People who believe they have been targeted by mind control technologies have often been been met with skepticism or outright disbelief. However, recent revelations concerning very real ongoing scientific research by the government, coupled with technologies under development in the private sector, make it harder than ever to completely dismiss these claims. Reliable information accessible on the Internet suggests that what they think is happening to them may actually be possible, either now or in the near future.

Many of us already have devices inside us — from pacemakers and artificial hearts to replacement joints. Now there is technology under development that could affect the mind and body from the outside, in disturbing, even maddening, ways — from putting sounds in people’s heads to microwaving them from within. The limits of thought and human physiology have been much extended.

There are also many documented cases of government abuse of unsuspecting citizens, often in the name of research. Political activists and others who upset the status quo have long known that government surveillance, at least under certain circumstances, is a reality.

Against this background, a subculture of individuals claim that sinister devices are being used on them, possibly by the government. If these machines are real, it would be difficult to separate the people who are mentally troubled from those who have been victimized. Few weapons, once developed, have not been abused. Even the “non-lethal” ones designed to incapacitate, like tasers, have been used to kill. Mind/body devices sometimes fall under this heading and can change a subject’s very concept of reality, which can be uneasy at the best of times.

Does the proliferation of new technologies and new complaints of harm indicate the spread of a large-scale form of mass paranoia? Or is reality catching up to what used to be called madness?

Uneasy Reality

Those in the subculture call themselves Targeted Individuals, or TIs, and believe that they have been made “guinea pigs” in secret tests of mind-bending weapons. Their writings can be found on specialized websites, Internet forums, and blogs linked to articles on weapons development.

The TIs are subject to a range of experiences. Primary among these is the hearing of voices. The voices may sound reasonable or irrational, comment on what the TIs are seeing or hearing, berate the TI with a string of abuse, or simply chatter nonsensically. TIs will also often experience random pains or electrical sensations throughout their bodies, as well as having feelings of being sexually stimulated or sexually “attacked” or of having their genitals manipulated. Above all they have an overwhelming certainty that these experiences are being caused by some outside agency, and cannot be a product of their own minds.

Some have sought psychiatric care and have been given medication, but antipsychotic drugs often fail to alleviate the feelings.

Could the TIs be the victims of non-lethal technologies? In the January 17, 2007 Washington Post, journalist Sharon Weinberger commented on the seeming normality of “TIs” until their conspiracy issues come into play.

They experienced something, whether subjective or not, and they committed to their perceptions when they discovered the history of government abuses and learned about technology that may be able to produce the very sensations from which they are suffering. It is a veritable hall of mirrors, in which unusual beliefs get reinforced.

Tech Secrets of the Pentagon Report

The sources that all interested parties can call upon are extensive, but there is one government paper in particular that is a springboard to the entire subject — the no-longer-classified 1998 Pentagon report entitled “Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weapons.” It was claimed to have been obtained via the Freedom of Information Act by someone in the controversial TI subculture, and its reality was authenticated in early 2008. The report is an overview of speculation and research concerning various technologies that could be developed for use as non-lethal weapons. There is much in the report to cause concern, but perhaps the most upsetting is the paranoid’s nightmare: a mention of an idea for creating a device that could be a “Voice of God”, to be used both as a communications machine and to distort a person’s mind. Deployed without ethical safeguards, such a machine, if developed, could harm the innocent as well as the guilty.

Also in the report is discussion of a potential microwave weapon that could utilize electromagnetic pulses to disable the brain. On’s Danger Room blog, the aforementioned Sharon Weinberger profiled the highlights of the “Bioeffects….” report in a piece entitled “Report: Nonlethal Weapons Could Target Brain, Mimic Schizophrenia.” She noted that the military report lacked much context, and thus one could not know why it was written — and it did not specify present-day research or programs. Blogged comments about her piece ran the gamut, from mockers to alleged victims.

Commenters on Weinberger’s posting included Donald Friedman, who had obtained the Pentagon report through the Freedom Of Information Act as part of a wider-ranging search. In his February 20, 2008 comment on the Danger Room blog, he blamed the Secret Service for persecuting him by means of the “microwave hearing/audio effect….”

A recovering schizophrenic named “jay,” on a February 23 posting, pointed out that one’s own brain can create seeming sound effects. The existence of the technologies only “makes everything more difficult to figure out.”

On March 24, 2008, a Danger Room blog, written by David Hambling, titled “‘Telepathic Ray Guns’ and Vaporized Shoes: The Truth is Weirder Then You Think,” deals with the Donald Friedman FOIA request and discusses “Bioeffects…”. Hambling had earlier written about the paper in the March 21, 2008 New Scientist, after a delay to make sure that the document was not a forgery.

Friedman, believing himself to be government-targeted, took extreme steps in an attempt to put an end to his perceived persecution. On January 30, 2003, he visited an FBI field office and proffered a letter stating that he was going to get a confession from “at least one” agent “one way or the other….”

Friedman did not achieve his stated objectives and his sanity became at issue.

In the March 24 Danger Room, David Hambling notes that while it is easy to mock people of Friedman’s type, “On the other hand, it does show that if a nonlethal device ever was developed which could cause symptoms associated with madness, it would be completely deniable.” It might be handy “for some three-letter agencies.”

Hambling suggests that “the rest of us are not paranoid enough” about military researches.

State of the Developing Art

These researches cover a lot of ground. The “Bioeffects…” report itself identifies and validates “some aspects of maturing nonlethal technologies that may likely be encountered or used as nonlethal effectors in the future…” which include “Laser and other light phenomena,” “Radio frequency directed energy” and “Aural bioeffects.”

Prior to the report, studies of electromagnetic fields’ effects on biology had become more numerous because of the common devices making use of them, from microwave ovens to high-voltage transmission lines. Health factors were addressed, but the database was very incomplete.

Different applications of microwaves have long affected animal behavior in various ways, from added or decreased ferocity to orientation in the environment. An object of study was to understand the effects on animals so that human susceptibilities could be further understood. The application of radio frequency (RF) radiation to an animal or person can mimic a fever in the subject and thus incapacitate. It can even be gradually introduced, so the subject does not at first realize it is being applied.

The report mentions that it can be used on one or more individuals, thus making it a possible crowd-control device. Metal screens of various types can counteract its effects (making the often-mocked tinfoil hat solution appear more plausible than usual).

The report also deals with the message-bearing and/or incapacitating effects of microwave audio and hearing. Usually experienced as ticking, knocking, buzzing or hissing sounds that seem to come from inside or just in back of the head, aspects of microwave hearing can be used both to distract people or to communicate by some message system like Morse Code or voice.

Thirty years prior to the 1998 report the phenomenon was first noted in the scientific literature. A later 1975 study on humans showed “the threshold energy of microwave-auditory responses in humans as a function of pulse width for 2450 MHz radio frequency energy.” Thermoelastic expansion can be utilized to create the aural phenomenon, since a pressure wave can be caused in solids and liquids by a radio-frequency pulse. The effect can be tuned by altering RF energy characteristics. “Bioeffects….” mentions developing this to the point that human speech can be generated inside a person’s head without a nearby microphone picking up the talk. This has already been done to the point of communicating “one” through “ten” using “speech modulated” microwave energy.

This effort is considered safe just so long as the experimentation does not exceed barely perceptible levels. Positive uses could include the transmission of private messages, but the report also points out that this could be disruptive and “psychologically devastating” to a person unaware of the technical effect — which would seem like a voice inside his or her head.

Hostile uses would include the disruption of neural control — using electromagnetic pulses to bring on neural synchronization and thus make a subject lose control of his or her muscles. Depending on how it is applied, this could cause weakness, unconsciousness, or spasms.

Sound by itself has powerful effects. When high levels of sound are applied, people’s eyes move around because of eddy current effects in the lateral ear canal — thus making the outside world appear to be spinning or turning. The vestibular receptors of the ear, which sense gravity and acceleration, can be stimulated in a way that makes a subject nauseous. Noisy jet engines have such an effect to the system. While such sound devices are very sophisticated, they are not yet very portable.

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