“Sometimes political leaders of a particular party are also advertised by newspaper propaganda, and by such a method of glorification an insignificant man becomes an important man – within no time. But such propaganda by false glorification of an unqualified person cannot bring about any good, either for the particular man or for the society. There may be some temporary reactions to such propaganda, but there are no permanent effects. Therefore such activities are a waste of time. The actual object of glorification is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has created everything manifested before us.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.2.14 Purport)
Friend1: I have been reading the news lately.
Friend2: Uh oh.
Friend1: I know you warned me, but I couldn’t resist.
Friend2: Which place exactly were you frequenting? You are who you associate with, I hope you understand.
Friend1: Interestingly enough, I have come to the conclusion that the majority of the news is fake. Doesn’t matter which political party they favor, they put out nonsense. They remind me of the Rakshasas of Lanka.
Friend2: In what way?
Friend1: Well, those man-eating ogres described in the Ramayana had special abilities. Sort of like black magic, though everything was due to a curse. We could spend hours discussing that fact alone.
Friend2: Which one?
Friend1: That to take a form that consumes endless animal and human flesh, is constantly intoxicated, and can change shapes at will is actually a curse, not a blessing.
Friend2: Absolutely. I’m sure most people today would be thrilled to find such a situation, not knowing the degradation in terms of consciousness.
Friend1: One of the tricks of the Rakshasas was to create a false image. Sort of like a projector pointing at a screen, they could display a scene in the sky during a battle with someone else.
Friend2: Apparition might be the closest English word equivalent.
Friend1: These were fake images. They were meant to dispirit the other side. The image would show someone being killed, like a leader. The idea was that the other side should stop fighting; all hope was lost.
Friend2: It is an interesting tactic, for sure.
Friend1: That is what I see in the mainstream news. Then the supposed “alternative” media is no better. They simply react off of what the first side says.
Friend2: Point and counterpoint.
Friend1: I am sick of all of them, since they fail to provide any valuable information. I have been following individuals now; people who I deem credible.
Friend2: Okay, and how is that going?
Friend1: Well, I am regretting it only in the sense that I am learning secrets about leaders and people in high places that I wish I didn’t know.
Friend2: Such as?
Friend1: It is like they are actors in a murder mystery. Some of the secrets are too ridiculous to believe, but they are being relayed by an insider.
Friend2: A whistleblower.
Friend1: Yes, that is the word of the day. I am just disgusted by the whole thing. It seems the entire apparatus in charge of protecting the people is corrupt. No one in government is honest. If they are, they will soon change their ways or be dragged out of the political arena.
Friend2: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada describes how in the vox populi system the government leaders simply take all of the money for themselves. I didn’t really understand that at first.
Friend1: Why not?
Friend2: Because if you look at the expenditures, nothing really goes to the politicians. What I have learned, however, is that money does make its way back.
Friend1: Through campaign contributions?
Friend2: That is the obvious way, but the subtle way is through paying their family members. Let’s say I am the president of a country. My son makes all of these deals with foreign countries, who want to invest. They otherwise wouldn’t be allowed, but through my son they get help.
Friend2: Then my son gives me half of the money he earns from the foreign countries.
Friend1: Right. Money laundering.
Friend2: That is basically how all of government works. Worst case, a retiring politician simply becomes a paid lobbyist and finds insane wealth thereafter.
Friend1: I am complaining today for these very reasons. I am disgusted by the entire situation.
Friend2: Good. Your focus should be on spiritual life and breaking the cycle of birth and death. Stay away from the cheaters. Don’t be like them.
Friend1: Is there no way to fix the system?
Friend2: You are one person. What are you going to be able to accomplish? Unless you want to pretend to be corrupt for many years, play the game, and then clean up everything once you get into office. That is a huge risk to take.
Friend2: Better to spend your time glorifying the Supreme Lord. He is responsible for everything that we have. We can glorify Him daily, during every hour of the day, and thus avoid the toggling pendulum of praise and criticism found elsewhere.
Harsh words or praise to sound,
Only toggling pendulum found.
Where everyone corrupt,
How one person to disrupt?
Better with transcendence stay,
Praise, glorify and pray.
Effort for Krishna never a waste,
By cheaters or frauds not erased.