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Authors of pulled meditation study issue “clarification”

On 27 June, the journal Archives of Internal Medicine pulled a paper on transcendental meditation and heart attack twelve minutes before it had been scheduled to be published.

Today, the first author of the paper, Robert Schneider of the Maharishi University of Management, issued the following statement. The statement does not address questions (put to Dr. Schneider by Nature and others) of whether the “supplemental information” it refers to changes the paper’s original results or conclusions, and why it was not submitted with the original publication. The statement is pasted below in full:

“This is a clarification of the status of our paper entitled, “Stress Reduction in the Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Transcendental Meditation and Health Education,” which was due to be published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

During the week prior to publication, the authors received additional requests for further clarification and data analyses from external reviewers. This trial was complex in design and the authors are carefully considering and working to incorporate the additional input. The authors wish to point out that the paper was carefully reviewed by both internal and external experts at all points along the way. After a series of deliberations, the journal and authors agreed to revise the paper to include the supplemental information and resubmit to the journal for editorial review. It should be emphasized that at each stage of the publication process, the paper underwent the normal procedures of peer review and followed the guidelines for publication in leading medical journals. The authors remain committed to publishing the highest quality scientific report. Given that this study required nine years to conduct, the authors are pleased to take the additional time needed to review all relevant input and make revisions as necessary.

Robert H. Schneider, M.D., F.A.C.C.”

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    Thomas Prentice, PHD said:

    Nobody, but nobody apologizes any more for anything.

    Always the emphasis is on having followed proper procedures or in corporations or government in having done what was legally required.

    What is it about frankly admitting mistakes and apologizing that seems so frightening to people and institutions in US monopoly capitalist empire?

    It would seem that frankly admitting mistakes and apologizing is a societal and personal strength, not a weakness.

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