Friday, October 22, 2010

Thoughts about Transcendental Meditation in Europe

The Transcendental Meditation Org in Europe shows signs of crumbling.

For instance, the Copenhagen Maharishi Peace Palace has been sold and a Danish TM course facility is on the market.

I chatted with a European today who indicated Raja Bjarne was pressured by the Maharishi to make enormous real estate investments—leaving the Danish movement scrambling for funds and possibly on the verge of bankruptcy.

It's my hope, not that TM disappear from Europe or elsewhere, but that the Movement take this to heart and implement the reforms these problems indicate are called for.



John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Seems inevitable these peace palaces and other facilities put up in the last expansion would fail sooner or later. They were built in the hope that having them (and a stronger local presence in general) would grow the movement but it seems VERY unlikely the kind of growth occurred that would continue to pay for their investment. Is this is a crumbling of the core movement or just yet another failed effort to expand?

I do happen to know some re-certified people in the US are no longer getting their salary and haven't been for a long time. For a time there the re-certs were getting a monthly salary, enough to live on somewhat comfortably, surely what re-certified people they had are now falling by the wayside.

In the past I suppose the movement would just sell the land and buildings and make a profit on the real estate but you wonder if that is possible now that the bubble has burst and property values continue to decline. The financial situation could possibly be dire. But I'm just speculating and know little about the details.

With no Maharishi around to whip up an irrational commitment to the next world-beating initiative you do wonder how they will continue to maintain the energy and faith to carry on.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Earlier this week at MUM, everyone had to go to the monthly "all-campus meeting". During this meeting, students were told about a huge fundraiser going on. It's currently in its silent phase, but has raised several million already. Whats more, a few spokesmen for a Connecticut-based business responsible for gathering funds for private universities was recently here in fairfield. After regaling the spokespeople, the movement taught all of their employees free TM.
With this new business as an unofficial TMO partner, the school expects 10-20 million in grants and government checks in the next few years.. perhaps they plan to fund the movement with it as they do with our student loans.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

" do wonder how they will continue to maintain the energy and faith to carry on. "

I do agree. After Mahesh died is when I looked for, and found, a site (here!) for ex-TMers because I had an unabashed interest in seeing the movement unravel. It is a like watching a train wreck in s-l-o-w motion.

I'm guessing that there is a now a strong dynamic tension between those who wish to preserve the dream we all bought into at one time, and the Indian relatives who want to cash-out.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I hadn't quite visualized this dichotomy: the dynamic tension between our past dreams and present, foreign, familial financial interests. But it makes perfect sense. A long time ago, on another now-defunct TM forum, one of the frequent contributors there also used the image of the train wreck: it is something too horrible to watch, but too captivating not to watch.

While I do not think there is any value in the TM organization, the much maligned (with good cause) TMO, TM itself, in the right hands, might bear fruit (as demonstrated by the work of Dr. Benson, et al.).

We can only watch and wait and, of course, continue our campaign to let others know that it isn't all just rose coloured glasses, sweetness and abundantly trumped up good news. In fairness to all, all dimensions of the misery as well as the happiness Mahesh spread needs to be reported and considered.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Maybe that Danish 'king' who looks like a concentration camp resident should melt down his golden crown. The price of gold is way up.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Well, if this TM thing doesn't work out, he can always get a job at Burger King.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Yes, a train wreck. But not even in slow-motion anymore. That poor unfortunate man in the above photo looks like death warmed over... I was always surprised how we westerners were so enamored by the eastern mystics... which are in denial about their own bodily death, and reject biblical teachings of life after death, which is so much more appealing than... merging with the 'absolute'.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Sorry Morris, but I have to disagree. Although you are making a commendable suggestion that the Raja find something more worthwhile to do with his life, but I doubt Burger King would take him. He looks too anemic.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

10-20 million in grants & government checks? So why does TM
need to charge $5000 to learn the TM "Sidhis". Have you noticed some serious mental conditioning @MUM/Fairfield? Are hundreds marching to the domes, daily, chanting "the money just comes to me"? How much rice & dal can Bevan Morris consume in a day?

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Oops, sorry, like your definition of “H.E.”, I can’t resist: the TMO charges so much to learn its useless programs in order to keep people from getting involved in really pointless stuff. Well, that’s not nearly as much fun as your definition of H.E. and probably not as useful, either.

But I suspect very strongly that, knowing fools and their money are soon parted, Mahesh figured he was much more entitled to that money than fools. See, if you look at it just right, he’s actually helping fools do something useful with their money, sparing them the bad karma of using their money unwisely ... well, that’s nonsense, of course, but, I’m sure it’s very precious nonsense to a lot of the true believers.

But you cannot have too much money, Mahesh's craving for more and more certainly demonstrated that.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Wow! 20 million? You guys are living like fat-cats, huh? Divine! It must be written in the cosmos and corresponding clownish unified left-field theory, right?

Please allow me to opine:

I hope these grants are aimed at the sustainability programs, etc. . . and not towards studies concerning the "health benefits" of forced TM meditation, or Hagelin's silly "crack-pot" left-field theory.

Please do tell-what Federal agencies would give grants to these geese? For what purposes would the grants be offered?

I may be mistaken, but I thought most of the "research" performed by TM folks in the past was not conducted objectively by disinterested persons, all undesired conclusions were closeted, and the answers sought were predominantly predetermined and aimed to edify and bolster untruths which would support and validate a commercialized form hinduism (sshh-secret!) and aid in boosting retail sales of related products available at market (seems like an agenda to me, no less). Merry Capitalismas. Appears to me as self-serving fraud. I read an article somewheres that outlined these research practices with great detail-pure bliss to read, fwiw. It's unsettling to think about, nonetheless. . .

I wonder how the administrative "branches" of our fine Gov'ment would react if armed with the knowledge that they were funding the perpetuation of an uber corrupt giggling charlatan's scheming? Sounds like there could be infinite valid arguments against it, and they're dancing right behind the guru devil. At any rate, there certainly seems to be religious underpinnings to the entire predatory nature of it. Hunting for my tax dollars, now? I surely am revolted by the idea of my boys in Washington spending money on what I see as an absolutely ridiculous racket.

As a side note- I am selling my condo (1,200 sq. ft. loft). I would love an offer once the money comes rolling in. It is in a prime location; and they'd still have millions and millions after the closing. No doubt, if you set up shop there, world peace and cosmic ice cream parties would flow like the ganges. A flood of pure and true happy blissishness("BS") would ensue. Then we could wade in the forthcoming tranquility and enlighten ourselves by quitting our jobs, and locking ourselves up in a room in fairfield to race and see who can become the more god-like the quickest. That would cut down on crime, surely.

I'll not participate, though. See, I was born cosmic. I'm happy to show you how for less than half the cost of your tuition, honest. 60% off original retail price-"skip the middle man."

Really though. Do you remember what Raj McCartney said-"money can't buy me love." It's funny that in Fairfield everyone appears to be singing, "money CAN buy me lies."

Thanks for reading my personal thoughts. Best wishes in achieving your COMIC consciousness as you wait for the money to come pouring in.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Cheers, Frog-1

You have a very good handle on just what Mahesh turned a relatively benign meditation method into!

Yep! money not only can but actually DOES buy more lies, buy the bushel, and the TMO can churn out lies just as fast as it could re-sell a set of mantras over and over.

I guess when you're as guilty as Mahesh, there just isn't enough money to cover up the guilt, so the mind goes in the direction of more and more.

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