Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Web Event Canceled following TM Legal Contact

I received the email below, in its entirety, from Bill Goldstein, a law professor at who states that he is "general counsel" for the David Lynch Foundation.

This email is not a threat.


It is an "advisory."

However, out of concern for my fellow panelists and not wanting to drag them into legal entanglements, I am canceling our web event "Tell TM: Hands Off Our Schools!"

Naturally, I am disappointed. And disappointed as well for all the effort that panelists, researchers, and other supporters put into this event.

But our fight goes on. I am exploring various options that remain to us to protest the teaching of TM in public schools. As details emerge, I will share them.

Any ideas or insights that readers have, I would gratefully welcome them at


Dear Mr. Knapp:

I am General Counsel for the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness Based Education and World Peace. I have been forwarded the url which publicizes a web event which it appears you are hosting on April 2nd entitled: Tell TM hands off our schools, .

Your website is a fount of false, misleading, biased and entirely negative information on the TM program and the organizations and individuals which teach or have conducted research on that program[1]. The listed presenters at your event appear all to have a similar negative mission. Therefore, I wished to give you the courtesy of an advisal that we intend to review the global web presentation of the event carefully for any false, defamatory, tortious, breachful, malicious or otherwise unlawful statements or materials made or published by you or the presenters.

I would caution you and your presenters, therefore, to be most prudent concerning the truthfulness and propriety of any statements made by any of them at your web event or thereafter. As you have intentionally scheduled this event two days prior to the Foundation’s benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall it is clear you have planned it to have a negative impact on that event. Please know that you and your presenters will be held responsible for injury to any individuals or organizations, or their reputations, that may result from any unlawful behavior under US, UK and/or foreign law.

You will also be held responsible for the continuing publication of falsehoods on your websites and otherwise.

I trust you will act appropriately now after having been so clearly advised.

Very truly,

William Goldstein
General Counsel
David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness Based Education and World Peace

[1]- For example, by way of illustration and in no way attempting to be exhaustive, you state: I think there is evidence that [the TM program] is either not effective, not enjoyable, or downright dangerous for a certain percentage of the population, on the order of 10% to 20%.” And as evidence you link to another website of yours with extensive false and misleading statements and citations. You start by including therein a characterization of “ the German High Court's 1989 ruling that TM is a destructive cult -- overruling all lower court findings. The current law of the land in Germany.” The facts of the case are 180 degrees removed from that statement, as you should well know, and are laid out in

You go on to state that according to one of your presenters, Barry Markovsky, “TM researchers” research is not designed to be sensitive to, and contains no indicators for, negative effects. In fact, all the 600 studies on the TM technique could potentially show negative effects (e.g., they could measure an increased anxiety instead of decreased or no change in anxiety; an increase in war-related variables instead of decreased or no change in war).

The next false statement is “Negative effects are not detected in TM research because they are infrequent, and therefore will wash out in a statistical analysis”. The fact is that all the major clinical studies had in place mechanisms for reporting adverse effects. No adverse effects have been reported from these studies, even though the data were collected in universities not connected with any TM affiliated university or organization, and the data collection personnel and attending medical personnel were blind to the group assignment. Moreover, case histories on individuals at risk or with pre-existing conditions, such as mental health patients, do not support that the TM program has adverse effects. This allegation is baseless. For details responding in detail to all the claimed “studies” to the contrary you can see, as you already certainly have:

And then you go on to misrepresent that “Most of the research has been paid for and conducted by individuals committed to TM” .The fact is that the research on the TM technique has been conducted at over 200 independent universities and research institutions around the world. The National Institutes of Health have funded 0ver $20 million for clinical research on the TM technique, which has been conducted at independent universities.

Some of the Universities Conducting NIH-funded research on Transcendental Meditation
University of Pennsylvania
Effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation on Functional Capacity and Quality of Life of African Americans with Congestive Heart Failure
Published in Ethnicity and Disease, Winter 2007 Full Article

Cedars-Sinai Hospital , Los Angeles
The effects of Transcendental Meditation on cardiovascular disease in coronary heart disease patients with metabolic syndrome
Published in the American Medical Association’s Archives of Internal Medicine, July 2006 Full Article

University of California , Irvine
The effects of Transcendental Meditation on brain functioning, stress, and pain as shown by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Published in NeuroReport, August 2006 Full Article

Howard University School of Medicine, Washington , D.C.
Morehouse School of Medicine , Atlanta
The effects of Transcendental Meditation in older African American women at risk for heart disease
Findings presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, March 2006

University of Iowa
The effects of the multimodality approach of the TM technique and Ayurvedic herbal preparations on coronary disease
Findings presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, March 2006

The Medical College of Wisconsin , Milwaukee
(1) A study on the effects of Transcendental Meditation on the prevention of hypertension in African Americans; and
(2) A study on the effects of Transcendental Meditation on morbidity and mortality in African Americans with heart disease.

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles
(1) A study on the mechanisms of atherosclerosis—the effects of Transcendental Meditation on the sympathetic nervous system and the functioning of the arterial endothelium in African Americans; and
(2) The effects of Transcendental Meditation on carotid atherosclerosis.
Published in the American Heart Association’s Stroke, March 2000 Full Article

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