Talk:Transcendental Meditation/Archive 31

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Deletion of extensive content with out discussion

James... This content is indeed self characterizing and is sourced. In order to create an article that is comprehensive inclusion of content that describes the technique and how it works is critical. I would suggest that if you really feel this content is not Wikipedia compliant you discuss it here.(olive (talk) 21:21, 25 February 2010 (UTC))

You're right you didn't delete, I apologize . However, your reorganization given some of your comments about how you see TM could use discussion. (olive (talk) 21:32, 25 February 2010 (UTC))
Olive this is not how I see TM. Every statement is based on reliable references. This is how many governments, legal systems, scientists, and religious leaders view TM.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:37, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I have been busy in real life so haven't been keeping up with this article. James, you've made your position abundantly clear in that you consider TM to be a cult. Although some see TM as you do, some do not. Adjusting the placement of content and deletion of balancing information creates a non neutral article. I haven't looked at this article closely enough to know who made these changes but they deserve discussion before implementation since they create a slanted view in the article.(olive (talk) 23:20, 26 February 2010 (UTC))

The problem with the chart

Is that it also includes comparisons in which there wasn't statistical significance. TimidGuy (talk) 10:45, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Why would it include studies with no statistical significance? I don't understand.   Will Beback  talk  12:23, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
There is no problem whatsoever with the chart. It accurately reflects the actual results of the hundreds of studies included in the meta-analysis. Many of the studies considered showed no statistically significant result from whatever meditation method was the subject of the studies; the overwhelming majority of the TM studies showed no statistically significantly result. Why would the authors of the meta-analysis want to cherry pick only the studies, for TM or any other meditation method, that had a statistically-significant result? "X study of Y meditation method produced no statistically significant impact on measure of health Z" is a valid and highly-informative conclusion to an impartial and unbiased researcher. The objection is absurd. The drawer effect may be SOP at MUM, but real research doesn't get conducted that way. Fladrif (talk) 15:26, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
A picture truly is worth a thousand words. What's nice is it summarizes scientific knowledge on TM and BP in an easy form, which anyone can understand. In that sense it's a also hallmark for neutral writing on TM and BP, specifically per WP guidelines re: WP:MEDRS. Thanks Doc for taking the trouble to get it online and embedded in the article.--Kala Bethere (talk) 15:54, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Let's hear Timid out. What is the problem with the chart? Can you explain in more detail?-- KbobTalk 03:47, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
If you read the narrative description of the pairwise comparisons presented in the chart you'll see that a number of these are not statistically significant. Generally we don't report results that aren't statistically significant because there is a likelihood that the result is just by chance. TimidGuy (talk) 11:31, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I am literally shaking my head in disbelief. Are you serious? When you say "Generally we don't report results that aren't statistically significant..." who is "we"? MUM? Are you admitting that the drawer effect is the standard there? Please tell me that you don't teach statistics or anything else having to do with science to the impressionable young minds at MUM, because what you are saying is so utterly and completely wrongheaded as to beggar belief. Let me repeat: "There was no statistically-significant correlation between Y and Z" is a perfectly valid result for a study. No legitimate, honest, impartial and unbiased researcher would say "don't report that", because (i) that's not how science works and (ii) anyone who actually understands statistics - even someone who is totally and completely biased in favor of the proposition under study - would know that such a result does not, by itself alone, disprove the posited correlation. Fladrif (talk) 14:33, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Let me clarify. We do not report statistically insignificant results as positive. We report them as negative or no different. Thus we have the conclusion that TM is not different than a lot of other techniques in its effect on SBP. Here we have added a graph that illustrates this point.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:40, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Exactly. I assume you mean "statistically insignificant".Fladrif (talk) 15:00, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
yes thanks Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:11, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
When I saw the original objection, I wasn't sure whether TG was objecting because studies that showed insignificant results were entered into the meta-analysis (not including them would be equivalent to, in a single study, eliminating all the subjects who didn't show an improvement in blood pressure) or whether he was objecting to nonsignificant meta-analyses being included in a chart that summarizes the effects of all the different meditation practices on blood pressure, which merits the same criticism (eliminating nonsignificant analyses from a summary of the overall meta-analysis as a whole would be the same as eliminating, from a single study, all the subjects who didn't show improvement in blood pressure.) I gather from the followup he means the latter, although his use of the term "pairwise comparisons" threw me for a bit. "Pairwise comparisons" has a specific meaning in statistics that doesn't obtain in this situation; it took me a minute to grasp that he wasn't actually talking about pairwise comparisons but about the individual meta-analyses and subgroup analyses that comprised the overall meta-analysis. At any rate, while I understand why someone unfamiliar with statistics and meta-analyses might be concerned about this, it's not a concern, as editors above have correctly argued.
This chart isn't claiming significant differences between effectiveness of the different meditation techniques, it's merely showing the average reduction in SBP, with confidence intervals, that was obtained when the data from all the studies included in the meta-analysis were combined for each of the meditation techniques. For the purpose of this exploration, the significance or nonsignificance of the individual analyses is irrelevant; they're not combining the analyses but the data, which remain the data whatever analyses they've been through or whether those analyses were significant or not. The data from the original studies were combined to obtain an overall picture for each of the meditation techniques. As for the concern that some of the results could be due to chance, this concern is taken into account in the confidence intervals. For example, we can be 95% sure on the basis of these combined data that TM's effect on systolic BP falls somewhere between reducing it by 14mm and increasing it by 9mm, and that Tai Chi's effect on SBP falls somewhere between reducing it by 40mm and reducing it by 6mm. But even with that difference, the study isn't claiming that Tai Chi is absolutely better; the farthest they will go is to make probabilistic estimates (Table 29) that the probability that Tai Chi is the best of the lot is around 30% and the probability that TM is the best of the lot is 0%. The chart isn't intended to give a definitive ranking to the practices, but simply to show how the data taken altogether stack up in a relative sense, which is useful to know. But if that isn't clear, perhaps it should be made more explicit in the accompanying text. It makes sense to order the chart in terms of average estimated reduction in BP, but the confidence intervals show how much they overlap with each other and with the control conditions; that's the point of this chart. Hope that's helpful, Woonpton (talk) 17:57, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

There might be many charts available from the TM movement, but what is missing from these charts are the many dubious claims that followers are encouraged to believe;that TM can prevent earthquakes,prevent wars,produce "levitation",invisibility,superhuman strength,and change climate for the better(!).The movement likes to have it both ways,making "scientific" charts available to advertise itself, but allowing outrageous pseudo-science and outright mystic bunkum within its membership.The adverse reactions of some to the "Siddhis" course is unreported.I witnessed one poor woman who was hysterical and removed from the proceedings.Claims of being a "cure all" are doctored by the movement so the evidence fits their agenda; Promotion of Hinduism disguised as modern "scientific" self-improvement.Ern Malleyscrub (talk) 01:14, 28 February 2010 (UTC)


The refs section here seems to have vanished. Could someone that knows, how put it back please? Tuckerj1976 talk 21:27, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

There are not any refs on this page anymore. That is why this is empty. Been archived.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:38, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
In the future, it's perhaps best to use {{reflist|close=1}} after each block of footnoted text instead of the plain {{reflist}} at the bottom of the page. That puts the refs next to the text and avoids the whole problem if keeping the reference section at the bottom of the page.   Will Beback  talk  21:48, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your replies, it makes sense now Tucker talk 19:13, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Trade Mark section

Perhaps we should move this section to the TM Movement article as it has more to do with the TM organizations than the actual TM technique? Especially the 2nd sentence about other entities. And the 3rd sentence could be move to another section. "Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corporation, the organization which oversees teaching TM in the U.S., is non-profit and tax exempt.[97] Two entities, the Maharishi School of Vedic Sciences-Minnesota (as a successor to the World Plan Executive Council)[98] in 1997 and the Maharishi Spiritual Center in 2001, were denied tax exempt status because they were found not to be educational organizations.[99] The Skeptics Dictionary refers to it as a "spiritual business".[100]" --BwB (talk) 15:30, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

I disagree because TM technique is under trademark which is why David Spector must emphasis that he teaches something different.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:01, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we could merge the "Servicemarks" and "Tax exempt status" sections since they covers some similar ground.   Will Beback  talk  10:57, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
What has this sentence got to do with the TM technique? "Two entities, the Maharishi School of Vedic Sciences-Minnesota (as a successor to the World Plan Executive Council)[98] in 1997 and the Maharishi Spiritual Center in 2001, were denied tax exempt status because they were found not to be educational organizations.[99]" --BwB (talk) 15:39, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Because these are the parts of the TM Movement that teaches the technique/control the trademark? Tucker talk 19:11, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
In the second case, the entity appears to have asserted that the practice of TM (and TM-Sidhi) was an educational endeavor.   Will Beback  talk  23:19, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
I am still not convinced this sentence should be in this article - it is better suited to the TMM article. This content is not about the TM technique, rather the organizations teaching it or using it, and this, I believe, is why the TMM article was created. --BwB (talk) 09:02, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Formatting problems

It looks like Tucker accidentally deleted most of the discussion yesterday [1]. Because of the intervening edits, I didn't try to simply revert the change, but cut-and-pasted the old text back in. [2] That created an unholy mess, as all the formatting which threaded the discussion somehow disappeared. I fixed the threading manually, but it looks like the infoboxes at the top are still a mess, and I'm unsure how to fix those.Fladrif (talk) 15:15, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Fixed it, I think. Just removed the extra spaces and dashes.Fladrif (talk) 15:18, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Fladrif. Sorry, I did not realize I had done that. I was editing yesterday when my browser "fell over" and this may have been why. Again, sorry and thank you for fixing Tucker talk 04:13, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Accidents happen. I did the same thing by accident myself once upon a time. Usually, it gets caught right away and is easy to revert. I probably should have just reverted the edits, and then pasted the new comments back in. That would have been less work. But, in the course of reformatting I used a great little "tool" that I recently discovered on another talkpage - the "od" tag, in substitution for "undent", which a couple of people had used instead. In a lengthy threaded discussion, when things get intended a bit too far to the right, you can add "od" inside double curly brackets at the beginning of your next comment, and you get

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────this. Handy.Fladrif (talk) 15:07, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Research stats

I have been meaning to post this for some time. Statistical significance is usually set at .05 this means that for every 20 comparisons done one will reach this magic number. So if one is doing multiple comparison as is the AHRQ meta analysis it is standard practice to use a much lower number for statistical significance and there is a formal for determining this number based on the number of comparisons being done. ( the formula [3] ). Thus we get the situation were TM is found to beat .05 when compared to PMR and another analysis finding that TM actually raises BP. As .05 is not being used as the cut off we still end up with the conclusion that TM is no better statistically than any of these other techniques.

So to conclude I agree that we should not say that TM increases blood pressure but neither should we say that it is better than PMR as both are a misuse of statistics. The reason I bring this up is that at ARB I am accused of mis use of the literature with the BP quote yet we have had the PMR quote added a number of times and it is still in the article. I added the BP quote without reading the entire paper but only after just searching it. This is why we use the summary of the paper rather than mining it to look for results we agree with.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:31, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

The material you deleted is directly from summaries. For reference, here's the summary of the TM meta-analyses for section IIII that's found on page 148:

Direct meta-analyses showed that compared to HE, TM® did not produce significantly greater benefits on blood pressure (SBP and DBP), heart rate, TC, HDL-C, LDL-C, body weight, dietary intake, physical activity, measures of stress, anger, and self-efficacy. A subgroup analysis by study duration showed short-term significant improvement in SBP with TM®, but not over the long-term. When compared to PMR, TM® produced significantly greater benefits in SBP and DBP.

And here's the summary of the TM meta-analyses for section V that's found on page 187:

Direct meta-analysis showed that compared to NT, TM® did not produce significantly greater benefits on blood pressure (SBP and DBP). However, there was significant improvement in LDL-C levels and verbal creativity with TM®. When compared to WL, TM® produced significantly greater reduction in SBP and DBP. Before-and-after studies on TM® for patients with essential hypertension indicated a statistically significant reduction in SBP and DBP after practicing TM®.

Each of these is from a section titled Summary of the Results at the end of broad sections III and V. TimidGuy (talk) 11:46, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
I am referring to the executive summary at the beginning and you are using a less good quality review as an attempt to refute a Cochrane review which it does not.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 14:59, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
There is no Wikipedia policy or guideline that says that an editor is disallowed from citing information in a source. You can't argue that this is data mining, because these are the authors' own summaries. Your point about Cochrane isn't relevant to this thread discussing AHRQ. TimidGuy (talk) 11:11, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

John Alex Mardas affidavit, February 2010

John Alex Mardas, "Magic Alex" of Rishikesh course fame, issues a sworn affidavit on defamation and the real story behind Maharishi's action on this course with Beatle John Lennon [4].--Kala Bethere (talk) 21:06, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

First, this articles isn't about Mardas, the Maharishi, or Lennon, so this material seems irrelevant here. Second, affidavits are essentially self-published primary sources, reliable only for the views of the person making the statements. In an article where this is relevant the source might be used with care and placed in context of how it was mentioned in a secondary source. Something like, "Mardas responded to a New York Times article about his involvement in the matter by swearing an affidavit in which he said ..."   Will Beback  talk  20:53, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
You're right. It should be in the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi article Talk Page.--Kala Bethere (talk) 01:18, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

The Press

In this section of the article we have the sentence " The New York Times reports that people who leave the movement refer to it as a cult, and the university its training ground.[1]" I am not disputing the characterization, but wondering if this might be better suited to the TMM article since it speaks about people leaving the movement and does not mention TM? --BwB (talk) 08:52, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Also, there have been many press articles on TM. I am not quite sure what this section is trying to establish. If I were to find a press article where the author characterized TM as a good thing, could that be added here? What other types for comment could be classified as "press characterizations"? --BwB (talk) 08:55, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes a few other could be added with proper attribution / wording.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 10:32, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks and what of moving the sentence to TMM instead? --BwB (talk) 19:05, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
TM and the TM movement are intertwined. You cannot have one without the other. Thus I do not think this should be removed from this page. It should however be added to the TM movement page aswell.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:33, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
The heading sounds misleading, as this section is not at all about "The Press", it's about "Cult Behavior". I changed the heading title, but TimidGuy changed it stating that's not "neutral". Isn't the description by some of the TM Org as a cult rather well known? I think it's a pretty well established POV which is well documented, even if we don't agree with it.--Kala Bethere (talk) 20:01, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Per WP:SUMMARY, I think it'd be appropriate to have a short section, perhaps a paragraph or two, describing the TMM and TM's relationship to it. The current "Servicemarks" section might be folded into that, since that's an organizational topic. The current "Press" section seems poorly focused and isn't comprehensive. I agree that the NYT material specifically refers to the TMM movement and would be better placed there.   Will Beback  talk  20:47, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Will in having a section on TM movement showing relationship of the technique to the organization. Good idea.(olive (talk) 22:15, 8 March 2010 (UTC))
Support Will's and Olive's idea for a TMM and TM connection section. --BwB (talk) 14:34, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I guess we still need to do this.   Will Beback  talk  23:06, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I've boldly moved the whole "Characterizations" section to the end of the article. Much of this material was originally at the end, and I think it makes more sense to give the (relatively) objective information first, with opinions and assessments afterward. Even though I made no text changes, the article feels more neutral to me with this arrangement. Any objections?   Will Beback  talk  23:06, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Excellent. Thanks much. TimidGuy (talk) 14:35, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Good move Will. --BwB (talk) 13:27, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Paranormal Powers

The lead at present says that the TM org only says that it is the Advanced techniques that give the TM user paranormal powers, however, I have already directed to the main TM websites that state basic TM will also give the user paronarmal powers. Might I ask why this has not been included? Tucker talk 01:04, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Could you repeat the point you're referring to? Which powers are we talking about?   Will Beback  talk  03:34, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

" By enlivening this most fundamental level of Nature during Transcendental Meditation, a person automatically creates a powerful influence of harmony and coherence in their environment. Extensive scientific research has repeatedly demonstrated that when even a small fraction of the population is practising Transcendental Meditation, improvements can be measured in society as a whole, as indicated by reduction of negative tendencies and growth of positive trends." [[5]] Invincibility for society Improving the environment and creating world peace [[6]] Tucker talk 13:52, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

At the moment, the lead states that this takes place due to advanced techniques only, obviously this is not correct according to the movements most upto date marketing material [[7]], [[8]], etc. Tucker talk 13:57, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

user:Tuckerj1976 has been blocked as a sock of a blocked user.   Will Beback  talk  09:06, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
Is there any Wiki policy about reverting edits made on a article by a "outed" sock of a blocked user? --BwB (talk) 09:13, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
Banned users may not edit, and any edits they make under false identities may be reverted. It's not entirely clear if The7thdr was banned, or merely blocked.   Will Beback  talk  09:19, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
No, it is entirely clear. 7th was blocked, not banned. There was no community discussion or ArbCom proceeding to ban 7th. Fladrif (talk) 13:33, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
Rather than arguing the point, it's probably safe to say that any editor may raise questions about any content added by Tucker. If Bwb would like to remove material promoted by Tucker then anyone who restores it takes responsibility for it, which they shouldn't do reflexively. This isn't the best place to discuss the details of 7thdr.   Will Beback  talk  09:48, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

EEG research

I've revert Kala's gross misrepresentation of the material in the Cambridge book. I'll outline the errors on the TM-Sidhi talk page, where this discussion has been taking place. TimidGuy (talk) 15:10, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

A clean start?

I see that the German version of this article (Transzendentale Meditation) is much shorter and more readable than this article. It still reflects both POVs but would represent a clean start. I'm thinking of translating the German article into English and storing it under my User page and formally proposing that it replace the current article. Before I do this work, do any of the other current editors support this? David Spector (talk) 17:11, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

That article is about 4200 words long. It covers material that we have spread across at least five articles: Transcendental Meditation (6814 word), TM-Sidhi program (6262 words), Transcendental Meditation movement (4062 words), Organizations associated with the Transcendental Meditation movement (3047 words), and Maharishi University of Management stabbing (998 words). Total of those English articles: about 21,183 words. If we look at only the parts of the German TM article that address topics not covered in those other articles, then there are probably only about 1200 relevant words, about 1/5 of the length of this article. Cutting it down like that would certainly save on printing costs!
On the other hand, the German article contains a number of interesting issues not covered anywhere in the English Wikipedia. The "Politik" section is a good example, and there's also material in "Kontroversen" that we don't mention. So rather than making the article shorter, that's a reason for making it longer. We can always split off a section if length is a problem. I've previously suggested splitting off the research section, and the history section could also stand alone.   Will Beback  talk  18:45, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
A number of people, including me, have commented in the past that the German Wikipedia article on TM is at once shorter, more comprensive, more readable, and more neutral than the comparable English Wikipedia articles at the points in time that the comments were made. If you want to make the effort to translate it and propose the translation as a fresh start, no-one is going to stop you. The worst that can happen is that the proposal won't achieve consensus. Not like it would be the end of the world if that happened. Fladrif (talk) 19:26, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree it would not be the end of the world. But I've got lots of other things to do in life; rewriting the TM article is not something I'm ready to undertake with such weak support. Do any of the pro-TM editors have an opinion? David Spector (talk) 04:08, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
It is unrealistic to expect to obtain consensus in advance for a major rewrite. That's not really how Wikipedia works. As I wrote above, your idea isn't a new one. Your proposal has considerable merit, but if you look back at the talk archives, you'll get a flavor for the blowback you can expect.[9][10] [11][12][13] The best you can expect is that people will consider the specific language that you propose after they've seen it, in English, in black and white. Fladrif (talk) 14:38, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Natural Stress Relief/USA

The most viable international alternative to and competitor of Transcendental Meditation, Natural Stress Relief, has just been granted Federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, retroactive to our founding in January, 2006. David Spector (talk) 22:23, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Congratulations.   Will Beback  talk  02:44, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Thank you. I look forward to NSR being added to this article, its relevance being its role as one of the most successful of the available alternatives to TM. The reason is its attractiveness to the general public based on its being inexpensive and free of mysticism. Yes, I know this sounds commercial, but it is simply a factual description. WP Notability is awaiting descriptions in reputable secondary sources. While we await discovery by the Press we will simply continue to do what we have been doing, helping people. David Spector (talk) 20:01, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Misrepresentation of sources in the lead

The lead says that the claimed science behind TM has been described as pseudoscience by Sagan and Randi. Neither source actually says this. In his examples Sagan is specifically talking about the Maharishi Effect and the TM-Sidhi program. Randi is specifically talking about the siddhis and the Maharishi Effect, and his "crackpot science" comment is referring to an analogy he says Maharishi has used comparing the structure of an atom to that of the solar system. TimidGuy (talk) 11:07, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Your point is ill taken. Neither source is limited in the manner you claim. There is no mispresentation. Randi states of the Science of Creative Intelligence, which is the foundation of the theory behind TM:
Study of the siddhis is an aspect of the Maharishi's “Science of Creative Intelligence,” which has no scientific characteristics at all. Though wide claims have been made for the effect of TM on the world, none of the claims have stood examination. One of the Maharishi's attractive analogies——in which he equates the solar system with the structure of the atom——is not only crackpot science; it is very bad crackpot science.
Sagan says specifically:
Perhaps the most successful recent global pseudoscience—by many criteria, already a religion—is the Hindu doctrine of transcendental meditation (TM).Fladrif (talk) 13:29, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

We are talking about science. SCI as the source says is not a science nor does SCI refer to research. Its a way of naming a philosophical underpinning and shouldn't be confused with science. However, the real issue is that the sources are not being referenced accurately. Both Randi and Sagan are making very specific references. We should just say simply what is in the sources. If we have to extrapolate that's not an accurate reference. If Randi and Sagan are used a sources, we must quote them accurately.
"Though wide claims have been made for the effect of TM on the world, none of the claims have stood examination. One of the Maharishi's attractive analogies——in which he equates the solar system with the structure of the atom——is not only crackpot science; it is very bad crackpot. " [14]
Sagan as Fladrif's quote shows is referring to the TM technique ("the Hindu doctrine") rather than the research on the technique.
"Perhaps the most successful recent global pseudoscience—by many criteria, already a religion—is the Hindu doctrine of transcendental meditation (TM)[15] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Littleolive oil (talkcontribs)
I believe that you are misreading the sources. You want to distinguish between three things, and perhaps more if I add in TG's claims: (i) the "science" behind TM; (ii) the practice of TM as a technique alone; (iii) research studies on the effects of TM. I see no reasonable reading of Sagan's comment on the Hindu doctrine of TM to be talking about the practice of TM as a technique alone divorced from its underlying "science" nor from the research on its effects. The full quote from p 16 is as follows:
Perhaps the most successful recent global pseudoscience—by many criteria, already a religion—is the Hindu doctrine of transcendental meditation (TM). The soporific homilies of its founder and spiritual leader, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, can be seen on television. Seated in the yogi position, his white hair here and there flecked with black, surrounded by garlands and floral offerings, he has a look. One day while channel surfing we came upon this visage. "You know who that is?" asked our four-year-old son. "God." The worldwide TM organization has an estimated valuation of $3 billion. For a fee they promise through meditation to be able to walk you through walls, to make you invisible, to enable you to fly. By thinking in unison they have, they say, diminished the crime rate in Washington, D.C., and caused the collapse of the Soviet Union, among other secular miracles. Not one smattering of real evidence has been offered for any such claims. TM sells folk medicine, runs trading companies, medical clinics and "research" universities, and has unsuccessfully entered politics. In its oddly charismatic leader, its promise of community, and the offer of magical powers in exchange for money and fervent belief, it is typical of many pseudosciences marketed for sacerdotal export.
Both sources are correctly summarized as stating that the science behind TM - which is undeniably SCI - is pseudoscience. The analogy Randy refers to is one made by the Maharishi in the SCI lectures. The Maharishi said that SCI was the link between modern science and Vedic science and the foundation of all knowledge. The TM technique and TM_Sidhi are promoted as the practical applications of SCI. The Maharishi claimed it was a science. So, I was initially puzzled by your statement that it's not a science, since its developer claimed repeatedly that it is. Official TM-Org websites, including those promoting MUM and the Maharishi School in Fairfield say that it is a science, and designed their curriculums around the concept that it is the foundation of every academic discipline taught at those institutions. But, on more careful reading, I take it that you are trying to distinguish between theoretical underpinnings and research on effects.
Sagan and Randi both state that there is no real evidence to support Maharishi Effect claims (which are made both for TM and TM-Sidhi), but that is a separate point from the criticism of the theory of TM/SCI. The current language accurately summarizes the sources. Fladrif (talk) 17:28, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I'll change the language so that it says Science of Creative Intelligence. Otherwise the reader might think that "the science behind TM" is referring to the scientific research on TM rather than the Science of Creative Intelligence. TimidGuy (talk) 11:22, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Since the Science of Creative Intelligence is mentioned a number of times in the article -- as crackpot science and a focal point in Malnak -- we should add a section saying what it is. Otherwise the reader has no idea what the offending ideas are. We could maybe use some of the principles cited by Malnak. TimidGuy (talk) 11:28, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
I'd be happy to write something. I'll start Monday.(olive (talk) 15:09, 17 April 2010 (UTC))
Good. I have long thought that this article needs to say something about SCI as the theory behind TM, and TM as the practical application of SCI. Fladrif (talk) 17:21, 17 April 2010 (UTC)


Although it looks like an official web site it isn't, according the website's legend. "© 1996 - 2010 Please refer to legal details concerning copyright and trademark protection. This private web site is maintained by Sam and Lise Wuebben" So just a heads up for everyone.-- KbobTalk 13:04, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

It turns out there were a number of links to that site, which does have an official look to it. I've removed the links. Some were to copies of articles, so the rest of the citation was fine. A few were to a page on Maharishi Sthapatya Veda, so we should keep our eyes open for other good sources on that topic. (IIRC, there are unresolved problems with the scope of that article versus Vastu Shastra.)   Will Beback  talk  15:28, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Contradiction in third paragraph

I've just read this article for the first time and am confused by an apparant contradiction in the 3rd paragraph. The 2nd sentence states regarding a 2007 review that "the definitive health effects of TM cannot be determined" However, the next sentence goes on to state "The review concluded that Transcendental Meditation had no advantage..."

If the health effects could not be determined, then how is it possible for conclusions to be drawn, asserting it has no advantage over a list of health related items? This appears to be a logical contradiction. If the health effects could be determined due to poor scientific evidence, then it would not be possible to make any assertive claims either positive or negative, such as that it is has no advantage over anything else.

Secondly, as a minor point, the comparison of TM with "Health Education" seems inappropriate, as receiving education does not logically imply practicing any healthy activity associated with the education received. Did the review really make the comparison only with people who undertook some education, without determing if they actually practiced a healthier lifestyle based on the education received? Savlonn (talk) 10:09, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

In regard to your first observation, I do believe there's a contradiction that needs to be addresssed. If one looks at the report, they don't actually state that this was a conclusion. This info is from the executive summary where it talks about section III of the review and gives examples of non-significant results. There were, however, also significant results in that section among the various meditation practices, but most were nonsignificant. In regard to TM, section III looked at TM vs health education and TM vs progressive muscle relaxation. It found that TM had a significantly greater effect than PMR. Section V of the report found a number of significant differences.
In regard to your second point, subjects participated in a health education program regarding diet and exercise. Since this involved 5 different studies, my guess is that it's hard to generalize beyond the fact that each subject received this education. My impression, based on limited knowledge, is that the health education programs varied. I heard of one study in which the educator was very active in not only introducing the subjects to the importance of diet and exercise but was very successful in getting the subjects to make substantial changes. One reason that health education is used as a comparator is that it involves about the same amount of contact time as learning TM and receiving followup, thereby controlling for expectation. TimidGuy (talk) 10:44, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
If the review was unable to draw any conclusions, then I suggest we either delete the 3rd sentence of the 3rd paragraph or get rid of this section entirely from the lede. I would question if such a report deserves to be in the lede if it can only reasonably draw generalizations. If there is no scientific evidence or impartial research that TM has tangible health benefits beyond anxiety control, then perhaps a broader statement along these lines should in the lede instead, assuming that relevant reliable sources exist that have made this observation. Please note that I haven't researched this subject at all and am just going by what I have read in the article and current talk page. Please ignore if this been done to death before Savlonn (talk) 22:58, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm glad you're raising this because we really do need to deal with this sentence of the lead. Per WP:LEAD, it should be a summary, rather than picking one result from one review to highlight. I agree that a simple solution for now would be to delete the third sentence. The AHRQ review had five comparisons, four of which found a statistically significant effect. The comparison which didn't find a statistically significant effect compared to the improvement in control groups (TM vs Health Education) is the one that was added to the lead. Note that while this particular review says that no firm conclusions can be drawn, there are other meta-anlayses and reviews that do draw conclusions, such as the 2008 review by Anderson, et al, that included high quality studies published after September 2005 (the cutoff date for the AHRQ review). TimidGuy (talk) 10:58, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) Sorry - I may be missing something here. On one hand I'm reading that nothing could be concluded due to poor scientific evidence, yet on the other hand you're saying that four comparisons were able to find a statistically significant effect. Just to bring me up to speed here, could someone briefly answer two questions:

1) Is this is the same review we are talking about here? 2) Is there clear consensus across regular participants agreeing that " four comparisons were able to find a statistically significant effect."?Savlonn (talk) 19:02, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

You've raised a god point here, Sav, and your recommendations of "either delete the 3rd sentence of the 3rd paragraph or get rid of this section entirely from the lede" is a good one, which I support. --BwB (talk) 18:27, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Many of us have been editing this page on and off for some time. It's good to have comments from a fresh pair of eyes that are approaching the article like any casual Wiki reader. It's good feedback for us to consider.-- KbobTalk 16:03, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Possibly delete this sentence from the Health section?

"There does not appear to be a theoretical explanation common to all meditation techniques." It interrupts the flow of the paragraph, and the issue of whether there's a common theoretical explanation among TM, Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong doesn't seem relevant to this article. TimidGuy (talk) 11:11, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Is it relevant to discussing the scientific study? Sometimes it's necessary to include details which may "interrupt the flow" but are nonetheless important to understand a cited study. Haven't we discussed this before, at length?   Will Beback  talk  14:07, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't recall this being discussed. Regardless of where it's put, I don't understand why it's relevant to this article. We're not talking about all meditation techniques here, just one of them. The sentence could go in the general article on meditation. TimidGuy (talk) 11:13, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I just read the section and it does seem that this sentence is out of place here and does not add to the overall thrust of the paragraph. Perhaps it would be better used elsewhere in the article, or in the general "Meditation" article, as suggested. Also, it is not referenced. --BwB (talk) 14:03, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Will, if you feel it's relevant, could you say why? TimidGuy (talk) 11:35, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

This has been discussed at least six times on this page alone:

It has also been discussed here:

I get the feeling that any discussion and consensus we might archive in this thread won't really matter, because regardless of what we decided this issue will be raised again. TG, have you re-read all of those threads? After doing so, what is your response to all of the previous arguments to include it?   Will Beback  talk  17:16, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Will, for the links. I've looked at them and there's no discussion of this sentence. Further, there's not really any explanation in AHRQ itself why they think it's important to have a common theoretical explanation common to TM, yoga, tai chi, etc. I don't really know what they mean or what they expect, nor do they explain. And I don't see the relevance of this sentence to the article. TimidGuy (talk) 10:34, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

TM describes itself

The sentence "TM describes itself as a technology for consciousness.[1]" seems strangely worded. TM is a technique, how can it "describe itself"? I will reword sentence. --BwB (talk) 14:04, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Agreed, it's poor wording.-- KbobTalk 16:20, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
How about, "Is described by the movement [or by MMY] as ..." ?   Will Beback  talk  16:50, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Done.   Will Beback  talk  18:49, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Natural Stress Relief/USA

(Thanks to Fladrif for pointing out to me that my addition to this section was made in the wrong place (the archive), so I've copied the section back into this Talk page.)

The most viable international alternative to and competitor of Transcendental Meditation, Natural Stress Relief, has just been granted Federal 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, retroactive to our founding in January, 2006. David Spector (talk) 22:23, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Congratulations.   Will Beback  talk  02:44, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Thank you. I look forward to NSR being added to this article, its relevance being its role as one of the most successful of the available alternatives to TM. The reason is its attractiveness to the general public based on its being inexpensive and free of mysticism. Yes, I know this sounds commercial, but it is simply a factual description. WP Notability is awaiting descriptions in reputable secondary sources. While we await discovery by the Press we will simply continue to do what we have been doing, helping people. David Spector (talk) 20:01, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Research on EEG

Why is the "Research on EEG" section a part of the "Characterizations" section? Wouldn't it be better placed in the "Health effects" section?   Will Beback  talk  18:22, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

You'd have to ask Kala. I'd go along with that, though it's not really a health effect. TimidGuy (talk) 10:02, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Or maybe "physical effect"? If it shows up on a graph it's probably physical.   Will Beback  talk  10:06, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

EEG studies may be characterized in various ways (medical, neurophysical, psychiatric, polysomnographic). In the context of TM, I would suggest physiological (more specifically, neurophysiological) as the most appropriate category, as the aim of such research is most often to establish unique physiological markers or measurements associated with the practice. David Spector (talk) 19:30, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Are you suggesting renaming "Health effects" to "Physiological effects"? The subsections are: 5.1 Research quality, 5.2 Health outcomes, 5.3 Maharishi Vedic approach to health, 5.4 Research funding. I think either "Physiological effects" or "Physical effects" would be fine.   Will Beback  talk  20:35, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Done. TG has renamed the section "Research on Transcendental Meditation", which might be a bit verbose. "Research" would probably be sufficient.   Will Beback  talk  11:53, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Will that in this case and others, it is not necessary to repeat the article subject in the section titles.-- KbobTalk 03:19, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Tax exempt status

This section may be misleading. The TM organizational units that lost their tax-exempt status had been showing exponentially decreasing income in years leading up to the loss of tax-exempt status. Losing tax-exempt status may have derived from the decreasing business health for these units.

At least, the decreased health may be the more important point to put in the article, since these units may not have lost tax-exempt status based on profit-taking for the TM organization or for other infractions of IRS rules, as clearly implied by the current section.

In the case of SCA in Boone, NC, It is well-documented on the Web that the owners of SCA, who are not related to the TMM, kicked out the Purusha and Mother Divine courses, which then moved to other TM facilities. SCA is currently a profit-making corporation catering to non-TM activities.

Decreased revenue for certain TM business units
Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corporation
(in CA, LA, NM)
2003 2004 2005 2006
Donations 5,384,758 774,707 2,306 802
1,282,044 295,343 0 0
Spiritual Center of America
(in NC)
2002 2003 2004 2005
Donations 2,540,955 1,504,536 395,479 35,518
302,080 123,982 0 0

Source: Public Nonprofit Income Tax Returns (Forms 990)

David Spector (talk) 14:27, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

That's interesting information, but I don't see how this can be worked into the article. We can't use primary sources like 990 forms unless the material is already mentioned in a secondary source. However we should trim any assertions that are demonstrably misleading or false, unless they have really good sources.   Will Beback  talk  23:39, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
It is interesting information, but as Will says, unusable in Wikipedia. And, I might point out, that David is completely mistaken as to why an organization might lose tax-exempt status. There are are many reasons why an organization might lose 501(c)-3 status. The level of Donations going in the toilet is not among those reasons. The real reasons are far more interesting, and have to do with how the money that is coming in, from whatever sources, and at whatever level, is actually being used, or whether required reports are being filed or not. Fladrif (talk) 02:51, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Characterization section

This section has multiple concerns, so I'd like to open discussion on this section with a view to fixing or removing and replacing the section with more appropriate sections and material. In particular "Government" and Scientific Community don't make a lot of sense.


Transcendental Meditation and some of it associated organizations have been described as a religion or a cult. For example, three US courts have held it to be a religion in two cases: Malnak v Yogi (1977 and 1979) and Hendel v World Plan Executive Council (1996). In addition to the 3rd Circuit opinion in Malnak holding that Transcendental Meditation and the Science of Creative Intellingence were religious under the Establishment Clause, in 1996, the Superior Court for the District of Columbia ruled in Hendel v World Plan Executive Council that the practice of Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Program were a religion and that trial of the fraud and other claims for damages by a former TM and TM-Sidhi practitioner against the World Plan Executive Council and Maharishi International University would involve the Court in excessive entanglement into matters of religious belief contrary to the First Amendment.[140] A 1980 report by the West German government's Institute for Youth and Society characterized TM as a "psychogroup". The TM organization[who?] sued unsuccessfully to block the release of the report.[2][172] The 1995 report of the Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France listed Transcendental Meditation as a cult.[173] The state of Israel has condemned TM which is commonly agreed by anti-cult groups there to be a cult.[174

Scientific community

The Maharishi created a system for understanding the underlying theoretical principles of his meditation technique that he termed the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI). SCI has been called a pseudoscience by Carl Sagan. In a 1982 book magician and skeptic James Randi said that TM's claims are no more substantiated by scientific investigation than other mystical philosophies.[175] Martin Gardner a mathematician and magician refers to it as "the Hindu cult".[176] Transcendental Meditation has been given extensive coverage in Cults and New Religions by Douglas Cowan a Professor of Sociology & Religious Studies.[177]

  • Mlalnak vs Yogi is not appropriately placed under government. This should be removed.
  • And three comments on cult as characterizing responses from gov't is non neutral.
  • SCI is not the research on TM but is a theory and also the name of a course that teaches that theory. I'm working on a creating a section on SCI...coming soon at a theater near you.
  • and more cult in the last two lines... more violation of NPOV...(olive (talk) 18:44, 26 May 2010 (UTC))

We can move the Malnak and Hendel sentence to the "religion" section, since that's what it addresses.
How can we summarize the material you call "non-neutral" in a more neutral manner?
The text doesn't describe SCI as research. This section is a description of how it has been characterized. When we get a section on SCI we could move this material there.
Again, if there's a NPOV problem that can be fixed by copyediting. Please propose a summary that addresses your issue.   Will Beback  talk  18:55, 26 May 2010 (UTC)


The information in the lead as is, is not accurate to the source, and is untruthful and misleading... The content should either be removed completely if its too much information, or cited accurately. We can't "mis cite" content. (olive (talk) 19:03, 26 May 2010 (UTC))

I assume this refers to the SCI material:
  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Hunt was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Sagan, 1997 p16
  3. ^ "James Randi Educational Foundation — An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural". 
I also assume that this is in reference to TG's undiscussed edit, which I reverted due to it providing too much detail for the lead.[16] Here is what the source says:
  • Study of the siddhis is an aspect of the Maharishi's “Science of Creative Intelligence,” which has no scientific characteristics at all. Though wide claims have been made for the effect of TM on the world, none of the claims have stood examination. One of the Maharishi's attractive analogies——in which he equates the solar system with the structure of the atom——is not only crackpot science; it is very bad crackpot.[17]
I wouldn't quite say that this is a significant misrepresentation, but it can be improved. I suggest:
How's that?   Will Beback  talk  19:24, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
That's fine as far as I'm concerned... and lots of content has been added with out discussion to these articles... lots. We don't need to go there.(olive (talk) 19:28, 26 May 2010 (UTC))
Done.   Will Beback  talk  19:35, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Excuse me. But, going back to the BLPN discussion on Hagelin, there is absolutely nothing wrong in accurately reporting what the source said. What the source said is that it "is not only crackpot science; it is very bad crackpot". I object to this bowlderization of the source material because someone is apparently offended by the word "Crackpot". If that's what the source says, that's what the article should report. Fladrif (talk) 01:56, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
The issues concerns what Randi is describing. It appears the term "crackpot" refers to an analogy used to explain SCI, not to SCI as a whole.   Will Beback  talk  02:01, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

edit conflict: To Flad: That's actually not what the source says. The source says, "Though wide claims have been made for the effect of TM on the world, none of the claims have stood examination.One of the Maharishi's attractive analogies——in which he equates the solar system with the structure of the atom——is not only crackpot science; it is very bad crackpot." So the change is to reflect the source. TG attempted to add a closer reference to this material, but Will felt it was too long so he has taken another direct quote from the source and used it instead. (olive (talk) 02:08, 27 May 2010 (UTC))

Thanks, everyone. Good solution. TimidGuy (talk) 10:44, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Misrepresent source?

In the "Religion" section we find the wording "..while a Vatican council published a warning against mixing eastern meditation, such as TM, with Christian prayer.[1]" I have had a look at the ref document and wonder if this doc is really "a warning against mixing eastern meditation, such as TM, with Christian prayer"? In the forward to the document we have the sentence "These reflections are offered primarily to those engaged in pastoral work so that they might be able to explain how the New Age movement differs from the Christian faith." Later in the forward, we find "The present publication calls attention to the need to know and understand New Age as a cultural current, as well as the need for Catholics to have an understanding of authentic Catholic doctrine and spirituality in order to properly assess New Age themes."

This document seems to be more of a reference document than "a warning". What do others think? --BwB (talk) 08:42, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Olive wrote that,[18] following this discussion: Talk:Transcendental Meditation/Archive 20#Deletion (and perhaps other discussions), and as a re-write of material added by user:ADM,[19], which summarized a different source: LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON SOME ASPECTS OF CHRISTIAN MEDITATION by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Vatican documents are primary sources, so we have to be careful how we summarize them. Here's a secondary source that discusses the issue at length, referencing one of the Vatican documents. Centering Prayer and the Healing of the Unconscious By Murchadh O Madagain. How would you summarize those sources?   Will Beback  talk  09:47, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
I am not interested in other material at the moment and prefer to deal with the current wording of the article. Do we feel it is correct to say that the cited material above is "a warning" against TM? If not, then it needs to be removed. --BwB (talk) 08:41, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
If there is a significant source then its views should be included. If our summary is incorrect then it should be corrected, not deleted. How would you suggest summarizing the two Vatican sources, and the secondary source which discusses one of them? If they are not warnings then what do they say about TM?   Will Beback  talk  08:47, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Again, I am speaking about a specific source used now in this article, namely[2] In fact, the referenced publication says very, very little about TM. Do not think it is worth referencing at all. It does not support the assertion that the Vatican council issues a "warning" about TM. --BwB (talk) 15:21, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I have been thinking further on this. The text reads ""..while a Vatican council published a warning against mixing eastern meditation, such as TM, with Christian prayer.[1]" However, (1) the source does not support this assertion, (2) it is a primary source, and (3) the reader would have to sift through very dense material in the source to even find a mention of TM (I had to look very hard to find it). Therefore, I think this text should be removed for the article. If other editors can find another clear source stating that the VS warned against TM, then it can them be added. --BwB (talk) 17:50, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Did you read the book I linked? It's undoubtedly a secondary source. Further, there's no prohibition on using primary sources - they just have to be used with care. Since the TM editors have already sought to remove or minimize the Vatican POV from this article in the past, I'd strongly object to further efforts to remove this material instead of fixing it. If you don't think Olive's edit is accurate then the simplest approach might be to undo it.   Will Beback  talk  21:59, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Will, please address the specific point on whether or not existing text is supported by the source. If not, then the text need to be removed. OK? --BwB (talk) 10:19, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
No. If the text doesn't reflect the source properly then the text should be fixed, not removed. NPOV requires that all significant views be represented, and the Vatican sources are a significant POV. Removing that POV would be a violation of a core Wikipedia policy.   Will Beback  talk  16:51, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
This text would reflect the document "...while a Vatican council published a document explaining how the New Age movement differs from the Christian faith.[3]" My point is also that the current source does not support the assertion that the Vatican council warned against TM. Will, do you feel the source support that statement? If not, do we change the wording to reflect the source, or do we find another source to support the assertion? --BwB (talk) 18:00, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

To accurately clarify the discussion concerning the Vatican document: My argument was that multiple documents form the Catholic Church on Christianity or catholicism was too much . Eventually rewording the text to reflect the source more closely became my compromised position. At this point the position of the Vatican is Ok in my mind... I haven't looked at the sources in awhile but will do that later today. if the source is reliable then we need to make sure the wording reflects the source rather than remove content, I would think. If the sources aren't reliable we have another issue on our hands. (olive (talk) 17:57, 29 May 2010 (UTC))

BWB keeps saying that the document in question isn't a warning.
  • Some local New Age groups refer to their meetings as “prayer groups”. Those people who are invited to such groups need to look for the marks of genuine Christian spirituality, and to be wary if there is any sort of initiation ceremony. Such groups take advantage of a person's lack of theological or spiritual formation to lure them gradually into what may in fact be a form of false worship. Christians must be taught about the true object and content of prayer – in the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ, to the Father – in order to judge rightly the intention of a “prayer group”. Christian prayer and the God of Jesus Christ will easily be recognised.93 Many people are convinced that there is no harm in 'borrowing' from the wisdom of the East, but the example of Transcendental Meditation (TM) should make Christians cautious about the prospect of committing themselves unknowingly to another religion (in this case, Hinduism), despite what TM's promoters claim about its religious neutrality. There is no problem with learning how to meditate, but the object or content of the exercise clearly determines whether it relates to the God revealed by Jesus Christ, to some other revelation, or simply to the hidden depths of the self.
"...the example of Transcendental Meditation (TM) should make Christians cautious about the prospect of committing themselves unknowingly to another religion..." That sure sounds like a warning.   Will Beback  talk  18:12, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Will for finding text in the document that relates directly to the text. This supports the article text. Perhaps to make the text in the document easier to find for the curious reader, the reference could cite the page or section of the document? The matter is resolved form my perspective. --BwB (talk) 18:30, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand - you didn't read the source yourself before you started this thread and suggested removing sourced information? If so, please be more careful in the future.   Will Beback  talk  18:43, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Arguing for the deletion of text on the basis that it misrepresents the source when one hasn't read the source goes beyond mere carelessness. To whose attention should this be brought, and how, in light of the about-to-close ArbCom?Fladrif (talk) 21:29, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Where does he say he didn't read the source? Sounds to me like he was saying he missed the reference in the source .... Its a few lines in a long document. Seems like an inordinate amount of excitement here over someone missing some information. (olive (talk) 22:02, 29 May 2010 (UTC))
He does say that he read the forward. It's painfully obvious that that's where he stopped. Which is inexcusable in and of itself, even if this was a printed manuscript. But it's not, it's availble online and, as such, Alt-F lets you find in seconds every single mention of TM in the article. Were this an isolated incident, I'd let it pass. But it's not. We have this [20] from BwB and TG, and this from BwB and TG yet again [21] all arguing about what Hendel v WPEC holds, without having read it, and then this [22] from you, KBob and Uncreated, this [23] from you and KBob, and then this [24] from you, all arguing that the JAMA article doesn't mention TM-Sidhi when it does, repeatedly and expressly. Sadly, there are many, many more examples. Reading the first paragraph of a source, or worse, not reading it at all, and then coming here to argue that the source doesn't support the text is inexcusable. The first time it happens might be excused as carelessness, though it is shocking to think that academics are doing it. But after this many repeat performances, one has to question whether it is something more than mere carelessness. Fladrif (talk) 00:31, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure BWB can take care of his own nose. My comment had to do with trying to keep things a little even toned here and working things out amicably. You should do whatever you think is necessary to keep things collaborative. That's all I have to say on it. Thanks Flad.(olive (talk) 00:43, 30 May 2010 (UTC))
Keeping things even-toned, amicable and collaborative require a minimum committment to actually read the sources one is discussing. Is an argument that a source says or doesn't say "X" made in good faith if one hasn't bothered to read the source? If an editor can't do that...particularly when an editor repeatedly can't do that, even after the problem is pointed out, there isn't much basis for collaboration, is there? Fladrif (talk) 01:00, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
If BWB had, in fact, deleted the material as he'd proposed then it would have been a violation of the ArbCom's principles. However just proposing it is probably not a problem in itself. Let's hope this never happens again. As we should all keep in mind, consensus does not override NPOV, and we are all responsible for making sure our own edits are in compliance. So even if Fladrif or I or any other editor were not here to disagree, and even if there were some editors who agreed, it still would have been a faulty and disruptive edit.   Will Beback  talk  01:41, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for sorting all this out, Will. As you very correctly observe, I asked others for their comment and assistance on this ref. Just as reminder to Flad, here is the last sentence of my original post (see above) "This document seems to be more of a reference document than "a warning". What do others think?" --BwB (talk) 10:23, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
What are we even talking about anymore? Hasn't this one sentence, or half-sentence, been discussed enough? Unless there's a specific problem let's drop this.   Will Beback  talk  10:57, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that is what I tried to do on 29 May, by saying that you were right, but then Flad seemed to want to come into the picture with some additional comments. Agree to drop it. --BwB (talk) 14:25, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Does Randi speak for Scientific Community?

I have no objection to using Randi as a source for his views on TM and TM research, etc., but I do not think his views should be characterized as speaking for the "scientific community", and do not belong in this section of the article. What to others think? --BwB (talk) 15:35, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Per discussion in a thread above, the proposed solution is to create a section on SCI and move this material there. The heading is indeed misleading. TimidGuy (talk) 10:45, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm working on a section on SCI so I can add it into this material when I get ready to post it.(olive (talk) 16:16, 29 May 2010 (UTC))
I'm not sure why Sagan and Gardner, who don't mention SCI, have been placed in a SCI section. This doesn't seem like much of a solution.   Will Beback  talk  17:31, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
(This conversation shouldn't have been split.) In the above discussion I see how Sagan fits.   Will Beback  talk  10:26, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
So returning to the original point of this thread, do folks feel that Randi speaks for the so-called "scientific community"? --BwB (talk) 14:19, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Huh? Nobody speaks for any community. (unless they're elected to do so, of course)   Will Beback  talk  14:34, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
In the old version of the article we had a section in the Characterization section titles "Scientific Community". There was some text on how Randi characterized TM research. I was simply asking if other editors felt it correct to have Randi's views included in the "Scientific Community" section. But now the section has evaporated and so this is now a moot point. --BwB (talk) 14:52, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Tag team deletions and reversions

Don't revert sourced material. Don't insert unsourced material. Interesting that on the verge of ArbCom closing we suddenly have an influx of anon IP's to several TM-related articles, including one from Fairfield, plus User: Cicorp, reverting properly sourced material, including tag teaming to take turns reverting the same material, and adding unsourced (and factually false) material. Sockpuppets? Meatpuppets? Both? Each one of them have individually exceeded WP:3RR in a single day. Again, to whose attention is this to be brought, and how? Fladrif (talk) 18:46, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Grammatical error

Putting two different topics together in one paragraph is a grammatical error. If there is a preference for that kind of mistake in the article that's a editor choice, but it weakens the article and the lead. I won't argue over grammar at this point. (olive (talk) 04:08, 2 June 2010 (UTC))

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lead section)#Length suggests that that the intro should be four paragraphs or less. Science and pseudoscience are related concepts, so they can go into the same paragraph. I'd hardly call it a mistake to place them next to each other.   Will Beback  talk  04:22, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I see you've combined SCI with Randi/ Sagan ... that's fine. Thank you, that's a good compromise.(olive (talk) 04:27, 2 June 2010 (UTC))
I've moved topics to paragraphs where there is agreement of topic-seems more logical.(olive (talk) 04:44, 2 June 2010 (UTC))
Since Sagan is talking about the doctrines of TM, and since SCI is the doctrine behind TM, I don't see how the move improves anything. That said, I think we can join those paragraphs to get the total count down to four.   Will Beback  talk  05:01, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Mantra Meditation?

The opening line of the article describes TM as being a "Mantra Meditation". None of the sources used in the first paragraph mention the term Mantra Meditation. As far as I know the Maharishi does not describe TM as being a Mantra Meditation.--Uncreated (talk) 04:33, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Countless sources refer to TM as a form of mantra meditation.[25]
  • Transcendental Meditation is an organization which instructs persons in a particular form of mantra-meditation through individual sessions, classes, and retreats.
  • Stigsby, B., Rodenberg, J. C., & Moth, H. B. (1981). Electroencephalographic findings during mantra meditation (transcendental meditation). A controlled, quantitative study of experienced meditators. Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology, 51, 434–442.
  • Five broad categories of meditation practices were identified in the included studies: Mantra meditation (comprising the Transcendental Meditation® technique [TM®], Relaxation Response [RR],... [..] Mantra meditation practices such as the TM® technique and the RR were the most frequently studied meditation practices. etc.
We are not limited to terms used by The Maharishi.   Will Beback  talk  04:49, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Thats cool. However then shouldn't one of those sources be cited in the first paragraph?--Uncreated (talk) 05:00, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
It's not really necessary to cite every word in the article. If you'd like to add one feel free.   Will Beback  talk  05:09, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

TM and Cardinal Ratzinger

I thought this might be a good source someone might be able to use to help improve the article.

Cardinal Ratzinger: In a few words, I would say what is essential of transcendental meditation is that man divests himself of his own "I"; he unites with the universal essence of the world; therefore, he remains a bit depersonalized.

In Christian meditation, on the contrary, I do not lose my personality; I enter a personal relation with the person of Christ. I enter into relation with the "you" of Christ, and in this way this "I" is not lost; it maintains its identity and responsibility.

At the same time it opens, enters a more profound unity, which is the unity of love that does not destroy. Therefore, in a few words, I would say, simplifying a bit, that transcendental meditation is impersonal and, in this sense, "depersonalizing." Christian meditation, meanwhile, is "personalizing" and opens to a profound union that is born of love and not of the dissolution of the "I."--Uncreated (talk) 04:37, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Uncreated. We have a subpage [26]for this talk page and it's purpose is to accumulate the various ways that TM is described in reliable sources, particularly as regards religion. I will add this quote and source to that project.-- KeithbobTalk 20:54, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Tax exempt section

I moved the text about tax exemption from the "Teaching procedure" where it did not naturally fit, to the "Servicemark" section. It may not be the perfect place for it, but better here than where it was, I feel. If others want to place it somewhere else, I am open to suggestions. --BwB (talk) 07:46, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

I always felt it was out of place in the Teaching Procedure section, its more of a organizational matter, it has no impact on how a person is taught or learns TM.-- KeithbobTalk 20:48, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

Move text to TMM article?

I was thinking to move the following text ot he TMM article, where it is better suited:

Two entities, the Maharishi School of Vedic Sciences-Minnesota (as a successor to the World Plan Executive Council)[4] in 1997 and the Maharishi Spiritual Center in 2001, were denied tax exempt status because they were found not to be educational organizations.[5]

What to others think? --BwB (talk) 09:58, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

It would seem to be info about the organizations rather than about the meditation which is the subject of this article.-- KeithbobTalk 17:17, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Sorry Keithbob, you support the move? --BwB (talk) 17:57, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, if others agree -- KeithbobTalk 21:40, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Move to MVAH?

I think this sentence and citation should be moved to the MVAH article, since neither of them mentions the subject. See Research section, 4th paragraph. Do you agree?

  • According to TM researchers, studies on Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health have been conducted at over 200 different research institutions and universities in over 30 countries worldwide.Journal of Ethnicity & Disease-- KeithbobTalk 21:39, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Seems like it could be used in both articles. Most of the studies covered by the review are on TM. TimidGuy (talk) 10:52, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
In my quick scan of the source I didn't see any mention of TM. "Over the last 30 years, hundreds of scientific studies on Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care treatment and prevention modalities have come from researchers in >200 research institutions and universities in three dozen countries around the world." -- KeithbobTalk 12:17, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
But I did find this: "The research studies below were selected from over 200 published studies (see Bibliography) conducted at a wide range of independent research institutions." [27]-- KeithbobTalk 12:19, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Is not TM one of "Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care treatment and prevention modalities"? If so, then the statement can stay. --BwB (talk) 16:55, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
  • The hundreds of studies are used to tout any number of different programs offered by the movement, with little effort at precision over what was actually being studied, the actual findings, or even the actual number of studies.   Will Beback  talk  21:35, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps we should just stick to discussing the point at hand which is whether or not to use the sentence KB brings to our attention. I argue that since TM is a modality of "Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care", it is OK to have this sentence in the article. What do others think? --BwB (talk) 11:56, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
The hundreds of studies did not concern MVAH, as we define it. Anyway, if we keep it then it should go in the MVAH section.   Will Beback  talk  20:45, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
I think its present usage in the article is not appropriate as the source doesn't directly link the research to TM. However the source above, MUM website may be a suitable substitute source. Any thoughts on that?-- KeithbobTalk 18:20, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
We already have dozens of reliable, independent secondary sources which say that TM has been the subject of hundreds of studies conducted in hundreds of institutions in dozens of countries. In fact, we quote one of them verbatim -"more than 600 published research studies, conducted at over 200 independent research institutions in 33 countries". I don't see how adding this information a second time, sourced to an anonymous MUM webpage, would improve the article.   Will Beback  talk  21:30, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

sources for research quality

Per MEDRS, I strongly object to using popular media as sources for characterizing the quality of the research. Please understand that publication in peer-reviewed journals is highly competitive and that only the strongest studies are published. The standard in science is peer review. If a study is published in a peer-reviwed scientific journal it has met a high standard of quality, as judged by researchers in the field. Per NPOV, we shouldn't negate this body of quality research by giving undue weight to a comment from a newspaper. TimidGuy (talk) 11:12, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

NPOV, a core policy, requires that all significant points of view are included. The studies are touted to the press, and they're evaluated in the press as well. We need to include both sides. I'm fine with devoting a whole section to it if you prefer. MEDRS, a guideline, only applies to medical claims and the material I added doesn't make any medical claims, so that's a bit of a red herring.   Will Beback  talk  11:25, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
But we've avoided using the press coverage of the studies as sources in this article. We've adhered to MEDRS and have avoided popular media. We could maybe have a short, separate section on press coverage of the research and then proportionally present the positive and critical coverage of the research. We shouldn't conflate proper academic sources with popular media sources. TimidGuy (talk) 11:33, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Is there a specific source that you think is not reliable?   Will Beback  talk  21:16, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

You have now created a section that is completely one-sided. How do you justify this? And how do you justify having two separate sections in the article on research quality? And how do you justify using popular media as sources regarding science, in violation of MEDRS? TimidGuy (talk) 11:01, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Actually, you are the one who created the section. Maybe we should undo that split so there'll be better balance. Does MEDRS apply to all scientific claims? I seem to remember asking that before and being told that it only applies to medical claims.   Will Beback  talk  11:23, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
You cited Christian Research Journal multiple times. That was previously discussed at WP:RSN, and the strong consensus among four uninvolved editors was the it's not a reliable source.[28] Again, I strongly object to this use of newspapers and other weak sources to make a point that should only be made with reference to the academic literature. There are many false assertions in the article in the Canadian, for example, that are not supported by the scientific literature. Please follow Wikipedia policies and guidelines. TimidGuy (talk) 11:31, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
I hadn't seen that thread. I'll find replacement sources for that. What false assertions in the Canada article are you talking about? And what's the answer about MEDRS? Does it apply to all scientific studies and claims or not? (That question is relevant to our use of some old, unreviewed studies in the TM-Sidhi program article, if I recall correctly.)   Will Beback  talk  11:51, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
(FWIW, the RSN thread seems to have been conducted with little information or research - one person said the CRJ was unreliable simply because the website took donations). The CRJ was just one of many sources, so I've removed it and the one assertion sourced solely to it.   Will Beback  talk  12:08, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
I think the key issue about media sources is that since the movement frequently touts the studies in the media, the media is also an appropriate agent of criticism. It's simple parity of sources.   Will Beback  talk  12:23, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
Here's what MEDRS says, in part: "The popular press is generally not a reliable source for science and medicine information in articles." And, "A news article should therefore not be used as a sole source for a medical fact or figure. Editors are encouraged to seek out the scholarly research behind the news story." The problem with the article in The Canadian is that the author, who's not an expert, simply makes a number of unsupported assertions. And the assertion that "new studies by independent researchers failed to corroborate such claims" is false. TimidGuy (talk) 11:32, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
So, do we agree that MEDRS applies to all scientific topics, and that we should therefore remove the old, unreviewed studies from TM-Sidhi program?   Will Beback  talk  11:37, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
  • This particular study was not published in a medical journal, so Its a stretch to label it per WP:MEDRS.(olive (talk) 22:59, 7 January 2010 (UTC)) Talk:TM-Sidhi program/Archive 8#.
Should I alert Olive to this discussion in case she has a different view?   Will Beback  talk  11:41, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
  • "new studies by independent researchers failed to corroborate such claims"
Where do we cite this? The only material I see from The Canada is that the research has been:
  • ...criticized ... for "failing to conduct double-blind experiments" and for "influencing test results with the prejudice of the tester".
Which one of those assertions if false? Haven't those been criticisms?   Will Beback  talk  11:49, 6 June 2010 (UTC)
  • A news article should therefore not be used as a sole source for a medical fact or figure
Not an issue with this section, which doesn't contain any medical facts or figures.   Will Beback  talk  11:49, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

I feel we should adhere to this very clear direction in MEDRS: "The popular press is generally not a reliable source for science and medicine information in articles." I quoted that sentence from The Canadian to support my point that the article has errors, suggesting that it's not a reliable source. TimidGuy (talk) 10:53, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

If we were using these sources for medical or scientific information then you'd have a point. We're not. We're using those sources to describe criticisms of the research. Different things. Note also that the research hasn't simply been conducted by scholars or scientists working disinterestedly. Many of the same researchers have held press conferences and otherwise been advocates for policy changes based on their findings. So the issues with the research and how it's used are not limited to the pages of peer-reviewed journals.   Will Beback  talk  21:28, 9 June 2010 (UTC)
The guideline doesn't make this distinction. Any assertion about quality is a matter of science. If I have research that shows ‘aspirin cures a headache’, then someone comes along with a source criticizing that research saying it’s wrong (that there’s no proof that aspirin cures anything), then the research was flawed, that source is indeed making a ‘medical or scientific’ claim, just as the original did. TimidGuy (talk) 11:27, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
So does that mean that MEDRS applies to the scientific studies on the Maharishi Effect?   Will Beback  talk  03:51, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

SCI addition: Creationism/evolution

  • According to theologian Robert M. Price, instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique is "never offered without indoctrination into the metaphysics of 'creative intelligence'..."

First, thanks. I see that I did leave out a word which resulted in a sentence that didn't make sense. Second, this is a quote taken from a site that has a very specific agenda and as such needs to be cited as an opinion of whomever is writing on that site. Third, that first paragraph in our article is about what the technique is after which as you can see the section launches into other information. "Indoctrination" is a loaded word, and is an opinion put out by the writer of the article, and it is biased in a particular direction as is Price's whole article, and the whole site. Placing the sentence in the first sentence biases the entire section and that bias is based on an opinion.... Creationism/ evolution is a highly contentious topic and in no way should this article be using an opinion from one side or the other as a statement of fact. At the very least such an opinion needs to be placed with the other opinions. (olive (talk) 15:30, 10 June 2010 (UTC))

If this concerns the teaching of TM then maybe it should go in that section.   Will Beback  talk  23:38, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
Creationism and evolution concern the teaching of a meditation technique? One reference from a highly biased source? Adding that kind of content is a stretch and will need some discussion, I would think (olive (talk) 00:57, 11 June 2010 (UTC))
According to whom is this a "highly biased source"? The sentence in question doesn't concern creationism or evolution, does it? It says that TM meditators need to learn SCI first.   Will Beback  talk  01:07, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
WP:RSN#Creation/Evolution Journal.   Will Beback  talk  01:31, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll reply with my own opinion on this. The source, I would think is a RS. The source is clearly biased towards teaching evolution in the schools, in, as it says, keeping evolution in the classroom and creationism out .That's a bias. Now, I have a bias towards Evolution and the sciences, and away from Creationism, but a source that exists for the purpose of representing one side of the Evolution/ Creationism debate is not a source with a neutral agenda, whatever my opinion. Then, taking that source, and knowing its position on creationism is a negative one, and that same biased source links SCI or TM to that already established biased view, must be viewed with a critical eye. That's what I'd like to see here... a critical look look at the source and noting where it might be an appropriate source for us to use and where it might not. The source may be appropriate for information on the Creationism/Evolution debate but further than that is an open question as far as I'm concerned. (olive (talk) 03:03, 11 June 2010 (UTC))
The journal is focused on creation/evolution, but the author is a theologian and philosophy professor with two Ph.D.s. Since this is one of the few scholarly sources devoted to SCI, I thinkwe can make wider use of this, beyond the one sentence we now have. It's certainly a better source than a newspaper quoting a schoo teacher.   Will Beback  talk  03:23, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
The source clearly states a bias. How do we deal with that bias?(olive (talk) 03:29, 11 June 2010 (UTC))
Can you quote or link to the assertion that you're referring to?   Will Beback  talk  04:21, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
The claim of bias is absurd. The author isn't offering an opinion, he's stating a fact: no-one is taught the TM technique without instruction in the principles of SCI. It is an integral part of the famous 7-step process. Official TM websites even say so. No-one can reasonably dispute this. As I said above, it makes perfect sense to attribute opinions in the text; insisting on attributing statements of fact that cannot reasonably be controverted is an insidious practice that is completely out-of-control in these articles. This is one extreme example. Fladrif (talk) 13:42, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

The official TM web site gives a description of the TM course and makes no mention of the "metaphysics of creative intelligence" or SCI. [29]Nor do any of these independent sources in their detailed descriptions of the TM course.[30][31][32][33]It would appear that Robert Prices' opinion may be a fringe one and to include it would seem to create undue weight.-- KeithbobTalk 18:31, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Global Good News describes the 7-step instruction in the TM technique as "Seven Steps to Unfold the Full Value of Creative Intelligence" [34] The Maharishi Education Health Center website explicitly describes Step 6 as "Mechanics of Unfoldment of Creative Intelligence "[35] The German Study (sec 1.6.1 states that instruction in TM includes instruction in principals of SCI.[36] Other sources state the instruction in the principles of SCI begin with the second lecture. [37] The sources that you cite state that the second lecture includes "the mechanics of the...technique and how the...program works" (Schneider), "information on the origin and nature of the program" (Alexander), "the theory of transcendental meditation is given in the second step" (Olson) The "theory of TM" is SCI! To claim that Price's statement is inaccurate in any way is simply untenable. This is an independent, reliable source for a statement of fact. If you want to claim that he is wrong, produce an independent, reliable source affirmatively stating that no instruction whatsoever in the principles of SCI are taught to TM initiates. You won't be able to do that, because is simply isn't true; the assertion is refuted by the very sources you cite. You do not get to simply claim "I don't see the word "SCI" on these other websites, so his must be a "fringe' view that we can exclude from the article". Frankly, I regard even making the argument as a violation of the ArbCom decision. Fladrif (talk) 20:49, 11 June 2010 (UTC) +
(E/C) The "fringe views" argument is not supportable. If we have sources that say a ball is orange, and another source that says it is more yellow, that's not a fringe source. If he says it was blue that would be different. "Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that investigates principles of reality transcending those of any particular science". That sounds like an exact description of SCI. Olson describes SCI as "the context of this metaphysical edifice" and says that lecture #2 covers the theory of Transcendental Meditation, i.e. SCI.[38] If this is a serious objection let's take it to the Fringe noticeboard and see what uninvolved editors think.   Will Beback  talk  21:13, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Not sure what all of the fuss is about. This was popped over to a notice board before anyone had a chance to really discuss here. Let me clarify my position at least. Yes, this is a reliable source, yes, the article and source have a bias, (to keep evolution in and creationism out) and yes, the information can be used with appropriate attribution. The question I'd ask again is how far do we want to use this one source?
  • Creative intelligence is not the Science of Creative Intelligence. Creative intelligence is a kind of, source of intelligence. Saying "creative intelligence" is the Science of Creative Intelligence is the same as saying the Science of Painting in Oil is the same as the oil paint.
  • No, SCI is not required of those learning to meditate. How many sources do we have that say that, and how many do we have that don't say that?
  • We should not however confuse two issues. SCI refers to two different things. One is a 33 lesson course based on the theory underlying the TM technique. The other is the theory itself. Both are called SCI. The 33 lesson course is not required for anyone learning TM, and is apparently no longer offered at MUM as the MUM site seems to indicate.
  • There may be information used when teaching the TM technique that is also part of the theoretical underpinning of SCI, and that may be included in some small part in the information that is part of SCI, the 33 lesson course, but isn't called SCI , and is, actually, a kind of tiny subset of both SCIs.
  • Creative intelligence is paralleled to creationism in this source. If, for example, I as an academic, wanted to parallel Transcendental Mediation with the Transcendentalists like Walt Whitman...I can do that by making careful parallels to one then the other supporting those examples with quotes. If then someone wanted to cite that paper, a good academic would not cite any of this as fact, but would cite the material, noting the context of a paper that is creating parallels, and would of course cite the source itself.

Nothing more to say, and not going to get into some kind of fight over this. We need to rely on citing appropriately and in a fashion that is respectable. In doing that we help create NPOV and a good article. My position. Your choice.(olive (talk) 21:39, 11 June 2010 (UTC))

Thanks for posting those points.
  • The science of biology and biology are the same thing, in common usage. If you have a source which makes the distinction between SCI and creative intelligence then we can add that.
  • We have at least one source that says SCI training is part of the TM initiation. We have at least a couple of other sources which say that the theory of TM is taught in the preparatory lectures, and numerous sources which say that the theory of TM is SCI (and inversely that the practical application of SCI is TM).
  • Simply because the MUM site no longer lists something is not proof that it no longer exists. The 33 videotaped lessons are mentioned in numerous sources. The SCI lessons and the SCI theory are undoubtedly separate things, but I don't see that we confuse them anywhere.
I really don't get your other points. Given the choice between a journal article written by a notable expert, and some anonymous page on a website that changes without notice, I think it's obvious which source is better.   Will Beback  talk  22:03, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Neither the article as written nor the sources suggest that what is taught to TM initiates as a part of the 7-step teaching procedure is the full 33-lecture SCI course. I do not need to have a PhD in Physics to have been taught the principles of physics in a simple intro lecture/course on the subject; a kid in Sunday School does not need to have a degree in Theology to have been taught the basic principles of religion. The distinction is valid, but a meaningless red herring in the context of the article. Fladrif (talk) 02:23, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Fladrif has a point: the sentence does not necessarily refer to the 33 lesson SCI course. However, Olive makes the equally valid point that this is a highly biased source. Words such as "indoctrination" and 'metaphysics' (when used in opposition to a term such as 'science') hardly suggest NPOV; thus the quote should not be treated as authoritative.--Luke Warmwater101 (talk) 00:07, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
There's no evidence that Price is any more biased then Orme-Johnson, whom we cite extensively. The feedback at RSN is that this is a fine source to use and any issues with (supposed) bias can be handled by attributing the material.   Will Beback  talk  01:38, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

My concern in this discussion is that we follow the guideline from ArbCom outlined in Item #4 regarding neutrality and weight[39] which says, in part: “The verifiability policy requires the use of the best and most reputable sources available, with the claim or viewpoint's prevalence in these sources determining the proper weight to be placed upon it.”

  • On the one hand we have Price’s statement (According to theologian Robert M. Price, instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique is "never offered without indoctrination into the metaphysics of 'creative intelligence'...") supported by this web source [40] which mentions the words ‘creative intelligence’ in the page heading but makes no mention of creative intelligence in the course description. This web site from TM Lebanon [41] which lists Step 6 as “Mechanics of Unfoldment of Creative Intelligence”. And two web links to an anti-TM web site, run by an individual and considered by WP:RS to be an unreliable source. [42][43]
  • On the other hand we have the following sources which describe the TM course in detail and do not attribute any of the course content or topics to the science of creative intelligence or creative intelligence.

Since the "claim or viewpoint" of Price has a very low "prevalence in these sources" we would need to create a significant amount of text to place in the article to counter balance his minor viewpoint. Is that something we want to do?-- KeithbobTalk 18:21, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

The foregoing argument is fundamentally fallacious both from an evidentiary standpoint and from an application of Wikiepedia policies. None of the sources cited contradict Price; none of them say that students are not taught any of the principles of SCI as a part of basic TM instruction. They simply do not say that. Instead, we have what amounts to an individual editor's original research, coming to his own conclusions about the content of TM instruction based upon his own analysis of the various sources cited, in an attempt to contradict a reliable, secondary source. That is not permitted. The policy that is being cited is inapplicable in this situation. There are not two conflicting viewpoints being expressed in independent, reliable, secondary sources about which we, as editors need to make decisions as to the appropriate weight to be given to each. There is, instead, as simple statement of fact, properly sourced and verified, uncontradicted by any source whatsover, reliable or otherwise. As pointed out above, the secondary sources cited confirm rather than contradict the accuracy of Price's statement. I regard this matter as closed until such time as some produces a reliable, independent, secondary source that says, explicitly, "No aspect of the principles of SCI is taught to TM initiates as a part of the 7-step introductory course in the TM technique." Fladrif (talk) 19:02, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
The uninvolved editors at WP:RSN have already given their opinion that this is a a reliable source.
Kbob cites The many colors of Hinduism: a thematic-historical introduction By Carl Olson. That book supports Price two ways. First, he refers to the belief system as being "metaphysical". Second, he says that the second lecture covers the theory of TM. We have many sources that say the theory of TM is SCI. The other books he cites were all written by TM insiders, who are naturally invested in keeping the process a little mysterious. The anonymous websites are not of equally reliability to the Price paper. Ten bad sources don't outweigh one good source.   Will Beback  talk  20:05, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Further, we have sources that indicate principles of SCI are taught to kindergarten students, so it's hardly exceptional that they would also be taught to adult TM students. I don't understand the objection by the TM editors Kbob, Olive, and Luke to this material.   Will Beback  talk  20:11, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
The objection from my side is accuracy. Creative intelligence (CI) as I tried to explain above is not SCI, but are the words the Maharishi used to define one aspect of creation as he saw it. SCI is an entire theory, of which creative intelligence is part. When Price is talking about the metaphyisics of creative intelligence he doesn't say SCI, he says creative intelligence...something very different. SCI as all of the TM based sources indicate is not taught as part of the teaching procedure for the TM technique. Further Randi states the point at which the theoretical aspects of TM moved to a more science based terminology and SCI came into being, as does Mason. In both cases TM is described as having been taught for years before SCI was introduced. The 33 lesson course of which children are taught a version can be taught irrespective of whether a child has learned to meditate. It can be a theoretical underpinning for the Meditation technique, but is not part of the teaching procedure. Is the theory of CI referred to in teaching the technique...Possibly, although I'm not sure myself as I'm not a teacher. We have one RS source that says it is. The source is biased but bias does or necessarily preclude using it... It does behoove us to consider how far and in what context we use that source.
There is no onus on Wikipedia to find sources that contradict a position. Per WP:WEIGHT "Neutrality requires that an article fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint, giving them "due weight". It is important to clarify that articles should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more widely held views; generally, the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all." Nor is researching sources what is meant by WP: OR. What we have to decide per "weight" is what is the mainstream view of what is used when the TM technique is taught. We can use the TM org sources to define how that technique is taught . That's perfectly acceptable....What we can't do in the article is extrapolate from those sources that something isn't taught because it isn' there or make some editorial connection between Price and the other sources. What we can do is assess weight. Since this is one source with one comment that doesn't seem to be repeated anywhere else how do we use this source. For starters it doesn't belong under SCI. The rest is discussion. (olive (talk) 21:38, 14 June 2010 (UTC))
Personally, I'd like this article to be accurate. However, this particular source isn't a big issue for me, at least. If we can come to some agreement easily, great, if not, I don't need to say anything else. I think it is important to lay out concerns as we go along in the different discussions otherwise they keep popping back up.(olive (talk) 21:55, 14 June 2010 (UTC))
I'm not sure I follow what sources Olive is basing her views upon. Where can we find this distinction between SCI and CI? Is there any source that says the lectures before and after initiation ha not changed in 50 years? Do we have a source which says that none of the 16 SCI principles are mentioned during those lectures? Is anyone here a TM teacher? If not, then I don't know how anyone can say with authority what is in the course. We have one reliable source that makes the assertion directly, and another which makes it indirectly. It's better sourcing than we have for many assertions in this article. The idea that the views of a scholar who's written an article about SCI doesn't belong in the SCI section doesn't really make sense, but we could as a compromise we could put this particular view in the TM teaching section.   Will Beback  talk  00:04, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Is there any objection to moving Price's discussion of creative intelligence and TM teaching to the "Teaching" section? While Olive apparently contests that "creative intelligence" and the "science of creative intelligence" are the same thing, surely we all agree that TM teaching is TM teaching.   Will Beback  talk  07:35, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
I am not sure I agree with the move of the SCI section to the Teaching section. Have we established conclusively that the teaching of TM involves the teaching of the SCI course? I know we have a source that says that, but none of the "official" web sites describe the TM course as involving the SCI course. I know others are asking for a ref to say the teaching of TM does not involve SCI, but if official sites describing the TM course to the world do not mention anything about SCI, then maybe SCI is not part of learning TM? --BwB (talk) 08:10, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
First, I don't agree with moving this. I strongly object to moving it to a different section. What legitimate concern has been raised by any editor which suggests that moving it is a good idea, and how does moving it address such a concern? Simply offering up "you've raised a number of spurious objections that don't hold water, so how 'bout we bury this elsewhere?" is neither reasonable nor responsible editing.
Second, I agree with Will re Olive's statements. If "SCI" and "CI" are two different things, then let's have some sources. Olive has previously stated numerouus times that she is not a TM teacher, and has disclaimed knowing the teaching procedure. I have no reason, in light of those disclaimers, to think that her unsourced statments are either accurate or informed. I am at a loss to understand what distinction she is attempting to make in the name of "accuracy", especially when it is not supported by reliable, verifiable sources. Verifiablity, not truth. WP:V
Third, to BsB's post, "we" do not establish facts. We have established that reliable, independent, secondary sources state that the teaching of TM involves instruction in the principles of SCI. That's what editors do. No one has claimed that the 7-step TM course is the same thing as the 33-lecture SCI course, and I am baffled as to why you would even ask the question, since this was explicitly discussed above.
Third, the argument that SCI isn't explicitly mentioned in various official websites means that maybe it is not part of TM instruction is (i) original research and (ii) bad original research based upon fundamentally flawed reasoning, for the reasons discussed above. None of the official TM websites KBob linked to mention that TM involves a mantra, or that there is a puja ceremony as part of the instruction. By the same logic as you and KBob seek to employ, maybe TM does not involve a mantra - that is just a "viewpoint", and maybe there isn't any Puja ceremony. Any mention of these facts need to be counterbalanced by dozens of cites to "official" websites that don't happen to mention them. The argument is absurd on its face.
Again, produce a reliable, independent, secondary source, that says that no instruction in the principles of SCI is part of instruction in TM, and then we can discuss how that is reflected in the text. Otherwise, this argument has gone on long enough and has crossed in to tendatiousness. Fladrif (talk) 13:43, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

The conclusion that the TM course includes SCI because a source says that TM is the practical aspect of SCI is clearly Original Research. Especially when that conclusion contradicts the dozens of other sources listed above. Secondly, I am not disputing Price's right to have a point of view. So it is not necessary to locate a source that contradicts Price's specific claim in order to have a discussion. I am saying that there are dozens of sources that present a viewpoint different than Price and that viewpoint needs to predominate in the article, not the minority view held by Price as outlined in Item #4 of the Arbcom decision.-- KeithbobTalk 17:00, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Price's article is the source we are using. We are quoting it. It says what it says. Other sources verify the accuracy of Price's statement and contradict your unsourced objections and arguments. Not a single source you have cited contradicts Price in any respect whatsoever. None say that TM instruction does not involve learning principles of SCI. As I said above, none of the official TM websites which describe the 7-step teaching process mention that the student is given a mantra. Did you notice that? Does that "contradict" reliable sources on the mantra? Does that mean that those sources which do mention a mantra are wrong, or a minority view. None of those websites mention that there is a puja ceremony either. Miss that as well Does that "contradict" reliable sources on the ceremony? Does that mean that those sources which say that there is a puja ceremony are wrong? Does that mean that there being a puja ceremony is a "minority view"? No it does not. The argument that you are making is logically fallacious, factually unfounded and involves a fundamental misunderstanding and/or misinterpretation of the sources you are citing. They simply do not support what you are trying to argue. Until you find a reliable, secondary, independent source that says, explicitly, what you are claiming, the ArbCom policy you cite is utterly inapplicable and irrelevant. Fladrif (talk) 18:01, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
We have lots of information in this article that cites only a single source. For example, we have many sources that say SCI is a requirement for all students at MUM, and only one source that says it isn't. Yet most of us agreed that the single source was sufficient. In this case, there is no source that disputes or contradicts Price about SCI being part of the TM training. He doesn't say all of SCI, or the 33-tape lecture. The folks at RSN agreed that this is a reliable source - is that still in dispute? As for moving it, I think that since it addresses TM teaching, it's more appropriate in that section. It wouldn't be "burying it".   Will Beback  talk  19:51, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
I've reworded this slightly to be more accurate per the source, ans more applicable to the SCI section. Does this satisfy the concerns?(olive (talk) 21:34, 15 June 2010 (UTC))
You added material that does not seem to be contained in the source, so I removed it. I can't find anywhere that he says CI is an aspect of SCI. Nor does it seem necessary to make that point. No source that I've seen says CI and SCI are in any way separate things. However I agree that we can add more from this source, which may be the only high quality source we have just on SCI.   Will Beback  talk  22:34, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, its in the source. But its pointless to discuss it further.(olive (talk) 22:42, 15 June 2010 (UTC))
No snarkiness intended in that last comment(olive (talk) 23:05, 15 June 2010 (UTC))
If you'd like to quote the text that makes the assertion in question then it'd help. But if you don't want to pursue this that's fine too.   Will Beback  talk  23:22, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Q. Commas after introductory prepositional phrases?

Please see: [73] "Use commas... to set off a year from the rest of the sentence." (olive (talk) 02:11, 30 June 2010 (UTC))
See Irony — Wikibooks is not a trustworthy source. Try this more detailed treatment of the matter. Ludwig Beethoven (talk) 04:24, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
It's standard to use a comma after the year given, to separate it from the rest of the sentence, and to set up the context of the sentence. I won't argue this further. If the grammar in the article is incorrect, either other editors will deal with it, or outside editors will, if asked.(olive (talk) 04:51, 30 June 2010 (UTC))
It's standard to write the standard contraction for "it is" with an apostrophe to stand for the missing letter "i". Ludwig Beethoven (talk) 23:30, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
I was taught in school that one always inserts a comma after a date. But many rules I was taught have since been overturned. I don't believe this is done in Received English. See for a discussion, and see English style books for the real answer, if any. David Spector (talk) 20:21, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
My old copy of Hodges & Whitten states: "Short introductory prepositional phrases, except when they are distinctly parenthetical expressions (such as in fact or for example), are seldom followed by commas." Hodges Harbrace College Handbook, 6thEd p 116. Most other introductory phrases are usually set off by commas. Fladrif (talk) 19:29, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
  • All the English teachers and all the journal editors I've ever had insisted on commas to set off adverbial clauses that precede or interrupt the main clause but no comma after introductory prepositional phrases (unless needed for clarity, for instance, when long).
  • Commas in dates (or locations) are a separate issue, the rule being to use a comma after the year (or State, province, country, etc.) if one is needed before. For example:
  1. On July 4, 1776, such and such happened.
  2. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, such and such happened.

Ludwig Beethoven (talk) 23:44, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps we can come to some resolution on this. Ludwig originally removed the commas after the year given, but seems now to be saying they are acceptable. I'm not sure this discussion deserves much more time... I'll be happy to go with whatever is decided one way or the other.(olive (talk) 00:52, 6 July 2010 (UTC))
Not to butt in, and not sure how important it is, but I read him as saying that an intro like 'In 1776' would still not take a comma. Crystal Horshofsky (talk) 02:58, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, a simple prep phrase takes no comma, so even one like "In July 1776 such and such happened" has no comma. Ludwig Beethoven (talk) 18:36, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah, sure, what's, a, comma, between friends,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, --BwB (talk) 12:21, 6 July 2010 (UTC)


I like photos in Wiki articles but I'm wondering if the photo of the abandoned ashram, now owned by the Indian Govt, has real relevance to this article or if it would be better suited on the MMY article. I'm not sure what these huts have to do with the practice or origin of TM. Usually photos illustrate a topic discussed in the article but the relevance of this photo escapes me. Any thoughts on this?-- KeithbobTalk 12:16, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Take it out if you like - I do not mind if it goes. --[User:Bigweeboy|BwB] (talk) 12:19, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
It seems pretty irrelevant. I would take it out as per WP:ROC : Individual articles... should stay focused on a small number of topics for ease of reading and navigation. An article that is dense with information only tenuously connected to its subject does little to inform readers about that subject.. Pictures are nice, however, does anyone have any more relevant photos? --Luke Warmwater101 (talk) 00:23, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
The caves (really stone huts) were built for the express purpose of practicing TM. If folks want, I'll find a source or two and expand the caption to describe their purpose.   Will Beback  talk  21:28, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Then should we also include other photos of TM centers, schools and academies where TM has been practiced and taught? If so I can find many such photos to include in the article if that is the only criteria.-- KeithbobTalk 20:52, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
If they've received as much fame as the ashram at Rishikesh, then they'd certainly belong. We have free photos of the Seelisberg facility, and it's also pretty prominent in TM history. At the other extreme, TM is also taught in people's homes, but I don't think we'd want to add photos of TM instructor's homes even if they are also places of business.   Will Beback  talk  21:44, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Good than let's put these photos, including the abandoned ashram, that are "prominent in the TM history" into the article History of Transcendental Meditation.-- KeithbobTalk 22:35, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

We can copy the ashram photo there, sure. If there's a better photo to illustrate the "origins" section in this article then we could use it instead. Maybe a pic of Brahmananda Saraswati?   Will Beback  talk  23:58, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

I think the purpose of photos in an article is to illustrate a section of the article. With this in mind I don't see how the current picture of abandoned stone huts illustrates anything about the copy below (or any other section) and feel we should remove the photo from this article. Do you object to its removal?

  • According to religious scholar Kenneth Boa in his book, Cults, World Religions and the Occult, Transcendental Meditation is rooted in the Vedantic School of Hinduism, "repeatedly confirmed" in the Maharishi's books such as the Science of Being and the Art of Living and his Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita.[26] Boa writes that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi "makes it clear" that Transcendental Meditation was delivered to man about 5,000 years ago by the Hindu god Krishna. The technique was then lost, but restored for a time by Buddha. It was lost again, but rediscovered in the 9th century AD by the Hindu philosopher Shankara. Finally, it was revived by Brahmananda Saraswati (Guru Dev) and passed on to the Maharishi.[27]
  • George Chryssides similarly states that the Maharishi and Guru Dev were from the Shankara tradition of advaita Vedanta.[28] Peter Russell in The TM Technique says that the Maharishi believed that from the time of the Vedas, this knowledge cycled from lost to found multiple times, as is described in the introduction of the Maharishi's commentaries on the Bhagavad-Gita. Revival of the knowledge recurred principally in the Bhagavad-Gita, and in the teachings of Buddha and Shankara.[29] Chryssides notes that, in addition to the revivals of the Transcendental Meditaton technique by Krishna, the Buddha and Shankara, the Maharishi also drew from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.[28] Vimal Patel also writes that the Maharishi drew from Patanjali when developing the TM technique.-- KeithbobTalk 21:56, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
As I suggested above, a photo of Brahmananda Saraswati might be more apt. Now that you've quoted the text of the entire section, we see that he was responsible for reviving TM after a thousand-year absence. If there's no objection I'll swap in his photo in place of the Rishikesh photo.   Will Beback  talk  22:29, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, switching would be fine. Thanks.-- KeithbobTalk 00:02, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Done.   Will Beback  talk  00:15, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Content that needs source verification

Completed: Sources for content were either found or verified as requested

Tantric source for TM mantras - request quote

I have requested quotes from the sources that say that the TM mantras are from Tantra. I think this text was supplied by Kala Bethere [74] some time ago. --BwB (talk) 12:20, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

A request was made in February [75] for verification of the content in the article on mantra. I've removed one source since it doesn't as far as I can see make any references to TM. Until we can access the other sources, since a long period of time has passed since the first request, and since sourced content in the article seems contrary to this non verified sourced material, I'm parking the content here pending verification.(olive (talk) 15:33, 29 June 2010 (UTC))
  • "According to pundits of the mantra tradition and Rig Veda tradition, the sounds used in the Transcendental Meditation technique are taken from the ancient Tantric tradition."[6][7]—Preceding undated comment added (date and author unknown).
Although I don't have any sources to offer, my understanding from my own studies is that some say that the Bija Mantras evolved from astrological moon signs to represent personality traits, while others simply state that they were originally cognized by rishis as personalized aspects of consciousness and have since been passed down from guru to disciple as part of the Shankara tradition. I know of other (non-popularized) types of mantra meditation descended from the Shankara tradition whose mantras come from two recent Shankaracharyas. It is extremely unlikely that the TM mantras or technique ever had anything to do with the various Tantric[8] teachings, which are not in the main line of Advaita or Vedanta techniques. David Spector (talk) 20:40, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Fladrif, could you please give a page number for this referenced text "The bija or seed mantras used in TM come from the Tantric, rather than Vedic tradition. In the Tantric tradition these mantras are associated with specific dieties and used as a form of worship. [9]? Many thanks. --BwB (talk) 19:18, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
David, as we have discussed before on these pages, the understanding or research of individual editors is WP:OR and cannot be used here. You need sources to back up your assertions. Reliable sources written by experts in the field directly contradict your understanding. Read Williamson's book and Sanderson as well, who she cites. BWB, do you know how to use the search function in Google Books? PAGE 89 specifically, but there is additional material on other pages which illuminate the statement. [76] Fladrif (talk) 19:15, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Flad for the page number and Google link. --BwB (talk) 10:01, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
Since we have a source that describes the mantras as coming from the Tantric tradition, and we also have sources that say the mantras come from the Vedic tradition, I would think can have both citing the authors. I can't add this tonight, but possibly tomorrow unless someone gets to it before I do. (olive (talk) 01:06, 6 July 2010 (UTC))
I've added text and source on the mantras and Tantric tradition.(olive (talk) 02:51, 7 July 2010 (UTC))
Books can get things wrong. If you study Tantrism[10], you will discover that it is mostly about the spiritual use of the sexual impulse. This was not a topic of interest of Adi Shankara[11], nor of any of his long line of disciples.[12]
I see that Fladrif is still around, acting as he usually does, like the know-it-all policeman of WP. I would have thought he would go away after the strong condemnation, out of all of the TMM article editors, of his behavior by the ArbCom. As discussed below, I resent the nastiness I perceive. I, myself, try my best to be helpful and supportive in my editing and commenting here at WP.
Anyone actually familiar with Tantrism knows that it is not connected with the Shankarcharya meditation mantras, no matter what any books say. WP is in error to define accuracy and truth as that which is printed in published books, newspapers, or websites anyway. David Spector (talk) 16:17, 10 July 2010(UTC)
I have removed text here at the request of Fladrif. I will submit it to ArbCom as suggested. David Spector (talk) 19:43, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
This deletion was inappropriate. Fladrif did not request that you delete the text but that you refactor it, which is not the same thing, especially since the text had already been commented on. It is not respectful of your fellow editors to remove text from a discussion as if it had never been there, leaving the following comments dangling with no context. You might review the guidelines on editing your own comments on a talk page for appropriate ways to edit your comments; leaving the text in place and striking through the portion that you have decided to refactor would be the usual way to deal with a situation like this. Woonpton (talk) 23:32, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Since David has had more than a week to restore the improperly deleted text and has chosen not to, I am restoring it. If David would like to strike the text, that would be an appropriate thing to do with a personal attack that has already been responded to by other editors; as I said before, removing it is not acceptable, as it renders following comments incomprehensible for later readers, who need to be able to see what folks were responding to. Woonpton (talk) 16:06, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Please note that one of Wikipedia's core policies, and one that was specifically covered in the ArbCom case, is "assume good faith". That's not what you're doing here. The issues with Fladrif that were raised in Arbitration were almost exclusively about his incivility, not his content work, which is what you're addressing here. Your negative personal comments about Fladrif are borderline uncivil and do not belong on this talk page. As for the rest of your remarks, you seem to be saying "damn the sources, I know the truth". That's the exact opposite of how Wikipedia works. Our own personal conclusions matter little, and the verifiable sources are the only factors we should be considering. If the sources are all wrong then the way to correct that is to write and publish a different POV, which we can then add to the article.   Will Beback  talk  21:25, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I readded the content on the Tantric tradition and the alternate and reliable source provided by Fladrif. As an encyclopedia rather than writing a research paper, our interest is in what is in the sources on a topic and in compiling content based on those sources. Our responsibility is in accuracy per the sources rather than truth. (olive (talk) 00:20, 12 July 2010 (UTC))
Not meaning to pile up on David here, just a further comment.(olive (talk) 02:01, 12 July 2010 (UTC))

Local references

  1. ^ moreorless. "The Vatican document on the New Age (Feb. 3, 2003)". Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  2. ^ moreorless. "The Vatican document on the New Age (Feb. 3, 2003)". Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  3. ^ moreorless. "The Vatican document on the New Age (Feb. 3, 2003)". Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  4. ^ World Plan Executive Council v County of Ramsey, 560 NW2d 87 (Minn 1997)
  5. ^ "Property Tax Commission Rules Against Maharishi Spiritual Center". Mountain Times. January 6, 2001. 
  6. ^ Pandit Usharbudh Arya (aka Swami Veda Bharati) (1981). Mantra and Meditation. Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of the U.S.A. ISBN 9780893890742. [need quotation to verify]
  7. ^ Dictionaries of the Tantra Shāstra or Tantrābhidānām, Containing Prakārāntara, Mantrābhidhāna, Ekākṣarakosha, Bījanighantu, Mātrkānighantu, Prakārāntara Mātrkānighantu I and II, Prakārāntara Varṇanighantu, Bījābhidhāna, Mantrārthābhidhāna of Varada Tantra, Mudrānighaṇṭu and Varṇabījakosha, Edited by Ram Kumar Rai, Prachya Prakashan, Varanasi, 1984; pp. 3-97[need quotation to verify]
  8. ^ What is Tantra Yoga?
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference Williamson was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ A brief introduction to Tantra Yoga.
  11. ^ About Adi Shankara.
  12. ^ The recent Shankarcharya tradition.


I don't see this information in the source. Since its not critical information. I'm moving the content here until we can verify source and clarify content.(olive (talk) 03:59, 27 June 2010 (UTC))

  • "Patel also says that it is derived from Patanjali's Yoga."[1]

"add balancing point per NPOV"

The material in bold was just added, without any discussion, with the edit summary, "add balancing point per NPOV".[77]

  • Leading individuals and organizations associated with TM cite the existence of many studies, "more than 600 published research studies, conducted at over 200 independent research institutions in 33 countries",[2] to support TM-related concepts.[3][4] The quantity of studies have been cited to support the political programs of the Natural Law Party,[5][6] the tax status of a TM institution,[7] the use of TM to rehabilitate prisoners,[8] the teaching of TM in schools,[9] the issuance of bonds to finance the movement,[10] as proof that TM is a science rather than a religion,[11] and as a reason to practice TM itself.[12] An article in the Jerusalem Post and a review by Canter and Ernst said that many studies appear to have been conducted by researchers at universities tied to the Maharishi, including Maharishi University of Management in Iowa and Maharishi European Research University in Switzerland,[13][14] which is disputed by Orme-Johnson[15] and by other TM researchers, who have said that studies on Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health have been conducted at over 200 different research institutions and universities in over 30 countries worldwide.[16] According to newspaper reports and the Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology, some of the research has been "criticized for bias and a lack of scientific evidence",[17] for "methodological flaws, vague definitions, and loose statistical controls",[18] and for "failing to conduct double-blind experiments" and for "influencing test results with the prejudice of the tester".[19] Research reviews in science journals say that double blinding may not be possible in meditation research.[20][21][22][23][24] Various research reviews have identified some studies as being well-designed, rigorous, or high quality.[25][26] According to a 2003 review of studies on cognitive function in Wien Klin Wochenschr and a student journal, many of the hundreds of studies have not been published in peer-reviewed journals,[27][14] though a bibliography posted by Orme-Johnson lists over 300 peer-reviewed studies on TM.[28]
  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Patel was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "'Maharishi Invincible Towers to be set up in 192 countries'". The Hindustan Times. New Delhi. February 10, 2008. 
  3. ^ Deardorff, Julie (December 12, 2001). "Town sees meditation as way to peace". The Charleston Gazette. Charleston, W.V. p. 2.D. 
  4. ^ Hutchinson, Brian (February 22, 2003). "Wasting away in Maharishi-ville". National Post. Don Mills, Ont. p. B.1. 
  5. ^ Plagenz, George (September 4, 1996). "Is government ready for a dose of TM?". The Nevada Daily Mail. p. 3. 
  6. ^ Rowland, Darrel (July 21, 1996). "PARTY HOPES TM PUTS MEMBERS IN POSITION TO LEAD". Columbus Dispatch. Columbus, Ohio. p. 01.C. 
  7. ^ STATE OF MINNESOTA IN SUPREME COURT C4-96-1425 World Plan Executive Council-United States, et al., v. County of Ramsey, Filed March 20, 1997
  8. ^ Walpole Study of the Transcendental Meditation Program in Maximum Security Prisoners: Cross-Sectional Differences in Development and Psychopathology. Charles N. Alexander; Kenneth G. Walton; Rachel S. Goodman in Transcendental Meditation in Criminal Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention. Charles Nathaniel Alexander, Kenneth G Walton, David Orme-Johnson Routledge, 2003 ISBN 9780789020376 p. 159
  9. ^ Victory, Joy (May 18, 2004). "Meditation Controversy". The Journal News. 
  10. ^ "Propectus for the issue and offering of three million RAAM" (PDF). Stichting Maharishi Global Financing Research. November 14, 2006. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Q&A with John Hagelin, 8 Great Reasons to Meditate" (PDF). Center for Leadership Performance. 2009. Retrieved June 2, 2010. 
  13. ^ Hecht, Esther (January 23, 1998). "Peace of Mind". Jerusalem Post. p. 12. 
  14. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Wien_Klin_Wochenschr. was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  15. ^ Orme-Johnson, David (June 18, 1991). "Letters to the Editor: Turn Prisons Into Think Tanks". Wall Street Journal. p. 15. 
  16. ^ Schneider RH, Walton KG, Salerno JW, Nidich SI (2006). "Cardiovascular disease prevention and health promotion with the transcendental meditation program and Maharishi consciousness-based health care". Ethnicity & Disease. 16 (3 Suppl 4): S4–15–26. PMC 2267926Freely accessible. PMID 16938913. 
  17. ^ Bezalel, Mel (May 1, 2009). "Trance 101". Jerusalem Post. p. 14. 
  18. ^ Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology (5th ed.). 2001. p. 1583. 
  19. ^ Baxter, Bronte (2008). "Where Have All the Flower Children Gone? Part One". The Canadian. 
  20. ^ Ospina, Maria, et al, “Clinical Trials of Meditation Practices in Health Care: Characteristics and Quality,” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Volume 14, Number 10, 2008, p. 1210
  21. ^ Orme-Johnson, David, “Commentary on the AHRQ Report on Research on Meditation Practices in Health,” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Volume 14, Number 10, 2008, p. 1210
  22. ^ Rainforth, Maxwell, et al, “Stress Reduction in Patients with Elevate Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review and Analysis, Current Hypertension Reports 2007, 9, p. 522
  23. ^ Anderson, James, et al, “Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis,” American Journal of Hypertension, March 2008, Volume 21 Number 3, p. 311
  24. ^ Linden W, Moseley, ?The efficacy of behavioral treatments for hypertension, Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback 2006, 31, pp. 51–63.
  25. ^ Cite error: The named reference The_Humanistic_Psychologist_2003 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  26. ^ Cite error: The named reference Anderson08 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  27. ^ Makin, Stephen (November 2003). "Yogis and yagyas: Stephen Makin went to Maharishi School and rebelled by deciding to study medicine. Here, he explains the impact that transcendental meditation has had on his life". Student BMJ (11): 426. 
  28. ^ Cite error: The named reference was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Some points:

  1. Where does WP:NPOV mandate the inclusion of "balancing" material?
  2. The assertion that there are hundreds of studies conducted at hundreds of institutions is in the first sentence. Why are we repeating it a second time? The added material does not relate directly back to the rest of the sentence which concerns whether the bulk of the research is conducted by TM-related researchers. So it seems like a non-sequitor.
  3. Does this section need more POV from movement members? They are already cited extensively.

A significant amount of new material has been added to the research section in the past weeks without any discussion, and without any "balancing points". I suggest that the material be brought here for discussion and that other significant changes in this mature article be discussed. I see that a very minor change was reverted for lack of discussion,[78] so more significant changes should certainly be discussed.   Will Beback  talk  00:39, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

NPOV is non-negotiable. Both points of view need to be represented. If the article says that most TM research is done by people affiliated with MUM, then the other point of view, that research has been conducted at many different institutions, should be represented. TimidGuy (talk) 10:35, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
What you added is already in the first sentence of the section. Please read it before responding again.   Will Beback  talk  11:38, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Would have to agree with Will here. The first sentence of the paragraph already states this point. Does it need to be repeated? I don't think so. --BwB (talk) 12:36, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
In the not to distance past all content added to the TM related articles was discussed on the talk pages before adding. I personnally, did not support or like it when that convention was ignored by some editors. If we want to go back to that system, I heartily support that but... this article is not controlled by any one editor and I would suggest we do treat each other with that in mind. Second, a move to add content that is discussed first before adding it to the articles be accepted by all editors on all but basic copy edit content. This move must be agreed upon by all of us to work. This cannot be a procedure that is adopted by some, ignored by others and must include all content additions.(olive (talk) 19:42, 10 July 2010 (UTC))
I agree that the article should not be controlled by TimidGuy or any other editor or group of editors. The principal of prior discussion seems to be enforced in an uneven way. To be fair, the appropriate thing at this point may be to move the undiscussed material here for the proposing editor to explain why the material is helpful to the article, and to allow other editors to give their input. Any objections?   Will Beback  talk  21:16, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
The section in bold seems like a relatively small and innocuous addition to me. Is it properly sourced? If so why is there such an objection? That being said, I do not have a problem with discussing new additions to the article in the talk pages beforehand. However, Olive raises a valid point. If we decide to do this, it needs to be something followed by every editor, otherwise it will be total chaos. if everyone is comfortable with this, then we can do it, yes?--Luke Warmwater101 (talk) 22:39, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I've stated my objections to the material. Did you read them? As for deciding this, Olive has already "decided" it by repeatedly reverting changes or deleting material from the article. All I'm asking is that TimidGuy's edits are given the same treatment as other editors'. I ask that all editors seek consensus before making significant changes, including deletions or additions, to this article. Some of the recent additions and deletions have not been consistent with Wikipedia policies and guidelines, and with the Arbcom's recent decision.   Will Beback  talk  22:46, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The "balancing" point, apart from being redundant and repetitive, is not "balancing" at all. The sources state that much of the research cited in support of TM was conducted by researchers or at institutions tied to the TM movement. That is not disputed at all by Orme-Johnson or by the other source cited, and it is a mispresentation of the sources to say so. They do not deny this. They can't, because it is demonstrably and irrefutably true. They merely assert that some of the research was conducted by individuals or at instututions without such ties. That is not a refutation, and it provides no balance. The statement about the provenance of much of the research is factually unassailable, and the addition of repetitive misdirection does not serve the clarity of the article nor the purposes and policies of Wikipedia. Both the new text and the prior text citing DO-J should be deleted. Fladrif (talk) 23:26, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Both points are true -- that researchers associated with TM institutions have conducted much of the research and also that much research has been done by unaffiliated individuals. Both are sourced. Both go in the article. TimidGuy (talk) 10:35, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
There are three numbered points above, plus a fourth point that's come up about your other additions on the past month. Any responses to those?   Will Beback  talk  11:10, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Gosh Will... I haven't made any decisions so lets not put words into anyone's mouth ... most unsanitary ...and lets not get carried away with gross exaggeration....Perhaps you'd like to explain per the arbitration your concerns with TG additions...I have no problem with how TG added content... He's adding material slowly which gives editors time to respond, and he's simply giving the full picture per the sources, and such a picture is what NPOV is. Did you delete reliably sourced content?
Seems to me we have some contentious issues to work out here before we go on with editing the articles. I would like to deal with those completely and have editor input form those who are involved in editing these articles. We need to do this in a systematic way, and have clearly defined outcomes per these articles. (olive (talk) 16:01, 11 July 2010 (UTC))
Happy to participate in all discussion on these pages. --BwB (talk) 17:27, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Here are relevant points from NPOV: "All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources. " And "Neutrality weights viewpoints in proportion to their prominence. However, when reputable sources contradict one another and are relatively equal in prominence, describe both approaches and work for balance. This involves describing the opposing views clearly, drawing on secondary or tertiary sources that describe the disagreement from a disinterested viewpoint." There are multiple points of view about the research. The section on promotion has made multiple assertions about the research. These assertions are from popular media, in violation of MEDRS. I have added content giving a different point of view, and have cited sources that are compliant with MEDRS. Regarding duplication of material, the point about number of studies and number of research institutions, etc., was already in the article in the Quality of Research section. It's not clear why it was also added to the promotion section and why there are two different sections of the article talking about research quality. TimidGuy (talk) 10:45, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply. Regarding the stated reason for the edit in question ("add balancing points per NPOV"), it turns out that WP:NPOV does not discuss the concept of "balancing points". All significant points of view must be included, but they don't need to be continually balanced by opposing POVs. And once we've represented a POV, we don't need to keep repeating it. The second clause that's quoted above from NPOV deals with how to balance competing POVs from reliable sources. In that case the greater weight goes to the more prominent POV/source. If they're equally prominent then they should be presented equally. Again, nothing about "balancing points". If a POV needs to be represented then we should add it for that reason, not to provide "balancing points".
As for this material in particular, the Schneider et al article does not address the assertion that the research is mostly done by TM devotees, whereas the already cited Orme-Johnson reference does (at least ostensibly). Schneider is just providing another example of using the quantity of research as a thing of value, which fits with the numerous similar assertions made in a range of endeavors.Talk:Transcendental Meditation/promotion of studies. The Schneider material does not bring an unrepresented POV, but rather is part of the already thoroughly represented POV. I've gone ahead and integrated it into the other examples.
WP:MEDRS is a useful guideline, and we should follow it as much as possible, but it does not trump WP:NPOV. We can't exclude significant points of view just because they're printed in the popular press rather than in peer-reviewed journals. This is not an exclusively medical or scientific topic.   Will Beback  talk  12:57, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Two general points:
"This is not an exclusively medical or scientific topic." I'll hold you to that.
And we must always consider excluding points of view if the source for those views is not reliable per the content we are adding. (olive (talk) 16:09, 12 July 2010 (UTC))
Does "I'll hold you to that" mean you agree or disagree?
The 600 studies are used to promote TM and a multitude of related enterprises. They are discussed in the popular press and even in advertising brochures by leading members of the TM movement. If they are touted in the popular press then they may be criticized in the popular press.   Will Beback  talk  22:06, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
To Will: This article is pretty obviously not just scientific or health related in scope. Hope that answers the question above.(olive (talk) 18:47, 13 July 2010 (UTC))
Yes, thanks. It's always good to find points of agreement.   Will Beback  talk  11:18, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
You've used this rationale in the past. But it's not relevant. We go by the policies and guidelines. In matters of science, the popular press isn't relevant. It's what appears in science journals. If we're going to criticize quality, the points of view that are represented should be from science journals. And multiple points of view should be represented, per NPOV. If you want to make the point that those who are promoting TM shouldn't cite the research to support their claims, then you should find a source that says that, rather than violate WP:SYNTH. TimidGuy (talk) 11:33, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Sure, I've quoted WP:NPOV and other policies in the past because they're important.
Is TM purely a matter of science? Just a concern for a bunch of eggheads in an ivory tower? I don't think so. TM has connections to religion/spirituality, to commerce, and to politics. These studies are used to advance the TMM movement in all of those directions. There are sources that note the studies are used for promotion. This should hardly be a surprise to anyone familiar with the movement.
I've just completed a survey of the 341 studies that I suppose are considered the best of the bunch.[79] Of those, more than 240 have lead or co-authors who appear to have been involved with MUM or other TM entities. So while OJ may say that the studies were conducted at 200 institutions (which is hard to verify), the assertions that most were conducted (in whole or in part) by TM devotees seems to be correct by a large margin. I'd be happy to post that survey so you can check my work.   Will Beback  talk  12:11, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Since I did the work I might as well post it. Talk:Transcendental Meditation/341 studies. It might also be interesting to sort them by date or language.   Will Beback  talk  12:21, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Gosh... Lets call these people researchers, with legitimate and in many case outstanding credentials in their fields. Devotees implies a particular kind of allegiance and is a personal judgement which we should not and cannot make. We have policies and guidelines that dictate what and how we use sources, so I'm not sure what point/points you are making. Could you clarify, please. (olive (talk) 15:12, 13 July 2010 (UTC))
The problem with that argument is that the policies and guidelines specify that the sources we rely on be not only secondary but independent, or, as in the excerpt TimidGuy quoted above from WP:NPOV, "disinterested," so the degree to which researchers or commentators are connected to TM is very much a policy-related question. "Devotees" is perhaps too strong a label, but the label is immaterial; it's the connection with TM, however characterized, that is at issue here and that must be pointed out if our readers are to get an accurate picture of this research. Will, by counting up the sources himself, is simply confirming the assertion by sources that most of the touted research is done by TM-connected researchers. Woonpton (talk) 16:32, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Woopton. Perhaps Will could also add a comment. What we have to go on in terms of sources are the policies and guidelines. Peer reviewed research published in reputable publications is what we have to go on. Such publications are vetted by scholarly peers. That's what we go on. If we need to go to, secondary sources, that is another consideration. "Disinterested" is a judgment call we don't make. Most researchers are "interested" in what they do. Peer review as a process takes care of any concerns we as Wikipedia editors might have as to "interest". I guess I'm not clear as to why this list has become apart of this discussion, that is, as to what point is being made. (olive (talk) 18:34, 13 July 2010 (UTC))

I used the term "devotees" because that's the term used by the Wall Street Journal:
  • Maharishi's followers cite more than 500 scientific studies as proof of the rehabilitative benefits of TM, but they were mostly conducted by TM devotees whose objectivity is questioned.
To which Orme Johnson responded:
  • Your April 17 page-one article "For $1,500 a Head Maharishi Promises Mellower Inmates," on the use of Transcendental Meditation in prisons stated that the 500 studies of TM were "mostly conducted by TM devotees." In fact, these studies were conducted in more than 160 independent universities and research institutions in 23 countries.
It doesn't take a logician to see the disconnect here. The WSJ referred to who conducted the studies, and OJ responded with a comment about where the studies were conducted. While denying the general assertion, he does not deny the specific claim that most of the studies were conducted by devotees of TM.
As for the list I posted, I notice that many of the studies where I was unable to find a connection are from the 1970s, or from foreign countries where it's harder to trace the affiliations of the researchers. That leads me to believe that there are probably relevant affiliations which I missed. Also, it points to a surge of interest in TM in the 1970s among the unaffiliated scientific community, which may have tapered off in subsequent decades. I don't think the list should have any direct effect on our editing, but there has been an undercurrent in the editing and the discussions here that the assertions of affiliations or conflicts of interest are not grounded in reality, or are discredited by the fact that they studies have supposedly been conducted in 200 institutions. That's simply incorrect. If anyone sees any mistakes or omissions in the list feel free to correct them.
Note also that this list just includes the 341 studies that are published in "independent peer-reviewed journals or other edited scientific publications". I presume that means there are at least 260 studies which were either unpublished or were published in unreviewed or unedited journals. I'd guess that the proportion of those studies conducted by devotees is even higher.
Getting back to the article, does anyone know what is meant by "edited scientific publications". In the context, it appears they are not peer reviewed. Could that refer to publications like Scientific American?   Will Beback  talk  21:06, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
FYI - I did some more research and the number of papers written entirely by unaffiliated persons appears to be 80 out of the 341, or about 23%.   Will Beback  talk  00:18, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── After stepping away from this article for some time, though I continued to observe the updates, I'm very return to editing. Less glad, however, to see that TG and Olive continue to use WP policy as a bludgeon to preserve their decidedly non-objective, friendly view of TM. For the record, and with a good faith that presumes they are both capable of change, I'll state that I find their continued involvement in this page troubling -- from what I recall, aren't both devotees themselves, or otherwise affiliated? I've called their objectivity and disinterestedness into question before, and I'll do so again now. As for the edits under discussion in this section. I'd like to second Will's point that there has been an undercurrent of opposition in the editorial discussion here anytime we have examined the affiliation of authors conducting research into TM. I am gratified that Will has made a careful study of the available sources, and determined that 80 or 341 studies published were authored by persons unaffiliated with TM. Since, as Olive confirmed above, TM is not a wholly scientific enterprise, it would seem relevant to state that a great number of researchers in this area are affiliated, either as practitioners or institutionally, with TM. Would anyone like to propose language for the inclusion of this statistic? Civilizeme (talk) 19:33, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

  • To all parties, just a reminder to please limit your comments to the content and avoid making comments about the behavior of other editors.[80] Thanks! -- KeithbobTalk 20:08, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I see that there has been recent ArbCom activity on the question of neutrality on this page [81]; I'll take my time in processing all that! Thanks for the heads-up, Keith. Civilizeme (talk) 20:24, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
If you mean the statistic that Will generated as a point of information, that 80 of the 341 published studies were conducted by unaffiliated researchers, that statistic could not be included, so there's no use in proposing language for its inclusion. We need to use, or paraphrase closely, language from reliable sources. Will quoted a source above that used the word "devotees," and BTW I apologize for objecting to the word when I wasn't aware that the word came directly from the source. I should have known that Will wouldn't use a word he didn't have a reliable source for, but olive objected to it so strenuously I was momentarily confused. If the source says devotees, that's what we should say. Woonpton (talk) 20:05, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't Will's information be a neutral compression of a large body of information which itself is sourced reliably? I presume he identified the affiliation of researchers using reliable sources. I have no objection to using the term "devotees," if quoted as in the source.Civilizeme (talk) 20:21, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Even though we have multiple secondary sources that refer to the connections of the study authors to TM, I don't think that WP policies would allow us to use original research to provide a specific number. The most direct way that we could use that list might be as the basis for an annotated bibliography of TM research in which we identify the various affiliations of the authors. That'd be a lot of work. Meantime, it's just a background source for us to keep in mind as we discuss and edit the article.   Will Beback  talk  20:29, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Will here that we need to be careful to not present OR in the area of scientific studies. If we can find reliable secondary sources that say that 80 of the 341 published studies were conducted by unaffiliated researchers, then we can use those to compose some text. --BwB (talk) 09:34, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
We have at least three sources that say the majority of the studies have been conducted by "devotees" or people with connections to the movement. That part isn't original research. Now, if anyone can find a list of the 200 institutions and 33 countries where these 600 studies are supposed to have been conducted, I'd be quite curious. My suspicion is that those numbers refers to the affiliations of co-authors rather than the actual sites of the research, but that's just a guess. While the number of studies is often used to promote TM-related enterprises, the details are left out.   Will Beback  talk  10:25, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to say again, a source is just that, and its not necessarily truth or accurate. Call these researchers here anything you want as long as its civil, but lets not confuse what the press says with reality, and lets not confuse what we use to create an article with reality. One of the reasons NPOV is a cornerstone is because only with a cross section of sources does the reader get a neutral sense of what has been gathered into sources. That cross section is not truth, its verified and verifiable. While one person may be called an idiot in a source, another source may call the same person a genius. Neither is necessarily true, but both can be verified. (olive (talk) 17:58, 15 July 2010 (UTC))
Not all sources are the same. For example, we might find a source that says MUM is in Fairfield, Connecticut. Do we add that "verifiable" information to an article? The assertions of some sources can be verified, which enhances their value. Other sources make claims that can't be independently verified, so we rely entirely on the author and publisher. Getting back to the origin of this thread, we have some sources who say that the majority of papers have been written with the participation of TM insiders. As a "balancing point" to that, an editor sought to add the non-sequitor claim that the research has been conducted in over 200 institutions and 30 countries. We can easily see that the other sources are correct, but we can't make the same verification of the so-called rebuttal, which isn't really a rebuttal at all. "Jones says most vehicles are green, but Smith says that hundreds are sedans." The claim that TM research has been conducted at over 200 institutions in over 30 countries has been repeated dozens of times, with minor changes. What are the institutions? Does anyone have any idea?   Will Beback  talk  20:23, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Nothing like writing a long comment, looking over it, editing it, inputting it, and then forgetting to save. Which is what I must have done yesterday because my latest pearls of wisdom are nowhere to be seen. But the jist of it was that we are vehemently arguing a relatively minor point. TG simply said that there is a source arguing that many studies have been conducted at independent institutions. The statement is properly sourced. The opposite POV is well represented. I do not see that we need to verify the exactness, or lack thereof of either POV, they are sourced. The statement, harmless in of itself, does not warrant removal, in my view.--Luke Warmwater101 (talk) 14:25, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I don't see this discussion going anywhere and I'm not sure its productive. It may require outside input via a noticeboard or meditation to be resolved.-- KeithbobTalk 15:17, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree Kbob that mediation may be needed. I would also note that in the past I have asked for editors to consider accuracy in looking at sources as a important factor, but was either ignored or criticized for that position. I'll keep Will's comment in mind as we go forward.(olive (talk) 19:18, 16 July 2010 (UTC))

You are probably right, but there is something that bothers me, this is a relatively minor point and yet it seems we cannot agree, even on this. If we have to get outside input, so be it, but it's a bit disappointing. Also true, sources are important, in fact it's one of the few standards we do have and we can go by. --Luke Warmwater101 (talk) 20:34, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Wait a sec - are you guys actually suggesting that we restore the material TG added, which nearly duplicates text already quoted in the section, and which, in the source, is not used to rebut the assertion being made about the affiliations of the researchers?   Will Beback  talk  22:28, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
My comments are general. Theres' a lot of ideas being tossed around. Where do you see I support using redundant content? if you see it let me know, I'll be happy to strike it as a comment that was misunderstood.(olive (talk) 18:43, 21 July 2010 (UTC))
BTW, In case editors here aren't aware, Schneider's view is now included in the first sentence:
  • Leading individuals and organizations associated with TM cite the existence of many studies, "more than 600 published research studies, conducted at over 200 independent research institutions in 33 countries",[151] to support TM-related concepts.[152][153] The quantity of studies have been cited to support the political programs of the Natural Law Party,[154][155] the tax status of a TM institution,[156] the use of TM to rehabilitate prisoners,[157] the teaching of TM in schools,[158] the issuance of bonds to finance the movement,[159] as proof that TM is a science rather than a religion,[160], to show the efficacy of the Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health,[122] and as a reason to practice TM itself.[161]
So his view hasn't been discarded.   Will Beback  talk  00:01, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
To Olive and Luke -- My duplication of the point already made in the first sentence regarding 200 institutions was inadvertent. Once I realized my mistake, I disagreed with Will regarding its location. But then Will sent me the WSJ letter in which David OJ makes the same point, so I added a few words to OJ's rebuttal. So it seems like the point is now sufficiently made in this section, though I continue to disagree with the use of newspapers as sources, and with having two separate sections in the article on research quality. Will, regarding your representation of Schneider in the first paragraph, I feel like that's another instance of original research -- of you adding your own observation to this article. I don't think it's appropriate to say that Schneider is making that statement to "show the efficacy of Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health." The source is a research review. The whole review is characterizing research on Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health. Schneider is giving the info about the number of institutions as background info on this research. I feel like all of these are your own observations, including the very first word "Leading." TimidGuy (talk) 11:10, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Tony Nader, John Hagelin, Girish Varma, David Leffler, the Maharishi Foundation, Bob Roth, Stichting Maharishi , Ashley Deans, MUM, Natural Law Party, Orme Johnson - is there anyone here who wants to argue that these are not among the leading individuals and organizations in the movement? As for the summary of Schneider's assertion, here's what he says:

  • Over the last 30 years, hundreds of scientific studies on Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care treatment and prevention modalities have come from researchers in >200 research institutions and universities in three dozen countries around the world.21-25

Which we summarize as:

  • The quantity of studies have been cited ... to show the efficacy of the Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health,...'

I think that is correct. He is saying that hundreds of studies, apparently the same set as being discussed by others, have been conducted on MVAH, which we know includes TM etc.   Will Beback  talk  11:32, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Study by Smith

This addition by Fladrif is problematic for a number of reasons.[82] It reports the results of an individual study (no therapeutic effect) done in 1976, a violation of MEDRS. (Please do let me know if we are now going to start adding individual studies to the article.) Second, the source doesn't accurately characterize the study, which looked specifically at anxiety and found that "Results show 6 mo of TM and PSI to be equally effective" in reducing anxiety. Third, the study wasn't properly double blinded, according to AHRQ, which didn't find a single controlled study to be properly blinded, and Smith's was one of the ones they looked at. If we hold this study out as an example of double blinding, then we should probably also mention the AHRQ evaluation of it. TimidGuy (talk) 11:05, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Actually, the results aren't that important, and I have no problem with removing the parenthetical. The salient point is that here was a study of TM 35 years ago that used a placebo / control group, and the source indicates that there were other such studies. As I understand it, the control group approach for the study was designed to address the fact that anyone learning TM is taught, as part of the standard teaching procedure, that it will have, and they can expect to experience a variety of beneficial effects. The studies are then trying to measure to what extent these effects are experienced or realized. So, how do you control for the possibility that the results measured from the group so instructed is nothing more than a placebo or expectation effect? Smith's solution was to instruct the control group to simply sit quietly for 20 minutes twice a day, and that by doing so, it will have, and they can expect to experience, the same beneficial effects as the TM group was being told about. So, both groups are holding Dumbo's feather. The study concluded that there was no difference between the two groups in reducing anxiety. Sitting quietly twice a day with the expectation that it will reduce anxiety has the same effect as practicing TM. Is that really double-blinding? I can see the argument that it isn't really. The TM group clearly knows they are being taught TM. But, it strikes me as a rather obvious way to create a control group that addresses the placebo effect, so claiming that it is impossible to study TM with a control group is a dubious proposition at best. Fladrif (talk) 13:57, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Fladrif, for making that change. I'd really enjoy discussing further these points about blinding, but don't have the time. I do think we should have something to indicate the AHRQ view of the double blinding in this study so that the reader doesn't assume it was double blinded in the usual sense. TimidGuy (talk) 11:14, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Study by Smith

This addition by Fladrif is problematic for a number of reasons.[83] It reports the results of an individual study (no therapeutic effect) done in 1976, a violation of MEDRS. (Please do let me know if we are now going to start adding individual studies to the article.) Second, the source doesn't accurately characterize the study, which looked specifically at anxiety and found that "Results show 6 mo of TM and PSI to be equally effective" in reducing anxiety. Third, the study wasn't properly double blinded, according to AHRQ, which didn't find a single controlled study to be properly blinded, and Smith's was one of the ones they looked at. If we hold this study out as an example of double blinding, then we should probably also mention the AHRQ evaluation of it. TimidGuy (talk) 11:05, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Actually, the results aren't that important, and I have no problem with removing the parenthetical. The salient point is that here was a study of TM 35 years ago that used a placebo / control group, and the source indicates that there were other such studies. As I understand it, the control group approach for the study was designed to address the fact that anyone learning TM is taught, as part of the standard teaching procedure, that it will have, and they can expect to experience a variety of beneficial effects. The studies are then trying to measure to what extent these effects are experienced or realized. So, how do you control for the possibility that the results measured from the group so instructed is nothing more than a placebo or expectation effect? Smith's solution was to instruct the control group to simply sit quietly for 20 minutes twice a day, and that by doing so, it will have, and they can expect to experience, the same beneficial effects as the TM group was being told about. So, both groups are holding Dumbo's feather. The study concluded that there was no difference between the two groups in reducing anxiety. Sitting quietly twice a day with the expectation that it will reduce anxiety has the same effect as practicing TM. Is that really double-blinding? I can see the argument that it isn't really. The TM group clearly knows they are being taught TM. But, it strikes me as a rather obvious way to create a control group that addresses the placebo effect, so claiming that it is impossible to study TM with a control group is a dubious proposition at best. Fladrif (talk) 13:57, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Fladrif, for making that change. I'd really enjoy discussing further these points about blinding, but don't have the time. I do think we should have something to indicate the AHRQ view of the double blinding in this study so that the reader doesn't assume it was double blinded in the usual sense. TimidGuy (talk) 11:14, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Outdated information on SCI

I'm just noticing that there's some outdated information on SCI. MUM no longer offers a PhD in SCI. Undergraduate students no longer take SCI at MUM. There is no Maharishi European Research University in Switzerland. Subjects are no longer taught with reference to SCI. The term "creative intelligence" is rarely used. Maharishi Vedic Science has replaced the Science of Creative Intelligence. I see that the sources for this information are dated. TimidGuy (talk) 11:14, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Sources?   Will Beback  talk  11:31, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I only know what I read. There was a MERU in Switzerland as recently as March 2006, judging by this website.[84] Meanwhile, there's a September 2006 source that reports a MERU in Vlodrop. Did it move or have there been two MERUs? 12:29, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
I confess to being baffled by claims like this, just as in the case of the discussion of rounding above. It is not useful to claim that information in the article or that sources are outdated without explicitly stating (i) how, and in what respect the information is claimed to be incorrect or outdated, and (ii) providing sources. Current, official TM websites actively promote SCI. [85][86][87][88][89][90][91] To claim that "Maharishi Vedic Science" has replaced SCI is an extraordinary claim in light of the fact that SCI is currently being used and was the core of the educational program and required for all students at MUM throughout its existence. [92] MUM's current website states the raison d'etre of MUM: "Maharishi announced his intention to create a university whose entire curriculum would incorporate the Science of Creative Intelligence. Its name would be Maharishi International University."[93]
Are we to accept on faith that this has now all been assigned to the dustbin? What do you mean by "replaced"? Is is a new name for the same thing or something completely different? Cryptic and unspported claims, like "It's different, but I can't tell you how or why because it's a secret" are useless to us as editors and counter-productive to collaboration. Verifiable, reliable sources, not individual editor opinions, judgments and claims of personal knowledge are what we need here. Fladrif (talk) 13:33, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
The current MUM web site lists all the undergrad, MA and Ph.D. programs on the web page [94]. I do not see ant degrees in SCI currently on offer. --BwB (talk) 18:53, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
On the issue of the Ph.D.s, we can finesse the issue by changing "are awarded" to "have been awarded". That's still consistent with sources, etc. As for the rest, we need explicit sources not personal research.   Will Beback  talk  20:46, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Will. Note that there is also no longer an undergraduate course in SCI and it's no longer a required course for every student. There is no undergraduate course in the Science of Creative Intelligence.[95]. I'll adjust that too. TimidGuy (talk) 10:42, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
The problem with that edit is you deleted the fact that MUM used to require the class, yet you left the source which said so. Could you please restore the fact that, at least in the past, MUM students have been required to view the 33-tape SCI lecture series? There are more than one source for this, if we need to further establish it as a fact.   Will Beback  talk  11:10, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't understand why we've added a reference to "Science and Technology of Consciousness" to the SCI section. What it is the relationship, if any? Regarding SCI at MUM, I have a student handbook from 2003 which says that it was a requirement for all students, so the change is apparently since then. The text should reflect that it was a previous requirement. An undated (circa 1999) paper by Samuel Boothby says: "For the past 26 years, all students who have attended M.U.M. take the 33 Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI) lessons as their first course."[96] There are other sources as well for it having been a general requirement in the past.   Will Beback  talk  01:21, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
I am equally baffled, particularly since no-one had deigned to answer the questions which I posed above. If we are to take as true that MUM has abandoned 30+ years of tradition that required all incoming freshmen to take the 33-lecture SCI course, and that taught all subjects as aspects of SCI, we need sources to verify this. On top of this, it would be helpful to those of us who are not TM and MUM insiders to have an explanation, even if not sourced, as to when and why MUM would make such a sea change in its approach. If, on the other hand, this is just a change of nomenclature, acknowledging and explaining that would make this all a lot more understandable. Fladrif (talk) 01:36, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
Per WP:VERIFIABLE "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material". The definitive source for whether SCI is being taught now is the university handbook. If its not there, not up to us to say it is now being taught. I don't see any problem with a statement something like," SCI was taught until such and such a date for incoming students", or something like that as long as its sourced, but we do want to be accurate don't we.(olive (talk) 02:54, 13 June 2010 (UTC))
In this case the handbooks are primary sources, and it's a bit dicey to use one to contradict a reliable secondary source. We have multiple sources which says it was a requirement, including one that says it was in place for at least 26 years. We have a 2003 handbook which includes the requirement. We have no source that gives a date for the end of the requirement. I'm inclined to remove the STC mention, and to alter the text to read something like, "For most of its history, MUM required all students to ..., but by 2009 it was only required of graduate students. " Is that celar enough for everyone?   Will Beback  talk  03:19, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
Text proposed by Will is OK for me if supported by reliable sources. --BwB (talk) 06:55, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
The "...but by 2009, it was only required of graduate students" isn't reliably sourced, for the reasons stated by Will above. The rest of it is fine, leaving open whether or not, and when, the change was made. Again, I have seen no answer to my questions on this issue.Fladrif (talk) 14:56, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
What we can say to avoid OR is something," like SCI was taught at MUM until....From (date) to (date) it (or SCI) is taught only to graduate students. The MUM handbook would be be an appropriate source for information on what is being taught at MUM.(olive (talk) 17:34, 13 June 2010 (UTC))
And to answer Flad's question. I'm not party to why a university changes its courses, but you could always call the admissions office and ask. The admissions office does answer such questions I believe, so if there was a public answer, I'm sure they'll be happy to tell you. At the same time, universities adjust curricula all of the time, and those are internal, academic situations and decisions that may be inappropriate to discuss with those outside the university.(olive (talk) 17:38, 13 June 2010 (UTC))
That doesn't answer my question. For 30+ years, all incoming freshmen were required, as their first course, to take the 33-lecture SCI course. For 30+ years all subjects were taught as aspects of SCI, and to do so was the founding purpose of MIU. That is what all our sources say, and is confirmed by official MUM publications. According to TG, neither is the case any longer. That strikes me, if true, as an astounding, fundamental change in educational philosophy and approach. It is not like some small college decided to drop Ancient Greek and start offering Mandarin Chinese - though even that is likely to make the local paper and be hotly debated in the Alumni Association newsletter, with the Administration issuing an official explanation and statement. It made the news, and official statements and explanations were issued, and controversies aired, every time a private college or university dropped mandatory chapel.When colleges and univesities make fundamental changes in their curriculum - like going to or abandoning a "Great Books" curriculum - they always explain publicly what they're doing and why: certaily to their important constituencies: students, faculty, alumni, donors - and the changes more often than not become matters of more general news reportage and controversy. I can think of dozens, and can readily find hundreds and thousands of examples. No-one would seriously contend that such a change, large or small, even at a school as small as MUM, is confidential and not to be discussed outside the university. That none of the editors who are actually in a position to say from personal knowledge why or even when this supposedly happened, is truly curious. That silence and intimations of confidentiality lead me to question the claim even more than the inability to produce verifiable reliable sources. Fladrif (talk) 19:37, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Oh for heaven's sake, Fladrif, call the university if you want an answer... I have no idea what the situation is, and have no clue if any other editor does....Don't make a mountain out of a molehill...sheesh... And it didn't say the situation was confidential, I said it might be ....I don't see the local press panting at the university gates looking for a story on the SCI. To assume an editor is in position to know this assumption. Good Grief ... Much ado about nothing.(olive (talk) 19:53, 13 June 2010 (UTC))

Further. Per the sources which is what this is about...If the handbook says no SCI for undergraduate students, we have to go with that, and if we have sources that say there was SCI we can use that too...Its simple.(olive (talk) 20:01, 13 June 2010 (UTC))

While Olive may not know about this changeover, apparently TimidGuy does know so when he returns maybe he can answer Fladrif's questions. As for which sources are best, the usual standard is that secondary sources are preferable. However the handbook would seem sufficient for the simple issue of whether SCI is a current requirement for undergraduates.   Will Beback  talk  21:16, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
Will's proposal sounds like the simplest and most practical one to me. A quick look on MUM's General Degree Requirements web pages for Master's degrees [97], Ph.D. degrees [98] and Bachelor degrees [99] shows that while the first two require students to take the 33 Lesson SCI course, the third one does not. Finding a secondary source with the same information just does not seem practical.--Luke Warmwater101 (talk) 00:28, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
We have secondary sources that discuss SCI being an undergraduate requirement. There's no reasons why we shouldn't be able to find a secondary source for this this, yet none seems to exist. It's a bit odd that this change was made without any kind of announcement or explanation. However we've cited the MUM Handbook before, so I don't think there's a sufficient reasons to avoid using it in this case. I don't here anyone defending the addition of "Science and Technology of Consciousness" to this section, so I assume that removing it won't be controversial.   Will Beback  talk  01:43, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Another one:
  • . Without proper intellectual understanding, experience of pure consciousness can be misunderstood, as it has been numerous times throughout history. At Maharishi University of Management, this requirement is satisfied by all students taking a course in the Science of Creative Intelligence®—the science of consciousness—as their first course at the University.
    • "Consciousness-Based(SM) Education: A Future of Higher Education in the New Millennium" by James D. Grant, in The University in Transformation: Global Perspectives on the Futures of the University published by Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000.
So there are a number of secondary sources that have said it is a requirement, and only one primary source which says it is no longer one.   Will Beback  talk  04:54, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
More recently, Complete Book of Colleges, 2007 Edition By Princeton Review [100] includes the undergraduate requirement. All new students take a foundation course, "The Science of Creative Intelligence". I believe it was published in 2006.   Will Beback  talk  05:30, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
We should go by the University catalog. It was changed about two or three years ago. There is no more definitive source than the catalog. TimidGuy (talk) 15:34, 14 June 2010 (UTC) Regarding Fladrif's question, SCI principles are still used, but the more general term Maharishi Vedic Science has replaced SCI for the most part. TimidGuy (talk) 15:39, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
TG, to repeat what I think was one of Fladrif's questions: Was this significant change made without any announcement? Was the omission from the handbook the first that anyone knew of this change? Since MIU was founded to teach and investigate SCI, and since this was the core curricula for over 30 years, it seems remarkable if there were no comments or discussions when that curriculum was dropped. Did it coincide with the Maharishi's death?   Will Beback  talk  20:18, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

Whether we define the catalogue as a primary source is not really the issue so much as we need to be as accurate as we can. Primary sources are to be used with care because they do not necessarily have the oversight conditions to be accurate. All the university articles I looked at use some sources that they themselves generate, and we have to assume the university wil be accurate about itself. There's really no other way to get updated information on certain aspects of the institution. As long as schools and universities are included in Wikipedia the articles will have to have to a combination of sources. Notability will have to be established by secondary sources but some information significant to an understanding of the institution will probably have to be based on content generated by the instituion. This essay fro WP:UINGUIDE says it well:

Special care is required for citing self-published sources, such as information about a college/university published by the college/university itself: the cited information must be authentic, not be self-serving (see Neutral point of view), and not involve claims about third parties. Self-published sources cannot comprise the majority of an article's citations. Student-published college newspapers and university-published press releases are generally reliable sources for verifying information, however, these sources cannot be used to establish encyclopedic notability. Coverage by mainstream news organizations should always be preferred over press releases by a college or university's news office and stories in the student newspaper.

However, colleges and universities do publish a wide variety of important and authoritative information that should be included in any article. The Common Data Set, a fact book/almanac, President's reports, course catalogs, and/or faculty handbooks are excellent and authoritative sources of information on the college or university and can commonly be found on the websites for the provost, registrar, or institutional research office. A university's library or archives office may have a list of published articles or books about the university's history that can be used as reliable sources as well. (olive (talk) 17:24, 14 June 2010 (UTC))

"Course catalogues... are excellent and authoritative sources of information on the college or university and can commonly be found on the websites for the provost, registrar, or institutional research office." This is exactly the case here, we have a course catalogue on line. That should be it. I don't understand the need for a secondary source in this case or all these questions about announcements. Do University commonly send out announcements when they change their course catalogues or course requirements? I'll shut up now as I feel I am beating this already dead horse well into the ground. --Luke Warmwater101 (talk) 04:25, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Secondary sources are usually preferable to primary sources like a college handbook, but we can still use those sparingly. I've gone ahead made the change proposed above.   Will Beback  talk  06:23, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Someone added a citation request for this sentence in the intro:

  • The Maharishi developed the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI), a system of theoretical principles to underlie his meditation technique.

This assertion does not seem controversial, and is covered in greater details, with cites, in the SCI section. We don't need to cite every sentence in the article, especially not in the intro. Why was this tag added? If there's no reason I'll remove it.   Will Beback  talk  01:21, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Seeing no response, I've removed the tag.   Will Beback  talk  12:40, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Comment on blood pressure in the lead

The report states on page 4:

We summarized the evidence from RCTs and NRCTs on the effects of meditation practices

for the three most studied clinical conditions identified in the scientific literature: hypertension (27 trials), other cardiovascular diseases (21 trials), and substance abuse disorders (17 trials). A few studies of overall poor methodological quality were available for each comparison in the meta-analyses, most of which reported nonsignificant results. TM® had no advantage over health education to improve measures of systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure, body weight, heart rate, stress, anger, self-efficacy, cholesterol, dietary intake, and level of

physical activity in hypertensive patients

Why have we removed comments regarding this from the lead? A comparison to health education seems more appropriate a conclusion than to no control:

TM® (no control)

Blood pressure. Three before-and-after studies295,311,319 totaling 58 participants provided data on the effect of TM® on blood pressure (mm Hg) in hypertensive populations (Figure 32). The combined estimate of changes in SBP indicated a statistically and clinically significant improvement (reduction) favoring TM® (change from baseline = -10.95; 95% CI, -17.52 to - 4.39). There was substantial heterogeneity in the study results (p = 0.16; I2 = 64.1 percent). The combined estimate of changes in DBP also indicated a statistically and clinically significant improvement (reduction) favoring TM® (change from baseline = -6.86; 95% CI, - 169 10.54 to -3.19). There was moderate heterogeneity in the study results for DBP (p = 0.16; I2 = 46.3 percent). All three studies were of low methodological quality; moreover, the potential biases inherent in the before-and-after design may be responsible for the variability of results. Similar interventions, durations (not reported by Benson311), and study populations were used in the three studies. Though all three studies examined hypertensive patients, the baseline measures suggest that the DBP of participants in the Benson311 study (mean DBP 94 ± 9 mm Hg) was

lower upon entrance to the trial than the other two studies (minimum 90 mm Hg).

The conclusions regarding the comparison to health education was based on 337 participants while the data on no control was based on 58.

We could change it to "While TM lead to blood pressure improved in uncontrolled trials it made no significant difference when compared to health education". But I still thing what I have suggested above in the RfC is better.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:55, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

It is also critical that, if any mention is made of supposedly favorable findings of the AHRQ meta-analyisis as to TM, that prominent mention is made that those findings are based on what the analysis characterized as studies of poor quality. To do otherwise is grossly mispresentative of the study. Fladrif (talk) 23:06, 31 July 2010 (UTC)
@Doc James, I know that the sentence "TM® had no advantage over health education ..." is in the AHRQ report. I also suspect that this sentence represents particularly well your view on the research on TM. However, we cannot pick any sentence we like in a reliable source and include it in the article, especially not in the Intro. In the Intro, we must make sure that we write the sentence that is the most representative of all relevant reliable sources. Otherwise, it could become cherry picking. This sentence does not have enough weight (in the relevant sources) to be included in the Intro for two reasons.
First, the most important conclusion in the report prepared for the AHRQ was already included. This conclusion is that [in accordance with a well established scale in clinical research] most of the studies had a poor methodology and it is difficult to draw conclusions. The sentence that you picked in the report adds nothing to this conclusion. It says less. It can be trivially deduced from it, as you actually pointed out to me. Certainly, this sentence can be more easily interpreted against TM and it seems to correspond to your view. We cannot pick a sentence in a source, which adds nothing to its main conclusion, just because it corresponds to our POV.
Second, we can further explain the small weight of the picked sentence. In principle, it could be that the community of experts in the area feel that this particular sentence is important to mention because it is easier to interpret it against TM, just the way you want, or for some other reason. Fortunately, the same meta-analysis was also published in a peer-reviewed journal independent of the AHRQ. The second part of the argument is that, if this particular sentence was as important for the community of experts in the area as it seems to be for you, it would also appear in this paper, which considered the exact same meta-analysis, had the same Ph.D. authors, except one, and three additional Ph.D authors. It's the same meta-analysis prepared for the AHRQ, but sent to an independent journal, not to the AHRQ. This independent paper contains nothing about Transcendental Meditation Vs other techniques. So, though I am sure it is important for some experts in the area, this sentence is not a consensus, only a non impartial interpretation of some experts, which we can only see in the reports prepared for the AHRQ.
Don't misinterpret me. I am an inclusionist. I am sure we can find a way to include it in the remainder of the article, but we will need to provide the proper context and it is not possible in the Intro. We want to include all notable viewpoints, but we want to make sure that they are properly attributed. You don't have a case to support that it is a consensus amongst all the authors, reviewers and editors that considered the meta-analysis. Edith Sirius Lee (talk) 02:30, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Thus the request for comment above... To clarify the same meta analysis was NOT published in any other journal as claimed above. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:56, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
The information is in the abstract. They must have combined the outcomes of the various meta-analyses and determined that there was an overall significant reduction in blood pressure. TimidGuy (talk) 10:41, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Do you have a quote from the text that supports your opinion? I agree that the meta analysis found improved blood pressure compared to progressive muscle relaxation and compared to no control however did not for health education. It also found that TM had no advantage over health education to improve measures of body weight, heart rate, stress, anger, self-efficacy, cholesterol, dietary intake, and level of physical activity in hypertensive patients. All these conclusion are based on poor quality evidence involving small numbers of people.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 11:20, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
The sentence is in the summary of the results of the structured abstract. It says:

Meta-analyses based on low-quality studies and small numbers of hypertensive participants showed that TM®, Qi Gong and Zen Buddhist meditation significantly reduced blood pressure.

This summary of the results is for all the topics covered in the report. Your sentence "TM has no advantage over health education ..." is not in this summary. It appears in the section Topic III. If your TM vs health education sentence had the same weight, it would have been in the main summary together with the other sentence. This is a third argument (in addition to the two arguments that I presented above) that shows that your sentence has low weight. If any sentence about blood pressure should appear in the Intro, it is the one that says that Meta-analyses showed that TM significantly reduced blood pressure. It is the only statement about TM that we can find in the main summary of the result. However, I do agree that the main conclusion of this report is certainly not that TM reduced blood pressure. In fact, the statement begins by saying that the Meta-analyses are of low-quality, etc. We cannot attribute this statement to AHRQ. Just to be clear, we could rephrase it this way:
The previous meta-analyses, which showed that TM®, Qi Gong and Zen Buddhist meditation significantly reduced blood pressure, were based on low-quality studies and small numbers of hypertensive participants.
Also, here is a sentence from the conclusion in the structured abstract
Firm conclusions on the effects of meditation practices in healthcare cannot be drawn based on the available evidence. Future research on meditation practices must be more rigorous in the design and execution of studies and in the analysis and reporting of results.
The main conclusion of this report and the way it describes the blood pressure studies in its summary of the results is not pro-TM at all. However, it is the POV of the source. There are other sources with different POVs. Our job is to represent fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias, all significant POVs that have been published by reliable sources. In particular, the idea is not to make a synthesis of all POVs. We cannot also claim that a POV is the POV of the community at large because we believe that two or three secondary sources are representative of this community when there is a different POV that is also published in many reliable secondary sources. Edith Sirius Lee (talk) 16:40, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
That is from the abstract not the summary. I have previously provided the content of the summary which is reflected in the RfC above. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:24, 3 August 2010 (UTC)