THEY'RE FUCKING WITH YOUR MIND.
Car salesman Jeff Johnson is enjoying a lazy night at
home, drinking a few beers and half-watching music videos on
television. The sounds are loud, the colors, intense. The
four millionth viewing of Madonna's video numbs him into
semi-consciousness. Not even the booming bass beat of the
latest rap hit can lift him out of it. More music videos go
buy. Pretty soon, out of left field, Jeff catches himself
thinking that the President's a sharp guy, definitely shafted
by the press. "Yep, he is definitely okay. Fuck the media."
Jeff Johnson has just been brainwashed, and it has
happened so undetectably that there is absolutely nothing he
could have done to prevent it.
Sure, that's fiction--but the facts are real. Using the
powerful sensory inputs available to TV, radio, films and the
rest of the mass media, mind manipulators in New York's
advertising agencies, Hollywood's movie and TV industries and
Washington's political power structure are at this very
moment shaping what you think about the key issues of the
day, from abortion to elections.
"Today," say journalists Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman,
authors of Snapping, "American business and advertising have
at their disposal the latest and most comprehensive body of
knowledge concerning the manner in which human behavior can
"You cannot pick up a newspaper, magazine or pamphlet,
hear radio or view televison anywhere in North America
without being assaulted." adds researcher Dr. Wilson Bryan
"I shudder to think about the propaganda and commercial
manipulation that we are exposed to on a daily basis," says
hypnotherapist Dick Sutphen.
There are numerous documented cases of covert mind
manipulation techniques used to control behavior:
In 1956 a New Jersey market researcher imbedded movies
with hidden visual commands to buy Coca Cola. Movie watchers
were absolutely unaware that these consciously imperceptible
orders were attacking them, but the proof was at the cash
register: Coke sales jumped 58% at that theater.
At a Kansas City medical center, hidden audio messages
are constantly piped through the sound system. And there
have been dramatic results--smoking in the staff lounge is
down 50%; angry patient outbursts in the crowded patient
waiting room are down 60%.
Retailers around the country are experimenting with "no
shoplifting" audio tapes that endlessly repeat--on a
subconscious level, beneath the Muzak--directives not to
steal. One New Orleans supermarket reported that "Inventory
shrinkage" (Theft) fell two-thirds, from $50,000 yearly to
As long ago as 1972, In-Flight Motion Pictures, Inc.
started selling advertisers the right to imbed totally hidden
advertising in movies screened on airplanes.
Major advertisers are continually subjecting you to
disguised commands to buy THEIR beer, THEIR shampoo. You are
hit with an avalanche of hidden audio and video messages
every time you turn on your TV.
Waiting around the corner are truly mind-boggling
technologies of light and sound. Among them is a bizarre
subconscious attack on the kidneys, liver and bladder
developed by Mid-West Research for use by law enforcement
personnel. The technology is designed to incapacitate
hostage-holding terrorists. Using pink noise masking-the
sound of air conditioning-this system was tested on
unsuspecting cadets in a police academy. According to on
researcher, "the result of the test was that nearly the
entire class of cadets had become dehydrated."
Don't believe it? join the club. In one survey of
influential business and civic leaders, 90% said they were
sure there were laws against covert mind manipulation.
What's more, 60% added that that stuff was a lot of hooey
As for hidden mind manipulation being hooey, that is
exactly what big advertisers, major media, politicians,
religious leaders and the U.S. government want you to
believe. The more you believe that, the longer and more
successfully the can secretly influence your purchasing and
political decisions. "We hear very little about the subject
these days," leading brain researcher Dr. Barbara Brown
admits. But that is not because there is nothing to talk
about. On the contrary: There is too much. "One always
suspects government intervention when techniques to abuse
mankind are suddenly banished from discussion. In any event,
for some 20 years now there has been a steadfast denial of
this extraordinary phenomenon by the experts."
You may think you know what you know--but thinking so
may be dangerous to your mental health. As Dick Sutphen
says, "In the entire history of man, no one has ever been
brainwashed and realized or believed that he had been
brainwashed." That's the terrifying part of brainwashing:
Once it has happened to you, you will never know it.
"It is very difficult to pass laws against this," says
Dr. Patrick Flanagan, a Tucson, Arizona, inventor of
sophisticated mind manipulation machinery. "There are so many
ways around it." What's more, much mind-control technology
is abstract, putting it absolutely out of reach of any
legislation or regulation. Used this way, the technologies
aim to numb the unsuspecting--perhaps including you--into
accepting the otherwise unacceptable. fundamentalist
preachers, for instance, commonly saturate their revival
halls with a barely perceptible six-to-seven cycles per
second sound, which can be hidden under the noise of air
conditioning or even the hum from loudspeakers. That
vibration--harmless as it seems--is incredibly effective in
putting much of any audience into an immediate open-eye
trance state. Because their eyes are open, the audience
believes they are fully functioning, wide awake individuals.
THEY AREN'T. THEY ARE EASY PREY FOR ANY MESSAGE THE PREACHER
CHOOSES TO PUT FORTH.
Effective as that technique is, there are scarier tools
available to mind manipulators. Particularly chilling
research is reported by Dr. Barbara Brown, who says that
things as simple as the sounds of heartbeats can radically
alter our reactions to pictures and ideas. In one experiment
cited by Brown, scientists tricked subjects into believing
they were hearing their own heartbeats while viewing
photographs. They weren't. The heartbeats were prerecorded,
yet as subjects heard faster heartbeats they automatically
gave high ratings to the observed photos. Lower heart rates
yielded poorer ratings. Theoretical as that research is, the
impact is very powerful. Increase the rate of fake heartbeat
sounds, and audience excitement will bolt upwards. Lower it,
and audience enthusiasm drops. It is as elementary as that.
The dimension this adds to political messages, advertising,
and so on, is alarming. "This begins to have frightening
implications," admits Brown. "It seems quite possible that
certain types of propaganda or techniques of persuasion will
take advantage of this."
Commonly employed not only in revivalist/fundamentalist
gatherings but in many public meetings and throughout the
media, the six-to-seven cycle vibrations as well as the fake
heartbeat can be used to hide specific information or
commands. In fact, subliminal information--"subliminations"
as it's called by professionals--is a primary weapon in the
electronic battle for your brain and your free will. Every
minute of every day, your mind is swamped with smells,
tastes, sights and sounds. You consciously process the data
you are aware of, but you are unaware of much more. These
data sneak through a maze of trap doors into your
subconscious. Very high- and low- pitched sounds register on
your subconscious but make no conscious impression. Fast
moving and dimly lit images and pictures do the same. And
here is the freaky part: While there may be no conscious
recollection of these data, the information is permanently
stored in your mind. Researchers, including Canadian
neurosurgeon Dr. Wilder Penfield, have established that the
subconscious and unconscious memory are vast storehouses,
holding countless facts unavailable to the conscious mind.
the unnerving discovery is that this unconsciously
perceived information definitely influences behavior. "Many
researchers have recorded brain waves or heartbeats or skin
electrical activity, then presented words with emotional
meaning, such as SEX, CANCER, MOTHER, and SNAKE mixed in with
words that rarely arouse the emotions, such as BUILDING,
CARPET, NECKTIE and the like. When the emotion-producing
words are presented subliminally, there are strong changes in
the reactions in the physiologic system, but no changes when
the other neutral words are given," says Barbara Brown.
More proof of the impact of subliminals comes from one
Texas university psychologist who began to salt his lectures
with disguised slides showing graphic sex and violence at
light levels outside the audience's conscious ability to see.
His lectures, which had nothing to do with the slides being
projected, were apparently more interesting to the students
than in the past, as reflected by test scores. Test results
indicated a significant increase in memory!
Chief among the weapons for secretly influencing
behavior-including yours-are subliminal commands. As Dick
Sutphen explains, "Subliminals are hidden suggestions that
only the subconscious perceives. They can be audio, hidden
behind music, or visual, flashed on a screen so fast that you
don't consciously see them or cleverly incorporated into a
picture or design."
Just how much information do you take in at subconscious
levels? According to Dr. Key, "Theorists speculate that as
little as 1/1000th of a total, single perception registers at
the conscious level." And your mind is influenced by these
unconsciously perceived messages just as much as it would be
by consciously presented information. In fact, the mind is
more susceptible because it cannot consciously defend against
information it might reject.
Used consciously as a result of free choice, this
discovery offers real benefits. A booming industry currently
sells subliminal tapes for everything from weight control to
achieving financial independence. At the conscious level,
these tapes sound like ocean waves or innocuous music. At
the subconscious level, however, are messages such as "I am
losing weight" and "I am quitting smoking." There is
dramatic proof that such tapes work. Many users report major
life improvement from doing no more than passively listening
to their tapes while sleeping or going about routine chores
and job duties. No concentration and no effort were
involved. Yet listeners say they have accomplished
everything from losing 20 pounds in a month without dieting
to stopping smoking painlessly.
Even in this commercial marketplace, however, a gray
line is often approached and sometimes crossed. Consider the
case of a woman who wanted a slimmer husband. Unbeknownst to
her overweight spouse, she played a weight loss tape
constantly for a month. He lost 26 pounds. In another
instance, one company markets a seduction subliminal in major
men's magazines. Play the tape, the advertising suggests,
and women will find you irresistible.
There is no questioning the wrongness of advertisement
that bury secret commands to win higher sales. Dr. Key has
filled three books with documented examples of covert
manipulation by advertisers. In one case, Key tested a
sample of PLAYBOY readers on their recall of a Christmas
magazine ad centered around a wreath. Just two pages in a
260-page magazine, the ad was recalled by a stunning 95%.
How can this be? Says Key: "The reader need only ask what
kind of flowers were used for the wreath. The first
conscious perceptual defense is to see the wreath flowers as
nuts-possibly walnuts. A more careful examination reveals
they cannot be nuts. This wreath has been cleverly
constructed of objects which resemble vaginas and the heads
of erect penises." No wonder readers remembered the ad!
Some men's magazines, according to Key, also routinely
imbed faintly sketched words such as SEX, CUNT and FUCK on
centerfolds and cover models. Such words emphatically grab
attention--although viewers have no idea why they are so
attracted to particular photographs.
Called imbedding, this technique--using an airbrush to
hide emotionally charged words or images in seemingly
harmless ads and photographs--is extraordinarily widespread.
"Imbedded words and picture illusions are part of most
advertising throughout North America today," says Key.
"These subliminal stimuli, though invisible to conscious
perception, are perceived instantly at the unconscious level
by virtually everyone who perceives them even for an instant.
Key and his research associates have documented hundreds
of cases of such imbeds in major advertisements, including
ads run by Crest toothpaste, Vaseline, Johnnie Walker Scotch,
Kent cigarettes, Calvert whiskey, Bacardi rum, Sprite, and
Seagram's Gin. In every instance, the goal is to use imbeds
to arouse viewer attention and increase memory.
Imbeds are merely the tip of a gargantuan iceberg of
mind control techniques. Tachistoscopic projection, for
instance, involves the high-speed flashing of words or
images. Commonly used in movies and TV commercials, this
high-speed technique is like the one used in the New Jersey
theater to boost Coke sales.
Visual subliminals can also be transmitted with simpler
techniques, including the use of dimly lit images, such as
the slides of sex and violence.
But perhaps the most powerful subliminals are delivered
in sound. THERE IS NO WAY TO KNOW EXACTLY WHEAT YOU ARE
HEARING WHEN YOU WATCH TV OR LISTEN TO RADIO. Tales of rock
groups using hidden messages are too numerous to recount--and
yes, many groups commonly use subliminals, according to music
industry insiders. The fact is, it is incredibly easy to hid
messages in music or spoken words. Using modern synthesizer
equipment, words can now be psychoacoustically modified to
sound like musical instruments--but the impacts of these
words are every bit as strong as they would be if audibly
spoken. Words can easily be made to sound like white noise
(Ocean waves, for instance) or pink noise (the steady hum of
sounds without content and simple colors can be mood and
mind manipulators when skillfully used by professionals.
Much harpsichord and organ music--often heard in churches--
rapidly propel most of any audience into an altered state of
highly receptive and accepting consciousness. And colors, as
proven by clothing designers, are directly associated with
feelings and emotions.
the potential for abuse of these techniques goes very
far indeed. Says Dick Sutphen: "The techniques are still
being used today by Christian revivalists, cults, human-
potential trainings, some business rallies, and the United
States Armed Services...to name a few."
Don't think politicians are not using such covert
methods. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually
on political campaigns, and the high-level consultants hired
by politicans are well versed in all methods of manipulation.
Dr. Key even cites one example of sex imbeds being used by
Congressional candidates in Virginia. Another researcher
discovered sex imbeds in an official portrait of President
Besides imbeds, politicians are using a full range of
techniques to influence voters. Sutphen, a leading hypnotist
, reports he has been approached by several political
candidates to teach them how to do the characteristic "voice
roll"-- a methodical, slow way of speaking used by hypnotists
to induce trances in subjects. Properly used, even so simple
a technique as the voice roll will dramatically escalate an
audience's receptivity to whatever the speaker says--from
"Ban pornography" to "Vote for me!" Sutphen has always
declined these jobs, but you can bet less scrupulous
hypnotists do not.
As powerful--and potentially dangerous--as subliminals,
voice rolls, false heartbeats and so on are, there are more
menacing tools available to mind controllers, and, as with
subliminals, you need not assent or be aware you are being
manipulated. According to Dr. Andrija Puharich, at this very
moment the Soviet Union is intensively exploring extra-low
frequency electromagnetic waves (ELFs) that have the
potential to exert enormous influence on human behavior. In
one demonstration, Puharich sealed several volunteers wired
to electroencephalographs (EEGs) in a metal room. Within a
few seconds, one-third of the people in the room were
dramatically affected by the ELFs. Notes Dick Sutphen:
"Their behavior followed the anticipated changes at very
precise frequencies. Waves below 6 cycles per second caused
the subjects to become very emotionally upset and disrupted
bodily functions. At 8.2 cycles they felt very high...at 11
to 11.3 cycles induced waves of depressed agitation leading
to riotous behavior."
Puharich maintains that ELFs can travel not only through
metal but also many miles through the earth. Are the
Russians beaming ELFs at the United States today? Nobody
knows. At least nobody is saying. But this much is certain:
ELFs exist and sooner or later somebody will begin using them
to exert still further control on human behavior.
Closer to home, researcher Patrick Flanagan has already
demonstrated the power of his "neurophone." Tersely
described by Dr. Flanagan as "an electronic way of accessing
the brain," the neurophone is a soundless device that taps
into the immense sensitivity of skin, which is packed with
sensors for heat, light, vibration and so forth. With the
neurophone, an audience sees nothing and hears nothing--but
its effects are felt nonetheless. Relates Dick Sutphen: "In
one of his recent tests, Pat conducted two identical seminars
for a military audience. When the first group proved to be
very cool and unwilling to respond, Patrick spent the next
day making a special tape to play at the second seminar. The
tape instructed the audience to be extremely warm and
responsive and for their hands to become tingly. The tape
was played through the neurophone, which was connected to a
wire he placed along the ceiling of the room. There were no
speakers, so no sound could be heard, yet the message was
successfully transmitted from that wire directly into the
brains of the audience. They were warm and receptive, their
hands tingled and they responded according to programming."
Granted, there is a futuristic, science-fiction quality
to ELFs and the neurophone, but there is nothing more
familiar than the television--and there just may be no more
effective tool of mental manipulation. As noted by Conway
and Siegelman: "As important as the content of the
information that television puts out and its widespread
social repercussions is the manner in which it may affect
personality--not simply an individual's actions and behavior,
but the way he or she perceives the world."
Again, this propels us into a murky area of research,
but what science knows about brain physiology is that it
consists of two hemispheres. The left half is logical and
factual; the right half is creative and intuitive.
Unmanipulated, all of us bounce back and forth between right-
and left- brain states of consciousness. Some of us are
more lopsided in orientation than others. Very little else
is known at this point except this: THE RIGHT-BRAIN IS FAR
LESS CRITICAL IN ITS ASSESSMENT OF NEW INFORMATION.
And that opens up a giant opportunity for manipulators.
If the left-brain can be numbed, the right-brain just may
accept whatever is presented.
Guess what? That television in your living room...and
the one in your bedroom...and even the tiny one in your car
all have the ability to rapidly thrust you into a right-brain
stat. That's because TV, while appearing to be a static
medium, is actually composted of millions of flickering
lights that can easily put a large percentage of the audience
into a low-grade hypnotic state. Once in that state, they
are far more receptive to suggestions and, possibly,
commands. Says Dick Sutphen: "Recent tests by researcher Dr.
Herbert Krugman showed that while viewers were watching TV,
right-brain activity outnumbered left-brain activity by a
ratio of two to one."
A second series of experiments, by psychophysiologist
Thomas Mulholland of the Veterans Hospital in Bedford,
Massachusetts, uncovered still more eerie findings.
Mulholland wired TV-watching children to an EEG. Whenever
brain-wave activity indicated the kids had entered a low-
grade hypnotic trance, the TV automatically shut off. Since
the shows were ones the kids wanted to watch, they were
motivated to remain fully conscious. They could not.
Virtually all the TVs flicked off within 30 seconds, which
underlines how powerfully television propels viewers into
Still more experiments have been conducted by
psychologist Jacob Jacoby, who tested 2,700 viewers on the
contents of television shows, such as BARNABY JONES, and
commercials they had just finished watching. Jacoby asked
very simple questions--yet, on average, these viewers missed
one-fourth to one-third of the answers. "Of course they
did," explains Dick Sutphen, "they were going in and out of a
trance!" And in trancelike states, we are far more likely to
accept and believe information and commands which, if we
were fully alert, we would immediately dismiss. "The medium
for takeover is here." Sutphen concludes.
Indeed it is. According to USA TODAY research, by age
18 the typical teenager has digested more than 15,000 mind-
numbing hours of television--or, to put it another way, the
teenager has spent the virtual equivalent of two entire years
sitting in front of the tube.
Don't think advertisers are unaware of the potential of
TV to manipulate. "More and more," according to Sutphen,
"radio and television commercials are using techniques that
tend to alter consciousness to maximize effectiveness...Any
time patterned voices, songs, music or visual patterns are
used, this potential exists. "Plop..plop..fizz..fizz' is an
Sutphen elaborates: "When you start to combine
subliminal messages behind the music, subliminal visuals
projected on the screen, hypnotically produced visual
effects, sustained musical beats at a trance-inducing
pace...you have extremely effective brainwashing. Every hour
you spend watching the TV set, you become more conditioned."
Adds Dr. Key: "Madison Avenue account executives
actually brag about planting subliminals which, they claim,
no-one will be able to find. One executive at a major
international agency told of burying the words BUY! BUY!
continuously behind ten seconds of applause at the end of a
60-second TV commercial." Did the viewers follow
instructions? Absolutely! "Tests showed the instructions
worked superbly," says Key.
Don't think the entrenched political and religious
groups are unaware of this potential. Right-wing money
sources have long funded the Christian Broadcasting Network,
even vaulting one of its celebrities into Presidential
Jerry Falwell and his minions also attempted to seize
control of the mammoth CBS television network. There is
little need to wonder why. Put a TV network under the
control of political or religious extremists, and in short
order, the airwaves could be even more saturated with hidden
messages and other mind-altering techniques than they
currently are. Add in, say, ELF technology in the hands of
these extremists and the nightmare increases.
Consider the potential. A show like MIAMI VICE, or any
MTV fare, already presents a richly saturated texture of
sights and sounds. The spadework for mind control has been
accomplished. A few high network officials could easily
retain for themselves "final review" of all programming, and
in the course of that review all manner of orders could be
inserted into a TV program. A mind numbing ELF overlay could
be inserted as well. Much of this mind-control arsenal has
already been proven to exist and to work in TV commercials.
Programming is just a logical extension--and a massive upping
of the mind-control stakes.
What can you do to guard against these present day (and
possible future) hidden manipulators? While experts agree on
the scope and severity of the problem, there is little
consensus about how to win a degree of self-protection. Dick
Sutphen speaks for most experts when he says: "I don't know
how the misuse of these techniques can be stopped." This
battle is critical--our free will is at stake. Unfortunately
, with the exception of turning off our TV sets, there are no
easy remedies. That is the one sure step we can take to win
back control over our subconscious minds. Beyond that, the
experts urge only that we be very, very careful about what we
listen to or watch.