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Just becuase you're crazy doesn't mean they're not beaming voices into your head.
February 21, 2012 6:03 AM   Subscribe

...this stubborn idea he had about maintaining his sanity took a couple of hard hits when: 1. He presented the shoes that government agents had supposedly melted...which simply looked like worn out running shoes. 2. The government's psychologist and one of Friedman's choosing both concurred that he was totally schizophrenic. Still, Friedman pressed on, demanding better counsel for himself and filing a second Freedom of Information Act (he was not satisfied with the first) for:
"all documents pertaining to the microwave auditory effect, microwave hearing effect, Frey effect, artificial telepathy, and/or any device/weapon which uses and/or causes such effect; and any covert or undisclosed use of hypnosis"
This FOIA request, however, was much more successful. The document (which was verified by wired.com in 2008 through the US Army Intelligence And Security Command Freedom Of Information/Privacy Office), contained quite a bit of interesting/terrifying information...

posted by Slap*Happy (91 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
That explains a lot.
posted by MythMaker at 6:11 AM on February 21, 2012


I'd feel better about that blog post if the illustrations and captions didn't seem to be making fun of severe mental illness. It lends a strange vibe to the whole thing, which is otherwise quite interesting.
posted by OmieWise at 6:13 AM on February 21, 2012 [33 favorites]


Yes, I hate the site that published that story for the same reasons that OmieWise gives.
posted by jepler at 6:18 AM on February 21, 2012


Is the government spying on paranoid schizophrenics enough?
posted by empath at 6:19 AM on February 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


Oh, for a second I thought this was going to be about Capturing the Friedmans but I'm really glad it's not, it's too early in the day for that shit.
posted by Mooseli at 6:20 AM on February 21, 2012


I'd feel better about that blog post if the illustrations and captions didn't seem to be making fun of severe mental illness.

Do you feel better to know that there are 'put voice in head' devices / the use of LSD on a village in France as attempts at mind control by Governments?

Or is just the use of the work of Edward Bernays' Propaganda VS the population ok?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:24 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


To draw that inference from the original comment almost leads one to conclude the government is putting words in people's heads, as your conclusion is nowhere implied in it.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:26 AM on February 21, 2012


Do you feel better to know that there are 'put voice in head' devices / the use of LSD on a village in France as attempts at mind control by Governments?

Or is just the use of the work of Edward Bernays' Propaganda VS the population ok?


What? I honestly don't understand your comment at all, or whether (or why) it's a response to mine. Could you explain what you mean?
posted by OmieWise at 6:29 AM on February 21, 2012


The government has been researching various forms of "mind control" for a while (MKULTRA, ARTICHOKE, CHATTER). My understanding is that while these super-secret projects sound awfully impressive and spooky and human-rights-violate-y, they never really produced very much in the way of workable technology.

The idea of the CIA/FBI/etc. as a bunch of 30th-level wizards is very appealing, but in reality, their frequent intelligence failures suggests that they are not, shall we say, in the possession of reliable mind-control technology.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:29 AM on February 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'd feel better about that blog post if the illustrations and captions didn't seem to be making fun of severe mental illness. It lends a strange vibe to the whole thing

Except for the picture of the owl. That was spot on.
posted by Mike Mongo at 6:29 AM on February 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


What, no "tinfoilhattery" tag?

Because I'm getting my tinfoil hat ASAP.

On the other hand, if this really works, how comes some enterprising MIT student hasn't already being using it to cheat in his exams?
posted by Skeptic at 6:31 AM on February 21, 2012


Well, fuck. A common theme with paranoid schizophrenics is that they think that it's the government that is spying on them, and/or telling them what to do. My ex was certainly convinced of that.

It's a terribly sad thing to watch happen to someone. Disturbing to think that he just possibly might have been right.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:32 AM on February 21, 2012


Edward Bernays

rough ashlar, I'm not accusing you of harboring this sentiment, but I always thought the invocation of Bernays as some kind of supervillain was tied to anti-Semitism. Bernays always gets trotted out by NWO/John Bircher types, who never fail to point out that Bernays was Freud's cousin.

I mean, when in history have governments ever had a problem controlling people? There has always been propaganda. For some reason, it's a whole new level of evil if the government is being given its nefarious plans by a crafty Jew.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:32 AM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


On the other hand, if this really works, how comes some enterprising MIT student hasn't already being using it to cheat in his exams?

I'd say the real question is how come some enterprising Harvard student who knows a guy at MIT hasn't already been selling it to other people to cheat on their exams.
posted by Etrigan at 6:33 AM on February 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


What's great about this is that apparently a tinfoil hat would seriously be an effective defense against the microw---------------------------

omg I can't believe I just typed those words
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:36 AM on February 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yes, I hate the site that published that story for the same reasons that OmieWise gives.

If you feel better - how about from an Alex Jones site?

You may remember Donald Friedman, who claims that government agencies are misusing non-lethal directed-energy weapons. It’s easy to dismiss him as a crank. But his obsessive digging has turned up valuable information. For instance, one of his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests unearthed a 1998 U.S. Army program looking at a microwave device to beam sound directly into the target's skull which the rest of us had missed. (The same technology underlies the Medusa non-lethal weapon.)

And as an example of 'message VS messenger':
1999 cover picture. Is the message or the messenger the issue?

And posters in another thread are pondering why the lack of interest in Democracy.....Ya 'all sure ya'll are acting in a way to have others say "Sign me up for THAT!"?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:38 AM on February 21, 2012


Psst, Rough Ashlar, linking to Alex Jones isn't helping your case.
posted by symbioid at 6:39 AM on February 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's a terribly sad thing to watch happen to someone. Disturbing to think that he just possibly might have been right.

I see you what you mean, but if it makes you feel any better, he wasn't right. There's no evidence that they ever tested anything like that on him. It's unsurprising that the government has been trying to make this kind of technology happen, just as it's only barely surprising that it later turned up in a FOIA request.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:39 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always thought the invocation of Bernays as some kind of supervillain was tied to anti-Semitism

Is Adam Curtis an anti-semite?
posted by empath at 6:40 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Psst, Rough Ashlar, linking to Alex Jones isn't helping your case.

And then to Lyndon LaRouche, of all people.

You know, that possibly isn't the best way to respond to overeducated_alligator's comment re. anti-Semitism...
posted by Skeptic at 6:41 AM on February 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


The U.S. Military has a history of researching anything even remotely possible (and many things which aren't remotely possible) to use as weapons. Including killer dolphins. I don't doubt that they have worked on and are currently working on whatever mind control technology they can. It's what they do.

The fact of this research has been floating around the Internet for years, and that is why Friedman requested a copy of the document. It's not as though he didn't know what the document was going to contain.

If this stuff were really super-top-secret, it's not like they'd ever release it with something as pedestrian as a FOIA request.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:45 AM on February 21, 2012


The FOIA documents talks about the bioeffects of non-leathal weapons, specifically laser/light, microwave, and aural devices. The first bio-effect discussed is thermal heating due to any of the above. The document says that getting blasted by high energy RF causes memory disruptions due to heating effects. Which is not a surprise.

If you are subjected to an RF field that can raise your core temperature by a few degrees (the level discussed in the report), this means that the government has secretly crept up behind you with an AN/SPY radar. And no. A tin-foil hat will not protect you when a Navy guided missile destroyer is lurking behind you.
posted by three blind mice at 6:47 AM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is Adam Curtis an anti-semite?

I don't think so, and I don't think that anyone who gets into the Bernays business is necessarily an anti-Semite, but I do think that the mystique which has been built up around him -- which Curtis finds worth repeating -- has its origins in anti-Semitic paranoia. Of course that doesn't mean nobody can criticize Bernays anymore because it's all tainted, but when I see this complex of elements together:

- paranoia about a one-world government
- paranoia about "elites," technocrats and other "mastermind" archetypes running the government
- paranoia about "international finance" controlling the world and causing wars for profit (which always ties back to the Rothschilds, doesn't it...)

That doesn't come about coincidentally. It's part of an systematic worldview which has deep genetic links to anti-Semitism. LaRouche is a great example of this, but does a good job of keeping his views shrouded in code words (for instance, he blames everything on "the British Empire", which is code for the Rothschilds). People who have escaped from LaRouche's organization attest to the anti-Semitic esotericism at the heart of LaRouche's ideology. It doesn't surprise me to see Alex Jones now having LaRouche on his program all the time.

You get the same noise from Glenn Beck, and doing even basic homework on the books Beck likes reveals the John Birch pedigree there too.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:55 AM on February 21, 2012


I wonder how similar the military technology is to Sound from Ultrasound?
posted by drezdn at 6:56 AM on February 21, 2012


On the other hand, if this really works, how comes some enterprising MIT student hasn't already being using it to cheat in his exams?
posted by Skeptic at 2:31 PM on February 21 [+] [!]

Of course, alleged sceptic, absent microwave detection units at MIT you would have no way of knowing that they had... *grins happily**

*Not actually an MIT student...
posted by jaduncan at 6:56 AM on February 21, 2012


The idea of the CIA/FBI/etc. as a bunch of 30th-level wizards is very appealing, but in reality, their frequent intelligence failures suggests that they are not, shall we say, in the possession of reliable mind-control technology.

Thats what they WANT you to think!
posted by Reverend John at 6:58 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The voices in my head would not shut up long enough for the government to get a word in edgewise.
posted by Splunge at 7:01 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paranoid schizophrenia is marked by the compulsion to obey hallucinations. If a voice in my head said to me, "Hey, cmoj, kill some commies!" I'd think, "No, I don't think that's a good idea." Then I might notice that the voice fades out if I move too quickly or erratically.

As stated in the released documents, this would be very useful for covert communication with a cooperative receiver.

Also, if ad agencies can do it, then I think there are better things things to worry about.
posted by cmoj at 7:02 AM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I always thought the invocation of Bernays as some kind of supervillain was tied to anti-Semitism.

If one is seeking to be offended you'll be offended. (Or perhaps attaching a label of anti-Semite serves a purpose, just like attaching "Nazi", "neo-con", "Republican", "Democrat" does others. Taking one thing that is 'bad' and tying something else to the 'bad' thing to attempt a reframe is common.)

If you are seeing Bernays as a super-villain - what about his followers? Are they minions? Or was tying Bernays/over the top supervillain/anti-Semitism together an attempt to label/frame the conversation?

Ya see, Propaganda is now "respectable" - it is called "Public Relations". So really, what kind of re-frame could be done to make such a respectable job less respectable?

The only reason the re-branding had to be done was because the word "Propaganda" became tied to "Nazi" - and "good" people wouldn't use "Nazi" things, now would they? I have a memory of a poorly sourced claim that Bernays himself commented on the Propaganda-Nazi connection and the need to re-label Propaganda as something else. If the source document was good enough I'd be citing it.

Public Relations, LSD as a gas, beamed energy to put sound in the head, all tools to attempt to use for control or influence others. Only one of those 3 isn't considered by "respectable" people to be used on the public.

And as for mental illness grief could become one. Which would make Tom Cruse and Scientiologists closer to being right on something.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:05 AM on February 21, 2012


Some people seem to lose a distinction here:

Government control of public opinion (happens all the time--look at the bank bailouts in 2008 or the Iraq war in 2003) and government control of individuals' individual thoughts (a physical impossibility).

If you do not acknowledge the first you are ignorant and if you believe in the second it is a common symptom of a severe mental disorder. I don't have any idea how to classify confusing the two.
posted by bukvich at 7:09 AM on February 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


If the government really were using these devices on someone who was not schizophrenic, then anti-psychotic drugs would not make the voices go away, right? Nor would they take away the nagging feeling of being messed with. That seems to me that it could provide an indirect, though brutal, sort of evidence.

I am familiar with MK-Ultra, so I have no problem believing that the government would do this sort of thing to unwitting civilians. There exist certain unpleasant realities that the ordinary person does not like to face for whatever reason but that doesn't make them any less real.

That blogger seems to have read the Cracked.com guide to making your posts more amusing by peppering them with silly semi-related pictures.
posted by gentian at 7:09 AM on February 21, 2012


"Propaganda" has always existed, and it's always been given a euphemism by those authoring it. For instance, in another era, one could say,

"Propaganda is now 'respectable,' it's called 'orthodox Catholic doctrine.'"

Or other official doctrines, like Manifest Destiny. Nobody ever calls the encouragement of their own ideology "propaganda," and everyone does call the encouragement of their opponents' ideology "propaganda."

I don't see Bernays as a supervillain. I think he was just one of an endless line of spin-doctors who have always aided governments. I don't think there was anything particularly magical or particularly nefarious about "Public Relations" as though it enabled something new which hasn't been found in every government during every period in history.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 7:13 AM on February 21, 2012


I don't have any idea how to classify confusing the two.

It's called conservative talk radio.
posted by three blind mice at 7:18 AM on February 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


All Bernays did, if anything, was study and systematize (or mechanize) something which had been done for as long as human beings have existed.

And there is nothing wrong with propaganda. And you don't have to be a government or corporation to take advantage of it. Anonymous are brilliant at it, for example.
posted by empath at 7:19 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Paranoid schizophrenia is marked by the compulsion to obey hallucinations. If a voice in my head said to me, "Hey, cmoj, kill some commies!" I'd think, "No, I don't think that's a good idea."

Compulsion to obey hallucinations is not a defining symptom of paranoid schizophrenia, or even particularly common. You're talking about command hallucinations, which not all paranoid schizophrenics experience. Those that do, do not always follow their commands. There is actually a good summary of command hallucination literature, including what predicts following the command, at this site. It turns out that recognizing the voice increases the likelihood that someone will follow the command.
posted by OmieWise at 7:20 AM on February 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


Psst, Rough Ashlar, linking to Alex Jones isn't helping your case.
And then to Lyndon LaRouche, of all people.


Depends on the case one is presenting.

The Message (or data) VS the Messenger - I think its a fine case. I opted to pick a couple of messengers that won't go over well on the Blue just to highlight the case of message/messenger. This FPP has a message VS messenger question. The original link has an uncomfortable truth and wraps it in "Ha, Ha!". Quite a common re-frame of uncomfortable truths* - use humor. So what are "we" gonna talk about? The actual use of energy to sound, the ways people use influence and what is acceptable, or the way the message got to you today? Or something else?

* the two uncomfortable truths of mental illness and the existance of a tool that could make a person think they are mentally ill.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:20 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


An aside on LaRouche: he published (publishes?) a journal which clearly laid out the face of the true enemy of mankind and the source of all the wrongs in the world: it is empiricism.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 7:23 AM on February 21, 2012


> - paranoia about "international finance" controlling the world and causing wars for profit
> (which always ties back to the Rothschilds, doesn't it...)

No more than it ties back to Goldman Sachs, Lehman, Kuhn Loeb, Saloman Brothers, and all those other Jewish-sounding banker names. All you antisemites better leave the 1% alone, you'll lose your license as liberals.
posted by jfuller at 7:24 AM on February 21, 2012


I don't think so, and I don't think that anyone who gets into the Bernays business is necessarily an anti-Semite, but I do think that the mystique which has been built up around him -- which Curtis finds worth repeating -- has its origins in anti-Semitic paranoia.

This seems like a vague and hand-wavey way to dismiss someone who brings up Bernays. It begs the question of anti-Semitism.

I'm also not seeing the link between Curtis' portrayal of Bernays and the idea of "one world government" or even the idea of a cabal pulling the levers. Bernays was a propaganda man who was very good at what he did, and his work was highly influential. Once again, this seems like a vague, hand-wavey, question-begging way to claim that there is some sinister, ulterior motive behind propaganda critique.

...that said, tying it in with Prison Planet and Lyndon LaRouche does not do wonders for one's credibility, or for one's alleged distance from anti-Semitism.

...

I think its a fine case. I opted to pick a couple of messengers that won't go over well on the Blue just to highlight the case of message/messenger. This FPP has a message VS messenger question.

That's completely fair, but it also misses an important factual detail: the messenger was the US government itself. The government had the FOIA system in place, and the government gave the information when requested.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:25 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't have any idea how to classify confusing the two.
It's called conservative talk radio.


"If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth."
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
"If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it."
(attributed to some guy named Joe G. back in the 1st 1/2 of the 20th Century)
posted by rough ashlar at 7:25 AM on February 21, 2012


I've never been particularly fond of the "Big Lie" quote, because I think most people using it think that Hitler was referring to his own tactics. He wasn't. He was talking about, as usual, "The Jews":
But it remained for the Jews, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood, and their fighting comrades, the Marxists, to impute responsibility for the downfall precisely to the man who alone had shown a superhuman will and energy in his effort to prevent the catastrophe which he had foreseen and to save the nation from that hour of complete overthrow and shame. By placing responsibility for the loss of the world war on the shoulders of Ludendorff they took away the weapon of moral right from the only adversary dangerous enough to be likely to succeed in bringing the betrayers of the Fatherland to Justice.
All this was inspired by the principle--which is quite true within itself--that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.
I don't think it does anybody any good to rely on a Hitler quote to make an argument.
posted by empath at 7:30 AM on February 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


Propaganda: "1718, from Mod.L. propaganda, short for Congregatio de Propaganda Fide "congregation for propagating the faith," committee of cardinals established 1622 by Gregory XV to supervise foreign missions, prop. abl. fem. gerundive of L. propagare (see propagation). Modern political sense dates from World War I, not originally pejorative."
Source: Online Etymology Dictionary
posted by Mister Bijou at 7:31 AM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think it does anybody any good to rely on a Hitler quote to make an argument.

Or Alex Jones.
Or LaRouche.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:33 AM on February 21, 2012


If a voice in my head said to me, "Hey, cmoj, kill some commies!" I'd think, "No, I don't think that's a good idea." Then I might notice that the voice fades out if I move too quickly or erratically.

Bullshit, voice in someone's head, I think you have a pretty decent shot at controlling their actions. I imagine they'd try harder to tailor the message to something that might work on the target.

"Floam, stay still please. It is me, XJDR33, I inserted your consciousness into the Construct. You cannot remember me now, but we are long time friends. Please do stay still, as it is tough for me to get a lock on thee data structures from this shitty terminal. I have parameters set for your couch, head facing forward. Anyways, we need to pull you out, but the only way that's going to work is..." Even if you couldn't perfectly control someones' actions, you could fuck them up. And I'm sure there are plenty of schizophrenics or others that do complain of auditory hallucinations but don't do exactly what they say the voices command.

To prove that I am real, I will cook the cold slice of pizza on the table from here. What do you think about that?
posted by floam at 7:38 AM on February 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


the messenger was the US government itself.

I guess I see it as the messenger was Mr. Friedman and not the Government. Perhaps there is an earlier public source than Mr. Friedman's FOIA...in which case the message could be separated from the messenger. Your re-frame also separates the message from the messenger.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:38 AM on February 21, 2012


I don't think it does anybody any good to rely on a Hitler quote to make an argument.

But the fun part - its not only not a Hitler quote its not from old Joseph Goebbels* either. Just attributed to 'em.

Does it change however the idea if one repeats a mis-truth, does it not tend to end up as considered truth?


*unless someone has actual audio or a written document than that kinda blows the message/messenger relationship where here the message commonly tied to a specific messenger just is not so.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:45 AM on February 21, 2012


You could probably use some kind of optical tracking system and MASER to handle motion to some degree. Then just explain to the guy that God will only talk to him when he's standing ontop some sacred field or something.
posted by floam at 7:48 AM on February 21, 2012


Does it change however the idea if one repeats a mis-truth, does it not tend to end up as considered truth?

I know you think you're done making the thread an unreadable trainwreck, but perhaps you can start linking to white power sites or tie this into vaccincation and water fouridation somehow?
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:50 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


But the fun part - its not only not a Hitler quote its not from old Joseph Goebbels* either. Just attributed to 'em.

He didn't write Mein Kampf? And Goebbels also said something similar, the sources are in the wikipedia article I linked.
posted by empath at 7:51 AM on February 21, 2012


Bullshit, voice in someone's head, I think you have a pretty decent shot at controlling their actions

My first thought would be that my tooth fillings were picking up radio signals.

You don't actually 'hear' your thoughts, and I'm fairly sure that anybody who heard the effect of this RF transmission would know the difference between what they were thinking and what they were hearing. I don't think that most people experience their own thoughts as an intrusion from outside, and that the only people who would be susceptible to an attack like this would have to be severely mentally disturbed.
posted by empath at 7:54 AM on February 21, 2012


I guess I see it as the messenger was Mr. Friedman and not the Government. Perhaps there is an earlier public source than Mr. Friedman's FOIA...in which case the message could be separated from the messenger. Your re-frame also separates the message from the messenger.

You don't seriously think that Friedman was the one who wrote the FOIA response, do you? The government did. That's what the government does in response to FOIA requests. If the government had really not wanted to voluntarily divulge the information about the 1998 device test, then they would have redacted that information.

Here's the timeline:

1) Friedman claims that the government had performed illegal activities against him and his family.
2) Friedman (or his attorney) submits a FOIA request to prepare for his defense.
3) The government responds with, among other things, a report detailing how the government had tested microwave-to-brain communication in 1998. This information is neato, but it's not relevant to Friedman's actual assertions or actual case.
4) Nothing in there verifies Friedman's unrelated claims of illegal acts against him and his family. There is no evidence to support his actual assertions, which include that the government had arranged for him to be molested, for his father to develop prostate cancer, and for his tennis shoes to melt.

This is the tale of a mentally ill man whose FOIA request turned up something interesting. It's no more profound than that. Friedman was not "right" about anything. The fact that microwaves had been tested to transmit sounds to brains was not what Friedman had asserted.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:01 AM on February 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


empath, I'm not sure what you mean. I didn't suggest this would be coolest in a scifi novel if you tried to trick people into thinking they are thinking what you tell them, my example involved explicitly framing the transmissions as a transmission, but from some God-like being.

Anyways the sooner advertisers use this hypothetical technology the better, because knowing it exists probably dilutes its effectiveness for real evil. Someone with a projector pointed at canyon wall probably could have convinced people of a lot of things if they had that technology a hundred years early.
posted by floam at 8:05 AM on February 21, 2012


He didn't write Mein Kampf? And Goebbels also said something similar

Elsewhere on wikipedia -
Misattributed
But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.
Actually from "War Propaganda", in volume 1, chapter 6 of Mein Kampf (1925), by Adolf Hitler
(multiple variations) If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. // If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. // If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. // If you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes truth. // If you repeat a lie many times, people are bound to start believing it.
no reliable source; probably misquotations of the Big Lie idea


So they are not actual quotes it seems, or at least quotes that can't be proven. Which I thought was actually educational as I've always seen 'em as quotes. It seems they are not.

What does seem accepted as truth - if one repeats the same info over and over with different voices the repeated info is seen as truth. If one doesn't like Nazi examples of that - one can go to a Communist Willi Münzenberg whom Joseph Goebbels learned his trade from. The Münzenberg Trust set-up bears a striking resemblance to how Fox News is set up. Would citing the older source Willi Münzenberg make people 'feel better' - or feel worse with the "grr Jew" emotion usually tied to the trust?

Perhaps like the informative Propaganda link by Mister Bijou someone will have an older quote/source to 'repetition of a lie creates truth'....in Latin and tied to Rome or a Church to then disconnect the message from the messenger.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:10 AM on February 21, 2012


ra, it's getting a little exhausting dealing with your nuttiness, tbh.
posted by empath at 8:13 AM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is the tale of a mentally ill man whose FOIA request turned up something interesting.

And how does one separate that message from the messenger? Look at how using a Alex Jones related site for the same message is panned.

Anyways the sooner advertisers use this hypothetical technology the better,

Already done - so 2007 in fact. And the better discussions elsewhere in 2007 when A&E used infrasound/ultrasound billboard referenced the FOIA.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:16 AM on February 21, 2012


- paranoia about "international finance" controlling the world and causing wars for profit (which always ties back to the Rothschilds, doesn't it...)

That doesn't come about coincidentally. It's part of an systematic worldview which has deep genetic links to anti-Semitism.


Are you saying MeFi is anti-semitic? Or is it off the hook because it only is terrified of domestic finance?
posted by michaelh at 8:18 AM on February 21, 2012


And empath - to be honest it seems "If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth." isn't an actual attributable quote to either parties it is commonly attributed as a direct quote.

As for the rest - Message VS Messenger.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:21 AM on February 21, 2012


Anyways the sooner advertisers use this hypothetical technology the better

Advertisers have already used it publicly. It freaked people out. I can't find the link now, but I read about a few years ago.
posted by eviltwin at 8:21 AM on February 21, 2012



The sad part (and it's all pretty sad) is that the internet can help schizophrenics support their delusions. I don't have voices in my head, the government is beaming voices in my head--and I can prove it. My shoes melted, the government is experimenting with ray guns that can do that sort of thing. See? It says so right here.

Now thanks to FOIA I can get papers directly from the government that back me up.

Now we all know that the crazy isn't that these things exist, it's that the government would bother to use them on Joe No-Name. Except that the government gave syphillis to poor black people, LSD to soldiers and a whole bunch of other experiementation on unwitting subjects.

So it's not crazy that these things exist, and it's not crazy that our government would experiment on random people, but some how, it's crazy when these things are combined.

The only thing that surprises me is that there aren't more people out there with schizophrenia and paranoia.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:21 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here is the article I was thinking about, describing how advertisers have used this or similar technologies to speak directly "into" someone's head:

Advertisers putting voices into peoples' heads.
posted by eviltwin at 8:24 AM on February 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now thanks to FOIA I can get papers directly from the government that back me up.

And didn't FOIA come about due to Government power being used to abuse some "Joes"?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:29 AM on February 21, 2012


The mentally ill have historically been easy targets for both government experimentation/suppression and public derision. I suppose it's nice to feel good about oneself by comparison, and probably the results of the experiments manifest as cheaper/better consumer products after a couple decades. That excuses it enough for most people.
posted by michaelh at 8:32 AM on February 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


The marketing guy in eviltwin's link:

"There's going to be a certain population sensitive to it. But once people see what it does and hear for themselves, they'll see it's effective for getting attention," Mr. Pompei said.

This is the acoustical analog of dotting somebody with a laser pointer. People do not like it. Advertisers are not going to succeed in marketing products doing this (except in dystopian science fiction movies) and the government isn't going to "control" anybody's mind doing this.
posted by bukvich at 8:45 AM on February 21, 2012


This is the acoustical analog of dotting somebody with a laser pointer. People do not like it.

But cats will love it!
posted by octobersurprise at 8:54 AM on February 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


RA, there's only one thing to do- build one of these microwave transmitters yourself, and use it on government agents. Come on, you KNOW the mail man deserves it!
posted by happyroach at 8:58 AM on February 21, 2012


This is why we need bigger government.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:01 AM on February 21, 2012


The Internet has very primitive mechanics for trust and reputation.

If you play the game "Aha, you believed me before but I was lying then now. See how gullible and susceptible you are. Here's the real truth. Or is it?", all that happens is that you get a big old "don't trust anything this guy says" label slapped on you.

And there's so much bullshit in politics, in American media, and even more on the web, it's very efficient to first ask "who's saying this?" before worrying about "is this true?". I've just stopped worrying about missing the occasional truth because it was delivered by a liar.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:12 AM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


the mail man deserves it

The mail man keeps getting told about Mark! from the dog. It could be roofing or the outer cover of a tree - hard to tell with the dog's hair lip and limited topics. I lean towards trees being the topic what with the interest in squirrels.

Besides its already on instructables

Advertisers are not going to succeed in marketing products doing this

Which would be why it was tried in 2007 and is not commonplace already.

Getting inside your head from Pubic Relations, repetition of message, et la - perfectly fine and respectable.

Having some noise in your head from infrasound/ultrasound/microwave - not so much. At least not so much yet. Package it as "a way to avoid those complicated ear buds" and slap an Apple Logo on it and then it'll sell.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:17 AM on February 21, 2012


This is why we need bigger government.

Spoken like one of those true patriots who insists on shrinking everything but defense and police spending.

Bigger government is nonsense. Like less rickety unicorns. "Bigness" is not a property of an abstraction like the state in the simplistic way politicians use the term.

What matters is that we have government that does things to help people, instead of giving syphilis to poor people or trying to build mind-control rays. Small governments are just as capable of doing those things, too, when they're allowed to operate in secrecy and justify everything in the name of "defense of the homeland."
posted by saulgoodman at 9:21 AM on February 21, 2012


overeducated_alligator: "Edward Bernays... a crafty Jew."

I'm perfectly capable of hating that guy on his own merits without having to resort to anti-semetism.
posted by klanawa at 9:23 AM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Spoken like one of those true patriots

Or someone who had their tongue so well placed in their cheek they now get fed intravenously.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:25 AM on February 21, 2012


Bernays' most significant and influential contemporary critic is Noam Chomsky, overeducated_alligator:
Bernays expressed the basic point in a public relations manual of 1928: "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society... It is the intelligent minorities which need to make use of propaganda continuously and systematically." Given its enormous and decisive power, the highly class conscious business community of the United States has been able to put these lessons to effective use. Bernays' advocacy of propaganda is cited by Thomas McCann, head of public relations for the United Fruit Company, for which Bernays provided signal service in preparing the ground for the overthrow of Guatemalan democracy in 1954, a major triumph of business propaganda with the willing compliance of the media.
You can call him an anti-Semite if you don't mind making a fool of yourself.
posted by jamjam at 9:26 AM on February 21, 2012


infrasound/ultrasound/microwave

It is a directional loudspeaker. Think parabolic microphone turned backwards.

Directional sound.

Infrasound and ultrasound by definition do not make sound waves audible to humans. Microwave does not make sound waves at all. The highest audio signal is 20 000 Hz. The wavelength of this electromagnetic wave is 15 kilometers. You cannot beam something like this at anything smaller than an ultra large array like they use for astronomy in the New Mexico desert. A human is incapable of sensing such a phenomenon. This is freshman physics although clearly beyond Alex Jones' level of expertise.
posted by bukvich at 9:36 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Infrasound and ultrasound by definition do not make sound waves audible to humans. Microwave does not make sound waves at all.

I think you missed the multiple links in this thread explaining exactly how ultrasound and microwaves can generate audible tones. The ultra sound example is actually pretty easy to understand, you just generate two ultrasound tones out of phase, which creates the lower frequency audible tone through interference.

For microwaves, the tone is actually generated by pressure waves near your cochlea caused by temperature fluctuations (if the FOIA paper is to be believed, and I see no reason to doubt it).
posted by empath at 9:44 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is the tale of a mentally ill man whose FOIA request turned up something interesting.

And how does one separate that message from the messenger? Look at how using a Alex Jones related site for the same message is panned.


People did separate the message from the messenger. No one doubts that the government's FOIA response is essentially true - that the government had a successful test of a microwave-to-brain communication device. We can verify for ourselves that the FOIA response was not invented.

Contrast that with how people respond to Friedman's own unsourced, unproven, almost certainly delusional assertions - nobody believes them. And why should they?

I'm not sure what your point is. If Prison Planet said the sky was blue, then it would be right, but if I were trying to persuade others that the sky was blue, I wouldn't bother citing Prison Planet, since it's an untrustworthy site, and I can prove that assertion through more reliable means.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:22 AM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


But if Prison Planet said the sky was blue, why wouldn't they be right about everything else?
posted by empath at 10:32 AM on February 21, 2012


BTW, love the title of this FPP.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:41 AM on February 21, 2012


People did separate the message from the messenger.

3 of the 1st 5 posts sure seems to be about the messenger. How many posts would be about the messenger without the shout out to message VS messenger? (perhaps this experiment could be run. Mods delete the topic, and in 6 months it gets reposted. I'd even sit on my hands to see how many more snark on the mentally ill. Or maybe the machine-elves* can tell us what happened in their world when this was posted?)

persuade others that the sky was blue, I wouldn't bother citing Prison Planet

Which was not my goal. The LaRouche/Grasso picture has nothing to do with beaming sound or Mr. Friedmans' mental health - but did forward the message VS messenger position. I tried to pick a nice controversial person on a rather trivial topic (A picture and meeting in the jungle) where one could ask "Hey - why was a Chairman of a Stock Market in a jungle with a drug running terrorist group?" because one could ask what the hell just like one can ask what the hell WRT microwaving people's heads to make 'em hear voices.

And these days Alex's radio/web site do reach many people (more than LaRouche I'd bet) and Alex does cite sources on occasions*. Does the mainstream media "break" things like a FOIA about microwaved heads? How about Alex?

If one didn't want to use the beach-cat link in the FPP or Alex Jones centric site - where would one be expected to find references to the 1998 microwaves at head research? They don't show up in any of the Google hits on the A&E Audio spotlight reference I saw - yet that is how I 1st heard of the microwave version.

*I do *SO* want to see the original material on DMT/machine elves.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:53 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Jones says that he doesn’t “need” DMT ..."
Maybe that's because he's already done more than his share of the yayo.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:31 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is the tale of a mentally ill man whose FOIA request turned up something interesting. It's no more profound than that.

And no less profound for that.

Friedman was not "right" about anything. The fact that microwaves had been tested to transmit sounds to brains was not what Friedman had asserted.

S'funny. The preconception very much rules how we think about something. Beyond just the usefulness of the associative shorthand I mean.

I tell someone I saw a UFO. First thing, typically, they'll deny that. "No you didn't."
Which is an amazing thing really. Because if you say you saw a hippopotamus they'll take the 1/2 second to think about it and query "in the zoo today?" or something.

So certain things, like "voice in my head" or "UFO" are immediately pretexts for denying the validity of someone else's experience. And we do do that with sick individuals. 'I want to get up and go outside for a walk" is a perfectly legitimate, self-governing thing to say, unless one has pneumonia or something, so we feel justified in denying the person that thing.

In some cases, with the "UFO" or "Voices" thing, we immediately jump to the denial and make the assumption something is wrong before we examine the facts.

In my case I've seen a flying object that I couldn't identify. I'm not asserting it's aliens or anything. Just something observed that I didn't know what it was and that is a bit odd because I have a wide knowledge of aircraft.

In Friedman's case, well, yeah, he's crazy.

But that fact doesn't invalidate the information.

It does though raise the question of what to do with the information. There's no proof the government did anything to Friedman, or anyone else. Granting of course that kind of thing has gone on and there is proof of those things (MKULTRA, etc).

But like the UFO I saw, what do we make of the simple fact of it? Maybe everyone who says they hear voices isn't crazy? We need to be more vigilant in overseeing our government? People should carry surface to air missiles just in case?
I believe Jessie Ventura and others have broached the existence of this technology. The conflation with this guys case might be sending us down the wrong road in how to think about it.

Fortunately, I think the people who develop this kind of technology are subject to the same hazard. You'd think there'd be a huge market for clandestine communication, all that, but it's the overlap and economics that winds up being the problem. No steel, no internal combustion, no powered flight, etc.
So you're depending on the disparity (you having this advantage and people not knowing about it) but as along as you have that, you can't take advantage of the advantage.

Sure, stuff like LSD looks promising for mind control, but then people grab it and start doing it to themselves - recreationally!
posted by Smedleyman at 4:41 PM on February 21, 2012


But like the UFO I saw, what do we make of the simple fact of it?

Your brain translated something as flying and unidentified based on inputs.

It might not have been flying, it might not be a physical thing (light will be defined as non-physical for this instance), it might be some new man-made thing, it could have been something from another planet, or from some different time. But that would be the 'unknown' part.

If you want to claim its one of the 20 lizards noted elsewhere today on the Blue - then you might get a bit more questioning. Because I have some popcorn getting stale here - it is already cold.

But your brain registered something as a UFO - good on you! Perhaps one day you'll understand what it was your brain has registered. And may that revelation bring you joy VS apathy or terror.
posted by rough ashlar at 5:13 PM on February 21, 2012


First of all, there are three game rules which enable anyone to rock hard 247365.

They are (in order of importance):

"Everything always works out."
"The truth makes me laugh."
"Ignore alien orders."

I learned them by interacting with schizophrenic people. People who are sufferers of schizophrenia consistently don't believe or practice at least one of these three.

And I use these when dealing with ghosts, lizard people, Satan, Greys, Green Men, bigfoot, lake monsters, et al. And they work 100% of the time.

"Everything always works out."
"The truth makes me laugh."
"Ignore alien orders."

If you find yourself in a mental hole, or dealing with the Silence, these are the keys to getting out. These are the keys to succeeding. Guaranteed 100% effective.

Now, can we get back to the subject at hand. Male circumcision, wasn't it?
posted by Mike Mongo at 9:07 PM on February 21, 2012


If you want to claim its one of the 20 lizards noted elsewhere today on the Blue - then you might get a bit more questioning. Because I have some popcorn getting stale here - it is already cold.

S'what I mean. No claim to it. Just the fact.
So too - the government has technology to beam sounds into your head such that no one else can hear them.

Where do you go from there? That's the unknown part here.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:55 PM on February 21, 2012


Personally, I have no doubt that "the government", which really means some small group of people working for it, has TRIED to do nearly all the crazy shit ascribed to it.

What I doubt is its success.
posted by flaterik at 1:26 AM on February 22, 2012


Just the fact.

*smile*

Where do you go from there?

I'd like to think to the corner of outrage and effective change. But what I think and where humanity goes are not the same place. A 1998 research project of putting sound into another's head combined with a 2007 A&E *ADVERTISING* project to do the same shows Everywhere I want to be exceeds the credit limit on my Humanity VISA card.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:30 AM on February 22, 2012


have no doubt that "the government", ... has TRIED to do nearly all the crazy shit ascribed to it.

Has 'tried'?

So having cats be spies (CIA), putting explosives in smokes as an assassination tool (again CIA), MKULTRA, et la isn't:

Crazy
Shit
untried
part of the nearly all clause

The 'crazy shit' may not apply to Mr. Friedman. But did it apply to some other poor SOB?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:40 AM on February 22, 2012


Don't forget about MK Ultra. The US government has a bit of a history with this sort of thing.
posted by Nickster79 at 6:26 AM on February 22, 2012


If one didn't want to use the beach-cat link in the FPP or Alex Jones centric site - where would one be expected to find references to the 1998 microwaves at head research?

Wired Magazine, for one. It was linked in this very FPP.
posted by empath at 6:34 AM on February 22, 2012


rough ashlar, what's getting on people's nerves is that you are seizing upon a pretty lightweight, yet intriguing story, to ride your own hobbyhorse.

Let's recapitulate:

Was Friedman mentally ill? Almost certainly.
Did "the government" mess with him? Very unlikely.
Is the document purportedly found by his FOIA request legitimate? Quite likely.
Would people in the armed forces and intelligence services research this kind of capability? You betcha (and not only for nefarious purposes: a directional means of communication without a receiver apparatus? I can think of many interesting applications besides fucking with people's minds and cheating in exams).
Would such secret government research in that field be more successful than that done in the open by universities and the private sector? Quite unlikely. Even the fact that a simple FOIA request was enough to turn up this proves that this isn't exactly locked up in the Pentagon's vaults. For starters, I just found in a couple of minutes a patent filed in 1973 on something quite similar.
posted by Skeptic at 12:48 PM on February 22, 2012


If one didn't want to use the beach-cat link in the FPP or Alex Jones centric site - where would one be expected to find references to the 1998 microwaves at head research?

Wired Magazine, for one. It was linked in this very FPP.


Or even frigging Wikipedia.
posted by Skeptic at 12:51 PM on February 22, 2012


But did it apply to some other poor SOB?

Castro mostly.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:37 PM on February 23, 2012


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