Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How I Found Out That Transcendental Meditation Was a Cult

Below is a recent, unedited submission by an Israeli TM practitioner. His thoughts represent his personal view and not, necessarily, the views of any of TM-Free Blog's editors. If you have thoughts you would like to share with our community, please consider submitting them to jmknapp53@gmail.com.
Submitted by Ori Idan

I learned TM when I was 15 years old. I was regular for few month and then forgot about it, I had too many things to do.

Few years later, I remembered that I once learned it and tried it again, this time I enjoyed it very much, it was fun to meditate and make me fill real good.

I went to few residence courses and I liked it. The only thing I did not like where few lectures that seemed to be marketing lectures. Marketing lectures to promote more advanced techniques like the sidhis. However at that time I believed they are really advocating something that might be very helpful and I should try it.

Since I felt good with the practice of twice daily meditation, I decided to take the Sidhis course as it was said that I will get all the benefits of TM but much faster.

I thought that if TM is good, then other things the movement say, might also be good.

I really believed in everything they said. It was not easy to decide to pay so much money for the course so I asked a friend who is practicing it for few years about his opinion on the course. He said this teaching worth so much. You can not even measure it with money. Ok, I thought, both he and the movement say the same so it might be true and I should be doing it.

Eventually by 1998 I did the course. It was fun to practice it but did I gain anything from practicing it? It was hard to answer this question. In fact I felt that TM alone would usually make me more awake but a full Sidhis program would not give the same result.

I even felt that my left arm sometimes shake as if I had Parkinson disease.

I could not even think that Sidhis is not as good as they said it is and convinced myself that it was doing me good.

Placebo effect seems to work well and I did fill good.

This continued for few years. I became more active in the movement and even considered taking teachers course.

I helped one of the teaches build a website to promote TM in Israel, I did this work almost voluntarily. I asked him to pay only for what really cost me money such as domain name, hosting etc.

Few years later, the movement opened a new center for meditation. In this center they had group practice which I attended and enjoyed very much.

After few times I came there, I got a call asking to pay for the practice.

My response was that first of all if they are doing group meditation in order to promote wellness of life in Israel, they should pay us and not vice versa.

They said I am right but unfortunately they don't have the money for this.

This seems strange. They charge so much money for each course and they don't have the money for their own goals?

Also I said that I am doing a lot of work voluntarily for the movement so I don't think it is right to charge me.

He tried to say that no, the web site is his own and thus the work I did was to help him not the movement. But at different times, he presented the website to be that of the movement. It seems he presents it as his own when needed and as the movements web site in all other times.

I said that from now on he should pay like any other customer.

He was of course upset by this and asked me to give him all the source code and material that is on the website so he can find another webmaster.

Ok I said you want it I will give you it but this requires some work to be done and you should pay for this work. As expected, he did not want to pay. It seems the movement never pay a dime for anything. They expect other people to pay for their actions.

At that time I searched the Internet to see what happens in other parts of the world and have come across many sites against TM, it seems there are more sites against TM then pro TM.

After reading few of these sites it became clear that this is a pattern and not something special for this particular person or the movement in Israel.

This came as a shock for me. After believing them for such a long time. To find that most of what they say are lies.

I write it here as a short story but you can be sure it was not very short. It took many years to find out that I am actually inside a cult.

During the time I started to look what happens in other part of the world, I fell in love is a girl who was a Scientologist (a far more dangerous cult). When I first met her, I knew she was in Scientology but did not know how dangerous it is.

I learned all that I can about Scientology and I was shocked to find similarities between Scientology and TM. At first I tried to deny there are similarities but it was hard to ignore it.

My girlfriend of course left me. After all disconnection from people that are not in favor of Scientology is a common practice there. I hope it is not common practice in TM, at least not here in Israel.

After some time, I decided to stop practicing the Sidhis and return to twice daily meditation.

It his hard to believe how better I felt, suddenly I had more energy and things that I always postponed I suddenly had the time and will to do them. I started filling better all day.

So now I think meditation by itself is good, I know that TM itself is good but the movement is a corrupted group and one better stay far away from them.


Ori Idan

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