Monthly Archives: June 2014

paranoia, espionage, PsyOps and UFO’s

paranoia, espionage, psychological warfare and UFO’s 



This link is to a web page that contains multiple links, information on how to buy or rent the two-disc DVD, four links to information about the four producers, information on the book, seventeen articles or reviews, and a trailer that runs almost three minutes. 


Mirage men: an adventure into paranoia, espionage, psychological warfare and UFO’s,


Mark Pilkington, SkyHorse Publishing (Herman Graf Books), New York 2010.

A book review

(Of interest especially as it dovetails into Marrs’ work on NASA et al

[library book: see photocopies on shelf])


See also Kennedy’s executive order on space

This book jumped off the shelf in my hand at the library, as frequently occurs; the section for new nonfiction books is centrally located in the lobby and I always see what they have to offer. The title alone grabbed my attention. I had to return the book, of course, but made hasty notes and photocopies of some of the content.

The first thing that caught my eye was on page 6, a report of a brief New York Times item dated 14 December 1944 which read: “a new German weapon has made its appearance on the Western air front, it was disclosed today. Airmen of the American Air Force report that they are encountering silver colored [sic] spheres in the air over German territory.” Having been a student in the past of the Battle of the Bulge, I knew that the Nazis had a few earlier production jet aircraft with which they hoped to dominate the skies over the Ardennes forest. People in Europe have been have a greater awareness of what are termed “foo fighters”; these are discussed on pages 6 and 7, along with other UFO sightings in United States including Pilkington’s own sighting over Yosemite, and an early reference to an “American with an intelligence background and interest in the unidentified flying objects told me that they were US mature military reconnaissance drones, perhaps lending weight to the China Lake theory. A psychic who claim to have done “remote viewing” work for the United States government (psychic spying) told me that the spheres were extraterrestrial in origin and were well known to certain government groups.”

I took note of the following quote on page 13: “… creating noise, a surplus of information and bogus documentation–data-chaff known in the business as disinformation–is a favorite technique of the intelligence and counterintelligence agencies.

On page 16 near the bottom, the author offered up a standard response to anxious calls about strange things in the sky: “My standard response was to suggest that the witness keep watching the light until they became too cold or too bored to continue. Then they were to go back outside the same time the following night: if the light was still there then they didn’t need to call me back.”

On page 21, lines 6 and seven: “UFO researchers knew everything about UFO’s except what they are, why they are here, where they come from and who steering them.” One could make fascinating parallels between this and many discussions about 9/11.

The author used what I thought was a powerful phrase when he discussed the beginning of America’s obsession with flying saucers in the summer of 1947 (Kenneth Arnold’s observation of nine fast flying objects near Mount Rainier in Washington state), and makes note that that was the same year in which the US says US Air Force was established as a separate military service, that the OSS was transformed into the CIA, and the Truman Doctrine and the Voice of America became the Cold War’s first acts of ontological aggression.

Almost in the same vein, the author asks a number of pointed questions, in particular about the Roswell incident. The discussion, running across pages 41, 42 and 43, notes the official US Air Force version of events presented in “The Roswell Report: fact versus fiction in the New Mexico desert” (1995), a report which was written by Col. Richard Weaver whose job prior to his retirement at about the same time was as Deputy for Security and Investigative Programs for the United States Air Force. “This meant he was a disinformation specialist and, in the early 1980s, he just happens to have been one of Richard Doty’s superiors at the Office of Special Investigations. [See also ] About a paragraph later, he notes:

“If it wasn’t an unconventional balloon or rocket that crashed, why did Roswell Army Air Force Base transmits a press release that launched a thousand unidentified flying objects? Because a saucer crash was considered an innocuous cover that would effectively mask sensitive experiments? We can be sure that the press release was transmitted with specific intent.… Why would such an lead unit, for which tight secrecy was an everyday reality, put out a press release about something as potentially sensitive as a flying disc or even a secret weather balloon project? Why would they mention the incident at all rather than just thank rat rancher Mac Brazell and ask him to keep his mouth shut as a matter of national security? And if it was an accident, why did base commander Col. William Blanchard, on whose watch the incident took place, and Deb enjoying a highly illustrious career? given the political climate of the time and the press excitement about flying saucers in the weeks following the Arnold sighting, is it possible that the story was deliberately planted? Within the American military there were serious concerns that the flying saucers represented an advanced Soviet technology. perhaps announcing that one had been captured might send ripples back to the Soviets, ripples that could be then traced by the relevant intelligence bodies. Or perhaps the announcement was intended to lure Soviet moles to Roswell or Wright field to find out what was really going on….”

Again, there are fascinating parallels with 9/11.


Pages 42 and 43 has a discussion of the book The Flying Saucer which was published in 1948 and written by British author Bernard Newman, which based on the descriptions in Pilkington’s book, appears to be predictive propaganda (or the aforementioned ontological aggression).

On page 49: “in late 1962 Pres. Kennedy – who, some say, was killed before he could review revealed the truth about UFOs to the American public–authorized a foreign-exchange of cosmic proportions. A team of 12 specially trained humans whose identities were subsequently erased (or “sheep-dipped” as they say in the intelligence business), would return with Ebens [ members of an extra-terrestrial race with whom United States government was communicating regularly] to their planet in a program called Project Crystal Knight.” [Google returns many hits on that term. It is of curious interest and nomenclature given what I have read recently about the presence of Nazis in the US space program.] “Preparations were made for a face-to-face meeting between Eben and human ambassadors and on 24 April 1964 two Eben spacecraft entered Earth’s atmosphere. One of them landed close to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. A team of senior US government officials boarded the craft and were presented with a holographic device known as the Yellow Book, which contained a complete history of planet Earth. The personnel exchange was agreed for the following year and in July 1965, the human away team entered and even the craft while another ET, nicknamed EBE 2, stayed behind. The ET’s planet, named Serpo By the human visitors, is 38 light years from Earth, in the Zeta Reticuli star system….”

The interviews of those aboard EBE2 at Los Alamos were discussed on page 167; alas, I failed to photocopy that page.


On page 71: “Folklorists have a word for the process whereby folktales bleed into reality; they call it “ostention”. But when these tales are given a kickstart by the intelligence agencies, I think we can simply call it deception.)

An example of the above is presented on page 74 in detail of the aswang [ ], a superstitious belief exploited by Edwin Lansdale’s team in the Philippines to create terror among indigenous and insurgent groups. “Local superstitions were also exploded during the Vietnam war, where the Army’s sixth PSYOPS Battalion regularly broadcast an audio recording called “the wailing soul” through speakers mounted on backpacks or helicopters. Praying on Vietnam ease traditions of the unquiet dead, tape contained a conversation between the little girl and the wandering soul of her dead father, who’d been killed while fighting the Americans. The recording, which made heavy use of urea reverb effects and traditional Vietnamese funeral music, was so effective that also spooked American soldiers patrolling the jungle at night.

Lansdale’s aswang and a wandering soul were just two of the countless psychological deception operations carried out during the hot years of the Cold War. Tom Braden, former head of the international organizations division of the directorate of plans, (now the national clandestine line service), which oversaw most of the CIA’s PSYOPS, covert action and propaganda work, wrote in 1973 that there were “ so many CIA projects at the height of the Cold War that was almost impossible for man to keep them in balance”.

In the fight against communism, maintaining a firm but gentle grasp on hearts and minds at home–the proverbial iron fist inside a velvet glove–was as important as winning them over abroad. Although the National Security Act expressly forbade the CIA from conducting activities on American soil, it seemed to have no trouble finding ways to do so, setting up a veritable empire of false companies–nicknamed “Delaware’s” after the state in which they were registered–and employing “quiet channels”, companies and institutions who were on the right side, to get their people into key positions on newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, businesses and grassroots organizations across the nation. While the CIA worked on the ground, the bigger picture was shaped by an even more secretive organization, about which little was known until almost 50 years after its dissolution.

The Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) was signed into existence by Harry Truman in 1951, tasked with coordinating psychological operations at home and abroad, and ensuring that America and Americans looked, sounded and thought right. If this sounds Orwellian, then that’s because it was: even the contents of its first strategy paper are still classified, the traces of it can be found referenced in other documents. According to one, the PSP’s role was to develop “a machinery” to promote “the American way of life”, and to counter “doctrines hostile to American objectives”. To do so they would take in open quotes all fields of intellectual interests, from anthropology and artistic creations to sociology and scientific methodology”.

In May 1952, the PSB took over Packet, the CIA’s psychological warfare program, aimed at persuading foreign leaders that the American way was superior to anyone else’s way, particularly the Russians. Maintaining America’s charisma abroad required the control, procurement and production of everything from scholarly “seminars, symposia, special tomes, learned journals [and] libraries,” to church services, comic books, “folksongs, folklore, folktales and itinerant storytellers”. The PSP’s message was broadcast over TV and radio, and from ships and aircraft; even the use of three-dimensional moving images was considered for added realism.”

[Footnotes for the PSB material note two sources: “The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence” by John Marks and Victor Marchetti (1974), and “Who paid the Piper? CIA in the cultural Cold War”, by Francis S Saunders (1999). The footnotes note that the first book “was considered so potentially damaging that 168 sections, including whole pages, were delete it by the CIA before its publication could be authorized. Marchetti resigned from the CIA in 1969. By the end of his 14 year career he had become special assistant to CIA director Richard Helms.”]

The epigraph on page 78:

“Symbols should convey the Line of Persuasion. They must convey a preconceived notion already developed by the deception target… Sport anglers do the same by applying scents, motion, and color to indicate the lure is an easy meal.”


A primer for deception analysis: psychological operations’ target audience analysis,

Lieut. Col. Ricka Stroh and Major Jason Wendell, Iosphere, Fall 2007.

In early 1952 CIA director Walter B Smith [Ike’s World War Two aide-de-camp, “Beetle”] wrote to Raymond Allen, director of the Psychological Strategy Board:

“I am today transmitting to the National Security Council a proposal in which it is concluded that the problems associated with unidentified flying objects appear to have implications for psychological warfare as well as for intelligence and operations. I suggest that we discuss an early board meeting the possible offense of and defense of utilization of these phenomena for psychological warfare purposes.”

On page 84 there is a discussion of psychological warfare and, inside an extended quotation (whose attribution I have lost because I failed the photocopy page 83), there is another interesting note with an eerie parallel to 9/11:

“… At any moment of attack, we are now in a position where we cannot, on instant basis, distinguish hardware from phantom, and as tension mounts we will run the increasing risk of false alerts and the even greater dammit dammit danger of falsely identifying the real as phantom.”

On pages 115-116,: “Believing that the military and the intelligence agencies were behind the entire flying saucer phenomenon struck me as being no less misguided or paranoid than any of the other wild tales circulating within the UFO lore. It seemed clear that the US Air Force, the Navy, the CIA, the NSA and who knows which other members of this cryptic alphabets soup had knowingly deceived the public and, at times, each other, about UFOs. Each had, in their own way, exploded the phenomenon to their own ends and, in doing so, shape the way that the mythology had unraveled. Whether theUFOs were flying overhead, crashing to the ground, hailing us or kidnapping us, there were human fingerprints all over them.”

On pages 116-117: “In 1953 the CIA Robertson Panel had recommended that civilian UFO organizations should be closely monitored (for ‘ monitored’ we can probably read infiltrated), mentioning the aerial phenomenon research organization (APRO) and Civilian Saucer Investigations (CSI) by name. If the wiser members of the UFO community were aware that there were being watched and sometimes interfered with by the government, they tended to believe that it was because they were getting too close to the truth of extraterrestrial visitation. Three decades later, a very different picture of government involvement began to emerge, one that most ufologists, perhaps understandably, chose to it nor. It all hinged on ufology’s first whistleblower, a heroic researcher turned traitor and pariah: enter William Moore.

Bill Moore was one of the most respected players in the field. He’d been largely responsible for digging up the Roswell story after four years 40 years of obscurity, and his best-selling book the Roswell incident had contributed to the fields increasingly presentable public image. But that by the time of his presentation at the 1989 mutual UFO network (MUFON) conference at the Aladdin casino hotel in Las Vegas, the UFO community was in total disarray: the conference reflected what was, essentially, a Civil War. As the relatively sober minded official MUFON event took place at the Aladdin, a splinter conference was being held nearby at another site. The speakers here advocated the more extreme, “ Darkside” of the UFO phenomenon, Morning of the successful alien colonization of the planet and a vast government conspiracy to cover it up while providing human genetic material to the extraterrestrials, harvested in terrifying abductions, in exchange for advanced military technologies.”

Pages 126-127 offer up a description of effective psy ops communications tradecraft Involving encoded bits of information transmitted with postcards, untraceable phone numbers, recognition signals, passwords, “the inevitable manila envelope”, etc.

Pages 153-154 offer up a discussion of “the fabled black, silent helicopters of conspiracy lore”, their ARPA genesis, the company who makes them, and their use by domestic police departments, as well as tests at area 51, deployment to Laos, and their return to Edwards AFB for dismantling. The paper trail ended inside a CIA front organization, and the author states that “the technology for such a craft was fully functional by late 1972 ….”

Page 159 contained a good description of “set dressing”, an old example of whihc was the use of rubber tanks in the UK to deceive Germany about the site of the D-Day landings.

Page 178 has a good breakdown of the sub-agencies involved in Air Force PsyOps under AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations) which include electronic warfare operations (EW Ops), network warfare operations (NW Ops), and influence operations (IFO). Influence operations include “military deception (MILDEC), operations security (OPSEC), psychological operations (PSYOP), counterintelligence (CI), public affairs operations (PA), and counter propaganda”.

On page 179, there is (again with an eerie parallel to 9/11) a description of a project which served to focus and divide the UFO community, creating a wall of noise around the subjects that made serious research difficult; many people who might want to take the subject seriously were dissuaded from doing so.” On page 186 is a discussion among several people of digital trickery and special effects.

The epigraph at the top of chapter 12 reads as follows:

“The purpose is… conditioning of billions of human minds, through direct access to their television screens… whoever controls information governs the world… the message is no longer obvious; instead it is impressively seductive.”

Lofti Maherzi, Algerie Actualite, 13-19 March 1985

On page 193-194: “Back in 1953 the CIA’s Robertson panel had recommended that a ‘broad educational program’ should be put in place to “strip the unidentified flying objects of the special status they have been given in the aura of mystery they have unfortunately required”. Among the companies named to work on these educational programs was Walt Disney Incorporated and according to one of its lead animators, two years later this is exactly what happened. Ward Kimball was one of Walt Disney’s inner circle of animators and designers. He created Jiminy Cricket for Pinocchio and the crows in Dumbo, and won Oscars for two of his Disney shorts. In the mid-1850s Kimball wrote in directed three TV specials featuring the German rocket scientist Werhner von Braun…. Ward Kimball was also a keen UFO enthusiast and remained one throughout his life. In 1979 he made an unscheduled appearance at the Mutual UFO Network’s annual conference, where he told the audience that in 1955 the US Air Force had approached Walt Disney with suggestions of making a documentary film aboutUFOs. the Air Force promised to supply Disney with real UFO footage, and Disney said his animators to work designing a leading characters to appear in it. The Air Force never delivered on the UFO footage, leaving Disney to cancel the project, although some of the aliens appeared in a 15 min. film about UFOs that was never publicly shown. [Emphasis mine.] Page 262 mentions some Masonic symbolism at Disney World in California.

Page 195-196 have a description of holography. “Allan Sandler was treated to a particularly impressive holographic demonstration in a screening room with a small stage at one end. The curtains parted and a man walked onto the stage to introduce the Pentagon’s new, state-of-the-art holographic projection technology. All of a sudden, a small bird flew out from the wings and landed on the man’s shoulder; he smiled and both of them disappeared. They were the demonstration.”

Chapters 13, 14 and 15 ought to be presented in their entirety; the latter two are the meat and potatoes of the book, “where the dog died”, but available space, cash, and pertinent copyright laws prevent me from presenting them here; perhaps Mr. Pilkington should be invited to participate in the Deep Politics Forum. In chapter 16, he addresses the allegation that he was himself working for MI6 while he conducted his research. Page 260 mentions a UFO museum, perhaps not unlike the one on the sixth floor in Dallas, to further bake and salt an “epistemological pretzel”.

On page 272: “In The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence Victor Marchetti and John Marks discussed the problem of “emotional attachment”, which because particularly acute for agents working in special operations. They describe a team in the late 50s training Tibetans loyal to the Dalai Lama for an uprising to reclaim their country from the Chinese, a mission that was fundamentally hopeless and led to many deaths. Several of the CIA trainers later adopted the prayers and beliefs of their charges. Emotional attachment, they note, is particularly prevalent in special operations, whose officers “often have a deep psychological need to belong and believe. This, coupled with the dangers and hardships they willingly endure, tends to drive them to support extreme causes and seek unattainable goals.

Is this how it happens? Is there something so deeply appealing, so deeply right about the UFO, about the idea of saviors from outer space, of technological age of Angels, of our future time traveling selves, that it also infects everybody that comes in contact with? Do we need to believe that someone else out there can save us, or least give us hope that we, as a species, as a planet, can survive the Pope actual chaos of life on earth?…” The author notes that “when carriers … get into corridors of power, as they sometimes do, then there’s every possibility that their infection… might spread. And from there it wouldn’t take much for the contagion to get dangerously out of hand.”

Finally on page 274, Pilkington suggests that the entire thing is “enough to make Sherlock Holmes unplug his modem”.



Posted May 22 2011, 10:50 AM

In her own inimitable way

Lil passed tonight at about 5:30 PM; the forces that be, medical and otherwise, decided that it was time for her to go. She was born on a Christmas past, and passed 84.5 years later.

Apparently she was aware that it was time for her to go; she called her daughter and her son to her bedside this morning and announced that she was gong to die before the day was out, and she was right.  Her daughter spent the better part of the previous afternoon and evening with her.

Her body gradually shut down, a process that’d been underway for some time but moved inexorably forward about a month ago.  Her daughter has been caring for her, almost single-handedly, since her own age of menarche.  Being of the male gender, the mother-daughter relationship in its numerous variations is an unknown, a mystery to me.

Lil was mentally troubled. She’d been seen, of course, through the years, and the top-flight folk who cared for her thought it best to give her an electrical lobotomy.  It’s known technically as electro-convulsive therapy, something which has its own genre in the annals of Hollywood, medicine, and other lore. Aside from a distant cognitive understanding derived from some reading, that’s all a mystery to me too, though the sequelae were not.

Lil’s early life is a story she’s often told.  I wasn’t there.  I can only go on the basis of what she and others have said, but it’s a ball of confused and tangled miscomprehension.  Some didn’t want to know.  There seemed to be little that could be done.  The doctors told her husband and her son (but not her daughter) that they ought to cut bait and run as far and as fast as possible before their lives got ruined.  Her son, having lived his first 16 years with her, couldn’t run fast enough.  Her husband could.  Her daughter, not having been given the choice, has earned all-but-sainthood for bearing the burden.

Lil’s medical chart was in its seventh volume when she passed. When stacked, it stood taller than she did. There won’t be a post-mortem of any sort.  It’s likely a massive study in the relationship between the mind and the body, but I’m only beginning to learn about such things. She’d had long-term serious cardiac issues resulting in multiple heart attacks, bypass surgeries, carotid surgery, etc.  She was on and off oxygen, in and out of rehabilitation, had difficulties walking in part from osteoporosis, at least one back surgery, several broken arms from falling, and was a hazard to herself at times.  She lived in a hospital bed in our living room for several years, in our house for two decades.

She re-married once, before she came to us.  She loved him and he loved her, and that’s all you can ask for in life.  Alas, he died within a year, and she was alone again.  It was a couple of years later when, like that line out of that long Frost poem, she came back to where they had to take her in.

Among the many failings as a result of her mental illness, she lacked clarity about financial affairs and how to manage them.  Shortly after my wife came home, having gleaned her mother’s personal effects from the nursing home, the undertaker called from the hearse to notify us that embalming and other costs have risen and that we should expect a bill for an additional $5K over and above the proceeds from life insurance policy bought to cover them. Beware that hooded old man at the rudder.

I’ve been estranged from Lil by her choice for years, but I sat down to write this right after I got the final call from my wife in the nursing home lobby. I felt the poor woman needed to have someone say something for her. She did watch after our kids when school let out when both parents were employed in those kinds of jobs with serious responsibilities that won’t let you go for a moment, won’t recognize that you’re actually a sentient being and not a robot. She worked as a nurse’s aide for a long time, in private duty, and in a rehab center, taking care of other people who needed a helping hand. But I could tell from the first moment I met her almost four decades ago, in the “living” room at the local private psychiatric hospital, that she didn’t like me.  I didn’t take it personally at first, though it was hard not to over the years and years of repetitive disdain. She never referred to me by name when talking to her daughter; I was always “him”.  She feared that I was going to come between her and her daughter, but the obverse was truer than not.

Much of her attitude was based on having a broken psyche. I never made it through medical school, let alone any residencies in the cognitive arts of healing, but I think Lil’s experience stands as a record of failure on the part of the medical, social and mental services world to do any healing. I don’t for a minute think that much healing of Lil could have been done; where the attention of the shrinks and the counselors needed to be was not on Lil but on the people around Lil.

She did more damage than you can know. Lil will forever stand in my mind as a statuesque template for the failure of the mental health system in America. Having had my own prior immunizations before I met her, I managed to find a way to get through it all without having formed any serious destructive tendencies, addictions or behavioral issues.  My wife was immunized by her own personal strength and by the fact that she became formally involved in the healing arts and thus had a string of people to whom she could talk; all of them had a greater understanding of what was involved in Lil’s case than I.

Lil’s son and his family didn’t fare so well.

As noted, Lil sat between me and my wife at dinner; she ruled the kitchen and the household and the dinner table by the depth of her self-centered dramas. She was, in her own way, like a Chinese water torture — often bland, always incessant and insistent on being demanding in the littlest of ways. Sometimes it was more dramatic and there was a “crisis”. These crises, in some ways, became regular and –at least from a medical point of view given the interplay between her heart conditions, her persistent small intestinal bleed which dropped a major feedback loop into her cardiological system, her pain (psychic and/or visceral), and her need to be taken care of — required a high degree of intimacy with the emergency medical services systems and emergency departments.  We had that covered by profession, but caregivers run out of tools, patience, and time. Even with several of them on the job, it was a very large task. Her daughter had seen many a person — professional, familial, or otherwise — find the time and method to drop out of the circuit and let the remaining people carry on. At one point, we actively sought the insights of pastors, physicians, psychological counselors (for us), and others. Friends simply didn’t want to hear it, didn’t know, couldn’t know, didn’t want to know. Solace and a breath of fresh air came infrequently; escape was sought and found in other ways.

But Lil meant well, in her own inimitable way. She wasn’t a bad person, or a criminal.  You couldn’t reasonably “prosecute” her for anything. She was — like everyone else — simply human, though deeply flawed, trying her best.

She struggled for years with her health. When she went into the nursing home, she got some R&R for a bit, but then began to turn on her care-givers there. One day when I was visiting, early in her stay years ago, she suddenly viciously turned on an aide who’d come in to turn down her bed and help her get comfortable, The aide had tried to be of help in helping Lil stand, and turn, and dress herself, and she got “taken down” for it.

When the aide left, I said “Lil, you can’t treat people like that”, and the comment unleashed an explosion. Lil turned and told me — in no uncertain terms — that she hated me and didn’t ever want to see me again, that she’d hated me since the day she laid eyes on me. She got herself worked up in a lather which I knew could trigger something serious, perhaps from high blood pressure. Hers was almost always phenomenally high, in part because she used far too much salt in her diet.  She insisted on cooking our dinner for us when she lived with us until it became obvious that she was a danger to her self and the household when around a gas stove. She was an inveterate smoker and smoked even when on oxygen therapy, despite everyone’s repeated prohibitions. She tried to hide her smoking habit from the world, especially her doctors, which of course was impossible.

But she had spoken, and I thought, “Well, perhaps the best thing I can do is simply to let it all be”, and I stopped going to the nursing home.


The words in the sermon from this clip from a well-known movie, the one that would always put my wife to sleep on a those Friday nights when we struggled to find time together alone, gets at the point. (2:35)


I hope that Lil can finally get some peace and comfort now, and I trust that my wife can get some rest.

jazz, piano, brain

Ahmad Jamal, Yellow Fellow

(Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival) (14:59) June 22, 2014


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How the brains of jazz piano players are different

Jordan, Taylor Sloan, Mic –  A study by Dr. Ana Pinho showed that when jazz pianists play, their brains have an extremely efficient connection between the different parts of the frontal lobe compared to non-musicians. That’s a big deal — the frontal lobe is responsible for integrating a ton of information into decision making. It plays a major role in problem solving, language, spontaneity, decision making and social behavior. Pianists, then, tend to integrate all of the brain’s information into more efficient decision making processes. Because of this high speed connection, they can breeze through slower, methodical thinking and tap into quicker and more spontaneous creativity.

Most shockingly, though, Pinho also found that when experienced pianists play, they literally switch off the part of the brain associated with providing stereotypical responses, ensuring that they play with their own unique voice and not the voices of others. Basically, it’s the opposite of Guitar Center riffage — true innovation like Oscar Peterson:

But piano is a taxing and complex instrument for the whole brain. Real pianists are marked by brains that efficiently conserve energy by allocating resources more effectively than anyone else. Dr. Timo Krings scanned pianists’ brains as they soloed and found that they pump less blood than average people in the brain region associated with fine motor skills. Less blood flow means less energy is needed to concentrate. Though that’s likely true of anyone who’s mastered a nimble task, it only compounds the efficiency pianists’ brains develop through mutating the central sulcus and altering their frontal lobe’s function. In pianists, the change in blood flow frees them to concentrate on other things that are totally unique to pianists — like their own unique form of communication.

It’s a difficult concept to grasp, but it’s one of the coolest things about being a pianist. When pianists improvise, the language portion of their brain remains active — like any musician, playing music is fundamentally an act of communication. But the big difference for pianists is that their communication is about syntax, not words. Dr. Charles Limb’s study showed that when pianists solo, their brains respond as if they were responding in a conversation, but they pay attention to phrasing and “grammatical” structure instead of specific words and phrases.

So pianists’ brains actually are different. They are masters of creative, purposeful and efficient communication because of the very instrument that they play. They are the naturally efficient multi-taskers of the musical world. 


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music videosKoto Song, Dave Brubeck (rare version) (9:49) (9:07)

Bill Smith – clarinet

Chris Brubeck – electric bass

Randy Jones – drums

Concord Jazz Festival, Concord, CA


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I had an elongated kinesthetic re-awakening that has to do with music, the brain connection, a personal apogee, the choice of instrument, the fact that I am an iNTP, how I am going to learn to play, what I am going to play, and more (see later).

It has to do with the body and muscles and the sudden bodily awareness that much of my musculature needs, energies, future tasks, and future development are bound up in the musculature of being an upright biped.

The suggestion, as yet fully unexplored along with the YouTubes and lessons given to me by my friend the Arkansas Dirt Devil and who is in fact — name him, book him, convict him, throw away the key — the dude responsible for the growing awareness of who and where music resides in me.

He suggests that a keyboard-based approach would work as an instrument; I had perhaps over-reached by suggesting an accordion of some sort (it’s mobile, doesn’t need power). The keyboard will allow (no, if I am attentive and disciplined, it will force) extensive right-left brain-motor-hand growth and rewiring. I’d be tethered, and that’s alright during an intensive learning phase. 

Part of the explosive awareness about the apogee is this:

I have been a pack-rat. I have (or know where I can find) huge volumes of information about deep politics, history, corruption, etc. It can, to a great extent, serve as fodder for future posting, blogging, etc. [Even the posting is getting to be a bore, as almost every place has turned into a snit-fight between players or small cadres. It’s time to move on, kick it up a notch and transform it, or drop it). It can also serve as fodder for lyrics for songs, starter kits for rants and blog entries, and much more.] But the really explosive (and like stupid doh! Zen thwack of the day) was in coming to brutal awareness that it is time to go back to the beginning.

The beginning for me (in the modern day era) was when I rather suddenly became aware of this song playing in my head. The at-first-grievous annoyance became a sandpapery abraisve and stayed for a month or two until, finally, I stopped in the middle of the parking lot and said “Dave Brubeck! Forty Days!”, and then proceeded to remember when and how I could find a copy. A long, long time ago, in a time far, far away, the previous wife had made off with the entire stereo system and virtually all the LP holdings by a couple that were former college radio station DJ and former college radio station general manager. We had the best, and then she had it. And then one day the mental alarm went off with the strangely-haunting melodies and rhythms of

[I wrote and told the story to Dave himself, and he sent this nice postcard of him at the piano in front of a giant piece of art not unlike himself). Yes, and I have, since that time, attended a concert by the new (third or fourth) quartet playing live in Saunders Theater — described by the genius behind an exclusive business of music equipment and recordings as the best place to hear and record jazz in America) (a great experience, thank you very much you know who you are, my funny valentine) and heard Bobby Millitello in an absolutely rocking-and-riveting upbeat elongated rendition of Koto Song with him soloing a flute in a Japanese style, including his chanting (with an inch of separation) over with mouthpiece.

I had this thought…that the best way for me to learn the instrument was to have a light and portable keyboard with strap with headphone wiring that allowed me to work, exercise, train and practice both the left hand and the right hand. What better way to turn myself into a functional auto-didactic-and-assisted learner of music theory and composition than to put into my muscle memory. [I have given myself a six-month objective of identifying and acquiring the right tool.][Note that I have since acquired a five-octave keyboard/synthesizer that I can plug into my iMac and cue up GarageBand.]

And on the other hand (pardon the pun), listening to my already extensive iPod collection of tunes, much of which is piano, in the performance, jazz, and other styles. Therein lies the model which I can replicate (or try my damnedest). And it includes a huge collection from the keyboard of the man who will soon meet his Maker as the greatest living expression of (or at least popularization of) jazz. And much other work, and it’s still growing. But it’s slowing down, that growth, and what better way to pay tribute to Dave Brubeck and his career than to turn it into my own personal library of music education, learning, and perhaps even performance, though the performance I think I want to do goes in a different direction of being a supportive but minor player of bass, harmony and rhythm through a keyboard.

Perhaps it is time to stop the growth and take all those seeds in a different direction as a learning pathway and neuro-muscular re-organization (I can’t yet conceive of how the brain will further explode once the corpus callosum is alive and dancing in the polyrhythms of such things as Take Five (in 5/4 rhythm) or Unsquare Dance (in 9/8 rhythm), or … perhaps a tango, or the aikido of life).

The lesson in the great awakening of apogee I just had, and I recognize that I have a very long way to go (yes, even elementary skool but highly up to-date in terms of graphics, animation, etc.) but here are some first impressions:

There ought to be a test of some sort, a survey of prior orientation and skill, or-as-yet-undiscovered method of determining how best to advance in the world of musical self-expression.

Maybe the choice of instrument has a component of moving to it, which gets to the handheld thing, but both are. Or can be. Yes, the more advanced keyboardist probably has three to seven of them.

But the focus again must be on entry level easy-path to learning theory, notation, language, etc. From there, I move on into other instruments but, in recognition of reality and apogee, a keyboard can remain viable at its elementary level without electrical power. By then, both hands would have been cross-trained in theory, harmony, rhythm, and composition that I can squeeze my vast memory and see what comes.

I do recall sitting on the stage next to the keyboardist in the almost-cult-like group Vanilla Fudge when they played “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”.

There is a book/audio on Eurhytmics with CD on teaching kids music by having them move to the notes played on a piano, walking, bending, moving upper arms, in which bass becomes the heavy muscle memory section, and the hands become the higher-pitched brass, reeds, percussion, etc. In this way, as above, with music piped into both sides of my brain as well as inputted into my movement and muscle memory, I get to become the music.

And this, of course, leads and links to dance, voice, aikido, or wider-scale drama/performance, whether for or with two, or more.

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There is nothing extraordinary about improvisation….. A jazz pianist begins playing a theme, takes it through variations, weaves in the second theme, attaches ornaments. The conversationalist draws upon a well-organized hierarchy of knowledge…. In either case, the quality of the performance depends on the depth and flexibility of the learned hierarchy, and the performers ability to exploit better hierarchy quickly, in real time.

Improvisation can be a marvel….the intersection of technique, understanding and creative flair.

Music, The Brain and Ecstasy: How Music Captures Our Imagination, Robert Jourdain, William Morrow & Co., 1997.



Improvisation is the pinnacle of musicianship. Expressing oneself is a form of communication that is individual, intimate and, when done well, capable of touching the emotions of others. Most improvisation operates within some external design. Improvising requires initiating action rather than responding to someone else’s command; it is an activity that affirms our individuality. Impulse and the realization come from inside, and impulse is the critical element. Improvisation flows from moment to moment, each moment flying out of the previous activity. We find the next step below we are not sure what the next step should be. It requires sizing up the situation, trusting our judgments, and acting upon our own assessments.

Improvisation occurs throughout our day in many ways. A conversation is an privatization, unless we have a prepared speech. As we speak, we pull together the words that express the images, emotions and thoughts in our mind. There is probably no field of activity where improvisation does not occur. Ingenious, impromptu bits of activity often avert disaster. We freely improvise when cooking. Skilled improvisation requires a vision of what needs to happen and the ability to assemble the needed resources. The resources for improvisation are stored as the sensations, the connections and the constructs in our memory. Improvisation excites the memory traces in a lively way, alerting everything available.

Time is an essential element in musical improvisation. When we open to the whole world of knowledge (and we need to do this to explore the maximal number of choices), we cannot review every item with equal consideration. The rational planning part of our mind must back off and give control to the musical impulse. Because the outcome is unplanned, there is always risk involved. The successful improvisation depends on the strength and flexibility of the imagination–its capacity to hold and rearrange impressions from memory. If the memories can be recalled with considerable detail, choices can be made and the results shaped with continuity and with skill.

The Rhythm Inside: Connecting Body, Mind and Spirit Through Music,  Julia Schnebly-Black, Ph.D. and Stephen F. Moore, PhD., Rudro Press, Portland, OR 1997.



Jazz, that uniquely American musical form, is remarkable not only for the magnificent way that it wears its heart and soul on its sleeve, but equally for its structural-improvisational nature, the depth of its musical intelligence, and its raw life force.

The key to improvisation is that you choose to enter an unpredictable arena, well-prepared. You intentionally take your skills away from the safe place to play in a danger zone. Luck has little to do with it–the more background, preparation and courageous readiness one brings to it, the better it goes. One can spend a lifetime getting better at it; making a habit of it throughout life improves the quality of one’s music in one’s life. Improvisation is a fast series of tactical choices with personal skills. So fast is the choosing that they cannot think or plan; they must rely on educated intuition. Improvising happens in the perpetual present tense, and it always comes with risk.

Musicians are not the only ones who improvise. All of us do it every day: when there’s a traffic problem on our usual route and we try another route; when we meet someone new who catches ourr interest; when we dance; when the child asks where babies come from and we stutter a response; when we lie; when we try to express our feelings; when we tell an anecdote; when we order a meal in a restaurant; when we make love.

The artistic skills of jazz are used to improvise a life. We experiment, return, respond, follow intuitions, weave together thematic strands; we play what is there. It’s like standup Divine comedy. Life jazz is our yearning cruising the streets to find undeveloped raw material of daily life. It is the alchemy by which leaden life experiences are spun into gold. It engages all the skills of the artist to play seriously, to make high-quality experiences in the present tense.

The Everyday Work of Art: How Artistic Experience Can Transform Your Life, Eric Booth, Sourcebooks, Napierville, Illinois 1997.


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Keith Jarrett – The Art of Improvisation – YouTube (1:16:08)


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Music video:

Endless (Keith Jarrett) (15:00*) 


[buy the album “Changeless” here: ]

The Allmusic review by Richard S. Ginell awarded the album 4 stars and states, “This is a triumph, for Jarrett has successfully brought the organically evolving patterns of his solo concerts into the group format … a genuine collective musical experience.”[2]

This is quasi-orgasmic and I bought it the first time I was aware of it. It played endlessly for a month and longer. It was an elemental part of my recovery.  “Jarrett is a follower of the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff (1866-1949),[19] and in 1980 recorded an album of Gurdjieff’s compositions, called Sacred Hymns, for ECM. Jarrett has also visited Princeton University‘s ESP lab run by Robert Jahn.[20][21]”

*The conversation that begins at about the 7-minute mark between Peacock on bass and Jarrett on piano is, for me, as good as it gets. 


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Rhythm, Sound, Improvisation and ‘Life Jazz’


Rhythm is found everywhere…, In machines, nature’s tides, in sunlight and wind, in seasons, in animals and plants, in art and architecture, in the human body’s circular and respiratory systems, in the way we walk, and in music.

The word “Eurythmics” comes from the Greek words meaning “good flow”. The ancient Greeks used the term of your rhythmic to refer to the good form of an athlete in action, or the pleasing shape of the statute. When flow is missing, we say “the athlete is off his game”, or” “I do not like that statue”, or “that architecture is fragmented”, or “that music does not move me”.

 Sensory integration is best supported and expressed by linking auditory stimulation and body movement. This is been dramatically demonstrated by Emile Jacques-Dalcroze and the teachers of the Eurythmics approach. As sound vibrations travel through the air and enter the ear, the aural system transmits them to specific areas of the brain for processing. Information about the body’s arrangement in space and the state of its musculature (relaxed or tense) comes to the brain simultaneously through the proprioceptive system. The visual sense carries images of the activities of others around you, or from within your own mind, from which you take cues and clues. This complex flow of internal messages moving on different branches of the nervous system operates similarly in anyone who must perform with precision and skill–a violinist, a tennis player, or surgeon. [Or machinist…]

Practice moving in time to music, stopping quickly when the music stops, starting when the music starts. In order to move with wisdom and flow to music, you must listen carefully, and you will improve your degree of alertness; it becomes a game of keeping up with the music by clapping, then walking, then moving all of your body in more complex ways. If you feel embarrassed doing this with a close friend,

if you feel embarrassed doing this in the presence of others, that’s okay. So start by trying this in a private setting, done with a close friend, but do it. You may remember playing musical movement games of this kind in kid in kindergarten. It’s okay: let go and be a child again.

Although clapping in time with the beat is a common response to music, walking is a more vibrant expression of the beat….  The action of walking involves the whole body. We feel the movement in our knees, ankles, toes, elbows, head, shoulders, back, hips–all over. Walking uses balance as the principal force to propel the body ahead, supported by evenly-timed leg movements. It provides a greater stimulation for memory impressions than clapping, which lacks the demand of balance and the impelling force of leg movement.…  Walking is a simple, reliable source of stimulation for establishing … a sense of beat which then leads to establishing a beat using all kinds of movements including conducting, clapping, swaying, twisting, stretching and skipping. You can become keenly aware of the the varying intensities of energy necessary to move the specific parts of the body: a hand, whole arm, shoulder, or the entire upper torso. The body offers many ways of moving–each with a different flow of effort, direction, articulation and speed. The body is an instrument in itself.

Different muscles can be used to mimic the different rhythms and music. Slow, heavy rhythms might be reflected by movements in the larger muscle groups such as the legs and torso. Quick, light rhythms might involve the fingers or the tip of the tongue. As you learn greater control over your large muscle groups, you will feel corresponding growth in control over the smaller muscle groups. It is a smaller muscle groups that are vitally important in mastering performance on musical instruments. [Musicians are athletes of the small muscle groups!] Musicians, athletes and dancers often make it look so easy. This apparent ease arise arises from repetitive practice–so that their bodies move smoothly and elegantly, without detectable effort, nervous obstruction, or mental or emotional distraction. Playing games with the natural forces of weight and gravity, and taking risks to find the limits of balance, will enlarge your field of sensation and expression.

Lisa Parker, head of Eurythmics, Longy school of Music, Cambridge Massachusetts: “Once students start to use their whole body, it becomes like new worlds in the language. They find a richer vocabulary of behavior; they discover a lot of equipment in the back closet.”

Soon, if you give yourself permission to play at moving your body to music, you will learn to express the quality and characteristics of the music by the manner of your movement… fast, slow, light, graceful, forceful, tentative, exuberant… By learning to move your body to music, you can learn to transfer the feeling of selected pieces of music to your movement and to your performance… Linking movement with sound will help you increase your perceptions and awareness, focus and improve your attention, allow you to develop finer degrees of muscle control, and enhance your ability to improvise and respond creatively in situations of all kinds. Moving to music encourages the shy, lends balance and flow to the awkward, brings control to the impulsive and sensitivity to the unaware. It harmonizes our bodies sensory systems, the evocative influence of our emotions, and our minds memory and creative functions.

When internal communication flows effortlessly between body, mind and spirit without interference, the level of performance, insight and creativity soars.

Practicing Eurythmics will improve and accelerate your kinesthetic awareness. [Practicing tai chi to music may also help.]

With this enhanced experience of making stronger neurological connections with your proprioceptors, you will enhance your athletic capability as well as your musical one.

The Rhythm Inside: Connecting Body, Mind and Spirit Through Music, Julia Schnebly-Black, Ph.D. and Stephen F. Moore, PhD., Rudro Press, Portland, OR 1997.

[Based on the Dalcroze Eurhythmics approach to teaching music, with accompanying music CD, this book suggests a marvelous way to introduce movement with music and the practice of kinesthetic awareness.]

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Father’s Day brought me two gift certificates for iTunes which I just redeemed for five albums:  Keith Jarrett’s Facing You which was described by Esbjorn Svensson as having had a seminal impact on his own work as a jazz pianist; three of Svensson’s albums (301, Seven Days of Falling, and Leucocyte), and Dhafer Youssef’s Birds Requiem

The connection between the Sufism influences on Youssef and the Gurdjieff influences on Jarrett will now inform my own sacred personal dance. Right now, this is playing:örn-svensson-trio-o.d.r.i.p./ 

You will know for sure once you’ve seen the light. 


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E.S.T.- Seven Days Of Falling (5:58) 


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Greatest Jazz Pianists

Jazz has had the broadest perspective of all genres in music since its first note to the present day. It is for that reason that this list is presented in the same manner, with respect to all the myriad forms & interpretations of jazz that exist today. 

Criteria: – These jazz pianists were chosen for their originality, versatility, compositional skill, impact and influence in addition to their technical and improvisational playing of the instrument. 

Newly added names are in Red

Edited By: Rick Varner

Last Updated: 09-12-2011 





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Patricia Barber, Caravan (8:13)



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Tuesday night update:


Just now, having received a nice contact comment from Esteban, a guitarist, voting for Art Tatum and The Monk, I find this on Slashdot:

Programming on a Piano Keyboard

Posted by Soulskill  
from the well-tempered-claiverlang dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Here’s a fun project: engineer Yuriy Guts built a Visual Studio extension that lets people program using MIDI instruments. You can write code letter by letter on a piano keyboard. Granted, it’s not terribly efficient, but it’s at least artistic — you can compose music that is also a valid computer program. Somewhat more usefully, it also allows you to turn a simple MIDI input device, like a trigger pad into a set of buttons that will run tests, push/pull code, or other tasks suitable for automation. The extension is open source and open to contributions.

Mind Control Technology

Mind Control Scientists Find New Memory Manipulation Technology

Monday, June 2, 2014 9:15

Nicholas West
Activist Post

[This is a full re-post of the original article as found at the link at the bottom of the entry.]

The race to decode the brain continues, and quickens by the day. A wild array of new possibilities are opening in the field of mind control. The mind control of the future forgoes all pretense at indirectly altering perception through media and politics, or even mind-altering drugs and environmental toxins. The mind control of the future goes straight into direct programming and rewiring of the human brain.

These new mind control techniques are being introduced in gadgets that create a brain-computer interface, magnetic manipulation via “neural dust,”  and even the direct uploading of the contents of our brain. One must then consider the subsequent hacking of our minds in the digital realm.

Memory research is a key component of this as well, and neuroscientists are making great strides to ensure that our memories are destined to become fully controllable.

Our memories help us form our identity: who we are relative to where we have been. Positive or negative lessons from the past can be integrated into our present decisions, thus enabling us to form sound strategies and behaviors that can aid us in our quest for personal evolution. But what if we never knew what memories were real or false? What if our entire narrative was changed by having our life’s events restructured? Or what if there were memories that were traumatic enough to be buried as a mechanism of sanity preservation, only to be brought back to us in a lab?

The latest research indicates a disturbing quest by technocrats and reductionists to interfere with this human cognition and even deliberately plant false memories, or create entirely new ones.

The military already has openly discussed a desire to erase the memories of soldiers through pills or direct brain implants for those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is seen as a viable solution, rather than investigate and ameliorate the horrific events which have put soldiers into stressful situations to begin with. Multi-tour soldiers are more suicidal than ever before, and military researchers would like to rewire their brains, as opposed to rework our current understanding of war and peace.

Damn the ethics; science continues full throttle, largely at the behest of military ideology and funding. The proverbial canary in the coal mine has transformed into lab animal. Apparently, until humanoid robots can be released full force, they need to create the best human facsimile possible.

In a supposed attempt to understand why people can have memories of things that never happened, or divergent reports of the same documented event, the upshot of recent experiments with mice is that it is in fact possible to implant false memories of events that never have happened. Beyond that, researchers can implant fear:

The researchers place a mouse in a brand new environment. As the mouse explores this environment (Place A), new memories are created in the hippocampus (the region of the mammalian brain that we know is deeply involved with memory formation). In Place A, the mouse has the time of its life. The mouse is then relocated to a different environment (Place B). While in Place B, the neuroscientists stimulate the memory of Place A using optogenetics . . . while simultaneously delivering electric shocks to the mouse’s feet, causing fear and pain. Then, when the mouse is returned to Place A, it freezes in fear. This is because the mouse’s brain has somehow confused the fear of electric shocks in Place B with its memory of Place A — in other words, a false memory has been created.

What you have just read is a form of trauma-based mind control.

Of additional note is that scientists employed a virus to change “the neuron’s DNA so that they produce a protein switch that is sensitive to light. Then, when these neurons are struck by light (a hole is drilled in the mouse’s skull and a laser is shot into that region of the hippocampus), the memory is turned on.”

A literal on/off switch to produce fear.

Ironically, a recent study at Scripps claims to have discovered how to remove those fear- and trauma-based memories, selectively wiping the hard drive clean. They are excited about the possibilities to reduce “dangerous drug-associated memories” and other types of post traumatic stress disorder, while preserving the happier times:

The human brain is exquisitely adept at linking seemingly random details into a cohesive memory that can trigger myriad associations—some good, some not so good. For recovering addicts and individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), unwanted memories can be devastating. Former meth addicts, for instance, report intense drug cravings triggered by associations with cigarettes, money, even gum (used to relieve dry mouth), pushing them back into the addiction they so desperately want to leave.


In the new study, the scientists inhibited actin polymerization—the creation of large chainlike molecules—by blocking a molecular motor called myosin II in the brains of mice and rats during the maintenance phase of methamphetamine-related memory formation. (Source)

Also from Scripps comes the discovery of exactly how long-term memories are formed by proteins:

The study, published online by the journal Cell Reports, focuses on a family of proteins called Wnts. These proteins send signals from the outside to the inside of a cell, inducing a cellular response crucial for many aspects of embryonic development, including stem cell differentiation, as well as for normal functioning of the adult brain.

“By removing the function of three proteins in the Wnt signaling pathway, we produced a deficit in long-term but not short-term memory,” said Ron Davis, chair of the TSRI Department of Neuroscience. “The pathway is clearly part of the conversion of short-term memory to the long-term stable form, which occurs through changes in gene expression.” (Source)

Scientists at UC Irvine have gone one step further: directly altering the neurons in the brain of a mouse to produce an entirely new memory … by sound alone. Whereas the above is trauma-based, this type of interference can be generated by tone:

To create the memory, the researchers played a series of test tones to the rodent test subjects. When a specific tone played, the researchers stimulated the nucleus basalis, releasing acetylcholine (ACh). This jolt of ACh then causes the cerebral cortex to turn that specific tone into a memory. Later, when the rodents are played the same tone, their respiration spiked, showing they recognized the tone. The other tones, which weren’t subjected to a spike in ACh, did not cause the same reaction.

This is a further sample of how thoughts can potentially be controlled from a distance and without the knowledge of the person whom the technology has been directed upon.


Along similar lines, researchers have found a way to bring back memories by targeting specific frequencies – once again touting the benefit to Alzheimer’s patients:

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have erased and successfully reactivated memories in rats, offering hope that the same can be achieved with humans.

The study, published in the journal Nature, is the first to show the ability to selectively remove a memory and predictably reactivate it by stimulating nerves in the brain at frequencies that are known to weaken and strengthen synapses. The work builds on earlier research on NMDA receptors.

Roberto Malinow, a professor of neurosciences and senior author of the study, said: “We can form a memory, erase that memory and we can reactivate it, at will, by applying a stimulus that selectively strengthens or weakens synaptic connections.


Sadegh Nabavi, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab and the study’s lead author, said: “We can cause an animal to have fear and then not have fear and then to have fear again by stimulating the nerves at frequencies that strengthen or weaken the synapses.” (emphasis added)


This is part of the grand future of neuroscience, which is receiving funding from the $100 million BRAIN project in the U.S., and another $1.3 billion committed by Europe.  We are already seeing some very unethical applications, like seeking ways to make people suffer eternally by distorting one’s sense of time.

We would do well to weigh the positives and negatives while we still have the capacity to freely form and communicate our own thoughts; because the next step is on the horizon . . .  and it looks rather grim for anyone who values human emotion. Returning to The Journal of Neuroscience:

The next step, of course, is to actually do something with these findings. The research group would like to use its memory manipulation technology to fix/treat undesirable brain function, such as anxiety and depression. Being able to delete or reprogram bad memories, a la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, would probably make short work of many mental woes. Perhaps more excitingly, though, is the potential to directly encode new memories into our neurons — kind of like when Neo learns to fly a helicopter in The Matrix. That’s probably a few years away yet, though. (emphasis added)


MIT Research Paper:
“Creating a False Memory in the Hippocampus”:

 DOI: 10.1126/science.1239073

The Journal of Neuroscience:


Main sources:


Additional Sources:
Updated 6/02/2014


Read other articles by Nicholas West Here



Originally posted at: 



optimal human function

Guest Post:

Human intelligence or human awareness?


By Robert J. Burrowes

The human organism, at birth, is capable of becoming an integrated whole. And it is only by becoming an integrated whole that it can function optimally. What does this mean?

In order to function optimally, the human organism requires that all mental functions – feelings, thoughts, memory, conscience, sensory perception (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste), truth register, intuition… – must all be developed and readily involved, without interference, in our life. If this happens, then all of these individual functions will play an integrated role in determining our behaviour in any given circumstance.

Under these conditions, the behaviour that would be generated should not be described as ‘intelligent’ or as ’emotionally’ or ‘sensorily’ driven: such behaviour should be described as ‘aware’ because it is based on a synthesis of all of the feedback our various mental functions can give us and the judgments that arise, in an integrated way, from this feedback. If we prioritise one function as more important, if we suppress our awareness of one or more functions (for any reason), then we disable a part of our holistic functioning to our detriment.

Many modern humans like to think that we are ‘intelligent’ and that it is this intelligence – which is somehow supposed to have superseded something more ‘primitive’ and ‘instinctive’ – that makes us ‘superior’. I believe it is the fact that humans have the potential to be integrated – making optimal use of millions of years of evolutionary pressures in so many respects (and which produced colour bifocal vision, for example) – that defines our true potential. I also believe that we are well short of reaching this potential so far, with the exception of the rare individual.

In brief, it is clear to me that I am more complete if I am ‘aware’ of and utilise all aspects of my being in an integrated way. If I am fully aware, then I learn quickly and easily or insight simply ‘drops’ on my being when I need it. There is no ‘work’, such as ‘thinking hard’, involved at all. Unfortunately, human socialisation works against the development of awareness by suppressing the development of vital mental functions. I will illustrate this point by discussing emotions.

Evolution has given each human being, at birth, the potential to develop a diverse range of emotions as one part of the sophisticated capacity they can use to respond immediately and appropriately to each unique circumstance that unfolds throughout their life. Unfortunately, human socialisation (which I call ‘terrorisation’) and, particularly, the ‘invisible’ and ‘utterly invisible’ violence that this entails, systematically destroys the human capacity to utilise emotional responses beyond those very few which are socially acceptable in the cultural context.

See ‘Why Violence?’


‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’ 

For example, if you prevent a child from behaving in accordance with their fear, they have no choice but to suppress their awareness of this fear. And this has disastrous consequences for the individual and, therefore, for us all.

In contrast, if we let children have their feelings from birth, and act on them as part of their integrated Self, no one would acquire the vast backlog of unfelt feelings which we then need to spend enormous energy fearfully suppressing for the rest of our lives while they continue to generate a phenomenal array of dysfunctional behaviours. This ongoing suppression, of course, only exacerbates our individual and collective dysfunctionalities frightfully and now manifests, for example, in having us on the brink of precipitating our own extinction, which I would have thought is quite unintelligent as well as being unaware.

The irony, of course, is that if you ask the most serious advocate of the ‘intellectual’ human thesis ‘When is the last time you had sex because it was a good idea?’ most of them would look at you as if you were mad. Even the ‘intellectual’ human advocates concede that feelings have their place, as long as they are ‘good’ feelings!

The problem is that modern human society is utterly antithetical to a wholesome human existence – what child wants to sit, bored out of their brain, in school all day? – but we can only make modern humans into compliant slaves by terrorising them into suppressing their awareness of how they feel and what they think. If we didn’t do this, an aware child would try school for ten minutes, promptly proclaim it boring and walk out. But we aren’t going to give children that much freedom are we? If we did, they might learn something for themselves that we don’t want them to learn! Freedom is too frightening: better to talk about it but do something totally other. Or limit ‘freedom’ to ourselves which, of course, makes it meaningless.

The Self-aware human being is intelligent because their mind is integrated. In contrast, an ‘intelligent’ individual who is unSelf-aware, because their mind is disintegrated, might engage in activities that are destructive of our species and the planet. I am sure that you can think of many examples.

If you wish to join the worldwide movement to end all violence and to create Self-aware individuals, you can sign online ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’

The potential to achieve Self-awareness is an evolutionary gift. It must be nurtured. It is easily destroyed.

Robert J. Burrowes

Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ 

His email address is
and his website is at