Meeting the president
It’s 7 p.m. on a dark January night in 2006. ‘Why me?’ That’s the only thought that races through my mind as my car is racing down the highway.
An hour ago I received a call. ‘We’re flying to Africa to meet the president of Guinea-Bissau, and present our technologies to end the civil conflict there. We chartered a private jet, which is leaving in two hours. Maharishi said you should come, if you like.’
‘Would I like? Sure, private jets and meeting presidents always sound like fun.’ But I still couldn’t help but wonder, ‘Why me?’. Several the top managers and scientists of the TM organization would be there, but I’m not a scientist and definitely not a top manager. I don’t even have any kind of official position. I only did some volunteer work now and then.
8.15 p.m. When I arrive the plane’s already on the runway, engines running, but the rest of the group hasn’t arrived yet. The airport’s closing in a few minutes. If the others don’t arrive soon we won’t be able to take off.
8.30 p.m. The limo arrives, at the last possible moment. Eight people jump out and we offload the luggage. When I ask what’s in the big reinforced suitcases, one of the assistants casually says, ‘It’s a satellite uplink video conferencing set. There’s probably no internet where we’re going.’
We all get into the plane and I’m surprised how relaxed they all seem. For most of them meeting a president is far from their biggest adventure. They’re all very warm, welcoming me as part of their delegation, even if some, like me, are probably wondering what I’m doing here.
8.40 p.m. The plane takes off. I’m sitting in a rather comfortable seat in the back, thinking how surreal this all feels. Are these people even still aware of the role they’re playing in the history of mankind?
They’re probably so used to it that they stopped thinking about it. They know they have the technology that can change everything, and they just go to present it to another head of state, and see if he’s open to listen.
I’m curious whether he will listen, because the idea, at surface value, sounds so crazy: A small group of people who are trained in an advanced Transcendental Meditation technique called Yogic Flying will be able to ‘radiate peace’ into the environment, so that all conflicts will come to an end.
They do have one advantage, though. It’s already been tested in another country in Africa, with phenomenal success.
Some fifteen years earlier a similar delegation was on a similar journey to meet the president of another African country: President Joaquin Alberto Chissano of Mozambique. They promised that they would stop the civil war that had been going on for the past seventeen years. President Chissano personally took the time to read over more than 5,000 pages of scientific research that confirmed what happens when people learn to transcend, and took time to study the new paradigm in detail. In the end he was utterly convinced that this would help his country, and he implemented the programs.
Everything happened exactly as promised. In a matter of weeks the civil war came to a miraculous end and the country could start to rebuild. A few years later the New York Times and Time Magazine summarized how Mozambique, for some mysterious reason, had become Africa’s success story. When the project started, in 1993, Mozambique was the poorest country in the world. By the year 2000 it had the world’s fastest growing economy.
And this was only one of more than fifty similar experiments that have taken place over the past forty years—the 50 experiments that will change our world. They have demonstrated that we can stop wars anywhere we want, prevent terrorism, reduce crime and car accidents, improve public health, and give a noticeable boost to the economy, even influence the stock markets. They have also demonstrated that these programs would be able to save governments so much money that they would very quickly be able to reduce taxes, as the programs themselves cost virtually nothing.
So how exactly does it work?
We’ve seen that transcending is like taking a dive into the ocean. When we dive we enliven the surface of the water. In terms of the field of consciousness this means we enliven the qualities of the field in our awareness, qualities which we’ll later analyze as intelligence, creativity, happiness, unity (which we experience as love) and many others. Essentially we can summarize these qualities as: ‘everything that is positive in life’. The Vedic texts summarize it as the ‘pure good’. This would mean that everybody is pure good, pure love, in the deepest part of his soul, but if we lose connection with that deepest part, and allow stress to accumulate in our nervous system, we become capable of some rather inhumane behavior. History is full of examples of one group of people behaving inhumanely towards another group.
When we do experience this source, its qualities automatically start to grow. This is most easily visible in the brain, which starts to function
as one unified whole. Accumulated negativity (stress) spontaneously disappears when we enliven positivity, just like darkness disappears
when we introduce light, or ice melts when we introduce warmth. This spontaneously influences our behavior. We become more loving. Negative thoughts (the basis of all negative action) simply don’t come up anymore.
If this makes sense, then here’s the really cool thing. When we dive into the ocean, we don’t just enliven the water where we dive in, but we also create waves all around us, enlivening the entire surface of the water. If we transcend, we don’t just enliven the qualities of unity within ourselves, but in the people around us as well.
It works just like a light bulb. How can a small light bulb light up an entire big room? Because the light bulb is connected to the whole room through an invisible field called the electromagnetic field. It will stir this field and its vibrations, light waves, will spread in all directions and light up the whole room. What
happens if we turn off the light? The field of light didn’t disappear, it’s still there, but it’s no longer enlivened. Darkness is only the absence of light.
Likewise, there is a field that connects all of us, whose qualities we experience as life, love, peace, etc. Without this field there would not be any life. However, when humans forgot to transcend, it’s like they forgot how to turn on the light. The resulting darkness we experience as negative thoughts, which will lead to negative actions: crime, corruption, conflicts, even wars.
Just like it only takes a few streetlights here and there to light up a whole city, it’s not necessary for everyone to transcend to remove the darkness in everybody’s minds. As such, already in the 1960s, Maharishi predicted that if only 1% of the population of a city learns to transcend, this will be sufficient to create an effect for the entire city.
In the early 1970s, after the first scientific studies appeared, Transcendental Meditation really took off, and millions of people were lining up to learn. In 1974, over 500,000 people learned in one year in the US alone. This meant that suddenly there actually were quite a few cities where 1% of the population had learned TM.
So a few brave scientists decided to put Maharishi’s hypothesis to the test. Would there be a measurable effect in those cities, which would not be there in other cities? They were fully aware that this was going to be an extremely controversial study, that would probably be ridiculed or even attacked from all sides, so they had to make it bulletproof.
First of all they decided to base their study on publicly available FBI crime statistics, so there would be no question about the data. They were pretty confident that nobody would assume that the FBI would distort their data to do them a favour. Next they examined three different ways to compare the data, the previous crime trends in the cities themselves, the crime trends in carefully matched control cities (cities with similar demographics, selected by an independent party), and the crime trends in the US as a whole.
The results? A decrease in crime of more than 15% in twelve cities where 1% had learned TM, compared to both the cities own previous trends, the crime rates in the control cities and the crime rates in the US as a whole. They could statistically calculate what would be the chance such a significant decrease in crime rate could have happened by coincidence. The chance was smaller than one in a thousand. In other words, they could say with 99,9% certainty that this was not a coincidence. This is fifty times better than the ‘probability’ standard in science, where scientists can speak of a statistically significant result if the chance of coincidence is lower than one in twenty, (five in a hundred, or a 95% certainty, indicated by p<.05, which means that the probability that the result could be due to some other cause is less than .05). This study was later expanded to hundreds more cities, and the effects remained consistent. When Maharishi heard about these studies in early 1975 he declared that through the window of science we now have a technology to create a new destiny for the world, and declared that a new age for mankind had started, the age of enlightenment. Just like new technologies created new ages for mankind in the past (the industrial age, the information age) so would this new technology create an age where the inner light would always be lit, and darkness (negativity) would simply disappear. The non-meditating world was a little bit less excited about it. They were happy to accept that meditation could create some personal benefits, but the idea of ‘radiating peace’ was a bit too much for most people, who were all educated in the belief that the Machine Paradigm was the one and only reality. The only way this technology could work was if their entire belief system would be completely wrong—and people don’t like to be told they’re wrong, especially when it comes to their core beliefs. From the moment that Maharishi announced the 1% researches to the world, TM instructions actually started declining rapidly, and countless other forms of meditation appeared to fill the gap. They claimed to offer the same benefits as TM, but without all the weird world peace stuff around it. Of course there was no truth in this, as both the most profound personal benefits and the social benefits came from the experience of transcending, and were only possible if people truly transcended (experiencing the ocean). Ordinary relaxation is not going to create any noticeable effect on society. People within the TM organization were all too aware of this, and they started asking Maharishi whether it wouldn’t be better to not mention the TM field effects, and just talk about the personal benefits. But Maharishi wouldn’t even consider it. The TM field effects were not only the first major scientific proof that the Field Paradigm was a true reality, and that we were in fact connected to each other, but it was also a practical technology to create a better world. Maharishi didn’t care if fewer people learned TM in the short term, he was in it for the long run. He was sure someday the circumstances would be right for people to understand, and was going to speak about it until people would be ready to listen. So he did the opposite, rather than toning down his claims, Maharishi took them a step further. In 1976 Maharishi introduced an even more powerful technique, which allowed the mind to stay in transcendental consciousness much longer, and even create specific beneficial effects from that level of the mind where everything in nature is interconnected. It is called the TM-Sidhi programme. The Sanskrit word ‘siddhi’ means ‘perfection’. One part of this technique was what Maharishi called Yogic Flying, where the body starts making small hops while the mind stays in transcendental consciousness. This looked a bit strange from the outside, but for those who were doing it, it was the most enjoyable thing ever. It was a far more powerful experience of diving into the ocean, and people could feel waves of inner bliss and happiness being enlivened, even far more strongly than during TM practice. An even more important effect was that now the brain was able to reach a state of even far higher EEG coherence than during TM, but while the body was in physical activity, as a research published in the International Journal of Neuroscience showed. This proved to be a far faster way to train the brain to permanently remain this higher state of coherence.
Just like the TM-Sidhi programme had a more powerful personal effect, it also had a far more powerful effect on society. Pretty soon it was found that when many people started practicing this technique together in a group the Field effect became much stronger, even growing with the square of the number of people who are participating.
This is based on a simple law of nature, but it requires a little bit more explanation.
We could use a simple analogy to illustrate it. Imagine three people are jumping into a lake one after another. They will each create a wave that will have a certain height and power, depending on how much they weigh and how big they are. The power of the wave will be how far it will travel before it dies out, and as such it will define the circle of influence, the area on the lake it will enliven.
Simple enough, right? Now imagine that instead of these three people jumping into the lake separately, they hold hands and jump in together. The wave they create will become three times more powerful, and will travel three times further. But this means that the area of the circle of influence will increase with the square of the radius, or nine times.
This is just a basic example to give you some feeling for how it works, without going into too many complicated formulas of physics. The principle is the same everywhere, and it also applies to the waves that are created with Yogic Flyers.
If 1% of the population practices TM in their own homes at their own time, the waves they create, one by one, are sufficient to create a measurable effect on the behaviour of the entire society. If, however, they practice the advanced Yogic Flying technique together in a group, it would be as if they all jump in the lake together, and the effect increases with the square of the number of participants. This means that:
- 20 Yogic Flyers practicing together in one place will have the same effect as 400 individual TM meditators, creating a positive influence for a population of 40,000
- 200 Yogic Flyers will have the same effect as 40,000 TM meditators, creating a positive influence for a population of 4,000,000
- 2.000 Yogic Flyers will have the same effect as 4,000,000 TM meditators, creating a positive influence for a population of 400,000,000
- 9.000 Yogic Flyers together in one place will have the same effect as 81.000.000 individual TM meditators, creating a positive influence for a population of 8,1 billion.
This calculation was the basis of what must have been the most surprising prediction ever made in the history of science (surprising from the Machine Paradigm point of view, at least). That a small group of people hopping around on mattresses can positively influence the way millions of people think and behave.
Bizarre as it may seem, this new Field Paradigm technology did have one major advantage: It was much easier to create research of a very high quality.
The 1% studies were impressive, but they had one major downside. For practical reasons it was only possible to measure the effect after 1% of the population happened to have learned TM. With this new advanced technique it was possible to predict the effect they would create in advance.
The typical Yogic Flying experiment would look something like this:
- Researchers find a place where there are obvious symptoms of high social stress, like a city with a high crime rate, or even a country at war, and where all the trends show stable or worsening trends, so nobody in their right mind would predict an improvement.
- They predict a significant improvement, with a specific start and end date, and log the predictions in advance with the press, a board of scientists, national governments, or all of these. They also predict exactly how they were going to measure the improvement, through government statistics, articles from prestigious newspapers (like the New York Times), etc
- On the exact start date of the experiment the Yogic Flyers arrive at the location and stay in hotels. They have as little interaction with the local population as possible, but just dive deep in their meditation and Yogic Flying practice. On the exact end date, the Yogic Flyers leave.
- The scientists examine the data and see if a measurable improvement could be found when they arrived, and whether the situation deteriorated again when they left.
These kind of experiments have been performed not only once or twice, but more than 50 times over the last 40 years. Sometimes they involved a few hundred Yogic Flyers to create an effect for a particular city or country, at other times several thousand came together to create an effect for the entire world. Every time such an experiment was organized the effects have happened, exactly as predicted.
Twenty of these studies have been published by top scientific journals on social sciences. A journal links its reputation to what it publishes, and will not publish anything unless it thoroughly reviews the research.
The hypothesis might have sounded strange, but the body of research that has been collected is in fact the most impressive, and most successful, research in the entire history of social sciences.
I always felt that if these experiments were really true, it’s safe to say that this would be the best-kept secret in modern history.
I was curious how the president of Guinea Bissau was going to react to it.
With that thought I put my comfy chair in the back of the private plane in sleep position, and tried to get a bit of rest before the next day.
6 a.m. the next day. The plane lands in Guinea Bissau. A motorcade comes to pick us up and bring us to the hotel, (there’s only one hotel in the entire country that is somewhat suitable for international guests), so we can rest and freshen up a bit—and meditate, of course.
11 a.m. The motorcade drives us to the presidential palace. This is supposed to be the nicest neighborhood in the country, but still there’s poverty everywhere we look. The presidential palace is surrounded by guards with machine guns. They look menacing, but I guess that is their job. After years of violence and civil war they’ve gotten pretty good at it.
We are invited into the presidential suite, everybody sits down and the scientists start making their presentations, while I am asked to take pictures and a video recording. I feel happy to make myself useful.
I was impressed by the dignified manner in which the scientists make their presentation, making it clear that they were here to offer something rather than to ask for anything. The president seems to enjoy this, I’m sure he isn’t used to this.
After explaining some of the basics of how the Yogic Flying technology worked, they showed some of the other experiments that had been done. Here were some of the most impressive ones they presented:
1. The UK study (long term effect and cost-efficiency study)
In the early 1980s a group of Yogic Flyers decided to find a location to permanently live together, and they settled in a small town called Skelmersdale, near Merseyside, so they could do their group meditations together every day.
By March 1988, the group was about to grow to 150 Yogic Flyers, which was sufficient to theoretically create an effect for the whole Merseyside population of over two million. The group of Yogic Flyers and the scientists who conducted the experiment went on television to predict that from the moment they reached this number, there would be a significant drop in crime in the whole region. Nobody took their prediction very seriously.
But the crime dropped exactly as predicted. The numbers were so obvious that you didn’t need any statistical analysis, you could just see them plotted on a chart. (The TM field effects are often called the Maharishi effect, in honor of Maharishi who first predicted them).
Later analysis showed that, over a 4-year period, crime dropped by 45% compared to previous trends in Merseyside, the decrease compared to the trends for England as a whole was 60%. Before the experiment started Merseyside had the second highest crime rate in England, 4 years later it had the lowest.
The scientists were able to calculate that this resulted in 225,000 fewer crimes and close to $2 billion in savings for the Merseyside government. This translated into $6000 in savings for every hour one Yogic Flyer was creating the influence. Even if the Yogic Flyers had been paid a generous $30 per hour (they weren’t, they were doing this as volunteers over the four years), it would still be 99,5% cheaper than conventional methods, while at the same time it’s far more effective. The research was accepted for publication in the scientific journal Psychology, Crime & Law.
2. The Jerusalem experiment
This was an ambitious experiment where the scientists predicted in advance that eight different variables would improve at the same time when the Yogic Flyers started doing their thing:
- Crime rate, car accidents, and numbers of reported fires in Jerusalem
- National crime rate, national mood (based on newspaper analysis), and stock market performance
- War deaths and war intensity scale in neighbouring Lebanon.
The researchers created a composite quality of life index from these eight variables, and then wanted to measure how each of the eight variables and the index of all eight together was influenced by the Yogic Flyers.
Their purpose was to get one big group of 200 Yogic Flyers together for
a period of two months. With the 40,000 individual TM meditators that were already practicing Transcendental Meditation in the area, this would theoretically give an effect that would be big enough to influence the entire populations of both Israel and Lebanon.
In reality, however, the number of Yogic flyers that participated in the experiment never stayed stable at 200, but constantly fluctuated. All the Yogic Flyers were volunteers and some could only stay for a few weeks, others only for a few days. In the end the chart with daily fluctuations looked like this.
This, however turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise for the researchers, as it made the research MUCH more impressive. Rather than taking the average numbers of the eight variables for the two month period as a whole, and make a before and after experiment, they compiled the index of the eight variables on a daily basis.
With normal random fluctuations these eight variables should cancel each other out. Some days the stock market will go up, but car accidents will go down, etc. There is not supposed to be any correlation between crime or car accidents in Jeruzalem and the stock market in Israel as a whole. So the averaged quality of life index should fluctuate very little.
But that is not what happened. During the two month period there were actually significant fluctuations in the index, up to three standard deviations. This means that something was having an effect on all these eight variables at the same time. When the quality of life index was plotted over the number of Yogic Flyers it became obvious what that influence was:
The index followed the group of Yogic Flyers so perfectly that it was virtually impossible this could have been a coincidence. The chance it was a coincidence was smaller than one in 10,000 (500 times better than the norm in science to indicate a significant result)
We have made the analogy of turning on the light earlier. Here you can almost imagine somebody turning up the dimmer, and suddenly the thoughts and behaviour of eight million people starts improving, and this manifested as fewer crimes on the street in Jerusalem, an improvement in the stockmarket in Tel-Aviv, and fewer war deaths in Lebanon.
This study was published in one of the most prestigious scientific journals on conflict sciences in the world, the Journal of Conflict Resolution of Yale University. However, the study was so controversial that it took the journal three years to publish it, and even then it was published with a note from the editor saying basically something along the lines of: ‘Hey, I know this sounds crazy, but the data is solid, so we felt we had to publish’.
3. The Lebanon experiments
In the 1980s Lebanon was probably the most stressed place in the world, with a civil war ranging for over 20 years. As unfortunate as the situation was, it was the perfect place to hold experiments with the Yogic Flyers. Reducing crime was one thing, but could this technology be used to stop actual wars?
On seven different occasions between 1981 and 1983 the TM Movement organized experiments with groups of Yogic Flyers that were big enough to theoretically create a significant change in the situation in Lebanon. Sometimes this was a small group of a few dozen people in Lebanon itself, at other times this was a large group of a several thousand people on the other side of the world, but where the group was so big that the radius of influence should theoretically reach Lebanon. The Jerusalem experiment was one of the seven experiments. On each of the seven occasions it was publicly predicted in advance, either with scientists or with the press, or both, that the war would come to a halt, or that there would at least be a significant reduction in intensity.
Later on a group of scientists did a daily war-intensity analysis over the entire period. Of the 841 days under consideration (2,5 years) the experiments took place over a total of 93 days (when the groups of Yogic Flyers were together). The days in between served as a control period.
The overal analysis showed that during these 93 days there was an average:
- 71% reduction in war fatalities
- 68% reduction in war injuries
- 66% mean increase in the level of cooperation between conflicting parties
- 48% reduction in level of conflict
The chance that such significant reductions could happen by coincidence over so many data points (seven experiments in a row) was extremely small. The scientists were able to calculate exactly how small: less than one chance in ten million trillion. (p=.00000000000000000009).
Is it possible that theses changes in war intensity could still happen due to coincidence? Sure it’s possible. Is it possible that you could win the lottery this week? Sure it’s possible, but the chances are not very big. For most national lotteries the chances of winning the maximum amount ranges between 1 in 5 million and 1 in 50 million. To put this in perspective, the chance that the Maharishi Effect in Lebanon could be due to coincidence is anywhere between 200 billion and 2 trillion times smaller. If I were you I’d run out and buy that lottery ticket, because your chances seem astronomically high this week.
The Lebanon study was accepted for publication in the respected Journal of Social Behaviour and Personality.
Of the 50 experiments that were done on the Maharishi Effect, four were large enough to theoretically influence the whole world. So scientists investigated whether during these experiments the terrorists felt less of a desire to bomb things to oblivion (or whatever they enjoy doing). They found a 72% reduction in casualties and injuries due to terrorist acts while the assemblies were going on. When Yogic Flyers were flying, somehow terrorists were creating a whole lot less terror.
5. The Washington DC experiment
After more than fifty experiments over twenty years ,a group of scientists led by quantum physicist Dr. John Hagelin designed what was going to be the ultimate demonstration. They inspired a total of 4000 Yogic Flyers to travel to Washington, D.C., for an 8 week period, and predicted that they would be able to reduce violent crime by 20%.
To make sure there was no doubt about any factor of the research, an independent review board of twenty four members was organized; several of the top scientists in the field of sociology and criminology in the US, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, and local government and civic leaders. None of the board’s members were connected to the TM movement in any way, and most were rather skeptical before the project began.
The predictions were then faxed (The fax was a machine that sent a message by phone line before the Internet…) to 1900 different fax numbers in Washington; each and every senator and congressman, several other senior Government officials, and 375 different media offices. CNN, The Washington Post and several others mentioned it in their news reports.
At that time the chief of the Washington Police department came on television to ridicule the predictions. Washington was one of the most violent capital cities in the world, with crime rates going up by 10% per year. Nothing they did could make any difference. The chief said that the only thing that was going to decrease crime by 20% was 20 inches/ half a meter of snow, ‘mental harmony’ alone won’t do it. The experiment was taking place in the summer, so basically this was his way of saying ‘impossible’.
When the experiment started it went along the same lines as the Jerusalem experiment. The 4000 volunteers didn’t all came at once, but the group started gradually building up over the eight week period. This again made the experiment all the more interesting, as there was a much clearer correlation between the size of the group of Yogic Flyers and the decrease in crime rate.
By the end of the experiment violent crimes went down 23%. The chance that the close relation between the increasing group size and the decreasing crime rate could have been a coincidence was less than 1 in 500 million (p=.0000000002). Statistical analysis had shown that if those 4000 Yogic Flyers had stayed permanently, crime would have gone down by 48%.
The cost to maintain these 4000 Yogic Flyers for two months was $8 million, all paid for by the Yogic Flyers themselves, some generous donors, and the TM organization. Contrast this with the $1 billion the Washington D.C. police was spending on fighting crime every year ($166 million during the same two month period), only to lose the fight, as crime was rising by 10% per year.
Insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’ – Einstein
The study was accepted for publication in Social Indicators Research, considered one of the most prestigious journals on social sciences in the world. The review process took three years. The Washington D.C. police, after being extremely skeptical before, became a co-author of the study.
5. The Mozambique experiment
All these experiments had a limited duration, simply because they were mostly done by volunteers, ordinary people who wanted to help the world, and get some really awesome spiritual experiences themselves, because the bigger the group of Yogic Flyers the stronger the experiences the Yogic Flyers had themselves. Still these people could only commit for a few weeks maximum, and then they had to go back home to their regular jobs as bankers, doctors, plumbers, etc. Research was showing that just as the negative effects of stress on society accumulate over time, so would the positive effects accumulate if only the group of Yogic Flyers could stay together longer. This is obviously the ultimate goal, not just a decrease in war or terrorism acts, but to make them permanently a thing of the past.
This is exactly what happened in Mozambique. The president simply ordered the army to learn TM and the Yogic Flying technique and become ‘professional peacekeepers’. As soon as this happened, in 1994, the civil war that had been raging for seventeen years came to an abrupt end, and since then the country has remained at peace.
In 1999 the New York Times wrote:
Seven years after the guns fell silent, jackhammers are ringing, new hotels are rising, new schools are opening, and newly paved roads are rolling across the land.
The war-torn, once ravaged countryside is now lush with corn, cashews and mangoes. Inflation has dropped to 2%, from 70% in 1994. The economy has grown an average 10% a year since 1996. After years of relying on donated food, Mozambique now grows nearly enough to feed itself.
Once a symbol of Africa’s calamitous wars, Mozambique is now a success story.
These were some of the fifty experiments, fifty experiments that can change our world. When they were presented to the president of Guinea Bissau you could see from his expressions that he was interested. So were all the other ministers with whom the scientists and TM leaders met.
Eventually, however, the answer to the proposal was that, while everybody is excited, no final decision can be made to implement these technologies before it had been discussed in parliament. There was a visible disappointment among the delegates who traveled with us, as if everybody already knew what that meant; that very likely nothing was going to happen.
The difference with Mozambique was that President Chissano was in a position to decide on his own, and just make it happen. This means only one person had to be educated in the Field Paradigm. But as soon as politicians and the public opinion get involved, then the entire population would have to be re-educated before they’d be able to understand how this technology could work. Otherwise they won’t support it. And if public opinion doesn’t support it, then generally neither will the politicians.
In the end nothing did happen in Guinea Bissau.
In 2007 Dr. Chissano received the African Leadership award, just about the highest award an African leader could get, coupled with a $5 million prize (even if few believed the reasons that he claimed, and up until today still claims, were behind his incredible success in Mozambique). Around the same time the president of Guinea Bissau was assassinated by his own military.
Let’s hope in the future more countries can go in the direction of Mozambique, rather than Guinea Bissau.