We like to think that we have free will, and that the decisions we make and the thoughts we have are our own. Our sense of identity, free choice, and individuality are part of what makes us unique, and are an integral part of the human experience. Yet are we really as independent and possessed of free will as we would like to think? The thought that we could be under the influence of outside forces and subject to manipulation by mind-control against our will is a terrifying prospect that has been explored extensively in science fiction, but what if it is not merely fiction at all? What if we are being directly shaped and programmed by nefarious parties through the very TV we watch or the music we listen to? According to some, this is exactly what is happening, and has been for decades.
A supposed technology that can apparently be used to reach out and subliminally influence us over the airwaves is called the Silent Sound Spread Spectrum (SSSS), sometimes called simply "S-quad" or "Squad,” which was developed and patented (yes, it apparently has a patent) by a Dr. Oliver Lowery of Norcross, Georgia, who calls it the “Silent Subliminal Presentation System.” Often known as “The Sound of Silence,” it was first developed in the 1950s and perfected over the decades and it purportedly works by analyzing human brain patterns and storing this data as “emotion signature clusters,” which can then be synthesized, duplicated, and beamed out through various means in order to subliminally influence the emotional states and thought processes of human beings, essentially disrupting our consciousness. An abstract on the system patent reads that it is:
A silent communications system in which non-aural carriers, in the very low or very high audio-frequency range or in the adjacent ultrasonic frequency spectrum are amplitude- or frequency-modulated with the desired intelligence and propagated acoustically or vibrationally, for inducement into the brain, typically through the use of loudspeakers, earphones, or piezoelectric transducers. The modulated carriers may be transmitted directly in real time or may be conveniently recorded and stored on mechanical, magnetic, or optical media for delayed or repeated transmission to the listener.
In simple terms, covert mind control. The two main ways that the technology is allegedly utilized is either through use of short-range direct microwave induction or piggybacking on signals transmitted over TV or radio waves and other carrier frequencies, and it is supposedly completely undetectable. So far, so creepy, especially considering the potential military applications for such a technology, and according to Edward Tilton, President of Silent Sounds, Inc., governments have already been using his company’s tech in a range of top-secret capacities. He ominously states:
All schematics, however, have been classified by the US Government and we are not allowed to reveal the exact details. We make tapes and CDs for the German Government, even the former Soviet Union countries! All with the permission of the US State Department, of course. The system was used throughout Operation Desert Storm (Iraq) quite successfully.
Wait, what? Was this mind control technology actually used in the gulf War? According to conspiracy theorists it was actually used to great effect during the war, where these waves were spewed forth onto the unsuspecting enemy through standard radio frequency broadcasts in order to subliminally influence them into panicking and surrendering. One piece of evidence used for this were some news reports from wire service bulletins from London’s ITV News Bureau Ltd (London) in March of 1991. One March 23, 1991 news-brief called "High-Tech Psychological Warfare Arrives in the Middle East" apparently stated that during Operation Desert Storm the U.S. military deployed “an unbelievable and highly classified PsyOps program utilizing ‘silent sound’ techniques.” Supposedly these signals were broadcast over FM radio stations on the 100 MHz frequency, and had the effect of compelling Iraqi forces to surrender by “implanting negative emotional states-feelings of fear, anxiety, despair and hopelessness.”
The use of sophisticated mind-influencing technology during the Gulf War is supposedly why so many Iraqi forces were so quickly convinced to surrender, even in situations where they had the military upper hand. In some cases, whole brigades surrendered without a fight, as one soldier puts it, “They were surrendering in droves, almost too fast for us to keep up with." These were battle hardened troops seasoned through a perilous war with Iran from 1980-1988 and promising the Americans “The Mother of All Battles,” yet here they were giving up by the tens of thousands, often without firing a single shot. Some surrenders were bizarre, such as a troop of 450 Iraqi troops that were talked into giving up by a mere 100 U.S. soldiers, and an Iraqi soldier who gave himself up to an unarmed remote controlled drone, of which the witness would say:
One of them gave up to an RPV [remotely piloted vehicle]. Here’s this guy with his hands up, turning in a circle to give himself up to a model airplane with a camera in it.
Why is this? According to the conspiracies, it is clear evidence that the U.S. military was using the Silent Sound technology, reducing these combat veterans to compliant, docile prisoners. Making it all more sinister is that while the British press made mention of subliminal PsyOps operations, this information was censored and suppressed in reports in the U.S. media, making it all seem more suspicious and sinister. Of course government officials flat-out deny that any of this ever happened and are adamant that such a system does not officially even exist, and one Charles Bernard, a former Navy weapons-research director, has said of this:
I have yet to see one of these ray-gun things that actually works. And DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has come to us every few years to see if there are ways to incapacitate the central nervous system remotely, but nothing has ever come of it. That is too science-fiction and far-fetched.
But that is what they would want you to think, isn’t it? Is any of this real or is it all tin-foil hat wearing conspiracist nonsense? Is it really just a bunch of science fiction mumbo jumbo? Whether it is actually happening in any capacity or not, the concept is at least believed by some to be not entirely far-fetched. One Dr. Michael Persinger, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada, has said of this thus:
Contemporary neuroscience suggests the existence of fundamental algorithms by which all sensory transduction is translated into an intrinsic, brain-specific code. Direct stimulation of these codes within the human temporal or limbic cortices by applied electromagnetic patterns may require energy levels which are within the range of both geomagnetic activity and contemporary communication networks. A process which is coupled to the narrow band of brain temperature could allow all normal human brains to be affected by a sub-harmonic whose frequency range at about 10 Hz would only vary by 0.1 Hz.
Within the last two decades a potential has emerged which was improbable, but which is now feasible. This potential is the technical capability to influence directly the major portion of the approximately 6.5 billion brains of the human species, without mediation through classical sensory modalities, by generating neural information within a physical medium within which all members of the species are immersed.
More than just military applications, such technology could be, and perhaps already is, used in a wide variety of ways to exert influence on our attitudes, moods, thoughts, desires, and actions. Such signals over TV and radio could be used to influence your choices of, say, a presidential candidate, shape your world opinion, or simply push you to choose one product over another. Stores could blare out these inaudible signals to manipulate your shopping experience or deter people from shoplifting. The signals could be on a constant loop over the airwaves simply for the purpose of keeping us compliant and tame. The possibilities are virtually limitless and not a little creepy. After all, if this is all real, then how many of the choices you have made today would truly be of your own free will?
Throwing further fuel onto the conspiracy fire is the 2009 U.S. Congress mandate for digital conversion for all TVs. According to the theories flying around, this is not simply out of the government’s benevolent desire for you to have better picture quality on your TV, but rather to provide a better and more efficient platform for utilizing the Silent Sound technology on the masses. It does seem like a lot of taxpayer money to spend just so that everyone can have HDTV, so is there something more sinister at work? One 2002 patent application called Nervous System Manipulation by EM Fields from Monitors says:
Many computer monitors and HD TV screens, when displaying pulsed images, emit pulsed electromagnetic fields of sufficient amplitudes to cause such excitation. It is therefore possible to manipulate the nervous system of a subject by pulsing images displayed on a nearby computer monitor or digital TV set.
In other words, digital HDTV is great for some mind control. The implications of such widespread mind-control would certainly be severe, and the effects could potentially go far beyond merely implanting suggestions into the mind or changing emotional states. Speculation has touched on the capacity for such technology to actually implant thoughts or memories or conversely erase them, cause people to sleep, and even control their movements and bodily functions, essentially making us programmable machines. One 1996 paper from the USAF Scientific Advisory Board, entitled New World Vistas Air and Space Power for the 21st Century gives the chilling vision of such a future thus:
One can envision the development of electromagnetic energy sources, the output of which can be pulsed, shaped, and focused, that can couple with the human body in a fashion that will allow one to prevent voluntary muscular movements, control emotions (and thus actions), produce sleep, transmit suggestions, interfere with both short-term and long-term memory, produce an experience set, and delete an experience set.
It is certainly a scary and sobering thought to imagine that any of this could be possible or real, that our thoughts and decisions are not necessarily our own and that we are at the whim of waves and signals penetrating our brain to violate our consciousness. What would such a world be like? Are we already living in it? There is absolutely no evidence that the Silent Sound technology is being used to any extent, but the theories and speculation about it are creepy and sinister enough to make one wonder if there is something more going on when sitting down to watch TV.