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Time line of Natural Law Party's Changing Language on Religion

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1955The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, leader of the Transcendental Meditation movement, founded the Natural Law Party in 1992 (or 1988, depending on what TM source you trust). In the Maharishi's first book, Beacon Light of the Himalayas, he preached, "For our practice, we select only the suitable mantras of personal Gods. Such mantras fetch to us the grace of personal Gods and make us happier in every walk of life."

1959The Spiritual Regeneration Movement is incorporated with the words "this corporation is a religious one" and "the Spiritual Head of this corporation who is MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI, need not be a member of the Board of Trustees, but can be; he shall devote his attention to the spiritual welfare of the members of the corporation and shall have the right to name his successor."

1964International Meditation Society incorporated as a separate religious corporation.

1965Students International Meditation Society incorporated without the words "religion" or "religious."

1967Maharishi Mahesh Yogi writes at some length about Vedic Karma Kanda [yagyas] in his On the Bhagavad-Gita: "The gross aspect [of yagya] deals with ritualistic performances to please different Vedic gods and win their blessings, while the subtle aspect [of yagya] deals with training the mind to contact higher powers and receive their blessings..... [They deal] with the rites and rituals necessary to establish coordination between the different aspects of individual life: coordination between man and other creatures, between man and the different forces in nature, between man and angels, and between man and God in heaven." The Maharishi begins selling yagyas -- Hindu sacrifices to secure the"blessings" of Shiva, Ganesh, Lakshmi, and other Hindu deities -- for all TMers in 1989 (see below).

1970Based on the success of the secularly packaged Students International Meditation Society, the articles of incorporation of the International Meditation Society are amended, removing references to "religious" and "religion."

1970?The Maharishi formalizes language of the "oath" that all Transcendental Meditation teachers must pledge and sign (after four months of 6-hour a day meditation-induced trance and round-the-clock indoctrination: "TO HIS HOLINESS MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI .....It is my privilege, Maharishi, to promise to teach the Principles and Practice of Transcendental Meditation.... It is my fortune, Guru Dev [Divine Teacher, an honorific for the Maharishi's dead master], that I have been accepted to serve the Holy Tradition and spread the Light of God to all those who need it. It is my joy to undertake the responsibility of representing the Holy Tradition in all its purity as it has been given to me by Maharishi and I promise on your altar, Guru Dev, that with all my heart and mind I will always work within the framework of the Organisations founded by Maharishi...." TM teachers were not given copies of this "contract" to refer to. One TM teacher reports that representatives of the Maharishi told his course that this agreement had no legal force, but that the TM movement relies on the "laws of karma for enforcement -- which operate for all eternity."

1975Former TM teachers who founded the Spiritual Counterfeits Project help Time magazine publish portions of the "secret" TM initiation ceremony, which includes obeiances and sacrifices to the "whole galaxy of gods"; the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva; and most frequently to the Maharishi's dead teacher, who is worshiped as Brahman, the Hindu Godhead.

1975Anthony D. DeNaro's private meeting with the Maharishi, recalled in a sworn court affidavit: "I spent a great deal of time trying to persuade him to adopt a more honest, less commercial, approach to meditation, the Sidhi courses, the curricula, the disguised religious element masquerading as a science, inter alia.... Maharishi had a very cavalier, almost elitist, view about very serious injuries and trauma to meditators. His basic attitude towards the concealment of the religious nature of TM was: 'When America is ready for Hinduism, I will tell them.'"

1975The Maharishi "discovers" the Constitution of the Universe -- the lively potential of Natural Law.... Maharishi celebrates the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment around the world...

1976Maharishi creates a World Government for the Age of Enlightenment with its sovereignty in the domain of consciousness and authority in the invincible power of Natural Law...

1975Robert N. Bellah meets with Robert Winquist, a well-known TM movement insider and faculty member of Maharishi International University. Robert Bellah was Ford Professor of Sociology and Comparative Studies, UC Berkeley and author of the highly regarded Beyond Belief: Essays on Religion in a Post-Traditional World . During the meeting, as related in his sworn affidavit for the New Jersey Court case, he "expressed [his] opinion that TM definitely seemed to be a religion and I wondered why the people in the TM movement denied its religious nature. [Winquist] replied by affirming that it is certainly true that TM is religious but stated that they did not admit that to be the case for public relations reasons." Winquist has remained a key figure and major spokesman for the TM movement to this day.

1987New Jersey Federal District Judge Meanor offers his summary judgement when a group of parents seek to block teaching TM in the schools: "Although [TM] defendants have submitted well over 1500 pages..., defendants have failed to raise the slightest doubt as to the facts or as to the religious nature of the teachings of the Science of Creative Intelligence and the puja. The teaching of the SCI/TM course in New Jersey public high schools violates the establishment clause of the first amendment, and its teaching must be enjoined."

1988Maharishi formulates his Master Plan to Create Heaven on Earth for the reconstruction of the whole world.... Maharishi inspires the formation of a new political party, the Natural Law Party, in countries throughout the world, to enrich and support national law with Natural Law....

1989TM movement begins selling yagyas, said to "remove obstacles," "bring about prosperity," "ensure success in business." Yagyas come in classes, A, B, and C. Although no official word is given, insiders report that class A are sacrifices to avert astrological influences, classes B and C are to obtain favor from Ganesh, Lakshmi, and other Hindu gods.

1989New Jersey Court case upheld by Federal Appeals Court, Third District.

1992Malnak v. Yogi cited as an important precedent in McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education -- the epoch-making ruling barring teaching Creationist science in public schools as a religious activity.

1992Former Natural Law Party insiders report the Maharishi spoke at an international Transcendental Meditation movement conference in Vlodrop, Netherlands, in January. He proclaimed he was frustrated with the slow progress of Transcendental Meditation penetrating world culture and bringing about the "Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment." He therefore called for the immediate fielding of Natural Law Party candidates in upcoming elections of all nations. Britain was the first national TM movement to respond, fielding Natural Law Party candidates in Spring 1992. The United States TM movement followed in Fall 1992. Far from being separated from the main TM movement, former Natural Law Party insiders report the U.S. campaign was run by "Purusha," a group of celibate Transcendental Meditation "monks." (More on the religiously observant "Purusha" monks: possible drug smuggling of aphrodisiacs, TM's celibate "nuns," "Mother Divine. ") A former Natural Law Party official wrote trancenet.net: "I do think it's odd that teams of Purusha went from country to country setting up these parties nationally and then were nowhere to be found during subsequent elections. Some guys were really good, doing cleanup work, etc. But, I actually remember in 1992 during a heated discussion with Purusha calling it the 'Purusha Party.' Yeah, the front men come in and do all the setup work and then bail out on a fledgling organization. Purusha does run for office which helps to get the candidate count up -- but only if MMY [the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi] gives permission...." The insider goes on to explain that volunteers throw themselves into every new project he announces, such as the Natural Law Party or Shtapatya Veda [Hindu architecture] because he has told them "If they please the guru, they'll be better people...."

1996Superior Court of the District of Columbia rules that TM is a religion, subject to all protections and restrictions, in Hendel v. World Plan Executive Council.

1996A former official of the Natural Law Party writes trancenet.net: "This is totally personal, but my co-chair and I went to a Shiva Temple and had puja said for Hagelin on election day. This is choice. I assume yagyas were said for him during this time, directed by MMY [the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi]. The party is completely controlled by MMY -- I don't know what the law is but I know there is a law stating something about foreign involvement in political campaigns.

1997The TM movement begins mailing calendars of "Auspicious Days" for yagya performances, naming Ganesh, Lakshmi, Surya (the Sun), Vishnu, Radha, Bhuvaneshwari, Saraswati, Durga/Kali, Shiva, Hanuman (monkey god), and many other gods. It should be noted that most of these gods are invoked by the TM mantras -- as revealed by their secret meanings.

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Some topics discussed on this site:Natural Law Party, NLP, John Hagelin, politics, TM, ayurveda, Transcendental Meditation, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Ayur Veda, Alternative Medicine, Psychology, Politics, cult, thought reform, mind control, mantra.

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