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THE Hundredth Monkey?

(Thoughts sparked by two friends’ advocacy of “The Hundredth Monkey Effect.”)

“The hundredth monkey effect is a hypothetical phenomenon in which a new behaviour or idea is claimed to spread rapidly by unexplained means from one group to all related groups once a critical number of members of one group [critical mass] exhibit the new behaviour or acknowledge the new idea.1 (Italic emphasis added).

When I hear about a concept that I haven’t studied, I try to research both advocates and skeptics of it (see ● below). The “hundredth monkey effect” (HME), that my friends repeatedly spoke of over the past few days immediately raised cautionary flags and questions:

1. In the 40-odd years since the HME idea surfaced, have we observed any replication of it anywhere in nature—where knowledge or behaviors acquired by another or others transferred suddenly, mysteriously (mind to mind) to all members of a group?
2. Is the HME an unproven extrapolation from what has been called “spooky action at a distance”2 as observed in the subatomic world of quantum mechanics?—that deep-level, foundational world where strange things like nonlocality and entanglement are claimed to occur?3 where matter apparently manifests in ways contrary to our general experience and awareness of being local and un-entangled? But, has any of this been proven or is it all still theoretical?4 Maybe Richard Feynman is still right: “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.”5
3. Is the HME just an imaginary shortcut6 to knowledge without regard to preparation, effort, study, motivation, desire, openness, willingness, observation, etc.?
4. Isn’t the idea of “critical mass” a collectivist notion?—that individual advancement depends on a collective to shift the world to a new consciousness? (Like Mark Passio’s longed-for 51 %?)
5. Is this idea not a recipe for disappointment, anger, and conflict with those who delay or refuse to augment the critical mass of the enlightened? (Just listen to a recent Passio!7)
6. If persons are sovereign, enlightened individuals (as many claim), why are they so bound to this dimension by the uncooperative, unenlightened collective? Is it by contract? by agreement? by sacrifice?
7. Isn’t the goal of critical mass, the mid-game8 of most LGATs9 (Large Group Awareness Training) with their promises of raising consciousness of attendees and unpaid volunteers?
8. Does the HME keep believers in continual pursuit and recruitment of the critical ONE—THAT TIPPING POINT person?
9. Could the HME be another manifestation of “science in crisis”?10
10. Is there new age, paranormal purpose in keeping the HME idea alive?

Here are a few references to get up-to-speed on the HME:

The Hundredth Monkey Revisited by Elaine Myers Going back to the original sources puts a new light on this popular story at (second article)

The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon (c) Ron Amundson 1985 at

The 100th Monkey Effect at

hundredth monkey phenomenon at

Should we spread the enlightenment(?) that maybe the HME is not what it purports to be?

UPDATE: My two friends have decided to abandon their HME advocacy after reading the above references.

2. So termed by Albert Einstein: “Spooky Action at a Distance” ; see
3. “Nonlocality occurs due to the phenomenon of entanglement, whereby particles that interact with each other become permanently correlated, or dependent on each other’s states and properties, to the extent that they effectively lose their individuality and in many ways behave as a single entity.”
4. See Quantum Entanglement & Spooky Action at a Distance (Time 9:16) at ; AND especially Explained & Debunked: Quantum Entanglement & Bell Test Experiments(Time 15:47) at ; as well as accompanying comments
5. ;
6. (Is “shortcut” not the “natural man’s” preferred mode of acquisition or achievement for any and all things?)
7. If you can bear the angry, foul language at What On Earth Is Happening – Episode #219 Topics: Telsa & Humanity’s Missing Paradigm Shift Revisited, … (Time 3.00.00), you can listen to . It may enlighten about the “enlightened.”
8. (the end-game being mega-money for owners and managers?)
9. LGATs: