The following is a response to Deepak Chopra and Ken Robinson's recent editorial by Col. Brian Rees, Dr. John Hagelin and Dr. David Leffler:
We agree, mostly, with Deepak Chopra's and Ken Robinson's editorial, "A military solution to a war on terrorism is doomed." However, there is one more important area that must be addressed in order for their proposed strategy to work quickly. They hinted at it when they wrote, "The chief reason to remain in Iraq and Afghanistan, once we entered and found chaos, is humanitarian..." Although the following comparison is not entirely applicable, we must remember that the US military deployed to Somalia for largely "humanitarian" reasons. Although sent in as a friendly force to restore order, later, due to the "chaos" they were reviled and persecuted by many civilians who had earlier pleaded for their help in delivering and safeguarding their lives, food, and supplies. This indicates that humans are motivated by dynamics that are beyond the ability of just our diplomatic and economic muscle to control.
Violent extremism is a human problem requiring human solutions. The underlying cause of extremist social violence that often thrives in chaos is accumulated social stress. The US armed forces need a proven method to reduce the collective societal stress in hot spots like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Peer-reviewed scientific research indicates that the best way to reduce collective societal stress, eliminate extremism and thereby snuff out war and terrorism is to adopt an ancient strategy. In modern times this strategy is called Invincible Defense Technology (IDT) and was revived by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in a non-religious manner. It has been quietly and successfully used in the past by members of many faiths to eliminate conflict.
Contracting with IDT civilian experts or creating Prevention Wings of the Military could achieve this goal. These special units would be trained in IDT and collectively practice IDT's ancient technologies of consciousness--the Transcendental Meditation (TM) and TM-Sidhi programs--in large groups, twice a day.
Extensive research shows that the size of the group needed to reduce social stress in a given population should exceed the square root of 1% of the population size. For instance, Iraq would need approximately 544 soldiers and Afghanistan approximately 572 soldiers as trained IDT experts.
Studies show that when these thresholds are exceeded, quality of life indices go up, and crime, war and terrorism abate. Scientists named this phenomenon "The Maharishi Effect" in honor of Maharishi, who first predicted it. For instance, a day-by-day study in the Journal of Conflict Resolution (1988, vol. 32, #4, pp. 776-812) of a two-month-long coherence-creating assembly in Israel showed that, on days of high attendance by IDT experts, war deaths in neighboring Lebanon decreased by 76%. A follow-up day-by-day study in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality (2005, vol. 17, #1, pp. 285-338) of more than two years showed that during seven different coherence-creating assemblies, war deaths in Lebanon decreased by an average of 71%.
Over 50 studies have shown that IDT works. The causal mechanism has been postulated to be a field effect of consciousness -- a spillover effect on the level of the unified field from the peace-creating group into the larger population. On this basis, a study in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality (2005, vol. 17, #1, pp. 339-373) additionally offers a proposed explanation of causality of IDT in biological terms. Research conducted on the powerful neurotransmitter serotonin shows that it produces feelings of contentment, happiness and even euphoria. Low levels of serotonin, according to research, correlate with violence, aggression, and poor emotional moods. The IDT study showed that higher numbers of IDT experts correlated with a marked increase in serotonin production among other community members. These results were statistically significant and followed the attendance figures in the IDT group. This finding offers a plausible neurophysiologic mechanism to explain reduced hostility and aggression in society at large.
IDT has also been documented worldwide in a study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation (2003, vol. 36, #1-4, 283-302) using data provided by the Rand Corporation. When large assemblies of IDT experts exceeded the Maharishi Effect threshold for the world during the years 1983-1985, deaths due to terrorism globally decreased 72%, international conflict decreased 33%, and violence was reduced in nations throughout the world without intrusion by other governments.
The armed forces are responsible for protecting the nation's citizens, and are obligated to thoroughly examine realistic, scientifically validated methods for ending war and terrorism. Militaries are funded and its personnel are paid to perform their duties to protect their nations. Ultimately, it is the duty of our elected representatives to give the military the tools it needs to eliminate the collective stress fueling terrorism worldwide. Just because a military solution to a war on terrorism is doomed, it does not mean that militaries cannot apply IDT as a scientifically-verified means to reduce the societal collective stress that is ultimately responsible for social problems like crime, terrorism and war.
"Quality of life in Israel, including intensity of the conflict in Lebanon, improved in direct proportion to the number of Invincible Defense Technology experts in the coherence-creating group. A short online video featuring Dr. John Hagelin explains this finding."
About the Authors:
Colonel Brian M. Rees, M.D., US Army Reserve, a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, is a graduate of the US Army War College, and is currently Deputy Command Surgeon, 63rd RRC, Los Alamitos, California.
John Hagelin, Ph.D. is a Harvard-trained Kilby Award winning quantum physicist who appeared in the feature films The Secret and What the Bleep Do We Know?
David Leffler, Ph.D. a US Air Force veteran, is the Executive Director at the Center for Advanced Military Science, http://www.StrongMilitary.org