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New study: Group practise of Transcendental Meditation and and the TM-Sidhi program reduces crime

Maharishi University of Management - The Review    Translate This Article
15 April 2016

A new study has found that a large group of people who practice Transcendental Meditation and its advanced programmes together daily in Fairfield, Iowa reduced rates of homicides by a total of 21.2 percent over the four-year period when attendance was at its peak, and reduced the rate of violent crime by a total of 18.5 percent over the same period.

Published earlier this month in the journal SAGE Open, and Science Newsline, the study established baseline rates of homicide for the whole U.S. and violent crime for a sample of 206 urban areas with a population over 100,000 during the period of 2002 to 2006, and then compared that baseline with the period 2007 to 2010.

Societal Violence and Collective Consciousness was coauthored by Dr Michael Dillbeck and Dr Kenneth Cavanaugh. They found that a rising trend of U.S. homicide during the baseline period 2002 to 2006 was reversed during the 2007 to 2010 intervention period. In the case of violent crime, the study found a highly significant shift from a flat trend in 2002-2006 to a declining trend in 2007 to 2010.

The participants formed a group founded in 2006 called the Invincible America Assembly. Its purpose is to reduce social stress and crime, and create a sustained influence of coherence and harmony in the United States. Continuing to this day, the Assembly is comprised of permanent residents of Fairfield and the Maharishi University of Management campus plus visitors from the US and around the world wishing for a thorough rest and to deepen their experiences during practice of TM and the TM-Sidhi program.

From January of 2007 through December 2010, the Assembly was above or near the threshold of 1,725 participants, the size predicted to have an influence on the U.S. This threshold represents the square root of 1 percent of the U.S. population.

''Given that there are now multiple studies showing a highly significant relationship between a large group practicing the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs and decreased violence, this obviously has implications for crime prevention,'' said research professor Michael Dillbeck, lead author of the study.

This research is the latest in a series of studies spanning decades that have suggested that a sufficiently large group practicing an advanced program of the Transcendental Meditation technique, the TM-Sidhi program, is associated with decreased social violence.

Nine peer-reviewed articles, comprising 14 studies, have now been published.

The earlier studies were for periods of several weeks or months. This current study was based on group practice over a number of years, which gave researchers an opportunity to study potential long-term changes.

They used a battery of diagnostic tests to establish the validity of the key statistical assumptions of the analysis, which utilized ''broken-trend intervention analysis'' of outcomes, a form of interrupted time series analysis.

In the study the authors discuss alternative hypotheses, such as economic trends, incarceration rates, seasonal cycles, demographic changes, and policing strategies, but found they weren't sufficient to explain the observed reduction.

Reference: SAGE Open Apr 2016, 6 (2) Michael C. Dillbeck, Kenneth L. Cavanaugh, Societal Violence and Collective Consciousness: Reduction of U.S. Homicide and Urban Violent Crime Rates

Copyright © 2016 Maharishi University of Management

See related articles:
The Huffington Post: The Silence Revolution
This Is Your Brain On Transcendental Meditation

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