A trip down memory lane. Admitting a mistake and making amends. Pondering the power of mind control. Healing. Clearing your conscience. Whatever you call it....Here is an opportunity to share those inexplicable moments when you or someone you cared about experienced a split in consciousness, a moment of cognitive dissonance, the creepy power of doublethink, programmed dissociation. I have spoken with former TM teachers, and we are really sorry , and ashamed, that we lied to you.
I'll start the ball rolling by sharing some of the lies I and other former TM Teachers (initiators) regret having said while we were under the influence of TM.
Initiator #1: "I was giving an introductory lecture. I emphasized the physiological, psychological and social benefits, and the scientific research, as I had been trained to do. During the question and answer period, someone asked if this technique had a spiritual aspect. I answered, "No. Absolutely not. There is nothing spiritual about this technique. It is absolutely practical, to be more effective in the world."
Commentary: What the heck was I thinking? I was lying. After all, on the third day following initiation, the topic was how TM leads to cosmic consciousness. Mr. Mahesh had a phrase,"TM unfolds 200% of life - 100% material and 100% spiritual." So why the heck did I say that? I guess because on my TM Teacher Training Course (TTC) we had been taught to swear that TM was not a religion, did not interfere with anybody's religion, did not conflict with anybody's religion. That we should emphasize the practical benefits of TM and not turn people off by mentioning cosmic consciousness, God consciousness or unity consciousness. Mr. Mahesh tutored us, "In the scientific age, we speak in the language of science." I'm really sorry that I lied to you.
Initiator #2: "I was co-teaching a TM course with another initiator. During the first day following initiation, a student asked about the exact pronunciation of his mantra. My fellow initiator said that it didn't matter, you shouldn't think about it, it wasn't even an English word; it was a Sanskrit word. My mother, who had been initiated a few months earlier, called me on his comment. 'What do you mean, it's a Sanskrit word? We were told it was a meaningless sound.' I thought very fast, trying to find some wording that covered the behind of my fellow teacher, and said, 'Well, it comes from the same tradition as Sanskrit words.' "
Commentary: What the heck was I thinking? I was lying. Why? Because I had already intuited that there was something dishonest in TM about the mantras. I had not exactly been taught that the mantras were Sanskrit words, but I had not exactly been taught that they weren't, either. (Mahesh definitely had not taught us that they were the "seed form" of Hindu gods). However, my fellow initiator made his comment in his official capacity, in public, to a bunch of new, impressionable TMers. So I wasn't about to blow TM's reputation by admitting that my fellow initiator didn't know what he was talking about, or that we didn't actually learn precise information on TTC - no! The impression we initiators were working so hard to create was that we were so thoroughly, rigorously trained that we didn't contradict each other or make errors about TM. I'm really sorry that I lied to you.
Initiataor #3: "On my TTC, they drilled it into us that TM was the solution to all problems in all fields of life. TM research was especially impressive on health benefits. I remember that they said, 'If someone has a heart condition, encourage them to start TM right away. Because you never know when a person might have a heart attack, and TM is so helpful for the heart.' But on one of the very last days of TTC, they mentioned very quickly in passing that TM might worsen an epileptic condition. Fast forward to several months later. I have given the introductory and preparatory TM lectures. Now I sit in private with a soon-to-be-initiate, reviewing her personal interview form. And there, under 'physical problems,' they've written 'epilepsy.' What can I possibly say? 'Oh, ignore everything I've said at both lectures. The research is biased. Protect your health. Don't learn this meditation. It can be deleterious to you.' Can I say that? Of course not. So I said what Mahesh had taught us to say, 'Oh, good, TM will be helpful with this, too.' I'm really sorry that I lied to you."
Commentary: The whole reason for the introductory lectures is to convince more people to start TM. The charts, graphs, scientific research, all are to raise the hopes of the audience that TM will give them marvelous gifts. Mahesh has even instituted a "World Plan," promising that TM will solve all the physical, emotional, social, law enforcement, economic, educational, governmental and spiritual aspirations of humanity....Except if you have epilepsy? Then TM might make you sicker? No, our job was to say whatever we could at the intro lectures to successfully recruit. Even if that meant lying. Even if we had to present fraudulent research. We had unknowingly been conscripted as missionaries to spread TM. So what can you say to this hopeful recruit? So I swallowed my saliva, and my integrity, and said, "Oh, you have epilepsy - well TM should help with that too." That happened decades ago. I don't remember your name, or if you are still alive. But I remember that shameful moment, and I pray that I didn't injure you with that initiation. I apologize, and I hope some day you will forgive me. I am really, really sorry that I lied to you.
Well, now it's your turn. Do you have any stories you want to tell about lies you or your friends told while you were under the thrall of Maharishi?