The first one mentioned psychological problems the reader has had since leaving the TM movement.
The second one asked how others manage the tricky terrain of visiting true-believer TM relatives and friends who live in Fairfield and Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa.
I was surprised that no one responded to these two comments. Since some TM-Free readers read only the essays, but not the reader comments, I suspect this may have been what happened, and these two topics slipped through the cracks.
So I hope I have not overstepped these two readers' privacy by reprinting portions of their comments below:
First Topic: Emotional Problems Post-TM?
"...My commitment to TM lasted about 8 years....I did not have any acute psychological trauma as a result of the rounding and the indoctrination, and the recovery, although a bit slow, was not traumatic either. But I sometimes wonder if some of my psychological/ emotional difficulties are related to my years with TMO [TM organization - ed]."
It is not uncommon for people who have left high-demand groups and have re-integrated themselves into the non-cult world to find that they have emotional problems. The problems may not seem connected to the group; therefore it may not occur to them that these problems are a result of their time in the group. If they see a psychotherapist, the psychotherapist may also agree that the problems are due to pre-existing issues. (Psychotherapists are only slowly being educated on this new field of post-cult syndrome.) For example, long ago I told my psychotherapist that I walked around in constant terror that the world was about to blow up. He interpreted it in the standard psychodynamic way. That is, he theorized that I must be angry about something from my childhood, and that I was experiencing that anger in a disguised form, as fear of the world exploding.
Then, I met with Steve Hassan, an exit counselor. Steve asked me, "What did they tell you would happen if you left TM?" I replied, "Why...they said that if I left Fairfield, I would be 'personally responsible' for World War Three!" And as soon as I made the connection, the terror went away!
That's an obvious example, but it illustrates my point. I recommend Steve Hassan's website freeminds.org, and his books. I hope these help.