John Hagelin is the national director of the Transcendental Meditation(R) Program in the United States. (His official title is "Raja of Invincible America"). He has a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University.
A reader of TM-Free Blog who is on a TM email list was kind enough to send the TM-Free co-editors an email which he received from the TM organization in early September 2012. It included a letter from Dr. Hagelin. Highlights from Hagelin's letter are as follows. (All quoted material is in red).
As a direct result of the generosity and vision of our donors, the Maharishi National Yagya(SM) program has grown into a powerful force for America. ["Maharishi Yagyas" are, briefly, large groups of people chanting Sanskrit for many hours or days in a manner taught by the TM Organization -ed.].
We are beginning to see a correlation between the specific appeals of these massive Yagyas and positive developments for the Nation.
Last month our National Yagya included an appeal for rain where needed[.]
- Since the start of that Yagya we have been receiving many beautiful reports from supporters all around the country of welcome and refreshing rain.
- In Fairfield, Iowa, where the largest number of National Yagya supporters reside, it started to rain when the Yagya began in India....
Previous National Yagyas included an appeal to increase the number of Pandits [TM org. chanters - ed.] in the U.S. campus[.]
- 556 Pandits now have passports....
- The first phase of the kitchen expansion to accommodate the new Pandits has been completed....
...In this time of great opportunity we hope that you will be inspired to give and-if at all possible-to commit to regular monthly sponsorship. [Emphasis in original.]
Our next 11-day National Yagya will begin on September 19. Please click now [emphasis in original] to offer your support....
With a donation of $1,250 or more, you-or anyone you designate-will be named in the Sankalpa [intention - ed.] of a National Yagya(SM) performance.
For smaller donations, a new feature on our web site allows you to make a gift in honor or memory of someone...."
As to the scientific sophistication of this national leader with a Ph.D., I quote from a Wikipedia article entitled "Correlation does not imply causation." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation):
"Correlation does not imply causation" is a phrase used in science and statistics to emphasize that a correlation between two variables does not necessarily imply that one causes the other....
With a decrease in the wearing of hats, there has been an increase in global warming over the same period.
Therefore global warming is caused by people abandoning the practice of wearing hats.
The website Sceptic School (http://scepticschool.com/2012/05/07more-logical-fallacies/) offers an excellent introduction to logical fallacies. The author of the website teaches logic to 12-14 year olds, so one would think a Ph.D. would be familiar with this stuff. From the website:
"Post-hoc ergo propter hoc - saying that because A happened before B, A must have caused B....[C]laiming that because a rooster crows before the sunrise, a rooster's crow causes the sunrise."
So let's look again at Hagelin's comment: "We are beginning to see a correlation between the specific appeals of these massive Yagyas and positive developments for the Nation." i.e. the yagyas caused rain, and caused more chanters to head to the U.S.
Whatever is Hagelin thinking? Why does he write messages like this? Does he get a commission? Is he so cynical that he thinks gullible people will believe him? Is his mind so damaged by the cult-think of Maheshism that he can no longer think scientifically?
And what about the people who buy the yagyas? Have they lost the capacity to think logically? Lots of people must be convinced, because the IRS tax form for non-profits (yes, you can get a tax deduction for buying Maharishi yagyas) for the Brahmananda Saraswati Foundation (http://www.vedicpandits.org/pdf/BSF-2011-Form-990.pdf) shows that in 2010, total donations received for purchase of yagyas were $2,027,650, and in 2011 total donations were $3,714,902.
If you want to read more hard sell, guilt-induction, begging and flattering to obtain money; and pseudo-science, you can google "Maharishi yagyas."
Do you have any experience with the TM organization's yagyas? With the pandits? With the TMO's begging for money? With the TMO's guilt-tripping? With their poor science?