[Continued from Folsom State Prison]
Just then all the commotion brought in a prison guard, who simultaneously called for backup. Even a gavel or a large mallet, would have not been sufficient enough to reestablish order. Obviously, he had to quiet the crowd down in order to prevent a potential prison riot from breaking out. He shouted, “This assembly is now terminated.” In the meantime, the other officers entered the room and quelled the commotion.
After that, the officer who was initially monitoring the session, pulled me to the side and gave me a severe reprimand. I was told to leave the prison immediately and to never return, unless I was brought back as a guest of the state in handcuffs.
As I was being escorted to the exit one of the inmates hollered out, “Cult buster my ass. Why didn’t you bust Charlie Manson?”
This remark caused a another inmate to say, “Yeah Why didn’t bust Jimmy Jones?”
Then the last remark I heard before the door shut behind me was, “Even Patty Hearst could have busted you man.”
I assume the reason why they didn’t remain silent was because many of them were lifers that didn’t care.
On the return trip to the Bay Area, the guitar player expressed mixed emotions—amused about what had just gone down, and sorrow about the state we left the inmates in.
Needless to say, I was mortified again. I guess the lesson learned from this was to be more sensitive to the diverse religious persuasions that may be present during my lectures, especially when in a jail or prison environment.
In retrospect, I learned that a Transcendental Meditation (TM) program was introduced to Folsom inmates in 1978. This eastern mystical practice founded by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and made popular by the Beetles was supposed to reduce anxiety, neuroticism, hostility, and insomnia; thus, it was utilized to achieve the desired results of keeping inmates in check.
Surprisingly though, TM has proved to be an effective means of mental escape for the inmates while under a trance. With these results, I can’t fault them for practicing this discipline. On the converse, however, TM is a form of Hindu yoga that invokes heathen gods and invites demonic participation; thus, it is an anti Christian practice to be avoided.