Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine published a cover story I’d been working on for the past number of months about an extremely large group of people who believe the government is targeting them as part of a “mind control” campaign.

I wrote a brief item at Defense Tech, over the weekend, and Noah suggested that I check back in a few days and post an update with the response to the article. Well, let’s just say life is an adventure, and the article has elicited strong reactions. What response?

Well, first there are the 70 or so blog entries related to the story, the online discussion and the nine full pages of comments appended to the Washington Post Magazine article, most from people who say they are victims of mind control. There are also some notable reactions at Defense Tech; and my e-mail inbox (by the way folks, Gmail was wrong about “never deleting another e-mail” — my account has hit its limit). Reactions came at two extremes: There were a number of “TIs” (short for Targeted Individuals) who graciously thanked me for writing their story, and then there were skeptics who attacked the article for not concluding the TIs are all schizophrenics in need of medical help.

My favorite comment from the Post’s site was simply: “Good grief, Sharon, what have you done?!”

I’ve often asked myself that same question.

There were a few people, however, who seemed to agree that whether the TIs’ claims are true or false, there’s something to be said about trying to understand why so many people believe the things they believe.

But for anyone who thinks that all TIs are mentally ill people in need of forced medication, I suggest you check out some of the extremely sane tactics they employ. For example, their organized response to the article would make some political campaigns jealous. As one mind control blog advises:

"We must write the Washington Post in high numbers to show that this story merits a follow up. We must get our side of the story out, before the perps start inundating them with letters that we are crazy. Please take part in this to give the accurate side of what is really happening and remember to forward any supporting evidence."

There’s also a few researchers raising a fascinating question in the medical literature:

One of the defining features of a delusion is that it should not be a belief “ordinarily accepted by other members of the person’s culture or subculture”. Nevertheless, some researchers have noted that there is no clear measure of what is ‘ordinarily accepted’. It is also possible that cultures or subcultures could be based around beliefs that would otherwise be diagnosed as delusional. Until now, however, there have been no obvious examples of such subcultures identified. In the Psychopathology paper, ten websites reporting psychosis-like ‘mind control’ experiences were identified. The reports were anonymised and independently blind-rated by three psychiatrists who confirmed that they reflect experiences stemming from psychosis.

One final thought: Some of the documents I dug up through a Freedom of Information Act request indeed confirmed that the Air Force Research Laboratory patented a device to send sounds and voices into someone’s head as a “psychological warfare tool.”

So, I guess that begs the obvious question: even if you dismiss everyone who claims they are a victim of mind-invading technology, what do you think the Pentagon plans to do with such a device?

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