Fraud, Philandering & Fascism in the TM Movement
by William H. Kennedy, April 30, 2013
On February 6, 2008 the New York Times ran a headline obituary concerning a major religious figure which read Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Spiritual Leader Dies thus ending the life and times of an extraordinary charlatan and mystical conman. Best known as the Beatles' first Guru and meditation master the Maharishi lived a life of fame, fortune, political power and sexual hijinks. In the annals of cults and spiritual swindlers the Maharishi takes the cake as being perhaps the most outstanding metaphysical mountebank of all time.
According to his passport the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born on January 12, 1918 in Pounalulla, India and was originally named Mahesh Prasad Varma Srivastava. He was the son of a tax collector and local official. It is important to note that he was born into the Kayastha caste. In the Hindu caste system Brahmins are highest acting as kings and priests, Kshatriyas (or Kayasthas) are soldiers and civil servants, Vaishyas are merchants and Sudras are workers. In this traditional system it sinful for a person born of a lower caste (or class) to do the work of an upper or lower member of their society.
Mahesh as a Young Book Keeper
Mahesh the Monastery Money Man
Mahesh earned a degree in physics and mathematics from the Allahabad University in India in 1942. After graduation he worked primarily as a book keeper and administrator. He became a follower of the Brahmin spiritual teacher Swami Brahmananda Saraswati (also known as Guru Dev) the Shankaracharya (High Priest) of a northern temple/monastery which was set up in the 800s CE by the mystic philosopher Adi Shankara.
Mahesh accepted a job as a book keeper and administrative assistant to Guru Dev and took the religious name Bal Brahmachari Mahesh and moved into the temple/monastery complex. His role was purely that of secretary and he was never ordained as a priest with the power to initiate acolytes or bestow mantras (prayers recited by devotees). By the standards of this Hindu Sect only Brahmins are allowed to become clergy and conduct the various esoteric rites and arcane ceremonies. People of lower castes, like Mahesh, would never be allowed to learn the various liturgies involved in Adi Shankara's ministry. However, Mahesh observed such services and had access to the specific religious texts describing the various rituals while he worked as a mere accountant at the monastery.
Guru Dev had a policy of not accepting donations from spiritual seekers who came to the monastery for religious instruction. The sect was and is supported by local tenant farmers (share croppers) who pay a percentage of their profits to the temple. Signs were even posted insisting that the institution did not accept donations of any kind. Mahesh was in charge of telling affluent and eager devotees that he could not take their sometimes huge monetary offerings. The young accountant must have seen the potential for fiscal gain because when Guru Dev died in 1953, he left the monastery and headed to southern India to spread his own brand of Hinduism for profit.
Now billing himself as the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi he claimed to be a legitimate successor to Guru Dev and overtly lied claiming that his master charged him to spread what he was calling Transcendental Deep Meditation and later shortened to Transcendental Meditation to the world! He went to southern India most likely to avoid being debunked as a fraud and set up the Spiritual Regeneration Movement to promote his new "mantras for sale" business. (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi once joked "I can bring the world to cosmic consciousness by invoking Coca Cola.") He requested large donations from devotees to learn a secret mantra which they would silently recite twice a day for twenty minutes and would eventually make them fully enlightened spiritual beings and afford them magical powers like the ability to levitate and fly, read minds, walk through walls and become invisible!
Even more disturbing Mahesh began to ally himself with extreme right wing and Fascist Hindu political groups who sought to rid India of all Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and any other spiritual belief systems which did not fit their Vedic (Hindu) World View. Some of these extreme Indian nationalist groups sided with Hitler during WW2. Maharishi (meaning great teacher) Mahesh Yogi was clearly and distinctly a Fascist during his early years as a bogus teacher of meditation. Perhaps fearing exposure as a fraud or believing that more money was to be made elsewhere the Maharishi set out on a world tour in 1958.
Mahesh the Fascist
The Giggling Guru Goes West
In 1958 Mahesh left India on his first "global tour". For obvious reasons, though, he based himself in Los Angeles. In those days, California was a Mecca for the Beat Generation, and among these forerunners of the hippies, a plausible, exotic young guru preaching love and peace - and offering a way of achieving a "natural high" without the need for drugs - quickly became a cult hero.
Soon his popularity spread among stressed business executives seeking an alternative to psychiatry, whose methods he scorned. "You must learn to take life less seriously and to laugh," he told them, chuckling as if he were privy to some sublime cosmic joke. "The highest state is laughter." Mahesh was soon dubbed "The Giggling Guru" because of his spontaneous outbursts of snickering. One can only speculate if Mahesh was laughing at his students as opposed to laughing with them.
Along with the adulation came money, of course.
At first, the Maharishi asked for nothing and he lived off of "voluntary donations", albeit more substantial amounts than he would have received in India. As his renown grew, however, he began to charge "tuition fees", realising his affluent audience could easily afford to pay for his words of wisdom. With a wink and a giggle, followers were also encouraged to contribute towards his "expenses": printing costs, transport rental, the hiring of halls and so on.
In 1961, one rich woman blithely wrote him a check for $100,000: her contribution to a new ashram he wished to build in India. Another wealthy couple, accountant Roland Olson and his publicist wife Helen, gave him free use of a plush house in Hollywood.
The "Giggling Guru" appeared uninterested in these vast sums and never discussed or handled money himself, leaving it to his disciples. However, the burgeoning bank balance can hardly have escaped his all-seeing gaze. As the 60s rolled Mahesh became more and more popular among the jet set and he traveled the world gathering more and more wealthy followers until the Maharishi discovered the Holy Grail of celebrity devotees.
Maharishi and the Beatles
By the "Summer of Love" in 1967, when he famously came to the attention of The Beatles, the Maharishi boasted a considerable following, including celebrities such as Mike Love of the Beach Boys (who became a teacher of Transcendental Meditation), folk singer Donovan, Mia Farrow, and even the tough-guy actor Clint Eastwood.
Disaster struck midway through the seminar, when news came through that Brian Epstein, The Beatles' manager, had died from a drug overdose.
The group, who relied on him to orchestrate every aspect of their lives, were devastated, but the Maharishi treated his death as a minor mishap.
"He was sort of saying, 'Look, forget it! Be happy!'" remarked Lennon later, adding caustically: "F*****g idiot." At the time The Beatles couldn't see through such insensitive behaviour. It seemed only to confirm one of their new guru's favourite phrases (which became the title of a George Harrison LP): "All things must pass."
Maharishi with Folk Singer Donovan (L) and Beach Boy Mike Love (R)
Desperate for an alternative to the increasingly crazy, pressure-cooker world they inhabited, and seeking a new guiding spirit with Epstein's passing, they became deeply immersed in the Maharishi's teaching.
So, the following February, 1968, the four beaming, flower-garlanded band-members flew to India, where they were to spend several months deepening their knowledge of Transcendental Meditation at his ashram in Rishikesh.
For the first few weeks, this intended spiritual awakening went well enough, but Ringo was first to depart - he hated Indian food and his wife, Maureen, couldn't bear the insects.
After five weeks, amid mounting mutterings that the Maharishi was a publicity-seeker with an unhealthy interest in meditating in close proximity to the Farrow sisters, Paul McCartney followed the drummer back to London.
That left John and George, always the most receptive (or gullible?) among the guru's pupils.
Maharishi and Mia Farrow
In an episode now etched in Beatle folklore, however, they, too, packed their bags in disgust after Mia Farrow fled the Maharishi's cave in tears, claiming that the supposedly celibate swami had grabbed her in his hairy arms and tried to make advances towards her.
"Boys! Boys! What's wrong? Why are you leaving?" the Maharishi is said to have shouted after them.
"If you're so f*****g cosmic, you'll know," came Lennon's withering reply.
Thus ended The Beatles' brief dalliance with the Maharishi. Or, at least, so it was widely believed.
Maharishi on the cover of Time Magazine 1975
The Yogi and the New Age Movement
By 1971 the Maharishi had completed thirteen world tours and visited 50 countries and held a press conference with American inventor Buckminster Fuller at his first International Symposium on SCI at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts. Between the years 1970 and 1973 about 10,000 people attend the Maharishi sponsored symposia on his modern interpretation of Vedanta philosophy called Science of Creative Intelligence. During these conferences held at universities, the Maharishi dialogued with "leading thinkers" of the day such as Hans Selye, Marshall McLuhan, and Jonas Salk.
encouraged the attendees to improve their appearance by getting haircuts and wearing ties. He also "persuaded" the U.S. Army to "offer courses in to its soldiers" and made video taped recordings of what was thought to be the West's first comprehensive recitation of the ancient Hindu scripture called the Rig Veda.
In March 1973, Maharishi addressed the legislature of the state of Illinois. That same year, the legislature passed a resolution in support of the use of Maharishi's Science of Creative Intelligence in Illinois public schools. Later that year he organized a world conference of mayors in Switzerland. In that same year he also addressed 3000 educators at an American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) conference on quality of life and higher education.
In 1974, Maharishi International University was founded. In October 1975, the Maharishi was pictured on the front cover of Time magazine. He made his last visit to the Spiritual Regeneration Movement centre in Los Angeles in 1975, according to film director David Lynch, who met him for the first time there.
Maharishi and Merv
In 1975, the Maharishi embarked on a five-continent trip to inaugurate what he called "the Dawn of the Age of Enlightenment". The Maharishi said the purpose of the inaugural tour was to "go around the country and give a gentle whisper to the population". He visited Ottawa during this tour and had a private meeting with Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau, during which he spoke about the principles of and "the possibility of structuring an ideal society." .That same year, the Pittsburg Press reported that "The Maharishi has been criticised by other Eastern yogis for simplifying their ancient art.". The Maharishi appeared as a guest on The Merv Griffin Show in 1975 and again in 1977 and this resulted in "tens of thousands of new practitioners" around the USA.
In the mid 1970s, the Maharishi's U.S. movement was operating 370 centres manned by 6,000 teachers.At that time, the Maharishi also began approaching the business community via an organisation called the American Foundation for the Science of Creative Intelligence (AFSCI), whose objective was to eliminate stress for business professionals. The Maharishi's message was a promise of "increased creativity and flexibility, increased productivity, improved job satisfaction, improved relations with supervisors and co-workers". His movement came to be increasingly structured along the lines of a multinational corporation.
The teaching of and the Science of Creative Intelligence in a New Jersey public school was stopped when a US court, in 1977, declared the movement to be religious, and ruled adoption of by public organisations in breach of the separation of church and state. In 1978, the Maharishi began a "world peace campaign" and sent more than five hundred "World Governors" to meditate and neutralize global tension in Lebanon, Iran, Thailand, Zimbabwe and Central America.
During the 1980s, the organisation continued to expand and his meditation technique continued to attract celebrities despite its "outlandish claims" and accusations of fraud from disaffected former disciples.The Maharishi made a number of property investments. In England, he bought Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire, Roydon Hall in Maidstone, Swythamley Park in the Peak District and a Georgian rectory in Suffolk. In the United States, resorts and hotels, many in city centres, were purchased to be used as training centres. The Maharishi founded Maharishi Ved Vigyan Vishwa Vidyapeetham, a self described educational institution located in Uttar Pradesh, India, in 1982. The institution reports that it has trained 50,000 pundits in traditional Vedic recitation In 1983 the Maharishi invited government leaders to interact with his organization called "World Government" that same year he organized a two-week "collective meditation" at Maharishi International University in Iowa with the goal of purifying world consciousness.
In January 1988, offices at the Maharishinagar complex in New Delhi were raided by Indian tax authorities and the Maharishi and his organization were accused of falsifying expenses.
Reports on the value of stocks, fixed-deposit notes, cash and jewels confiscated, varies from source to source . The Maharishi, who was headquartered in Switzerland at the time, reportedly moved to the Netherlands after the Indian government accused him of tax fraud. Beginning in 1989, the Maharishi's movement began incorporating the term "Maharishi" into the names of their new and existing entities, concepts and programs.
The Sidhi program, is sometimes referred to as Yogic Flying, was introduced during a downturn in program enrollment and reportedly costs thousands of dollars to learn. The organization directed itself inward and offered additional products and practices to its committed practitioners to continue on the path to enlightenment. These included supernatural compensators (mind reading, etc.), including the ©Sidhi program. During this period, the Movement began making increasingly absurd claims about the powers of and the ©Sidhi program, including the mystical power to reduce crime. In her book, author Nancy Cooke de Herrera writes that Charlie Lutes, former President of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, saw the introduction of the ©Sidhi program as a financial ploy to increase income in the wake of declining public interest in ©TM
As mentioned, the Maharishi appeared as a guest on The Merv Griffin Show. According to author James Randi, a magician and critic of paranormal claims, the Maharishi said during one Merv Griffin Show appearance that he had enrolled 40,000 students in the ©Sidhi program. When Griffin, a practitioner of and member of the elite Bohemian Grove occult fraternity, asked how many of them had learned to levitate, the Maharishi answered: "Thousands". According to a 1977 article in The Los Angeles Times, a spokesman said that Yogic Flying would only be demonstrated if a group of ten individuals each paid $1,000 for the showing. The article quoted critic Swami Vishnu-devananda as saying that the assertions of flying is a "hoax". Brahmachari Silendra, an Indian Physicist described and the ©Sidhi as an incremental process like "following a map": "We are following the path and right now we are on schedule."
In 1985, civil suits were filed against the World Plan Executive Council and MIU by Robert Kropinski, Jane Greene, Patrick Ryan and Diane Hendel claiming fraud, psychological, physical, and emotional harm as a result of the Transcendental Meditation and ©Sidhi programs. Following dismissal of the other claims by the trial judge, the jury awarded Kropinski $137,890 on the fraud and negligence claims. The appellate court overturned the award, the case was remanded for retrial. The Kropinski, Green, and Ryan cases were then settled on undisclosed terms. The remaining suit by Hendel, not included in the settlement, was later dismissed because the claims were barred by the statute of limitations. In affirming the dismissal, the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit held that Hendel's claims were time-barred under the discovery rule because …the defendants made representations which any reasonable person would recognize as being contrary to common human experience and, indeed, to the laws of physics. If, as Ms. Hendel alleges, she was told that meditators would slowly rise in the air, and that some of them were "flying over Lake Lucern" or "walking through walls, hovering, and becoming invisible," and that her failure to go to bed on time could bring about World War III, then a reasonable person would surely have noticed, at some time prior to September 1, 1986, that some of these representations might not be true.
Bevan Morris, president of the Maharishi International University, held the First North American Yogic Flying Contest in 1986, at the Civic Center in Washington DC. 22 ©Sidhi meditators participated in competitions including the 25-meter hurdles, the 50-meter dash, and the long jump. The winning times and distances: 11.53 seconds in the 25-metre hurdles; 23.33 seconds in the 50-metre dash; 70 inches in the long-jump; and the high jump 24.75 inches. Reporters describe the participants hopping on foam mattresses while sitting cross legged or in a seated "lotus position". Victoria Dawson, a reporter for the Washington Post, observed that, "The hoppers remained seated, hopping vigorously among themselves, mixing and mingling with spiritual energy and good feeling". The contest was held annually through 1989. The champion long jumper at the 1989 event explained that the "changing of physiology of the subtle self" enabled him to lift off the ground, and predicted that he would accomplish full flight within three years.
In 1986, the Maharishi organized yogic flying demonstrations, reportedly taking place simultaneously in 1000 cities in 108 countries. Documented countries included Hong Kong, India, Pakistan,Philippines, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Iran, Thailand, Cyprus, Ghana, Israel, Lebanon, Kenia, South Africa,Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
In the 1998 ABC News special The Power of Belief, journalist John Stossel said Yogic Flying looked like bouncing. A stock analyst who practices Yogic flying was interviewed said it brought him bliss and helped him perform his job more effectively.
Robert L. Park, professor of physics at the University of Maryland and author of the weekly science Internet column, What's New, attended a demonstration in 1999 that was presented at a press conference at the Washington, DC Press Club. Park described 12 "fit-looking" young men who demonstrated levitation following a meditation session and "popped up a couple of inches and thumped back down." Park wrote that "the scene looked like corn popping", and that "there was nothing to suggest they didn't follow parabolic trajectories" (AKA jumping or hopping).
According to the Global Good News website "on 28 November 2006, the United States achieved invincibility and is stabilizing the number of Yogic Flyers-rising from 1,600 to 1,730-assembled at the Invincible America Assembly in Fairfield, Iowa". These devottees believe that hopping around while praying will stop enemy attacks!
Most importantly people taking even cursory Residence Courses report psychotic states of mind accented by dissassociation after long periods in a trance state. Among ©TMers this state of chronic dementia is very well known state and is usually called being "spacey" or being "fried." Some followers even claim complete mental colapse after returning home from these weekend retreats which required hospitalization in a mental health facility.
Maharishi and Deepak Chopra
Metaphysical Medical Madness
After reading about the Transcendental Meditation technique (), Deepak Chopra MD and his wife learned the practice in 1981, and two months later they went on to learn the advanced ©Sidhi program. In a 1981 meeting between Chopra and physician Brihaspati Dev Triguna in Delhi, India, Triguna advised Chopra to learn the more about Hindu herbal treatments called Ayurveda.
By 1992, Chopra was serving on the National Institutes of Health ad hoc panel on alternative medicine. In 1993, Chopra became executive director of the Sharp Institute for Human Potential and Mind–Body Medicine with a $30,000 grant from the Office of Alternative Medicine in the National Institutes to study Ayurvedic medicine. Chopra's institute also maintained affiliation with Sharp Healthcare, in San Diego. That same year Chopra moved with his family to Southern California where he lives with his wife and near his two adult children, Gotham and Mallika.
Chopra left the Transcendental Meditation movement in January 1994. According to his own account, Chopra was accused by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of attempting to compete with the Maharishi's position as guru.
Author Todd Carroll said Chopra left the organization when it "became too stressful" and was a "hindrance to his success".
Doug Henning died using Maharishi's Cures
World famous Canadian stage magician Doug Henning became inmersed in during the 1970s. In the mid 1980s, Henning retired from the stage and had an increasing interest in Transcendental Meditation. He received a Ph.D in the Science of Creative Intelligence from the Maharishi University in Switzerland.
In 1992, Henning and Transcendental Meditation founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi drafted plans for a $1.5 billion-dollar project called "Maharishi Veda Land" near Niagara Falls, Ontario that would "combine astonishing, unique visual and sensory effects, state-of-the-art 3D imagery, and ultra high-tech entertainment technology with his best and most original magic illusion secrets". Maharishi Veda Land was conceived as a magical Himalayan setting where visitors would be wowed with theatrical presentations of ancient Vedic stories and "the deepest secrets of the universe". Attractions were to include a building suspended above water and a journey into the heart of a rose but as of 2000 the project's status was uncertain.
Henning died aged 52 in February 2000 at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles five months after being diagnosed with liver cancer. His ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean .
James Randi, a fellow magician and prominent skeptic, was critical of Henning's involvement with Transcendental Meditation (). In 2008, Randi asserted in his blog, SWIFT, that founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had "caused the death of my friend Doug Henning". He claimed that Henning had immersed himself so thoroughly in that he "abandoned regular medical treatment for liver cancer, continued to pursue his diet of nuts and berries, and died of the disease." In short Ayurvedic treatments killed Doug Henning.
When Democracy Fails: Fascism
According to the Maharishi, the Natural Law Party (NLP) was first founded in the United Kingdom in March 1992 and was later established in the USA, France, Austria, Germany, Croatia, Israel, Japan, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, Chile, Thailand, Canada and other countries. The American branch of the party was founded later that year in Fairfield, Iowa U.S.A. by educators, business leaders, lawyers and other supporters of the Transcendental Meditation movement. The party was active in many countries and delegates from 60 nations attended an international convention in Bonn, Germany in 1998. The party became largely inactive in the U.S.A. beginning in 2004 and was discontinued in the Netherlands in 2007.
The party had its foundation in the principles of Transcendental Meditation and was committed to "prevention oriented government and conflict free politics" through holistic health programs and the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. In Scotland and Wales, party advertisements proclaimed that "natural law which silently governs the whole universe in perfect order and without a problem." The Scotland and Wales branch of the party promised reduced pollution, the elimination of genetically modified crops and an increase in sustainable agriculture. They also supported free college education and the use of the Transcendental Meditation technique in the school system. In the UK, NLP candidate Geoffry Clements advocated the use of Transcendental Meditation and the ©Sidhi program's yogic flying practice to reduce crime and war deaths. In the U.S.A. its platform included clean energy, labeling of genetically modified foods, a ban on the construction of nuclear energy plants, and an end to political action committees.
It ran Harvard educated John Hagelin PhD as a US presidential candidate but received so few votes that the Natural Law Party was pretty much disbanded by the year 2000. However, Maharishi plans for governmental power would not cease and would become almost a comic opera.
Tony Abu Nader MD PhD is a Lebanese neuro-scientist, researcher, university president, author and leader of the Transcendental Meditation movement. He has a medical degree in internal medicine, received his Ph.D from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked as a clinical and research fellow at a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.
Nader worked with Deepak Chopra and in 1994, published his first book, Human physiology: Expression of Veda and the Vedic literature. He is president of both Maharishi University of Management (Holland) and Maharishi Open University.
In 2000, Nader received the title of First Sovereign Ruler of the conceptual country, Global Country of World Peace from Transcendental Meditation founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, During a four-day Vedic ceremony in Nader was honored by Maharishi as Maharaja (great king) Adhiraj Rajaraam and given responsibility for the Global Country of World Peace, and in 2008, became the Maharishi's successor. During these transitions, Nader was reportedly given various titles including "Vishwa Prashasak Raja Raam", "Adhi Raam", and "Raja Nader Raam" In 2002, Nader was invited by the mayor of Maharishi Vedic City to take residence at The Mansion Hotel, which serves as the capital of the conceptual Global Country of World Peace.
This all may seem somewhat quaint and even silly until one considers that this is merely a reworking of the Maharishi's early Fascist ties.
David Wants to Fly is a 2008 documentary by a 32-year-old German named David Sieveking. It refers to film maker David Lynch, who has emerged as TM's most prominent spokesman and is the prime target of Sieveking's obsessive investigation. Sieveking embarked on his documentary as an avid Lynch fan and movie buff dying to meet the genius behind such cinematic classics as The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks. But by the time he had completed his film, five years later, it had turned into an explosive and mindboggling exposé. Sieveking has noted that Lynch threatened to sue him and tried to block the film's Berlin premiere. No wonder. It depicts as a secretive hierarchy with overtones of the Scientology cult founded by L. Ron Hubbard, and portrays Lynch as its Tom Cruise.
Sieveking, who makes himself a character in the documentary-a neurotic man on a mission-is like a cross between a young Werner Herzog and a skinny Michael Moore. He first travels to America to interview Lynch as a star-struck fan, then becomes an eager student of ©TM. As his odyssey takes him from Manhattan to the headwaters of the Ganges, he never loses faith in the power of meditation, but he becomes deeply skeptical about ©TM's well-heeled leadership.
Fascist King of Germany and David Lynch
He learns that Tony Nader (King Maharaja Ram) offers geographical "kingships" and the vedic title of "raja" for $1 million donation to obtain this exalted rank. At a groundbreaking ceremony for a university in Europe, we see Lynch introduce Raja Emanuel, ©TM's "King of Germany," who wears a gold crown and offers a provocative pledge: "I'm a good German who wants to make Germany invincible." Jeers erupt from the crowd and a voice yells, "That's what Adolf Hitler wanted!" King Emanuel replies: "Unfortunately, he couldn't do it. He didn't have the right technique." Trying to quell the catcalls, Lynch leaps to the raja's defence, and hails him as "a great human being." Lynch must be unaware or wilfully ignorant of the Fascist intent of the movement's Global Kingdom of Peace.
According to a CNN article from 2001 followers of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi want to establish a 3,500-hectare (8,645-acre) sovereign state on rural land in the South American country of Suriname.
The government of Suriname, a former Dutch colony, has so far not accepted the Maharishi International University of Management's offer to invest $1.3 billion over three years and provide 10,000 jobs.
Followers of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi -- known in the 1960s for teaching the Beatles transcendental meditation -- want to lease the land in the district of Commewijne for at least 200 years to set up their agricultural society.
The land, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of the capital, Paramaribo, had previously been used for farming by a now-bankrupt government agricultural foundation.
Fascist-like Solar Flag of ©TM's Global Country of World Peace
The group wants to set up what it calls a "Global Country of World Peace," with its own currency, central bank and jurisdiction, said Winston Wirht, vice president of the university's Maharishi Council for Economic Development of Suriname.
The Ministry of Agriculture in a recent letter to the council has offered to start negotiations. However, President Ronald Venetiaan, who would have to approve such a deal, has not responded to the Maharishi council's three requests since November.
Officials in Venetiaan's office could not immediately be reached for comment. "This is something to help the Surinamese people out of poverty," Wirht said. "It is a shame that Venetiaan does not seem willing to even talk to us."
The sovereign state's main industry would be organic farming and the export of produce, Wirht said. The Maharishi followers would reward Suriname each year by giving the government 1 percent of the money the sovereign state's central bank puts into circulation, Wirht said.
"Suriname must be the first to offer. It is unimaginable what this country will gain," Wirht said. Wirht, a politician in Suriname whose Doe Party did not win any seats in last year's parliamentary elections, said the Maharishi group has been asking for similar arrangements in poor countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The Maharishi group has its own incorporated city in Iowa called Vedic City, where the Maharishi University of Management is based. The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, now in his 80s, lives in the Netherlands, but Wirht said he frequently travels to the United States and India.
One World Currency of a of ©TM's Global Country of World Peace
The group counts 5 million people worldwide who practice what the group calls transcendental meditation, a 10 to 15 minute daily technique that followers believe improves mental functioning, decreases stress and improves health. The group says it is not promoting any religion
The movement has made similar offers in other third world countries in an attempt to form an independant kingdom with Tony Nader as world monarch. Considering Mararishi's early Fascist ties in India and Raja Emanuel's pro Hitler's comments this state of affairs becomes less of a farce and more of a growing concern considering that the movement is worth billions of dollars!
Sieveking interviews several defectors in his film, including Colorado publisher Earl Kaplan, who donated over US $150 million toward the construction of a vast meditation centre in India, where 24-7 shifts of 10,000 yogic flyers would create world peace. Visiting the project site, Sieveking finds an abandoned, half-built ghost town. And he shows footage of "yogic flying," which looks more like cross-legged yogic hopping. We also meet the Maharishi's former personal assistant, who says, "He'd use people and discard them when they ran out of money." And although the guru preached celibacy, the ex-aide says one of his jobs was to bring women to the Maharishi's room for sex. Another ex-disciple, Judith Bourque, reminisces about her torrid love affair with the Maharishi, which ended when he found another young woman.
Rumours of the guru's sybaritic lifestyle have been rampant ever since the Beatles heard that he had hit on Mia Farrow in the late '60s. His behaviour provoked John Lennon to write a derisive song called Maharishi, which George Harrison persuaded him to retitle Sexy Sadie ("What have you done? You made a fool of everyone"). The film shows Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr rallying to support at Lynch's star-studded 2009 benefit. "John Lennon," says Sieveking, "would be rolling in his grave."
As for the analogy between and Scientology, the director acknowledges certain parallels, but considers ©TM less rigid-"you can't be a moderate Scientologist." Sieveking says he became paranoid after the German raja threatened to destroy his film career. Yet Lynch "is still a guru for me as a filmmaker," he maintains, just not as a spiritual figure. "I wanted to be his friend. It's tough for me, because now he sees me as an enemy." But Sieveking may have found a new guru. Michael Moore loved the film!
Current Stars Endorsing Fascist Kingdom
Even Bill Clinton endorsed at least on of TM's scams Click Here
"We want an invincible Germany! Invincible Germany" exclaims the "Raja of Germany", dressed in a white robe and golden little crown."What do you mean?" cries the audience. "Hitler wanted an invincible Germany as well!" "Yes, but unfortunately he didn't succeed!"
List of Rajas (Kings)
- John Fagan – Food Purity
- Minister of Natural Law: Maharishi Vedic Pandits
- Minister of Education: Dr. Volker Schanbacher
- Minister of Health: Rainer Picha, MD
- Minister of Architecture: Dr. Eike Hartmann
- Minister of Agriculture: Dr. Alexander Sergeyevich Badera
- Minister of Trade and Commerce: Dr. Larry Chroman
- Minister of Defence: Major General (retd.) Dr. Kulwant Singh
- Minister of Science and Technology: Dr. John Hagelin
- Minister of Communication: Dr. Peter Swan
- Minister of Religion and Culture: Dr. Chris Crowell
- Minister of Administration: Pending appointment
- Minister of Finance and Planning: Dr. Benjamin Feldman