Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"David Wants to Fly" a very personal review from a former TM-Initiator

A completely unsolicited email was sent to us by a former TM Initiator / reader of TMFree Blog, expressing the impact that "David Wants to Fly" had on him. When asked if his letter could be anonymously published unto TMFree blog, (he graciously replied "yes") his further thoughts on "His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi," and Transcendental Meditation unfolded. With minimal editing, this very personal recommendation for "David Wants to Fly" is shared with TMFree readers. Enjoy!

I am a well-known ex-initiator who wishes to remain anonymous. I surrendered my soul to Maharishi at Queen's University in August 1972.

I considered Maharishi to be my saviour and master. And my body and mind were so profoundly deceived by the mystical forces that create the experiences of TM that I at one point was certain I had achieved a higher state of consciousness.

I have spent the last 25 years attempting to expunge the effects of TM, and the beguiling and fatal charm of Maharishi.

I only imagined abstractly a point in the future where something would happen which would be powerful enough to put a context around Maharishi and the Transcendental Meditation Organization—sufficient to take him down, expose his utter corruption as a human being, and create doubts about the positive efficacy of TM.

I must admit to being joyfully staggered and amazed by David Sieveking's documentary "David Wants To Fly"—which I just saw yesterday afternoon here in Toronto.

David Sieveking's film finally, in an objective and comprehensive way, takes the measure of Maharishi and the Transcendental Meditation Organization.

I mean this in a very special way. "David Wants To Fly" became in my own subjective reading of it, reality's way of getting revenge on Maharishi for the spectacular misrepresentation of itself via TM. What I have been forced to conclude over the course of these last 25 years, is that the powers that made Maharishi what he was, and the powers which produced and which continue to produce all the experiences of TM, violate and wound the essential integrity of every human being who enters into the practice of TM. Even as the initiate or practitioner remains unconscious, or in denial, of this truth.

This is the brilliant lie that is Transcendental Meditation. 

I believe I went as far as Maharishi's techniques could take someone—into a darkness and hallucinatory state of consciousness, which at first seemed so wonderfully true to what Maharishi promised—'Unity Consciousness'.  I am still recovering from the effects of TM and the metaphysical charisma of Maharishi.

My point here is to declare my wonder and astonishment that this documentary seemed silently to enlist those beneficent powers inside the cosmos which were overthrown or paralyzed by Maharishi and TM: these friendly powers through David Sieveking. This film, rose up and unleashed their fury against Maharishi and the TMO, effectively refuting Maharishi and the Transcendental Meditation Organization for all time.

"David Wants To Fly" becomes reality's way of contradicting Maharishi and the TMO, creating a revelation of such devastating impact that never again can any follower of Maharishi repeat the TM catechisms without sensing a critical presence throughout the entire universe, a critical presence that has, through this film, decisively condemned Maharishi and the Transcendental Meditation Organization.

Name Withheld [initiated in 1966; became initiator in early 70's]

Further thoughts unfolded in a couple of more emails, from the same person

It is so cruel to see human beings unconsciously fighting against the negative consequences of TM—the really fanatical ones become actual martyrs: they are upholding a practice which is secretly attacking them where they are most vulnerable. And their belief-system has become a tortured form of denial: life is gradually refusing to cooperate with them, and they can only dig in all the more. 

I feel as if I have had a monster inside me—the Maharishi-TM incubus. It has been dying a very slow death these past 25 years, but it seemed, when I saw David's film, it lost a considerable amount of its life-force.

"David Wants To Fly" goes right at the cosmic arrogance and deceit of Maharishi. The film is the only phenomenon I have encountered in over 40 years that (almost innocently, serendipitously) acquires the intelligence (in its execution) adequate to the terrible subject to which it is addressed. Maharishi and the TMO, in some inexplicable way, have remained (in some very subtle sense) 'invincible' up until this film. This film is the great guru-slayer—for Maharishi was, undoubtedly, the most seductive, wily, and brilliant spiritual personality of our lifetime. Even as most the world knows nothing of this.

My adjudication cannot be impartial, but paradoxically I believe it is my very intimate knowledge of Maharishi and TM and the TMO that affords me the most objective viewpoint that is possible. And the film—unbeknownst to David Sieveking—is as inspired as any documentary could possibly be: because [in my opinion] its subject-matter has enlisted the intelligence of goodness that has remained silent about MMY and the TMO until now. 

The film was a kind of gentle but forceful (and felicitous) exorcism. Believe me, it will not disappoint. The irony of the film is simply produced by allowing Maharishi and the TMO to exhibit themselves—against the background of what is real. It once was thrilling to be near Maharishi—and to enjoy seemingly a unified state of consciousness. Once it became clear that I was gravely deceived in this, I began my journey into hell and back while recovering. David Sieveking's documentary "David Wants To Fly" was—were I a practicing Catholic—like bathing in the healing waters of Lourdes. I felt like I could throw away my crutches.

When I talked about throwing away my crutches at Lourdes (after viewing David's film)—it was as if I was crippled by Maharishi and TM; that is, I had come to Lourdes to get cured (although I never consciously conceived of this purpose—if you follow me here—when I entered the theatre)—and the power of the film was such (in its confrontation of MMY and the TMO) that the very disease that had made me lame, that disease was as it were driven out by the force of the film, and thus I felt I could walk again.

David Sieveking's film became the vehicle (the first of its kind in my own intuition) through which the previously unchallengeable mystique and integrity of Maharishi and the TMO (and by indirection, TM itself) was smashed by reality. When the Beatles went to Rishikesh, that was one moment in the history of the TM Movement; then nothing for 43 years—until David Sieveking's documentary, which becomes—potentially—  the antidote to the Beatles, because whereas the Beatles had created enormously positive publicity for Maharishi and TM, "David Wants To Fly" is a phenomenon in its own right too—creating the very opposite effect that the Beatles did—but for those who are discerning, fully equal in its potency to the decision of the Beatles to follow Maharishi to India and meditate at his ashram. 

It is all a matter of taking in what comes through in the film. And whether David Sieveking knows it or not—and his learning that I believe this to be true will have no influence upon him whatsoever I suspect—the friendly and lovingly intelligent forces in the universe colluded with his own brilliance and sincerity to—for the very first time—  actually take on and strike a blow against the baleful and malevolently intelligent forces which were and are behind Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Transcendental Meditation Movement. Of course I don't pretend to be empirical here: my own estimation of the 'cosmic' dimension of all this must be attributed to my own personal point of view. It is only fitting that, since Maharishi pretended to be acting on behalf of the intelligences which supervise and conduct the activity of the entire universe, a true critic of him meets him on this very ground—and declares: Based upon a multitude of experimental evidence, what Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has brought to civilization can be seen to be quite literally a demonic project on a gargantuan scale. The film,—I insist on this—is the only event I have known in my life since I first became enamored of Maharishi and TM, which goes right to the place in reality from where Maharishi is coming from, the place from where he derives his techniques, the place from where he lives out and performs his existence—and in doing so issues the ultimate ontological challenge to him and his organization:—as in: Maharishi, you say you speak for reality, well, David Sieveking has produced a film—Want to see it, Maharishi?—which some of those who know (knew) you best believes refutes you: Maharishi, you are refuted by reality: you are an imposter, and here is the proof. As you can see, Maharishi, It is unanswerable. 

It is, then, the [adventitious] metaphysical potency of David's film which released me from the incubus of Maharishi and TM—I mean, took my own self-administered meta-therapeutic efforts to a completely different level—and I came out of that theatre truly feeling a palpable and objective sense of liberation. Amazing.

Certainly many of us had glorious, ineffably beautiful experiences using Maharishi's techniques—and even from being around him physically—but these experiences were not engendered by 'Nature', by 'creative intelligence', by contact with 'the Absolute'; no, these experiences were, every one of them, inimical to our well-being, dislocated from what is real, and warring on our unique individualities—especially our bodies: there can be no argument here; as sublime as these experiences were they were calculated to alienate us from who we really are, and were mechanically effected by forces which are filled with a perfect hatred for human beings. The bliss of these experiences is inversely proportionate to their destructiveness—I expect to carry to the grave some of the subtle and insidiously disintegrating effects of TM (plus) upon my physiology.

"David Wants To Fly" is the happiest and most efficaciously beneficial event since I first was spiritually seduced by Maharishi and his diabolical magic.

And, by the way, did I know nothing at all about TM or Maharishi, if I saw this film, I would be deeply intrigued and impressed.

I do not expect you to agree with everything I have said, particularly the metaphysics of my analysis of Maharishi and TM. One thing is very clear though: whatever promises were contained in that first experience of transcendence, those promises have proved to be bogus. Not a single devotee of Maharishi is making any spiritual progress whatsoever, and every one of these long-term TMO persons know this. The bloom is off TM for those in the know. The question for me becomes: why was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi permitted to perpetuate this extraordinary fraud upon the human race? And watching David Lynch in the movie, I thought: what an intelligent, well-intentioned, even gracious person he is. If only he had really gone all the way and become an initiator, then he really would have something in common with those who are all around him in his TM enterprises: then he would not be so shockingly naive. Not only because of his status in the world, as a great artist, but also because he has not been entirely infected by the worst form of the TM malignancy—that which afflicts all those who became (and remained) teachers of TM—does the TMO have him (DL) out in front doing all these charitable deeds for the Movement. Bevan Morris et al—the whole works of them—they know in their heart of hearts that David Lynch is somehow riding on the enthusiasm that they once had (before they became secretly jaded and defeated—repressed as this is) for Maharishi and TM—sooner or later David Lynch is going to ask his first really hard question: COULD I BE WRONG ABOUT MAHARISHI AND TM?

Yes, you are, David Lynch —good man that you no doubt are. As an artist, as a thinker, as a human being, you can have no truly honest rebuttal to David Sieveking's film.

Are you still here, Gina? Sorry about this, but I had—think of it as therapy for me—use this opportunity to let you know what I have kept inside me all these years. And David's film almost seems to present to me this prerogative. Thank God for David's film.

"Removing all identifying information"—as long as you do this, of course I don't mind—and am pleased—if you find anything I write worthy of passing along.

One thing I ask —if you can grant me this—that, under no circumstances will you give away any information which could allow other persons to speculate on my identity.

I know my brain has been permanently damaged by TM—although I compensate for this as best I can, and I am no where near as 'Maharishi-ized" as I was in that part of my anatomy. David's film, by the way, was salutary for my brain in just this very way.


avram said...

I think my post got lost from yesterday but it is appropos here. I have not seen said movie, but just from the title, I would like to draw attention to the sad article in the New York Times, on a magazine about Deepak Chopmeat, in which he appears flying next to M. Jackson.  I can't believe they are still selling the flying concept, with Sixpack clearly self-propelled in the air a foot off the ground!  When is enough enough???  When will they stop lying and deceiving people?


Philip said...

Regarding the statement about The Beatles..."<span>fully equal in its potency to the decision of the Beatles to follow Maharishi to India and meditate at his ashram. "</span>
Lest we forget The Beatles song, "SEXY SADIE" and the scathing interviews that John Lennon gave after leaving The Maharishi. Whatever good publicity they gave TM through "pop-mosis" they also refuted the Maharishi as a fraud.

arjuna said...

<span><span><span><span>"Nat a single devotee of Maharishi is making any spiritual progress whatsoever." </span></span></span><span><span>
</span></span><span><span><span>What a joke. Here is where your negative revisionist "hallucinatory" paradigm of TM totally breaks down, and the illogic of your radical cynicism shows it's true colors as being sadly farcical: 100s of thousands of people are experiencing greater and greater spiritual fulfillment, the joy of rapid spiritual evolution, every single day through TM. I am one of them. So is my wife and family and so many good friends.</span></span></span><span><span>
</span></span><span><span><span>The film is a total sham that just rehashes all the old TM-X accusations from the 70s. It's one last gasp of the mangy ole, foaming-at-the-mouth, anti-TM mongrel mutt. </span></span></span><span><span>
</span></span><span><span><span>But the above letter is very revealing of the mindset of the kind of person who goes negative against TM, and why: they misconstrue Maharishi's teaching, turn it into a religion in the beginning, see Maharishi as their "personal savior," and then when everything is not magically taken care of for them, when the reality sets in that it's not about being nurse fed and babied, that it all comes down to them and their own self-reliance, they feel deeply disappointed. Their personal reality falls apart. Because they were, unfortunately, weak and mentally unstable to begin with, their reaction to this new "reality" is also mentally unhealthy and they spend their whole life dwelling on negativity and blaming TM and Maharishi.  Misplaced aggression, we call it in psychotherapy (my profession).</span></span></span>
<span>"Everyone is one's own responsibility," read the quote on one of the old TM intro posters. Some people just didn't get this. Maharishi never pretended to be anyone's personal savior. That's not what TM is about. "Raise the self by the Self.</span>

arjuna said...

And regarding your Beatles comment, are you guys really that uninformed and hidden from reality? Do you not know that the two living Beatles still do TM, as did George till he died? Did you not hear that John Lennon called Maharishi years later and apologized for the mistake, wanting to help the Movement and make amends? That none of the other Beatles ever believed the false rumors? Listen to Paul and Ringo's interviews about Maharishi. Why is Paul now director for fundraising for the DLF's campaign to teach 1 million kids to meditate?

Time is a revelator, truth alone triumphs, but some people take their delusions with them to the grave.

Diane Hendel, co-founder of TM-EX said...

I thank the author of this post for expressing what I have seen, and personally experienced, both within the TM movement, and after leaving.  I have been one of many who diligently attempted to convince myself that I gained great benefits, and upon leaving, attempted to rejoin the world-- struggling against those "great benefits," which have induced such long-term neurological and psychological harm in so many.  Why are those who leave shunned?  Perhaps it is too painful to admit that one has been manipulated: brainwashed?

Gina said...

Avram, could you please provide us with the link to that article in the NYT?  Thanks!
g :)

Darth Veda said...

I did 5 years of TM and I do not believe that my brain has been F.... up. However I do not meditate anymore, I found another system where meditation is obsolite. And to Arjuna it was George not John that called Mahesh, but Mahesh did not want to re-connect with anyone of the fab four.

Medtation can be a good thing, but it appears that when it become a blend of a mass culture and a product to be sold like TM that it create problems of a ethical and moral nature. to give an example if TM can solve all mankinds problems why then overprice it, why not give it away to anybody!! surely mankinds problems are more importen then the Srivastavas bank account.

lex said...

Very interesting post. Can't wait to see the film. But I think the author should elaborate on these supposed hidden malevolent forces behind TM which have a 'perfect hatred of humanity' - is he suggesting demonic possession, the supposed hatred of Vedic gods for humanity, or what exactly? To hint at this without more explanation seems disingenuous, one suspects a veiled fundamentalist agenda here. If that is not the case then please explain.

Sudarsha said...

It would be good if "Arjuna" were able to actually view David's film and see it on its own terms, not just imagine it through his (Arujuna's) preferences for Mahesh worship.

I am very grateful for this anonymous contribution to TM literature. While I am absolutely NOT an advocate of TM, Maheshism, Organized Maheshism or other fascist religious cults, I very clearly remember some beneficial results from my early days of doing TM. In the long fun, speaking only for my own experience, however, TM was not a good thing. Anecdotally, I observed some people who apparently had very good results at the time I knew them and just as many if, perhaps, not more, who had very difficult experiences and whose life was being very clearly damaged at the time that I knew them.

At this time, I can see no particular value in TM itself or any of the products the TMO is marketting. I can see no actual benefit deriving from the TMO or 50 years of Maheshism. The TMO makes a lot of noise in favour of itself. But this only reminds me of a favourite Sufi saying: a diamond burried in muck is still a diamond and muck raised up to heaven is still muck. With respect to TM and the TMO, the muck I see, the daimond, no so much.

Thank you for sharing this insightful comment not only on the great value of David's film, but on the worthlessness of organized maheshism.

Sudarsha said...

I suspectg, Darth, that to the Srivastavas, nothing could possibly be more crucial than the bloating of their bank accounts. I spent a lot of time with Mahesh. One thing became clear: people served a purpose and that purpose was whatever Mahesh wanted from them. Like oranges, once the juice is extracted, the peels are just garbage. But Mahesh sold golden glasses and some people seem to have crazy glued those golden glasses right to their eyeballs. Absent the mirage Mahesh would have had us believe was real, there is about as much value in TM and the TMO as there is in the muck I mentioned in another comment thread.

Deborah said...

Very interesting post. I would like to hear more about this

>>these experiences were, every one of them, inimical to our well-being, dislocated from what is real, and warring on our unique individualities—especially our bodies: there can be no argument here; as sublime as these experiences were they were calculated to alienate us from who we really are, and were mechanically effected by forces which are filled with a perfect hatred for human beings. The bliss of these experiences is inversely proportionate to their destructiveness—I expect to carry to the grave some of the subtle and insidiously disintegrating effects of TM (plus) upon my physiology

I don't suppose there is much chance of this film ever being shown where I live (south of France), but hopefully it will comeout on dvd.

And...nice to see you back, Sudarsha.

francis said...

<span>¿En qué estás pensando...?</span>

jb said...

Wow, that was a review?  What the heck was that?  Blah blah and the film is great.  Blah blah and the film is great.  What is so great about it, how does it reveal what you said, etc.  I would like to see the film my self, but with "reviews" like this, it sounds almost like wish-fulfillment by the anti-TM crusaders.  There are films against all forms of religions or organizations, is this one of them.  From the review, all I got was that the reviewer was deluded and is not now, or is it the opposite?

Sudarsha said...

Greetings, Deborah - I just needed a break. David and I spent quite a bit of time together and, like Gina and John, I shared my experiences, collected materials and ideas. David used his resources very expertly and is one of the 21st Century's filmmakers to keep an eye on!

It is difficult to review the film because even giving a scene by scene recounting would not in the least come close to the impact the film makes.

Suffice it to say that one gets a very clear first-hand look at the ugliness underlying organized maheshism from the organized maheshites themselves. The picture isn't pretty, but David handles it with a great deal of skill.

I don't want to say that TM is always and only bad. This would not be true. But many people are sucked into the vortex of organized maheshism and become so converted to this weird and bizarre view of reality that everything else looks, well, negative. Mahesh did a good job of indoctrination. Otherwise, I don't know exactly what can be said in favour of Mahesh, except, possibly, that his "secret", his real secret to TM is "as easily as". That and the checking notes are just great, especially when used/understood in the context of other more sensible and proven spiritual endeavours.

Gina said...

I have no idea.  He didn't elaborate.  I chose not to edit out those lines.
IMHO, the "malevolent forces" are merely the 'thought reform' or brainwashing synapses as described in Kathleen Taylor's book "Brainwashing" published by Oxford University Press.
g :)

Gina said...

Film is being distributed in Europe now.  I don't know further details.
g :)

Heinrich said...

those who leave, especially those who talk, are shunned because the foolishness of the giggling guru's nonsense cannot stand up to the light of reality

those who remain in the comatose state of TM devotion must be shielded from the truth

the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz couldn't cope with water and the followers of the **weasel** cannot cope with reality

it is sorrowful to know you and so many have been damaged by the irresponsible methods of the little con artist but since he did what he felt he had to to get as much money and therefore validity as he could, we, too, must do whatever we are able in order to show others just how miserable the cult of the maharishi really is

Gina said...

May I suggest that interested readers of this blog rent the DVD "Manchurian Candidate," preferably the original black & white version with the youthful Frank Sinatra.  "Manchurian Candidate" is based upon the seminal thought reform research by Singer and Lifton conducted with POW survivors of various thought reform programs during the Korean War.  The film clearly depicts the inner struggles of trying to excise oneself from certain damaging thought patterns, and the ranges of successful reintegration (or not) into mainstream functionality.

There is a clear difference between results from the promoted TM practice of 20 minutes twice daily, and the later ensuing effects of long term meditation "advanced" residence programs, as well as the various ancillary programs promoted with the TM Org - yagyas, ayurved medicinals, gemstone therapies, advanced mental techniques, architectural structures, diet guidelines, etc.

The author of published letter above had previously participated extensively with the various TMOrg-promoted programs.  After such an life style alteration, and departure, it can be difficult to articulate the experience to oneself, and much less to others.  That is what this "reviewer" addresses.

Other mainstream reviews of "David Wants to Fly" are available on this blog and elsewhere online.

g :)

Gina said...

The post on TMFree immediately below this post has two other reviews.  
You might enjoy those more.
g :)

Gina said...

The blog post immediately below this post, on TMFree, links to two other new reviews of "David Wants to Fly."  These may be more to your liking:

g :)

Joseppi said...

You know Gina, I have to admit to being intrigued by his thoughts regarding "forces'. I never speak about it, for fear of being branded a bit wacky, but I had an experiance years ago while sitting in a little group with Mahesh in Swizterland that forever had me wondering about things like those described by this guy.

I was sitting there at close range watching Mahesh go on about something when his head very clearly took on the look of a beast. It shocked me to say the least. I was sitting next to a friend of mine (who later became a prominent Doctor in So. Cal). I turned to him and whispered "did you see that?". He looked shaken himself and said "I sure did. Did he look like an animal there for a minute".

It was something I never forgot and when things like this come up now, I read with a bit more interest than some.

Gina said...

<p><span>¿Por qué estas escondido detrás del idioma español?   </span>
</p><p><span>¿Qué tienes tu que ocultar?</span>

</p><p>Have the various medical associations granted permission to use their logos on your slick pro-TM website?
</p><p>What research has been conducted on the effects of prolonged meditation of the advanced TM courses and TM-Sidhis?  NADA!  Just many promises for those advanced programs to which folks will be recruited, once they learn the "bliss" of (transcendental) trans-induction, and are receptive to the deceptive Pied Piper promises of the TMOrg.
</p><p>Be-aware.  The emperor has no clothes.
</p><p>g :)  

Bjarne said...

Bjarne said... in peace :)

Gina said...

Thanks Bjarne!  
Great link!  I knew you'd come through!

Here's an interesting opinion on this conversation. She addresses that TMO's scripture of "scientific studies" (that are not scientifically conducted) meets Lifton's thought reform criteria of "doctrine over person."  Scroll down a few paragraphs on this link for some worthwhile thoughts :

Bjarne said...

...wonderful thoghts...wonderful link :)

Taemon said...

The essay by this anonymous former-TM-initiator person certainly expresses the depth of his involvement with TM and commitment to MMY's worldview.  But it seems overblown, just as his earlier belife an and commitment to TM must have been.  I feel he over-rates MMY's stature as an influence on the conditions and the dymanics of the human world.

There have been, and still are, many other actors on the spiritual stages of Planet Earth. There are some vastly varied dynamics, worldviews, and aims involved in those religious enterprises goiing on under the banner of (various forms of) Christianity, alone.  Don't forget all the "players" leading people within Islam, Hinduism, etc.

I'm glad the essayist has felt relieved by seeing this film, though.  Clearly, TM & the TMO was not the path for him!

I still feel that those of us who chose to just learn TM and not really be into the movement very deeply feel much less drama when we decide not to do TM anymore.  For me, my TM experience was good in certain ways, bad in others, and simply disappointing in still others.

This essay is actualy a breathless, florid, dramatic celebration of getting free of a cult.  Some people who post on the TM-Free Blog may closely identify with it, but for me it can only be an alien verbal mind-trip.

Karina said...

Tanemon --- The essay is, as you say, a "dramatic celebration of getting free of a cult."  I wanted to comment that I too did not see my involvement with the TMO as being extremely harmful, until I hung out here at this site over many months.  Now, I see that indeed I did have to break free of a cult.    

Was I unduly influenced by the negativity of  those who post here?   In my view,  I just learned more facts about the TMO and Mahesh....and thought more critically about my own past, and what I sacrificed by  five years of involvement.

Concurrent with hanging out here, I also saw the  parallels with other more overt cases of brainwashing that were recently in the news.  Remember Elizabeth Fritzl, an Austrian woman who lived in a windowless dungeon for 27 years, and was repeatedly raped by her father?  When she was discovered in 2008, she initially refused to reveal the truth of her situation to the authorities at the hospital. 

Jaycee Dugard, a brainwashed girl from Northern California, also lied to the police initially.  After 18 years she was still fiercely loyal to her kidnapper.   Reporters mislabeled this misplaced trust as "Stockholm Syndrome" but it was far more than that.  (Stockholm Syndrome occured after just a few days of being held hostage, which is very different from decades of manipulation.)  I now see the parallels of the fierce loyalty to the father-figure, no matter how irrational it is, or how much harm one has suffered.

Speaking only for myself, I think I grossly UNDERestimated the true impact that TM and the TMO had on my life.  If I hadn't.....why would I still be drawn to this site?  If I was totally healed of that brainwashing experience, I would have no interest in being here.   Obviously Mahesh didn't imprison us in a dungeon, like Fritzl did to his daughter, but there are parallels. 

If this film is a healing balm to many, or even some, let's rejoice.

Darth Veda said...

About Mahesh as satan or Mahesh  as a Demon, I can only say that he was a human being that had evil dark sides like me and you. And to try to demonize Mahesh or claim that he is the devil is simply the stupidiest thing anyone can do. This will for sure only confirm the paranoid suspicions and make the hard core fanatics of TM even more hardcore. And BTW I met some of those Christians who made those claims and some of them were clearly mentally unstable.

Joseppi said...

Hiya Darth,

I am not a Christian. I only reported on what I (and clearly the person sitting next to me) saw. It was disturbing and something I remember well but I don't dwell on it every day. The original post reminded me of the event so I posted about it.

Karina_B said...

About Mahesh's appearance as a demon to Joseppi....I think the most salient point of his post is that Joseppi saw the apparition. I would not doubt his self-report at all. I don't think it is a political statement as to his opinion of Mahesh, but an honest recall of a real experience he had.

Hallucinations do indeed look very real. But did Joseppi have a hallucination, or a psychic vision??? Obviously Mahesh did not morph into an demon-devil-animal in a real, physical sense, but still I would not be dismissive of his self-report. The big question is WHY did Joseppi see this ugly demon-like vision of Mahesh.

My former spouse --- now deceased --- was convinced that he "saw gods and goddesses in the celestial realm" while rounding in Mallorca. Immediately afterwards he began very severe "heavy unstressing," i.e. involuntary movements, loud screams and utterances.

With the benefit of nearly forty years of hindsight and life experience, I think my ex had a "near death" type of experience caused by oxygen deprivation. (The unacknowledged dangers of low metabolism....) I think his "vision" was actually a hallucination due to brain damage.

Hallucinations are common with brain inbalances, even relatively mild ones. My daughter, at age 4, once was sick with a fever and clearly had visual hallucinations. My mother, age 90, had Lewy Body Dementia and held conversations with people in the room that no one else could see. Then, of course, a few grains of potent drugs, like LSD, can also promote hallucinations for a few hours, then normalacy returns.

Putting the pathology and drug effects aside, I have also been present when amazing psychics have "seen" and described the deceased and be spot-on with names and facts, and personalities. The psychics will often say that they "see" symbols which tells them about a person or situation.

I personally don't doubt that Joseppi momentarily, and unexpectedly, "saw" Mahesh as a demon. To me, the question is was Joseppi hallucinating from rounding (like my ex), or was he just getting a psychic intuition hit like a good medium might?

I don't know the answer, but, without dismissing Joseppi's very real experience, I think that there are at least two plausible explanations as to why Joseppi saw what he did.

Sudarsha said...

I probably watched your ex-husband when I/we were in Mallorca. I was gobsmacked by what I saw as my TTC, the previous year, had had no such events as the group psychosis that seemed to break out like a rash in Mallorca.

But, we hadn't had as much rounding and I didn't personally go that the limits that we were given.

I don't know what to say about hallucinogenic events or psychic experiences, but the excessive rounding that Mahesh sprang, as it were, on the course participants was unprecedented in its irresponsibility (on his part). The damage was obvious, I thought (then and now). That he did it again on the second Mallorca course and again in Fiuggi speaks only of Mahesh's lack of respect for those who were paying him to learn and his own narcissistic greed for self-aggrandizement (as well as whatever "psychic" value he thought he, himself, was accruing).

Karina said...

Yes, Sudarsha, I'm sure you did see my ex (J.) --- It was nearly impossible to miss him, given his extreme ticing. (He was at the Bahia Hotel in Mallorca, and then stayed on that extra month in Fiuggi to supposedly get over the "heavy unstressing." Needless to say, it did not work.)

I remember the denial that "J." and I were both in after the course in 1972, and in 1976, after the first siddha course.

I distinctly remember being afraid of having consulted a neurologist in Albany, NY, for an opinion as to what ailed my husband "J.". I became paranoid that the neurologist was planning to write up "J." as a case history in a medical journal. I knew that telling the truth would discredit the TMO, and I desperately wanted to protect Mahesh from criticism. I felt dreadfully guilty for having cajoled J. into seeing the neurologist in the first place--- especially since the only thing the neurologist recommended was Haldol, a potent antipsychotic medicine.

Which brings me back to an earlier post of mine. We were so brainwashed, just like Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Fritzl. These two women were rescued after decades of captivity, but each still tried to protect their kidnapper. Even when given the chance to blow the whistle, I tried to cover up and protect our father-figure abuser, Maharishi Mahesh.

Sudarsha said...

I'm so sorry, Karina.

Mahesh was a fear-monger, a very subtle one, a very effectively charismatic one. He convinced so many that if they didn't round, if there weren't huge meditating/rounding courses, then something horrible would happen.

Well, he got his courses and, lo and behold: nothing horrible happened ... except to the people on the courses. But for fundamentalistic brainwashing, that didn't matter, did it. It didn't matter to us or to Mahesh.

As I was perceived as part of Mahesh's inner circle (for reasons I do not know), people told me stuff. The general inner circle buzz seems to be that all these people rounding were helping Mahesh re-direct their energy, like a fireman, I guess, directing the pressurized water toward some evil which, obviously, Mahesh was thus able to destroy.

I don't know how many of y'all out there have read Stephen King's The Mist (I've only seen the TV version), but the crazy woman churning up the crowd preaching her fundamentalist fear-mongering, Bible-thumping "religion" and looking for someone to blame seems to me to be an over the top, but nonetheless viable description of Mahesh rallying his troops.

Denial of reality is a wonderful thing and a fundamental of Maheshism. This is how he worked and, at least for now, this seems to be how his henchmen work.

Karina said...

Thanks so much for the cyber-sympathy; you are so very kind-hearted. In some ways, it was such a silly way to waste one's youth, but then again, all things are relative. It could have been worse.... There were other reasons I stuck it out with M., and a marriage that was so afflicted. I truly can't blame M. entirely for all those good years thrown away, but indeed he was supremely irresponsible in advocating "rounding" when it injured so many young people.

However, S., your comment that has most intrigued me in the last day was the one about how little M. slept or ate. When I have more time, I want to share my incredible AaaHaaa! moment that your post elicited from me. It answered my WHY question that has eluded me all these years. I'll explain more later....

Tanemon said...

As always, Sudarsha, you make many very good points. I do respect your moral sense. And I like your insights - you have a way of seeing things and synthesizing insights into a meaningful whole. I've learned a lot about the TMO from you.

Okay, you wrote: "we must take responsibility for our choices and the results of those choices. No question there. But so must Mahesh. He tempted, beguiled, even coerced many of us into things that, on our own, common sense might have mitigated against!... So there is a kind of "force" when we remember Mahesh - a force of personality, a force of persuasion, a force of charisma - that we can attribute specifically and directly to Mahesh who was for so many a carrot-on-a-stick, and an alternative to our perception of negativity..."

Yes, I agree. And there is the crux of the thing: Our search, our needs - and his offering, his apparent answer(s) to our needs and search. Consider that, except for cases like that of Gina (initiated as a child), the situation is very much like a sexual affair between [i]consenting adults[/i]. Yeah, there was a seducer. But is the seducer seducing someone who is without choice, without will, or sense of direction? Or is the seducer merely calling to a very real desire or impelling force he senses within the seduced individual?

It would be very bad if some chain like MacDonald's purveyed some tainted meat in burgers at many of their fast-food outlets, making a lot of people sick. But, then, [i]why[/i] are people craving burgers or choosing to eat at MacDonald's, anyway?? (Just using a particular well-known franchise-system as a hypothetical example... don't sue me!)

Yeah, definitely, I as a Westerner feel that MMY was not as concerned as he should have been about the welfare of the individuals who got involved in his programs. But he was, by all accounts, originally invited to come to the West (Hawaii, first). Was MMY – as some people have expressed and as I myself have considered – kind and benevolent at first, and venal, jealous, and callous later? I dunno. Maybe. Still, having agreed on the point of his lack of concern, we can discern a more embracing principle of Human Life: there will often be those who will want something from those who will offer wares or services.

But if we look at the whole of this TMO phenomenon as an episode in time, yes we can see it as the interaction of forces, an interaction taking place 'when the time was ripe' for such an occurrence. An interaction involving a limited segment of society (i.e., among some of "the seekers"), and also a process within the individual (you, me, and each of the others who post on TM-Free). Time moves on, opposition to the TMO is now widespread.

Sudarsha said...

Hi, Tanemon

I've been kind of off line a bit having had, last week, a computer melt-down and subsequent re-installation of everything. No fun, but now, a sense of rebirth.

Recently, I ran across a quote from Ralph Bagnold's Libyan Sands. I am paraphrasing his observation below:

... the power of [Maheshism] lies less in its actual physical presence than in what it represents - the threill of exploration, the magic of secret places, the lure of the unknown.

Although Bagnold was talking about an oasis in the Saraha, his observation strikes me as very cogent with respect to the why of why we got drawn into the self-styled-maharishi's web of delusional thinking.

He held out on us, promising more and more if we paid more and more, but, of course, being more subtle than such a crass statement suggests!

Yes, we had choices and yes, we were deceived. Those who were not deceived either saw through his web of delusional thinking or, themselves became True Believers, living only to fill the TMO's coffers.

I suspect that TM/Maheshism will live on, becoming an established religion servicing and surviving on a small population of hoodwinked, but good hearted individuals. Perhaps, this is not totally amiss. One of the most important fundamental lessons I have learned about meditation came from Mahesh.

He often told us that the mantra was not so important. More important was the way in which the mantra was used!

He was quite right and demonstrated this by giving out different mantras on various teacher training courses.

But, that way, returning to an awareness, a knowing of the object of one's meditation as effortlessly as one notices the passing of any thought, is actually pure genius. Taking into account how Mahesh shamelessly adopted the ideas of others and passed them off as his own, this piece of genius is probably no more his than other pronouncements he made in the name of his narcissistic sociopathy!

Still, if this is all one learnt from Mahesh, one would be very fortunate.

Sudarsha said...


you said: However, S., your comment that has most intrigued me in the last day was the one about how little M. slept or ate. When I have more time, I want to share my incredible AaaHaaa! moment that your post elicited from me. It answered my WHY question that has eluded me all these years. I'll explain more later....

The suspense is troubling! (:-)

sjerker said...

You merely confirm that you are a lost soul, brainwashed. TMO has always blamed the indivudal follower for anything that seemed wrong / did not work ; TM or Maharishi were of course infallible. Pure egoism is what TMO is / was all about. For a psychoterpaeut, I had expected more. I pity you.

Sudarsha said...

TMO has always blamed the individual follower for anything that seemed wrong / did not work ; TM or Maharishi were of course infallible. Pure egoism is what TMO is / was all about.

This is EXACTLY what TM became -- the cult of Maheshism -- the worship of the Maheshego. Thank you for saying this so clearly and so well.

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