Who is that man behind the curtain?
Who is "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi"? He is an incredibly brilliant impostor, and very probably much worse.
"Mahesh" is a personal name. There is nothing spectacular there. However, the "Maharishi" part means (roughly) "Great Seer of Truth." It is absolutely the highest title in Hinduism, which he awarded to himself. The "Yogi" part, implying experience and knowledge of yoga disciplines, is also self-awarded. Both titles are undeserved based on his actual background.
So I just call him "Mahesh."
If you wish to delve into Mahesh's credentials, I recommend reading the five-part article "A Visit to the Shankaracharya"
Contrary to Mahesh's claims, TM is not a revived ancient wisdom (see same article).
Imagine a Catholic monk who was personal assistant to a Pope. Imagine that the Pope dies. Then a couple of years later this assistant canonizes himself a Saint and begins to teach "the revived lost secrets of Catholicism." He declares that "sainthood is easy", and can be attained with 5-8 years of daily "twenty minutes twice a day" practice of a technique involving daily eye-closed mental repetition of the words "Ave Maria."
He claims that he is acting under the inspiration and instructions of the late Pope, who is still actively guiding him. After a few years he realizes that people are "put off" by the spiritual angle, so he begins to market the practice as a "simple natural relaxation technique" and membership soars. Some of those who start by learning a "simple natural relaxation technique" end up by becoming celibate monks and nuns devoting their lives to this mere assistant's teachings.
Well, that's exactly equivalent to what "Maharishi" Mahesh "Yogi" did.
Furthermore, Mahesh appears completely uncaring, perhaps even conscienceless, about the incidence of psychological casualties among his followers. He refuses to warn people that such things may occur. He does not show concern about these human casualties. Based on my own personal experiences, and on the reported experiences of others, Not only is Mahesh a complete fraud, but that he is intentionally or uncaringly destructive as part of quest for personal power over others.
He may be a sociopath . This is not as radical a concept as it sounds. I was told about this possibility by Dr. Margaret Singer, a Professor of Psychology, and a widely recognized researcher of destructive cults, at the University of California at Berkeley.
According to the American Psychiatric Association 3% of the males are sociopathic, and 1% of the females. So as you drive to and from work every day 2% of the other drivers that you see are sociopaths!
A sociopath is someone without a trace of conscience. We don't notice them because clearly the vast majority of this 2% is not getting their kicks from physical violence. Only a minority turn into serial killers and such. The vast majority get their kicks from psychological violence. They satisfy their desires by manipulating and using people, and inflicting grave psychological suffering. And they can be incredibly empathic, in a psychological sense. That is, they can "read" people with frightening accuracy.
They are chameleons in that they can present themselves as whatever sort of person they need to be in order to manipulate and damage the person whom they have targeted. They can be extraordinarily charismatic. Nobody suspects them. Nobody knows what they do except for their victims. The victimization is conducted so that nobody else knows about it. And nobody will believe the victim, because everyone else "knows" what a wonderful person the totally unsuspected sociopath is.
And, since they are totally devoid of conscience, they are absolutely ruthless.
Sociopaths make absolutely ideal cult
leaders. The world of spirituality is full of them because people
don't expect to find predators in that world.