Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Essential Documents, and Open Thread

I've made a few changes here on the TM-Free blog, and one of them is the links in the right-hand column. You'll have to scroll down to see them - or click the index link under where it says "Scroll down for these links" - in a new section titled "Essential Documents." Many of these are rather old files - some go back almost two decades - but they constitute some of the most interesting and revealing disclosures about the innards of the organizations that teach TM that have ever been made. Most links are to John Knapp's website, which also dates back to the mid-1990's. All these files, though dated, are still relevant as they document the inner teachings of the TM movement which were taught to devotees and TM teachers. These individuals, who today are still working to promote the TM program worldwide, very likely still hold these teachings to be true today.
The Transcendental Meditation™ and TM-Sidhi™ Techniques
This is the original list of mantras and other innards of the techniques, originally placed on the 'net back in 1994. Please note the disclaimer; these details are disclosed there to show just how trivial the techniques are, not for the purpose of meditation instruction.
TM Mantra Meanings
Subtitled, "When Is a Meaningless Sound Not Meaningless? When It's a Tantric Name of a Hindu God." Meanings of the mantras used in TM, with an associated commentary on bija mantras by a Tantric scholar, who appears to have identified the source of confusion over whether or not such mantras convey meaning:
Bijas have no meaning according to the ordinary use of language and for this reason they have formed the subject of ridicule to those ignorant of the Mantra-sastra. The initiated however know that their meaning is the own form (Svarupa) of the particular Devatas whose mantra they are, and that they are a form of the Subtle Power as creative Dhvani which makes all letters sound and which exists in all that we say or hear.
TM Initiation and Checking
Documentation of the unique methods and rituals that any TM meditator will encounter when they engage a TM teacher to learn Transcendental Meditation. Initiation is the process of instruction in the meditation practice, and "checking" is a mechanical ritual by which the practice of TM is reinforced through trance induction and the repetition of various suggestions.
TM Children's Initiation
The process of learning Transcendental Meditation when it is taught to children, of particular relevance with the continuing efforts of the David Lynch Foundation to introduce TM into schools. Note the requirement - apparently since discarded - that at least one parent first begin the practice before a child may learn TM.  
TM "Holy Tradition" - Initiation Ceremony
From the original description of this file:
... the entire text of The Holy Tradition, a secret book given only to new TM teachers. The Holy Tradition was once the primary textbook on TM Teacher Training Phase III, containing the Sanskrit text and a sanitized English translation of the puja or "initiation ceremony," discussion of the performance and meaning of the puja, and a brief, probably mythical history of Indian religious figures said by the Maharishi to be "the Holy Tradition" who kept the knowledge of TM alive for thousands of years. Beginning in 1977, The Holy Tradition was banned on TM Teacher Training courses, reportedly out of fear of more Federal court cases like Malnak v. Yogi, which found TM to be religious and barred the teaching of TM and SCI in New Jersey public schools. Despite judgments by Federal courts and the ensuing disbelief of the media and public, TM organizations have insisted for nearly 25 years that they are not a religion or religious.

TM Initiation Ceremony - True Meaning
Titled "Whose Puja Is It, Anyway?" this essay lays out how "it appears the Maharishi cobbled together scraps of Sanskrit poetry to create a "Hindoo ceremony" to wow the Western crowd."

TM-Sidhi "yogic flying" program
From the description: a full discussion of the TM-Sidhi program: the full 18 sutra "citizen's" program... the even more secret Governor's sutras for invisibility and more, the original marketing and research materials that promised enlightenment and levitation, an indepth analysis of the TM-Sidhis and hyperventilation, and finally a warning from the mainstream Indian tradition to avoid their practice as dangerous and a waste of time.
Also included are a number of newspaper advertisements from 1977 featuring "supernormal" powers of "levitation" and "invisibility."

Wikileaks "Transcendental Meditation" category
These are a number of files from the 2004-2008 time period which primarily relate to activities of the TM movement's "Governors" in the United States. Most interesting is the "Governor Recertification Course Overview of Policies and Procedures," a 2005 document apparently written by "Raja" Kingsley Brooks and his wife Leslie. This document contains this choice quote, completely negating any claim the movement makes that its programs are scientifically or medically respectable:
We are not going to take help from medical Drs. as medical professionals give poison. So don't engage any medical Drs. for anything - absolutely whatever it is - even if they are in our Movement family... Hold onto the fact that we are the supreme authorities on health - we know how to create perfect health - we are challenging all governments in world.

Roark Letter
Dennis Roark wrote about his experiences as Chairman of the Physics Department of the then- Maharishi International University (now MUM). From the Spring 1992 TM-EX Newsletter.

DeNaro Affidavit
In the mid-1980's, Robert Kropinski sued the TM movement (then formally called the "World Plan Executive Council") and MIU, alleging financial, physical, and psychological harm. From that case - later settled for a six-figure undisclosed sum - a number of interesting court documents have been obtained. This is the affidavit of Anthony DeNaro, who was a professor of law and economics at Maharishi International University (MIU, now MUM) for about a year, starting in 1975. DeNaro alleged "a very serious and deliberate pattern of fraud, designed ... to misrepresent the TM movement as a science (not as a cult), and fraudulently claim and obtain tax exempt status with the IRS." He also wrote about the on-campus environment:
A disturbing denial or avoidance syndrome, and even outright lies and deception, are used to cover-up or sanitize the dangerous reality on campus of very serious nervous breakdowns, episodes of dangerous and bizarre behavior, suicidal and homicidal ideation, threats and attempts, psychotic episodes, crime, depression and manic behavior that often accompanied roundings (intensive group meditations with brainwashing techniques).

Kropinski's Answer to Interrogatory No. 40
This is a list of casualties of TM practice that were known to Robert Kropinski at the time of his lawsuit against WPEC and MIU.

Kropinski trial testimony "Soma and the Gods"
From the trial transcript, a glimpse at the bizarre theology at the heart of the TM movement, which somehow involves Vedic gods eating a substance (Soma) from the stomachs of people who practice TM. This almost ranks right up there with the inner doctrine of the Church of Scientology, which has something to do with clams.

Kropinski appelate decision 1998, before out-of-court settlement

Malnak v. Yogi decision 1997
This is the Federal court case which enjoined the Federal government and the State of New Jersey from promoting the teaching or practicing of TM, and prohibited the teaching of TM in New Jersey public schools.

The TM-Free News Brief is on hiatus this week.


John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

This light turquoise background and text are so bright and hard to read.

I agree this design i horrible

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

This is sort of an interim layout that still needs some adjustment, particularly of the link text colors. I can't think of anything better for the main column article text than black text on white background, which is what it is now. The side and top banner colors could certainly be changed or toned down if it's too bright. Monitors, displays and eyes vary; it looks good for me, but one viewer thought it was a very "Miami" style set of colors. :)

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