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Transcendental Deception: Behind the TM curtain
New book examines TM’s poorly designed and vastly over-hyped “science,” hidden agendas, and David Lynch’s campaign to push a million public school kids into Transcendental Meditation while falsely claiming it is not a religion
In the new book, Transcendental Deception, author Aryeh Siegel exposes the hidden world of the enormously wealthy and highly secretive Transcendental Meditation organization.
Siegel was first introduced to TM in the early 1970s. What began as a casual interest in meditation to relieve stress would morph into an all-encompassing way of life for nearly ten years. He became a TM teacher, participated in small meetings with TM’s guru and founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and even had a place in Maharishi’s entourage in 1975 when he appeared twice on the Merv Griffin Show.
While primarily working at TM’s U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles, Siegel was involved with some early studies that were supposed to demonstrate the power and efficacy of the TM approach. He also participated in what was called the “TM-Sidhi program” which promised that meditators could learn to levitate, become invisible, develop miraculous powers, and achieve permanent perfect health with eternal life.
Over time, Siegel became disillusioned with both his TM practice and the organization. He didn’t need his Ph.D. coursework in behavioral science at UCLA to understand that the so-called research TM was pushing was biased, poorly designed, and flawed. He came to believe that much of what passed for science in the TM world was too often a form of contrived promotion. Although Siegel seriously practiced TM and the Sidhi program for years, he experienced no miraculous powers, no flying or levitating, just wishful thinking and hype. It became increasingly obvious to him that TM was a poorly adapted form of Hinduism, a religion, yet falsely promoted to the public as secular and scientific. Siegel further experienced the TM organization as becoming increasingly authoritarian and cultic.
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