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AFA 5–7: Operation Mind Control

AFA 5: Oper­a­tion Mind Con­trol, Pt. 1
Part 1a 43:31 | Part 1b 43:47 | Part 1c 29:26
(Recorded Sep­tem­ber 25, 1984)

The first broad­cast of a three-part series, this pro­gram cov­ers the suc­cess­ful attempts by U.S. intel­li­gence to develop tech­niques for manip­u­lat­ing indi­vid­ual behav­ior in a man­ner that sub­verts human will and con­scious­ness. The dis­cus­sion focuses on meth­ods of caus­ing peo­ple to com­mit assas­si­na­tions against their will and with­out their con­scious knowledge.

Pro­gram high­lights include: dis­cus­sion of a for­mer U.S. intel­li­gence oper­a­tive who had mind-control devices surgically-implanted in his head and was unable to get them removed; the role of mil­i­tary intel­li­gence in financ­ing the research of Jose Del­gado, a pio­neer in the con­trol of behav­ior through sur­gi­cal implan­ta­tion of elec­trodes in the brain; early mind-control exper­i­ments demon­strat­ing that hyp­no­tized sub­jects can be made to com­mit acts nor­mally repug­nant to them; an insid­i­ous mind-control method­ol­ogy called “RHIC-EDOM” (“radio-hypnotic, intrac­ere­bral con­trol — elec­tronic dis­so­lu­tion of mem­ory”), in which the lev­els of a key neuro-transmitter called acetyl­choline are manip­u­lated in such a man­ner as to cause the “sub­ject” to act with­out con­scious knowl­edge or sub­se­quent rec­ol­lec­tion of acts com­mit­ted while affected by the process; the story of appar­ent for­mer U.S. intel­li­gence oper­a­tive Angel Castillo, pro­grammed with mul­ti­ple per­son­al­i­ties (some of them devel­oped for assas­si­na­tion oper­a­tions) and allegedly recruited as a back-up shooter for the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy; a U.S. Navy project involv­ing the use of audio-visual desen­si­ti­za­tion to con­di­tion “passive-aggressive” per­son­al­i­ties as assas­sins; an inter­view with a for­mer U.S. gov­ern­ment assas­sin, who dis­cusses suc­cess­ful use of mind con­trol in assas­si­na­tion oper­a­tions and main­tains that the United States has been taken over by the national secu­rity estab­lish­ment; advanced mind-control research directed toward read­ing the human mind.

AFA 6: Oper­a­tion Mind Con­trol, Pt. 2
Part 2a 46:11 | Part 2b 46:56 | Part 2c 44:10 | Part 2d 46:05 | Part 2e 36:24
(Recorded Novem­ber 29, 1884)

Con­tin­u­ing from the point at which AFA-5 left off, this broad­cast begins with analy­sis of the appar­ent role of mind con­trol in this country’s polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tions. Wrongly con­victed as the assas­sin of Robert Kennedy, Sirhan Sirhan appears to have been the vic­tim of mind con­trol. The broad­cast presents a num­ber of pos­si­ble “pro­gram­mers,” notably Dr. William J. Bryan, trained hyp­no­tist, self-described CIA employee and an indi­vid­ual who may have been involved with pro­gram­ming Arthur Bre­mer (the accused shooter of Gov­er­nor George Wal­lace.) A num­ber of clues point to Bryan as Sirhan’s programmer.

The pro­gram casts asper­sions on the role of Dr. Bernard Diamond’s diag­no­sis of Sirhan as a “para­noid schiz­o­phrenic.” The dis­cus­sion also high­lights the curi­ous “sui­cide” of Oswald han­dler George de Mohren­schildt, shortly before his sched­uled inter­view with staff mem­bers of the House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions. Many (includ­ing fam­ily mem­bers) believe de Mohren­schildt had been hypno-programmed to com­mit sui­cide. (One of the focal points of the CIA’s MK/Ultra mind-control research was devel­op­ing the capac­ity to pro­gram sub­jects to com­mit sui­cide after per­form­ing an assassination.)

The pro­gram also touches on James Earl Ray’s inter­est in and involve­ment with, hyp­no­sis (Ray was the appar­ent patsy in the assas­si­na­tion of Mar­tin Luther King.)

Other pro­gram high­lights include: the CIA’s hypno-programming of famed fash­ion model Candy Jones; the mind-control indoc­tri­na­tion of vir­u­lently racist and anti-semitic atti­tudes into the previously-liberal Candy; attempts to induce Candy to kill her­self when her hus­band (famed talk-show host “Long John” Nebel) began to de-program her; a talk by Joe Holsinger (for­mer leg­isla­tive assis­tant to the late Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Leo Ryan), in which Holsinger cites indi­ca­tions that People’s Tem­ple may have been an exten­sion of the intel­li­gence community’s mind con­trol pro­grams; the role of alleged CIA offi­cer George Phillip Blakey in estab­lish­ing the Jon­estown com­pound; the fact that most of the Jon­estown vic­tims had been mur­dered (they were not sui­cides, as gen­er­ally reported); the pres­ence of large amounts of psy­chi­atric drugs at the Jon­estown site; Tem­ple stal­wart Lawrence Lay­ton, Senior’s activ­i­ties on behalf of the National Secu­rity estab­lish­ment; the pres­ence at Jon­estown of CIA’s Guyanese Sta­tion Chief Richard Dwyer shortly before the mas­sacre began; struc­tural sim­i­lar­i­ties between the People’s Tem­ple and fea­tures of the MK/Ultra program.

AFA 7: Oper­a­tion Mind Con­trol, Pt. 3
Part 3a 47:19 | Part 3b 47:17 | Part 3c 44:56 | Part 3d 46:50 | Part 3e 38:14
(Recorded Jan­u­ary, 1985)

Resum­ing the dis­cus­sion from the end of AFA-6, the pro­gram explores the intel­li­gence establishment’s use of mind-control cults. After indi­ca­tions that the People’s Tem­ple may have been an intel­li­gence oper­a­tion, the pro­gram presents infor­ma­tion about the Rajneesh cult sug­ges­tive of sim­i­lar pos­si­bil­i­ties. Much of the analy­sis focuses on Rev­erend Moon’s Uni­fi­ca­tion Church.

Mr. Emory hypoth­e­sizes that Moon’s orga­ni­za­tion is an exten­sion of the Japan­ese Patri­otic and Ultra-Nationalist Soci­eties, which paved the way for fascism’s rise in Japan through a pro­gram of polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tions, intim­i­da­tion, bribery and pro­pa­ganda. Super­fi­cially Korean, the Moon orga­ni­za­tion drew heav­ily on cap­i­tal and man­power from the fas­cist infra­struc­ture of Impe­r­ial Japan. In the United States, the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church is very well-connected to ele­ments of the Amer­i­can intel­li­gence estab­lish­ment and the right wing.

The pro­gram con­cludes with an exam­i­na­tion of the Ananda Marga orga­ni­za­tion, a fiercely anti-communist cult, pur­port­ing to derive from Indian spir­i­tual traditions.

Pro­gram high­lights include: the Nazi antecedents of the Philip fam­ily (involved with Jon­estown); an order to cease iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the dead at Jon­estown given by National Secu­rity Advi­sor Robert Pas­tor to the mil­i­tary com­man­der of the U.S. forces a the mas­sacre site; the piv­otal role of Japan­ese war crim­i­nals Yoshio Kodama and Royichi Sasakawa in the devel­op­ment of the Moon orga­ni­za­tion; Moon aide Bo Hi Pak’s back­ground in the Impe­r­ial Japan­ese Army; the anti-Christian, anti-American ide­ol­ogy of the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church; con­nec­tions of the Moon group to Water­gate Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor Leon Jaworski and con­ser­v­a­tive orga­nizer Richard Viguerie; the sus­pi­cious death of Robert Boettcher, a key aide inves­ti­gat­ing the Moon orga­ni­za­tion in con­nec­tion with the Kore­a­gate scan­dal; dis­cus­sion of the Japan­ese Patri­otic soci­eties; the activ­i­ties of Axis spy Subas Chan­dra Bose (the founder of Ananda Marga was a room­mate of his); alle­ga­tions of ter­ror­ism lodged against the Ananda Marga group in India.

Discussion

4 comments for “AFA 5–7: Operation Mind Control”

  1. Com­ment: The story below posits that James Holmes, the Aurora Col­orado “Dark Knight Shooter”, may have “hyp­no­tized him­self” ... Fur­ther details in the story sug­gest an obvi­ous handler.

    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-strangest-thing-youll-read-all-day.html

    Sun­day, July 22, 2012

    The strangest thing you’ll read all day about the Bat­man killer (Updated)

    Arguably, the post you are about to read is irre­spon­si­ble. Nev­er­the­less, I’ve been think­ing about the pos­si­bil­ity that accused “Bat­man” killer James Holmes has warped his mind by dab­bling in hypnosis.

    I keep mulling over the ABC News report of a video [link: http://abcnews.go.com/US/james-holmes-video-colorado-shooting-suspect-abc-news/story?id=16830653#.UAyJy6ODpw8 fea­tur­ing James, then 18, as he dis­cusses his inter­est in science:

    In the video, he is stand­ing among his peers at a sci­ence camp held at Mira­mar Col­lege in San Diego talk­ing about “tem­po­ral illusions.”

    “Over the course of the sum­mer I’ve been work­ing with a tem­po­ral illu­sion. It’s an illu­sion that allows you to change the past,” Holmes said in the video.
    This is how he was explain­ing his mentor’s shared inter­est in fan­tasy ver­sus real­ity in the video: “He also stud­ies sub­jec­tive expe­ri­ence, which is what takes places inside the mind as opposed to the exter­nal world. I’ve car­ried on his work in deal­ing with sub­jec­tive experience.”

    The ABC New report is badly writ­ten. It does not iden­tify this “mentor.”

    (Update: The men­tor has now been iden­ti­fied. See below.)

    Who­ever he is, his rec­om­men­da­tion must have had some pull — because this bizarre inter­est in chang­ing the past earned Holmes a major fed­eral grant to study neu­ro­science at a highly com­pet­i­tive insti­tu­tion. I’ve heard that fewer than ten stu­dents each year get such a grant.

    To the best of my knowl­edge, the only sci­en­tist who ever tried to do what Holmes pro­posed to do was a famous hyp­no­sis researcher named Mil­ton Erickson.

    * * *

    Many years ago, while wan­der­ing with­out aim through a col­lege library, I ran across a fas­ci­nat­ing book by Erick­son called The Feb­ru­ary Man. In short and in sum, that book dis­cusses a tech­nique of using hyp­no­sis to cre­ate the illu­sion of a past that never actu­ally occurred.

    Although copies of the book are now rare and expen­sive, a sum­mary may be found here [link: http://www.chuckholton.com/synopsis_feb_man.html. I’m afraid that the pre­cis does not do the book justice.

    Basi­cally, Erick­son was deal­ing with a young woman who needed to change her self-destructive behav­ior. As the say­ing goes, “the child is father to man.” Thus, the hyp­nother­a­pist rea­soned that chang­ing the subject’s past — through hyp­notic regres­sion — could change her present.

    [Quote from the book]:

    “In the third inter­view Erick­son spends five hours train­ing her in hyp­notic respon­sive­ness. He regresses her to var­i­ous ages and neu­tral mem­o­ries, includ­ing their first inter­view, into which he “inter­po­lates” a brief hyp­notic episode that did not occur in the actual interview...

    “When Erick­son has estab­lished var­i­ous regres­sions as a “gen­eral back­ground for new, inter­po­lated behav­ioral expe­ri­ences” he rouses her “som­nam­bu­lis­ti­cally in this regressed state.” Erick­son defines som­nam­bu­lis­tic trance as “a form of hyp­notic behav­ior always sig­nif­i­cant of a deep trance state. In this con­di­tion sub­jects behave and respond as if they were wide awake and may even deceive observers with their seem­ing wake­ful­ness.” In her wide-awake four-year-old state, he begins to talk to her and iden­ti­fies him­self as a friend of her daddy’s. After each episode of meet­ing Erick­son while regressed, she is instructed to sleep hyp­not­i­cally, then roused with the wrist cue for another meet­ing with him at a dif­fer­ent age. Finally, she receives “exten­sive posthyp­notic instruc­tions to ensure a com­pre­hen­sive amne­sia for all trance expe­ri­ences” and the ses­sion ends...

    “In sub­se­quent ses­sions, “usu­ally of sev­eral hours’ dura­tion,” Erick­son care­fully inter­po­lates him­self into her regressed mem­o­ries, offer­ing per­spec­tive and “friend­ship, sym­pa­thy, inter­est, and objec­tiv­ity, thereby giv­ing him the oppor­tu­nity to raise ques­tions con­cern­ing how she might later eval­u­ate a given expe­ri­ence.” “The con­sis­tent and con­tin­ual rejec­tion she expe­ri­enced from her mother pre­sented many oppor­tu­ni­ties to reor­ga­nize her emo­tions and under­stand­ing.” He offers ther­a­peu­tic reframes of trau­matic events (she will be able to remem­ber her child­hood grief over a bro­ken china doll when she her­self is a mother, and will be able to under­stand when her own daugh­ter is sad), per­spec­tive (a teenage humil­i­a­tion will one day be looked on as amus­ing), and weaves real happy mem­o­ries in with the Feb­ru­ary Man episodes to insure integration.”

    * * *

    Erick­son called him­self “the Feb­ru­ary Man” because he vis­ited the sub­ject dur­ing every Feb­ru­ary of her life.

    The basic idea here is that all we retain of our past is our mem­ory of it. By using hyp­no­sis to alter those mem­o­ries, we can recre­ate who we are today. By chang­ing the past, we can change our identity.

    Was Holmes propos­ing to carry on Erickson’s work? I don’t know — but at the moment, that’s the only sen­si­ble inter­pre­ta­tion I can offer for Holmes’ words in that video. Under nor­mal cir­cum­stances, a stu­dent isn’t likely to get any major grants if he blath­ers on about “tem­po­ral illu­sions.” Even the SyFy chan­nel wouldn’t con­sider that kind of thing to be sci­en­tific. The money will come only if the stu­dent can cite respected pre­vi­ous work.

    Within the field of hyp­nother­apy, Erick­son was a giant; his name still car­ries great weight. Thus, I won­der if this mys­te­ri­ous “men­tor” had intro­duced the bright young­ster to the work of Mil­ton Erick­son, or per­haps to the work of a hyp­nother­a­pist who did sim­i­lar research. If so — and if Holmes decided to carry out his own stud­ies — he prob­a­bly would have used him­self as a subject.

    It is com­mon for a hyp­nother­a­pist to use imagery drawn from pop­u­lar culture.

    Update: A friend to this blog informs me that the men­tor has been iden­ti­fied. From her comment:

    “This is inter­est­ing: {link:http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-movie-shooting-james-holmes-20120722,0,2746583.story. The guy that’s listed as Holmes’ men­tor in that “tem­po­ral illu­sions” video, John Jacob­son, repu­di­ates the idea that Holmes was “bril­liant” and says that he all but fired him from the research intern­ship pro­gram. He also talks about assign­ing Holmes the task of writ­ing com­puter code for a rock-paper-scissors game–no men­tion of “tem­po­ral illu­sions” at all.

    “... How­ever, in 2002, Jacob­son was sec­ond author of a paper enti­tled “Per­ceived Lumi­nance Depends on Tem­po­ral Con­text” [PDF link: http://papers.cnl.salk.edu/PDFs/Perceived%20Luminance%20Depends%20on%20Temporal%20Context%202004–3355.pdf...”

    Although Jacob­son may have con­sid­ered Holmes a medi­oc­rity, you can’t bull­shit your way into Phi Beta Kappa. The kid must have had some­thing going for him.

    Posted by R. Wilson | July 23, 2012, 6:54 pm
  2. Just found this:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/12/02/better_than_bourne_who_really_killed_nick_deak/

    A long arti­cle about CIA bank­ing houses, “Gang­sters from Argentina and Macau, and a mur­der by an almost cer­tainly “pro­grammed” woman.

    (excerpts)

    On the morn­ing of Nov. 19, 1985, a wild-eyed and disheveled home­less woman entered the recep­tion room at the leg­endary Wall Street firm of Deak-Perera. Car­ry­ing a back­pack with an alu­minum base­ball bat stick­ing out of the top, her face par­tially hid­den by shocks of greasy, gray-streaked hair falling out from under a wool cap, she demanded to speak with the firm’s 80-year-old founder and pres­i­dent, Nicholas Deak.

    The 44-year-old drifter’s name was Lois Lang. She had arrived at Port Author­ity that morn­ing, the final stop on a month-long cross-country Grey­hound jour­ney that began in Seat­tle. Deak-Perera’s recep­tion­ist, Frances Lauder, told the woman that Deak was out. Lang became agi­tated and accused Lauder of lying. Try­ing to defuse the sit­u­a­tion, the recep­tion­ist led the unkempt woman down the hall­way and showed her Deak’s empty office. “I’ll be in touch,” Lang said, and left for a cof­fee shop around the cor­ner. From her seat by a win­dow, she kept close watch on 29 Broad­way, an art deco sky­scraper diag­o­nal from the Bowl­ing Green Bull.

    Deak-Perera had been head­quar­tered on the building’s 20th and 21st floors since the late 1960s. Nick Deak, known as “the James Bond of money,” founded the com­pany in 1947 with the finan­cial back­ing of the CIA. For more than three decades the com­pany had func­tioned as an unof­fi­cial arm of the intel­li­gence agency and was a key asset in the exe­cu­tion of U.S. Cold War for­eign pol­icy. From hum­ble begin­nings as a spook front and flower import busi­ness, the firm grew to become the largest cur­rency and pre­cious met­als firm in the West­ern Hemi­sphere, if not the world. But on this day in Novem­ber, the offices were half-empty and employ­ees few. Deak-Perera had been dec­i­mated the year before by a fed­eral inves­ti­ga­tion into its ties to orga­nized crime syn­di­cates from Buenos Aires to Manila. Deak’s for­mer CIA asso­ciates did noth­ing to inter­fere with the pub­lic take­down. Deak-Perera declared bank­ruptcy in Decem­ber 1984, set­ting off pan­icked and some­times vio­lent runs on its offices in Latin Amer­ica and Asia.

    Lois Lang had been watch­ing 29 Broad­way for two hours when a lim­ou­sine dropped off Deak and his son Leslie at the building’s revolving-door rear entrance. They took the ele­va­tor to the 21st floor, where Lauder informed Deak about the odd vis­i­tor. Deak merely shrugged and was set­tling into his office when he heard a com­mo­tion in the recep­tion room. Lang had returned. Frances Lauder let out a fear­ful “Oh—” short­ened by two bangs from a .38 revolver. The first bul­let missed. The sec­ond struck the sec­re­tary between the eyes and exited out the back of her skull.
    *
    Deak, fit and trim at age 80, bounded out of his office. “What was that?” he shouted. Lang saw him and turned the cor­ner with pur­pose, aim­ing the pis­tol with both arms. When she had Deak in her sights, she froze, trans­fixed. “It was as if she’d finally found what she was look­ing for,” a wit­ness later tes­ti­fied. Deak seized the pause to lunge and grab Lang’s throat with both hands, press­ing his body into hers. She fired once next to Deak’s ear and missed wide, before push­ing him away just enough to bring the gun into his body and land a shot above his heart. The bul­let ric­o­cheted off his col­lar­bone and shred­ded his organs.

    Deak crum­bled onto the floor. “Now you’ve got yours,” said Lang. A wit­ness later claimed she took out a cam­era and snapped pho­tographs of her victim’s expir­ing body. The bag lady then grabbed the banker by the legs, dragged him into his office, and shut the door.

    She emerged shortly and headed for the ele­va­tor bank, where three NYPD offi­cers had taken posi­tion. They shouted for Lang to freeze. When she reached for her .38, an offi­cer tack­led her to the floor. A sec­ond cop grabbed her arm as the first ham­mered her hand with the butt of his gun. As he jarred the revolver free, she turned into a cow­er­ing child — “like a fright­ened ani­mal,” one of the offi­cers later testified.

    “Please don’t hurt me,” Lang begged. “He told me I could carry the gun.”

    *

    As Kuhlmann trav­eled the world try­ing to repair rela­tion­ships, trace lost assets and solve the mys­tery of Deak’s mur­der, he descended ever deeper into a rab­bit hole. One of his stops was in Macau, where Deak’s office man­ager van­ished with­out a trace after the col­lapse. Kuhlmann entered the paper-strewn offices to find the manager’s girl­friend sit­ting at her boyfriend’s old desk. She opened a drawer and pulled out a photo she’d found there: a grainy black-and-white snap­shot of Nicholas Deak, lying bleed­ing on his office floor, just min­utes from death. The photo, seem­ingly taken by Lang, had never been made pub­lic. Shortly there­after, two of Kuhlmann’s inves­ti­ga­tors reported that Lang had met with two Argen­tineans in Miami before her bus trip to New York.
    *
    In other words, the doc­tor who cared for Lang in Santa Clara was a senior fig­ure at one of the CIA’s top insti­tu­tional grantees. He worked side-by-side with a self-identified CIA col­lab­o­ra­tor, and con­ducted research into the kind of drug-induced behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion that the agency is known to have funded.
    *
    By the early 1980s, Lang drifted north to her birth­place and spent her last free years lurk­ing around the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton cam­pus wear­ing a feath­ered Robin Hood cap. Occa­sion­ally she was arrested and sent to one of the nearby men­tal hos­pi­tals before mak­ing her way back again. A local police offi­cer told the New York Times after her arrest in 1985 that Lang “usu­ally had money,” despite roam­ing “the [uni­ver­sity] cam­pus in unkempt clothes, usu­ally wear­ing a green felt Tyrolean-style hat.” Once the police found more than $800 in her possession.

    As with Stan­ford, the uni­ver­sity employed a military-linked behav­ioral psy­chi­a­trist, Dr. Don­ald Dud­ley, who later became infa­mous for car­ry­ing out exper­i­ments in behav­ior mod­i­fi­ca­tion. Dud­ley taught there from the 1960s through the early 1990s, and also worked at nearby men­tal insti­tu­tions where Lang was peri­od­i­cally com­mit­ted. The land­mark law­suit that ended Dudley’s career revealed that Dudley’s hobby was tak­ing patients brought to him for lesser men­tal ill­nesses, pump­ing them full of drugs, hyp­no­tiz­ing them, and try­ing to turn them into killers.

    We know this thanks to a suit brought by the fam­ily of Stephen Drum­mond, who entered Dudley’s care in 1989 for autism treat­ment. He was returned to his fam­ily in 1992 suf­fer­ing from severe cata­to­nia. Accord­ing to law­suit tes­ti­mony, Dud­ley shot Drum­mond up with sodium amy­tal and hyp­no­tized him with the inten­tion of “eras­ing” a por­tion of his brain and turn­ing him into an assas­sin. When Drummond’s mother con­fronted Dud­ley, the mad sci­en­tist threat­ened to have her killed, claim­ing he worked for the CIA. Dud­ley was arrested soon after the con­fronta­tion in a local hotel where he had shacked up to “treat” a sui­ci­dal 15-year-old drifter. Dud­ley had given the boy sodium amy­tal and sev­eral other drugs, hyp­no­tized him, and con­vinced him that he was part of a secret army of assas­sins. Police were called in when the boy threat­ened hotel staff with a .44 cal­iber hand­gun. Not long after, Dud­ley died in state cus­tody and his estate was forced to pay the largest psy­chother­apy neg­li­gence law­suit in his­tory. Dur­ing the trial, it emerged that Dud­ley had pos­si­bly sub­jected hun­dreds of vic­tims to sim­i­lar exper­i­ments. Lang was not men­tioned.
    *
    Here Kuhlmann pauses for the first time.

    “I know a few more things about them,” he said. “But this gets a lit­tle dicey. I don’t know how to play that game. I don’t want to be the next tar­get.”
    *
    “Lang and the Argen­tineans — it’s like a jig­saw puz­zle,” said Kuhlmann with a sigh. “You have to fill in the miss­ing 30 per­cent. That doesn’t work in a court of law.”

    ****************

    Fas­ci­nat­ing, with lots of names and linkages

    A cross-over between Bor­mann Nazis from Argentina and Yamashita Gold in Macau?

    Much more at link

    Posted by Swamp | June 28, 2013, 8:56 am
  3. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2013/neuroscientists-plant-false-memories-in-the-brain-0725.html

    Neu­ro­sci­en­tists plant false mem­o­ries in the brain

    MIT study also pin­points where the brain stores mem­ory traces, both false and authen­tic.
    Anne Trafton, MIT News Office

    July 25, 2013

    The phe­nom­e­non of false mem­ory has been well-documented: In many court cases, defen­dants have been found guilty based on tes­ti­mony from wit­nesses and vic­tims who were sure of their rec­ol­lec­tions, but DNA evi­dence later over­turned the conviction.

    In a step toward under­stand­ing how these faulty mem­o­ries arise, MIT neu­ro­sci­en­tists have shown that they can plant false mem­o­ries in the brains of mice. They also found that many of the neu­ro­log­i­cal traces of these mem­o­ries are iden­ti­cal in nature to those of authen­tic memories.

    “Whether it’s a false or gen­uine mem­ory, the brain’s neural mech­a­nism under­ly­ing the recall of the mem­ory is the same,” says Susumu Tone­gawa, the Picower Pro­fes­sor of Biol­ogy and Neu­ro­science and senior author of a paper describ­ing the find­ings in the July 25 edi­tion of Science.

    The study also pro­vides fur­ther evi­dence that mem­o­ries are stored in net­works of neu­rons that form mem­ory traces for each expe­ri­ence we have — a phe­nom­e­non that Tonegawa’s lab first demon­strated last year.

    Neu­ro­sci­en­tists have long sought the loca­tion of these mem­ory traces, also called engrams. In the pair of stud­ies, Tone­gawa and col­leagues at MIT’s Picower Insti­tute for Learn­ing and Mem­ory showed that they could iden­tify the cells that make up part of an engram for a spe­cific mem­ory and reac­ti­vate it using a tech­nol­ogy called optogenetics.

    Lead authors of the paper are grad­u­ate stu­dent Steve Ramirez and research sci­en­tist Xu Liu. Other authors are tech­ni­cal assis­tant Pei-Ann Lin, research sci­en­tist Junghyup Suh, and post­docs Michele Pig­natelli, Roger Redondo and Tomas Ryan.

    Seek­ing the engram

    Episodic mem­o­ries — mem­o­ries of expe­ri­ences — are made of asso­ci­a­tions of sev­eral ele­ments, includ­ing objects, space and time. These asso­ci­a­tions are encoded by chem­i­cal and phys­i­cal changes in neu­rons, as well as by mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the con­nec­tions between the neurons.

    Where these engrams reside in the brain has been a long­stand­ing ques­tion in neu­ro­science. “Is the infor­ma­tion spread out in var­i­ous parts of the brain, or is there a par­tic­u­lar area of the brain in which this type of mem­ory is stored? This has been a very fun­da­men­tal ques­tion,” Tone­gawa says.

    In the 1940s, Cana­dian neu­ro­sur­geon Wilder Pen­field sug­gested that episodic mem­o­ries are located in the brain’s tem­po­ral lobe. When Pen­field elec­tri­cally stim­u­lated cells in the tem­po­ral lobes of patients who were about to undergo surgery to treat epilep­tic seizures, the patients reported that spe­cific mem­o­ries popped into mind. Later stud­ies of the amne­siac patient known as “H.M.” con­firmed that the tem­po­ral lobe, includ­ing the area known as the hip­pocam­pus, is crit­i­cal for form­ing episodic memories.

    How­ever, these stud­ies did not prove that engrams are actu­ally stored in the hip­pocam­pus, Tone­gawa says. To make that case, sci­en­tists needed to show that acti­vat­ing spe­cific groups of hip­pocam­pal cells is suf­fi­cient to pro­duce and recall memories.

    To achieve that, Tonegawa’s lab turned to opto­ge­net­ics, a new tech­nol­ogy that allows cells to be selec­tively turned on or off using light.

    For this pair of stud­ies, the researchers engi­neered mouse hip­pocam­pal cells to express the gene for chan­nel­rhodopsin, a pro­tein that acti­vates neu­rons when stim­u­lated by light. They also mod­i­fied the gene so that chan­nel­rhodopsin would be pro­duced when­ever the c-fos gene, nec­es­sary for mem­ory for­ma­tion, was turned on.

    In last year’s study, the researchers con­di­tioned these mice to fear a par­tic­u­lar cham­ber by deliv­er­ing a mild elec­tric shock. As this mem­ory was formed, the c-fos gene was turned on, along with the engi­neered chan­nel­rhodopsin gene. This way, cells encod­ing the mem­ory trace were “labeled” with light-sensitive proteins.

    The next day, when the mice were put in a dif­fer­ent cham­ber they had never seen before, they behaved nor­mally. How­ever, when the researchers deliv­ered a pulse of light to the hip­pocam­pus, stim­u­lat­ing the mem­ory cells labeled with chan­nel­rhodopsin, the mice froze in fear as the pre­vi­ous day’s mem­ory was reactivated.

    “Com­pared to most stud­ies that treat the brain as a black box while try­ing to access it from the out­side in, this is like we are try­ing to study the brain from the inside out,” Liu says. “The tech­nol­ogy we devel­oped for this study allows us to fine-dissect and even poten­tially tin­ker with the mem­ory process by directly con­trol­ling the brain cells.”

    Incept­ing false memories

    That is exactly what the researchers did in the new study — explor­ing whether they could use these reac­ti­vated engrams to plant false mem­o­ries in the mice’s brains.

    First, the researchers placed the mice in a novel cham­ber, A, but did not deliver any shocks. As the mice explored this cham­ber, their mem­ory cells were labeled with chan­nel­rhodopsin. The next day, the mice were placed in a sec­ond, very dif­fer­ent cham­ber, B. After a while, the mice were given a mild foot shock. At the same instant, the researchers used light to acti­vate the cells encod­ing the mem­ory of cham­ber A.

    On the third day, the mice were placed back into cham­ber A, where they now froze in fear, even though they had never been shocked there. A false mem­ory had been incepted: The mice feared the mem­ory of cham­ber A because when the shock was given in cham­ber B, they were reliv­ing the mem­ory of being in cham­ber A.

    More­over, that false mem­ory appeared to com­pete with a gen­uine mem­ory of cham­ber B, the researchers found. These mice also froze when placed in cham­ber B, but not as much as mice that had received a shock in cham­ber B with­out hav­ing the cham­ber A mem­ory activated.

    The researchers then showed that imme­di­ately after recall of the false mem­ory, lev­els of neural activ­ity were also ele­vated in the amyg­dala, a fear cen­ter in the brain that receives mem­ory infor­ma­tion from the hip­pocam­pus, just as they are when the mice recall a gen­uine memory.

    These two papers rep­re­sent a major step for­ward in mem­ory research, says Howard Eichen­baum, a pro­fes­sor of psy­chol­ogy and direc­tor of Boston University’s Cen­ter for Mem­ory and Brain.

    “They iden­ti­fied a neural net­work asso­ci­ated with expe­ri­ence in an envi­ron­ment, attached a fear asso­ci­a­tion with it, then reac­ti­vated the net­work to show that it sup­ports mem­ory expres­sion. That, to me, shows for the first time a true func­tional engram,” says Eichen­baum, who was not part of the research team.

    The MIT team is now plan­ning fur­ther stud­ies of how mem­o­ries can be dis­torted in the brain.

    “Now that we can reac­ti­vate and change the con­tents of mem­o­ries in the brain, we can begin ask­ing ques­tions that were once the realm of phi­los­o­phy,” Ramirez says. “Are there mul­ti­ple con­di­tions that lead to the for­ma­tion of false mem­o­ries? Can false mem­o­ries for both plea­sur­able and aver­sive events be arti­fi­cially cre­ated? What about false mem­o­ries for more than just con­texts — false mem­o­ries for objects, food or other mice? These are the once seem­ingly sci-fi ques­tions that can now be exper­i­men­tally tack­led in the lab.”

    The research was funded by the RIKEN Brain Sci­ence Institute.

    Posted by Vanfield | July 25, 2013, 8:11 pm
  4. Dr. William J. Bryan was also involved in the Boston Stran­gler Case and was also a mem­ber of the Old Catholic Ortho­dox Church like David Fer­rie, who was also an hyp­no­tist and told to Judyth Vary Baker that he took part in the project of Mind Con­trol by the CIA

    Posted by Patrick | August 29, 2013, 5:11 am

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