Experiment 20: The influence of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field on World Events and global social indicators: The effects of the Taste of Utopia Assembly
David W. Orme-Johnson,Kenneth L. Cavanaugh, Charles N. Alexander, Paul Gelderloos, Michael Dillbeck, Audri G. Lanford, and Tanios M. Abou Nader
Reference: Collected Papers on the Transcendental Meditation technique, vol. 4, no.337, pp 2730-2762
Research completed July 1984.
The name that was chosen for the assembly was rather appropriate; “Taste of Utopia”. Let’s face it, what Maharishi and the scientists were proposing – a way to end all violence and negativity on earth through their group Yogic Flying program – must have sounded like utopia in a lot of peoples’ ears…and now the world was going to get their first taste of it. The story of how this course was organized was almost as spectacular as the effects of the course itself. It was mid-November 1983 when Maharishi wanted to hold a worldwide experiment. He somehow felt there was a great urgency to do it, because he wanted it organised within one month. According to the square root of 1% formula, with a world population of 4.8 billion at the time, this meant they would have to get 7000 Yogic Flyers together in one place. By that time enough people had taken the TM-Sidhi course to make this possible but still, to gather such a large number of Sidhas they would basically have to come from all over the world. Also where would this course be held? The Maharishi university in Fairfield, Iowa, USA seemed like a logical place, since they already had 2 large flying halls, the Golden Domes, with roughly 1600 Sidhas already meditating together every day, but raising that number to 7000 in a few weeks time? It still seemed like an impossible task.
The domes were large enough to host roughly 3000 people, but where to put the other 4000? Also there were rooms for 1700 people, but where to put the rest? After an intense brainstorm session it was decided they would go for it anyway. In less than 3 weeks the MIU administrators had a 60.000 square foot building designed, manufactured, shipped from Wisconsin and erected. (even for a premanufactured metal building this shattered previous manufacturing records by a factor of 3). This would serve as a large flying hall for the remaining 4000 Yogic Flyers. As for housing, if 3 people would be staying in one single person dormitory room and some of the resident Sidhas in Fairfield agreed to take in a few guests each, they would come a whole lot closer to being able to host 7000 people but still they’d be 1200 short. The solution? Lease 200 Mobile homes, have them trucked across 3 states and install them on the northern end of campus…all in the period of 3 weeks. These mobile homes would have to be housing 6 persons each.
As the University administrators were falling over themselves trying to reorganize the entire campus, the scientists involved were busy giving one press conference after another announcing the new experiment and making their predictions for what would happen in the world, predictions they also lodged with a committee of independent scientists across the US. The predictions were simple, the entire world would experience a dramatic improvement over many different variables studied, all specifically during the period of 3 weeks during which the assembly would be held, from Dec 17 1983 to Jan 6 1984. Variables would improve both in comparison to the 3 week period previous and subsequent to the assembly, and in comparison to the same period over the previous 5 years (to control for normal seasonal changes, since this project was going on mostly during the Christmas holidays). The specific changes in variables that were predicted were:
- Increased progress by heads of state in solving problems
- Increased calming influence in the world’s trouble spots
- Increased progress towards a peaceful resolution of the Lebanese conflict
- Significant rise in the World Index, (an international stock index representing 19 countries), and a simultaneous rise in stock indices in all countries
- Decreased highway traffic fatalities worldwide
- Decreased air traffic fatalities worldwide
- Increased patent applications worldwide (as a measure of increase productivity)
- Decreased indices of notifiable infectious diseases worldwide
- Decreased crime worldwide.
So in a way this total research project consists of 9 separate independent researches. All these predictions (except 6 and 8) were lodged with both a national review board of distinguished scientists and the international press before the assembly took place.
And then Dec 17th came and the assembly started. From 50 countries the Yogic Flyers started arriving. In a few days the superradiance numbers grew from the regular 1600 to over 4000, and over the next few days more and more people joined until everybody was there. On Dec 28, the 7000 number, (well, 6900 to be exact, since that was exactly the square root of 1% of the worlds population at the time) was reached. When this was announced people in the grand assembly hall stood and cheered for 5 minutes. Here is a graph of the superradiance numbers in the 3 weeks before, during and after the assembly:
This would imply that actually the threshold to create an influence for the entire world was only reached for about half of the experimental time. Nevertheless the predictions were made for the entire 3-week period, so that is what the researchers had to stick to.
For the first 3 variables (heads of state, trouble-spots and Lebanon) the researchers set up an elaborate system of content analysis, controlled in great detail for a possible expectation effect from the researchers (see paper).
For some of the other variables under consideration it wouldn’t be feasible to examine all of them for every different country in the entire world, so for the variables such as traffic fatalities, patents, infectious diseases, and crime the researchers picked 4 different countries on 4 different continents, the US, UK, Australia and South Africa. These countries were selected because statistical data for them was relatively easy to obtain, up-to-date, and reliable. (they had announced in advance they would pick these countries as representatives for the entire world). Data for all the variables was requested from governmental agencies involved for all the regions in study but was not always available when the study was closed. Wherever it was available it was included.
Let’s have a look what the results were for each of the 8 variables under consideration
- Heads of state
During the 3 times 3-weeks period of study (before, during and after the assembly), the first 2 articles each day in the New York Times on statements and actions of heads of state were photocopied and the dates covered. All the articles from a total of 9 weeks were then shuffled and scored independently by 2 students. Based on the average of the score the articles were then placed in either one of 2 categories, progress by heads of state towards reversal of prior negative trends or no progress. The same sampling and analysis procedure was done on articles from the New York Times from previous year, to control for any seasonal influences.
The result was indeed a significant reversal of prior negative trends. During the assembly heads of state tended to direct public attention towards constructive solutions of national problems rather than towards an “external enemy” as the source of their miseries. The % of positive events improved from 35% before the assemble to 71% during the 3 week assembly (p<.05), but immediately after the assembly stopped, it dropped again to 19% (p<.004).
It was almost as if the heads of state around the world were all having a good day (or a good 3 weeks) all of a sudden, but then afterwards were extra grumpy. (seasonal trends had nothing to do with it, as the control study from the previous year indicated). This is a trend that has been seen more often during these experiments. This “rebouncing” of negativity after such an experiment was over was one of the major reasons why Maharishi eventually stopped organizing experiments with these large groups and focused all his attention on creating permanent groups.
- International conflicts
During the assembly there were several trouble-spots where conflict was going on. Countries included in the sample were Nicaragua, Grenada, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Chad, South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lybia, Uganda, Kampucha, Laos, Vietnam, Northern Ireland, and Spain. App. 90 events for each 3 week period (average 4.7 a day) were observed from the New York Times and were scored, again based on a system that was 100% reliable and where bias could not play a role. The scores were put in 5 categories ranging from strongly negative events to strongly postive events. Again the same procedure was done over the same periods from the previous years to control for seasonality. This time also data from the Conflict and Peace Database (COPDAB) from the same period during the years 1968 to 1977 was taken for the whole world, to see if seasonal trends could account for the changes. The year of 1978 (the last year for which data from the COPDAB database was available) was excluded since the earlier World Peace Project (which was going on around roughly the same time as the first 3 week control period) clearly already had influenced the events so including that year might have distorted the control variables. As an extra control the researchers studied the same data (9 weeks over 10 years) from the trouble spots around that time.
Here is the graph from the events during the Taste of Utopia assembly period:
As with the previous variable it shows a significant increase towards more positive events in the trouble spots during the assembly. Strongly positive events quadrupled (from 1.1% to 4.5%) during the 3 week assembly and positive events almost doubled (18.7 to 31.5%) in comparison to the period prior to the assembly (p<.015). Unfortunately, the decrease back to more negative events after the assembly was over was even more significant (p<.001). The same analysis on the same periods from previous year yielded no significant changes. (p=.78), neither did a COPDAB analysis over 10 years. Seasonal trends alone did not cause any significant change in the previous year.
- Lebanese conflict
For the Lebanese conflict in particular yet another rating system was set up. This time the biggest and most neutral Lebanese newspaper (Al Nahar was used as the main source of informantion and the scoring was done within Lebanon by four raters, one from each of the major groups within Lebanon (Druze, Moslem, and Christian) as well as one Palestinian. The raters were unaware of the dates and size of the assembly.
Again a strong positive trend was showing, with the percentage of strong positive events quadrupling, and percentage positive events showing a roughly 8 fold increase, with a reverse trend taking place once the assembly was over. Both increase and decrease were significant to the p<.001 level, while the difference between the assembly period and both control periods was significant to the p<.0002 level. Only once in 5000 trials would such a result show up by chance.
Control data from the previous year did not show a significant change at the same time of year (p=.34).
- Stock markets
Stock markets had already proven to be a particularly sensitive measure of the TM Field Effects, with stock markets going up during superradiance experiments. This pattern was consistent with the hypothesis of the superradiance effect. If an influence of positivity and confidence is being sent through the collective consciousness then people will be more likely to buy stocks, pushing the indices up. When they feel tense and fearful they are more likely to sell, pushing the indices down. Daily data was assembled from the World Index, an weighed average of the 19 most important stock markets of the world). This was a very powerful and very easy way to get some indication of what was going on in millions of peoples minds around the entire world.
The researchers on the TM field effects were already used to quite a lot but what happened with the world index during the 3 week assembly took even them by surprise. A continuous downward trend was reversed into a strong upward trend during the 3 weeks of the assembly, but this was no ordinary reversal. During the Taste of Utopia assembly 8 of the 11 largest stockmarkets in the world set all-time records, several repeatedly. The US stockmarket, after a downward trend that lasted almost a year, suddenly rallied over the 3 weeks of the course, coming to one point from it’s all time high on the last day of the assembly, before plummeting again when the assembly was over. Here is a graph from the world index:
This rise was significant to the p<.0001 level, fewer than once in ten thousand.
What was perhaps even more interesting is that during this period nearly all of the stock markets went up simultaneously. When the trends during the same period over the past 5 years were researched, on average half of the stock markets went up, while the other half went down. This same random behavioral pattern was found going on in the 3-week periods before and after the assembly. It simply indicates that normally no clear pattern of correlation between the different stock markets would be expected, certainly not as strong as during the 3 weeks of the Taste of Utopia assembly. Out of the 20 largest stockmarkets in the world under research, 19 went up, only the stock market of Spain decreased . The fact so many more markets went up at the same time compared to the same period over the past 5 years was significant to the p<.00004, once in 25.000.
Anyway, all this is highly significant but this is saying something more than just an impressive odds against chance. Changes in all these stock markets involve changes in the way of thinking in millions of people. So either there is indeed something really interesting going on, or if this was all a hoax, all these stock traders would have to be co-conspirators, but I think even the most skeptical reader by now would gradually have to start to agree that that is even more unlikely (and even more crazy) than the idea that is being examined here. Think about this, the odds that all stock markets would go up at the same time for a consecutive 3 weeks in this period of the year are one in 25.000. Obviously there have not been 25.000 different trials with predictions lodged in advance. On the contrary, this was the first study where this has happened. So something is happening, something that is considered utterly impossible based on conventional wisdom, in paradigm where everything and every event are separated, but becomes not only possible but logically feasible if all really can be influenced from their common source, not only all the stock markets in the world, but all of the other variables researched also.
Linear regression analysis was used based on trends of traffic fatalities over the past 5 years (16 years in the US, but controlling for the 55mph speed limit that caused a drop in traffic fatalities in 1975), to predict the level of expected traffic fatalities during the assembly. In the US, where the largest effect would be expected, since that is where the course was held, traffic fatalities dropped 31% (in comparison to the mean over the last 16 years) to reach an all-time low whereas the number of miles driven during the 3 week period were at an all-time high (so the drop can’t be explained by the fact that there were fewer cars on the road). In Australia and South Africa they dropped 10 and 20% respectively. The 3 decreases were significant to the p<.0001 level, one in ten thousand. Since both Australia and South Africa are in the Southern hemisphere, where it was summer during the experiment, weather was controlled as a possible cause for the decrease.
- Air traffic Fatalities
There were 49% fewer air traffic fatalities worldwide than would have been expected based on trends during the same period over the past 5 years. The number of fatalities was also 29% lower than the lowest number observed during the past 5 years. This decrease was significant to the p<.0001 level, again one in 10,000.
- patent applications
Patent applications increased (compared to expected values based on the same period over the past 5 years) by 15.3% in the US, 6.5% in the UK, 33.2% in Australia and 21% in South Africa. Again this increase was significant to the p<.0001 level. Patent applications were studied in more detail in the US, for monthly periods over 27 months (Oct 1981 to Dec 1983). Over that period mean difference between the actual numbers and the predicted numbers from the US patent office based on previous trends was only 0.75%. In other words, usually the US patent office is very good in predicting the number of patent applications, except for this 3 week period, where the number was 15.3% higher than they predicted.
During the Taste of Utopia assembly there were 32% fewer infectious diseases in the US compared to the mean of the same period over the past 5 years. In the 3 week period before and after the assembly the number was also between 10 and 20% lower however, but that is exactly what would be predicted from the permanent superradiance group in Fairfield throughout 1983. Still the extra drop during the assembly was significant to the p<.0001 level. In Australia the decrease in comparison to the mean over the past 5 years was -17.2%. By contrast, during the 3 week period before and after the assembly the number of infectious diseases in Australia was 16.3% and 22.7% above the 4 year mean for that time of the year. This decrease was again significant to the p<.0001 level.
In this case the researchers were a little unfortunate with the timing of their research project. Crime data was requested from the police departments of the 165 largest metropolitan areas in the world, daily data from July 1st 1983 to Jan 1st 1984 and weekly crime totals for the months of December and January from 1972 to 1983, so they would have more than enough data points to do a detailed Time Series Analysis. By the time the study was closed, however, data from only 3 metropolitan areas was received.
The good news was that these were 3 areas from around the world (Washington DC, Karachi, Pakistan, and Victoria, Australia). The other good news was that the decreases found were so highly significant that even with only 3 cities it would make a pretty strong case. Let’s face it, critics could say that the researchers simply selected these 3 cities because the crime happened to decrease during these 3 weeks, a random decrease by chance. However when the decrease in these 3 cities was so significant that the joint probability of this happening by chance was 1 in 500.000, then there is not much left to say. There were only 165 cities under consideration so no way that with these odds this result could have happened through manipulative selection. Crime decreased by roughly 4 % in Washington DC, 15% in Karachi and 13% in Australia. (p=.000002).
Based on the hypothesis of the Maharishi effect it should have been expected that crime decrease would be larger in the US than in other continents around the world, while this does not seem to be the case. One factor that might have to do with this was that this particular Time Series Analysis used data from the 24 weeks before and 3 weeks after the assembly, again a time where crime might have already dropping in the US due to the continuous superradiance effect from the permanent group in Fairfield, plus the group of Yogic Flyers that was permanently stationed in Washington DC. Most of them actually left Washington to join the group in Fairfield. That is the problem when numerous “experiments” are going on at the same time. While this could be considered a flaw in the research the overall results were still highly significant.
Of course the interesting question is how the result would change when even more cities from around the world would be included in this particular crime study. Would the significance decrease or increase even more? In a way it is understandable that once a study is closed and the paper is written, the research scientists involved usually do not look back. There were so many researches to do and they simply did not have the time. Look at the names of people involved in some of the researches and you’ll find the same ones returning over and over again, such as Dr Dillbeck, Dr Orme-Johnson and Dr Alexander. There were only few people who had the statistical knowledge to perform these researches (and who felt motivated to keep on doing them over and over again in spite of very little support from the scientific community). So they always had their hands full with several researches at the same time. Perhaps someday somebody else feels inspired to do more research on crime rates in some other cities around the world during the time of the assembly, or any other assembly for that matter. The dates of all the experiments are openly available, it is just a matter of getting the data and doing the analysis. I assume there wouldn’t be any motivation to still find any extra confirmation of the results, since over 40 individual studies have already confirmed the 1% and superradiance effects, but I could imagine there would be quite a few people out there willing to prove these researchers dead wrong. So do it! Please! But don’t be surprised if your research would end up as yet another confirmation of the superradiance hypothesis rather than a negation. Unless of course you’d refuse to make it public.
I would find it very hard to believe that by now no studies have been done by TM opponents to disprove the superradiance research. I am quite certain a lot of people did attempt, since most of the data can be gathered so easily. It is just a matter of investing some time. Yet, in spite of all this not a single studies refuting the effects has been published so far…That is what makes this “hoax” so interesting, that it has been going on for almost 30 years now, while the data to disprove it is so easily readily available for anyone to do so…unless the data really would support it, of course.
As interesting as the Taste of Utopia experiment was, the background story was probably even more interesting.
In the months before the experiment tensions between the US and the USSR were running dangerously high. On Sept 1st 1983, Soviets fighter planes had shot down a South Korean Boeing 747 with 269 passengers, including a US congressman, which had strayed into Soviet airspace. A month later, on Oct 23, the US embassy in Lebanon was bombed with 242 US servicemen and 62 french soldiers killed. The US blamed Syria and the USSR. On Oct 25 US troops invaded Grenada to oust Cuban soldiers, trained and equipped by the USSR.
So everyone know tensions where high but very few people in the world were aware just how dangerous the situation had actually become. In 1997, after the collapse of the Berlin wall, secret documents from East German military archives were found, revealing what was going on behind the iron curtain in the fall of 1983, right before the Taste of Utopia assembly. The documents were a confirmation of a book written by Oleg Gordievsky, a senior Soviet intelligence officer who fled the USSR, bringing information about top secret KGB files to the west. Time magazine wrote a major story based on the book on Oct 22, 1990, which revealed that tensions were so high that the world was on the edge of nuclear annihilation without people even being aware of it.
President Reagan had spoken openly many times about fighting and winning a nuclear attack, which fueled fears in the USSR that the US was actually planning such an attack. Already in 1981 KGB chairmain Yuri Andropov had held a secret meeting where he convinced the Russian government that the Americans were actively preparing for a nuclear war. He put his intelligence officers on the highest state of alertness and launched the largest peacetime intelligence operation in Soviet history, code named RYAN (Raketno-Yadernoye Napadenie, or nuclear missile attack). The US, from their side had started their “Star Wars” program and had deployed cruise missiles in Europe, which the Soviets interpreted as a sign of aggression and which fueled their fears even more. Then the incident happened where the soviets accidentally shot down the South Korean airliner, believing it was a spy plane, killing 269 people and a US congressman. The soviets were so certain that the US would retaliate that they decided they would be first. They would strike before the Americans could strike. Then twist of fate made matters worse. On Nov 2nd NATO began an exercise, code named Able Archer 83, designed to practice nuclear-release procedures. Even before this exercise the Soviets had the firm belief that if the US was to launch a surprise attack, they would use a training exercise as a cover. That is how the Russians themselves were planning to do it, officially announce a training exercise so they could prepare everything without raising suspicion and then, when the enemy was unprepared, actually launch the missiles. They were certain the time had now come, as The Sunday times reported:
The East German papers reveal how in November 1983…the soviet military was planning a possible strike. Barely 800 miles from London, aircraft capable of delivering nuclear strikes were placed on standby a East German air bases.
On nov 9th Telegrams were sent to KGB that US bases had been put on alert, implying that the reason for this alert was that the countdown to a nuclear first strike had already begun. The Russians had thousands of intelligence officers working for day and night observing every move in the west, looking for any confirmation for the nuclear war they were sure was imminent. They had their fingers on the nuclear launch button, ready to be first. The US had no idea about this dangerous paranoia that was going on in the Soviet’s minds, as they obviously weren’t planning a nuclear attack, but the situation was so explosive that any small action they did, if understood in the wrong way, could have caused nuclear annihilation for the whole world.
During the Taste of Utopia assembly suddenly the tensions eased dramatically. On Jan 2nd President Reagan declared a “cease-fire in the war of words” with the USSR and softened his approach and outlook. On Jan 4th London’s Financial Times reports “The new year is coming with signals from both East and West suggesting that the chill…between the two power blocks may be moderating”. Top level communication started again and Moscow began to understand that maybe the US didn’t have the intention to bomb them to oblivion anyway. Operation RYAN began to wind down and in the spring of 1984 Margaret Thatcher convinced president Reagan to start talks on arms reduction.
It will always remain a mystery whether Maharishi knew something that even the US and British intelligence officers didn’t know, and that is why he felt such an urgency to create a world peace assembly immediately, making everybody do the impossible to organize and even build for an assembly of 7000 people in a matter of a few weeks. Those who were familiar with Maharishi felt that he had enlivened the Unified Field in his own consciousness to such a degree that he could actually feel what was going on in the whole world, but that is something nobody will ever be able to prove.
What is becoming clear is that this experiment may have been a lot more than just an experiment. It seems like it turn out to be an exercise to extinguish a fire (social stress) before it would spread to the whole world.
Experiment 21: The effect of the Taste of Utopia Assembly on the World Index of International Stock prices
Kenneth L. Cavanaugh, David W. Orme-Johnson, and Paul Gelderloos
Reference: Collected Papers on the Transcendental Meditation technique, vol. 4, no. 336, pp. 2715-2729
Research completed July 1984
This was a separate paper investigating the effects of the Taste of Utopia assembly on the World index of the 19 largest stock markets. The researchers wanted to investigate whether the change could be expected in any way based on previous trends. They set up a rigorous Time Series Analysis comparing the 3 weeks with a 5 month period before and 6 weeks following the assembly. It was found no previous trend could have caused anyone to expect this sudden increase. The average daily change was significantly greater during the course in comparison to the periods previous and subsequent to the course (p=.0047), when on average the stock markets declined. In addition, Box-Jenkins transfer function analysis revealed that this effect continued to be positive and highly significant (p=.000033, once in thirty thousand) even after explicitly controlling for the impact of long-term interest rates on international stock prices.
Experiment 22: Effects of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field on the War in Lebanon: a time series Analysis of the influence of international and national coherence creating assemblies
C.N. Alexander, T.M. Abou Nader, K.L. Cavanaugh, J.L. Davies, M.C. Dillbeck, R.J. Kfoury, and D.W. Orme- Johnson
Reference: Collected Papers on the Transcendental Meditation technique, vol.4, no. 335, pp 2687-2714)
Research completed July 1984
This was another research with predictions made publicly in advance. For this research we return to Lebanon. Unfortunate as the situation was, the continuous warfare in the region of Lebanon provided an ideal experimental setting for some of the superradiance experiments. In this case it was predicted in advance that 3 separate world peace assemblies, each lasting 2-3 weeks throughout a period of 6 months would create a significant progress towards a peaceful resolution of the Lebanese conflict. The 3 assemblies under consideration were the global Taste of Utopia assembly (Dec 17, 1983-Jan 6, 1984), an international assembly in Yugoslavia with 1700 participants, enough to influence Lebanon according to the square root of 1% formula (16-23 April 1984) one assembly in Lebanon itself, (1-17 march).
For the study daily levels on a peace/war index, (an 8 point rating scale of events reported in the major Lebanese newspapers) and daily reported war deaths and war injuries during each of the assemblies were compared with levels on the remaining days over the 6-month period.
Here is a graph with a plot of the changes of the war index over the 6-month period under consideration. Any points above the line indicate days where predominantly positive events took place. Now let’s do a little test. Usually researchers are relying on statistics to notice any changes, but in most of the researches on the superradiance effect the effect is so obvious and so clearly noticeable that it can be clearly seen even without any statistics. So here is the plot of daily peace/war index data over the 6 month period. Now why don’t we let you take a guess when the 3 courses took place…
This analysis is done based on simple reports from the Lebanese newspapers (again scored blindly etc, according to the usual rigid criteria)…. Can you spot the 3 distinct periods where more positive events were taking place on a continuous basis? It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?
Here’s another plot with the dates of the experiments, let’s see if you guessed correctly.
During the 6-month baseline period the overall average of events was negative (almost –1), while during the 3 assemblies the events were on average highly positive, Perhaps the most impressive was the Lebanon assembly, with a p value of .000036 (one in 30.000) which was all the more impressive since this assembly only had 70 participants.
Actually this assembly was not originally intended as a research experiment, (which is one reason why it wasn’t announced beforehand) but rather simply an attempt by the TM movement to use their superradiance technology to ease the tensions. Because of this purpose the small assembly was held in the middle of the battlezone, like the first world peace projects focusing directly on the trouble-spots in the world, going to those places were the stress and tensions were most intense. And it seemed to work. Even with its smaller radius of influence, it could still create a highly significant effect, way too significant to be a coincidence.
The overall probability of such a close correlation of these 3 assemblies with the positive events was .000046, one in twenty thousand. Seasonal changes as such could not have predicted the sudden improvements.
Research 23: Alleviating political violence through enhancing coherence in collective consciousness: Impact Assessment analysis of the Lebanon war
John L. Davies and Charles N. Alexander
Reference: Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 17(1): 285–338, 2005
The superradiance assemblies were organized for several more purposes than just experiments to prove the TM field effects hypothesis. Maharishi wasn’t just trying to prove that his technology worked, he was also using it to already create a change for the world, even if nobody would support it yet (either morally or financially). The assemblies were also organized to create an opportunity for the Sidhas themselves to go on longer courses and experience deeper meditations. Normally people just practice the TM, TM sidhi, and Yogic Flying program once in the morning and evening, whereas during these courses this program is repeated several times, throughout most of the day, allowing the people involved to go much deeper in their meditations and as such allow the deeper stresses to be released. The bigger the course, the more powerful the effects not just for the outside world but also for those participating in it. People clearly experience this. This is one reason why Maharishi has succeeded several times to organizes really big courses (although the Taste of Utopia assembly is still the biggest one to date), people mainly came for their own benefit, the experimental settings and the positive influence on the world were just nice side-benefits.
As such there have actually been many more courses than experiments. The researchers simply didn’t have the time to organize large-scale experiments around every course that was being held. Also they probably felt that new research should reveal a new aspect of the superradiance effects, there was little use in repeating the same experimental settings. With the dates of the courses publicly available anyone else that wanted to either confirm or refute earlier findings could easily do so.
Sometimes these large assemblies do come in handy if researchers want to experiment with a new research design, though, as with this study. This is an extension of the previous research, including the impact of several more assemblies on the Lebanese war (which was still the most extreme and most consistently violent of all conflicts around the world). On top of the 3 assemblies already researched, 4 more assemblies were included while the time frame was expanded to a 2 ¼ year period, from June 1983 to August 1985. This allowed the researchers to study daily data over an 821-day database and as such make a really detailed statistical analysis, more detailed than anything ever done so far.
The assemblies included were the Jeruzalem assembly (research 18) and 3 more assemblies that were theoretically large enough to influence Lebanon, another assembly in Fairfield in summer 1984, an assembly in Den Haag, Netherlands with 6000 participants during the Christmas holidays of 1984-1985 (I was there, though I was only 9 years old) and an assembly in Washington DC with 5600 participants in 1985.
To remove any doubts or possible flaws about the content analysis the researchers sought the cooperation from the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland, which was considered America’s leading institution in the field of peace studies. With their recommendations the study was designed and executed. Events over these 821 days were gathered from 8 international news sources (including the New York Times), as well as news broadcasts from radio stations representing all major parties to the conflict, as reported by the Foreign Broadcast Information service. The events were coded in a 16 point scale by an experienced Lebanese coder who did not know of either the experimental hypothesis or the dates (or even existence) of the assemblies.
Here is a graph of the effect of the 7 assemblies on the peace/war index:
For all of these assemblies (apart from the small one in Lebanon itself) the results were publicly predicted in advance. What became interesting for the researchers was the overall results of these 7 assemblies combined. This was simply because of the amount of research data they could now work with…Normally Time Series Analysis will start to work with as little as 40 data points. For this study the researchers had more than 800 data points, from every single day over the 821-day period, out of which assemblies were going on during nearly 80 days. This means that the statistical analysis would become extremely powerful…if the effects were consistent, at least.
And they were…
It was found that, during the roughly 80 days of the assembly there was an average:
- 66% mean increase in the level of cooperation among conflicting parties (p=.0000004)
- 48% reduction in level of conflict (p=.000000003)
- 68% reduction in war injuries (p=.0000005)
- 71% reduction in war fatalities (p=.0000000001)
A statistical analysis called the Impact assessment analysis, calculating the overall impact of these 7 assemblies on all variables makes the numbers even more impressive, with a probability value of 9×10-20 or, to put it differently…check it out….p=.00000000000000000009, less than once in ten million trillion trials could this have happened by chance…or in other words, the chance that the changes in Lebanon just happened to be coinciding so precisely with the 7 peace assemblies (out of which 6 were publicly predicted to create the effects beforehand) is smaller than one in ten million trillion.
As mentioned in the main article on this website, the chance that you would win the lottery this week is anywhere between 200 billion and 2 trillion times higher, depending on the country where you’re playing.
There is no single study in the entire history of social sciences that can prove a correlation between cause and effect with this kind of statistical certainty.
This study resulted in another major publication for the TM researchers, in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality.
Experiment 24: Time Series Impact Assessment Analysis of reduced international conflict and terrorism: Effects of large assemblies of participants in the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program
David W. Orme-Johnson, Michael C. Dillbeck, Charles, N. Alexander, Howard M. Chandler, and Robert W. Cranson.
Reference: Collected Papers, vol. 5, no. 411, pp. 3263-3264 and Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 36: 283–302, 2003
Terrorism is a hot topic, now more than ever. The researchers figured it would also be a good measure of disorderliness in the collective consciousness of the whole world. If it could be researched and a decline would be found during World Peace Assemblies, this would provide yet another nice confirmation of the long-range superradiance effects…But did anyone keep statistics on terrorism? The US department of defence didn’t and neither did the United Nations. Eventually the researchers found an organization that did keep daily data, though, the Rand corporation, America’s best-known think tank in the 1980ies. That made the whole thing relatively easy. Not only was the data already prepared, it also came from a source whose objectivity would be beyond question. The researchers took again a period of roughly 2 years during which the 3 largest assemblies to date took place, the Taste of Utopia assembly, the Holland Assembly and the Washington DC assembly, from mid 1983 to mid 1985.
It was found that on average terrorism casualties and injuries decreased by 72% (p<.025) during the 3 assemblies. Seasonal changes could not have accounted for these changes.
Apart from casualties and injuries from Terrorism from the Rand database they also measured changes in international level of conflict and the stock markets during the periods of the 3 assemblies in comparison to their 2 year control period. Both variables improved significantly, as with previous researches.
Experiment 25: The long-term effects of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field on the quality of life in the United States (1960 to 1983)
David W. Orme-Johnson and Paul Gelderloos
Reference: Collected Papers on the Transcendental Meditation technique, vol. 4, no. 332, pp. 2634-2652
Research completed May 1984, revised march 1985.
Social Science Perspectives Journal, (2 (4), 127-146)
We have already seen a quasi-long-term research on the reduction of traffic fatalities in 1982, when the group of Yogic Flyers regularly exceeded the square root of 1% of the population. (research 13). This research looks at a much longer term, from 1960 to 1983, and investigates many more variables.
For the purpose of the research another index was mathematically constructed, comprising many different fields in life as to give a reliable overall picture of the quality of life in general:
Crime and Justice
- Crime rate
- Percentage of civil cases reaching trials
- Infectious diseases rate
- Infant mortality rate
- Suicide rate
- Cigarette consumption per capita
- Alcohol consumption per capita
- GNP per capita
- Patent application rate
- Degrees conferred per capita
- Divorce rate
- Traffic fatality rate
So in a way this research is again a collection of 12 individual researches, and again it provides a control for itself. If this index would go up that would mean that on average all 12 variables would improve. It would not be possible to explain this in terms of random behavior, since normally any random fluctuations among the variables would cancel each other out, and it would be very hard to come up with a plausible alternative hypothesis that would explain improvements in all these variables at the same time.
Again, all the data was collected from publicly available governmental institutions (see paper for full list).
When these 12 variables were brought together in one index and plotted out over the years 1960 to 1983, this is how the index looks:
We see a continuous downward trend that bottoms out in 1975. Then there is a sudden reversal until 1980 and a strong increase from 1980 to 1983?
So how and why does the quality of life change? Why did the index more or less continuously go down but then suddenly reversed in 1975?
It would make sense social stress (the sum of all levels of individual stress of everybody in society) predict a deterioration on all these 12 variables at the same time. If people get more stressed they are less creative, less happy in their marriage, less productive, more likely to get into a fight etc. If this is measured on a societal scale, if everybody in society would be more stressed in general then this would result in increased crime, traffic accidents, suicide rate, divorce rate, alcohol and cigarette consumption etc. while GNP, patent application and degrees conferred would decrease.
If somehow the level of stress in the collective consciousness would then suddenly reduce, and everybody in the US would become a little less stressful, then the opposite trend should occur. That is exactly what happened, and this research shows that it was at least partly due to the TM field effects.
Here is the graph of the index again, but then with another index plotted for the same period, the Maharishi Effect index, the predicted influence of the TM field effects based on the sum of the effect from the number of people practicing TM individually and the effect from the number of people practicing the TM-sidhi program and Yogic Flying together in one group. Here is how the evolution of this index looks like:
TM was first introduced in the US in 1959. By 1970 already 200,000 people learned TM but during the 70ies this number increased rapidly. In 1975 alone almost a quarter of a million people learned TM. As such the 1% threshold was reached for several cities and the index, averaged for the US as a whole, began to rise again. In the late 1970ies and early 1980ies more and more Sidhas started gathering together in Fairfield, giving an enormous boost to the Maharishi-effect index (the dip in 1981 was due to Sidhas leaving Fairfield to participate in all the superradiance assemblies around the world we have discussed up until now). And the US quality of life Index followed very closely. The sudden rise in 1982 and 1983 was significant to the p<.0001 level.
So what does that mean in terms of the individual variables? Let’s have a look at the changes for some of them, especially during around years 1982 and 1983, the time when the superradiance number for the US was reached in Fairfield (sporadically in 1982 and almost continuously in 1983). As with the earlier Rhode Island experiment the results were fascinating, almost all the variables researched showed improvements in this period with 5 out of 12 variables setting records.
- Crime:in 1976 and 1977, after the large increase in TM meditators in 1975, crime rates fell for 2 consecutive years, which had never ever happened before during the entire time crime rates were recorded. But then in 1981 to 1983, crime fell for 3 consecutive years, (0.78% in ’81, 4.3% in ’82, and 7.6% in ’83).
- Percentage of civil cases reaching trial:This a good measure of harmony in collective consciousness, if cases go to trial that means all other ways of coming to an agreement have failed. This percentage dropped 7.6 % in 1982 and another 11.5 % in ’83, to reach an all-time low in that year (5.4% of all civil cases going to trial)
- Infectious disease rate: Dropped 4.23% in ’82 and 7.02 % in ‘83 (largest drop in 16 years)
- Infant mortality rate:continued its long-term decreasing trend (-1.08 % in ’82 and –2.3% in ’83)
- suicide rate:increased 1.08 % in ’82 and 2.3 % in ’83, the only negative variable that increased in both years.
- Cigarette consumption:Decreased 1.90 % in ’82 and 6.26 % in ’83 (largest decline in the 23 years under consideration.)
- Alcohol consumption:Decreased 3.52 % in ’82 and 2.64 % in ‘83. (2nd and 3rd largest decreases in 23 years)
- GNP per capita:Decreased 2.81 % in 1982, as part of a 3 year-long recession (even though the second half of the year showed one of the strongest economic recoveries on record). GNP increased 2.25% in 1983.
- Patent application rate:Increased 2.51 % in 1982, but dropped 11.26 % in 1983 (largest decrease in 23 years) as a result of an increase of the application fee. This was somewhat compensated in 1984 with an increase of 12% (largest increase in 23 years)
- Degrees conferred:rose slightly (0.31% and 0.98%) after declining for the previous 5 years.
- Divorce rate: Declined 4.46 % in 1982 (a decrease 3 times larger than the previous record set 21 years earlier) and again 0.18 % in 1983 (the only time divorce rate declined in 2 consecutive years)
- Traffic fatality rate:Declined 10.95 % (largest decline ever, apart from 1975, when the 55mph speed limit went into effect) and again 4.60 % in 1983.
So here we have it again. Doesn’t it blow the mind that a small group of around 1600 people practicing Yogic Flying together could cause such a dramatic change all over the US. Of course the question remains whether the change in the Maharishi Effect (ME) index really caused the changes in the quality of life (QL) index. Like with the research in Jerusalem, the researchers again used the best-known statistical method to determine causality, cross correlation analysis. The results (in more detail in the paper itself) show that the changes in the ME index did predict the changes in QL index, while the reverse was never the case. The correlation between changes in the ME index and changes in the QL index was significant to the p<.0001 level.
Of course if the changes were really due to the superradiance effect, then the changes should be larger in Iowa in comparison to the rest of the US for the years 1982 and 1983. This was already examined in the previous traffic fatalities research and confirmed again here, as shown in the graph below.
So it seems relatively certain that yes, the changes were indeed due to the TM Field Effects, in fact another statistical analysis showed that 44.1% of the variance in the QL index could be accounted for by changes in the Maharishi Effect index. When isolating the years 1982 and 1983 (the years when the superradiance groups in Fairfield were growing to the required number) it was found that the Maharishi Effect index accounted for 86% of the variance of the quality of life index.
So if we read this research correctly then anywhere between half and 86% of the positive changes that people in the US were enjoying in the early 80ies were in fact due to all these many thousands of people practicing TM in their own homes, but even more so due to this small group of Yogic Flyers in Fairfield. And to give you an idea what exactly the percentages mean, the -4.3% and -7.6% changes in crime rate in 1982 and 1983 resulted in 1,300,000 fewer crimes over the US in those 2 years. Can you even begin to imagine that 1600 people, simply doing their program morning and evening caused a drop in crime that resulted in 1,300,000 fewer crimes over 1982 and 1983.
Maharishi is not interested in fewer crimes, however. He wants to see all crimes eradicated, and not only all crimes but all negativity of which crimes are just the most dramatic expression. But for that we need bigger groups, and groups all around the world, 8,000 (square root of the current world population) on every continent plus a group in every major city. In fact, based on the numbers the researchers had, they predicted that if there would be a Yogic Flyer attandence of 3000 people, the quality of life would improve by 13% every year. With 5,000 people, an annual change of 36.4% would be expected, and with 7,000 people, quality of life would improve by 71.6% every single year.
Experiment 26: Test of a Field theory of consciousness and Social Change: Time Series Analysis of participation in the TM-Sidhi program and reduction of violent deaths in the US
Michael C. Dillbeck
Reference: Social Indicators Research, 1990, no. 22, pp. 399-418.
While the previous long-term study already showed a remarkable correlation between superradiance attendance in MUM in Fairfield, Iowa, and several variables indicating the quality of life in the US, the correlation became much more impressive still when the data was examined in more detail. Dr Dillbeck took the weekly superradiance attendance data over a period from 1982 to 1985, 200 weeks of data, and examined the correlation with the 3 strongest indicators of violence and disorder in society; deaths through homicide, suicide and traffic accidents.
These data were available daily, as was the superradiance data, but they were aggregated in weekly cycles to control for weekly trends (for example both attendance going up and traffic accidents going down on a Saturday). Time Series Analysis controlled for other seasonal trends. A second more elaborate study took the data from 1979, when the superradiance group in Fairfield started, through 1985.
Consistent with previous research, it was found that whenever superradiance numbers went up, these 3 variables went down. Statistical analysis showed that the superradiance effect was causing a decrease of 5.5 % in all US violent deaths, this implied that the group in Fairfield was responsible for 65% of the declining trend in violent deaths from 1979 to 1985.
Because of the detailed nature of this study it got accepted for publication in the most prestigious journal on social sciences around, Social Indicators Research.
Experiment 27, 28, 29, 30: Consciousness and the quality of economic life: Empirical research on the macroeconomic effects of the collective practice of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation and TM-sidhi program.
Kenneth L. Cavanaugh, Kurleigh D. King, Cevat Ertuna, and Birney D. Titus.
Reference: Collected Papers on the Transcendental Meditation technique, vol. 5, no, 403-406 pp. 3188-3246
Accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the American Statistical Association, Business and Economics Statistics Section, (American Statistical Association, 1988, pp. 491-496) and the Proceedings of the Midwest Management Society (1989, pp 183-190).
Kenneth Cavanaugh is an expert statistician, and it shows in his papers; 4 studies, spread over 50 pages of research documenting another impressive aspect of the superradiance effect, this time on economic life.
For his research he used a well-known economic variable, Okun’s “misery index” an index that takes into account both unemployment and inflation. If the index is high, the situation is…well…bad, indicating that a lot of people unemployed, not making any money, and those that are find the value of their money decreasing rapidly, as happens with a high inflation.
Here is a graph of the yearly evolution of the misery index from 1950 onwards.
Again we can see a gradual rise, with a first downward trend after 1975 and a stronger and a more permanent downward trend from 1980, coinciding with the rising influence of the 1% effect and the superradiance effects. The downward trend from 1980 marks the longest peacetime economic expansion in US history.
Of course this would probably raise the question that would still be on a lot of peoples mind concerning this and previous long-term researches. How do we know that it is the superradiance effect that is causing the turnaround of this index (or any of the other variables researched)? This question can be more satisfactory answered when both the superradiance numbers and the misery index are examined in more detail. So the researchers did just that. They took monthly averages of both over a period 9 years. Here is how it looks like on a graph.
Even at first sight, we can see be a strong correlation between the upward trend of the superradiance attendance and a downward trend of the misery index. (the 2 peaks in attendance related to the 2 large World Peace assemblies held in Fairfield, the Taste of Utopia assembly and another large assembly in summer ’84) To really calculate how strong this correlation really was the researchers used several statistical methods. The calculations go in incredible detail and those interested in the statistics can have an absolute feast on these 4 publications. I’ll stick to the conclusions. The chance that the correlation between the size of the group and the changes in the Misery index was a coincidence was 1.6×10-12, or 1.6 in 1,000,000,000,000…one trillion…and here we go again…Did you buy that lottery ticket yet?
To be honest there are several research methods used and several variables researched, with different p values, but they are all in the 10-5 to the 10-12 range, so all highly, highly significant. As an interesting extra the researchers also examined the Misery index in Canada. The superradiance group frequently reached the required number to also include Canada in it’s radius of influence (around 1700 Yogic Flyers). Indeed, even on the Misery Index in Canada the influence of the superradiance group proved to be highly significant (p=4.3×10-5).
The papers impressed a lot of statistics experts and the authors were invited to present them at the Annual Meeting of the American Statistical Association in 3 subsequent years; in 1987 in San Fransisco (Aug 17-20), in 1988 in New Orleans (Aug 22-25) and in 1989 in Washington DC (Aug 6-10) Each year the papers were also published in their proceedings. They also got to present a 4th paper at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Management Society (Chicago, March 1989) and have it published in their proceedings.
Experiment 31: Change in the quality of life in Canada: Intervention studies of the effect of the TM and TM-Sidhi program
Panayotis Demetriou Assimakis
Reference: Dissertation Abstracts international (vol. 50 (5))
Now the researchers were looking at their Canadian neighbors anyway, here is another research on how the superradiance group in Fairfield influenced life in Canada. Theoretically the group was large enough for several periods during the early 80ies so the effects should be noticeable. The researcher involved took the same weekly and monthly data as Dr. Dillbeck earlier (weekly from 1982 to 1985 and monthly from 1979 to 1985). On top of the violent deaths examined in Dr Dillbecks research earlier this researcher decided to also have a look at fatalities due to other accidents. For his monthly research he investigated cigarette consumption, and worker-days lost in strikes on top. In the weekly data it was found that the superradiance effect accounted for a 4.1% decrease in violent deaths (p<.01) and a 5.1% decrease in deaths from other accidents (p<.005). The second study using monthly data over a longer period found the superradiance effect caused a 4.1% decrease in violent deaths (p<.025), a 10.1% decrease in cigarette consumption (p<.001) and an 18.8% decrease in worker-days lost in strikes (p<.05).
Experiment 32: Creating world peace through the collective practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field: improved US-Soviet relations.
Paul Gelderloos, Martin J. Frid, Phil H. Goddard, Xiaoping Xue, and Sarah A. Loliger.
Reference: Social Sciences Perspectives Journal, (2 (4), 1988, pp. 80-94)
Of all the long term researches on the superradiance effect this is perhaps the most impressive one…and likely the most crazy unbelievable one too…
Michail Gorbachev, president of the USSR at the time, got a great deal of credit for the dramatic changes in the US-Soviet relationships and the end of the Cold War. He was even named Time magazine’s man of the decade for these achievements.
However more detailed research reveals an entirely different picture. When all the statements from the presidents of both the US and the USSR were examined it became clear that actually a lot more credit should have gone to the US. In most cases it was President Reagan who made the first positive steps towards peace, initiatives that were simply answered by the Soviets. And…I have a feeling you already know where this is going…these initiatives happen to have a highly significant correlation with the number of people transcending in a small Iowa farmer town called Fairfield. Whenever superradiance numbers were high, the president seemed to be in a good mood towards his adversaries.
So what are we saying, that the Yogic Flyers ended the Cold War??? Well based on the numbers it seemed they certainly played a part in it…But after all the research that you’ve seen so far, would that really still surprise you?
For this we have to expand our theory of Collective consciousness a little further, though. Maharishi has always said that the government of any country is always just an innocent reflection of the collective consciousness. In our system of democracy this is expressed in a rather superficial way already, where the politicians feel they have to stay in touch with the “will of the people” but it works at a much deeper level. This is how Maharishi explains it:
If the people in the country are disorderly, only the fruit of disorderly action will come to the nation. If the people create chaos in society, then this can only result in chaos in government. Every experienced member of a government knows this from his own experience. A new man in government may have a great desire for accomplishment. The same man, full of enthusiasm and ambitious for his community, when he comes to the legislature and sits there – he finds his whole thinking changes. So many legislators are beautiful people – when you have them to your home for dinner they are so intelligent and full of good will – but when they sit in the legislature, what they do is so different. This has always embarrassed the leaders of governments everywhere. They are not able to think in the halls of government what they are able to think at home. It’s because their thinking gets tossed about by the effects produced by all the people in the nation, by the disorder in the collective consciousness of that nation.
According to Maharishi’s theory, the government is much more directly influenced by the “will of the people” than one may come to expect. He describes it as an automatic process, an innocent process; collective consciousness drives government decisions directly. If the nation’s collective consciousness is gripped by war fever, the government goes to war.
And this is exactly what the researchers wanted to investigate, although in the positive direction then. We have seen over the last few researches that changes in superradiance attendance predicted changes in many different variables across the entire US. Each of these variables was influenced by the clarity of the people’s thinking, which is in turn influenced by the level of his consciousness. The level of individual consciousness is directly influenced by the level of collective consciousness, and the level of collective consciousness is being positively influenced by a large group of 1600 people constructively interfering with each other to create one giant wave on the level of consciousness itself, sending “ripples” across the ocean of consciousness and enlivening the pure qualities of it (the “supreme good”) in everybody’s awareness. Now they wanted to research whether this giant wave also influenced the actions of the president and his “enemy”, the president of the Soviets.
This research examines all the public statements from president Reagan over the period from april 4th, 1985 to sept 23rd, 1987, a period considered long enough to perform a reliable Time Series Analysis. The statements of the president are published by the Office of the Federal Register of the National Archives and Records Administration as the Weekly compilation of Presidential Documents. The researchers examined all the speeches, statements, interviews, proclamations, radio addresses, and addresses and remarks related to the USSR. They found a total of 347 statements.
Next the statements dates were erased and the statements were rated by 2 independent raters, based on a similar scale as used in the former COPDAB database, from –7 (war) to +7 (unification), with 0 being neutral acts. The average ratings were then again averaged into weekly totals for a period of 129 weeks, which became the data series for the analysis.
Next the model for analysis was again chosen using the AIC criteria (details in the paper) and the analysis was done.
One problem with the period the researchers chose was that there was no period to compare. Throughout the entire period the superradiance number for the US was almost continuously exceeded. Still they found a highly significant correlation (p=.0066). If the numbers were higher, the presidential statements were more positive.
This study resulted in yet another high-profile publication, in the Social Science Perspectives Journal.
Experiment 33: A simultaneous transfer function analysis of U.S.-Soviet relations: A test of the Maharishi Effect
Gelderloos, P., Cavanaugh, K. L., & Davies, J. L. (1990).
Published in the Proceedings of the American Statistical Association, Social Statistics Section, 1990, pp. 297–302.
Later on Drs. Gelderloos and Cavanaugh replicated the previous study using a longer time period, from 1979 to 1986. They also found another source for their information whose objectivity would be beyond question. The Zurich Project on East-West relations in Switserland is a database of content analysis from many different news sources to monitor the relationship between the 2 superpowers of the time. Any statements made by the heads of state or other governmental leaders as well as any overt actions taken by each government towards the other were marked as events and classified as hostile, neutral or friendly. The database kept a running record of the percentages in each category month by month. This made a research relatively easy so the researchers checked every month from 1979 to 1986. During the early years of this research the superradiance threshold was only periodically exceeded, so if it really was the superradiance group influencing the presidential statements then this should show a lot more clearly in the trends in this research in comparison to the previous one. The researchers indeed found that, contrary to popular belief, it was the US that usually made the first positive statements, and the direction of these statements was highly correlated with the number of Yogic Flyers in the Golden Domes in Fairfield. It was clear that Attendance increases preceded the positive moves by the US government. Finally they also found that with small increases it was mainly the US government whose actions were influenced, but large increases in attendance would also predict positive actions by the Soviet Government. This study had a probability smaller than one in ten thousand (p<.0001).
Experiment 34: The Maharishi-Effect: A model for social Improvement. Time Series Analysis of a phase transition to Reduced crime in Merseyside Metropolitan Area
Guy D. Hatchard, Ashley J. Deans, Kenneth L. Cavanaugh, and David W. Orme-Johnson
Published in the Journal of Psychology, Crime & Law (1996, vol. 2, pp. 165-174)
Fairfield, Iowa, USA wasn’t the only place where permanent groups of Yogic Flyers had gathered, providing opportunities for long-term researches. The same happened in a small town called Skelmersdale in the UK, part of the larger Merseyside Metropolitan area. In 1980 Maharishi European Sidhaland was founded in this little town and more and more Yogic Flyers came to choose their permanent residence there. By March of 1988 a large Yogic Flying hall was inaugurated and around the same time the group expanded to the square root of one percent. At the opening ceremony the leaders of the community appeared on television predicting that crime would reduce. Not too many people took the claims seriously as nothing seemed to be able to stop the trends of increasing crime rate. When the prediction was made Merseyside had the 3rd highest crime rate of the eleven largest Metropolitan Areas in England and Wales.
As soon as the group got together, crime did drop significantly, and stayed stable afterwards, while crime in the rest of the UK kept increasing.
By 1992, crime in Merseyside had decreased by 40% compared to it’s previous trends, and by 60% compared to National trends, and Merseyside had the lowest crime rate of all Metropolitan areas.
This resulted in 225,000 fewer crimes in MerseysideFrom 1988 to 1992, and savings of app. 1,250 Million pounds (almost $2 billion at the exchange rate at the time) for the Merseyside administration. The group in Skelmersdale consisted of around 150 Yogic Flyers, simply doing their morning and evening programs together during these 5 years. Demographic changes, economic variables, police practice, and other factors were investigated and could not have accounted for the changes. It was calculated that for every hour a Yogic Flyer was doing his thing, the Merseyside government saved $6000 in crime related costs. Even if the Yogic Flyers would be paid $30 per hour (they weren’t they were all volunteers doing it for their own benefit), it would still be 200 times cheaper than conventional methods (that’s 99.5% cheaper).
While some of the decreases in crime rate over the studies we have seen, seemed relatively small at first sight (mostly between 5 and 10%) it is obviously the long-term effects that is really what it is all about. Just like the personal effects of TM accumulate over time, so do the societal effects. That is what makes this study so important.
This paper turned into another high-profile publication for the TM researchers, in the journal of Psychology, crime & law.
Experiment 35: A group of Yogic Flyers in India to influence the whole world.
From 1978 to 1986 Maharishi had been continuously inviting governments to take up his technologies. Not only did he offer them for free, he even offered to have the TM organisation pay for the proof-of-concept. In 1983 he placed full page advertisements in all of the major newspapers around the world offering that the TM Movement would pay to create a group of Yogic Flyers in any country, and only if there were proven results, would the government have to pay back the costs, and promise to maintain the groups. No government replied.
So on 1986 Maharishi decided it was time to simply start creating the effect for the whole world himself, rather than wait for governments to come forward. With funding from the Zimmerman family, a US family of Yogic Flyers and TM teachers who had made many generous donations to the movement before, Maharishi started to organize a group of 7000 Yogic Flyers in India. These experts did not only practice Yogic Flying but also practiced another Vedic technology called yagya. Yagya’s are special procedures designed to eliminate negativity from world consciousness, to purify the consciousness, so to speak. You could kind of say that a Yagya removes the memory from a previous bad action, so that the results of those bad actions don’t have to come back to haunt you in the future, although this might be a very simplified explanation. Throughout the late 1980ies this group started to grow until it reached 7000 people.
The group lasted until 1991, when the private donors no longer were able to support it only by themselves and still nobody else, government or private, had come forward. As such due to lack of funds the group was forced to dissolve. What happened in the years 1987 to 1991? Arguably some of the best events from last century happened during that time.
- The Iran-Iraq war that had been raging for 8 years suddenly came to an end
- The Cold War came to an end and the Soviet union army, the largest in the world with 12 million soldiers, spontaneously dissolved, without firing a single shot
- The Berlin wall fell, with nobody finding any explanation why it suddenly happened, even the day before nobody would have predicted it
- The communist Soviet Union collapsed, creating freedom for many former Soviet-bloc countries
Maharishi did predict that world peace would come in the late 1980ies and that was exactly what had happened (he called 1987 and 1988 the “years of World Peace”). The mood of the world by the late 80ies was accurately portrayed by the media.
|June 4 1988||New York Times||U.S.-Soviet tension is now receding. Reagan declares: “Iron Curtain opening”|
|July 23||Reuters||1988 appears to be shaping up as the year that peace broke out in some of the world’s hottest trouble spots|
|July 30||The Ecomomist||Oh, what a peaceful world|
|Aug 1||Newsweek||Is peace really braking out all over?|
|Aug 2||Washington Times||Winds of war seem to abate around the world|
|Dec 25||Washington Post||The sound you hear this Christmas is a worldwide sigh of relief|
|Jan 2 1989||Newsweek||The year of miracles|
|Jan||Time||The global boom in peacemaking that brightened 1988 is continuing into the new year…the superpowers [are] bickering over which one deserves more credit for peace breaking out|
If you believe anything that you’ve read up until now, the credit should probably go to a large degree to a few hundred people hopping in some cornfields in Iowa, and a few thousand pundits doing the same, with some strange Vedic procedures on top, in the middle of India. For Maharishi, it didn’t matter if he got credit for it or not, at least personally.
To set up and maintain permanent groups to create world peace is really only a matter of money. It is too much money for a small organization running mostly on volunteer donations, but it is peanuts for any government in the world. The US government spends more than 1 Billion per day on defense, another 1.5 Billion per day on crime prevention and almost $2 billion per day on healthcare. One day’s expenses could ensure all the groups the world would ever need in perpetuity (meaning, the money goes to some bank account and only the interest is used to maintain the groups). This is how simple it is, really.
Experiment 36: Creating permanent peace in Mozambique
In July 1992, President Chissano of Mozambique received a rather strange visit, a couple, Drs. Kurleigh and Carolyn King, who represented Maharishi Vedic University in the Netherlands, and who were claiming they could end all of the country’s troubles. Countless of other heads of state had been visited by Maharishi’s representatives, but the difference here was that President Chissano actually listened and decided to act on it, becoming the first head of state in the world to actually use the TM field Effect technologies. As he says himself:
First I started the practice of Transcendental Meditation myself, then introduced the practice to my close family, then to my extended family, then to my cabinet of ministers, then to my government officers, and then to my military. The result has been political peace and balance in Nature in my country.
By feb 1993, in less than 6 months, more than 16.000 soldiers in Mozambique had learned TM and 3000 went on to learn the TM siddhi program and Yogic Flying. As always when groups of Yogic Flyers started to do their thing, things started to change dramatically. The civil war, which had been going on for 17 years, came to a sudden end, and the economy started to rebuild.
In 1992 Mozambique was the world’s poorest country, by 1997 the economy was growing at 12.4% per year, the highest of all of Africa, by 2000 Mozambique had the world’s fastest growing economy and had risen 15 places in the rankings of economic prosperity as measured by GNP per head. In 1999 the New York Times wrote:
Seven years after the guns fell silent, Jackhammers are ringing, new hotels are rising, new schools are opening, and newly paved roads are rolling across the land.
The war-torn, once ravaged countryside is not lush with corn, cashews and mangoes. Inflation has dropped to 2%, from 70% in 1994. The economy has grown an average 10% a year since 1996. After years of relying on donated food, Mozambique now grows nearly enough to feed itself.
Once a symbol of Africa’s calamitous wars, Mozambique is now a success story.
President Chissano himself said.
People ask me if this is a religion. I have explained to them that I may keep my religion but I should take advantage of this science and make maximum use of it…We will not stop praying in our churches, we will not stop praying in our mosques, we will not stop praying in our synagogues, but we will make an appeal to the support of Nature to the application of this technology.
Knowledge is not something one buys somewhere else, it is within everyone, even the ignorant. What is necessary is to give everyone the technology to bring it to the surface…
For what do we need this support of Nature, this coherence, this Unified Field? We want it to keep peace in the world. We have been fighting for freedom and peace, and we want peace in order to develop our country and to develop the world…peace is the basis of development and this peace has to start in our own minds.
In spite of the President’s clear support and the clear success of the program, he wasn’t able to keep the groups going, however. Democracy and outside influence (political and religious) ultimately caused the program to collapse in the late 1990ies. President Chissano was awarded the African Leadership Price in 2007, the most highly prestigious individual award an African president could get, for good governance and leadership in Africa. But still very few believed the reason why he claimed to be so successful. Maybe someday they will.
Up until today President Chissano publicly supports the TM program. He has recently been involved in creating the first Maharishi School in Mozambique.
Experiment 37: Creating peace in Cambodia
In 1992, Cambodia was ranking along with Mozambique as one of the poorest countries in the world, torn by civil wars and a violent regime by the Khmer Rouge. Around that time the government of Cambodia accepted an offer from Maharishi Vedic University to change the fortune of the country, not through military this time, but through education. In 1993 MVU Cambodia opened with 550 students, who all learned TM and Yogic Flying. By the late 1990ies the group of Yogic Flyers had grown to almost 1400.
Inflation went down dramatically after 1993, from anywhere between 100 and 200% per year before to under 5% ever since. Economic growth averaged more than 5% between 1992 and 2002 and Cambodia rose 24 places in the international rankings of economic prosperity.
Cambodia’s then prime minister, Ung Huot, sums it up pretty well:
I learned Transcendental Meditation in 1994, when I was Cambodia’s minister of Education, and have practiced it since then. It has benefited me and my country greatly. I had extra energy and my thinking was clearer and more precise. I realized I was functioning at my peak level. I was very successful…I improved the quality of education and, more importantly, eradicated corruptions, which everyone thought was impossible. Later I was promoted to minister of foreign affairs and first Prime minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, all within 3 years of learning my TM practice.
Transcendental Meditation has helped me and contributed to the development of Cambodia in a quiet way.
His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia also said:
Maharishi Vedic University is playing an important role in human resource development and in restoration of peace and expansion of prosperity throughout the country.
Experiment 38: An analysis of Improved Quality of Life and Enhanced Economic Performance through the Application of the Maharishi Effect in New Zealand, Norway, USA, Mozambique, and Metropolan Merseyside, UK
Dissertation Abstracts International 61 (04B) (2000), 2271
In 1993, both New Zealand and Norway crossed the treshold of having 1% of their population practicing TM, so this was the perfect opportunity for a new research. Researchers found that from 1993, both countries GDP’s grew spectacularly and both rose significantly on the IMD index of economic success. The chances that what happened in both countries was due to coincidence was less than 3 in one trillion p<.000000003.
To take a new angle on the TM field Effect research, the scientists calculated showed how much the government would save with every dollar spent in New Zealand on implementing the Maharishi effect, and how much increase in GNP would result from it. The results were spectactular.
For every dollar invested in creating the TM Field effects, the model showed $320 in savings in the national government budget plus $700 in increased gross domestic product. The economist Guy Hatchard who did the study compared it to installing a new piece of technology in your car. It would cost you only $10 to install, but would save you $3200 every four years or so. Who wouldn’t want to make use of this new technology.
In the US, due to the vastly increased economies of scale, the results were far more impressive. Mr Hatchard calculated that every dollar invested in supporting a group of Yogic Flyers could generate $17.500 in increased GDP, plus enormous cost savings through reduced crime and conflict, improved health etc. The return of investment was calculated to be up to 14.000%. Does that sound like a pretty good return?
So why aren’t governments doing anything with this?
Because politicians want to keep their jobs. They will only support ideas if they feel the people support them. If the people let the politicians feel they should take this seriously, they will. You want lower taxes, safer streets in a safer country, better health, more concern for the environment?…You know what to do.
Experiment 39: Effects of Group Practice of the TM program on Preventing Violent Crime in Washington DC: Results of the National Demonstration Project, June-July 1993
John S. Hagelin, Maxwell V. Rainforth, David W. Orme-Johnson, Kenneth L. Cavanaugh, Charles N. Alexander, Susan F. Shatkin, John L. Davies, Anne O. Hughes, Emanuel Ross.
Published in Social Indicators Research (1999, vol. 47, no. 2)
This experiment was the last public demonstration project the TM movement ever did: an experiment in Washington DC with over 4000 volunteers and a cost of over $5 million, all paid for by the TM movement and private donations.
Around the time of the study the total cost of crime was estimated around $700 Billion annually. The annual crime budget in Washington DC alone rose constantly from 1986 to 1992, reaching nearly $ 1 Billion annually, yet during that same time violent crimes increased by nearly 77%, an average of 10% per year. So far nothing ever tried (such as more stringent prison sentences or more police on the streets) has proven to be effective so far, and neither did crime prevention. A recent National Institute of Justice-commissioned review of over 500 crime prevention programs (supported by $3 billion in federal funds) concluded that “by scientific standards, there are very few programs of proven effectiveness” (Sherman et al., 1997).
With this background you could imagine that some people within the Washington DC police department were looking a little funny when a few well-dressed people came in, predicting they were going to reduce crime by 20%…through meditation…In fact, as soon as those predictions were made the chief of police went on television to ridicule the claims, saying that “the only thing that will cause a 20% reduction in crime is 2 feet of snow”…in the middle of summer…not very likely.
The scientists, led by quantum physicist Dr. Hagelin, also predicted that the effectiveness of the government would improve, as a result of improved collective consciousness. This would be objectively measured in the popularity ratings of President Clinton. This was again a prediction that was going against all trends. The approval rating of President Clinton had been going down continuously since he took office in Jan 1993. By June, before the demonstration started, the rating was at the lowest point ever recorded for a new president, 36%. During the first week of June Time magazine had a miniature picture of president Clinton on its cover with a giant headline “The incredible Shrinking President”
The researchers wanted this to be the research that would dispel all doubts. They gathered a review-board of 27 independent scientists and leading citizens to monitor the entire experiment, sociologists, criminologists, members from the Washington DC government and police. The researchers asked their review board to advise on every aspect of the study, from the use of statistical models to the gathering of data etc. The Time Series Analysis model they built considered everything there was to consider, weather variables, daylight, historical crime trends and annual patterns in the District of Columbia, as well as trends in neighboring cities. Up until the moment the experiment started, the model predicted the actual levels of crime with an incredible accuracy, over a period of several years.
But when the Yogic Flyers started to arrive (4000 coming from all over the world, my father was one of them) the actual crime started to deviate from what was predicted from the model.
What was interesting was that, similar to the earlier study in Jerusalem, the group didn’t arrive at the same time, but started building up gradually. When crime rate was plotted against the size of the group of Yogic Flyers, there was a very clear correlation.
Exactly as predicted, the rate of HRA (Homicide, Rape, and Assualt) crimes dropped to -23.3% when the group was the largest and gradually went back to the predicted levels afterwards. The chance that the correlation of crime rate with the size of the group of Yogic flyers was due to coincidence was p=.000,000,002, one in 500 million.
Statistical analysis showed that a permanent group of 4,000 Yogic Flyers would have a long-term effect of reducing HRA crimes by 48%.
Here’s a picture of the group of 4000 Yogic Flyers in front of the White house.
The second prediction about president Clinton also came true. While in the first week of June the press was still negative, in the second week, after the first 700 flyers had arrived, everything suddenly turned around, and kept getting better and better, as illustrated by the following quotes from the press
|June 11||CNN||The atmosphere is a lot better…the mood has improved dramatically|
|June 13||Washington Post||The Clinton Administration appears to have gotten its act together|
|June 18||New York Times||Bill Clinton’s Brightening Sky…What a difference a week makes|
|June 18||Newsweek||A good week finally…Last week the President appeared buoyant, confident once more…comfortable and for the most part so convincing that one wondered were this guy, the Bill Clinton America thought it had elected President, had been hiding for the last few months|
|July 11||New York Times||(on Clinton’s leadership on the group of 7 economic summit) A president who had been depicted as too weak at home to lead abroad had stomped onto the world stage with some force…the bash-Clinton campaign collapsed last week|
|July 18||Washington Post||The Clinton Administration appears to have revived…Washington has relaxed. But such a swift reversal of political fortune is not easy to account for. [We] may logically wonder whether Clinton really turned things around or if something else is going on…almost mysteriously and almost overnight, in the face of government distress, the press seems to be transformed…Bill Clinton, after all, is still Bill Clinton…[He] hasn’t changed – and neither has the press|
What has changed was the collective consciousness, and that simply resulted in more effective action from the government and more support from the public. It could be a coincidence, of course, but the chance was not very big. The graph below shows the sudden change in trend in media coverage as soon as the group started (p=.01)
While this graph shows the change in trend in public approval.
The chance that this sudden change in public approval was due to coincidence was calculated as one in 200 million (p<.000000005)
This study got the researchers yet another high-profile publication in the no. 1 journal on social studies, Social Indicators Research. The Washington DC police became a co-author of the study.
Experiment 40: Societal violence and collective consciousness: Reduction of U.S. homicide and urban violent crime rates
Michael C. Dillbeck and Kenneth L. Cavanaugh
To be published soon.
Inspired by the previous experiments another private donor offered to fund a permanent group of Yogic Flyers in the US, offering to spend an average $1 Million per month to pay a professional salary to more than 1000 Yogic Flyers at Maharishi University of Management. Along with all the students and other volunteers this allowed them to have a permanent group of between 1500 and 1800 Yogic Flyers during this whole period.
As usual, before the project started, a public prediction was made, to scientists and the press, that the US would start to see a dramatic continuous decrease in crime rate for as long as the group could remain together, and would be big enough to theoretically influence the entire US.
That was exactly what happened. From the moment the experiment started at the end of 2006, crime started to go down until 2008, when due to the financial crisis, millions of people lost their jobs.
At that time every expert on criminal statistics in the US predicted that crime would see a strong increase again, as that is always what happens when unemployment rises. Yet this time it didn’t happen. Contrary to all predictions, crime rate kept going down, even during the entire financial crisis. By 2010 crime had decreased by 20% across the US, in spite of all circumstances predicting a strong increase. In larger cities like New York and Los Angeles, crime went down far more, with some suggesting up to 80%.
Here are the monthly homicide and crime rates. (crime rate always has seasonal trends, going up in summer and down in winter, but you can clearly see the long-term trends, an increase before 2007, and a decrease afterwards, as predicted in advance).
There’s only so much one private person can do, however. After spending more than $100 million on this project, the private donor had to face the reality that his funds weren’t unlimited, and he had to cut down his support.
So here is a project where, according to the FBI statistics, close to 800,000 violent crimes and 10.000 homicides were prevented through this technology from 2007 to 2012, saving the US government billions, but where the project was still discontinued because of lack of funds.
Obviously the hope is that enough people will become aware of this technology so that eventually the government will take it on. Until that moment the project needs new private support so that it can continue.
Those were the 40 experiments that will change our world, and that have actually already changed our world.
Now you know that it works, the only question remains what you will do with this knowledge. Will you keep it quiet, like most people have done for the past 40 years, or will you make sure that everybody knows about it (knowing well in advance that those who are too stuck in the Machine Paradigm to be open to this knowledge will ridicule you).
It all boils down to: Do you like where the world is going, or do you want it to change?
Change is never easy, but it is sometimes very necessary…and change always happens because a few brave people make it happen.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this.
All the best,