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  • Is mind control possible? In 1973, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research discovered that by pulsing microwaves to produce "audiograms" (analogs for spoken words) and directing these microwaves on people, they could make a person hear voices inside his/her head! Although this may not be the same medium as the television brainwashings on the X-Files, the idea that such technology exists is fascinating and frightening.
    (NOTE: In the summer of 1997 I actually had the opportunity to go to WRAIR and look for information on the above experiment. Although the people there were very cooperative, and I got to look at an overview of some of the other microwave research being conducted in the military, the microwave research branch there had closed down about a year before. They referred me to the Defense Technical Information Center's (DTIC) online records, but I never had a chance to follow up on that lead.)

    For more information on the experiments in question, go to http://www.webcom.com/~pinknoiz/coldwar/microwave.html... although I'm not entirely sure about the validity of this source since it claims that such technology has been used on civilians by the CIA for decades.
    If you'd care to make your own investigation, drop by the WRAIR home page at http://www.wrair.army.mil/, or swing by DTIC at http://www.dtic.mil/.

  • In this episode, shadowy forces are using cable television to send subliminal messages to suburban residents. How does television work, you ask? Well, you see, there are these little people who live inside the TV that--just kidding! The real answer: an electronic signal comes into the television box from either a coaxial cable or an antenna; the signal is interpreted by the set and separated into video and audio; the audio is piped to speakers, and the video signal dictates the movement of a beam of electrons that is fired against the back of the TV screen. The screen is coated with phosphor, a chemical that glows when it's hit by electrons. All of the tiny glowing dots produced on the back of the screen comprise the moving image that you see. (More on the science of cable converters in UNUSUAL SUSPECTS.)

    For the complete story on the workings of a television, read Encarta Encyclopedia entry on the matter at http://encarta.msn.com/find/concise/default.asp? vs=x97&la=na&ty=1&vo=11&ti=020f1000.

  • Agent Mulder escapes the effects of brainwashing because he is colorblind. The hidden visual color patterns on the television transmissions used to brainwash people are primarily red and green, two colors that Mulder has trouble distinguishing.

    For more information, go to http://www.healthanswers.com/database/ami/converted/001002.html for a general overview of the nature of colorblindness, or to http://www.healthdirect.com/usenew/missedit/mn_color.htm for a 1996 news article on the genetic roots of colorblindness.

  • One of the best ways to twist people's minds to a certain ends, (according to this episode, at least) is to distort their entire perception of reality. Mark Pesce, creator of the Internet's Virtual Reality Modeling Language agrees with this possibility for brainwashing, claiming that as technology becomes more and more prevalent, so does the potential danger of psychosis. His early experiments in virtual reality yielded such results, as people were confused when they saw one thing and felt another.

    Read more about this concept in Mr. Pesce's paper "Final Amputation: Pathogenic Ontology in Cyberspace" at http://www.hyperreal.com/~mpesce/fa.html... the paper is long, but it's really quite an interesting read.

 File #:

Basic Plot:
In this episode, a government experiment in mind control makes everyday people think that the person they hate the most is after them.

Synopsis URLs:
Synopsis @ Official X-Files Site
Synopsis @ Deep Background

Title means:
Refers to programming something biological, as in "wetware," e.g., the human mind.

End of science file.
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