icBirmingham/Evening Mail, Aug. 21, 2002
A £3 million peace palace is planned for Birmingham aimed at trying to reduce crime and violence through the power of the mind.
The major new initiative seeks to use the ancient art of transcendental meditation to combat negative acts and trends in society.
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Details of the unique project were being unveiled this afternoon at a conference taking place at the Heart of England Transcendental Meditation Centre in Stratford on Avon.
The conference highlight was a live satellite television link-up with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the man responsible for bringing transcendental meditation to the world 45 years ago.
Since then, more than five million people around the world – including almost 200,000 in Britain – have learned the technique.
The peace palace is intended to house a permanent group of more than 100 experts in the Vedic form of transcendental meditation.
Huw Meads, a spokesman for the Stratford centre, said: “More than 40 scientific research studies have found that when large enough groups practise these technologies, which include transcendental meditation and Yogic flying, negative trends in society, most notably the crime rate, are reduced.
“This was first noticed in 24 cities in the USA in the 1970s and was again verified in 1993 when 4,000 experts practised this technology for eight weeks in Washington DC.
“The crime rate reduced dramatically during that time and rose back to its previous level when the participants left.”
Mr Meads said they were currently looking for a piece of land in Birmingham for the peace palace.
The centre would be supported, he added, by using land outside the city to grow produce using the Vedic organic approach to agriculture.
Local business leaders are also being invited to participate in the project, Mr Meads said.