Monday, June 02, 2014

Emotional Problems Post-TM; Relating to Fairfield Relatives, Part I

Recently I saw two readers' comments on TM-Free Blog that caught my attention in that I thought they lent themselves to serious discussion.  

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?
 Reader's comment:   
"...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]."

My response:  

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, and his books.  I hope these help.        

Second topic:  How to Relate to Fairfield TM Relatives
Reader's comment:
"I’d like to get back to some previous comment threads on how to relate to family in TM if you are not in it....
'...I don’t expect my [relatives] to give up TM, and I don’t even try to convince them much or argue with them. But I do....
[NOTE:  Something's gone wrong with this computer program, so I will continue this article as Emotional Problems Post-TM; Relating to Fairfield Relatives, Part II. - ed.]

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