Good Vibrations: A New Campaign Strategy

| October 20, 2000

Good Vibrations: A New Campaign Strategy
Ralph Nader isn't the only third party presidential candidate making waves: quantum physicist-turned-Transcendental Meditation evangelist John Hagelin is attracting attention for splitting from Pat Buchanan's Reform Party and running as the Natural Law Party presidential candidate, as well as for suggesting that many of the world's problems can be solved through mass meditation. As Jonathan Fox of the Dallas Observer reports, Hagelin, a Harvard graduate who was once at the top of his field, lost much of his academic credibility after he 'attempted to shoehorn Eastern metaphysical musings into the realm of quantum physics.'

The 46-year-old theoretical physicist began meditating during his teens and is a disciple of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement and the related worldwide 'moneymaking empire' that the Beatles briefly joined in the '60s. 'One of the Maharishi's deepest-held beliefs,' writes Fox, 'is that the aura created by platoons of incredibly focused meditators prevents crime and wars, an assertion backers claim is supported by scientific 'research'--much of it done by Hagelin.'

Despite being dismissed as 'nutty' and a 'levitating lefty' by the mainstream, the perpetually unruffled Hagelin says he is primed for victory, even hinting at a Jesse Ventura-like win. But Fox questions his ability to pull even from his support base--Reform Partiers disillusioned with Patrick Buchanan: 'Why put their weight behind such a strange bird,' he asks, 'or even bother to continue with Reform Party politics after the party has gone a different direction?' -- Amanda Luker
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For more information on John Hagelin's bid for president, see his campaign website at or the Natural Law Party website at

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