Meditators predict Dow 17,000, near U.S. utopia

NEW YORK Fri Jul 27, 2007 4:57pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks had a tough week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffering its worst one-week point drop in five years, but a group of meditators promise their good vibrations will send the index past 17,000 within a year.

A group called the Invincible America Assembly made that claim and more on Friday, insisting they have America's prosperity under control and their positive vibes will bring fewer hurricanes and better U.S.-North Korean relations.

Through group transcendental meditation the assembly -- which has 1,800 people meditating daily in Iowa since it was formed in July 2006 -- releases harmonious waves which benefit all aspects of U.S. life, spokesman Bob Roth told Reuters.

And the group's leader, John Hagelin, said when that number reaches 2,500 within the next 12 months, America will see a major drop in crime and the virtual elimination of all major social and political woes.

Asked what it would take to achieve world peace, Hagelin said such a utopia would need 8,000 meditators.

The group takes credit for, among other things: the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching a record high of 14,022 last week, unemployment rates falling to a six-year low at 4.5 percent, and North Korea shutting down its nuclear reactor.

It operates two facilities in Iowa, where followers practice several hours of transcendental meditation each day.

"This is not praying for peace, this is not sending out positive thoughts for peace," Roth said. "This is diving deep into one's own consciousness."

Hagelin compared the Assembly's use of transcendental meditation to the invention of electricity and other advances.

"We have control over things we didn't have control over before. That's the progress of science," Hagelin said.

And while most people may be skeptical of the ability of meditation to bring such change, Roth said the Assembly was not going to try to change people's opinions.

"We're not trying to convince anyone of anything," Roth said. "We're just doing it."