Ok, keeping with the cult theme.... Transcendental meditation is considered by some to be considered cult-like. According to Steve Hassan, author of several books on cults it "seeks to strip individuals of their ability to think and choose freely. (wikipedia) TM was started by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and was made famous by the Beatles who visited him during their recording of Sgt. Pepper's. People who practice TM meditate for several hours a day and some even practice "Yogic Flying", which basically means levitation. (advanced only, prerequisite required) So, what's all this got to do with Boone?
The Spiritual Center of America
Heavenly Mountain Resort
639 Whispering Hills Rd.
Boone, NC 28607
Yes, there used to be a TM school in Boone (right off the parkway) that was started in the late 90's and was active for several years. It was called the Spiritual Center of America and housed members of the women's Mother Divine Program and the men's Purusha programs, as well as residents and visitors. It was a thriving community complete with it's own school for girls. What happened to Heavenly Mountain? It closed in 2004 because of a rift between David Kaplan, who helped start the TM school and the residences of Heavenly Mtn. After Kaplan became so sick he almost died he decided to leave the Purusha Program and was kicked out of the movement. After Kaplan and his brother Earl investigated Maharishi (founder of TM) they decided they could no longer support him or be a part of the TM movement. What did they find out? They never said, but I definitely would like to know. After that, the school failed and residences were asked to vacate the West campus. I believe the East campus is still occupied but is protected by a gate and a guard 24 hours. Yes, I have tried to go there. As for the West campus.... well it's still there. Abandoned temple, buildings, houses and apartments. There is no gate and you can drive up there and see for yourself. Trust me, it's creepy. It's completely untouched but deteriorating slowly. What's it still doing there? Who knows. Someone still owns it and has decided to just leave it sitting there. I've done much research about it on the Internet and can't find anything about who owns it now or why it's just sitting up there. It's probably time for investigative journalism.
So the point of this story was to show that you don't always know what's happening or what happened in your own backyard. Because I guarantee that none of you knew about this until now.