OMEGA NEW AGE DIRECTORY -- A man who said he took up Transcendental Meditation so he could learn to fly never got off the ground, but his lawsuit did, and a sympathetic jury awarded him $138,000.
Robert Kropinski of Philadelphia said he could not fly after practicing TM for eleven years.
Kropinski told a federal court jury in Washington, DC that he expected a lot more out of TM than just the ability to fly. He wanted to get rid of stress, improve his memory and reverse the aging process.
When his high hopes were dashed, Kropinski quit the organization in 1983 and filed a suit.
Instead of feeling good and being able to fly, Kropinski said all he got out of TM was sore legs and emotional damage.
"What they were promising was to produce a perfect human being," Kropinski said. "They were making the claim that TM was the ultimate easy way out. What they are after is your soul."
Kropinski sued two TM groups, the World Plan Executive Council - United States and the Maharishi International University of Fairfield, Iowa, accusing them of fraud and negligence.
The suit sought $9 million, but jurors refused to grant punitive damages and awarded Kropinski $137,890.
"I would have been happy if they gave me $5," says Kropinski, adding that he felt vindicated by the jury's verdict.
Kropinski's attorney, Gerald Ragland, Jr., has seven other cases pending against TM organizations and said he expects the defendants to appeal the Kropinski case.