, scientist, educator, and three-time third-party candidate for President of the United States, is Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management
, and Minister of Science and Technology of the Global Country of World Peace
, a virtual community with the stated goals of worldwide peace and prosperity. 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 of human consciousness. Hagelin attributes his unusual career path from physicist to spokesman for global human concerns to his practice of the Transcendental Meditation
technique and to his studies with the founder of the technique, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
John Samual Hagelin was born in 1954, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
. According to a 1992 biographical article, as a child Hagelin won a scholarship to the elite Taft School
, where he earned a reputation as both a genius (receiving a perfect score of 165 on a school-administered IQ test) and a reckless thrill-seeker. In 1970 he was involved in a motorcycle crash that led to hospitalization. While he was confined to a body cast, one of his teachers introduced him to quantum mechanics and a teacher of Transcendental Meditation taught him the technique, both of which have had a major impact on his life.
Hagelin later graduated from Taft and attended Dartmouth College, where he participated in athletics, earned an undergraduate degree with highest honors (summa cum laude) in three years, co-authored and published research, and won a fellowship to study physics at Harvard. 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. Hagelin received first a Master's degree from Harvard in 1976, and in 1981, graduated with a Ph.D. Fixing hi-fi equipment in summer school breaks would later evolve into his innovations in digital audio reproduction (see below).
After his freshman year at Dartmouth, a continued interest in Transcendental Meditation led him to Vittel, France where he completed the studies necessary to become a qualified teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique.
In 1982, after graduating from Harvard
, Hagelin became a researcher at CERN
(the European Center for Particle Physics) in Switzerland, and from 1983 to 1984 was appointed to a post doctoral research position at SLAC
(the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). In 1984, Hagelin shifted his appointment from SLAC to Maharishi International University, where he continued research in physics, pursued a long-time interest in brain and cognitive science research, and established a graduate program in theoretical physics.
He remained in contact with colleagues from Harvard, Stanford, and CERN, and continued to collaborate with several. While at MIU, his continued contributions to the field of theoretical physics were supported by funding from the National Science Foundation.
In 1992, in a temporary career shift, Hagelin was nominated as a presidential candidate for the Natural Law Party, and ran three times for president of the United States. Hagelin participated in What the Bleep Do We Know, an independent film released in 2004. He has also been featured on a film called The Secret.
Dr. Hagelin continues to teach physics as Professor of Physics at Maharishi University of Management (formerly MIU), and to serve as Director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management, and as Minister of Science and Technology of the Global Country of World Peace.
In the years 1979-1996, Hagelin published seventy papers in the fields of particle physics and cosmology. This work includes the so-called "flipped SU(5), heterotic superstring theory,” which he developed in collaboration with CERN researchers John Ellis, D.V. Nanopoulus, and others. The theory is considered one of the more successful unified field theories or “theories of everything” and was highlighted in a feature article in Discover
magazine. Hagelin was a co-author on a paper which is included in a list of the 103 articles in the physical sciences which were cited the most times during the years 1983 and 1984. As of 2007, the article has been cited over 500 times. As a result of this work, in 1992 Hagelin received the Kilby Award
awarded to "individuals who make extraordinary contributions to society through science, technology, innovation, invention and education.
In 1987 and 1989, Hagelin published two papers 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 that the most parsimonious explanation is that they are one and the same.
Part of the evidence he presents for this explanation is the body of research on the effects that practitioners of certain advanced meditation techniques claim to have on measured parameters in society. In these two papers he refers to numerous such studies, and in the summer of 1993, he himself conducted a controversial study of this type. He imported some 4,000 practitioners to the Washington D.C. area where they practiced these techniques twice daily in a group. Using data reported by the D.C. Police Department, scientists followed the changes in crime rates for the area before, during, and after the 6 weeks the group was in place. In 1999, the study was published in Social Indicators Research.
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.
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.
In July, 2007, Dr. Hagelin predicted a major drop in crime in the United States in the 12 month period following July, due to a course entitled Invincible America Assembly in which course participants practice the TM-Sidhi program as members of a large group.
Enlightened Audio Designs
In 1990, Hagelin founded Enlightened Audio Designs (EAD) with electronic engineer Alastair Roxburgh in Iowa. Working with EAD, Hagelin co-designed a high-end digital to analog (D-to-A) system that was commercially marketed. In 2001, the company was sold to the Oregon-based company Alpha Digital Technologies.
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, business leaders, and lawyers in Fairfield, Iowa, who desired to elect a national administration that would promote field-tested solutions to the nation's problems. This group chose the academics, Dr. Hagelin and Dr. 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
faction of the Reform Party
, which disputed the nomination of Pat Buchanan
. Hagelin’s running mate in the 2000 election was Nat Goldhaber
, a wealthy businessman who, like Hagelin and Tompkins, was a longtime practitioner of the Transcendental Meditation program.
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, that Buchanan was eligible for 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 Reform parties, and on the ballot in many other states as the Natural Law 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 the 2004 primary elections, Hagelin endorsed Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich. In April 2004, the U.S. Natural Law Party officially disbanded its national organization, although a few state parties still remained active.
Best electoral showing
Hagelin, who now resides in Fairfield, Iowa
, performed exceptionally well in Jefferson County, Iowa
, the home county of Fairfield. He received 23.94% in 1992, 22.82% in 1996, and 16.31% in 2000.
In 2000, Hagelin received over 30% of the vote in the precinct that serves northern and eastern Ketchum, Idaho.
- 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
- Hagelin, J.S. Manual for a Perfect Government: How to Harness the Laws of Nature to Bring Maximum Success to Governmental Adminsitration. 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.