How TM Save Texas

The following news release from the Transcendental Meditation Movement makes the crackpot claim that bunches of TMers bouncing on their butts caused Hurricane Gilbert to vere from its predicted course in September 1988. "TM Yogic Flyers saved  Texas," the release says, and concludes:  "Whenever collective  disaster threatens, people should meditate and practice Yogic Flying in groups to avert the disaster."


News Release
From the Age of Enlightenment News Service, Livingston Manor, NY
Contact: Dean Draznin

TM Meditators Turned Away Hurricane Gilbert

September's Hurricane Gilbert, the most intense Atlantic storm on record, spared Texas, and Transcendental Meditation (TM) is claiming the credit.

As Texans prepared for the worst, the TM centers in Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio mobilized large groups of experts in Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's TM and TM-Sidhi program to meditate and practice TM-Sidhi Yogic Flying together. TM center leaders believe that the coherence these meditators created in the environment would avert the impending disaster.

 "The Yogic Flyers Saved Texas"

According to Michael Lang, chairman of the Austin Maharishi Capital of the Age of Enlightenment, it was their group practice that turned the terrible storm away from the heavily populated southern Texas coast.

The Call Went Out

"Our efforts began in earnest on Wednesday, Sept. 14," Mr. Lang said, "when the Austin American-Statesman's headlines warned, 'Killer Hurricane nears Mexico,' and 'Texans preparing for the worst.'"

As the storm wheeled toward the Gulf of Mexico, people all along the coast boarded up their homes. Galveston was completely evacuated, and many people fled inland from Corpus Christi. As far as Austin, 200 miles from the coast, shelters filled up with the refugees.

"Gilbert was predicted to hit land at Corpus Christi, near the center of the coast," Mr. Lang said. "That was when the call went out to all our experts in Texas. We told them to come practice Yogic Flying and TM together twice each day in as large groups as possible. We knew that would help the situation."

The Yogic Flyers Saved Texas

A community of TM meditators called Radiance has grown up in Austin, and in its center is a large, golden-domed structure specially built for group practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi program. On Wednesday evening the Radiance Golden Dome was full.

In Houston, twice the usual number of people came to the evening group practice. In San Antonio the number also doubled, and Dallas reported a big turnout. Altogether nearly twice as many Texans as usual were practicing Yogic Flying together by Wednesday evening, and all the different groups were practicing at the same time.

Mr. Lang said the positive effect of their collective practice was immediate. That night the winds of Gilbert dropped from 175 to 120 mph and its expected landfall began shifting south from Corpus Christi.

"Whenever collective disaster threatens, people should meditate and
practice Yogic Flying in groups to avert the disaster."

"After our morning and evening group practice on Thursday, the projected path of Gilbert was revised again. If it stayed on course, Gilbert would hit land some 200 miles further south," Mr. Lang said. "But National Weather Service forecasters still predicted a return to higher winds and a more northern landfall in a heavily populated area. Then, on Friday morning, a live TV report from the shores of Corpus Christi showed a disappointed newsman saying he hadn't expected to be able to stand on the beach at this time, and in fact it wasn't even raining."

Gilbert reached land on late Friday afternoon about 120 miles south of Brownsville and the US/Mexico border. It never returned to its original force and never took a northern turn to the Texas coast. After four days of anticipation, over 400 journalists, manning hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment, left Corpus Christi with little to report.

A Very Humanitarian Path

On Saturday, September 17, The New York Times said on it front page, "Hurricane roars into Mexico again, its fury diminished.... Few people are in its way .... Storm lets loose heavy rain and tornadoes but spares southern Texas coast."

The Times' article read, "It vented most of its fury in lightly populated areas.... The storm, billed as the hurricane of the century ... failed to do the catastrophic damage to the United States mainland that many had feared. In the Caribbean and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, with winds of 175 to nearly 200 miles an hour, the storm killed a total of at least 66 people and caused damage in the billions of dollars. But its finale was relatively merciful as it turned away from heavily populated parts of Texas and northern Mexico.

"We were very lucky," said Michael Pass of the National Weather Service at Galveston.

"It took a very humanitarian path," said Frederick J. Gadomski, with the Penn State Weather Communications Group.

Joe Lundberg with the Penn State Group said, "It was kind of a well-behaved hurricane. It decided what it wanted to do and it did it."

Mr. Lang noted that predictions of 12 to 15 inches of rain and possible tornadoes for the Austin area were made after Gilbert reached land. "But the area actually received about an inch of much-needed rainfall and no tornadoes or damaging winds were reported," he said.

The Maharishi Effect

According to Mr. Lang, the influence the twice-daily group meditations had on Hurricane Gilbert demonstrated the "Maharishi Effect," a phenomenon of coherence that occurs throughout society and the environment when a small proportion of the population practices the TM and TM-Sidhi program together in a group.

"There are over 30 scientific studies on the Maharishi Effect, ranging from reduced crime rate and less violence to improved social and economic trends," Mr. Lang said.

Mr. Lang said that the Maharishi Effect works at the deepest level of nature: "During the TM and TM-Sidhi program a person naturally experiences the state of pure consciousness, the most silent and powerful state of the mind. According to Maharishi's Vedic Science, pure consciousness is the most fundamental level of natural laws -- what modern physics is now describing as the unified field of all the laws of nature. When we enlivened the unified field during our group program, we expected greater balance to be created in nature. Hurricane Gilbert's behavior has borne this out."

Mr. Lang concluded with some simple advice: "Whenever collective disaster threatens, people should meditate and practice Yogic Flying in groups to avert the disaster."

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