Wednesday, February 14, 2007

OFF TOPIC: Threats to TM-Free Contributor

To give our readers some idea of the darker corners of the TM Org, I reproduce below without change a posting from yesterday on the Yahoo Group Maharishi_Mahesh_Yogi. We believe this posting from Frank Lotz violates the first rule of Yahoo Groups positing: "1. You may not harass, abuse, threaten, or advocate violence against other members or individuals or groups." We reproduce it here in a public forum -- as well as report it to Yahoo -- to protect our contributor, Paul Mason:


Dear Freiends "Mr. Mason" is a enemy to Maharishis Movement, now I understand why Maharishi keeps His Movment away from England. To much devils are still hanging around there!
Now we know to whom "Paul", “the wolf in disguise" belongs:
He is an Asura indeed.
This website is more then disgusting...
In the end at last you will reap the outcome of your asuric action.
This website is supported by the church, CIA and Blair Administration
It is a pity, that now one can kick him out here!
All Glory to His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
and my the Dewas get rid of these evil minded people, a shame to spiritual life

Frank
No more further comments
A shame that this man/or is he actually one, not sure!
At the Time of Kurrukshetra I would be handle you & your “stupid friends” different , within one second the thing would be done and send you all straight away back to hell from where you all come!

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

To give our readers some idea of the darker corners of the TM Org

This guy doesn't represent "the darker corners of the TMO," he represents the darker corners of the group of people who post to Internet forums. A few of them are TMers. The political and religious right wing has more than its share of them. The Windows-vs.-Mac debate has some, sports fans have them as well. Anywhere on the Web that there's controversy, you're almost certainly going to find some examples.

They represent a type of human being, not any particular organization. To blame the TMO for Lotz is pretty silly.

Judy Stein

Anonymous said...

I answered to Frank with reference to this message, sadly the first try went to his email and the message has not appeared on the board as yet.

Below is my message and his answer to me ...says a lot. Please know that the exultations to Ram were in bright red and bold


---by diabulos (that is my nickname on the net)-----
How unsecured are you in your belief that you lash on someone, because
they dare exercise their right to free speech, with such virulence and
voracity? Is that an enlightened response or a knee-jerk reaction that
any logical and sober bystander can easily read as cult-like behavior?

Many people have learnt TM, many dealt with Maharishi in the past.
Why do you think any negative memory they may have of their experience
is automatically lies?

I spent almost everyday of my life since I was 13 in the movement (I
am quite older now) and have myself quite a bag of strange and
'that-should-have-not-happened-here' stories. This people were there
at the time and this is their story, no matter how unpalatable it may
be, that is what they have to say. It is part of the collective
history of the movement, and although the validity of the claims is
something I, myself, cannot verify, neither have I more power to call
them fabrications than they have to call it the truth.


TM is not supposed to be religion. I don't call upon devas and
Maharishi to bless me or to send anyone to hell. I meditate twice a
day and it does me a great deal of good, I try not to judge, I try to
tell the truth and I try to be compassionate.

If any of you have a Krishna complex and see yourself charging in
between the Pandavas and the Kauravas with the righteous sword of TM
in your hands, I suggest you consult a good analyst, something went
funny in your mind.

If you truly believe in Maharishi's message and in spiritual growth,
then you will simply let others tell their story and let history judge
them. If they are wrong, it is their karma to deal with, if they are
right, so it will be proven, and you should then be prepared to take
the lesson in and keep on growing.

I find the site what it is; a blog. People talk, people share. It
may be good news, sad news, crazy stuff, terrible insights or
devastating bits of gossip, whatever it is, people have a right to
tell their stories, we read, we make up our mind and state our
position, or better yet; stay silent and let nature deal with it.

Are you so afraid that your dearly held belief may not be what they
seemed? is your life so embedded with meaning because of them that the
idea of them not being true would mean a collapse from inside you
cannot handle?

Maharishi was supposed to fill the world with love, he must have
failed with you.

Frank's answer:

« Nomen est omen ! » Your Name already expresses/indicates to whom you belong.
To the asuras I have a different language to use. They do understand only this kind of words and do not deserve at all sweet words of Love & Devotion!
Krishna is the Almighty God, as Shri Râm is too. If you call it a “Krishna”-complex, fine!
This does not influence me in seeing the world as it is. Go your way and I go mine.
Free choice, you can pray to whom you like; fine I do preferre the Vedic Dewatas
Raam Braahm Paramartha Rupa
Raam is God-incarnate
Raam is the highest Value in Life
Raam is & has the highest & most beautiful Form
Raam Naam Satya Hey
Where Raam is, there is Victory & Truth

Frank, who prays to God (Raam) that the world becomes free from all asuric tendencies, mine as well!

Brady said...

I don't think Frank would like Sam Harris much either.

--- Brady

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Judy,

I accept your logic to an extent.

The problem is, however, that the Maharishi teaches what he claims are "spiritual" techniques that lead to perfecting the individual. I think examining the "dark corners" of hate-filled speech -- which, by the way, the Maharishi uses himself -- is fair game. In the same way, I hold Christian leaders -- and their followers -- to a higher standard than others. People who claim to follow a spiritual teaching -- but spew hate -- are worse than hypocrites. And I believe that the Maharishi has to take responsibility for hatred uttered in his name. Frank Lotz is just one rather sad example.

I may post more hate-filled speech as it arises. This is a problem that has been swept under the rug for too long in the TM Org.

J.

Anonymous said...

As you know, John, for better or for worse, what MMY teaches does not include an ethics component, except in the most general sense ("Don't do what you think might be wrong"). Individuals act from their own level of consciousness.

In any large group with minimal bars to entry, there are going to be a few people with low behavioral standards. It makes no sense to judge the group by such people.

Lotz, I strongly suspect, would be hate-filled no matter what group he joined, or all by himself, for that matter.

Nor does it make sense to fault the group for not having "fixed" people like Lotz. TM teaches meditation, it doesn't do therapy, and that's clearly what Lotz is in need of.

MMY can't possibly take responsibility for the behavior of all TMers, except perhaps in the most abstract, rhetorical sense.

And I think if you're going to accuse MMY of using "hate speech," you need to provide quotes (not paraphrases) so folks know what you're talking about. That vague accusation is awfully close to being hate speech itself.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

My point is that the Maharishi must take responsibility for what he teaches. He teaches that TM is sufficient to create an ideal individual. As a self-styled spiritual leader, he bears some responsibility for the behavior of his followers, especially since he fails to teach an ethical component to his concept of ideal behavior.

Indicating that the Maharishi throws around the terms "asura" and "rakshasa," Sanskrit terms for "demons," for his perceived enemies is not hate speech. At least not in any sense that I can determine. Perhaps you could expand a bit on that. When I use the term "hate speech" I mean language that is meant to incite hatred or violence toward a person or group.

What's your understanding?

J.

Anonymous said...

John, you claimed MMY uses hate speech! I asked you to provide some quotes to back up your accusation.

Do you not remember making that accusation in your previous response to my comment?

I think examining the "dark corners" of hate-filled speech -- which, by the way, the Maharishi uses himself -- is fair game.

And again, as I've already said, you can't put responsibility on MMY for the behavior of every one of his students in any practical sense. It's one thing to do so for the behavior of the leaders in the TMO, but it's just silly to make that claim about every last TMer except in the most abstract, rhetorical sense.

TM hasn't "fixed" Lotz yet. Maybe it will eventually, maybe not in this lifetime. But he certainly isn't typical of TMers, and for you to suggest that he represents a "dark corner" of the TMO is, as I said, just silly. He's a nutcase, period. He's his own dark corner.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Anonymous,

Now I'm completely lost with regard to your point. I think, with the best of intentions, we have misunderstood one another. Of course, I remember accusing the Maharishi of using hate speech. That's what I meant by "Indicating that the Maharishi throws around the terms "asura" and "rakshasa," Sanskrit terms for "demons," for his perceived enemies is not hate speech." I'm the one who indicated he uses "asura" and "rakshasa" for his enemies. I understand completely, however, your unwillingness to accept this on my say-so. I'll try to find some publicly accessible quotes for you.

As to Frank, he's not alone in this kind of violent, hate-filled speech. My point was that the Maharishi needs to take responsibility for this tendency among some of his followers, if only to speak out against it.

Gandhi launched into a hunger strike unto death rather than to allow his followers to indulge in violence. The Maharishi has never even spoken out against hate speech by his followers.

J.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Anonymous,

I've spent about 15 minutes with Google and my own email archive and I am unable to find a quote by the Maharishi condemning his enemies as asuras or rakshasas. I remember reading it recently, but I've failed to find a quote for you. I withdraw my accusation toward the Maharishi. If I do find such a quote, I'll bring it up then.

J.

Anonymous said...

Of course, I remember accusing the Maharishi of using hate speech. That's what I meant by "Indicating that the Maharishi throws around the terms "asura" and "rakshasa," Sanskrit terms for "demons," for his perceived enemies is not hate speech."

I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't accuse you of using hate speech in this context. You accused him of using it.

But thank you for withdrawing that accusation.

Anonymous said...

As to Frank, he's not alone in this kind of violent, hate-filled speech.

Better supply some additional examples.

My point was that the Maharishi needs to take responsibility for this tendency among some of his followers, if only to speak out against it.

Do you think he reads Lotz's posts on the Web?

Judy Stein

Anonymous said...

I must admit that it may be hard to prove MMY uses direct hate speech, but I can't help but seeing the point John makes. Throughout my long time in the movement, specially as an impressionable child in an MSAE, the message was always clear; we were better than the others, had the best technique and were the only ones with the knowledge to save the world. Every other 'spiritual' tradition was presented as 'lightweight' or near useless. There was no assimilation of the rich tapestry of western philosophy and if anything at all was touched upon, it was only when it was used to show how vedic science expressed it better. With this kind of environment, the general tendency for 'self-righteous' young kids was to literary think that we were superior to others by means of TM, and a derogatory referencing pattern when reflecting upon other schools of thoughts became the norm. Maharishi created the movement, he leads it and has created abundant material via videotapes to cover almost every area of life. He has failed to attach a moral compass to his teachings, therefore, as a GURU, as a guide, he has failed to strengthen the moral fiber of those he teaches

Maharishi has referred to Asuras and Rakshasas being out there, although he never pointed at anyone when doing this, but he has done it, specially at the time of the NATO bombing of Serbia, when MMY issued the gloomy predictions that the world was on the verge of going into WW III. This, to me, is irrelevant. The fact is that the movement (which is the responsibility of MMY as his creator and continuous leader) breeds one dimensional individuals, who, due to the tenor of the MMY message (everything else is crap, this is the only way, we are the jet they are the bicycle...) can easily slide into the state of mind Frank appears to be in. Just look at it plainly and simply. You have a large amount of malnourished people (I eat at MIU for years as a student and came back home with anemia because of the poor (ayurvedic) diet we were served and I was not the only one) already believing they have the truth and only them, being told to honor a new King, called Raam (they actually crowned a guy) and that he will restore the kingdom of Ayodhya....TM technique and all its possible benefits aside, that is an environment to breed dependent, dysfunctional people.

MMY tells people they only have to meditate and everything will be all right. That is, in my opinion, a wrong statement (I am awaiting the lighting strike for saying such a heresy) for an individual to grow, there has to be an individuation process, a marrying of the internal experience with a conscious process of assimilation. This process, this syncretism of the experience into the external framework by which we see the world is tantamount to a self-actualization loop. Typical movement behavior encourages a disjunction between the internal, abstract experience of their meditation and the mental, conscious process of the everyday. You are not encouraged to be compassionate, you are not even encouraged to contemplate being it, you simply assume the quality will come out in your behavior with the practice, this creates an ad-nausea loop where by virtue of the belief that those qualities appear naturally and no conscious effort being made to direct the mind towards that state, whatever qualities arise in the individual, whatever they are, are taken as the real thing, that is, they self-authenticate their behavior as correct just because it is the behavior that arose from the practice and therefore it must be the right behavior. This creates a group of people believing that their actions, whatever they are, must be the right actions with no conscious screening. This also means that MANY young people, growing up in this environment, lack an ability to self-actualization. We check the practice, we sometimes even check the experiences, but we rarely check ourselves.

That is partly a legacy from MMY and he has to take responsibility for it. These people only see 'the positive' as defined by their beliefs, of course, and grow unable to deal with the negative, with resistance. They, very happily, ignore the fact that Krishna was charging Arjuna to action, in fact to kill most of his family (under very specific circumstances, I am aware of that), that would be negative. Of course, if the movement allowed one to entertain negativity, more people would pick up on the 'irregularities' so common in the movement, and that would be bad. As the movement motto says; Tell the truth, but the sweet truth, which in fact, most Sanskrit scholars I have spoke with at Oxford, Cambridge and other places tell me, should be tell the truth, but say it sweetly, big difference, one calls you to lie, the other to speak soft and with compassion.

Nough said, sorry for the rant

Anonymous said...

A postscript to the Frank Lotz matter:

After having pasted John's post, Lotz's emails, and the comment from diabolus into a post on FairfieldLife as an example of what the TMO does to people (and asserting that the TMO had so warped Lotz's mind that he was no longer able to write decent English), TM critic Barry Wright discovered that Lotz is apparently also a devotee of Amma.

Which is ironic, considering that Amma's group is often held up by TM critics as a sort of anti-TMO, characterized by love and compassion and good works.

So if we're going to hold MMY responsible for Lotz's craziness, I guess we'll have to do the same with Amma, no?

Gee, who knew?

Judy Stein

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I know nothing about Amma's group. The point isn't to hold the Maharishi responsible for Lotz's "craziness," but that any spiritual leader, aware of hate speech in his or her name, is responsible to at least speak out about it. In the Maharishi's case, the "craziness" has been going on for years -- and involves many more people than just Frank.

J.

Anonymous said...

Again, John, you need to provide documentation of this hate speech, as well as documentation that MMY knew about Lotz's speech.

And insisting that MMY speak out against any hate speech wasn't exactly the point of your initial post, was it? It seems more like a backpedal after your original stated purpose, "To give our readers some idea of the darker corners of the TM Org," ran up against some flak.

Most of the reaction to Barry's posting on FairfieldLife, by the way- not exactly a hotbed of fervent TM/MMY supporters--has been objections to characterizing Lotz as having been warped by the TMO.

Judy Stein

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Judy,

I've already said I will post other examples. Where you get the idea that I'm backpedalling, I have no idea. Like so much of what you write, unfortunately, you seem to have read nefarious intent into my simple posts.

I am finding that keeping your ever greater demands for attention is leading me away from writing for the Blog. I'll try to keep up with your requests, but I can't promise to. My first priority is to post new material for discussion. Other posters here seem to be willing and able to carry on discussion with you.

I wish I had more time.... I can only do the best I can.

J.

Uncle Tantra said...

Yes, as noted above, I did repost Frank's two comments to Fairfield Life. And on cue, the three diehard TM- and Maharishi-apologists there rushed in to declare him an anomaly, a freak, someone who does NOT represent Maharishi and his thinking.

It turns out that Frank is not only a TM teacher, but a Recertified TM teacher, someone who managed to make it past the latest "weeding out" process in the TM movement. I said on FFL, and I'll say here, that I believe that the thing the TM apologists fear the most is not that Frank represents some kind of anomaly that reflects badly upon TM and Maharishi, but that Frank represents a mindset that is NOT anomalous, and that would be considered normal among diehard TM True Believers (with the sole exception of wanting to do Paul in). Most of the other things he says in his first post have been said, in one form or antoher, by Maharishi himself.

That is my view of the guy, and of what he represents. The opinions he expresses, with the exception of fantasizing about doing Paul in on the battlefields of the Bhagavad Gita, are mainstream TM True Believer beliefs. Do a Google search on his name and check out the things he is fascinated by on YouTube and the Net and the things he considers normal. It is my belief that he would just DROP RIGHT IN to the community of TM True Believers in Vlodrop, and NO ONE would consider him out of place or weird in any way. THAT is the scary part. And THAT is why the True Believers who have gone out of their way to portray him as some kind of anomaly are trying to obscure.

The scary thing is NOT that Frank is some kind of anomaly, but that he reflects the kind of thinking that is fairly prevalent among the tiny handful of True Believers who make up the remaining nucleus of the TM movement.

-- Barry Wright

Uncle Tantra said...

Because this Frank fellow interests me, I'll pass along for the readers here a few things I disovered when, curious as to who he could be, I entered his name into Google and discovered that not only is he a TM teacher, but that he is an official Recertified TM teacher. There can't me more than a few thousand of them on the planet. And I also, along the way, discovered that he is well represented on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=frandra

Ok, I'm an old, cynical spiritual seeker who has been around the block far too many times, but I have NO PROBLEM with the "name and form" of his music and his videos. Neither form of artistic expression particularly floats my boat, but as mentioned above, I'm a cranky old fart, with odd tastes.

That said, the thing that gives me pause is how a human being, a long-time spiritual seeker, can balance the juxtaposition of these videos with what he wanted to do to Paul Mason.

As a student of comparitive spirituality, that really fascinates me.

That speaks to me of someone who is the product of a spiritual tradition that doesn't place terribly much importance on mindfulness, on being aware of the impact that one's everyday thoughts and actions have upon the world around them.

I'm really not as down on TM as some around here. As a technique of basic meditation, it gave a great number of people on this planet a wonderful introduction to the larger universe of meditation and Self Discovery. But the idea that TM alone, with no attempt to monitor and control one's everyday thoughts and behavior, will make everything all golden and that everything will work out just as the Laws Of Nature intended...well, duh...that just doesn't compute for me. Free will is a gift. Use it or abuse it.

-- Barry Wright

Anonymous said...

Where you get the idea that I'm backpedalling, I have no idea.

I have no idea why you have no idea, since I explained exactly why I said you seemed to be backpedaling. Just read my comment again.

I am finding that keeping your ever greater demands for attention is leading me away from writing for the Blog.

LOL! I'm not making any "demands for attention." I'm raising points here and there. If you want to pay attention to them, fine. If not, fine.

You have always traded in vague, unsupported accusations. Often readers don't notice that an accusation has no backup. That's why I point it out. Once I've done that, it's entirely up to you whether you want to make the effort to try to back it up. If you don't, or can't, that tells us something, doesn't it?

Judy Stein

Anonymous said...

the three diehard TM- and Maharishi-apologists there rushed in to declare him an anomaly, a freak, someone who does NOT represent Maharishi and his thinking.

Actually the main point was that Lotz would behave this way no matter what group he associated himself with, or with none at all.

Barry "forgot" to mention that one person responded who doesn't fit his description of "die-hard TM and MMY supporters" (none of the other three really do either, but that's another issue). This is a guy who's a professional therapist.

If you want to read his comment, look for message #131583 on the FairfieldLife Web site. He does not support Barry's claim.

The scary thing is NOT that Frank is some kind of anomaly, but that he reflects the kind of thinking that is fairly prevalent among the tiny handful of True Believers who make up the remaining nucleus of the TM movement.

But not, oddly enough, of those you characterized as "die-hard TM and MMY supporters." Funny that, eh?

the thing the TM apologists fear the most is not that Frank represents some kind of anomaly that reflects badly upon TM and Maharishi, but that Frank represents a mindset that is NOT anomalous

No, Barry, nobody on FFL "fears" that. Your mindreading powers are even weaker than usual on this point.

But the idea that TM alone, with no attempt to monitor and control one's everyday thoughts and behavior, will make everything all golden and that everything will work out just as the Laws Of Nature intended...well, duh...that just doesn't compute for me.

And it isn't what MMY teaches either, of course.

He doesn't deal much with specific ethical guidelines, it's true, but if you've ever read Science of Being and Art of Living (you're a former TM teacher, right?), you know that he expects TMers to follow the ethics of their culture and religion.

There are oogobs of sources for teachings on ethical principles in this world; there's only one source for the TM teachings. MMY made a conscious decision to focus on the latter because the former is so easily available elsewhere.

Judy Stein

Betty said...

Re hate speech by MMY, it might be easier to find examples for you if the movement didn’t control every word that comes through his false teeth. Too bad we can’t get a copy of the video of MMY reacting to the news that Benson had created his own relaxation response technique. That was back in 1975 at MIU when I heard it. I’m old and worn out now but I think I remember a few “devils” and maybe even an “anti-christ”. On TTC I saw a video of MMY speaking to a panel of high up US military men. MMY went on and on about the poor, and the ignorant in the US taking up too much money from the military. Would love to see that video again. Saw one of MMY treating one of the very few black initiators with complete disdain. Would love to see that one again. One of my favorites was when I was on Governor training at S Fallsburg before MMY let it nearly rot to the ground before selling it to that pedophile friend of his, Muktananda. In this particular video, Maharishi was describing his technique for buying real estate cheaply. He took the owners of S Fallsburg on endless trips through the area, wowing them with his darshan, charming and praising them and their family for having maintained the facility so well over a number of generations. All the time offering less and less for the property. The technique he described was to get an offer on a property, offer half of that price, when refused wait for a while and offer half again of the original offer. Even though still a true believer at that time, I was disgusted at the way Maharishi laughed at these folks behind their backs as he cheated them out of their family property. He thought it was hilarious.

Face it Judy, Maharishi is not a nice fellow.

Betty said...

Judy said, ...if you've ever read Science of Being and Art of Living (you're a former TM teacher, right?), you know that he expects TMers to follow the ethics of their culture and religion.

..................

Very few religious communities, outside of fringe cults, would recommend a parent leave their children for months on end to attend courses for self development. Few would involve themselves with money laundering, acquiring wealth in any way possible-but don’t get caught... The old TM community I knew when I lived in Fairfield for about 6 years, was so caste driven it was repulsive. Money meant godliness, poverty meant the movement could treat you like a slave woman in the Old South.

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