There was a week in which 24 people were killed and another 53 were wounded by gunfire or stabbings. There was one afternoon in which six children were shot and wounded at a public pool.

As bloody as the District was in June and July of 1993, it would have been even more violent had not thousands of people sat in rows silently repeating their secret mantras to bring more peace and coherence to city residents, leaders of the Transcendental Meditation movement said yesterday.

The meditators emitted a powerful but unseen force, much like radio waves, to reduce the stress of people who didn't know they were under stress, allowing them to refrain from violence, leaders of the movement said.

From June 7 to July 30, 1993, as many as 4,000 practitioners of Transcendental Meditation from 82 countries were in the District repeating their mantras for peace.

Their meditation didn't prevent the 90 homicides that occurred in the District during that time. Those slayings accounted for 19 percent of the 467 homicides committed in the District in 1993.

Nonetheless, "scientific analysis" showed there would have been greater numbers of homicides, nonfatal assaults and rapes in the city if the Transcendental Meditators had not meditated, said John Hagelin, the movement's chief scientific adviser.

The meditators reduced violent crime by 18 percent, Hagelin said. Hagelin, a Harvard-educated physicist, displayed graphs and charts to make his assertion. Final statistics had become available only recently from the police department, allowing scientists to analyze them, Hagelin said.

The graph purporting to show a reduction in violent crime had a solid line representing "actual crime." A broken line showed a higher level of crime.

But that line did not represent crimes that had occurred, but crimes that social scientists predicted would have occurred based on "time-series analysis," Hagelin said."

That type of analysis, Hagelin explained, takes into account a number of variables, the most important of which is temperature. When it is dry and the temperature is high, more people are out and more crime occurs, Hagelin said.

"It's not that we put it {the predicted level of crime} that high," Hagelin said. "Nature put it high."

Police and criminologists said that crime rates are affected by many factors, of which the weather is just one. They also said it is impossible to predict crime levels.

Hagelin said he would like to see 1 percent of the military engage in meditation to prevent violence.

Homicides in the city are down about 12 percent this year. Of the reduction, Hagelin said, "I'm very excited if it's true."

Police commanders attributed the decrease not to waves of meditation, but waves of patrols and arrests.

"There has been outstanding work by the officers and leaders of the patrol districts," said Inspector Winston Robinson, commander of the 7th District. "I'm not kicking meditation. Tell them to keep on meditating. Crime doesn't stop."