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Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Transcendental Meditation
Introduced into the United States in 1958 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, "TM" was an offshoot of Hinduism that caught the interest of many in the new hippie counterculture. It received a publicity boost when the Beatles traveled to India to study with the maharishi, who said adherents could usher in the "age of enlightenment" through mass meditations. Followers chant one-word mantras twice a day to relieve stress. They are taught to believe they can wipe out crime, hunger and violence if 1 percent of the population of major cities worldwide meditate at once. Some also believe they can fly, though people who watched demonstrations said the "yogic flying" exercise looked more like hopping.
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dancers Hare Krishna
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is another spiritual sect developed from Hinduism. Founder Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada arrived in New York in 1965 and opened centers for the "Hare Krishna" movement there and in California. In the 1970s, he opened many centers in other countries. The group's ranks eventually swelled to more than 1 million. New Vrindaban in West Virginia, with its palatial headquarters, became one of the largest Krishna centers. Members are a familiar sight in public, often with shaved heads and chanting, "Hare Krishna . . .Hare Rama."
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Kuladri das family

Members of
Krishna colony

Charles Manson

Charles Manson and followers, including women who shaved their heads

Charles Manson
One of the most chilling crimes of the century took place in Los Angeles at the end of the decade when Charles Manson, 35, and a band of middle-class followers broke into the home of filmmaker Roman Polanski and savagely murdered his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, and four guests. The 1969 murders stunned Americans, who couldn't understand how Manson's band of young followers—the "Family"—could have swallowed his incoherent preachings about race wars and an Armageddon he called "Helter Skelter." People puzzled over such blind devotion to a scraggly, wild-eyed leader.
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