In 1983, the public was invited to listen to an inaugural pep-talk from the Maharishi, courtesy of the latest time-lapse technology, explaining his latest initiative, a Program to Create World Peace. Having at last learned that it was ill-advised to continue to skirt around negative issues in the way he had in the 1960s and 1970s, he now acknowledged an awareness of specific contemporary fears:
The political history in the world has not been very worthwhile, with all the wars and now with something worse than war - the present state of terrorism. Terrorism can burst out at any place at any time, and terrorism involving the superpowers has created a terrible time for the whole human race.
This was a very different Maharishi from the old days. Rumour had it that he now employed a bodyguard to protect him. What had happened to his theories concerning the infallible laws of karma? Surely one reaps only that which one has sown. Were not the recipients of violence only receiving their just desserts? Apparently not, for he declared:
Whatever wars are seen here and there - the Iran-Iraq war, so much misfortune in South Africa and in Lebanon - all these negative things which should not be there will simply disappear.332
One is tempted to ask how this idyllic state of affairs was to be achieved. Was he seriously suggesting that he could undertake to deliver world peace on the strength of research into the TM-Sidhi programme? The days had long gone when the Maharishi would extol the virtue of simple innocence; nowadays he would have everyone believe that he knew the answers.
Already, trends are seen in this direction. This has resulted from the purifying influence in world consciousness generated by such world assemblies as we have here today.
These words were as music to his docile devotees' ears, for they believed that out of a world population of many many millions, only they and their kind held the secret of improving life on earth for others.