Just in case you read the title of this blog, and don't know who Ewen Cameron was, a little history is in order: Cameron was a psychologist/psychiatrist involved in the CIA's infamous mind-control program, MK-Ultra. Cameron had his "laboratory" in a psychiatric hospital in Canada, where he subjected his victims (I won't use the word "patients" here, because what Cameron did is in my opinion unspeakable) to a regime of drug cocktails, continual sleep (nor for hours, but for days at a time), and repeated endless bombardment of tape recorders playing back, for hours on end, recorded messages. He called all this "psychic driving," and his goal was to eliminate "bad personality habits" (or even the personality itself) and to replace it with "something else", that something else being the recorded endlessly repeated messages. If his "procedures" (and we've only very briefly summarized them) sound a little like the Nazi doctors in World War Two, then you understand the measure of the torture he was inflicting.
But imagine a magic drug that could do the same thing, without the endless weeks of sleep, tape-recorded looped messages, and cocktails. Indeed, if one digs a little bit into the history of the CIA's various mind-control programs - Projects Bluebird, Artichoke, or MK-Ultra - one of the things being investigated was precisely the use of drugs for memory and behavior alteration.
Which brings us to this rather frightening article that was shared by Mr. C.S. this week:
Assuming the article to be true, then the implications of the following would fulfill Dr. Cameron's wildest fantasies of "psychic driving" and memory wipes:
Scientists have long known that creating new memories and storing old ones involve the creation of proteins in the synapse, where two brain cells meet. For this process to be successful, genes must be expressed in the nucleus of the cell, and this is where a key enzyme can turn genes on or off as new memories are formed. It’s also believed that this enzyme, which is known as ACSS2, plays a role in the memory impairment that is seen in neurodegenerative disorders.
In the study, the researchers found that lowering ACSS2 levels in mice reduced the expression of memory genes, thereby stopping the formation of long-term memories. Mice who had reduced enzyme levels showed no interest in a ball they saw the previous day, whereas those with normal levels of the enzyme were interested in the ball.
Now the researchers are hoping to use this knowledge to stop traumatic memories from forming in people with PTSD simply by blocking the brain’s ACSS2. This might sound like a good idea to those of us who are haunted by some sort of trauma, but there’s also the potential for this to be used for more sinister reasons.
As the article goes on to point out, what's to prevent the "intelligence" agencies of the modern police state from using the capability to erase memories in individuals (or for that matter, whole populations), it finds "inconvenient", or from planting completely false memories. In these, Cameron's goal of completely wiping one personality and replacing it with another come close to reality, without the corresponding torture he inflicted.
Which brings us to the high octane speculation of the day: why investigate such things at all? As the article avers, some beneficial uses could be had, but I strongly suspect that all those assurances we were given decades ago from our intelligence agencies during the Church Committee were just that: assurances, nothing more, and that the covert funding and investigation of mind control techniques and technologies continued. With its track record of having given LSD to unsuspecting victims to study their responses - all under the aegis of its mind control programs - one can see where this is going, for in a world where chemicals are sprayed over whole populations without their knowledge (in many cases) and without their consent (in most), it takes little imagination to see that a study of "whole population effects" could be had with the appropriate spraying, or slipping a little "mind wipe enzyme" into a town's water supply, and watching and studying the results. Indeed, in 1984(note the year) American actor Tim Matheson starred with co-star Hume Cronyn in the movie Impulse, which was about precisely such a scenario. Add a false news story or two and one has a frightening scenario where whole populations might be induced to "remember" something that didn't actually happen, or to forget something that did.
I am reminded of the late 1960s and 1970s, when various gurus of the "drug culture" actually viewed psychedelics are a means of accessing "alternate worlds," and in a universe where one has quantum physicists emphasizing the role of the observer in the creation of reality, and where they are talking about "multiple worlds" hypotheses, such an experiment might even have cosmological implications.
I don't know about you, but I for one put nothing past them.
See you on the flip side...