Monday, December 1, 2008

When - Exactly - Did I Lose My Mind?

"Since leaving the TM movement 27 years ago, I have been impressed with how tenaciously my mind has held onto illogical TM beliefs, even though I have researched mind control, studied the dishonesty in the TM movement, been exit counseled, learned about suggestibility, etc.



I used to think that my indoctrination occurred on my five-month Teacher Training Course, where I meditated up to 12 times a day, leading to a state of heightened suggestibility. Later, I decided that the indoctrination came earlier, at a one-month course I had taken the previous year, where I meditated up to 6 times a day.



Now I realize that TM mind control started even earlier. I see now that some of the groundwork was already set in place by the day of "initiation" (personal instruction). I don't mean the specific beliefs were in place, like "Don't eat meat - it's bad for your spiritual evolution," but a basic mindset necessary for further indoctrination into the TM world view was already in place. These never-explicitly articulated, yet understood ground rules included: Don't ask awkward questions. Obey. Don't rock the boat. Overlook inconsistencies. Collude. Don't embarrass the teacher. Believe everything Maharishi says.



I did see people showing independent thought and asking difficult questions at the Introductory Lecture and the Preparatory Lecture. But by the time of initiation, I was already a lot more sheep-like. And the other people who learned TM the same day as me seemed to be, too. I mean, I don't recall hearing any pointed questions in the three days of follow-up."
-- "Laurie", recounting her initiation into Transcendental Meditation (follow the link and see the whole thing - it's, by turns, hilarious and sad) on the always-brilliant blog called TM-Free.

Remember what I just posted yesterday?

I like Laurie's post (and the TM-Free blog) because, not only is it by someone who knows the landscape intimately, but it flies in the face of those who still do it and claim meditation's "harmless." (My ex-wife became a meditating fiend before our divorce and her killing spree.) All of this stuff - meditation, yoga, etc. - is just to soften you up mentally ("leading to a state of heightened suggestibility") and, considering how many people - especially women - are engaged in it, it's no wonder things appear to be going out of whack across the Western World:

They've, literally, lost their minds.