John Hagelin '76 runs for president

by Jacqueline Rose | 11/9/95 6:00am

Four years ago, John Hagelin '76 realized that his work in quantum physics was having no direct impact on society. So he decided to run for president.

Hagelin, who is running again this year as the "Natural Law" party presidential candidate, said his party's approach to the presidency involves two steps -- using meditation to reduce built-up social stress, and, after reducing stress, implementing practical programs to redress social ills.

"There is nothing more valuable I can do than run for president," Hagelin said in a telephone interview with The Dartmouth.

Hagelin, a quantum physicist for almost 20 years, said in a news release, "The Natural Law Party supports programs that harness the infinite organizing intelligence of nature to solve the critical problems of our cities and revitalize the nation as a whole."

In addition to calling for the institution of meditation in schools, the party's platform calls for lower taxes, the reduction of the federal bureaucracy, restricting special-interest groups, the production of renewable energy and energy conservation.

Hagelin said shortly after the Natural Law party was formed in 1992, its founders asked him to run as its presidential candidate. Hagelin said he was a Republican at the time.

"We started as an ideal five months before election day," he said.

Hagelin said he felt the 1992 election was a success because the Natural Law party appeared on ballots in 32 states and qualified for national-party status.

Hagelin said he thinks his chances for success in the 1996 election are much greater than in 1992.

"This time we are starting on time," he said. "We will be on the ballot in all 50 states."

"If the American people get their way, we will win in 1996," he said. "We are the third-party alternative people are looking for. If we succeed in getting press, we can actually win."

Hagelin and Dartmouth

Hagelin, a physics major, graduated from Dartmouth summa cum laude in just three years. He earned a masters degree and Ph.D. in physics at Harvard University.

"I got a wonderful physics education at Dartmouth," he said. "I loved the physics department. The professors there were particularly concerned. I got a first-class education."

He said he could not think of anything he did not like about the College. "I was drawn to Dartmouth by the spirit of the place, by its overall quality of life," he said.

Hagelin said he hopes to bring his campaign to the College in the near future.

Hagelin currently serves as the Director of the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, a public policy think-tank, at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

The Natural Law party

"The Natural Law party is the fastest growing party in America," Hagelin said, "and we are doing it without [Ross] Perot's money."

One-thousand Natural Law candidates are running for national and public office in the 1996 elections, according to Hagelin.

He said students make up more than 50 percent of his party.

"Students see us as a party with principles," he said. "A lot of students are nervous today. They feel their futures are mortgaged by the debt or environmental problems. If Democrats and Republicans were really committed to confronting these issues they would have done something decades ago."

He said he gave the Natural Law party's platform to Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton and Republican presidential candidate George Bush in 1992.

Hagelin said Clinton read the platform in great detail and quoted from it extensively in his campaign, but did not implement any of the party's ideas after his inauguration. Hagelin said he is not sure if Bush read the platform.