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Maharishi Vedic Science


Davies, John L.
Alleviating political violence through enhancing coherence in collective consciousness: impact assessment analyses of the Lebanon war.

Order No.8822340

This longitudinal social experiment tests a new approach to peace and alleviation of political violence through enhancing coherence, and thereby reducing stress, in an underlying field of collective consciousness. It was predicted that collective practice of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field (which includes the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi techniques) in a series of seven assemblies held within a 2-1/4 year period from June, 1983 to August, 1985, in Lebanon, Israel, Yugoslavia, Netherlands, and U.S.A., would enhance coherence in collective consciousness and behavior in Lebanon. An 821-day data base, recording daily levels of cooperation and conflict, and number of reported war fatalities and injuries, was generated using independently developed 16-point scales (Rasler, 1981). Events were coded by an experienced Lebanese coder, blind to the experimental hypotheses and technology employed, from eight international news sources, including the New York Times, and news broadcasts from radio stations in and near Lebanon representing all major parties to the conflict, as reported by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service.

Box-Jenkins impact assessment analyses indicated that in contrast to nonexperimental days, during the 93 days when the assemblies were sufficiently large for a predicted impact in Lebanon there was an estimated mean 66% increase in level of cooperation among antagonists, 48% reduction in level of conflict, 71% reduction in war fatalities, and 68% reduction in war injuries (p <.0001 for each variable). On a Peace/War Index combining these variables, all seven assemblies showed independently significant positive impacts (p <.01), with an overall estimated mean improvement of 1.22 standard units (p <.0001). Improvements could not be accounted for in terms of changes in temperature, holidays, or other forms of seasonality or trends in the dependent series, which were explicitly controlled for. Consistent with the proposed causal role of the assemblies, their impact was immediate, independent of distance from Lebanon; their dates of occurrence were independent from prior level of conflict; and predictions were not publicized in Lebanon. Results support a proposed unified-field-theoretic model of collective behavior as a basis for a needed new paradigm for understanding peace and eliminating violent conflict. Source: DAI, 49, no. 08A, (1988): 2381


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