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"You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism." - Cindy Sheehan

PODCAST October 29, 2005

Signs of the Times

The world as seen from around the kitchen table

Mind Programming for Dummies

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In our latest podcast, (left to right) editors Henry See, Scott Ogrin, and Joe Quinn chat about the more common methods of mind control and their effects on the population with special guests Jason and Jonathan.

From shopping at your local superstore to watching the latest mainstream media news reports on the war on terror, mind control and propaganda are widespread and dangerously effective. You may not even realise how often we are all "zapped" by some of the painfully simple control measures that we discuss this week!

If you have any questions for the Signs Team or would like to suggest a topic for future Podcast discussion, you can write us at:

by Jonathan Metcalfe
March 5, 2004



In its comprehensive paper on post-war findings, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently accused the Bush administration of systematic misrepresentation. They concluded that Bush had prior knowledge of the absence of any evidence regarding Saddam Hussein's chemical and biological weapons programmes before taking the decision to go to war. Referring to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate report they further high-lighted "an unusual number of dissenting views by intelligence officials", as well as the pressing of intelligence analysts to come to "more threatening" conclusions regarding Iraq. The lead author of the CEIP report, John Cirincione stated: "The NIE was wildly off the mark." In other words - they systematically lied. If so why? Why was an administration allowed to go against intelligence both from sub-divisions within the FBI and analysts within the Oval Office? Clearly there is an agenda of epic proportions. Having faith in decades of "information domination" and the "dumbing down" of its populace gave the neo-cons considerable justification for pursing this agenda. Elements within the Pentagon were heating the hype to stratospheric levels immediately after the twin-towers attack as part of an operation that had obviously been encouraged perhaps years before the event. With a vision of a lucrative conquest in sight under the sop of fighting terrorism, the Office of Strategic Influence was born in early 2002 with the objective of initiating "black propaganda" actions against foreign press and journalists. The Office represented much more than the age-old re-telling of major geo-political porkies.

The Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld went out of his way to bypass the enormous intelligence agency briefings and to go to his own personalized office where he could sift through and present the intelligence that supported the war on Iraq and to jettison any embarrassing data that could lead them away from a unilateral military expansion. Indeed, it was because many within the intelligence agencies had been providing hard data that logically screamed at the administration NOT to attack Iraq that the OSI was created, fitting neatly into the existing executive shadow government. Once the totally fictitious link between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden had been established and primed in the minds of mass America, Al Qaeda could be given first billing spawned from covert and complex manipulations by the CIA, Pakistani ISI and the Israeli Mossad. Bush could then initiate the "shock and Awe" of a "Christian crusade" against the terror organisation and focused propaganda attack on anyone else who disagreed with that "God-given" right. What better way to ensure a panacea of domination than by creating an enemy that is instantly malleable and forever open to serve the ends of a specific doctrine of control?

The Department of Defence had been sidelined in favour of the concentrated "war room" of OSI headed by Brig. Gen. Simon P. Worden of the Air Force, and according to a Guardian report from February 18 2002 "the new office has begun circulating classified proposals calling for aggressive campaigns that use not only the foreign media and the Internet, but also covert operations." The article further states: "One of the office's proposals calls for planting news items with media organizations through outside concerns that might not have obvious ties to the Pentagon, officials familiar with the proposal said. General Worden envisions a broad mission ranging from "black" campaigns that use disinformation and other covert activities to "white" public affairs that rely on truthful news releases, Pentagon officials said." To illustrate this point, on September 8th 2002 the Bush administration planted a story in The New York Times written by Judith Miller and Michael Gordon entitled: US says Hussein intensifies quest for A-Bomb Parts, coming of course, from "unnamed Bush officials." This was one of many examples of basic media propaganda via "sympathetic" journalists. The story was perfectly timed as an effective advert for Saddam Hussein's Weapons of mass destruction and the sought after vindication of the US crusaders. The fact that the evidence was false didn't matter. By the time journalists dug around to find that the purchases of aluminium tubes were obviously not intended for nuclear uses, the damage had been done; further escalating the fear and enabling Bush to carve another notch in his propaganda stick which he continues to beat the American public with. [...]

The Office of Strategic Influence appeared to be dismantled in February 2002 after considerable jitters within Pentagon circles and a minor media backlash. However, this was wholly untrue. The name merely changed to Office of Special Plans to appease the critics, this time headed by Undersecretary of Defence Douglas Feith with parental care from Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, very much still doting on their propaganda baby.

The OSP continued to broaden its aggressive evangelical mission into all so-called allied nations in the Middle East, Asia and Western Europe. Being spearheaded by the shadow executive government and thus closely tied to the future plans for FEMA and the designs of the military industrial complex, more wholly undemocratic funnelling is taking place from the $10 billion emergency supplement to the Pentagon budget, though the amount has not been disclosed. What is more worrying, but not altogether surprising from a record of increasing secrecy, is the fact that the majority of senior Pentagon officials and Congressional military aides had no idea about the plans of the OSP. The Pentagon however deemed it acceptable to pay $100,000 a month (presumably of tax payers' money) to a Washington-based international consulting company called The Rendon Group run by John W. Rendon Jr., a former campaign aide to President Jimmy Carter. With their website opening catch-phrase: "Information as an element of power," one can immediately see why their PR and high level spinning is so attractive, having already worked, most notably for the CIA and the Kuwaiti royal family.

Although the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency are barred by law from propaganda activities in the United States, to place undue credence on this naive piece of legislation is to align ourselves with wishful thinking on the scale of Chamberlain's "peace in our time." Perhaps it was a purposeful ruse to keep Congress and outer government minions satisfied. If so, it would simply be following the normal pattern of "natural selection" within US policy making. In the present circumstances such laws are not, and never have been worth the paper they are written on. When these pieces of paper are waved in Congress as a feeble reminder of democratic ideals, executive orders can be passed and applied to counter such moves. And when confronted with the few independent journalists and government employees who have dared to speak out, they simply shout "treason," deny, obfuscate and rely on the mainstream media to douse the flames of truth that will naturally, albeit briefly appear amid the ever-present smokescreen.

In such an unhealthy climate the creation of the OSP and other less "official" and highly secretive operations can press ahead under the direction of the shadow executive branches. If the government is brazenly implanting draconian measures at home and flouting international laws abroad as the official face of governmental policy, then it becomes a matter of simple logic that highly classified plans and operations are being developed and finalized far beyond the press, public and Congress. But it is also likely that many personnel within governmental departments and divisions within the intelligence agencies remain partially ignorant, as analysts and governmental workers discovered during the 9/11 cover-up, which of course, still continues.


A rather infamous military unit with a less than all-American, apple pie history has been assigned to implement the policies of the OSP: the Army's Psychological Operations Command (PSYOPS). The unit is known to have been deployed in Central America, Afghanistan and the Balkans and is currently authorized to use computer network attacks, psychological activities and deception, as well as facilities and staff of the military global public affairs apparatus that are now "officially" mandated. Control of the Internet, the development of electronic warfare against disobedient media, and the control of commercial satellites are also part of its remit. For example, In March 2000 the website (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) published the story from the French Intelligence newsletter and the Dutch newspaper Trouw that several officers from the PSYOPS unit at Fort Bragg were allowed to work at CNN (though the report title quotes more than 1,500 unconfirmed).The story received little coverage.

In the 1980s, officers from the 4th Army PSYOPS group staffed the National Security Council's Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD), where stories were planted in the US media in order to strengthen and support Reagan's controversial Central American policies. Equally disturbing was an investigation by the congressional General Accounting Office who found that OPD had engaged in "prohibited, covert propaganda activities," and as the Iran-Contra scandal broke and the subsequent investigations that followed, the office was eventually shut down. However, the 4th PSYOPS unit is still very much in operation and with, it seems, a new lease of life.

In combination with the National Security Agency's major forays into highly advanced electronic surveillance systems and mind control experimentation, PSYOPS takes on a much greater threat than most of us realise or indeed, will be prepared to accept.

Rauni Kilde, MD, former Chief Medical Officer of Finland, lectures and writes about an NSA Mind Control system using radio implants and microchips connected to satellites that are similar to what can be find in past "NSA PSYOPS" documents. Kilde writes: "With electro-magnetic frequency (EMF) brain stimulation fully coded, pulsating electromagnetic signals can be sent to the brain, causing the desired voice and visual effects to be experienced by the target. This is a form of electronic warfare." Most certainly. And this form of extreme harassment is increasing, though by its very nature, it is notoriously difficult to obtain the evidence, assuming of course that prosecution is a viable option which in truth, it is not.

Citizens Against Human Rights Abuse (CAHRA) supports many of the claims of systematic surveillance stalking and virtual torture via electromagnetic waves and electronic interference not just within the US. The disturbing nature of the NSA and its famously secret activities no doubt produces its fair share of internet bunkum. Equally, there is far too much correlative and corroborative evidence from a variety of sources to suggest that it is merely conspiracy "cranking" at work. It may well be all in the mind, but not in the way some may prefer to think.

According to one researcher amongst many, Dr. Armen Victoria's 1998 essay regarding 'The Military Use of Electromagnetic Microwave and Mind Control Technology' states the capability of cloning human EEGs for targeted mind control purposes where a variety of emotional responses and instinctive reactions:

have been identified and isolated from the EEG, as 'emotion signature clusters'. Their relevant frequencies and amplitudes have been measured, then the very frequency/amplitude cluster is synthesised and stored on another computer, each one of these negative emotions properly and separately tagged. 'They are then placed on the Silent Sound carrier frequencies and will silently trigger the occurrence of the same basic emotion in another human being.'

It appears that The Tri-Service Electromagnetic Advisory Panel (TERP) represents the interests of all three military services in the U.S. It is still conducting some of the most advanced research in the world which in turn stems from the investigations made by the Russian pioneers in mind control technology during the early 1960s and 1970s. The U.S. Air Force has been research into ocular injury by exposure to millimetre wave system, bio-effects of High Power Microwave in low microwave regions (S band) and Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR). The use of High Power Microwave (HMP), by each of the military services seems to be commonplace. Judging by the wealth of research on the subject the US Navy is also getting extremely excited at the prospect of utilizing electro-magnetic waves as a psychotronic weapon.

We may then understand that the recent Iraq invasion represented an opportunity to test out not only the new developments in microwave weaponry and other aberrations, but a valuable opportunity to experiment with the latest PSYOPS advances. As Guardian columnist John Sutherland put it: "The battlefield will be the testing ground for the US samurai. No more rhesus monkeys or pigs but real, live Iraqis." According to Dr. Oliver Lowry who has had the dubious honour of working for the US military on several classified projects, Iraqi soldiers may have been the latest unwitting guinea pigs to further such advances which include:

…Silent Sound Spread Spectrum (SSSS), sometimes called SQUAD…'According to statements made by captured and deserting Iraqi soldiers, however, the most devastating and demoralizing programming was the first known military use of the new, high-tech, type of subliminal messages referred to as ultra-high-frequency "Silent Sounds" or "Silent Subliminals". Although completely silent to the human ear, the negative voice messages placed on the tapes alongside the audible programming by PsyOps psychologists were clearly perceived by subconscious minds of the Iraqi soldiers and the silent messages completely demoralized them and instilled a perpetual feeling of fear and hopelessness in their minds.'

If this weren't horrifying enough we then have the sector of "information dominance" to complement such invasive excursions into our minds. According to American military experts the first two components of "information dominance" consist of: 1) Building up and protecting friendly information; and degrading information received by your adversary. 2) The ability to deny, degrade, destroy and/or effectively blind enemy capabilities. This is nothing new, though the Iraq war and the phantom linkage of a terrorist plot will tend to burnish the steely resolve of those who favour profitable exploitation and the search for omnipotence. Perhaps this is one of the many reasons for the 15 Information domination centres already established in the US, Kuwait and Baghdad. The Ministry of Defence and the Foreign office in the UK are reflecting Tony Blair's evangelical attachment to Bush's coat tails by placing information operations firmly on the agenda with close links to the aforementioned centres. A network of global connections are therefore being created in order to formerly set in motion a huge cross fertilisation of data which can then be re-packaged and sent out to the world's media and finally, the public.

The very fact tentative reporting of information domination and PSYOPS operations are now even being discussed in mainstream broadsheets – though still few and far between – does not reflect a sudden and rapid sea change within the military nor that it suggests a previously wholesome, honourable and humanitarian approach to geo-political and intelligence maneuverings, much as the American people would like to believe in their moral exceptionalism. The manipulation of information to serve a specific end has a long history. Rather, we see an Orwellian control system becoming less covert due to the climate of stimulated fear and social engineering; it can therefore be allowed to come to the fore without many impediments to its continuing progress. If the mainstream US media isn't towing the line due to naive belief systems, then it is most assuredly sitting in the lap of the Bush Administration through vested political/corporate interests and/or the Zionist lobby who have extraordinary leverage in American society, let alone news reporting. What this means is that bureaucratic barriers and constitutional safeguards that once at least slowed the propensity for civil and human rights abuses and breaches in international law are effectively non-existent. America has placed the world on a "see-saw" colour-coded alert according to its own purposely exacerbated terrorism threat.

PSYOPS is the tool of an oligarchy and an empire that is highly secretive and conspiratorial by nature. Most governmental operations take place in secrecy as an inherent dynamic of hierarchical, organizational behaviour. Therefore, it is only a natural, albeit disturbing chain of entropic events which are leading to a rapid integration of propaganda and news media into the military command structure. With a majority of reports from Iraq by "embedded" journalists relaying reports which are "positive" or "neutral," we can then recognize the mainstream media as effective instruments of "friendly" information bolstering. The line is steadily blurring the distinction between friend and foe, with PSYOPS operations and the media (e)merging as one.


On May 1st 2002, in a premature display of perceived victory and bravado, the president honoured the gung-ho and neo-macho premise of the movie Top Gun by swaggering across the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and posing for photographers. Photos of Bush with a "thumbs up" sign appeared in magazines and internet sites. One could almost here the cheesy rendition of the movie's soundtrack: "highway to the danger-zone." Better still, as you can see under the headline of this column, we could buy a George Bush doll in authentic "Elite Force Aviator" attire for the bargain basement price of $39.99! Why of course! What price the life of Iraqi civilians? A plastic "George Bush" for American kids and cluster bombs for Iraqi children six thousand miles away. It betrays an extraordinary level of collective ignorance, cynical profiteering and astonishing disrespect for lost civilian lives. An inauguration of a world "danger-zone" it will most certainly be, with US policy dictating and creating the required "danger" for its own purposes as it sees fit.

The Top Gun type mentality along with all the other gun-slinger-dirty-dozen-rootin'-tootin'-meanest-varmint-this-side-of-Texas clichés are on show here. Osama and Saddam are the designated villains with the Middle East as the town that's only big enough for Bush and his magnificent seven. It remains to be seen whether Bush will ride off into a desert sunset with his less than stable spoils or ransack the next town as self appointed sheriff. Whichever way the rig the next election, the neo-con administration has and will avail itself of one of the most potent moulders of our perceptions: Movies.

The entertainment industry has long since been the tool of successive shadow administrations and affiliated "think-tanks." Fear and disinformation is the province of the CIA. It secretly subsidizes many authors, media critics and journalists via private foundations and front organizations which are indirectly or directly linked to the Hollywood industry. The present propaganda machine has subsumed this medium into a potent weapon of subliminal and downright ham-fisted mass programming to a greater degree than ever before. For instance, did you ever wonder why there was a steady flurry of war movies spear-headed by Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan in 1998? From 2000 to 2002 there was a tangible increase in war film production both in the cinema and on T.V. reaching a peak prior to 9/11 including: Windtalkers, Black hawk Down, U-571, Band of Brothers (T.V.) The Thin Red Line, The Patriot, We Were Soldiers, The Sum of all Fears, K-19, Hart's War, Behind Enemy Lines, and the most objectionable piece of sensational tripe in the form of Jerry Bruickheimer's epic Pearl Harbour, where the US rewrote history in true "Forest Gump" style. This latter movie was perhaps the most obvious piece of propaganda designed to elicit the response of "America under attack" and the accompanying mass expression of righteous indignation that was required. Since 9/11 more than one third of Hollywood productions are war movies or associated fear mongering. "The Sum of All Fears" directed by Phil Alden Robinson, and released in 2002 is a case in point. A group of terrorists get their hands on a nuclear device, which they explode in a US city, hoping to start a war with Russia. It received the endorsement and support of both the Pentagon and the CIA. I wonder why.

It is also interesting to note that the most commercially successful Hollywood director Steven Spielberg has been responsible for some of the most popular movies in motion picture history and the collective thought patterns that followed. With this in mind, it is also highly probable and for reasons we can only guess at, that he is an artful propagandist in the pay of Bilderberg Grp. and its affiliated shadow executive aspirations.

En masse, some of these films may have played a minor role in moulding the psyche of this troubled nation, just as they did during the intense paranoia of the cold war era. They may serve to engender a sense of patriotism, and an erroneous star spangled heroism that inflates the national pride, and simultaneously demands an emotional outlet. (Even those in the so-called anti-war category may do this by feeding into the aura of "war fever.") If the democrats are afraid to speak out against the present fascism for fear of not supporting the troops (most of whom are demoralised and utterly desperate to return home) then the same can could be said of the public at large where the herd mentality can be at its strongest involving God, the military, and the beloved home soil. Hollywood is US culture. By the same token, the deification of the movie market ensures that it is not simply a way to relax and enjoy our leisure time – they have become the incessant analgesic and anesthetic to our own imagination and creativity; numbing our cognitive abilities with bland, iconic formulas for living; programming trite solutions for love and relating; substituting voyeurism, violence and titillation for the potential of cultivating true understanding and greater awareness. Once we rely more and more on the buffering arena of entertainment we become progressively open to the subtle tinkering of our already pliable emotions. It seems this objective fact has not been lost on the neo-cons and it's military.

The BBC picked up on this stratagem in a report from October 2001. We discover that US intelligence specialists sought in secret, "advice on handling terrorist attacks from Hollywood film-makers." According to the trade paper Variety "a discussion group between movie and military representatives was held at the University of Southern California…" And further: "The group is said to have been set up by the US Army to discuss future terrorist activity in the wake of the attacks of 11 September." Regardless of the wisdom of consulting Hollywood for advice on anything let alone military tactics, is this not rather strange for such a plan of action to take place barely a month after the 9/11 attacks? Unless of course, it represented a single stage within a long-term strategy. The report continues: "Among those reported to have been involved were Die Hard screenwriter Steven E.De Souza and Joseph Zito, director of Delta Force One and Missing in Action. Other, more conventional, feature makers were also said to have been present, including Randal Kleiser, who made Grease."

"Grease"? Perhaps the military will dance and sing their way into Syria? If only. The fact that military intelligence are considering the advice of B-movie writers and directors is disturbing enough, it becomes especially worrisome when we consider the bizarre reversal of those that are in the business of killing, looking for advice from those who present killing as sure-fire entertainment. It surely becomes apparent that such an exercise would prove a potential asset if they were considering how to capitalize on future terrorist attacks along with the associated emotional manipulation that could be carried out within such scenarios. As a Variety spokesman mentions: "the entertainment industry can offer expertise in understanding plot and character, as well as advice on scenario training." Sound familiar? Evidence strongly suggests, not only did the President know about the imminent attack on the Twin towers, there was also substantial circumstantial and solid empirical evidence that this may have been carefully crafted with major elements of simulation from within the US itself. In other words, 9/11 was largely manufactured to achieve ideological and political goals most of which we are now witnessing. Finally, the end piece of the report allows us to read between the lines:

The US Army is also behind the university's [of Southern California] Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT). The ICT calls upon the resources and talents of the entertainment industry and computer scientists to help with virtual reality scenario simulation. Variety reported that the ICT's creative director James Korris confirmed that the meetings between the film-makers and the US Army were taking place. However, the paper added that Mr Korris had refused to give details as to what specific recommendations had been made to the US government.

Obviously more than his job's worth. The above piece is I suspect, only the tip of the iceberg. When we tie this in with the NSA classified surveillance and PSYOPS technology that is far in advanced of anything we see in the market place then such pooling of entertainment utilities to bolster this same insider technology is not at all far-fetched. But more importantly, it becomes another method in which to utilize the psychopathology of a nation and much of our world that lives through movies. It is also clear that there is an open and "official" dimension to this propaganda which has moved outwards to the second tier of pyramidal operations. In other words, they are so cocksure of their abilities to keep the wool over our eyes they simply don't care anymore.

Since the Second World War we are now observing a "bleed-through" of such experimentation across all intelligence and military endeavours which necessarily must include the moulding of the population through ALL means at their disposal. Or in the words of one President Abraham Lincoln: "Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it nothing can succeed. He who moulds opinion is greater than he who enacts the laws." And when you have control of both the laws and all possible outlets for propaganda then public opinion is effectively the clay that is permanently on the potter's wheel. The waters of our sedentary lifestyles on the one hand and the ever-increasing storms of hardship on the other act to keep the clay manageable and open to "problem-reaction-solution" scenarios such as the rightly dramatic but Hollywood laden overtones of the twin towers attack. It will not be too long before you have a T.V. movie or a heavily financed "blockbuster" depicting the events of 9/11 on the scale of The Towering Inferno. You can be sure that Wim Wenders won't be in the director's chair.

Many movies can be wonderfully inspiring art. However, in a world where the lowest common denominator rules, there are few that make it beyond the market maw of commercial constraints, and if they do, then distribution is weak. High culture is not an easy buck. And apparently we now have a movie of The Alamo in production with the tag line: "Stand your ground." Who knows? Perhaps Dubya will consider implementing an executive order for the lead role. It matters little the path to glory: politics to acting – acting to politics; both are understandably gaining a pre-nuptial relationship where the concept of serving the people is as meaningful as the residue from a "Mr. Slurpee" milk-shake. Taken as one spoke in the wheel of a culture whose denial is spinning way out of control, many movies represent another sub-weapon in the formidable armoury of the propaganda war.


The most dangerous slice of the propaganda pie is flying full into voters' faces in the shape of seriously flawed electronic voting systems. Vital questions surrounding thousands of ballots which disappeared from state polling results – most notably Florida - have not been answered. With a little help from blackmailing and back scratching within the Supreme Court George Bush was finally dumped on his self-appointed electoral throne like a spoilt child with a new toy to play with. Indeed, the administration is already pumping money into sophisticated data analysis for the presidential campaign, and with the heightened praise and adulation of the religious right gaining ground we will see a powerful public impression of an electoral "democratic" battle. But this is unfortunately a smoke-screen. There are, without doubt, many disaffected and angry Americans determined to vote this false president out of office and a well-spring of opposition to the governments polices. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if the media and the majority of the sleeping public have sufficient will, courage and the moral imperative to resist corruption for a second time. What is more disheartening still is the growing realisation that the neo-cons may have been planning an election game that guarantees Bush another term in office. [...]


1. Coming to re-election campaigns and toy boxes near you. Dana Milbank, Washington Post, August 12, 2003
2. For details on the hyper-dimensional perspective of a control system reality please take time to read:
3. John Pilger on Bush's occupation of Iraq "They put the lie to their own propaganda"
November 21, 2003 Socialist worker.
4. See the original defenselinks. interview transcript.
5. Mossad links see:
6. For further information on attacks see World Socialism:
7. Iraqi officials ban Aljazeera Sunday 01 February 2004,
8. Their website can be found at
9. For further information on mind control experiments/PSYOPS see:
10. ibid
12. Ariel Mind Control by Judy Wall, Editor/Publisher Resonance
Newsletter of the MENSA Bioelectromagnetics Special Interest Group
13. ibid
14. The Guardian "Information dominance," David Miller, Thursday January 8, 2004,
15. Spielberg said: "If Bush, as I believe, has reliable information on the fact that Saddam Hussein is making weapons of mass destruction, I cannot not support the policies of his government". See:
See also Spielberg's attendance at Bilderberg Meetings:
16. BBC News:
New York Times:
17. Visit

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Explaining how the brain creates false memories
Dave Munger
Cognitive Daily
October 3, 2005

It often doesn't take much to make an eyewitness to a crime change her or his story. While Mafia hardball tactics for intimidating witnesses make the headlines, just seeing or hearing a different version of the "facts" can be enough. One key (as we've discussed before) is remembering the context for an event. If we can successfully recall that we personally witnessed one version of the story as it occurred last Thursday, then we're more likely to realize that it's different from the article we read in the newspaper the next day. If we don't recall the context of either the original version or the revised version, our chances for making a mistake increase.

So what's going on in our brain when we remember both the context and the event itself, and what's different when we don't? Yoko Okado and Craig Stark designed a study to examine the problem. They showed participants eight different slide shows telling stories on topics ranging from students talking in the hallway outside of class to the theft of a woman's wallet. Each slide show had 50 pictures and was shown twice. During the second showing, 12 of the pictures were surreptitiously changed in an effort to create false memories. Two days later, participants were tested on their memory for those 12 critical slides.

Sure enough, a significant portion of the time, participants responded with false memories: They believed they had seen the same slide in both presentations (the man stole the wallet and hid behind a tree), when in fact they had seen two different slides (in the first slide show, the man hid behind the door, but in the second show, he hid behind the tree).

This result matched earlier research finding that when people watch a movie and then are presented with a written account that doesn't match the movie, they will often falsely "remember" that the written story agrees with the movie. But Okado and Stark were able to take their research one step further, because their participants had agreed to perform the task while undergoing a constant fMRI, which mapped brain activity in three dimensions as they watched the slide shows.

Other fMRI research had previously revealed that when accurate memories are formed, they correspond to increased activity in particular parts of the brain: the medial temporal lobe and the prefrontal cortex. Okado and Stark's data matched this finding: when participants had accurate memories, these parts of the brain were more active during the first slide show. When they had false memories, these parts of the brain were more active during the second, "false" slide show.

What's more, Okado and Stark observed something else: a trend toward increased activity in other areas of the brain (parts of the hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex) when accurate memories were not being formed. Okado and Stark argue that this activity may be related to the inability to correctly recall the context for an item. Other studies have found that the left parahippocampal cortex is among the regions responsible for recalling the source of a memory. Since the region is less active when the critical second slide is presented during creation of a false memory, participants may not be forming the necessary contextual information they need to recall that the misleading slide was not, in fact, present during the original slide show. Similarly, when true memories were formed - when the misleading picture in second slide show was presented, but the participant still accurately remembered the correct first slide - these areas were again more active, suggesting that people had correctly recalled the context of the misleading second slide.

So apparently one of the key moments in determining whether a memory will be true or false occurs right as that memory is formed. During that critical instant, our entire conception of the past - right or wrong - is shaped.

So what does this say about Mafia "hardball" attempts to influence witnesses? Ironically, they may be doing exactly the wrong thing. If a witness is intimidated by physical force to change her original story, isn't she more likely to remember the context? It might be more effective to use subtler techniques to get witnesses to change their tune.

Comment: We are reminded of all those people who are absolutely certain that they saw an airliner slam into the Pentagon, when all the evidence indicates that it was not a large passenger jet that struck the US military headquarters. Our eyes and brains can clearly deceive us, especially during emotionally traumatic events. As such, it behooves us all to consider the facts - the hard data - even if we think we know what actually happened.

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NEW! 9/11: The Ultimate Truth is Available for Pre-Order!

On the fourth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Laura Knight-Jadczyk announces the availability of her latest book:

In the years since the 9/11 attacks, dozens of books have sought to explore the truth behind the official version of events that day - yet to date, none of these publications has provided a satisfactory answer as to WHY the attacks occurred and who was ultimately responsible for carrying them out.

Taking a broad, millennia-long perspective, Laura Knight-Jadczyk's 9/11: The Ultimate Truth uncovers the true nature of the ruling elite on our planet and presents new and ground-breaking insights into just how the 9/11 attacks played out.

9/11: The Ultimate Truth makes a strong case for the idea that September 11, 2001 marked the moment when our planet entered the final phase of a diabolical plan that has been many, many years in the making. It is a plan developed and nurtured by successive generations of ruthless individuals who relentlessly exploit the negative aspects of basic human nature to entrap humanity as a whole in endless wars and suffering in order to keep us confused and distracted to the reality of the man behind the curtain.

Drawing on historical and genealogical sources, Knight-Jadczyk eloquently links the 9/11 event to the modern-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She also cites the clear evidence that our planet undergoes periodic natural cataclysms, a cycle that has arguably brought humanity to the brink of destruction in the present day.

For its no nonsense style in cutting to the core of the issue and its sheer audacity in refusing to be swayed or distracted by the morass of disinformation that has been employed by the Powers that Be to cover their tracks, 9/11: The Ultimate Truth can rightly claim to be THE definitive book on 9/11 - and what that fateful day's true implications are for the future of mankind.

Published by Red Pill Press

Scheduled for release in October 2005, readers can pre-order the book today at our bookstore.

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