Maharishi Effect Principal Research Findings

Published Research on TM and Yogic Flying Coherence-Creating Groups: Reduced War Deaths, Violence, and Crime

  • Reduced Violent Crime in Washington—The most recent study, a National Demonstration Project conducted in Washington, D.C., from June 7 to July 30, 1993, tested the efficacy of a coherence-creating group for reducing crime and social stress and improving the effectiveness of government. In this carefully controlled experiment, the group increased from 800 to 4,000 over the two-month period. Although violent crime had been steadily increasing during the first five months of the year, soon after the start of the study, violent crime (measured by FBI Uniform Crime Statistics) began decreasing and continued to drop until the end of the experiment (maximum decrease 23.6%, p<.000l), after which it began to rise again. The effects of the group could not be attributed to other possible causes, including temperature, precipitation, weekends, and police and community anticrime activities (Social Indicators Research, 47, 153-201).
  • Reduced War Deaths—A day-by-day study of a two-month TM coherence-creating assembly in Israel in 1983 showed that, on days when the number of participants in the assembly was high, war deaths in neighboring Lebanon dropped by 76%. During these two months, crime, traffic accidents, and fires all declined in Israel. Other possible causes (weekends, holidays, weather, etc.) were statistically controlled for (Journal of Conflict Resolution 32: 776-812, 1988; Journal of Conflict Resolution 34: 756-768,1990).
  • Reduced Crime in Washington—A two-year study of weekly data from October 1981 through October 1983 found that increases in the size of a large TM coherence-creating group in Washington, D.C., were followed by significant reductions in violent crime. Weekly violent crime totals in Washington decreased 11.8% during the 2-year period. Time series analysis verified that this decrease in crime could not have been due to changes in the percentage of the population who were of young-adult age, nor Neighborhood Watch programs, nor changes in police policies or procedures. (Journal of Mind and Behavior 9:457-486,1989.)
  • Reduced Crime in U.S. Cities—A study of a random sample of 160 U.S. cities found that increasing the numbers of Transcendental Meditation participants in the 160 cities over a 7-year period (1972- 1978) was followed by reductions in crime rate. The study used data from the FBI Uniform Crime Index total and controlled for other variables known to affect crime. (Journal of Mind and Behavior 9: 457-486, 1989.)
  • Reduced Violent Crime—Coherence-creating assemblies in Manila, New Delhi, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., all corresponded with statistically significant declines in violent crime. In these studies, alternative explanations were explored and could not account for the findings (Journal of Mind and Behavior 8:67-104,1987).

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