Mind Control in the 21st Century Science Fiction and Beyond

18/01/2014 00:08

 

by  Steven DiBasio

 

Is it coming to a home near you?

Is it coming to a home near you?

 

                            Conspiracy Theory?

 

“Mind control” is a topic commonly perceived as “conspiracy theory” or “X-Files” fare. That is, it is seen as possibly not “real,” and certainly not something about which one should be “overly” concerned.

 

This attitude at least partially arises from the widespread belief or assumption that the human brain is so complicated—(“the most complex entity in the universe” is a common formulation)—that it has not, and perhaps cannot, be comprehended in any depth.

 

One writer, for example, describes the brain as of “perhaps infinite” complexity,[1] while another, David Brooks of the New York Times, writes that it is “probably impossible” that “a map of brain activity” could reveal mental states such as emotions and desires.[2]

 

Similarly, Andrew Sullivan, blogger and former editor of The New Republic, opines that neuroscience is still in its “infancy,” and that we have only begun “scratching the surface” of the human brain, and links to a New Yorker piece in support of that position.[3]

 

And the cover story for the October 2004 issue of Discovery Magazine entitled “The Myth Of Mind Control” advises the reader that while mind control is a “familiar science-fiction” staple, there is little reason for real concern, because actually deciphering the “neural code” would be akin to figuring out other “great scientific mysteries” such as the “origin of the universe and of life on Earth,” and is therefore hardly likely.[4]

 

According to the article, as the brain is “the most significant mystery in science” and quite possibly “the hardest to solve,”[5] mind control remains at worst a distant concern.

 

The underlying idea seems to be that sophisticated mind control is unlikely without understanding the brain; and we do not understand the brain.

 

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mindcontrol

 

Understanding the “Neural Code”

 

Of course, one might question the notion that a full understanding of the “neural code” is a prerequisite for mind control since it is not always necessary to know how something works for it to be effective. Nonetheless, the assumption that the brain is so complex that little progress has been made in “solving” it is itself incorrect.

 

As neuroscientist Michael Persinger has said, the “great mythology” of the brain is that it is “beyond our understanding; no it’s not.”[6] In fact, according to inventor and “futurist” Ray Kurzweil, “very detailed mathematical models of several dozen regions of the human brain and how they work….”[7] had already been developed over a decade ago.

 

Kurzweil also said at that time that science is “further along in understanding the principles of operation of the human brain than most people realize….”[8] While the brain may be complicated, “it’s not that complicated (emphasis added).”[9]

 

Similarly, an Air Force report from 1995, in a section entitled “Biological Process Control,” predicts that before 2050 “… [w]e will have achieved a clear understanding of how the human brain works, how it really controls the various functions of the body, and how it can be manipulated…:”[10]

 

One can envision the development of electromagnetic energy sources … that can couple with the human body in a fashion that will allow one to prevent voluntary muscular movements, control emotions (and thus actions), produce sleep, transmit suggestions, interfere with … memory, produce an experience set, and delete an experience set.  [11]

 

As disturbing as such “predictions” may be, is it possible that technologies to prevent (or perhaps even impel) muscular movement, control emotions, transmit suggestions, delete memories, create false memories, and so on, have already been developed?

 

Certainly, even a cursory review of the “open literature” reveals that various sophisticated mind control technologies already exist.[12] Indeed, it is rather shocking to realize how advanced mind control technology was, even several decades ago.

 

"Altering brain waves"

“Altering brain waves”

 

For example, there is the 1974 invention of Robert G. Malech for which a patent was granted in 1976 and assigned to defense contractor Dorne & Margolin, Inc.—for a method of “remotely monitoring and altering brain waves.”[13]

 

Moreover, experiments conducted over thirty years ago at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) showed that basic mind reading from EEG readouts was possible, revealing the existence of “a non-symbolic language” of “brain-wave patterns” which could be deciphered and translated.[14]

 

Indeed, “…[b]y the late 1960s … ‘remote control’ of the human brain—accomplished without the implantation of electrodes—was well on its way to being realized.”[15] A means of stimulating a brain “by creating an electrical field completely outside the head” was developed,[16] and it was discovered that electric pulses could stimulate the brain using far less energy than previously “thought … effectual in the old implanting technique.”[17]

 

Not surprisingly, with such developments arose legitimate fears of a future world where “human robots” would perform the bidding of the “military.”[18]

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