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TranceNet: Past Issues 1995

Volume 1, No. 4 ] [ Volume 1, No. 3 ] [ Volume 1, No. 2 ] [ Volume 1, No. 1A ] [ Volume 1, No. 1 ]

Vol. 1, No. 4: November 29, 1995: Special Edition

"German Government Declares TM a Destructive Cult"
The 150+ page report by Germany's "Institute for Youth and Society" remains the most thorough and prestigious study and critique of TM to date -- labeling it a "youth group" and "psychogroup" (cult). Although the TM movement understandably attempted to suppress this report in German courts, it was upheld by the German Supreme Court. The German government's findings may have implications for everyone practicing mantra-based meditation:

This translation from the German was prepared for and entered into the court record of the Kropinski trial.

"Dying for Enlightenment, Part 4"
One of several "TM casualties" whose story is contained in the German Report. "Anonymous TM Victim #3" was at the time of the interview still unable to work and is under therapeutic care.

According to the authors of this study, his is the general case among mantra meditators: "The young person involved with T.M. is effectively hindered from becoming a responsible independent adult, he regresses to an infantile and narcissistic stage, expressed through appropriate behavior on his part. The almost complete loss of a sense of reality is caused, in our considered opinion, by the practice of meditation, the teaching and T.M. movement in the context of it being so organized in the particular way it is. This loss of a sense of reality makes a person unfit for work, unable to shape his life in a responsible manner and unable to be socially active."

Vol. 1, No. 3: October 30, 1995

"Dying for Enlightenment, Part 3"
The transcript of a March, 1993, taped interview with a former MIU student submitted anonymously to TranceNet. Today this 9-year TM Sidha suffers from fainting, black outs, anxiety attacks, fear, and near constant exhaustion. He feels that he has "blown out his mind." (You may want to check out the companion piece "Kropinski's List of TM Casualties".)

"TM & Dissociation, Part I"
Dissociation -- what is it? The most frequently mentioned negative side effect of TM in our "Personal Stories Archive," we begin a series on "atypical dissociation" with an article from the DSM-IV that gives its standard diagnosis. With quotations from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad-Gita for comparison.

"The Initiator's Pledge of Loyalty"
For the first time on the Web, here is the oath all TM Teachers are required to sign. We were told this agreement has no legal force, but that the TM movement relies on the "laws of karma for enforcement -- which operate for all eternity." Containing the direct address to the altar of the Maharishi's dead teacher "Guru Dev" and the direction to spread "the Light of God," it makes interesting reading for those interested in the scientific basis of the TM movement.

"U.S. News Editor Accuses MIU of 'False Claims'"
A 1989 MIU University News ad claims "MIU was among the top third of the nation's colleges and universities selected by U.S. News & World Report" -- a claim still repeated today by TM apologists on the Internet. Here, in text and facsimile, is the Executive Editor's letter accusing MIU of misleading claims. Also included: facsimile of the misleading ad.

"Molestation Alleged at the Maharishi's Compound"
This cover story from The Illustrated Weekly of India charges child molestation, death from abuse and neglect, corruption and more at Maharishi's compound in NOIDA, India. If true, TM meditators in the US may be interested to know that their course fees, product fees, and donations support these policies at Maharishinagar.

Vol. 1, No. 2: October 11, 1995

"Dying for Enlightenment, Part 2"
In our ongoing series on TM casualties, we present the horrifying experiences of a 15-year Fairfield sidha who alleges she was hospitalized by MIU because of psychological damage from the TM-Sidhis. A courageous and awe-inspiring story of pain, cult-induced madness, and ultimate spiritual freedom. Exclusive to TranceNet. (You may want to check out the companion piece "Kropinski's List of TM Casualties".)

High Bandwidth GIF ADVISORY"Persinger's Research: Meditation and Neurophysiological Damage"
We inaugurate our "Independent Research Archive" with studies done at Laurentian University that indicate that TM and other forms of meditation can have disastrous side- effects, including partial-complex seizures, hallucinations of "sensed presence," and more. We also include Dr. Persinger's devastating attack on research conducted by the TM movement.

High Bandwidth GIF ADVISORY"Quick -- Name Another Science with a Holy Tradition"
Here for the first time on the Web is the entire text of The Holy Tradition, a secret book given to new TM teachers. Despite judgments by Federal courts and the ensuing disbelief of the media and public, TM organizations still insist they are not a religion or religious. Religion or science? Read The Holy Tradition -- you be the judge!

"The Personal Histories Archive"
Albert Miller presents more than a dozen new personal stories by ex-TMers Peter McWilliams (co-author of The TM Book, Mitch Kapor (founder of Lotus and the Electronic Frontier Foundation), Patrick Ryan (co-founder of TM-EX), exit counselor Joe Kelly, and many others. Of particular interest are ex- MIU Professor Roark's allegations of systematic fraud in TM research, and ex-MIU Professor DeNaro's allegations that the Maharishi knew about psychological damage caused by the TM technique since the early '70s -- and choose to ignore it. Our most read section, "The Personal Histories Archive" is the best place for new readers to start.

"Abandoned TM Techniques: Part 1, Special Techniques"
An anonymous TranceNet reader reveals that he was trained as a "Special Techniques" instructor. Once touted as cures for "unstressing," overeating, smoking, and a host of other ills, these expensive, secret techniques were dropped by the Maharishi in the late '70s -- reportedly for lack of results. The author explains in detail how to do the techniques. Exclusive to TranceNet (Click here for information on how you can submit material to TranceNet.)

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Vol. 1, No. 1A: October 9, 1995

"Mitchell Kapor on the Maharishi, Levitation, and Freedom"
You may know Mitchell Kapor as the founder of Lotus and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. But Mitchell also spent 7 years deep inside the TM movement. In this interview from TRICYCLE: The Buddhist Review, reprinted here with his permission, Mitchell talks about why he started TM, his ultimate disillusionment with TM levitation techniques, and "crossing from slavery into freedom" when he left his Six-Month Governor Training Course in Switzerland.

High Bandwidth GIF ADVISORY"Reader Update: Supernormal Marketing: The Original TM-Sidhi Ads"
A TranceNet reader submits yet another newspaper ad from 1977 published in the Los Angeles area. More important documentation of the Maharishi's bizarre claims of levitation, invisibility, and other supernormal powers for the TM-Sidhi program. (Click here for information on how you can submit material to TranceNet.)

"MINET's Excellent Article on TM Mantras"
MINET founder Mike Doughney has done it again with a brand-new, comprehensive summary of how TM mantras have varied over the years.

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Vol. 1, No. 1: September 24, 1995

"Dying for Enlightenment"
TM, a benign group -- perhaps a little wacky, but basically harmless? The public, the media, even ex- members may think so. But the Teflon® may be peeling off the No-Stick Guru. Court transcripts tell of self- mutilations, suicides, psychotic breaks -- even druggings of Maharishi's personal staff. We invite your submissions to this emerging scandal.

"A Simple, Natural, Relaxation Technique?"
We are fortunate to launch our Personal Histories Archive with author Joe Kellett's intimate memoirs. Joe details his personal relationship with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, gives a teacher's perspective on the TM program, and probes his spiritual experiences. A must read for every current and former TMer. Exclusive to TranceNet.

High Bandwidth GIF ADVISORY"Supernormal Marketing: The Original TM-Sidhi Ads"
A subject of endless debate on alt.meditation.transcendental: Exactly which techniques did Maharishi teach -- and what results did he promise? Here are a rogue's gallery of printed advertisements from the 70s and 80s that should settle the question once and for all.

"Maharishi Ayur-Veda in Court"
High Bandwidth GIF ADVISORYIs MAV a non-guaranteed form of self-improvement or an alternative medical system masquerading as food supplements? An angry California widow has taken MAV, Deepak Chopra, and others to court to find out. Here is the entire text of her complaint.

"How Much Does Enlightenment Really Cost?"
Many current and former TMers are in an advanced state of denial about their "contributions" to Maharishi's World Plan. Complete a simple form to evaluate your own involvement.

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Creation has two sides: intelligence, which is the cause of everything, and the manifestations of intelligence, which are the physical and psychological features of the everyday world. Because Transcendental Meditation directly approaches intelligence, rather than the manifestations of intelligence, it solves problems by introducing harmony and well-being at the most basic level, and not by dealing with problems themselves. That's why it is so effective.

Consider this example: The gardener supplies water to the root of a tree. That water, that nourishment, then reaches all parts of the tree - leaves, branches, flowers, fruit - through the sap. We can think of the sap as analogous to intelligence and the green leaves or yellow flowers as analogous to the manifestations of the intelligence. The leaves and flowers are the intelligence of the sap, after it has been transformed. So intelligence - like the leaves and flowers of a tree - appears as the many different forms of manifest life. Those manifestations include every aspect of existence, from the material and physiological, through the psychological, intellectual, and spiritual. All of those features of life come from transformations of intelligence. In meditation, we directly meet this essential intelligence. Therefore, we have the possibility of nourishing all of its other levels, and thus all levels of manifestation, in a way that is harmoniously related to the whole universe.

How is Transcendental Meditation different from the various other forms of meditation?

Maharishi: The basic difference is that Transcendental Meditation, in addition to its simplicity, concerns itself only with the mind. Other systems often involve some additional aspects with which the mind is associated, such as breathing or physical exercises. They can be a little complicated because they deal with so many things. But with Transcendental Meditation there is no possibility of any interference. So we say this is the all-simple program, enabling the conscious mind to fathom the whole range of its existence.

Transcendental Meditation ranges from active mind - or performing mind - to quiet mind - or resting mind. In this resting mind, one has purity and simplicity, uninvolved with anything other than the mind, uninvolved with any other practice. In Transcendental Meditation, because we deal only with the mind, we nourish all expressions of intelligence.

The mind meditates, gains Transcendental Consciousness and brings about transformation in different fields of manifestation. All fields of life, which are the expression of intelligence, are nourished or transformed and made better through experiencing Transcendental Consciousness.

The mind, of course, is always concerned with other aspects, such as the physiology of the body, the environment, and the whole universe for that matter. But since Transcendental Meditation deals only with the performance of the mind, from its active states to its settled state, it remains unconcerned with those other aspects, though it deals with them all, because intelligence deals with them all. -- Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, unknown interview, copyright presumablyheld by Maharishi Vedic University, The Maharishi Foundation, or another group within the TM family.

Cults come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Categories of cults that are recruiting successfully today include:

Eastern meditation: characterized by belief in God-consciousness, becoming one with God. The leader usually distorts and Eastern-based philosophy or religion. Members sometimes learn to disregard worldly possessions and may take on an ascetic lifestyle. Techniques used: meditation, repeated mantras, altered states of consciousness, trance states.

Religious: marked by belief in salvation, afterlife, sometimes combined with an apocalyptic view. The leader reinterprets the Scriptures and often claims to be a prophet if not the messiah. Often the group is strict, sometimes using physical punishments such as paddling and birching, especially on children. Members are encouraged to spend a great deal of time proselytizing. (Note: included here are Bible-based neo-Christian and other religious cults, many considered syncretic since they combine beliefs and practices). Techniques used: speaking in tongues, chanting, praying, isolation, lengthy study sessions, many hours spent evangelizing, "struggle" (or criticism) and confession sessions.

Political, racist, terrorist: fueled by belief in changing society, revolution, overthrowing the "enemy" or getting rid of evil forces. The leader professes to be all-knowing and all-powerful. Often the group is armed and meets in secret with coded language, handshakes, and other ritualized practices. Members consider themselves an elite cadre ready to go to battle. Techniques used: paramilitary training, reporting on one another, guilt, fear, struggle sessions, instilled paranoia, long hours of indoctrination. -- Captive Hearts, Captive Minds, Lalich and Tobias, Hunter House, 1993.