Transcendental Deception


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Chicago’s TM Nightmare

A recent article in the New York Post mentions that the Transcendental Meditation (TM) Quiet Time Program will soon be taught in New York schools.

A highly critical article on TM’s Quiet Time program in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) recently appeared in the Chicago Tribune.

The story reports on a presentation to the CPS by a former staff member at Bogan High School in Chicago, who interviewed 60 students enrolled in Bogan’s Quiet Time program. A 14-year-old student also addressed the Board about her experiences in the program. There are also allegations of coercion, inducements and ‘bribe rewards’ offered to students who wanted to quit the program.

As is made clear in the presentations, TM is a Hindu-based religious practice. Along with individual ‘mantras,’ which are the names of Hindu deities, Quiet Time requires each student to participate in a Hindu ceremony known as a ‘puja.’ which TM describes (incorrectly) as a secular ceremony.

The David Lynch Foundation wants a million public school children in its Quiet Time program, despite two court rulings that TM programs in public schools violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. (Malnak v. Yogi, 592 F.2d 1977). When TM lost the case, it appealed the decision to a higher court and lost again. The puja was one of the main reasons the Court cited in its ruling:

Although defendants have submitted well over 1500 pages of briefs, affidavits, and deposition testimony in opposing plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, defendants have failed to raise the slightest doubt as to the facts or as to the religious nature of the teachings of the Science of Creative Intelligence [TM’s Hindu underpinnings] and the puja. The teaching of the SCI/TM course in New Jersey public high schools violates the establishment clause of the first amendment, and its teaching must be enjoined.

The website: ( has a section on TM in public schools. Of particular note is a letter by a parent whose child was a student in a Quiet Time school. She describes how her concerns about her son’s exposure to Hinduism were met with a threatening letter from a TM attorney. There is a second letter from a parent in a California high school who was instrumental in turning down a $175,000 Quiet Time grant from the Lynch Foundation. There are also video clips that demonstrate that the upper echelons of TM share many aspects of cultic organizations.

Transcendental Deception Book

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.

Transcendental Deception is available from online booksellers.  Aryeh Siegel is available for interviews. For further information, visit or email