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$1 billion to save the world

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    $1 billion to save the world

    Beatles guru: $1 billion to save the world
    July 4, 2002 Posted: 6:50 AM EDT (1050 GMT)

    Maharishi (bottom left) with former Beatles George Harrison (L) and Paul McCartney in 1967

    NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Beatles guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said on Wednesday in a July 4 message to Americans nervous about new September 11-style attacks that he could kill world terrorism with love -- but he would need $1 billion to do it.

    "July 4 could be a great day for freedom," Maharishi, who brought Transcendental Meditation to the West more than 40 years ago and is a spiritual inspiration to some 6 million people worldwide, said in a conference call from the Netherlands.

    Maharishi said that with $1 billion he could train 40,000 expert meditators, or "Vedic Pandits," who would generate enough good vibes to save the world. His press office said $85 million toward that goal had already been raised.

    The guru has largely shunned the public eye for the last 20 years, but is now determined to drum up support for his concept of "Natural Law -- the Constitution of the Universe."

    "I am setting up groups of knowers of this total knowledge of natural law, here, there and everywhere, particularly large groups in India, which is the seed for total knowledge of natural law," Maharishi said.

    "I have confidence that India will be the lighthouse for total knowledge. From there this total knowledge will radiate in the whole family of nations ... that would generate a powerful influence of peace that would spread throughout the whole world and neutralize the stress, the hatred and tensions that fuel terrorism and war today."

    Maharishi also criticized the U.S. response to terror attacks. "Bush's war on terrorism pushes the world toward destruction," he said. "This promotes the birth of an enemy."