Analysis of the Maharishi's "Global War" Crisis
"Look, the Maharishi has had one crisis after another since the first Year of the World Plan in 1972. So what's new?"
Back to "TranceNet: Emergency Alert"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- June 12, 1996
Kool-Aid in the Jungle?
At about this point, veterans of the Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation movement may be asking what all the fuss is about. They know that the Maharishi has called such global alerts many, many times in the past.
Why This Time Is Different
The Maharishi has never before predicted an actual date for global annihilation unless his wishes are carried out.
It Doesn't Matter What the Maharishi's Motives Are
As with the apocalyptic visions of cult leaders, it's not the content but the Maharishi's and his followers' actions that are important here.
The Maharishi is sending small groups of fanatical true believers off into the jungle with a nebulous mission and an apocalyptic vision. He's not saying if we're not careful, something will happen -- he's telling these people that war will break out at any minute.
Yes, But What Could Be His Motivations?
- Money Laundering
Former TM movement insiders such as Billy Clayton, Patrick Ryan, and Curtis Mailloux have speculated in the past that all such emergencies are about cash.
A recent anonymous defector from the Maharishi's International Headquarters in the Netherlands has reportedly alleged that a "major financial scandal" may rock the TM movement. Perhaps the Maharishi is harboring his cash á la Robert Vesco.
- Gathering the Faithful
The Maharishi has engineered a revolution in his movement every three to five years since the early 1970s. Each time he announces an impossible goal, large numbers of fence-sitting TMers are inspired to leave. But the shrinking inner core is more fanatically devoted to him than ever.
- Whipping up the Troops
Many cult watchers point out that one of the most powerful techniques of mind control is chaos or confusion. By changing the "right answers" frequently, followers are kept dependent on looking to higher ups to interpret events -- and continuing to invest time and money to find new answers.
Most recently he has blamed the failure of all his teachings on the polluted food supply in the West -- particularly genetically engineered foods.
- Selling Groceries
As far-fetched as it may seem, this current crisis may simply be about selling new products. After all, he used the chronic hypochondria of the TM culture to sell Ayur Vedic potions and powders in the 80s.
Perhaps he simply hopes to bring out a line of Maharishi Organic Produce -- produced by his followers tilling farms in Third World countries, using the "scientific" methods of the Maharishi Green Revolution.
Coming Soon!Steve Hassan, author, therapist, and exit counselor on cultic apocalyptic visions
Michael Doughney, minet.org & ex-cult.org Editor, on the Implications for the TM movement and the Natural Law Party
John M. Knapp, TranceNet Editor, on the History of TM Crises
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(C) Copyright 1996, John M. Knapp. All rights reserved.