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Will “They” Soon Be Reading Our Thoughts?

By James Donahue

In our wild quest to protect ourselves from terrorism and other acts by so-called evil-doers, scientists in the fields of neuroscience and neurotechnology are reporting progress in the field of reading human thought. And this suggests the most frightening possibility of government invasion of privacy ever.

Imagine a device like that operating at every airport, every bus terminal, every court house and every public building, with an armed police officer on duty at each machine. Could the day be far off when people can be arrested and charged with thought crimes?

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin have been working on a computerized brain scanner that is already capable of reading tiny electrical fields generated from the human brain. In experiments they have been successful in using the machine to receive messages by a person picking out letters from an alphabet on a screen.

The University of Wisconsin team is working on a device that will help people no longer able to speak, following a stroke or other brain disorder, be capable of communicating again. Such a device may also be an important tool in the field of psychiatry and understanding and perhaps healing the minds of the mentally ill.

But we all know that as soon as the technology is available governments, and especially the military, will also be utilizing it in brain scans that can “read” thoughts and emotions.

The advancements in neurotechnology are occurring in other laboratories as well. Some teams are reporting devices that let them watch the formations of emotions like love, lust and anger by measuring psychopathic signatures emitted from those signals coming from the brain.

One report noted that security agencies in the United States are already researching the use of scanners for interrogating prisoners. Businesses are studying the possibility of using scanners to help motivate increased sales.

Indeed, mind reading is not a new idea. In fact, some humans, including my wife, are excellent mind readers, often without knowing what they are doing. But there is something eerie about having someone answer a question before it is ever spoken. On some occasions I have found myself doing the same thing with her. Perhaps after years of married life, people learn how to “tune in” on the thoughts of their mates.

I once conducted an experiment in reading the minds of strangers. I was sitting in the car, parked at a grocery store and waiting for my wife to pick up a few items. My first subject was a young woman that walked directly out of the store and passed in front of my car. I concentrated on her thoughts and got the distinct image of shopping carts. I thought it odd until I noticed the girl was gathering shopping carts left scattered around in the parking lot. She was obviously a store employee.

I tried the experiment again with an elderly gentleman who got into a car that was parked next to mine. I immediately got an image in my head of a fishing rod and water. On our way home about a half hour later we passed this man standing along a cut canal along the road. He was fishing.

The apparent ease at which I was able to pick up on these mind images from total strangers was somewhat disconcerting. I chose not to enhance such an ability because the idea of being bombarded by the thoughts of people in crowded places was not a comfortable one. But the experiment gave me an understanding of my strange ability over the years, as a news reporter, to follow through on “hunches” and strangely know when something was going on that I was not supposed to find out about.

Some believe humans have devolved from an original blueprint when we had the ability to communicate telepathically, leave our bodies and travel anywhere within seconds, and live in a perfect state of health and bliss. Most children are born with many of these abilities but lose them as they grow and have the social norms we have created pounded into their heads. And then a few “rebels” retain their natural abilities. These are the so-called “psychics” and mind readers among us. The Christians used to declare them witches and put such people to death.

Now that science is using neurotechnology to develop machines that can do what everybody should be able to do with their own minds, something ominous appears mixed in the brew. Because the universe we have created for ourselves is a twisted vault of materialism mixed with greed and an inability to love, such machines will obviously be misused.

They will be designed to enslave us all instead of being beneficial to anyone.