Category Archives: Hypnosis

Will This Hypnotize You?

I love anything having to do with brain functions. Enjoy:)

Who Killed Robert Kennedy?

By Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know via YouTube

Who killed RFK? Originally found guilty for the murder of Robert Kennedy, Sirhan Sirhan has spent years in prison — but some people believe he was used as a scapegoat.

Derren Brown – Messiah

Intro by Mason I. Bilderberg

Derren Brown_300_250pxI’m not one to sit and watch lengthy videos on my laptop. So when i suggest you watch a 49 minute video, you can trust me – it’s worth watching.

Have you ever heard of Derren Brown? I’ve been following Derren Brown for over a decade, i’ve read many of his books and i think i’ve seen all of his performances. I’m never disappointed.

Here is how WikiPedia describes him:

Derren Brown (born 27 February 1971)[3] is a British illusionist, mentalist, trickster, hypnotist, painter, writer, and sceptic. He is known for his appearances in television specials, stage productions, and British television series such as Trick of the Mind and Trick or Treat. Since the first broadcast of his show Derren Brown: Mind Control in 2000, Brown has become increasingly well known for his mind-reading act. He has written books for magicians as well as the general public.

Though his performances of mind-reading and other feats of mentalism may appear to be the result of psychic or paranormal practices, he claims no such abilities and frequently denounces those who do.

From Derren Brown’s webpage (2012):

Dubbed a ‘psychological illusionist’ by the Press, Derren Brown is a performer who combines magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship in order to seemingly predict and control human behaviour, as well as performing mind-bending feats of mentalism.

In a nutshell, while repeatedly reminding us he doesn’t have any kind of magical abilities, Derren Brown mimics with perfection all those who DO claim to have magical abilities.

In this video, Derren takes on the following roles:

  • A psychic that can see what you’re drawing when you’re in a different room,
  • The ability to convert people to Christianity with just a touch,
  • A new age entrepreneur with a machine that can record and play back your dreams,
  • An alien abductee who was left with the ability to sense your medical history and
  • A psychic medium that communicates with the dead.

He is so convincing in these roles that he gets endorsements for his “special powers” from the “experts” who witnessed his performances.

I believe he will convince you too!

Enjoy!:)

Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)

More:

derren brown books_600px

Earth Day Festival 2014: How was the Woo?

by The Locke via The Soap Box

Last Sunday, April 26, I went down to my town’s annual Earth Day Festival to check out everything that was there, just like I do every year.

Last year I was appalled by the amount of pseudoscience and alternative medicine woo mixed in with all of the legitimate booths and displays promoting legitimate environmental causes and advice [read about it here] to the point where they pretty much overshadowed what the Earth Day festival was suppose to be about.

The worst offender last year of course was a booth promoting Anti-GMO conspiracy theories.

Fortunately that person wasn’t back this year, but still there were people back again promoting the same woo, including the Astrology and Tarot Card reader from last year  .  .  .

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.  .  .  and the chiropractors from last year are back as well  .  .  .

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.  .  .  but I have some new ones for this year, starting with this one:

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Now I admit at first glance this one wasn’t that bad, even through it had nothing to do with environmentalism.

Creating art can help relax a person and cut down on stress. That’s the good part about what’s being presented there.

Then there’s the woo.

They also promote past life regression and trauma healing, clearing of curses, negative spirits, and other stuff of the like, and how to protect yourself from such things, all while using nature and spiritual energy.

In other words instead of addressing any real things that can cause stress in a person’s life, they’re just claiming that it’s supernatural forces, and use “techniques” they claim to get from Shamanism to “cleanse” a person of these supernatural forces.

The next offender of promoters of woo that I saw there was  .  .  .

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Hypnosis: Altered States – Crash Course Psychology #10

Via CrashCourse @ YouTube

You may think you know all about hypnosis from the movies. Zoolander, The Manchurian Candidate, etc… but there’s a whole lot more going on. In this episode of Crash Course Psychology, Hank tells us about some of the many altered states of consciousness, including hypnosis.

Can Thieves Rob People Using Hypnosis?

Benjamin RadfordBy Benjamin Radford via Discovery News

A woman in Germany claims she was hypnotized outside of a supermarket, put into a trance, and later woke up at home having been robbed.

A news story explains, “A pair of hypnotists are being hunted by police after a victim claimed she was put in a trance before being robbed. Police in Germany are investigating a spate of crimes involving two Russian women who tell their victims they will read their fortune. mindcontrol 858_200pxIn one incident 66 year-old Sarah Alexeyeva told detectives she was spoken to outside an Aldi supermarket in Elmshorn, Schleswig-Holstein. But the next thing she knew she snapped out of a trance and was sat in her armchair at home. All her jewellery and valuables had disappeared, police said.”

Though such claims are unusual, they are not unheard of. According to a 2008 BBC News story, “Police in Italy have issued footage of a man who is suspected of hypnotizing supermarket checkout staff to hand over money from their cash registers. In every case, the last thing staff reportedly remember is the thief leaning over and saying: ‘Look into my eyes’, before finding the till empty.”

There’s a certain creepy Gothic allure to the idea that a mesmerizing stranger can ask you to stare deeply into his eyes, or ask you to follow a pocketwatch swaying seductively to and fro and listen to him count backwards into a hypnotic trance. But it’s pure fiction.

Misunderstood Hypnosis

HypnotizeAnimatedHypnosis is a widely misunderstood psychological phenomenon, due largely to its depictions in popular culture and film. Many people believe that hypnosis is a way to access memories of traumatic events that have somehow been hidden or forgotten. In the book “Human Memory: An Introduction to Research, Data, and Theory,” Dr. Ian Neath of Purdue University notes, “The majority of studies do not find that hypnosis allows recollection of information that could not otherwise be recalled.”

In fact there is a significant danger that any information or memories that may be recalled under hypnosis may be false, created accidentally by the power of suggestion. False memories elicited using hypnosis played a role in . . .

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Penn & Teller: Bulls**t: Hypnosis

By Penn&TellerBullshit via YouTube

Penn & Teller examines the various promises made by professional hypnosis, and seeks to refute the idea of “mind over body”.

You’re Getting Sleepy … and Misled: Regression Hypnosis in Ufology

by via The UFO Trail

psychiatrist_300pxRegression hypnosis has long been used during investigation of alleged alien abduction. Some have made up their minds that the activity provides reasonable evidence. For them, there is no amount of expert opinion or scientific research contradicting their belief that can motivate sincere review of the circumstances. Even the words of warning from former hypnosis subjects, lengthily explaining firsthand how its ill effects and misuses can be harmful, fail to inspire objective evaluation of the use of hypnosis as a mythical truth serum.

Much has been learned of memory functions, potential dangers of regression hypnosis and related issues since researchers first began hypnotizing self-described experiencers in hopes of uncovering hidden memories. However, many investigators continue subscribing to the now decades old concepts while the professional research community has long since updated its understandings. If you are sincerely interested in reviewing facts surrounding regression hypnosis, including taking into consideration some opinions of qualified experts and documentation of relevant circumstances, please continue reading.

British UFO Research Association

UFO2croppedThe fact of the matter is the professional research community has never established hypnosis as an effective investigative tool or a reliable memory retrieval technique. The American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association released statements clarifying its members should not inaccurately represent the stance of the American Medical Association on such matters.

The American Medical Association (AMA) is concerned that many individuals using hypnosis may be making the inaccurate statement that hypnosis is approved by the AMA as a legitimate therapy for medical or psychological purposes,” the APMHA explained. “The AMA has a current position that this statement is inaccurate.”

The AMA clearly does not recognize or define hypnosis as approved for use for medical or psychological purposes. That would of course include subjecting traumatized individuals to the exploration of the possibility they are regularly abused by perpetrators from other planets, to say the least.

The British UFO Research Association was formed in 1962

The British UFO Research Association was formed in 1962

It should be further understood that significant portions of the UFO community itself came to accept and agree with policies as established by the AMA. The British UFO Research Association (BUFORA) enacted a moratorium in 1988 on the use of hypnosis, and the policy continues to remain in place.

Across the water in America, researchers of alleged alien abduction nonetheless continued and increased their uses of hypnosis. Purposes could reasonably be interpreted to include it was identified as the easiest way to create evidence for what were otherwise largely unsupported claims and theories. In other words, researchers could not prove their assumptions through professionally recognized credible means, so they resorted to hypnosis and what writer/researcher Sharon Hill coined sham inquiry: nonscientific activities conducted and misrepresented as scientific investigation.

The BUFORA moratorium on hypnosis is referenced and relevant issues are explored in the Heather Dixon article, Alien Abduction, Hypnosis and Memory. The piece contains an interview with Judy Jaafar, a BUFORA investigator and researcher with some 20 years experience at the time of the interview. Ms. Jaafar is also a clinical hypnotherapist and psychotherapist who clearly and competently explained reasons hypnosis should not be used during the investigation of alleged alien abduction.

“It is a very powerful tool and can be dangerous when used irresponsibly,” Jaffar stated, “and no matter what fantasy a witness might come up with during hypnosis, it has to be remembered that under a hypnotic trance state, your capacity for imagination and fantasy is probably doubled or trebled.”

Jaafar further explained potential dangers to witnesses, or hypnosis subjects, adding, “So whatever experience they describe, during hypnosis as far as the abduction scenario is concerned, and when a recording or transcript is taken, this has now become a real event for them, irrespective of whether it actually happened or not. ufo1 1114_250pxIt is now real – and that really bothered me because I felt that we were dealing with someone’s mental health – for the rest of their lives. Because they’ve been hypnotised, they really believe that they must be telling the absolute truth because they have this peculiar notion that hypnosis is like a truth drug, but it certainly isn’t!”

The psychotherapist continued, “You take someone back for example to ‘missing time’ where they have no conscious memory of any event, so therefore the analytical, logical, judgmental process cannot be brought to bear on the situation. Immediately the witness has to delve into their unconscious mind… which is a wonderful, dreamlike fantasy factory. It is so important in our lives, we need to be able to do this otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it. It sorts out all of your emotions, it is not like a filing cabinet, it is not an archive – it is an emotional repository to access every day of our lives; to keep our mental health balance. And this is what you are sending your witness into, totally unprepared, they don’t know what they are looking for except that they feel they have been abducted by aliens otherwise they wouldn’t be with a ufologist in the first place.

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The Secrets of MKULTRA

How true is it that the CIA conducted unethical mind control experiments on unwitting human subjects?

Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via skeptoid

Read transcript below or listen here

It’s one of the most ominous terms in the history of modern governments and intelligence, nearly on a par with the names of Josef Mengele and Pol Pot. For 20 years from 1953 to 1973, the American Central Intelligence Agency funded and conducted tests on human subjects, both with and without their knowledge, in an effort to control minds and personalities for the purpose of espionage. CIA_gray_Logo_250pxMost notorious for administering the psychedelic drug LSD to people without their knowledge or consent, MKULTRA has since become a cornerstone of conspiracy theorists flaunting it almost gleefully as proof of the government’s misdeeds against its own private citizens. And the scary part is that it’s completely true.

The short version of the MKULTRA story is that the CIA spent a long time trying to control minds. After performing all kinds of dastardly and unethical testing, they found they couldn’t reliably achieve their goals, and terminated the program. That’s it. It’s important to keep it in context, both what it was and what it wasn’t. It’s evidence that the government tried something that didn’t work. It’s also evidence that the government has been proven willing to bend the rules; and by “bending the rules” I mean breaking laws and violating both civil rights and ethics at every level. But with this said, MKULTRA does not constitute evidence that similar projects continue today. Maybe they do, but logically, MKULTRA is not that proof.

So let’s look at how this all came about and what exactly happened. The cold war started basically as soon as the smoke cleared from World War II, and the Western bloc and the Communist bloc immediately became suspicious of one another. In 1949, the highest ranking Catholic archbishop in Communist Hungary, Cardinal József Mindszenty, was marched into court where he had been charged with treason for trying to undermine the Communist government. Mindszenty, who was innocent, mechanically confessed in court to a long list of crimes including stealing Hungary’s crown jewels, planning to depose the government, start World War III, and then seize power himself. The CIA watched this, noted his strange behavior while making the confessions, and concluded that he must have been brainwashed. They saw American prisoners of war in North Korea make anti-Amerian statements on camera. Clearly, some response was needed to this apparent Communist ability. They contrived to develop mind control techniques.

ElectroshockOne such project was called MKULTRA. MK meant the project was run by the CIA’s Technical Services Staff, and Ultra was a reference to the highest level of security. But although MKULTRA is the poster child, there were other similar projects. It had spawned from project ARTICHOKE, founded in 1951 to study hypnosis and morphine addiction. There was also MKSEARCH, MKOFTEN, project BLUEBIRD, a whole raft of related programs. The US military, separate from the CIA, also conducted its own research. Project CHATTER, part of the US Navy, ran from 1947 to 1953, when MKULTRA took over.

At the time, both psychology and psychopharmacology were in their infancies. We didn’t really know whether the CIA’s goals were achievable or not; whether it was or was not possible to exert a finely tuned influence on people’s minds. During the cold war’s golden era of espionage, this was a major national security question. The CIA had to know whether this was something they could do; because if it was, it was something the KGB could do right back at them. While nuclear physicists on both sides were building bigger and bigger hydrogen bombs, psychologists and chemists were working to fight the cold war on a much subtler front.

The CIA is not a scientific research organization, and so it needed to contract out the vast majority of this work. The CIA set up front groups, such as the Society for the Investigation for Human Ecology, to fund projects at universities and hospitals in such a way that nobody realized the CIA was involved. Some 86 such institutions are known to have received funding as part of MKULTRA. The vast majority of researchers were unaware that their programs were funded by the CIA, and accordingly, did their work as they normally would according to ethical standards of the day. Some researched forms of hypnosis, some did trials on a variety of drugs intended to work as truth serums, some did various psychiatric or psychological studies trying to learn what made people tick and how that tick might be manipulable. In fact, just about every bizarre experiment you might have read about probably was tried to some degree by some MKULTRA funded researcher. Granted the ethical standards of the 1950s and 1960s were not what they are today, but still there was very little intentional harm done by nearly all MKULTRA funded programs. Nevertheless, the exceptions were exceptional indeed.

HypnotizeAnimatedResearch done at McGill University by Dr. Donald Cameron took patients who came in with minor psychiatric complaints and subjected them to outrageous treatments. Some were given electroshock therapy at many times the normal voltage, some were given LSD, some were given other experimental or illegal drugs, all under the license granted by MKULTRA. Many reports state that some patients left with lifelong disabilities.

The Addiction Research Center at the Public Health Service Hospital in Lexington, KY was also secretly on the CIA’s payroll. Dr. Harris Isbell took patients who came in to seek treatment for drug addiction and gave them massive doses of LSD, heroin, methamphetamine, and psychedelic mushrooms. In one experiment he put seven patients on LSD for 77 days straight.

 I could fill a month of episodes giving such brief examples of the MKULTRA projects that are known. The main thing we know is that it didn’t work.

Nothing that came out of MKULTRA panned out as very useful from an espionage perspective; in short, the CIA was never able to achieve the type of mind control that it wanted, and so the program was eventually terminated (other related programs from other agencies continued for some time with similar results). Because of the secrecy and ethical violations, the CIA destroyed all the documents, with the exception of a few that have turned up here and there over the years from misplaced archives. What remains has all been declassified, and can now be freely downloaded.

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Brainwashed

steven_novellaby via NeuroLogica BlogBrainwashed

The Manchurian Candidate, a Korean war POW returns home, but during his captivity he had been “brainwashed” and turned into a sleeper political assassin. The movie is partly responsible for bringing the concept of brainwashing to the public consciousness.

brainwash21_250pxI occasionally am asked something to the effect of, “is brainwashing real?” The problem with this question is that first you need to define “brainwashing.”  The answer depends on that definition.

Brainwashing is the process of altering one’s beliefs and opinions through aggressive influence, and typically without the consent of the individual. Brainwashing combines three techniques – social influence, persuasion, and education.

Social influence is simply altering someone’s beliefs and behavior through emotional appeals and psychological manipulation. Persuasion involves argument – persuading someone that the new beliefs are correct. Education involves propaganda – giving people information selected or distorted to lead them to a set of beliefs.

The problem with the definition of brainwashing is the demarcation issue – where do we draw the line between common everyday interactions, like advertising, political advocacy, and regular education at one end, and malignant brainwashing at the other?

brainwashed 817_250pxIf you include any attempt at manipulating the beliefs of others as brainwashing, then sure, it absolutely exists and works to some degree. If you define brainwashing as only the Manchurian Candidate end of the spectrum – the ability to implant secret commands that can be triggered at a future date – then, no.

Part of the problem is that the term “brainwashing” has entered the vernacular and is now used to refer to any significant attempt at altering the beliefs of others, even on a single issue. It therefore has lost much of its meaning through dilution.

The term is probably better reserved for those situations that go beyond everyday activity, such as advertising, or Fox News.

There are real examples of situations that can be meaningfully called brainwashing. Totalitarian cults, for example, seek to completely control and take over the lives of their members. This includes physical manipulation, such as sleep deprivation, starvation, and control of the environment and even basic bodily functions like going to the bathroom.

Totalitarian cults also engage in extreme emotional manipulation, such as “love bombing” – overwhelming someone with positive attention from the group.

Brainwashing, in other words, requires a high degree of . . .

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10 Creepy Pop Culture Conspiracy Theories

By Mike Floorwalker via Listverse

6 • Predictive Programming
TV, Movies, Books Hint At Events To Come

The-Simpsons-e1374543790581_250pxOne common theme in conspiracy theories has to do with the behind-the-scenes puppet masters being fond of dropping lots of clues about their master plan, usually in plain sight. These clues almost always have to do with significant symbols, numbers, or other identifiable references to the occult, Freemasonry (the Masons being a gigantic target for conspiracy theories of all sorts), or specific dates or imagery.

This can supposedly be done in many ways (in architecture, for instance, or artwork), the most modern of which is what’s known as predictive programming. For example, the above still, from a 1997 episode of The Simpsons, appears to put that “9″ in a pretty strange place, right next to the image of the Twin Towers (which could be seen as an “11″). There are far too many potential examples of this to list here, with some obviously reaching pretty far to make the connections, and others being downright creepy—like the plot of the 1998 pilot of the short-lived Fox series The Lone Gunmen, which had government operatives hijacking a plane and crashing it into the World Trade Center.

Beyond flaunting their nefarious plots, predictive programming is said to play a role in softening up the public for the traumatic events that they predict, in ways that are undetectable to those being affected.

5 • Subliminal Messages
Tactic Is Used To Condition Consumers

Theater-e1374545420769_250pxIt’s no secret (at least, not anymore) that extremely brief or cleverly hidden words or images can be placed within another image or film in such a way that the observer, while not making a conscious connection, is subtly mentally influenced by the message. The efficacy of this tactic has long been open for debate and has never been proven—but of course, this doesn’t stop corporations from doing things like hiding images within their logos to try to bolster positive association with their brand. It may not work, but it can’t hurt, right?

But according to this conspiracy theory, not only does subliminal messaging work, it works far more efficiently than we’ve been led to believe—and it’s everywhere. Supposedly (and honestly, you really can make the case), the practice is mostly used in advertising to induce consumers to buy, usually with references to sex. Certain Coke and Pepsi ads in the early ’90s were famously found to contain hidden sexual references (which the companies both claimed were coincidences).

One would think that, if effective, the only message necessary in subliminal advertising would fall right along the lines of “buy this product, and lots of it.” But the subliminal sexual references, odd as they may seem, are not limited to advertising. Whether coincidental or some animator’s idea of a joke, it’s also been established that hidden references to sex appear with alarming frequency in Disney cartoons. Which brings us to&nbsp.&nbsp.&nbsp.&nbsp

4 • Walt Disney
The Disney Company Is An Evil Empire

Pop-Culture-Feature1_250pxThis cannot be disputed: the Walt Disney Company is one of the United States’ oldest and most successful entertainment conglomerates. It was founded in 1923, and as of this writing consists of a certifiably insane number of subsidiaries. Disney has long owned the ABC network and all of its affiliated networks, including ESPN. The company made international headlines in 2009 when it acquired Marvel Entertainment for over US$4 billion, and again in 2012 when it acquired Lucasfilm for over US$4 billion more. The “House of Mouse” is probably the most influential and powerful of the tiny handful of huge corporations that control most of the media in the United States and, by extension, the world.

It also can’t be disputed that, though a traditionally family-oriented business, Disney has allowed sexual images to make their way not only into completed cuts of their films, but also promotional and poster artwork. Many instances have been pointed out, from the overt (a couple of frames showing an image of a topless woman in The Rescuers) to the puzzling (a spire of the castle on the VHS cover of The Little Mermaid looks a hell of a lot like an erect penis) to the questionable (at one point in Aladdin, the Genie can be heard muttering offscreen something that sounds like “good teenagers, take off your clothes”). In each and every instance, changes were made to further releases, and chalked up to jokes by animators or simple misunderstandings. Why would Disney want to expose children (so to speak) to inappropriate sexual content, anyway?

Well, conspiracy theorists have their answers: Disney is all about sexualizing children. The Disney Company, they assert, wants to suck all of the money from the parents’ wallets while rendering their children compliant, subservient consumers, and early exposure to these sexualized images is the first step in that process. Also, they say, because it’s evil—mind-bogglingly, Satanically evil. And here is where some of the theories begin to tie in with each other, and the rabbit hole begins to look pretty deep, so please stay with us.

SEE MORE OF THE LIST . . .

Mind Control – Brainwashing

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

Mind control is the successful control of the thoughts and actions of another without his or her consent. Generally, the term implies that the victim has given up some basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes, and has been made to accept contrasting ideas. ‘Brainwashing’ is often used loosely to refer to being persuaded by propaganda.

conceptions & misconceptions of mind control

HypnotizeAnimatedThere are many misconceptions about mind control. Some people consider mind control to include the efforts of parents to raise their children according to social, cultural, moral and personal standards. Some think it is mind control to use behavior modification techniques to change one’s own behavior, whether by self-discipline and autosuggestion or through workshops and clinics. Others think that advertising and sexual seduction are examples of mind control. Still others consider it mind control to give debilitating drugs to a woman in order to take advantage of her while she is drugged. Some consider it mind control when the military or prison officers use techniques that belittle or dehumanize recruits or inmates in their attempt to break down individuals and make them more compliant. Some might consider it mind control for coaches or drill instructors to threaten, belittle, physically punish, or physically fatigue by excessive physical exercises their subjects in the effort to break down their egos and build team spirit or group identification.

mindcontrol 858_200pxSome of the tactics of some recruiters for religious, spiritual, or New Age human potential groups are called mind control tactics. Many believe that a terrorist kidnap victim who converts to or becomes sympathetic to her kidnapper’s ideology is a victim of mind control (the so-called Stockholm syndrome). Similarly, a woman who stays with an abusive man is often seen as a victim of mind control. Many consider subliminal messaging in Muzak, in advertising, or on self-help tapes to be a form of mind control. Many also believe that it is mind control to use laser weapons, isotropic radiators, infrasound, non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse generators, or high-power microwave emitters to confuse or debilitate people. Many consider the “brainwashing” tactics (torture, sensory deprivation, etc.) of the Chinese during the Korean War and the alleged creation of zombies in Voodoo as attempts at mind control.

Finally, no one would doubt that it would be a clear case of mind control to be able to hypnotize or electronically program a person so that he or she would carry out your commands without being aware that you are controlling his or her behavior.

[ . . . ]

the government and mind-control

mind control 857_200pxThere also seems to be a growing belief that the U.S. government, through its military branches or agencies such as the CIA, is using a number of horrible devices aimed at disrupting the brain. Laser weapons, isotropic radiators, infrasound, non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse generators, and high-power microwave emitters have been mentioned. It is known that government agencies have experimented on humans in mind control studies with and without the knowledge of their subjects (Scheflin 1978). The claims of those who believe they have been unwilling victims of “mind control” experiments should not be dismissed as impossible or even as improbable. Given past practice and the amoral nature of our military and intelligence agencies, such experiments are not implausible. However, these experimental weapons, which are aimed at disrupting brain processes, should not be considered mind control weapons. To confuse, disorient or otherwise debilitate a person through chemicals or electronically is not to control that person. To make a person lose control of himself is not the same as gaining control over him. It is a near certainty that our government is not capable of controlling anyone’s mind, though it is clear that many people in many governments lust after such power.

ElectroshockIn any case, some of the claims made by those who believe they are being controlled by these electronic weapons do not seem plausible. For example, the belief that radio waves or microwaves can be used to cause a person to hear voices transmitted to him seems unlikely. We know that radio waves and waves of all kinds of frequencies are constantly going through our bodies. The reason we have to turn on the radio or TV to hear the sounds or see the pictures being transmitted through the air is that those devices have receivers which “translate” the waves into forms we can hear and see. What we know about hearing and vision makes it very unlikely that simply sending a signal to the brain that can be “translated” into sounds or pictures would cause a person to hear or see anything. Someday it may be possible to stimulate electronically or chemically a specific network of neurons to cause specific sounds or sights of the experimenter’s choosing to emerge in a person’s consciousness. But this is not possible today. Even if it were possible, it would not necessarily follow that a person would obey a command to assassinate the president just because he heard a voice telling him to do so. Hearing voices is one thing. Feeling compelled to obey them is quite another. Not everyone has the faith of Abraham.

paranoid02There seem to be a number of parallels between those who think they have been abducted by aliens and those who believe their minds are being controlled by CIA implants. So far, however, the “mind-controlled group” has not been able to find their John Mack, the Harvard psychiatrist who claims that the best explanation for alien abduction claims is that they are based on alien abduction experiences, not fantasies or delusions. A common complaint from the mind-controlled is that they can’t get therapists to take them seriously. That is, they say they can only find therapists who want to treat them for their delusions, not help them prove they’re being controlled by their government. Thus, it is not likely that the “mind-controlled CIA zombies” will be accused of having delusions planted in them by therapists, as alien abductees have, since they claim they cannot get therapists to take their delusions seriously. In fact, many of them are convinced that their treatment as deluded persons is part of a conspiracy to cover up the mind control experiments done on them. Some even believe that False Memory Syndrome is part of the conspiracy. They claim that the idea of false memories is a plot to keep people from taking seriously the claims of those who are now remembering that they were victims of mind control experiments at some time in the past. It is hard to believe that they cannot find a wide array of incompetent New Age therapists willing to take their claims seriously, if not willing to claim they have been victims of such experiments themselves.

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Hypnosis showed I was a killer

If you ask me, this looks and sounds like a classic case of false memory or planted memories.

Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)

Also see “False Memories” at Psychology Today or Wikipedia


Janet ‘forgot she shot rapist’ in 1976
Relieved ... Janet is grateful hypnosis helped her remember

Relieved … Janet is grateful hypnosis helped her remember

By GRAEME CULLIFORD and SASKIA MURPHY The Sun | News

SHOCKED Janet Holt has told how hypnosis revealed she KILLED a farmer who she believes raped her — more than 30 years ago.

Janet, 64, had buried the horrific memories until she went for therapy.

In 1976 Fred Handford, 56 — her business partner on the farm — vanished. Despite a huge police search he was never found.

For more than 30 years Janet, who worked with him on the farm, had no clue what happened to him.

Young farmer ... Janet

Young farmer … Janet

But she had repeated unexplained nightmares about Fred. So she underwent therapy to see if there was something locked deep in her mind.

She was unprepared for the memories that flooded back.

Janet said the recollection was terrifyingly clear — she shot Fred after he twice raped her, then put his body in a wheelbarrow and buried him on their farm.

She said: “There are no words to describe how I felt when I realised. I gave myself in to police.”

Janet was arrested and showed cops where she believed she buried the body. But after extensive searches of the 50-acre site, he was never found and she was released.

Back in 1976, Janet — aged 26 — had been a worker on Ball Beard Farm, Buxton, Derbyshire — where Fred lived — for more than ten years. She felt her relationship with him was like a father and daughter.

But one March day she had a blackout. She woke at her parents’ house and could not remember the previous four days.

Janet said: “I had this urge to go to the farm because I had a feeling something had happened.

“I took my mother with me but Fred was nowhere to be seen. After a while we called police.”

Fred was declared missing. Janet was quizzed but freed. She thought he might have killed himself.

Then Janet heard of a form of psychotherapy called Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) — used to recall memories and eliminate trauma.

She said: “The therapy involved me trying to relive the lost four days and moving my eyes from side to side to stimulate the memories.”

After four hours, Janet believes she recalled everything. She said: “Four days before Fred vanished, he raped me twice. I had clear visions of it.

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Open Up Your Mind and Let Your Brain Shut Off

Sharon_hill_80pxBy via The Huffington Post

People tell me I should be more open-minded.

There is a clichéd saying regarding open-mindedness: “Keep an open mind — but not so open that your brain falls out”.

This piece of advice is most often said to come from physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988), but also a slew of other more or less famous people, most of them from the field of science: Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, James Oberg, Bertrand Russell, J. Robert Oppenheimer. It’s plausible that they all certainly said it at one time or another because it applies every time one is presented with a fringe or alternative explanation for something. It’s well worth remembering as a rule of thumb.

Because I peruse paranormal-themed sites and various “water-cooler” forums on the web, I frequently see ideas thrown out there that would qualify as amazing and paradigm-shifting. So, what do I think about this latest crazy thing, people ask?

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The Starchild skull.

Here’s a recent example. With all the recent speculation about “alien” remains, someone on Facebook mentioned Lloyd Pye who contends (for almost 15 years now) that a curiously-shaped skull he has is that of an alien-human hybrid. Called the “star child” skull, Pye promotes the story that this is proof that humans descended from extraterrestrial beings.

The plausibility of this idea is practically nil. There is no decent evidence in support of it except a nifty story. To accept it, we’d have to throw out all of what we know about human history, evolution, and a good bit of well-established physics. Just because of one odd-looking skull? No, thank you. That would be stupid. Thus, to consider such an idea takes me about a minute before I realize that would be unreasonable. It’s an imaginative idea, just like mermaids and remote viewing and time travelers. But in order to accept it, I’d have to discard too much (e.g., my brain and society’s accumulated knowledge). The evidence clearly suggests another more down-to-earth explanation. Since the skull DNA tested as human, and we know that certain genetic conditions can cause the enlargement of the skull in just this way, I’m going to accept the obvious and not some far-fetched story just for kicks.

Calling skeptics closed-minded because we discard wacky ideas is a common ploy. It’s often used as a personal insult because the skeptic has rejected a baseless idea that the promoters fancy. When you don’t have evidence to support your idea, observe that the proponent resorts to derogatory tactics.

But all ideas are not equal. Not all ideas are worthy of consideration.

“But all ideas are not equal. Not all ideas are worthy of consideration.”

It’s not about actually being open-minded towards new ideas. Instead, the proponent is accusing the skeptic of being stubborn, undemocratic and unfair. They see it as the skeptical person, being overly rational, ignoring a possibly worthwhile option to be considered. But all ideas are not equal. Not all ideas are worthy of consideration.

Let’s take another example: energy healing. I should be open-minded, reiki practitioners say, and try these forms of energy medicine where healing energy gets channeled or manipulated for better health. If someone offers these treatments to me and I just say “OK! Sounds good!” (and hand over my money) is that actually being open-minded? No. It’s swallowing what I’m being fed without a thought. The same would apply to . . .

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The 16 Personalities of Sybil

The book and movie “Sybil” told the story of a woman purported to have Multiple Personality Syndrome.

By Brian Dunning via Skeptoid

Read podcast transcript below or Listen

Sybil DVD_Pic 2The 1976 TV movie Sybil starred Sally Field as a woman with Multiple Personality Syndrome. The movie, and the book upon which it was based, were fictionalized but were based upon a real person. The most significant impacts of Sybil were to bring the idea of Multiple Personality Syndrome to the general public’s attention, and the controversy which followed in psychiatric circles. In her later years, debate raged over whether the woman upon whom Sybil was based indeed had multiple personalities, or was faking the whole thing, or whether she had some other disorder that compelled her to fake them. At the center was a real person who was suffering from a real illness. Today we’re going to look at what that condition might have been, and what the true state is of our knowledge of this most shocking of mental illnesses.

Shirley Mason was that woman. She was born in 1923 and died in 1998. She worked as a commercial artist, although from about the age of 30, she spent nearly half of her time in psychotherapy, prompted by emotional breakdowns and outbursts. Most of her sessions were with Dr. Cornelia Wilbur. But one day, Mason came into Dr. Wilbur’s office and said that her name was not Shirley Mason, but Peggy, and that she was a small girl.

Shirley "Sybil" Mason, c. 1950 Public domain image

Shirley “Sybil” Mason, c. 1950
Public domain image

Other personalities soon appeared, finally totaling sixteen. Their ages varied, some were boys and some were girls, and there was even an infant. The longer they worked together, the more Dr. Wilbur became convinced that Mason’s case was an extraordinary one. She began giving academic presentations on the case, and within a few years it was the foundation of her entire professional career. Dr. Wilbur even teamed up with an author, Flora Schreiber, to document the case. Many interviews with Mason’s various personalities were taped. Wilbur determined that Mason’s mother, Hattie Dorsett, a psychotic who had been hospitalized with schizophrenia, had subjected the young Mason to years of astonishing sexual and sadistic abuses.

In the mid 1960s, Dr. Wilbur sought out help from colleagues to refine the diagnosis. She believed that Mason was a schizophrenic like her mother, and asked Dr. Herbert Spiegel to give his input. Dr. Spiegel saw Mason over the course of several years. His specialty was hypnosis, and he often hypnotized Mason. It was during these sessions that he began to realize that the various personalities might not be exactly what he’d been told they were. In a 1997 interview with the New York Review of Books, Dr. Spiegel said:

But one day during our regression studies, Sybil said, “Well, do you want me to be Helen?” And I said, “What do you mean?” And she said, “Well, when I’m with Dr. Wilbur she wants me to be Helen.” I said, “Who’s Helen?” “Well, that’s a name Dr. Wilbur gave me for this feeling.” So I said, “Well, if you want to it’s all right, but it’s not necessary.” With me, Sybil preferred not to “be Helen.” With Wilbur, it seemed she felt an obligation to become another personality. That’s when I realized that [Dr. Wilbur] was helping her identify aspects of her life, or perspectives, that she then called by name. By naming them this way, she was reifying a memory of some kind and converting it into a “personality.”

Dr. Spiegel went on to explain how these personalities came to be:

Sybil told me that she had read The Three Faces of Eve, Thigpen and Cleckley’s book on a case of multiple personality. She was very impressed with that book… I have the impression that Sybil learned from reading this book that she could express her agonies and her stresses in life through the histrionic display of multiple personalities, especially if it were encouraged by the therapist.

For her 2011 book Sybil Exposed, author Debbie Nathan reviewed Dr. Spiegel’s extensive notes and concluded:

Sybil’s sixteen personalities had not popped up spontaneously but were provoked over many years of rogue treatment that violated practically every ethical standard of practice for mental health practitioners.

Dr. Wilbur and Schreiber asked Dr. Spiegel to co-author the book with them. They were going to make it into a book because Dr. Wilbur had been unable to get it published in professional journals.

I saw her “personalities” rather as game-playing… So I told Wilbur and Schreiber that it would not be accurate to call Sybil a multiple personality, and that it was not at all consistent with what I knew about her. Schreiber then got in a huff. She was sitting right in that chair there, and she said, “But if we don’t call it a multiple personality, we don’t have a book! The publishers want it to be that, otherwise it won’t sell!” That was the logic behind their calling Sybil a multiple personality.

And come out the book did, though it omitted any reference to the substantial role that Dr. Spiegel played in Mason’s therapy, and changed or omitted many other parts of the tale that did not conform to the compelling narrative envisioned by Schreiber. The book reassigned credit for Dr. Spiegel’s hypnosis sessions to Dr. Wilbur, even though she had in fact never actually done any hypnosis at that point in her career; instead, she’d suggested most of Mason’s false memories of abuse using sodium pentothal. The book was, in point of fact, a pop horror story; a sensationalized and fictionalized account that exploited and exaggerated a real patient’s condition, painting her as a freakish and frightening psycho. In doing so, author Schreiber even found and included a letter that Mason had written to her analyst in 1959:

I am not going to tell you there isn’t anything wrong. We both know there is. But it is not what I have led you to believe. I do not have any multiple personalities. I don’t even have a “double” to help me out. I am all of them. I have been essentially lying in my pretense of them. The dissociations are not the problem because they do not actually exist, but there is something wrong or I would not resort to pretending like that.

However, Schreiber flipped this around rather than taking it for the true confession it purported to be, and wrote that this was another of Sybil’s hysterical personalities talking, and added (on her own) that Sybil had no memory of the two days during which she’d written the letter.

The book was a hit, selling six million copies in its first four years. Diagnoses of Multiple Personality Syndrome went from 200 worldwide to thousands of new cases each year. It was the disease of the day, trendy and new and flashy.

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Energy Medicine – Noise-Based Pseudoscience

by via Science-Based Medicine

energyhealingSo-called complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is largely philosophy-based medicine rather than science based. There are a few core concepts that are endlessly recycled in various forms, but it is mythology and culture, not grounded in the rigorous methods of science that allow us to tell the difference between our satisfying fantasies and hard reality. Sometimes proponents of such philosophies try to cloak their beliefs in the appearance of science, resulting in what we simply call pseudoscience.

Harriet Hall coined an excellent term to refer to such pseudoscience –” Tooth Fairy science.” In her metaphor, pseudoscientists sometimes act like scientists by describing the details and statistics of their claimed phenomenon (such as examining all the details of the Tooth Fairy phenomenon) without ever testing the reality of the phenomenon itself. The fundamental concept at the core of their belief is never challenged, or only superficially so, and they proceed prematurely from their faulty premise.

Another term that I find extremely apt is “Cargo Cult science,” a term coined by Richard Feynman. This is a reference to the cargo cults of New Guinea – the pre-industrial tribes were observed building straw mock-ups of control towers, planes, and runways in hopes that the planes they observed flying over head would deliver their cargo to them. In other words – the cargo cults mimicked the superficial appearance of an aviation infrastructure but had none of the real essence or function (because of lack of understanding). This is a perfect analogy to much of what passes for science within the world of CAM.

reiki-hand_200pxNot that we need another analogy, but I have often described such pseudoscience as being lost in the noise. In any endeavor to detect something there is the issue of the signal to noise ratio.  Often the core challenge of scientific research is pulling the signal out from the background noise, or (more to the point) deciding if there is a signal in the noise, or if the information represents pure noise. In this analogy “noise” refers to any randomness in the data or interference from effects other than the alleged signal of interest. What I find is that pseudoscientific investigations of tooth fairy phenomena are completely lost in the noise of data, seeing whatever phantom “signals” support their philosophy. Elaborate but entirely illusory constructs are often crafted (or retrofitted to) these phantom signals.

Energy medicine is a perfect example of cargo-cult, Tooth Fairy, noise-based pseudoscience.

Energy medicine began its life as a philosophy-based notion, and is still philosophy-based, but many of its modern practitioners are desperate for the respectability that science has to offer. Some have therefore erected a pseudoscientific facade for this pre-scientific superstition.

One example I was recently asked to investigate is the Heartmath institute., which promotes an energy-medicine based claim that the heart sends out “energy” waves that regulate the body, including the brain.

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Past Life Regression (PLR)

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

PLR 815_02_250pxPast life regression (PLR) is the alleged journeying into one’s past lives while hypnotized. While it is true that many patients recall past lives, it is highly probable that their memories are false memories. The memories are from experiences in this life, pure products of the imagination, intentional or unintentional suggestions from the hypnotist, or confabulations.

Some New Age therapists do PLR therapy under the guise of personal growth; others under the guise of healing. As a tool for New Age explorers, there may be little harm in encouraging people to remember what are probably false memories about their living in earlier centuries or for encouraging them to go forward in time and glimpse into the future. But as a method of healing, it must be apparent even to the most superficial of therapists that there are great dangers in encouraging patients to create delusions. Some false memories may be harmless, but others can be devastating. They can increase a person’s suffering, as well as destroy loving relationships with family members. The care with which hypnosis should be used seems obvious.

Door to mystical UniverseSome therapists think hypnosis opens a window to the unconscious mind where memories of past lives are stored. How memories of past lives get into the unconscious mind of a person is not known, but advocates loosely adhere to a doctrine of reincarnation, even though such a doctrine does not require a belief in the unconscious mind as a reservoir of memories of past lives.

PLR therapists claim that past life regression is essential to healing and helping their patients. Some therapists claim that past life therapy can help even those who don’t believe in past lives. The practice is given undeserved credibility because of the credentials of some of its leading advocates, e.g., Brian L. Weiss, M.D., who is a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Medical School and Chairman Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. There are no medical internships in PLR therapy, nor does being a medical doctor grant one special authority in metaphysics, the occult or the supernatural.

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