mad man

it would be a reasonable proposition to have characterized him as the proto-typical mad scientist. In the 1960′s Dr. Jose Delgado made himself the messiah of the New Jerusalem to be achieved through electrical control of the brain. In the process he enraged his enemies and embarrassed some of his colleagues by his flamboyancy and showmanship.

In his best remembered, or notorious performance category,when he entered the ring with a bull in 1965 in whose brain he had implanted radio controlled electrodes. The bull snorted, pawed the ground, and took aim at the medical school professor. Delgado held his ground with a supreme air of confidence. The bull took one final huff and snort, then charged. Delgado flipped a switch on a miniature radio transmitter and…. the bull lumbered to a halt, turned away and wandered off. Definitely a virtuoso performance.

Delgado:"The individual may think that the most important reality is his own existence, but this is only his personal point of view. This lacks historical perspective. Man does not have the right to develop his own mind. This kind of liberal orientation has great appeal. We must electronically control the brain. Someday armies and generals will be controlled by electric stimulation of the brain." Read More:

Delgado had also implanted electrodes in the brains of monkeys and people. He could thereby control the behavior of the subject, obliging one unfortunate monkey, for example, to go through the same sequence of actions twenty thousand times. He could cause a human subject to make a fist or turn his head to one side. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of all these experiments is that the human subject always considered the actions to be spontaneous and offered Delgado a reasonable explanation for the behavior they were made to do. It does put into question the idea of freedom of the will.

He died without fully realizing his goal of creating what he called a “cerebral pacemaker” small enough to be implanted entirely inside the skull and thus creating a series of truly predictable men as part of his conquering the mind objective.

Delgado’s work does raise the specter about the possibility of implanting advanced cerebral implant circuity that would result in a sub-species of individuals with intellectual powers far greater than the rest of us as well as the will to control us, thereby creating a new ruling elite.

But his work on electrical brain stimulation was groundbreaking. It paved the way for present-day neural implants, which help patients manage conditions ranging from Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy to depression and chronic pain. Read More:

To hope that the power that is being made available by the behavioral sciences will be exercised by the scientists, or by a benevolent group, seems to me to be a hope little supported by either recent or distant history. It seems far more likely that behavioral scientists, holding their present attitudes, will be in the position of the German rocket scientists specializing in guided missiles. First they worked devotedly for Hitler to destroy the USSR and the United States. Now, depending on who captured them they work devotedly for the USSR in the interest of destroying the United States, or devotedly for the United States in the interest of destroying the USSR. If behavioral scientists are concerned solely with advancing their science it seems most probable that they will serve the purpose of whatever group has the power.


---Skinner:The question of freedom arises when there is restraint—either physical or psychological. “But restraint is only one sort of control, and absence of restraint isn’t freedom. It’s not control that’s lacking when one feels ‘free,’ but the objectionable control of force.---image:

As with the Agency’s secrets, it is now too late to put behavioral technology back in the box. Researchers are bound to keep making advances. The technology has already spread to our schools, prisons, and mental hospitals, not to mention the advertising community, and it has also been picked up by police forces around the world. Placing hoods over the heads of political prisoners—a modified form of sensory deprivation—has become a standard tactic around the world, from North

Ireland to Chile. The Soviet Union has consistently used psychiatric treatment as an instrument of repression. Such methods violate basic human rights just as much as physical abuse, even if they leave no marks on the body.

Totalitarian regimes will probably continue, as they have in the past, to search secretly for ways to manipulate the mind, no matter what the United States does. The prospect of being able to control people seems too enticing for most tyrants to give up. Yet, we as a country can defend ourselves without sending our own scientists—mad or otherwise—into a hidden war that violates our basic ethical and constitutional principles. After all, we created the Nuremberg Code to show there were limits on scientific research and its application. Admittedly, American intelligence officials have violated our own standard, but the U.S. Government has now officially declared violations will no longer be permitted. The time has come for the United States to lead by example in voluntarily renouncing secret government behavioral research. Other countries might even follow suit, particularly if we were to propose an international agreement which provides them with a framework to do so.

Tampering with the mind is much too dangerous to be left to the spies. Nor should it be the exclusive province of the behavioral scientists, who have given us cause for suspicion. Take this statement by their most famous member, B. F. Skinner: “My image in some places is of a monster of some kind who wants to pull a string and manipulate people. Nothing could be further from the truth. People are manipulated; I just want them to be manipulated more effectively.” Such notions are much more acceptable in prestigious circles than people tend to think: D. Ewen Cameron read papers about “depatterning” with electroshock before meetings of his fellow psychiatrists, and they elected him their president. Human behavior is so important that it must concern us all. The more vigilant we and our representatives are, the less chance we will be unwitting victims. Read More:

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