The dangers of Eastern meditation

(public domain)

By Spencer D Gear

The front page of a mental health newsletter was lauding the benefits of meditation. [1]ย  It advocated transcendental meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, concentration, walking and standing, visualisation and affirmation, and mantras and chants. However, the writer wanted to deny any association with Eastern religion, claiming that “stereotyped images” associated meditation with “dark-skinned people of Asian or Oriental descent.”

What are the benefits of meditation?ย  According to the newsletter’s writer, “In reality, meditation is all about relaxation, contentment and awareness. It is all about `stilling the spontaneous activity of the mind.'”

The accolades continued: “Through the deep relaxation that meditation can bring, comes an altered state of awareness. This altered state of awareness can take people from aggressive to tranquil, from fearful to confident, from doubtful to positive and from discontented to understanding.”

If this is the case, people should be flocking in droves to such a panacea. Many are, especially to the new age movement’s techniques. However, does Eastern meditation only lead to mental health? Does an altered state of consciousness only produce tranquility, confidence, a positive attitude and understanding?

Let’s get some facts straight. Meditation is Eastern religion. When Maharishi Mahesh Yogi came to the West with his promotion of transcendental meditation (TM), he made it clear that it was a Hindu religious practice whose purpose was to produce “a legendary substance called Soma in the meditator’s body so the Gods of the Hindu pantheon could be fed and awakened.” [2]

What happened to Carole is just one example, that could be replicated many times over, of how meditation can go wrong — badly wrong! She began hatha yoga lessons and received her mantra, the word of power from Swami Rama.

As he laid his hands on her head, Carole said that “currents of electrical energy began to permeate my head and went down into my body… It was as if a spell had come over me, the bliss that I felt was as if I had been touched by God. The power that had come from his hand, and simply being in his presence, drew me to him irresistibly.” [3]

As the “electrical currents” continued pulsating, she experienced wonderful, powerful forces and energies. Thoughts kept impressing her mind, “Meditate, meditate. I want to speak with you.” Carole said that “it was a miracle. I was communicating with the spirit world. I had found God. ” While sitting in the darkness of her living room, she began to repeat her mantra. “A presence seemed to fill the room. I began to see visions of being one with the universe and the magnetic thoughts were now leaving and I was hearing a voice, which identified itself as Swami Rama, saying he was communicating with me through astral travel.”

Carole explains how the love and flowers turned to disaster. “Within one week, after meditating many hours each day and still in constant communication with this spirit, forces began to come upon me and gave me powers to do yoga postures. I was floating through them, the forces giving me added breath even. . . postures that before would be very painful to do.” [4]

After two weeks of daily meditation, Carole’s world crashed. She “became engulfed in a nightmare of utter dread and terror. Voices which once claimed they were angelic turned threatening, even demonic. She was brutally assaulted, both physically and spiritually. During meditation, in the midst of being violently shaken, she could sense that the very same energy received at initiation, energy which was now felt to be personal, was attempting to remove her life-essence from her physical body.”

In her words, the energy would “literally pull the life from my shell of a body.” She sensed an overwhelming hatred directed toward her, as if “monstrosities of another world were trying to take my very soul from me, inflicting pain beyond endurance, ripping and tearing into the very depths of my being.” [5]

There was nobody to help her. The attack eventually subsided, but there was more to come. Nothing could stop the assaults as she pleaded with the spirits. They ignored her. Her husband was powerless.

Noted neurosurgeon, Dr. C. Norman Shealy, a former Harvard University professor and author of Occult Medicine Can Save Your Life, entered the picture. He was unable to help and referred Carole to spiritist, Dr. Robert Leichtman. Dr. Leichtman admitted that Carole’s situation was not uncommon among followers of Eastern gurus. He told of people dying as a result of similar psychic attacks. But he, too, was unable to help.

After admitting herself to hospital, there was still no relief. When she returned home the attacks continued with incredible torment. “Although she was terrified of death, death was now her desire.” She was wishing to take her own life but was too fearful of dying.

In desperation, she admitted herself to the hospital. Once again, she was placed in a locked ward. She felt that there she would die — alone and in torment.

Carole is alive and well today. She is free from the spirits. Even her psychiatrist is amazed at the miraculous transformation. How did it happen?

Carole attributes both her health and her life to “a living Jesus Christ who delivered her from a desperate plight.” As she reflected on her predicament, Carole “is awed that such terrible destruction could be purchased at the price of a simple, supposedly harmless form of meditation.” [6] It started with a mantra associated with yoga.

Carl was a qualified psychologist with a degree in physics. He had a personal interest in religion and parapsychology and was excited by Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception. He cultivated altered states of consciousness, reincarnation, research and astral travel. Gradually, Carl admitted to himself that a deep alteration was taking place inside of him. After years of research and experience, he was consumed by the forces so evil that he became an incoherent vegetable requiring exorcism and was hospitalised for 11 months. He concluded:

“Solemnly and of my own free will I wish to acknowledge that knowingly and freely I entered into possession by an evil spirit. And, although that spirit came to me under the guise of saving me, perfecting me, helping me to help others, I knew all along it was evil.” [7]

Warning signs are required on cigarette packets.ย  Why shouldn’t people be warned of the dangers of Eastern meditation?


[1] Contact, Issue 10, May 1997, “a monthly Newsletter for people interested in mental health in the Bundaberg [Qld.] district.”
[2] Art Kunkin, “Transcendental Meditation on Trial, Part Two,” Whole Life Monthly, September 1987, 14, 17, quoted in Dave Hunt and T.A. McMahon, America: The Sorcerer’s New Apprentice. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1988, chapter 3.
[3] Carole’s story is told in John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Coming Darkness (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 1993),p. 19f.
[4] Ibid., pp. 20-21.
[5] Ibid., p. 21
[6] Ibid., pp. 22-23. These authors state that the story is “condensed and edited from material sent, May 28, 1981.”
[7] Malachi Martin, Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Living Americans. New York, NY: Bantam, 1979, p. 485, in John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Can You Trust Your Doctor?: The Complete Guide to New Age Medicine and Its Threat to Your Family. Brentwood, Tennessee: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc., 1991, p. 153.


Copyright ยฉ 2007 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 15 October 2015.