In Contravention of Conventional Wisdom
by Cheryl Welsh
After the horrific pictures of prisoners being tortured at Abu Ghraib were displayed in front pages of newspapers around the world, the United States maintained that the U.S. government does not torture; Abu Ghraib was about a few bad officers. Evidence now proves that CIA ‘no touch’ torture and worse were ordered by the executive branch and approved by top military officers. Surprisingly this scandal has much in common with another national security issue, neuroweapons, commonly referred to as mind control.
The field of neuroethics should begin now, according to bioethicist Dr. Jonathan Moreno in his 2006 book Mind Wars, Brain Research and National Defense. The influential book was reviewed in Nature and JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association). Most neuroscientists agree that advanced neuroweapons are over a half century away but the ethics of the new weapons need more planning than occurred for the atomic bomb. Moreno began the first chapter of his book describing the growing numbers of allegations of illegal government mind control targeting. He immediately dismissed them as conspiracy theory nut cases. A 2007 Washington Post Magazine article, "Thought Wars" followed suit. So why should anyone read further, given these credible and highly respected expert opinions?
Much of what the public should know about the issue has gone unreported or uninvestigated. For example, after over a half century of classified research, not one publicly known neurological weapon has been deployed. This raises more questions than it answers. Putting aside the major and undebated points of the consensus position, the mind control allegations do sound crazy and on this singular point most people, including experts and news reporters, refuse any closer examination. Clearly, understanding why the mind control allegations sound so crazy would have significant consequences.
Two analogies help clarify the major problems for the mind control issue, secrecy and the lack of a thorough, impartial investigation:
(1) Excerpt of a 1970s congressional hearing uncovering illegal CIA activities:
"[Senator Frank] Church, ... persisted in blaming the plots [assassinations] on the CIA. The agency, he said, was a "rogue elephant on a rampage." For proof, he pointed to the lack of documentary evidence that any president had ever approved an assassination. Former CIA director Richard Helms countered that it was absurd to expect to find such evidence. "I can't imagine anybody wanting something in writing saying I have just charged Mr. Jones to go out and shoot Mr. Smith," he testified. The Agency, he insisted, had simply carried out the wishes of the executive."
Even today, experts don't understand how the U.S. secrecy system works. Similar to the torture scandal, until there is a national security scandal about neuroscience weapons, the public will remain uninformed about a serious public issue.
(2) "During a dairyman's strike in 19th century New England, when there was suspicion of milk being watered down, Henry David Thoreau wrote: "Sometimes circumstantial evidence can be quite convincing; like when you find a trout in the milk." Mind Wars and the Washington Post Magazine article examined the growing numbers of crazy sounding mind control allegations. But unlike Thoreau's account, the publications only reported the convincing circumstantial evidence of "finding a trout in the milk" and dismissed the suspicions without a fair or impartial investigation. As a result, the mind control allegations made no sense.
I. A university professor uncovers CIA ‘no touch’ torture
University of Wisconsin professor Alfred McCoy wrote the 2006 book, A Question of Torture, CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror. It's a compelling account of McCoy's search for understanding the CIA’s 'no touch' torture techniques used in the war on terror and the Iraq War. McCoy shows how "information extracted by coercion is worthless" and makes the case for a legal approach, "long and successfully used by the U.S. Marines and the F.B.I." McCoy documents why CIA 'no touch' torture is a "revolutionary psychological approach" and is the first new scientific innovation after centuries of torture. "Interrogators had found that mere physical pain, no matter how extreme, often produced heightened resistance." Of course, the old brutal forms of physical torture are still around, for example torture in Argentina in the 1970s described in the classic, Prisoner Without a Name, Cell without a Number by Jacobo Timerman.
McCoy pieced together what ‘no touch’ torture is and how it was spread globally. The CIA's new 'no touch' torture works by attacking and destroying the basis of personal identity. McCoy found that the techniques were bizarre, simple, even banal and yet devastatingly effective. McCoy discovered that the techniques had been scientifically proven in decades of CIA Cold War research. Evidence of several government manuals helped prove that the techniques were disseminated "from Vietnam through Iran to Central America."
'No touch' torture techniques sound strangely similar to mind control allegations. A comparison of 'no touch' torture to mind control allegations raised the possibility that mind control allegations could be based on the well researched psychological theory for ‘no touch’ torture. Torture victims exhibit symptoms similar to psychotic processes and organic disorders and experts say this is not mental illness but an outcome of the psychological component of torture. Psychotherapist Otto Doerr-Zegers, who has treated Chilean victims tortured under General Augusto Pinochet stated: "The psychological component of torture becomes a kind of total theater, a constructed unreality of lies and inversion, in a plot that ends inexorably with the victim’s self-betrayal and destruction...." This is similar to the technique of "street theater" that mind control victims described in Mind Wars and the Washington Post Magazine article. As torture victims are not mentally ill, mind control victims would not be mentally ill, but rather have undergone and are undergoing a traumatic situation comparable to torture, such as the alleged illegal targeting with government mind control weapons.
II. The beginnings of CIA ‘no touch' torture and how it spread
The science of psychological torture began because of fears of Russian brainwashing of defendants in the 1940s Moscow show trials and the Korean War POW ( prisoners of war) brainwashing scare in the 1950s. The 2005 book, World as Laboratory, Experiments with Mice, Mazes, and Men by Rebecca Lemov described government psychological research for determining whether the Communists had developed new techniques of brainwashing. "Almost all [scientists] who were assigned to study the phenomenon of POW collaboration ended up in short order working for the CIA via one of its various "cut-outs," conduits, and false fronts, such as the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, the Geschickter Fund for Medical Research, and the Scientific Engineering Institute, or in one of its own laboratories." (Lemov, 219) McCoy described the research behind ‘no touch’ torture and how it spread globally:
"From 1950 to 1962, the CIA became involved in torture through a massive mind-control effort, with psychological warfare and secret research into human consciousness that reached a cost of a billion dollars annually, a veritable Manhattan Project of the mind. ... If we trace a narrative thread through a maze of hundreds of experiments, the CIA research moved through two distinct phases, first an in-house exploration of exotic techniques such as hypnosis and hallucinogenic drugs, and, a later focus on behavioral experimentation by contract researchers, several of the most brilliant behavioral scientists of their generation ...
"While this Agency drug testing led nowhere, CIA-funded behavioral experiments, outsourced to the country's leading universities, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, etc., produced three key findings that contributed to the discovery of a new form of torture that was psychological, not physical, ... perhaps best described as "no-touch torture." (McCoy outline, 2)
"Across the span of three continents and four decades, there is a striking similarity in U.S. torture techniques, both their conceptual design and specific techniques, from the CIA's 1963 Kubark interrogation manual, to the Agency's 1983 Honduras training handbook, all the way to General Ricardo Sanchez's 2003 orders for interrogation in Iraq. ... Guantanamo perfected the three-phase psychological paradigm by attacking cultural identity and individual psyche. (McCoy outline, 14)"
III. What is ’no touch’ torture?
McCoy explained what 'no touch' torture is:
"The CIA's psychological paradigm for 'no touch' torture fused two new methods, "sensory disorientation" and "self-inflicted pain," whose combination, in theory, would cause victims to feel responsible for their own suffering and thus capitulate more readily to their torturers. Refined through years of practice, sensory disorientation relies on a mix of sensory overload and sensory deprivation via banal procedures, isolation then intense interrogation, heat and cold, light and dark, noise and silence, for a systematic attack on all human stimuli. The fusion of these two techniques, sensory disorientation and self-inflicted pain, creates a synergy of physical and psychological trauma whose sum is a hammer-blow to the existential platforms of personal identity. (McCoy outline, 4-5)
"In 2004, the Red Cross reported: "The construction of such a system. ... cannot be considered other than an intentional system of cruel, unusual and degrading treatment and a form of torture. "(McCoy outline, 9)"
IV. An example of ‘no touch’ torture
Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman interviewed journalist Jane Mayer about her August 8, 2007 New Yorker article, "The Black Sites: A Rare Look Inside the C.I.A.'s Secret Interrogation Program." Mayer described detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his experience with 'no touch' torture:
"There, he [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] was subjected to a kind of a weird routine that someone described to me as kind of Clockwork Orange sort of thing, where he was put in goggles that blacked out the light and earmuffs of some sort that blocked out sound and deprived of any normal routine, such as meals or anything that would allow him to know what time of day it was or really have any kind of marker in his existence. And it's a program that's developed of sort of psychological terror, in a way, to kind of make people feel that they are completely dependent on other people, have no control over their lives, and it's something that, the technique, that really comes out of the KGB days, way back in the Cold War. And apparently it's something the CIA has put a lot of research into over time."
V. The long history of U.S. torture
The history of CIA torture runs parallel to CIA neuroscience-based mind control research and also CIA nonlethal weapons research. This is important because mind control allegations include descriptions of techniques that sound like all three CIA programs. It is possible that the related cold war CIA 'no touch' torture, nonlethal weapons and neuroscience-based mind control programs have co-mingled for intelligence uses. Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter and author Tim Weiner wrote the 2007 book Legacy of Ashes, History of the CIA. Weiner described the CIA torture programs and the U.S. secret detention centers around the world. This is a brief excerpt of the extensive programs:
"The project dated back to 1948, when Richard Helms and his [American intelligence] officers in Germany realized they were being defrauded ... The agency had set up clandestine prisons to wring confessions out of suspected double agents. One was in Germany, another in Japan. The third, and the biggest, was in the Panama Canal Zone. "Like Guantanamo, ... It was anything goes." ... (Weiner, 64-5)
"Senior CIA officers, including Helms, destroyed almost all the records of these programs in fear they might become public. (Weiner, 66)
"The agency, as Cheney said that morning, went over to "the dark side." On Monday, September 17, President Bush issued a fourteen-page top secret directive to Tenet and the CIA, ordering the agency to hunt, capture, imprison, and interrogate suspects around the world. It set new limits on what the agency could do. It was the foundation for a system of secret prisons where CIA officers and contractors used techniques that included torture. One CIA contractor was convicted of beating an Afghan prison to death. This was not the role of a civilian intelligence service in a democratic society. But it is clearly what the White House wanted the CIA to do. ...
"[The CIA] had participated in the torture of captured enemy combatants before, beginning in 1967, under the Phoenix program in Vietnam. ...
"Under Bush's order, the CIA began to function as a global military police, throwing hundreds of suspects into secret jails in Afghanistan, Thailand, Poland, and inside the American military prison in Guantanamo, Cuba. It handed hundreds more prisoners off to the intelligence services in Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, and Syria for interrogations. (Weiner, 482)"
VI. CIA cold war neuroscience-based mind control research
Some CIA neuroscience-based mind control research is known to have continued into the 1970s and is still classified today. A January 29, 1979 Washington Post article entitled "Book Disputes CIA Chief on Mind-Control Efforts: Work Went on Into 1970s, Author Says," reported:
"Despite assurances last year from Central Intelligence Director Stansfield Turner that the CIA's mind-control program was phased out over a decade ago, the intelligence agency has come up with new documents indicating that the work went on into the 1970s, according to a new book. John Marks, the author of the book, said the CIA mind-control researchers did apparently drop their much publicized MK-ULTRA drug-testing program. But they replaced it, according to Marks, with another super secret behavioral-control project under the agency's Office of Research and Development.
"The ORD program used a cover organization set up in the 1960s outside Boston headed by Dr. Edwin Land, the founder of Polaroid, who acted as a "figurehead," said Marks in his book. The project investigated such research as genetic engineering, development of new strains of bacteria, and mind control. The book identifies the Massachusetts proprietary organization headed by Land as the Scientific Engineering Institute. The CIA-funded institute was originally set up as a radar and technical research company in the 1950s and shifted over to mind-control experiments in the 1960s with the exception of a few scattered programs. According to Marks, however, the ORD program was a full-scale one and just as secret as the earlier MK-ULTRA project."
VII. CIA cold war nonlethal weapons research
Nonlethal weapons are another outcome of CIA behavior control research. Steven Aftergood wrote about the initial stages of nonlethal weapons in the September/October 1994 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: "Details about programs to develop so called "non-lethal " weapons are slowly emerging from the U.S. government's secret "black budget." ... The concept of non-lethal weapons is not new; the term appears in heavily censored CIA documents dating from the 1960s." Dr. Barbara Hatch-Rosenberg described nonlethal weapons on page 45, "Non-lethal" weapons may violate treaties:
"Development of many of the proposed weapons described on these pages has been undertaken by NATO, the United States, and probably other nations as well. Most of the weapons could be considered "pre-lethal" rather than non-lethal. They would actually provide a continuum of effects ranging from mild to lethal, with varying degrees of controllability. Serious questions arise about the legality of these expensive and highly classified development programs. Four international treaties are particularly relevant ... The Certain Conventional Weapons Convention (also known as the Inhumane Weapons Convention).
"Many of the non-lethal weapons under consideration utilize infrasound or electromagnetic energy (including lasers, microwave or radio-frequency radiation, or visible light pulsed at brain-wave frequency) for their effects. These weapons are said to cause temporary or permanent blinding, interference with mental processes, modification of behavior and emotional response, seizures, severe pain, dizziness, nausea and diarrhea, or disruption of internal organ functions in various other ways. In addition, the use of high-power microwaves to melt down electronic systems would incidentally cook every person in the vicinity.
"Typically, the biological effects of these weapons depend on a number of variables that, theoretically, could be tuned to control the severity of the effects. However, the precision of control is questionable. The use of such weapons for law enforcement might constitute severe bodily punishment without due process.
"In warfare, the use of these weapons in a non-lethal mode would be analogous to the use of riot control agents in the Vietnam War, a practice now outlawed by the CWC. Regardless of the level of injury inflicted, the use of many non-lethal weapons is likely to violate international humanitarian law on the basis of superfluous suffering and/or indiscriminate effects.
"In addition, under the Certain Conventional Weapons Convention, international discussions are now under way that may lead to the development of specific new protocols covering electromagnetic weapons; a report is expected sometime next year. The current surge of interest in electromagnetic and similar technologies makes the adoption of a protocol explicitly outlawing the use of these dehumanizing weapons an urgent matter."
VIII. Why CIA ‘no touch’ torture has been so successful
"CIA Paradigm: In its clandestine journey across continents and decades, this distinctly American form of psychological torture would prove elusive, resilient, adaptable and devastatingly destructive, attributes that have allowed it to persist up to the present and into the future. ...
"1) Elusive: Unlike its physical variant, psychological torture lacks clear signs of abuse and easily eludes detection, greatly complicating any investigation, prosecution, or attempt at prohibition.
"2) Resilient: Psychological torture is shrouded in a scientific patina that appeals to policy makers and avoids the obvious physical brutality unpalatable to the modern public.
"3) Adaptable: In forty years since its discovery, the Agency's psychological paradigm has proved surprisingly adaptable, with each sustained application producing innovations. ...
"4) Destructive: Although seemingly less brutal than physical methods, the CIA’s ‘no touch’ torture actually leaves searing psychological scars. Victims often need long treatment to recover from a trauma many experts consider more crippling than physical pain. (A Question of Torture, 12)"
These characteristics also apply to nonlethal weapons and neuroscience-based mind control. All three are emerging state tools of the future and can neutralize the enemy by controlling the behavior of the enemy. A 2005 book entitled, Torture, Does it Make Us Safer? Is It Ever OK? was co-published with Human Rights Watch. Some general reasons for why governments use torture as a state tool include the following. Governments torture because it is a way to obtain coerced confessions. The confessions can be used for propaganda purposes. Torture serves a variety of state purposes: "to terrorize certain elements of the population, to instill a climate of fear in the public more generally, and to break key leaders and members of these groups, uncovering their networks." Another purpose of torture is to "obtain intelligence by any means," "annihilate subversives" and "eliminate the enemy."
Counterinsurgency warfare is taking place in Iraq and major newspapers have reported on the many detainees that have consistently alleged being subjected to ‘no touch’ torture techniques. As reported in the September 16th, 2007 Sacramento Bee, General David Petraeus co-wrote the Counterinsurgency Field Manuel - U.S. Army Field Manual on Tactics, Intelligence, Host Nation Forces, Airpower," which Newsweek said, is "highly touted as the basis upon which the surge of U.S. forces this year would be organized."
The book Torture, also included a description of "counterinsurgency warfare, in which torture was a principal weapon" and was developed "during the French experience in Indochina and Algeria."
"[The] "genesis of this new kind of warfare is the idea that the enemy takes the form of an invisible political organization hidden among the civilian population. One can know its leaders and its structure only by waging a war of information: by arresting masses of civilian suspects, interrogating them, and, if necessary, torturing them. ... In the modern era, ... the science of torture and similar abusive treatment has developed to break the physical and mental resistance of subjects before they expire or go mad and thus become useless as sources of information. ... Torture is still about domination."
IX. All three programs are state tools for neutralizing the enemy without killing; for intelligence operations and counterinsurgency warfare
By comparing mind control allegations to ‘no touch’ torture techniques and the very classified nonlethal weapons program, the purpose of the bizarre sounding mind control allegations begins to make sense. Neuroweapons include the CIA’s still classified neuroscience-based mind control research, ‘no touch’ torture and nonlethal weapons. All three are emerging state tools of the future that can reliably neutralize the enemy psychologically or without killing. The old, politically unacceptable methods of brutal physical torture and killing won't be eliminated but surreptitious, scientifically proven, alternative methods are available to achieve an even greater national security advantage. All are ideal for counterinsurgency warfare, psychological operations and intelligence operations. The characteristics of 'no touch' torture, nonlethal weapons and neuroscience-based mind control make them more inhumane than the atomic bomb.
X. Mind control allegations by a Korean POW, (prisoner of war), a Soviet political prisoner and Abu Ghraib detainees
Three relevant examples out of the numerous available provide a general overview of the decades of mind control allegations and weapons. The details are compelling and rarely reported by mainstream press and illustrate why a comparison of ‘no touch’ torture to mind control allegations is so applicable. The examples share the same cold war history with CIA 'no touch' torture, neuroscience-based mind control and nonlethal weapons programs.
(1) The 1984 BBC TV documentary Opening Pandora's Box described EMR [electromagnetic radiation] remote mind control developments and a claim of mind control by a Korean POW:
"In the 1950s, intelligence agencies were interested in changing mental states. The theory is that brain waves can be tuned to a different EMR frequency and can change moods and character. ... A CIA memo stated that they were looking for behavior control to enhance consciousness.
"The Soviets had realized the same thing. Dr. Ross Adey, famous EMR researcher at Loma Linda Veterans Hospital, examined the Lida machine, from the Soviet Union. It was described as a machine to "rearrange consciousness." The Russians claimed to use it for treatment of emotional disorders in the 1950s. Dr. Adey stated that the Lida machine is now obsolete. It used coiled wire inside ear muffs which acted like an antenna and emitted 1/10 sec pulses of EMR. Dr. Adey demonstrated that excited animals rapidly quiet down when exposed to the Lida EMR frequencies. There was one account that the Lida machine was used during the Korean war for brainwashing American Prisoners."
(2) An interview of an alleged Russian victim, Andre Slepucha, was reported in a 1998 ZDF German TV documentary. He described what seems to be the first reported victim of some type of "microwave hearing." Slepucha stated:
"In November 1954 I came into contact with what today is referred to as "Psychotronic Treatment" for the first time. Back then they took me out of the concentration camp where, under Stalin, I had been imprisoned as a political prisoner, and brought me into an isolation cell in the KGB prison which was located in the Lubyanka. After an approximately two week long continuous occupation of the cell I suddenly experienced in the morning strong sounds in the head, very strong acoustic and visual hallucinations."
On the CNN news broadcast, Special Assignment by Chuck DeCaro, "Weapons of War, Is there an RF Gap?" November 1985, Dr. Bill van Bise, electrical engineer, conducted a demonstration of Soviet scientific data and schematics for beaming a magnetic field into the brain to cause visual hallucinations. The demonstration on reporter Chuck DeCaro was successful. Dr. van Bise stated, "In three weeks, I could put together a device that would take care of a whole town." A December 13, 1976, Federal Times article, "Microwave Weapons Study by Soviets Cited" described the alleged Russian capability of microwave hearing:
"The Defense Intelligence Agency has released a report on heavy Communist research on microwaves, including their use as weapons. Microwaves are used in radar, television and microwave ovens. They can cause disorientation and possibly heart attacks in humans. Another biological effect with possible anti-personnel uses is "microwave hearing." "Sounds and possibly even words which appear to be originating intracranially (within the head) can be induced by signal modulation at very low average power densities," the report said. According to the study, Communist work in this area "has great potential for development into a system for disorienting or disrupting the behavior patterns of military or diplomatic personnel."
(3) Jon Ronson, author of the New York Times reviewed book, "The Men Who Stare at Goats" wrote about alleged mind control experiments on Iraqi detainees. In an interview on April 14, 2005 at the Politics and Prose book store in Washington DC., Ronson discussed his book (Tape available from Cspan, Book TV at www.booktv.org. Videotape # 186334):
"And from the former detainees from Guantanamo Bay that I've interviewed it seems exactly the same things are going on there. I said to a man called Jamal al-Harith how do you feel, you know how did you feel at Guantanamo Bay and he said "" felt like a laboratory rat." And he said, "I felt they were trying stuff out on me." ...
"And one example is with Barney the purple dinosaur. When it was announced a year ago that they were rounding up prisoners of war in Iraq and blasting them with Barney the purple dinosaur, it was treated as a funny story, because, by all the major news networks in America, you know... the torture wasn't that bad. ... It was disseminated as funny because who wants to replace a funny story with, as Eric [Olson] once said to me, with one that’s not fun. ...
"I was given seven photographs of a detainee who had just been given the Barney treatment as they called it. It was 48 hours of Barney with flashing strobe lights inside a shipping container in the desert heat. ... The current chief of staff of the Army is a man called General Pete Shoemaker. ... He's well known to have an interest in these paranormal esoteric military pursuits. ... So now is the time when I know that these ideas go to the very top [levels of the military].
"One of the things you spoke of, the one that I have knowledge of is the frequencies. You can follow a trail of patents like footprints in the snow and the patents sometimes vanish into the world of military classification. And there's many patents bought up by a man called Dr. Oliver Lowry. ...
"So we know that these patents have been bought up by the military. ... And the detainees of Guantanamo I've spoken to speak of being blasted with frequencies, put inside music, high and low frequencies, masked with music. ... I think there's no doubt they're experimenting with this stuff. To add to that controversial suggestion, I think there's a good chance that even though they're trying this stuff out, it's not necessarily true that it works. A lot of this stuff doesn't work. This may or may not work. I don't know."
XI. The banal and bizarre techniques of ‘no touch torture’
Psychological techniques used at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and secret prisons have included extremes of the following; manipulation of time, loud music, strobe lights, odd sounds, hooding, ear muffs, heat and cold, light and dark, isolation and intensive interrogation "and most importantly, creative combinations of all these methods which otherwise might seem, individually, banal if not benign." McCoy explains:
"After a visit from the Guantanamo chief General Miller in September 2003, the U.S. commander for Iraq, General Ricardo Sanchez, issued orders for sophisticated psychological torture. As I read from those orders, please listen for the combined sensory disorientation, self-inflicted pain, and attacking Arab cultural sensitivities.
"Environmental Manipulation: Altering the environment to create moderate discomfort (e.g. adjusting temperatures or introducing an unpleasant smell) ...
"Sleep Adjustment: Adjusting the sleeping times of the detainee (e.g. reversing the sleeping cycles from night to day).
"Isolation: Isolating the detainee from other detainees. ... 30 days.
"Presence of Military Working Dogs: Exploits Arab fear of dogs while maintaining security during interrogations ...
"Yelling, Loud Music, and Light Control: Used to create fear, disorient detainee and prolong capture shock. Volume controlled to prevent injury...
"Stress Positions: Use of physical posturing (sitting, standing, kneeling, prone, etc.) (McCoy outline, 9)
XII. The three key behavioral components of 'no touch' torture
McCoy described the principles underlying ‘no touch’ torture:
"Through covert trial and error, the CIA, in collaboration with university researchers, slowly identified three key behavioral components integral to its emerging techniques for psychological torture.
"Discovery #1 Sensory deprivation In the early 1950s ...Dr. Donald Hebb found that he could induce a state akin to psychosis in just 48 hours. ...after just two to three days of such isolation [sitting in a cubicle ..with goggles, gloves and ear muffs on.] "the subject's very identity had begun to disintegrate."
"Discovery #2 Self-inflicted pain ...Albert Biderman, Irving L. Janis, Harold Wolff, and Lawrence Hinkle, advised the agency about the role of self-inflicted pain in Communist interrogation. ...During the 1950s as well, two eminent neurologists at Cornell Medical Center working for the CIA found that the KGB's most devastating torture technique involved, not crude physical beatings, but simply forcing the victim to stand for days at a time, while the legs swelled, the skin erupted in suppurating lesions, the kidneys shut down, hallucinations began.
"Discovery #3 Anyone can torture ...Finally, a young Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram, ...conducted his famed obedience experiments, asking ordinary New Haven citizens to torture on command and discovering that, in contravention of conventional wisdom, anyone could be trained to torture. ...[Milgram] did controversial research under a government grant showing that almost any individual is capable of torture, a critical finding for the agency as it prepared to disseminate its method worldwide. (McCoy outline, 4, Question of Torture, 32-33)
"By the project's end in the late 1960s, this torture research had involved three of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century-Hebb, Milgram, and Janis, as well as several presidents of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association. (A Question of Torture, 33)
"That notorious photo of a hooded Iraqi on a box, arms extended and wires to his hands, exposes this covert method. The hood is for sensory deprivation, and the arms are extended for self-inflicted pain. ... Although seemingly less brutal than physical methods, no-touch torture leaves deep psychological scars on both victims and interrogators. One British journalist who observed this method's use in Northern Ireland called sensory deprivation "the worst form of torture" because it "provokes more anxiety among the interrogatees than more traditional tortures, leaves no visible scars and, therefore, is harder to prove, and produces longer lasting effects. (Question of Torture, 8-9)"
McCoy explained how CIA ‘no touch' torture changes its victims:
"Insights from the treatment of Chilean victims tortured under General Augusto Pinochet's regime offer a point of entry into this complex question. Psychotherapist Otto Doerr-Zegers found that victims suffer "a mistrust bordering on paranoia, and a loss of interest that greatly surpasses anything observed in anxiety disorders." The subject "does not only react to torture with a tiredness of days, weeks, or months, but remains a tired human being, relatively uninterested and unable to concentrate."
"These findings led him to a revealing question: "What in torture makes possible a change of such nature that it appears similar to psychotic processes and to disorders of organic origin? (Question of Torture, 10-11)"
XIII. Torture as "a kind of total theater"
Doerr-Zegers explained that techniques of torture work by creating deception, distrust, fear, disorientation, a "kind of total theater" that leaves the victim disoriented and "emotionally and psychological damaged." The similarity of the explanation below to "street theater" found in mind control allegations is remarkable:
"As Doerr-Zegers describes it, the psychological component of torture becomes a kind of total theater, a constructed unreality of lies and inversion, in a plot that ends inexorably with the victim’s self-betrayal and destruction.
"To make their artifice of false charges, fabricated news, and mock executions convincing, interrogators often become inspired thespians. The torture chamber itself thus has the theatricality of a set with special lighting, sound effects, props, and backdrop, all designed with a perverse stagecraft to evoke an aura of fear. Both stage and cell construct their own kind of temporality. While the play both expands and collapses time to carry the audience forward toward denouement, the prison distorts time to disorientate and then entrap the victim. As the torturer manipulates circumstances to "maximize confusion," the victim feels "prior schemas of the self and the world ... shattered" and becomes receptive to the "torturer’s construction of reality."
"Under the peculiar conditions of psychological torture, victims, isolated from others, form "emotional ties to their tormentors" that make them responsive to a perverse play in which they are both audience and actor, subject and object—in a script that often leaves them not just disoriented but emotionally and psychologically damaged, in some cases for the rest of their lives. (A Question of Torture, 10)"
XIV. A comparison of ‘no touch’ torture to mind control allegations
The Washington Post Magazine article included interviews of several TIs, or targeted individuals of mind control, as some call themselves. Highly acclaimed author Gloria Naylor is most recognized for her novel Women of Brewster Place, starring Oprah in a 1980s TV mini-series. Naylor wrote the novel 1996, about her personal experience of mind control targeting and "street theater." The article also included an example of drug-induced paranoia for comparison:
"Like Girard, Naylor describes what she calls "street theater," incidents that might be dismissed by others as coincidental, but which Naylor believes were set up. She noticed suspicious cars driving by her isolated vacation home. On an airplane, fellow passengers mimicked her every movement, like mimes on a street.
"Voices similar to those in Girard's case followed, taunting voices cursing her, telling her she was stupid, that she couldn't write. Expletive-laced language filled her head. ...
"Naylor is not the first writer to describe such a personal descent. Evelyn Waugh, one of the great novelists of the 20th century, details similar experiences in The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold. Waugh's book, published in 1957, has eerie similarities to Naylor's. Embarking on a recuperative cruise, Pinfold begins to hear voices on the ship that he believes are part of a wireless system capable of broadcasting into his head; he believes the instigator recruited fellow passengers to act as operatives; and he describes "performances" put on by passengers directed at him yet meant to look innocuous to others.
"Waugh wrote his book several years after recovering from a similar episode and realizing that the voices and paranoia were the result of drug-induced hallucinations."
The psychological terror and mistrust bordering on paranoia of torture victims is remarkably similar to the mind control alleged by Naylor and the drug-induced paranoia of Waugh. The "street theater" described by most TIs also appears similar to the paranoia of mental illness and most people think "street theater" sounds crazy.
The addendum of Naylor's novel 1996 included this description of some of the most commonly reported mind control symptoms:
"Victims are subjected to various kinds of harassment and torture, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for years on end. Most believe that some type of technology can remotely track, target, and control every nerve in their bodies. Heart and respiration rate can speed up and slow down, and stomach and bowel functions are regulated. Illnesses and all types of pain can turn on and off in an instant. Microwave burns are reported.
"Sleep deprivation is common and dreams are manipulated. Victims say, "They [whoever is targeting them] can see through my eyes, what I see." Sometimes victims describe seeing the images of projected holograms. Thoughts can be read. Most victims describe a phenomenon they call "street theater." For example, people around the victim have repeated verbatim, the victim’s immediate thoughts, or harassive and personalized statements are repeated by strangers wherever the victim may go.
"Emotions can be manipulated. Microwave hearing, known to be an unclassified military capability of creating voices in the head, is regularly reported. Implanted thoughts and visions are common, with repetitive themes that can include pedophilia, homophobia and degradation. Victims say it is like having a radio or TV in your head. Less frequently, remote and abusive sexual manipulation is reported. Almost all victims say repetitive behavior control techniques are used and include negative, stimulus-response or feedback loops."
The counterintuitive and bizarre torture techniques are discernible within the mind control allegations. The mind control techniques seem to be psychological techniques to disorient the victim and cause him to feel completely controlled, dependent and at the mercy of his torturers. Similar to the "kind of total theater" for torture, "street theater" is almost certainly a part of the process of breaking one's personality and to gain behavior control over that person.
XV. The phenomenology of the torture situation
"What in torture makes possible a change of such nature that it appears similar to psychotic processes and to disorders of organic origin?" Doerr-Zegers found the answer lies in the psychological, not physical, "phenomenology of the torture situation":
"(1) an asymmetry of power;
(2) the anonymity of the torturer to the victim;
(3) the "double bind" of either enduring or betraying others;
(4) the systematic "falsehood" of trumped-up charges, artificial lighting, cunning deceptions, and "mock executions";
(5) confinement in distinctive spaces signifying "displacement, trapping, narrowness and destruction"; and
(6) a temporality "characterized by some unpredictability and much circularity, having no end." ...
Thus, much of the pain from all forms of torture is psychological, not physical, based upon denying victims any power over their lives. In sum, the torturer strives "through insult and disqualification, by means of threats ... to break all the victim's possible existential platforms." Through this asymmetry, the torturer eventually achieves "complete power" and reduces the victims to "a condition of total or near total defenselessness." (Question of Torture, 10-11)"
In torture, a torture situation is created according to Doerr-Zegers. In mind control allegations there is a similar phenomenology of a mind control situation. TIs describe this as "an electronic prison." Doerr-Zegers described the torture technique, 1) an asymmetry of power. In torture, the torturer has complete power and the victim is completely powerless. Similarly, TIs are targeted remotely and are completely powerless to stop the targeting. Doerr-Zegers described the torture technique, 2) the anonymity of the torturer to the victim. Torture victims do not know their torturer and similarly, there is the anonymity of the remote targeting in the mind control situation.
Most TIs described "street theater" or seemingly staged events which matches 3), 4) and 6). Doerr-Zegers described torture technique, 5) confinement in distinctive spaces signifying "displacement, trapping, narrowness and destruction." Although TIs are not physically imprisoned, most victims describe the experience as very debilitating and compare it to "mental rape, an electronic prison, or total destruction of the quality of their lives." Mind control poses a severe restriction on their former lives. 6) is also similar to sensory deprivation in mind control allegations, the banal, repetitive behavior control techniques, including negative, stimulus-response or feedback loops.
XVI. Comparing 'no touch' torture techniques of sensory disorientation and self inflicted pain to mind control allegations
The psychological effects achieved by torture and alleged mind control are similar. Mind control targeting tactics described by most TIs seem to contain the underlying 'no touch' torture techniques of sensory disorientation and self inflicted pain. For comparison, here is McCoy's description:
"To summarize, the CIA's psychological paradigm fused two new methods, "sensory disorientation" and "self-inflicted pain," whose combination, in theory, would cause victims to feel responsible for their own suffering and thus capitulate more readily to their torturers ... The fusion of these two techniques, sensory disorientation and self-inflicted pain, creates a synergy of physical and psychological trauma whose sum is a hammer-blow to the existential platforms of personal identity. (McCoy outline, 5)"
The intended effect of sensory disorientation for torture would be similar for mind control; to create an environment of radical uncertainty and to enhance the break down of the person's will and personality. Most alleged cases of mind control describe the considerable repetition of seemingly innocuous and banal stimuli in the TIs environment, as if engineered by computer. The addendum of Naylor's book included this description; "Almost all victims say repetitive behavior control techniques are used and include negative, stimulus-response or feedback loops." For comparison, here is McCoy's description:
"The CIA's "sensory disorientation" became a total assault on all senses and sensibilities, auditory, visual, tactile, temporal, temperature, and survival. Refined through years of practice, sensory disorientation relies on a mix of sensory overload and sensory deprivation via banal procedures, isolation then intense interrogation, heat and cold, light and dark, noise and silence, for a systematic attack on all human stimuli. (McCoy outline, 4-5)"
McCoy described the photos of the hooded detainee with "the arms extended for self-inflicted pain." The torturer forces the prisoner to stand with arms extended and the prisoner has no control over his situation. The prisoner still has a sense of guilt at causing his own pain by his extended arms. This intended effect of self inflicted pain for torture seems to be similar to mind control. TIs who are remotely targeted with physical pain cannot escape. Although TIs go to extremes in trying to escape the physical targeting, they are unsuccessful. The psychological trauma is inflicted by the sense of causing one's own pain. Many TIs report that the targeting causes TIs to become isolated from friends, families and in many cases TIs are unable to work. This common reaction to targeting seems to be a type of self-inflicted psychological pain.
Carole Sterling's description of targeting is also found in the addendum of Naylor's book and seems to illustrate the techniques of sensory disorientation and self-inflicted pain. It is a typical TI description:
"In 1997, Carole Sterling wrote a letter to the editor of the Star Beacon. She described her alleged targeting with EMR weapons technologies that within months, led to her suicide.
"Dear Star Beacon, I am writing about something that happened to me which goes back to December 1995. I went to a conference in Nevada. The day following the last night at the conference, I noticed that I had an injection mark on the base of my spine which was sore. Then the nightmare started three days after my return to Washington, D.C. ... It totally scrambled my brain, leaving me unable to think properly, simply functioning on sheer shock and horror, with total incomprehension of what was going on. It actually was debilitating. The room felt like a torture chamber. This forced me out of my home. I believe that the technology used, be it some type of a frequency assault, some sort of directed energy, in addition to whatever was injected in me, has caused damage to my brain. [I have] been living with this debilitating and excruciating pain for the last eight months so far."
TIs describe both psychological and physical targeting similar to physical torture. It seems logical to surmise that the successful psychological theories of 'no touch' torture would cross over to more technically based remote, advanced mind control programs. This becomes a significant step forward in understanding the mind control issue. The mind control allegations are "the secret in plain sight."
XVII. Conclusions: what everyone can agree on
Hard questions need to be asked of the experts. Who now controls the neuroscience weapons research and how advanced is it? As a result of U.S. secrecy, an educated guess is all that is possible. The public deployment of advanced remote neuroscience weapons will be a world changing event, affecting the lives of this generation and the next. The weapons involve national security, science, history, U.S. politics and geopolitics. Most importantly the weapons encompass human nature, good and evil and suffering. Most people are in agreement about one fact: unlike the atomic bomb, there has been a total lack of public input for neuroscience weapons and policy even though the research began in the 1950s and is still classified. Again, this raises more questions than it answers.
Dedicated to the courageous and kind-hearted Peggy Fagan of Houston, Texas, who is enduring the new scientific version of torture.
©2008 Cheryl Welsh is the found of mindjustice.org. She had a very ordinary life until she was targeted with government mind control in 1987. Since then she changed her life to stop the targeting that continues to this day. In 1996, Cheryl started a nonprofit research and education organization, Citizens Against Human Rights Abuse (CAHRA), now Mind Justice. In 2007, Cheryl graduated from Lincoln Law School in Sacramento, California. She was cited for her mind control research in Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense by Jonathan Moreno, Ph.D. on the acknowledgements page.
Human Rights Watch, Torture: Does it Make Us Safer? Is It Ever OK?, 2005.
Mayer, Jane, August 8, 2007 New Yorker, "The Black Sites: A Rare Look Inside the C.I.A.'s Secret Interrogation Program."
McCoy, Alfred, A Question of Torture, CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror, 2006.
"Mind Games," Washington Post Magazine, Sharon Weinberger, January 14, 2007.
Moreno, Jonathan Moreno, Mind Wars, Brain Research and National Defense, 2006.
Lemov, Rebecca, World as Laboratory, Experiments with Mice, Mazes, and Men, 2005.
Ronson, Jon, The Men Who Stare at Goats. Also, interview dated April 14, 2005 (Videotape #186334 at www.booktv.org.)
Timerman, Jacobo, Prisoner Without a Name, Cell without a Number, DATE?
Weiner, Tim, Legacy of Ashes, History of the CIA. 2007.