Information - Dialogue - Support
On The Web Since 1995
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adapted from an outline by "Steven Hassan"
Alternate Names: TM, Maharishi Ayur-Veda, Maharishi
Vedic Universities, Natural Law Party, Student's Natural Law Party, World
Plan Executive Council, WPEC, Science of Creative Intelligence, Maharishi
University of Management, Maharishi International University
Organizations Related to Transcendental Meditation
What You Should Know About TM
If you are thinking about joining
If you are a current member
If you are a former member
How to help a friend or relative in TM
Critiques of TM
Hassan Model - BITE
Statements by former members of TM
Articles critiquing aspects of the group's leader and ideology
practices of the group that are
Other Sources of Information about TM
Web Stes Maintained by TM
Web sites critical of TM
Return to Help
Transcendental Meditation, actually a variety of techniques
and products associated with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, is one of the best
known groups critics charge with mind control tactics. The first of the
Maharishi's many groups was founded in 1956 in India. Today TM claims 4 million members worldwide. Critics estimate no more than 10,000 practitioners are active in the United States. A variety of press sources estimate the
world-wide worth of the TM movement at over $3.5 billion US.
Like many Indian-derived groups, TM's goal is "enlightenment" -- although
the Maharishi's interpretation is unusual. By practicing TM regularly,
a meditator is said to
purify his or her nervous system of "stress," allowing "higher states of
consciousness" to spontaneously appear. Individuals in "Cosmic,God,"
"Unity," "Brahman", or "Krishna Consciousness" are said to experience
"pure consciousness" during waking, dreaming, or sleeping, in or out of
meditation; to be incapable of making mistakes; to be completely
invincible; may experience physical immortality; may contact angels and
gods; and may experience various paranormal abilities, such as telepathy,
dematerialization, or levitation.
"Stress" is central in Transcendental Meditation: both how to avoid it
and how to eliminate it. Unlike Western medicine's understanding of
stress, "stress" in TM is considered to be a physical substance stored in the body -- which can be acquired from "impure" foods, traumatic actions, associating with nonmeditators, or frequenting "stressful" places.
The TM movement teaches that stress may be removed, slowly, by regular
TM, practiced twice daily for 20 minutes each sitting. "Advanced"
meditators are invited to speed their "evolution" with additional
"experience courses" (in-residence meditation retreats from a few days to
several months or longer), "knowledge courses" (memorization and training
of TM philosophy leading to becoming a TM teacher or "initiator"),
"advanced techniques" (including training in paranormal abilities, such
as "flying"), and a variety of Maharishi Ayur-Vedic health products. It is not unusual for a committed TMer to
spend decades -- and significant six-figure amounts -- in their quest for enlightenment.
A meditator may also speed his or her evolution by "going on staff" --
working full time at a TM facility, such as Maharishi University of Management. At higher levels of "staff," TMers may be asked to take vows of celibacy, separate more or less permanently from mainstream society, work
extraordinary hours, meditate up to 8 hours daily, dedicate nearly every
waking moment to the Maharishi and the TM movement, study
esoteric Hindu scriptures, and so forth.
Once universally considered a benign group, the TM movement and the
Maharishi have changed drastically since the late 1970s according to
critics. In recent years, the Maharishi has declared that a variety of
enemies are trying to destroy TM, including: the American CIA, the
American Medical Association, multi-national pharmaceutical companies,
agricultural companies promoting genetically engineered foods, and others. In particular, the Maharishi's
followers are strongly discouraged from seeking help from nonTM doctors,
therapists, chiropractors, and other care givers. For all intents and
purposes, committed TMers are forbidden to consult any spiritual
counselor outside of the TM movement -- with the possible exception of
local clergy, who are also somewhat suspect.
The Maharishi has urged his followers to enter politics to take direct
control of "world consciousness." Today, his Natural Law Party has chapters in most industrialized countries. At various times his groups have played an active part in the politics and governments of the Philippines, Nepal,
Zambia, Mozambique, Brazil, the Balkans, and other nations.
He has also sent his followers on a series of mysterious "projects," requesting groups of advanced TMers to travel to Third World countries to spread "superradiance" consciousness and save the world from imminent nuclear disaster,
hurricanes, biological and genetic warfare, and other catastrophes.
Insiders have reported instances of violence, kidnapping, drugs,
molestation and other sexual misconduct, financial scandal, faked
scientific research -- with varying degrees of documentation in court records, the press, and elsewhere.
Statements of Former Members
Anthony Denaro, former professor at MIU, recalls some dangerous psychological effects of
TM and TM-Sidhis on students and others during his affiliation, such as
depression, suicide attempts, assaults, homicidal ideation, psychotic
episodes -- all with Maharishi's knowledge. He characterizes the movement
as "essentially cultic" and willing to engage in deception, fraud, and
corruption in the name of a higher ideology.
Dennis Roark, former MIU dean of faculty and chairman of the department of physics, writes about the
university's "crackpot science" protocols, its baseless claims of a relationship between physics
and consciousness, and the suppression of negative data in
movement-sponsored research that is widely quoted as "scientific proof"
of the benefits of TM.
Mitchell Kapor, founder of Lotus
and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, spent 7 years deep inside the TM
movement. Mitchell talks about why he started TM, his ultimate
disillusionment with TM levitation techniques, and "crossing from slavery
into freedom" when he left his Six-Month Governor Training Course in
An Open Letter from a Former TM Initiator: What You Should Know Before You Learn TM:
If you're thinking about starting the Transcendental Meditation program founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, there are a few things you should know that you're not going to read in a book or hear at a TM lecture. The anonymous author learned TM as a college student, became a TM teacher, and taught over 250 people how to meditate, and has also been a faculty member at Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa.
In his civil suit against the TM movement, Robert Kropinski outlined 20
years of alleged psychosis, suicides, self-mutilations, murder, and the
drugging of course participants and one of Maharishi's private
secretaries -- at his order.
TM mantras are neither secret nor individual, according to numerous sources, including
The TM techniques are identical to many introductory meditation techniques and "are most definitely not a ... unique body of knowledge, nor are
they ... trade secrets.... Rather they are an integral part of the rich
cultural and scriptural heritage which belongs to India," according to
Charges of child molestation,
death from abuse and neglect, corruption and more at Maharishi's compound
in NOIDA, India, are excerpted from the cover story in The Illustrated
Weekly of India, January 17, 1988.
The Natural Law Party is the TM movement's entry into international politics, according to the San Francisco
The TM movement attempted to suppress the
German Study in German courts,
but its findings were upheld by the German high court. Among the subjects
studied: 76% of long-term meditators experience psychological disorders
-- including 26% nervous breakdowns; 63% experience serious physical
complaints; 70% recorded a worsening ability to concentrate;
researchers found a startling drop in honesty among long-term
meditators; plus a detailed examination of the history, culture, and
secret teachings of the TM movement.
Apparently suppressed by the TM movement are more than two-dozen independent scientific researches that measured the negative side effects of long-term TM practice.
Patrick Ryan, a cult-exit
counselor, co-founder of TM-EX, and MIU graduate, tells how he was
recruited by TM teachers using appeals to scientific "proof" and "saving
the world." He tells of trance euphoria, depersonalization, cognitive
distortion, dissociation, confusion, irritability, and memory
Web Sites Maintained by TM
- "All the knowledge you'll ever need." Ayurveda Ltd
(MAHARISHI2-DOM) Beacon House, Millow Walk Skelmersdale, Lancs WN8 6UR
England; Domain Name: MAHARISHI.COM; Administrative Contact, Billing
Contact: Chalmers, Francis (FC184) fchalmers@MAHARISHI.COM +44 1595
51015. (Roger Chalmers was found guilty of medical misconduct for treating AIDS with Maharishi Ayur Veda.)
- Maharishi University of Management, formerly Maharishi
International University, features TM movement-approved overviews of TM,
the sidhis, and other programs. Also links to hundreds of pro-TM research
- Natural Law Party
- In the words of spokesman Bob Roth, "It's no secret this is the TM party."
- The Raj
- "America's premier Maharishi AyurVeda Health
- The Meditator's Café
- James Cook presents a hangout, presumably decaf,
for the trademarked path to inner peace -- with a good and revealing set
of quotes by the Maharishi.
Web Sites Critical of TM
- With over 17 megabytes of court cases, insider secrets,
news archive, personal essays, and more.
- Mike Doughney's extraordinary resource, including:
TM-EX and alt.meditation.transcendental archives, Ex-Cult Support archives, and more.
- Don Krieger's Home Page
- An important new resource for the TM researcher!
Personal stories, book excerpts, ads for TM enlightenment paraphernalia,
- An always hilarious, and frequently very informative new site on TM, Deepak Chopra, and their apologists who appear on the Usenet. I'll let webmaster Sherilyn explain the title of the site. It's a hoot!
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