Military Test Electric Brain Shocks to Keep Troops Going
“Human frailty could become a national security issue.” — Allan Shaffer, Assistant Acting Secretary of Defense
WASHINGTON (Boston Globe, 2/18/14) — For some modern soldiers, caffeine is just not enough to stay vigilant, especially for the growing ranks of digital warriors who must spend hours monitoring spy drone footage and other streams of surveillance data. So the Pentagon is exploring a novel way to extend troops’ attention spans and sharpen their reaction times: stimulate the brain with low levels of electricity. It sounds like science fiction, but early experiments using “noninvasive” brain stimulation have been performed on several dozen volunteers at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. The results show the technique improves both alertness and acuity, researchers say.
“We found that people who receive the stimulation are performing consistently,” R. Andy McKinley, a biomedical engineer who oversees the research, said in an interview. Project officials want to study the effects further — especially to determine whether it is safe to stimulate the brain regularly. They expressed confidence that the work could ultimately result in a pair of easy-to-apply electrodes becoming standard issue for some military personnel. The hardware is unlikely to be standard issue for civilians any time soon. For now, researchers don’t envision non-military applications.
For decades what is known more broadly as electroconvulsive therapy carried a stigma — due in large part to early treatments that administered large doses of electricity to psychiatric patients without anesthesia, often causing memory loss, fractured bones, and other serious side effects. But such therapy now relies on carefully controlled doses of electrical current, which are passed into certain regions of the brain to cause, in effect, a minor seizure, or more rapid nerve impulses. But research into its effects on healthy subjects remains limited. “There is some evidence that it does seem to work,” said Dr. William “Scott” Kilgore, an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. Still, he cautioned, “it is not very precise yet.” For example, stimulating certain parts of the brain reduces activity in others. “The hard part is to know what to turn on and what to turn off,” said Kilgore. [How about who is to decide what to turn off and what to turn on, on whom and why?] Kilgore is involved in a separate Pentagon study to help determine which parts of the brain are most effective to stimulate. “It gets somewhat complicated. It is a really exciting idea.”
The new Pentagon effort is described as one of the most in-depth studies ever of electric stimulation on healthy individuals. “We are beyond the proof-of-concept phase,” McKinley said. “We are working on something that would be easy to apply that you could field.”
But some specialists such as Kilgore aren’t so sure that the science is quite there yet to use on healthy subjects regularly, especially direct currents of electricity, which he said rely on “much newer technology than the other ones.” McKinley, too, acknowledged that there are still many questions to be answered, especially concerning any long-term effects. “As far as using it every day, there is almost no data on that,” he said. The Ohio laboratory, however, is “ramping up a study to do that very thing.” —Bryan Bender, Globe Staff.
***The following is commentary written by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy***
So friends, an initial puzzlement might be, why is the U.S. government and military making this little tidbit of information public now? They have been engaged in EMF (electromagnetic field) research for weapon development and as a means of altering the human personality since at least the early 1950s. Is this the beginning of a “get used to it” public relations campaign to accustom people to the idea that it is proper and right and necessary to electrically juice-up the military’s “cannon fodder class” in order to overcome its human frailities and make it more effective in the defense of national security?
A second question might be, does one have to have a prophetic consciousness of the caliber of the Jeremiah to realize the inevitable and horrendous consequences of this brain altering technology in the hands of deceitful men and women who have spent their lives lusting after power, prestige and wealth? Dr. Henry Kissinger, the poster boy for what it means to be possessed by the lust for power, by the willingness to deceive and by the willingness to murder, and who has been a dutiful sycophant to the similarly possessed super-rich, said in an unguarded moment, “Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”
Does the idea of putting Dr. Henry Kissinger in bed with Dr. Victor Frankenstein have even a smidgen of sanity to it? Of course not! The lust of the de-empathicized, sociopathic power monger, or of the class of de-empathicized, sociopathic power mongers, is far beyond what the geography of normal consciousness can identify with. But, sane and ordinary folks are aware that those driven by such a lust are brutally dangerous and know no limits in satisfying their lust. But, sometimes even a knowledgeable, hardened, seasoned reporter like Lesley Stahl is taken aback by what such people will do to pursue their ends. When U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told her, rather matter-of-factly on national television, that the 500,000 Iraqi children killed in enforcing William Clinton’s sanctions against Iraq was a price that was “worth paying” in order to foster U.S. interests there, Stahl was visibly stunned.
Would such people as Clinton, Albright, Kissinger and their ilk even think twice about Frankensteining “grunts” and passing laws to mandate it? Remember the macabre, cruelly enforced, mandatory, destructive anthrax vaccination program for all military personnel started under Clinton and George W. Bush? Is there the slightest doubt, that if electrically juicing up the brains of these dumb, stupid animals would help Clinton, Albright, Kissinger and their like make the world as they and their opulent puppeteers want it, that they would not hesitate to turn on the current?
And, where do you suppose the U.S. Christian Churches and their leaders will stand on the issue of Frankensteining young Christian boys and girls, whose brains are nowhere near fully developed and who are recruited by the military? Las Vegas is giving 50,000 to 1 odds that they will be standing aside in their impenetrable cocoon of silence, where traditionally go when the issue is a contradiction between military morality and Gospel morality. Vegas is also giving 70,000 to 1 odds that U.S. Christian Churches and their leaders within a decade will be embracing Frankensteining of military personnel as a new avenue for achieving that metanoia, that change of mind, that Jesus called for—much as today they teach that Christian Just War Theory is another way, along with Jesus’ Way, of achieving peace.
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy