Excerpt from Chapter Six: Physiological Persuasion Techniques.
Meditation may not always be good for you
There are many kinds of meditation being promoted by various individuals,
groups, and cults.
Like many cultic groups, meditation cults have varying degrees
of membership and commitment, which become known to members only
as time goes on. Those who sample only the beginning course may
have little or no knowledge of what a long-term association may
A number of persons in the United States have brought legal suits
for damages allegedly suffered as a consequence of their participation
in meditation programs. Settlements to the individuals were made
by the organization offering the programs.
The forgoing brief of the work of several researchers supports
my observations based on interviewing or providing therapy to
more than seventy persons who had meditated from four to seventeen
years in various groups.
A few examples will illustrate these former members' range of impairments, some of which remain after many years out of the cultic group.
Is Meditation ever beneficial?
Meditation, in itself, is not good or bad. But when a venal person
wants to sell you courses and persuade you to turn over your life
to him, you must beware. If you end up a slave to a money-making
power-seeking organization that pays no heed to the real difficulties
you may experience as a result of certain practices, that is a
bad use of those powerful practices.
Herbert Benson, author of the popular book, The Relaxation
Response, says meditation doesn't have to be costly - and
you don't need to buy a mantra. Just pick any word. During any
meditation or relaxation experiences, if you feel any mental or
physical discomfort, I recommend that you stop and consult a professional.