Behind the TM curtain
This is a must-read book! The public image of TM may be benign but as a licensed mental health counselor, I am well aware of TM’s many deceptions and the related psychological damage this group can cause some individuals. I have worked with many of them. If you are considering meditation, this book will help you choose wisely and caution you to never surrender your critical thinking to anyone.
TM adherents claim that their religion is really a ‘science,’ and they seek to interject it into public schools. This is a clear violation of separation of church and state. Aryeh Siegel has performed a real public service in exposing it.
This is a very personal and eye-opening expose of the hidden world of life in the Transcendental Meditation Movement. It took great personal courage and strength for Aryeh to build a new life for himself and his family. A must read!
I was appalled when I heard that as part of a “health” class, my child was expected to bow and make offerings before a candlelit altar, in a mantra initiation ritual with a stranger chanting Sanskrit prayers, who told him to keep aspects of this secret from his parents. Persuading his public school that this was unconstitutional and a danger to the wellbeing of minors would have been much easier had I had this book.
Siegel’s chapter on TM research provides the most comprehensive overview that I’ve seen of the numerous pseudoscientific claims emanating from the movement. The body of “evidence” TM uses to tout its supposed advantages over alternatives is staggeringly abysmal. Siegel demonstrates how misrepresentation and hype are used in a concerted effort to surround TM research in an aura of scientific legitimacy. He also reveals how TM proponents use their pseudoscience to solicit funding from unwitting government agencies, schools, and benefactors to pay for TM training en masse. Siegel does a fine job providing information on effective low-cost and no-cost alternatives.