Hagelin on the Iraqi conflict: A commentary in the Des Moines Register
|Dr. John Hagelin
Dr. John Hagelin, the Natural Law Party’s 2000 presidential nominee, has been advocating the use of an innovative, proven approach to preventing violence and conflict. (See www.permanentpeace.org for an in-depth exploration of the theory and science supporting this approach.) Today, Dr. Hagelin’s views were published in the Des Moines Register, Iowa’s largest and most respected newspaper (see below). Dr. Hagelin takes issue with a Register editorial declaring that America has only two options: 1) bring our troops home immediately, or 2) send reinforcements.
Dr. Hagelin continues to powerfully build up the “US Peace Government,” a complementary government dedicated to preventing problems and promoting peace. (See www.USPeaceGovernment.org for more information). Hundreds of America’s foremost scientists, medical doctors, educators, policy makers, organic farmers — experts in the theory and application of Natural Law-based solutions — have joined Dr. Hagelin in forming this new governing structure for the United States. Dr. Hagelin predicts that, even without the powers of taxation and legislation, the US Peace Government will soon become America’s primary government, for this prevention-oriented government will be far more effective in addressing the needs of the people.
Dr. Hagelin will soon hold special, credit-bearing, semester-long and summer courses in Washington, D.C., for student peace activists and other peace-loving people, where individuals will gain profound knowledge and practical skills needed to become professional peacemakers, including powerful, peace-promoting Vedic technologies of Consciousness.
We encourage you to stay up to date on Dr. Hagelin’s most recent activities by subscribing to the free US Peace Government eNews at www.uspeacegovernment.org/subscribe/index.html.
We hope you enjoy Dr. Hagelin’s article in the Des Moines Register.
September 2, 2003
Best option: Meditation may bring Iraqi peace
By JOHN HAGELIN
The Register’s Aug. 24 editorial starkly outlined the chaos in Iraq and the challenges to the American military (“Iraq: Get Out Now? Or Get In Deeper?”). The alternatives were framed as “bring the troops home” or “send reinforcements.” Given those alternatives, the editorial was right to comment, “There are no good options.”
However, there is a non-military approach to peace-creation that has been demonstrated more than 50 times and tested in 23 academically published scientific studies. It’s innovative, but new thinking is necessary. The theory is that chaos and disorder in any society can be calmed by using large groups of peace-creating experts, trained in powerful and scientifically verified meditation techniques. The consistent result is that crime, accidents, warfare and terrorism dramatically decline.
This verified approach has been largely ignored by the media, government and military. But the adventure in Iraq has squeezed the United States into a thorny corner.
As has been proved endlessly, war doesn’t create peace. War creates chaos, social disruption and generations of animosity. In Iraq, the application of American military force creates its own enemy — an effective terrorist force fueled by frustrated Iraqis and anti-American zealots from the Middle East and beyond.
In this situation, conventional wisdom provides “no good options” for producing an orderly, stable Iraqi society. This means the only rational choice is to search for innovative approaches. If a new peace-creating approach has been validated scientifically, it has to be tried — regardless of preconceptions or bias.
When Maharishi University of Management arrived in Fairfield, few around the state thought teaching Transcendental Meditation made much sense. But now it is widely accepted that Transcendental Meditation can help reduce stress and create a calm, stable personality, while increasing intelligence, creativity and psychological maturity.
But the most powerful use of meditation — gathering large groups of meditation experts to calm stress and tension across the whole society — has yet to be evaluated in depth. This is not for lack of effort by Maharishi scientists. They have engaged in sustained research over more than two decades and submitted their studies to mainstream academic and scientific journals.
These studies have consistently reported that large groups of peace-creating experts are accompanied by marked reductions in crime, terrorism and war. These studies have survived the rigorous peer-review process — at least two, and often three or four, independent scholars (peer reviewers) scrutinized the studies before acceptance for publication.
Despite this academically accepted body of evidence, most people can’t believe the premise. How can a peace-creating group in one location reduce crime and war hundreds or thousands of miles away? They let biases and preconceptions take precedence over research evidence.
The same thing happened to Guglielmo Marconi of Italy when he invented the radio. Most people thought it was impossible to radiate sound for miles through an invisible field. They assumed he had hidden wires. The military in his home country dismissed his experimental evidence. Nearly three decades passed before the radio came into wide use.
With the crisis in Iraq — and the dangers in North Korea and elsewhere — we can’t wait that long. We do have one good option, not just in the Middle East but worldwide. Before more American soldiers are consigned to the death lottery in Iraq, we invite the government, military and media to investigate this peace-creating approach with an open mind.
JOHN HAGELIN is director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield.