Christopher Harmon was part of the troop deployed in Iraq during 2005. He led an elite bomb squad patrolling the neighborhood and alleyways of Baghdad. It was April 06, 2005 when he was trying to secure a deserted car.
He was just 50 meters away when a blast rocked the car. His mind blacked out for a moment. And when he regained consciousness, there was no semblance of anything. There were only char and carter spread here and there. He received serious injury in his shoulders and had to return to his wife and three children in Seattle.
But he was not the same man now. He spoke less now. He used to jump on the bed by the smallest bang. And the worst—he started forgetting the names of dates, persons or many other usual things. The story is almost similar for many other soldiers like Chris. Coming home from the battlefield is not an end of the war for many of these soldiers—far from it they may have to fight a more fierce battle.
And the later battle is often more prolonged and traumatic than the original one. In many ways, this continues at many fronts—and the most vicious confrontations take place in the mind and heart. They suffer from the post war Traumatic Brain Injury.
According to a report published in the Business Insider, more than 300,000 American men and women suffered from such brain disorders.
First time in the history of military science, US military has made a plan to build an advanced memory stimulator last year. It’s more an initiative to better understand the structure of the brain.
US military hoped to improve the long-term memory of such people. The project is funded by Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DAPRA).
After an year, scientists have indicated about the possibility of mimicking the electrical patterns that create and store memories. It can help fill the memory gaps.
How the research was carried out?
Because of the risks associated with surgically placing devices in the brain, both groups are studying people with epilepsy who already have implanted electrodes. The researchers can use these electrodes both to record brain activity and to stimulate the specific groups of neurons.
In one of the studies presented at the Chicago meeting, researchers asked 12 people with epilepsy to look at pictures and then recall up to 90 seconds later which ones they had seen. While the participants did this, the researchers recorded the firing patterns in both CA3 and CA1 brain cells.
They then developed an algorithm that could use the activity of the CA1 cells to predict the pattern that was coming from CA3. Compared with the actual patterns, their predictions were accurate about 80% of the time.
“By using this algorithm, the researchers should be able to stimulate the CA1 cells with a pattern that mimics an appropriate CA3 signal even if a person’s CA3 cells are damaged,” Berger says.
“The cost of altering the mind is you risk losing sense of self, and that is a new kind of risk we never faced.” said Arthur Caplan, a medical ethicist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.
This can be a way to make soldiers more violent and less conscientious by interfering with their memory.
Will it ultimately pave the way for complete mind control?
The project raises many questions. It can be used to disrupt the normal narrative in the brain. It will allow the government to stop individuals from making certain type of thoughts. Those who believe that it would only be used against extremists and terrorists overseas are leaving in dark; as the word ‘Extremist’ is more often used for domestic dissenters.
And it may well be used to promote a particular political propaganda to stop political movements. So possibilities to either use or misuse of the mind control technique can be immense.
An ultimate military quest
Chaos Dynamics, on January 11, 2015, a corporate skeptics, News, Op-Ed, Politics writes: “Mind control has always been the most ambitious quest of the most powerful groups. They would like to believe you that manipulated reality is a reality. DAPRA research results can ultimately make this possible. “
It may be or eventually will be the most potent military tool. It will help create a military society in which the functions of each citizen and coordinate those functions to produce a fabricated harmony. Last but not the least, it can lead to creation of a docile society where your actions will be controlled through manipulating your thoughts.