1 Nov 2010

Maharishi Foundation threatens legal action against cult recovery therapist


I received the following email from John M. Knapp, LMSW, a licensed therapist and cult recovery counselor who assists former members from a variety of toxic groups: Christian, Eastern, New Age, multilevel marketing, psychology, and other cults. I provide his email in full below. John's website is at:



Dear readers,

You may know the "Maharishi Foundation, Ltd." legally threatened us for alleged copyright violations because I publicly posted Transcendental Meditation Movement insider emails. Emails that they had requested be forwarded to all interested parties! (You can read the redacted versions at http://tmfree.blogspot.com ). Just look for recent posts with FBI-style blackened text.)

How do you spell Transcendental Meditation? S-c-i-e-n-t-o-l-o-g-y!

But we are not without defenses! You, readers, are my secret weapon.

Please consider posting about this attack on your Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter streams. Or emailing to any friend that may have a sincere interest.

Together we can stop their outrageous attempts to silence critics by shedding light on TM's dark secrets through public knowledge.

Here's the tweet I'm hoping will be retweeted to make their outrageous attack on free speech viral.
Transcendental Meditation trying to silence critics. Pls help! RT to make outrageous legal threats viral. http://bit.ly/FEfN2

Would you consider posting such a message to your social networking accounts or email list?

If you do post a message, please let me know.

Thanks for all your support!


John M. Knapp, LMSW
Recovery from Toxic Groups, Abusive Churches & Cults
Follow me on Twitter:jmknapp53


  1. I am a practicing clinical and forensic psychologist who frequently prescribes the TM technique and other non-religious, scientifically verified mind-body modalities to my patients (with highly promising results). Many of my patients are children or young adults who have indeed been abused. I find Mr. Knapp's post and his self-marketing activities not only in violation of the "best practices" ethic but highly irresponsible and self-serving.

    There was no bullying involved in the non-profit TM organizations request that Mr. Knapp refrain from publishing and distributing their copyrighted material for his own purposes. This is standard protocol when an organization's rights are being exploited or violated.

    You may not know that Mr. Knapp is an avid "anti-TM activist" whose aim is to obtain clients by disseminating propaganda to the effect that TM is a "dangerous mind-control practice" taught by an "abusive cult." He produces no evidence to support his claims (there is no such evidence), but tries to persuade that TM practice is harmful so that he can be paid for helping people quit meditation. A dubious enterprise indeed.

    TM's neurophysiolocal response, identified by independent researchers in medical schools and research institutes around the world, is known to be opposite that of mind control and opposite that of "harmful."

    There are hundreds of peer-reviewed research studies verifying the positive effects of the TM technique for mental and physical health. The NIH has awarded over $26 million for scientists to further the body of research on TM. The American Psychological Association features brain research studies on TM every summer at their annual conferences and I have received press released from them highlighting the positive effects of TM. (Mr. Knapp would not be in attendance at these conferences, because being only a limited license social worker he is not a member of the APA.)

    The director of the mental health wing of the NIH practices and supports TM. The "most respected doctor in American," Dr. Mehmet Oz, practices and supports TM. A team of leading psychiatrists, neurologists, cardiologists and other health professionals created a Website dedicated to presenting the many proven benefits of TM for mind and body ( www.DoctorsOnTM.org ). The American Heart Association supports the practice. The AMA has published TM research and gives physicians CME credit for taking TM classes.

    Mr. Knapp may do some good for certain clients — I hope so. But in such notices as the above, he seems to be using the very tactics he feigns to oppose — deceit and manipulation — to promote his borderline services. It is highly irresponsible to clutter the world with misinformation about a simple, innocent meditation technique that is reducing stress in the world and helping so many people — that is even saving lives.

  2. Regarding John M. Knapp:

    In January, 2014, John M. Knapp's NY State Social Work License was revoked. He was found guilty of professional misconduct, negligence, incompetence, on more than one occasion, and unprofessional conduct.

    The information is public on the NYS Office of Professions Summaries of Regents Actions on Professional Misconduct and Discipline, January, 2014: Social Work at this link: LINK.