Mind Control Study
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Mind Control Study Mind Control Study Presentation Transcript

  • ‘ Mind Control’ from 1796 to the Internet: Vaughan Bell, Cara Maiden Antonio Mu ñoz, Venu Reddy [email_address] Dept of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry Implications for the Diagnosis of Delusions
  • Outline
    • Delusions and the history of influencing machines.
    • Do reports of mind control on the internet show any evidence of psychopathology ?
    • Do these reports show evidence of an underlying social structure? A social network analysis.
    • Implications for diagnosis of delusions.
    • A note on the influence of the internet on psychopathology.
  • What is a delusion ?
    • The DSM defines a delusion as a belief that is:
      • False, based on incorrect inference about external reality.
      • Firmly sustained, despite what almost everybody else believes...
      • … and despite what constitutes incontrovertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary
      • The belief is not one ordinarily accepted by other members of the person’s culture or subculture.
  • Criticisms
    • Falsity : Delusions may not be false ( Jones, 1999 ) or even falsifiable ( Young, 2000 )
    • Firmly sustained : Conviction in delusional beliefs may vary day-to-day ( Myin-Germeys et al, 2001 )
    • Despite obvious evidence to the contrary : Many normal beliefs show this pattern ( Kuhn, 1962 )
    • Not held by culture or subculture : No clear criteria for determining this ( Bell, Halligan and Ellis, 2003 ).
  • Cultural / Sub-cultural Beliefs
    • Leeser and O’Donohue (1999) suggest it is possible that sub-cultures could be based on delusional beliefs, citing cases like Charles Manson and Jim Jones.
    • These sort of quasi-religious beliefs are quite weak examples and would rarely be considered delusional by working clinicians.
    • Is it possible to find a sub-culture based on distinctly delusional beliefs, against the stated DSM criteria?
  • Camberwell Grove, 2006
  • Camberwell Grove, 1776
  • James Tilly Matthews
    • 1796, Matthews , a Welsh tea merchant, resident in Camberwell, interrupts a speech by Lord Liverpool in the House of Commons,
    • is arrested, and taken to Bow Street Magistrates.
    • He claims that he is on a top-secret mission to secure peace between France and Britain.
    • That the authorities were out to stop.
    • And in particular, he was under assault by teams of ‘magnetic spies’ using an ‘air loom’ to control him.
  • James Tilly Matthews
    • “ I am brain-connected to a machine that can broadcast pictures to my eyes and voices to my mind, and I experience being fully controlled from head to toe frequently .”
    • Matthews was admitted to Bethlem Hospital as a pauper.
    • Much legal wranglings ensued as his family tried to get him released.
  • Just because you’re paranoid…
  • Illustrations of Madness
  • The Air Loom
  • The Influencing Machine
    • He noted that such delusional devices take the form of a diabolical machine, just outside the technical understanding of the subject.
    • Always operated by the subject’s enemies who set out to persecute them.
    • Tausk (1933) wrote a seminal paper ‘ On the Origin of the Influencing Machine in Schizophrenia ’
    Victor Tausk
  • Modern day ‘Air Looms’ “ It feels like the people who assault me have some replica of myself, electronically connected to me. By remote control, they are able to hurt me - in various ways - by doing something to their replica (or electronic doll) of me. They also use 'voice-to-skull technology, emf, elf, microwave radiation and other similar bodily, brain-invasive & abuse technology .” taken from Internet, 2003
    • Jay (2003) has noted the similarity between historical accounts of ‘influencing machines’ and many which appear on the internet.
  • Online Communities
    • People describing such experiences are often part of an online ‘mind control’ community.
    • Which would be at odds with the DSM definition.
    • We conducted a study which set out to test this by:
      • Rating text to establish the presence of psychopathology.
      • Testing for a social network to establish the presence of a community based around potentially delusional beliefs.
  • Data Collection
    • Used the web to collect source material.
    • 10 independently published personal accounts of mind control experiences were collected from the internet.
    • These were compared with a same number of independently published accounts of depression , cancer and being stalked .
    • To control for mental illness, clinical involvement / trauma and persecution.
  • Content Analysis
    • Each account was blind-rated by three independent psychiatrists for presence of:
    • The raters had full agreement (Kappa = 1) that ‘mind control accounts’ reflected delusional beliefs.
    • ‘ Ex-military neighbours’ and ‘husband’s cohorts’ using ‘recently declassified technology’
    • ‘ Rings of sex deviates’ (sic) using ‘high energy radiation’ technology
    • Royal Canadian Mounted Police using a ‘telepathic amplifier that works with microwaves’
    • ‘ Freemasonic intelligence agencies’ using ‘frequency weapons’
    • ‘ Police’ using a ‘brain implant’
    • ‘ Implantable controlling chip’
    • ‘ Dutch government’ using a ‘network of transmitters’
    • ‘ Politicians and journalists’ using ‘satellite surveillance and harassment technologies’
    • ‘ Bad Guys’ using ‘psychotronics’ and ‘microwaves’
    • ‘ Warsaw Pact Military Research’ using ‘hypnosis and electromagnetic waves’
  • Self-report services contact Mind Control Contact with Psychiatric Services Cancer Depression Being Stalked 7 10 4 2
  • Further Questions
    • This suggests that mind control accounts are associated with psychosis-like experiences.
    • This may be interesting in terms of anthropology but has no implications for psychiatric diagnosis.
    • But, according to the DSM, people with delusional beliefs should, by definition, not belong to a community based on the content of those beliefs.
    • Can we find evidence of a community based upon potentially delusional beliefs on the internet ?
  • Social Network Analysis
    • SNA is a tool for identifying structures in social networks based on relations between components.
    • An SN is conceptualised as a set of ‘nodes’ and ‘links’, representing social actors and relationships - such as affiliation or information exchange.
    • Jackson (2004) and Wellman (2001) have argued that web links are likely to reflect underlying social structure.
    • A view which has been supported by reviews of the hyperlink analysis literature Park (2003) and Park and Thelwall (2004).
  • Network Construction
    • The network was sampled by the use of ‘snowball sampling’ (Goodman, 1961)
      • Each initially identified report was designated as a node in the network.
      • Each link to an external site was designated as a network connection.
      • Each external site was also designated as a network node.
  • Comparisons
    • Compared sampled mind control network to...
    • A randomly generated network with the same number of nodes and connections (Lusseau, 2003) .
    • Known social networks from the literature:
      • Computer conf (Freeman & Freeman, 1979)
      • Ham radio (Killworth and Bernard, 1976)
      • Karate club (Zachary, 1977)
  • Random Network Layout using 3D Fruchterman-Reingold algorithm
  • Mind Control Network Layout using 3D Fruchterman-Reingold algorithm
  • Network Distance
    • Distance ( d ) the mean length of shortest path through the network.
    • Wasserman and Faust (1994): Smaller d indicates quicker information transfer between individuals and greater group cohesion
    d Computer conference Mind control 1.57 1.36 Ham radio 2.03 Karate club 2.41 Random net 4.53
    • Clustering coefficient ( C ) , a measure of the likelihood that two associates of a node are associates themselves.
    • Watts and Strogatz (1999): A higher C indicates a greater ‘cliquishness’.
    Network Clustering C Computer conference Mind control 0.16 0.75 Ham radio 0.69 Karate club 0.59 Random net 0.01
  • Group Degree Centralisation
    • Group degree centralisation ( C D ) , measure of group dispersion or how network links focus on a specific node or nodes.
    • Freeman (1979): High C D thought to be an important structural attribute of social networks.
    C D Computer conference Mind control 49.6% 49.3% Ham radio 48.8% Karate club 40.0% Random net 1.3%
  • Network Results Summary
    • The mind control network looks very similar to a real social network.
    • Particularly, the smaller distance / higher clustering than random network implies it is a ‘small world’ network.
    • The effect of this can perhaps be seen in common themes which permeate the content of the sampled accounts.
  • Common Themes
        • Journal of Applied Physiology, 17(4), 689-692.
    • For example, Frey (1963) is frequently cited
    • As is the CIA’s MKULTRA programme
  • Common Themes
    • Usually cited as evidence for the reality of the authors’ experiences.
    • Indeed, several authors identify with ‘anti-mind control’ campaigns and lobby groups.
    • Importantly, it is not being suggested that everyone with such interests is psychotic.
    • Although the authors sampled here are likely to be.
    Common Themes
  • Conclusions
    • The sampled reports of ‘mind control’ experiences are likely to be significantly influenced by psychotic experience.
    • The organisation of these web sites suggests the existence of a community based on these beliefs which directly challenges the diagnostic criteria for a delusion.
    • The internet is likely to have an increasing effect on the presentation, aetiology and prognosis of psychopathology.
  • Internet and Psychopathology
    • As well as psychosis, the internet is now becoming recognised as an influence on:
      • Suicide ( Rajagopal, 2004 )
      • Anorexia / bulimia : ‘pro-ana’ etc ( Fox et al., 2005 )
    • Suggesting it should be of increasing interest to researchers and clinicians.
    • And could mediate how people engage with services.