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Mind control

    '''Mind control''' (or '''thought control''') theory states that an outside source can control an individual's thinking behavior or consciousness (either directly or more subtly) This is a more modern term for "brainwashing" In the anti-cult movement and Christian countercult movement ''mind control'' has the meaning of strong influence acquired and maintained by manipulation

    Introduction: propaganda and overt persuasion

    With the onset of mass media like radio in the 1930s and later television totalitarian regimes of the time capitalized on the new possibilities for manipulation and state propaganda Joseph Goebbels Hitler's propaganda genius pioneered most of the methods which are still used by modern spin doctors "A lie repeated many times becomes the Truth" was one of his particularly effective insights Ironically spin doctors play a very important role in those democracies dependent on public opinion
    Totalitarian regimes use repression of freedom of speech to homogenize the population Repression can range from simple censorship through character assassination to outright state sponsored murder One notorious example is Stalin with his purges
    People's minds are clearly influenced by many influences from the outside world such as advertising media manipulation and propaganda; however they are generally aware of these influences
    The first main section of the article directly under this paragraph deals with mind control that occurs either without the knowledge or without the consent of the individual In contrast the second main section hereunder about cults and mind control includes propaganda and the influence with the consent and knowledge of the individual

    Direct control without knowledge or consent

    Mind control "technologies"

    Hypothesized forms of mind control technology have included the use of drugs hypnosis Pavlovian conditioning repetitive indoctrination torture and subliminal stimuli All of those have been tried by actual government groups with widely varying degrees of success
    Among the symptoms of schizophrenia (and sometimes other forms of psychosis) is the belief that one is subject to external mind control often by use of some form of technology These often involve less plausible proposed mind control technologies such as the use of microwave radiation or lasers to control thoughts often by intelligence agencies and secret societies
    However others note that in fact these technologies do exist in varying forms ELF technology is the most common and most well-documented In the Soviet Union and the United States during the 1950s-70s several experiments were performed using ELF pulse transmissions to mimick human nerve impulses in effect implanting certain states of consciousness by radiation--particularly emotions It was found that certain ELF frequencies when transmitted in pulse mode could induce emotions in subjects According to Rauni-Leena Luukanen-Kilde a former Finnish physician and a well known ufologist and conspiracy theorist many 'schizophrenics' are misdiagnosed victims of mind-control experiments This has allegedly been substantiated by physical implants discovered in the cerebral tissue of such 'schizophrenics'
    Some believers in mind control assert that no one is immune to : a person could just start talking to a someone on the street and nearly instantly he is a victim Other sources believe that there is no such thing as mind control and that free will cannot be subverted

    US Government research into mind control

    A CIA research program which included experiments on human participants known principally by the codename MKULTRA began in 1950 and was motivated largely in response to alleged Soviet Chinese and North Korean uses of mind control techniques on US prisoners of war in Korea
    The general consensus is that MKULTRA was a failure although because most of the MKULTRA records were deliberately destroyed in 1973 by order of then-Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms it is impossible to have a complete understanding of the more than 150 individually funded research projects sponsored by MKULTRA and the related CIA programs

    Subliminal advertising

    • The term "subliminal advertising" was coined by James Vicary
    • The publication in 1957 of Vance Packard's The Hidden Persuaders brought the term to the attention of the general public
    • In 1973 the book Subliminal Seduction claimed that subliminal techiques were in wide use in advertising
    • In 2003 the American Technology Corporation (ATC) released a subliminal loudspeaker technology under the trade name HyperSonic Sound The Forbes magazine reported September 2003 that ATC is installing this in soft drink machines on Tokyo's streets As you walk past you'll suddenly hear inside your head the sound of the ice cubes dropping into the glass and the sound of an opening beverage can

    Does control of brain processes amount to mind control?

    With intense modern magnets and the technique of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) or repetitive TMS (rTMS) researchers have been able to transiently suppress certain thought processes — such as the conjugation of verbs — with fleeting magnetic pulses to specific areas of the brain The technique has proved a valuable tool for testing hypotheses about the role and interplay between brain regions in particular cognitive activities and psychiatric symptoms such as depression
    The extent and viability of these capabilities as "mind control" are controversial and disputed
    For example antidepressant drugs and mood stabilizers have a definite effect on mood through what is believed to be a direct action on the chemistry of the brain However most people would not say that this constituted mind control and people on these drugs do not feel "controlled" This raises the question: if brain processes can be controlled at the electrical or chemical level without amounting to "mind control" where does free will lie?

    Mind control in fiction

    Mind control has been a popular subject in fiction featuring in books and films such as The Ipcress File and The Manchurian Candidate which has the premise that a man could be hypnotized into murder on command but retain no memory of the killing
    The TV series The Prisoner featured mind control as a recurring plot element
    George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four features a description of mind control both directly by torture and indirectly in the form of pervasive mind control by the use of Newspeak a constructed language which is designed to remove the possibility of articulating and even thinking subversive thoughts
    In science fiction fantasy and superhero fiction mind control often is described as a means of how a person literally seizes control of the minds of the victims to the point where not only their bodies are placed under direct control but also their consciousnesses as well to become puppets like slaves to the controller This is often depicted electronically; one such example is the trademark equipment of the Batman supervillain The Mad Hatter headgear which is designed to put victims under his control when placed in direct physical contact with the head In addition characters with powerful telepathic or psychic abilities like Professor X and Jean Grey of the X-Men can do the same with mental concentration against a target
    See also: mind uploading

    Mind control as entertainment

    Hypnotism has often been used by stage performers to make volunteers do strange things such as clucking like a chicken for the entertainment of the audience More sophisticated mental tricks are performed by the British psychological illusionist Derren Brown in his television programmes Derren Brown: Mind Control

    Related topics

    • cognotechnology
    • hypnosis
    • subliminal messages
    • tinfoil hat
    • Psychotronics

    References and external links

    Cults and mind control controversies

    The term mind control has evolved from theories of brainwashing after these theories had been found not applicable and discredited with regards to cults Sociologists and other experts are often at odds about what constitutes a "cult"
    Instead of using the terms "brainwashing" or the modern variant of "mind control" the scientific community prefers to use the more common terms of influence deception propaganda communal reinforcement to describe the mechanisms and strategies of cults In the 1990s American courts stopped accepting "expert testimony" about people forced to join or remain in "cults" or as an excuse to commit crimes

    American Psychological Association task force on mind control

    The American Psychological Association (APA) in 1984 allowed Margaret Singer the main proponent of anti-cult mind control theories to create a working group called Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Methods of Persuasion and Control (DIMPAC)
    In 1987 the final report of the DIMPAC committee was submitted to the Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology of the APA On May 11, 1987 the Board rejected the report and concluded that its kind of mind control theories used in order to distinguish "cults" from religions are not part of accepted psychological science (American Psychological Association 1987) Although the APA memorandum only dismissed the theories of brainwashing and mind control as presented in the DIMPAC report — without prejudice to theories of influence and control other than those advocated by the DIMPAC committee - the results of the APA document were devastating for the anti-cult movement[1]
    In fact the DIMPAC theories rejected by APA largely corresponded to the anti-cult position as a whole Starting from the Fishman case (1990) where a defendant accused of commercial fraud raised as a defense that he was not fully responsible since he was under the mind control of Scientology American courts consistently rejected testimonies about mind control and manipulation stating that these were not part of accepted mainline science (Anthony & Robbins 1992: 5-29) Margaret Singer and her associate Richard Ofshe filed suits against the APA and the American Sociological Association (who had supported APA's 1987 statement) but they lost in 1993 and 1994
    In 2002 Dr. Philip Zimbardo commented on the annual request by former NRM members to reconsider the APA's position on the possibility of mind control [2]

    Steve Hassan and his BITE model for cults

    The term destructive mind control as used by self-proclaimed expert on "destructive cults" and anti-cult activist Steve Hassan is part of his BITE model [3] The BITE model advances a theory that mind control is a set of techniques to get control over people by manipulation and deception
    Hassan's critics argue that the only reason why Steve Hassan uses the term mind control for what is essentially a strong form of influence is to justify the forcible extraction of believers from religious groups They argue that Hassan doesn't merely say that the believers were persuaded by fraudulent salesmanship; he claims that these groups literally take away a victim's freedom of mind that is why in order to "rescue" a "victim" from a "destructive cult" an involuntary procedure must be applied for "victims" may not realize their victimhood status and resist rescuing Hassan after he took part in a number of deprogrammings in the late 1970s he distances himself from this practice and the criminal activities associated with that occupation and refers to his method as "strategic interaction"

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