Vol. VI, No. 3 -- SUMMER 1994

In This Issue:



Movement claims, movement games: TM moves to Africa

The TM movement recruiting effort in Africa has been met with suspicion and complaints.


June 3, 1992 : The following advertisement for the Maharishi School of Management appeared in the NATION , a Nairobi, Kenya newspaper:


Education for Excellence: New school of management in Kenya offers education of international standard in business and computer studies :

Success in one's professional life requires more than book learning or knowing the right people. It also requires the ability to make use of ones full potential. At Maharishi School of Management in Nairobi, Kenya students learn all the practical knowledge an skills needed for professional excellence, and at the same time develop the full value of their intelligence, creativity, and learning ability to ensure maximum success in all walks of life.

Business and Computer Studies : Our three-year programme in business studies gives every student knowledge of all the functional areas of business--marketing, accounting, finance, production, and personnel management. Our three-semester programme in computer studies trains students in microcomputer software for word processing, financial spreadsheets, and database applications as well as in techniques of systems analysis and computer programming.

Development of Consciousness: The full value of students' creative intelligence can be developed only by unfolding the full value of the students' consciousness. All students at the School practice Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation technique, whose benefits have been validated in over 400 scientific research studies. This simple effortless technique gives the student the experience of mental restfulness along with increasing alertness, unfolding the unbounded potential of the students mind. Research has found improvements in students creativity, intelligence, academic performance, self-actualization, and social relationships. These are valuable for everyone.

USA Degrees, British Diplomas : Students who begin their study in Nairobi and wish to compete a Bachelor of Arts degree may transfer study credit to Maharishi International University in the USA after one, two, or three years of study in Nairobi. Students also will be prepared to sit for the diploma examinations of the Institute of Commerce (UK) and of the Asso ciation of Business and Administrative Computing (ABAC) given twice a year in Nairobi.

Highly Qualified Faculty The faculty at the Maharishi School of Management are trained in the USA at widely recognized universities. They are interested in helping each student progress toward fulfilling his or her goals in life.

Classes Start July 6 : Applicants must have completed 12 years of schooling with satisfactory performance in English and Maths. Tuition, room and board for the 44-week school year is 80,000 Kenyan shillings for double accommodation and 92,000 Ksh for single accommodation.

For more information , call or write: Maharishi School of Management, PO Box 17265, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel. (254-2) 798-591.

Maharishi School of Management is part of Buro Buro Academy in Nairobi, a section of the Handa schools. It is affiliated with Maharishi University of Natural Law, U.K [MUNL is an unaccredited "school" located at the UK TM administrative offices.] and Maharishi International University, USA.


September 25, 1992 The following advertisement was placed in the NATION :



Farming, baking, carpentry, tailoring, solar energy, accounting, bookkeeping, and the study and enlivenment of the Unified Field of Natural Law for improving every aspect of life.

An essential part of the training programme will be the practice of Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation and the TM Sidhi programme. More than 500 scientific research studies, conducted over the past 20 years at more than 160 independent research institutions--such as the universities of Sussex, Stockholm, and Harvard Medical School--document the ability of this simple, natural, and effortless technique to develop higher states of consciousness, [There are no independent studies that document the existence of highter states of consciousness. There are very few TM published studies that claim to document higher states of consciousness.] enriching all levels of life-body, mind, behavior and society.

The training progamme will have two aspects to it. One is to gain the support of Nature for the whole country by enlivening the evolutionary power of Natural Law in National Consciousness. The other aspect is to develop skills and expertise in different areas of production and trade in order to develop the country's natural resources and improve the standard of living.

The Interviewing and enrollment will start on Monday 28th Sept. to Friday Oct. 2nd 1992 from 10:00am to 4:00 pm everyday.

APPLICATION: Those interested can apply in person at the Maharishi Education Foundation office on George Pardmore Rd, end of Kambura Drive. From Ngong Rd. (Ngong Hills Hotel) P.O. Box 21771 Nairobi. Tel: 565544.


February 2, 1993: The following article appeard in the NATION :

Sect lied to us, 50 youths say About 50 schools leavers yesterday said they had been promised free training by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi organization which has not been forthcoming.

The youths asked the Government to probe the body. They said they have been subjected to religious rites in a posh estate but were sent home when they asked for the training promised.

Efforts to get the organizations bosse's were fruitless.

The young men said they joined the organization after reading a newspaper advertisement on September 25, 1992, asking unemployed people to apply for free training in accountancy, farming, baking, tailoring and solar energy.

After enrolling in the school last year, they were required to learn Maharishi Transcendental Meditation for three months.

"In desperation, we complied, hoping to get the free training," Joseph Onyango, 21, said. But after finishing the course, some of the 200 leavers, some of whom who have been jobless for more than 10 years, were sent away yesterday without the promised training.

Mr. David Macharia Kibe, who has been jobless since 1979, said the programme organizers, Mr. Joseph Karanja and Mr. Mwangale, asked them to go home because there was no money to sponsor them. NATION Reporter, February 2, 1993~


Dear Editor , I'm a MBA graduate of Maharishi International University and a Governor since 1983. I joined the TM movement soon after high school. Before I joined them I was a Christian. I bought their lies at the time and slowly I was convinced that something was wrong with these people. I quit them when I was in America and I to used worship with the First United Methodist Church in Fairfield. This is how I got to know Emily who gave me your contact.

The TM organization is fairly strong here. As usual--peddling lies. I will enclose some materials to show you what they are doing. I formed a TM-EX organzation here to fight them and expose their lies to Christians and others. I have also sued them for false advertising on behalf of the affected individuals. The Maharishi movement has responded swiftly.

They have poured alot of money hear from America and Europe. They have hired the best lawyers money can buy.

This is when it occured to me that I needed external assistance. I had known about your organization when I was a student in MIU. I think at the time you were in Philadelphia so I wrote to Emily and suggested that she try to locate you.

So please try to see the kind of assistance that you can give TM-EX Kenya--both material and moral. Because of the case in court I have not been able to write about them in the local press. But I have given talk shows. However, I can reprint your article without prejudicing the case. So send me as many as you can get and other publications that you may have.

I look forward to working with you on this and help others who have been cheated the way we were. It is really our duty and I believe we will win. JN, Nairobi, Kenya.~


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi-Homeward Bound

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's presence is strongly felt in India where he's been on a buying spree for the last three years. He's purchased land in almost every corner of the country, concentrated mainly in the south and near ordnance factories or defense establishments. Says one politician from Madhya Pradesh, Maharishi spends money as if he were removing dust from his hands. Little wonder. According to Madhu Jain, a reporter from India's Sunday magazine, Maharishi's worldwide assets total over Rs 4,000 crores or $400 million. TM's world government, with its ten ministries and representatives in 140-plus countries, annually spends 150 million rupees ($15 million) each year to maintain its various organizations and hundreds of ashrams in India.

One of Maharishi's most ambitious projects has been that of founding siddha lands--400 to 500--acre plots to spread peace and tranquillity, to provide employment, and to increase prosperity. The success of those agricultural-industrial complexes is dubious, however, According to one employee, the accent is on more and more TM and less and less galis (abuses). We don't fight or use bad words after we started dhyan (Maharishi's meditation)...that (working better) does not matter so much. If you don't work but do your dhyan and watch your language, you can continue (living here) until eternity.

Other TM Indian endeavors include ownership (under the rubric Siddha Corporation) of such industries as handmade paper, tiles, plastics, fiberglass, rugs, electrical insulators, and ceramics. TM also plans to operate a daily newspaper (to be called Gyan Yug) from their new Indian headquarters in Jabalpur. From there they have a direct telex link to TM's international headquarters in Seelisberg, Switzerland.

Changes for Maharishi and TM appear to be imminent. According to reliable diplomatic sources, the world government in Seelisberg has not been paying all its taxes. Recently Maharishi wrote to Indira Gandhi, asking her to allow him to return to India permanently. He offered to liquidate his assets abroad and return home. Update, Vol.6, No.4, December, 1982~


Mahesh renames TM centers

According to the Fall 1993 Washington, D.C. Capital of the Age of Enlightenment Newsletter , A new era in education and for the world has dawned. His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi inaugurated Maharishi Vedic University, the university of consciousness, and Maharishi Ayur-Ved University, the university of natural medicine, simultaneously in 48 states on the Full Moon Day of July 3, 1993 [Guru Purnima].

Maharishi has established Maharishi Vedic University and Maharishi Ayur-Ved University to bring enlightenment to the U.S. and throughout the world. He established Maharishi Ayur-Ved University to bring perfect health to every citizen by offering prevention-oriented health care and to bring an end to today's health care crisis in the United States.

Similar historical proclamations have been made about Transcendental Meditation ('55); the goals of the World Plan ('72); the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment ('75); the group practice of the TM Sidhi Program ('79); Ayurvedic medicine ('80); and Maharishi Ayur-ved ('85).

The TM Centers, aka World Plan Centers , aka, Capitals of the Age of Enlightenment , are now to be called Maharishi Vedic University and Maharishi Ayur-Ved University .~



7,000 Logic

To the editor of the Fairfield Ledger :

[I am] reminded of a funny conversation I had with Mr. Robert Oates the MIU public affairs director. Bob made the point of saying that world peace could be achieved whenever a group of 7,000 meditators permanently maintained by our government was together meditating. Isn't that sweet. They're going to let Uncle Sam pay for it!

Why don't we already have such a project? Is it because the Maharishi and the TM movement can't afford it? How many millions of dollars have gone to TM bank accounts in India over the last 10 years that could have helped maintain a group of 7,000 meditators here? Isn't world peace Maharishi's greatest desire? Maybe the love of money is closer to his heart.

Why don't we have such a project? Hundreds of thousands have been taught TM. Yet Maharishi, after over 20 years of work in the U.S. supposedly can't get 7,000 meditators to meditate together on a permanent basis.

I believe I know the real reason why our friend, Mahesh hasn't gotten around to finishing his project. As long as he doesn't finish it he can take credit for eastern Europe, the Berlin Wall coming down, etc., and blame the bad news (Iran-Iraq war, war in the Gulf. etc.) on not having his full 7,000 meditators yet. However, when he gets his permanent 7000-member group together it will be put up or shut up time. World peace will have to come and stay. Crime rates nationwide will have to drop and stay down! I don't believe the Maharishi is in any hurry for a permanent test of his TM-SIDHI program in front of non-TM scientists and a watching world.

Besides, if peace breaks out in the Gulf War, TM can take credit for years to come! But if a ground war starts against Iraq, good old Uncle Sam can always be blamed for not funding the TM-SIDHI project. Maharishi wins [in his followers' eyes] either way. Russell Dorsey, Fairfield Ledger, February 21, 1991, Fairfield, Iowa ~



Dear [TM-EX]: I have received your letter of August 2, 1993 concerning District government involvement in Transcendental Meditation project over the summer. First, let me apologize for not responding sooner. Seeing the subject matter, my staff simply placed it in a file on the project and like the project itself, gave little attention.

At the request of the Mayor's office, Mr. Immanuel Ross of the Metropolitan Police Department was directed to provide data to the project and to participate in the review panel.

I assume the Mayor's office was investigating all avenues of reducing crime in the District of Columbia. I was shocked to learn that Mr. Ross and others in the Department [spent] 1,000 man-hours on this project, providing data, monitoring progress and attending meetings. I will be raising this issue with the Chief at an oversight hearing on October 15, 1993.

I personally met with Crime Free. D.C. during the budget period. They were requesting $6 million to fund a 2 month program test for 1,000 meditators. We of course did not fund the project and Crime Free's summer project was a different version of this original program. I make no judgment on whether Transcendental Meditation is con job or miracle, but I could not vote to spend funds without concrete findings that show a direct nexus between mediation and crime reduction. There is no such nexus in Crime Free's proposal. Sincerely, James. E. Nathanson, Chair Committee on the Judiciary~

TM-EX on Internet

"TM Dissenter's Archive," an independent repository of information about Transcendental Meditation and the other programs and organizations led by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, is now available on the Internet, via anonymous FTP (file transfer protocol).

The archive includes material from the alt.meditation.transcenden tal Usenet newsgroup, the Transcendental Meditation Ex-Members Support Group (TM-EX), and other sources.

To access the archive, use the 'ftp' command to connect to the archive at, login as anonymous, and 'cd' to /pub/access/tm-dissent.

The following files are available: A frequently asked questions list (FAQ) including complete information on the TM and TM-Sidhi techniques (including mantras), Maharishi Ayur-Veda, and back issues of the TM-EX Newsletter.

All messages posted to the Usenet newsgroup alt.meditation.transcendental (similar to a worldwide bulletin board) since November 1993.

For more information about the Internet and how to get connected, obtain one of the many books on the subject now available at your local bookstore. Internet access is provided by many small businesses nationally and worldwide, and most books on the subject provide a list of local access providers.

BEWARE ! The "current" members of TM love to "flame" "ex-members" by labeling fanitics, sick, uninformed....they tend to take Mahesh's teaching very seriously.

The "current Tmers have created their own Internet "mailing list" for "good TMers." The mailing list provides a space where they can talk without criticism.

Also check out the Religion and Ethics forum on AOL.

TM-EX is also looking for somone to moderate a TM-EX forum on FACT Net (Fight Against Coercive Tactics).

To learn about FACT call: (303) 650-3650 (voice).

Have fun! ~


Captive Hearts, Captive Minds

By Madeleine Landau Tobias and Janja Lalich

Tobias and Lalich spent a combined total of 24 years in restrictive groups (i.e., cults) and both are currently involved in providing post-cult counseling and therapy.

Their first collaboration, this book succeeds as an ambitious, comprehensive explanation of the cult experience and works well on several levels. Its stated focal intent is to encourage and assist those former cultists struggling to readjust to the real world. Powered by the authors experience, compassion, and intellect, it promises to capably provide such support. In addition, however, Tobias and Lalich's systematic analysis of the shared characteristics of cults and cult leaders, along with extensive first-person accounts by former cultists, will educate those readers with purely an intellectual interest in the allure, power, and structure of cults. Recommended for public and religious libraries. Bill Pickarski, Southwestern Coll. Library, Chula Vista, CA.

[Editors note: Madeleine Tobias is a former member of Transcendental Meditation. In addition, the book includes a first person account of Joseph Kelly, a former member of TM.]~



KHOE to go on the air

A new public radio station in Fairfield, IA goes on the air July 23, 1994. KHOE (K Heaven On Earth) will broadcast from the campus of Maharishi International University.

KHOE goes on the air with only Maharishi Gandharva Veda music around the clock. Programming is planned to start this fall when Gandharva Veda music will be switched to a subcarrier and will be only available by subscription with special receivers.

Programming then still will be directed to the special interests of meditators. Fairfield Ledger, July 20, 1994~



Meditation: Hazardous to your health?

Don't overlook the side effects of this powerful transformative technique. Like the snake oil of old, meditation is sometimes pitched as a cure for whatever ails you, whether it's high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, anxiety, or arthritis. Is this mind-body magic too good to be true? Maybe. In fact, meditation may have definite down sides. In a groundbreaking article in Natural Health (Nov./Dec. 1993, Nathaniel Mead writes that while meditation is promoted as a way to encourage relaxation, it can sometimes lead instead to anxiety, depression, and other distressing emotional and physical states. He writes, Meditation is often presented as a benign way to relieve stress and improve overall health, but some research points to situations in which the practice may be upsetting, inappropriate, or even medically ill-advised...meditation may bring about a variety of undesirable changes--physical, mental, and emotional.

Researchers even have a name for one of the side effects: relaxation induced panic, in which meditating triggers a panic attack, with its characteristic racing heart, muscle tension, head pain, and perspiration. In some cases, Mead reports, meditation can increase pre-existing depression and suicidal tendencies. Serious psychosomatic symptoms such as bleeding ulcers or asthma that had previously been under control may recur. In other cases, schizophrenic breakdowns seem to have been triggered by meditation.

Although these dire effects are relatively rare, many meditators encounter less intense problems. The list of side effects compiled by meditation teachers and researchers is remarkably long, writes Mead. These include momentary discomforts such as head-aches, sore throats, cramped muscles, and tingling or stinging sensations in some parts of the body. Some people have reported feeling unaccountably heavy, while other experience weightlessness or floating sensations. Some report sudden outbursts of laughter or crying, or both. Involuntary sighing, as well as sweating, trembling, or shivering are also common.

How could such a simple practice lead to such serious consequences.? Part of the answer is that, technically, meditation is an activity of attention and concentration, not relaxation. Relaxation is a by-product of meditation, much as it is of other focused activities such as athletics, sex, knitting, or dance. While techniques vary--transcendental meditation involves concentrating on a word or phrase. Zen stress posture and breath. Tibetan methods center on visualizing colors or divine beings--all forms of meditation are intended to activate and raise one's innate level of spiritual energy, known as chi, ki, or kundalini. And access to chi will always have some body and mind-altering effect.

Once chi is raised, the effects are unpredictable. Mental, physical, and emotional states change.

Themeditator sees reality in new ways and sees him or herself in different, not always flattering, ways. In the context of transforming consciousness, this is a time-honored process, the mythological hero's guest for personal growth and wisdom.

It is not a quick or easy passage. As Mead writes. One source of meditation problems comes from the attempt to turn a powerful, psychological technique into a simple physical therapy. When a meditator is led to expect stress reduction and instead comes face to face with his true self, the result can be anything but relaxing. Andrea Honebrick, Utne Reader, March/April 1994~



Maharishi and his CIA fear

Maharishi teaches: Invincibility can be obtained on many levels, individual, organizational and governmental.

The current thrust of the movement is to create a 7,000 sidhi-flyers group in one country, there by creating an invincible nation.

Maharishi teaches organizations can also gain invincibility. He claims that by having a specific percentage of the employees practicing his $3,500 sidhis program an individual can also become invincible.

One of the qualities of enlightenment is invincibility. Mahesh explains that when an individual, organization or government is invincible, it is impossible for an enemy to even think a negative thought about the invincible. In considering Maharishi's claims in light of the following affidavit ofGemma Cowhig, I ask:

Has Mahesh attained enlightenment?

If he is enlightened, is he invincible?

If he is invincible, why does he have a fear of the CIA?

Why would the movement have a fear of a CIA infiltration?

Patrick Ryan, MIU Class '80, August, 1994~


[This affidavit was used as part of a one lawsuit by the followers of the controversial group leader Robin Carlson in their attempt to gain reentry to MIU and for Civil Rights claims against MIU. ]

Affidavit: Michael Grove, Mark Frost and Michael Herkel v . Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Maharishi International University, World Plan Executive Council United States, Capital of the Age of Enlightenment, Gregory Thatcher, Gregg Wilson and Bevan Morris.

I, T. Gemma Cowhig, being sworn upon my oath depose and state;

1. I have been practicing the Transcendental Meditation Program for 16 years. I have been an initiator of the Transcendental Meditation Program since 1971 and worked as a full time employee of the defendant World Plan Executive Council from 1971-1973. I am still an initiator and since 1977 have been a Governor of the TM Program, also a position within the defendant World Plan Executive Council centers in Toronto, Ontario and London, Ontario.

2 . My brother John Cowhig has been defendant Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's secretary since 1974. On many occasions, including visits with our parents, on my six month course, and recently when I was in Switzerland, he has stated to me that Maharishi is concerned about his security because he believes that the American CIA has infiltrated his organization and is constantly working to undermine his image. My brother has stated, and it is well know within the TM Movement, that Maharishi often states that the CIA is a threat to his security and that Maharishi hates the CIA and feels that it is out to get him. Last summer, in Switzerland, my brother said to me that Maharishi has stated that I was also involved with the CIA.

3. In late 1979 my brother John Cowhig said to me in a phone call from Thailand that Maharishi had a message for Robin. The message was for Robin to be careful that the CIA would begin to surround him and begin to puff him up for their own purposes.

4. After the Jim Jones Guyana Massacre my brother told me that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi claimed that the CIA was responsible for an article in the newspaper linking the TM Movement to that of Jim Jones.

5. It is well known within the TM Movement that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has accused many former teachers of the Transcendental Meditation Movement and employees of World Plan Executive Council such as Charley Donahue and Billie Clayton, of being agents of the CIA who were out to get him.

Sworn and Notarized on, January 30, 1984, by T. Gemma Cowhig~


Dear Madam or Sir : I began practicing TM in 1966 and became disenchanted with Maharishi and, to a lesser extent, the technique in 1971; although, I continued to meditate regularly until about 1979. I am interested in any newsletter or material that you may have available to ex-meditators. I have just been made aware of your existence and am happy to find a group of ex-insiders who are exposing the TM movement for the cult that it is. Please write to me and or call me at the above number collect. Thank you, DP, Los Angeles

TM-EX: I am writing this letter on behalf of the Dialogue Center International in Aarhus, Denmark. The Dialogue Center is a cult awareness network publishing information about [group] and Transcendental Meditation (TM) from a Christian point of view. Of course our aim is to warn especially young people against mind abuse.

At present we are especially keeping an eye on TM, as this organization is obviously initiating a recruiting campaign in the Danish newspapers right now. As an important part of the campaign TM is again and again referring to so-called scientific results and statistics from all over the world.

For instance in the Danish daily paper Jyske Vestkysten (May 1, 1994) a TM-member named Knud Haugmark claims that in England you can now learn Transcendental Meditation with all the costs paid by the National Health Insurance, on condition that you have got a reference from a doctor.

Neither in Germany nor in Denmark TM-methods or medicine are accepted and subsidized by public heath authorities. As we know that the consequences of the so-called TM-Siddhi-meditation have been very much discussed in England, and that e.g. TM Aids-therapy was revealed as ineffective (to put it mildly!) in 1988 and 1991, we cannot imagine that TM is telling the truth in this case. We have contacted the British Department of Health and asked for a statement. BB, Denmark

Dear Ms./Sir: As a fairly recent practitioner of TM, I do not understand why there is a backlash against the practice.

I have no interest in joining some religion or of any of the sort, I simply wanted a way of relieving the extreme stress in my life. TM helps with this. I can understand the AMA being against it, they have a vested interest in the individual being dependent on conventional western medicine, but why an organized group? Answer, please. Peace, EL, Houston, TX

Dear Sir/Ms: I am writing after reading a letter to the editor in the May/June issue of New Age Journa l. The letter was from a man who had practiced TM 15 years ago and encountered not only the pleasant side of it, but also its less pleasant side. I, too, practiced TM in the late 70's, and thought it did, at times, bring me a feeling of exhilaration, I feel that it also increased anxiety, and brought on depression. I did not realize that there were others who suffered as a result of this practice. I would appreciate you sending me any information to enlighten me on this matter. Sincerely, MW

Dear TM-EX: Concerning any negative effects of Transcendental Meditation: I am considering taking up Transcendental Meditation. When looking up the phone number I came across your number. People at the TM Center told me that the support group was founded by vociferous opponents to TM.

I would like to find out why people in the support group were dissatisfied with the meditation program. Did anyone experience any negative effects from practicing TM? Was anyone coerced or harassed in any way by a TM Center? Thank you for sending me any relevant information. Sincerely, AB, Chevy Chase, MD

Dear Sir or Madam : In 1975 I went to a demonstration of Transcendental Meditation with our high-school teacher and some class-mates that were practicing TM at the time.

I recently had the opportunity to participate again, but remember there were whispered rumors that no one spoke of at the time. One of the teacher's marriage ended shortly after her participation with TM, and the other teachers were forbidden to endorse it.

Obviously anyone practicing TM will endorse it, but I would really like to hear the negative side before deciding to go any further with this opportunity.

I received your address through the New Age magazine from a reader that used to practice TM and is now using Buddhist meditation, but TM comes back to haunt him.

I would appreciate your reply to this unusual request, but as I see it, you are the only source of information I have for this. Sincerely, AL, Canada

Dear TM-EX : I saw your name listed in the May/June issue of New Age Journa l. For some time now, I have considered enrolling in TM training after hearing so many positive things about the method. Now, I'm concerned that there are some dangers involved after reading a letter from a man who says there's a dark side to TM. It brings to mind a story a man at work once told me about his niece who was into TM. Apparently, she had forgotten who she was! Of course, at the time I dismissed it--not knowing all the details--but now I'm thinking better of it.

I would greatly appreciate any information you could give me on any dangers you are aware of with the program. Thanks, SAS, IL

Dear Sirs , I was poking around in the Religion folder on AOL [American Online computer network] when I found the section on Hinduism and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, where one writer asked to be put in touch with other sidhas and meditators on-line. In response, someone had posted the address of your organization, but no other information was given about it.

By the word EX in the name, I assume that it is made up of former TM meditators. I practiced TM and the TM-sidhi program for a total of almost 22 years, and stopped about a year and a half ago.

I am interested in receiving more information about your organization. Please send it to me at my business post office box listed on my stationery. Thank You, DM, Texas

To Whom it may Concern , I began TM about 8 months ago and just learned about TM-EX. If you have some information you can send me, please do, as I am concerned that there have been unrevealed ill effects of this technique and have no wish to endanger myself. Thank you, SW, Oklahoma City, OK

Dear TM-EX , I just recently became aware of your organization and understand you provide a helping hand to those who have had bad experiences with Transcendental Meditation.

Recently, I have heard glowing reports of the beneficial effects of TM from practitioners, especially the positive outcome achieved in stress-related disorders. I have heard the pro side of this methodology, but have not heard the con side.

Before I make a decision to give it a try, I need to know both sides of the issue. From what I've heard of your organization, I hear you state there is a down (dark) side to TM.

What starts out as seemingly good, can at some point in the practice of TM, turn into a nightmare.

Can I acquire information from you detailing the negative effects of TM? Just using my common sense, I know that TM can't be as good as the practitioners make it out to be. Thanks for all your efforts. Regards, TFT, NC

Dear People : In 1971 I was initiated into TM in Madison, WI. I became a fanatical meditator, and for 3 years only missed 1 session. I made myself miss that session. I believed TM would solve all my problems. I needed salvation and did not realize that I was buying into a closed belief-cult system. I did two one-month residence courses and went to MIU when it was in Santa Barbara. I [then] needed to stop meditating since I was so depressed and had developed spasms in my jaw. I got no real guidance from the people at MIU, but Charley Lutz of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement told me to stop or do 5 minutes at a time. I did talk to Keith Wallace who was head of MIU, but he was totally sold on TM as the answer that I felt I got nowhere with him. It took me a long time to get over the TM beliefs and feeling of guilt at not meditating.

I became a checker of TM and almost a teacher. I was lucky I didn't go to the course. I don't know how I could have broken away if I had been a TM teacher.

I remember watching black and white videos of Maharishi who said we don't want powers--capture the fort. With pure consciousness you have those powers, then a few years later he came out with the siddhis program.

In 1978 I met a former TM teacher at a Sufi retreat whose sister was secretary for Jerry Jarvis then head of IMS or SIMS, the main TM organization. His sister said nobody was enlightened from TM.

I believe TM has a value as a relaxation exercise but without real teachers, gurus etc., I can't see how the technique can do more than that.

People who bought the TM belief system and got into the organization didn't think they needed to work to grow or become aware. They taught TM would do if for them. It didn't work for me.

I lost contact with all the TM people I knew, so I don't know what happend to them. We didn't know that TM was a piece taken from another culture vastly different than ours.

Maharishi made it sound scientific. I was looking for God and not for relaxation. I do believe that a real guru makes you face up to what you are hiding from in yourself and the parts of yourself you can't accept. Every system of spiritual development has its own cultural biases. I don't believe anymore in perfect enlightenment. After TM I felt lost spiritually for years.

Maharishi originally, at least in the 1950's was very open about the Hindu basis of TM. He later masked it for the public.

Last year I heard some tapes of Deepak Chopra and for 6 months did TM again. I remembered my mantra and it felt good for a while. I no longer wanted it to be a spiritual practice. I couldn't buy Deepak's TM rap about how life becomes effortless. I'm sure it wasn't effortless for him to leave Maharishi.

I was brainwashed the 3 years in the `70's I did TM. I'm not willing to subject myself to the TM philosophy again.

It's been many years since I felt the pain of leaving TM, but I'd be interested to know what you do and what other people have gone through. P.S. I have a lot more stories about, social pressure and the suppression of doubts by people in the organization. It's painful to think about. Sincerely LS, CA

Dear Sir/Madam : I want to thank you for keeping me on your mailing list ( I believe I first wrote you several years ago) and for the December, 1993 issue of TM-EX NEWSLETTER that you sent me. There's a reference to the German Study (the one for $30.) on the potential harmful effects of long-term TM practice.

As a writer/researcher, and former TM user, I have a strong interest in the potential pitfalls of meditation as they relate to dissociative states of consciousness and would like to consider ordering this publication.

Please let me know approximately how long this study is, and when it was performed and compiled.

Also, if there are any other works pertaining to the dangers of prolonged meditation that you're aware of, please so advise me. Very truly yours, JM, CT

Dear ex-TM members , I am an ex-TM member. I graduated from MIU July 1988. I became a citizen sidha in March 1984. I started TM in 1983. My family got me into it. They dropped it while I was at MIU. But I continued. I tried to do TSR (Town Super Radiance) [Flying in the golden domes] at Fairfield but I wasn't able to hold a job. I left Fairfield and moved to California where I married a non-movement person. I have a two year old daughter now. I have since separated from my husband. I even began meditating again but renounced it as I don't believe in polytheism nor do I believe in reincarnation. But I still have friends in TM and who I care a great deal about. And sometimes I think about some of the fun experience I had at MIU. But truthfully I don't believe in Maharishi's philosophy about life anymore.

I am interested in the support group. I am interested in receiving the newsletter. I want to know what TM-EX is all about. I am interested. Thank You, DC

Dear TM-EX , I have just read about your organization in NEW AGE Magazine. I am a former meditator who always had wonderful experience with TM, but I got bored with all that bliss and moved on to Siddha Yoga for a while. The reason I am writing is that my sister did TM for years, getting into the very advance techniques, and although she also eventually changed types of meditation, she ultimately had such unbelievably horrifying experiences that caused her so much psychic and emotional distress that she committed suicide.

Do you have literature, studies, case histories, etc. of specific experience that people have had, that I could compare with what my sister told me she was going through?

Do you know of any other kind(s) of meditation that people could have such bad experiences with?I appreciate your helping me with these questions. Sincerely, AB, Saint Paul, MN

Dear TM-EX , I have obtained your name and address from Steve Hassan's book Combatting Cult Mind Control and would be grateful for any information you may have regarding the damaging effects of Transcendental Meditation.

I was involved with the TM movement in the UK for only a short while but I did become rather uneasy about some aspects of its activities. However, if it could indeed be called a cult, I would have to say it seemed a fairly benign one to me and no pressure was put on me to stay a practicing member. Perhaps problems arise at the deeper levels of involvement.

I was introduced to TM by a friend who was a local organizer and someone with long experience of the movement, having got involved when the Maharishi was active in the UK during the 60's. The initiation ceremony I found somewhat strange but I went to a weekend of lectures which revealed the origins of TM in the Vedic tradition. This I found interesting and at worst eccentric--certainly not sinister in any way. Later I felt it may have been in conflict with my basically Christian background, as it did lay claim to the same philosophical and even religious territory. I considered there was at the very least a controlled release of information to the public in the early stages, designed to conceal as much as it revealed.

I was wary of the Siddhis course and did not take part. It is my understanding that within the Indian esoteric tradition the development of occult powers of any kind were regarded as distraction, if not an obstacle, to spiritual progress. Yet here they were being promoted as a selling point.

Many people do, of course, get more deeply involved. There is at least one community within the UK whose entire raison d'etre seems to be TM, with a central meditation hall and a calendar of events that are TM orientated. This seemed to me to be going further than even some fundamentalist groups would. And yet TM is sold as a stress relievant, not a religion.

Lately, as you are no doubt aware, things have got curiouser and curiouser, with full-blooded entry into politics under the title The Natural Law Party. This must have cost a small fortune to accomplish for negligible results, unless, of course, the whole thing is viewed as an enormous publicity stunt.

All of this could be regarded as wacky but not wicked. These organizational activities aside thought I believe it is your contention that the practice of transcendental meditation is in itself harmful. Would you explain why exactly, as this in its way is the more serious charge.

Thank you for your kind attention and I look forward to hearing from you. Yours faithfully, LH, UK

Dear Sir/Madam , As you can see from the enclosed newspaper articles, TM is being presented in a big way in Dublin. Could you please send some up to date literature concerning TM. Is there a video dealing with the harmful effects of TM? Thank You, ICM, Dublin

Dear Sir or Madam: I came across a reference to the TM-EX group in Kurt Butler's A Consumer's Guide to Alternative Medicine. Please send me information and/or newsletter.

For your convenience, enclosed is a self-addressed envelope. RB, Columbus, OH ~

"LETTERS " is a forum reflecting the views of the authors and does not necessarily represent those of the editors. Due to volume of letters, not all can be published. We reserve the right to edit for space and clarity. Please send letters, essays, and articles to TM-EX. Because of the sensitive nature of our publication, authors' names printed by request only.~



Since November 1973 South Korea's Reverend Sun Myung Moon has courted political conservatives in this country, especially Republicans. Sometimes his efforts have been heavy-handed, as when he proclaimed a vision that Watergate-beleaguered President Richard Nixon was an archangel in service to the Lord and Congress should immediately cease these investigations.

Over the past two decades, however, Moon has become more subtle and successful. His latest coup: in September 1993 Moon's Unification Church (formal Name the Holy Sprit Association for the Unification of World Christianity) enticed Marilyn Tucker Quayle, wife of former Vice president Dan Qualyle, to be a keynote speaker at Tokyo conference organized by Hak Ja Han Moon, Reverend Moon's wife.

According to one of the organization's monthly publications, Unification News , more that 50,000 people attended this first anniversary of the Women's Federation for World Peace. The WFWP is a Unification Church-subsidized auxiliary with branches in more than 120 countries. Marilyn Quayle shared the podium with Hak Ja Han Moon and Her Royal Highness Princess Eva Maria of the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Amid the presence of Old World aristocracy and New World gentry, Marilyn Quayle reportedly praised the activities of Hak Ja Han Moon and the WFWP on behalf of world peace.

Since the early 1970's during both Nixon and Carter administrations, the Unification Church was America's premier religious cult, according to its critics. Moon spent millions on real estate and his own self-promotion while he lived well in mansions. He owns extensive property in New York, California and other states as well as South Korea, Japan and even Uruguay.

Marilyn Quayle is not alone in indirectly promoting Moon's credibility. For example, 1987, Indiana's Republican Congressman Dan Burton was in Seoul attending a Moon conference where there could be no doubt who the sponsor was. Currently he is sponsoring House Resolution 236 to create a special 'Parents Day' holiday. Such legislation seems innocuous enough until you learn that Susan Fefferman, wife of a long-time Unification Church official, had been lobbying Burton.

Hak Ja Han Moon's WFWP supports the bill, and the 'Parents' referred to (in the minds of most Moonies, at least) don't refer to any of our moms and dads but rather to Mr. and Mrs. Moon. To Unificationists the Moons are theologically the 'True Parents' of all mankind in the 'Kingdom of Heaven of God on Earth' that Moon claims to be establishing. Anson Shupe, The Forth Wayne Journal-Gazette, January 9, 1994~



After the Cult: 1994

Three Brief Exit Counselings and Post-Cult Recovery Workshops for Ex-Members

AFF coordinates and publishes academic research about cults and psychological manipulation, educates the public about cults, and provides recovery assistance to ex-cult members and their families and loved ones.

In 1989 AFF launched 'Project Recovery' in order to professionalize the assistance former cult members and their families receive during the recovery process. Under 'Project Recovery' AFF has published two major books about cult recovery, held conferences for professionals, families, and ex-memberes, and sponsored a series of workshops for ex-cultists.

These workshops are small, with extensive interaction between workshop leaders and participants. They are designed for ex-members only; family members or friends may not attend.

Description of Workshops

The sessions of each workshop are divided into two tracks; registrants will choose which track most suits their needs. It is preferable that participants not change tracks once the workshop has started. Tracks will meet separately and at times together.

Track I: Brief Exit Counseling -- for those not previously familiar with the psychologically manipulative tecniques destructive groups employ to control members

Track II: Recovery Issues -- for those who have learned previously about psychological manipulation but are still dealing with long-term recovery issues.

Topics to be covered include: Overview of the Recovery Process, Coping with Triggers, Margaret Singer's Six Conditions for Mind Control, Introduction to Robert Lifton's Eight Criteria of Thou ght Reform, Depression and Guilt, Hypnosis and Trance, Anxiety and Decision-Making, Reestablishing Trust in Yourself and Others, The Grieving Process: Getting Beyond it, Dependency Issues, Reintegration: After the Cult, Who am I,? Spiritual and Philosophical Concerns.

All sessions will be led by cult-recovery experts or mental-health professionals. A detailed list of workshop leaders will be sent with registration confirmation, although changes in workshop leaders may occur.

Places/Dates After the Cult 1994

October 1 and 2, 9:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M, Manresa Retreat House, Azusa, California

$165/person (single/double occupancy)

For information and a registration form, contact : AFF, P.O. Box 2265, Bonita Springs, FL 33959, (212) 249-7693 ~


TM and Cult Mania , by M.A. Persinger, Ph.D. An in-depth investigation into the claims of TM, hypnosis and research. [Available from CAN]

Trauma and Recovery, by Judith Lewis Herman, M.D. A through exploration into the commonalities of traumatic experience and the process of healing. [See review, Summer 92]

Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism , by R.J. Lifton, M.D. A classic textbook and case study on victims of thought reform and the elements of thought reform programs. [See excerpt, Winter 92]

The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power , by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad. Examines the most extreme example of one person giving power to another: the guru/disciple relationship. "Guru" is a metaphor for anyone who manipulates others under the guise of "knowing what's best" for them.

Skeptical Inquirer , Box 229, Buffalo, NY 14215. Journal of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, which attempts to encourage the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view. [See Winter 1983-84, ``An investigation of the effects of TM on the weather.'']

NCAHF Newsletter (National Council Against Health Fraud), P.O. Box 1276, Loma Linda, CA 92354. To aid in activism against health fraud, misinformation and quackery.

Influence: The New Psychology of Modern Persuasion , by Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. A landmark publication in furthering our understanding of the persuasion process.

Now Available From TM-EX

Reprints--including early TM studies, journal research and news articles. Investigative reports from BBC, CBC and other news media available on audiotape. Write for a complete list. ~
TM-EX is now on the Internet.

Look under Newsgroups:


Join in a lively debate with current and former members of the movement.

Let your opinions be known!

The TM-EX Newsletter is published by the Transcendental Meditation EX-Members Support Group ( TM-EX ), a not-for-profit educational corporation.

Subcription Information: Receive the TM-EX Newsletter , plus special Bulletins and Research Review for a donation of $100 or more; OR with a minimum donation of $25, receive the TM-EX Newsletter .

Please be advised that TM-EX has received tax exempt status as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization .

For inquiries: P.O. Box 7565, Arlington, VA 22207, (202) 728-7580, FAX (703) 841-2385. Our volunteers respond more quickly to mail requests; all telephone calls will be returned collect. ~

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