Concerning Our Cognitive Dissonance
BY: SAMA DAS (ACBSP)
Cog-ni-tive Dis-so-nance-noun (psychology): The mental stress a devotee experiences by trying to juggle his contradictory belief that the counterfeit trumped up "ISKCON" is authorized, while knowing within his heart that its values are antithetical to everything the Founder-Acharya worked tirelessly to establish and goes against everything that His Divine Grace vigorously taught, wrote, and preached.
Cognitive dissonance was first investigated by Leon Festinger, arising out of a study of a sect which believed that the world was going to be destroyed by a flood in the mid-Fifties. Marian Keech was the leader of this UFO cult. She claimed to get messages from extra-terrestrials (known as "The Guardians") through automatic writing. Keech and her followers, known as The Seekers, were waiting to be picked up by flying saucers. In Keech's prophecy, her group of eleven would be saved just before the earth was to be destroyed by a massive flood on December 21, 1954.
When it became evident that there would be no flood and the Guardians weren't coming to pick anybody up, Keech became elated! She said that she had received a telepathic message from the Guardians, informing her that this small group of believers on earth had spread so much light by their unflagging faith that God had spared the world from cataclysm.
Somewhat amazingly, most of the Seekers didn't abandon her. Instead, they became more devoted after the failed prophecy. Most of these disciples not only stayed, but, having made that decision, became even more convinced that Keech had been right all along. The fact that she turned out to be completely wrong turned them into true believers!
Prabhus, does this sound eerily familiar? Our God brothers in the GBC, with premeditated and malicious intent, proclaimed that the Sampradaya Acharya Srila Prabhupada ordained eleven of its members to be as good as God, mahabhagavat spiritual masters, and that they were to be worshiped as such by every devotee in every temple, in effect turning them into eleven tzars of eleven zones.
Most of us swallowed this hook, line, and sinker. We didn't even blink, because we were already deluded. Having devolved spiritually by offering our allegiance over so many years to these institutional overlords of the governing body, we had allowed ourselves to completely forget the message contained in Srila Prabhupada's books and teachings.
We failed to develop the personal spiritual power necessary to distinguish reality from illusion, and thus most of us were unable to speak out against the atrocity. Lacking spiritual power, we became psychic slaves to our God brother-overlords and were thus led down the path of institutional bondage. No wonder we were ready to swallow the next round of poison, when the monstrous "pastimes" of the zonal tzars could no longer be hidden or easily dismissed.
This stage gave our "divine" God brothers in the GBC their chance to come to our rescue. We were now to believe that Srila Prabhupada didn't appoint the eleven tzars, that the so-called appointment was only a simple mistake, part of the movement's growing pains. What he really wanted was for the impaired, ruined, and corrupt GBC to rubber-stamp them to their positions by vote, but not as mahabhagavats.
The governing body was supposed to vote them in as something a little less grand, because Srila Prabhupada allegedly also empowered this same impaired, ruined, and corrupt GBC with a self-correcting mechanism, a new mystic power. Over and above that, it was declared that His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada had invested all spiritual authority in the GBC, which by this time was comprised of nothing but pseudo-devotees and full-blown sahajiyas.
In order to adjust our cognitive dissonance, we stuck with this kinder, gentler version (or so it superficially seemed) of the institutional delusion. We bit into the poison apple again and again, each time believing we were serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead through Srila Prabhupada. Therefore, we don't even ask basic questions anymore, questions such as:
*Can we trust any leader in this organization?
*Are there any genuine gurus in this illicit form of "ISKCON"?
Prabhus, don't you think it's time to stop accepting the lies? Don't you think it's time to stop being taken for a ride, to stop being suckers, to take charge of our own spiritual lives? Don't you think it's time to free ourselves from all of these institutional delusions? Prabhus, don't you think it's time to reject the central power core, the source of all the problems, viz., the impaired, ruined, and corrupt GBC? Don't you think it's time to reject their institutional gurus?
We must return to true spiritual guidance by going back to accepting Srila Prabhupada and the scriptures as our authority. It's time to stop lamenting that His Divine Grace has been minimized and to stop bitching that the Krishna consciousness movement has been dumbed-down. It's time to free ourselves from cognitive dissonance by just outright rejecting the idea that this fabricated, so-called form of "ISKCON" is in any way authorized to do what it continues to do.