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Austin Kelley
02-23-2010, 02:50 AM
This movie will be of interest to students of mind control programs in the Cold War era, including a few moments of footage on possible ties to the JFK assassination:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1758338679527790685#docid=-8179092243297154729


Adam Curtis- The Living Dead 2/3: You Have Used Me as a Fish Long Enough

58:33

You Have Used Me as a Fish Long Enough- In this episode, the history of brainwashing and mind control was examined. The angle pursued by Curtis was the way in which psychiatry pursued tabula rasa theories of the mind, initially in order to set people free from traumatic memories and then later as a potential instrument of social control. The work of Ewen Cameron was surveyed, with particular reference to Cold War theories of communist brainwashing and the search for hypnoprogammed assassins. The programme's thesis was that the search for control over the past via medical intervention had had to be abandoned and that in modern times control over the past is more effectively exercised by the manipulation of history. Some film from this episode, an interview with one of Cameron's victims, was later re-used by Curtis in his The Century of the Self. The title of this episode comes from a paranoid schizophrenic seen in archive film in the programme, who believed her neighbours were using her as a source of amusement by denying her any privacy, like a pet goldfish.

Jan Klimkowski
02-23-2010, 07:40 PM
As a documentary filmmaker with producer & director credits for all BBC channels bar the children's channels, Channel 4 (UK), NatGeo and Discovery, I have great respect for Adam Curtis' body of work. He is one of the most important filmmakers still working, and his Pandora's Box series, in particular, is both an essential collection of historical essays and an outstanding example of avant garde documentary.

However, I disagree on factual grounds with the thesis contained in "You have used me as a fish...." for the reasons I articulated elsewhere on DPF:


In his documentary, "You Have Used Me as a Fish Long Enough", gifted film-maker Adam Curtis argues that mind control programmes such as MK-ULTRA ultimately proved unsuccessful.

As a result, Curtis' film argues, the military-industrial complex abandoned its dream of directly controlling the individual mind. Instead, it turned to ever more sophisticated forms of mass propaganda - such as the manipulation of the historical record and the shaping of contemporary reality as presented through network television news & current affairs.

Curtis' argument probably represents the consensus amongst those few academic historians who are interested in MK-ULTRA and its legacy. I believe that consensus to be wrong.

For more see the "MK-ULTRA Iceberg" thread here:

http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=223

Austin Kelley
02-23-2010, 07:56 PM
In his documentary, "You Have Used Me as a Fish Long Enough", gifted film-maker Adam Curtis argues that mind control programmes such as MK-ULTRA ultimately proved unsuccessful.

As a result, Curtis' film argues, the military-industrial complex abandoned its dream of directly controlling the individual mind. Instead, it turned to ever more sophisticated forms of mass propaganda - such as the manipulation of the historical record and the shaping of contemporary reality as presented through network television news & current affairs.

Curtis' argument probably represents the consensus amongst those few academic historians who are interested in MK-ULTRA and its legacy. I believe that consensus to be wrong.

I agree. This is similar to my beef with Acid Dreams, which while it does contain useful information, ends up portraying MKULTRA as too much of a failed experiment, and one based on psychedelics which somehow escaped.

Techniques for controlling the behavior of the individual have by no means failed, and neither are they mere historical artifacts. MKULTRA is alive and well.

We have to be able to promote awareness of this fact without also dipping into every poisoned well of information- and there are many out there...


ON EDIT: I searched for a thread including the name of the film before starting this one- somehow nothing else came up. My apologies for diffusing thread focus!

Jan Klimkowski
02-23-2010, 09:52 PM
I agree. This is similar to my beef with Acid Dreams, which while it does contain useful information, ends up portraying MKULTRA as too much of a failed experiment, and one based on psychedelics which somehow escaped.

Techniques for controlling the behavior of the individual have by no means failed, and neither are they mere historical artifacts. MKULTRA is alive and well.

We have to be able to promote awareness of this fact without also dipping into every poisoned well of information- and there are many out there...

Austin - I wouldn't describe Acid Dreams or You have used me as a fish... as "poisoned wells". There's much of interest in these works, including invaluable source material. My own position is that I disagree with the ultimate conclusions, but regard those wells as far more provocative and challenging than most other material in this area.

In fact, my position is probably a both/and one, and I could amend my quote above as follows:


Whilst the military-industrial complex continued its dream of directly controlling the individual mind, it also turned to ever more sophisticated forms of mass propaganda - such as the manipulation of the historical record and the shaping of contemporary reality as presented through network television news & current affairs.

There is also a tension between differing agencies/organisations/agendas. One group might be most interested in a "truth serum" or a means of "implanting false memories" in an individual. Another group would concentrate on mass incapacitation, be it of an enemy on a battlefield or a civilian population in a French village.

However, I absolutely agree that the "MK-ULTRA" dreams were not a failure, and were not abandoned.

Austin Kelley
02-23-2010, 10:05 PM
Austin - I wouldn't describe Acid Dreams or You have used me as a fish... as "poisoned wells". There's much of interest in these works, including invaluable source material. My own position is that I disagree with the ultimate conclusions, but regard those wells as far more provocative and challenging than most other material in this area.


My point of view was not conveyed clearly enough. I agree with you, Jan- would never characterize Acid Dreams or You have used me as a fish... as "poisoned wells". Far from it.

Both are interesting and valuable resources. I do differ with some of their conclusions, and agree with you on the ways in which they may have missed the boat.

Other books on mind control present complementary information but may also carry some excess baggage and/or have other problems. So ultimately there's no panacea out there, just an ongoing need for critical inquiry into these narratives, so that our understanding of what is really going on in this area might somehow move forward.