Don't negotiate, meditate. This is the message Tony Nader tried to bring to French-speaking heads of state during the recent Francophone summit.
Lebanese-born Nader is a head of state as well and his authority is worldwide. He is the king of the Global Country of World Peace a brainchild of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian guru some may recall from the 60s when the Beatles meditated to his instructions.
Now about 90 years old, the Maharishi founded the Global Country and made Nader its king two years ago. The Maharishi knows how to bring world peace. All it needs is some Transcendental Meditation (TM). Currently, 40 ministers, ambassadors and, of course, the king are working hard to implement this peace plan.
The king recently returned to his home in Beirut to explain it all to some government heads.
His Majesty Raja Nader Raam as Nader's followers call him resides at his parents' house in Rabieh during his mission in Lebanon. The vast salon overlooking the sea is incredibly white: the sofas, the side tables, the curtains, even the Yamaha grand piano.
A German scientist and the Global Country's ambassador to France have accompanied Nader. The men, here to explain how world peace works, all appear in well-cut white suits.
"It's no uniform, we just like it," the king remarks, adding: "Peace is connected to light." Their plan for peace goes like this. The square root of 1 percent of the population of a country has to practice "yogic flying," a meditation exercise that is supposed to elevate its practitioner into the air "without using any muscles," maintains Nader.
Once the flyers are elevated they send out some kind of positive vibrations, which influence their environment. Hence, the population as a whole becomes more peaceful, more intelligent, healthier.
"In Lebanon it takes only 200 people," says Nader. "Maybe a bit more. We need a safety factor because of the close neighbors and conflicts in the region."
As Lebanon is a stronghold of TM in the Arab world, with four Meditation Centers and, according to the Lebanese TM teacher Samar Sahyoun, several hundred followers, this shouldn't be too difficult.
There still remains a small obstacle, though. To reach the so-called Maharishi effect, the yogic flyers have to practice in the same place. If they are not in one room, it takes many more meditators, Nader explains. Therefore leaders of the Global Country need to first build Peace Palaces houses with huge rooms where the yogic flyers can "take off" together.
They are hoping for government funding for this project.
"We only need $1 billion," says Nader. "That's nothing compared to what missiles cost.
"National leaders have been very interested in this idea," stresses the Ambassador to France Dominique Lemoine.
When asked what exactly the outcome of negotiations with governments were, the gentlemen turn taciturn.
"We wrote some letters, we also approached the Lebanese government several times," says Nader, explaining why their request is so urgent.
"After Sept. 11 we have unexpected violence, like in Sweden or Bali. Peace is not anymore in the hands of the government," he says. "In Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Israel they need to increase the number (of meditators) now."
Of course all this has been proven scientifically, "in more than 600 studies," says Nader. On this he is an expert. He was made the Global Country's king because he developed the scientific theory to accompany the Maharishi's preachings.
Nader, who says he is a trained physician with degrees from the American University of Beirut and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, talks about gravity, modern science, physics and psychology. "It all connects," he says. "We say there is order in the universe."
This order is also called "laws of nature." And with these laws all actions can be predicted. "But of course you can't know all of the laws," Nader says.
"The question is, where do all the laws come from?" he asks. You shrug your shoulders. His theory is based on common knowledge of simplified physics. Everything is made of energy atoms, the human body, the universe. It all has the same structure, says Nader. He calls this the unified field, which is the home of the laws of nature.
The solution to the world's problems lies in this field. Since this field is inside everybody, simply exploring it automatically brings good into the world.
This is done by yogic flying.
Yogic flyers understand the field spontaneously when taking off, not rationally, says Nader.
With charts and columns, the followers of Maharishi prove how TM makes crime rates drop and stock prices rise.
At the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, as one of the TM Study Centers is called, they have researched the effects of some 60-240 people practicing yogic flying in Jerusalem in 1983.
A chart shows how during the meditations a composite life index increased. The index includes "war intensity and war deaths in Lebanon, Israeli national stock market prices and national mood, auto accident rates, number of fires, and crime rates," write the authors.
In Mozambique, the Maharishi's followers say they have even ended a 16-year guerrilla war. After they convinced President Joaquim Alberto Chissano to meditate twice a day, the national leader instructed his Cabinet ministers to do the same, then had his government officers and the military trained in TM.
"The result has been political peace and balance in nature in my country," Chissano, a former Marxist bush fighter, told Britain's Guardian newspaper last year.
Nader is convinced that soon many heads of state will follow Chissano's example. To convince them, he and his 40 ministers are working on a full government program.
Agriculture, industry, telecommunications can all be practiced in a TM manner. There is a minister for enlightenment, one for Jyotish, for Yagya and for Purusha. A minister for celebrations is developing the best way to have birthday parties.
However, elections don't exist in the Global Country. Maharishi appoints the Cabinet. "It's a meritocracy," explains Nader. "Everyone has to deserve one's role."
The great Maharishi was more direct when he was interviewed by Larry King on CNN this May: "Administration is a matter of expert intelligence. It shouldn't be exposed to voters on the street."