Testimony of Jane Greene
Washington, D. C.
|UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI, WORLD PLAN
EXECUTIVE COUNCIL -- UNITED STATES AND
MAHARISHI INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY,
Civil Action No.
Wednesday, December 17, 1986
The above-entitled matter reconvened in Courtroom
No. 21, at 9:43 a.m., before The Honorable Oliver Gasch.
For the Plaintiff:
GERALD F. RAGLAND, JR., ESQ.,
For the Defendants:
M. SHIRLEY YOUNG, ESQ., Pro hac vice
DWIGHT JAMES, ESQ.,
C O N T E N T S
JOHN RIDGE, ESQ.
E X H I B I T S
|WITNESSES: ||DIRECT ||CROSS REDIRECT ||RECROSS||Jane Greene ||797 ||809
||Rose Anne Callahan ||815 ||
||Mary Vespa ||817 ||822
||Father Kevin Joyce ||845|
THE DEPUTY CLERK: This is Civil Action No. 85-2848,
Robert Kropinski versus World Plan Executive Council--United
States and Maharishi International University.
|EXHIBIT NOS.: ||IDENTIFIED ||IN EVIDENCE||Plaintiff's ||480,482 & 483 ||822
|| " ||701 ||825
|| " ||702 ||829 ||831
|| " ||703 ||831
|| " ||680(a),680(b),
|| ||680(c)&680(d) ||831
Mr. Ragland and Ms. Young represent the plaintiff.
Mr. James and Mr. Ridge represent the defendants.
THE COURT: Before the jury is brought in, I will
just tell counsel that one of the alternates has a bad cold
and has sought to be excused. I have granted the excuse. So
we now have four alternates.
All right. Bring in the jury.
(Whereupon, the jury entered the courtroom.)
THE COURT: Good-morning, ladies and gentlemen.
THE JURY: Good morning.
THE COURT: Counsel may proceed.
resumed the stand and, having been previously duly sworn, was
examined and testified further as follows:
DIRECT EXAMINATION (RESUMED)
BY MS. YOUNG:
Q Ms. Greene, would you describe for the Court the
status of your life in 1983? What sort of schedule did you
have of activities for a given day?
A 1983, I had just started nursing school at the
University of Pennsylvania. I was still meditating two hours
every morning and evening plus going to school full time, plus
taking care of a child who is now just barely three years old.
Q What was your diet like at that time?
A A very strict vegetarian. No meat, no fish, no
chicken, rarely eggs, some cheese. Mostly green vegetables
and brown rice.
Q Were you having difficulty because of that diet or
because of things that you knew to be related to the diet?
A Well, my diet was low in protein. It was difficult
to go out and eat any place because there weren't very many
places that had that kind of food. So I was somewhat isolated
in terms of my choices of restaurants. And my choices of
friends, because if you'd go over to a friend's house for
dinner and they were making tuna casserole, I couldn't eat it.
I wouldn't eat it. It caused a lot of difficulties that way.
Q What were your social relationships like at that
A At that point, very limited. I had friends at the
TM Center. The TM Center was essentially the source of any
outside life as it were that I had. My time was mostly taken
with my child to some extent -- to some extent, my child was
definitely a good -- with meditations, school, and then my
Q And why was that priority existent in your life?
A Meditation was my path to God. As a teacher of TM,
I believed that the guru is god and that in order to know god,
it was totally necessary that I devote myself to his teaching.
Q Did you begin to have difficulty in school at that
A I was flunking out of school. I already had a
degree in psychology and education, and I was flunking out in
freshman chemistry and physiology classes. I had no idea how
to study. I was too spaced out to focus on my books. I would
try to do it. I had no idea how to study.
Q Did you question any of your friends or supervisors
or checkers at the TM Center as to this problem?
A It didn't occur to me that it would be related to
TM in the first place. In the second place, it would be that
there was something less than ideal about my life, and as a TM
teacher, my role was to always be perfect and be ideal, be the
perfect student, be the perfect mother, get perfect grades,
get As. I was giving introductory lectures saying to start
TM and learn how to concentrate better in your work and your
daily life. If you're a student, you'll get straight As.
In my life, that wasn't happening. No, it didn't
occur to me to ask anyone at the center.
Q Since this was your exclusive circle of friends, did
you discuss it with any of the individuals just as a friend
would discuss a problem with a friend?
A No. It was -- I mean this way of thinking that as a
teacher of TM, particularly as a Governor of TM, which is even
higher up, higher up the hierarchy ladder, a teacher of TM has
these advanced Sidhi's powers, even more was expected of me.
There was no way at that point in my life that I
could admit that something was wrong, that anything was wrong.
Q What do you do then, if anything, to attempt to
deal with this problem of not focusing and flunking out of
A I kept working harder, trying to get it together,
and kept failing more and more. The more I tried, the worse
At Christmas time, there was one of these big
courses at MIU [MUM] [now MUM] in Iowa. It was called the 7,000 Course.
They have 7,000 people come practice their flying technique
and, once again, save the world from some impending disaster.
I don't remember what the disaster was at that time. But it
was the first of these big courses, and I thought to myself,
well, maybe it's just that my stress is so high from school,
that's why I'm flunking out. I'll go to this course, I'll go
away for Christmas. I won't go to my parents at Christmas, I
won't spend Christmas with my child, I won't go to New England
I'll go to this course in Iowa and maybe wash away my stress
and be able to be better in school.
Q Did you in fact go to the course?
A I did go to the course. I was gone for three and a
half weeks, four weeks over Christmas break. It was miserably
lonely. It was the first time that I was really struck with
how far away I was from my family and particularly my child.
And my child was now three and a half years old and I was
missing Christmas with her.
I saw other parents who were there with their
children at MIU [MUM] for Christmas time. They didn't spend any
time with their kids. There was no focus on the children. The
parents would get up in the morning, they'd take their
children to an aing [sic] or a day care center, and they'd be in
doing their meditation until lunchtime. They'd see their kids
for half an hour during lunch, put the kids back in the day
care until it was time for supper. See the kids for half an
hour during supper, and then go off to another one of these
lectures. If perchance a parent chose to spend time with
their child rather than going to these lectures, it was considered being off the program and it was damaging, potentially
damaging to the state of the world.
It struck me as a very wrong thing for parents to
be ignoring their children to that extent. And it made me
look at my life and how I was dealing with my child.
Q Were there any ramifications to the parents who did
spend more time with their children?
A Emotional ramifications of other TM teachers, you
know, just kind of shaking their head. I mean it reinforced
another TM teacher looking at a couple with children would go
see -- that's why we don't want to have children. It distract
us from this path to god, this path to enlightenment. It's
better not to have children.
Q And the treatment of children, the placement in the
day care center early in the day and the separation, was that
part of a policy or some directive?
A Definitely part of the policy. And the policy is
that meditation is first and that it's good for children to
be with these groups of other meditating children and learn the
philosophy and the theories of this world movement run by
Maharishi at a very early age. It's good for them. I'm being
a little facetious here, but the movement's policy is that it's
very good for the children to become indoctrinated into this
teaching at an early age.
As a TM teacher in Philadelphia, my specific role
was to encourage everyone to go to Fairfield, raise their
children in Fairfield, be around all these groups of meditating children; that meditating children and the meditating
schools were healthy, and that, you know, the regular schools
back home were not very good.
Q You went to this grouping over Christmas. Did it
help your non-focusing problem?
A No. I came back more spaced out than ever and, for
the first time began looking at the neglect that I had been
giving my child and my family, my life. It was traumatic. I
began falling apart at the seams, knowing that's what -- I
mean the discrepancies were too great between standing up as
a TM teacher and saying there's no change in your life style,
your belief systems, your diet, your habits, begin this little
20 minute twice a day and your life will be great.
Saying that as a teacher, and then looking at
myself, it was my life that was falling apart, knowing that I
was meditating two hours twice a day, there was this secret
hidden agenda, I couldn't deal with the life of one.
Q What did you do?
A I went into therapy.
Q All right.
A My life was a wreck because I was falling apart at
the seams. In desperation, a friend said I know this wonderful woman, just go talk to her. And I said no, as a TM
teacher we don't believe in therapy, I don't need a therapist.
Therapy does not coincide with the TM philosophy because, you
know, the way to get rid of stress is to meditate more, not
go some place and work out your problems. But, in absolute
desperation, I did.
Q And what sorts of things did you work on in therapy
A To be more functional; to learn how to take care of
my child; learn how to study; to learn how to make friends
outside of the movement. It changed my diet to begin being
more of a normal person that I was before I started these 13
years in the movement.
Q When you say they taught you how to function, what
specific things did you work on?
A My therapist would give me a newspaper, say read
the newspaper every morning for a week, and come back here and
you tell me what's going on in the real world. I had no idea.
He'd say go out, walk around, look at what women
your age are wearing, and come back and tell me.
Go out and go to the movies with some friends, not
meditating friends, makes friends outside. Go to dinner with
regular ordinary people.
His whole goal was to me back out into the regular
real world and away from this group.
Q What effect did this have on your life at this
point in terms of changing your relationship with your child?
A I began spending more time with her. I looked at
the way other mothers -- the amount of time that other mothers
spent with their children, and I realized that spending two
hours every morning and every evening and neglecting a three
and a half, now almost a four-year old kid was neglectful.
And that other mothers weren't behaving that way.
So I cut down on my meditation, and just sometimes
not do as much of it. If she was crying, or if she was
hungry, if she wanted some attention, I paid attention to her
rather than meditation. My priorities began to shift.
Rather than meditation, school, child, it became child, school
meditation, a very different arrangement of priorities.
Q Did your school work improve as a result?
A It did. The first semester was still rough. I was
still on the verge of flunking out. But I was moving more in
the direction. At the end of that semester, the dean of our
school called me in, and she said, you know, you're having
some real problems here, you're going to have to repeat this
year's assignments that you've not gotten and try again. So
I had to repeat -- I had to repeat that whole first year.
Q Was there any pressure upon you by your peers in TM
to reassume your place in the program?
A I drifted away. At that point, I didn't make any
clear-cut breaks. I didn't confront any of them and say I'm
first of all, I didn't tell anybody that I was in therapy.
Therapy was verboten. And if perchance I wanted to go on
another TM course, if they knew that I was in therapy, I
wouldn't get on the course. So I didn't tell anybody what I
was doing until -- I stopped going to the center as often,
began making friends outside. My friends at the center, I
just told them I have to spend more time studying, I'm not
doing as well in school as I thought I was, I have to spend
more time with that, or I'm going to spend time with Audra. My
daughter's name is Audra.
Q Did you feel any internal pressure from yourself in
breaking off these old relationships with TM members and
beginning this new set of relationships?
A Sure. There were times when I had conflict and
guilt. I mean you have to remember that this was 13 years of
my life, my belief systems which were now being challenged
and changed. It was difficult. I was in therapy for two
years. It was difficult, transition time.
But the rewards that I was getting outside in terms
of doing better in school, you know, seeing a happy little kid
at home, and making friends, and going out for beer and pizza
like everybody else more than made up for it, for the guilt
that I had for moving away from the Maharishi and his path to
Q Are you now a member of this organization movement?
A The TM movement?
A No, I'm not. I sent in my resignation as a Governor
of the Age of Enlightenment to the Philadelphia TM Center in
August. I stopped meditating in May and handed in my resigna-
tion in August.
Q What finally, if there was any one event, what
finally drew you to resign?
A Life. They said in the agenda, the secret agenda of
the movement, that, you know, after two years of therapy and
looking at how my life was a wreck, and yet as a teacher I was
saying there are no changes in life style belief system. I
couldn't lie to innocent people any more and the movement
about the hidden secret teachings, the Hindu teaching of
Q Now, you said several times that you were a
What does it mean to be a Governor of the order?
A A Governor is a TM teacher who has taken the
advanced TM Sidhi's levitation course.
Q Does it give you special power or --
A There's a hierarchy in this movement. There is
Maharishi at the top, there's this inner circle of innermost
staff, there's wom[e]n on one course called Mother Divine course
men on a completely separate segregated, each course celibate,
Mother Divine women, p[u]rusha men, and their staff at MIU [MUM], staff
at the local college. And teachers would be the staff,
teachers who have these advanced courses.
And then there are TM teachers who have the special
advanced Sidhi's powers that teach on the local level, and
meditators who have these advanced courses were moving down
the ladder here.
And at the bottom of the rung, there was people who
meditate 20 minutes twice a day.
Q And where did Governors fit in that hierarchy?
A Governors fit in -- it depends upon what role within
the organization Governors have. In order to be on one of the
p[u]rusha or Mother Divine courses, you need to be a Governor.
You know, it depends upon, you know, how involved a TM teacher
wants to be, where in this hierarchy they find themselves.
Q Does that mean that a Governor has some certain
position in this layer that you've just set out?
Are Governors, for instance, at a higher place than
teachers or --
A Governors have a higher position, higher power than
a TM teacher without these special Sidhis. Is that what you
A Yes. And certainly in a higher power structure than
a 20-minute twice a day meditator.
Q But not so high as someone on the inner circle?
A Not so high as someone on the inner circle like
the Mother Divine and p[u]rusha, that celibate segregated courses.
Q At this point, do you personally have any residual
remaining problems that are as a result of practicing TM?
A Yes. I'm still spacey.
Q How often does that occur?
A Several times a week. I mean like my senior
faculty advisor called me into her office the other day at
MR. JAMES: Your Honor, I'm going to object to
THE COURT: You can't tell us what the advisor told
THE WITNESS: Okay.
THE COURT: But you can say that she called you into
her office, and you can say about what she called you into the
office. But you can't repeat her conversation.
THE WITNESS: Okay.
She called me into her office because I had been
working on a special project, and she said that --
THE COURT: You can't say what she said.
THE WITNESS: And I'm irresponsible and I forget
small but important details of the project. I'm flaky, I'm
irresponsible, I forget details, important details.
BY MS. YOUNG:
Q When you have these lapses of memory, for how long
do they last?
A I can literally forget an important detail. Something that would be obviously important to another person
doesn't occur to me to be important.
Q And once you have the lapse, is it lost to you
A It can be. Until someone else brings it to my
attention, such as cases with an advisor when I realize that
I really blew it. I really missed some very important points.
Q Must someone remind you of it, or might you remember
it on your own at some much later point in time?
A Oftentimes, it's somebody else reminds me. I was
shocked at this recent incident with my advisor when I realize
how much I was flaking out in school.
Q Do these lapses have any effect on your relationship
with the child, your child?
Do you forget to do things for this child or begin
to do things for her and forget to complete them?
A It's gotten better. Yes, I do still forget things.
I consider it somewhat of a minor miracle that I can get up in
the morning, make her lunch,get us both to school on time and
remember to pick her up in the afternoon. I mean I have a
calendar that is filled with ticky little details, such as
2 o'clock, get the child. I mean, you know, 10 o'clock, see
an advisor. I have to write down every single little thing
so that I won't forget it.
MS. YOUNG: I have no further questions.
THE COURT: Counsel may inquire.
By mr. James:
Q Ms. Greene, do you find it helpful to make lists to
help you to remember what you're to do?
A I have to make lists in order to remember what it is
that I'm going to do.
Q I only have a few questions for you.
Did you rent from Robert Kropinski?
A He was my landlord in `82. I rented a house on a
street that was a meditator community because I thought that
by living in this little community with meditators, it was the
next best thing I could do to moving to Iowa. He was also a
meditator. I thought it would be best to live on this little
Q Ms. Greene, I just wanted to know if you rented from
And did you answer that you did?
A I rented from Mr. Kropinski because he was a meditator.
Q And you paid him what, 150 to $210 a month?
A That's right.
Q And that was not a discounted rent, was it?
A It was discounted rent. If it had been a non-meditator living on that street; Mr. Kropinski told me when I was
looking for some place else to live, you should live here with
us on our meditator street. Usually the house would rent for
250, 260. Because you're a teacher, you can live here for
Q Do you remember your deposition being taken in I
believe it was last month?
A Yes, I do.
Q Do you remember being asked these questions and
giving these answers at page 28, beginning at line 17?
THE COURT: Do you have that, Mr. Jackson?
THE DEPUTY CLERK: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Has it been filed?
MR. JAMES: I believe we filed it, Your Honor. But
there is a copy.
THE COURT: All depositions must be filed.
MR. JAMES: Sorry, Your Honor. We'll file it.
THE COURT: Now that your associate has lent me his,
I will permit you to go forward.
MR. JAMES: Thank you.
THE COURT: What is the page?
MR. JAMES: Page 28, beginning at line 17.
THE WITNESS: Mr. James, I don't remember the date
of the deposition.
BY MR. JAMES:
Q Wednesday, October 29, 1986.
A Wednesday, October 29th?
Q Yes. Do you recall being asked these questions and
giving these answers:
"How much rent did you have to pay to Mr. Kropinski?
"Answer: I don't remember. $150, something like
that, $210, I really don't remember."
A Mr. James, you had asked me --
MR. JAMES: May I finish the question, please?
THE COURT: Yes. He may ask these questions, but
I recall the testimony of the witness was in accordance with
MR. JAMES: It's the next matter, Your Honor.
"I don't remember. It might have been more.
"Question: Was there any discount because you were
"Answer: No, not that I know of."
BY MR. JAMES:
Q Do you recall giving that testimony?
A I think the important thing to remember, Mr. James,
my memory is not the best. My memory is shot. When you asked
me, you know, could it have been more, could it have been dis-
counted, because you were a TMer, I frankly hadn't remembered
the conversation until you asked me that.
I remember the conversation when I was moving out
of the house.
Q Now, you resigned from the movement in August of
1986, did you not?
A Yes, I did.
Q Was there any effort on the part of anyone connected
with Transcendental Meditation to contact you and attempt to
persuade you to change that decision?
A Frankly, I was surprised that all the friends I had
for 13 years, I wrote a letter saying I no longer was going to
be a Governor, nobody called. Nobody said, hey, what is going
on? You've been here 13 years, now you're going, you know,
just leaving, why? Nobody asked. I was surprise no one
asked. No one asked. I was shocked.
Q You received a divorce, your second divorce when?
A When did I receive it? Oh, I don't know. It was
two and half -- maybe `83, maybe September `83 it came -- I'm
just guessing. I can only guess.
Q Is that about the time you went into counseling?
A My husband had moved out from our house right at my
daughter's second birthday, and that was `82.
I went into counseling a year and a half later.
Q Did your counselor ever recommend that you stop
practicing transcendental meditation?
A No, he didn't. He was very wise to not confront a
belief system that was so firmly entrenched in me. Instead,
he made me functional in life and allowed me to draw my own
conclusion. He was very wise to do it.
MR. JAMES: I have no further questions.
THE COURT: Anything further?
MS. YOUNG: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Thank you. You're excused.
MR. RAGLAND: Your Honor, we'll call the next wit-
ness in the witness room.
THE COURT: All right.
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