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John Hagelin (born June 9, 1954) is an Americanmarker scientist who was a researcher at the European Center for Particle Physics (CERNmarker) and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLACmarker), is an educator and author, and has been the Natural Law Party candidate for President of the United States three times. Hagelin is Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Managementmarker, Executive Director of the International Center for Invincible Defense, President of the US Peace Government, Raja of Invincible America, Executive Director of Global Financial Capital, Executive Director of the Center for Leadership Performance Director of the Board of Advisors for the David Lynch Foundation, and International Director of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace.

Early life and education

John Samual Hagelin was born 9 June 1954 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniamarker. During childhood, he played soccer, hockey and excelled at the piano. Hagelin won a scholarship to the elite Taft School for boys, where he earned a reputation as both a genius (receiving a perfect score of 165 on a school-administered IQ test) and a dare-devil. In 1970, while at Taft, he was involved in a motorcycle crash that led to hospitalization and a full body cast. During this time, one of his teachers introduced him to quantum mechanics, and he also learned the Transcendental Meditation technique, both of which had major impacts on his life.

Hagelin later graduated from Taft and attended Dartmouth Collegemarker on a scholarship. After his freshman year, a continued interest in Transcendental Meditation led him to Vittelmarker, Francemarker, where he completed the studies necessary to become a qualified teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique. While at Dartmouth, he earned an undergraduate degree in physics in three years with highest honors (summa cum laude). He also co-authored and published papers in physics research and won a fellowship to study physics at Harvardmarker. While at Harvard, Hagelin worked under the noted physicist Howard Georgi, best known for his work in Grand Unification and gauge coupling unification within SU(5) and SO(10) groups. He received a Master's degree from Harvard in 1976 and a Ph.D. in 1981.

Professional careers


By the time Hagelin had received his Ph.D. from Harvard, he had already published "several serious papers" on particle theory. In 1981, Hagelin won a postdoctoral research appointment at CERNmarker (the European Center for Particle Physics) in Switzerlandmarker, and in 1983 was recruited by SLACmarker (the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), CERN's North American counterpart.

In 1984, Hagelin shifted his appointment from SLAC to Maharishi International Universitymarker (MIU), where he continued his research in physics, pursued a long-time interest in brain and cognitive science research, and established an accredited doctoral program in theoretical physics. Hagelin’s move to MIU in 1984 surprised and puzzled his colleagues. Howard Georgi and John Ellis tried to talk him out of it. But, according to Georgi, Hagelin "continued to do good physics anyway”. Nobel Laureate, Sheldon Glashow was quoted in a 1992 article as saying, “His papers are outstanding. We read them before he went to MIU and we read them now.” Hagelin remained in contact with colleagues from Harvard, Stanford, and CERN, and continued to collaborate with them. While at MIU, his contributions to the field of theoretical physics were supported by funding from the National Science Foundation.

Currently, Hagelin teaches physics as Professor of Physics at Maharishi University of Management (formerly MIU) and serves as Director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at that institution. Hagelin is also identified as the Founding President of Maharishi Central University, which was announced in 2007. Central University was under construction in Smith Center, Kansasmarker at the site of a previously-announced Peace Palace until early 2008, when, according to Hagelin, the project was put on hold while the TM organization dealt with the death of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.


During his time at CERN, SLAC and Maharishi University of Management (MUM), Hagelin worked on supersymmetric extensions of the standard model and grand unification theories and also collaborated with many of the leading figures in his field. In the years 1979-1996, Hagelin published more than 70 papers in the fields of particle physics and cosmology, most of them in prestigious scientific journals. Several were described as “core papers” that were among the 20 most cited references in physics in their respective years, according to Current Contents magazine. This includes his work on the "flipped SU, heterotic superstring theory” that is considered one of the more successful unified field theories or “theories of everything” and was highlighted in the cover story of Discover magazine.

Hagelin co-authored a 1983 paper entitled "Weak symmetry breaking by radiative corrections in broken supergravity", which is included in a list of the 103 articles in the physical sciences that were cited the most times during the years 1983 and 1984. As of 2007, the article has been cited over 500 times.

In 1987 and 1989, Hagelin published two papers in the MUM'smarker Journal of Modern Science and Vedic Science on the relationship between physics and consciousness. These papers discuss the Vedic understanding of consciousness as a field and compare it with theories of the unified field derived by modern physics. Hagelin argues that these two fields have almost identical properties and quantitative structure, and he presents other theoretical and empirical arguments that the two fields are actually one and the same—specifically, that the experience of unity at the basis of the mind achieved during the meditative state is the subjective experience of the very same fundamental unity of existence revealed by unified field theories.

Part of the evidence Hagelin presents for this explanation is the body of research on the effects that practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation technique and of the more advanced TM-Sidhi program (which includes a practice called "Yogic Flying") have on measured parameters in society. This phenomenon is called the "Maharishi Effect". In these two papers he cites numerous studies of such effects, and in the summer of 1993, he conducted a large scale study of this type. Hagelin recruited approximately 4,000 TM-Sidhi program practitioners to the Washington D.C. area, where they practiced the TM Sidhi techniques twice daily in a group. Using data obtained from the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department for 1993 and the preceding five years (1988–1992), Hagelin and collaborators followed the changes in crime rates for the area before, during, and after the 6 weeks the group was gathered in Washington D.C. In 1999, the study, which showed a highly statistically significant drop in predicted crime, controlling for effects of temperature changes, was published in Social Indicators Research.

Reception of Hagelin's comparison of consciousness and the unified field

Physicist Robert L. Park called the 1993 Washington D. C. study a "clinic in data manipulation", pointing out that during the weeks of the study the city experienced the highest murder rate ever recorded. Maxwell Rainforth, Assistant Professor of Physiology and Health and Statistics at Maharishi University of Management and a coauthor of the Washington, D.C. study, said that Park does not support his assertion with either supporting data or analysis, and that Park's objection to the use of time series analysis is not based on any scientific argument. The researchers also questioned whether Park had read the published study, since his criticism focused on a preliminary Interim Report released at a press conference in 1994.

Peter Woit in his book, Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and The Search for Unity In Physical Law describes Hagelin as having published papers in prestigious journals that would eventually be cited in over a hundred other papers. Christopher Anderson wrote in a 1992 news article in Nature that Hagelin, co-developer of one of the "better-accepted" unified field theories known as the Flipped SU model, "is by all accounts a gifted researcher well known and respected by his colleagues".

Both Woit and Anderson go on to comment on Hagelin’s later interest and publications. Woit says identifying a unified field of consciousness with a unified field of superstring theory is wishful thinking. He asserts that most physicists think Hagelin's views are nonsense. Anderson says Hagelin's investigations into how the extension of grand unified theories of physics to human consciousness could explain how Transcendental Meditation influences world events "disturbs many researchers" and "infuriates his former collaborators". Anderson says that John Ellis, director of CERN, was worried about guilt by association. Anderson quotes Ellis as saying "I was afraid that people might regard [Hagelin's assertions] as rather flaky, and that might rub off on the theory or on us”.

Hagelin's linkage of quantum mechanics and unified field theory with consciousness, and particularly with the "Maharishi Effect", was critiqued in the journal Social Forces. David Orme-Johnson and Robert Oates later replied to this critique in the Journal of Scientific Exploration.


In 1992, Hagelin was honored with a Kilby International Award for his work in particle physics leading to the development of supersymmetric grand unified field theories, for his innovative applications of advanced principles from control systems theory and optimization theory to digital sound reproduction, and for his research on human consciousness. Chris Anderson questioned the value of the award in an article about Hagelin published in Nature.

In 1994, Hagelin was selected for the Ig Nobel Prize for Peace, an annual parody award given for achievements that “first make people laugh and then make them think." The award was given for the experimental conclusions drawn from the Washington, D.C. study.

Enlightened Audio Designs

During his summers at Harvard, Hagelin repaired audio equipment in a Cambridge, Massachusettsmarker audio shop. In 1990, Hagelin founded Enlightened Audio Designs Corporation (EAD) with electronics engineer Alastair Roxburgh in Iowa. As President and Director of Research of EAD, Hagelin designed and manufactured high-end digital-to-analog (D-to-A) converters that were critically acclaimed. In 1996, EAD was the first company in the world to develop and commercialize home theater surround-sound processors incorporating multi-channel digital surround-sound technologies, such as Dolby Digital and DTS. These technical achievements in the field of electronics contributed to Hagelin’s receiving the Kilby Award. In 2001, EAD Corporation was sold to the Oregon-based company Alpha Digital Technologies.

Politics and the Natural Law Party

According to then press secretary Robert Roth, the Natural Law Party was founded in 1992 in the United States by a group of educators, scientists, business leaders, and other professionals in Fairfield, Iowa, who desired a more scientific approach to national administration that would promote field-tested solutions to the nation's problems. This party chose the academics, Hagelin and Michael Tompkins, as its Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates that year, and the same pair won the nomination again in 1996. Hagelin also ran for President in the 2000 Presidential election, being nominated both by the Natural Law Party and by the Perot wing of the Reform Party, which disputed the nomination of Pat Buchanan. Hagelin’s running mate in the 2000 election was Nat Goldhaber, a successful entrepreneur who, like Hagelin and Tompkins, was a longtime practitioner of the Transcendental Meditation program.

Hagelin's party platform included preventive health care, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy technologies. Hagelin favored abortion rights without public financing, campaign-finance law reform and improved gun control. He proposed a flat tax and no tax for families earning less than $34,000 a year.

After a legal battle with the supporters of Buchanan, the Federal Election Commission ruled in September 2000 that Buchanan was the official candidate of the Reform Party, and hence, was eligible to receive federal election funds. As part of the ruling, the Reform convention that nominated Hagelin was declared invalid, and Hagelin lost the Reform spot on many state ballots to Buchanan. However, Hagelin remained on several state ballots as the Reform Party nominee, due to the independent nature of various state affiliates. He also was the national nominee of the Natural Law Party gaining many ballot lines, and in New York was the Independence Party nominee.

Hagelin's Presidential electoral results:
  • 1992 - Ballot status in 32 states - 39,000 votes - 0.04%
  • 1996 - Ballot status in 44 states - 110,000 votes - 0.1%
  • 2000 - Ballot status in 39 states - 83,000 votes - 0.08%

In 2002, Hagelin said that he met with officials at the White House, the National Security Council, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Army, the House, and the Senate on the issue of terrorism. Hagelin has also worked on Capitol Hillmarker to improved health care, crime prevention, education and the environment. In 1998, Hagelin gave testimony to the National Institutes of Health, DNA Advisory Committee on germ-line technologies stating that recombinant DNA technology is inherently risky because of the high probability of unexpected side-effects.

In April 2004, the U.S. Natural Law Party officially disbanded its national organization, although a few state parties may still be active.

In the 2004 primary elections, Hagelin endorsed Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich.

Invincible America, US Peace Government and Global Union of Scientists for Peace

Maharshi Mahesh Yogi appointed Hagelin as the "Raja of Invincible America". As Raja, Hagelin organized an Invincible America Assembly in Fairfield, Iowa in July 2007. The assembly consisted of a large group of individuals practicing the Transcendental Meditation and the TM-Sidhi techniques twice daily. Hagelin predicted that when the number of assembly participants reached 2,500 that America would have a major drop in crime, and see the virtual elimination of all major social and political woes in the United States. Hagelin said that the Assembly was responsible for the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching a record high of 14,022 earlier that month, and predicted that the Dow would top 17,000 within a year.The process of creating an "invincible america" is described as a diffusing of the political, religious and ethnic tensions in the country through large groups such as the Invincible America Assembly.

As Raja of America, Hagelin also oversees all of the U.S. organizations created by the Maharishi including the Maharishi Invincibility Centers, and the Peace Palaces.

Hagelin established the US Peace Government on July 4, 2003. As President of the US Peace Government (USPG), Hagelin presides over a national assembly of state governors, who in turn preside over US Peace Government assemblies in every state, each with their own USPG capital buildings. A national capital for the US Peace Government has a planned location of Washington Township, Smith County, Kansasmarker, near the geographic center of Americamarker. The US Peace Government is an affiliate of the Global Country of World Peace. The US Peace Government and the Global Country of World Peace were created to promote evidence-based and sustainable solutions as well as policies of governance that are aligned with Natural Law.

Hagelin is the International Director of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace (GUSP), an international organization of prominent scientists opposed to nuclear proliferation and war. GUSP was founded in July 2005 in response to the failure of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference held in New York that year. The mission of the Global Union of Scientists for Peace is “to stop the growing threat of nuclear proliferation and nuclear war; to resist the global rise of other weapons of mass destruction and; to promote the adoption of safe, scientifically proven technologies to ensure national security and global peace.”


Hagelin has appeared on ABC’s Nightline and Politically Incorrect, NBC’s Meet the Press, CNN’s Larry King Live! and Inside Politics; CNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, and others. He was also featured in the 2004 documentary What the Bleep Do We Know? and in the independent film [The Secret (2006 film)|The Secret]].



Further reading

  • Hagelin, J.S., Rainforth, M.V., Orme-Johnson, D.W., Cavanaugh, K. L., Alexander, C.N., Shatkin, S.F., Davies, J.L, Hughes, A.O, and Ross, E. 1999. Effects of group practice of the Transcendental Meditation program on preventing violent crime in Washington D.C.: Results of the National Demonstration Project, June-July, 1993. Social Indicators Research, 47(2): 153-201. For a summary, see [2204]
  • Hagelin, J.S. Manual for a Perfect Government: How to Harness the Laws of Nature to Bring Maximum Success to Governmental Administration. Maharishi University of Management Press, 1998.
  • Freedman, David H: The new theory of everything. Discover, 1991, pp 54–61.
  • Hagelin, J: Is consciousness the unified field? A field theorist’s perspective. Modern Science and Vedic Science 1, 1987, pp 29–87.
  • Hagelin, JS: Restructuring physics from its foundation in light of Maharishi’s Vedic Science. Modern Science and Vedic Science 3, 1989, pp 3–72.

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