The Mozambique transformation from devastating civil war and aid dependency is a remarkable story of our times. Mozambique illustrates that, however hopeless the situation appears, however intractable the problems are, a government, national leader or NGO now has the capability to quietly instigate a shift in the collective consciousness of the population and so initiate a powerful, positive and permanent impact on the destiny of their country.
In summary, in the early 1990s, Mozambique benefited from the global Super Radiance group that had been set-up in India that greatly reduced the fighting across the world including Mozambique.
Shortly after this easing of the situation, President Chissano then created a number of TM based coherence groups or Super Radiance groups in the country itself. The immediate effect was to end the fighting altogether and precipitate an economic revival.
Essentially, the more peaceful atmosphere created by the coherence groups paved the way for the two main rival factions to negotiate permanent settlements. With peace breaking out, they could then develop mutually acceptable economic and constitutional reforms that took hold and prospered.
The results, among other factors were a 12.4% economic growth rate, inflation reducing from 70% to 2% and a liquidation of the national debt.
Starting point – Mozambique’s desperate plight
By 1992, the Mozambique people had endured twenty-seven years of almost continuous warfare. First came the fight against Portuguese colonial rule. This culminated in the withdrawal of the Portuguese in 1975.
Unfortunately powerful external forces constrained Mozambique’s true ‘independence’.
The country became a pawn in ruthless Cold War rivalry and like many other former colonies, became a surrogate battleground for the Super Powers.
A terrible civil war then raged between the Marxist leaning government, backed by the Soviet Union, and the rebel organisation Renamo, sponsored by the west-supporting South African apartheid regime. At the time, South Africa was not only fearful of having a Marxist controlled neighbour but was also determined to destabilise any possible supporters of the African National Congress Party at home.
The ongoing war devastated Mozambique.
Out of a population of 19 million, at least one million are reckoned to have lost their lives and five million people became displaced.
The economy went to rack and ruin, the infrastructure was wrecked and the countryside became carpeted with land mines that debilitated both agriculture and village life.
Here in Mozambique we also saw the arrival of a sinister new military weapon, the child soldier.
Renamo indoctrinated thousands of teenage children into becoming robotic, fearless, heartless butchers rampaging the countryside, pillaging and murdering and dragging Africa another step down the road of brutality and dehumanisation.
By 1987 the disintegration had levelled Mozambique to being the world’s poorest country. The combination of war, ideological zealotry and drought meant the country had become dependent on international food aid simply to feed itself.
Inflation was rampant at 70%, there was zero economic growth and the threat of starvation had become an oppressive reality haunting most of the inhabitants.
To compound the misery, by the early 90s, the whole of South East Africa was suffering the worst drought for over a century.
Mozambique finally got a break for two reasons.
Firstly in 1989 the upsurge in world coherence caused by the first group of 7,000 TM-Sidhas to achieve world super radiance precipitated a chain of events globally. A major result was the unprecedented and rapid cessation of the Cold War and the subsequent collapse in 1990 of the government’s external sponsor, the Soviet Union (See International peacekeeping).
This seminal event in world history had an immediate knock-on effect for Mozambique. The reduced pressure from external forces that had previously fuelled local hostilities combined with the calamitous economic situation enabled the government to negotiate a fragile peace with the rebels.
Secondly, during 1992 Mozambique’s then President, Joaquim Alberto Chissano, learned the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique. This proved to be a formative event in his life, as the experience led him to persuade, first his immediate family, and after that, his cabinet to take up the daily practice as well.
|“First I started the practice of Transcendental Meditation myself, then introduced the practice to my close family, then to my cabinet of ministers, then to my government officers, and then to the military. The result has been political peace and balance in Nature in my country … ”
–Former President Joaquim Alberto Chissano of Mozambique
Chissano soon began to integrate the practice of TM in the administration of his country.
“I had a group of coherence creating individuals next to my office. When representatives from other organizations came to me for a meeting, they were all expecting strong disagreements. However, the atmosphere was so relaxed, we were like old friends meeting after a long time.” (Read brief summary of research showing the impact of TM on the cortisol and serotonin levels of people nearby to a group of meditators)
It was during this period that Chissano managed to secure the General Peace Agreement in 1992 that finally ended the war and began the process of demobilisation.
Building on this initial success, Chissano and his government decided to introduce Transcendental Meditation to the armed forces and the civilian population. During 1992 and 1993, all military and police recruits were ordered to meditate for 20 minutes, twice a day.
Within a short space of time more than 16,000 soldiers and 30,000 civilians were taught TM. 3,000 of these meditators were trained in the more advanced TM-Sidhi programme. This figure of 3,000 is highly significant as the Super Radiance factor (the square root of 1% of the population) for Mozambique is actually only 435 TM-Sidhas grouped in one place.
Initially many of these people meditated in large groups. However, when the military demobilisation got underway from about 1994 onwards, as stipulated in the General Peace Agreement, the larger groups started disbanding.
As the military demobilized, Lt. General Tobias Dai, then Commander of the Armed Forces, and more recently the General Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, noticed a negative trend emerging.
“What is very clear is that once the positive effect is created, if group practice (of TM) is stopped, the previous tendencies of higher collective stress, as determined from the crime indexes and the tense situations in the country, began to rise again. In 1994, there was a remarkable decrease in coherence in the country as a result of decreased participation in the group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Programme…” Lt. General Tobias Dai.
Even so the initial uplift in coherence created by the larger groups of TM-Sidhas and the surge in teaching TM and the TM-Sidhi programme across the country had a lasting impact. From 1992 onwards there started a rapid process of economic renewal.
By 1993 the effects were being observed from outside the country. For instance on 22nd February 1993 The New York Times reported: “Mozambique has unexpectedly emerged as a candidate for an African Success story. We have a combination of peace and rain which has not been seen in Mozambique for a quarter of a century.”
|“Mozambique has unexpectedly emerged as a candidate for an African Success story. We have a combination of peace and rain which has not been seen in Mozambique for a quarter of a century”. New York Times|
President Chissano certainly attributes the cessation of hostilities in Mozambique and the ensuing development of his country to the effect of Transcendental Meditation. Here are some of the highlights.
Situation prior to achieving national coherence
• Prolonged civil war and violent political rivalry
• One million killed and 5 million displaced as refugees
• Radical Marxist policies inhibiting economic activity
• Zero growth rate
• Inflation at 70%
• Massive overseas debt
• Unrelenting drought
• Chronic dependence on overseas food aid to stave off starvation
Benefits achieved once Super Radiance for Mozambique had been reached
• Conversion to stable democratic government and free market reforms
• The only successful UNO mission in the world at the time
• Annual growth rate of 12.4%, the highest in Africa
• Inflation dropped to 2% by 1999
• Reduction of national debt to zero
• Drought ending in November 1992
• Overall drop in crime level
• Drop in car accidents despite a tripling of road traffic
• Resurgent agriculture with foreign food aid no longer needed
• Most stable currency in Africa
Chissano, a committed Roman Catholic says, “People ask me if this is a religion. I have explained to them that I may keep my religion but I should take advantage of this science and make maximum use of it. We will not stop praying in our churches, we will not stop praying in our mosques, we will not stop praying in our synagogues, but we will make an appeal to the support of Nature through the application of this technology (of consciousness).”
It could have been a lot worse – Look at Angola …
We must remember that the unfolding of events could have been a lot worse. Mozambique’s experience is in stark contrast to the hapless Angolans who also suffered a civil war following independence from Portugal. Exacerbated by international rivalry and entanglements, and lacking in the key Super Radiance factor, the civil war dragged on for a further ten years after Mozambique’s had subsided.
Angola’s ongoing conflict spawned a disastrous humanitarian crisis with a harrowing 4.28 million people displaced or one-third of the total population. According to United Nations’ estimates in 2003, 80% of Angolans still lacked access to basic medical care, 60% lacked access to water, and 30% of Angolan children would die before the age of 5, with an overall national life expectancy of less than 40 years of age.
And also Somalia …
Another sorry example of the best international intentions being dashed is in Somalia.
Peace negotiations in Somalia began in January 1993 under the auspices of the UN and these were aimed at a transition to democracy. The UN involvement meant the agreement was backed by the presence of 28,000 UN peacekeeping troops. But the presence of this many troops still failed to lead to progress. The UN contingents were forced to withdraw and the country suffered civil conflict and fragmentation throughout the 1990s.
All the Somalians needed was 310 TM-Sidhas.
It is the World Peace Group’s objective to help set up TM-based Super Radiance groups in any situation where there is the need. With your help we can achieve similar remarkable transformations in the peace and welfare of communities and countries. Please consider joining us by making a monthly donation.
We are pleased to work with any significant donors, government agencies, NGOs or community groups who are motivated to help areas of specific concern to them.
Some of the material on this page is derived from a research study conducted by Guy Hatchard Ph.D and Kenneth Cavanaugh Ph.D.
The title of their research is “The Peace and Well Being of Nations: An Analysis of Improved Quality of Life and Enhanced Economic Performance through the Maharishi Effect in New Zealand, Norway, USA, Cambodia, and Mozambique. A Longitudinal, Cross-Country, Panel-Regression Analysis
of the IMD Index of National Competitive Advantage. (Read abstract)
The paper examines five very different nations that have been influenced positively by the Super Radiance effect or ‘Maharishi effect’. Two countries are assessed using a broad-based international measure of economic performance and quality of life.Thanks for sharing 🙂