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On December 29, 1996, Edward Epstein of the San Francisco Chronicle featured TranceNet in the front-page story, "Politics and Transcendental Meditation."

David Smithstein is the Natural Law Party 8th District Congressional Candidate for San Francisco, CA. On January 2, 1996, he wrote John M. Knapp, editor, alleging TranceNet creates "obsticles[sic]... for others" and warning "you need to play out your own Karma." In his second letter, January 3, 1996, he asserts that there is no scientific research that shows negative effects from TM, implies that "karma" is not a term used within the TM movement or Natural Law Party, and demands that his writings be published unedited.

"Politics and Transcendental Meditation," San Francisco Chronicle, December 29, 1995

Text of January 1 letter, with John M. Knapp's reply

Text of January 2 letter, with John M. Knapp's reply

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These 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.

If these charges are true, TM meditators may be interested to know that their course fees, product fees, and donations go to support these policies at Maharishinagar.

Full Text: "The Troubled Guru"

Excerpts: "Molestations Alleged at Maharishi's Compound"

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In an ad in MIU University News, September-November 1989, MIU claims to be "among the top third of the nation's colleges and universities selected by U.S. News & World Report." Read the letter from the Executive Editor accusing MIU of misleading claims. Also included: a facsimile of the MIU ad.

"U.S. News Editor Accuses MIU of Misleading Claims"

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NEW! Largest archive of annotated articles on TM on the Web!

TranceNet News Archive

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Try as he might, the Maharishi can't shake his most famous pupils. In this incredibly well-researched article, author Greg Panfile's "Inner Lite: The Beatles and the Maharishi, 1967-68" opines that the Fab Four's brush with the Maharishi "dealt a hammer blow to the international pedestal they had occupied almost uninterruptedly for four years. They would never be exactly the same again..."

"Inner Lite: The Beatles and the Maharishi, 1967-68"

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Creation has two sides: intelligence, which is the cause of everything, and the manifestations of intelligence, which are the physical and psychological features of the everyday world. Because Transcendental Meditation directly approaches intelligence, rather than the manifestations of intelligence, it solves problems by introducing harmony and well-being at the most basic level, and not by dealing with problems themselves. That's why it is so effective.

Consider this example: The gardener supplies water to the root of a tree. That water, that nourishment, then reaches all parts of the tree - leaves, branches, flowers, fruit - through the sap. We can think of the sap as analogous to intelligence and the green leaves or yellow flowers as analogous to the manifestations of the intelligence. The leaves and flowers are the intelligence of the sap, after it has been transformed. So intelligence - like the leaves and flowers of a tree - appears as the many different forms of manifest life. Those manifestations include every aspect of existence, from the material and physiological, through the psychological, intellectual, and spiritual. All of those features of life come from transformations of intelligence. In meditation, we directly meet this essential intelligence. Therefore, we have the possibility of nourishing all of its other levels, and thus all levels of manifestation, in a way that is harmoniously related to the whole universe.

How is Transcendental Meditation different from the various other forms of meditation?

Maharishi: The basic difference is that Transcendental Meditation, in addition to its simplicity, concerns itself only with the mind. Other systems often involve some additional aspects with which the mind is associated, such as breathing or physical exercises. They can be a little complicated because they deal with so many things. But with Transcendental Meditation there is no possibility of any interference. So we say this is the all-simple program, enabling the conscious mind to fathom the whole range of its existence.

Transcendental Meditation ranges from active mind - or performing mind - to quiet mind - or resting mind. In this resting mind, one has purity and simplicity, uninvolved with anything other than the mind, uninvolved with any other practice. In Transcendental Meditation, because we deal only with the mind, we nourish all expressions of intelligence.

The mind meditates, gains Transcendental Consciousness and brings about transformation in different fields of manifestation. All fields of life, which are the expression of intelligence, are nourished or transformed and made better through experiencing Transcendental Consciousness.

The mind, of course, is always concerned with other aspects, such as the physiology of the body, the environment, and the whole universe for that matter. But since Transcendental Meditation deals only with the performance of the mind, from its active states to its settled state, it remains unconcerned with those other aspects, though it deals with them all, because intelligence deals with them all. -- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, unknown interview, copyright presumablyheld by Maharishi Vedic University, The Maharishi Foundation, or another group within the TM family.

Cults come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Categories of cults that are recruiting successfully today include:

Eastern meditation: characterized by belief in God-consciousness, becoming one with God. The leader usually distorts and Eastern-based philosophy or religion. Members sometimes learn to disregard worldly possessions and may take on an ascetic lifestyle. Techniques used: meditation, repeated mantras, altered states of consciousness, trance states.

Religious: marked by belief in salvation, afterlife, sometimes combined with an apocalyptic view. The leader reinterprets the Scriptures and often claims to be a prophet if not the messiah. Often the group is strict, sometimes using physical punishments such as paddling and birching, especially on children. Members are encouraged to spend a great deal of time proselytizing. (Note: included here are Bible-based neo-Christian and other religious cults, many considered syncretic since they combine beliefs and practices). Techniques used: speaking in tongues, chanting, praying, isolation, lengthy study sessions, many hours spent evangelizing, "struggle" (or criticism) and confession sessions.

Political, racist, terrorist: fueled by belief in changing society, revolution, overthrowing the "enemy" or getting rid of evil forces. The leader professes to be all-knowing and all-powerful. Often the group is armed and meets in secret with coded language, handshakes, and other ritualized practices. Members consider themselves an elite cadre ready to go to battle. Techniques used: paramilitary training, reporting on one another, guilt, fear, struggle sessions, instilled paranoia, long hours of indoctrination. -- Captive Hearts, Captive Minds, Lalich and Tobias, Hunter House, 1993.