Subject: TM Dissenter's FAQ Contents: --------- Part 1 - An Overview: The Transcendental Meditation Program Part 2 - The TM and TM-Sidhi programs, mantras and techniques Part 3 - Maharishi Ayur-Veda Part 4 - Other Research on the TM Program Part 5 - The Transcendental Meditation Ex-Members Support Group (TM-EX) Part 6 - Footnotes Maintained by Mike Doughney, firstname.lastname@example.org Last modified 8/31/94. This and other documents can be found in the TM Dissenter's Archive: ftp.digex.net:/pub/access/tm-dissent Submissions and comments may be mailed anonymously to email@example.com. WARNING: The following document contains mantras as taught in the TM and TM-Sidhi program (in parts 2 and 3). Meditators may wish to consider whether or not they care to see their mantra in print before proceeding to read.
Part 1 - An Overview: The Transcendental Meditation Program ----------------------------------------------------------- From: TM-EX Bulletin, November, 1991 HISTORY: Transcendental Meditation (TM), was initiated in India, October 1955, by the then called Maharishi Bala Brahmachari Mahesh Yogi Maharaj (life long celibate student and great seer), now called Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (great seer). When asked about his wealth, Maharishi claims to be only a simple monk without pockets. He lives in TM facilities with silk-lined walls, flies in personal helicopters and has had a private 707 jet. His teaching evolved from an overtly religious one; admitting the mantras (word used to meditate upon) are "personal gods" with the practice called "Spiritual Sadhana," "Deep Meditation," or the cleverly disguised trademarked brand "Transcendental Meditation Program." MARKETING: TM is now marketed under many front groups and names such as: Corporate Development Program, Science of Creative Intelligence, Technology of the Unified Field and the current approach of the Maharishi Ayur-Veda health program/centers. RELIGION: Although TM publicly denies its religious nature, the U.S. Court of Appeals declared TM to be a religion and not suitable for the public schools. The original TM incorporation in the U.S. was as a religious entity. Maharishi teaches that God will not listen to your prayers without TM. MANTRAS: The mantras are chosen based upon secret criteria of "neurophysiological specificity." Court documents reveal that they are chosen on the basis of age and/or age and sex. The highly secret words are the names associated with Hindu deities (Shyama = Krishna). "We select only mantras of personal gods... such mantras fetch to us the grace of personal gods" -- Maharishi. Mantras are given in a candlelit incense-filled room, during an initiation ceremony where the teacher encourages the student to bow before the picture of Maharishi's dead teacher. SUPERNORMAL POWERS: The movement claims its followers will develop powers of: levitation, invisibility, reading minds, perfect health, immortality and more. WORLD PEACE: Maharishi's World Peace Projects have been instituted in many countries, including Israel. Maharishi teaches that one meditator is powerful enough to reduce the crime rate. The movement claims a group of 7000 meditating levitators or "Sidhas" assembled in one location will create world peace and economic stability. Research on the Israel project has been found to be deceptive and lacking scientific credibility. POLITICS: The Maharishi's Absolute Theory of Government holds "a government is just the innocent reflection of the consciousness of its people." In 1976, Maharishi formed the "World Government" to handle the "consciousness" of the world. Phillippine president Marcos took the Maharishi's offer to heart and the Age of Enlightenment Foundation nearly succeeded in acquiring the largest university in Asia. Action from church groups, the Vatican and former members stopped the takeover. Currently the government of Zambia has taken the Maharishi's offer to heart and has pledged 44 million acres of land (one-fourth of the land mass) to the Age of Enlightenment Foundation. [The government of Zambia, after elections, has terminated this deal and Maharishi's representatives have left the country. See TM-EX Newsletter, Summer 1992 -ed] MONEY: Involvement in TM is not cheap. Organized as a non-profit educational organization, the TM movement is valued between $2 and $3 BILLION dollars. Initiation starts at $390 [now $1000 -ed], followed by advanced mantras at $390, health mantras at $700, psychophysiological techniques at $700, herbs for $1000 per year, cleansing programs from $2700 - $6600, yagyas (religious ceremonies performed to solicit the aid of one or more Hindu deities), Jyotish (Hindu astrology TM-style), Ayur-Veda prescribed gems, Maharishi school and university education, and more. To pursue TM to its end can cost over $10,000 per year. RETREATS: Advanced courses often taught in remote locations. Contact with outsiders, newspapers and television are highly discouraged. LANGUAGE: TM courses and literature are filled with buzz words and cliches that serve the function of stopping the critical thought processes ("unstressing," "support of nature," "karma"). ISRAEL: TM has targeted Israel during the past few years including initiating a program entitled "Bring Invincibility to Israel" which has brought American Jews to Israel to learn to levitate for $2500 per participant. In 1980, Hararit became the first TM communal settlement in israel, located at Mount Netufa in Galilee. TM since has made inroads in Kibbutzim throughout Galilee. HARMFUL EFFECTS: Studies have found TM results in tiredness, anxiety, depression, regression, suicidal tendencies, headaches, sleeping difficulties, neck pain and involuntary twitching for many. The German government studies found that the teachers of TM were not qualified to deal with the problems associated with its practice. WARNINGS: Warnings have been issued about the dangers of TM by the German government, the Vatican, the Cult Awareness Network, the Task Force on Missionaries and Cults, the Interfaith Coalition of Concern about Cults and various professional organizations. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Part 2 - The TM and TM-Sidhi programs, mantras and techniques ------------------------------------------------------------- Transcendental Meditation program --------------------------------- From: TM-EX Newsletter, Spring, 1991 MANTRAS: Separating Fact from Fiction According to the TM doctrine, the mantra is a critical part of learning the meditation process. A mantra must be selected for the individual by a qualified teacher. ``It becomes extremely important that the correct sound be selected for each individual.'' They claim the mantras used in TM come from an ancient Indian tradition known as the ``Vedic Shankaracharya Tradition.'' According to TM publications, the ``Shankaracharya tradition has preserved not only these sounds, but also a system of rules or formulae by which they are to be assigned to individuals.'' At the introductory lecture, the mantras are said to be ``meaningless sounds whose effects are known'' that are chosen for the individual based upon a trade secret formula. A search of TM documents has uncovered the following statement by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of TM: WE CAN TAKE ANY WORD. EVEN THE WORD ``MIKE'' CAN BE TAKEN . . . THUS WE FIND THAT ANY SOUND CAN SERVE OUR PURPOSE OF TRAINING THE MIND TO BECOME SHARP. He goes on to say: FOR OUR PRACTICE, WE SELECT ONLY THE SUITABLE MANTRAS OF PERSONAL GODS. SUCH MANTRAS FETCH TO US THE GRACE OF PERSONAL GODS AND MAKE US HAPPIER IN EVERY WALK OF LIFE. How are the TM mantras given? The mantras is given in a private ``initiation'' ceremony, or ``puja,'' in which the initiate brings fresh fruit, flowers and a new handkerchief, to be offered to a picture of Maharishi's deceased ``Master'' in an incense-filled, candlelit room. The recruit is warned not to reveal the mantra because it is destructive of the teaching and will weaken the process of TM. The puja is said to protect the teaching so that nothing is added or subtracted. Its performance is said to insure that TM is taught without change, as purportedly it has been taught for the last 5000 years. Court documents reveal that many methods for choosing mantras have been used by the TM movement for the past 30 years. The mantras are chosen on the basis of age, and/or age and sex, depending on the particular teacher training course the initiator [TM-teacher] was trained. [see box] A psychologist's explanation of the initiation process is called ``hypnotic trance induction.''~ [List of mantras follows.] 1961 1976 1977 1978 ---- 3-10 ENG 3-10 ING 3-10 ENG MALE -- RAM 10-12 EM 10-12 IN 10-12 EM 12-14 ENGA 12-14 INGA 12-14 EMGA 1969 14-16 EMA 14-16 INA 14-16 EMA ---- 16-18 AENG 16-18 AING 16-18 AENG MALE 18-20 AEM 18-20 AIM 18-20 AEM 0-15 ING 20-22 AENGA 20-22 AINGA 20-22 AENGA 15-30 AING 22-24 AEMA 22-24 AIMA 22-24 AEMA 30-45 SHRING 24-30 SHIRING 24-30 SHIRING 24-30 SHIRING 46+ SHIAM 30-35 SHIRIM 30-35 SHIRIM 30-35 SHIRIM FEMALE 35-40 HIRING 35-40 HIRING 35-40 HIRING 0-15 IM 40-45 HIRIM 40-45 HIRIM 40-45 HIRIM 15-30 AIM 45-50 KIRING 45-50 KIRING 45-50 KIRING 30-45 SHRIM 50-55 KIRIM 50-55 KIRIN 50-55 KIRIM 46+ SHIAMA 55-60 SHIAM 55-60 SHIAM 55-60 SHIAM 60+ SHIAMA 60+ SHIAMA 60+ SHIAMA From: Reid J Mullen