Thursday, November 11, 2010

Open Thread for Our Readers — New Readers: Check This Out!

Here is your space.

Discuss anything on your mind—or in your heart—in the comments below.

Or, if you have a topic or article you would like us to post on the blog page, just email me at

New Readers: Some of the most important discussions and information sharing takes place in our comments. Why not check 'em out? And maybe share your thoughts there, too?




John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Tomorrow, we are having an all-campus meeting for a "question and answer" session with Raja Ram. If there are any questions you guys would like asked, let me know. I'll try to see that they are asked.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Thanks, MUM

I suspect that the kinds of questions we here at TM-Free would like to have answered probably fall into the category of “get out of here and never come back” and I wouldn’t want you to be treated like that.

But Joshua asked some interesting questions about fees and courses. That might be an interesting area to ask about: are the international fees all the same, how are they related to the cost of living in individual countries, that sort of thing.

But it would also be interesting to know what the numbers are like: how many are learning TM in the US, in Canada and so on each month. I suspect that the initiations are, as a friend put it, dying like worms on a side-walk in Death Valley.

Are there any “new” programmes that are about to be offered (translation: what new money grab is the TMO coming up with).

How many “rajas” are there.

I guess, because it looks like the TMO is all about money, money-related questions seem to arise.

Privately, not for the meeting, do you know how people in Fairfield are reacting to David Wants to Fly?

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Please check out this article from the MUM student newspaper and the clip of one student asking Tony Nader a hard question.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Thanks, MUM

This is brilliant and very, very disturbing. Of course I side with the person who asked the question. That king tony gets away with a smarmy non-answer is not only underwhelming, but so much a clone of Mahesh's way of convincing you that you asked something else for which he gave a brilliant discourse in reply.

It must make you feel very sick to have to associate with people who fall for this line of bullpoop.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

The school is really in a bit of an uproar about this situation.. they've called a meeting with Bevan tonight to try to paint over everything with more of the same old stuff.. The school wants to ignore this happened, but there's 115 comments on that blog now that disagree. I think we'd be glad for some non-student input from an outside perspective, so feel free to post.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I see your, and other student's, dilemma from a rear-view mirror perspective. There is no way out, but out. However that realization usually takes a l-o-n-g time, as attested to by so many of us here.

In between the first realization and actually leaving there are miles of hopes, and dreams of what might happen, or what might change. If you are here on this website you know that despite Mahesh's death, things have not changed. The movement is, and always will be, rigid and dogmatic if the True Believers are in charge.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Spot on, Karina

There is not only that l-o-n-g, very long road, but the fears, emerging, long-buried superstitions, what-if’s and doubts that are a plague upon all our houses.

What benefited me the most, post-TM, was that I had shifted into something that was much more grounded in reality, the right here and right now itself. No, not my flirtation with Yogananda’s Kriya Yoga. That was more a distraction than something beneficial (despite having learned some useful things there, just as I had in TM).

I am not trying to proselytize my own thing but strongly suggesting that rather than being stuck wrestling with the demons of post-(and not so post-)TM apocalypse, one find something compatible that gives not only peace of mind, but grounds you in what is real, tangible, testable, verifiable.

While I am very grateful to MUMstudent for giving us this insight into just how deviously the whole of Maheshism distracts us from the real, tangible, testable and verifiable, I think we have to take that as the caveat emptor that it is and remind ourselves that although living in the actual, factual, real world is not always fun, it is REAL. Living in the mystical mumbo-jumbo of Maheshism may seem like paradise, but one day, this imaginary paradise will uncloak/disintegrate and bite you where it hurts most.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Thanks for your report and the link to the article. I watched the u-tube video with interest.

I'm slightly shocked that a straightforward question by a student would create such an [apparent] uproar. I believe that on the courses I was on with Mahesh and with Jerry --- including Estes Park --- it was expected or at least tolerated that we were going to be inquisitive and forthright when we were there. To raise doubts inside the Movement wasn't considered such a bad thing.

Not that all the answers were/are going to be entirely satisfactory --- but to raise the question of the validity of the physics involved in Tony's "findings" is only natural, especially in an academic setting. (I was surprised to hear that MUM has no physics department!)

Anyway I can't prove it but I would guess a large % of the people inside the Domes don't really care about the pseudo-physics, they just like the way it makes them feel. One of the strengths in the TM catechism used to be (and I assume still is) that you don't have to believe in it for it to work.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

I seem to recall that MMY would ridicule the questioner in a very charming way, and get everyone else in the room to support him in this. That was his way of avoiding answering the question and shaming the questioner for having the temerity to challenge him. When I think back on it, it was like re-living the emperor's new clothes. I feel ashamed now that I didn't speak up about it.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

Actually, I'm not sure why the guy walked out on Tony -- it seems counter to the spirit of open discourse not to listen to the answer to your question, especially if it comes from an authority figure.

This incident is probably not such a big deal but there are obviously a lot of people on the sidelines (here and in Fairfield) watching, hoping to see cracks in the monolith.

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