TM-Science: ha.ha.ha. (short and to the point!) 
Author Message
 TM-Science: ha.ha.ha. (short and to the point!)

On Mar 10, 1996 13:26:00 in <alt.meditation.transcendental>,


> Hello John

> >I wasn't aware there was an effort to purge the movement of "people like
> >him." Care to comment further?

> Did you try "Origins of Totalitarism" by Hannah Arendt already??

> Chapter 11 desribes how and why the totalitarian movements have to "clean"
> their organizational structures from time to time. This effort of purging  
> is a necessary part of totalitarian systems...

> No wonder to read here, that TM is doing the same with its structures.

I guess they don't use smileys in Germany.

Bernd, Bill Scorzelli's remark was a *joke*.  He put a
tongue-in-cheek smiley after it.

And "Honest" John knows it was a joke.  But he thought he'd
pretend it was serious and see if he could take anybody in.

Obviously, he succeeded.


> But again: this is typical for totalitarian systems. Its
> members have lost all context to reality. They live in their
> *own* world

You've just described yourself to a T.  You're the perfect patsy.  
If you didn't exist, "Honest" John would have had to invent you.

Your mind is not open to any facts except those you invent for


> The Bensheim study was critizeded because the Bensheim Group could only  
> sample persons who left the cult.

No, actually it was criticized because it pretended this sample
was *representative*.

 It is clear to everyone that it is  

> impossible to gather TM-activists by  democratic means. (The only way  
> would be, to concentrate them in sites where a maintaining a controlled  
> environment would be possible - if they continue the way they do, these  
> sites will be prisons in a few years.)

Concentration camps for TMers.  I see.  Verrrrrrry interrrresting.

> Because of the lack of these acivists at the Bensheim sample,
> the study is called "unscientific"

Right--because the study pretended the sample was representative
of TMers in general.  *Now* you've understood what the problem is
with the study.

> But the argument is already clear (and was stated by another TM-scintist)  
> for the case that it would be possible to concentrate them at specific  
> sites to study them in detail: in that case the sample is biased because  
> of the possibility that a certain type of weak persons adopts the TM more  
> easy than others. In this case a study would be "unscientific" too.

There should be no need to put TMers in concentration camps to do
a valid study of them, nor do I recall a TMer ever having
suggested that.

During World War II, the U.S. made the horrendous mistake of
putting Japanese-Americans in concentration camps (although we
did not gas them or otherwise {*filter*} them), and it's something we
now find to have been shameful and disgraceful.

Apparently some Germans still think concentration camps are an
appropriate solution for preventing those they disagree with from
exercising their human rights.

But you're actually quite right, there are many confounding
factors, including the one you mention, that make it difficult to
determine whether TM causes harm.  Among the problems is that TM
won't release a list of those who have learned TM, feeling that
this would be a breach of their privacy.  Another is that TM
*itself* does not keep track of those who learn TM (interesting
lack of concern for a "totalitarian" organization, hmm?).

However, the problem you cite wouldn't make a study
"unscientific" per se.  What makes a study unscientific is how
the researchers deal with potentially confounding factors.  If
they *ignore* those factors altogether and report their findings
in a nonramdom sample as representative, as the Bensheim study's
authors did, *that's* unscientific.

Actually the TMer who first pointed out this problem--I believe
it was me--didn't say anything about "a certain type of weak
persons."  It is not necessarily weakness that makes a person
seek something they feel will help them deal with their lives
more effectively.  In fact, in some circles this would be seen as
a healthy and positive step.

(Of course, there are some people who feel they're already
perfect and need no help in dealing with life.  They tend to
consider anyone who recognizes they're less than perfect as

However, because TM *does* tend to help people deal with their
lives more effectively, people who feel they have problems may be
attracted to it, such that there will be a higher percentage of
troubled people among TMers than in the general population.

If this self-selection is not recognized, it might be assumed
that TM was the cause of the problems, rather than that these
people's problems were the cause of their learning TM.  So this
would somehow have to be controlled for; either that, or the
potential skewing effect would have to be prominently mentioned
as a caveat to any conclusions.

Note that the Bensheim study never issued a caveat of that nature
about its own conclusions.  Had it done so, rather than
pretending its sample was "a representative cross-section," none
of us would have objected to it so strenuously.

On the other hand, of course, it could be that a statistical
study of a large sample of TMers would show there were *fewer*
psychological problems among the TMers than among the general
population.  And then the point would be moot.



Thu, 03 Sep 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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