What do Paul McCartney, Donavan, Eddie Veder, Sheryl Crow and maybe Moby have in common?

Well, besides being celebrity rockers it seems that they can all be seen as supporters of a “cult” recruitment scheme that targets kids.

That’s right, these recording artists not only hope you listen to their music, they want to promote religious beliefs, or at least help to fund programs that are thinly disguised proselytizing aimed at schoolchildren.

Is this yet another example of stars trading on their celebrity status to preach, not unlike Tom Cruise and his endless ramblings about Scientology?

On April 4th McCartney, Veder, Crow and Moby will “Come Together” at the iconic Radio City Music Hall in New York City, to raise money for the David Lynch Foundation.

davidlynch.jpegDavid Lynch (photo left), the director of “Blue Velvet” isn’t just a “cult” filmmaker; he is also a “cult” follower.

The director is a longtime devotee of the recently deceased Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement, which has often been called a “cult.”

Apparently Lynch managed to persuade McCartney and others in the music industry to help him fund pet programs “used to teach Transcendental Meditation to a million kids” reports Examiner.com.

This is nothing new for the eccentric filmmaker, who seems to be more concerned about pitching his old guru’s teachings, than coming up with new movie projects.

And it wasn’t difficult for Lynch to get 1960s singer Donavan on board, since he is also a longtime TM devotee.

Sir Paul reportedly will be joined by his old band mate Ringo Starr at the NYC benefit event, who is the only other remaining Beatle.

There is a certain symmetry to all this since it was the Beatles that launched Maharishi (photo below) and his “meditation” techniques into the mainstream of popular culture during the psychedelic sixties, though John Lennon eventually became disenchanted and denounced the guru.

06maharishi6001.jpgLennon later said in interviews that the Beatles song “Sexy Sadie,” which includes the lyrics “Sexy Sadie, what have you done, you made a fool of everyone” was originally called “Maharishi.”

But Maharishi was no fool when it came to making money. The guru amassed a global spiritual empire that included assets valued in the billions.

TMers often make ridiculous claims, such as that their mass meditation somehow helped to bring down Berlin Wall and end of the Cold War.

However, TM critics see the group’s practices as little more than self-hypnosis or trance induction.

The Middle European Journal of Medicine found that out of 700 studies on TM spanning 40 years, only 10 were conducted in the clinical tradition of using strict control groups, randomization and placebos. Of those 10, four of the studies recruited subjects that had already shown an interest in TM.

Peter Canter a researcher from the Peninsula Medical School of the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth in the United Kingdom concluded, “there is a strong placebo effect going on which probably works through the expectations being set up.”

TMers have nevertheless continued to make preposterous claims, for example that their “technologies” can create an “all-powerful field of invincibility” that will “make any nation invincible.”

These claims certainly contradict what happened at Maharishi University in Iowa, where a  student went berserk, viciously attacking and ultimately murdering another pupil.

Whatever supposed mystical benefits occur from TM helped neither of them avoid this tragedy.

In 2004 lawsuits were filed against Maharishi U alleging the school was “negligent” and failed to protect its students properly from the murderer, who was known to be violent reported the Associated Press.

Just this month the University quietly settled one lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.

The one time TMer turned murderer who was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

maharishitoday.jpegA former 17-year TMer wrote in an article featured at CultNews, that Maharishi (more recent photo left) was a “diverter of seekers, seducer of minds’ and “stealer of souls.”

Not exactly the kind of person you would expect Sir Paul McCartney to support.

Perhaps this knighted Brit is a bit more gullible than the average chap.

After all he was taken in by an alleged “gold digger” and went through a rather expensive divorce after a brief marriage.

In fairness though it seems the list of those taken in by David Lynch and/or TM is growing.

Ben Harper, Mike Love of the Beach Boys and Erykah Badu may be playing along with McCartney at the NYC fundraiser according to recent reports.

So Sir Paul won’t be the only “Fool on the Hill.”

However, David Lynch didn’t fool concerned parents in California.

When the movie director tried to unload his TM program in Marin County, a bastion of liberalism, it was soundly rejected.

Amidst allegations that TM was nothing more than a “cult,” Lynch’s proposed program was ultimately dumped reported NBC News 11.

The funding source for the program was none other than the David Lynch Foundation, that same entity that Paul McCartney and company seem so anxious to help through the coming New York fundraiser.

And the Lynch failure in California wasn’t the first time that TM devotees have targeted schoolchildren.

According to a report filed by Associated Press TMers have made similar attempts to promote their beliefs at public schools before in “New York, California, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and other places.”

Barry Markovsky, a University of South Carolina sociologist labeled such efforts “stealth religion.” And almost 30 years ago in 1977, U.S. District Judge H. Curtis Meanor ruled against TM being taught at public schools.

These efforts were done through something called the “National Committee for Stress-Free Schools.”

Just when you thought that Madonna was the one to watch out for when it came to a music icon peddling religion, along comes a former Beatle and his virtual tag team of celebrity rockers.

Postscript: An interesting comment came in subsequent to this article appearing at CultNews. According to one TMer, “The one thing all the above mentioned outstanding musicians have in common is that they all practice Transcendental Meditation.” Shades of Tom Cruise indeed.


14 comments untill now

  1. Hi, Rick

    What an interesting piece you have written. It definately does raise a few questions, but you also have given me the impression that you dislike Transcendental Meditation and I wonder why. I was also wondering, if you say that TM is a cult then who is the cult leader? Cults benefit a person and since the Maharishi is dead who is benefitting from it? David Lynch? I can see how the world is going to follow him to their doom.

    I was also wondering, do you simply dislike TM or any meditation? I am no expert on TM although I am going to do a course in March to find out more and to see if you are right. I do however meditate and find it incredibly helpful in my life. Please consider responding with some concrete evidence so that I might make an informed decision on the matter.

    Good luck with disproving all cults in life.

  2. Some corrections:

    The study you mentioned did not find that only 10 of 700 studies were properly controlled. In fact, it was looking at a subset of the studies — those on cognitive function. Also, it’s a mistake to conclude that any study that’s not a randomized controlled trial is not a valid study. Most scientific studies are not RCT’s, which are very difficult and expensive. The randomized controlled trials on TM and hypertension, with around 100 subjects, typically cost $1-2 million and take 4 years. There are, by the way, many more than 10 randomized controlled trials on TM. There are probably around 15-20 just on hypertension.

    The 1977 court case ruled against a curriculum in the Science of Creative Intelligence/TM. The decision didn’t clearly disallow TM by itself, as has been discussed in law journal articles.

    The student who committed a murder turned out to have been schizophrenic. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He had, sadly, stopped taking his meds at the time he enrolled at the university, learned TM, and began taking classes. (It is illegal for a university to ask a student whether he’s had serious psychological problems.)

    Speaking of TM and students, here’s a BBC report that aired this week:


  3. “Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corporation” (MVED) is the multi-billion dollar global corporation that benefits from TM’s programs, to support the Shrivastara family.

    Meditation, per se, would not cause harm. However, TM’s follow up programs include retreats with prolonged meditations and vegetarian diet. When in a trance-like, protein deprived, state the brain is more susceptible to suggestion. These “advanced meditation programs” are designed to slowly lure the participants to further involvement, donations of time and money, commitment to use various untested “Maharishi Ayur-Ved” herbal concoctions, voluntary entry to monastic programs called “Purusha” and “Mother Divine” and keeping of secrets from non-TMers (“they would not be able to understand because their consciousness is not pure enough”).
    For one million dollars, an advanced TMer may attend a special course of several months’ duration, to become a golden crowned Raja with assigned geographic spiritual domain on Earth!

    Thus, the Transcendental Meditation program is a lure for involvement in a cult style organization. Not every person who learns TM succumbs to TM-the-cult.
    However, why learn TM when other forms of meditation are straight forward and lack the risk of cult allure and high price tag. The cost of learning TM today is $2,500.00.

    Scientific validation of regular short rest periods is not exclusive to TM.

    Some people had negative experiences from prolonged TM programs. TM organizations, MVED, suppress stories of psychosis, suicides, neglected children, ill side effects from their Ayur Ved products, astrology (joytish) guidance, and bad financial guidance (“donate to our programs and you will receive support of nature, the laws of nature will line up to support your health, wealth and enlightenment”).

    Lynch is as well intentioned in his efforts, as is Tom Cruise in his endorsement of Scientology.
    Celebrities receive special treatment in such organizations, because their endorsement and funds help spread the teachings and recruitment. Lynch, like Cruise, is probably not fully aware of the damages that occurred to some of the masses of TMers.

    There is questionable movement of monies from Lynch’s organization to TM organizations.

    How do I know these things? I was raised in this group, with ongoing family involvement from 1966 to present.

    Keep your eyes open, please. Thanks you, Rick, for your ongoing dedication to truth in advertising!

  4. laughing crow @ 2009-02-28 03:33

    I thank this Website’s author for allowing this valuable dialogue about the Transcendental Meditation program.

    I’d say the one thing all the above mentioned outstanding musicians have in common is that they all practice Transcendental Meditation, as have I for decades, and like them I am not a “cult” member. I simply enjoy my twice daily TM practice and appreciate the many all-positive, life-enriching benefits for mind and body. All direct association I’ve ever had with the non-profit educational organization that teaches TM has been uplifting, and has demonstrated to me that the people who work with this organization are typically clear-thinking, high-minded, noble people.

    Understandably, the author of this Website may have a vested interest in nursing the perception that there are many “dangerous cults” out there, and perhaps there are. But, with all due respect, it requires a huge bending of logic and an extraordinary mangling of fact to press TM into the “cult” mold.

    Regarding John Lennon’s so-called “denunciation” of Maharishi, all of the Beatles, including John, actually expressed great respect for Maharishi over the years and publicly stated that the accusations against Maharishi were false. Lennon phoned Maharishi years later to apologize for the “error in judgment” made when he wrote “Sexy Sadie.” For facts about Maharishi and the Beatles, and recent news articles reassessing the Beatles’ India experience, you can visit .

    David Lynch did not have to try hard to convince Paul McCartney and Ringo to “come together” for this benefit concert. Both surviving Beatles still practice TM (as did George Harrison till the end), and both musicians have said they are delighted to participate in this historic, worthwhile event to support TM in the schools and to honor Maharishi’s legacy. Paul has actually signed on as co-chair of the committee to raise funds for teaching 1 million schoolchildren to learn TM.

    The claim that Maharishi amassed an empire worth “billions” is pure Internet gossip with absolutely no credible citation to support it. A harsh, negative mindset tends to produce any number of misinterpretations of the facts, such as the incredible rumor that the Shrivastva family has inherited Maharishi’s “multi-billion dollar fortune.” Being a non-profit 501(c)3, the organization’s finance records are public access and anyone can verify the untruth of said claim. All the money generated from course TM fees has always gone to support TM teaching activities around the world, and no one has personally profited. The organization’s non-profit status has never been legally challenged in its 50-year history.

    Another misunderstanding, expressed in the comment above, is the lay person’s common belief that all meditation practices are all the same and produce the same results. According to an extensive body of scientific evidence (see , and according to any number of experts among the many great traditions of meditation–from Zen to Taoist to Vipassana to TM–it is simply erroneous to claim that all meditation practices are the same, provide similar experiences and have the see effects.

    And the price of TM is not $2500; there are different fees for children, students, working adults, fixed incomes, etc. (ranging from $2000 or less), and there are scholarships available for people who can’t afford tuition for personal TM training (and the lifelong follow-up and personal support that comes with TM–all of it time-intensive for the TM teacher, hence the course fee).

    As for the claims of “negative effects” resulting from meditation, this is counter to the findings of hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies on TM, which show safe and positive effects. The Ask the Doctors Website explores the research showing TM’s health benefits, and also examines the differences between TM and other practices–it’s a great resource if you want to hear what scientists and doctors think about TM.

    The cries of psychosis, suicides, neglected children, etc. does indeed sound like madness. Such claims may indeed be part of the above blogger’s personal world view, but have nothing to do with the deep rest and rejuvenation of Transcendental Meditation.

    Maharishi always said “the world is as *you* are,” meaning that if a person wears red glasses, all he or she sees is red. If a person has an intensely negative outlook about something, then no matter how positive something is, that person can only see negativity there. The above article (and denigrating comment) is an example of this. The article contains such deliberate distortions of fact it borders on mean-spirited.

    I regard this crying “CULT!” as a sort of witch-hunt mentality. Let’s have more critical thinking about TM but not rash, reactionary judgment.

    But the fact that the site’s author allows for healthy discourse and is not censoring these opposing comments is encouraging. It shows integrity on his part and I sincerely thank him for that.

  5. This is quite a laundry list of super negative allegations plus the kitchen sink thrown at Transcendental Meditation. That type of strategy always puts me on guard. Why is there not a single positive word in this article? No mention of the children who have overcome ADHD thanks to Transcendental Meditation. No mention of the increase in brain coherence during Transcendental Meditation. No mention of the leaders of all major religions “ from Catholic priests to Jewish rabbis to Buddhist monks etc. “ who practice Transcendental Meditation. I believe the author is sincerely dedicated to the pursuit of truth, and that is commendable. However, the kitchen sink rarely speaks truth. I like the first commenter’s approach: Visit Maharishi University, meet the people, sit in on some classes, observe, and decide for himself.

  6. The first commenter who planned to visit Maharishi University, meet the people, and decide for himself…..well, they must be quite naive. A weekend, or even a month, won’t tell you the full story of a cult-like group. That is what cults are excellent at —- the facade, the false front.

    At this time I would like to refute just one of the many points from the above post.

    The TM organization presents lots of “scientific research” that is worthless due to merely negligent, to intentionally deceptive, study designs. I remember when I was working at Maharishi University in 1975, they were compiling the crime statistics about decreased crime in cities where allegedly 1 % of the population meditated. The “researcher” (statistics compiler) personally told me that they only listed cities where crime decreased. If any city had an increase in crime, it was simply tossed out and ignored for the purposes of the “scientific study.” Look at Fairfield, Iowa, where maybe 50% of the population meditates due to the presence of M. Univ.. That city has drug abuse, alcoholism, theft, larceny and all other crimes, just like other cities of similar size. In fact, it recently was in the news that 5 young adults, all raised in TM families and recent graduates of the small private Maharishi high school, were caught in a huge drug bust (marijuana and hashish oil manufacturing). TM is no panacea for what ails modern youth.

    The recent study on the effects of TM on ADD children is also suspect. The study suffers from poor design. To be fair, often studies in many areas of psychology, and especially alternative health, are poorly designed because it is often costly and intricate to do a truly good study.

    However, it has been my personal experience that the TM organization is one of the intentionally worst offenders for promulgating bad studies because of the financial incentive to lure people in. The general naive population is hooked by science, even if it turns out to be pseudo-science. Would you trust a “scientific study” on the benefits of Scientology if you knew that the persons conducting the study were Scientologists? The same is true for TM studies. There always seems to be a True Believer in the background conducting the TM research. You can’t separate the hype from the truth by merely visiting the M.Univ. campus for a few days.

    If someone is truly dedicated to finding the truth, search the web. Read what dozens of ex-TMers have to say. Take a critical trained eye to the research. Both practicing TM, and involvement in the organization is far different than they present as their public facade. I know, I’ve been there giving the lectures on the “scientific benefits” of TM.


  7. laughing crow @ 2009-03-03 03:48

    Karina’s post above skews the facts about the 30-year-old pilot study on the Maharishi Effect. Her account may be her own personal memory of how that data was complied, but I was also involved in that research and can tell you, that is not how it was done. I don’t think she understood the process of data selection. Nevertheless, there have been 13 research studies on the Maharishi Effect published in peer-reviewed scientific journals overseen by independent scientists who had nothing to do with the TM organization and who found the studies worthy of publication. These scientists had every reason to be more exacting than usual with TM research because the Maharishi Effect theory is non-conventional and outside the current paradigm of sociological research. They would not repeated accept faulty studies–their career and reputation is at stake.

    The ADHD study was also accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal. To claim that such a study is “suspect” and “suffers from poor design” is to insult not only the researchers but also the scientists who edit these journals.

    The above commenter is basically accusing the researchers and peer-reviewers of incompetence or fraud–a serious allegation which itself is, ironically, quite suspect, considering that no such evidence has ever been proffered.

    Interesting that the only two studies cited by the anti-TM post above were two of the least significant studies in the entire body of scientific research on TM, which is comprised of over 600 studies, many of them randomized controlled trials published in leading medical journals, such as the AMA’s journal Archives, the International Journal of Neuroscience, or the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.

    As far as the TM organization’s “financial incentive to lure people in,” this is a baseless accusation. I have known many full-time TM teachers in my life, and none of them were motivated by money. In fact, from the bottom to the top, no one in the non-profit TM organization has ever significantly profited from the TM course fees. Again, this is all a matter of public record.

    The negative interpretation of TM presented by these few supposedly former “insiders” is their own personal interpretation. The version of TM they hold on to in their minds is not the way most people see TM, and has nothing to do with the joyful reality of transcending twice a day and experiencing the benefits.

    Again, I thank this Website for allowing open dialogue, and for letting people respond to the negative accusations.

  8. Please disseminate this info. about T.M. ‘missionaries’ operating within San Francisco public school classrooms:

    During this school year (2008-2009), the Transcendental Meditation program (with the front-name/slogan “Quiet Time”) has also been implemented at another inner-city public school in San Francisco — Everett Middle School. There are two required daily T.M. sessions of 15 minutes each in every classroom throughout the school toward the beginning & the end of the school day, and the students are graded for their robotic participation using a point system. The marketing emphasis is on ‘stress relief’ and bringing up standardized test scores (please note: At Visitacion Valley Middle School in San Francisco, which began implementing the David Lynch Foundation T.M. program in February 2007, the school’s recent California state ‘APA” ranking based on standardized test scores from the next year — Spring, 2008, actually went down several points!).

    Consequently, due to the required T.M. taking total 1/2 hour of classroom time every school day, Everett Middle School’s schedule doesn’t provide a homeroom-advisory session for students. The school building has been hijacked by a crew of 20 bullying, clueless T.M. fanatics working for the David Lynch Foundation who are not school district staff (they are funded by a large grant of more than $200,000.). They have commandeered a large classroom for use as their T.M. office, and also a wing of the building which contains several small rooms. These T.M. ‘missionaries’ at times disrespectfully (or sometimes perhaps obliviously) interfere with school instruction & logistics. They also deceptively lie & obfuscate to the staff, students & parents about the induction process (‘Puja’ religious chanting & worship ceremony), the source & selection of the mantras, and the organization’s checkered history & fascist framework. Of course, they never mention their World Plan scenarios, Fairfield, Iowa & Global shenanigans, crowned-Rajas & pretend-Government, etc. or the observed fact that T.M. mega-huckster (frequently-divorced) David Lynch is a chain-smoking cigarette addict. Recently, the T.M. conglomerate has been targeting students from low-income neighborhoods and schools without an active PTA or strong parent involvement to provide oversight. The T.M. proselytizers have shown themselves to be anti-democracy, anti-educational inquiry, and anti- the U.S. Constitution (the separation of Church & State).

    In perspective: I’m sensibly & reasonably in favor of meditation, visualization and stress-reduction strategies/techniques within schools as part of a non-sectarian health ed. (wellness) program — devised & guided or overseen by health care & education professionals. These skills can be taught within a knowledge-seeking educational environment that is open to students asking questions and encourages honest discussion — which fosters mindFULness (rather than mindLESSness or fascist no-questions-asked rote obedience).

    Parents & educators should be holistically promoting Healthy Habits, in general — including exercise, nutrition, positive role models, study & reading time, productive recreation & hobbies, and avoiding toxic influences (such as excessive exposure to violent entertainment).

  9. candyshoes @ 2009-04-16 21:34

    This article about the David Lynch concert with Paul McCartney and others. David is so creative and is involving some other fantastic artists in this new venture. Such creative, energetic, positive people. It is amazing that David Lynch has been doing TM for 37 years – every day, twice a day. And he is doing such a great job in making TM available to children under tremendous stress in these inner city schools. It is highly unlikely that any of these artists would want to be members of a cult!

    I have been doing TM for years and have nothing but good effect from the twice-daily practice. It reduces stress, keeps me healthy and happy. And it is completely effortless to do, and so simple to learn. And what I also like about TM is that there are over 600 studies showing how good it is for my mind and body.

    And Whow! I loved that post by “laughing cow” about the research on Transcendental Meditation.

  10. […] April 18, 2009: More information can be found at the Cult News blog run by Rick […]

  11. Please be aware & informed:

    The modus operandi of the TM missionaries is to deliberately MISINFORM school STUDENTS, PARENTS, & staff about the ‘Transcendental Meditation’ organization & procedures. The TM movement has used various front-organizations and program-labels over the years. One of their current evangelical guises is the innocuous-sounding “QUIET TIME” in schools. The “Quiet Time” program permission slips (given to students along with their lunch forms, etc. at the beginning of the school year) only mention the slogan “Quiet Time” — however these permission slips DO NOT PROVIDE ANY ACCURATE DESCRIPTION WHATSOEVER of TM procedures, “Puja” worship-initiation ceremony, nor any mention of the “Transcendental Meditation” organization or background info. about TM agendas (“World Plan”, “yogic flyers”, “crowned Rajas”, etc.) — http://www.cultnews.com/?p=2155

    Here is a direct quote from an article published in the JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA):
    “Ex-members say that the TM movement trains them in the kinds of deception noted here. “I was taught to lie and to get around the petty rules of the ‘unenlightened’ in order to get favorable reports into the media, ” said one. “We were taught how to exploit the reporters’ gullibility and fascination with the exotic, especially that [which] comes from the East. We thought we weren’t doing anything wrong because we were told it was often necessary to deceive the unenlightened to advance our guru’s plan to save the world.” — see reference article
    re: “T.M.’s Deceptions” — http://www.culteducation.com/reference/tm/tm2.html

  12. If the consciously ‘enlightened’
    health-boosting & stress-busting claims touted about
    the (famously tax-evading & ‘giggling’)
    Maharishi’s TM methods are supposedly valid,
    then why does DAVID LYNCH
    blatantly CHAIN-SMOKE
    CIGARETTES like an ADDICT during interviews
    in recent years — when he claims
    that he’s been consistently & blissfully doing T.M.
    for over three decades ???
    Please explain —
    Why does TM-proselytizer David Lynch
    smoke two packs of cigarettes a day (documented)
    — if the purported “stress-free” panacea
    of “transcendental meditation”
    is so incredibly healthful & calming ?
    (it’s also exhorbitant
    & fraudulent at a cost
    of $ 2,500 dollars to get
    a (generic) so-called “secret” mantra
    which is assigned solely based on
    a student’s age — in accordance with a chart
    (during a “Puja” religious-ritual worship & chanting ceremony).

    – – – – –
    note: Of course, there are secular Meditation,
    Mindfulness, breathing exercises (such as “Chi Kung”),
    and Stress-reduction programs & techniques,
    which are well-researched, medically-recommended,
    very effective, & definitely more affordable !
    * These non-sectarian methods are
    also beneficially appropriate for PUBLIC SCHOOL settings
    — without getting involved with
    a religious-political organization,
    such as TM (that has a
    fascist & sexist framework,
    a history of cult-type conduct
    and a pattern of deception).

    *healthy resource* =
    view numerous research studies
    re: holistic
    Mindfulness Meditation & Stress-Reduction,
    via this (NIH) National Institutes of Health
    website — note: can use KEYWORDS
    (via PubMed) such as MINDFULNESS MEDITATION , etc.
    => http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez


  13. Ainwonderland @ 2009-07-05 17:28

    Is it not possible for ANYTHING or ANY GROUP to become “cult” like in this negative way? Do you want to eliminate all “cults”? Where do you begin? Where do you end? People WANT to belong to something.
    People WANT to be part of something bigger than themselves.

    Hasn’t pure “logic” lead us through two world wars, countless smaller wars, escalating weapons capacities, etc. etc. The antidote to the effects of “extreme logic” is only on the spiritual level.

    So, do you have to denounce an entire organization because some aspects of it are imperfect? “Imperfection” is part of nature.

  14. Mary Miller @ 2015-10-05 02:47

    T.M. may well be a cult, but be certain that all cults as such are not rated equal. In the case of with Sidha Yoga (which wasn’t mentioned here and probably is more in line with T.M. then Scientology), yes people were certainly fleeced of money, and aspirants who were ‘unaware” were caught up in a power struggle mess with a Power hungry Guru who raped women (I don’t think that women were necessarily raped in T.M, but that may yet be seen).
    We need to distinguish groups based on level of harm. T.M. isn’t harming anyone, misleading? Possibly, harming? No.

    The ability to calm one’s mind using mantras, isn’t new; it goes back to the Vedas. Teaching kids to meditate isn’t a bad thing, what is, is charging extra ordinate $$ to learn the process, but then again, so do a lot of meditation groups, including Buddhist temples. So whom should we stop? Should we ban all religious intent, because of money being asked?

    There are cults, and then there are CULTS. We can certainly consider that Scientology USES their information gathering on their followers to KEEP them in line or literally frighten them to the point of suicide or death due to despair, etc. So comparing TM to Scientology is apples and oranges.

    I don’t think that we can measure anything easily or black and white, Teaching children to meditate isn’t the worst thing in the world. I think what is, might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    David Lynch smokes Cigarettes!! Worst Habit? Maybe, Proof of a cult? No.
    Habits (and addictions) maybe based on the person’s inability to stop doing it, isn’t a sign of lack of spiritual attempt or spiritual advancement. If this were the case, we would also have to look at other conditions that can’t be controlled, because addiction is a disease, not a spiritual fault.

    I don’t do T.M. nor have I ever been involved in T.M. I do meditate and spend time in spiritual research and application. AND saying this, I am still a human being! We want our spiritual leaders to be “unfailable”, and no one is.

    Please focus on those who HARM others rather than attempt to give a possible way for children to become empathetic. The problems that are involved in cult behavior are complicated and involved. Raising big funds isn’t the worst behavior; killing those who wish to leave, is.

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