Blast from the past. 1990 Book about Maharishi's Education for Enlightenment. The photo must have been taken between 1984-1987, since my daughter is in the crowd.
This book's cover photo brings a flood of warm memories for idealistic community, believing we were safe and protected, followed by bittersweet memories of the young faces who are no longer with us.
My young daughter beams from her spot cocooned in the community that she once loved, with her dearest childhood friends directly behind Maharishi's photo. Fortunately, my children were spared the full experience of Maharishi's education since we moved away shortly after this photo was taken. I never signed permission for my daughter's image to be publicized in this way, nor in other promo material of the era in which she was specifically highlighted. I'm sure other parents also did not sign releases for Maharishi International University Press' use of their children's images.
Let's see, from my personal connections ~ some of these graduates of enlightened education grew up to create successful lives in the outside world, after stumbling away of their own accord.
A few of those no-longer-kids work for the TM Organization, blogging on TM - MUM - David Lynch Foundation sites, recruitment officers for Maharishi University, DLF administrators, or videographers.
A few died needlessly, some were alcohol and drug related. I know of at least one who threw themselves (I choose respectful gender neutraility) before an oncoming train, and another of a self inflicted gun shot with a gun purchased at Fairfield's Wal-Mart.
Another is incarcerated in an Iowa penitentiary, for child abduction with alcohol and weapons.
A few others suffer from dissociative and other psychiatric disorders, having spent early adulthood in an out of psychiatric institutions.
Others became teenage mothers with attendant financial and social challenges (like myself, as a result of statutory rape in the very small previous generation of TM kids). At least one of the young girls in this photo later did not know which of many potential candidates had recreationally fathered her children - the gene donors came from amongst smiling crowds of such group photos commemorating Maharishi's perfect society.
Some parents or other family members had needlessly ugly deaths because they sought medical treatment only as a desperate last resort when it was too late for cure. Rather than seeking appropriate medical care, such devotees died from illnesses which raged unchecked as they spent thousands of dollars for fraudulent therapies with Maharishi's ayurvedic products, magic yagyas (mystical prayer ceremonies), and magical rubies, sapphires, and other gems because they believed as Maharishi taught "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."
These so-called enlightened children were left to pick up the pieces of their fractured families.
So much for the lauded Heaven on Earth!
When I texted this photo to my adult daughter, she quickly responded :
"Yeah, I think that's me with the huge naive grin, just behind the Maharishi photo, two heads away from J. Makes sense." She then identified her favorite teachers, then more memories :
"Second grade teacher was the woman who married J.H.'s mom's ex-husband. Now, that sounds cultish... Haha"
Thankfully my daughter only had a taste of the cult dysfunction.
Would you help The David Lynch Foundation bring this program to your neighborhood school today? Not me.
If you were here, or remember pertinent stories, please comment.