Greetings from Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent Childhood

Jul 19, 2016

When Claire Hoffman was five, she moved to Fairfield, Iowa with her mother and brother, so that her family could follow the teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. When Maharishi asked his followers to move to Fairfield, it created quite the rift between his followers and the townspeople. 

"You know in researching this book, I went back and went through the archives of the Fairfield Ledger. And you see this sense of outcry that Fairfield had been invaded," explains Hoffman. 

She lived most of her childhood in that gap, switching back and forth between the private school run by the Transcendental Meditation community and the public school. 

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, she talks with host Charity Nebbe about her childhood and takes a personal and honest look about how being a part of the movement affected her then, and still affects her today. 

"You know, everything about me felt weird and strange, and this was the third kindergarten I had gone to in a year. The food I ate, the clothes I wore - I was an outsider," she says.