I went to Nicaragua in 1989 as part of an international program by Maharishi to use, for the first time, groups of meditation experts in reducing violent national tendencies. When superradiance (collective practice of TM and TM-Sidhis techniques) was applied in Managua, Nicaragua in October that year, Anastacio Somoza (one of the few Presidents to order air strikes on his own cities [during the civil war that March]) changed in a positive manner. He began a period of peaceful conciliation (crime and accident rates went down too) that reverted back into violence only after our superradiance teams stopped and left. The following research shows similar results.
Research on Collective Meditation
and Reduced Violence and Conflict
Scientific research has identified high levels of social stress as a primary causative factor in crime and social conflict. The impact of stress-reducing collective meditation on such violent behavior has been the subject of increasing scientific scrutiny. During the past two decades, over 40 published scientific experiments have documented the impact of one such practice, the Transcendental Meditation program, on reducing violence and armed conflict.
Reduced Urban Crime
Crime rates in 24 U.S. cities in which at least 1% of the population had learned the Transcendental Meditation technique were compared to matched control cities chosen by an independent investigator. Total crime decreased 16% in the "1% cities" compared to the control cities, controlling for key demographic variables (Journal of Crime and Justice 4 (1981) 25-45).
Washington, DC: A Case Study - Click Here for Dramatic Results
The impact of group practice of the TM program and its advanced practice, the TM-Sidhi program, on crime rates was studied in Washington, D.C. between the years 1981 and 1986, when a group totaling 350 to 500 experts assembled twice daily. A major collaborative study by researchers at several universities found a highly significant relationship between increased attendance in the coherence-creating groups and reduced levels of violent crime (The Journal of Mind and Behavior 9 (4) (1988) 457-486). The data supported a causal interpretation. The analysis showed that other factors, including weather, police coverage, population age changes, and Neighborhood Watch programs, could not account for this reduction in crime. During the five-year period when the coherence-creating groups were present, violent crimes decreased by almost 50%, in sharp contrast to previous District trends.
National Demonstration Project
The interest among sociologists and criminologists generated by these and other previous studies led to a highly publicized "National Demonstration Project to Reduce Violent Crime and Improve Governmental Effectiveness" in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 1993 (Social Indicators Research, 47, 153-201). This $6 million scientific demonstration, involving 4000 participants over a period of two months, was the largest and most rigorously designed sociological experiment in history.
The prediction of a 20% drop in crime, and the specific research methodology to be used, were lodged in advance with the national and international press, and with a 27-member Project Review Board consisting of renowned scientists, government leaders, and members of the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (DCMPD).
The research showed that violent crime dropped sharply by more than 23% (p<10-9) below the level predicted without the coherence-creating group. The analysis specifically controlled for variables known to influence violent crime, and found that the drop in crime could not be attributed to temperature, precipitation, changes in police surveillance, weekend effects, or prior trends in the data. The results were not sensitive to the specific assumptions used in constructing the time series model.
Similar results were obtained when the investigation was extended to two random samples of 160 cities and 80 Standard Statistical Metropolitan Areas, comprising almost half the U.S. urban population (The Journal of Mind and Behavior 9 (4) (1988) 457-486).