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The Providence Journal
June 2, 2000

by Stephanie Rivera

There is a quiet revolution going on in America today, but Americans are being kept in the dark about it. It is a political revolution, and the man who is leading it is the presidential candidate for the Natural Law Party (NLP)....

The NLP was organized to bring about fundamental changes in every aspect of government because it is the belief among its members and supporters that our current system of government is unable to provide for its citizens a quality of life that includes the right to a healthy and stable environment, ongoing education, preventive health care, financial security and the happiness that comes from living in a peaceful society.

In his book The Natural Law Party: A Reason to Vote (St. Martin's Press, 1998), Robert Roth detailed the gauntlet that an independent party must run to get on the ballot in this country. That process includes gathering more than 5 million signatures to run a slate of candidates for national office in all 50 states. The Republican and Democratic parties have no such requirements. And of all the Western democracies, the United States is the only one to discriminate in this way against independent parties.

Unfortunately, agencies such as the Federal Election Commission (FEC) do nothing to alleviate the unfairness that denies the few qualified candidates who overcome these obstacles from taking part in televised debates.

The two candidates who qualified to be included in the presidential debates of 1996 along with Bob Dole and Bill Clinton were John Hagelin of the NLP and Ross Perot of the Reform Party. Both were kept from participating in those debates by shameful maneuvers perpetrated by the government and by the owner of the Fox TV network, Rupert Murdoch. Who kept them from being included in the debates? The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), given the nod by the FEC, made the arbitrary decision to overrule their participation because they did not stand "a reasonable chance of winning."

This nongovernmental commission is headed by the Republican and Democratic party chairmen. It claims nonpartisan status in order to accept donations from private interests such as Philip Morris Co. The CPD's decision played well with Murdoch's proposal to allow free air time on his television network for presidential candidates to deliver their messages as the election drew near.

There was only one catch. He wanted only Bob Dole and Bill Clinton. No other candidates would be welcome, regardless of their having met the requirements set forth by the FEC.

In his testimony before the FEC to refute the legality of Fox's offer, John Hagelin asked that the agency reject the offer in order to protect the rights of the American people to hear the messages of all legitimate parties, not just those of the two parties that have come to control the election process. "Polls show that 85 percent of the American people do not believe that the Republicans or the Democrats have the answer to our nation's problems, and a majority favor a third-party alternative," he stated.

Hagelin pointed out that we are a nation in crisis, and that to restrict the airwaves to the two major party candidates would "simply force-feed Americans more of what they already don't want."

Regardless of his testimony and the fact that he had already qualified to be on the ballot in almost every state and to receive federal matching funds for his campaign, his request was denied.

This election year, Hagelin has again qualified for matching federal funds for his presidential campaign -- Hagelin 2000....

Hagelin's background is impressive. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Dartmouth and holds a doctorate from Harvard University. Hagelin is a world authority in unified quantum field theories. He has conducted pioneering research at the European Center for Particle Physics and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and is responsible for the development of a highly successful grand unified field theory based on the superstring. This theory has provided the basis for his Manual for a Perfect Government (Maharishi University of Management Press, 1998), in which he reveals the scientific foundation for natural law as the basis of order in the universe.

It is his contention that nations are violating natural law to their own detriment, and that they cannot afford to continue to do so. For too long the sciences have remained compartmentalized, leaving biological and physical science to go their own ways, apart and separate from social policy. He suggests that the challenges that face governments today are increasingly severe, pressuring our leaders to turn increasingly to crisis management, instead of seeking ways to solve problems at their root cause

His manual explores the latest developments in quantum physics and translates them into practical social policy, applying the time-tested principles inherent in nature's governance to the governance of society.

To do this, he provides a collection of data to underscore his thesis about the relationship between collective consciousness and universal law. This relationship is supported by a technology that has been replicated in study after study over a period of about 30 years. Called the TM-Siddhi technique, its application is through its practice by the individuals in every society. The creation of coherence can be achieved by a collection of meditators practicing this specific technique wherever there is upheaval or disorder in a society.

The ramifications of such a technique affect every level of individual and collective life. Everything is interconnected. While the cost of our health-care system has become a gargantuan financial burden with no relief in sight, the application of a system of preventive health care, such as Transcendental Meditation and Ayur Veda, an ancient and complete system of natural health care from India, has been found to be particularly efficacious and cost-effective by relieving illness caused by stress and unhealthy diets and lifestyles. This knowledge is stimulating great interest in the medical community worldwide.

The manual discusses key concerns at the heart of America today -- crime, education, national defense and the economy. For instance, how many Americans are aware that crime costs America $500 billion a year, with the United States having the highest violent crime rate of any Western country? This issue is never addressed by the two-party system because the candidates are at a loss for solutions. John Hagelin proposes forming coherence groups in major cities to lower the stress throughout our society, in order to alleviate the prime cause of criminality. The prisons that house the ever-increasing inmate population become focal points of negativity, permeating the atmosphere with increasing anxiety and fear. To show how effective such a technology is in reducing the factors that lead to crime, a highly public demonstration project was put into operation in 1993 in Washington, D.C., that involved 4,000 subjects over two months.

One of the most rigorously designed sociological experiments in history, its effect was dramatic by any standards. Violent crime fell 23 percent, and by a time-transfer analysis the effect over a longer period would have been 40 percent, at an annual savings to the District of Columbia of nearly a half-billion dollars a year.

As Americans struggle to come to terms with such horrible tragedies as Columbine and the Oklahoma bombing, they look to their government for answers, but even their most fundamental concern -- that of gun control -- is met with vacillation. This is because, in the final analysis, the root cause of these problems is being ignored. A Band-Aid approach is to throw more money into the gap, for more police, for more sophisticated weaponry, for bigger prisons.

John Hagelin and the Natural Law Party offer proven solutions to the problems that infect every sector of our society, but this message is reaching only a relatively small number of Americans. Through the years, since Hagelin's first campaign for president, in 1992, he has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media. Although he has appeared on CNN, Fox and National Public Radio and been the subject of occasional articles in the print media, he is without portfolio as far as the giant networks and their subsidiaries are concerned.

This year he has taken on a new challenge, that of forming a coalition of independent parties under the leadership of one presidential banner. And he has presented himself to the Reform and Green Parties as their candidate, in concert with his candidacy for the NLP. If he can accomplish this, and he has already received support from many in both parties, it will be a tremendous victory for independents who have felt abandoned by big-party politics and its grip on the media.

Such a coalition could play a much stronger role than smaller parties have been able to carve out for themselves in the past. The voters are starving for intelligent and far-reaching political dialogue, and their willingness to go to the polls on Election Day depends on it.

If we are to continue to be a democracy, then we must have access to information of all varieties. We can never accept the belief that those in power "know best" what we as citizens should contemplate. Let us trust that we have not become so inured to new ideas and great visions that we accept our present state of affairs as inevitable.

Stephanie Rivera lives in Richmond and has long been involved in various political-reform initiatives in Rhode Island.
Copyright © 2000 The Providence Journal Company

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