A Liverpool crime study shows how group meditation, based on the powerful TM technique, reduces crime. As predicted by earlier research, crime started to drop when the meditation group numbers equalled the square root of 1% of the local population.
The assembling of a community of specialist meditators known as TM-Sidhas near Liverpool presented a unique opportunity. For the first time there was a sufficient number of these specialist meditators in one area to carryout a long-term study on crime prevention in the UK.
In essence, the meditation group enabled the whole metropolitan area to benefit from a phenomenon known as Super Radiance (Read more about the Super Radiance effect) for about five years. In this instance, 120 TM-Sidhas achieved the Super Radiance effect by meditating together in their community meditation facility on a daily basis.
Analysis of Merseyside monthly crime data and the number of TM-Sidhas meditating together from 1978 to 1991 shows that Super Radiance kicked in during March 1988. At this precise point the group size first exceeded the √1 % of the Merseyside population or Super Radiance threshold. The group maintained its size for about five years, during which time crime in the area dropped 13.4% (p < 0.00006).
Although this reduction may seem small, the drop must be viewed in the context of crime rising generally everywhere else in the UK over the same period. During the study period, crime in the UK as a whole rose by an average of 45%.
Dramatic impact on crime league tables
In 1987, and before the establishment of the TM-Sidha group, Merseyside had the third highest crime rate of the eleven largest Metropolitan Areas in England and Wales. By 1992 Liverpool had the lowest crime rate of this group.
This unprecedented drop in the crime level was 40% below levels predicted by the previous behaviour of the series.
Huge cost savings to society
Statistical analysis shows that as a result of the meditating group, there were an estimated 255,000 less crimes in Merseyside from 1988 to 1992 than would have been expected had Merseyside continued to follow the national crime trend.
Home Office figures indicate savings to Merseyside could exceed £1,250 million for the five-year period.
No other factors seen to account for the drop in crime
The researchers took into account demographic changes, economic variables, police practice, and other factors in the study and assessed that these would not have generated the observed changes.
Although during this period the police and judicial system implemented conventional crime prevention strategies such as drug rehabilitation schemes, these were initiated after the formation of the Super Radiance group. Significantly, such measures also continued to be in place long after the dissolution of the meditation group and when crime continued its inexorable rise again.
Hatchard GD; Deans AJ; Cavanaugh KL; and Orme-Johnson DW, Psychology, Crime, and Law 1995. Also presented by invitation to the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society on Criminal and Legal Psychology, 1-3 March, 1993, Harrogate, England.
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