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Chapter 4 of 7


All 67 meditators were examined as to the effect of Transcendental meditation in their own various areas of life. In this chapter the results will be presented in both quantitative and qualitative respects, and where necessary, will be compared with the teaching and practice of T.M. Where the three groups of parents, ex-meditators and married partners show similar results in specific areas, they will be presented as one. Where results vary according to the group, or when it is required for other reasons, each result will be interpreted individually.

The chapter will document the consequences for the meditator which rise during the practice of T.M. The meditation experiences bring about in most cases a change in the perception of reality, particularly in the context of the T.M. organization. This has consequences both for the personality structure and the personal life of the meditator. A drastic alteration in the field of social intercourse becomes clear to the onlooker, as well as such changes occurring in school and career performance. Also documented are changes in the mental and physical health of the meditator.



Even during the initiation ceremony, during the obligatory Puja, the newcomer has his first experience of meditation, which he finds positive and very pleasant. Meditators report a calmness, a tranquillity which can become blissful, with a general state of happiness. Often they remember back to experiences as a child during the meditation.


"I had that feeling of being in a state of suspension. Desires of a positive nature were automatically fulfilled. The experiences during meditation I had were of a loss of space and time, memories from my childhood, a softening of breath, moments of blackouts". (2/50)

"A feeling of calmness was there, but it wasn't actually more than I would have had, had I just been sitting down". (2/80)

"I felt as though I was eight or nine years old. I had a more refined perception, was less worried, saw people coming towards me, a costumed group on the meadow, the sea. I saw myself leaving my body." (2/50)

"I felt an inner calm." (2/50)

"Equilibrium became more intensive, desires were fulfilled. I became more sensitive for music and nature. Experiences during meditation: body became cold, complete mental calmness, breath no longer noticeable, total black- out in the meditation, sleeping and still awake, plays of light, feelings of pressure on the forehead (spiritual eye). Circles of light, then the whole body was steeped in a sea of light, the energy went up my spinal cord and out through my skull." (2/50)

"Felt my body. An experience of brightness. Relief - I can be helped." (2/50)

"I saw a beautiful landscape and had contact with people beyond. Apart from that I had visions and experienced a temporary relaxation, somewhat like after smoking of drugs." (3/50)

"Experiences during meditation: colors, suspension, a blue lake, feelings of happiness, after that an explosion, shock, water, movement of sperm, standing in front of a golden statue, a great eye, a long canal, saw Indian gods, light, stars, cattle, unidentifiable beasts, tigers, lions, tubes unrolling, towards the end only negative and frightening forms, a mixture of wolf and bear." (2/50)

"I saw myself wrapped up in bed like a mummy. I emerged like a butterfly out of many layers, what came out was something very small and narrow. I saw that in the context of the laying on the table of cards by my T.M. friends. I could choose a card that appealed to me. He showed it to me and observed that I was only on the fourth of twenty four levels. I was therefore only at the very beginning of my development." (2/50)


It is well known that tantric mantra meditation and thereby T.M. - leads the meditator into a world of visions, pictures, and bizarre mental images, which can be compared with the taking of drugs. In addition unconscious sense-impressions can be brought into the conscious mind, which accounts for the frequent occurrences of childhood memories. The initial pleasant experiences and the "beautiful world", into which the meditation clears the way, leads those newly initiated people to go on further courses, which are supposed to confirm the initial experiences and to deepen them. To this end, the T.M. movement offers a whole row of standardized and more expensive courses. 80% of group 1 expressed the wish to become T.M. teachers (24), whereas in group 2 only 40% (10). Since becoming a T.M. teacher is regarded as the highest peak of a "career" in T.M. in the beginning, then the variable "T.M. teacher" can be used as an indicator for a clear commitment and interest in the T.M. movement. The other meditators also visited, at the very least, "week-end" courses, which are meant to be a more intense experiencing of theory and practice, (i.e. meditation). The following table gives an overview of courses which were taken by the various groups.
Table 9: Courses taken. (more than one answer possible)
table GIF Note that it is above all Group 1 [parents] meditators who visited those courses which led to their deeper and more intense involvement in the T.M. movement. 72% (22) of this group completed the Sidhi-program, 60%(18) became T.M. teachers, of which numbers 27% (8) took part in the governor's course, which made them eligible, at least as regards their state of consciousness to have the "post of a governor" in one of the "capitals of the Age of Enlightenment". At least 75% (three quarters) of all those questioned came closer in contact with the T. M. movement after their initiation. On the average each meditator took 7 courses, (group of parents, group of married partners 9, group of ex-meditators 4)


Table 10: Length of meditation after taking courses
table GIF During the courses themselves meditation lasted 2-8 hours daily, according to the ex-meditators. In three cases a daily meditation quota of over 8 hours was reported. This affects the length of meditation for the individual after the course has ended. The longer period of meditation (for the individual) is already incorporated in the course, so that the T.M. leadership, as a rule, will not have to expressly indicate the longer desired period. In spite of this, six meditators report, that after a course they took, The course directors recommended a time for meditation longer than 2 x 20 minutes daily. In this way (53%, 33) meditated longer than one hour daily; i.e. significantly longer than is officially recommended and admitted by the movement. That this is a deliberate process is shown by the reports of the six meditators and also by the length of the sidhi program, which takes 2 - 4 hours to complete daily. In the group of married partners, 50% (4) meditate longer than 1 hour, in the group of ex- meditators, 14% (4). This can lead to great changes in the general life of the meditator, especially when the length of meditation increases to 4, 6 or more than 8 hours daily. This appears to be the case with sidhas, T.M. teachers and governors. Of these three groups, 20% meditated up to 2 hours, 25% up to 4 hours, 22% up to 6 hours, and one for more than 8 hours daily. In comparison to that the "ordinary meditators", 88.5% meditate for the official time of 2 x 20 minutes, 4% meditate up to 2 hours and likewise 4% up to 4 hours daily.


Table 11: Who paid for the courses taken? (more than one answer possible).
table GIF

The table shows that in approximately half the cases, the cost was met by the person "out of his own pocket", and in the other half the money was received from parents or from an inheritance. Loans or work in the T.M. movement were also available, work which would then make the person eligible to take the course.


"The courses were paid for with housekeeping money, from our joint bank account, and salary. " (3/42)

"He used my money (married partner) and spent all of my inheritance." (3/42)

"He sold all the furniture in the apartment to get money for T.M. He borrowed money from strangers and acquaintances, and also probably from people who he himself had initiated. He talked about them having made a gift of it to him." (3/42)

It must not have been very easy for meditators to get the immense sums of money required to take further courses and to experience the supposedly deeper meditation experiences, On the average, each meditator spent 17,322 German marks [roughly $22,700] (5,003 [$6,600]) for the T.M. organization, or made it available to them as a gift. (The number in brackets indicates the middle value, which does not take into account the extremely high or extremely low contributions.)

It is characteristic that married partners were at the top of the spending league with 37,625 German marks [$49,400] (9,000 marks[$11,800]), followed by the parent group, whose children on average spent 26,139 marks [$34,300] (10,500 marks [$13,800]. The ex-meditators spent 3,469 marks [$4,600] (1,498 marks [$2,000]) on courses. The married partners group often make their share of the outcome of divorce proceeding (itself caused by T.M.) available to the T.M, movement. The amount on occasions reached 100,000 marks [$131,300] The following table shows the amounts spent by the meditators involved in this investigation.

Table 12: Financial outlay of meditators for T.M. (in [1980] marks)
table GIF

Here is also the typical phenomenon, that the "ordinary meditators" only in a rare case spent more than 1,000 - 2,000 marks [$1,300 - $2,600], whereas the "insiders" (sidhas, T. M. teachers, governors) in 56% of cases spent more than 6,000 marks [$7,900].


People said whether they were vegetarians or not, and I said that I wasn't, but for the whole five weeks got only vegetarian food to eat. The preparation wasn't bad, but there was a total lack of cleanliness. It's a good thing a health inspector wasn't there. Accommodation was a hotel, but rented exclusively, not for other guests. The looking after was done by T.M. people, not by the hotel staff. Those people (looking after us) were "earning" their next course by doing this work, they got credits or points for the work which would count for their next course. I knew that they weren't experts in the field; it wasn't the improvisation that bothered me, it was the filth.

After breakfast and the first round we went to the lectures with the video and the great master. What really bothered the T.M. people was that I was writing down what was being said. That was a constant stumbling block, that someone was sitting there who was recording the statements that were being made. That wasn't looked on as a good thing to do....

After the lectures there was a long summing up, then we divided up into groups. Charts were put up, on which the most important points were written. You had to read them very quickly, and they were taken down again without delay: - the psychology of learning put into good practice. Then I was asked the question: How many people will meditate during the life of this generation? And I said according to the Maharishi and the charts there will be this and that - but I don't believe it! That was unforgivable. I was called out of the crowd. Incidentally the instruction is done very cleverly. No one is allowed to consult anything when giving an answer, everyone has to go up, take the microphone in hand, and speak just like that. At the beginning people were pretty inhibited, or started blushing, but after a while we got very confident....

Then there was another round, in the afternoons there was the summary and repetitions, you got very little fresh air during this time. You could go out - very strict guidelines on what to wear, a suit and tie 2,000 meters up, and everyone had short-cut hair.

Towards the end you really had no thoughts of your own. Rounding, lectures, summaries, rounding, repetition. In the evening there were new lectures, and before noon the next day there was a summary; as far as I was concerned that was brainwashing.

...after a short break we would meet again together and discuss our experiences as regards the meditation. People began more and more to relate their experience with an uninhibited determination, experiences that kept on getting more wonderful, what was happening to them during the rounding. To me it was frightful what they were saying and what was for me a revelation was that inside five weeks peoples' behavior had completely changed. In the beginning they used to say: oh, I'd like to go out for a walk now and not bother rounding - towards the end of the course they had no more ideas like that. In the beginning the young people present had open discussions; after the course was into its second half no one talked openly anymore, only what had been taught was repeated and given as that person's own opinion. I was also amazed at the total obedience shown to those dictator-type characters who were in charge. When they said please go there and do this and that, it was done, whereas at the start many used to say, well I've no real interest in doing that at the moment. I too was caught up in it, but on one occasion I tried to get out. This rounding didn't do me any good at all. I have low blood pressure, and it went lower, and I started experiencing difficulties.. ..officially there was a doctor on the course. Every time I had difficulties (on weekend courses as well) the doctor said I was unstressing, that it was a completely normal reaction, I was getting rid of years of accumulated stress. I told him that I felt extremely ill and that in my opinion, my circulation wasn't in order. But he denied that. After one weekend course - I was pregnant - I came back desperately sick. It was definitely because at that height above sea level my blood pressure had gone right down; I suffer from a blood problem to do with red cells, and I hadn't known that at that height the climate would give me problems. I always only got the answer that I was unstressing and should meditate more. I did that in the beginning. So I meditated more at the start, until I realized, that if I keep doing this, then I'll stay up here! I went to a doctor in x and explained my problem to him. He gave me the appropriate medicine and some rules to follow, for example to take walks. Then I began to feel better. I canceled my attendance at the next summary of the lectures and was going to visit an alpine festival. At this point the teacher planted herself in front of me in the doorway and said that I couldn't do that. I told her that I needed fresh air, and that I had been to see a doctor. She didn't say anything, only had a strong look of disapproval on her face. At that stage I simply wanted to go out and she said that that wasn't possible, there was a summary about to start. I told her that I had heard that three times already, but she just said that I would have to fall into the order of things, otherwise I couldn't stay on the course any longer.

I told her that I was on my holidays and that I wouldn't let myself be sent away. I went out there, and from that time on I was really an outsider. Everything was so regimented.

At the start I had really enjoyed engaging myself in discussion,... but after a while I gave it up. I had noticed how other people seemed to accept everything so quickly, and pronounced it to be so ideal. I noticed how people became much paler, slower in their movements, much more introverted, and paler, many of them staggered around. In response to all of those phenomena, you are told that it is proper and normal it is unstressing. Spiritual encumbrances were coming to the surface and they were causing the suffering. So when someone comes and says, I feel really bad, they're told, something good is happening. Sometimes during meditation I had the feeling that my hands were getting really big or my head was splitting apart, or I was somehow suspended, that I was tighter. Frightening images appeared in as far as earlier life experiences came to mind and seemed overpowering. Meditators are glad when something like that happens, because, they say, then its gone out of the system. I doubt that. When I said that these experiences hadn't gone, the T.M. teacher said "well, you're not enlightened yet." (2)

As a result of the courses the meditator takes on completely the world view of T.M. He thinks and acts only in T.M. categories. It can also be observed that the capacity for critical reflection also goes astray to be replaced by an unreserved acceptance of all that is said and held sacred by the T.M. movement. This process is fully in line with Maharishi's intentions, who has said to his teachers:

"You must be like a recording. Always play the same melody, always...."

The practice of meditation follows exactly the theory. Whoever wants to lead a life in accordance with the laws of nature, allows himself to be carried along in the stream of evolution. His ego becomes a silent instrument of the 'Divine intelligence." Critical reflection is not requested, rather a self-deliverance to the laws of evolution which - in the eyes of T.M. - manifest themselves in T.M. courses. In this way the practices in a T.M. course are legitimized. It is not surprising, therefore, that with the help of this practice - meditation bound into the structure of the course itself, - that increasingly more meditators involve themselves more intensely with the T.M. movement. The T.M. organization is the "clearer of the way" for the dawn of "the Age of Enlightenment".

Whoever makes himself available in terms of his work and meditation, works that much more effectively for his own evolution.


Table 13: How much time spent at T.M.?
table GIF

As the table shows, 12% (8) did only meditation and 15% (10) only courses. The other 73% (43) were more closely involved with the T.M. movement, 8% (5) part-time and 32% (21) full-time. According to statements made during interviews, work was done in the center itself, as well as putting up posters, distributing pamphlets, writing letters to politicians or to the papers, or furnishing a new center etc. As well as these activities were the weekly meetings with meditators and the group meditations. Full-time workers are usually T.M. teachers and governors, who are in charge of a local center or work in a "forest academy" on a regional level. (The differences between Group 1 [parents] and Group 2 [ex-meditators] are explained, at least in part, by the fact that most of the T.M. teachers and governors are in Group 1 [parents].)

Asked why they spent so much time at T.M., each meditator gave personal, religious, and inter-subjective reasons for doing the practice, all of which, however, were based on and sprang from T.M. theory and practice.


"It was necessary for his fulfillment." (2/44)

"I needed it as a life-support." (3/44)

"He said that he would help mankind through his meditation. The state could take care of the family. When he wanted to go to Seelisburg for a year, the T.M. people said that my husband was burdened physically and mentally with the large family; he needed a year's rest." (3/44)

"T.M. brings world peace!" (3/44)

"In 1980 I wished to bring Hamburg to 1% enlightenment." (2/44)

"There was no question about it. It was good, proper and important." (2/44)

It can be seen from these answers to a certain degree how a changing in the perception of the world begins to occur. In the place of realistic self-appraisement come omnipotent concepts in tandem with increasingly egocentric attitudes, all of which are legitimized by T.M. Also, the other goals of T.M. are accepted without question.


The unconscious sense impressions and visions which are brought to the conscious mind during meditation cannot be controlled by the meditator himself. The mainly positive experiences in the earlier stages (pictures, feelings of happiness) are replaced in time - according to reports of the ex-meditators - by terrifying images and feelings of fear or anguish. This is known to the T.M. movement. The theory states that "unstressing" is taking place during these conditions. It is advised that one should meditate more intensively. Only when all of that stress was released, would pleasant experiences again be had.

Because of their initial pleasant experiences with the meditation, coupled with a blind trust in the directions of the T.M. leadership, those concerned meditated more intensively and ended up in many cases in what was for them a dangerous condition, which they could not get out of without outside help.

Table 14: Difficulties as a result of the meditation
table GIF

Over 70% of those in our study had difficulties, statements made on tape list these difficulties mainly as being: problems with sleeping, anguish, increasing pain in the head, stomach, and back, (compare with section 6 of this chapter), problems with concentration, hallucinations, feelings of isolation, depression, over- sensitivity, and instability.

It is significant that the percentage is high in each group. This shows that even the so-called easy meditation (2x20) can lead to serious problems. This is confirmed by comparing the ordinary meditators with sidhas, T.M. teachers, and governors. 70% of ordinary meditators had experienced difficulties as a result of the meditation, 82% of insiders.

The questioning of ex-meditators yielded the same result. They were asked how they experienced the meditation and what their feelings were towards it.

Table 15: Personal judgment of the process of the meditation by ex-meditators (Group 3 [spouses])
table GIF

74% had problems during the meditation and because of it. They judge the meditation to be altogether negative getting steadily worse or are in two minds.


Of the meditators who ever tried to find a solution in the first place, most attempted to do so by taking advantage of the possibilities made available by the T.M. movement. The "checking" procedure was used in most cases. According to the ex-meditators group this was mostly without success. The fact that many traveled to Maharishi in Switzerland when they experienced the trouble shows the dependence and fixation of meditators on the master. Only 9 meditators visited a doctor, who in most cases were themselves meditating and who gave the same advice as the T.M. movement: more intensive meditation. According to our results, problems and difficulties which arose were not dealt with or solved by the movement. They simply got worse in the course of time. (See section 4.2)

Table 16: Attempts by meditators to deal with difficulties. (more than one answer possible)
table GIF


The initial positive meditation experiences together with the promises and encouragement if the T.M. movement lead many to take further courses. In these courses they become more deeply involved in the teaching and ideology of transcendental meditation. They believe in the effectiveness of T.M., even when in the meantime negative experiences and results are evident. These are interpreted as an on-going release of stress. Far reaching changes in the perception of reality occurred, as well as chances in self-evaluation and evaluation by others.

The length of time given to meditation each day increased in half of total cases, from 40 minutes to at least 2-4 hours daily; in one case to more than 8 hours. This tendency is encouraged in courses, this at times being a direct instruction to meditate longer each day. As well as this meditators invest more time and energy in the T.M. movement.

On average each meditator spent more than 17,000 marks [$22,312] on the T.M. movement. That amounts to approximately 1.2 million marks [$1.6 million] when taken in the context of the 67 meditators. This spending was made possible partly through their own resources, partly from help from parents and married partners, in some cases through inheritances and in others, loans.

Unconscious experiences (i.e. experiences in the unconscious) which are not worked out, and the insufficient and practically non-existent follow-up procedures caused serious mental disturbances with many meditators, for example sleeping problems, anguish, problems with concentration, hallucinations, feelings of isolation, depression, over-sensitivity as well as physical problems. More than 70% of meditators said that they had come into mental disturbances as a result of the meditation. Similar problems were observed in meditators, i.e. ordinary meditators, who meditated only 2x20 minutes daily and had little contact with the organization. These facts refute the claims made by T.M. organization that transcendental meditation is a harmless relaxation technique with purely positive consequences.


A human's perception of reality cannot be established absolutely, or in other words, directly. For this reason we used certain variables in this study which would serve as indicators for a change or commencing change in the perception of reality (i.e. the world) .


Table 17: Did you believe in the Maharishi effect? (this question was only put to ex- meditators)
table GIF

It is amazing that over 50% of all ex-meditators believed in the so-called "Maharishi effect". This is the claim that when 1% of the population in the city/area meditate, that a substantial improvement would be seen in all aspects of Fife in that particular region. (A promise in a T.M.. advertisement goes: "With the help of the Maharishi effect society will automatically become an ideal society, a society without disease.. .".

If one divides the ex-meditators into ordinary meditators and insiders, it can be seen that the ordinary meditators believed in the effect (53%) to the same degree as the insiders (50%). THE SIDHI-PROGRAM

Table 18: Why was the Sidhi-course taken? (more than one answer possible)
table GIF

Here too it is noticeable that 58% believed that one day they would be able to fly. Three quarters of sidhas had as the most important motive a greater development of consciousness.

That 64% of sidhas took the course because it was recommended them by organization shows the growing conviction of many meditators that "everything that T.M. says is good, proper, and important".

Meditators also accepted without question the reincarnation theory, karma and dharma theories. This is down in the other variables. STYLE OF DRESS

54% (36) changed their style of dress and obeyed the T.M. organization's wishes on the subject. Women prefer the Indian sari and men wear short hair, no beard, and dress in blue suits and red tie or in white governor's suit. 100% cotton material is obligatory. Expressly for this purpose, the T.M. organization runs a mailing department which deals in the proper T.M. style of dress. ATTITUDE TOWARDS MONEY

People's attitude towards money changed as a result of T.M. Before T.M. 66% (44) evaluated their relationship to money as being normal. 18% (12) saw money as being unimportant or had no relationship to it, while 5% (3) saw money as being important (to them). 3% (2) were generous and 5% (3) were thrifty.

During TM. only 30% (20) had a normal relationship to money. 37% saw money as unimportant or had no relationship to it, 29% (19) saw money as being important; 3% (2) were generous and 2% (a) thrifty.

There is a clear division between the groups on this subject. While 63% of Group 2 [ex-meditators] described their relationship to money during T.M. as being normal, in Groups 1 and 3 only 4% did so. On the other hand 41% Of Group 1 [parents] and 50% of married partners saw money as being very important, which is confirmed in the taped interviews. It appears that for insiders, above all others, money is important on the one hand as regards the financing of meditation courses, but on the other hand loses its importance, since apart from that nothing worth striving for is associated with it. It is legitimate to suppose that it is a policy of the T.M. movement to change the attitudes of meditators, in as far as money will be unimportant (generally) to them in the first place, but that meditators will be ready to spend their money on expensive T.M. courses, or make it available to the organization for its expansion program.

"During T.M. I attached little value to money, since there was a lot more than money in the spiritual level." (2/73)

"Money was for me unimportant. Whether I spent 4,500 marks or 6,000 marks [$6,000 or $7,900] on a course didn't matter. I was not thinking according to normal standards; I had a different value-concept." (2/73)

"Before that he was one to whom money wasn't that important. Now he's always stuck for money, because he needed it for courses." (1/73)

"He exists on borrowed money from his friends since his involvement with T.M. (3/73) VEGETARIANISM

Vegetarianism is a clear indicator of intenseness of meditation and commitment to the T.M. movement. The example shown by insiders motivates many meditators to become vegetarians as well. This is in accordance with T.M. theory.

Table 19: Vegetarianism
table GIF

91% of those in our study became part or full vegetarians through the influence of T.M. Only 9% never tried vegetarianism, despite T.M. The longer a person practices T.M., the higher the likelihood that he will become vegetarian. This is shown by the fact that in the parent group, whose children have on average practiced T.M. for 7.3 years, almost 100% are vegetarian, whereas in the group of ex-meditators who on average practiced T.M. for 2.9 years, only 81% were vegetarian, at least temporarily speaking.

A similar relationship exists between ordinary meditators and insiders. The following table shows that insiders are far more likely to be vegetarians than the ordinary meditators.

Table 20: Difference between ordinary meditators and insiders in the context of vegetarianism.
table GIF

In order to avoid misunderstandings let it be said that it is not being suggested that there is anything wrong with vegetarianism. The variable is only being used to indicate that the teaching of T.M. and the experience of meditation has such a strong influence on meditators, that even "convinced meat-eaters" are converted.


"He slowly became vegetarian. He first wouldn't eat any more meat, then no eggs, finally he would only eat grains and cereals." (3)

"She became vegetarian. Then she wouldn't prepare anything else for the family." (3) HEALTH INSURANCE AND DOCTOR CARE

Table 21: Health insurance for those working full-time for the T.M. movement
table GIF

The T.M. Movement has established a "Ministry for Health and Immortality," and promises meditators a life without sickness. According to the meditators' perception of reality that is considered factual, and consequently they do without health insurance.

Out of the 29 meditators who gave up their job or studies to work full-time for the T.M. movement, only two were insured by the T.M. movement, and those two only because of outside pressure to do so. 38% (11) weren't insured at all, the parents or married partners insured another 38% (11). Only 17% (5) insured themselves or kept up existing insurance. Here also, one cannot but suspect that the T.M. organization takes advantage of the changed perception of the world on the part of the meditator who works for them, in order not to have to pay a salary or medical or social insurance.

When a sickness or illness does occur, it is mostly simply denied; it doesn't fit into the theory. A visit to a doctor is out of the question. In the most extreme case meditators working for the movement will go to a T.M. doctor (who will "prescribe" more meditation. See section or will visit a homeopath.


"He will only allow himself to be treated by homeopaths." (3)

"He went to his T.M. doctor, who advised him to meditate more." (3)

"My T.M. teacher was disgusted, that I had entrusted myself to the care of a doctor. I always make the wrong decisions, he said." (2)


It is clear that the very real changes in the perception of meditators, recounted above, can be traced back to the influence of T.M. The practice of meditation, its context, the courses and the teachings are each so tuned in relation to the other that they influence effectively anyone who is inclined to believe them. He is introduced into a world of experience closed unto itself, which imprints itself on his personality and social intercourse. 87% (57) of those in this investigation reported that they (or their children/married partners) were strongly to very strongly influenced by T.M. No one had not been influenced.

Table 22: Influence of T.M. on meditators
table GIF

The differences between groups 1 and 3 and Group 2 [ex- meditators] revolves around the fact that in Group 2 [ex- meditators] most were only ordinary meditators, of whom only 57% were very strongly influenced, as opposed to the insiders, of whom 98% were very strongly influenced.

This influence is strengthened by the central figure of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In answer to the question "What position did M. Mahesh Yogi occupy in your world view?", many said that they saw him as a "leader," a "divine person," and he occupied the position of primary importance in their lives. Whatever he said, was binding. These meditators made themselves dependent on his authority and lost the capacity for independent thought and action.


"Maharishi was the master and stood in the center." (2/71)

"The great sage, who has perception." (3/7l)

"Leader of her movement." (3/71)

"Maharishi has the status of a god. Likewise he is a type of father and protector. He makes everything right." (l/7l)

"First of all he was the overwhelming personification of an enlightened way of life, which I dared not try to achieve because of a self-awareness of my own short- comings." (2/71)

"He was the leader, we would have followed him into the sea." (2/7l)

The influence of T.M. and the central position Mahesh Yogi occupies for meditators is self-evident. The continual justification of his leadership role was expressed thus by an ex-meditator: "With us it was like this: whoever is in the highest state of consciousness has the right to exercise power over people who have a lesser awareness. That is, in an Indian context, caste-awareness. The caste system comes from this. It's a matter of consciousness and incarnation." (2)


Table 23: Was the exercise of free will influenced during the time of involvement with T.M.?
table GIF

73% of meditators were influenced strongly to very strongly in their exercising of free will or determination. Here also it is clear that insiders were far more affected than ordinary meditators. They became what Maharishi prognosticated in his teaching.

"...even those who are not so highly developed mentally can become innocent instruments in the hand of the almighty and fulfill his plan...not a great deal of learning is required, only a complete self-deliverance to the master. This gives us the key to success." (Mahesh Yogi in "Holy Tradition" page 13)


The variables in the preceding table 23 were again used in tandem with the question "Did your his/her view of reality change as a result of T.M., and if yes, how?" The evaluation of the answer yielded the following: The ideology of T.M. was unreservedly accepted, the view and perception of the world changed in the direction of what has already been recounted in this chapter; elitist attitudes and karma-dharma thinking developed, meditators became anti-social, apolitical and disinterested in their surroundings.


From a Circular of a World Plan Center, Fall, 1980,
"Latest news: On the 16th of August in Cologne, the city parliament of the Age of Enlightenment for Nordhein- Westfall Hassen and Searland was inaugurated in a solemn ceremony. Now Cologne too has a council with 10 ministers and 40 councilors. The task of this new governing body is the development of one particular domain, which is the absolute basis of life, the consciousness of the people in our city. Through the practice of T.M. and the T.M. Sidhi program the individual and collective consciousness will be raised and the quality of life improved. The aim of this council is therefore to spread in an ever increasing fashion the practice of T.M. in Dussaldorf, so that we can soon enjoy the full sunshine of the Age of Enlightenment. The sittings begin every Saturday with the super-radiance program, and the councilors retire to a council meeting in the central hall thereafter. Every meditator is invited to this meeting. (I.M.S., Ortsverbald Dusseldorf, Fall/Winter 1980)

"I don't need to worry about politics. When we win over enough people to do T.M., then we'll have paradise on the earth - Maharishi has said that." (2/70)

"Since he's started meditation, my husband doesn't believe in the reality of life. He (literally) said to me: When you are a meditator and a person who is close to you dies, then you put it aside without any emotions." (3/7O)

"The notion of rebirth is crucial. Everything that was before is now unimportant. Maharishi is the person through whom god expresses himself, because of that the fixation on Maharishi - only what he says and does is important, everything else is false. He changed from being a liberal sort of person to a totalitarian-minded person, who considered the Indian caste-system to be a good thing, and which itself is a vindication of Maharishi's claim to power. He says that mankind can only be helped with T.M. Through T.M. a person will become neither sick or old." (l/7O)

An evaluation of all that was said in response to the above question yielded the following: approximately 90% absorbed and accepted T.M. theory and ideology, 80% followed precisely the instructions of meditators of higher rank, and about 75% lived in the pretend world of T.M.


Changes which occur in the individual's perception or understanding of the world and their effects on his sense of identity are illustrated here in the case of a young man (22 years), who, at the time of his initiation into T.M. was still in the Critical phase of adolescence. The search for a sense in life, the building of an identity conflicts in difficult family situations, change from school to university; in other words a general phase of insecurity: this coincided with the initiation into T.M. and the practice, which, from T.M.'s point of view, went smoothly.

Using this recording from the interview, the dangers involved in this type of meditation can be illustrated, dangers particularly relevant to those beginning the practice who are under 25 years of age.

I experienced T.M. as an investigation into my own nervous system, a becoming conscious of many things...T.M. is really a concentration into the spiritual, and it's perhaps because of that that many people believe that they fly...

It struck me, what they call unstressing, I would explain it in this way, that those people suddenly concentrate wholly on themselves in that isolation, and that then problems start to appear.

I noticed that people needed more sleep. They obviously had something to work out - me too, I was (always) very tired.

I stop the subconscious from coming up....

And what concerns they have about the nervous system! Why am I able to see at all... I came this far: Before, I hadn't understood why they had their eyes closed, let's suppose I sit here on my own and do nothing. I close my eyes, because it's simply better that way. Why should I see something...I don't want to see anything anyway! That you control your nervous system better, psychological functions, and that you become more selective and because of that more aware and another person doesn't understand that, they absorb everything with reflection. Through the mantra you learn to concentrate on a "certain something", if you learn at all to concentrate...

I believe that it's a sort of retreat into further layers of consciousness, when pictures begin to appear. Why? Because it's an earlier awareness. You could say that your awareness becomes more childlike, more pensive...

My thinking became pictorial, everything I thought were pictures, like a film. That you see yourself as in a film...

I see myself going along, and I see myself doing what I actually will do.

I saw myself as a film projector, in which there was a film, and we could look at it like this, that the black part was the unconscious mind and the place where the pictures showed up, that was the conscious mind...and during the meditation the black part separated from the other part of the film, and I saw my whole life as a film. Everything became known again....it is taken from the darkness and brought into the light, and there it stays...I think that I could use that to good advantage at school, that the memory is somehow trained...exactly as I take it in, I would reproduce it.

Increasing concentration of preoccupation with yourself. An introversion, you put all of your concentration on your nervous system, you have a preoccupation with it; it didn't fascinate me, but it interested me. Hey, that's really interesting and you'll have to study this. That's going on in every person. Perception goes inwards, not only into the body, but into the spirit... you try to screen yourself completely off from the world, I called it a really nice name "Desire-stop". I tried therefore to stop desires working on me and I naturally became very calm; the more you rid yourself of desires the more it becomes a psychological hobby. Other people don't do it, but it interested me, because desires play a big part in things, and you only notice desires when you've had more for a long time.

I saw a certain danger for my own development in having a relationship of dependence with other people or another person. I mean things that you have absolutely no need for, you absorb them, they just go right into you. Things that are uninteresting or of no importance. Why should a person introduce things like that into himself? That's just a pure waste of energy! A waste of the nervous system's energy. Everything uses up energy, and why shouldn't I save energy in my nervous system. If I now am sitting somewhere and am looking around, without consciously seeing anything, then I'll just close my eyes, since there is no point, it's really just a waste of energy...

It all started in France, the mental crisis. A life with nature...and I tried to leave everything that was decadent aside, including to a certain extent what was for me spiritually decadent - thinking, thinking isn't natural. Thinking isn't natural. I don't want to say that women were as such an example to me, but like I've already said, women do it much more properly than men. Women have an instinct that is lacking in men. Man has his logical understandings, the woman has a sort of refined feeling. You don't have to be homosexual, I've noticed - it's all about hormones, aggression. I could dismantle all of it, I had everything under control. That's the man in me, that's all the aggression, all the hormones, that's all just complete bullshit. I got rid of all my aggression, the natural aggression of the male, I controlled my sexual drive or whatever you call it, when a person sees a beautiful woman and it arouses him...I thought to myself, that's not essentially positive. That's more a thing to do with the unconscious, you see. And then I tried so that everything would leave me cold and uninterested. That was my goal, no influence from outside, because with those I'm not free...

It was a time, in which I had an overview for the first time of all functions and could control them really well. That was before France. In France, you could say, that was my downfall. That was a downfall not planned by me.

T.M. was for me a means to see for the first time that such desires have an effect on us. I'd thought it over beforehand, how I would explain it to them. Our psyche is a desert, a large expanse of sand, and now there's rain falling, that is desires. Every desire causes a reaction, that is, if you like, our mental reaction. Let us say that I can see that there are thousands and thousands of desires affecting me and causing reactions in me. Abracadabra, you are not free. I build a house with a roof on this sand, that means, that I shield myself off from the desires and then I make somewhere a small hole and let only one or two drops of rain in and I examine them and try, using those raindrops to shut off the rest. So I'm left with a better picture, that you have to search out certain raindrops; that you can't let everything go into yourself, like a person with no awareness does...Before I began T.M. I hadn't thought like that at all. I had acted just like everyone else, without worrying. When I went to France, there was chaos. Myself as a person with such a finely tuned and different perception suddenly has to think in another language. I was like a small child, who suddenly has to start from the beginning again. And what I had learned from myself was as if rubbed out: I was in the role of a small child, I had to learn to speak again.

And it was because of this that my development was suddenly ended. Because of that I got into a terrible crisis. It was horrible. Thinking was suddenly French....I had had my thoughts and perception so beautifully in shape and then came another language and it destroyed everything... (2)

The young man was at the time of the interview - still unable to work. He is under therapeutic care and lives at home with his parents.

Mantra meditation can lead to a completely changed perception of reality. It is a slow process from the mature "I-you relationship" back to the one dimensional narcissistic "I". 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.


-The change in the framework of perception can be illustrated using different variables: More than half of the meditators took the sidhi-course, in order to learn supernatural abilities, like, for example, flying. 91% became part-time to strict vegetarians, an indication of a changed world-view. The variables "belief in the Maharishi effect,attitudes to money" and "style of dress" point clearly to a changed framework of perception. -As a result of this new world-view, 76% of those who worked full-time for the T.M. movement did not get medical insurance for themselves. Afterwards half of them were insured by either parents or married partners, in order to avoid a calamity. In this way, the organization comes into the category of cheap labor. Even in serious cases of illnesses, a meditator will often not visit a doctor, since medical care is disapproved of generally by T.M. teachers.

-The influence of T.M. was rated strong to very strong by 87% of those in the investigation. Mahesh Yogi is seen as a godly figure and leader, whose proclamations are considered binding. Meditators become dependent on him and lose the capacity for independent thought and action.

-90% of those meditating accepted the T.M. teaching and ideology, 80% followed robot-like fashion the instructions of T.M. teachers and 75% lived in an artificial world created by T.M.

-A comparison between ordinary meditators and insiders yielded the result that the more the world-view had changed to that of being a T.M. world-view, the longer the person had been involved with the T.M. movement and the more intensively he meditated.

-It was demonstrated, using one particular case, that the practice of T.M. during adolescence leads to a lasting disturbance and disorder in that person's perception of the world, which has most disadvantageous consequences for the development of personality and the formation of identity.



Stress is a central concept for the T.M. movement. It serves as a substitute for the word karma in the mind of the meditator. Bad karma and accompanying stress is to be avoided above all else. Meditation frees the consciousness of the meditator from negative karma (or stress), and purifies the atmosphere of stress. Stress is referred to in the movement as a material phenomenon, a substance somewhat like gas which can escape from the head and the atmosphere. The new world-view has the effect of giving stress an ever-increasing role, as meditators over-react to this factor, and avoid everything which could cause stress, like for example conflicts, manual work, social relationships etc. It is especially young adults who are stunted in their development because of this attitude to stress combined with the pleasant experience of the mantra-meditation, since they can only meet the stressful demands of everyday life with retreat, and, in time develop an oversensitive, unstable character. In the same way as the "narcissistic social type" has today been authenticated, it is appropriate to investigate individually specific "social types" produced by T.M.

Table 24: Stress Factor
table GIF With 56% (34) stress played no part in their lives before their initiation, and it was for 25% only a factor of small importance. Only for 2 interviewees was it of major importance. Here also there is the same tendency as before, in Group 2 [ex-meditators] a different emphasis is ascertainable. Group 2 [ex- meditators] had the highest stress factor before T.M.

After the initiation into T.M. stress played a very big role for 60% (37), it was an important factor for 26% (16). Only 8% considered it of small importance, and with 7% (4) it played no part whatsoever. As the following graph shows, the stress factor indication has practically been turned upside down. Although meditators have as a matter of fact less stress in their lives due to their changed life-style, they are conscious of a large to massive amount of stress. This discrepancy between "objective", i.e. actual levels of stress, and the subjectively perceived stress factor causes in many meditators far reaching negative consequences for their personality as a whole.


Table 25: Were there changes in the ability to make decisions? Who did you consult for important decisions?
table GIF

An evaluation of the above question gave the results shown in Table 25, which shows an alteration in this field too. 47% (28) became underlings to authority regarding decisions made, 12% (7) became unable to make decisions. Just 33% (20) had the same decision making capacity while one meditator according to his own statement, had improved on this capacity. This result suggests conclusions which could be made with regard to the centralized hierarchy of the T.M. organization and its aims. The result for Group 2 [ex-meditators] is in conformity with this, who had little contact with the T.M. organization and consequently were not affected in the same measure with regard to their ability to make decisions.


"I didn't know anymore how to make decisions, there was no personality anymore, absolutely nothing." (2/77)

"The constant referral to the T.M. lifestyle was markedly strong. You ask the people and change according to their advice." (2/77)

"I didn't make decisions spontaneously. Spontaneity disappeared, the verve for living dissipated." (2/77)

"I always asked the T.M. teacher what I should do. 1 said: You decide for me. 1 followed his decisions. That became my will." (2/77)

"I became more easily influenced and needed longer to make a decision about something." (2/77)

"He went to Seelisburg to ask whether he should continue with his studies." (1/77)

"She became completely unable to make decisions. She felt totally enveloped by Maharishi and lived from day to day." (l/77) PHYSIOGNOMY

Table 26: Changes in the physiognomy (more than one answer possible)
table GIF

In 67 cases 50 showed a change, in other words 75% of the total number.

In 82% (4) of the cases, the facial expression (i.e. normal) changed. Members and ex-meditators report of a mask-like facial expression, strange smiling and twitches. In 28% (14) of cases, body deportment was altered. The general posture was characterized as: stiff, plump, sloppy, slow and cramped. In 52% (26) or cases, the voice had changed and was described as in the following: softer, inarticulate, slurred, solemn, and laborious. In 30% (15) of cases, the handwriting had changed. It was wider and more drawn out, not concentrated, erratic, had many slips of the pen, and spelling was more incorrect. CHANGE IN PERSONALITY

After the questions of practical application had been put with regard to the personality, one more open general question was put, following on which the interviewer could, if necessary, put more questions. The question was: "Did your personality (or the personality of the meditator, whichever was relevant) change during the time of involvement with T.M. and if yes, in what way?"

It is obvious that with such an open form of questioning no clear specific answers could be expected with regard to changes in the personality structure. Neither was this intended. Rather, we wished to simply have the person's own experience or judgment. The answers therefore tended to be a little long-winded and are repeated in precisely the same form in other variables in the questionnaire.

Descriptions from the qualitative testimonies: felt as if grown older, depressions, glassy look, easily influenced, more lax, no relationships with anyone, more closed in, more dishonest, lonely, fanatical, egocentric, defensive, more unstable, and sensitive. With regard to the group of ex-meditators, it was noticeable that they felt that they had grown stronger in terms of their personality, more confidence and 'ability to get things done' developed, on the other hand, however, they became less considerate of others and more introverted.

Table 27: In what way did the personality of the meditator change.
table GIF

The question about the overall impression of personality changes caused by T.M. (whatever the individual understood it to be, was answered by positive remarks by 12% (8). Another 12% (8) said that absolutely nothing had changed and 75% (49) judged the changes which occurred as begin altogether negative.

Of the 7 testimonies which reported a positive change in the personality, 6 came from the ex-meditators, of which 5 ex-meditators had no contact at all with the T.M. organization, although regular in their meditation. In this group only 52% considered the changes to be negative.

All three groups show a clear negative trend with regard to this question. Meditation is an inner-personal process and cannot be understood by means of analytical factors. With meditation one is talking more about well-being and overall satisfaction - this is also the claim of the T.M. movement. Yet 75% (three quarters) of the meditators do not report this, rather, this type of meditation meant for them a disturbance in the development of their personality, which, years later, was still evident.

4.3.3. SUMMARY

-The stress factor appears to be of central importance for the total development of the meditator. Since stress must be disposed of, this becomes a consequence for the meditator, a retreat from the stressful domain of daily life, which leads in time to mental instability.

-T.M. has a detrimental effect on the decision making process. There is a loss of self-determination and a turning toward the T.M. authorities for guidance, i.e. in the case of important decisions. Also, the variables, facial expression, bodily posture, voice and handwriting point to the fact that the total personality is gravely altered under the influence of T.M.

-In 75% of cases, according to the testimonies of those questioned, the personality changes in a clearly negative direction, 12% found no change, and likewise 12% judged that there was a change in a positive direction. Meditation, being an inner-person process, is supposed to lead to well-being and overall satisfaction for the meditator. The majority of meditators, however, did not find this. Moreover, deep disturbances in the personality of the meditator were more the order of the day.


The investigation now turned to the question of social behavior before T.M., in order to make a comparison with social behavior during T.M. Group 2 (married partners) are shown in some detail, since they exhibited specific changes in social behavior.


Table 28: Interests before T.M. (more than one answer possible)
table GIF

The interest in travel, music and theater was above average for the soon-to-be meditators. Conspicuously low was the interest in television; half (27) said that T.V. had no importance or role in their lives, for a further 25% it had only a small part. For only 11% (6) television played a major part in their lives. ACTIVITIES DURING FREE-TIME

Table 29: Activities before T.M. (more than one answer possible)
table GIF

Here we are concerned with a group of soon-to-be meditators of whom approximately one in five were engaged in the activities shown in Table 29. Approximately half of them involved themselves externally in societies, church and politics, in addition to internal relationships with relatives and friends. CHARACTERISTICS REGARDING COMMUNICATION

Table 30: Communication before T.M.
table GIF

The vast majority 82% had no experience of loneliness before T.M. The readiness or ability to communicate was markedly high. On average 70% (46), said that they liked to have discussions (on topics). They were interested in a wide variety of themes, and could listen attentively to others and were able to argue to the point.

Overall the meditators are people who, before T.M., had varied interests, were alert mentally, and open. They also had good to very good relationships with family and friends.


Table 31: Changes in the daily rhythm. (more than one answer possible)
table GIF

In 90% of cases (61), eating, sleeping and/or work habits changed. 41 meditators changed to a major degree their eating habits, which corresponds with the factor that 45 meditators became strict vegetarians. This result shows that all 3 Groups only then admitted to a change of eating habits, when they had become strict vegetarians.


"She was only in the house on weekdays, and finally moved out. The children were totally neglected by my wife." (3/67)

"When my husband went to bed in the evening, he forced me to do the same. I had to take sleeping tablets, otherwise I wouldn't go to sleep. There was a troublesome situation during the mornings, when he was doing his (yoga) exercises and I couldn't prevent him from doing them." (3/67)

"My wife was always tired, slept continually, sometimes up to 12 o'clock midday, and went to bed at 10 o'clock in the evening. She didn't have the mental capacity to look after our child, who was 14 months old. I had to come home before noon from work to look after the child. She also didn't bother with making any breakfast, didn't go out of the house anymore (i.e. even to get sick benefits) except when it was to meditate somewhere." (3/67)

"He was sometimes a whole day in his room, although there was a lot of work to be done, as opposed to what he used to be like. It was like a forced thing with him, that he couldn't work anymore. He said that what he had done before T.M. was all wrong; he wanted to leave the family." (1/67)

"He took no further part in the family life. He prepared his own food himself." (1/67)

"I had pains in my stomach quite often. I slept a lot more." (2/67)

"When the baby had to be changed and it was time for T.M. then the baby had to wait." (2/67)

"I suffered from insomnia and lived an irregular life." (2/67)

"I had a more regular daily routine, became more attuned to nature. Nature became more trustworthy to me than people or indeed myself." (2/67) CHANGES IN INTERESTS

Table 32: Interests before T.M.
table GIF

In answer to the question "did interests which (you) had before T.M. change?", 76% (48) said that they had dissipated; only 5% (3) said that interests which they had had before T.M. had since grown. As against that 91% (57) showed a very strong interest in T.M., in other words, they were developing a different structure of motivation and impulse during T.M. and shifted all focus of interest onto T.M.


"My husband could not stand watching catastrophes on T.V. anymore. His interest in politics had disappeared". (3/66)

"During discussions or after television reports about various world events there was the usual commentary: 'A few T.M. teachers should go out there!" (3/66)

"I did absolutely nothing anymore: I just sat around the house, sat there and thought, read about spirituality, had compulsive thoughts, and no interest in involving myself in any activities." (2/66)

Table 33: The role of T.M. in discussions
table GIF

77% (50) reported that T.M. played a large to very large part in discussions, 8% said that discussions ran normally, and 15% didn't discuss or talk about it at all. In Group 2 [ex-meditators] the values were somewhat lower. A comparison between ordinary meditators and insiders shows that this variable (role of T.M. in discussions) gains importance in accordance with the measure of involvement with T.M. For 93% of insiders T.M. played a large part in discussions, as against 48% of ordinary meditators.

From the qualitative statements made, it becomes clear that outside observers find these discussions cliched, mechanical and indoctrination-like ("he went on like a recording, always repeating himself").

Ex-meditators speak often about positive effects (of T.M.) in their testimonies. In their opinion they were better able to listen to others and didn't carry on any trivial conversations.

What is important for meditators is often meaningless for detached observers. The altered world-view can be seen here. After giving up T.M., the framework of perception fostered by it begins to be slowly dismantled. This phenomenon is portrayed in the following recordings:

"I had big problems with my mother. I explained to her about all the positive affects it had, but she said that she couldn't see any of them. She found me more withdrawn. Her perception of people is very sharp. Today I believe her. I became more egotistical, I didn't care about the family. She could find absolutely none of the positive workings of T.M. and believed that I had become more isolated. Now I see that too, since I revolved a lot more around myself, and couldn't direct my attention to other people." (2)

Examples for style of conversation:

"Her style of conversation became very constricted, she became more aggressive and more intolerant. During the divorce proceedings in court my wife made T.M. the issue, much to her disadvantage. She said that if I were to begin meditation, she would come back home immediately." (3/64)

"The whole type of discourse had a missionary and indoctrination-like character.' (3/64)

"...Had developed a primitive type of speech, had difficulty with articulation...head was either very empty or very full." (1/64)

"His style of speech had changed, in that there was a mandatory introduction of T.M. into everything. Whether we talked about eating or traffic conditions, everything became engrossed in T.M. When we had a guest in the house, who had nothing whatsoever to do with T.M., then he would set about convincing the guest to begin T.M."(1/64)

"His style of speech was different, he became a know-all and saw T.M. as being the only truth, and he attempted, in an almost fanatical way to convert everyone." (l/64)

"Light discussions were dispersed with no more interest in that sort of thing: - one talked about far-reaching matters that were of importance and relevance." (2/64)

"No concentration - forgot words, stuttering got worse." (2/64)

"A quarter more sensitive tone of voice. Everything was gradual and measured. We exchanged greetings with 'Jai Guru Dev'." (2/64)

"Ordinary language wasn't used anymore." (2/64) CHANGES IN AREA OF RELATIONSHIPS

In this section Groups 1 and 2 were portrayed separately from Group 3 [spouses], since particular problems surfaced with the married partners.

Social relationships within the family.

Table 34: Social contact within the family before and during T.M.
table GIF Before initiation into T.M., 81% (46) were more or less active in the family life. Only 16% were withdrawn. During T.M. only 43%(23) took part in any way in family life. 57% (31) withdrew completely from the family. The median shifts from 1.667 to a value Of 3.629 during the T.M. period. Although most had an active family life before T.M., this became much less during T.M. A comparison between ordinary meditators and insiders shows that 66% of insiders and 42% of ordinary meditators withdrew from family life. The reason for the downturn of social relationships in this area cannot be looked for simply in the T.M. organization milieu, since it resides chiefly in the type of meditation involved and the practice of that meditation.


"The situation at home became worse and worse. I could hardly stay there. I'd get into my car and drive off to see my T.M. teacher. I neglected the housework" (2/61)

"I wasn't interested in conversation anymore, and was arrogant towards - my parents because they weren't meditators."(2/61)

"He only had contacts with other meditators. When he brought friends home with him they were from the ranks of T.M. Everything he said was like a recording, always repeating himself, always the same thing...a confrontation always happened at family get-togethers, and then he usually ran off. There was only one interest in life for him and that was meditation - he lived according to meditation, and while he was still home, never took part in family life. He said too that he could suppress hunger through meditation he didn't need to eat normally like the rest of us. He said that a person need only two to three hours sleep. When he spent a little time here, he didn't get up so early in the morning, in fact he idled away a lot of the time. He said he couldn't bear cigarettes being smoked and kept to himself. He ate only rice, and wouldn't eat anything else, including the vegetables because I had put a little gravy in them. He maintained that he couldn't take that, that it had the same affect on him as alcohol - he turned into a egotist, only his happiness and his well- being were important. He had become much more delicate..."(1)

Social Contacts within the family

Diagram 4 for Groups 1 and 2
table GIF

Relationships with married partners:

In Group 3 [spouses] standard variables were put to those questioned, which would yield information on the state of the relationship in the marriage. The variables were further underlined with a graded value-system:

1. very much / very intensive/ very good
2. a lot/ intensive/ good
3. little/ average/ satisfactory
4. none/ casual/ unsatisfactory
In Table 35 the median is given for the variables for before as well as after T.M., with the corresponding difference. The value 2.333 signifies, for example that the judgment on a particular variable lies between "a lot" and "little".

Table 35: Relationships between married partners (value given is average)
table GIF

The variable "time for partner" is reduced by 0.9 points, caused by engagement in the T.M. movement. Discussion between the married couple, which was the variable which received the worst rating, remains approximately the same, since there is now in the marriage quite a lot of discussion about T.M. The emotional relationship to the other partner must be viewed in context with the intimate relations. Both variables showed a considerable reduction in rating (by 1.00 point and 1.69 points respectively) Relationship with the children and minding of the children are considerably reduced, by 1.25 and 1.00 points respectively. This can be explained by the previously outlined change in the framework of perception, and an increasingly introverted behavior pattern. The relationship with the partner and the children is considered to be a stress producing thing, which is to be avoided, because it hinders the evolution or development of their own selves. The gradual reduction out to the complete cessation of intimate relations should be seen in this context. Intimate relations cause bad karma. The general impression is therefore strengthened, that the hermit or monastic lifestyle is valued higher than the so- called "householder" life-style. Because of this, a far above average amount of meditators end their marriages, because the everyday demands within the family become too much for them. The noticeably worsened relationships with the children were to lead, in some cases, to a severe lack of development on the part of the children.

In general, there is an overall decrease in the quality of living in all areas. The capacity for carrying on a loving relationship is drastically lowered, up to the point where there is a complete inability to carry on the relationship. Indifference, less interest, and less time for children and partner were all found to be firmly established. In extreme instances, it came to divorce and also an almost total neglect of the children.


"I had started to develop strains of intolerance, I became much more indifferent to the problems of others. I had a rather different attitude - they should try and do something to help themselves! As egotism of the highest degree and egocentric behavior occurred. The whole T.M. thing is developed on the notion that - I should be feeling good, I have to become enlightened, and so on, me, me, me... people and things around you have no part to play. Interest in world affairs got less and less, and so did my sporting activities. I had a lot more time for questions of religious and philosophical content. When it was time to do the T.M. meditation, then the baby could wait or visitors could wait until I was finished. Even then I sometimes said that real things were more important than T.M., but as far as my husband was concerned, T.M. was more important.

Against my own convictions, I withdrew - more and more from my contacts with others. I only began friendships with other meditators during the time I practiced T.M. An exaggerated self-adoration, a continuous self-praise; what a great wisdom we had in our lives, recounting of experiences, how great the meditation was, and how we could persuade more peep to do meditation and how we could help the organization to expand." (2)

"She had hardly seen the children for a year. After five months she had seen them for an hour. During this hour she was on the telephone to the T.M. center for forty minutes. She would crack up without T.M....she sued me and her father for maintenance.' (3/61)

"The mother didn't look after the child anymore, and let it go on crying when something was bothering it...the mother didn't go out to the playground with the child anymore, it was kept the whole day in the apartment, in its playpen." (3/61)

"The family went completely apart. She was only interested in T.M. anymore, and took no time to be with her husband; she led a separate existence from the child; she wasn't capable of even speaking to the child, had absolutely no patience with the little one." (3/61) CONFLICTS

Table 36: Changes in conflict situations and behavior.
table GIF

Just over a quarter (26%, 16) became more aggressive during the T.M. phase, but in Group 3 [spouses], the actual percentage is a staggering 70%. 18% (11) became more intolerant, 18% (11) wanted to avoid conflicts, 10% (6) wanted to avoid conflict if possible, but were however more aggressive if a conflict did arise. 5% (3) were not able for any stressful situation, 10% (6) reported no change and only 5% (3) became more tolerant in their behavior. It is interesting that only 10% (6) showed no change and that only 5% (3) were more tolerant. Regarding all other variable, T.M. had a negative effect. The majority showed a disturbance or disruption of inner balance.


"My husband was a peaceful and calm person before he began T.M. During the T.M phase there were arguments every day; shouting, raving, cups were thrown out the window and clocks too, - the ticking of the clock disturbed him. He required absolute quiet and rebuked anyone who disturbed him." (3/65)

"Couldn't be brought out of (his/her) composure. Grinned happily." (1/65)

"Started to cry when he was under pressure without the possibility of escaping." (1/65)

"He displayed a certain indifference, and hardly any emotional reaction." (1/65)

"During situations of conflict or stress, a strong detachment or aloofness was evident." (1/65)

"He became more and more aggressive in conflict situations with regard to words used and his demeanor. He was always in the right." (1/65)

"T.M. made me colder - a composed egotism." (2/65)

"I became much more likely to get uptight about something, because I had become more sensitive." (2/65)

"I didn't allow myself to get involved or burdened with stressful situations, became more intolerant." (2/65) CHANGES IN RELATIONSHIPS

Table 37: Relationships to other people before and during T.M.
table GIF

55% (37) had close friendships before T.M. and 30% (20) had at least a few acquaintances. Only 6% (4) lived an isolated life. The relatively good relationship to other people is shown by the median 1.405.

During the T.M. phase, only 20% (13) had close friendships and 20% (13) some acquaintances, and 50% (33) lived an isolated life; in Group 3 [spouses], 70% lived an isolated life. Group 2 [ex-meditators] displays the best results in terms of relationships to other people. The median dropped by 1.595 points to finish at 3.000.

Relations with other people are neglected for exactly the same reason as were the relations within the family. As against that, new and close contacts are founded within the subcultural milieu of the new grouping, which is shown in the following table.

Table 38: Were new contacts made during the T.M. phase?
table GIF

89% (55) made contacts only with other meditators, 2% (1) only with non-meditators and 10% (6) with both. Note that in Group 3 [spouses] all meditators made new contacts exclusively with other meditators, i.e. within their new grouping. It is apparent that interest in things outside of T.M. drops. The companionship with people of like mind provides a certain assuredness. Regarding contact with non-meditators, the missionary aspect lost importance as a result of those contacts. Contacts with T.M. people were often described as "very intensive " and "warm". Main subjects are T.M. and meditator experiences. There is a lot of meditating together. The evening T.M. center group meetings provide the occasion for the introduction of the meditator into the esoteric level and teachings through accounts or narratives by T.M. teachers, governors or other meditators. There occurs a process within the new referral group through the experience of group meditation which involves group dynamics; this process is intended to induce a slow and almost imperceptible acceptance of the teachings and perceptional[sic] framework, i.e. view of reality.


"...and sometimes they sat down together in the evening, and a governor from Switzerland came in wearing a shirt and tie, a person completely unknown to us, and explained something about the cosmos and spheres, and you had the feeling that you would have to be intelligent to understand it. My heaviest understanding of people told me that what he was talking about was nonsense, and I much preferred not to try and understand it all, but to simply watch and observe him. None of the governors were married and I asked myself how that could be, whether they couldn't enter into any kind of relationship, since we'd just heard that (as a result of T.M.) you could become more intensely involved with your partner. They all gave the impression that they were living purely for themselves like monks, almost. I asked this question, and received only a vague reply - no clear answer; there was a lot of talking without any concrete point being made, and I was effectively ignored. Then you were put off the subject with lot of nice talk about the cosmos. They wanted nirvana, it's beyond the cosmos, they say." (2)

"During that time I had a certain type of contact with meditators, it's a sort of circle which holds together like you wouldn't believe and is not open to others (non-meditators). That's actually a contradiction, because if you want to spread the thing, then you should go to where there is poverty and suffering, since the stress could go into them and they don't want that....that once happened to me, when I had backpains due to tension and I wanted someone to massage my back, but no one would do it, since they said, that that was stress and unstressing, and if we do that with our hands then it will go into our bodies. I was pretty shocked at this. They don't like to help others." (2/63)

"We talked about meeting with T.M. teachers, about training courses, about what would be like when you're dead, what experiences I had when I meditated." (2/63)

"The T.M. teacher in our house wanted no contact with the outside world because of the stress inherent in it, and exhibited no social behavior." (2/63)


The profile diagram was devised in order to measure changes in the personality, (more detail in section 2.4). The items selected were based on attributes which were promised would figure prominently in meditators as a result of the practice of T.M. as well as those attributes which meditators experienced as a result of the practice. In this way, we should be able to portray the change in a person's personality resulting form T.M.

70 people were involved in the profile.

38 from Group 1 [parents]*
22 from Group 2 [ex-meditators]
10 from Group 3 [spouses]

*In cases where both parents filled out the personality profile, the middle value was taken from both answers for the evaluation. OVERALL EVALUATION

The overall evaluation is based on the average change recorded in all attributes in the passage from Phase 1 (before T.M.) to Phase 2, (during T.M.). These average changes are shown in diagram 6. The items "susceptibility", "apathy', and "egotism" were treated as monitoring items, in other words, a decrease in their manifestation indicated a betterment as regards the total personality, an increase indicates a worsening situation.

Table 39: Personality profile of Groups 1, 2, 3.
table GIF

Diagram 6: Comparison of Phases I and 2, an average taken from parent group, ex-meditator group and married partners.
table GIF

Susceptibility changed from +1.100 (Phase l)to 1.303 (Phase 2), i.e. an increase of 0.202 points. Apathy rose from -1.282 (Phase 1 )to -0.740 (Phase 2), indicating a change of +0.542. Likewise egotism increased, it rose from +0.457 to +1.05l, i.e. by 0.594 points. All three attributes showed an overall increase in importance. As monitoring items they accordingly gave an indication as to overall tendency as far as the complete picture was concerned, There is to be seen a worsening in the attributes of the personality of meditators in the passage from Phase 1 to the phase during meditation practice. The trend of this worsening will be dealt with using individual evaluations and comparisons. Before that, we would like to draw attention to Table 39A. It gives the average data regarding the change once more.

Table 39A: Overview of average change from Phase 1 to Phase 2 for ex-meditators, parents and married partners.

Table 39B: Personality profile for Group 3 [spouses] (married partners) .
table GIF

The judgment of the married partners group (i.e. the non- meditator's judgment of the meditating partner) was very close to that of the parents. The item "perception of reality" had decreased by 2.800 points; from +0.600 to -2.200. If the view of reality was accredited with some import by both partners before the invitation (of one of them), it was now a source of great conflict. The second greatest change given by the married partners group was openness. This decreased by 2.800 points; from +1.4 to -1.4.

The meditation reduced openness in its being a communicative quality. As a non-verbal attribute of understanding and the ability to communicate one's thoughts, it transformed into the opposite. Through this lack of openness, honesty shows a startling drop (-3.100). This evaluation is of significance in that honesty, being one of the trust-building supports of every relationship, was in no way stabilized or increased through the T.M. meditation. This lack of honesty becomes even more significant when one sees how small the change in honesty is with the ex-meditators (-0.636) when compared with that of the parents group (-1.776). Other items are notable for the extreme changes which they undergo: ability to make contacts changes by -2.600 point, politeness by -1.722 points, warmth and sympathy by -2.200 points. These three attributes can be described as being factors of impulses of the emotional aspect. A distinct cooling in the relationship is indicated, on the commencement of the T.M. practice by one of the partners. (see diagram 7).

Personality Profile

Diagram 7: Comparison between Phases 1 and 2 for married partners.
table GIF

In the area of performance, therefore, T.M. does not cause an improvement, rather a disimprovement[sic] and accordingly fails in its promises for this area, as with others. (see Diagram 8)

Ex-meditators, parents and married partners are all united in this aspect, with some individual differentiations. Even ability to make contacts (-2.431) and dependability (-2.117) as well as warmth and sympathy (-2.177) were reduced in the opinion of the parents. They give an indication of the social attitudes of the children towards their parents. We have to bear in mind however, a possibly concealed process of detachment (i.e. as part of growing up). Even with this in mind, the problem of a reinforced separation and a shutting-off process does not seem any less immediate and significant. The judgment of the ex- meditators for these attributes are an indication of the correctness of the parent's observations.

Personality profile.

Diagram 8: Comparison between Phases 1 and 2 for parent group.
table GIF

Table 39D: Personality profile of Group 2 [ex-meditators]
table GIF

The ex-meditators were careful in their self-evaluation. (Diagram 9). They ascertained the general development of their personality during the T.M. meditation phase to be negative, but in doing so probably either did not take account of other peoples' perception of themselves, or did not rate such observations very highly. For this reason, the "extreme" judgments of the parents and married partners groups did not find expression here. Apart from that, they [ex-meditators] had not nearly been as long involved with T.M. as had the meditators in groups 1 and 3. Notable here is the relatively strong transformation in the perception of reality (-1.273) and openness (-0.995) as a result of the meditation. It is to be assumed that the change in both items caused a great deal of conflict in their lives. Likewise a strong decrease in humor was evident (-1.000), this attribute would appear to reflect to a large degree a person's personality. It was also evaluated as having decreased by the parent and married partner's groups. Interesting is the reported increase in self-awareness and equilibrium. (+0.445 and +0.636 respectively) These evaluations seem only to be justified in relation to the practice of T.M., and not in an overall sense, as they are relevant only in the context of the then-existing isolation from non-meditators.

Personality profile

Diagram 9: Comparison between phases 1 and 2 for ex-meditators' group

In all three groups the perception of reality and openness were the most notable indicators of negative changes in the personality. The transformation in the perception of reality shown in previous evaluations led, as a consequence, to a lack of openness. This was expressed more in the emotional disposition in Group 3 [spouses] (married partners) and in social attitudes in Group 1 [parents] [parents]. For ex-meditators it signified a certain isolation caused by the meditation which co- existed with an increase in self-awareness and equilibrium. The capacity to make critical evaluations decreased significantly during the T.M. phase.

This major reduction in positive characteristics stands in total opposition to the promises made by the T.M. movement.

-Meditators were, before T.M., mainly mentally active and had many interests and were open. They had good to very good relationships with family and friends.

-The daily rhythm changed in 90% of cases, i.e. eating, sleeping and/or work habits. During the T.M. phase they lived more or less in isolation, showed a disimprovement[sic] in disposition towards performance, and needed much more sleep than before, as a result of a continuous tiredness. Everything had to be subject to the sometimes very long meditation program and the changed daily rhythm it necessitated. For a minority the meditation caused a more ordered and well-structured daily rhythm.

-75% gave up previous interests and dispositions which were replaced almost exclusively by T.M. A primitive form of language developed and a missionary style of speech, which non-meditators found to be indoctrination-like, cliche and mechanical.

-Social relations were reduced within and outside the family during the T.M. phase. Whereas 81% took part in family life before T.M., during the T.M. phase this number was reduced to 34%; 57% completely withdrew from family life.

With regard to social contacts, 6% had lived in relative isolation before the T.M. phase; during the T.M. phase this rose to 50%, this being people who lived completely in isolation and broke off all social contacts.

Since even social contacts outside of the family were reduced or ended completely, this retreat cannot be explained away in terms of a normal "growing up" process and its complications with regard to living with parents.

-In the place of the recently terminated social contacts, 89% started up contacts with (other) meditators. The T.M. movement becomes for them a new "referral group", from which their thinking, feeling and activity is derived. This in connection with the group meditation leads to a new perception and evaluation of the world.

-The established reduction in communications has a particularly strong effect on married partners. Intimate and emotional contact is considerably reduced; up to and including complete abstention. The relationship to the children also suffered, i.e. the time devoted to them, their care, and patience in dealing with them all lessened considerably. In some cases this amounts to a total neglect of the children, because they represent a "stress factor" and because T.M. and the new referral group has now priority in their lives. The will to lead a "one-to one" style relationship is weakened, and becomes practically non-existent. Many meditators become divorced or lead a withdrawn monastic lifestyle.

-As already mentioned, the "I-you" relationship is replaced by a narcissistic self centered attitude. The social dimension fades into the background and the meditator becomes more and more incapable of carrying on a loving relationship. The relationship between activity and meditation which is based on T.M. teaching shifts from the general social sphere exclusively towards their own referral group. It is a deliberate deception for the T.M. movement to claim greater achievements and social activity for meditators). What is meant is an activity solely directed towards the aims and purposes of the T.M. movement, which is striving for an enlightened World development of consciousness". The social dimension in the form of political activity etc. fades away considerably if not completely.

-The social behavior of meditators and the attitude of the T.M. movement towards social life exhibit sect-like tendencies, which have nothing to do with the relaxation technique presented to the public by the movement.

-The personality profile once more gives the trend of changes in all three groups: there is no development of personal attributes in the sense of an improvement in those attributes. Various attributes, like the emotions and a social responsibility, lose all importance throughout. T.M., however, promises an improvement of and increase in these attributes. Most strongly affected are the perception of reality, openness, and the ability to make critical evaluations.



In section 3.3.3. school and job performance for the time before T.M. was given in detail. Altogether the performance at school was well above average. Those questioned were, for the most part, satisfied with their job situation.


Table 40: Changes in the ability. to concentrate
table GIF

The ability to concentrate worsened in 56% of cases (34), it improved in 16% of cases (10), and remained the same in 26% of cases (16). In Group 2 [ex-meditators] the improvement and disimprovement[sic] figures balanced each other out, while in Groups 1 and 3 more than 70% recorded a worsening in the ability to concentrate. This decrease in the ability to concentrate was expressed in many cases in increased forgetfulness, absent-mindedness and an inability to engage in activity which was of a continuous nature, i.e. which demanded concentration over a period of time.

Examples :

"She couldn't concentrate anymore, her depressive phases became longer and longer.' (3/75)

"Her already weak concentration got even worse." (3/75)

"For five years I was able to concentrate well, but after that it got really bad.' (2/75)

"My ability to concentrate got worse rather than better; at home I only did what was absolutely necessary - I was concentrating only on T.M. and the T.M. family.' (2/75) WORKLOAD

Table 41: Work Load
table GIF

In all three groups there was a general decrease in performance abilities. Only in Group 2 [ex-meditators] was there an increase, in some cases. In 61% (37) of cases, the ability to manage the workload decreased, in 13% of cases (8), it increased, and in 21% of cases (13) it remained the same. The statements made by those in our study point to a lack of drive and an inability to carry a task to its completion.


"His job became more and more burdensome for him. He gave it up." (3/74)

"He got weaker and weaker: it was all to much for him." (3/74)

"He got weaker, less able to do things and had less drive, his health was pitiful." (3/74)

"No achievements anymore, apart from T.M." (l/74)

"For six months after the initiation her performance (at school) got better. She said that that was because of T.M. After that, however, she lost her equilibrium. The teacher noticed it too. She had difficulties with concentration." (l/74) 4.5.3. SCHOOL AND PROFESSIONAL CAREER

Table 42: Changes in school and professional career
table GIF

On average 58% (38) of those in our study had their careers damaged through the influence of T.M., which they judged to be negative. In 40% (26) of cases there was no change, and only one meditator reported a positive influence on his job career through his involvement with T.M.

Involvement with T.M. leads rarely to an improvement in the career situation of a particular individual. It is more often the case that interest in the job/career wanes, for example, because it is now considered meaningless. After studies or jobs are given up altogether, so that all energies can be devoted to T.M.

Table 43: Particulars on profession and studies.
table GIF

42% (28) of all questioned gave up either their job or studies because of their involvement with T.M., in order to work full or part-time for the organization or to take part in long courses. It is important to note that in the parent group, whose children meditate, 63% gave up either their professional career or their studies, while in the ex-meditators group only 22% did so. This fact serves as an indicator to the fact that Group 1 [parents] is more intensively and more actively involved in the T.M. movement. Ideology, as well as the belief in their own evolution, plus evolution in general, lead many meditators to give up their career or studies to work year long without pay or health insurance for the T.M. movement. (a T.M. teacher "If both study and T.M. are not possible together, then it's better to give up your studies,.")

It is ascertainable from our interviews that meditators are sent away again by the T.M. movement as soon as they (the meditators) become either incapable of working or paying their way (see section 6.5)


"He left everything lying around and undone, didn't do anything except T.M. He wanted to make it a new aim in his life. After the divorce he lived only for T.M. At the moment he had received a certificate from his T.M. doctor saying he was unable to work, but that's not the case. His is unwilling to work, according to a court verdict that decided on his case. "(3/79)

"He ended his professional career in order to be full time at T.M. He didn't get promotion, although he had set about doing so. He didn't want his job anymore either, because it was too much for him physically." (3/79)

"She stopped preparing for her (college) exams, so that she could be full time at T.M." (1/79)

"He didn't have the strength to go on studying, became a hypochondriac, and finally gave up his studies.' (l/79)

"He stopped his professional career temporarily, but after the mental breakdown he ended it completely, and took and early pension." (1/79]

"She cashed in on all her insurance policies, her maintenance claims, and sold all her personal belongings in order to get money so that she could go to Seelisburg." (l/79)

"He became unemployed, because he hadn't had a job for five years." (l/79)

"I took a break from my studies and still don't know what I want to do.' (2/79)

"After I got a promotion I took a leave of absence from my job before the governor's course." (2/79)

4.5.4. SUMMARY

-Whereas before the T.M. phase performance at school was well above average, and those investigated were most happy with their school or job situation, a considerable worsening in these areas occurred as a result of the practice of transcendental meditation.

-56% had decreased concentration abilities during the T.M. phase, only 16% reported an improvement.

-61% found it more difficult to manage the workload, as against 13% who reported an increased capacity.

-T.M. had a negative influence on the professional careers of 58% of meditators. Altogether 28 meditators (42%) gave up their studies or professional career in order to work full time for the T.M. movement or to be able to go on long courses. They did this on the basis of promises made them by the movement. An analysis of the taped interviews and the stenographer's scripts only serve to strengthen the suspicion that the T.M. organization aims at cheap labor, which in the case of those people their becoming unfit to work in the course of time, can be sent away again without any real difficulty.



The effects of T.M. on the health of those in all three groups were equally considerable. As against other areas described in previous sections (social behavior, personality, and career), serious and endangering disturbances were caused to ordinary meditators and insiders, with few exceptions. Various indicators, as well as the taped interviews, point to the fact that these problems were, at the very least, contributed to by the meditation and the altered view of reality.


Table 44: State of health before the T.M. phase
table GIF

36% (22) had in the years previous to their commencement of T.M. more or less regularly visited a doctor. In Group 3 [spouses], the amount who did this was 70%. 6 of these 22 people were in therapeutic care, 8% took drugs for psychological treatment, 6% pain relievers, and 6% medicines for physical health problems. Those people visited a doctor for the following various reasons: Hay fever, nervousness, depression, stomach pains, hormone imbalances. 77% (49) had taken no medicines in the years previous to their beginning the practice.


During the investigation physical complaints were spoken of which had manifested themselves during the T.M. phase, or which had become considerably more serious during this time. The following complaints and symptoms were listed.

Table 45: Complaints and sickness of meditators during T.M. phase (more than one indication possible)
table GIF

In 63% of cases (42) physical complaints occurred. In most cases these were stomach and bowel complaints, headaches, sleeping difficulties, neck pain.

The Berlin based doctor Domeyer reports of similar functional disorders in 20 - 25 patients who practiced T.M.

"...headaches particularly in the forehead, a feeling of tightness in the region of the thyroid gland together with swallowing difficulties, heart problems and breathing problems, gastric disorders, as well as pre-menstrual difficulties in the case of women, and with men, an unpleasant sensation in the region of the prostrate gland. This list contained the complaints found in all the patients who visited me, with slight variations. I became aware of a curious contradiction, where on the one hand I heard from the T.M. practitioner "Since I've been meditation, I feel very much better in all things", and on the other, the list of complaints made. The contradiction was especially strong when I found, after close questioning, that in most cases there was a connection in time between the beginning of the practice of meditation and the manifestation of the complaints already detailed." (Schweizerische Arztezeitung (Swiss Medical Journal) Number 6-7.2.79)

A Swiss doctor has found the following symptoms in his own investigations of patients who were meditating:

"...a tendency towards an erratic nervous train of thought, sensitivity and sluggishness, social isolation, a disturbance of the sleeping-waking rhythm, month-long insomnia resistant to any therapeutic process, together with anxiety attacks of a religious nature as well as a prevalent tiredness and oversensitivity during the day. Depression, irregularities in the lower spinal column, circulatory disorders, involuntary twitches in the face and extremities." (Doctor P. Heusser: Schader Durch tm, Schweizerische Arztezeitung (Damage caused by T.M., Swiss Medical Journal), 7.2.79)

These symptoms are even known to the T.M. movement - symptoms caused by transcendental meditation, even though in official T.M. research documents they are not listed as possible negative side effects. In the secret checking instructions (not open to the public) we read:

Sometimes someone may complain of pressure in the forehead, the back of the head, the temple or the neck, which arises during the meditation. This can have two possible explanations:

1. Somewhere in the head, in a particular place, a weak or negligible pain exists which is not noticeable on the gross level of consciousness, but which one begins to experience when the attention falls to that fine level. In such a situation one can do nothing other than to simply experience it or to go through the experience when one begins to feel the pain. This sensation of pain will be felt in every single meditation without fail, until the wound is completely healed, or the situation is resolved. One could say to the person when this arises that the experience of pain is a result of the process of unstressing. The formula for this situation is: Take it as it comes and allow it to go the way it chooses.

2. A straining in the meditation, an effort to think the mantra, an intention, even if barely noticeable, to continue to think the mantra or a will to experience the mantra or very fine stages of the mantra - all of this can be summarized in this way: Effort during the meditation. This can be overcome very simply, in that the person stops repeating the mantra as soon as he begins to feel the pain and simply sits and does nothing until the pain has disappeared. It may take perhaps a few seconds, a half a minute or a minute, then we begin again with the mantra. This process of stopping the mantra the moment pain occurs in the meditation should be employed in both situations, 1 and 2. One does not need to try to find out whether the headache arises out of situation 1 or situation 2, since there is no possibility of establishing the exact reason for the sensation of pain during the meditation. Every sensation of pain, which arises during the meditation in the head, the heart or anywhere else, will be dealt with in this way. Jai Guru Dev.

The significance of pain in the checking instructions is a religious interpretation of inner processes, which is derived from the dharma teaching and levels of consciousness. [*In German text there is a word used which implies reference to the "Bubble diagram" of consciousness used by the T.M. people] A former T.M. teacher reports:
They made a connection between the pain and the chakra energy centers. One could really feel the chakras during the meditation, how the energy flows here and there, and if one meditates a lot, then tensions arise which are somewhat like pain. The awakening of the chakras is a positive experience, despite the pain, in that the energy flows freely. The fact that energy is there and isn't coming through causes the pain - that's the way pain is explained "(2)
This type of interpretation of disorder, and the resolving or removal of the disorder is not sufficient. Ex- meditators report that the complaints they had grew worse when they observed the checking instructions. Many suffer for years after giving up T.M., complaints which become chronic - particularly head and neck pain.

Physical complaints and illnesses during T.M. phase

Diagram 10 for Group 1 [parents], 2, 3.
table GIF


Under this heading we asked about psychological/psychiatric disturbance, which arose during the T.M. phase, or increased significantly as a result of T.M.

Table 46: Psychological disturbances and illness for meditators during the T.M. phase (more than one indication possible)
table GIF

76% (51) of cases investigated had psychological or psychiatric disorders which occurred during the T.M. phase and as a result of the practice of T.M. In some cases psychiatric disorders already present came to a state of total breakdown.

Before the T.M. phase, 6 people were in therapeutic care, during or after the T.M. phase the number of those who visited a doctor because of psychological or psychiatric disorder rose to 29. The percentage of people who underwent therapy as a result of such disorders therefore rose from 9% to 43%. This number does not take into account those meditators who refused to visit a psychiatrist or undergo therapeutic treatment because of T.M. ideology, or refrained, for the same reasons, from trying to resolve the disorders which were prevalent.

In table 46, the disorders which occurred most often are portrayed. In first place, (63%), is "tiredness". It correlates in Group 2 [ex-meditators] with a value of 0.749 and a significance of 0000 with sleeping problems. Both variables (tiredness and sleeping problems) are indicators of an up and coming psychological trauma, i.e. if tiredness and insomnia occur for a long period of time. The results shown in Table 46 confirm that the indicators are present.

In second place follows "states of anxiety" 52% (27). Together with "frightening images" it points to quite horrific meditation experiences which may not be related to outsiders (non-meditators) and are hardly discussed among meditators because of the prevailing pressures "to be successful". The lack or absence of discussion which could relieve or resolve these matters intensifies the state of anxiety and frightening images into being a physical syndrome, which manifested in 31% of case (16) as fixations and 39% of cases (20) as obsessive ideas of various types and in 26% (13) cases as a nervous breakdown. 20% (1O) told of steadily increasing suicide tendencies. They could not deal with the psychological trauma any more, unless they were to receive outside help. (i.e. from outside the movement). It is noticeable that in 39% of cases (20) a regression in terms of their perceptions of themselves and others was observed. Even meditators notice this process, as, for instance, when they describe the face or facial expression of many insiders as being "baby-faced". The conflict between the world sought for and the real world caused by the "stress factor" and the theory of karma which is taught them, ends in favor of the world that they are seeking, reflected in the meditation and the T.M. movement. Meditators withdraw more and more into a pretend world. This development is aided and assisted by T.M. teaching and ideology, which both are closely bound together with the on-going emotional experience of meditation. They give the feeling of well-being, lightness, as if wishes are automatically fulfilled. These emotional experiences open up the individual for T.M. and its institutions, where every desire becomes realized. On this level the T.M. organization offers everything which appeals to latent ideas of all-powerfulness in the individual (sidhis, world government.) The combination of meditation experiences, a model of perception solely T.M. related, and its expression on the institutional level, would appear to cultivate fertile ground for a process of regression.

29% (15) of meditators were oppressed by guilt-feelings. Those guilt feelings came into being when meditators, either during therapy or in general discussions with others, say something about T.M. and their own experiences during meditation which they in fact should not have said, because they felt bound by the mandatory promise of secrecy. 39% (20) showed increased nervousness, which manifested symptomatically as twitches of the head or limbs. This is then defined as being "unstressing' by the T.M. movement. More likely is the case that outside stimuli become too strong to cope with. If the meditator cannot avoid them, then a nervousness manifests itself. Meditators are much more sensitive to noise; this was shown by an evaluation of statements made to us.


"...after the first few courses he worked with all his energy for the T.M. movement. Afterwards he withdrew into himself more and more. After the last 6 week course, he kept up the very long program (he did there,) shut himself up in the room as if it were a monastery, couldn't be spoken to anymore, and began to meditate even longer. His progress at his studies grew less and less, and finally he just wasn't capable of doing them anymore. Then there came the psychological trauma. He said that Maharishi was a liar. He wasn't going into the center anymore. He is then telephoned by the people who run the center and he is forced to go there under pressure. Even then he was sick. One experience we had: He was sitting in a dark room in the T.M. center, he said that there he wouldn't disturb anyone. A student of medicine who was a meditator rang me up and told me that I should watch my son, that my son had suicidal tendencies, that he should meditate less. Then he was sent to a psychiatric clinic. They couldn't help him. He got no help there because the doctors knew nothing about T.M. He was mentally under a lot of pressure after that because he said something about T.M. that he shouldn't have said and then just said - I'm not saying anything." (116)

"She had serious menstrual problems but said that that didn't mean anything, all women doing T.M. had that. She says, well, you don't have to tell me all about that, I'11 forget it until tomorrow. She says she has a vacuum in her head. The doctor diagnosed a metabolic disturbance. When she came back from her course in .... she herself wanted to see a doctor and moreover she kept on saying that she wanted her head investigated. We both sat in the back of the car, (on the way from a T.M. center to their home), she clung to me the whole way (her mother) and cried and couldn't calm down. She was experiencing a lot of fear as well; I had to sleep in her room." (I)

"She paints and hangs up the pictures of children - she spends her whole time in play." (1/48)

"He cries loudly, reads fairy tale books he had as a child, is jealous of his young niece, has become sluggish and can't take any pressure. The smallest strain finishes him." (1/48)

"She lost a great deal of weight, and had no doctor-care during the T.M. phase. She was given a certificate of inability to work by a doctor after they threw her out of Seelisburg. It was for a year. The doctor who examined her officially confirmed her absolute inability to work." (1/86)

"The doctor diagnosed a neurosis with schizophrenic traits - on one hand he had become very grown up as a result of the meditation, on the other hand quite helpless and was like a child." (1/87)

"On many occasions he had psychiatric treatment and was in psychiatric units - altogether more than 6 months. Today he's here at home and unable to work Every now and then he has to go in for treatment." (l/86_

"He said he had a demon in his body. It was wandering all over the house, he said, that comes from T.M. Whoever does T.M. doesn't need to sleep he was like a skeleton." (l/86)

"Both of my children had a lot of water in their bodies after the sidhi-course. No doctor could figure out where it came from - swollen legs, stomach and head. After they gave up T.M. it went away." (I)

"Depressions got a lot worse. Suicide tendencies became acute in the last two years. (3/87)

"Compulsive thoughts - afraid of people and experiences. I felt as though I were three years old, and behaved like that when I was alone." (2/87)

"Cried during the meditation, became delicate, got very sad and melancholy without any reason. I didn't want to admit to myself that I was depressed, and because of that I suppressed them. Later on the depressions became even more intensive, increased apathy." (2/87)

"I couldn't take the noise in the school anymore. I had the impression that someone was tearing away the skin from my soul; what I mean is that the protective layer around my spirit was gone, because of that I wanted to withdraw more into myself. My T.M. teacher and governor told me that that was only a passing phenomenon, that I should meditate more. I was told by various T.M. teachers that I had made great progress in a short space of time, that I actually had the ability to become a T.M. teacher - that was 6 months after my initiation." (2/87)

"Various ordinary meditators had to visit a doctor because of pain. The usual general recommendation was to sweep the body mentally. One girl was unable to stand because of unstressing." (2/87)

"I observed in my friend and T.M. teacher a nervous shaking, for instance in the dining hall the spoon would fall out of his hand while eating. He divided nature into the godly and the satanical. He became more and more dependent on T.M. He tried to stop T.M. and suffered heavy withdrawal symptoms like insomnia; he then got even more involved in T.M. because of that." (2/86)


D. Lang investigates the question of a possible pathogenic complex in youth sects [cults]. In this context he also discusses transcendental meditation. Using the case histories of three meditators who showed psychotic tendencies, he outlines the process of the development of the illness. In so doing, he arrives at the following conclusions.

"The pseudo-religious ideology of the sects and their problem-causing techniques of 'a way inward' fit like a key into the lock of pre-schizophrenic and schizophrenic disposed structures. Such a system is however closed-off; it makes impossible, to use Tellenbach's words "any act of true transcending". (D. Lang, The Attractiveness and Pathogenicity of Youth Sects) Nervenarzt 51, 1980.

An analysis of our case material showed likewise that latent and manifested pathogenic structural characteristics are activated by T.M. and that a general worsening of the mental constitution arises.

A heightened sensibility and delicacy or weakness in the personality of the meditator creates the necessary prerequisites for a manifested psychological disorder. Meditators in their adolescence do not develop a stable and flexible relationship on a one-to-one basis, but rather remain fixed in the egotistical narcissistic dimension which widens out onto an intra-physical level in the meditation, a state of trance, and merges with the religious experience of "everything-is-one".

The tape recording of a young man in the adolescent phase shows the process of de-personalization and the ecstatic merging with the "laws of nature":

...increasing concentration or preoccupation with yourself, a sort of introversion, you put all of your concentration on your nervous system, you have a preoccupation with it. It didn't fascinate me, but it interested me.

You try to screen yourself off completely from the world, I called it a really nice name "desire stop". I tried therefore to stop desires working on me and naturally became very calm, the more you rid yourself of desires, the more it becomes a psychological hobby. Other people didn't do it, but it interested me , because desires play a big part in things, and you only notice desires when you've had none for a long time. For example if I lived in a dark house for a few days and then came out into the light again, the smallest beam of sunlight would seem almost god-like. Everything is relative and desires mean absolutely nothing....

Dismantling - because I had observed that the personality, that's really only something that's O.K. for the outside and is totally uninteresting...the personality is sort of senseless, but necessary for the social world. If I'm alone, for example on the top of a mountain, what do I need a personality there for, but if you screen yourself off from the world, then you notice that your own personality is dependent on the outside world. But if I come to the conclusion that the outside world doesn't actually exist, only my inner being?....yes, that means that my personality dies - and what happens then - then there's a respect for all nature, a silent devotion to this world event, to the divine, which is what animals maybe do. The personality is something completely of mankind.' (2)

This tape recording section portrays the process of de- personalization through T.M. At this age T.M. strengthens the natural drive and interest in discovering the self in the way that the process of self-discovery is steered completely to the area of inner personal processes, which is then interpreted according to the T.M. related perception of reality in a way that is detrimental to the development of the personality.

Situations involving stress will result in pathogenic appearances as a result of the lack of a normal psychological disposition to deal with such stress. In the case dealt with above the mental illness occurred as a result of an extended stay in a foreign country. The meditator came into conflict with his closed-off hidden away identity, which he had to open up in a foreign country. In the case of another young man, the psychological disorder came to the surface after an operation he underwent, which was stressful for him. Sections from the tape recording:

"Various things came together in the clinic the delicacy, which is a result of T.M. together with a sensitive disposition in an extreme situation, leads to effects like that. Through delicacy, overreaction to stressful situations, so that it becomes really possible that you suffer a psychosis, since it's like a sort of chain reaction...

T.M. has created a basic assumption, it's like a cracking up or an extreme reaction on the part of the spirit to things, fears that are bottled up inside you. The basic requirement for that is T.M. Other people take drugs, I take them to be the same (as T.M.). If I had never been in the hospital I would probably never have suffered something like I did; If I had never done T.M. I would probably never have suffered what I did.

I wasn't having treatment as such; I just took a lot of psycho drugs and was temporarily let out on the urging of my parents; I didn't go back to school right then. I stayed away for a pretty long while, at home." (2)

Situations involving stress, which are normally dealt with by people without any great difficulty, are now the catalyst for psychological illness. Transcendental meditation, in the form of the meditation practice and the altered perception of the world, together with the T.M. ideology, have both paved the way for the mental illness and finally caused its onset. If the process of increasing sensitivity and one dimensional egocentric thinking is sufficiently advanced, then even a small element of stress in conditions will be enough to cause an illness.


-Before the T.M. phase the physical and psychic health of the meditators corresponded approximately with the average state of health of the population at large.

-During the T.M. phase 63% of meditators had physical complaints. Of these the most common were stomach and bowel complaints, headaches, insomnia, and neck pain. These symptoms are known to the T.M. movement. The movement lets it rest however, at the level of an interpretation of a religious Hinduistic nature, without in effect offering any real therapeutic help.

-In 76% of cases psychological disorders and illnesses occurred, 9% of meditators had had therapeutic treatment before the T.M. phase, 43% had psychiatric treatment or had to have medical treatment during the T.M. phase.

-The psychological disorders most prevalent were tiredness (63%), "states of anxiety" (52%), depression (45%), nervousness (39%), and regression (39%). 26% had a nervous breakdown and 20% expressed serious suicidal tendencies. Psychological illness already present before the T.M. phase worsened considerably.

-T.M. can cause mental illness or at the very least prepare the way for the onset of mental illness. A lack of opportunity for the treatment of meditation experiences and or altered perception of reality create suitable conditions for a pathogenic appearance. Added to this is the heightened delicacy and increasing helplessness in the personality of the meditator, which can develop into a complete depersonalization.

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