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NLP's First Letter to TranceNet

Congressional Candidate David Smithstein, January 1, 1996

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Date: Mon, 1 Jan 1996 14:40:35 -0500
From: DSmithstei@aol.com
Message-Id: <960101144034_103660682@mail02.mail.aol.com>
To: jmknapp53@gmail.com
Subject: Costs vs. Benefits

Hi John,

I hope the Trancenet[sic] benefits to you and your group of anonymous contributors is enough to justify the obsticles[sic] you may be creating for others.

You need to play out your own Karma, and only you know how to do that best. I want to urge you to be as fair as possible in your representation[sic] to[sic] TM. It does not seem fair to others who may truly benefit from TM to receive biased information from someone who is probably still angry or disillusioned. If you take TM's track record in it's entirety, you and I both know TM has done a lot of good things and Maharishi's only intention is to improve the human condition.

I hope you find what you are looking for.


David Smithstein
8th District Congressional Candidate, S.F., CA
Natural Law Party

TranceNet Editor's Reply, January 2, 1996

Thanks for your input. We disagree on a number of points, but I think we have grounds for discussion.

My intention with TranceNet is to reveal material that is hidden or misrepresented to the public. There can be no "bad karma" in promoting open discussion. You and others in the Natural Law Party/TM movement are free to discuss your interpretation of the same facts and events, after all.

The TM movement itself does an extraordinarily good job of presenting the benefits. In my estimation -- and the estimation of thousands of others -- someone must do the job of documenting the unfortunate side effects that a significant minority experience from the practice of TM.

I think that this discussion between us would do the most good if it were conducted in a public forum. Why not post this to alt.meditation.transcendental or one of the political newsgroups?

I think that you are aware that, as editor of TranceNet, I am a journalist. Whether you write to me privately or publicly, communications from a public figure like a candidate is open for publication.

The public has a right to know that the Natural Law Party promotes the Maharishi, "karma," and other beliefs not expressly discussed in its party platform.


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