Mind control targeting: Science fiction or a new form of hi-tech torture?

by Cheryl Welsh

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Mind control targeting: Science fiction or a new form of hi-tech torture?

by Cheryl Welsh

Cheryl Welsh is director of a small non-profit human rights group located in Davis, California, U.S. She authored Cold War Experiments: The Threat of Neuroweapons and the Danger it will happen again, Essex Human Rights Review, June 2012. Available at: http://projects.essex.ac.uk/ehrr/V9N1/WELSH.pdf


Beginning in the 1950s, thousands of victims, mainly from the U.S. and Russia have claimed targeting with some type of secret remote mind control weapons. Most victims state that they are observed and attacked 24 hours a day for years on end via remote communication technologies interacting with their brains. They state that the physical and psychological methods used are destructive and debilitating. The desperate pleas sound like science fiction torture and they are dismissed as conspiracy theory or mental illness. The allegations are growing in numbers, including more recent claims from the Middle East, India, Japan, China and Taiwan.


Now two prominent figures have alleged political oppression via mind control weapons, raising serious new concerns about the persistent allegations. Tek Nath Rizal, an internationally recognized activist, exposed corruption in Bhutan and the King sent him to prison in 1988. Rizal claimed that he was tortured in prison with electromagnetic radiation (EMR) mind control technologies in a very brutal medieval fashion. The U.S. Department of State and Amnesty International pressed for his release and after ten years in prison, Rizal received a government pardon. In 2011, Rizal wrote the book Torture, Killing Me Softly and eloquently described his horrific experience. Another case was recently reported in Asian newspapers. Ruey Lin, the running mate of Taiwan opposition presidential candidate James Soong, claimed he had come under attack from "electromagnetic waves" launched by a local intelligence unit.[1]


The allegations sound like descriptions of future weapons. For nearly sixty years, major countries have funded secret programs for developing advanced mind control weapons. The U.S. conducted mind control research to counter the threat of communist brainwashing and the classified research has continued to the present day.[2] Not one weapon has ever been revealed. Government documents describe weapons that will neutralize the enemy without killing, for counterinsurgency warfare and for psychological and intelligence operations. Weapons based on EMR, also called directed energy, would be deployed surreptitiously and leave no trace evidence, thus allowing governments to deny their existence. For example, the U.S. Air Force is funding the development of "directed energy and other revolutionary technologies, with the ability to instantaneously project very precise amounts of various types of energy anywhere in the world."[3]


Mind control weapons target the brain and nervous system and are now known as neuroweapons. Experts agree that advanced weapons with mind reading and remote targeting capabilities are scientifically feasible but are decades into the future. This paper challenges the consensus that neuroweapons and allegations are science fiction. The first section presents the basic science of advanced neuroweapons. The next two sections present evidence suggesting that U.S. government secrecy methods are designed to keep the science of neuroweapons off limits to all but the government. A brief conclusion and recommendation are given.


The consensus on advanced neuroweapons science and technology


Developing advanced neuroweapons and solving how the brain works require the same basic science and technology. It is notable that for the last sixty years, the basic science and technology requirements have remained the same. Since the mid-twentieth century, neuroscientists have known that brain cells, called neurons, communicate with electrochemical signals and this communication process translates into human activities such as dreams, thoughts, emotions, actions, hearing, seeing and more. Neuroscientists agree that the key to solving how the brain works is to decipher the language of the electrochemical signals.[4]


The brain is an electrochemical system with chemical, electrical and electromagnetic properties. Brain activity is based on biochemistry and principles of physics. For example, electric currents, including brain currents produce electromagnetic and magnetic fields and the brain can therefore be influenced by external electricity and electromagnetic and magnetic fields. Additionally, science research has firmly established that external electromagnetic, magnetic and electrical signals can disrupt, mimic or interact with the signals of the brain to affect behavior, brain and body functions.[5] Therefore, a review of research progress in the three essential areas of research--the chemical, electrical and electromagnetic properties of the brain--would help determine if neuroweapons are science fiction.


First, the science of biochemistry has dominated medical research and most neuroscientists have focused on the biochemical aspect of the study of the brain.[6] However, experts now agree that the biochemical approach alone is not enough to solve how the brain works. Neuroscientists have conducted research on the electrical and electromagnetic aspects of the electrochemical brain although to a much lesser extent than on the brain's biochemical properties. A major obstacle is that the brain is difficult to access and new technological tools are needed. Neuroscientists agree that to solve how the brain works requires observing and communicating with the 100 billion neurons in the living brain all at the same time.[7] Today's brain scanning technologies such as the MRIs, (magnetic resonance imaging) only observe groups of neurons and are too imprecise for mind reading or mind control. Likewise, brain implants are only capable of simple electrical communication with individual neurons or groups of neurons. Progress on research involving the electrical nature of the brain has remained slow.[8]


The electromagnetic properties of the brain are difficult to measure and weapons research in this area has been classified since the 1950s. As a result, progress in this area continues to languish. Most people know how a microwave oven works; the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) called microwaves produce a thermal effect and heat or cook food. By contrast, few people are aware of the science research showing that EMR has significant nonthermal bioeffects on the human body, including the brain--effects other than just heating. Beginning in the 1960s, some research on the electromagnetic aspect of brain function produced solid scientific results. A handful of pioneer researchers established the field of bioelectromagnetic medicine, "the study of the electromagnetic forces generated by living organisms, and the effects of external electromagnetic forces and fields upon living organisms."[9] By the 1980s, scientific experiments supported that externally applied electromagnetic fields had a scientifically measurable effect on electromagnetic processes of transformation, transfer, coding, and storage of information in living systems, including in the brain.[10] Subsequent research has extended this promising line of brain communication research, however, it remains unproven, at least in the unclassified research. A 1991 London Guardian article explains:


To accept that our biology and brain function is affected by electromagnetic radiation requires us to change our notion of how the body functions. Even though the body is basically an electrochemical system, modern science has almost exclusively been concerned with the chemical aspect.[11]


Experts say that information age science will be required to fill the gaps in neuroscience research. Today's information age had its beginnings in the 1940s with the discovery of semiconductors and the invention of transistors and integrated circuits. Information age science of quantum physics, electrical engineering and solid state physics led to the atomic bomb, microwave radar, the computer, brain implants and brain scanning technologies, the moon landing and more. The following two examples illustrate how information age technologies would likely be applied to the development of advanced neuroweapons. In his 2008 New York Times-reviewed book, physicist Michio Kaku explained: "Radio waves can be beamed directly into the human brain to excite areas of the brain known to control certain functions. This line of research began in the 1950s . . . But research in this direction is only at the earliest stages."[12] In 2010, the prominent physicist Freeman Dyson predicted that to observe and control the brain, the "neurological equivalent of integrated-circuit technology" must be developed. According to Dyson, this required  "microwave signals and two tools; first microscopic radio transmitters and receivers; and second, a tool to convert neural signals into radio signals and vice versa."[13]


Generally speaking, since the 1950s, the consensus on the essential requirements for solving how the brain works and for developing advanced neuroweapons are; first, deciphering the language of electrochemical brain signals with a research focus on the electrical and electromagnetic aspects of the electrochemical brain; and second, new technologies based on information age science for observation of and communication with the 100 billion neurons in the brain all at the same time.


A U.S. government deception exposed


The consensus is that advanced neuroweapons are not scientifically possible because of the current rudimentary level of neuroscience development. An underlying assumption of the consensus is that the past sixty years of classified research advanced at a similar pace as the unclassified neuroscience. So it becomes relevant that for nearly sixty years, the U.S. government has maintained a monopoly over EMR bioeffects research. For example, the official U.S. Air Force science policy on EMR bioeffects research has remained the same for decades:


The official U.S. Air Force position is that there are no non-thermal effects of microwaves. Yet Dennis Bushnell, chief scientist at NASA's Langley Research Center, tagged microwave attacks against the human brain as part of future warfare in a 2001 presentation to the National Defense Industrial Association about "Future Strategic Issues.[14]


Recently the science journal Nature admonished the U.S. Air Force about classifying EMR bioeffects research and stated that only weapons not science should be classified.[15] Distorting science for national security purposes is not new. For decades, government officials controlled atomic bomb science and routinely suppressed any information about the serious health effects of radiation because it might hinder research.[16] Likewise, it can be argued that U.S. officials have manipulated the science of EMR bioeffects for national security purposes. Several bioelectromagnetic researchers have written about deceptive U.S. government practices including loss of government funding, threatening and discrediting researchers, classifying promising research, spreading propaganda, and promoting a government policy that distorts valid EMR bioeffects research. Robert Becker, a two time Nobel Prize nominee for his work in bioelectromagnetism, felt that the U.S. government leaked disinformation "to make the whole question of mind control seem absolutely unbelievable."[17]


The U.S. government monopoly over EMR bioeffects research has been highly effective. For example, in 2001, a group of experts wrote that new rat implant technologies capable of transmitting signals remotely had "nothing to do with the fantasies of mind control by electromagnetic fields, long a staple of science fiction and lately of conspiracy theory Web sites."[18] It can be argued that the consensus is missing key information; first, in neuroscience, the focus remains on a biochemical approach; second, the lack of technologies to access the brain overshadowed research progress on the electrical properties of the brain; and third, the U.S. government monopoly over EMR bioeffects research severely stunted its development. It can be argued that the monopoly allowed the U.S. government to suppress research demonstrating the significant importance of EMR bioeffects research for solving how the brain works. As mentioned above, this research remains promising but unproven.


It would seem that the monopoly allowed the U.S. government an advantage of at least sixty years of classified weapons research while at the same time, unclassified neuroscience was missing essential research for solving how the brain works. It can be argued that the U.S. government was able maintain the deception that unclassified and classified research are too rudimentary for advanced neuroweapons. At the same time, the government advantage could have led to major progress or the successful development of advanced neuroweapons. A strong case can be made that the underlying assumption of the consensus was wrong; the past sixty years of classified research almost surely would not have advanced at a similar pace as the unclassified neuroscience.


A Manhattan Project for neuroweapons?


Solving how the brain works has been described as a scientific endeavor more difficult than landing on the moon. The Manhattan Project was successful in building the atomic bomb, likewise, could a Manhattan Project for neuroweapons have already taken place? General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project testified at a 1945 congressional hearing;


The big secret was really something that we could not keep quiet, and that was the fact that the thing [atomic bomb] went off. . . . It was something that we did not know until we had spend almost $2,000,000,000 and had worked about three years. We did not know whether it would go off or not. [19]


Atomic physicist H. C. Urey also testified at the congressional hearing;


When the [atomic] bomb exploded, the most important fact was known. From that point on, any foreign country could move with confidence, and this is a great advantage; whereas we had to feel our way along on this problem, set up many alternative methods for doing this work, follow many lines of research, many of which were discarded.[20]


Similarly,  a case can be made that the consensus can only make educated guesses about whether a Manhattan Project for neuroweapons could succeed. It seems fair to conclude that there is much less certainty than the consensus has admitted too and much more certainty than the allegations have been given credit for. A closer examination of U.S. science and secrecy methods suggests that the probability has tipped: advanced neuroweapons are likely to have been secretly developed and the decades of allegations of government neuroweapons targeting are likely to be true. An investigation is long overdue. The hope is that human rights experts may now have enough evidence to recognize a critical new human rights issue.


[1]  Jens Kastner, Taiwanese Election Looms, Asia Sentinel, December 15, 2011. Available at http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4048&Itemid=386.

[2]  Bill Richards, Book Disputes CIA Chief on Mind-Control Efforts: Work went on into 1970s, author says, Washington Post, January 29 1979, A2.

[3]  William Baker, et. al., Controlled Effects: Scientists explore the future of controlled Effects, in Air Force Air Power Theory and Doctrine, (Wright Patterson Air Force Base, 2001)

[4]   John Horgan, The Myth of Mind Control: Will anyone ever decode the human brain?, Discover Magazine, October 29 2004. Available at http://discovermagazine.com/2004/oct/cover. 

[5]  Douglas Pasternak, Wonder Weapons: The Pentagon’s Quest for Nonlethal Arms is Amazing. But is it Smart? US News and World Report July 7, 1997, p.38.

[6] Alan McComas, Galvani's Spark: The story of the nerve impulse, (Oxford University Press, 2011), p.327.

[7]  Larry Squire, ed., Fundamental Neuroscience, (Elsevier, 2008), p.1234.

[8]  Committee on Military and Intelligence Methodology for Emergent Neurophysiological and Cognitive/Neural Science Research in the Next Two Decades, Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies, National Research Council, (National Academies Press, 2008), 2-3. Available at  http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12177&page=12.

[9]  Robert Becker, Electromagnetism and Life, in Modern Bioelectricity, Andrew Marino, ed (M. Dekker, 1988), p.1.

[10]  Samuel Koslov, Bridging the Gap, in Ross Adey, Albert Lawrence ed., International Conference on  Nonlinear Electrodynamics in Biological Systems, (Plenum Press, 1984), p.586.

[11]  Simon North, War in the Desert, Electronic weapons, London Guardian, February 2  1991.

[12]  Michio Kaku, Physics of the Impossible, A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel, (Doubleday, 2008), p.85.

[13]  Freeman Dyson, Radiotelepathy: Direct Communication from Brain to Brain, in This Will Change Everything: Ideas that will shape the future, John Brockman, ed., (Harper Perennial, 2010), p.146.

[14]  Sharon Weinberger, Thought Wars, Washington Post Magazine, January 14, 2007, p.W22

[15]  Editorial, Secret Weapons, Nature, Vol. 489, September 13, 2012, p.177-178. Available at www.nature.com/nature/journal/v489177b.html.

[16]  Eileen Welsome, The Plutonium Files: America’s Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War, (Dial Press, 1999), p.484-485.

[17]  V. N. Binhi, Electromagnetic Mind Control Fact or Fiction? A Scientific View, (Nova Science, 2010), p.xi. See also Welsh, Cold War Experiments, Essex Human Rights Review, p.22-32. Available at: http://projects.essex.ac.uk/ehrr/V9N1/WELSH.pdf

[18]  Kenneth Foster, et. al., Bioethics and the Brain, IEEE Spectrum, June 2003, p.34.

[19]  U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Committee on Military Affairs, Atomic Energy, Hearings on H.R. 4280, An Act for the Development and Control of Atomic Energy, October 9 and 18, 1945, 79th Congress, lst Sess., 1945, p.12.

[20]  Ibid.


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