Talk:TM-Sidhi program/Archive 4

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Discussion on Removal of Yogic Flying Sentences[edit]

I would like to suggest that we remove the following sentences from the Yogic Flying section: "My guess is they were suddenly contracting their gluteus maximus. It must be hard work. They were soon panting heavily." The author of the previous sections of the quote is being represented as some kind of reputable expert however, these comments are rather unscientific and far from nuetral in their tone and content. --Kbob (talk) 20:34, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

I also suggest we remove the sentence: [Early promotional posters for program offered TM practitioners powers of Yogic Flying, invisibility, the ability to walk through walls, and have the "strength of an elephant".] as the reference source given is a JAMA news article on Maharishi Ayurveda and the TM-Sidhi program is never mentioned in the article. Also 'promotional posters' are never mentioned either. What the article does say is: [If the claims of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi prove true, those who follow him soon will be blessed with eternal youth, "perfect health," and the "strength of an elephant." They will be able to "walk through walls," make themselves "invisible," and "fly through the air" without the benefit of machines.] Furthermore this article is written by Mr. Andrew Skolnick who was involved in a law suit with Maharishi Ayurveda so he is hardly a nuetral source for information. Unless a credible source can be found we will need to remove this sentence from the section.--Kbob (talk) 21:02, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree Kbob about Parks comments. I understand he is a physicist, not an expert in Yogic Flying so I would be in favour of removing all his comments concerning Yogic Flying and finding someone with some expertise in Yogic Flying to comment. I believe there was a book published recently by Craig Person on Yogic Flying...maybe we could find something suitable from there.

Also regarding the posters if things are not properly sourced they should be removed.--Uncreated (talk) 22:27, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Uncreated, another thought is do we really need anyone's personal opinion on their observation of a demonstration of Yogic Flying. Can't we just say that opinions and descriptions of it vary and then provide a link to an internet video and let the reader make up their own mind of they click and watch? Is that valid or am I off the mark here? --Kbob (talk) 02:52, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Kbob, IMO the way to proceed would be to add more expert NPOV and additionally give links to where readers can watch it themselves at this point.--Uncreated (talk) 03:01, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Today I am removing the sentences below since at the present time there is no reliable source to substantiate them and they appear to be Original Research. If someone can locate a realiable source than we can put them back in. --Kbob (talk) 01:56, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I replaced the above mentioned sentences with a remarks from a paranormal skeptic book in order to recreate balance in the paragraph.--Kbob (talk) 21:43, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
[Early promotional posters for program offered TM practitioners powers of Yogic Flying, invisibility, the ability to walk through walls, and have the "strength of an elephant".[7] The TM organization eventually stopped talking publicly about these powers, except for the ability to hover and fly; http://web.archive.org/web/20000308180136/nasw.org/users/ASkolnick/mav.html].......Removed sentence and link --Kbob (talk) 01:56, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Uncreated, could you click the external link at the bottom of the article entitled "Yogic flying demo" or something like that. When I visit the site I cannot get the video to play. Does it work for you? If not we can replace with another source. --Kbob (talk) 02:10, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I can't get it to work either.--Uncreated (talk) 10:53, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm jumping into this discussion a little late but thought I'd bring up a few points/thoughts.

Video is generally not considered a good source for Wikipedia. I would be cautious about making that kind of link.

Skolnick's page is a part of a personal website looks like so his article is not really compliant . If it was published elsewhere in a reliable verifiable source then perhaps. I think here were some problems with Skolnick in other ways so I'd like to check on that.

Randi is not a reliable source. He has a high school education and was a magician. I think Uncreaetd is right. We can find academic scholarly articles on these topics and use those rather than go to less that reliable sources.

Parks as a physicist might be a good source. I'd like to check on that too. We could as well use other sources.

I see that you are combing through the article looking for weaknesses ... a good plan and nice work. I may have a little more time now to help out with that.(olive (talk) 13:31, 23 March 2009 (UTC))

Skolnick's page may be a copy of an article he published elsewhere(AMA) so we can cite that source rather than his web site maybe.....Dunno .... the site might be OK.(olive (talk) 13:37, 23 March 2009 (UTC))

Hi Olive, I read your points. Yesterday I added a sentence and reference from a skeptic on Yogic Flying demo for balance. Maybe you have seen it. I will keep looking for other nuetral sources to strengthen the article. I think they are out there but it just takes time to do the research. Regarding Skolnick and the JAMA article. I am open to looking at his AMA site which you say is not a personal site, however, my main objection to his JAMA article is that the TM-Sidhi program is never mentioned and so it is not relevant to this article. The topic of his article is regarding ayurvedic herbs and some MD's who were promoting Maharishi Ayurveda. I think if you look at it you will agree that it has not place in this article.--Kbob (talk) 21:39, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Who would be better qualified to expose Yogic Flying as a hoax than a magician and a physisist? Randi is extraordinarily well qualified on the subject matter of hoaxes. And since the theoretical underpinning for Yogic Flying as advanced by the TM organization is that the meditators have altered matter at the quantum level, who other than a physist is qualified to say, no, they didn't alter matter on a quantum level, they're hopping on their ass, and working up one heck of a sweat doing it. If the criteria here is, as uncreated asserts, that one must be an expert in yogic flying to get quoted in the article, then that pretty much means that only TM-related people get quoted. Pretty convenient, huh? Fladrif (talk) 14:08, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Fadrif, Uncreated is a relatively new editor so I think the way to approach this might be to suggest that other sources are acceptable rather than assume bad faith. As I mentioned above Parks may be legitimate , I really don't have the time to check right now but yes a physicist may be appropriate. If Skolnick doesn't mention TM sidhis then the ref has no place in this article.
Not sure when magicians became reliable sources for anything but magic.(olive (talk) 15:40, 24 March 2009 (UTC))
Magicians are frequently used and are reqarded as qualified expert witnesses in court cases to testify as experts on the fraudlent or misleading manipulation of physical objects. (For example, in a casino fraud case, to explain how someone might manipulate cards or chips or coins, or how in a pigeon drop scam, the bags and money get switched.) Outside of that arena involving legal qualification to testify as an expert, magicians, and Randi in particular, has been frequently hired to lecture police and investigators on investigating fraud, and he has been repeatedly honored by professional societies, colleges and universities for his work in fraud investigation. Fladrif (talk) 17:22, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Hi Fladrif, thanks for your comments. Its good to have all perspectives on this. I agree about the relevance of a Physicist but not sure about the Magician concept. That said, I think for the time being at least, we can leave the section with the comments by Randi and Parks as it is. At least that is my opinion. --Kbob (talk) 18:33, 24 March 2009 (UTC)


When it comes to characterizing the actual physical phenomena of Yogic Flying and not its theoretical underpinnings perhaps we could source opinions from sports scientists, Gymnasts and Martial art experts rather than a physicist. In regards to the use of Randi as an expert he is being sited to comment on the actual research on the Maharishi effect which has nothing to do with slight of hand... I would think we could find an academic who has critiqued the Maharishi effect to be more authoritative in their analysis of it than randi.--Uncreated (talk) 18:54, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Except, you don't even need to be a magician to check the records of the Fairfield Police Department, Iowa Dept of Agriculture, and Iowa DMV to discover,as Randi did, that Rabinoff falsified his data. Fladrif (talk) 21:54, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
I have not read Randi's book...does he say that Rabinoff falsified his data? Does he have any evidence to suggest this?--Uncreated (talk) 01:22, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes and yes. Fladrif (talk) 14:08, 25 March 2009 (UTC

What is the evidence?--Uncreated (talk) 18:08, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

In fact, there were no such published studies on crime, accidents, and crop production . To have falsified data there would have had to be study data to falsify. Had Randi been a serious journalist he would have called Rabinoff and asked for the studies. He didn't. There are nI studies and Randi doesn't cite the studies themselves. There seems to be no record of what Rabinoff said at the time ... or whether he was telling the truth. Its possible that the report Randi refers to was a letter although there is no record of any letter. Perhaps someone should try and get the letter from Randi. The problem with this section of the article is that the reader will assume what Fadrif did that there are published studies based on falsified data but there aren't.(olive (talk) 18:59, 25 March 2009 (UTC))

Do I understand your argument to be that Rabinoff simply asserted, with no factual basis whatsoever, that the Maharishi Effect reduced crime, reduced accidents, reduced unemployment, increased crop prodution, etc...in and around Fairfield, so there was no data to falsify? Fladrif (talk) 19:07, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Let's be clear about this. Randi took each and every one of the assertions that Rabinoff made, checked with appropriate sources and found that Rabinoff's assertions were false. So, it is not the case that there was no published data - there was plenty readily-available data from public sources, and that data directly contradicted Rabinoff's claims. Fladrif (talk) 19:41, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
There are no such studies on these topics from that time. I believe there was an unpublished dissertation from ten years later but not from Rabinoff's time. If there are no studies obviously there is no falsified data. The question then becomes on what is Randi basing his assumptions, and what were Rabinoff's "claims". No one seems to know . However, the article makes it sound as if there was research ... which may be misleading. Something to think about and note.(olive (talk) 19:53, 25 March 2009 (UTC))
Let me see if I understand your position correctly. You say there were no studies on the Maharishi Effect as of October, 1978, when Rabinoff gave his speech at the University of Oregon. Thus, whatever claims he made could not have been based on data. So, if he said "crime went down" or "crop yields went up" or "the weather improved", or whatever...he simply made it up. But, you say, that's not falsifying data. So, what is it? You also say that no-one knows what Rabinoff claimed. That's simply not true. What he claimed at the University of Oregon is widely published by reliable sources based on eyewitness accounts, and I have not found, and you have not cited, any disclaimer by Rabininoff or anyone else in any reliable source disputing the accuracy of these reports. Are you now claiming that he never said these things?Fladrif (talk) 20:36, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand why it's necessary to delve into this. We have one source who says one thing, and another source who says something different. We report both sources. We don't have to decide who's right.   Will Beback  talk  20:42, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree. The article should report Rabinoff's claims and Randi's criticism. It's not for the editors to decide who's right. Fladrif (talk) 20:55, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Does anyone have the source for Rabinoff's claims or the actual claims themsleves? No. There isn't one. I'm commenting on the wording in the article. Is it somewhat misleading? Yes. What it should probably say, but we can't because its OR, is that there is no record of what Rabinoff said and no published studies on crime, accidents, and crop production. Had Randi been a journalist he probably would have explained and found the source of Rabinoff's so - called claims or discussed them. Am I calling into question Randi's wording, yes... Am I suggesting changing the article if it could be made clearer, more accurate, yes. Is it possible Rabinoff was conjecturing, possible....or lying... why would he make something up that could be checked so easily ... but, yes, its possible. Will I change the article, No.....No edit wars for me. I think its necessary though, to discuss this kind of claim. The report is third hand and can start to move into the realm of rumour. As far as I know Rabinoff is still alive so the onus is on us to make very sure that what we put into this article about him is true. (olive (talk) 22:43, 25 March 2009 (UTC))

Sethie and TimidGuy were pushing this same argument on the TM article talk page in December 2006. [TM Talk Archive] As WillBeback pointed out at that time, "I haven't seen any evidence that the Rabinoff assertion is actually a mistake". This isn't a rumor. Ray Hyman attended the speech. He is the source for what Rabinoff said. No one - not Sethie, not TimidGuy, not you - have presented one scintilla of evidence that Rabinoff's claims were mispresented in any respect whatsoever. Fladrif (talk) 14:18, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Fadrif. I am discussing the wording in the article and whether its accurate. Someone on this discussion page talked about research ... I'm saying there wasn't any and that may influence the wording in the article. I agreed that we don't really know what exactly Rabinoff's claims where or where they came from....That's what a talk page is for discussing the article and how its worded, its sources...No problem. you've made up your mind, and although I have other information that might be worth discussing, I'm not really willing to argue further on this topic. Best wishes.(olive (talk) 15:10, 26 March 2009 (UTC))
I understand that you're directing your comments to the content of the article, and so am I. If, as you, Sethie and TimidGuy have asserted, there wasn't any research it makes Rabinoff's claims that these effects of TME had been "scientifically demonstrated" in Fairfield doubly problematic. As you correctly point out, to say that there wasn't any research at the time is OR. I understand your argument to be that one might conclude from that OR that Rabinoff's claims were misreported, rather than that his claims were disproven. But, there is no reliably-sourced information to support the misreported conclusion; the only reliably-sourced information is for the disproven option. Fladrif (talk) 16:03, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Back to KeithBob's original deletion, and the reason for this long discussion. The deleted material was sourced to an article in JAMA and to Randi's book. Those are reliable sources. Claiming that they are "biased" against TM is particularly irrelevant in the context of what was removed. They were not a statements of opinion, but statements of simple fact: MMY and the TM rganization did indeed claim that TM-Sidhi would enable its practitioners to fly, walk through walls, become invisible, become invulnerable to harm, etc....And, MMY did indeed claim that thousands of practitioners had already learned to fly. One could easily find additional sources: [1][2] You shouldn't remove reliably-sourced material, and if you think that material could be better-sourced, you're supposed to supply the better sources, not delete the material. The assertion that the JAMA article does not mention TM-Sidhi is simply false; if you prefer "promotional materials" to "promotional posters", because the article uses the former term rather than the latter, that would be an appropriate change; deletion is not an appropriate change.

"Expensive Flights of Fancy
The TM movement similarly exploits other scientific institutions and universities that lend or rent their facilities for TM events. Their names are prominently displayed in advertisements, giving the impression that the events are sponsored by the institutions.
One extremely profitable example, reported in The Skeptical Inquirer (1980; 4:7-8), involved the rental of a gymnasium at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst during the summer of 1979 for TM's yogic flying courses. Three thousand students enrolled, one third of whom paid $3000 each to learn the Maharishi's 'TM-Sidhi program'. According to promotional materials, the TM-Sidhi program allows one to master the forces of nature to become invisible, walk through walls, fly through the air, and have "the strength of an elephant." The Skeptical Inquirer article says that the other students learned more down-to-earth TM skills for $800-$1000 tuition and that the TM movement reaped between $ 3 million and $ 5 million, before expenses, from the courses at the University of Massachusetts." (Emphasis added)

Fladrif (talk) 16:29, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Hi Fladriff, What I said was that the JAMA article by Skolnick did not mention or use the words TM-Sidhi program and was therefore not a valid source. I announced the proposed change on this page and waited a few days for a response. There appeared to be no objection so I made the change. I was not aware of any other source. It seems that you are now giving another source ie. the Skeptical Inquirer. I would like to see this article but the links in your comment above do not lead anywhere. Do you have a link for this Skeptical Inquirer article, so I can check it out? Thanks,--Kbob (talk) 21:00, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
???The language I quoted is directly from the JAMA article by Skolnik. You are mistaken. The JAMA article does indeed use the words "TM-Sidhi program". It uses that precise term twice in the very paragraphs I quoted. Fladrif (talk) 21:31, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Maharishi Effect[edit]

In the Maharishi Effect section I think it would be good also to add additional info from experts and their understanding of the Maharishi effect. I don't think Randi is the best person to site simply because I am unsure of his expertise in this field.--Uncreated (talk) 03:03, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

OK I will look for something, when I have time. --Kbob (talk) 21:26, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Who, outside of TM-Sidhi, would be expert on the "Maharishi Effect"?   Will Beback  talk  18:34, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Will, this site here by a scholar lists at the bottom a number of academics comments on the Maharishi effect. http://www.davidleffler.com/canadiancentre.html I believe a number of authors also commented on the Maharishi effect in the Journal of Conflict Resolution...there was an editorial on the research, the actual published research, a critique of the research and a rebuttal to the research published. http://jcr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/32/4/776?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=maharishi&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT --Uncreated (talk) 18:52, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

The principal authors of those papers, Leffler and Orme-Johnson, both seem to be connected with the movement. While they may be "expert", their expertise is inevitably tinged with bias due to their involvement. Is there anyone outside the movement beside Randi who has investigated the Effect?   Will Beback  talk  19:19, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Here is the critique I mentioned. http://jcr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/34/4/745 --Uncreated (talk) 19:31, 24 March 2009 (UTC) There was also an editorial on the Maharishi effect published in the JCR. I found it when I accessed my university database...but couldn't find it online with google. I think Park has also written some sort of Critique of the research conducted on the Maharishi effect. --Uncreated (talk) 19:31, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
How come this isn't mentioned in the article?   Will Beback  talk  04:44, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure...I guess the previous editors of the article either did not know about it or did not think it was appropriate to include. I myself have never edited the article. If it was up to me I would delete the Randi portion and have a summary of the research published in the JCR, the editorial that introduced it and the following critique and the response to the critique by the researchers that was later published by JCR. The Summary of the Washington DC study I think is adequate in its coverage of the study itself, Parks critique and Rainforth's response to the critique.--Uncreated (talk) 05:56, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Why, if it was up to you, would you delete Randi, when you haven't even read the source material? Fladrif (talk) 14:07, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
As it stands now what we have Randi saying does not seem to me to be particularly informative. We have a paragraph devoted to explaining something Randi did that does not any way produce any conlcusion about the Maharishi effect accept that by making a few calls one can not substantiate it. Also never actually hearing whar Rabinoff said or looking at the research he was talking about, what actually does this have to do with the Maharishi effect? But I haven't read the source material...I can only go by what other people have presented he has said...--Uncreated (talk) 18:34, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
No, you don't have to just go by what other people have presented. You can actually read the source material, so some more research, and try to come to an understanding as to whether it's accurate, or BS, or some combination of the two. (Unless you're talking about something I wrote, in which case you should accept every single word without question). Fladrif (talk) 20:49, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I would like to be able to read randi's book...however as far as i know there is nowhere online I can read it.--Uncreated (talk) 21:44, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Flim Flam is in over 1000 libraries in the U.S, with more copies in libraries around the world.[1]   Will Beback  talk  21:51, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes you are right...I could go to the library and get a copy...but since many of the other editors here seem to have ready access to it they could simply report the relevant info and save me a trip downtown. --Uncreated (talk) 22:06, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Looking very quickly, there is quite a bit of material in Robert Abelson's book "Statistics as Principled Argument" on the statistical flaws and methodological definciencies in the Leffler and Orme-Johnson studies. He notes among other things that that, according to Baysian statistics, there is close to zero statistical probablity that there is any "Maharishi effect"[3]Fladrif (talk) 21:24, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
for those wanting to read here a link to Statistics as Principled Argument http://books.google.com/books?id=YRMnGB4OwiUC&pg=PA179&lpg=PA179&dq=Statistics+as+Principled+Argument+maharishi+effect&source=bl&ots=ZpDqLyDJKN&sig=Lo_emouFij-sCEtw86Ux9Smvwtw#PPA176,M1 --Uncreated (talk) 21:32, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
It's interesting to note Randi's book has also been criticized. A well known published author Michael Presscott had this to say about Randi's book. ["Claims of poor scientific method leveled at the experimenters have been shown to be mainly unsubstantiated personal opinion and second-hand 'Chinese Whispers.'" (Chinese Whispers is the British equivalent of the American game, Telephone.) It might be worth adding that critics of paranormal phenomena, like Randi, are forever decrying any reliance on "anecdotal evidence," which is precisely what the bulk of Randi's argument consists of...Randi comes across as a bullying figure, eager to attack and ridicule, willing to distort and even invent evidence – in short, the sort of person who will do anything to prevail in a debate, whether by fair means or foul...From what I can tell Randi really is the Flim Flam man.] --Kbob (talk) 21:22, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
That's all very nice, but I'd point out: (i) Prescott is a novelist - murder crime thriller genre - not that that's a bad thing or that it invalidates any of his criticisms; (ii) his criticisms of Randi's book "Flim Flam!" are self-published in Prescott's blog, which doesn qualify as a reliable source; and (iii) Prescott makes no criticism whatsoever of Randi's discussion of TM in general or Rabinoff's claims in particular. More to the point, as I wrote above, there has been not one citation to any reliable source (and not even one claim based on original research!) refuting or disputing a single word that Randi wrote about Rabinoff. Think about that: This book came out 27 years ago, and in all that time Rabinoff never once claimed to have been misquoted, never once came forward with any data or waving any study disputing anything Randi wrote. As far as WP:RS is concerned, this matter should be regarded as closed. As far as trying to do critical thinking on the subject, I'm going to re-read the Sherlock Holmes story, "Silver Blaze", and meditate on the dog that didn't bark. Fladrif (talk) 21:56, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Regarding the research by Leffler and Orme-Johnson. Having an association with a topic may (or may not) taint an author's personal writings on a subject but that does not invalidate published scientific research. This is because the scientific procedure is designed to eliminate bias. In addition much of the research on the Maharishi Effect has been published in 'peer reviewed' journals, which means a review board of scientists have rigorously examined the original research and found it to be valid and have approved it for publication. Lastly, Wiki policy states that: "Academic and peer-reviewed publications are highly valued and usually the most reliable sources in areas where they are available, such as history, medicine and science." WP:V--Kbob (talk) 21:22, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Yogi Flying Video[edit]

Hi Olive, thank you for your suggestions. Regarding the Yogic Flying video, there has been a Yogic Flying video link in the Ext Link section for some time. Uncreated and I tested it and found that it didn't work, so I have removed it and replaced it with a link to a video that does work. Let's discuss this. If other editors agree that it is not appropriate or if you can site some Wiki guidelines that prohibit this than I am happy to remove it. But its there for now pending further discussion.--Kbob (talk) 21:32, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, there is a mention somewhere that videos need to be carefully checked , but can't remember where it is. I'll look later. Thanks Kbob.(olive (talk) 15:43, 24 March 2009 (UTC))

Sidhis - What abilities[edit]

KeithBob improperly removed, mistakenly alleging it was unsourced, information about other powers besides flying claimed by TM-Sidhi. It was properly sourced to an article in JAMA. I propose it go back in, with additional sources, right in the lead:

Maharishi stated that he derived the TM-Sidhi program from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, containing phrases or "sutras" (threads), the practice of which can supposedly lead to development of advanced human abilities, called Sidhis.[4] The Maharishi claimed that these powers included flying through the air ("Yogic Flying"), invisibility, mind-reading, perfect health, immortality, the ability to walk through walls, and having "the strength of an elephant. [5] [6][7][8]

Fladrif (talk) 14:17, 30 March 2009 (UTC) (added ref)Fladrif (talk) 14:55, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Hi Fladrif. I just looked at these refs and from what I see, we have:
From reference: The Columbia Missourian

...and in the process may

experience such supernormal powers as the ability to "By," levitate and move about; walk through walls, be- come invisible and possess colossal strength and extrasensory perception required depending on how long a per- son has been practicing the basic TM-

Techmque...The advanced Sidhis courses....
and From: The Canadian

Turning invisible was one of the siddhis; levitation was another.

I don't see references in the JAMA article to the TM Sidhi program... although I see in the opening lines what has been described as Sidhis in other articles... thing is, the reference to TM Sidhis isn't made here.... I'm not even sure why that first line is there since the article is on Ayur Veda... using that reference would be WP:OR or synthesis....
Faldrif quote:
"invisibility, mind-reading, perfect health, immortality, the ability to walk through walls, and having "the strength of an elephant."
Do we have specific refs for these "powers"?..I see "flying", "walking through walls", "invisibility". I don't see a ref for "perfect health', "strength of an elephant".Unless I'm missing something. I see we haven't included the ref to ESP.
The lede should be a summarized version of the article. It might be better to put specific references to the Sidhis in the body of the article.
As I pointed out above to KeithBob, the JAMA article does indeed reference the "TM Sidhi program" , including twice in the very paragraph which lists the following abilities: "invisible, walk through walls, fly through the air, and have "the strength of an elephant". I quoted it directly in the discussion above. I have no idea why you think that is original research. It isn't. The SF Gate article lists levitation, plus "invisibility, mind-reading, perfect health and immortality". The Canadian article references "a slew of paranormal abilities" including "turning invisible and "levitation". The Missourian article lists, as you point out, includes flying, walking through walls, invisibility, colossal strength and extrasensory perception.
To recap, the language I proposed listed:
  • Flying (JAMA, SF Gate, Canadian, Missourian)
  • Invisibility (JAMA, SF Gate, Canadian, Missourian)
  • Mind-reading (SF Gate; also Missourian says ESP, but maybe that's a different sidhi - you tell me)
  • Perfect Health (SF Gate)
  • Immortality (SF Gate)
  • Walking through walls (JAMA, Missourian)
  • Strength of an elephant (JAMA; Missourian says "colossal strength")
So, I believe that these are all properly and reliably sourced. I can certainly provide more sources, including copies of the promotional ads that the TMO bought in newspapers in the 1970's promoting all of these powers and more: superhuman sight and hearing, mastery over nature, fulfillment of all desires and aspirations, the powers of a superman, etc... If you think ESP should be a separate sidhi from mind reading, I don't object. I thought that the lede was the best place for this, but if there is another place in the article where a list of the various sidhis claimed by the Maharishi should go instead, I'm open to suggestion. But, these other powers claimed to be enabled by TM-Sidhi should be prominently listed in this article somewhere.Fladrif (talk) 18:46, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
To these we can add feeling infinite compassion, omniscience and knowledge of other planets. A 1977 Time Magazine article lists those, plus, of course, flying, invisibility and walking through walls.[9] Another source: [10] Fladrif (talk) 19:37, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Gosh strange experience - part of my post is gone .... at any rate, what I noticed is that the SF article doesn't specifically mention TM Sidhis but seems to be describing them. Its actually a kind of OR . If we didn't have other sources maybe we could push and use it, but we have the Time article which covers a lot of the bases so we don't really need the SF article.
We do have a serious concern with the Skolnick article. I noticed the article is copyrighted, and is is a copy right violation which we can't use on Wikipedia. We have this in the archives of Maharishi Vedic Medicine,[2] and this comment by Skolnick himself [3]
I think though there are enough good sources to put in pretty much all of these so called powers.(olive (talk) 02:43, 31 March 2009 (UTC))


--this post is from Olive but she didn't sign it. I also cleaned up the structure of the post as it was taking up multiple lines. I hope I didn't mess anything up. --Kbob (talk) 02:36, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Nor sure what happened there Kbob....Anyway I've reposted with the intended format. Thanks for your help.(olive (talk) 02:44, 31 March 2009 (UTC))

Faldrif, thanks for all your research and patience in working this through. It seems we have enough sources even without the Skolnick JAMA article to create a sentence or two on special abilities said to be developed by the TM-Sidhis. I'll create something and post it here for discussion. Does that work for you? --Kbob (talk) 02:53, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
OK here is what I propose. The first sentence is existing copy currently in the article. I am suggesting that we add the sentence in [brackets].

Maharishi stated that he derived the TM-Sidhi program from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, containing phrases or "sutras" (threads), the practice of which can supposedly lead to development of advanced human abilities, called Sidhis, including Yogic Flying and the creation of peace. [According to various newspaper reports the TM-Sidhi program also claims to develop powers such as invisibility, walking through walls, mind reading, colossal strength, extra sensory perception, perfect health and immortality.]--Kbob (talk) 03:24, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

My preference would be to not be so specific in the lede since the lede should be more of a summary of the rest of the article.(olive (talk) 03:55, 31 March 2009 (UTC))
But not attached.(olive (talk) 03:57, 31 March 2009 (UTC))
The reason I suggested that this go in the lede is because it alreadly lists yogic flying and world peace. I've got no problem in putting this in the body instead of the lede, but in that case the lede probably shouldn't list any of the individual abilities. The list of the abilities and powers should probably lead off the "Reception" section - maybe rename it "TM-Sidhi Powers and Reception". As to the JAMA copyright issue, the solution isn't to drop it as a source, the solution is to cite it without the in-line URL, as it is still a reliable source and the copyright does not preculude it being cited. I've got no problem with KeithBob's version, though "newspaper and magazine", or "media" is more accurate, as the sources aren't all newspapers. Here's my proposed solution, which is basically KeithBob's split into two parts, with the internal links and footnotes added:
LEDE : Maharishi stated that he derived the TM-Sidhi program from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, containing phrases or "sutras" (threads), the practice of which can supposedly lead to development of advanced human abilities, called Sidhis.[11]
BODY : According to various newspaper and magazine reports, the TM-Sidhi program claims to develop powers such as Yogic Flying, the creation of peace, invisibility, walking through walls, mind-reading, colossal strength, extra sensory perception, perfect health, and immortality. [12] [13][14][15][16][17][18]
Fladrif (talk) 13:59, 31 March 2009 (UTC)Fladrif (talk) 14:30, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Added another ref: Texas Sun from 1977. Lists flying, invisibility, walking through walls, extraordinary empathy or compassion, and "hundreds more" "super-normal powers". Still using the spelling "siddhi" at that point. Fladrif (talk) 16:14, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
I would think that to site Sklonick's article we would have to link or refer to another source. Copyright vio.s are taken seriously. I don't see that we have a choice here. Quote below from WP:COPYRIGHT. Am I missing something? We seem to have a lot of sources that are compliant.(olive (talk) 16:47, 31 March 2009 (UTC))

However, if you know that an external Web site is carrying a work in violation of the creator's copyright, do not link to that copy of the work. An example would be linking to a site hosting the lyrics of many popular songs without permission from their copyright holders. Knowingly and intentionally directing others to a site that violates copyright has been considered a form of contributory infringement in the United States (Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry). Linking to a page that illegally distributes someone else's work sheds a bad light on Wikipedia and its editors.

Yes, you're missing something. I'm not proposing that we link to the Internet Archive of the web site that carried the JAMA article. I'm proposing that we simply cite the JAMA article as a reference, giving all of the relevant biblioigraphical information, but without the offending URL. That does not violate any copyright, and fully complies with all Wikipedia policies on inline citation. If you look at the footnotes (FN 12), you will see that is precisely what I have proposed. Fladrif (talk) 17:02, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Good points Fladrif and Olive. I like what Fladrif has proposed above for copy and placement ie. general description in the lede and specific abilities in the appropriate section of the body of the article. I lke that he has added 'newspapers and magazines' and maybe we should include compassion and empathy in the list of abilities as well. What do you think? The only adjustment I would suggest to Fladrif's copy is to say extra-ordinary abilities and take out the word 'powers' as its a less sophisticated word and a more general term. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks,--Kbob (talk) 16:57, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes I think Fladrif's proposal is good and your adjustments fine. I've watched a case here were copy right violations were dealt with and it wasn't pleasant, so I do have a concern in that area. Other than that we could go ahead as afar as I can see. Perhaps we should wait for Uncreated?(olive (talk) 17:05, 31 March 2009 (UTC))
OK, yes I see ... thanks Fladrif.(olive (talk) 17:08, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Adding misc refs to list below: The Big Fish—Anna Bonshek p.146[19]RETURN OF THE RISHI—Deepak Chopra [20]The Skeptic Guide to the Paranormal[21] --Kbob (talk) 17:15, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Changing "powers" to "extraordinary abilities" is fine with me. I have no objection to listing additional abilities. I think that the only ones mentioned in the references that we haven't listed are empathy, compassion, omniscience and knowledge of other planets (though I'd think that last one is subsumed under omniscience!). I'd just caution that, if the Texas Sun article is right, the list could get into the hundreds. No offense to Uncreated, but I see no reason to wait for him. Fladrif (talk) 17:17, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes continue.--Uncreated (talk) 18:10, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Thank you all. Then, I will proceed as proposed. Fladrif (talk) 18:14, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
  • FYI, there's nothing wrong with citing a source that has been copied somewhere without permission. We're not responsible for that. The problem only occurs when we link directly to a copyright violation. Citations don't require links.   Will Beback  talk  20:12, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Makes sense. As long as we don't link to it no problem. Thanks for the clarification.(olive (talk) 21:01, 31 March 2009 (UTC))

Good teamwork, everyone!! :-) --Kbob (talk) 00:11, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry about not moving the ref section below ... for some reason I'm not able to move it and my comments aren't showing up either...If anyone else would like to give it a try...(olive (talk) 02:10, 2 April 2009 (UTC))
Thanks Will for removing the ref list but is it just me who isn't seeing any ref list now?(olive (talk) 02:28, 2 April 2009 (UTC))
Whew!Very strange. Ref list is now showing. Some comments have disappeared but they can be replaced(olive (talk) 02:31, 2 April 2009 (UTC))
The problem was an open ref tag: <ref.   Will Beback  talk  02:35, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Ahhh ... thanks very much. Didn't even think to look for that.(olive (talk) 02:40, 2 April 2009 (UTC))

Removal of samyama[edit]

This is not really reliably sourced, and as is, is OR. I'm pasting here and if we want it back in ... I have a source that references samayama and the TM Sidhi program.[22](olive (talk) 01:47, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

The practical and theoretical aspects of TM-Sidhi program are a modernized rendering of the meditative technique known as Samyama, which is classically a part of the traditional Raja Yoga school.. [23]

I don't disagree that the referenced source here is questionable. But, the process is not to summarily remove the material. According to WP:REF (See "Dealing with Citation Problems"), since this is not a matter of WP:BLP if something is unsourced, and you can't find a source yourself, the process is to first tag it unless it is doubtful and harmful, rather than remove it. Since you apparently have found a source, simple deletion is inappropriate. If the new source suggests some revision to the text, propose a revision that incorporates the new source. Fladrif (talk) 13:52, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Consistent with that, the same source is cited in the lede on the derivation of TM-Sidhi from Pantanjali. There are many other sources for that. The solution would be to add those references there, not to delete the material. I don't have the time to do that now, but will get around to it eventually if someone doesn't beat me to it. Fladrif (talk) 14:07, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Lots of ways to skin a cat. The material is, as is, OR in addition to having a poor source, and that is why I removed it. Removing something that is a clear violation of policy is acceptable if not necessary ... but its not gone, just waiting in the wings (if it's wanted). A better source with slight rewriting, could remove the OR aspect. I did find a good source, so if its wanted back into the article I can add the source and word it so it is no longer OR. I can't do that until later tonight. I'll just assume its wanted unless someone else has concerns(olive (talk) 16:44, 2 April 2009 (UTC))
I've added the new source and a rewrite to reflect the source. Editing into the article is fine as far as I'm concerned if anyone would like to adjust my rewrite....as long as we can keep the source or sources in mind and stay away from OR.(olive (talk) 01:16, 3 April 2009 (UTC))
I've removed the source from the sentence preceding the new rewritten one as it was also a non-reliable source.(olive (talk) 01:19, 3 April 2009 (UTC))
On close inspection looks like we don't have a good source for the first sentence in that second paragraph of the lede , so I'll look for something tomorrow or we can change it to reflect the source we have .... Not feeling great tonight.(olive (talk) 01:34, 3 April 2009 (UTC))
The source you found for the second sentence is adequate to support the first sentence as well,(see p 301) although perhaps it should be rephrased "The TM-Sidhi programe was derived from...." since the source does not quote MMY directly. I expect, however, that there are additional sources as well. Fladrif (talk) 13:33, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
We are dealing with some synthesis and OR in that sentence so I'll look for another source, and or change the wording slightly to reflect what we have.(olive (talk) 16:27, 3 April 2009 (UTC))

Neutrality and Accuracy Tag[edit]

Currently there is a tag on this article that questions its neutrality and its accuracy. It appears to have been placed there in March of 2008 although I cannot find discussion about it above. Recently someone changed the date of the tag to April 2009. Is this appropriate? Wouldn't it be better to remove the tag? If issues of neutrality and accuracy remain, then lets identify and resolve them and then remove the tag. That is the purpose of the tag to provide short term direction for the evolution of the article. Comments for other editors? --Kbob (talk) 17:04, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Section Titles[edit]

I have today edited a few of the section titles as I don't think it is proper or necessary to repeat the article title in these sub-sections. I also further changed the title of the section called "TM-Sidhi Abilities and reception" to a term that more accurately reflects the text contained in the section. What do other editors think? --Kbob (talk) 15:45, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Looks good. Bigweeboy (talk) 21:58, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Remove Sentence?[edit]

I would like to remove these words from the newly renamed section called Extraordinary Abilities: "Accounts of yogic flyers advancing beyond the hopping stage have varied over the years.[citation needed] For example," The sentence has no reference or citation and I believe it is POV and OR. The next sentence which would stay in place and not be removed, would read: "In 1975, when the host of The Merv Griffin (TV) Show asked Maharishi Mahesh Yogi how many of the 40,000 TM-Sidhi students he taught to levitate, he answered: "Thousands." --Kbob (talk) 16:37, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I removed it, as there doesn't seem to be any variation among the reports. I'm also concerned about the citation in another sentence in that section:
  • TM-Sidhi practitioners (called Sidhas)[24] have already achieved the first of the three stages of Yogic Flying called 'hopping'.[25]
The cited webpage[4] describes the three stages, but does not appear to does not appear to say that anyone has achieved the first stage.   Will Beback  talk  21:13, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
I think there is an implication on the web site that the first stage has been achieved or is being used, for example, as in the picture, but saying so in the article is probably a synthesis/OR situation. So I would agree with Will. I would think there are other sources that explicitly state the first stage, hopping, has been achieved.
I may be splitting hairs to remove "extraordinary" from the subsection title. My thought was that using the word extraordinary without the source as is done later in the section is a subtle form of POV. If every one is OK with extraordinary, though, I have no concerns with leaving it in place.(olive (talk) 22:43, 3 June 2009 (UTC))
I don't see how flying and walking through walls could be seen as anything by extraordinary, so it's not really an opinion. Those are not ordinary abilities, or even exceptional abilities.   Will Beback  talk  02:14, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Sure. I have no concerns with that view and leaving it in place.(olive (talk) 02:45, 4 June 2009 (UTC))
To clarify further...(In part to make it clear I don't think walking through walls is a perfectly normal everyday occurence :o) My point was more about semantics. There are several ways of describing these abilities ...supernormal, extraordinary, and so on. So I saw the sub heading as a place to use a neutral description and then later in the section using a specific descriptive word as quoted from a source. As I said not a critical distinction.(olive (talk) 15:19, 4 June 2009 (UTC))
Thanks for the edits Will on the removal of the sentence I flagged as OR. I agree that the sentence you have cited is also problematic. I will look for some sources, and if they can't be found we can consider revision or removal.--Kbob (talk) 20:27, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Hi Olive, my suggested sentence above was taken almost word for word from the referenced web site. That said, I have also felt disturbed by the jumping around of topics in the various sections so we'll let that go and look at the bigger picture. I agree that the sections on Extraordinary Abilities and Yogic Flying should be integrated in some way. I'll look at your proposal below and comment further.--Kbob (talk) 18:43, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Proposed Revision of paragraph in the ExtraOrdinary Abilities section[edit]

I propose we re-write as follows:

Current Text--"According to the Vedic Literature, the TM-Sidhi program can eventually lead to the ability to hover and fly. TM-Sidhi practitioners (called Sidhas) have already achieved the first of the three stages of Yogic Flying called 'hopping'. Further practice of the technique is said to lead to the second stage, which is hovering, and ultimately flying through the air, the third stage."
Suggested New Text--"During the first stage of Yogic Flying the practitioners body moves forward in short jumps. One branch of the Vedic literature, the Yoga Sutras of Maharishi Patanjali, describes this first stage as “hopping,” and calls the second stage hovering for a short time, and describes the third stage as flying through the air."

[26] --Kbob (talk) 20:50, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Hi Kbob. I think that the statement you are suggesting is actually OR. the problem might be solved by quoting more from the website showing how the organization connects Patanjali's hopping to the TM Sidhi program's Yogic Flying. Even on the website the connection made is relatively thin since only the word "this" is used to connect them.
I did have a thought or two about an alternative.
  • The "extraordinary abilities" section is redundant if we exclude the first line. I would like to suggest we move "extraordinary abilities" with that first line, and create a section out of it under which is the subsection on Yogic Flying. The Maharishi Effect would come after that, since it depends on an explanation of what Yogic flying actually is.
  • I would also like to add a bit more on Yogic Flying from some other neutral sources. I can post that later for discussion.
  • As well we should look at the weight of information in the article. The article on a closer look seems weighted with long explanations on the negative side. Perhaps those could be tightened up a little. A word count indicates roughly a third of the artilce is given to negative views. Just for information
  • The section on the history of Yogic Flying is actually a form of OR. We should also discuss that issue.
  • I would actually remove the Merv Griffin section (bold type), on looking at this again .... seems to make a redundant point.

Any thoughts on the new arrangement? Perhaps we could deal with the arrangement first ... see if there's agreement, and then address the individual points . I felt like our small adjustments were band aids, and maybe we had to do a big overhaul to get things in order. (olive (talk) 17:01, 5 June 2009 (UTC))

Hi Olive, my suggested sentence above was taken almost word for word from the referenced web site. That said, I have also felt disturbed by the jumping around of topics in the various sections so we'll let that go and look at the bigger picture. I agree that the sections on Extraordinary Abilities and Yogic Flying should be integrated in some way and I like what you have proposed below its much more intelligently organized and flows better. Some sections are in dire need of citations etc. but we can deal with that later.--Kbob (talk) 18:43, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes,I realize that. As worded though, what is here is synthesis/OR. The first line describes what happens with TM Sidhi Yogic flying - hopping. The second lines describes Patanjali's first stage - hopping. The structure of the sentence does not tell us how the two are connected... so there is some synthesis and the synthesis becomes original research ... We are now saying that Yogic flying is like Patanjali's hopping....How can we know or say that. Now if you include from the text of the web site something that shows how these two are connected..... something like... the TM Sidhi web site describes the first stage of the TM Sidhi program 's Yogic Flying to be the same as Patanjali's first stage of ....known as hopping., then its not synthesis/OR anymore. This is the synthesis...

X is called hopping
y is called hopping
X must be the same hopping as Y (olive (talk) 21:01, 5 June 2009 (UTC))


I like the way Olive is rewriting the section. It is is much more organized and flows much better. Previously it was like a series of discordant, jumbled sentences that sort of fell into one another, now I can actually detect a meaning. As long as the section maintains its NPOV I am relieved Olive is rewriting it. One question, are the footnote numbers referring to the reference section at the bottom of the discussion page? I am assuming not, but just wondering. --Luke Warmwater101 (talk) 13:45, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

No, the ref links you see below are dead. I made the cut and paste from the article rather than the article edit page because we weren't talking of changing any refs. This is just a quick draft to give us an idea of how the article could look and read with a few adjustments. Thanks.(olive (talk) 19:20, 8 June 2009 (UTC))

Anyway the changes would look this:(could be moved to sand box)[edit]

These changes look very good and give a logical flow of information. We may be able to tighten up some of the wording within each of the sub-sections, but I think the overall structure works well. Bigweeboy (talk) 19:55, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not following. What is being changed and why? Did I miss a discussion?   Will Beback  talk  19:12, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Hi Will, there is a proposal on the table (see talk above this section) to re-sort the sections of the article into a more logical flow of information as seen below.--Kbob (talk) 13:29, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Development of extraordinary abilities
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.


According to various newspaper and magazine reports, the TM-Sidhi program claims to develop extra-ordinary abilities such as Yogic Flying, the creation of peace, invisibility, walking through walls, mind-reading, colossal strength, extra sensory perception, empathy, compassion, omniscience, perfect health, and immortality. [10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

Yogic flying[edit]

One component of the TM-Sidhi program is referred to as "Yogic Flying" or "hopping".[37] According to the Maharishi, Yogic Flying is a phenomenon created by a specific thought projected from the simplest state of human consciousness that he calls Transcendental Consciousness.[38] While sitting cross-legged or in a "lotus" position, Yogic Flyers hop about on foam mats.[citation needed] The TM organization says this is the first of three stages of Yogic Flying called "the perfection of leaping like a frog". [citation needed] The organization emphasizes that only the first stage of Yogic Flying has been achieved. [citation needed]

EEG studies comparing Yogic Flyers with a control group [performing similar activity] voluntarily hopping found that the neurological characteristics were different. Immediately before hopping the yogic flyers showed significant shifts in EEG coherence and power, whereas the controls did not. The differences in EEG spatial distribution and mean amplitude between the two groups suggested that a different biological mechanism underlies the EEG activity of the two groups. [39]

In 1975, when the host of The Merv Griffin (TV) Show asked Maharishi Mahesh Yogi how many of the 40,000 TM-Sidhi students he taught to levitate, he answered: "Thousands."[22] However, reporters attending a public demonstration of Yogic Flying in Washington DC in 1986, saw 22 participants bouncing on mattresses in the lotus position rather than levitation.

The TM organization has presented a number of public demonstrations of Yogic Flying, such as the one in 1999 described by Robert L. Park, professor of physics at the University of Maryland and author of the weekly science Internet column, What's New. The Yogic Flying demonstration was presented at a press conference at the Washington, DC Press Club by physicist and Natural Law Party Presidential candidate, John Hagelin. Hagelin had called the press conference to offer help in ending the war in Kosovo by sending 7000 yogic flyers to create positive coherence in the violence-torn country. Proponents of Yogic Flying claim that world peace and many other social and environmental benefits can be generated by having at least seven thousand yogic flyers around the world hopping at the same time. This is how Park described the demonstration: [1]

Mattresses were spread right there on the floor, and 12 fit-looking young guys seated themselves in the lotus position. The audience was cautioned to make no sound as they meditated. After a few minutes, one of them suddenly levitated. Well, he didn't exactly float, mind you, just sort of popped up a couple of inches and thumped back down. Then another levitated, and another, till the scene looked like corn popping. There was nothing to suggest they didn't follow parabolic trajectories."

History of Yogic Flying[edit]

Yogic Flying traditionally stems from the Vedic rishi Avatsara, "the flying-one". Later yogic texts also describe this siddhi ("perfection"), most notably the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, in varying degrees of detail. A system of Yogic Flying also exists within the inner tantras (anuttara-tantras) of Tibetan Buddhism as a system to attain enlightenment. In this system the practitioners work at the dissolution of the vital airs, prana, into the centermost part of being, the avadhuti or "central channel". In the initial stages this is used in a system of yogic-running where the practitioner is able to proceed across the ground in large jumps. Some of kings of the Himalayan kingdoms kept speed-runners or practitioners of yogic-running from this Buddhist tradition to carry messages over long distances. [citation needed]

Facilities and practitioners[edit]

Facilities for Yogic Flying are located at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, at Maharish Vedic School in Antrim, New Hampshire, and at Maharishi European Sidhaland in Skelmersdale, U.K.

During the 1990s, various Natural Law Parties encouraged the use of Yogic Flying as part of their party platform. Plans by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation Program and related programs, included building 3000 Peace Palaces in major cities, and creating permanent groups of 8,000 yogic flyers to create permanent world peace. His plan also calls for a group of 1000 Vedic pandits, all practicing Yogic Flying, to take up residence at Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa.

Criticism of Yogic Flying[edit]

In a 1987 Washington Post article, the Cult Awareness Network criticized Yogic Flying as "fake". Two former students from Maharishi University of Management say the activity was "strictly physical exercise ... [with] nothing spiritual about it." [2]

In the 1998 ABC News special The Power of Belief, John Stossel documents a series of disputed phenomena beginning with Yogic Flying.[citation needed]

The Maharishi Effect[edit]

Researchers associated with Maharishi University of Management have hypothesized that practicing the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs in a group produces a "Maharishi Effect", that is said to influence coherence and positivity in the social and natural environment.[24] According to these researchers, if the square root of one percent of the population (that is, first calculating 1% of the population and then taking the square root of the resulting number) regularly practices the TM-Sidhi program together, the entire population will experience greater coherence - including reduction in violence, crime, disease, deadly storms, and other destructive natural forces.[25][26]

James Randi, a magician and critic of paranormal claims, investigated the claims of Dr. Robert Rabinoff, a former Maharishi International University physics professor. In his book Flim Flam Randi disputed a claim attributed to Rabinoff: that a large gathering of TM practitioners had reduced crime and accidents and increased crop production in the vicinity of Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa. Rabinoff made the claims during a talk at the University of Oregon in 1978. Randi spoke with the Fairfield Police Department, the Iowa Department of Agriculture, and Iowa Department of Motor Vehicles and was unable to substantiate the claims.[27]

According to a bibliography on the Maharishi University of Management web site, studies on the Maharishi Effect have been published in journals such as Social Indicators Research, Journal of Mind and Behavior, Social Science Perspectives Journal, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Crime and Justice, and Psychology, Crime, and Law.[28]

Study on the Maharishi Effect in Washington, D.C.[edit]

A study on the Maharishi Effect published in 1999 in the journal Social Indicators Research suggested that there was a correlation between the gathering of a group of 4,000 participants in the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs in the District of Columbia, and a reduction in violent crime in that city.[29] The experiment took place over a two-month period in the summer of 1993.

At a 1994 press conference to announce the analysis of that study, John Hagelin said that, during the period of the experiment, Washington, D.C. experienced a significant reduction in psychiatric emergency calls, fewer complaints against the police, and an increase in public approval of President Clinton—all of which was consistent with the hypothesis that a coherence-creating group of practitioners of the TM-Sidhi program can relieve social stress and reverse negative social trends. Overall, according to preliminary data released by the police department there was an 18% reduction in violent crime, he told the press. When a reporter asked, an 18% reduction compared to what, Hagelin answered, compared to the level of violent crime had the study not taken place. Hagelin said that criminologists have shown that violent crime fluctuates significantly relative to the temperature. Crime goes down when it's cold and up when it's hot. The standard methodology for assessing whether the crime rate changed or not is to compare it with what is expected for that particular season. Hagelin said that by using the standard methodology (time series analysis), they were able to show the level of violent crime in Washington had dropped well below the expected level based on previous data.[30]

In his book Voodoo Science, physicist Robert L. Park called the study a "clinic in data manipulation".[31] Maxwell Rainforth, a coauthor of the Washington, D.C. study, says that Park does not support the assertion with either supporting data or analysis, and that Park's objection to the use of time series analysis isn't based on any scientific argument. The researchers also questioned whether Park had read the published study, since his criticism focused on a preliminary Interim Report released at a press conference in 1994.[32]

Park questioned the validity of the study by saying that during the weeks of the experiment Washington D.C.'s weekly murder count hit the highest level ever recorded.[33] According to the study, statistical analysis suggests that the murder rate, which typically goes up during hot weather, fell within the range of what would have been expected for that time of year. [34]

In 1994, John Hagelin received an Ig Nobel Prize in peace based on this study.[35] This parody of the Nobel Prize is given annually to "honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think".[36]

Rearrangement of article[edit]

Since there were no objections, I've rearranged the article as discussed above.

These are further points I thought might help focus on improving the article (pasting/paraphrasing from discussion from above):

  • Add more on Yogic Flying from some other neutral sources.
  • Look at the weight of information in the article. The article on a closer look seems weighted with long explanations on the negative side. Perhaps those could be tightened up a little. A word count indicates roughly a third of the article is given to negative views.
  • The section on the history of Yogic Flying is actually a form of OR. We should also discuss that issue.
  • Possibly remove the Merv Griffin section (bold type), on looking at this again .... seems to make a redundant point.

Possible action steps:


1.) Adding some information from published sources on Yogic Flying (other than TM organization sources) would I think improve the article. I'll add some of that kind of text, with the caveat that anyone uncomfortable with the addition should revert, and bring the "offending" :o) text here for discussion. I'll try to do some of that tonight(olive (talk) 16:51, 9 June 2009 (UTC))

What is the significance of the term being trademarked?   Will Beback  talk  19:58, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I think Olives suggestions are very good. The Merv G. point can be removed. Perhaps there are points that could be added to the "History" section, e.g. when Yogic Flying first introduced, who was the first person to successfully perform Yogic Flying, when it was first seen in public, when research on the program began, how many people know how to do Yogic Flying, etc. Bigweeboy; (talk) 15:52, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Yogic Flying and Hopping[edit]

Will, I think I understand the reason for your edit ie changing the words Yogic Flying to Hopping. And I agree with your intention. However I believe that your current edits are OR because the subject is TM-Sidhi and the sub topic is Yogic Flying and I think we have to be consistent with the widely accepted terminology. There are several places in the article where it is clarified by way of solid third party sources that Yogic Flying has been 'observed' to be only hopping and not levitation of any kind. --Kbob (talk) 21:35, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

The section purported that there have been public demonstration of Yogic Flying. The demonstrations were, in fact, of hopping. TM-Sidhi may assert that hopping is the first stage of flying, but that is only the TM-Sidhi's viewpoint. Outside observers report that they are witnessing hopping. It's fine to say that hopping is considered a stage of flying, but it is incorrect to say that flying has ben demonstrated.   Will Beback  talk  21:42, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Yogic flying is the name given the Sidhi or power not necessarily of the action itself."Walking through walls" is the name given to another Sidhi. Whether the practitioner is successful at achieving the desired result of the sutra is quite another story . It is imperative to the clarity and understanding of this article that the reader knows that although the sidhi, Yogic Flying, is being employed only the beginning aspect of that sidhi, hopping, is being publicly experienced or demonstrated. Please see Yoga Sutras of Patanjali for some information and see comment below.(olive (talk) 22:33, 9 June 2009 (UTC))
On checking the article on Patanjali and on the yoga sutras I see there isn't enough information to help us out here. I don't have Patanjali's book maybe someone else does... at any rate ... my point is about semantics. We are describing the Sidhi by the name given to it and then clarifying that demonstration would indicate only beginning stages are being experienced. There is no Sidhi called hopping that I know of.... That hopping is a subsection of the Sidhi "Yogic Flying" might be another way of understanding this.(olive (talk) 22:50, 9 June 2009 (UTC))
I realize this is a bit tricky in terms of semantics. I hope I have this right now and that this makes some sense. To summarize as I understand it. The powers are called Sidhis, threads or sutras are used to try and experience the powers. The action the practitioner experiences may not and so far publicly has not been achieved, that is, the power is not being experienced or demonstrated. So we are saying this is the Sidhi being practiced the result isn't "flying", its hopping. Sorry for the muddle hope this helps a bit.(olive (talk) 23:26, 9 June 2009 (UTC))
The point also, is not whether any of us here believes any of this is possible. We are just describing a very old yogic practice, its adaptation, and demonstrations of its success or lack thereof.(olive (talk) 23:33, 9 June 2009 (UTC))
I think we all agree that there is no documentation that practictioners of the TM-Sidhi techniques and Yogic Flying have ever demonstrated flying. To clarify this discrepancey between the name Yogic Flying and the 'hopping' observed in the public demonstrations I have removed the previous unsourced first party 'claims' and replaced them with sentences very closely aligned with a third party report from The Washington Post. Now that that is clearly defined and represented in the article I think we can go back to the proper terminology of Yogic Flying when referring to the subject and use the word hopping as a descriptive phrase rather than an original research WP:OR substitution of the standardized and widely accepted term of Yogic Flying.--Kbob (talk) 01:05, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Should the title "Public demonstrations of hopping" now be changed to Public demonstrations of Yogic Flying, given the above discussion that "hopping" is the early results of the technique of "Yogic Flying"? Bigweeboy; (talk) 16:02, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
That would not be NPOV, because it adopts the viewpoint of the TM-Sidhi program. It'd be acceptable, I believe to say, "Demonstrations of the first stage of Yogic Flying: hopping".   Will Beback  talk  16:41, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
As you play with the language and dates, keep in mind what the 1977 Time article (fn15 in the main article) said - The TM organization originally agreed to hold public demonstrations for reporters for a fee, and then reneged once the conditions had been met:
"What reporters want most is a clear view of a soaring meditator. Indeed, the press does have a picture—from a TM brochure—but some cynics think the levitator may in fact have been bouncing, not flying. For a while, TM's executive governors offered to arrange live demonstrations for the cynics if ten observers would pay a total of $ 1,000 for the privilege. When those conditions were accepted in at least two cities, Toronto and Montreal, headquarters sent word that demonstrations are forbidden because they are undignified. Says John Konhaus, who represents the Maharishi's team of governors in the U.S.: "No one wants to become a circus performer. Our people are at a delicate stage of growing. We aren't out to teach flying. We are teaching full development of consciousness, and flying is a byproduct. It is like enjoying a toy." Fladrif (talk) 15:23, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I guess Will's suggestion would be fine, although I don't consider it to be correct. I get the sense that the issue here is to make a point of the fact that there have been no public demonstrations of the second or third level of Yogic flying. I don't think anyone here is advocating that anything more than hopping has been demonstrated. The section clearly has information that says this is the case, and as well that this hopping may be nothing more than some kind of purely, physical exercise.... so I'm not sure why the section header seemingly has to hit the reader over the head as happens when we start to add internal-section information to the heading. We are underlining a POV here by doing so.

A topic can and must self define. So defining this as the TM organization defines it is appropriate and necessary. Yogig flying is not new nor something particular to just the TM organization so its very important to describe, in terms of NPOV, what destinguishes the TM organization's Yogic Flying from other traditions or systems. More importantly we are talking about two technical points. One, that this isn't called hopping, ... hopping is a subset of a larger definition of a Sidhi called Yogic Flying, and two, do we add that subtopic to a heading. I'd say No. Not appropriate or necessary.(olive (talk) 18:48, 10 June 2009 (UTC))

For me the main point is why are we deviating from standard practice and reiterating the words Yogic Flying in a subsection title? This is not normal procedure on Wiki. And why are we giving details and qualifying the term in the heading? To me this redundancy and detail in the section title only serves to demonstrate a point of view [[WP:NPOV] and is not neutral editing. The title should read: Public Demonstrations. The subsection title is clearly explained in detail in the paragraphs below it. I also object to the edit where Yogic Flying has been replaced by the word hopping in some areas of the text. This is also POV. Yogic Flying is a terminology commonly used and accepted by the organization teaching the TM-Sidhis and by the press who has reported on them for past 30 years. The word hopping is a descriptive word that belongs in the section but not as a replacement for the term Yogic Flying--Kbob (talk) 19:29, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
We can re-organize the article if there's a problem with repeating the subject title in the heading. For example, we can organize it according to the three stages of Yogic Flying. The public demonstrations of the first stage can be lsited in one section, while demonstrations of the other stages can be in those seciton, when and if they occur. If we want to make it clear that Yogic Flying = hopping then we can say "Yogic Flying" instead of hopping. But we can't say that flying was demonstrated when folks were simply hopping, unless we have a source that says they flew. Looking over the material, I'm not sure why the Park quotation was cut. I suggest that we paraphrase it (in its entirety) rather than selectively quoting from it.   Will Beback  talk  19:41, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
The Park quote wasn't cut, but was hard to see so I added blockquotes.(olive (talk) 20:18, 10 June 2009 (UTC))
Sorry if I was too obscure, I was referring to this edit.[5] It received scant discussion here: #Discussion on Removal of Yogic Flying Sentences. I think that the quote should either be restored, or, better yet, summarized in its entirety. The observation that the participants were panting heavily is relevant to the mechanism of the hopping.   Will Beback  talk  20:42, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I think that the problem here derives from some the fact that the "public demonstrations" have provided no verification whatsoever that "yogic flying" at whatever stage you choose - hopping, hovering, flying through the air - is anything but a hoax. If we are to give credence to the former practitioners interviewed and the independent observers in the sources already cited in the article, "hopping" is simply a physical exercise that leads to joint and back pain in long-term practitioners, and has nothing whatsoever to do with a spiritual practice. According to these reports, there is nothing "involuntary" about it at all, and it is certainly not the result of reciting sidhis after meditation like heating popcorn in a skillet. There is no reliable source whatsoever to support the proposition that the opposite is true. Not even "EEG coherence" study was willing to go out on the unsupportable limb of claiming to have proven a cause and effect relationship. The TM organization has instead engaged in an absurd semantic game to hide the fact that 30+ years ago, MMY was claiming that he taught people to levitate through this program. A truly neutral point of view, that gives appropriate weight to the mainstream press coverage of TM-Sidhi and yogic flying, should reflect that this is universally viewed outside of the TM organization as at best a pseudoscience or a religious belief without any verification whatsoever, and at worst a hoax. Fladrif (talk) 20:05, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to Remove these Sentences from Yogic Flying section[edit]

"by physicist and Natural Law Party Presidential candidate, John Hagelin. Hagelin had called the press conference to offer help in ending the war in Kosovo by sending 7000 yogic flyers to create positive coherence in the violence-torn country. Proponents of Yogic Flying claim that world peace and many other social and environmental benefits can be generated by having at least seven thousand yogic flyers around the world hopping at the same time."----These sentences are a distraction to the main point of the paragraph which is Park's observation of a Yogic Flying demonstration and are also redundant to points made in the section called "Maharishi Effect"--Kbob (talk) 01:14, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

But they do give the context in which the Yogic Flying demonstration was being held. Perhaps this is not relevant? Bigweeboy; (talk) 16:06, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Bigweeboy for your comment. While it is true it does give a context to the demonstration the sentences are not germaine to the article subject nor the article section. Context is not given for any other demonstrations mentioned, why this one? What do other editors think? --Kbob (talk) 15:15, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to Merge the Facilities and Practitioners section with the Maharishi Effect[edit]

For me the Facilities and Practiioners section sticks out like a sore thumb. It will have more relevance to the reader in the Maharishi Effect section after the reader understands the purpose of groups of Yogic Flyers. Once it is moved I will also locate some sources for the info presented there as currently it is unsourced. Does this sound good?--Kbob (talk) 15:55, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I would agree. Kbob, I would suggest that you edit this since its not controversial... then if anyone else has concerns they can revert and bring it here for discussion at that point...You're choice.(olive (talk) 19:22, 10 June 2009 (UTC))
This text could also be split up... its two different topics: one is facilities and one is about MMY's vision for the technique.(olive (talk) 19:27, 10 June 2009 (UTC))

Rather than talk about it ... how does the arrangement below look? (olive (talk) 20:00, 10 June 2009 (UTC))

I disagree with the treatment of "yogic flying" as a phenomenon that has ever been demonstrated or that has any existence in the real world. All references to it should make clear that this is a belief, not a reality.   Will Beback  talk  20:21, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Will. There has been no demonstration that yogic flying is real. It can be treated as pseudoscience. It can be treated as a religious belief. But it should not be treated as if there is any objective proof that it exists at all - any more than any of the other sidhis like invisibility, walking through walls, strength of an elephant, immortality.... Fladrif (talk) 20:48, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Edit conflict

Yogic Flying, and the use of the term, yogic flying are two different ways of using the same phrase. Yogic Flying is the name of something, one of many Sidhis, and has historical significance. Now here we have an organization that is attempting to do this "Yogic Flying". Publicly at least, its not successful. The article says this, and describes instances where these unsuccessful attempts were obvious. I think the article implies this is belief, and maybe a hoax. Yogic Flying historically has levels, apparently from all appearances the first level is being experienced but the other levels aren't. The article says this too. If this is a belief, fine, but then we have to cite that in a source. We, as editors, in an article have no right to assert anything that supports an article-wide point of view. I can appreciate completely the view that this is a belief or a hoax or both. We could discuss the subject itself. But that's not the issue. The TM organization has something they call Yogic Flying. This article is about this Sidhi, this so called power, and is a noun. The words yogic flying is an action, the verb.... We have to distinguish between these two usages. Some people are practicing the Sidhi, Yogic Flying and appear if anything to be on the first of three stages, hopping. They are not able to do the yogic flying another word for the third stage part ... they are hopping. The Sidhi, Yogic Flying, has stages: 1.) hopping 2.) lifting off the ground 3.)Flying through the air (yogic flying). My understanding anyway. (olive (talk) 21:44, 10 June 2009 (UTC))
To Fladrif's point: I understand, but what you are saying is a point of view, however widely held. If for example, an organization uses the Sidhi for walking through walls, we can say that, and we can cite a source that says they demonstrated this but sadly they bump into the walls. That's all we have to put here. The text says it all. We don't have to say ... walking through walls is a belief system unless we find a reliable source that says that. In this article we have info about the Sidhi, info on the demonstration of it, info on research on it, info that implies pretty directly many think its not real ..... That says it all.(olive (talk) 21:44, 10 June 2009 (UTC))
This might help clarify [6]

Resist the temptation to apply labels or moralize—readers will probably not take kindly to being told what to think. Let the facts speak for themselves and let the reader decide.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Littleolive oil (talkcontribs)
We don't need to label it as a belief, but we also need to avoid any wording that gives the opposite impression. The text, both proposed below and in the article, does not do an adequate job of clarifying that this is not a real occurence. Flying is an extraordinary claim, and I suggest that WP:REDFLAG applies, requiring especially reliable sources. WE shold certianly report that TM-Sihi makes these assertions, but we should not use the encyclopedic voice to say that they've happened. Likewise, we can say that TM-Sidhi calls hopping "flying", but we should not use that term ourselves. See WP:NPOV.   Will Beback  talk  22:25, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

The text of the article by word count is one full third negative text. That word count doe not include words such as "is said to" or "can supposedly" weasel wording, but also words that throw a subtle negative light on the text. The practice itself is a very real occurance as is any yogic practice, and that's what the article is about. The result of the practice is another issue.... And if we are taking on the Sidhis we are of course taking on the whole Yoga tradition. One third negative text seems more than ample to make the point, assuming we should be making any points here at all which by NPOV standards we shouldn't. Not sure what else to say. By the way, I didn't remove any text in the body of the sections and subsections in the draft below except to remove a repetition of Yogic Flying in the headings...My purpose was to try out an arrangement. Thanks for collapsing the draft...a good solution.(olive (talk) 23:07, 10 June 2009 (UTC))

This issue iis't about the proportion of negative to positive text. Even if this article were 90% negative text at no point should we assert that there is an actual phenomenon of flying via meditation. We can present the claims on both sides, but we should not adopt any view as being the right one. The text discusses "yogic flying" as if it were a reality rather than a belief. I think that a major overhaul to this article may be necessary if this isn't fixed.   Will Beback  talk  23:16, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Let me reword "negative text"... I mean text that indicates yogic flying is not actually occurring. Your statement above as well seems highly contradictory to me. You say,"...at no point should we assert that there is an actual phenomenon of flying via meditation." Then you say,"We can present the claims on both sides, but we should not adopt any view as being the right one." But in fact you are presenting a claim as a right one. Equally confusing is the idea that we as editors get to decide what is reality. Both are POV seems to me.
I don't see text anywhere in the article that asserts that this phenomena actually occurs... so I'm not sure what you are referring to. (olive (talk) 23:44, 10 June 2009 (UTC))
Setting that aside for the moment, I have some questions about the sources. The Skeptic's Guide to the Paranormal, by Lynne Kelly, quotes Peter Russell as saying that hopping is the second stage of flying. PERMANENTPEACE.ORG is used repeatedly as a source - what's their relationship to all of this? What makes it a reliable source? Likewise for experiencefestival.com, which seems rather poor quality, or just a WP mirror. Exploring New Religions, by George D. Chryssides, a highly reliable source, seems to say that hopping is yogic flying, not just a stage.[7] I'm not sure thaat we're using the best available sources, or summarizing them properly. Maybe this article does need an overhaul.   Will Beback  talk  00:30, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I think we should go with Patanjali on this.... he calls the first stage hopping and he's the expert...so Kelly may be in error
  • Perm peace.org is associated with the TM organization. From what I can see it is used in the article to provide self-description and is acceptable... WP:SELFPUB
  • I had hoped to add Chryssides last/night today but got side tracked on this. Yes, I think he is a good source, and would be a good addition.
  • Chryssides refers to the programme of 'yogic flying'....The Sidhi itself is called Yogic Flying. Maharishi himself in Science of Being and Art of Living calls it the "TM Sidhi Program of Yogic Flying"
  • What I've heard in just everyday discussion is that hopping as a term, seems to be, at this point in time because that is what is being experienced, synonymous with the term Yogic Flying...But as Chryssides notes, I've also heard the term "flying" used to describe the practice. If we go to the expert sources on the topic, Patanjali, we see that hopping is a stage. The PermanentPeace.org site also an official TM site also calls the first stage hopping.

For the purposes of this article we have to clearly delineate the terms using our most reliable, verifiable sources as references.

What we have to be careful of, seems, is to use hopping as a term which describes the first stage of a program or technique but not to denigrate which creates a non neutral environment on the article.

  • I'm not familiar with experiencefestival.com.... I would say its not a good source especially since its not really up and running yet. I didn't notice it in the article, but I'll take a look and see if it can be replaced with a better source.(olive (talk) 03:23, 11 June 2009 (UTC))
I though I'd chip in a few thoughts here:
POINT 1
If we were to have 2 authors write an article on a "Strawberry" - one has never eaten a Strawberry, the other HAS eaten a Strawberry - we could get 2 very similar articles, however, the one written by the person who has eaten a Strawberry would contain points about the "taste" of a Strawberry. This is something that ONLY the author who has eaten the Strawberry can write. Now Wiki requires us to abide by NPOV, so we would perhaps have to discard the description of the "taste" of the Strawberry because it was a "subjective" description. However, which description would be more complete? I would suggest the one written by the author who has actually tasted the Strawberry.
Perhaps this is some of the dilemma the authors are facing here in describing Yogic Flying's purported 1st stage of "hopping". For the outside observer, it looks like the person is hopping and "is simply a physical exercise", as Fladrif writes, and may look like the person is using their muscles strenuously to propel the body up and forward. But the "subjective" experience may be quite different for the person doing the Yogic Flying. (Perhaps olive can comment on this). Which viewpoint is correct? Which is less "subjective"? The observer of "Yogic Flying stage 1 hopping" sees it as strenuous and physical - his/her subjective opinion; the person experiencing the meditative state of "Yogic Flying stage 1 hoping" may feel it to be easy and effortless - his/her subjective opinion.
POINT 2
Is there such a thing as Objectivity? In the Wiki article on the Eagle, for example, we read "Eagles are large birds of prey..." But "large" is a subjective adjective. Yes, an eagle is "large" compared to a Wren, but it is "small" compared to a Elephant. And in this article the author(s) had to DECIDE what facts to include and which to exclude. Does this not include POV?
Not sure how important these points are, but when we are dealing with a fairly "subjective" topic such at meditation and yogic practices, we may run into these kinds of issues. Bigweeboy (talk) 16:35, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
The fundamental flaw in this reasoning is that everything in Wikipedia needs to be reliably sourced, and as Will pointed out [WP:REDFLAG] means that exceptional claims need exceptional sources. There is no reliable source that "yogic flying" at any stage is real. Come to think of it, I'm not sure, based on what I've read in the cited references, that there is even any reliable source that anyone, including the people doing it, believes yogic flying is real. We do have reliable sources quoting people who are doing it who admit it isn't real. On the other side, we have is self-published promotional material from the TM organization that is sufficiently weasel-worded to avoid getting sued again for fraud and misrepresentation by disappointed TM-Sidhi students that aren't learning to fly after paying their tuition and taking the course. (see the Leland Article, fn 16 in the main article).Fladrif (talk) 15:39, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
OK Fladrif. You say there are "reliable sources quoting people who are doing it who admit it isn't real". Are these newspaper articles, and the like? If there are newspaper articles quoting people doing Yogic Flying hopping that say it is real, then can these be included in the article? Bigweeboy (talk) 17:12, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Who posted this? Bigweeboy or Mrsjolly? Is Mrsjolly a sockpuppet? Or is this just a SineBot error?Fladrif (talk) 16:24, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Bigweeboy (talk) posted it.
Please sign your posts. So who is Mrsjolly? And as for the substantive question, read WP:REDFLAG.Fladrif (talk) 16:59, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Bigweeboy's points above underline the reason Wikipedia needs policies and guidelines to underlie its editing practices. These help ensure articles relate a neutral point of view. This doesn't mean that the material is neutral in itself, or that the editor is neutral (although editors should attempt to be neutral as they edit) We all have opinions, and subjectivity is well... subjective. The article must fairly represent as nearly as possible all significant viewpoints using the best sources available (WP:Reliability, WP: Verifiability. The reader comes to an encyclopedia for information not an opinion.The reader forms an opinion of their own based on the material. To that point whether Yogic Flying is "real" or not is not our business. What is our business is to accurately represent the diverse information available. We insult our reader's intelligence by feeding them our opinions on the subject. We have to also remember that Yogic Flying in not something recently invented or "owned" by the TM organization but comes out of a long tradition of Yoga.
There are no claims being made in this article that Yogic Flying is real, nor is there any effort to prove it is real, nor should there be. What the article needs is to present the significant information on the subject /topic and to do so taking WP:Weight into account so that the information presented represents the so-called mainstream view. Our readers need to have all sides of the story and the relative significance of each side so they can make their own informed opinions.
Because there are no claims being made, I don't see that WP:REDFLAG applies here.(olive (talk) 19:39, 11 June 2009 (UTC))
I have moved the sub-section 'Facilities and Practitioners' to the 'Maharishi Effect' section, as discussed. I don't believe this is a point of contention, but if it is let me know. thanks, --Kbob (talk) 21:00, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Excuse me for jumping in here, but as an observer/reader of the article, this makes no sense at all. As I read the article, yogic flying and the maharishi effect are in two separate sections with equal headers, not formatted as the Maharishi Effect being a subsection of Yogic flying, and I don't see in the Maharishi Effect section any claim that the "Maharishi effect" is related to yogic flying; the text refers to practitioners of TM meditation and TM Sidhi taking part in this exercise, but not to yogic flyers specifically. So to the reader, the paragraphs about practitioners of yogic flying at the bottom of the section about the Maharishi effect are jarring, because the material doesn't seem related to anything else in the section. Woonpton (talk) 21:44, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

This is a good point. Probably the reasoning behind putting the "Practitioners and Facilities" section at the end of the "Maharishi Effect" section in because the Maharishi Effect depends on group practice of the technique and the facilities mentioned are for group practice. I think we are on the verge of expanding of the article so I hope this concern will be taken care of. For now I'll edit it to make sense. Then we can see how other editors feel about it. Thanks for your comment.(olive (talk) 22:20, 13 June 2009 (UTC))

I think you may have missed my point. Neither the new changes in the article nor in the sandbox revision address the main problem with this merge: the paragraphs on "Practitioners and Facilities" which have been moved to the "Maharishi Effect" section refer specifically and exclusively to yogic flying, whereas nothing else in the Maharishi Effect section refers to yogic flying. You either have to have some text in the section making a sourced connection between yogic flying and the Maharishi Effect, or you need to move Practitioners and Facilities back to the section on yogic flying. As it is, it's a non sequitur.Woonpton (talk) 17:46, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Hi Woonpton, you have made an astute observation. And we will definitely fix this problem. Because this article is at times contentious we sometimes have to move slowly. But the connection between Yogic Flying and the Maharishi Effect is clear and direct and we will make that connection clear. thank you for your input.--Kbob (talk) 18:14, 14 June 2009 (UTC)