This Couldn’t Possibly Happen. Could It?
Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA
I want to start by reading you an extract from a book that was written and published in the UK in 1977. I think you will find it important.
`For over a century doctors have known that if wires are poked into the brain and an electric charge passed through them, there will be different responses from different parts of the brain. A wire poked into one part will cause a leg to move, the same wire poked into another part of the brain will cause an arm to twitch. Fifty years ago we knew that with the aid of electronic stimulation, doctors could induce pleasure, eradicate pain and recall memories previously lost.’
`With electrodes in position the patient can be controlled quite effectively from a distance. He can be made to eat, to sleep or to work. His appetite, heart rate, body temperature and other factors can also be monitored and controlled.’
`Researchers have shown that gentle cats can be transformed into aggressive beasts if certain parts of their brains are stimulated. In one dramatic experiment Dr Delgado of the Yale University School of Medicine in America wired a bull with electrodes and then planted himself in the middle of a bullring with a cape and a small radio transmitter. The bull charged but was stopped by Dr Delgado pressing a button on his transmitter. The bull screeched to a halt inches away from Dr Delgado.’
`Dr Delgado reported that `animals with implanted electrodes in their brains have been made to perform a variety of responses with predictable reliability as if they were electronic toys under human control.’
`Similar experiments had even then been performed with human beings. The patients selected had all proved dangerous and had shown that they had uncontrollable tempers.’
And that’s the end of the quote.
I don’t have to get permission to read that extract because it was from my second book which was called Paper Doctors and was published in 1977 by Maurice Temple Smith in London. There are some reviews of the book on my website under the `biography and contact’ button. Incidentally, I gather that a website on the internet has published old email addresses for me. I’m afraid those addresses haven’t worked for ten years so please don’t use them.
Sadly, Paper Doctors has been out of print for years. And for the record I loathed animal experimentation as much then as I do now. I am delighted that the British Government now appears to accept experiments on animals are pointless.
Although I wrote all that in the 1970s, Delgado was working in the 1950s and 1960s and his work was just the beginning of a very complicated story that is only now coming to its final chapters.
Most people – and in that I include most doctors and most scientists – have never heard of Delgado’s experiments and do not realise just how significant they now are.
But it was Delgado, and people like him, who started the long, slow journey towards the control of the human body and human mind.
There have, of course, always been two essentials for controlling people from afar.
First, you need a way to implant some sort of receiver in the human body. Over the years the receivers available have got smaller and smaller. People still think of microchips as being little things you can pick up and hold between your fingers. The sort of thing you might find in a mobile phone for example.
But some microchips are now way, way smaller than that.
You can get a pile of the things on your fingernail. You could get one in a syringe and through the needle. You could get one in a spray and blow it up your nose. That small. Not that anyone would want to inject a microchip into themselves, of course, though other people might, I suppose, like to do it for them.
The second necessity is for a transmitter.
And that’s not difficult at all. You need a tall post of some kind, a flagpole or a tall building, or a pylon of some kind, and then you stick your transmitter on the top so that it can send its messages out over a wide area. That bit’s easy. Something like a radio transmitter. Or, I suppose, like those things that send signals to mobile phones. It would have to be a bit more sophisticated than the old mobile phone signals, of course.
So, that’s all the equipment you need.
A little chip in the body of the person you want to control.
And a transmitter to send messages.
If you were a mad doctor and you wanted to control an individual it would be a doddle.
You’d just tell them you were giving them an injection to protect them against the flu or something like that and in the syringe there would be a little receiver. And then you’d stick a transmitter on the roof of the house across the road from where they lived.
And then you could send messages to make them do whatever you wanted them to do. You could make them sad or angry or happy or contented. You could make them run or fight or just spend all day in bed.
Remember, that’s what Dr Delgado was doing over half a century ago. It’s nothing new.
Of course, if you wanted to do the same thing for lots of people you’d need a whole lot of people to help you.
Say you were a really bad person and you wanted to control a whole population, for example. You could make people do whatever you wanted them to do. You could make them go shoplifting or commit murder or all vote for somebody or commit suicide or anything you wanted them to do. If you wanted a smaller population you could make everyone stop wanting to have children. It would be terribly easy. Remember Dr Delgardo was doing this over half a century ago. It’s just that his receivers and transmitters were a bit cumbersome.
If you wanted to do this you’d need someone very rich to start with. Someone with loads of money and contacts. A billionaire really. And someone without much in the way of morals.
And you’d need something to inject into people. A medicine of some kind for example.
And then you’d need someone good at software to help with all the transmitting and the receiving and you’d need people with access to lots of tall poles or roofs where they could put the transmitter things.
But none of that would be any good unless you had a reason for injecting people. You can't just go around injecting millions of people for no reason.
Ideally, you’d need them all to be frightened of something so that they were keen to let you inject them. And then you could put your tiny receivers into the stuff that was being injected. Or squirted up their noses or whatever.
But that would be the tricky thing to organise because you’d ideally need a threat of some kind.
You could tell everyone that they were going to get the plague or something if they didn’t let you give them their wonderful antidote.
That might work.
But for that you’d need to have a really big scare about something.
And that wouldn’t be possible because you’d need some experts to say that there was a big scare coming when really there wasn’t. So they’d have to make up something or find something and then exaggerate it. Or you find someone not very good at what they did and get them to make a forecast that terrified the life out of everyone.
And then you’d have to keep people really scared.
You could, I suppose, make them so scared that they were happy to put up with all sorts of rules and restrictions. And you could tell people that if they didn’t do what you told them to do then the scary thing was going to get worse than ever.
And you’d need experts and advisers who had links to the companies making the stuff you were planning to give people. And you’d have to promise them all sorts of things. And you’d probably need some greedy and compliant politicians too.
So it really wouldn’t be possible to arrange all that.
And anyway there’s another problem because you would need to keep people separated so that you could make sure the messages you were transmitting reached the individual receivers. You’d have to have people standing several feet apart all the time and there’s no way that people would do that.
So it couldn’t possibly work, could it?
Even if that’s what someone wanted to do.
Copyright Vernon Coleman June 24th 2020
Vernon Coleman’s most recent novel Dr Bullock’s Annals is a black comedy set in Victorian England. It is available on Amazon as a paperback and an eBook.