Mindfulness is becoming increasingly popular It is secular and rooted in scientific research, widely practiced in schools and in the workplace. But all meditation is not created equal. In this new book, Transcendental Deception, author Aryeh Siegel exposes the hidden world of the enormously wealthy and highly secretive Transcendental Meditation organization.
Author Aryeh Siegel was first introduced to TM in the early1970s. What started off as a casual interest in meditation to relieve stress, morphed into an all-encompassing way of life for nearly ten years. Siegel became a TM teacher, attended small sessions with TM’s guru and founder, the Maharishi, and even was in Maharishi’s entourage in 1975 when he appeared twice on the Merv Griffin Show.
Siegel mostly worked at TM’s U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles and 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, achieve permanent, perfect health, and even eternal life.
Over time, Siegel became disillusioned with both his TM practice and the organization. And 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. This was not science, but 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 apparent to him that TM was a poorly adapted form of Hinduism, a religion, but was being falsely promoted to the public as secular and scientific. And lastly, Siegel experienced the TM organization as becoming increasingly authoritarian and cultic.
Siegel’s new book, Transcendental Deception, is the first comprehensive look at the TM movement written by a former insider.
- Deconstructs the practices and philosophy of the Maharishi and the TM organization, demonstrating just how much it is a religion
- Analyzes TM’s secret religious ceremony – the Puja – and explains why the TM movement keeps its content hidden so that individuals, students, and teachers don’t realize the true meaning of the Sanskrit ritual
- Explores how TM continues to maintain the fantasy that it is not a religion, but instead endlessly repeats the narrative that it is secular and scientific
- Analyzes key research on the TM practice and demonstrates how most of it is preliminary, inconsequential or bogus
For many people, this book will be a surprise, even shocking. Over the decades, millions have started TM, seeing the practice as a simple form of meditation or stress-reduction. Some people benefit, but that is true of many kinds of meditation, not just TM. Most people who practice TM know nothing about the organization and what goes on behind the scenes. This is especially true for the many celebrities from Jerry Seinfeld to Tom Hanks.
“To be clear, I am not against meditation, mindfulness, or even Hinduism,” says author Aryeh Siegel. “In America, anyone is free to practice their religion or no religion, but what concerns me is the deception at the heart of TM. No religion has a place in our public school system. TM has falsely promoted itself for decades. It is important that people know the truth. That’s why I wrote this book.”
Aryeh Siegel is available for interviews. Transcendental Deception is available from Amazon Here.
For further information, www.tmdeception.com or email [email protected]