The first World Peace experiment


The first world peace experiment showed a 352% increase in co-operative events in international affairs

The first world peace experiment showed how practical it is to deploy coherence creating groups to bring peace to trouble spots around the globe. The idea was to use the amazing discovery of the Super Radiance effect (What is the Super Radiance effect?) to create windows of opportunity for governments and other agencies to negotiate peace agreements that actually work.

The world peace experiment methodology

During a ten-week period in 1978, 1,400 specialist meditators known as TM-Sidhas were sent in various groups to five principle trouble spots around the world. The chosen areas were:

  • Nicaragua
  • Lebanon
  • Iran
  • Kampuchea (Now Cambodia)
  • Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)

Unfortunately for the residents of these countries, they had become the focal points of global collective stress. Each one lay astride the fault lines between the two rival super powers the USA and USSR. As a result, each of the countries suffered from political violence of some sort. Essentially each country had become surrogate, fighting grounds in Cold War geopolitics.

The objective of this first world peace project was to show that enhancing brainwave coherence in the local populations by using groups of TM-Sidhas would:

  1. Create progress towards peace in these specific areas
  2. Improve peaceful cooperation at a global level.

The TM-Sidhas made no attempt to influence the situation through social, diplomatic or political interaction. There influence spread directly from the enlivenment of collective consciousness precipitated by their daily meditation programmes.

As predicted, the results showed a reduction in violence and hostility. There were particularly spectacular results in Rhodesia where open warfare was underway and after the arrival of the TM-Sidha group war deaths dropped by 81% from the baseline figure.

Rhodesia Peace Project With TM - Reduced Daily War Deaths Record
Rhodesia Peace Project With TM – Reduced Daily War Deaths Record

World peace experiment analysis

Researchers measured the impact of the TM-Sidha groups on the trouble spots through analysis of data drawn from COPDAB (the Conflict and Peace Data Bank). COPDAB is the largest independent data bank in the world recording daily conflict in international affairs.

The data categorised events into a Conflict Scale under the three main categories of:

  1. Cooperative Events ranging in importance from verbal support by minor officials and the creation of alliances to voluntary unification into one nation
  2. Verbal Hostilities
  3. Hostile Acts ranging in intensity from hostile diplomatic actions such as troop mobilisations and withdrawal of ambassadors to full-scale war.

The results of the COPDAB study show a significant shift in international relations and domestic affairs towards proportionally fewer Hostile Acts during the experimental period. At the same time the data displayed more Cooperative Events (p=.0001). See tables below:

Domestic affairs showed a 115% increase in cooperative events


Hostile Acts Verbal Hostilities Cooperative events
Baseline 46.4% 17.6% 36%
World Peace project 29.7% 21.1% 49.2%


During the experimental period there was an absolute increase over the baseline period in the number of total events recorded by COPDAB.

Thus in terms of absolute frequencies the greatest change in domestic affairs was in the number of Cooperative Events. These increased from 90 events during the baseline period to 194 during the experimental period, an increase of 115.6%.

International affairs displayed a 352% increase in Cooperative events


Hostile Acts Verbal Hostilities Cooperative events
Baseline 14.0% 20.2% 65.8%
World Peace project 5.6% 14.5% 79.7%


In terms of absolute frequencies the greatest change in international affairs occurred in the number of Cooperative Events. These increased from only 610 events during the baseline period to 2,758 during the experimental period. This is a considerable increase of 352% in Cooperative events during the peace project period.

Essentially the study showed that the Super Radiance effect could provoke a foundational atmosphere for peace negotiations in even the most hostile and intractable conflicts. The study also showed that it was best to concentrate the TM-Sidhas into large groups that individually reached a minimum of the square root of 1% of the target population rather than spread the meditators out into several smaller groups.

For more information about this fascinating early study read research summary

Research authors

Orme-Johnson DW; Dillbeck MC; Bousquet JG; and Alexander CN; Department of Psychology, Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA, 1979.

Research title

An experimental analysis of the application of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field in major world trouble spots: Increased harmony in international affairs.


Scientific papers on Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programme, Collected Papers volume 4, number 322.


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