less constrained and free to think more personally about the stuff I believe in about life/god/self etc. I don't feel a rigidness in what comes my way as a realization and I don't feel I need to shoehorn it into the philosophy to "see it properly". I see it how I see it and how it makes sense to me without needing to subscribe to an ideology that makes little sense to me.
But I did not learn that from gurukula or any number of lectures. I learned it by believing in myself and trusting the natural process of how my mind adapts to life as I mature, learn, make mistakes and grow. Something I felt I was unable to ever do as a devotee. Maybe others have their own way to make it all fit in with their life, but for me, I felt I saw and read and learned so much about the history of this cult that I could never in good faith sit in another lecture or kirtan and just gobble it all up in some haze of "love". it just felt fake and forced and artificial.
That said, I applaud those who find their way in it. It's your faith, your beliefs and you are welcome to have them. As much as I am welcome to have my ideas. Still, I fail to see the point in much of it and I do see that it has mostly become a cultural appropriation and white-washed cult that is struggling to stay relevant and survive against all odds. But it's managed. And that's something. Then again, so has the Batman franchise. Some people are endlessly and easily amused by the same mindless garbage. The tired and true, as they say.
I see value in reading the texts of assorted religions to find their common thread. and in general, I have found it. It asks us to be as good as we can be, cause as little disturbance as we can and mind our own life and affairs. Basically take responsibility for our self. The stoics call this mastery over your reasoned choice. We can only control our reaction to the onslaught of life. We cannot control most aspects of life. We have limited control and contentment is key. Service is a powerful way to access a deeper sense of fulfillment, aka happiness. Otherwise, yes, most of what we equate as happiness is a by product of some basic interaction of senses and brain synapsis related to pleasure and pain.
This makes things simpler for me. I dwell less on ritualism and hypothetical and more on what I actually can manage and attend to. For me, god has little if anything to do with my day to day life. I see no purpose in dwelling, worshipping or praying to someone or something that is not in any way reciprocating in a functional, tangible dynamic. Sure, I can create abstractions of ways that I feel some sort of god in my life, but it takes effort to do so and I see no point in it. Me singing and chanting or praying and worshipping does nothing to the rest of my reality. It's literally all in my head.
One can say god is love, we can meditate and acknowledge that all beauty in the world is god and be grateful for the good things in our life as the grace of god. But by that same token we must acknowledge that all evil, sadness, and all manner of horrid shit is also gods great gift. God created a material world, god created karma, god created reincarnation, god made us forget, created "maya" and a mind and senses etc. So you know, thanks for that too god. Again, I see no functional reason to pray, worship and deify a blue playboy, trickster, long-haired-lovely, blue colored wife stealer.
And I see many simpler methods to access similar states of peace, contentment and happiness. I think for early humans ritualism had a way of creating a sense of control and security about things. Something you can always depend on following some formula. But we already have a lot of that built into how society unfolds and progresses. We have our rituals and things we do that give us a sense of belonging and being a part of something. So we don't need medieval rituals and methods.
Fear not. One thing is for sure. Regardless if you believe or do not believe in this stuff, God is either merciful and sees you are sincerely trying to understand and seek truth, or you are easily amused with simplistic sing-song cults. In eithercse. be that Gaudiya Vaishnavism or Abrahamic religions, most such faiths believe that "mercy" and "grace" are the only methods of coming to know god. Not by ones own effort. So no matter if you are Jaghai and Madhai or Haridas Thakur, Grace will come to you when god well damn pleases, by their estimation and doctrine. If that is the case, we have no control over attracting gods grace and mercy any more than we do stopping a bowl movement.
Running is good.
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