Saturday, March 28, 2015

Documentary on Scientology airing March 29

HBO (Home Box Office cable television network) is airing a highly-acclaimed documentary on Scientology tomorrow night, Sunday, March 29, at 8 pm.  I am posting this information on TMFree because one of the interviewees, Paul Haggis, a former high-level Scientologist, talks about mind-control and high-demand organizations with such brilliance and insight that readers who have been in TM may feel a shock of recognition at his words. 

 The documentary is entitled "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Faith."  Haggis here responds to attack pieces that Scientology has already produced in advance of the HBO airing:

"...Despite what is being said in their rather pathetic attack pieces on me, I was very involved in Scientology for most of my adult life. While I thought the OT levels ["Operating Thetan" - somewhat parallel to TM's "enlightenment" or "cosmic consciousness"- Laurie's editorial note] madness, I used many Scientology precepts in my daily life — so much so that it took several years after leaving to actually question the many “self-help” concepts that I had learned and used.  The slow indoctrination process is as subtle as it is dangerous — largely because you truly believe that you are thinking for yourself, when in fact you are discouraged to do anything of the sort.
 

Paradoxically, there is great pride in belonging to a stigmatized group. It’s like being in love with a narcissist. All your friends will warn you that you are just being used. You understand why they think what they think, but you believe in your heart that they just don’t see what you see. You just tune them out. 

For that reason, when I did discover what many outside the church [of Scientology] knew, I was truly shocked. While some of the information had been out there for many years, like all Scientologists, I refused to look. Yes, I was told not to, but I didn’t have to be [obedient].  This was my group and I knew there to be many people in the world who were bigoted and close-minded; and when I was told that we were “under attack” in Germany or France or wherever, instead of looking for the reasons, I assumed this to be the case — and donated many thousands of dollars toward our “defense.” Yes, there was considerable duress involved in those “donations,” but if I didn’t honestly believe what I was being told I would not have handed over such large sums.  It makes little or no sense in retrospect, and it’s very hard to understand unless you’ve been a part of a marginalized group. 

While I was a constant thorn in the side of the [Scientology] executives, questioning practices I thought unjust, it never crossed my mind to voice my concerns outside the organization. In fact, even after I sent my letter of resignation, I maintained a great fondness for “The Old Man."  [L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology.]  Yes, he was a rogue, and he might have gone insane later in life, I thought, but I still believed he had put together a pretty workable system for steering through life. Even then, I might have been outraged by injustices I witnessed or heard about, but I dropped the blame at the doorstep of David Miscavige and company [Scientology's leaders.]  

Miscavige, I later discovered to my amusement, never liked or trusted me — in his eyes I was a bad Scientologist — which I admit myself. I was told he was angered that I wasn’t “deferential enough,” and that I asked too many questions, even if internally.  

Too many, and as it turned out, not near enough.
 

It took years after leaving to understand that these practices I railed against had always been at the core of Scientology — that Miscavige was just very faithfully, if cynically, following L. Ron Hubbard’s cruel playbook. The reason this was hard to believe is exactly because of the duplicitous nature of Hubbard’s writing. He wrote tomes on the practice and necessity of critical thought; how nothing should be accepted at face value. His “ethics formulas” stress that when making a difficult decision you have to push aside all personal bias and truly look at what people are doing, not just what they are saying. “Look, don’t listen” is oft repeated advice — but it is advice given to the blind. All these high-minded teachings are useless when you factor in the thing you are never allowed to question — Scientology, its teachings, practices and leadership.
 

Somehow Scientologists are able to accept those incongruous and contradictory thoughts.  For example, they truly believe that only Scientology can save the world, and that they are making major strides in this direction every year. They hold onto this belief despite the fact that there isn’t even a modicum of evidence that they are having even the tiniest impact on any problem in any part of the globe.  Scientologists simply accept the assurances of the church leaders that it is so. To the contrary, volumes of compelling evidence from unimpeachable sources that the... organization has done and is doing serious damage to thousands of people is dismissed before it is ever inspected.

That’s what will happen to "Going Clear." At least that’s what the church hopes happens. Without even watching it, my former friends will condemn it as lies. You see it happening already. Understand that many of these Scientologists are damn smart people; many of them truly lovely and caring. But they are the same people who will not hesitate to cut their closest friend or family member out of their lives if they commit the ultimate crime of criticizing the church. You could do anything else and they would stand by you; commit any crime and they would be there to defend you. But not this.
 

I believe this is because somewhere in the back of their heads they know, as I did, that the very act of questioning could bring down their entire belief system. They have been slowly but surely trained to believe that if you don’t agree with something that [Hubbard] wrote, you just don’t understand it. Questioning anything means questioning everything. Even the slightest crack in that belief system could spread into a fissure. They cannot afford or allow the smallest doubt, because if it took root, their perfect world — a world where there is an answer to every one of life’s questions — could fall apart around them, and they would be left, like the rest of us, searching in the dark for their own answers in an uncertain world. Which brings to mind something a true genius wrote: “Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack, in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” For the sake of my former friends, many of whom I loved, I hope that "Going Clear" is the first crack, that they will watch it, and the light will slip in."

 — Paul Haggis

Friday, March 20, 2015

Open Thread

What's on your mind relating to TM, Maharishi, personal stories, etc. etc.?  You're always welcome to open a new topic in the "Comments" section, below.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Natural Tendency of the Mind

"The Transcendental Meditation technique is a technique that uses the natural tendency of the mind. The natural tendency of the mind is to wander toward something of greater charm."  -  Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, quoted at www.maharishiphotos.com/tmintro.html 


 
"Transcendental Meditation is effortless because it is natural. It is based on a simple principle that the natural tendency of the human mind is to go to a field of greater happiness. We do not need training to go to a field of greater happiness. If you are listening to one radio playing and another radio starts playing a more attractive melody, no training is necessary to stop listening to the first radio and to listen to a better melody."  - Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, quoted at dubrovnik-peace-project.org/sci/interview_with_maharishi.htm


I heard this statement during my first encounter with TM -- at the free introductory lecture.  It is one of the most basic postulates on which Maharishi explains how TM works and on which he builds his case in favor of TM. 

Maharishi had other basic postulates.  (2)  There is such a thing as a "source of thought" (a poorly defined and unproven postulate)(3)  Since all "thoughts" have "energy" and "direction," the "source of thought" is therefore a field of infinite energy and intelligence.  (Poorly defined terms and poor logic.)  (4)  The "source of thought" is also a field of bliss.  (Unproven.)  (5)  The "mind"
finds these qualities attractive. (Poorly defined terms and not proven.)  (6)  Therefore, the "mind" is  spontaneously drawn towards the "source of thought."  (7)  This is why TM is easy, natural and effortless.  (8)  Its "naturalness" is an indication of TM's inherent goodness.  (Poor logic).  

What did you think the first time you heard this?  What did you think the 50th time you heard it? Have you ever heard anyone thinking independently and disagreeing with Mahesh on this topic?

Mahesh states that the "mind" is automatically drawn to areas of increasing charm.  In this essay, I contend that this, Mahesh's first premise, is flawed.  I propose, rather, that the mind automatically can be drawn in a number of many different directions; depending on an individual's desires, history, expectations, training, habits, genetics, circumstances, biochemistry, etc.  


It is true that people are often spontaneously drawn to beautiful music, nature, beautiful paintings, kind people, etc.


But people's minds are also spontaneously drawn to non-charming areas.  People sometimes awaken at 3 a.m. with their mind spontaneously thinking worrisome thoughts.  People often spontaneously think anxious and depressing thoughts during the day.  

People who have been traumatized sometimes experience "flashbacks".  These are spontaneous vivid memories of awful events.  War veterans have been known to spontaneously find their mind drawn to these memories even decades later.  Rape victims also sometimes find their mind spontaneously drawn to vivid terrifying rape memories for decades.  
 

People's minds are effortlessly drawn in the direction of non-charming scary sounds such as screaming, trucks backfiring, or bombs exploding.  

People spend hours watching movies and TV shows about noncharming topics like murder, crime, horror, war, monsters, dystopias, catastrophies, etc.  Their minds must be "naturally drawn" there; according to Maharishi these topics must therefore be "charming."

Many people find their minds effortlessly and spontaneously full of non-stop self-critical chatter. 

Therefore, Mahesh's claim that "The mind is naturally drawn in the direction of increasing charm," is clearly inaccurate or at the very least an oversimplification.  Therefore, Maharishi's most basic claims regarding how and why T.M. works, and the positive implications of these claims (such as that it is natural therefore it must be wholesome) should, in my opinion, be re-considered.  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Another Deception By Maharishi Uncovered?

Another Deception by Maharishi Uncovered? 
"Puja Feeling" as related to the "Purity of the Teaching"




To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that this information has been published anywhere on the internet. 


I attended my TM Teacher Training Course (TTC) in 1974.  The course was three months long, and it was a big day for us when we finally started learning the puja (the Hindu ritual of worship that is done by the TM teacher before teaching someone TM.)   Once we started learning the puja, we were getting the real stuff, the esoteric stuff, the secrets that separated us and raised us higher than the average TMer.  So we were told by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  

Mahesh was very strict about us being able to perform the puja properly.  We were tested on it, and to pass the test, we had to memorize everything perfectly.  Mahesh used two phrases a lot: "The Holy Tradition," and "the purity of the Teaching."  

We had already been taught to tell our students that the puja was simply "a traditional ceremony of gratitude," non-religious in nature.  But now we were getting the inside scoop.  According to Mahesh, TM had been practiced in India in the distant past, much to the benefit of Indian individuals and Indian society.  But due to incremental small misinterpretations of the procedure, over time the technique had become lost, and India had therefore become a poor and apathetic nation.  Therefore, now that the correct technique had been rediscovered, it was imperative that TM be taught meticulously, so that the "purity of the teaching" be maintained for as long as possible into the future.  

According to Mahesh, teaching someone TM was not a simple matter of giving them their own particular mantra and teaching them how to use it the TM way.  Rather, instruction required careful preparation by the TM teacher in order to ensure the "purity of the Teaching" as handed down by the Holy Tradition of Masters, and to not dilute the purity of this precious life-giving technique.  Unbeknownst to the student, the TM teacher needs to enter an exalted state of consciousness in order to transmit a subtle spiritual essence that allows the technique to work.  The way to enter that higher state of consciousness was to do the puja as taught on TTC.
 
Mahesh taught us that he was the anointed custodian of TM.  And that he was the ultimate arbiter of the Truth.  TM went back for millenia.  Mahesh passed TM along in its purity by making sure we performed the traditional rite before teaching it.  The puja, exactly as he taught it, was the only means by which the purity of the teaching could remained intact.  Every syllable had to be performed perfectly.  If you didn't do it exactly as Mahesh taught it, your student couldn't learn TM.  If you didn't do it right, your student couldn't do TM properly.  If you didn't do it right, you were compromising the purity of the teaching.  If you didn't do it right, you were putting the future of TM at risk.  If you didn't do it right, you were putting the future of the earth at risk.      

Therefore on our TTC in 1974, we labored to memorize the component parts of this venerable ancient puja.  We had to have all components down letter-perfect in order to pass the final exam to become a TM teacher.

Fast forward 35 years.  A few years ago, Sudarsha (a fellow co-contributor to TM-Free,) was telling me about his 1970 TTC.  On his course, there were 3 (three) components to Mahesh's  puja.  


But on my 1974 TTC, there were 4 (four) components.

Oh.

So much for Mahesh's life-shaking claims.
  
To me, this is just one more deception in the long list of lies Mahesh told us.  To me, it is just one more disappointing piece of evidence of Mahesh's frequent modus operandi: be dishonest when it suits your purpose. 

Here are the three components Sudarsha learned:

(1)  "Puja Movements:"  how to hold the flowers, how to place the offerings on the altar before the painting of Maharishi's guru, etc.,
(2)  "Puja Pronunciation:" how to pronounce the Sanskrit properly.  (The entire 11-minute ritual is in Sanskrit), and
(3)  "Puja Translation:" what the puja means in English.

The fourth component, the additional one my TTC learned, was called "Puja Feeling."  This was the emotions the initiator was encouraged to feel while performing certain portions of the puja.

To the best of my knowledge, the complete "Puja Feeling" has never before appeared on the internet anywhere.  I haven't found it on any of the other websites skeptical of T.M. (You can find those websites listed on the right hand column on this page). 

So for your edification, I will quote the relevant Sanskrit puja passages.  After that, their English translation.  And then, the "Puja Feeling.

My great thanks go to minet.org and to trancenet.org at the link  www.onwww.net/trancenet.org/secrets/puja/tradt.shtml for providing the Sanskrit and English portions.  I take responsibility for changes in punctuation that I have made for increased clarity. 

Sanskrit:

"...AVAHANAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
ASANAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
SNANAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
VASTRAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
CHANDANAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
AKSHATAN SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
PUSHPAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
DHUPAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
DIPAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
ACHAMANIYAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
NAIVEDYAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
ACHAMANIYAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
TAMBULAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
SHRI PHALAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
ARARTIKYAM.... 
 ...ARARTIKYAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
ACHAMANIYAM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH. 
PUSHPANJALIM.... 
 ...PUSHPANJALIM SAMARPAYAMI SHRI GURU CHARANA KAMALEBHYO NAMAH." 
 
 English Translation:
"...Offering the invocation to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering a seat to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering an ablution to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering cloth to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering sandalpaste to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering full rice to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering a flower to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering incense to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering light to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering water to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering fruit to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering water to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering a betel leaf to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering a coconut to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering camphor light....
...Offering camphor light to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering water to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down.
Offering a handful of flowers....
...Offering a handful of flowers to the lotus feet of SHRI GURU DEV, I bow down."

"Puja Feeling," (1974, with 1974 explanatory notes):
 -- Upon saying the line that starts with "Avahanam," and while placing that offering 
(or its symbolic equivalent, raw rice grains) upon the altar, feel the following: 
"I feel the upsurge of purifying waves of knowledge."
Explanation:  This offering of the invocation to the great Masters of the Holy 
Tradition brings a lively awareness of eternal wisdom. 
-- Upon saying the line that starts with "Asanam," and while placing that offering 
(or its symbolic equivalent) upon the altar, feel the following:
"I am realizing the ideal of yogastah kuru karmani." [Note from Laurie:  Maharishi 
told us that"yogastah kuru karmani" translated as "Established in Being, perform 
action."] 
Explanation:  This offering symbolizes the immovable seat of life in Being.  In 
offering this seat we feel stablized in the immovability of Being.  Offerings on 
this firm basis are actions to fulfil cosmic purpose.
-- Upon saying the line that..."Snanam,"...
"I feel the joy of standing in the cosmic waters of pure consciousness."
Explanation:  This offering of an ablution symbolises the refreshing omnipresence of
Pure Consciousness.
-- Upon saying the line that..."Vastram,"...
"I am secure in the Omnipresence of Being."
Explanation:  This offering of cloth symbolizes the garment of all-pervading Being.
-- Upon saying..."Chandanam,"...
"I am refreshed by the tranquility of the Transcendent."
Explanation:  This offering of sandalpaste spreads some pleasant cooling influence 
in the atmosphere.
-- Upon..."Akshatan"...
"I feel the wholeness of individual awareness."
Explanation:  This offering of full rice symbolizes the fullness of eternal life.
-- Upon..."Pushpam"...
"I feel the blossoming of inner Being."
Explanation:  This offering of a flower symbolizes the full bloom of life.
-- Upon..."Dupam"...
"I feel a pleasant wave of inner and outer purity."
Explanation:  This offering of incense symbolizes the sweet fragrance of purity.
-- Upon..."Dipam"...
"I feel the light of life, Pure Consciousness, illuminating everything."
Explanation:  This offering of light brings the light of wisdom to dispel all 
ignorance.
--Upon..."Achmaniyam,"... (before "Naivedyam")
"I feel the support of the waves of bliss."
Explanation:  This offering of water softens the atmosphere.
-- Upon...."Naivedyam"...
"I feel fulfilled in the plentiful life."
Explanation:  This offering of fruit symbolizes the state of fulfillment.
-- Upon..."Achmaniyam"... (said after "Naivedyam")
"I feel the flow of fulfillment in the omnipresence of Being."
Explanation:  This offering of water brings the flow of life in fulfillment.
-- Upon..."Tambulam"...
"I feel everywhere the cleansing and purifying influence at the source of speech."
Explanation:  This offering of a betel leaf brings freshness, purifying the abode 
of speech.
-- Upon..."Shri phalam"...
"I feel the fullness of life welling up."
Explanation:  This offering of the complete fruit [the coconut - Laurie] represents
the fullness of life, unmanifested and manifest.  The entire field of manifest life 
(gross, subtle and subtlest) is represented respectively by the husk or outer
covering, the kernel or meat of the fruit, and the milk or inner essence.  The 
transcendental value of life is symbolized by the self-contained unmanifest space 
within.
-- "Arartikyam."
(Offering a camphor frame)
-- Upon..."Achmaniyam"... (after "Arartikyam")
"I feel the flow of fulfillment in the light of Being."
-- "Pushpanjalim."  (first)
(Offering a handful of flowers)
Explanation:  This offering of a handful of flowers is the offering of the full 
bloom of life which has arisen from the offering of light.
-- Upon..."Pushpanjalim"...  (second)
"I feel oneness with the Omnipresent."
Explanation:  This offering of a handful of flowers symbolizes the surrender of the 
fully blossomed heart and mind in all the glories of the Relative and the Absolute. 
 
 I hope this newly available information is helpful.  Individuals and websites are welcome to 
use this information, with proper attribution. 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Please share your experiences with Yagyas

Sometimes when I read TM-sponsored websites, I come across glowing testimonials of the marvelous results of Maharishi Yagyas.  These testimonials are so euphoric that I think they act to reinforce the hypnotic belief system of Maharishi.  Therefore, I think it would be therapeutic for those of us trying to recover from "Maheshism" (Maharishi's belief system) to get to hear the other side of the story - of all the times the yagyas failed to work.

Therefore, I am putting out a request to readers of TM-Free Blog who have purchased Maharishi Yagyas (or who know someone who has purchased them), where the results were disappointing.  Please tell us in the comments section as much as you feel comfortable sharing -- perhaps how much you paid, what they promised, what you requested, what results you got, and anything else that you are interested in writing about the experience.

Thank you! 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The missing Orange Booklet - do you have one?

Some time prior to 1972, people learning to be TM teachers received an orange-covered booklet from Maharishi during their studies.  This booklet apparently discussed in detail the puja, which is the Sanskrit ceremony performed by the TM teacher immediately before a person is instructed in TM.

A friend of TM-Free Blog is searching for a copy of this "orange booklet."  It would mean a lot to this person, and it would be very useful for the purpose of continuing to uncover the true story of Maharishi and TM for all of us.

Does anyone have a copy of this booklet, or even recall ever having seen it?  If you have one, would you be willing to lend it or a copy of it to our friend?  You will be reimbursed for postage and photocopying costs.

Thank you!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Reminder: Controversial "Message from Maharishi" Tomorrow, Sunday, Nov. 30 at noon EST

Just a reminder:  If you want to keep abreast of this interesting scuffle in the TM world, you can video- or audio-stream the "Message from Maharishi" for free, live, on Sunday, November 30 at noon, Eastern Standard Time.  (See the previous TM-Free Blog post regarding this controversial presentation which is not endorsed by the official TM organization, but which appears to have the support of Jerry Jarvis, former head of the U.S. Students International Meditation Society.)  

It is recommended that you tune in at about 11:45 a.m.

Or if you miss it live, it will be available in the future for listening.

Here is the link for streaming:

http://30thnovember.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/30th-November-Lecture-Invitation-PDF.pdf  


After clicking the link above and downloading the page, scroll to the bottom and click the link  www.30thnovember.com to access streaming.

After listening, please feel free to share your thoughts in the "Comments" section here at TM-Free Blog.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Maharishi Message from Beyond the Grave?

Power struggle in American T.M. movement?

Most organizations seem susceptible to splintering.  Christianity, the Republican Party, you name it.  Why not the T.M. movement, following the death of its charismatic founder?

John Hagelin, "Raja of Invincible America," appointed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi before Mahesh's death, is the final arbiter on what is and is not official American T.M. policy.  (The T.M. organization was designed by Mahesh as a monarchy, not as a democracy.)

Hagelin has sent out an email to all "certified governors." (I assume that means all T.M. teachers in good standing.)  The email informs them that they are to ignore an upcoming event coordinated by T.M. teacher George Hammond.  Hagelin is  concerned that T.M.ers might take this presentation seriously because the well-loved Jerry Jarvis, former head of the U.S. Students International Meditation Society (a T.M. organization) seems to have given this presentation his blessing.  Hagelin is also concerned that this presentation of mediumship will lower T.M.'s credibility in the mainstream community, such as public schools and the military, where T.M. is trying to make inroads.  Also of interest to me was his concern that the "purity of the teaching" would be diluted; although some might read that as a concomitant concern that Hagelin's power would be diluted.  Although Hagelin's email was confidential, it has become public through posting on the website FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com.  Anyone with access to a computer can read his email here:

https://www.mail-archive.com/fairfieldlife@yahoogroups.com/msg331114.html

The event in question is a free lecture presentation entitled “The Pervasive Influence of Personalities and Ideas on Human History.”  It will take place on November 30, 2014, starting promptly at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria,Virginia, near Washington DC.  The presentation will be live-streamed for free, and will be followed by a question & answer session which will not be live-streamed.  The presentation and possibly the Q&A will be recorded, and will be available for free online at a later date.

Hammond claims that Mahesh Yogi appeared to Hammond several years after Mahesh's death, and instructed Hammond to share a message with the world.  Hammond says that the reason Mahesh wants people to hear this message is because "[h]earing these clear explanations should disintegrate many deeply embedded but totally unnecessary fears."
You can see the invitation to this event by clicking:

http://30thnovember.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/30th-November-Lecture-Invitation-PDF.pdf

No RSVP is necessary for the free live streaming.  TMFree Blog takes no position on if the message given at this presentation actually comes from the deceased Mahesh, nor do we have an opinion on the content of the message itself, whatever it will turn out to be.  However, I will listen in to the live streaming because I am curious to see how the politics of the T.M. movement will play out, and I invite all interested to listen to the streaming, too.  Then we can discuss it on TM-Free if we wish.

Monday, November 03, 2014

"TM-Kids" Open Up Publicly

Willy Blackmore's essay about a young father's childhood hometown was published online October 24, 2014 : Growing Up in Utopia .

He describes the contrast between growing up as a non-Iowan in Iowa.  How do you tell your current friends that you learned to fly when you were 17?  Why do local Iowans think "you're not from around here" when you really did grow up in their backyard? He eloquently describes coming of age surrounded by cornfields, idealistic ex-hippies who believe they bring world peace by holing up to bounce on padded foam for hours daily, shmoozing with visiting celebrities, and his peers' angst.

Click here to read Willy's : Growing Up in Utopia







After years of declining invitations to make a formal presentation at San Francisco's reputable intellectual forum The Commonwealth Club of California, On October 20, 2014 I presented  Cult or Benign Cure-all? Life in Transcendental Meditation's Hidden Society



With an illustrated Power Point presentation and screen shots of TMO's active websites, I described the lives of my loved ones and myself in the TM Movement from 1966-2014.  By coincidence fifty years of my family life were defined by the TM Movement, even though I physically left in the late 1980s with my own three TM-born children. Without throwing slanderous stones, I shared stories of loved ones as TM's focus changed from mysticism to mystical science, of child neglect, psychosis, suicides, thousands of dollars spent for promises, fortunes lost and the next generation's struggles for self definition.  Such stories lay doubt on the David Lynch Foundation's promise of one-shot panacea for Transcendental Meditation in public schools, the Veterans Administration and elsewhere.  Listeners might appreciate post-talk objections that were raised by TM true believers.

You may listen to the 45 minutes audio track by clicking here : Cult of Benign Cure-all? Life in Transcendental Meditation's Hidden Society















Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TM Town Struggles into 21st Century

TM Town Struggles into 21st Century: Mental Health Problems lead Fairfield to Re-Evaluate Core Doctrines


As you probably know, the beloved actor/comedian Robin Williams, who suffered from depression, committed suicide on August 11, 2014.

In the weeks following Williams' suicide, residents of Fairfield, Iowa, USA, home to Maharishi University of Management and to several thousand TMers, have been inching suicide out of the closet.  Researchers noticed that Iowa has a higher rate of suicide than the national average.  And Fairfield has a higher rate of suicide than the average Iowa city.

Fairfield residents have been dragging their feet around suicide prevention for years.  This is due not only to the American stigma around mental illness.  It is also exacerbated by TM official and unofficial doctrine.  Just a few of them are:

- Maharishi disapproved of Western psychotherapy.
- If you saw a psychotherapist, you could be disqualified from attending a TM course.
- TM is supposed to make you emotionally healthy, therefore if you report emotional problems, you are making TM look bad.
- People with emotional problems have been advised to do more asanas or learn the TM-Sidhis, rather than to seek professional help.
- People with emotional problems have been told they are "unstressing" rather than being advised to seek professional help.
- When people have had emotional problems (including hospitalizations and suicides), the TM organization has tended to hide the information or blame the person for being too emotionally unstable to begin with.
- People with emotional problems have been misdiagnosed by TMers as being in higher states of consciousness.

A fascinating report on the blossoming of open discussion on mental health problems in Fairfield is found here:

http://littlevillagemag.com/suicide-in-fairfield-iowa-town-struggles-with-mental-health-awareness/


 "Fairfield Cares," a grassroots organization helping to increase honest conversation about mental health problems of TMers holds meetings and lectures.  And Maharishi University of Management, after 40 years of denying counseling  to their students, are adding counseling to their health services.  However, they state that it is offered as an "adjunct" to TM, since, according to TM doctrine, scientific research shows that TM improves mental health, making people happy and stable.  

The TM organization (TMO) doesn't publicize any of the research which shows that sometimes TM causes or exacerbates mental illness.  Until I discovered TM-Free Blog, I believed what the TMO taught - that every research study ever done on TM showed that TM produces only benefits.  You can find many articles on TM-FreeBlog about emotional problems that some people have experienced due to T.M.  You can find information on the suppressed research on the far-right column of TM-Free Blog's home page.  

What have been your experiences with the TMO and mental health?