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Mind Control Study


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  • Transcript

    • 1. ‘ 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
    • 2. 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.
    • 3. 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.
    • 4. 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 ).
    • 5. 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?
    • 6. Camberwell Grove, 2006
    • 7. Camberwell Grove, 1776
    • 8. 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.
    • 9. 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.
    • 10. Just because you’re paranoid…
    • 11. Illustrations of Madness
    • 12. The Air Loom
    • 13. 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
    • 14. 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.
    • 15. 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.
    • 16. 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.
    • 17. 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.
    • 18.
      • ‘ 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’
    • 19. Self-report services contact Mind Control Contact with Psychiatric Services Cancer Depression Being Stalked 7 10 4 2
    • 20. 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 ?
    • 21. 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).
    • 22. 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.
    • 23. 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)
    • 24. Random Network Layout using 3D Fruchterman-Reingold algorithm
    • 25. Mind Control Network Layout using 3D Fruchterman-Reingold algorithm
    • 26. 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
    • 27.
      • 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
    • 28. 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%
    • 29. 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.
    • 30. Common Themes
          • Journal of Applied Physiology, 17(4), 689-692.
      • For example, Frey (1963) is frequently cited
      • As is the CIA’s MKULTRA programme
    • 31. Common Themes
      • Usually cited as evidence for the reality of the authors’ experiences.
    • 32.
      • 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
    • 33. 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.
    • 34. 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.