A Scientific Solution to Terrorism and Conflict


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The Global Union of Scientists for Peace (GUSP) is a coalition of leading scientists and experts, founded to prevent war, terrorism and nuclear proliferation and to promote safe, scientifically proven technologies for national security and global peace.

The Global Union of Scientists for Peace invites scientists in every country to contribute their ideas, initiatives, and expertise in order to promote national and international peace. GUSP especially supports scientifically field-tested approaches to peace that can be easily implemented to create the effect of peace immediately.

On 3 December 2015, in response to the growing outbreak of terrorism gripping our world family, the Global Union of Scientists for Peace published a full-page display ad in the International New York Times (European and Middle East editions) offering A Scientific Solution to Terrorism and Conflict.

The ad, an open letter from Dr. John Hagelin, GUSP President, was addressed to President Hollande,  President Obama, President Putin, the leaders of all nations, and the philanthropic peace-loving citizens of the world.

A Scientific Solution to Terrorism and Conflict—Click here to read

Global Union of Scientists for Peace

A SCIENTIFIC SOLUTION TO TERRORISM AND CONFLICT

An open letter to President Hollande, President Obama, President Putin, the leaders of all nations, and the philanthropic peace-loving citizens of the world

The leaders of Europe, Russia, and the U.S. have been struggling to find appropriate and effective responses to the terrorist attacks in France—and to the ongoing conflicts in Syria and elsewhere.

Unfortunately, the options available to our military and political leaders to resolve these crises are poor. Economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure are ineffective against terrorism. And military responses can further antagonize and inflame an already volatile population, leading to retaliation and greater terrorism—the inevitable consequence of attempting to create peace through violence. How, then, can such dangerous and complex threats be resolved?

Fortunately, there is a better solution—an innovative, peaceful, proven approach with a superior track record.

Defusing Conflict at Its Source

Research shows that war and social conflict are fueled by acute societal stress—mounting political, ethnic, and religious tensions among rival factions that, if unchecked, inevitably erupt as social violence. Research similarly shows that it is possible to effectively defuse such acute societal tensions through the use of powerful, stress-reducing, peace-promoting technologies by a small fraction of the population, most commonly within the military or in schools or universities.

On the individual level, published research has shown that certain powerful stress-reducing methods can neutralize even severe stress, including post-traumatic stress (PTS), within days—calming hyperactivity in the amygdala (“fear center” of the brain) and restoring balanced brain functioning in servicemen and -women, veterans, and victims of violence in war-torn areas.

On a societal scale, the approach of restoring calm and quelling social violence through the use of similar techniques by small embedded groups in society has been extensively field tested—in the Middle East and throughout the world. The consistent result has been marked reductions in terrorism, war, and social violence in the affected populations. These findings have been replicated in more than 50 studies, published in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals, and endorsed by hundreds of leading scientists and scholars. The efficacy of this approach is scientifically beyond question.

Achieving societal peace in a nation or a region torn by deep-seated political and religious tensions is historically difficult—especially given the underlying physiological root cause of social violence: acute and pervasive societal stress. Without addressing the buildup of acute societal stress, standard approaches to conflict resolution are unlikely to succeed. However, once such tensions have been substantially defused, achieving and maintaining societal peace becomes comparatively easy. Extensive published research on prior conflicts in the Middle East has confirmed that war and violence can be swiftly defused, and a negotiated settlement quickly reached—if the acute societal tensions have been alleviated. This outcome can be achieved with the cooperation of even a small group within the Middle East, or any other area of conflict.

Research Confirms Effectiveness

The initial experimental verification of this new approach took place during the 1982 Lebanon war. A day-by-day study of an embedded group of peace-creating experts in 1983 showed that, on days when the number of participants was high, war deaths dropped by 76% (p < 10-7). In addition, crime, traffic accidents, fires, and other indicators of social stress all decreased significantly. Other possible causes were statistically controlled for (Journal of Conflict Resolution 32: 776–812, 1988).

These results were subsequently replicated in seven consecutive experiments over a two-year period during the peak of the Lebanon war. The results of these interventions included: • war-related fatalities decreased by 71% (p < 10-10) • war-related injuries fell by 68% (p < 10-6) • the level of conflict dropped by 48% (p < 10-8) • cooperation among antagonists increased by 66% (p < 10-6)

The likelihood that these combined results were due to chance is less than one part in 1019, making this effect of reducing societal stress and conflict the most rigorously established phenomenon in the history of the social sciences (Journal of Social Behavior and Personality 17(1): 285–338, 2005).

In addition, the global influence on terrorism of three large assemblies of peace-creating experts (USA, 1983–84; Netherlands, 1984–85; USA, 1985) was studied retrospectively through an analysis of data compiled by the Rand Corporation. The data revealed a 72% reduction in worldwide terrorism during the three assemblies taken together, as compared to all other weeks during a two-year period. Each assembly had approached or exceeded the participation threshold (8,000) predicted to create a global influence of peace. The study ruled out the possibility that this reduction in terrorism was due to cycles, trends, or drifts in the measures used, or to seasonal changes (Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 36 (1-4): 283–302, 2003).

Global Application

Now that a scientifically confirmed solution to regional and global conflict is available, it should be implemented immediately—ideally by establishing one permanent group of 16,000 peace-creating professionals to create a sufficiently powerful influence of coherence to neutralize the buildup of social stress on a global scale. The cost to train and maintain such a group is infinitesimal compared to the cost of war. The Syrian conflict alone is costing outside countries at least $10 million per day, or $3.6 billion per year. In contrast, the cost of maintaining a group of 16,000 peace-creating professionals is less than that of a single stealth bomber.

The Global Union of Scientists for Peace (GUSP) stands ready to provide the requisite training in the relevant brain-based, peace-promoting technologies to designated members of the military, to students in large universities, or to employees at a sizable company in any conflict-torn country or region. The techniques, which include the Transcendental Meditation technique and related advanced programs, are systematic, easily learned, devoid of religious or philosophical content, and immediately effective. They are already being used to combat PTS by a growing number of militaries and have been incorporated into military training—and are already widely used in schools and businesses around the world.

World’s Wealthy Invited to Lead

If governments are slow to implement this scientific solution, then we invite the wealthy to take responsibility for doing so. The wealthy have a parental responsibility: they are not subject to the whims and pressures of electoral politics, yet have the resources and capacity to safeguard and nourish the whole society.

Now is the time to establish an Endowment Fund for Permanent World Peace in response to the urgent global demand. The income from this Fund will be used for one purpose alone: the training and maintaining of a permanent force of 16,000 peace-creating professionals to neutralize societal stress, and thereby create an immediate and demonstrable influence of harmony, peace, and positivity for the entire world.

We invite all peace-loving, well-to-do citizens to collectively—or even single-handedly—endow this Fund and create permanent world peace on a practical and demonstrable basis, for their own good and for the good of all.

Nothing to Lose

The prospect of ending tragic violence around the world in an expeditious way through a scientifically proven approach may seem too good to be true. Fortunately, the scientific method has strict empirical criteria for assessing the truth or falsehood of any hypothesis. By the strictest standards of modern science, this approach has been rigorously verified.

There is nothing to lose and potentially much to gain by applying this approach. The costs are negligible: for less than the cost of a military foray, enough troops or policemen can be trained—or factory workers, civil servants, or students at one or more universities—that a marked and demonstrable effect of peace will be seen immediately.

To address the immediate crisis in Europe, all that is needed is that a government or military leader of any European country designates an appropriately sized group of participants (approximately the square root of 1% of the national population—800 people for France, for example) who could be trained in the relevant, brain-based, peace-promoting technologies. Then GUSP will organize to provide the necessary training.

Once implemented, the results will be: • a demonstrable, marked reduction in terrorism and social violence within 60 days; • growth of harmonious relations among all parts of the country or region; • with restored order, improved economic and social trends within the country or region; and • as an added side benefit, improved health, readiness, and resilience of all those participating in the project.

To ensure long-term peace in the European Union, every nation in the EU should create and maintain a coherence-creating group of the appropriate size.

The time to act is now.

THE GLOBAL UNION OF SCIENTISTS FOR PEACE

Please contact: John Hagelin, Ph.D. International President President@GUSP.org

GUSPletterThe open letter was also sent personally to heads of government as well as the permanent representatives to the United Nations Organization, Geneva and UNESCO, Paris.

On 8 December 2015, An interview with Dr. John Hagelin, President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace appears in the Huffington Post.

Huffington Post Dr. John Hagelin Interview—Click here to read

THE HUFFINGTON POST December 8, 2015

Scientists Propose “Peace-Promoting” Technology to Counter Terrorism: An Interview with Quantum Physicist John Hagelin by Jeanne Ball

As governments falter in their struggle to find a solution to unpredictable outbreaks of terror, an international alliance of concerned scientists has offered a possible solution.

The Global Union of Scientists for Peace has recently published an Open Letter to Presidents Obama, Hollande and Putin—and to the leaders of all nations—proposing a scientific alternative to the conventional approach of creating peace through force or violence (International New York Times, December 3, 2015).

In the following interview, Quantum Physicist John Hagelin, President of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace, answers questions about this novel approach.

Dr. Hagelin received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, and conducted pioneering research at CERN (the European Center for Particle Physics) and SLAC (the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). He is responsible for the development of a highly successful grand unified field theory based on the superstring, and his scientific contributions include some of the most cited references in the physical sciences.

Your open letter in the Times offers an explanation of the root cause of terrorism: deep-rooted societal stress. Could you summarize?

It is the overwhelming consensus of experts in the field of conflict resolution that the first stage in the emergence of war is mounting societal stress—acute political, ethnic and religious tensions among rival factions in critical hot-spots throughout the world. If these tensions continue to grow unchecked, they eventually reach a boiling point. Then they inevitably erupt in social violence: crime, war, and terrorism. If we can defuse these societal tensions before they erupt—even a little—they do not break out into social violence. Water does not boil at 99 degrees centigrade.

‘Collective consciousness’ is a term that means the sum total of all the individual consciousnesses that make up a society. Stressed individuals create a stressed society—a stressed collective consciousness. And everyone embedded within that stressed society feels that societal stress. It thereby feeds upon itself.

Individual practice of certain evidence-based, stress-reducing meditation techniques relieves individual stress, according to extensive published research. And practice of these techniques—in particular, the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique—by a significant sub-portion of a population (even 1%) has been similarly shown to reduce societal stress, leading to substantially reduced violent crime, psychiatric crisis calls and other indicators of acute societal stress.

Moreover, practice of TM and its related advanced meditation techniques in large groups has been found to produce an even more powerful societal effect. Multiple studies looking at war in the Middle East, as well as global terrorism, have shown that as few as the square root of 1% of the population of a given region, practicing in large groups, can very effectively defuse and prevent social conflict throughout the entire region. (Here is a brief summary of that research.)

It is totally unnecessary for the most violent members of society—criminals and terrorists—to engage in these meditation practices. They become settled as the society becomes settled, and as local community support for their fanatical behaviors dissipates. This has been confirmed again and again. And this is the novel, innovative, but extensively proven approach that we are proposing today.

Why is this solution more effective than other approaches?

Conventional approaches to conflict resolution are simply too superficial. They are “Band-Aid” approaches in that they do not address the underlying root cause of war: mounting political, religious and ethnic tensions in a society. History shows that political settlements and negotiated treaties are hardly worth the paper they’re written on. These treaties are historically short-lived because they do not address and defuse the deep-seated tensions—or the lust for blood vengeance that seethes in the hearts of certain historical antagonists.

Has this been tried before—is it tested and proven?

There have been more than 50 demonstrations and 23 scientific studies published in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals. There have been at least seven interventions in the Middle East since the early 1980s, each time reducing war deaths and war-related injuries by an average of 80%, and bringing significant progress towards peace among the rival factions. It is a pity that government support was not made available to sustain those large, peace-promoting groups of meditating experts.

There has never been an approach to preventing war and promoting societal peace that has been as rigorously tested, or shown to be as effective, as this consciousness-based, brain-based, foundational approach to peace.

Do you feel that conventional approaches to countering terrorism are inherently bound to fail?

The historical record is clear. If you look at the Middle East, for example, there have been literally hundreds of peace treaties that have lasted, on average, only a few months. Negotiated settlements by representatives of government do not directly address the deep-seated stress in the collective consciousness of the masses.

Even military approaches, despite their enormous cost and toll in terms of human life and suffering, have rarely achieved a lasting peace. Witness, for example, the war in Iraq. Military interventions typically only further inflame tensions within these politically volatile regions.

You reference a “technology for peace” that’s more powerful than weaponry—could you explain?

When it comes to achieving lasting peace and social harmony, weapons are truly not powerful. They are a knee-jerk response in the absence of anything better. They appeal to men (mostly!) who seem to be unmindful of their historical impotence—of their poor track record. World War I was meant to be “The war to end all wars.” But the resulting humiliation and destruction wrought among the vanquished inevitably led to World War II. We need something more successful, more innovative, more powerful—something that addresses and defuses the root cause of violence.

With so many warring factions and conflicting ideologies, how can any approach allow all sides to reconcile and get what they want?

What people fundamentally want cannot be won on the battlefield. They want peace. Prosperity. Security. Happiness. The devastation wrought by war is not a path to any of these. You cannot achieve peace through violence. Or happiness through killing. Instead, it simply perpetuates the endless cycle of war followed by war.

If we want peace, we should enliven peace in the collective consciousness of society. If we want happiness, then enliven happiness in the collective consciousness. There is an abundance of research that shows that TM practice enlivens both. (See, for example, www.TM.org.)

What is needed for this to be implemented quickly?

Fortunately, relatively little is needed. Any governing body can designate a group of individuals to receive training in these peace-promoting technologies and can also provide sufficient funding and resources for their security and comfort—such as troops at an army base, students at a military academy or any sizable university, a group of unemployed citizens, or even a group of refugees. Then the Global Union of Scientists for Peace (www.GUSP.org) will arrange for their proper training. The effects will be felt immediately, within months.

I would also recommend that a proper research study be simultaneously put in place to demonstrate and document this effect, for the satisfaction and benefit of politicians, policy makers, and the public.

Any government representatives and/or private philanthropists who would like to see this done should contact: President@GUSP.org.

“…Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men
that the defences of peace must be constructed.” UNESCO Constitution

“There is no conventional defense against terrorism…
Inner peace is the basis of outer peace.
War begets war; for peace, use peace.” Dr. John Hagelin 

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