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We at Scientia believe that TM works fine, but we disagree with the high price. These web pages are reported for historical reasons, to show how the TM Organization was able to attract criticism even if the TM technique actually works.

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Chapter 7 of 7



T.M. portrays itself as being an easy, scientifically proved relaxation technique, non-religious and non- ideological. Everyone can meditate according to this method and experience the positive effects it produces. Negative side effects are not known. Any interested people are given the impression in the introductory lectures that T.M. is a scientifically investigated serious relaxation technique.


This impression is usually gone (for most people) by the time the initiation ceremony is over. The following two descriptions of this ceremony represent the feelings of many:

"I wondered why I had to bring fruit, flowers and a white handkerchief, I found that really silly...then I was brought into a room in which there were two chairs. I was to sit in one of the seats. Then a candle was lit, as well as incense sticks, and Guru Dev's picture was illuminated. He started singing something or other, and then I got my mantra, I was really shaking, perhaps because I had an inner resistance to all this ritual goings on: the air was so thick and heavy, I had the feeling they were trying to fog me in, I couldn't breath properly because I felt hemmed in...l was told to say the mantra first out loud then softer and finally barely a whisper...The puja was almost like a raping to me , even when I was outside I thought, I don't like this - but then I had shaken the feeling off."(l)

"I knew practically nothing beforehand about the initiation or ceremony which takes place. I was just told that I was to bring fruit and a white handkerchief with me. Their explanation was that it was just a ceremony of thanksgiving for the ceremony, and it was said in such neutral tones, that you wouldn't think in the back of your head that it was really a ceremony of worship. I love to say that I felt extremely unwell and would really have like[sic] to have stopped the woman who initiated me after the first five minutes and asked her what exactly was going on here. But being in the middle of all that ceremony I didn't have the courage to speak my mind, and after that it just didn't arise again for some reason, so that I thought to myself, well, you didn't really like it, but you'll give it a try anyway, and as time went on that feeling just completely faded. It was only in hindsight, when I saw through the whole T.M. movement, that that initial feeling came to mind again.

They told me that they would only choose the sound which would relate to a particular person (me) and which would be suitable for that person. Secrecy? Yes!!"(2)

For many people the celebration of the puja is a deep experience - despite their inner resistance, consisting of a kneeling in front of Guru Dev's picture and the promise of secrecy. In addition to the publicly presented scientific relaxation technique the meditator - under the obligation of secrecy - also receives a religious value system of interpretation. The meditator can practice a scientifically legitimized relaxation technique in the clear light of the public - and can satisfy his religious aspirations in doing so. That became a reason for many meditators to get more involved in T.M.

Table 51: On the question of religiosity.
table GIF

91% (60) described T.M. as being religious. Reasons given are the initiation ceremony: the status accorded to Maharishi, the meditation itself, and T.M. teaching.

13% (8) left their church, because they felt that their religious aspirations were better met by T.M. Since only 18% (12) had belonged to a church before T.M. the significance of the number of those who left is greatly increased. Almost all meditators found a group they could relate to in a religious way, in T.M.


"She said that T.M. wasn't religious, but i[t] comes from Hinduism. They seek God-realization: a relationship to God, or whatever they understand to be God. It marks your being and your outlook on life. The mantras come from the Sanskrit and are the names of Gods. People strive to become more like Hindus. They take on a belief in reincarnation, and chanted Veda hymns are recorded on video as aids to the meditation." (2/34)

Even if the T.M. movement does place a great deal of value on its (supposed) religious neutrality, meditators nevertheless notice the religious character of the T.M. movement. T.M. teaching is derived from Hinduism and the meditation is a simply standardized tantric mantra meditation. Of course the representatives of T.M. try to save the veneer of non-religiosity by arguing that T.M. and the "science of creative intelligence" come from the Vedas, which have existed since time immemorial and which are also of a status which is 'above religions': but this opinion is contradicted by the usual religious-scientist's view which attributes the Vedas unequivocally to Hinduism and its multiple varieties. The argument reflects in fact the world view of T.M., since only a person who lives and thinks in the context of Hinduism will declare that the Vedas have always been there and are still effective everywhere.


Even at the beginning of the new meditator's contact with T.M he is being knowingly deceived. The true meaning of the puja is kept from him and it is claimed that mantras are specially chosen for the new initiates. In fact they are given out according to the age group of the person being initiated.

The ex-meditators were asked about their experiences of the initiation ceremony, and there follows the resulting answers in table form.

Table 52: On the question of Deception. (only group 2 were asked)
table GIF

Only one person knew during the initiation ceremony that the puja was a religious invocation. None of the meditators knew what the translation of the puja was, which is celebrated in Sanskrit during the ceremony. All ex-meditators in our study were told that the mantra was a sound without meaning and none knew that the mantra was given out in a standardized way (i.e. other people of the same age would receive the same mantra). Every meditator kept the mantra a secret. That they all kept the mantra to themselves is an indication of the strong influence of T.M. and a foundation of further unquestioning obedience to T.M. directives.


Over 20,000 meditators (3,500 of them from West Germany) have completed the Sidhi course. For many the attraction was the promises that they would learn supernatural abilities, especially being able to "fly". Yet none of those in our study were able to fly, nor did he/she see any of the other course participants flying, or indeed any of the course organizers (usually executive governors). The large scale advertising carried on by the T.M. movement among the general public as well as meditators for the sidhi course is based on a deliberate deception which has earned the T.M. movement approximately 14 million marks [$18.6 million] in West Germany alone. (It is taken for granted that the numbers of those who have taken the sidhi course as given by the chairman of the T.M. association of lawyers is correct, and each paid (on average) 4,000 marks [%5,300]. The cost actually lies between 2,500 marks and 10,000 marks [$3,300 and $13,300].


We do not propose to go into each method of advertising individually (see "The Power of the Sweet Words" [Die macht der sutsen worte] by Milderberger/Scholl page 12). Much more we desire to give the opinion of those in our study on T.M. advertising.

94% of those questioned considered the advertising carried on by T.M. to be a deception and/or unreliable. That can hardly be surprising when the methods of procedure of the T.M. movement as portrayed in this study are taken into account, as well as the combined experiences of ex- meditators, parents and married partners.


The people we questioned were asked to name the main objectives of the T.M. movement, as they saw them today. An open question , i.e. uncategorized, was put to them, which was classified into categories after the answers were received.

Table 54: Objectives of T.M. (more than one indication possible)
table GIF

83% (64) see the main objectives of T.M. as being power and money; 19% (10) as being to offer the public a (new) religion, 13% as being world betterment, and only one person saw the main objective of the T.M. movement as being the introduction of a relaxation technique (into the world). The spiritual objective in the context of institutions can appropriately be described as a will to power. The answers given by those questioned can be understood in this light.


"to lead people in one direction, to make people open to influence by them, to use people." (2/106)

"In every case they have a different objective than that which they give as an objective, to make people dependent. The T.M. people in the center are running after the whole ideals of the movement like the people dancing around the golden calf." (2/106)

"Power politics in tendency and direction." (2/106)

"T.M. tries to wrap people up in a religion, which they are unable to perceive as to its fullest meaning. People are manipulated so that they will become dependent on it and then T.M. will make money out of them" (2/106)

"I can't understand it properly, whether he wants to draw people into his particular area of power or whether he really wants to help mankind." (2/106)


On the pretext of continued perfect health, immortality, unfolding of the personality, etc. the organization avoids paying health and social insurance contributions for full- time workers. The individual person is viewed as being a "standard factor", who can be disposed of as the organization wishes. Alongside other instances, the criteria involved in the giving out of mantras points to the 'standardization' of people. The T.M. organization does not consider it contradictory to select the mantra 'individually' and 'personally' and according to age. The individual's personality is the age group he belongs to. A result of the purely functional, mechanical outlook of T.M. (whoever is concerned with T.M., must differentiate between a normal everyday use of language and the language of 'insiders', as well as the particular significance of everyday language as it is used by T.M.).

Finally it is hardly a shock to learn that meditators who were working full-time in one of the main T.M. centers in West Germany and Switzerland, and who became mentally ill because of T.M., were expelled as undesirables by those in high authority. In many cases the parents of those ill people were summoned at short notice to pick up their children. In doing this the T.M. movement succeeded in maintaining their claim, at least as regards appearances, that no one in their organization was mentally ill.



The months long training of T.M. teachers is, according to ex-T.M. teachers, divided into three main sections, which are supplemented by some smaller sections.

1. Meditation and rounding.

2. Introduction into the esoterical level of T.M. teaching and ideology.

3. Learning of the Puja: text and ritual.

Added to this training is:

- a training in rhetoric (a learning by heart of information and introductory lectures).

-a learning by heart of the checking points. (checking of the meditation).

T.M. teacher training courses often take place in remote secluded areas. The course participants are shut off from the outside world for months on end. There is no radio, no television and no newspapers. In the same way as described in section 5.1.5, the embryonic T.M. teachers are sworn into T.M. ideology, bolstered up by the declaration of loyalty. Psychological appraisal or therapeutic help is not available in the case of difficulties arising.

Ex-T.M. teachers reported:

"There was no psychological training. Only an introduction into the meditation and the initiation." (2/46)

"There was absolutely no psychological training. If some difficulties or other arose with people, then you just stand there and can do nothing. There were lectures and tapes that were played to you 2-3 hours every day. You don't really need to listen that much. The T.M. teacher is like a recording, that's what is in our literature." (2/46)

"Training by repetition, speech exercises, pseudo groups with structured responses and the effect of repetition. It went so far that the same examples were used continually."(2/46)


Most T.M. teachers on the basis of their training, do not have the necessary knowledge and experience to grasp the existing personal situation of the meditator or to recognize mental disorders in their beginning stages.

Meditation is generally understood to be an inner-personal process that requires careful guidance and an understanding and empathy on the part of the meditation teacher.

Elsewhere, particularly in Asia in relation to meditation, the personal individual dialogue between the master and his student is a continuous process. The master has undertaken responsibility for the student. On the basis of his own experiences he can correct wrong development and promote the inner evolution of his student. This dialogue which exists purely on the basis of a trusting personal relationship is replaced in the T.M. order of things by a neutral standardized monitoring process. Problems are to be solved in a systematic manner by a 30-point system and increased meditation. The personal situation or problems of the meditator will not be investigated. Maharishi Yogi says to his T.M. teachers in the secret checking instructions:

We do not involve ourselves in discussion during checking and we don't try to investigate mistakes. We impart to the meditator only the experience of effortless natural thinking. Whatever the complaints made about the meditation, whatever the problem is; we go through the necessary checking points, and he will feel better.

Before we begin with the checking, we listen, just for one or two minutes, with interest and patience, to his experiences with the meditation; but only if he insists on speaking, we do this so that he will see our participation. Otherwise we don't get involved in answering questions and don't try to find out the mistakes in his meditating procedure.

In the same way as the psycho-technique "T.M." functions, so the checking of that meditation. Both fail where difficulties appear.


In recent years there has been efforts made by the T.M. movement to set up economically self-sufficient sidha- lands, in which meditators live and meditate, as well as having the opportunity to work in one of the T.M. concerns set up there. This institutionalization reflects the real attitudes of meditators. The attitude of the emigrant, who withdraws from all areas of social intercourse and can finally only be happy in his meditation and its institutionalized form. One of T.M.'s formula/mottos[sic], to 'meditate and be active', is fulfilled in the Sidha- lands. The double-talk employed by T.M. would rule out an ordinary interpretation of this last sentence, i.e. that meditation is only fulfilled or effective when the meditator engages in energetic activity. Although T.M. gives this impression by its use of everyday language in its advertising, what T.M. really means by 'meditate and be active' is something completely different. The meditation and activity are directed solely towards T.M. and its organization. Only when directed towards the organization can a meditator engage in meaningful activity, and in doing this he will also work effectively for his own evolution. Therefore it is not an activity in the social sense (social welfare) which is required, rather an activity in accord with "evolution" and "the laws of nature". Sidha-lands offer the opportunity of undisturbed meditation, far away from outside influence. In a sidha-land a person can wish himself anything he desires; the sidha-land becomes a land of milk and honey.


63% (43) of those questioned admitted that they were aware that the initiation of children was in progress. From the age of three years they can be initiated by a T.M. teacher. A special introduction to the technique exists for children. The impressionability and openness of children leads to a multiplication in various forms of the effects of T.M. as described in this study. Some children who began the practice of T.M. at an early age, were diagnosed as having developed autistic behavior.


70% (47) of those involved in our investigation knew of other families and meditators who experienced the same effects of T.M. as already outlined in this study. One can therefore take it that there are more problem areas in the T.M. movement than there was previously thought. The hidden numbers of such people is extremely high, since there are many parents, married partners and ex-meditators who for various reasons are not prepared to tell of their experiences of the T.M. movement to the greater public. In this study many of the parents questioned could only report on their observations under the assurance of complete confidentiality and anonymity, in deference to their children, who are meditators.


It is not the task of this chapter to refer once again to the individual results tabulated in previous chapters. The summaries at the end of those chapters suffice in this regard. We rather wish to identify and interpret some basic structures of T.M.

The initiation into the practice of T.M. is geared towards increasing the emotional openness of the meditator. On the basis of this increased opening up, an unreserved acceptance of the teachings as spread by Maharishi follows.

The acceptance of these teachings causes a loss in the sense of reality, altered social attitudes, which themselves lead to a breaking off of or reduction in contacts to the world of non-meditators.

The 'one-to-one' type of relationship is replaced by a narcissistic ego-centric "me" type of relationship.

Negative experiences with the meditation are seen as "unstressing" and are blamed on earlier development (pre- T.M.) or on the negative karma of the meditator's surroundings.

The overcoming of these 'knots of stress" leads to more intensive meditation and increased isolation.

Increased isolation is equivalent to promotion within the T.M. organization.

The public-oriented claims of the T.M. movement do not correspond with their aims: The T.M. movement claims that T.M. is only a relaxation technique. it is in fact a religious method and world-view.

Social, mental, and physical disturbances are the result of increased delicacy and helplessness, which are caused by the meditation. The secondary effects which result, described as "release of stress", can lead to severe mental illness/damage. The recommendation given by the T.M. organization in such instances, i.e. to increase the mediation to longer periods; is dangerous.

There is no satisfactory follow-up procedure of care for meditators. Experiences had of meditation are dealt with by the so called "checking' procedure, which is completely inadequate: This means that the meditator is afforded a guidance which is irresponsible.

The isolation spoken of corresponds with the formation of Sidha-lands, where only meditators can live and work.

The proclaimed responsibility for the world does not correspond with a withdrawal from it.

The result of this development is that very many meditators are led into the illusion of a better world, at the cost of real everyday life, and past real people. "Enlightened consciousness" does not bear well 'ordinary' contact with non-meditators, who therefore are experienced as being a hinderance[sic].

Every individual needs the people of his environment as a "corrective", since "our neighbor" does not really stand in our way, rather, he is the guardian angel who stands at the brink of the abyss, and saves us from gliding off into the realm of illusion.

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