Science / Medicine : AMA Journal Says It Was Duped

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The oft-quoted Journal of the American Medical Assn. said last week that it had been hoodwinked by followers of Hindu guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In a lengthy article and a series of letters from readers in the medical community, the publication accused authors of a report it carried last May of failing to disclose that they had a financial interest in the Indian herbal medicine promoted in the article.

"An investigation of the movement's marketing practices reveals what appears to be a widespread pattern of misinformation, deception and manipulation of lay and scientific news media," it said of the Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation organization.

The May article, "Maharishi Ayur-Veda: Insights Into Ancient Medicine," was accompanied by "grossly inaccurate signed financial disclosure forms" from its authors, the AMA said in a statement. Complaints from readers said Ayur-Veda is not traditional Indian medicine but "the latest of the Maharishi's schemes to boost declining numbers of people taking TM courses, through which the movement recruits new members," it said.

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