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February 18, 1974

Questions and Answers

JAMA. 1974;227(7):807-808. doi:10.1001/jama.227.7.807

Transcendental Meditation—Science or Cult?

Q: I became interested in transcendental meditation after reading articles indicating that it had value in reducing tension. At preliminary orientation lectures, however, I learned that each new participant must bring to the first meeting sweet fruit, fresh-cut flowers, and a white handkerchief. Because this religious-type ritual was offensive to me I refused to participate, and I was told I could not continue. In your consultant's opinion, does transcental meditation have any scientific value or is it a cult?