In his statement regarding the bombing of the February Jolo Catholic cathedral, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that he has directed his troops to be on high alert, to secure all places of worship and public places, and to initiate proactive security measures to thwart hostile plans.
We salute the Defense Secretary for taking proactive measures. The best proactive measure he can take is through a simple direct executive order. This measure can help his warriors gain a strategic and profound proactive advantage. It would prevent future terrorism instead of responding after attacks have occurred, for far less than the cost of conventional defenses. This unconventional yet highly effective approach with a proven scientific record for diffusing terrorism and violence is called Invincible Defense Technology (IDT), based on the non-religious Transcendental Meditation (TM) program.
As strange as it may sound, when large groups of trained practitioners practice the advanced TM techniques together twice a day, a powerful "field effect" of coherence and peace ripples throughout the consciousness of the surrounding population. The bigger the group the bigger the effect. The outcomes, confirmed repeatedly by extensive scientific research, are consistent and measurable decreases in war deaths, terrorism, and crime.
This surprising effect was demonstrated over a two-month period in the summer of 1993, in Washington D.C., where 4,000 meditators gathered for an experiment to lower crime in America's capital. The result, as documented by an independent board of criminologists, was a 25 percent reduction in criminal violence. (Reference: Social Indicators Research, 1999, 47: 153-201).
In 1983-84, at the peak of fighting in the Lebanon war, as many as 8,000 but as little as a few hundred meditators gathered at different times in Israel, Lebanon, Europe, and the United States. The documented effects of these assemblies included increased cooperation between the warring parties (66 percent) and a decrease of hostilities (70 percent). The odds of these results occurring by chance or any explanation other than the meditation were calculated at one in ten million trillion! (Reference: Journal of Conflict Resolution, 1988, 32: 776-812, and 1990, 34:756-768).
Similarly, large TM groups in Manila, New Delhi, and Puerto Rico have generated significant declines in violent crimes. Alternative explanations could not account for the results. (Reference: Journal of Mind and Behavior, 1987, 8: 67-104).
For a minimal investment of time, manpower, and resources, the Philippines military could train and maintain a group of about 1,500 experts in the IDT strategy. Think of it as a "prevention brigade" whose members meditate twice a day to defuse the deeply-rooted regional stresses and hatred that are the cause of conflict. The research suggests that once such a program becomes operational, societal conditions in Philippines and beyond, would rapidly improve. For as long as the peace-creating group is sustained, the collective coherence throughout society would rise through the influences of greater harmony and peace. Better solutions will occur to the people and their leaders for improving their own living conditions. Violence will subside.
IDT is not restricted to the military; any large groups practicing the IDT techniques can accomplish the goal, meaning all types of citizens could be enlisted, from schoolchildren to retirees. Its coherence-creating effect has also been documented on a global scale in a study published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation. When large assemblies of civilian IDT experts gathered during the years 1983-1985, terrorism-related casualties decreased 72%, international conflict decreased 32%, and overall violence was reduced in nations without intrusion by other governments.
The Global Union of Scientists for Peace, a global group of eminent scientists and leaders dedicated to support alternative, peaceful means of conflict resolution, have endorsed the IDT approach. Among them are Yukio Hatoyama, former prime minister of Japan; former president of Mozambique Joachim Chissano (who applied IDT programs to end that nation's civil war); Lt. General (Ret.) Vasyl Krutov, former chief of the Ukraine Anti-Terrorism Center; retired Ecuadorian Lt. General José Villamil (who also applied IDT to end conflict between Ecuador and Peru).
Given the countless efforts previously tried by Philippines that have not worked, now is the time to utilize this scientifically-validated method. IDT is simple and inexpensive, with a documented record of success: a cutting-edge brain-based technology that could potentially maximize the safety and security of Philippines's people and curb the bloodshed. Here is an opportunity for the Philippines to become a global leader in peace-making, so needed by this troubled world.
At one time, meditation was considered "mystical." Now, doctors routinely prescribe it, because research shows Transcendental Meditation reduces stress and improves health. Hundreds of studies confirm real benefits for individuals, including better energy, learning ability, job productivity, and happier relationships. The revelation that group meditation reduces turbulence in society and improves community or global health is simply an extension of the individual practice of meditation.
This is a new proactive paradigm for our times, ready to be implemented for it holds the secret for planetary peace. If wars start in the minds of men, then peace logically ought to start there as well.
Lt. Gen. Clarence E. McKnight, Jr., (U.S. Army Ret.) is a former Director of Command, Control and Communications Systems for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C. Major General (Ret.) Kulwant Singh, U.Y.S.M., Ph.D., leads an international group of generals and defense experts that advocates Invincible Defense Technology. Dr. David Leffler is the Executive Director at the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) http://www.StrongMilitary.org.