I mentioned earlier my perception that the periods 
of rancor on FFL run in cycles. IMO the event that 
"triggers" each cycle is pretty obvious -- either 
Maharishi says/does something really dumb, or the 
TM movement says/does something really dumb. This 
happens frequently enough these days that FFL 
pretty much *stays* a war zone. :-)

It's fascinating to me that the posters whose 
vitriol is triggered by these really dumb stunts 
don't realize that this is the catalyst that 
triggers them. They think that their reactions
are triggered by "anti-TMers" gloating about or, 
even worse in their eyes, laughing at each dumb 
stunt. 

I honestly believe that when these folks launch 
into one of their "Gotta defend Maharishi and his 
ideas to the death" periods, they're not really 
trying to convince most of us in the FFL "audience" 
how "right" they are to still believe in the TMO 
and in Maharishi. They're trying to convince 
*themselves*. (Interestingly, even though he takes 
a lot of flack here, the only person I've seen to 
comment on this phenomenon is Shemp; others have 
been so seduced by the arguments themselves that 
they've actually bought into the idea that the 
TBs are trying to convince the "non-believers.")

The hard-core TBs on Fairfield Life are not stupid 
people. *They* see the dumb stunts as dumb stunts, 
too. But IMO they can't admit to that, because they 
think that if they do they're committing some kind 
of sin. I know that my use of the word "sin" sounds 
harsh or overly dramatic, but I honestly think that's 
what is happening. *They* have doubts, too, but they 
can't admit the doubts to others -- or even to 
themselves -- because they have bought into the TM 
dogma that says doubt is bad, and indicates that 
there is something *wrong* with the doubter. 

Just look at the phenomenon and keep in mind the 
following scenario. There's a cafe where the 
majority of "regulars" once belonged to an organiz-
ation that declared that it knew the absolute Truth 
about almost everything, that an absolute belief in 
this Truth was necessary for continued participation 
in the organization, and that any contact with other 
spiritual groups was somehow "contagious," and was 
therefore dangerous. The vast majority of these people 
at the cafe have, over time, realized that none of 
these things were true, much less Truth, and that 
they are better served in their personal lives by 
making their own decisions, as adults, and living 
with the repercussions of those decisions. The very 
credo of the cafe, printed in big letters on the 
menus, says that it's a place for people who *DO* 
like to think for themselves.

And in this cafe, every day, pretty much from the 
time the cafe opens in the morning until the time 
it closes at night, there are a few people who one 
has to think of as evangelists for NOT thinking for 
yourself. No matter how they like to color what they
say and do there, 90% of it is to repeat endlessly,
"You guys are wrong and those of us who still 
believe what we were told to believe are right." 

It's really no different than encountering a few 
Jesus zealots who spend all their waking hours at 
a cafe full of agnostics. Every day, literally from 
sunup to the wee hours of the night, these zealots 
spend hours a day trying to convince these free-
thinking agnostics that they're WRONG, and that 
only the True Believers are RIGHT. And all the time,
the person they are really trying to convince is
themselves.

Such people are to be pitied or laughed at, not 
scorned. The problem, if there is one, is not with 
the people who have come to some sense of balance 
about TM, the TMO, and their feelings about both, 
but with the people who believe -- and act -- as if 
there is only one RIGHT way to believe and act. Of 
course the RIGHT way just happens to be *their* way.

IMO their participation here -- and especially the 
compulsive *level* of their participation -- speaks 
for itself. These are people who have bought into 
the "If you have doubts that means by definition 
that there is something WRONG with you" dogma, and 
who talk, talk, talk, talk, and talk some more to 
silence the doubts in their *OWN* minds, so that 
they don't have to admit that they're there. 
They're not really trying to drown out the other 
voices on the forum, they're trying to drown out 
the voices they hear in their own heads.

Ignore them or pity them, as you wish. Because when 
you argue with them, you're helping them, you're 
entering into a kind of codependent relationship 
with them that keeps them talk, talk, talking and 
thus from ever being able to *deal with* their own
doubts. It really doesn't matter in the long run 
whether they deal with these doubts by processing 
them and rejecting them or whether they deal with 
them by processing them and realizing that the doubts 
are valid. The important thing -- for their own 
mental and spiritual health -- is that they actually 
deal with their own doubts themselves. And they'll 
never do this as long as they're talk, talk, talking 
trying to make "the voices in their heads" go away.
 
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