Friday, July 03, 2009

Legal Intimidation Transcendental Meditation's New Spiritual Technique?

In the last few months, there have been a number of reports of various arms of the TM Org threatening legal action against critics, usually for copyright or trademark infringement.

My webinar protesting teaching TM in public schools was threatened by Bill Goldstein, who claimed to represent MVED. This resulted in me canceling the webinar.

Natural Stress Relief USA reports being pursued by TM Org lawyers claiming trademark infringement.

Jim Nemmers, claiming to represent Maharishi Foundation, Ltd. demanded we delete TMFB posts that he felt infringed copyright.

Steve Sashen gives a report of how his Web site was threatened:

I received a cease-and-desist letter from the same organization about my post at instructions

Their original argument had some merit, so I made changes to the post to make it clear that:

a) That you can find the TM instructions in books and online at no cost
b) I wasn't teaching TM
c) The technique on the post isn't TM

They also took issue with my opinions (shared by a number of well-respected publications) that the TM "studies" were not as rigorous as they are presented and, more likely, don't prove what the TM people want them to prove.

And, similarly, they didn't like that I compared the simple mantra meditation on that post to TM (another mantra meditation) saying that I couldn't PROVE that it could be as effective.

I wasn't aware that I had to PROVE an opinion (I don't).

Their last contact insisted that I put a "disclaimer" on my site which looked a lot more like an AD for TM than a disclaimer.
Steven Sashen

We are going to track these threats and publicize them as one means to fight the TM Org's attempts at what look like intimidation.

If you know of any individuals or groups that have recently received threatening communications from TM Org representatives, please post them in the comments below or email me directly at .

I am organizing a Twitter campaign to publicize TM's legal shenanigans. Search for #TM_Critics.

I see strong parallels between TM's apparent attempts to silence critics with similar efforts of Scientology.

Is that really the model that TM leaders wish to emulate?

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