Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: Who Cares about Fairfield, Anyway?

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pp. 1-7

A little more than fifty years ago, a bearded mystic, fond of flowers and flowing robes, arrived in the United States from India. The giggling guru, as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi came to be known, soon put a distinctive stamp on American culture. The country he found was a place of hard-charging...

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1. Classic Americana, with a Twist

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pp. 8-17

at first blush, the town square in Fairfield, Iowa, seems no different from hundreds like it that grace small communities from New England to California with a pretty gazebo where bands play, a stretch of grass ideal for sunbathing, a monument to historic local events. And all of it surrounded...

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2. Going for Baroque

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pp. 18-27

To get a sense of where the TM Movement is and where it’s headed, it helps to know where it’s been. Fairfielders such as a movement veteran we’ll call Dale offer a special window on TM’s past and likely future. (I have withheld Dale’s real name because he feared his comments would appear out...

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3. Of God and Man

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pp. 28-49

When worshippers at St. Gabriel and All Angels Church gather for Sunday services, some among the couple of dozen or so faithful believe they are in divine company. Angels help out in the services, they say. Indeed, ever since the earliest days of this Liberal Catholic congregation in Fairfield...

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4. Unearthly Delights

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pp. 50-59

When the citizens of Fairfield wanted to have a good time, their choices were once pretty narrow. A county fair in the summertime, maybe a movie downtown, a football game at the high school, or perhaps a stop at a local watering hole. But those choices have broadened dramatically over...

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5. Power of the Ballot

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pp. 60-70

Connie Boyer should have been a shoo-in when she ran for an Iowa state house seat. A Republican, she brought an impressive résumé to the 2002 race. She was a sixth-generation resident of Jefferson County in southeast Iowa, had been active in the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, the Fairfield...

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6. Higher Ed, Higher Realms

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pp. 71-88

Each morning and evening, students, teachers, and other meditators from Fairfield file into a pair of sprawling, golden-domed buildings that rise above the bucolic Maharishi University of Management north of downtown. Men enter one dome, women the other. Using mantras given to them...

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7. Death in Paradise

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pp. 89-108

Levi Andelin Butler was the kind of student that MUM craved. By all accounts, he was a good-hearted soul who wanted to make the world a better place. Butler volunteered for several years in a program to help students with problems in La Quinta, California, where he went to high school...

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8. Enlightenment for All Ages

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pp. 109-124

Children the world over power up laptop computers every school day to link wirelessly to the Internet. Such connections, indispensable for such trendy devices as iPads, are as common as blackboards in many countries. But that’s not the way for a couple of hundred students at the Maharishi...

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9. Just Business

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pp. 125-144

For Pamela K. Slowick, meditation is more than a pleasant daily pastime. She credits her livelihood to a recurring month-long vision she had while meditating in 1994. “Every single day, I closed my eyes and after thinking of the mantra a couple times, bingo, there was the store,” the effervescent...

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10. The Disaffected

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pp. 145-166

Just as Utopian movements spawn passionate support among their followers, so do they often generate equally fervid opposition from those who grow disenchanted. Some spend years criticizing the movements they had previously treated as their spiritual homes. Others break off to set up...

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11. Maharishi Vedic City

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pp. 167-175

When Bob Palm looked into setting up a hog-feeding operation on his family farm in 2007, he had no clue just how much of a stir he would create. He eventually had to do battle with leaders of the TM Movement, who had set up a most unusual city next door to him—one of the most unusual...

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12. Does TM Have a Tomorrow?

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pp. 176-190

For the TM Movement, people such as Jonathan Clifford should be the face of the future. He is a son of meditators who got the TM bug during the movement’s heyday in the 1970s and who refreshed themselves with courses in meditation in Fairfield. Inspired by family visits to the tiny town...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 191-192

Many people made this book possible. First, I must acknowledge my wife, Donna, who offered consistent encouragement, put up with my frequent travels to Fairfield, and offered invaluable pointers on my text. Thanks, too, to Will Norton, former dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications...

Notes

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pp. 193-204

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 205-208

Index

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pp. 209-221

Series Page

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