Mind Games: 200 Years of Mind Control

From Sharon Weinberger's Washington Post article, January 14th, 2007:

The callers frequently refer to themselves as TIs, which is short for Targeted Individuals, and talk about V2K -- the official military abbreviation stands for "voice to skull" and denotes weapons that beam voices or sounds into the head. In their esoteric lexicon, "gang stalking" refers to the belief that they are being followed and harassed: by neighbors, strangers or colleagues who are agents for the government.


In 2002, the Air Force Research Laboratory patented precisely such a technology: using microwaves to send words into someone's head. That work is frequently cited on mind-control Web sites. Rich Garcia, a spokesman for the research laboratory's directed energy directorate, declined to discuss that patent or current or related research in the field, citing the lab's policy not to comment on its microwave work.

David Hambling responds on Defense Tech with a claim from 1810, "as described ... by John Haslam, the apothecary at the notorious 'Bedlam' ... the original lunatic asylum":

One case from London was James Matthews, who said he was being influenced by an implant in his head by a gang using a weird electromagnetic device. This group, one of many, he called the Air Loom Gang, and among the tortures they inflicted on him were implanting thoughts ('kiteing'), stopping him from speaking ('fluid locking'), cutting his circulation ('sudden death squeezing') and 'brain lengthening' which would 'cause good sense to appear as insanity, and convert truth to libel'.

Wikipedia includes an illustration and the following gem in its entry on James Tilly Matthews:

In 1810 John Haslam, the apothecary at Bedlam, decided to publish a book entitled Illustrations of Madness: Exhibiting a Singular Case of Insanity, And a No Less Remarkable Difference in Medical Opinions: Developing the Nature of An Assailment, And the Manner of Working Events; with a Description of Tortures Experienced by Bomb-Bursting, Lobster-Cracking and Lengthening the Brain. Embellished with a Curious Plate.

I miss book titles like that, I do.

The Air Loom was recently recreated "by artist Rod Dickinson in collaboration with Tyne and Wear Museum and technical team and Headway community theatre group. The Air Loom is installed at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle until January 5th 2003."