Wednesday, April 8, 2009

David Lynch Foundation Bullies Anti-TM Webcast Offline

In anticipation of the David Lynch Foundation's star-studded benefit concert to promote Transcendental Meditation in public schools, cult recovery expert John Knapp organized a no-cost webcast, TELL TM, HANDS OFF OUR SCHOOLS! that was scheduled to take place April 2, 2009. Panelists included University of So. Carolina sociologist and researcher Dr. Barry Markovsky, and Dr. Meera Nanda, author of Prophets Facing Backward.

Here's the details from the Knapp Family Counseling website:

Join us for a free Web Event, April 2, 8 pm EST, to learn a side of the Transcendental Meditation story they won't tell you.

Concerned scientists question research claiming benefits. Former members allege secret agendas. Clergy are unsure if TM contradicts their religion.

In this atmosphere, the David Lynch Foundation sponsors Paul McCartney & Friends in concert April 4, 2009. Reminding many of Tom Cruise's marketing for Scientology.
DLF states this "World Harmony Concert" will raise millions to introduce "TM/Quiet Time" into public schools.

We believe this violates the separation of Church & State. Many consider meditation valuable. Our concern is religious meditation forms do not belong in public schools.

On the eve of the webcast, General Counsel for the David Lynch Foundation contacted John Knapp and warned of potential legal action against Knapp and the panelists:

"...Your website is a fount of false, misleading, biased and entirely negative information on the TM program and the organizations and individuals which teach or have conducted research on that program[1]. The listed presenters at your event appear all to have a similar negative mission. Therefore, I wished to give you the courtesy of an advisal that we intend to review the global web presentation of the event carefully for any false, defamatory, tortious, breachful, malicious or otherwise unlawful statements or materials made or published by you or the presenters."

Really? The "TM program" is among other things, a blatant violation of the concept of separation of Church and State. Even the Mormon Times recognizes the infiltration of Transcendental Meditation in public schools as unconstitutional, referencing the 1979 case, Alan and Edwina Malnak of New Jersey :

The Malnaks won their case in the lower court, which found that getting public school students to participate in Transcendental Meditation was a religious activity and therefore unconstitutional. The ruling was appealed to the 3rd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals where Judge Arlin Adams was serving on a three-judge panel. While the appellate court concurred with the lower court...As a result educators cancelled transcendental meditation classes and government funds dried up.

Regrettably, out of concern for the panelists who are professionals in their own right, John Knapp cancelled the webcast. On his blog, Knapp expresses a sentiment shared by others bloggers who have had similar experiences...

"The unfortunate thing is that, in America, justice tends to belong to those who can pay for it. I believe we critics have an absolute, constitutionally protected right to express our opinions and share information that, while perhaps embarrassing to the TM Org, is in no way defamatory. In an ideal world, the TM Movement wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on. But unless we can afford to defend that right to our free speech in the courts, perhaps through the appellate level, it doesn't matter if we are right. We can be shut down."

It would be curious to see how the General Counsel for the David Lynch Foundation would defend this quote from Paul McCartney regarding TM:

“It started for us when we met the Maharishi in India, and it’s going to get bigger and bigger and rule the world...”

Wow, the "Change Begins Within" concert on April 4th occurred the same week the birth of the New World Order was announced. What a coincidence.

See related article Howard Stern Joins the Campaign for Transcendental Meditation in Schools.

See over 137 reasons why TM, centering prayer and contemplative spirituality yields physical benefits while it destroys the soul.

Folks who frequent this blog may remember an similar incident where Apprising Ministries was forced offline by legal threats from a former Rick Warren apologist.

See also Massive Takedown of Anti-Scientology Videos on YouTube.


  1. Bringing about "World Harmony" one lawsuit at a time?

    Sign me up for that religion.

  2. DLF legal counsel simply advised them to be factually accurate and advised them not to repeat the sort of demonstrably inaccurate information that now appears on Knapp's websites. Seems like the take-home point is, if you want to criticize at least be accurate. Knapp's canceling the webcast seems to be an admission that he's not confident of the factual accuracy.

  3. Dear Anonymous

    It would seem that the DLF would get a bigger bang for their buck out of their legal counsel if they went after the alleged "demonstrably inaccurate information" instead of taking the time to "remind" a panel of professionals (including two PhD's) how to be "accurate".

    I find it hard to believe DLF would take the time just to remind the panel of decorum and protocol.

    It is obvious that the email from the deep pockets of DLF was a veiled threat designed to intimidate.

    And it worked.

    DLF can be proud of contributing to the erosion of free speech in cyberspace.

    What would the Beatles say about that?

  4. I'm confident that, where I reference facts, they are accurate. Much of what DLF objected to were matters of opinion or interpretation. I am certain that, given unlimited amounts of money, we would have prevailed in courts. However, any such court action would be long and costly and take my focus off other action. But, in the end, the reason I canceled the concert is that I couldn't in good conscience risk the repercussions for my co-presenters' reputations and assets. I made the offer to the general counsel for DLF to change anything that was factually inaccurate and to add a link to any site where they chose to refute my various articles on the site. I'm in favor of anything that increases the debate, but I haven't heard back from them on the offer.


  5. Having been in the field of Comparative Religion for 21 years as a minister of Jesus Christ, and having studied mysticism and meditation from various sources, I can tell you that it's all a form of transcendental meditation.

    And transcendental meditation itself is beyond question a part of the Hindu religion. Consider this from the official website of The Transcendental Meditation (TM) Program:

    "Where did the TM technique come from?

    The Transcendental Meditation technique is based on the ancient Vedic tradition of enlightenment in India. This knowledge has been handed down by Vedic masters from generation to generation for thousands of years. About 50 years ago, Maharishi — the representative in our age of the Vedic tradition — introduced Transcendental Meditation to the world, restoring the knowledge and experience of higher states of consciousness at this critical time for humanity. When we teach the Transcendental Meditation technique today, we maintain the same procedures and effectiveness as the teachers of thousands of years ago." (

  6. Thank you Pastor Silva. For the benefit of our readers, please visit Apprising Ministries
    for more information on mysticism.

    Listen to Pastor Silva discuss mysticism in the Church:

    Iron Sharpens Iron with Ken Silva on Mysticism

    CrossTalk America: Evangelicals Embrace Mystics


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