by Revilo P. Oliver
(Liberty Bell, November 1985)
ACCORDING TO the Washington Post (11 September 1985) six men and one woman, all now in their early thirties, have filed suit against a long-haired, long-bearded swami who does business under the name Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, each asking damages of $9,000,000 for physical and mental harm sustained during the ten years or more during which they were such suckers that they were taken in by his spiritual claptrap. All seven were students in colleges in or near Philadelphia in the early 1970s and so ignorant and stupid that they swallowed sucker-bait about “spiritual values” and transferred themselves to a pest hole in Fairfield, Iowa, that is called the Maharishi International University. There they learned the sublime science of “transcendental meditation,” a system of auto-hypnosis that can be guaranteed to produce simpering idiocy. They believed that by paralysing what brains they had they would become “Masters of Creation,” able to transcend the laws of physics not only by using thought waves to bend spoons but by soaring aloft to frolic with the birds and play hide-and-seek among the clouds.
After assiduously practicing frog-leaps for a decade, while keeping their minds stuffed with transcendental garbage, they still had enough glimmerings of thought left to come at last to the conclusion that holiness cannot overcome gravity and that they would never experience the exhilaration of becoming oversized skylarks. From that, they were able to reason to the logical conclusion that they had wasted a large and precious part of their lives. So they are asking damages from the hokum-peddler who, having turned his “university” of mind-addling over to understudies, has, it is said, retired to the security of a luxurious life in Switzerland, enjoying transcendent peace and comfort, far from the brawling of court rooms.
One wishes the plaintiffs well, of course, for their own sake and even more for the sake of society. The Christian News (10 June 1985) reports that a jury in the Federal Court in Portland, Oregon, awarded $2,850,000 to a woman who had been cozened by the particularly malodorous Saviour (Bhagwan) who moved his cosmic copulation parlors from India to Oregon (see Liberty Bell, March 1981; cf. Is there Intelligent Life on Earth?, pp. 24 f.). About the same time, another jury in Oregon awarded $39,000,000 to a lady who had been diddled by the Church of Scientology, which learned enough to settle immediately for $150,000 a suit in Massachusetts, rather than face trial on a charge of having harassed a fish who broke the hook and escaped from their line. According to a despatch from St. Paul, Minnesota, (3 July 1985), a Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are suing the Worldwide Church of God for $6,000,000 damages for a swindle carried out when God’s witch-doctors convinced them that God said that Germany (!) was going to destroy the United States in 1975 and they could save their lives only by fleeing to the famous ruins of Petra in what is now Jordan. This case, so far as I have heard, has not yet come to trial.
A few more large verdicts will probably convince the innovative salvation-mongers of the wisdom of the old-fashioned and orthodox Christian marabouts, who promise their customers only that they will have a high old time with Jesus after they die. Such canny dervishes have never been sued by a dissatisfied customer.
Now I see from the Washington Post (19 August 1985) that a supple actor named Pat Robertson, who expertly pitches the Jesus-jabber to the boobs over the Jews’ boob-tubes, boasts that he’s the top man in the racket and extracts $230,000,000 a year from the nitwits. According to the newspaper, he tells his customers that Yahweh pays off financially to people who give Robertson a tenth of their income. I wonder whether some disappointed investor in heavenly fools’ gold will ask the courts to give him part of the $230,000,000 as compensation for having had a tenth of his income taken for some years by a fast-talking salesman who sold him worthless stock in Jesus & Co. with a guarantee that it would promptly pay dividends in cash.
The suit that I really want to see, however, will be brought by a “creation scientist” who has sobered up. He will sue the National Education Association and the public schools he attended for ten or twenty million dollars as compensation for their having so soaked his brain in “One World” swill and hogwash about the equality of races that he was left with so little intelligence that he could believe the creation-myth in the Jew book and make a fool of himself publicly.
That will be the day!