DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civil Action No. 76-341
ALAN B. MALNAK, et als,
MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI, et als,
McCarter & English, Esqs.
Fischer & Kagan, Esqs.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Esqs.
Scipio L. Africano, Esq.
William F. Hyland, Esq.
MEANOR, District Judge.
Plaintiffs move for partial summary judgment to enjoin the teaching of the "Science of Creative Intelligence" in the public schools of New Jersey on the ground that such teaching violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The material facts are not contested, although the parties vigorously dispute the significance of those facts.
The suit involves 12 named plaintiffs and 20 named defendants. Plaintiffs include eight individuals who pay federal income taxes and are liable to pay state sales taxes and, in some cases, local property taxes. Four of the taxpayers are the parents of two children who attend one of the high schools at which the course was offered; they sue in their own behalfs [sic] and as guardians ad litem for their children. The eight taxpayers comprise an unincorporated association known as the Coalition for Religious Integrity, which also is a named plaintiff in this action. The remaining plaintiffs are a clergyman who lives in New Jersey, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a nonprofit Maryland corporation, and Spiritual Counterfeits Project, Inc., a nonprofit California corporation.
The first group of defendants are organizations and individuals who are engaged in the dissemination of the Science of Creative Intelligence and in the propagation of the technique of Transcendental Meditation. The organizational defendants are three California corporations and a division of one of the corporations. These defendants seek to disseminate SCI/TM throughout the United States, primarily through the World Plan Executive Council--United States (WPEC--US) and its divisions. At the national level, the organizational structure of a World Plan Executive Council with several divisions apparently occurs in a number of countries throughout the world. See Jarvis Deposition at 786. International organizations devoted to the propagation of SCI/TM exist. The structure of the "international level" is changing and the relationship between the international and national organizations is nebulous.
The organizations, primarily under the auspices of the WPECs throughout the world, are implementing a "World Plan" which "is in progress to train one teacher of the Science of Creative Intelligence for every one thousand people in all parts of the globe." Fundamentals of Progress, Exhibit A attached to Jarvis Affidavit, at 2. The "World Plan" has seven stated goals:
Id. The named organizational defendants presumably are entrusted with implementing the "World Plan" within the United States. The individual defendants are officers of these corporations, a person who taught the SCI/TM course in New Jersey high schools, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the principal deviser [sic] of the Science of Creative Intelligence and primary exponent of Transcendental Meditation.1
The five boards of education which arranged for the teaching of the SCI/TM course at high schools within their jurisdictions also are named as defendants. The New Jersey Department of Education and the New Jersey Board of Education, as well as the Commissioner of Education, an individual employee of the Department of Education, and the State of New Jersey itself are sued. In addition, the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the United States are named as defendants.
Plaintiffs base their motion for partial summary judgment on the textbook used in the New Jersey high schools, a ceremony at which attendance by the student is mandatory, the deposition testimony of the president of the WPEC-US, the deposition testimony of two people who taught the SCI/TM course in four of the five high schools at which the course was offered, and a one-page affidavit of a clergyman.
In opposing the motion for partial summary judgment, defendants rely on the same deposition testimony relied upon by plaintiffs and the deposition testimony of three clergymen-practitioners of the TM technique and the deposition testimony of an employee of the United States Office of Education. In addition, defendants rely on affidavits of the president of the WPEC-US, of two teachers of the SCI/TM course in New Jersey high schools, of a linguist, of two professors of religion, and of eleven New Jersey high school students who were enrolled in the SCI/TM course.
Transcendental Meditation, briefly stated, is a technique of meditation in which the meditator contemplates a meaningless sound. Defendants have placed in the record the result of tests which purport to show that a meditator undergoes certain physiological changes during meditation. Other tests purport to show that practitioners of the technique will develop permanent changes in their physiologies, e.g., lowered heart rate and lowered breathing rate.
The "Science of Creative Intelligence" is a theory, devised or promulgated primarily by defendant Yogi, which purports to explain what occurs within a meditator's mind during meditation and to describe an entity or concept which defendants call "creative intelligence." The "Science of Creative Intelligence" posits that during transcendental meditation a meditator reverses the process through which thought develops until the meditator's mind reaches the entity, or "field of life," called "the field of pure creative intelligence," which is at the source of thought, according to the World Plan defendants.
The textbook used in the New Jersey high schools states the above, but devotes most of its pages to a description of the nature and qualities of the entity called "creative intelligence."2 As stated above, the SCI/TM course was offered as an elective course at five high schools in New Jersey during the 1975-76 academic year. The students at all five high schools used the same textbook and received their mantras,3 or sound aids, at identical ceremonies. The SCI/TM course was taught four or five days a week by teachers trained by the World Plan defendants. The teachers were paid by the WPEC-US and were not employed by any of the five defendant school boards nor certified by the State Board of Examiners.3a Aaron Deposition at 621. The SCI/TM course was the only course taught by the SCI/TM teachers.
The undisputed material facts upon which plaintiffs rely and from which plaintiffs assert that the only conclusion possible is that teaching of the SCI/TM course violates the establishment of religion clauses of both the United States and New Jersey constitutions are the textbook and the puja4 used in the course.
1 Plaintiffs have been unable to effect service of process on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, apparently a citizen of India, on account of his prolonged absence from this country. [ back ]
2 Creative intelligence arises out of the field of pure creative intelligence. The court notes the distinction, but for purposes of discussion the two entities will be considered as complementary portions of a single entity. See discussion at 6-7, 10-11 infra. [ back ]
3 "Mantra" has been defined as a meaningless sound which is essential to the practice of Transcendental Meditation and which is "known" to have a positive effect on the nervous system. Metropole Deposition at 352; Aaron Deposition at 664; Jarvis Deposition at 886. Defendants attach great importance to the selection of mantras for individuals and deny that use of a randomly selected sound in meditation will produce the beneficial effects alleged to result from the practice of their method of meditation. See Jarvis Deposition at 887-90. [ back ]
3aSee N.J.S.A. 18A:6-34 et seq.. [ back ]
4 The puja is a ceremony at which each student was given his or her mantra, the sound aid essential to practicing the TM technique. [ back ]
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