By Joseph Weber
The Indian non secular entrepreneur Maharishi Mahesh Yogi took the West via hurricane within the Nineteen Sixties and ’70s, captivating child Boomers bored stiff with warfare and social upheaval along with his message of meditation and peace. Heeding his name, thousand fans moved to tiny Fairfield, Iowa, to establish their very own college at the campus of a failed denominational university. quickly, they all started a college for prekindergarten via highschool, permitting fans to immerse themselves in Transcendental Meditation from toddlerhood via PhDs.
Although Fairfield’s longtime citizens have been relieved to work out that their new pals have been clean-cut and respectably dressed—not the wild-haired, drug-using hippies that they had feared—the newbies however speedy started to remake the city. shops promoting unique items popped up, TM fans outfitted odd-looking houses that modeled the guru’s principles for peace-inspiring structure, and the hot college knocked down a old chapel, whilst it erected tremendous golden-domed constructions for meditators. a few rookies acquired elected—and others have been defeated—when they ran for neighborhood and statewide workplaces. now and then, millions from around the globe visited the small town.
Yet Transcendental Meditation didn't regularly in achieving its goals of private and social tranquility. Suicides and a homicide unsettled the meditating neighborhood through the years, and a few fans have been fleeced via con males from their very own ranks. a few battled an area farmer over land use and each other over doctrine. particularly, the area has now not gotten extra peaceful.
Today the guru is lifeless. His fans are graying, and few in their little ones are stepping into management roles. The flow turns out rudderless, its monetary muscle withering, regardless of the efforts of high-profile supporters similar to filmmaker David Lynch and media tycoon Oprah Winfrey. Can TM reinvent itself? And what is going to be the way forward for Fairfield itself? by way of having a look heavily on the transformation of this small Iowa city, writer Joseph Weber assesses the movement’s unusually powerful impression on Western tradition, sketches out its odd prior, and explores its attainable destiny.