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In February 2010 this headline appeared in Semana magazine, Colombia’s equivalent to Time Magazine.  Medellin's crime rate had changed so markedly that it provoked the above headline. Let's explore WHY journalists are asking what the Heck happened in Medellin...

To explain this phenomenon, the TM Field Effect (also known as the Maharishi Effect) should be defined: 

(in FIVE syllables)!!





The word groups refers to 1% (or less*) of the population of any community, city or nation. They can be spread about the population or, for a stronger effect, together in one place.

Rather than a wimpy, mood-making definition of good, the word here is meant to refer to measurable, repeatable phenomena of crime and accident rate reductions as reported by city, state and national authorities.

By transcend we mean that groups of individuals close their eyes and experience the inner unboundedness of their Self; their being. Sound easy? It is*.

Spreads: the numbers in the group determine how far through the population the effect will spread. There is a formula for measuring that.







In physics, superradiance describes the  expansion of orderliness which overcomes the surrounding disorderliness many times it's size. Similarly, small groups of 1% or less of the population, contacting and enlivening the unmanifest field by practicing Transcendental Meditation together, generate an expansive societal effect that produces measurable crime and accident reductions.

Translation: "Medellin,
What the Hell Happened?"

 Let's analyze those five syllables:




Now you understand the Maharishi Effect. Remember that it is not an effect based on improved social behavior; it is a field effect, spreading silently but thoroughly through the collective consciousness of a population.

Do you remember Fleishman and Pons? They published the first scientific study on Cold Fusion and the whole world beat a path to their door!!  Headlines reported on it for weeks!


Well, imagine how weird we felt when we announced to the world that there is a technique for quietly, simply and cheaply reducing crime and accident rates in cities and the disregard, the cold shoulder, the silence was deafening! Nobody paid us much attention. So we did what consciousness nerds do. We repeated the tests, studied it more deeply and applied it in public demonstration projects, announcing the predicted results beforehand.  The result was, the Maharishi Effect has been documented statistically since 1975, and studies have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including some quite notable ones.


The effect and its documentation was applied in numerous places. One such place was Medellin, Colombia; a problem city in the 1980’s with street crime, organized crime and, Mr. Worse-than-Hitler, Pablo Escobar himself. Medellin was considered the most violent city in the world. Just the name Medellin was synonymous with violence, anarchy and organized crime. This contentious environment was most certainly a good place to test a technique for improving quality of life!

Other studies were done in contentious areas like Nicaragua during their 1978 civil war and Lebanon in 1983. Crime in US cities was also measured in numerous research studies.  One result of this is that it changes the way we look at world news: the news is no longer just a random report of happenings and events but a record of changes in the collective consciousness of our cities, our nation and the world. The President or leader of a country can be looked upon as an innocent reflection of that collective consciousness, giving credence to the maxim that is well known all over Latinamerica: "El pueblo tiene los lideres que merecen..." (the people get the leaders they deserve...).


The following chart shows total yearly numbers of people who began to practice Transcendental Meditation, TM. The words "Laureles" and "Poblado" appear around 1995 because the city went from one fully functioning TM Center to three. There is a relationship between numbers of meditators and quality of city life - this will be made clear below.

Notice the unusual surge of Transcendental Meditation activity from 1991 to 1997. According to our understanding of the Maharishi Effect, there should be a corresponding drop in negativity and crime. In an attempt to explain what happened in Medellin more background information is still needed.


It is obvious from the graph that there was a surge in people deciding to begin instruction in Transcendental Meditation in Medellin starting in 1990. Imagine the stress levels among the general population during those years. Pablo Escobar's criminals and terrorists would put people's obituaries in the newspaper two weeks before sending the assassination squad to kill them. Escobar would capture his enemies and push them out of helicopters. It was like a sustained terrorist attack - one in which the simple and goodhearted people were aching for some relief. The relief came in the form of large numbers of people coming to the meditation centers and learning to dive within to their inner nature with TM. The spontaneous rise in people transcending and enlivening the unified field of nature brings a coherence to the collective consciousness that naturally rejects any weakening or negative forces, whether they be lack of rain, a plague of disease or behavior that disrupts Natural Law. The collective consciousness of Medellin, you could say, rejected the outbreak of crime in the same way that one's body rejects a pathogen or poison that suddenly infects it. The beginning of the rise in meditation instruction coincides with the year that Pablo Escobar's cartel began to fall apart. He was shot by Colombian Federal forces in 1993 after being on the run for two years.


It must be emphasized that the opening of a second and a third TM teaching center was not a result of a planning committee; it was completely spontaneous. The two centers, Laureles and Poblado, closed after a few years when the mysterious and spontaneous surge ended around 1998.


The effect described above is seen in physical systems in which an outside disruptive influence is repelled by the inner strength of the collective coherence of the particles that make up that substance. For example, the Meissner Effect does just this:

This example of invincibility is not unique in Nature; parallel phenomena of invincibility can be found in many aspects of the physical and biological sciences. In each case, it is found that the ability of the system to resist disorder is always based on coherent collective functioning. The Journal of Management and Social Sciences published an article that helps explain this phenomenon and its usefulness in prevention of violence or war.


What I am getting at, is that to create a superconductor out of an ordinary conductor of electricity, you don't need to change every single atom or molecule. It only requires the square root of 1% of the number of atoms to become coherent in order for the whole unit to have a phase transition and become a superconductor. The same criteria works for creating coherent laser light from ordinary light.

We still haven't answered the question, "What in the Hell is Happening in Medellin?" but we're getting closer.


The following graph shows the influence of a man born in Medellin who, as a Catholic Preist, started a foundation to address alcoholism and drug addiction in street people. The core of his rehabilitation program, called Hogares Claret, is good food, exercise, religious values and Transcendental Meditation. He started with one rehabilitation clinic in Medellin in 1995 but now has over 50 all over the country. His name is Padre Gabriel Mejia and in the year 2000 he won the Queen Sofia Prize of Spain for the most successful non-governmental therapeutic community.

As is visible on the graph (in orange color), Hogares Claret is responsible for many new meditators in the last ten years.

While the number of new meditators from the TM Centers went down, Hogares Claret brought many new meditators year after year. To complete the picture, in the year 2006 a new project began...

Thanks to the support from the David Lynch Foundation, a TM-in-the-Schools program started. It brought in hundreds of new meditators (indicated on the graph by the pink bars), mainly in the Medellin area. In fact, the school location, La Estrella, was one of the most difficult and afflicted schools in the Medellin system. The change was dramatic with both teachers and students (middle and high school) meditating in groups.

Note that there does not exist such a thing as high-quality TM meditators or low-quality TM meditators. The technique so natural that it is learned in 4-5 days and the person is transcending many times in each meditation from that day on. In terms of enlivenment of the underlying field of nature that affects city life, an ex-drug addict, a school girl, and a school teacher all, from their inner silence, enliven the collective consciousness equally. It doesn't require years of practice to get good at TM because the technique follows the natural tendencies of the mind and body. If the meditations are done in a group however, the quality and coherence created is strengthened. This effect is being put to good use in a growing number of places, mainly Latin America.

From this summary graph it is easy to see that by 2009 the creation of large numbers of new meditators ceased - the project ran out of money. It happened to coincide with most of the meditators graduating and leaving for jobs and college after the school year ended. Others simply did not have any time or place at home to meditate and no support from parents to form a group. The RED arrow indicates this sudden change in the daily enlivenment of the collective field of consciousness. The result this drop in meditators was a marked surge in crime beginning in the summer and building throughout the winter. The weekly news magazine Semana said, “Solo en enero, la ciudad produjo 231 asesinatos, 128 mas que el año pasado (Trans. 'just in January the city produced 231 murders, 128 more than the year before...')"


The spike in crime had no known cause, resulting in the journalists asking the question, "What the Hell is happening in Medellin?" The answer, we now know, is that a city responds immediately to fluctuations in the coherence of its collective consciousness. This shows how connected we are to our world;  more than we ever thought. A surge in crime is not a random happening; it is a result of a change in the underlying integrity of collective consciousness.


Now that the headline has been explained, lets explain the Maharishi Effect in just 10 words:


                                                                    City life

                                                                 is nourished

                                                        when the underlying field

                                                               is enlivened.


It seems that as you get more concise you get more poetic.  I am reminded of R. Buckminster Fuller who, weary of trying to explain his long, all-encompassing concepts to people whose minds were not as broad as his, put his concepts into poetry in a book called Intuitions   (Doubleday, N.Y. 1976).  By breaking his concepts down into easy, mentally digestible bits and publishing them in a poetic format with intervals and gaps between the bits, he succeeded scientifically as well as poetically.


Now you know the reason this article began with the whole focus of this knowledge summed up in five syllables!


                                                               Groups Transcend,

                                                                   Good Spreads


CONCLUSION: #1.  Consciousness is a Field - The only way in physics to explain "action at a distance" and entanglement of particles (both repeatable physical observations) is with Quantum field theory; the most successful and accurate framework to emerge from physics and describe nature at its finest levels. In the same way, the only way to explain the story above, and other repeated and well measured effects of crime reduction, is through the reality that consciousness is a field.


Opinions of other scientists and researchers: 

>>>  "The claim can be plausibly made that the potential impact of this research exceeds that of any other ongoing social or psychological research program. The research has survived a broader array of statistical tests than most research in the field of conflict resolution. I think this work, and the theory that informs it, deserve the most serious consideration by academics and policy makers alike.” —David Edwards, Ph.D., Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin

>>>  “We have to take these studies seriously... In the studies that I have examined on the impact of the transcending on conflict, I can find no methodological flaws, and the findings have been consistent across a large number of replications in many different geographical and conflictual situations. As unlikely as the premise may sound, I think we have to take these studies seriously.” —Ted Robert Gurr, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland
>>>  “This research demands action... I have been following the research on Transcendental Meditation as it has developed over the last twenty years. There is now a strong and coherent body of evidence showing that [this approach] provides a simple and cost-effective solution to many of the social problems we face today. This research and its conclusions are so strong, that it demands action from those responsible for government policy.” —Huw Dixon, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at York University, England
>>>  “The work is sound...The hypothesis definitely raised some eyebrows among our reviewers. But the statistical work is sound. The numbers are there. When you can statistically control for as many variables as these studies do, it makes the results much more convincing. This evidence indicates that we now have a new technology to generate peace in the world.” —Raymond Russ, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology at the University of Maine; editor, Journal of Mind and Behavior


CONCLUSION: #2.  Despite the good intentions of our government and institutions, we should seek world peace and crime reductions with deeper technologies: the technology of group dynamics of consciousness through Transcendental Meditation.


CONCLUSION: #3  The laws of nature are deep, eternal and powerful. We have used them for grand advancements of civilization. Even when the newly discovered laws of nature were counter-intuitive and weird, as quantum electro dynamics was, scientists went ahead and used those laws for great advances: (lasers, transistors, integrated circuits, accurate clocks, and CD players). Now that using human consciousness as a field that can be harnessed for crime reduction (by using large comfortable rooms for groups to meditate in) seems odd and counterintuitive, we should go ahead and apply it to improve our city life and our world.


Epilog: The story being told here is told with charts and explanations on an impersonal web site. However, I feel the need to say that living in Colombia at the time, being at the TM Centers, and sharing the stress of those times, was intense. I was one of those goodhearted people aching for a change. Since the story had a happy ending, indeed a triumphant one, it is worthy of a book. The finest dramas and adventures are comprised of this: uncertainty, desperation, faith, struggle, action and fruition. Better than any scientific experiment, we have here the proof of a new concept based on deeper laws of nature. I hope this story gets shared widely.   


Note: If you read all the way down to here, I congratulate you for your persistence and patience in hearing this amazing story. This is a work in progress - still being completed - all comments are welcome. Write to


Links: - This book, by Joachim Claes is the most inspiring, authoritative and complete review of all the published scientific evidence supporting the understanding of the TM Field Effect. It is also explained in a delightful interesting and confident manner. - Using the technology of collective consciousness for preventing terrorism and war - The Quiet Time program of meditation in the schools - Transcendental Meditation site - Maharishi University of Management; consciousness based education - News from Colombia - in English

The Maharishi Effect



         The TM-Field Effect - - 

         as seen in this book:

An ordinary metal (on the Left) is easily affected by the magnetic field.

However a metal (Right) with the coherence of superconductivity rejects the outside influence of magnetism.

       Silent Field


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