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The Maharishi's Children:

Part 2, Generation Next in Fairfield

Introduction In Part 1 of "Annie's Story," an adult child of well-known TMers told about the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse she experienced within a TM community in Denver. (See http://trancenet.net/personal/index.shtml/#annie for the first installment.)

Now "Annie" takes us literally behind the locked doors of the "Maharishi University of Management" where she alleges a widespread culture of sex, drugs, and depression is now entering its third generation.

Warning, very, very rough reading ahead.

Much rougher than anything on film.

But uncut and unexpurgated, this is "Annie's" life.

To date.

The Maharishi's Children:

Annie's Story, Part 2

Unfiltered I guess I should at least make my own point here and let everyone know why I think that the Movement has a part in my abuse.

I am not saying that is was MMY's [the Maharishi's] intention to abuse me, nor was it the Movement's intention to abuse children. I think that they set up a perfect situation where abuse could, did, and does thrive by creating an unsafe environment for people within their Movement.

My mother was and still is a firm believer in everything MMY has to say along with many other intelligent, capable adults. She started meditating when she was 17 and searching for an answer to her own miserable life.

She thought she found it in TM.

With this in mind, is it any wonder that she bought into the belief that I was protected? She moved to "Heaven on Earth," Fairfield, Iowa! I was now blessed enough to live with other members of the TM community. I was [under 10], my brother [a few years younger].

Fairfield was a strange place. I was referred to as a "guru" or "'Ru" and made fun of often by the local people. I was grateful to have other meditators to be with. When we complained about this to our parents we were told that we were better than the local people, more evolved, and they were ignorant.

It was definitely us and them.

As a TM child, you have to believe that there is something wrong with the rest of society for not accepting you. I felt a close bond with Martin Luther King, Jr. "We shall overcome!" One day the world would see us for who we were, although if they did they would have to be just like us because we were better and once they knew this, they would join us! So it was not really the same thing as the civil rights movement, but I could still pretend it was.

It was summer [in the early '80s]. My mother had to work to support us as well as adhere to the Creating Coherence Program [CCP -- the Maharishi's plan for Fairfield TM "sidhas" to meditate together twice a day to avert World War III which he predicted was imminent]. She was meditating for 6-8 hours a day. My brother and I were put in daycare in the Fieldhouse on MIU [Maharishi International University, now known as Maharishi University of Management or MUM].

Many other children from MIU faculty were there as well, along with other TSR people [Town Super-Radiance, "lay" TMers in Fairfield who meditated 2 to 4 hours a day, while holding down jobs and family life]. "Dick" who ran the daycare had been in prison, it later became general knowledge, for bank robbery. And some claimed his stepdaughter was taken away because he sexually molested her. But no one bothered to check his references. If he was a TMer, he must be pure.

This is where the sexual abuse started.

Over the summer, "Dick" and some other adults and older boys forced to watch older kids have sex. They led us in small groups of six or seven down into the tunnels and Howard, the men's dormitory. Some of us were forced to perform sexual things in front of adults and have oral sex with adults.

And then there was the mental abuse. Sometimes they would lock us in the boiler room and tell us there was going to be a fire and we couldn't get out. We were very scared the first time. After all we were 10 and under and we could feel the heat of the boilers. Kids cried and comforted each other, "It's all right."

I was there with my younger brother. I had to maintain this level of "everything is going to be okay" because there were younger kids and my brother.

Later, when they kept doing this over the summer, it didn't feel like kind of extreme terror anymore. Then it felt like this was just what kind you had to do and when would it be over this time.

I think there were about twenty kids involved off and on. No one ever reported it that I know of.

There were many locked doors, including fire exits. Sometimes we were lead outside to underground tunnels. I remember desperately trying to escape from the men's bathroom through windows. And when I did feeling sick to my stomach because my brother was still inside.

I was used to this sort of abuse, in fact I didn't know it was wrong. It scared me, but my mind kept telling me that it was ok. If it wasn't ok, it couldn't be happening...

When I found out that I had to go to an overnight camp run by the same people I was terrified. Most of the kids at this camp had also been in the daycare with me, although the younger ones were not allowed.

I begged and cried, I didn't want to go. My mother was reassured by the staff that I would be ok, there would be group meditation for the older kids and Word of Wisdom [a TM technique for children as young as three years old] time for the younger ones.

I was not ok.

I tried to call my mother but the staff would not let me. I finally snuck to a phone in the middle of the night by leaving the campground and walking to a phone booth. My mother talked to a staff member, a woman. She assured Mom I was all right, some kids just have a harder time adjusting to camp... blah blah blah...

There was more, similar sexual abuse from "Dick," a man named "Peter," and other counselors, including older teenagers. The camp had 40 kids total, but I'm not sure how many were abused. I only know what happened in my cabin. It seemed liked "Dick" and "Peter" chose their victims, but I'm not sure how.

I was so happy to start third grade at MIU school [now called Maharishi School for the Age of Enlightenment]. My life would get back to normal!

My mother [taught a course] so she could receive free tuition -- she did not have a college degree. Many of the teachers were parents with no degrees.

The kids in my class did not know their academic subjects. I remember a girl who would just sit in class and mew like an injured cat. She had been in camp with me. I knew something was wrong with her, but no one did anything about it, I thought she might be retarded??? The sounds she made still haunt me. I wondered what was wrong with the adults, they pretended like this was normal behavior. Later I found out the mewing girl was not retarded. She is an adult now, and has full brain function.

We were told, we don't put our attention on negativity at the MIU school.

This is when I started to question the validity of what I was being taught. I could see what was happening and I wanted answers.

I wanted to go home, to my old school in Denver, even to my dad. I felt my life was spinning out of control and my thoughts and feelings had no validity.

I was labeled by my mom, my teachers, and my friends' parents as a trouble maker, damaged, and a negative person.

It did not make sense to me.

I looked at what was happening around me, I knew things were not right, but I was told on a daily basis by my mother, the school, my friends parents and teachers that life was bliss, that one day I would be enlightened and any negativity was just "unstressing" [a TM term for purifying the mind and body toward enlightenment]. With this in mind we had the answer to anything. MEDITATION!!!

In the fourth grade we moved onto campus, in Frat 106. I liked it because it was filled with kids, a lot of fun.

It was great to have so many friends living in the same building. During program [meditation periods] I was responsible for my brother and a 4-month-old baby.

Kids ran wild during program. There was no supervision at all. This was not an isolated event within my family, it was the norm for many kids on campus. With our parents in the dome for 2-and-a-half-hours every night we were left vulnerable to whoever was around.

A pedophile's dream!

This leads me to a theory that I have no idea if it is valid or not. Within the Movement not only is negativity not addressed, sexuality is completely suppressed. Celibacy is expected of people. A lot of guilt techniques have been employed to assure this. I wonder if there is a higher rate of sexual misconduct, especially sexual abuse of children because there is no outlet for normal sexual urges?

MIU is a college, college-aged people are exploring their sexuality. Where does the sexual energy go? I don't think it is possible to meditate it away!! I say this because I experienced so many incidents of fondling and abuse from the college students and MIU staff, in my case a young male, that to this day I am shocked and a little scared that there are so many sick people out there in the world.

"Peter," decided to open camps and daycare for the kids of MIU. It was located in another Frat. Unfortunately this man turned out to be sadistic.

"Peter" had been on MIU security and housekeeping, had access to keys of any building he wanted. Unfortunately he was also very charming, able to tell parents what he wanted them to hear. He and his wife opened summer day camps for kids. I went to one session. He also had camps for "boys only" -- especially boys without fathers.

Many of the kids were now introduced to drugs by "Peter" as sort of a recruiting thing. Kids gave them to other kids too, not necessarily selling, but using the drugs to get them to hang out with them and "Peter" after hours. Pot and alcohol mostly.

This was my first big beef with "Peter." Because I wouldn't do the drugs. I waited to the ripe old age of 12 to do drugs.

Sex often goes along with drugs and makes people a little crazy. I have witnessed boys being anally raped by "Peter" in the basement of the MIU Library. There are two little rooms off to the back and to the right with locks. "Peter" was in one room with the boy, and I was locked in the other room with some girls who took turns looking through a slat. I think there were 10 kids or so who took part over time.

Parents used to hire "Peter" to chaperone birthday parties that he would run by himself. The parents would leave them alone.

Many of the kids were doing sex with "Peter" and with other kids as "experimentation." You could have called it consensual. Although now, as an adult I see that this was definitely abuse. When you are drugged, it is hard to put your finger on what is right and what is wrong, things that you thought were consensual are not.

"Peter" and "Dick" began to offer children's martial arts classes, claiming to boost self-esteem -- particularly for children without fathers. Within the classes, "Peter" as "sensei" [master, guru, teacher] developed his own little subculture, consisting mainly of teenage TM boys.

I personally saw "Peter" give drugs to young boys and heard that this was very common. And again there was sex. Group sex between "Peter," his wife, and his teenaged clique. One of my personal friends feels her life has been ruined by these experiences.

The story was he would watch the boys have sex with his wife while he would watch and have anal sex with the guys. It was a common practice.

The loyalty to "Peter" was and is unwavering even after severe beatings and great mental humiliation. "Peter" would get fucked up on drugs and then go beat the crap out of people just for fun. One friend of mine had his arm broken at the dojo and had a hernia from being kicked in balls by "Peter" and his clique.

"Peter" was eventually run out of town by a woman whose teenaged son was beaten severely by him, around in the early 90s. When he left, many of the kids who are now adults, followed him, or still think of him as their leader.

This leads me to my sixth grade at the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment.

I experienced a very violent group rape by "Peter" and some of his students. We were in the basement of a friend's house. "Peter" was angry that I wouldn't go along with the drugs and stuff. He put me on a table and had everyone sit around in a circle. They all tried to get my boyfriend at the time to do it, but he wouldn't. So "Peter" and some of the others did. I don't know how many.

I was beaten up on my back and kidneys where you couldn't see the black-and-blue marks. I blacked out. It was a group of 3 or 4 younger boys and 3 girls. I was in pain for up to 9 months later. My chiropractor found a dropped. I know it was from this beating. Around the same time I developed a severe kidney infection that I had to have treated by a medical doctor.

My bloody panties were brought to school and hung up for display in the bathroom by a fellow student. Adults were aware of this, but no one did a thing. We don't focus on negativity at MIU.

My friend remembers this incident as well as my teacher [from that time]. She remembers some "roughness" associated with this situation. I am not saying she knew what happened, only that someone should have investigated what was going on.

As you can imagine, I was not a happy child. On the outside I appeared to be fine, although I was considered a horrible influence on the other kids at school because I had a "bad attitude."

I was in a teacher's office, "Mr. Brown's," a lot. He hated me especially. Another teacher remembers that I was usually in the office daily.

For some reason "Mr. Brown" seemed to want to control every aspect of my life. I heard he did the same with other children -- especially since so many Movement mothers raise children without father figures.

He would call my father in Denver before Christmas break with a list of movies I was not allowed to see, music I was not allowed to listen to. He told my father what time I should go to bed. My father was not amused, especially given the nature of our relationship.

I would be in "Mr. Brown's" office, behind locked doors, for no apparent reason. The verbal and emotional abuse was worse to this day then the sexual abuse. I was told that I was so incredibly negative and damaged. I felt like I was inherently bad and dirty, that everything that happened to me was the result of my own actions and thoughts.

This was after other girls in the fifth and sixth grade staged a boycott on "Mr. White" because he was giving us hugs and kisses that made us uncomfortable. We complained to the teachers and "Mr. Brown" but nothing happened to "Mr. White" until we took this extreme measure. He was quietly asked to leave. I think "Mr. Brown" got nervous [about the boycott] because not long after that I was kicked out of school [for being a little outrageous at an assembly]. (I admit, I was doing it on purpose).

Now I see that is was probably divine intervention that I was out of that environment, but at the time I felt like my life was ending.

I started starving myself. None of my friends could play with me any more because I was such a "bad influence." What was told to me my entire life was finally true, there was no denying it anymore.

I was still told that if I meditated I would be all right, it was not too late for me. I just needed to be "checked"...

Bullshit!! I knew better.

My teens were rough, but I am grateful I was out of the Movement. I was hospitalized for drug abuse numerous times.

Throughout it all, I never fully understood how I was affected by this, no one addressed it even in the treatment centers.

I had my first child at 19.

Becoming a mother helped me to look at my life with objectivity I lacked before. I finally realized I was a good person andI was not damaged.

I was ok -- even without meditation. I have been through a lot of shit and I struggle with depression, but I feel clarity and hope for the future.

But adults still within the Movement are easily brainwashed. That is pretty obvious by their actions -- changing their diets, dress, times of awakening and sleeping ... doing anything to get money to go on courses including taking out ads in newspapers to beg for sponsorship, giving god knows how much money to the Movement for courses, herbs, advanced techniques, ... giving up a wonderful life to move to a tiny town in Iowa ... sending their children to a school where a man with an SCI [TM's Science of Creative Intelligence] degree is teaching High School physics and joking about it ... parents leaving their children alone for hours on end, just knowing that nature is supporting them ...

If you come to Fairfield now you will see that many houses have been reconstructed so that they will have east entrances ... campus has been closed off except for two entrances. This is because "everything that is wrong in the world today is the result of a southern entrance" [according to the Maharishi].

I wonder why MMY didn't give us this knowledge when they built the Raj [the TM Movement's showcase Ayurvedic treatment center, built in the last few years]. Now they are ripping up all of their toilets so they will face south.

Wow, I just realized I'm going way off track here, so, these things show you that rational people will do irrational things if they have this faith that they will reach enlightenment.

I just found out this last week of another incident that showed me that this abuse just keeps going.

The MSAE school uniform is tights and a jumper.

One day a second-grade girl wore stretch pants and a jumper instead. "Mr. Brown" took her into his office, lifted her skirt, and took off her stretch pants. All behind a closed door -- even though secretaries were right outside. This wasn't appropriate. In fact, I think it was molestation. I know the child was really shook up. The mom took the child out of school immediately. But no discipline for "Mr. Brown."

And in the last few years, there has been an epidemic of older men dating and marrying younger girls, teens, that would shock most people. These aren't isolated incidents. This is our culture here.

The other day I was at a friend's house. Her daughter goes to MSAE, she is a junior. There was a note from the school. Apparently they are having a meeting for parents on "what it is like to raise enlightened children." They are addressing the joys of parenting enlightened kids.

When I saw that I realized that I need to speak out. It is not fair to put that sort of pressure on human beings, let alone children. My intentions with this story is to open people's eyes, and hopefully allow someone to see that we are all mortal beings, and growth in life is not always easy.

The saying "no pain, no gain" is true. The nature of life is to grow -- like birth, even through the pain.

blackball.GIFAnnie Replies to her critics

blackball.GIFReturn to Part 1

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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.