Transcendental Meditation, also known as "TM," has become quite popular in recent years. Celebrities like David Lynch, Jerry Seinfeld, Paul McCartney, & Russell Brand have been VOCAL proponents of TM.

But TM has a dark legacy with some striking cult-like aspects. Let discuss:🧵
TM was created by Mahesh Prasad Varma in the 1950s. After creating TM, he changed his name to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He began teaching in India but then did a global tour in 1958 and eventually established centers in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Switzerland.
Many came to know about Maharishi through the band The Beatles. The group spent some time "studying" with Maharishi in India. In 1968, the remaining 2, John Lennon & George Harrison left after realizing Maharishi was taking sexual advantage of women, including Mia Farrow.
Mia Farrow said Maharishi groped her, and John Lennon wrote “The Maharishi Song” about his sexually exploitative proclivities.

Here's that song (with explosive lyrics in the description of the video).

But back to TM…
There are many ways to meditate, but TM teaches a "mantric meditation" (the repetition of a word or sound). In TM, people recite and repeat a “secret” mantra given to them (by paying money). Members of TM are initially encouraged to meditate 20 mins a day.

As members become more deeply drawn in, meditation of 2+ hours, twice a day, is often encouraged. Excessive meditation can cause a dissociative state, even psychosis.

The state people get into with TM often leads to "thought-stopping." Just what is "thought-stopping?"
Thought-stopping is a technique many cults employ to control followers. Whenever there is a negative thought that conflicts with the TM message, a follower is instructed to immediately start meditating & chanting in their head to rid themselves of the negative thought or feeling.
This is something I learned to do in the Moonies. Whenever someone would say something negative about my cult or my cult leader, I would chant in my head:

"Crush Satan, Glory to Heaven, Peace on Earth, True Parents!" & other cult slogans & songs to neutralize the “negativity.”
A German study noted that TM increases anxiety in 40% of those studied. The rhythmic chanting & meditation is not always soothing and can have detrimental results. Unfortunately, TM leaders refuse to recognize this and often advise those having adverse do more TM!
Another issue with TM is cost. Beginner’s sessions are sometimes free or cheap but programs get more expensive. TM employs a pyramid-like structure charging more and more as a person strives to become “more enlightened” (similar to Scientology's "Bridge to Total Freedom").
What are the upper-level members paying for? Among other things, they are told they will learn to levitate, fly, walk through walls, & even become invincible. When these impossibilities don’t manifest, members are told they just have to meditate better and pay for more training.
TM devotees are invited to participate in eastern religious ceremonies as part of the movement. They are also taught to revere the guru as a god-like master. The leaders of the group are seen as having divine authority over followers...just like other cult leaders.
Serious devotees of TM give up many aspects of their lives & it is not uncommon for families to be strained or broken.


There's a VERY important distinction we need to make. Like most cults, not ALL TM participants are in a cult. Let's look at my Destructive Cult Structure:
Most people that practice TM are what would be called "Fringe Members." Maybe they received a mantra years ago, they practice at home, and don't really participate in a larger group.

But. It is these fringe members in any cult that often become more entrenched in a group.
For this week's blog, I interviewed Gina Catena. Gina's parents were deeply entrenched in the TM cult. She moved with her parents to a TM compound in Fairfield, Iowa when she was just a teenager. There she experienced many troubling things.
Parental guidance was scant (as meditation took priority over everything) and she saw many people become exceedingly mentally unwell. As they still do today, TM conducted "studies" but always omitted these people.

If you or someone you know is dabbling in TM, here's a few links:
Here's my blog and interview with Gina Catena. In our conversation, she talks about the cult mind control that lasted long after she left and how it manifested in her life. We also talk about how to get better.…
Here's another blog of mine that outlines the specific mind-control techniques TM uses and the cult-like structure of the organization.…
And finally, here's a movie I recommend. The film is called "David Wants To Fly" and it's rentable on Amazon Prime. It details a man looking for answers who becomes captivated by TM...but soon learns there's a much darker story.

Hope this all helps!…

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More from @CultExpert

11 Nov
Today on #VeteransDay, I want to post a message that will likely be a little different than most Veterans Day messages. :)

This message is both for veterans and friends and families of veterans....
First off, THANK YOU to everyone who's served. Your sacrifice should never be minimized. My hope is that all veterans get the care & attention they deserve. 🙏

Veteran suicide is still a big problem and many vets deal with persistent healthcare challenges from the VA.
We need to remedy these issues and understand the TRAUMA that veterans deal with. Whether it be the trauma of war, the trauma of losing a friend, or the trauma of dealing with recurring injury, veterans go through a lot.

Veterans are also susceptible to undue influence.
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I take great pride when someone tells me my BITE model and Influence Continuum changed their life and helped them escape a harmful situation (a cult, abusive relationship, trafficking situation, etc.).

But there's ONE place I want these tools utilized the most...

The courtroom.
Right now, in this country (and sadly in most other countries), there's NO accepted models for judges and jurors to evaluate unethical influence. We have laws on the books for elder abuse, and human trafficking, but that's it.

Why is this?
Because undue influence, to an untrained judge or jury is DIFFICULT to evaluate according to either large spread scientific community or legal precedent. Unlike physical harm or property damage, the harm of undue influence is often INVISIBLE to the uneducated.
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It's been announced that @LeoDiCaprio will portray cult leader Jim Jones in a future feature film written by @ScottyRosenberg. I genuinely hope this movie takes the study of undue influence seriously. Too often, in movies and news reports, the topic ISN'T covered properly.
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Undue influence is a very REAL phenomenon and a well-written movie or documentary could do untold GOOD in the world. Education like this essentially INOCULATES one from cults, manipulative relationships, pyramid schemes and more.
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8 Nov
Want to HELP a friend or family member OUT of a cult or conspiracy theory?

Want to understand the Trump phenomenon or the anti-vax movement or QAnon?

My books will give you answers. Here's a synopsis & the proper order to read my books if you really want to learn this subject:
"Combating Cult Mind Control" should be read FIRST and is the FOUNDATION for the study of undue influence. This book sets the frame and is widely regarded as the BEST book for protection, rescue and recovery from destructive cults.…
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5 Nov
Want to guess what U.S. Senator gets money from multi-level marketing cults?

Kyrsten Sinema

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(For a deep dive on MLMs, and WHY I label them "cults," read the thread below. It will catch you up 👍):
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4 Nov
Drug and alcohol treatment programs can often be LIFE-SAVING.

But it's important to stringently investigate WHO these groups are.


Because there's a long legacy of CULT behavior inside these groups. Obviously I'm not talking about ALL programs, but many.

Let's discuss..🧵
One of the FIRST drug treatment programs in existence was a group called "Synanon." This group was founded in 1958 by a man named Charles Dederich.

Dederich pioneered using ex-addicts as “counselors.” He promoted a “tough love” approach and established a “culture of recovery.”
Synanon “Treatment” centered on something called “The Game.” In essence, this was a “hot seat” tactic (used by many other cults) where members sit in a circle, and the target is psychologically attacked by the group. The goal is to “break" them. People regularly felt humiliated.
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