“Attack on the Brain: Neurowars and Neurowarfare” Summary Article by Armin Krishnan (2016)

Webmaster’s Comment: As one of probably millions of “targeted individuals” now being secretly tortured by these neurowarfare technologies, I am actually sickened by reading this article. Here, documented in mellifluous, dispassionate academic prose, we glimpse the depths of evil cruelty and depravity to which our militarized civilization has sunk in order, supposedly, to advance our progress in science, technology, military preparedness, and “national security.”

Welcome to hell, courtesy of: 1) US military and intelligence, 2) military, computer, and “health” corporations, 3) the National Institutes of Health, local psychologists and neuroscientists, and universities, and 4) the ignorant US taxpayers who fund these diabolical atrocities.

It does seem that we TIs are modern ritual human sacrifices of our depraved “civilization.” And yes, amazingly, most of our society is complicit one way or another in these heinous “crimes against humanity.”

Epigraph Quotes:

This (gangstalking-mind control-electronic torture) is the most important policy of the U.S. government.

… The elite have plans to get rid of 2/3 of the world’s population with electromagnetic warfare, chemical warfare, and psychological warfare…. Mind control, MK, is listed as a “non-lethal weapon” by the military… (In 2002), the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva, Switzerland, designated mind control as a weapon of mass destruction along with nuclear bombs… This technology links the brains of people via implanted microchips to satellites controlled by ground-based super-computers….

…All the US military branches are involved in the development of the technology, in cooperation with civil institutions like the Department of Health, in what is known as the NEURAL NETWORK ASSOCIATION. At their 1991 conference, it was revealed that they submitted and endorsed over 1000 projects in brain-computer technology at 350 medical centers, universities, etc.

…The best way to control people without their knowledge is through mind control. According to the CIA Director in 1972, mind control means a world where every thought, emotion, observation, and need is controlled….. Cybernetics, full neurological control and communication, has been in use since the 1940s without the knowledge of the public… The objectives are behavior modification and influencing mental and bodily functions, processes, and emotions remotely through computer-satellite links….

…Directed Energy (DE) weapons, mostly EMF (electromagentic frequency) and acoustic weapons, act on the psyche and the body of human beings and all living creatures. They have been called by many names: Psycho-physical weapons, weapons of information warfare, psychotronic weapons, cognitive weapons, neurological weapons, mind-invasive weapons, mind control and electronic harassment weapons, remote neural monitoring, active denial systems, weapons of electronic warfare, means of neuro-linguistic programming, means for behavior modification, means of influence technology, computerized brainwashing machines, devices to zombify people, means to induce mental and physical illness, means for hostile surveillance, people zappers, and weapons of mass destruction.

…(And) the Swedish military research (FOI) declares in their report of activities that their goal is to direct the cognitive functions of people for a lifetime.

… On July 21, 1994, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) proposed that “non-lethal” weapons be used against anyone engaged in activities that DOD opposed. That could include almost anyone. DOD’s potential enemies may be counter-cultural individuals, those with opposing political viewpoints, economic competitors, biological undesirables, etc.

From my point of view, the uses of this new technology philosophically are comparable to and amount to the Biblical Fall of man, the eviction from paradise. The all-encompassing thought-reading and mind-influencing capacity (of this technology) divides man into two encampments: Those few “God-like” people, who are allowed to use these means, and all others, whose freedom and free will is being taken away.

We have been very surprised to hear about school and shopping center shootings. How many realize that these are tests where mind control programming is used to create a human robot. The serial killer is a victim himself, being programmed to be an emotionless robot and following orders to kill. The real killers sit behind computers and send him electromagnetic beams to the brain.

…. the secret services and their sabotage and terror “departments” are the biggest “terrorists” in the world and work together with the mafia. That was the case even in World War II, as has been published decades ago…. More crimes against humanity have been committed under the shield of “national security” than the people can ever know…. possibly even more than the mafia.

…To label the (non-consensual) human experimentees, the victims of mind control, as paranoid-schizophrenic is a crime against humanity…”

The late Dr. Rauni Kilde, former Chief Medical Officer of Northern Finland, author, activist, and political insider. Her gangstalking-electronic torture-targeting began in 1985 and culminated in her murder, probably by induced heart attack, in 2015. From her book, “Bright Light on Black Shadows” (2015)

Attack on the Brain: Neurowars and Neurowarfare; Article in “Space & Defense” by Armin Krishnan (2016; p. 4 – 21.)

https://www.usafa.edu/app/uploads/Space_and_Defense_9_1.pdf

5 Space & Defense and physical control of enemy minds, both in the context of intelligence operations as well as in ‘psychochemical’ warfare operations directed against entire societies.7Although these efforts were apparently not particularly successful, there has been since 2001 in the aftermath of 9/11 a renewed interest by DARPA and other agencies to develop and leverage brain research for the national security sector. This was also encouraged by new brain imaging technology developed and perfected in the 1990s, such as fMRIs, that have given neuroscientists unprecedented insights into the processes occurring inside a living human brain. Bioethicist Jonathan Moreno drew attention to the topic of military neuroscience through his 2006 book Mind Wars, which also discussed some of the related ethical issues.8Since then the DIA commissioned a National Research Council study on military applications of neuroscience research in 2008 and the U.S. Army commissioned another study on neuroscience opportunities for the Army in 2009.9This was followed by a Royal Society study on Neuroscience, Conflict and Securitypublished in 2012.10These studies mostly highlighted potential contributions of neuro S/T to human enhancement, strategic intelligence, security and interrogation, and neuroscientific methods of influencing an adversary. In 2013 Special Operations Command (SOCOM) announced the creation of a Center for Excellence in Operational Neuroscienceat Yale University, 7U.S. Congress, “Project MKULTRA, the CIA’s Program of Research in Behavioral Modification,” Joint Hearing Before the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources, United States Senate, Ninety-Fifth Congress, August 3, 1977, Appendices, pp. 65-171. 8Jonathan Moreno, Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense(New York: Dana Press, 2006).9National Research Council, Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies(Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2008); National Research Council,Opportunities in Neuroscience for Future Army Applications(Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2009). 10; Royal Society, Brain Waves Module 3: Neuroscience, Conflict and Security(London: The Royal Society,2012).which did not go ahead because of the controversy over using neuroscience research for interrogation and the ‘ethical risks’ inherent to such research.11However, it is mostly civilian academic and commercial research that is currently driving the advancement of neuroscience. President Obama announced the American BRAIN Initiative in April 2013 that aims to revolutionize our understanding of the brain. The President explained that it will be a long-term scientific effort comparable to the human genome project and that it could impact “the lives of not millions, but billions of people on this planet.”12The plan is to spend $100 million dollars in federal money and $200 million dollars in private sector money on neuroscience research for ten years. The project will be led by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and DARPA in conjunction with private sector partners such as the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Kavli Foundation, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.13According to the White House:The BRAIN Initiative will accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought. These technologies will open new doors to explore how the brain records, processes, uses, stores, and retrieves vast quantities of information, and shed light on the complex links 11Roy Eidelson, “Neuroscience, Special Forces and Yale,” Counterpunch, March 6, 2013, http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/06/neuroscience-special-forces-and-yale/(accessed August 28, 2015).12White House, “Fact Sheet: BRAIN Initiative,”Press Release, April 2, 2013, https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/02/fact-sheet-brain-initiative(accessed August 28, 2015).13T.R.Insel, S.C. Landis, andF.S. Collins,“The BRAIN Initiative,”Science340 (2013):687-688.
Krishnan / Neurowars6between brain function and behavior.14This neuroscience funding comes on top of the normal research funding in related disciplines and commercial research funded by major corporations in the health and IT/ communications sectors. The great importance of private sector research is indicated by the tremendousgrowth in neuroscience patents that are mostly filed by corporations. In 2010 alone 800 neurotechnology patents have been filed –a doubling of patents per year from the previous decade. Interestingly, most patents were filed by the marketing research company Nielsen (100) and by software giant Microsoft (89), which shows that neurotechnology has already gone beyond medical applications and is poised to proliferate across society.15Similar efforts of ‘unlocking the brain’ are underway across the world. For example, the European Union has inaugurated a similar neuroscience research effort called the Human Brain Project (HBP) in October 2013. The EU pledged to spend €1 billion euros over ten years to “gain fundamental insights into what it means to be human, develop new treatments for brain diseases, and build revolutionary new Information and Communications Technologies (ICT).”16Canada has joined the race with an announcement of dedicating $100 million dollars over five years to brain research.17In 2014 Japan launched the Brain/ MINDS Initiative, which also seeks to map the brain.18Overall, it has been estimated that 14White House, “Fact Sheet.”15A. Griffin, “Patents for Technology toRead People’s Minds Hugely Increasing,”The Independent, May 8, 2015, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/patents-for-technology-to-read-peoples-minds-hugely-increasing-10236211.html(accessed August 28, 2015).16Henry Markram, “The Human Brain Project: A Report to the European Commission,” Human Brain Project, April 2012, https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/documents/10180/17648/TheHBPReport_LR.pdf/18e5747e-10af-4bec-9806-d03aead57655(accessed August 28, 2015).17“Ontario Leading Brain Research,” Office of the Prime Minister, Press Release, March 5, 2013, http://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2013/03/ontario-leading-brain-research.html(accessed December 12, 2014).18Requart, “This Is Your Brain.”public and private sector neuro S/T investment is around $150 billion annually worldwide.19Most worryingly, it is projected that Asia and South America will outspend the United Statesand its western allies by 2020.20Neuro S/T could proliferate to nonstate actors, including criminal organizations, terrorist groups, and even individuals, and may result in novel security and criminal threats.21What follows is an overview of some of the applications and technologies that have the greatest potential for usage in war and conflict. It is important to keep in mind that neuro S/T has numerous civilian applications, ranging from medical/ health applications to recreation and enhancement to name a few. The technology will spread quickly across societies and create like the Internet a new arena or battleground where conflict will take place. The Royal Societyreport suggested dividing military applications of neuro S/T into two primary types: performance enhancement and performance degradation, which will be used,here,as a basic structure.22Of course, all enhancement technologies can be in principle also used for degradation.ENHANCEMENT TECHNOLOGIESA major UK Ministry of Defence assessment of global trends speculated that “A range of technological enhancements have the potential to transform human identity by improving sensory perception, physical performance and perhaps even giving us the ability to control fear and other emotional 19Sarah Canna, “Leveraging Neuroscientific and Neurotechnological Developments with a Focus on Influence and Deterrence in a Networked World,”Carnegie Endowment Neurodeterrence Workshop, October 18, 2013, http://carnegieendowment.org/files/U_NeuroDeterrence_Workshop_Approved_for_Public_Release_31Jan14v2.pdf(accessed November 6, 2014).20Ibid.21M. Goodman,Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everything Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It(New York: DoubleDay, 2015), pp. 261-288.22Royal Society, Brainwaves Module 3: III.
7Space & Defensestates.”23In the future, military commanders may have the ability to monitor and control the mental states of their soldiers, who may be able through enhancements to perform well without rest for days, to manage their emotions under stress, and to respond faster and smarter to emerging threats. There are three basic approaches to enhancement that seem to be particularly promising: neuropharmacology, brain stimulation, and brain-computer interfaces. It seems a foregone conclusion that enhancement technologies would spread quickly beyond the military and across societies that emphasize competitiveness and individual achievement. NeuropharmacologyThroughout history,militaries have drugged their soldiers to keep them happy, tomaster their fear, to keep them awake, and to make them better able to endure gruesome conditions. Most militaries used alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, Yemeni and Somali tribesmen chewed khat, and Prussian soldiers were given cocaine in the late 19thcentury. The Nazis infamously put amphetamine under the brand name Pervitin into chocolate and handed them out to soldiers to make them fearless and more energetic, while Nazi leaders such as Hitler and Goering took amphetamines for better coping with the stress of decision-making in war.24The U.S. Air Force has handed out ‘go pills’ (e.g. Dexedrine) to pilots since World War II. The concept of military drug use for performance enhancement is therefore nothing new, but it has certainly become more controversial. In recent times there has been growing concern over the routine non-treatment medication of U.S. soldiers, which has already resulted in some tragic lapses of judgment, apart from the other obvious problems associated with the long-term use of pharmaceuticals such as addiction and permanent damage to the soldiers’ health.2523“Global Strategic Trends –Out to 2045,” London, UK Ministry of Defence, 2014, p. 83.24Mick Farren, Speed-Speed-Speedfreak: A Fast History of Amphetamine(Port Townsend, WA: Feral House, 2010), pp. 22-51.25Kim Murphy, “A Fog of Drugs and War,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2012, http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/07/nation/la-na-army-medication-20120408(accessed December 29, 2014).The hope is that neuroscience will develop new drugs that are both far more effective and also safer than the ones that currently exist, which would also make the medication of soldiers with psychotropic drugs more acceptable. Neuroscientists have gained over the last decades an excellent understanding of brain chemistry, which has already led to the development of many new psychotropic drugs such as Prozac, first approved by the FDA in 1987. Researchers hope to not only cure depression, PTSD, and other mental disorders but to ultimately enhance mental capabilities through so-called nootropic drugs and special nutrition that can improve memory, cognitive functions, motivation, and attention.26Better computer models based on new methods of neuroimaging could enable researchers to better predict the effects of certain drugs on the brain. Greater precision of drug delivery to specific areas of the brain could also produce very precise psychological and behavioral effects. Nanotechnologies could deliver drugs across the blood-brain barrier and make drugs more effective.27One particular cognitive enhancement drug that is currently being reviewed by several militaries around the world is modafinil. The drug has already been approved by the FDA for treating narcolepsy and sleep disorders (known under the brand name Provigil). What makes modafinil especially interesting for armed forces is its feature of improving alertness and wakefulness instead of merely suppressing tiredness.28Other drugs could reduce stress or anxiety and make it thereby also less likely that soldiers will suffer from PTSD at some later point. Roger Pitman from Harvard University uses the beta-blocker propranolol for suppressing the formation of painful memories of veterans.29Soldiers could be 26Kenneth Ford and Clark Glymour, “The Enhanced Warfighter,” The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists1 (2014): 43-53. 27National Research Council, Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies, p. 5.28Richard Martin, “It’s Wake-Up Time,” Wired11.11, November 2003, http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/11.11/sleep_pr.html(accessed December 12, 2014).29Moreno, Mind Wars, p. 152.
Krishnan / Neurowars8medicated through implanted chips that release a variety of drugs directly into the brain and the drug release could be activated in response to a measured brain state or through a wireless remote signal. A Massachusetts company has already patented such a drug release chip that can be inserted through a tiny whole in the skull via a syringe.30Brain StimulationThe idea of electrical brain stimulation for therapeutic purposes is also not new. Medical doctors and psychiatrists have used the electrical stimulation of the brain for treating mental illnesses since the 18thcentury,with electrotherapy becoming popular in psychiatry in the late 19thcentury.31The modern electroconvulsive therapy, in which an electrical current is applied to the brain through electrodes, has been widely used since the 1940s and 1950s. Despite its frequent portrayal as a cruel form of treatment in popular culture, the American Psychiatric Association considers it safe and effective for treating major depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders.32Since the early 1980s psychiatrists have developed newer methods for electrically stimulating the brain. The Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) method applies strong electromagnetic fields of thousands of volts through a helmet-like device above the brain to activate specific brain regions. TMS has shown promise in terms of treating depression and other mental disorders, but there are still some concerns forthe safety of the treatment.33TMS might improve cognitive functions, alleviate pain, and reduce the need for sleep. TMS has been demonstrated to enable external control of a person’s hand movements by stimulating the motor cortex and to enable the transmission of simple information encoded in 30Rob Matheson, “Deal Reached to Commercialize Microchip Drug-Delivery Implant,” Tech Swarm, June 29, 2015, http://www.techswarm.com/2015/06/deal-reached-to-commercialize-microchip.html(accessed August 28, 2015).31Adam Keiper, “The New Age of Neuroelectrics,” The New Atlantis, 2006 (Winter): 6.32Robert H. Blank, Intervention in the Brain: Politics, Policy, and Ethics(Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), p. 27.33Ibid.: 30.Morse code directly into the brain.34The downside of TMS is that it requires a large coil and power source, which are difficult to miniaturize and to make portable. TMS can also not reach deeper areas of the brain and may therefore only have some limited medical applications. Other brain stimulation methods include transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) and Transcranial Pulsed Ultrasound Stimulation: both might be suitable for integration into a soldier’s combat helmet and are therefore of particular interest to the military. tDCS applies a weak current through electrodes to the scalp, which has shown to significantly increase concentration and cognitive capabilities in test subjects.35The U.S. Air Force has already tested “external stimulant technology to enable the airman to maintain focus on aerospace tasks and to receive and process greater amounts of operationally relevant information” and has found that “it can help pilots betterpick out targets from radarimages.”36Researchers from Arizona State University are already working on a Transcranial Pulsed Ultrasound device that can be fitted into a helmet and that could be used for controlling the mental 34R. Rao, A. Stocco, M. Bryan, D. Sarma, T.M. Youngquist,J. Wuand C.S.Prat, “A Direct Brain-to-Brain Interface in Humans,”PLOS One10.137(2014); C. Grau, R. Ginhoux, A. Riera, T.L. Nguyen, H. Chauvat, M. Berg, J.L. Amengual, A. Pascual-Leone andG. Ruffini, “Conscious Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans Using Non-Invasive Technologies,”PLOS One10.1371(2014).35Gary E. Marchant and Lyn M. Gaudet, “Neuroscience, National Security, and the Reverse Dual-Use Dilemma,” in James Giordano, Neurotechnology in National Security and Defense(Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press 2014), p. 172.36Noah Shachtman, “Air Force Wants Neuroweapons to Overwhelm Enemy Minds,” Wired Blog, November 2, 2010, http://www.wired.com/2010/11/air-force-looks-to-artificially-overwhelm-enemy-cognitive-capabilities/(accessed December 29, 2014); “Brain Hacking Is Having Incredible Effects and It Is Just Getting Started,” Business Insider, August 16, 2014, https://www.yahoo.com/tech/brain-hacking-is-having-incredible-effects-and-its-94844111639.html(accessed December 29, 2014).
9Space & Defensestates of soldiers, boosting alertness, and relieving pain from injuries.37The pulsed ultrasound would be also able to reach deeper regions of the brain. Brain stimulation methods could have numerous benefits in terms of treatment and enhancement for people across society,and the technology could spread very quickly as indicated by the great commercial success ofatDCS device called Foc.us that is being marketed as a ‘gaming device.’38Brain-Computer InterfacesThe ultimate goal in the development of neural devices is to build a brain-computer interface thatenables a person to receive information from a computer or device, as well as transmit information from the brain to a computer either as a computer input device or for controlling machinery. Primitive BCIs already exist. They come in two varieties: invasive BCIs that require implanting an electrode or chip into the brain and non-invasive BCIs that rely on measurements taken from outside the head. The great pioneer of BCIs was Yale scientist Jose Delgado, who implanted animals and also some humans with adevice he called ‘stimoceiver’ in the late 1960s. The stimoceiver enabled Delgado to very reliably trigger behaviors bypassing conscious decision-making by electrically stimulating a particular area of the brain, although he admitted that the method was generally incapable of programming new behaviors.39Of course, invasive methods as used by Delgado are ethically highly controversial: theycould permanently affect human personality and require medically risky procedures. For this reason 37Clay Dillow, “DARPA Wants to Install Ultrasound Mind Control Devices in Soldiers’ Helmets,” Popular Science, September 9, 2010, http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2010-09/darpa-wants-mind-control-keep-soldiers-sharp-smart-and-safe(accessed November 6, 2014).38Kate Murphy, “Jump-Starter Kits for the Mind,” The New York Times, October 28, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/29/science/jump-starter-kits-for-the-mind.html?_r=0(accessed December 12, 2014).39This isdescribed in his book: Jose Delgado, Physical Control of the Mind(New York: Harper & RowPublishers, 1969).invasive BCIs can currently only be considered for purely therapeutical purposes that treat an existing medical condition. For example, currently under development by DARPA is Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) based on implanted microchips that function as pacemakers for the brain of Parkinson’s disease patients and for individuals suffering from PTSD. About 100,000 patients have up to now received DBS implants,and DARPA has recently made $70 million dollars available for further research into DBS.40Another example is neuroprosthetics, in particular those implants that restore lost sensory abilities such as cochlea and retinal implants or that enable neural control over robotic prostheses. The current focus of BCI research is on non-invasive BCIs that are small, transportable, and low-cost. In particular, two approaches seem most promising in this respect: Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (FNIRS), which measures changes in brain tissue associated with neuronal activity, and Electroencephalography (EEG), which measures fluctuations of voltage on the scalp. EEGs are more popular with researchers, who have used them in a variety of ways. It has already been demonstrated that equipped with an EEG a paralyzed person can move a cursor on a screen by simply imagining the movement beforehand.41For example, a monkey could operate a robotic arm through a BCI to get food.42There are many applications for this technology. Major IT companies such as Google and Intel are working on BCIs as new computer input devices, making mouse and keyboard obsolete as early as 40James Gorman, “Agency Initiative Will Focus on Advancing Deep Brain Stimulation,” The New York Times, October 24, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/25/science/pentagon-agency-to-spend-70-million-on-brain-research.html?_r=0(accessed December 29, 2014).41Jeremiah D. Wander et al., “Distributed Cortical Adaptation during Learning of a Brain-Computer Interface Task,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences110 (2013): 10818-10823. 42Ian Sample, “Monkeys Use Mind Control to Move a Virtual Arm and Experience Touch,” The Guardian, October 5, 2011, http://www.theguardian.com/science/2011/oct/05/monkeys-mind-control-virtual-arm(accessed January 2, 2015).
Krishnan / Neurowars102020.43An Air University dissertation claims “[i]t is likely that BCI technology will dominate military systems in 2032.”44A much more ambitious goal is to build a mind reading device that can translate actual thoughts in a manner that a computer can understand them. For example, one could measure and catalogue EEG responses to specific words and simply match brain activity to thoughts. Such research is indeed undertaken by scientists at the University of California, Irvine. Researcher Mike D’Zmura believes that it would take 15 to 20 years to develop thought-based communication.45Special Operations Forces soldiers use the technology to silently and efficiently communicate with each other just by thinking (hence the project name ‘synthetic telepathy’). Neuroscientist Thomas Naselaris opined that “[t]he potential to do something like mind reading is going to be available sooner rather than later…It’s going to be possible in our lifetimes.”46Although the Royal Society report claims that “[t]here are very limited prospects for a universal thought reading machine,” because of the uniqueness of each brain and the brain’s general plasticity (tendency to change over time), the technology does at the very least raise 43Nick Bilton, “Disruptions: Brain-Computer Interfaces Inch Closer to Mainstream,” The New York Times, April 6, 2013, http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/disruptions-no-words-no-gestures-just-your-brain-as-a-control-pad/?_r=0(accessed December 29, 2014); Sharon Gaudin, “Intel: Chips in Brains Will Control Computers by 2020,”ComputerWorld, November 19, 2009, http://www.computerworld.com/article/2521888/app-development/intel–chips-in-brains-will-control-computers-by-2020.html(accessed December 29, 2014).44Brian E. Moore, “The Brain-Computer Interface Future: Time for a Strategy,” Research Report, Air University, February 14, 2013.45Eric Bland, “Army Developing ‘Synthetic Telepathy,’ ” NBC News, October 13, 2008, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/27162401/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/army-developing-synthetic-telepathy/#.VEF0x2es_8U(accessed November 6, 2014).46Requarth, “This Is Your Brain.”some concerns about the prospect of new weapons systems with direct neurological control.47The potential advantage of BCI-controlled weapons is that they could immerse soldiers better in the battlespace when remotely controlling an unmanned system for better situational awareness. BCIs could also significantly improve threat detection and identification accuracy, as well as substantially reduce human response times.48In particular, DARPA is developing the ‘Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System’ (CT2WS), which uses an EEG thatdetects unconscious brain responses to potential threats appearing on a monitor and flags them to the operator. Via BCI,soldiers will be better able to control complex machinery such as robotic exoskeletons or unmanned systems. This kind of research has already stimulated a heated debate on the legality of ‘neuroweapons’ based on using a soldier’s brain processes as input for detecting a threat and activating a weapon without requiring a conscious decision on the part of the soldier whose brain has been wired to the weapons.49DEGRADATION TECHNOLOGIESWhile enhancement seems to offer exciting opportunities for gaining an advantage by making soldiers smarter, they are also more speculative. As a rule of thumb, enhancement tends to be much more difficult than degradation. However, enhancement is at the focus of the academic literature since much of it is developed more or less openly while degradation methods such as more exotic nonlethal weaponry are often portrayed as fictional or aspirational. FAS researcher Steven Aftergood has mocked the Pentagon over its excessive secrecy in this respect, suggesting that it could allow little more 47Royal Society, Brain Waves Module 3, pp. 16, 20.48“Weapons of Perception: Neuroscience and Mind-Controlled Weapons,” Army-Technology.com, May 22, 2012, http://www.army-technology.com/features/featureweapons-of-perception-neuroscience-mind-controlled-weapons-and-the-military/(accessed November 6, 2014).49Stephen White, “Brave New World: Neurowarfare and the Limits of International Humanitarian Law,” Cornell International Law Journal41 (2008): 194-196.
11Space & Defensethan mumbo jumbo to prosper in the closed off world of black projects.50The reality of secret nonlethal weapons is probably more complex. Regardless of what may or maynot exist at the present time, there is clearly a potential for future neuroscience-based nonlethal weapons that could be best described as ‘neuroweapons’ (sometimes referred to as ‘RF weapons’,‘psychotronic weapons’,or ‘influence weapons’). Robert McCreight suggests the following definition: “Neuroweapons are intended to influence, direct, weaken, suppress, or neutralize human thought, brainwave functions, perception, interpretation, and behaviors to the extent that the target of such weaponry is either temporarily or permanently disabled, mentally compromised, or unable to function normally.”51These weapons generally target the human brain and the central nervous system; they can impact on mental and emotional states, mental capacity and response times, and potentially higher cognitive functions supporting thought, perception, memory, and learning. These effects could be achieved through a variety of means: biochemical agents, directed energy weapons (DEW), and even information/software (going beyond normal PSYOPS). Biochemical AgentsMost of the publicly available information about offensive neuroweapons currently relates to the potential use of biochemical agents as incapacitants and potentially for otherwise influencing the behavior of an adversary. While chemical and biological warfare are internationally outlawed,there are several legal gaps that could allow the usage of biochemical neuroweapons in specific contexts. A frequently cited case is the use of the opioid fentanyl by the FSB during the Moscow theatersiege in October 50Steven Aftergood, “The Soft-Kill Fallacy,” The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists(September-October 1994): 40-45. 51Robert McCreight, “Brain Brinksmanship: Devising Neuroweapons Looking at Battlespace, Doctrine, and Strategy”, in: JamesGiordano (ed.), Neurotechnology in National Security and Defense: Practical Considerations, Neuroethical Concerns(Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2014), pp. 117-118.2002. The chemicals were intended to put the Chechen terrorists to sleep, which also accidentally killed 128 hostages (out of over eight hundred) because of a delayed and wrong medical emergency response.52Nevertheless, researchers have made the claim that biochemical calmatives and malodorants could play an important role in future conflicts as a nonlethal technique and could provide a humanitarian alternative to the use of lethal force.53Militaries around the world have shown interest in biochemical incapacitating agents for counter-insurgency and counterterrorism operations.54Biochemical incapacitants could be dispersed from the air or covertly introduced into the water and food supply to assist in winning ‘the hearts and minds’ and in neutralizing various threats within a population. This is in principle a very old idea that goes back at least to 1949 when ‘psychochemical warfare’ was proposed by Army Chemical Center scientist L. Wilson Greene.55There could be a range of new neuropharmaceuticals under development that could produce relatively predictable behavioral effects and could prove suitable even for large area psychochemical warfare attacks. One biochemical agent thatseems to have caught the interest of the military is the neurohormone oxytocin, which is naturally produced by the brain and stimulates love or trust. Oxytocin could be used for manipulating adversaries into (temporarily) trusting us and thereby reduce the 52David A. Koplow, Non-lethal Weapons: The Law and Policies of Revolutionary Technologies forthe Military and Law Enforcement(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 100-112.53Martin Furmanski, “Historical Military Interest in Low-Lethality Biochemical Agents: Avoiding and Augmenting Lethal Force,” in Alan M. Pearson, Marie Isabelle Chevrier and Mark Wheelis, Incapacitating Biochemical Weapons(Plymouth, UK, Lexington Books, 2007), pp. 35-66.54Alan Pearson, “Incapacitating Biochemical Agents: Science, Technology, and Policy for the 21stCentury,” Nonproliferation Review13 (2006): 151-188.55Raffi Khatchadourian, “Operation Delirium,” The New Yorker, December 17, 2012, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/12/17/operation-delirium(accessed December 29, 2014).
Krishnan / Neurowars12occurrence of resistance.56Oxytocin is commercially marketed as ‘Liquid Trust’. The U.S. military even investigated the possibility of a ‘gay bomb’, which was meant to distract enemy forces by inducing sexual arousal and disrupt morale.57Even a ‘zombie bomb’ is imaginable: the alkaloid drug scopolamine (also known by its street name burundanga) can put people exposed to it in a highly suggestible state, in which they lose their free will.58Bioethicist Jonathan Moreno seems to be also concerned about future ‘brain targeted bioweapons’ that could alter behavior. Genetic bioweapons have been a concern for some time, but a new nonlethal twist could be added to them. Microbiologists have recently discovered mind-controlling parasites that can manipulate the behavior of their hosts according to their needs by switching genes on or off.59Since human behavior is at least partially influenced by their genetics, nonlethal behavior modifying genetic bioweapons that spread through a highly contagious virus could thus be, in principle, possible. Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs)DEWs are no longer the stuff of science fiction, but have already been gradually transitioned to the battlefield.60They form a very broad class of weaponry, which includes any type of weapon thatuses energy for producing a weapons effect, most importantly lasers, high-powered microwaves (non-nuclear EMP), high energy radio-frequency weapons, and also sound or acoustic weapons. 56Giordano and Wurzman, “Neurotechnologies as Weapons in National Security and Defense,” p. 59.57“U.S. Military Pondered Love Not War,” BBC News Online, January 15, 2005, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4174519.stm(accessed October 25, 2014).58Jose de Cordoba, “In Colombia, the Drug Burundanga Is Street Thugs’ Weapon of Choice,” Wall Street Journal(July 7, 1995): 1.59Carl Zimmer, “Parasites Practicing Mind Control,” The New York Times(August 28, 2014), http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/science/parasites-practicing-mind-control.html(accessed December 29, 2014).60John Antal, “Phasers on Stun: A Status Report on Directed Energy Weapons Programmes,” Military Technology7 (2011): 66-73.Although much of DEW research is secret, especially when it comes toantipersonnel DEWs, there are a couple of weapons systems that have been presented to the public and that are operational. For example, it is documented that it is possible to induce motion sickness, nausea, disorientation, and seizures through stroboscopic dazzling lights (‘Bucha effect’), or to produce similar effects using certain acoustic or radio frequencies.61The Department of Defense (DoD) has developed various laser dazzlers that temporarily blind adversaries. Recently a company has patented a new type of stun gun that overstimulates the brain with bursts of lights and thereby disorients people for up to 20 minutes.62DoD has also developed acoustic weapons such as the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) that can produce sounds that are still painful at distance of a hundred meters.63Another example is the Active Denial System (ADS), which uses microwaves of 95 GHz to create a burning sensation on the skin over a distance of at least 300 meters and which can force hostile crowds to disperse.64Other antipersonnel DEWs are up to now more hypothetical. A frequently cited declassified Army document that summarizes some research into biological effects of nonlethal weapons indicates that microwaves could be used for transmitting sounds directly into brains(the so-called ‘Frey-effect’) or for causing pain or death when the brain is targeted due to the thermal effect of microwaves.65Jonathan Moreno also claims: “Electromagnetic waves may be used to disrupt an 61Timothy Thomas, “The Mind Has No Firewall,” Parameters(Spring 1998): 84-92.62Valerie Ross, “‘StunRay,’ a Light Weapon that Overstimulates the Brain,” Discover Magazine, April 5, 2011, http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/sciencenotfiction/2011/04/05/stunray-a-light-weapon-that-overstimulates-the-brain/#.VKQxQ3stFZ4(accessed December 29, 2014).63Juliette Volcler, Extremely Loud: Sound as a Weapon(New York: The New Press, 2013), p. 104.64Moreno, Mind Wars, p. 176.65U.S. Army, “Bioeffects of Selected Nonlethal Weapons,” http://www.metatexte.net/docs/index-6.html(accessed January 2, 2015).
13Space & Defenseenemy soldier’s nervous system, to cause epileptic seizures, or to warm their body fluids as though they were inside a microwave oven.”66In the 1980s animal experiments with directed energy weapons have shown promise in terms of affecting mental states (changing EEGs) and behavior.67The possibility of radio frequency (RF) weapons that target the brain has been discussed more openly back in the 1980s. References to them still appear in a few military publications and declassified documents, which suggests that research into this technology continues.68Analyst James Dunnigan claimed that there “are radio transmitters that jam and short-circuit the human nervous system. This temporarily disables people the radio beams are aimed at.”69Microwaves could also be used for inducing sensory hallucinations over distance. For example, a ‘voice-of-good weapon’ that projects voices directly into the heads of individuals in support of PSYOPS could be possible and has been referred to on a U.S. Army website.70It has been reported in the press that “previous research has shown that low-frequency waves or beams can affect brain cells, alter psychological states and make it possible to transmit suggestions and commands directly into someone’s thought processes. High doses of microwaves can damage the functioning 66Jonathan Moreno, Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans(New York: W.H. Freeman & Co., 2000), p. 289.67Douglas Pasternak, “Wonder Weapons: The Pentagon’s Quest for Nonlethal Arms is Amazing,” U.S. News and World Affairs(June 29, 1997): 38-46. 68E.g.,Paul E. Tyler, “The Electromagnetic Spectrum in Low-Intensity Conflict,” in David J. Dean (ed.), Low-Intensity Conflict and Modern Technology (Montgomery, AL: Air University Press, 1986), pp. 249-260; Thomas, “The Mind Has No Firewall”; Dennis M. Bushnell, “Future Strategic Issues/ Future Warfare [Circa 2025],” NASA Langley Research Center, 2001, pp. 49-50. 69James F. Dunnigan, Digital Soldiers: The Evolution of High-Tech Weaponry and Tomorrow’s Brave New Battlefield(New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996), p. 223.70Sharon Weinberger, ‘The Voice-of-God WeaponReturns’, Wired Blog, December 21, 2007, http://www.wired.com/2007/12/the-voice-of-go/(accessed November 6, 2014).of internal organs, control behaviour or even drive victims to suicide.”71In the future it might be possible to influence moods and mental capacity of people in a larger geographic area using the electromagnetic spectrum, and thus induce passive, peaceful, riotous, orany other desirable behavior.Information/ Software Based NeuroweaponsNot all neuroweapons need to be of a physical nature –some might just consist of information that is designed to manipulate behavior or therecould be software that hacks neural devices or implanted chips. DARPA has within its Biological Technologies Office a neuroscience-based project called Narrative Networks, which aims “to understand how narratives influence human cognition and behavior, and apply those findings in international security contexts.”72The context fornational security is to understand why certain narratives are believed and others not and how narratives can support terrorism. The methods include research into how the brain responds to certain narratives and the development of computer models of how narratives affect individuals and social networks. A related effort is the Minerva Initiative, which “seeks to build deeper understanding of the social, cultural, and political dynamics that shape regions of strategic interest around the world.”73Another project is the Sentient World Simulation, which can simulate the behavior of entire societies and thereby enable wargaming of PSYOPS.74DARPA 71Christopher Leake and Will Stewart, “Putin Targets Foes with ‘Zombie’ Gun Which Attacks Victims’ Central Nervous System,” Daily Mail Online, March 31, 2012, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2123415/Putin-targets-foes-zombie-gun-attack-victims-central-nervous-system.html#ixzz2DPaQUNBO(accessed January 2, 2015).72DARPA, “Narrative Networks,” Biological Technologies Office/ DARPA, http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/BTO/Programs/Narrative_Networks.aspx(accessed October 21, 2014).73“The Minerva Initiative,” http://minerva.dtic.mil/(accessed 28 August 2015).74T. Cerry and A. Chaturvedi, “Sentient World Simulation: A Continuously Running Model of the
Krishnan / Neurowars14also funded research in the context of its Social Media in Strategic Communications project, exploring how emotions of users can be manipulated through social media.75Ultimately, the various information/software initiatives focus on social and behavioral research for understanding “cultural and political environments…where threats develop.”76Such research can potentially be used for the political and psychological subversion of other societies or for social engineering, which was a concern for the older and similar Project Camelot.77A further extension of PSYOPS is the use of sophisticated battlefield illusions to directly manipulate enemy perceptions. For example, DARPA has made $4 million dollars available for research into how the brain processes sensory perception information so that perceptions can be managed to “confuse, delay, inhibit, or misdirect [the enemy’s] actions.”78Around the world defense establishments are also working on invisibility cloaks and holograms that can make an object disappear or to create a convincing illusion of a non-existent object. Enemies might be easily manipulated into surrendering if they saw endless columns of holographically projected soldiers marching towards them or divine apparitions (a ‘Face-of-Allah’ weapon).79Real World,”W. Lafayette, IN: Purdue University, August 22, 2006.75Ben Quinn and James Ball, “US Military Studied How to Influence Twitter Users in Darpa-funded Research,” The Guardian, July 18, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/08/darpa-social-networks-research-twitter-influence-studies(accessed December 29, 2014).76“The Minerva Initiative,” U.S. Department of Defense, http://minerva.dtic.mil/(accessed September 8, 2015).77Robert A. Nisbet. “Project Camelot: An Autopsy,” The Public Interest(Fall 1966): 45-69.78Noah Shachtman, “Darpa’s Magic Plan: ‘Battlefield Illusions’ to Mess with Enemy Minds,” Wired Blog, February 14, 2012, http://www.wired.com/2012/02/darpa-magic/(accessed December 29, 2014).79Sharon Weinberger, “The face of Allah Weapon Returns,” Wired.com, May 13, 2008, http://www.wired.com/2008/05/the-face-of-all/(accessed September 8, 2015).Military Information Support Operations already intersect heavily with cyber security and cyber operations because of the possibility of conducting PSYOPS on and via the Internet. Once neural devices are more commonly used as computer input and brain stimulation devices directly connected to computers, they could be hacked just like anyother piece of electronics, the difference being that it is not just the normal functioning of an external device that is at stake but the functioning of a user’s brain. A hacker ofa neural device could alter brain waves, moods, mental state and capacityof the user,and might even take control of a user’s body through a BCI to perform an unintended action.80Such neural hacking could even permanently ‘rewire’ the brain of the user or ‘brainwash’ them. Less technologically sophisticated methods of ‘mind hacking’ are imaginable. Malicious software might attack the minds of users by manipulating the flicker rate of the monitor and by displaying subliminal messages on the screen that cannot be consciously perceived.81Although the effectiveness of subliminal messages has been often dismissed, neuroscientists have found indications that subliminals do work in the sense of somewhat affecting the behavior of people who have been exposed to them –at least sometimes.82It is uncontroversial that the advertising industry has experimented with subliminals as described in Vance Packard’s 1957 book The Hidden Persuaders.83Subliminal advertising has sparked enough concerns to prohibit them in many countries, including the United States. The Russian government has even decided to automatically scan media for subliminal messages after it was reported in 2002 that a Russian TV station included subliminals in their programming 80Hedley Leggett, “The Next Hacking Frontier: Your Brain?” Wired.com, July 9, 2009, http://www.wired.com/2009/07/neurosecurity/(accessed 4 November 2014).81Thomas, “The Mind Has No Firewall.”82Gráinne Fitzsimons, Tanya L. Chartrand andGavan Fitzsimons, “Automatic Effects of Brand Exposure on MotivatedBehavior: How Apple Makes You ‘Think Different’,”Journal of Consumer Research35: 21-35.83Vance Packard, The Hidden Persuaders(New York: D. McKay Co., 1957).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *