Study 19: Decrease in crime in Manila, Philippines (1984)

In 1984 the government organised a large-scale project to bring Transcendental Meditation to different schools and prisons in the Philippines. 1500 Transcendental Meditation teachers (that had also followed TM sidhi and Yogic Flying training) traveled to the Philippines to take part in the project, and this was a good opportunity for a new experiment. The Yogic Flyers were spread out over the country and there was no opportunity to create one group large enough to influence all of the Philippines. However, the group was large enough to influence Manila. It was therefore predicted beforehand that crime in Manila would decrease in the experimental period of 17 August 1984 to 24 January 1985, 114 weeks in total. According to the Time Series Analysis of data of the local police, crime during those 114 weeks decreased by 12,1% percent (p<.005).

This study, along with earlier studies in Manila, New Delhi, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island, was accepted for publication in 1987 in The journal of Mind and Behaviour. Each of these 5 studies demonstrated an exceptional effect on crime, each time predicted up front, in 4 completely different areas around the world. The combined chance of such exceptional decrease in crime occurring 5 times by coincidence was smaller than one in one million (p<.000001). The editor of the journal placed the following note in the publication:

“I Decided to publish. The theory being proposed was a complete departure from the norm in either psychology or sociology, but this was a study well-done. The statistical evidence was persuasive. What I had to consider is that judging new ideas in any scientific field is an extremely delicate task. On the one hand, you never want to propound errors. On the other hand, you need to keep the field open for innovation and progress. I’m afraid that many times, new ideas don’t lose out on their merits. They lose out because established people in the field don’t want to see their power eroded by new ideas which threaten their expertise and authority. In any event, Michael Dillbeck [the author of the study] had written a strong paper with solid evidence. I didn’t see how I could deny that paper publication.”