The cover of Time Magazine’s current August issue features the subject of “Meditation.” This includes substantial space about the practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM), the creation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
In its “Shoppers Guide to Meditation” Time even offers its readers a direct link to the TM guru’s website.
However, there is no mention that Maharishi and his meditation have a dark side.
Time mentions Maharishi University in Iowa and his “school of enlightenment.” There is even a blurb about the guru’s old Himalayan ashram. But nothing about why he has often been called a “cult leader.”
Former followers of Maharishi have sued him for personal injuries allegedly sustained through TM. And he eventually paid some of them off in out of court settlements.
Time also didn’t note Maharishi’s predilection for bizarre building projects, like expensive “peace palaces,” where his acolytes claim they meditate to change the world.
It seems that the guru may have realized a certain sort of cash consciousness that seemingly knows no bounds.
Maharishi even claims he can teach his students to fly.
Time didn’t mention these facts, but instead pointed out that celebrities like film director David Lynch of Twin Peaks fame and actress Heather Graham practice TM.
Graham once played Judy in the movie Lost in Space, perhaps she is now a bit spaced out.
Time also didn’t mention that a number of studies have offered less than glowing reports about TM.
One three-year study done by the National Research Council on improving human performance concluded that “TM is ineffectual in improving human performance” and that pro-TM researchers were “deeply flawed in their methodology.”
An article published by the International Journal of Psychotherapy reviewed 75 scientific articles about meditation and concluded that 62% of the practitioners encountered negative side effects.
A German study found that “76% of long-term TM practitioners experience psychological disorders, including 26% nervous breakdowns.”
Some groups called “cults” use “meditation” as a simple form of trance induction to induce a state of suggestibility. They can then influence members more easily and download their own agenda.
Maharishi has a deeply troubled history. His compound in India was the focus of allegations regarding “child molestation, death from abuse and neglect.”
Maybe that’s why the Beatles ultimately dumped Maharishi?
Some say the Beatle’s song “Fool on the Hill” was composed to commemorate their brief time with the guru. Others claim that “Sexie Sadie” was the actual tune they used as a vehicle to mock Maharishi. One thing is certain, neither song is much of a tribute.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) ran a commentary titled “TM’s Deceptions.” In it a former follower of Maharishi is quoted saying; “We were told it was often necessary to deceive the unenlightened to advance our guru’s plan to save the world.”
What’s Time’s excuse for plugging this controversial guru’s plan?