File under: Gurubusting and Satscams
Guruphiliac hero Geoff Gilpin, author of the wonderful TM™ takedown book The Maharishi Effect, and a former resident of TM™'s loonyville in Fairfield, Iowa, has published a nifty little essay entitled Quantum Consciousness, Quantum Miracles, Quantum Failure [pdf], in which he breaks down and debunks the horrible misinterpretation and misappropriation of some of the ideas snatched from quantum physics that are commonly employed by New Age™ flimflammers and that little man who just can't and never will, the Maharishi himself:
You'd expect some dramatic results if the Maharishi Effect is as powerful as they say it is. After all, they claim that the number of people meditating in the Golden Dome of Pure Knowledge in Iowa controls the number of floods and hurricanes and other natural disasters throughout the world. This effect, if it happens, is on a much larger and more public scale than the tiny blips of quantum events...We especially liked this story, an illustration of just how far off the deep end the TM™ cult leads its adherents:
The Maharishi Effect and other paranormal claims demand a lot of faith. It's like staking everything on the lottery. Are you willing to toss out all of science, everything that we know to be true about the natural world, on the slim chance that a miracle might pan out?
When the vast majority of scientists don't take the bet, it's not because they're biased or part of some big conspiracy. They're just doing their job, the same job that any concerned, aware citizen would do.
When the TM movement comes up with solid evidence for the Maharishi Effect, they will have the faculty of every physics department in the world knocking at their door. Until then, they will continue to be ignored, which is just as it should be.
I'll always remember a dinner-table discussion about the upcoming presidential election of 1976. A few were for Ford and a few were for Carter. One perky young woman insisted that nobody in the TM movement should waste their time voting. Any day now, the Age of Enlightenment would dawn and America would adopt a caste system with Maharishi and his followers as the new lords and ladies.The quantity of failure measured by recollections such as these makes it crystal clear that the old coot has had head his head directly up his ass since that day he tried to mac Mia Farrow away from the Beatles.
I confronted her with a lame protest about Abraham Lincoln going from his log cabin to the White House. She seemed genuinely baffled by this argument. "But," she asked in a concerned tone, "don't you want to be known as Lord Geoff?"
At first I was as baffled as she was, but I got used to it. A surprising number of Maharishi's followers assumed that their service to the movement would be rewarded by a mansion with a staff of servants, a position of leadership in the coming world government, and the gratitude of all humanity.
Unfortunately, he's got all his remaining followers still shoved up there right along with him.