In this episode, a government experiment in mind control makes everyday people think
that the person they hate the most is after them.
Refers to programming something biological, as in
e.g., the human mind.
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
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
For the complete story on the workings of a television, read
Encarta Encyclopedia entry on the matter at
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
For more information, go to
for a general overview of the nature of colorblindness, or to
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.
Mark Pesce's homepage link: http://www.hyperreal.com/~mpesce/
VRML Repository link: http://vrml.sgi.com/
Read more about this concept in Mr. Pesce's paper "Final Amputation: Pathogenic
Ontology in Cyberspace" at
the paper is long, but it's really quite an interesting read.
This page was last updated: 09/05/98
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