The Maharishi effect is one of the alleged siddhi-effects of TM.
With the introduction of the TM-Sidhi program in 1976, the Maharishi had proposed that the square root of one percent of the population practicing the TM-Sidhi program, together at the same time and in the same place, would increase "life-supporting trends".
'For example, a group of 200 practicing the TM-Sidhi program together in a city of four million (100 x 200 x 200) would be sufficient to produce a measurable influence on the whole city; a group of 1,600 in the U.S. would influence 256 million (100 x 1600 x 1600) people, the whole population of the U.S.; and a group of 7,000 would influence 4.9 billion (100 x 7000 x 7000) people, the population of the world at that time'. [>Ref]
These effects have been examined in 14 published studies of members of the movement, including a gathering of over 4,000 people in Washington DC in the summer of 1993.
While empirical studies have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals this research remains controversial and has been characterized as pseudoscience by skeptic James Randi and others.
However, an objective analysis of crime data for the period of 1991-1998, based on the Iowa Uniform Crime Reports, shows an overall increase in violent crime and property crime for this period, both for Fairfield/Jefferson County and for Iowa. By contrast, the neighboring states of Wisconsin and Arkansas show an overall decrease in violent crime and property crime for the same period.
Maharishi Heaven on Earth Development Corp. was founded in Malibu, California in 1988 by its first president, money manager Monty Guild. It was initially financed by Guild, who donated his shares to Maharishi University of Management. MHOED announced in 1988 that it planned to build 50 low-density "Maharishi Cities of Immortals" across the U.S. and Canada.