Can the human mind be controlled?

After reading 1984 by George Orwell I began thinking about whether or not the human mind can be controlled. It always seemed to me that the human mind could be controlled, the events in 1984 seem to make sense to me. But, I would like to put the question up for debate: Can the human mind be controlled?

Sure it can - I control mine some of the time, but I think you’re asking can it be reliably, consistently and absolutely controlled? by another person, in which case, I think probably not.

Tish - I mean mondos :wink:

Do a Google search on MKULTRA - a CIA experiment that began in the 40s or 50s and lasted until the early 70s.

Bizarre factoid: the CIA funded mind-control experiments at McGill University here in Montreal in the 50s and 60s. The experiments were conducted by Dr. Ewen Cameron (do a search on him as well) at the Allan Memorial Institute. He had a theory that the human mind suffering from psychiatric problems could be “depatterned” and then reprogrammed. Patients were drugged with LSD (among other things), or put into barbiturate-induced comas for periods of 30 days and longer, and forced to listen to looped messages repeating the same phrase over and over again.

The CIA was involved because they believed Cameron’s theory could lead to the brainwashing of double-agents so that they could be “mind controlled.” They eventually ceased funding the experiment, but the Canadian government continued to do so. Suffice to say it was a failure and the patients were destroyed for life. The survivors eventually sued and won settlements.

It’s documented in a Canadian made-for-TV movie called “The Sleep Room.”

The bizarre part of my factoid is that my shrink practises at the Allan Memorial, and whenever I go there, I wonder where the “sleep rooms” were… :eek:

  • s.e.

do a google search on Nuero-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

you’ll find some interesting stuff…

Golly. :eek:

Skeptic’s Dictionary entry.
http://skepdic.com/neurolin.html

Quackwatch entry.
http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/mentserv.html

“Someday” one would think that science will provide a way to read minds, or even perhaps make ‘suggestions’ given that thought processes are electrical in nature and it would have obvious tactical and diplomatic advantages to covertly monitor thoughts. Hopefully the Supreme Court will rule that a violation of our 4th Amend. rights but I’ll not hold my breath.

Can the human mind be controlled? Absolutely. I subscribe to a somewhat of a modified ‘blank slate’ theory (tabula rasa? sp) or GIGO, garbage in garbage out. Certainly no 1984 scenario applies here, more of a matter of conditioning, indoctrination and reinforcement.

There’s a mind-control device in practically every household. People don’t realise what it does, and they happily spend hours with it, turning thier brains into tapioca, while they are systematically programmed with moronic adverts. Yes, its a television.

If it couldn’t be, how could Cecil gather so many of us here? You think I spend 85% of the hours I get paid to work Doping instead of doing any real work out of my own free will? I think not. The internet is just as able to brainwash as the tv. None of my actions are my own fault, and maybe someday someone will have enough power to liberate us from that enslavement, perpetuated by the establishment, which forces us to not get our laundry done but sees to it that all of our beer gets had.

DaLovin Dj

The OP asks “Can the human mind be controlled?”

Based on the following 2 books I’ve read, I’d say yes.

1- “Manufacturing Consent” by Noam Chumsky. It clearly shows how the majority of the US population is brainwashed to have a “common” vision and interpretation of current affairs and the issues confronting the world.

2- “The Age of Spiritual Machines” by Ray Kurzweil. It shows what is coming in brain resreach and neurocybernetics during the next 50 years.

The marriage of neurocybernetics and virtual reality in 2025 will provide feedback from an individual’s brain and her/his perception to scenarios presented to that individual. The feedback can then change the scenarios through your 5 sensors (what you see, what you hear, what you smell, what you taste and what you touch) causing a change in your perception or possibly changing your already made-up mind about an issue.

Now. I am sure many people reading this reply immediately conclude that my mind is currently controlled by what I have read in the above two books. I wonder if you have the time or patience to read the above two books and then try to change my mind through dialog in this thread?

I’m a big fan of Kurzweil. The transhuman (extropian) line of thought is one I tend to be in agreement with. To be fair, the ideas are theories - other outcomes are possibile. 2025 is just a guess. The singularity could take alot longer or not ever happen. We will indeed find out one way or the other.

DaLovin’ Dj

Just thought I’d add a link:

Ray Kurzweil’s Site

Sure makes for interesting reading.

DaLovin’ Dj

Hypnosis is simply a relaxation technique that relies on cooperation between the hypnotizer and hypnotizee.

(Just wanted to get that out before someone mentioned it. :))

Yes. As one example, IMHO, organized religion is proof.

Sure. Social psychology has uncovered things such as that people will deliver what they think are almost lethal, or fully lethal shocks to people for answering memory questions incorrectly. (This is documented in Stanley Milgram’s Experiment: http://designweb.otago.ac.nz/grant/psyc/OBEDIANCE.HTML ) The Holocaust is evidence enough that people will do anything.

No doubt about it. My wife has been doing it for almost 38 years. :rolleyes:

These are not the droids you want.

The Holocaust and Stanley Milgram’s experiment aren’t so much about mind control as they are about response and obedience to authority figures. I can’t speak about the Holocaust because I don’t know much about it. But in the case of the Milgram experiment, if it was mind control, the test subjects would not have had the pangs of guilt or concern for the “victim” being “tortured” that eventually caused the majority of them to stop their delivering of shocks. They would have mindlessly buzzed away until they were told to stop.

Ah, but social psychology has discovered that peoples attitudes tend to change to accomodate their behavior. Thus, had Milgram’s experiment continued for a longer time, they might have started to lose thier guilt. They might blame the victim for getting the questions wrong, or make up other excuses to keep their conscious clear. I have no cite but I would put even money that the Nazis in the Holocaust stopped feeling guilty quickly, as they did what they did more and more.

Make someone do an action long enough and their mind will follow.

Now, this maybe incorrect, and if it is and you can prove why please shoot me down. :slight_smile:

I heard somewhere, an educational program or teacher I believe, that the human brain is always emitting waves. So, in theory, if someone’s mind could not only send out but also receive, amplify and interpret those waves, then wouldn’t this in essence be a natural form of telepathy? Which, in turn is the first step to mind control.

The electromagnetic waves emitted by your brain are tiny - the EM output of the computer screen in front of you are orders of magnitudes more powerful. In an environment carefully shielded from noise sources using electrodes attached directly to your scalp connected to sensitive amplifiers, you can get a general level of brain activity. Reading thoughts from outside the skull just isn’t going to happen.