Mozambique’s Prevention Wing of the Military: End Civil War, Improve the Economy
The government of Mozambique has taken many approaches to end war and encourage economic development in the last twenty-five years. Colonial independence, nationalization, villagization, and Marxism were tried, with accompanying political upheaval, civil war, and massacres. A lasting peace was reached in the 1990’s, when a democratic government was elected. The economy has greatly improved. Mozambique’s President Alberto Joachim Chissano has credited much of his country’s sustained peace and resulting economic development to creating a Prevention Wing of the military.
The Prevention Wing was established in Mozambique to prevent war by creating coherence in society. Its additional duty was to practice the Transcendental Meditation (TM) and/or TM-Sidhi programs twice per day. This simple, natural form of meditation originates in the Vedic tradition and was revived by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Many published, peer-reviewed studies* have presented evidence that the practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program singly or in groups creates an upsurge of harmony and orderliness in society. When the group size is large enough, societal coherence envelops the area, creating what is known as “The Maharishi Effect.”
Mozambique’s Economic Problems
In 1987, due to the prolonged civil war and inadequate economic policies, Mozambique was ranked the world’s poorest country. It was on the brink of economic collapse. The economy had stagnated to the point that private foreign investment was nearly impossible to obtain. The United Nations raised $330 million dollars of emergency assistance.
In 1994 Chissano was elected President in Mozambique’s first successful democratic elections. Chissano and his government implemented free-market economic policies, which gave the private sector a more predominant role in Mozambique’s economy.
Mozambique has received a great deal of foreign aid. Additionally, its economy has been boosted by more foreign investment. The Research and Development Department in the Centro de Promocao de Investimentos (CPI) was formed in 1995. Economist Lourenco Sambo, head of CPI, said “The most attractive product that the country has to offer is the climate of peace.” He points out that “Businessmen want to invest where there is political stability.” The General Peace agreement was signed in 1992. “Before then,” says Sambo “there was not much investment…”
A Chance for Peace
After the General Peace Agreement was signed, Maharishi Vedic University presented the TM program to the Mozambique government as a scientifically validated means of creating order and quelling further conflict. In order to maintain its fragile peace, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Mozambique implemented the TM program in different military units of Ground, Naval and Air Forces. Lieutenant General Tobias Dai was Commander of the Armed Forces at that time. “After having completed a thorough evaluation of the proposal, the Joint Chiefs of Staff decided to implement the…program…in the Armed Forces of Mozambique with the aim to create the Maharishi Effect in the country. It was a matter of decision. Either try it or to leave it aside. Our decision was to try,” said Dai.
President Chissano tried TM himself. “First I started the practice of Transcendental Meditation myself, then introduced the practice to my close family, my cabinet of ministers, my government officers, and my military.” He was delighted with the results. “The result has been political peace and balance in Nature in my country,” he said.
Improvements On Many Levels
Positive trends were apparent after the program was underway in 1993. Mozambique remained peaceful. Crime is normally expected to increase at the end of a war. Yet, as predicted by scientists at Maharishi Vedic University, the crime rate actually decreased. Demobilization of the military began the next year. Suddenly, the situation changed, according to Dai. “What is very clear is that once the positive effect is created, if group practice 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 Program…”
The dip in coherence was probably due to the demobilization of the troops and anticipated ending of TM courses for future police officers, Dai indicated. Dai said in 1994 that “until now, although with several difficulties, the maintenance of peace has been possible during these 2 years, and free and just elections have been carried out…” Coherence-creating groups of meditators were re-created. A year later, the US National Defence Council Foundation dropped Mozambique from the list of conflicts in the world, and stability has since been sustained.
Mozambique’s civilians have demonstrated through their actions that they believe peace will be maintained. Many weapons have been handed in and destroyed. According to Bishop Denis Singulani of the Anglican Church in Mozambique, in exchange for weapons, people were receiving farm implements, sewing machines or other tools. These actions show not only decreased fear and tension, but also faith that peace will last.
Not a Religion
The TM program does not require participants to develop new religious beliefs. Chissano 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).”
Tapping the Laws of Nature
Due to Mozambique’s success on many fronts, other governments may be attracted to the novel strategy. The Mozambique military may have harnessed universal laws of nature. The basic principle is seen in physical systems. Certain “internally” coherent systems have the ability to protect themselves against disruptive influences, while “incoherent” systems are easily penetrated by disorder from the outside.
One example of such an “invincible shield” is the Meissner Effect. It takes place at the quantum level of superconductivity. In a superconductor, the coherent functioning of the electrons spontaneously excludes an external, disruptive magnetic field. This system maintains its impenetrable status because no random or chaotic activity can take place within it. Ordinary electrical conductors are not impenetrable because the random activity of incoherent and disordered electrons allows penetration of an external magnetic field.
The number of practitioners of the TM technique needed to create the Maharishi Effect seems to be about 1% of the population. Over the years, published studies have documented societal changes due to practice of the TM program. The changes include: reductions in war deaths and improvements in economic conditions, improved quality of life as well as reductions in crime, violence, accidents, and illness. These changes in social indicators all occurred when the number of meditators reached approximately 1% of the population in the area under study, whether a city, a province, or a nation. Leading scientific journals, including The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Social Indicators Research, International Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Crime and Justice, and Journal of Mind and Behavior, are among the publications that have printed studies on the Maharishi Effect.
Studies involving participants in the more advanced TM-Sidhi program showed similar results when only approximately the square root of 1% of the population were practicing the technique together in one place. In the early 1980’s, research revealed that coherence-creating groups collectively practicing the TM-Sidhi program in Israel and other countries reduced the war deaths in Lebanon by 71%, war injuries by 68%, and the level of conflict by 48%, and cooperation among antagonists rose by 66%.
Averting War Throughout Africa
Conflicts in African nations often spill unrest into bordering nations, with negative consequences. Defence experts predict that the nature of future warfare and terrorism will change due to the easy availability of weapons of mass destruction. Defending against these weapons is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Thus, war and terrorism must be addressed at their root cause: collective social stress. By reducing social stress through the TM program, other African militaries could prevent war and end conflict.
The military is best suited to implement this technology for creating and maintaining peace. Keeping peace is their job. The military is usually the most disciplined part of society. Creating Prevention Wings of the military would not be costly, as the armed forces are already being compensated for protecting their nation. A government would need to set dedicate about 1% of the military budget for this preventative technology.
President Chissano of Mozambique has expressed his willingness to endorse his experiences to any government who inquires. It is likely that other African countries will soon follow his lead. In August, Chissano became chair of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). SADC’s major objective is regional integration of its fourteen member countries. Mozambique is uniting and setting an example for other African countries by creating peace. Chissano says, “It is absolutely essential today that we maintain peace in the world. Peace is fundamental to development and prosperity. And this peace must start from our own minds.”
*For a summary of Maharishi Effect studies, see an article published by Security & Political Risk Analysis (SAPRA) India think tank.
About the authors:
Dr. David Leffler is an American with a Ph.D. in Consciousness-Based Military Defence. Email: email@example.com. Mrs. Lee Leffler is a Canadian with a Master of Arts in Professional Writing.
Transmitted: 14 January 2000
© Copyright 2000 Africa Economic Analysis
Reprinted with permission