TM™ Psych-Ops, Then And Now
File under: Gurus to the Stars and The Siddhi of PR
Gp pal John Knapp on his own experience as a hypnotized participant in the early TM™ movement:
I started that residence course as a skeptic about TM. I came out one month later as a true believer who wanted to become a TM teacher. If you had asked me back then what happened on that course to change my beliefs, I would have said that I had learned new and wonderful things, that I saw the light, and that I was convinced by the scientists. What I would not have said was, "Meditating many times a day produced something akin to a hypnotic trance, and I was given a post-hypnotic suggestion to believe in TM and to become a TM teacher."We know why John became a TM™ teacher: it worked for him then. Despite the shady business practices and psych-ops the Maharishi was running on his students, mediation is mediation, and meditation usually transforms. The whole thing is a great illustration of how our cognitive unconscious operates. The suggestions go in and the belief is calculated, which is translated into zeal in the experiencing consciousness. This has an effect similar to putting Vaseline on a camera lens. In the best cases, that seems to wear off after a while, at least for those courageous enough to think for themselves. But in the worst, lives are laid waste by a slavish devotion to a system that just does not suit them, although it does suit those who are receiving the fees and cash offerings.
A person very dear to me attended a similar one-month TM course in 1974, and wrote me during the course, "I have a sensation like I am holding onto a wall, and a strong wind is tearing me off the wall, moving me to become a TM teacher, and it is only a matter of time before I will give way." After the TM course, she, like I, became a TM teacher.
Today, TM™ psych-ops are right back where they began: the Beatles, or at least one of them, along with a cracked-out movie director and a host of luminous dupes who have it better than the rest of us:
Sir Paul [McCartney], who is co-chairing the event, learned the Transcendental Meditation technique in 1967 and attended a course with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India in 1968.Apparently, one thing they've learned in all those years of hypnotizing people is that the extent of their brainwashing is inversely proportional to the age of their victims. Get 'em while they're young, David. Well-played.
Sir Paul will share top-billing with Donovan, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, Moby, jazz flutist Paul Horn, and Mike Love of the Beach Boys.
David Lynch, Russell Simmons, Laura Dern, and other surprise guests will fill out the star-studded slate as presenters.
The concert will raise funds to teach one million at-risk children the Transcendental Meditation technique, giving them the life-long tools to overcome stress and violence—and promote peace and success in their lives. Over 60,000 children in various countries have learned the Transcendental Meditation technique in the past two and a half years thanks to the David Lynch Foundation.