In a 2020 three-part series titled “Mysteries of the Mind,” The American Legion magazine tells veterans they should practice transcendental meditation if they feel stressed, saying that TM “can help veterans confronting PTSD.” Writer of the article, American Legion magazine editor Jeff Stoffer, enthusiastically adds:
Those who practice TM say the key to unlocking clear thought and function, no matter the situation, is to spend 20 minutes twice a day deliberately thinking about nothing, allowing the brain to essentially have a mind of its own. . . . Transcendental meditation, as a treatment for veterans diagnosed with PTSD, is not a New Age fad.
The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization. Focusing on service to veterans, servicemembers and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States. . . . Today, membership stands at nearly 2 million in more than 13,000 posts worldwide.
Stoffer’s article does nothing but offer praise and accolades for meditation and downplays those who have concerns about it:
TM should not be ruled out because of any stereotypes or cultural biases. . . . Some skepticism is based on a perception that TM is a religious activity or has a specific spiritual or ideological bent. “To the contrary, we have found people becoming more understanding of their religion, more at peace with their god,” [brain-scientist Tony] Nader says. “We used to say that if religion is to invite God to your home, TM can be like cleaning your home.” . . .
“You’re not changing how you think. You’re not changing politics. You can be a Republican. You can be a Democrat. You can be Catholic, Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Muslim – it doesn’t change you. You’re still who you are. Your mind is just in a better place. It doesn’t change you. It changes your physiology. It changes your mind. It changes how you deal with everything else.”
It is most unfortunate that Stoffer’s article gives no warning of the potential dangers in practicing meditation. His one-sided, biased view will no doubt convince many American Legion readers (veterans) to give it a try. And if they take Stoffer’s word for it, they’ll probably never research the matter and discover the real dynamics behind meditation. Stoffer’s article claims that meditation “doesn’t change you,” but admits it “changes your mind.” What a contradiction! If something changes your mind, it does change you. And as we have witnessed within Christianity with contemplative prayer (a “Christianized” eastern-meditation practice), meditation alters the way one thinks about God, sin, salvation, and just about everything in life itself—and, biblically speaking, not for the good.
The American Legion magazine’s motto is “For God and Country Since 1919,” but we do not believe the God of the Bible would agree with its efforts to turn veterans into eastern-religion meditators.
If you know a veteran, perhaps you might consider giving them a copy of Ray Yungen’s booklet, Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or Doorway to the Occult?. If you want to give a copy of this booklet to a veteran and cannot afford to purchase the booklet, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will send you a free copy to give to your veteran friend or relative.
The following list of the possible results from meditating is derived from the various sources we used to compile our booklet on mindfulness meditation:
hypersensitivity to light and sound
panic and paranoia
unable to function or work
a loss of sense of identity
elevated mood and grandiose delusions
unrestrained behaviors (sexual and violence)
confusion and disorientation
feelings of emptiness and ennui (listlessness, dissatisfaction)
impairment of social relationships
cognitive, perceptual and sensory aberrations
causes passiveness and compliance (even when those are negative responses to certain situations)