Mind Control Is Possible

posted: 04/11/12
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As seen in "MythBusters: Mind Control."

Finding: BUSTED

Explanation: Conspiracy theorists have long accused governments of implanting microchips in brains, beaming subliminal messages and practicing good old-fashioned hypnotism to control people's behaviors and minds. Thanks to the Internet, any John Q. Public can now purchase his own Big Brother-style gadget for personal mind-control means.

So, in the spirit of today's technological democracy, MythBusters Tory Belleci, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara tracked down the following mind-control methods online and built an isolation chamber where they could properly give each a scientific scrub-down:

1) Psionic helmet — basically a glorified bicycle helmet intended to beam the wearer's thoughts into other people's psyches.

2) Electronic hypnotizer — its flashing light and pulsing tone can supposedly hypnotize subjects and give the user power over their thoughts.

3) Subliminal acoustic simulator — a device that projects hidden messages meant to infiltrate one's subconscious.

4) Pulsed air machine and rotating bar magnet — both are said to excite the brain's half-hertz sensory resonance, which supposedly influences feelings of tension, sleepiness or even sexual excitation. The machine emits tiny puffs of air to disrupt atmospheric pressure, and the electromagnet slowly rotates to tap into the body's electromagnetic energy.

The MythBusters took a couple of unsuspecting subjects to their isolation chamber and hooked them up to an EEG monitor to record their brain waves. Scientifically speaking, if brain activity shifted while the MythBusters tested one of the methods, it might mean the gizmo actually works.

Only the electronic hypnotizer and the bar magnet appeared to produce altered brain-wave patterns, but even they failed to sway the subject's behaviors. Since none of the methods could effectively control the subjects' thoughts or actions, the MythBusters declared brainwashing a bust.

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