Wednesday, November 14, 2018

What did you sign when you started TM?

In the course of sorting through some contributed TM-related materials and doing a bit of research, I came across two interesting items that apparently date from the mid-1990's.

The first of these are one page agreement forms, that prospective meditators had to sign before proceeding with TM instruction, and also another version that applied to instruction in an "advanced technique" of TM. The two agreements are basically identical, with the same six numbered clauses, the only difference is that the second agreement also refers to the advanced technique.

The other is a reference in another document, that states that TM teachers are not, under any circumstances, to provide prospective meditators with a copy of the agreement that they must sign to receive instruction.

I was instructed in the mid-1970's and I don't recall seeing such a thing go by at that time, there was the basic intake form with a small statement at the bottom that had to be signed, but there was nothing this elaborate or legalistic, as far as I can remember, that needed my signature. The same was true upon receiving a so-called "advanced technique" in the early 1980's.

What documents were you required to sign when you started TM, or when you received instruction in an advanced technique or some other program offered by the same organization(s)?

Were you offered a copy of whatever you signed, or did you ask for a copy and were refused?

Inquiring minds want to know more, particularly when it comes to current practice and with the involvement of the David Lynch Foundation in attempting to promote the teaching of TM in public schools and other venues where the contents of such agreements may be an issue.

Since I know the question will come up, the unanimous answer provided by many credible online sources is that, no, you don't have to be provided a copy of a legal agreement for it to be valid; the fact that you signed it makes it a valid agreement. Though a lot of us would think it's rather sleazy, or indicative of the fact that people may have second thoughts later about what they're getting involved in, to not freely provide a copy of agreements that people are required to sign before they participate in an activity.

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