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The Maharishi’s Mayor?

The Natural Law Party (NLP), an anti-genetic improvement group with close ties to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation (TM) empire, has won the mayor’s office in Fairfield, Iowa. NLP State Chair Ed Malloy will govern the town for the next two years.

Fairfield is home to the NLP’s national offices, as well as the Maharishi University of Management (MUM). It’s also the home to Mothers for Natural Law (M4NL), whose head is married to an MUM professor. M4NL works with groups like Friends of the Earth to push for mandatory labeling of all genetically improved foods. Together, they slammed genetically improved foods in their big-bucks “Turning Point” campaign, which consisted of a series of full-page ads in The New York Times equating biotech with “ecological disaster” and “genetic pollution,” among other issues.

In Fairfield, Malloy has been elected mayor — defeating a 14-term incumbent. The media has reported past tension between the town’s residents and the encroachment of the MUM community, and this is just the latest sign of the NLP’s growing power in the town. Now, Mayor-Elect Malloy says, “I see tremendous possibilities… We can make our city a model for 21st century living” — presumably without the advances in agriculture yield and safety that biotech brings.

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