TranceNet: Past Issues 1995
[ Volume 1, No. 4 ] [ Volume 1, No. 3 ] [ Volume 1, No. 2 ] [ Volume 1, No. 1A ] [ Volume 1, No. 1 ]
Vol. 1, No. 4:
November 29, 1995: Special Edition
- "German Government Declares TM a Destructive Cult"
- The 150+ page report by Germany's "Institute for Youth
and Society" remains the most
thorough and prestigious study and critique of TM to date
-- labeling it a "youth group" and "psychogroup" (cult).
Although the TM movement understandably attempted to
suppress this report in German courts, it was upheld by
the German Supreme Court. The German government's findings may have
implications for everyone practicing mantra-based meditation:
This translation from the German was prepared for and
entered into the court record of the Kropinski trial.
- "Dying for Enlightenment, Part 4"
- One of several "TM casualties" whose story is contained in the German
Report. "Anonymous TM Victim #3" was at the time of the interview still
unable to work and is under therapeutic care.
According to the authors of this study, his is the general case among
mantra meditators: "The young person involved with T.M. is
effectively hindered from becoming a responsible
independent adult, he regresses to an infantile and
narcissistic stage, expressed through appropriate behavior
on his part. The almost complete loss of a sense of
reality is caused, in our considered opinion, by the
practice of meditation, the teaching and T.M. movement in
the context of it being so organized in the particular way
it is. This loss of a sense of reality makes a person
unfit for work, unable to shape his life in a responsible
manner and unable to be socially active."
Vol. 1, No. 3:
October 30, 1995
- "Dying for Enlightenment, Part 3"
- The transcript of a March, 1993, taped
interview with a former MIU student submitted anonymously
Today this 9-year TM Sidha suffers from fainting,
black outs, anxiety attacks, fear, and near constant
feels that he has "blown out his mind." (You
may want to
check out the companion piece
"Kropinski's List of TM Casualties".)
- "TM & Dissociation, Part I"
- Dissociation -- what is it? The most frequently
mentioned negative side effect of TM in our "Personal Stories Archive,"
we begin a series on "atypical dissociation" with an
article from the DSM-IV that gives its
standard diagnosis. With quotations from Maharishi
Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad-Gita for comparison.
- "The Initiator's Pledge of Loyalty"
- For the first time on the Web, here is the oath all TM
Teachers are required to sign. We were
agreement has no legal force, but that the TM movement
relies on the "laws of karma for enforcement -- which
operate for all eternity." Containing the direct address
to the altar of the Maharishi's dead teacher "Guru Dev"
and the direction to spread "the Light of God," it makes
interesting reading for those interested in the scientific
of the TM movement.
- "U.S. News Editor Accuses MIU of 'False Claims'"
- A 1989 MIU University News ad
claims "MIU was among the top third of the nation's
universities selected by U.S. News & World
Report" -- a claim still repeated today by TM
apologists on the
Internet. Here, in text and facsimile, is the
Executive Editor's letter accusing MIU of
misleading claims. Also included: facsimile of the
- "Molestation Alleged at the Maharishi's Compound"
- This cover story from The Illustrated Weekly of
charges child molestation, death from
abuse and neglect,
corruption and more at Maharishi's compound in NOIDA,
India. If true, TM meditators in the US may be interested
to know that
their course fees,
product fees, and donations support these policies
Vol. 1, No. 2:
October 11, 1995
- "Dying for Enlightenment, Part 2"
- In our ongoing series on TM casualties, we present the
horrifying experiences of
a 15-year Fairfield sidha who alleges she was hospitalized
by MIU because
of psychological damage
from the TM-Sidhis. A courageous and awe-inspiring story
cult-induced madness, and
ultimate spiritual freedom. Exclusive to TranceNet. (You
may want to
check out the companion piece
"Kropinski's List of TM Casualties".)
- "Persinger's Research: Meditation and Neurophysiological Damage"
- We inaugurate our "Independent Research Archive" with
studies done at
Laurentian University that indicate that TM and other
forms of meditation
can have disastrous side-
effects, including partial-complex seizures,
hallucinations of "sensed
presence," and more. We also
include Dr. Persinger's devastating attack on research
conducted by the
- "Quick -- Name Another Science with a Holy Tradition"
- Here for the first time on the Web is the entire text
of The Holy
Tradition, a secret book given to new TM teachers.
judgments by Federal courts and
the ensuing disbelief of the media and public, TM
insist they are not a religion or
religious. Religion or science? Read The Holy
you be the judge!
- "The Personal Histories Archive"
- Albert Miller presents more than a
dozen new personal stories
by ex-TMers Peter McWilliams (co-author of The TM
Mitch Kapor (founder of
Lotus and the Electronic Frontier Foundation), Patrick
of TM-EX), exit counselor
Joe Kelly, and many others. Of particular interest are ex-
Roark's allegations of
systematic fraud in TM research, and ex-MIU Professor
allegations that the Maharishi knew
about psychological damage caused by the TM technique
since the early
'70s -- and choose to ignore
it. Our most read section, "The Personal Histories Archive" is the
best place for new
readers to start.
- "Abandoned TM Techniques: Part 1, Special Techniques"
- An anonymous TranceNet reader reveals
he was trained as a
"Special Techniques" instructor. Once touted as cures for
overeating, smoking, and a
host of other ills, these expensive, secret techniques
were dropped by
the Maharishi in the late '70s --
reportedly for lack of results. The author explains in
detail how to do
the techniques. Exclusive to
TranceNet (Click here for information on how you
Vol. 1, No. 1A:
October 9, 1995
- "Mitchell Kapor on the Maharishi, Levitation, and Freedom"
- You may know Mitchell Kapor as the founder of Lotus
the Electronic Frontier
Foundation. But Mitchell also spent 7 years deep inside
the TM movement.
In this interview from
Review, reprinted here with his permission,
Mitchell talks about
why he started TM, his
ultimate disillusionment with TM levitation techniques,
into freedom" when he left his Six-Month Governor Training
- "Reader Update: Supernormal
Marketing: The Original TM-Sidhi Ads"
- A TranceNet reader submits yet another
newspaper ad from 1977
the Los Angeles area. More important documentation of the
claims of levitation, invisibility, and other supernormal
powers for the
TM-Sidhi program. (Click here for information on how you
- "MINET's Excellent Article on TM Mantras"
- MINET founder Mike Doughney has done it again with a
comprehensive summary of how TM mantras have varied over
Vol. 1, No. 1:
September 24, 1995
- "Dying for Enlightenment"
- TM, a benign group -- perhaps a little wacky, but
basically harmless? The public,
the media, even ex-
members may think so. But the Teflon® may be peeling
No-Stick Guru. Court transcripts
tell of self-
mutilations, suicides, psychotic breaks -- even druggings
personal staff. We invite your
submissions to this
- "A Simple, Natural, Relaxation Technique?"
- We are fortunate to launch our Personal Histories
author Joe Kellett's intimate memoirs. Joe details his
relationship with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, gives a
perspective on the TM program, and probes his spiritual
must read for every current
and former TMer.
Exclusive to TranceNet.
Marketing: The Original TM-Sidhi Ads"
- A subject of endless debate on alt.meditation.transcendental: Exactly which
techniques did Maharishi
teach -- and what results did he promise? Here are a
rogue's gallery of
printed advertisements from
the 70s and 80s that
should settle the question once and for all.
- "Maharishi Ayur-Veda in Court"
MAV a non-guaranteed form of
self-improvement or an alternative medical system
food supplements? An angry California widow has taken MAV,
and others to court to
find out. Here is the
entire text of her complaint.
- "How Much Does Enlightenment Really Cost?"
- Many current and former TMers are in an advanced state
of denial about their
Maharishi's World Plan. Complete a simple form to evaluate
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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
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
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
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.