The 'Narcos' and TM Field Effect Connection; including the Emerald Wars
In 1974 an idealistic 23-year-old headed to Colombia with the idea of living as a teacher of Transcendental Meditation and sharing knowledge of life in Medellin. His next idea (in 1982) was, "maybe I could deal in Colombian emeralds." Little did he know where those simple ideas would lead him !
That 23-year-old was a guy named Ron : TM Teacher in Colombia 1975 - 1980 & Colombian emerald dealer from 1982 – 2018.
“On Year 1, Episode 1 of Narcos the narrator says, “Even by Colombian standards, the emerald business was a pretty rough business.”
The episode shows Pablo Escobar’s partner Gacha Rodriguez at the ‘finca’ or farm of emerald dealer Gilberto Molina. Then Gacha goes in and kills everybody. That really happened. Now decades later, I still do emerald business with some of the survivors in the Molina family…years later a bittersweet destiny took me to that ill-fated farm.
Watching the Netflix series Narcos was riveting! Those of us who lived in Colombia for those Pablo Escobar years talk about Narcos a lot. All of those things happened and all of us lost friends to gun violence.
Other things, like the emerald wars (mentioned below), were left out of the series. TM teachers like myself lived a very surreal juxtaposition of deep silent meditations and surface violence. By the end of the 1980's the drug barons were so powerful that Colombia was in danger of being a failed state. Drug dealers were operating their businesses, especially in Medellin, with impunity. TM teachers Maria Teresa Acosta, Luz Marina Lascano, Jorge Baquero and myself felt like Strider in the Hobbit trilogy; evil was threatening the Shire but the residents were very vulnerable and didn’t know much about what was really happening. Strider was a Ranger who dwelled in the forest keeping orcs from entering the Shire. He worked on a different level and got no recognition; the Rangers were happy just to see the Shire free from evil and the Hobbits living safely.
Back in 1975, just before my first trip to Colombia scientists were studying something that Maharishi predicted: that if 1% of the population were to meditate with the TM Technique, then crime and violence would go down from the influence of many people's transcendence which enlivens the collective field of consciousness,
If that prediction were true, it would prove two things: the presence of an all pervading, unmanifest and natural field connecting everything. And second, rather than humans being an accident of random mutations and natural selection, it would show that we are at the core and center of the universe; our nervious system being capable of contacting that universal field. I love this question because, ahem, it either is true or it isn’t true; there is no middle ground. (now 30 years later the evidence has stacked up rather conclusively that a field paradigm of the physical world, including humans, is the actual truth).
As it was, the data from 15 cities in the US with 1% practicing this technique all showed a decline in crime and accidents with a probability factor of <.0001. This TM Field Effect (also called the Maharishi Effect) was inspirational. I was leaving the US for a country known for its magical realism as well as its violence; it would prove later to be a heavy combination.
So this beautiful useful knowledge was coming out and I was a 23 year-old teacher of it. I could never have imagined that my life in Colombia would play out in a background of escalating crime, violence and drug war fighting. In 1975 I was bringing TM to a city that was the crucible of a mafia avalanche and reign of terrorism in the form of Señor Pablo Escobar.
I went to Medellin and taught TM there in 1976-9. It was a lively bustling city. Later as an emerald dealer in the 1980’s I went there but it was changing fast. Fear moved in. Crime went up and we started avoiding certain parts of the city. The city was nowhere near 1% meditating. Avoiding kidnapping became a daily concern.
1978 SIDE TRIP TO MANAGUA - - In August 1978 TM Teachers were scarce in LatinAmerica so I left Colombia for a few months and filled a need in Managua Nicaragua where Maharishi wanted to demonstrate and prove that the application of the collective practice of TM (and the more advanced TM-Sidhis program) could have an effect on crime and violence. What better way to test the theory than to send 129 TM Sidhas to Nicaragua during the civil war and to measure the effects on war deaths and violence. Anastacio Somoza the president was fighting with the Sandinista Liberation Army for control of the country. The arrival of our group and my team’s teaching of TM in the city resulted in a period of peace. I’ll never forget President Somoza compromising on a difficult issue and saying “I have ceded as far as I can and if you don’t like it you can all go to Hell!” It was as if the new positivity was forcing him to be a better president even if he didn't care. There was a lot of conciliation politically in the Somosa regime, but our presence and our influence were never recognized by the president so we left after six months. War deaths went back up as the revolution rekindled itself. Somoza was assassinated half a year later.
The project did indeed show that the collective consciousness of a nation is the basis of its health (or lack of it). The TM-Sidhis program, with only the square root of 1% of the population practicing it, can positively affect the quality of life. It is interesting that the eventual leaders of the country, the Sandinistas, did recognize our influence of peace. They wanted revolution; not peace. They sent us a letter in December 1978 decrying our calming effect and threatening to send their “assination brigades” to get us out! (but that’s another story).
In 1982 I was 28 and got into emeralds. The best ones are from Colombia. As a new dealer I quickly learned the sharp edge of doing business with a Colombian product that was dealt mainly in cash. This guy in Los Angeles, Huberto, told me he was an emerald dealer and I helped him send money to Bogotá. But one day I got a call from Leiutenant Jacobs at the LAPD telling me that my business card was found on the dead body of a man “who was cut into five pieces.” Jacobs wanted me to come over and identify the body (I politely declined). I later found out that Huberto was smuggling cocaine and not paying the guys in Medellin.
I brought a gun to Colombia (not an easy thing to do) and started carrying it in 1987; a lot of emerald dealers were carrying guns. As a US Citizen my biggest fear was kidnapping. The gun however, a 9mm Walther, went back in a drawer and stayed there - it was too much of a hassle to carry. Twice a day I would meditate and feel a deep inner level of genuine protection and safety. It was somehow more real than what was happening up on the surface of events. While there was a very palpable feeling of fear permeating the city, the Medellin TM center was very busy teaching people how to meditate and soon a second TM center opened up to service more people. The TM technique reduces individual stress, and on a broader scale of city life, the natural field of collective consciousness becomes enlivened and strengthened – this is the basis of cultural integrity and peace. It started silently in Medellin but soon a transformation began taking place.
By 1989 Pablo Escobar was at his height of power and Medellin was known as the murder capital of the world. In Bogotá the Justice palace was blown up. Colombia was like France before WWII: everything was going to hell, but the people were partying. I was learning to Salsa dance and spent many nights at the night clubs of Bogotá. Once I saw another ‘gringo’ across the club; a rare sight back then. But we both avoided each other’s eyes – I knew he must be either a mercenary or a drug smuggler and he probably thought the same of me.
I was doing business in Bogotá, buying emeralds and living at the TM center; a large house with meeting rooms where two Colombian TM teachers also lived. I was single and young, and gave attention to the rising crime and violence but kept going about my business. Daily meditations provided a refreshing inner calm to contrast with the tense fearful city. But more than once we heard car bombs in the distance.
In the Narcos Series, the Pepe’s were described as paramilitaries led by Carlos Castaño. The name “Los Pepes” is an acronym for ‘People Persecuted by Pablo Escobar” and they waged war against Escobar. But I know that one or two Colombian emerald dealers were part of ‘Los Pepes’. They blew up a warehouse where Escobar kept his exotic car collection. By then, 1986, the Emerald War had started.
The emerald wars were part of all this and I lived it day by day. Gacha Rodriguez, after killing Gilberto Molina, wanted to take over Molina's emerald mine. The emerald miners and mine owners (with Victor Carranza and his 50 paramilitary fighters) put up a tremendous resistance in what became known as the Emerald Wars of 1987 - 1992. Gacha teamed up with Jaime Murcia at another emerald mine called Coscuez. The Muzo vs. Cosquez violence lasted 4-5 years and killed over 3500 people. Even in Bogotá the war had its casualties. My address book had names of emerald dealer friends and aquaintences that I did business with. If one of them got killed I put a black cross next to their name. It was a grim feeling each time I had to do that. When it got up to seven black crosses I gave up and started a new address book.
I flew to Medellin to help out at one of the TM centers and supply them with incense that I brought from San Francisco. My daily meditations were like medicine to me and I loved meditating with groups at the TM centers. The darkest room can be transformed when even one candle is brought in. It felt like our cosmic duty to meditate in groups. It is now clearly known that the collective consciousness of a city can be enlivened and strengthened by collective practice of TM and the TM-Sidhi Program. Us TM teachers had seen some crime rate studies in the US and my experience in Nicaragua gave me a clear understanding how city life gets strengthened in a positive way when Nature's silent core is strengthened.
One night at a Bogota salsa night club called Galeria, the lights and the band suddenly went dark and quiet and an announcement went out: “We are now happy to announce the presence of ‘el patron’ Pablo Escobar; all drinks are now free!” Not everybody was happy with that. Escobar was there with 20 people. I stayed dancing but learned later that for the two hours he was there nobody could leave or enter.
The murder toll of cops, judges and journalists was depressing. Many Bogotanos moved to Miami. The country really was going to hell. But in Medellin a third TM Center opened up as more and more citizens spontaneously sought the inner peace of a meditation technique. It was like a wind of silent coherence starting to blow in Colombia. The way that Maharishi structured this ancient technique to be taught is that by the end of the 4-day instruction the people are meditating self-sufficiently and trascending and feeling the benefits.
Escobar was now on the run. It was 1991; Rodriguez Gacha was killed the year before. By 1993 it was all over. Pablo was killed in December that year. Look on the chart and see how his demise corresponded to the strong rise in TM activity in Medellin. Turns out that Maharishi predicted that too. In his commentary on the Bhagavat Gita he describes how Nature (capitalized because of its cosmic and divine intelligence and power) will rise up to correct an imbalance of good and evil (Chapter 4 vs.4). The beauty of Nature's design is that the human nervous system has the capability of experiencing the unbounded field of creative intelligence that runs everything. Its power is such that only the square root of 1% of the population is needed to affect a city. Even without Pablo Escobar Medellin still had to deal with the violent patterns of behavior he left behind. Meditator numbers continued to rise as delinquency was brought under control.
Amazing fact: while Medellin was spontaneously rising up in meditators and collective coherence, the city of Cali had several failed attempts to start a TM Center there. Lack of cultural integrity stemming from a weak coherence in the collective consciousness (a weak TM Field-Effect) was like a green light for the Cocaine Cartel to flourish there after departing Medellin. The Cali Cartel flourished for a few years.
The violence kept a lot of emerald buyers away from Colombia. I kept on going to Colombia six times each year because during the most dangerous years there was one emerald mine, Cosquez, that continued producing nicely saturated emeralds that I could buy for $800 US per carat and sell all day long in Los Angeles at $1100 to $1200 per carat.
I never thought much about the danger because every daily meditation took me to a place where I was utterly and totally protected. I was in the sheltering matrix of Nature herself. And group meditations were even stronger. Soon my daily activities in Colombia were a blend of deep inner silence followed by witnessing often crazy outer mayhem; this was Colombia’s magical realism at its best. Or better yet, surrealism!
If Nature has an unbounded basis in the quantum field, which is everywhere, then the enlivenment of that field should show positive growth and the steady reduction of stress and violence. That was the prediction. The decades of scientific statistical study proved that the human nervous system really is capable of contacting and benefiting from that field. The Colombia/Medellin story shows the validity of this. However there are rigorous, repeatable scientific studies on the TM Field Effect that were published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. The effect is proven. You should refer to the book The Field Paradigm that delineates all of the scientific studies and lays out the history of all the areas where group practice of TM and TM-Sidhis changed the crime statistics along with accident rates, hospital admissions and other factors.
The attack on the Molina farm (Feb.1989) in the town of Sasaima stunned all of those of us in the emerald trade of Colombia. Gilberto Molina and 18 bodyguards and family were killed. Gacha Rodriguez went on to a partnership with Escobar that lasted until both were killed in 1993. Gilberto Molina's partner, Victor Carranza survived two more decades after that and was the most powerful emerald czar even though his ties to the mafia were well known.
The red arrow shows the approximate date of the killing of Pablo Escobar. Notice how it corresponds to a great upwelling of individuals coming to practice the TM program.
This is one of many studies that show how the collective practice of TM can have benefits not only for the individual but also for society. Besides Medellin, all major cities in Colombia showed evident signs of increased peace, coherence and safety.
The Field Paradigm
New Paradigm, New Solutions... The amazing true story of the scientific discovery that we are far bigger, far more beautiful and far more powerful than we think, and how we can learn to use that power to heal ourselves, develop our full brain potential...and change the world. The solutions that are presented in this book will sound incredible, too good to be true, but by now they have more solid scientific evidence than almost anything else ever tried. Click the book for more info >>>