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Thread: Future neuro-cognitive warfare

  1. #1

    Default Future neuro-cognitive warfare

    March 07, 2010

    Future neuro-cognitive warfare:

    Every year the US Army holds an annual conference called the "Mad Scientist Future Technology Seminar" that considers blue sky ideas for the future of warfare. Wired's Danger Room discusses the conference and links to an unclassified pdf summary of the meeting which contains this interesting paragraph about 'neuro-cognitive warfare':
    In the far term, beyond 2030, developments in neuro-cognitive warfare could have significant impacts. Neuro-cognitive warfare is the mashing of electromagnetic, infrasonic, and light technologies to target human neural and physiological systems. Weaponized capabilities at the tactical level will be focused on degrading the cognitive, physiological, and behavioral characteristics of Soldiers. Its small size and localized effects will make it ideal for employment in urban areas. Such technology could be employed through online immersive environments such as 2d Life or other electronic mediums to surreptitiously impact behavior without the knowledge of the target.
    I presume '2d Life' refers to Second Life, but I could be wrong.
    The first part is discussing the conventional development of warfare technology designed to target the nervous system, which is a long-established military tradition that has included weapons such as the rock, the poison-tipped arrow, the nerve gas shell and a new generation of hush-hush electromagnetic weapons.
    The second part is a little more interesting, however, it implies that a certain form of stimulation embeddable in a popular game or internet service (I think they're too shy too to say porn) might reduce cognitive performance by only a fraction, but when considered over a whole army, it could make a difference to the overall fighting force.
    The scenario is a little bit science fiction (Snow Crash anyone?) but is an intriguing possibility given that only a slight change would be needed in an individual to justify its effect if it could be distributed over a wide enough population.
    For example, many priming studies have shown it is possible to influence behaviour just by exposing people to certain concepts.
    In one of my favourite studies, exposing people to ideas about elderly people slowed their walking speed, while a more recent experiment found this effect could change action sequences as well.

    Link to Danger Room coverage of 'Mad Scientist Seminar'.
    pdf of unclassified military summary.


    Posted at March 7, 2010 08:00 AM
    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  2. #2


    Ed, have you done any research on bio-cyber robotic warfare that was very briefly discussed in a JFK thread recently? From the tiny glimpses I have had - and probably more intuition than anything else - I feel this is a very important subject. Especially if it is combined with electromagnetic-neural mind aspects.

    A military mind-controlled robocop would be the Pentagon's wet dream - and I wonder just how feasible it is?
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  3. #3


    Weaponized capabilities at the tactical level will be focused on degrading the cognitive, physiological, and behavioral characteristics of Soldiers. Its small size and localized effects will make it ideal for employment in urban areas.
    They've already tried that. :bebored:

    For many Americans, the first time they heard the word PSYOP was in conjunction with the final stages of Operation Just Cause. They watched on television as a group of PSYOP soldiers played deafening rock music, 24 hours a day, over loudspeakers that ringed the Vatican Embassy compound where General Noriega had taken refuge. The siege continued until General Manuel Noriega couldn't take it anymore and surrendered.

    I believe it was Iron Maiden (but I may be wrong). :thrasher:
    "It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
    "Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
    "They are in Love. Fuck the War."

    Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

    "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
    The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    Ed, have you done any research on bio-cyber robotic warfare that was very briefly discussed in a JFK thread recently? From the tiny glimpses I have had - and probably more intuition than anything else - I feel this is a very important subject. Especially if it is combined with electromagnetic-neural mind aspects.

    A military mind-controlled robocop would be the Pentagon's wet dream - and I wonder just how feasible it is?

    No, but if you wind me up and feed me [leads, links, and tea and oranges, and a wee bit of the dram buidheach], I could.

    And would.

    I am generally interested in how these _____ are delving into the science of the mind for the purpose of weaponizing it. I have done some preliminary delving for the purpose of empowering individuals to make better use of it for the improvement of life, individually and collectively. I continue to read. I have gathered and posted links, articles and research. Much of the cutting edge stuff is behind closed (and locked) doors.

    So send me the link to that JFK thread, define what you mean by the term "bio-cyber" and how you think it applies to robotics and warfare (although that part is pretty obvious), and go from there.

    Are you suggesting the external control of humans implanted with leads connected to key and relative parts of the brain? This is what that other fellow was working on with the bull, was it not?
    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    Ed, have you done any research on bio-cyber robotic warfare that was very briefly discussed in a JFK thread recently? From the tiny glimpses I have had - and probably more intuition than anything else - I feel this is a very important subject. Especially if it is combined with electromagnetic-neural mind aspects.

    A military mind-controlled robocop would be the Pentagon's wet dream - and I wonder just how feasible it is?

    Well, I took the phrase "bio-cyber robotic warfare" and tossed it into the Google machine, and it coughed up, #1, the Education Forum page on which the esteemed Dr. Fetzer held forth on the subject. What I read there is consistent with my general awareness of what is being conceived, worked on, and perfected..., timing, availability and functionality being in doubt for obvious reasons.

    Indeed, I am aware of the projection if not use of some variation of this being used for in-store marketing purposes; I'd have to look back through all my old blog posts. Here's that scenario: as you walk past the display, the projected voice appears inside your skull telling you "you'd look mahvelous in that inexpensive suit over there made of Super 220 merino wool by Kiton".

    The phrase Fetzer used --“stimulation of cortical phenomena from outside the skull at a distance using pulsed beam microwaves” --placed into the google machine, brought me back only to his use of that phrase.

    But try Googling that phrase without the quotes.

    Here, I'll provide the link:

    See also:
    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  6. #6


    The Militarization of Neuroscience
    April 27, 2007
    Hugh Gusterson / Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

    The Pentagon is quietly researching new “NeuroWeapons” — mind-machine interfaces, “living robots" controlled via brain implants, soldiers with "cognitive feedback helmets," “brain fingerprinting,” “pulse weapons” that play havoc with enemy soldiers' thought processes, drugs that would enable soldiers to go without sleep for days, to suppress fear, or to repress psychological inhibitions against killing. We need an international debate on the ethics of such weapons research. hugh-gusterson/20070410.html

    (April 20, 2007) — We've seen this story before: The Pentagon takes an interest in a rapidly changing area of scientific knowledge, and the world is forever changed. And not for the better.

    During World War II, the scientific field was atomic physics. Afraid that the Nazis were working on an atomic bomb, the U.S. government mounted its own crash project to get there first. The Manhattan Project was so secret that Congress did not know what it was funding and Vice President Harry S. Truman did not learn about it until FDR's death made him president. In this situation of extreme secrecy, there was almost no ethical or political debate about the Bomb before it was dropped on two cities by a bureaucratic apparatus on autopilot.

    Despite J. Robert Oppenheimer's objections, a few Manhattan Project scientists organized a discussion on the implications of the "Gadget" for civilization shortly before the bomb was tested. Another handful issued the Franck Report, advising against dropping the bomb on cities without a prior demonstration and warning of the dangers of an atomic arms race. Neither initiative had any discernible effect.

    We ended up in a world where the United States had two incinerated cities on its conscience, and its pursuit of nuclear dominance created a world of nuclear overkill and mutually assured destruction.

    This time we have a chance to do better. The science in question now is not physics, but neuroscience, and the question is whether we can control its militarization.

    According to Jonathan Moreno's fascinating and frightening new book, Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense (Dana Press 2006), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has been funding research in the following areas:

    • Mind-machine interfaces ("neural prosthetics") that will enable pilots and soldiers to control high-tech weapons by thought alone.

    • "Living robots" whose movements could be controlled via brain implants. This technology has already been tested successfully on "roborats" and could lead to animals remotely directed for mine clearance, or even to remotely controlled soldiers.

    • "Cognitive feedback helmets" that allow remote monitoring of soldiers' mental state.

    • MRI technologies ("brain fingerprinting") for use in interrogation or airport screening for terrorists. Quite apart from questions about their error rate, such technologies would raise the issue of whether involuntary brain scans violate the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

    • Pulse weapons or other neurodisruptors that play havoc with enemy soldiers' thought processes.

    • "Neuroweapons" that use biological agents to excite the release of neurotoxins. (The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention bans the stockpiling of such weapons for offensive purposes, but not "defensive" research into their mechanisms of action.)

    • New drugs that would enable soldiers to go without sleep for days, to excise traumatic memories, to suppress fear, or to repress psychological inhibitions against killing.

    Moreno's book is important since there has been little discussion about the ethical implications of such research, and the science is at an early enough stage that it might yet be redirected in response to public discussion.

    If left on autopilot, however, it's not hard to see where all of this will lead. During the Cold War, misplaced fears of a missile gap and a mind control gap excited an overbuilding of nuclear weapons and unethical LSD experiments on involuntary human subjects.

    Similarly, we can anticipate future fears of a "neuroweapons" gap, and these fears will justify a headlong rush into research (quite likely to involve unethical human experiments) that will only stimulate our enemies to follow suit.

    The military and scientific leaders chartering neuroweapons research will argue that the United States is a uniquely noble country that can be trusted with such technologies, while other countries (except for a few allies) cannot. They will also argue that these technologies will save lives and that U.S. ingenuity will enable the United States to dominate other countries in a neuroweapons race.

    When it is too late to turn back the clock, they will profess amazement that other countries caught up so quickly and that an initiative intended to ensure American dominance instead led to a world where everyone is threatened by chemicalized soldiers and roboterrorists straight out of Blade Runner.

    Meanwhile, individual scientists will tell themselves that, if they don't do the research, someone else will. Research funding will be sufficiently dominated by military grant makers that it will cause some scientists to choose between accepting military funding or giving up their chosen field of research. And the very real dual-use potential of these new technologies (the same brain implant can create a robosoldier or rehabilitate a Parkinson's disease sufferer) will allow scientists to tell themselves that they are "really" working on health technologies to improve the human lot, and the funding just happens to come from the Pentagon.

    Does it have to be this way? In spite of obvious problems controlling a field of research that is much less capital-intensive and susceptible to international verification regimes than nuclear weapons research, it is possible that a sustained international conversation between neuroscientists, ethicists, and security specialists could avert the dystopian future sketched out above.

    Unfortunately, however, Moreno (p.163) quotes Michael Moodie, a former director of the Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute, as saying, "The attitudes of those working in the life sciences contrast sharply with the nuclear community.

    Physicists since the beginning of the nuclear age, including Albert Einstein, understood the dangers of atomic power, and the need to participate actively in managing these risks. The life sciences sectors lag in this regard. Many neglect thinking about the potential risks of their work."

    Time to start talking!

    © Copyright Hugh Gusterson , Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 2007

    Posted in accordance with Title 17, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

    as posted in my blog May 10 2007, 07:54 PM
    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  7. #7


    Posted Apr 23 2007, 08:28 PM in my blog, the following is Part Six of a six-part series entitled "Piece of Mind". The link for Part Six is


    The Present and the Future
    “I don't think it is possible to legislate against that which often cannot be detected; and if those who legislate are using these techniques, there is little hope of affecting laws to govern usage. I do know that the first step to initiate change is to generate interest. In this case, that will probably only result from an underground effort.”

    Dick Sutphen, The Battle for Your Mind
    -- -- -- -- --

    “And having justified Bush/Cheney's coup, the media continue to betray American democracy. Media devoted to the public interest would investigate the poor performance by the CIA, the FBI, the FAA and the CDC, so that those agencies might be improved for our protection--but the news teams (just like Congress) haven't bothered to look into it. So, too, in the public interest, should the media report on all the current threats to our security--including those far-rightists targeting abortion clinics and, apparently, conducting bioterrorism; but the telejournalists are unconcerned (just like John Ashcroft). So should the media highlight, not play down, this government's attack on civil liberties--the mass detentions, secret evidence, increased surveillance, suspension of attorney-client privilege, the encouragements to spy, the warnings not to disagree, the censored images, sequestered public papers, unexpected visits from the Secret Service and so on. And so should the media not parrot what the Pentagon says about the current war, because such prettified accounts make us complacent and preserve us in our fatal ignorance of what people really think of us--and why--beyond our borders. And there's much more--about the stunning exploitation of the tragedy, especially by the Republicans; about the links between the Bush and the bin Laden families; about the ongoing shenanigans in Florida--that the media would let the people know, if they were not (like Michael Powell) indifferent to the public interest.

    In short, the news divisions of the media cartel appear to work against the public interest--and for their parent companies, their advertisers and the Bush Administration. The situation is completely un-American. It is the purpose of the press to help us run the state, and not the other way around. As citizens of a democracy, we have the right and obligation to be well aware of what is happening, both in "the homeland" and the wider world. Without such knowledge we cannot be both secure and free. We therefore must take steps to liberate the media from oligopoly, so as to make the government our own.’

    Mark Crispin Miller, “What’s Wrong With This Picture?”, The Nation,
    December 20, 2001,

    -- -- -- -- --

    German psychiatrist Kurt Lewin became director of the elite-sponsored Tavistock Institute in 1932. In the book "Mind Control World Control" (1997) Jim Keith writes:
    "Lewin is credited with much of the original Tavistock research into mass brainwashing applying the results of repeated trauma and torture [of individuals] in mind control to society at large."

    "If terror can be induced on a widespread basis into a society, Lewin has stated, then society reverts to a tabula rasa, a blank slate, a situation where control can easily be instituted from an external point."

    "Put another way: By the creation of controlled chaos, the populace can be brought to the point where it willingly submits to greater control. Lewin maintained that society must be driven into a state equivalent to an 'early childhood situation.' He termed this societal chaos 'fluidity.'"

    (Page 44)
    Dr. William Sargent, author of "Battle for the Mind: A Physiology of Conversion and Brain-Washing" (1957) noted that "Various types of beliefs can be implanted after brain function has been sufficiently disturbed by ... deliberately induced fear, anger or excitement."

    For more:

    -- -- -- -- --

    "You're beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal...

    In God's name, you people are the real thing; we're the illusion."

    Howard Beale character in Paddy Chayevski's film "Network."
    -- -- -- -- --

    “A blue-ribbon panel of the Council on Foreign Relations suggested last year that the CIA be freed from some policy constraints on covert operations, such as the use of journalists and clergy as cover. This is alarming. Unlike the typical corporate-funded think tank, filled with pro-Pentagon pundits, the folks at CFR are either running the world or they know who does. For 70 years they've rarely recommended anything that has not become policy. Furthermore, they've thoroughly co-opted the major media …. There have also been official announcements that the CIA is mission-creeping into economic intelligence and computer-age information warfare.

    Journalism And The CIA: The Mighty Wurlitzer
    by Daniel Brandt, April-June 1997

    US Electromagnetic Weapons and Human Rights
    By Peter Phillips, Lew Brown and Bridget Thornton
    December 2006

    Excerpts only:

    In the 1950s and 60s the CIA began work to find means for influencing human cognition, emotion and behavior. Through the use of the psychological understanding of the human being as a social animal and the ability to manipulate a subject’s environment through isolation, drugs and hypnosis, US funded scientists have long searched for better means of controlling human behavior. This research has included the use of wireless directed electromagnetic energy under the heading of “Information Warfare” and “Non Lethal Weapons.” New technological capabilities have been developed in black budget projects 1 over the last few decades— including the ability to influence human emotion, disrupt thought, and present excruciating pain through the manipulation of magnetic fields. The US military and intelligence agencies have at their disposal frightful new weapons, weapons that have likely already been covertly used and/or tested on humans, both here and abroad….”

    -- snip --

    Freedom of thought or cognitive liberty is the natural human right of each person to be secure in their ability to perceive the world to the best of their ability. To have true cognitive liberty in a world as complex as ours would mean that first we must have access to truthful and unbiased information about the actions of others and the general state of the world. The Center for Cognitive Liberties defines this as “the right of each individual to think independently and autonomously, to use the full spectrum of his or her mind, and to engage in multiple modes of thought.”2 Without accurate representations we cannot make independently informed choices. It is imperative that the human body and mind be considered sacrosanct. To invade a person’s body without their consent is an egregious human rights crime.”

    -- snip --

    “One particular faction of ambitious men, the former cold warriors and emerging neo-conservatives, were close followers of philosopher Leo Strauss. This elite group included not just generals and industrialists but philosophers, scientists, academics, and politicians have now become the most powerful public-private war organization ever known. Strauss espoused an elitist philosophy that fawned over the characteristics of those who inherited wealth and lived lives of leisure to pursue whatever their interests may be. His ideas have been transformed into a cogent ideology in which the media, religion, and government are used to subdue the masses while the real “nobles” follow their own will without regard to the laws designed to control lesser men. Strauss was likewise fond of secrecy, as a necessity for control, because if the lesser men found out what was being done to them they would no doubt be upset. “The people will not be happy to learn that there is only one natural right – the right of the superior to rule over the inferior, the master over the slave, the husband over the wife, and the wise few over the vulgar many.” In On Tyranny, Strauss refers to this natural right as the “tyrannical teaching” of his beloved ancients..9

    Leo Strauss, Albert Wohlstetter, and others at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought receive wide credit for promoting the neo-conservative agenda through their students, Paul Wolfowitz, Allan Bloom, and Bloom's student Richard Perle.

    Canadian cultural review magazine Adbusters, defines neo-conservatism as, "The belief that Democracy, however flawed, was best defended by an ignorant public pumped on nationalism and religion. Only a militantly nationalist state could deter human aggression …such nationalism requires an external threat and if one cannot be found it must be manufactured."10

    The neo-conservative philosophy emerged as a reaction to the 1960s era of social revolutions. Numerous officials and associates in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush presidencies were strongly influenced by the neo-conservative philosophy including: John Ashcroft, Charles Fairbanks, Richard Cheney, Kenneth Adelman, Elliot Abrams, William Kristol and Douglas Feith.11

    Within the Ford administration there was a split between Cold War traditionalists seeking to minimize confrontations through diplomacy and detente and neo-conservatives advocating stronger confrontations with the Soviet’s "Evil Empire." The latter group became more entrenched when George H.W. Bush became CIA Director. Bush allowed the formation of "Team B" headed by Richard Pipes along with Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, Paul Nitze and others….”

    -- snip --

    “Psychological Warfare, Information War, and mind control may seem to be exotic topics, but the impact of these technologies and techniques is profound. Our minds are being impacted through a longstanding series of programs aimed at manipulating public opinion through intelligence agencies, think tanks, corporate media and a host of non-governmental organizations designed to engender fear, division and uncertainty in the public. [For an analysis on the interlocking of the corporate media, think tanks and government organizations, see Peter Phillips, Bridget Thornton and Lew Brown “The Global Dominance Group and the US Corporate Media” in Censored 2007, Seven Stories Press.]” [For excerpts of that work, see my blog entry at;showentry=860 ]

    “Media manipulation involving the artificial framing of our collective reality is often a hit or miss proposition, but psychological operations have been carried out in the past, and are being carried out even today, through the practices of “Information Warfare,” directed at enemies abroad and at the American people. [See: Snow, Nancy, Information War, American Propaganda, Free Speech, and Opinion Control Since 9/11, 2004,Seven Stories Press and Chomsky, Noam Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda, 2002 Seven Stories Press.]”

    -- snip --

    “In the late 1950s, a right-wing cadre of men within the new CIA was busy building secret armies, planning assassinations, and generally devising plans for world domination that still play out today. Operation Gladio was one example, well documented and international in scope, in which right-wing members of the US intelligence community created “stay-behind” armies in many of the nations of Europe. Those armies managed to infiltrate the highest levels of politics (most notably in Italy where the term “Gladio” refers to a double edged sword) and have been held responsible for numerous false-flag terrorist acts through the 1980s and 1990s. Terror and propaganda often go hand-in-hand in the extremist elements within our military and intelligence communities.28

    -- snip --

    Voice to Skull directed acoustic devices are neuro-electromagnetic non-lethal weapons that can produce sounds within the skull of a human. [ Definition from the Center for Army Lessons Learned, Fort Leavenworth, KS: “Nonlethal weapon which includes (1) a neuro-electromagnetic device which uses microwave transmission of sound into the skull of persons or animals by way of pulse-modulated microwave radiation; and (2) a silent sound device which can transmit sound into the skull of person or animals. NOTE: The sound modulation may be voice or audio subliminal messages. One application of V2K is use as an electronic scarecrow to frighten birds in the vicinity of airports.”

    A similar technology, known as Hypersonic Sound, is used in a similar fashion. According to its inventor, Elwood Norris of American Technology Corporation (ATC), the handheld speaker can focus sound waves directly at a person without anyone else hearing the sound. The technology is being tested by corporations such as McDonald’s and Wal Mart to direct advertisements into a consumer’s head.”

    -- snip --

    “In 2004, The US Air Force Directorate: Controlled Effects gives a clear picture of objectives: “The Controlled Effects long-term challenge focuses technology developments in three primary areas Measured Global Force Projection looks at the exploitation of electromagnetic and other nonconventional force capabilities against facilities and equipment to achieve strategic, tactical, and lethal and non lethal force projection around the world. Controlled Personnel Effects investigates technologies to make selected adversaries think and act according to our needs. Dominant Remote Control seeks to control, at a distance, an enemy's vehicles, sensors, communications, and information systems and manipulate them for military purposes. The S&T Planning Review panel looked first at extending the applications of advanced military technologies currently under development and then at new, revolutionary technologies for their military significance.

    “For the Controlled Personnel Effects capability, the S&T panel explored the potential for targeting individuals with non lethal force, from a militarily useful range, to make selected adversaries think or act according to our needs. Through the application of non-lethal force, it is possible to physically influence or incapacitate personnel. Advanced technologies could enable the war fighter to remotely create physical sensations such as pressure or temperature changes. A current example of this technology is Active Denial, a non-lethal counter-personnel millimeter wave system that creates a skin heating sensation to repel an individual or group of people without harm. By studying and modeling the human brain and nervous system, the ability to mentally influence or confuse personnel is also possible. Through sensory deception, it may be possible to create synthetic images, or holograms, to confuse an individual's visual sense or, in a similar manner, confuse his senses of sound, taste, touch, or smell. Through cognitive engineering, scientists can develop a better understanding of how an individual's cognitive processes (pattern recognition, visual conditioning, and difference detection) affect his decision-making processes. Once understood, scientists could use these cognitive models to predict a person's behavior under a variety of conditions with the potential to affect an adversary's mission accomplishment via a wide range of personnel effects.”124 [ For the complete briefing, see the Air Force Research Lab website at .]”

    -- snip --

    “A prominent neuroscientist, Francis Crick stated in 1994, that “your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” [Michael Shermer, “Astonishing Mind: Francis Crick 1916–2004 recollections on the life of a scientist”.]”

    -- snip --

    The abundance of neuro-research has led to the development of several products by private business in the name of national security, including brain fingerprinting.

    [The official explanation of Brain Fingerprinting from Dr. Lawrence Farwell: “Brain Fingerprinting testing is a scientific technique to determine whether or not specific information is stored in an individual's brain. We do this by measuring brain-wave responses to words, phrases, sounds or pictures presented by a computer. We present details about a crime, training or other types of specific knowledge, mixed in a sequence with other, irrelevant items. We use details that the person being tested would have encountered in the course of committing a crime, but that an innocent person would have no way of knowing. We can tell by the brainwave response if a person recognizes the stimulus or not. If the suspect recognizes the details of the crime, this indicates that he has a record of the crime stored in his brain.” For more research, see the Brain Wave Science site, the official internet identity of Brain Fingerprinting Laboratories at .]

    -- snip --

    John Norseen, a neuroscientist interested in Biofusion, the relationship between humans and computers, says, “If this research pans out you can begin to manipulate what someone is thinking even before they know it.” Norseen says he is agnostic on the moral ramifications of this research. He feels that he is not a “mad” scientist - just a dedicated one. “The ethics don’t concern me,” he says, “but they should concern someone else.” [ See Douglas Pasternak, “John Norseen Reading your mind - and injecting smart thoughts”, US News and World Report, January 3-10, 2000.]

    -- snip --

    “…human ethics should concern every person who believes in human rights and desires control over their own mind and body. Our brains control our bodies, actions, and thought processes. If the government and the scientists they employ perceive that the human mind as simply a collection of neurons, it then becomes possible to justify the surveillance of the human mind and body for national security purposes.”

    -- snip --

    “A medical engineer, Eldon Byrd, reported a case that illustrates this point. After working on the Polaris submarine, which carried long-range nuclear weapons, Byrd developed non-lethal weapons with reversible effects. He regarded this as a humanitarian alternative to ‘punching holes in people and having their blood leak out’ in battle. His inventions used magnetic fields at biologically active wave frequencies to affect brain function. Byrd could put animals to sleep at a distance and influence their movements. When the success of his research became evident, suddenly he was pulled off the project and it went "black." His believes the electromagnetic resonance weapons he developed have been used for psychological control of civilians rather than for exigencies in battle. That is, to ensure his participation, he was uninformed about the true nature of the project. Byrd’s case also illustrates how morally tolerable operations may transition to morally intolerable operations, or at least rise above the atrocity line”. [Military and Civilian Perspectives on the Ethics of Intelligence— Report on a Workshop at the Department of Philosophy Claremont Graduate University, September 29, 2000, Jean Maria Arrigo, Ph.D. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy Paper presented to The Joint Services Conference on Professional Ethics Springfield, Virginia January 25-26, 2001.]

    -- snip --

    “For the US Government to unilaterally declare that our country will not comply with international human rights laws, nor uphold the core values of our nation’s foundation is an indication of extremism that supersedes the values and beliefs of the American people. When such extremism exists we need to take seriously the founders’ declaration that, “ to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence 1776)

    Please read this very important piece in its entirety at</b>
    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  8. #8


    Thanks Ed. The concern is, of course, that any weapon developed for use against "enemy soldiers" can just as easily be deployed against domestic citizens. And, I suspect, will be too.

    Where do I send the tea, oranges and the wee dram? I have a cyber parcel ready packed....
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  9. #9


    See also this older blog entry from Nov 23 2006, 01:42 AM:

    There is an interesting web page at ...

    the International Committee of the Red Cross...

    which provides descriptions and links to a wide range of scholarly reports on biological weapons and international efforts to control them. "The centrepiece of this ICRC initiative is an appeal to governments, the scientific community, the military and industry to recognise the risks, the rules and their responsibilities in this domain."

    Five of the twenty five articles are in downloadable pdf format.

    The one that caught my attention first was this one:

    Neurobiology: A case study of the imminent militarization of biology

    The biological, medical (and legal) communities should face the near certainty that unless active steps are taken to prevent it, biology will become the next major military technology, and that neuroscience — and by implication much of the rest of modern biology — will become highly vulnerable to use or abuse in entirely unintended, but clearly foreseeable, ways.

    Here are some excerpts:

    "Obviously it is not possible in a single paper to survey all of the areas of biology that might be subject to misuse, so here we focus on the potential for hostile manipulation of the human nervous system. We do this in part because the widespread public concerns over the misuse of microbiology have obscured other dangerous possibilities, but also because there are very clear reasons to have worries about the misuse of neuroscience by the military."

    "As Professor Meselson, Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of the Natural Sciences at Harvard University, has said: “[a] world in which these capabilities are widely employed for hostile purposes would be a world in which the very nature of conflict had radically changed. Therein could lie unprecedented opportunities for violence, coercion, repression or subjugation…” 1

    "George Poste ... has referred to the “brain bomb” and noted that such capabilities imply “that you can engineer a series, a complete spectrum of activity from transient immobilization (…) to catastrophic effects which can be acute or chronic.” 14

    "... our understanding of the brain and human behaviour is reaching the level at which precise manipulation for beneficial reasons is becoming increasingly feasible. Yet such information might also potentially be used for malign purposes, for example to induce anxiety disorders."

    "Much of the recent military interest in chemical agents that affect the brain has focused on incapacitating chemicals. An incapacitating chemical may be defined as an agent “which produces a disabling condition that persists for hours to days after exposure to the agent.” 31 Specifically, the term has come to mean those agents that are highly potent and able to produce their effects by altering the higher regulatory activity of the central nervous system. As a recent NATO technical report on future peace enforcement operations noted, 32 incapacitating chemicals could act on “[t]he central nervous system by calmatives, dissociative agents, equilibrium agents.” We are obviously, therefore, not discussing traditional riot-control agents here."

    "The recent search for new non-lethal chemicals has taken place, of course, against a background of very rapid and intense civil research on agents affecting the brain. 38 Yet military interest is already directed towards the next generation of agents. A 2004 US Broad Area Announcement stated the objective as follows: 39

    “The Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) is soliciting proposals for research, development, integration, and demonstration of next-generation non-lethal weapons (NLW) and capabilities... ”

    Amongst efforts requested were:
    “Studies/Analyses to address technology-specific legal/treaty/public acceptability issues associated with: (1) extended duration incapacitation (...) and (3) precision long-range engagement of threats...”

    In addition to drugs causing calming or unconsciousness, compounds on the horizon with potential as military agents include noradrenaline antagonists such as propranolol to cause selective memory loss, cholecystokinin B agonists to cause panic attacks, and substance P agonists to induce depression. The question thus is not so much when these capabilities will arise — because arise they certainly will — but what purposes will those with such capabilities pursue."


    "Of course, military utility will go beyond weapons to performance-enhancing agents for use by one’s own troops. Amphetamines have long been used to extend alertness, and manipulation of the sleep/wake cycle is currently used to enhance the performance of air crews (and probably special forces teams) on long missions. But as a recent National Academies report 40 noted, within a few decades we will have performance enhancement of troops which will almost certainly be produced by the use of diverse pharmaceutical compounds, and will extend to a range of physiological systems well beyond the sleep cycle. Reduction of fear and pain, and increase of aggression, hostility, physical capabilities and alertness could significantly enhance soldier performance, but might markedly increase the frequency of violations of humanitarian law. For example, increasing a person’s aggressiveness and hostility in conflict situations is hardly likely to enhance restraint and respect for legal prohibitions on violence. Given the kinds of operations other than war that are the increasingly common pattern of military engagement, we will also probably see soldiers armed not only with traditional lethal weapons, but also with a range of “non-lethal weapons” — acoustic, electromagnetic and chemical. Among the chemical weapons will be traditional riot control agents such as CS (“tear gas”) and OC (“pepper spray”), as well as various pharmaceutical compounds that cause unconsciousness, paralysis or delirium at very low doses. Whether the traditional laws of war — for instance, protection of civilians and of soldiers “hors de combat” — will withstand these changed circumstances is unsure. 41

    Certainly the historical record gives little comfort, as the major military use of “non-lethal” chemical compounds has traditionally been to amplify lethal force, not to replace it. In Vietnam, for instance, the US used approximately 10,000 tons of CS. The purported use was for humanitarian purposes, for situations in which combatants and non-combatants were intermixed, or where extensive property damage would result from attacking the enemy in urban environments. However, a 1973 Army report 42 reviewed after-action reports on the use of CS, and found no record of humanitarian use.

    Currently in Iraq, the US is using acoustic beam weapons to flush snipers from cover, who are then killed. 43 And in the previously mentioned example of the Moscow siege, Chechen hostage-takers rendered comatose by the fentanyl derivative were shot dead. 44 It is credible that novel agents would find similar military uses, and that these “non-lethal” agents would often be used to increase the lethality of other weapons, rather than to replace them.

    There is also a serious potential for misuse of pharmaceuticals during interrogation. 45 During the Cold War the CIA, for example, sought substances that would change personality and thus induce increased dependence on others. 46 The recent abuses of prisoners under interrogation by US forces in the aftermath of the second Gulf War remind us that even democratic countries with long traditions of support for humanitarian laws may act unlawfully when it appears to be vital to security. Accounts claiming forced medication with psychoactive drugs have come from detainees released from US custody, 47 and detainee medical records have been made available to interrogators. 48

    Progress in understanding the biological basis for repression 49 may allow the selective deletion of specific memories, which could not only protect sensitive information from unfriendly interrogation but also protect interrogators from effective oversight.

    Torturers in all countries will have a greatly expanded repertoire of capabilities. “Non-lethal” police devices such as electric batons and OC sprays are now widely used for torture, and there is no reason to think that future devices and chemicals will not be similarly used. 50 In the hands of the sophisticated torturer or the interrogator willing to use torture to gain information, chemical agents will offer the ability to induce at will panic, depression, psychosis, delirium and extreme pain — and to offer instant relief as well, or even euphoria.

    Even greater might be the danger of such capabilities in the hands of dictators to quell dissent. In addition to expanding the ability of dictatorships to use torture to gain information during interrogations, the possibility may exist of pacifying entire populations through additives to food or water.


    "... we see the near-term future (10-20 years) possibly including militaries whose troops will go into action with chemically heightened aggressiveness and resistance to fear, pain and fatigue. Their memories of atrocities committed will be chemically erased in after-action briefings. They will be equipped with a range of weapons, including chemicals that incapacitate their opponents, who may then be executed in cold blood. Civilians will be targeted with incapacitating chemicals when they get in the way, and many will die of overdoses or secondary effects. Civilians in occupied territories will be pacified by chemicals included in food distributions (and civilians at home may also be so pacified). Enemy captives, and civilians suspected of collaboration, will be treated with psychoactive chemicals to extract information, including the use of devastatingly effective chemical torture when necessary. The chemical compounds will be rapidly metabolized and will leave no forensic trace. In this dire future scenario, many fragile democracies will have yielded to totalitarian rule, whose governments repress any dissent with brutal effectiveness, aided by chemical pacification of entire populations, use of incapacitating agents for crowd control and capture of dissident leaders, and use of chemicals for torture and interrogation of dissidents. A worldwide criminal underworld will be using similar technologies to deal with both victims and competitors. Terrorist groups worldwide will be finding frequent use for the force-amplifying effects of chemical agents.

    Since the future possibilities become very difficult to discern with any confidence and cannot be defined at this point (unlike the near-term possibilities above, which we can discern with more clarity), we offer a few speculations only to hint at what is likely to be possible in the long term. We can imagine, however, that in the longer term (50 years?), soldiers could become wired for rapid and direct communication with headquarters, and to control powerful military drones by their thoughts. They could be triggered remotely to enter specifically programmed behaviour patterns — evasive, suicidal, berserk, etc. Their memories and convictions would be subject to alteration and erasure.

    We would like to hope that this is not the world we shall leave to our children, but we are not particularly sanguine. Human history gives ample grounds for pessimism about our ability to prevent widespread exploitation of the manipulative, hostile and malign possibilities that the emerging technologies will bring within reach."


    "We know of no major technology with military utility that has not been vigorously exploited for hostile purposes, and there is no reason to think that the revolution in biology will not be similarly bent to military ends. Of course, anticipating such an eventuality, and dealing effectively with it, are two very different things. We see three major generic strategies for attempting to contain the malign applications of biology...."

    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    Thanks Ed. The concern is, of course, that any weapon developed for use against "enemy soldiers" can just as easily be deployed against domestic citizens. And, I suspect, will be too.

    Where do I send the tea, oranges and the wee dram? I have a cyber parcel ready packed....
    You're welcome. As stated previously, if the technology is "in development", you can be sure that a working prototype is already in the field.

    Your concern was the focus in part of that six-part series "Piece of Mind"; it has been a steady focus of mine for some time now, the battle for our minds. See this blog entry as well: and an entire section of threads on "The techniques used by military, police forces, political leaders, and corporations to influence or disrupt a target audience's value systems, belief systems, emotions, motives, reasoning, and behavior":

    As for the tea and oranges, and the wee dram, start an account in my name and we'll settle up in good time. I am set for now, with the two 50 ml. nips set aside for savoring at a later hour, raised in salute to our virtual friends here at DPF.
    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

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