Man fails to fly sues Camelot owner

Editor's Note: This is the fourth of a five-part series investigating the demise and possible future of the Camelot Hotel. Once one of the most popular gathering places in Tulsa's history, and the host one time to President Richard Nixon, the building has become an eyesore and health menace.

Greater Tulsa Reporter/October 24, 2005
By Nancy K. Owens

On August 29, 2002, the Washington Post reported that The Global Country of World Peace issued bonds which, according to information provided by Maharishi, the owner of the Camelot in Tulsa, will pay 6 to 7 percent. He has enthusiastically encouraged investors to "Create world peace – and make money!"

In addition to founding his own country and developing its own currency, the Maharishi empire has been active and fairly successful in reaching out to our nation's schools. In a November 13, 2004 article, AP writer Patrick Condon writes that officials from The Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment, a 300 student, private K-12 academy located in Fairfield, Iowa, have reported "all their children are above average." The secret, they claim, is Transcendental Meditation. Advocates for TM are enthusiastic about spreading TM's success to other schools and have appeared at public schools in New York, California, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and other places.

University of South Carolina sociologist Barry Markovsky, who researches social networks, has referred to TM as a "stealth religion" and questioned the benefits of exposing students to it. Maharishi adherents emphasize that the movement is not a religion. They are quoted in a Kansas City Star September 27, 1999 article on this subject: "It is a mental and spiritual exercise that allows the human mind to come closer to its full potential."

The TM programs advocate, Bob Roth, spokesman for the Consciousness-Based Education Association is quoted in Condon's article as saying, "You have 10 million kids on antidepressants, one in five black kids with hypertension and America not leading the world in test scores. Transcendental Meditation is not just a way to reduce stress, it's a way to prepare a student to learn and do well." Despite questions that have been raised about Maharishi schools' accreditation status, school officials have pointed out that their students have scored in the 99th percentile on standardized tests for the last 10 years, 95% of their students go on to college and that they graduate 10 times the national average of National Merit Scholars.

The TM program for students has already been adapted into the curriculum at public schools in Detroit and Washington. George Rutherford, principal of the Fletcher-Johnson Learning Center in Washington and TM practitioner himself introduced TM into his school in 1994 and informed Condon that, thanks to TM, "Johnson has become a safe haven." Public charter school Nataki Taliba Schoolhouse in Detroit teaches its students TM and the cost is covered by private grants and corporate donations from companies such as Daimler-Chrysler and General Motors. The private funding is helpful because it costs an average of $625 per student per year to bring TM into the curriculum.

Despite the educational successes claimed by officials at Maharishi educational institutions, concerns have been raised by some about issues of violence and drug abuse. The reported on March 4, 2004 that Maharishi University of Management (MUM) student Shuvender Sim, 24, of Lancaster PA, was charged with first-degree murder and assault with intent to commit serious injury after the stabbing death of fellow classmate Levi Butler, 19, of LaQuinta Calif. The attack occurred in front of dozens of students in the campus dining hall. Sim was also charged with a stabbing attack that occurred earlier in the day when he allegedly stabbed a classmate in the cheek with a ballpoint pen during a class called Teaching for Enlightenment. School officials intervened after this incident and said they had "handled the problem" and reminded officials the MUM was a place of peace and enlightenment. No one could determine what led to the assaults. Sim was arrested and held on a $1 million dollar bond.

According to the report, Sim, a diagnosed schizophrenic, had been off his medication for months when he stabbed the two students. According to a June 8, 2005 report in the Des Moines Register, "Prosecutors, and defense attorneys for Sim say that he should be found not guilty of first degree murder because he was insane at the time of the incident."

The confiscation of drug paraphernalia at MUM in April 2004 raised more eyebrows among officials. Officers were called to the University when a campus security guard found an "indoor marijuana growing operation" in a student's room.

The equipment included grow lights, fans, tubing, dirt, planting pot and seeds. 195.5 grams of marijuana were also seized. The student, Robert Paul Anibal, 52, was arrested and charged with manufacturing marijuana within 1,000 feet of an elementary school; possession of marijuana with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of an elementary school; failure to affix a drug tax stamp; and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Over the years, Maharishi's movement has been plagued by other legal problems. In a 1987 case a U.S. District court in Washington D.C. ordered two TM organizations to pay $137,890 to Robert Kropinski. Kropinski charged that the organizations falsely promised that he would learn to fly. He contended that all he learned was to "hop with the legs folded in the lotus position." Kropinski was not awarded the $9 million he sought in punitive damages for psychological and emotional devastation.

The Dutch news service NOS Teletekst reported on February 15, 2003 that the FND labor union filed a lawsuit against the "spiritual movement" of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The suit, brought by three ex-employees from India, claimed that they were owed 100,000 gilders ($55, 410.85) for work they had done for three years for the TM movement. They alleged that they worked seven days a week, were never given vacation, and hardly any salary.

Some ex-TMs have been particularly outspoken about psychological and emotional abuse, brainwashing and manipulation that they were exposed to while members of the TM movement. There have also been allegations reported by former TM members of psychological, emotional and sexual abuse of children.

Despite the critical attention and lawsuits, TM followers and citizens of The Global Country of World Peace are a dedicated, serious and very active group. Even though Maharishi was quoted in a 2002 Chicago Sun-Times article as saying, "I have decided to let the governments do manmade law, but I have knowledge of natural law, God-made law." Maharishi and his TM movement are serious about achieving his plan for world peace.

Anyone interested in keeping up to date with the developments of The Global Country of World Peace and the furtherance of its agenda can tune in to a press conference every Thursday from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. India time, 11:30 a.m. in Europe and 6:30 p.m. in Japan. The weekly press conference is held live over the Maharishi Channel and via Internet at the same time, with the opportunity to ask questions from Maharishi via telephone or instant messaging. The Global Country of World Peace website indicates that "another press conference will be held at 11 a.m. East Coast Time every Wednesday, as well." (10 a.m. for interested Tulsans.)

According to the information taken directly from, "Maharishi will provide the highlights of Vedic administration for bringing problem-free prevention-oriented administration in every country, leading to world peace.

Participating in this one hour weekly conference will be the "most noted Physicist of the world," Dr. John Hagelin, Minister of Science and Technology of the Global Country of World Peace, and Dr. Bevan Morris, Minister of Enlightenment, "most famous for his comments on the world events."

Dr. Benjamin Feldman, Finance Minister of The Global Country of World Peace, a new star in the world economy, will also participate in this conference and, according to the Web site, "will present the program to bring a new world order of affluence and peace, creating a balanced world economy, taking the world economy out of the mouth of the dragon—capitalism, which is famous for causing for the wealthy the heart palpitations of an unstable economy, while squeezing the life of the poor."

Additionally, in this global press conference the press will "listen to the interesting other side of the destructive angle projected by America, England, Germany and all the war monger nations of the world."

Dismissing the negative publicity and what his organizations have referred to as "unsubstantiated claims" made by those who oppose the TM movement, Maharishi and his six million strong followers, according to, "remain committed to establishing global world peace by unifying all nations in happiness, prosperity, invincibility, and perfect health, while supporting the rich diversity of our world family."

Part 1Once Grand Camelot Hotel Had a Quick Demise
Part 2: The Camelot has become a mysterious place, one possibly controlled by what some call a worldwide cult. An investigation into what may be the Camelot’s future will be highlighted in the Mid-August GTR Newspapers.
Part 3:Camelot owner hopes for "Peace Palace"

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.