The scientific foundation of no touch torture by Martin Bott
Electromagnetic fields such as radio frequency and laser radiations always cause an electric current if they are acting on conducting materials such as metals and the human body. To have an effect on the nerves or the muscles this current needs to imitate the currents used by the body, as is the case with the commercially available muscle trainers or other bioelectric apparatus.
The currents used by the nerves have a low frequency in the order between several hertz to several kilohertz. To produce such low frequency currents through high frequency microwave or laser radiation several methods are used.
One technique is to use beats between two high frequency electromagnetic radiations with slightly different frequencies. These beats are actually a low frequency electromagnetic field which then causes a low frequency current. The frequency of the beats is actually the frequency difference between the two high frequency fields.
If an electromagnetic field of 1 Ghz and another of 1 Ghz plus 100 hertz are interacting, the resulting beats have a frequency of 100 hertz. These electromagnetic beats cause a current with a frequency of 100 hertz which then contracts muscles.
If the frequency of the beats is in the audible range, one would hear a sound or voice depending on the signal being used for modulation. Technically spoken one would overlay two high frequency electromagnetic radiations of equal frequency. To one of these microwave or laser radiations the desired low frequency signal, for example recorded nerve pulses or voice is added in a way that leads to an addition of the high frequency and the low frequency signal. The resulting beats between the two high frequency signals consist of a low frequency electromagnetic field which has the characteristics of the added nerve pulses or voice. This electromagnetic Field then causes an electrical current similar to the nerve pulses or voice added to the high frequency signal. And such an artificial nerve current has the same effect as the nerve currents used by the body.
Another possibility is to use an asymmetric electromagnetic field where the positive component has a different frequency from the negative component. Electric currents in the body are not caused by moving electrons as in metals but are mainly ionic currents. That is, they consist of moving electrically charged Atoms. These Atoms have a certain mass and size. Their relative size causes them to have, additional to their electrical resistance, a mechanical resistance in the body fluid. If the ion is moved faster, its mechanical resistance rises even faster.
The mechanical resistance rises as the square of the speed. This means that if the speed is doubled, the resistance is 2×2 which gives a value of 4. And if the speed rises by a factor of 3 the mechanical resistance rises by 3×3 which is 9. This effect can be felt if one moves the hand slow and fast through water.
As a consequence the ions conducting the current in the body experience a higher mechanical resistance if moved at higher frequencies as compared to lower frequencies. If the high frequency signal is asymmetric, meaning that the positive component of the sine wave has a different frequency as the negative component, the ion experiences two different mechanical resistances as well.
Since the energies of both components of the signal are equal, the ions are moved back and forth by the asymmetric field. But because of the lower mechanical resistance during slow movement they move a bit further in the direction enforced by of the lower frequency component.
This is illustrated with a DVD being moved through water in the Film 4 Strahlenwaffen. Such an asymmetric electromagnetic field can be generated with frequencies up to many Ghz by fast synthesizers. These asymmetric high frequency fields are causing ionic electric currents which can simulate nerve pulses in the body.
This techniques are used for brainwashing as well. If the parts of the brain which are passing the nerve signal from the ear to the brain are irradiated with such a speech modulated signal, the resulting voice is not being heard, as it is not coming from the ear. But it is not being thought either as it is not coming from inside the brain. That can make it difficult to decide whether specific thoughts or opinions are the result of brainwashing. Especially if one is not aware of this possibility. Brainwashing can be suspected if opinions or thoughts are openly false or even lead to dangerous behavior like taking drugs, drinking and smoking.
Suitably speech modulated electromagnetic fields are perceived as being heard or thought by certain brain regions involved in hearing. In a similar way the regions of the brain responsible for seeing can be stimulated by electromagnetic fields. The question arises to what extend this can be used. It is known that every point on the surface of the body corresponds to another point on the surface of the brain with regard to feeling, hearing and seeing. The surface of the brain is, so to speak, an image of the surface of the body with regard to data processing. Points being close together on the surface of the body or the retina are as well close together in the respective region of the brain. The region responsible for seeing is situated in the backof the skull, right over the neck and named visual cortex.
This opens the possibility to stimulate this region of the brain with laser using the techniques described in detail elsewhere in this text. A high resolution low frequency or asymmetric electromagnetic field being produced by heterodyning of two laser beams is used to scan the surface of the visual cortex. On its way over the brain surface it stimulates the nerves to cause the impression of seeing. And thus “write” a picture or a film onto the visual cortex.
There are two major obstacles to simply “write” a picture onto the brain. The first is that the structure and organization of every brain is a little different. The second is that the surface of the visual cortex is quite large and as a consequence is bent to fit into the scull resulting in a three dimensional structure.
The laser has to write the picture without the computer exactly knowing which part of the brain surface is matching a given point on the retina. This problem certainly would result in a distorted picture being “seen”. With modern computer techniques, matching a picture or a film to the bent surface of the brain, it is possible to write an exact picture onto the brain. The difficulty is to know which point on the brain corresponds to which point on the retina. This demands a possibility to calibrate the laser weapons.
But how can the brain, the retina and nerves in general be tapped with a sufficient high resolution at some distance? If a microwave signal is interacting with a low frequency signal such as is occurring in a nerve, both are heterodyning. This heterodyning causes signals with the frequencies microwave+nerve signal and another one microwave-nerve signal. As these resulting signals are microwave signals as well, they are radiating from the nerve and can be received at some distance, allowing direct measurement of the electric activity of the nerves.
The voltage of a nerve pulse measures about 50 to 100 millivolts. There are electronic circuits for transmitters operating with 600 millivolt and even less. These of course only have a short range of maybe 10 or 20 meters. However, the alternating voltage in the antenna of such a transmitter may not be much higher than 100 millivolt. Similar oscillating voltages result in similar radiated power. The nerves may not radiate as good as a metallic antenna but with the use of low noise amplifiers this may be compensated to some extend. A range of 5 to 10 meters for such a nerve tapping system seems to be reasonable and is more than what is necessary to map the electric activity of the retina and the brain.
The system needs two high resolution laser beams with slightly different frequencies to produce one beam of beats in the microwave range. These high resolution beats scan the group of nerves to be mapped. The local heterodyning between the electromagnetic beats in the microwave range and the nerve pulses cause microwave signals of different frequencies which are radiated. This allows to measure the nerve activity at some distance with a resolution depending on the resolution of the laser.
The technique is employed in the following way: One system is scanning the retina to exactly measure the local nerve activity with a high resolution. This allows at least to get a precise image of the patterns seen by the nerves of the retina at this moment. Maybe even a coloured picture similar to that seen with the eyes at this moment can be generated. A second system is simultaneously scanning the visual cortex.
During seeing a nerve signal from a spot on the retina is passed through the nerve system to the corresponding spot in the visual cortex. This spot then shows a nerve activity corresponding to the activity on the retina. Patterns seen by the eye show up on the surface of the brain as well.
Due to the irregular structure of the brain these patterns certainly will appear spatially distorted, but always in the same way. The technique described allows to map the retina and the visual cortex within seconds to gain sufficient data concerning the spatial distortion. This data then can be used to match a picture or a film to the spacial distortion in the visual cortex. This corrected picture will then be “seen” undistorted if written onto the brain with laser techniques.
Once this calibration is done any picture or film can be written at great distance onto the visual cortex. Certainly the picture seen by the eyes can be reproduced at great distances as well, using radar and lidar techniques to measure the direction the eyes are looking into. The picture of the area the eyes are looking into can be obtained by radar and lidar as well. This allows the possibility to write a modified or morphing picture or film of the reality into the visual cortex of the brain. This modified picture then interferes with the picture seen through the eyes. This technique seems to be used to simulate hallucinations by introduction of additional pictures or colours. The quality of the pictures and films being transmitted with this technique is unknown but may be very high. Certainly this technique used by the CIA/ NSA/ FBI is very costly and an enormous waste of tax money.
Making visible the picture seen by the eyes through tapping of the nerves seems to be done under favorable conditions for other reasons as well. In this case the tapped nerve signals are used to generate an exact picture of what is seen with the retina, to reveal what a person is looking at. And high resolution laser weapons allow to exactly steer the muscles of the eyes of a victim.
Both techniques combined allow the exact picture seen by a victim to be written on the retina of a CIA/ NSA/ FBI official. Then the movements of the muscles in the eye of the CIA/ NSA/ FBI official can be measured with radar and the data be used to steer the muscles of the victim likewise. This allows the agency preceding the CIA/ NSA/ FBI to cause a victim to see what they want him to see and to prevent the victim from seeing something else. This technique is being used in many ways to force a victim to make decisions, like choosing a certain company from the yellow pages or looking at specific points of a map omitting others.
Obviously crude techniques using electromagnetic radiation to write a picture onto the brain are known for quite some time. Around 1975 when I was about 10 years of age I had been told by classmates that one would have a third eye, situated on the brain right in the middle of the forehead, which I, of course, did not believe. However these children at the age of 10 or 12 years certainly knew a little more despite giving a false location for the visual cortex.
State of the art
According to the techniques published, one would expect a high resolution laser beam being split into two. One of these laser beams would run through a pockels cell where a synthesizer generated microwave signal would be added. This microwave signal would be asymmetric. Additionally it would be a spread spectrum signal, meaning that its frequency would change very fast over several Ghz. The interaction of these two laser beams produces beats in the microwave range.
As a result we have a high resolution and highly directional beam of an asymmetric electromagnetic field in the microwave range which then produces a low frequency current which can imitate the natural currents of the nerves. The target area is then scanned with this high resolution beam. Such beats in the microwave range penetrate an obstacle just like any radio frequency signal of the same frequency.
With this technique it is quite difficult to directly measure the beam due to the spread spectrum signal. Even with the proper measuring equipment it should be possible to shoot right around the sensors due to the very high resolution achievable with a laser. Other possibilities are jamming the sensors or using additional laser radiation which causes destructive interference of the electromagnetic waves within the sensor, nulling theeffect of the laser signal on this sensor.
Promising could be direct measurement of the currents on the surface, or better by electrodes within the body and comparing them with the natural body currents. Another possibility could be to use additional radiation of one or several suitable wavelengths which then interact with the radiation of the laser weapon to produce either beats or harmonics in a spectrum visible to the eye or cameras. A little bit of smoke would then reveal the path and origin of such a radiation used as weapon.
The generation of beats or harmonics can be used in shielding techniques as well. If additional radiation of a suitable wave length is overlaying or heterodyning the relatively low frequency beats of a laser weapon, harmonics can be generated in a frequency range which can not penetrate a certain barrier. An electromagnetic field causes atoms and molecules to move in time with the field. If the frequency of the electromagnetic field is low this movement of the atoms is slow as well, consuming relatively little of the energy being transmitted by the electromagnetic field. This allows microwave signals as well as electromagnetic beats in the microwave range to
If high frequency, for example infrared radiation, is overlaying the low frequency microwave signal, this heterodyning causes harmonics in the infrared region. These high frequency electromagnetic harmonics, like infrared radiation, are moving the atoms and molecules in time with their high frequency. These fast movements of atoms and molecules enforced by the harmonics or electromagnetic radiation are consuming the energy very fast, resulting in the radiation being shielded by converting it into heat.
The same physical principles are used for surveillance as well. The resolution achievable with laser radar techniques using infrared and visible light can be evaluated with regard to data storage on CD-ROM and DVD. Using heterodyning it is possible to penetrate one or several barriers. The use of UV-lasers allows a much higher resolution, making it possible to read CD-ROMs and DVDs at quite some distance, especially if they are positioned in a way exposing the optical layer to the laser. Stacks of many DVDґs may be read without any problem.
This makes possible to let organizations being interested in certain information, say voice or film recordings showing victims being tortured, to have a look at it and still being able to plausibly deny any knowledge. However, the material is archived somewhere. And the CIA/NSA/FBI certainly does not want this. And consequently may back off from torturing a person. Otherwise…film it, burn it and expose it.
The application to steering, brainwashing techniques and torture.
During steering the contraction of the muscles of the torturer is being measured with radar techniques. The contraction of the muscles of the torture victim is measured with radar techniques as well. Then electrical pulses are transmitted by laser or microwave techniques into the muscles of the torture victim till the muscles of both persons are contracted likewise, resulting in synchronous movements including speech. Being steered results in exactly following the movements of the person steering and saying what this person says.
Beating as it is frequently shown in the films requires purposeful movements of the body. These movements can be steered as described by a CIA/ NSA/ FBI official or by a person’s own brain. Brainwashing of course does not steer the muscles. Accordingly target is not beating during brainwashing and mood management as this requires deliberate and purposeful aimed movements of the body, not only enforced “thoughts” of any kind.
Brainwashing is done by converting voice into suitable electrical pulses. With theses pulses laser or microwave radiation is modulated in one of the already described ways. This modulated radiation is aimed at the regions of the head transmitting speech from the ears to the brain. This radiation then produces an electric current which is equivalent to the voice used for modulation.
Depending on the part of the head or brain being targeted this voice is perceived in a different way. If the ear is targeted the voice is heard like a normal voice as is the case with cochlear implants in deaf persons. If the areas of the brain are targeted which are transmitting the nerve signals from the ear to the brain, the voice does not come from the ear and is accordingly perceived more or less as thought. This makes it difficult, especially for the unaware, to distinguish between own thoughts and simulated “thoughts” enforced through brainwashing.
Because thoughts are more likely to be accepted as truth than an information given by another person, such enforced “thoughts” are used by the agency like the CIA/ NSA/ FBI to lie more effectively. An effective countermeasure could be to use an exotic language or dialect while thinking. This makes brainwashing more difficult as the CIA/ NSA/ FBI then has to use this language or dialect for brainwashing as well. The more exotic the better. America targeting native speakers of an exotic language for immigration may point to a possible operating field of the CIA/ NSA/ FBI, searching personnel to enable brainwashing in this region.
Additionally, enforced “thoughts” of any kind effectively prohibit a person to think on her own as long as the brainwashing continues. Such a prohibition to think, may result in a reduction of the intellectual capacity if continued over years due to lack of training. And it effectively prevents the targeted person to gain information from independent sources such as the media as a database to make correct decisions or to correct possible false beliefs.
This incident exposes the quality achievable in steering of the voice. Emotional changes in the torturers voice are being perfectly imitated by exactly copying the movements of the muscles to make the steered voice sound as natural as possible.
Obviously the computer processing the data being used for steering of the victims voice recognizes the emotionality of the steering CIA/ NSA/ FBI official to a certain extend. Techniques like stress analysis of the voice and measurement of the electrical resistance of the skin are being used in the polygraph for lie detection. The lower the resistance of the skin the stronger the current induced by radar and the stronger the returning radar signal.
With this data it is possible to a certain extend to automatically steer additional rudimentary mood management in phase with the mood and voice of the steering CIA/ NSA/ FBI official. Additional mood management used against the victim while being steered makes it harder to recognize this steering. Experiencing the own body insulting or even beating someone without being angry would be quite a strange experience, making it obvious that the own body is being steered. As it is sometimes been stated by persons being accused of aggressive behavior. The shouting and insulting carried out by the CIA/ NSA/ FBI official steering the target before beginning to beat could be part of this mood management system as well. To make it more difficult for target to recognize the mood management and the steering by diverting him through additional agitation.
A certain amount of blackout in some regions of the brain seems to be used by the CIA/ NSA/ FBI as well to render more difficult the detection of being steered. This suppression of intellectual capacity and power of recollection can be achieved through slowing down of the brainwaves or by jamming of the communication between the nerve cells using additional electric pulses being transmitted through radio frequency or laser weapons. Such a blackout sometimes as well is reported by persons being involved in violent incidents.
Even the short term memory can be erased to a certain extend as it stores the information electrically before this information finally is being stored chemically through connections of the nerves which can only be erased by destruction of the cells. But such a destruction would be easily detectable using modern medical equipment.
Electrical erasure of the short term memory by purpose can be assumed if one goes a short distance, say into another room for a certain reason and on arrival can not remember this reason.
The experience of a word being on the tip of someoneґs tongue which then slips away without the possibility to get a grip on it, also seems to be caused through erasure of the short term memory.
Committing someone to suicide can be achieved by brainwashing as well. However, directly steering a person into death will be much easier and thus be preferred. The recorded films show target completely being steered. This techniques can be used to assassinate a person by steering, using any of the conceivable methods to commit suicide. While being steered target had been made to shoot himself into the hand with an
Causing someone to drive straight ahead into a tree or walk into a passing car can easily be done by producing low frequency beta waves in the brain, prohibiting all conscious action. Simple devices using this mechanism by employing laser or microwave radiation.
Transcript of Interview
Can you describe what mind control feels like?
JD: It takes on different characteristics over time. In the beginning, you simply don’t know that you are being influenced by it. Your brain doesn’t distinguish the external signal from your natural brain signals. Later, you feel that something is wrong and it feels like you are disassociated. Overtime as the intensity is turned up, you almost go into shock that such pain and trauma can be induced into the brain bypassing the normal sensory pathways. Just like turning a knob, full control of the human can be achieved or dissipated.
When full control is achieved it can best be described like a war in the mind. Your freewill is trying to overcome the mind control signal. Imagine a road with deep ruts in it. You are driving 55 miles an hour. Your tires get caught in the ruts and the car begins to steer itself to follow the deep ruts. When the car hops out of the ruts you get control but quickly the front tires get trapped into the ruts again. But unlike a car, you can’t just stop your mind. Even during sleep it continues and must follow the ruts. Later I learned that these ruts are called brain resonance entrainments and has commonalities to hypnosis.
What other kinds of psychological and neurological experiments were run on you?
JD: I counted over 75 different experiments from passing polygraphs and purposely failing polygraphs to memory recall experiments and trying to program me to kill various military leaders whom I didn’t know. They used sentence repetition, subliminal dream programming, a strange kind of brain imprinting using conditioning of emotional states that could be invoked with flashing images of the people I was to kill they told me.
What else can you tell people about your horrific experience and about neurological weapons?
JD: What was truly mind blowing for me is that I was forced to begin thinking in words. Every thought that I had after a while would be perceived as internal audio. They went through a mapping process where they refined and tuned the phonemes of perceived speech. It was as if they forced my brain to learn a way to control a voice synthesizer.
Can you imagine how maddening it is not to be able to think quickly and silently?
What do you think the purpose was of that experiment?
JD: At the time I was so confused as to why this was being done to me that I didn’t know. But in hindsight it was obvious that it served dual purposes at least. It is the perfect interrogation tool and by interjecting false sentences in the same “voice” as my new internal voice, the system would occasionally trick my mind into thinking that I thought it. They have been working on this technology and using it for over half a century. Again, in hindsight, I have seen this technology described in countless movies but didn’t believe that it really existed at the time.
How did they release you from the program?
JD: I don’t know if they fully did. They stopped the torture and violent imagery and repetitive sentence programming that were intensely painful, but not everything has stopped. Maybe I am to be triggered by a keyword to do their bidding. I just don’t know if I am a failed project because I was too aware of what they were trying to do or if I am now a programmed assassin. How could one know that technology to fully control a human as a remote control soldier has been perfected? I feel exactly how someone should feel who was tortured and now cope with post traumatic stress syndrome with flashbacks to the extreme torture methods.
It is difficult to know whether I should consider myself lucky that I survived or if the horror of being betrayed by my government and living with the knowledge on what a massive scale this is done isn’t a fate worse than death. There are no good guys to root for anymore.
New on the Internet: a community of people who believe the government is beaming voices into their minds. They may be crazy, but the Pentagon has pursued a weapon that can do just that.
By Sharon Weinberger
Sunday, January 14, 2007
IF HARLAN GIRARD IS CRAZY, HE DOESN’T ACT THE PART. He is standing just where he said he would be, below the Philadelphia train station’s World War II memorial — a soaring statue of a winged angel embracing a fallen combatant, as if lifting him to heaven. Girard is wearing pressed khaki pants, expensive-looking leather loafers and a crisp blue button-down. He looks like a local businessman dressed for a casual Friday — a local businessman with a wickedly dark sense of humor, which had become apparent when he said to look for him beneath “the angel sodomizing a dead soldier.” At 70, he appears robust and healthy — not the slightest bit disheveled or unusual-looking. He is also carrying a bag.
Girard’s description of himself is matter-of-fact, until he explains what’s in the bag: documents he believes prove that the government is attempting to control his mind. He carries that black, weathered bag everywhere he goes. “Every time I go out, I’m prepared to come home and find everything is stolen,” he says.
The bag aside, Girard appears intelligent and coherent. At a table in front of Dunkin’ Donuts inside the train station, Girard opens the bag and pulls out a thick stack of documents, carefully labeled and sorted with yellow sticky notes bearing neat block print. The documents are an authentic-looking mix of news stories, articles culled from military journals and even some declassified national security documents that do seem to show that the U.S. government has attempted to develop weapons that send voices into people’s heads.
“It’s undeniable that the technology exists,” Girard says, “but if you go to the police and say, ‘I’m hearing voices,’ they’re going to lock you up for psychiatric evaluation.”
The thing that’s missing from his bag — the lack of which makes it hard to prove he isn’t crazy — is even a single document that would buttress the implausible notion that the government is currently targeting a large group of American citizens with mind-control technology. The only direct evidence for that, Girard admits, lies with alleged victims such as himself.
And of those, there are many.
IT’S 9:01 P.M. WHEN THE FIRST PERSON SPEAKS during the Saturday conference call.
Unsure whether anyone else is on the line yet, the female caller throws out the first question: “You got gang stalking or V2K?” she asks no one in particular.
There’s a short, uncomfortable pause.
“V2K, really bad. 24-7,” a man replies.
“Gang stalking,” another woman says.
“Oh, yeah, join the club,” yet another man replies.
The members of this confessional “club” are not your usual victims. This isn’t a group for alcoholics, drug addicts or survivors of childhood abuse; the people connecting on the call are self-described victims of mind control — people who believe they have been targeted by a secret government program that tracks them around the clock, using technology to probe and control their minds.
The callers frequently refer to themselves as TIs, which is short for Targeted Individuals, and talk about V2K — the official military abbreviation stands for “voice to skull” and denotes weapons that beam voices or sounds into the head. In their esoteric lexicon, “gang stalking” refers to the belief that they are being followed and harassed: by neighbors, strangers or colleagues who are agents for the government.
A few more “hellos” are exchanged, interrupted by beeps signaling late arrivals: Bill from Columbus, Barbara from Philadelphia, Jim from California and a dozen or so others.
Derrick Robinson, the conference call moderator, calls order.
“It’s five after 9,” says Robinson, with the sweetly reasonable intonation of a late-night radio host. “Maybe we should go ahead and start.”
THE IDEA OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE CONVINCED THEY ARE TARGETED BY WEAPONS that can invade their minds has become a cultural joke, shorthanded by the image of solitary lunatics wearing tinfoil hats to deflect invisible mind beams. “Tinfoil hat,” says Wikipedia, has become “a popular stereotype and term of derision; the phrase serves as a byword for paranoia and is associated with conspiracy theorists.”
In 2005, a group of MIT students conducted a formal study using aluminum foil and radio signals. Their surprising finding: Tinfoil hats may actually amplify radio frequency signals. Of course, the tech students meant the study as a joke.
But during the Saturday conference call, the subject of aluminum foil is deadly serious. The MIT study had prompted renewed debate; while a few TIs realized it was a joke at their expense, some saw the findings as an explanation for why tinfoil didn’t seem to stop the voices. Others vouched for the material.
“Tinfoil helps tremendously,” reports one conference call participant, who describes wrapping it around her body underneath her clothing.
“Where do you put the tinfoil?” a man asks.
“Anywhere, everywhere,” she replies. “I even put it in a hat.”
A TI in an online mind-control forum recommends a Web site called “Block EMF” (as in electromagnetic frequencies), which advertises a full line of clothing, including aluminum-lined boxer shorts described as a “sheer, comfortable undergarment you can wear over your regular one to shield yourself from power lines and computer electric fields, and microwave, radar, and TV radiation.” Similarly, a tinfoil hat disguised as a regular baseball cap is “smart and subtle.”
For all the scorn, the ranks of victims — or people who believe they are victims — are speaking up. In the course of the evening, there are as many as 40 clicks from people joining the call, and much larger numbers participate in the online forum, which has 143 members. A note there mentioning interest from a journalist prompted more than 200 e-mail responses.
Until recently, people who believe the government is beaming voices into their heads would have added social isolation to their catalogue of woes. But now, many have discovered hundreds, possibly thousands, of others just like them all over the world. Web sites dedicated to electronic harassment and gang stalking have popped up in India, China, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Russia and elsewhere. Victims have begun to host support meetings in major cities, including Washington. Favorite topics at the meetings include lessons on how to build shields (the proverbial tinfoil hats), media and PR training, and possible legal strategies for outlawing mind control.
The biggest hurdle for TIs is getting people to take their concerns seriously. A proposal made in 2001 by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) to ban “psychotronic weapons” (another common term for mind-control technology) was hailed by TIs as a great step forward. But the bill was widely derided by bloggers and columnists and quickly dropped.
Doug Gordon, Kucinich’s spokesman, would not discuss mind control other than to say the proposal was part of broader legislation outlawing weapons in space. The bill was later reintroduced, minus the mind control. “It was not the concentration of the legislation, which is why it was tightened up and redrafted,” was all Gordon would say.
Unable to garner much support from their elected representatives, TIs have started their own PR campaign. And so, last spring, the Saturday conference calls centered on plans to hold a rally in Washington. A 2005 attempt at a rally drew a few dozen people and was ultimately rained out; the TIs were determined to make another go of it. Conversations focused around designing T-shirts, setting up congressional appointments, fundraising, creating a new Web site and formalizing a slogan. After some debate over whether to focus on gang stalking or mind control, the group came up with a compromise slogan that covered both: “Freedom From Covert Surveillance and Electronic Harassment.”
Conference call moderator Robinson, who says his gang stalking began when he worked at the National Security Agency in the 1980s, offers his assessment of the group’s prospects: Maybe this rally wouldn’t produce much press, but it’s a first step. “I see this as a movement,” he says. “We’re picking up people all the time.”
HARLAN GIRARD SAYS HIS PROBLEMS BEGAN IN 1983, while he was a real estate developer in Los Angeles. The harassment was subtle at first: One day a woman pulled up in a car, wagged her finger at him, then sped away; he saw people running underneath his window at night; he noticed some of his neighbors seemed to be watching him; he heard someone moving in the crawl space under his apartment at night.
Girard sought advice from this then-girlfriend, a practicing psychologist, whom he declines to identify. He says she told him, “Nobody can become psychotic in their late 40s.” She said he didn’t seem to manifest other symptoms of psychotic behavior — he dressed well, paid his bills — and, besides his claims of surveillance, which sounded paranoid, he behaved normally. “People who are psychotic are socially isolated,” he recalls her saying.
After a few months, Girard says, the harassment abruptly stopped. But the respite didn’t last. In 1984, appropriately enough, things got seriously weird. He’d left his real estate career to return to school at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was studying for a master’s degree in landscape architecture. He harbored dreams of designing parks and public spaces. Then, he says, he began to hear voices. Girard could distinguish several different male voices, which came complete with a mental image of how the voices were being generated: from a recording studio, with “four slops sitting around a card table drinking beer,” he says.
The voices were crass but also strangely courteous, addressing him as “Mr. Girard.”
They taunted him. They asked him if he thought he was normal; they suggested he was going crazy. They insulted his classmates: When an overweight student showed up for a field trip in a white raincoat, they said, “Hey, Mr. Girard, doesn’t she look like a refrigerator?”
Six months after the voices began, they had another question for him: “Mr. Girard, Mr. Girard. Why aren’t you dead yet?” At first, he recalls, the voices would speak just two or three times a day, but it escalated into a near-constant cacophony, often accompanied by severe pain all over his body — which Girard now attributes to directed-energy weapons that can shoot invisible beams.
The voices even suggested how he could figure out what was happening to him. He says they told him to go to the electrical engineering department to “tell them you’re writing science fiction and you don’t want to write anything inconsistent with physical reality. Then tell them exactly what has happened.”
Girard went and got some rudimentary explanations of how technology could explain some of the things he was describing.
“Finally, I said: ‘Look, I must come to the point, because I need answers. This is happening to me; it’s not science fiction.’” They laughed.
He got the same response from friends, he says. “They regarded me as crazy, which is a humiliating experience.”
When asked why he didn’t consult a doctor about the voices and the pain, he says, “I don’t dare start talking to people because of the potential stigma of it all. I don’t want to be treated differently. Here I was in Philadelphia. Something was going on, I don’t know any doctors . . . I know somebody’s doing something to me.”
It was a struggle to graduate, he says, but he was determined, and he persevered. In 1988, the same year he finished his degree, his father died, leaving Girard an inheritance large enough that he did not have to work.
So, instead of becoming a landscape architect, Girard began a full-time investigation of what was happening to him, often traveling to Washington in pursuit of government documents relating to mind control. He put an ad in a magazine seeking other victims. Only a few people responded. But over the years, as he met more and more people like himself, he grew convinced that he was part of what he calls an “electronic concentration camp.”
What he was finding on his research trips also buttressed his belief: Girard learned that in the 1950s, the CIA had drugged unwitting victims with LSD as part of a rogue mind-control experiment called MK-ULTRA. He came across references to the CIA seeking to influence the mind with electromagnetic fields. Then he found references in an academic research book to work that military researchers at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research had done in the 1970s with pulsed microwaves to transmit words that a subject would hear in his head. Elsewhere, he came across references to attempts to use electromagnetic energy, sound waves or microwave beams to cause non-lethal pain to the body. For every symptom he experienced, he believed he found references to a weapon that could cause it.
How much of the research Girard cites checks out?
Concerns about microwaves and mind control date to the 1960s, when the U.S. government discovered that its embassy in Moscow was being bombarded by low-level electromagnetic radiation. In 1965, according to declassified Defense Department documents, the Pentagon, at the behest of the White House, launched Project Pandora, top-secret research to explore the behavioral and biological effects of low-level microwaves. For approximately four years, the Pentagon conducted secret research: zapping monkeys; exposing unwitting sailors to microwave radiation; and conducting a host of other unusual experiments (a sub-project of Project Pandora was titled Project Bizarre). The results were mixed, and the program was plagued by disagreements and scientific squabbles. The “Moscow signal,” as it was called, was eventually attributed to eavesdropping, not mind control, and Pandora ended in 1970. And with it, the military’s research into so-called non-thermal microwave effects seemed to die out, at least in the unclassified realm.
But there are hints of ongoing research: An academic paper written for the Air Force in the mid-1990s mentions the idea of a weapon that would use sound waves to send words into a person’s head. “The signal can be a ‘message from God’ that can warn the enemy of impending doom, or encourage the enemy to surrender,” the author concluded.
In 2002, the Air Force Research Laboratory patented precisely such a technology: using microwaves to send words into someone’s head. That work is frequently cited on mind-control Web sites. Rich Garcia, a spokesman for the research laboratory’s directed energy directorate, declined to discuss that patent or current or related research in the field, citing the lab’s policy not to comment on its microwave work.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed for this article, the Air Force released unclassified documents surrounding that 2002 patent — records that note that the patent was based on human experimentation in October 1994 at the Air Force lab, where scientists were able to transmit phrases into the heads of human subjects, albeit with marginal intelligibility. Research appeared to continue at least through 2002. Where this work has gone since is unclear — the research laboratory, citing classification, refused to discuss it or release other materials.
The official U.S. Air Force position is that there are no non-thermal effects of microwaves. Yet Dennis Bushnell, chief scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center, tagged microwave attacks against the human brain as part of future warfare in a 2001 presentation to the National Defense Industrial Association about “Future Strategic Issues.”
“That work is exceedingly sensitive” and unlikely to be reported in any unclassified documents, he says.
Meanwhile, the military’s use of weapons that employ electromagnetic radiation to create pain is well-known, as are some of the limitations of such weapons. In 2001, the Pentagon declassified one element of this research: the Active Denial System, a weapon that uses electromagnetic radiation to heat skin and create an intense burning sensation. So, yes, there is technology designed to beam painful invisible rays at humans, but the weapon seems to fall far short of what could account for many of the TIs’ symptoms. While its exact range is classified, Doug Beason, an expert in directed-energy weapons, puts it at about 700 meters, and the beam cannot penetrate a number of materials, such as aluminum. Considering the size of the full-scale weapon, which resembles a satellite dish, and its operational limitations, the ability of the government or anyone else to shoot beams at hundreds of people — on city streets, into their homes and while they travel in cars and planes — is beyond improbable.
But, given the history of America’s clandestine research, it’s reasonable to assume that if the defense establishment could develop mind-control or long-distance ray weapons, it almost certainly would. And, once developed, the possibility that they might be tested on innocent civilians could not be categorically dismissed.
Girard, for his part, believes these weapons were not only developed but were also tested on him more than 20 years ago.
What would the government gain by torturing him? Again, Girard found what he believed to be an explanation, or at least a precedent: During the Cold War, the government conducted radiation experiments on scores of unwitting victims, essentially using them as human guinea pigs. Girard came to believe that he, too, was a walking experiment.
Not that Girard thinks his selection was totally random: He believes he was targeted because of a disparaging remark he made to a Republican fundraiser about George H.W. Bush in the early 1980s. Later, Girard says, the voices confirmed his suspicion.
“One night I was going to bed; the usual drivel was going on,” he says. “The constant stream of drivel. I was just about to go to bed, and a voice says: ‘Mr. Girard, do you know who was in our studio with us? That was George Bush, vice president of the United States.’”
GIRARD’S STORY, HOWEVER STRANGE, reflects what TIs around the world report: a chance encounter with a government agency or official, followed by surveillance and gang stalking, and then, in many cases, voices, and pain similar to electric shocks. Some in the community have taken it upon themselves to document as many cases as possible. One TI from California conducted about 50 interviews, narrowing the symptoms down to several major areas: “ringing in the ears,” “manipulation of body parts,” “hearing voices,” “piercing sensation on skin,” “sinus problems” and “sexual attacks.” In fact, the TI continued, “many report the sensation of having their genitalia manipulated.”
Both male and female TIs report a variety of “attacks” to their sexual organs. “My testicles became so sore I could barely walk,” Girard says of his early experiences. Others, however, report the attacks in the form of sexual stimulation, including one TI who claims he dropped out of the seminary after constant sexual stimulation by directed-energy weapons. Susan Sayler, a TI in San Diego, says many women among the TIs suffer from attacks to their sexual organs but are often embarrassed to talk about it with outsiders.
“It’s sporadic, you just never know when it will happen,” she says. “A lot of the women say it’s as soon as you lay down in bed — that’s when you would get hit the worst. It happened to me as I was driving, at odd times.”
What made her think it was an electronic attack and not just in her head? “There was no sexual attraction to a man when it would happen. That’s what was wrong. It did not feel like a muscle spasm or whatever,” she says. “It’s so . . . electronic.”
Gloria Naylor, a renowned African American writer, seems to defy many of the stereotypes of someone who believes in mind control. A winner of the National Book Award, Naylor is best known for her acclaimed novel, The Women of Brewster Place, which described a group of women living in a poor urban neighborhood and was later made into a miniseries by Oprah Winfrey.
But in 2005, she published a lesser-known work, 1996, a semi-autobiographical book describing her experience as a TI. “I didn’t want to tell this story. It’s going to take courage. Perhaps more courage than I possess, but they’ve left me no alternatives,” Naylor writes at the beginning of her book. “I am in a battle for my mind. If I stop now, they’ll have won, and I will lose myself.” The book is coherent, if hard to believe. It’s also marked by disturbing passages describing how Jewish American agents were responsible for Naylor’s surveillance. “Of the many cars that kept coming and going down my road, most were driven by Jews,” she writes in the book. When asked about that passage in a recent interview, she defended her logic: Being from New York, she claimed, she can recognize Jews.
Naylor lives on a quiet street in Brooklyn in a majestic brownstone with an interior featuring intricate woodwork and tasteful decorations that attest to a successful literary career. She speaks about her situation calmly, occasionally laughing at her own predicament and her struggle with what she originally thought was mental illness. “I would observe myself,” she explains. “I would lie in bed while the conversations were going on, and I’d ask: Maybe it is schizophrenia?”
Like Girard, Naylor describes what she calls “street theater” — incidents that might be dismissed by others as coincidental, but which Naylor believes were set up. She noticed suspicious cars driving by her isolated vacation home. On an airplane, fellow passengers mimicked her every movement — like mimes on a street.
Voices similar to those in Girard’s case followed — taunting voices cursing her, telling her she was stupid, that she couldn’t write. Expletive-laced language filled her head. Naylor sought help from a psychiatrist and received a prescription for an antipsychotic drug. But the medication failed to stop the voices, she says, which only added to her conviction that the harassment was real.
For almost four years, Naylor says, the voices prevented her from writing. In 2000, she says, around the time she discovered the mind-control forums, the voices stopped and the surveillance tapered off. It was then that she began writing 1996 as a “catharsis.”
Colleagues urged Naylor not to publish the book, saying she would destroy her reputation. But she did publish, albeit with a small publishing house. The book was generally ignored by critics but embraced by TIs.
Naylor is not the first writer to describe such a personal descent. Evelyn Waugh, one of the great novelists of the 20th century, details similar experiences in The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold. Waugh’s book, published in 1957, has eerie similarities to Naylor’s.
Embarking on a recuperative cruise, Pinfold begins to hear voices on the ship that he believes are part of a wireless system capable of broadcasting into his head; he believes the instigator recruited fellow passengers to act as operatives; and he describes “performances” put on by passengers directed at him yet meant to look innocuous to others.
Waugh wrote his book several years after recovering from a similar episode and realizing that the voices and paranoia were the result of drug-induced hallucinations.
Naylor, who hasn’t written a book since 1996, is now back at work on an historical novel she hopes will return her to the literary mainstream. She remains convinced that she was targeted by mind control. The many echoes of her ordeal she sees on the mind-control forums reassure her she’s not crazy, she says.
Of course, some of the things she sees on the forum do strike her as crazy. “But who I am to say?” she says. “Maybe I sound crazy to somebody else.”
SOME TIS, SUCH AS ED MOORE, A YOUNG MEDICAL DOCTOR, take a slightly more skeptical approach. He criticizes what he calls the “wacky claims” of TIs who blame various government agencies or groups of people without any proof. “I have yet to see a claim of who is behind this that has any data to support it,” he writes.
Nonetheless, Moore still believes the voices in his head are the result of mind control and that the U.S. government is the most likely culprit. Moore started hearing voices in 2003, just as he completed his medical residency in anesthesiology; he was pulling an all-nighter studying for board exams when he heard voices coming from a nearby house commenting on him, on his abilities as a doctor, on his sanity. At first, he thought he was simply overhearing conversations through walls (much as Waugh’s fictional alter ego first thought), but when no one else could hear the voices, he realized they were in his head. Moore went through a traumatic two years, including hospitalization for depression with auditory hallucinations.
“One tries to convince friends and family that you are being electronically harassed with voices that only you can hear,” he writes in an e-mail. “You learn to stop doing that. They don’t believe you, and they become sad and concerned, and it amplifies your own depression when you have voices screaming at you and your friends and family looking at you as a helpless, sick, mentally unbalanced wreck.”
He says he grew frustrated with anti-psychotic medications meant to stop the voices, both because the treatments didn’t work and because psychiatrists showed no interest in what the voices were telling him. He began to look for some other way to cope.
“In March of 2005, I started looking up support groups on the Internet,” he wrote. “My wife would cry when she would see these sites, knowing I still heard voices, but I did not know what else to do.” In 2006, he says, his wife, who had stood by him for three years, filed for divorce.
Moore, like other TIs, is cautious about sharing details of his life. He worries about looking foolish to friends and colleagues — but he says that risk is ultimately worthwhile if he can bring attention to the issue.
With his father’s financial help, Moore is now studying for an electrical engineering degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio, hoping to prove that V2K, the technology to send voices into people’s heads, is real. Being in school, around other people, helps him cope, he writes, but the voices continue to taunt him.
Recently, he says, they told him: “We’ll never stop [messing] with you.”
A WEEK BEFORE THE TIS RALLY ON THE NATIONAL MALL, John Alexander, one of the people whom Harlan Girard holds personally responsible for the voices in his head, is at a Chili’s restaurant in Crystal City explaining over a Philly cheese steak and fries why the United States needs mind-control weapons.
A former Green Beret who served in Vietnam, Alexander went on to a number of national security jobs, and rubbed shoulders with prominent military and political leaders. Long known for taking an interest in exotic weapons, his 1980 article, “The New Mental Battlefield,” published in the Army journal Military Review, is cited by self-described victims as proof of his complicity in mind control. Now retired from the government and living in Las Vegas, Alexander continues to advise the military. He is in the Washington area that day for an official meeting.
Beneath a shock of white hair is the mind of a self-styled military thinker. Alexander belongs to a particular set of Pentagon advisers who consider themselves defense intellectuals, focusing on big-picture issues, future threats and new capabilities. Alexander’s career led him from work on sticky foam that would stop an enemy in his or her tracks to dalliances in paranormal studies and psychics, which he still defends as operationally useful.
In an earlier phone conversation, Alexander said that in the 1990s, when he took part in briefings at the CIA, there was never any talk of “mind control, or mind-altering drugs or technologies, or anything like that.”
According to Alexander, the military and intelligence agencies were still scared by the excesses of MK-ULTRA, the infamous CIA program that involved, in part, slipping LSD to unsuspecting victims. “Until recently, anything that smacked of [mind control] was extremely dangerous” because Congress would simply take the money away, he said.
Alexander acknowledged that “there were some abuses that took place,” but added that, on the whole, “I would argue we threw the baby out with the bath water.”
But September 11, 2001, changed the mood in Washington, and some in the national security community are again expressing interest in mind control, particularly a younger generation of officials who weren’t around for MK-ULTRA. “It’s interesting, that it’s coming back,” Alexander observed.
While Alexander scoffs at the notion that he is somehow part of an elaborate plot to control people’s minds, he acknowledges support for learning how to tap into a potential enemy’s brain. He gives as an example the possible use of functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, for lie detection. “Brain mapping” with fMRI theoretically could allow interrogators to know when someone is lying by watching for activity in particular parts of the brain. For interrogating terrorists, fMRI could come in handy, Alexander suggests. But any conceivable use of the technique would fall far short of the kind of mind-reading TIs complain about.
Alexander also is intrigued by the possibility of using electronic means to modify behavior. The dilemma of the war on terrorism, he notes, is that it never ends. So what do you do with enemies, such as those at Guantanamo: keep them there forever? That’s impractical. Behavior modification could be an alternative, he says.
“Maybe I can fix you, or electronically neuter you, so it’s safe to release you into society, so you won’t come back and kill me,” Alexander says. It’s only a matter of time before technology allows that scenario to come true, he continues. “We’re now getting to where we can do that.” He pauses for a moment to take a bite of his sandwich. “Where does that fall in the ethics spectrum? That’s a really tough question.”
When Alexander encounters a query he doesn’t want to answer, such as one about the ethics of mind control, he smiles and raises his hands level to his chest, as if balancing two imaginary weights. In one hand is mind control and the sanctity of free thought — and in the other hand, a tad higher — is the war on terrorism.
But none of this has anything to do with the TIs, he says. “Just because things are secret, people tend to extrapolate. Common sense does not prevail, and even when you point out huge leaps in logic that just cannot be true, they are not dissuaded.”
WHAT IS IT THAT BRINGS SOMEONE, EVEN AN INTELLIGENT PERSON, to ascribe the experience of hearing disembodied voices to government weapons?
In her book, Abducted, Harvard psychologist Susan Clancy examines a group that has striking parallels to the TIs: people who believe they’ve been kidnapped by aliens. The similarities are often uncanny: Would-be abductees describe strange pains, and feelings of being watched or targeted. And although the alleged abductees don’t generally have auditory hallucinations, they do sometimes believe that their thoughts are controlled by aliens, or that they’ve been implanted with advanced technology.
(On the online forum, some TIs posted vociferous objections to the parallel, concerned that the public finds UFOs even weirder than mind control. “It will keep us all marginalized and discredited,” one griped.)
Clancy argues that the main reason people believe they’ve been abducted by aliens is that it provides them with a compelling narrative to explain their perception that strange things have happened to them, such as marks on their bodies (marks others would simply dismiss as bruises), stimulation to their sexual organs (as the TIs describe) or feelings of paranoia. “It’s not just an explanation for your problems; it’s a source of meaning for your life,” Clancy says.
In the case of TIs, mind-control weapons are an explanation for the voices they hear in their head. Socrates heard a voice and thought it was a demon; Joan of Arc heard voices from God. As one TI noted in an e-mail: “Each person undergoing this harassment is looking for the solution to the problem. Each person analyzes it through his or her own particular spectrum of beliefs. If you are a scientific-minded person, then you will probably analyze the situation from that perspective and conclude it must be done with some kind of electronic devices. If you are a religious person, you will see it as a struggle between the elements of whatever religion you believe in. If you are maybe, perhaps more eccentric, you may think that it is alien in nature.”
Or, if you happen to live in the United States in the early 21st century, you may fear the growing power of the NSA, CIA and FBI.
Being a victim of government surveillance is also, arguably, better than being insane. In Waugh’s novella based on his own painful experience, when Pinfold concludes that hidden technology is being used to infiltrate his brain, he “felt nothing but gratitude in his discovery.” Why? “He might be unpopular; he might be ridiculous; but he was not mad.”
Ralph Hoffman, a professor of psychiatry at Yale who has studied auditory hallucinations, regularly sees people who believe the voices are a part of government harassment (others believe they are God, dead relatives or even ex-girlfriends). Not all people who hear voices are schizophrenic, he says, noting that people can hear voices episodically in highly emotional states. What exactly causes these voices is still unknown, but one thing is certain: People who think the voices are caused by some external force are rarely dissuaded from their delusional belief, he says. “These are highly emotional and gripping experiences that are so compelling for them that ordinary reality seems bland.”
Perhaps because the experience is so vivid, he says, even some of those who improve through treatment merely decide the medical regimen somehow helped protect their brain from government weapons.
Scott Temple, a professor of psychiatry at Penn State University who has been involved in two recent studies of auditory hallucinations, notes that those who suffer such hallucinations frequently lack insight into their illness. Even among those who do understand they are sick, “that awareness comes and goes,” he says. “People feel overwhelmed, and the delusional interpretations return.”
BACK AT THE PHILADELPHIA TRAIN STATION, Girard seems more agitated. In a meeting the week before, his “handlers” had spoken to him only briefly — they weren’t in the right position to attack him, Girard surmises, based on the lack of voices. Today, his conversation jumps more rapidly from one subject to the next: victims of radiation experiments, his hatred of George H.W. Bush, MK-ULTRA, his personal experiences.
Asked about his studies at Penn, he replies by talking about his problems with reading: “I told you, everything I write they dictate to me,” he says, referring again to the voices. “When I read, they’re reading to me. My eyes go across; they’re moving my eyes down the line. They’re reading it to me. When I close the book, I can’t remember a thing I read. That’s why they do it.”
The week before, Girard had pointed to only one person who appeared suspicious to him — a young African American man reading a book; this time, however, he hears more voices, which leads him to believe the station is crawling with agents.
“Let’s change our location,” Girard says after a while. “I’m sure they have 40 or 50 people in here today. I escaped their surveillance last time — they won’t let that happen again.”
Asked to explain the connection between mind control and the University of Pennsylvania, which Girard alleges is involved in the conspiracy, he begins to talk about defense contractors located near the Philadelphia campus: “General Electric was right next to the parking garage; General Electric Space Systems occupies a huge building right over there. From that building, you could see into the studio where I was doing my work most of the time. I asked somebody what they were doing there. You know, it had to do with computers. GE Space Systems. They were supposed to be tracking missile debris from this location . . . pardon me. What was your question again?”
Yet many parts of Girard’s life seem to reflect that of any affluent 70-year-old bachelor. He travels frequently to France for extended vacations and takes part in French cultural activities in Philadelphia. He has set up a travel scholarship at the Cleveland Institute of Art in the name of his late mother, who attended school there (he changed his last name 27 years ago for “personal reasons”), and he travels to meet the students who benefit from the fund. And while the bulk of his time is spent on his research and writing about mind control, he has other interests. He follows politics and describes outings with friends and family members with whom he doesn’t talk about mind control, knowing they would view it skeptically.
Girard acknowledges that some of his experiences mirror symptoms of schizophrenia, but asked if he ever worried that the voices might in fact be caused by mental illness, he answers sharply with one word: “No.”
How, then, does he know the voices are real?
“How do you know you know anything?” Girard replies. “How do you know I exist? How do you know this isn’t a dream you’re having, from which you’ll wake up in a few minutes? I suppose that analogy is the closest thing: You know when you have a dream. Sometimes it could be perfectly lucid, but you know it’s a dream.”
The very “realness” of the voices is the issue — how do you disbelieve something you perceive as real? That’s precisely what Hoffman, the Yale psychiatrist, points out: So lucid are the voices that the sufferers — regardless of their educational level or self-awareness — are unable to see them as anything but real. “One thing I can assure you,” Hoffman says, “is that for them, it feels real.”
IT LOOKS ALMOST LIKE ANY OTHER SMALL POLITICAL RALLY IN WASHINGTON. Posters adorn the gate on the southwest side of the Capitol Reflecting Pool, as attendees set up a table with press materials, while volunteers test a loudspeaker and set out coolers filled with bottled water. The sun is out, the weather is perfect, and an eclectic collection of people from across the country has gathered to protest mind control.
There is not a tinfoil hat to be seen. Only the posters and paraphernalia hint at the unusual. “Stop USA electronic harassment,” urges one poster. “Directed Energy Assaults,” reads another. Smaller signs in the shape of tombstones say, “RIP MKULTRA.” The main display, set in front of the speaker’s lectern has a more extended message: “HELP STOP HI-TECH ASSAULT PSYCHOTRONIC TORTURE.”
About 35 TIs show up for the June rally, in addition to a few friends and family members. Speakers alternate between giving personal testimonials and descriptions of research into mind-control technology. Most of the gawkers at the rally are foreign tourists. A few hecklers snicker at the signs, but mostly people are either confused or indifferent. The articles on mind control at the table — from mainstream news magazines — go untouched.
“How can you expect people to get worked up over this if they don’t care about eavesdropping or eminent domain?” one man challenges after stopping to flip through the literature. Mary Ann Stratton, who is manning the table, merely shrugs and smiles sadly. There is no answer: Everyone at the rally acknowledges it is an uphill battle.
In general, the outlook for TIs is not good; many lose their jobs, houses and family. Depression is common. But for many at the rally, experiencing the community of mind-control victims seems to help. One TI, a man who had been a rescue swimmer in the Coast Guard before voices in his head sent him on a downward spiral, expressed the solace he found among fellow TIs in a long e-mail to another TI: “I think that the only people that can help are people going through the same thing. Everyone else will not believe you, or they are possibly involved.”
In the end, though, nothing could help him enough. In August 2006, he would commit suicide.
But at least for the day, the rally is boosting TI spirits. Girard, in what for him is an ebullient mood, takes the microphone. A small crowd of tourists gathers at the sidelines, listening with casual interest. With the Capitol looming behind him, he reaches the crescendo of his speech, rallying the attendees to remember an important thing: They are part of a single community.
“I’ve heard it said, ‘We can’t get anywhere because everyone’s story is different.’ We are all the same,” Girard booms. “You knew someone with the power to commit you to the electronic concentration camp system.”
Several weeks after the rally, Girard shows up for a meeting with a reporter at the stately Mayflower Hotel in Washington, where he has stayed frequently over the two decades he has traveled to the capital to battle mind control. He walks in with a lit cigarette, which he apologetically puts out after a hotel employee tells him smoking isn’t allowed anymore. He is half an hour late — delayed, he says, by a meeting on Capitol Hill. Wearing a monogrammed dress shirt and tie, he looks, as always, serious and professional.
Girard declines to mention whom on Capitol Hill he’d met with, other than to say it was a congressional staffer. Embarrassment is likely a factor: Girard readily acknowledges that most people he meets with, ranging from scholars to politicians, ignore his entreaties or dismiss him as a lunatic.
Lately, his focus is on his Web site, which he sees as the culmination of nearly a quarter-century of research. When completed, it will contain more than 300 pages of documents. What next? Maybe he’ll move to France (there are victims there, too), or maybe the U.S. government will finally just kill him, he says.
Meanwhile, he is always searching for absolute proof that the government has decoded the brain. His latest interest is LifeLog, a project once funded by the Pentagon that he read about in Wired News. The article described it this way: “The embryonic LifeLog program would dump everything an individual does into a giant database: every e-mail sent or received, every picture taken, every Web page surfed, every phone call made, every TV show watched, every magazine read. All of this — and more — would combine with information gleaned from a variety of sources: a GPS transmitter to keep tabs on where that person went, audiovisual sensors to capture what he or she sees or says, and biomedical monitors to keep track of the individual’s health.”
Girard suggests that the government, using similar technology, has “catalogued” his life over the past two years — every sight and sound (Evelyn Waugh, in his mind-control book, writes about his character’s similar fear that his harassers were creating a file of his entire life).
Girard thinks the government can control his movements, inject thoughts into his head, cause him pain day and night. He believes that he will die a victim of mind control.
Is there any reason for optimism?
Girard hesitates, then asks a rhetorical question.
“Why, despite all this, why am I the same person? Why am I Harlan Girard?”
For all his anguish, be it the result of mental illness or, as Girard contends, government mind control, the voices haven’t managed to conquer the thing that makes him who he is: Call it his consciousness, his intellect or, perhaps, his soul.
“That’s what they don’t yet have,” he says. After 22 years, “I’m still me.”
Sharon Weinberger is a Washington writer and author of Imaginary Weapons: A Journey Through the Pentagon’s Scientific Underworld. She will be fielding questions and comments about this article Tuesday at washingtonpost.com/liveonline.
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© 2007 The Washington Post Company
Secretly the reality of a totally controlled society has been emplaced. While we were looking at political control, the technological mechanisms for a Big Brother state are being installed, secretly in the hope no one will notice.
Congress once again is at fault, it allowed vast billion dollar “black budgets” to escape oversight control. For decades, research and development on population control systems has been funded by a complacent Congress, and the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate have allowed these systems to go operational. We are going to give you hard information and hard proof. This is not guesswork, it is reality. And Congress is to blame for lack of oversight.
Fortunately (for the United States), Sweden has applied these control systems overtly to entire segments of the population (in the U.S. apparently only selected individuals are under control.)
Our information comes from a Swedish researcher who has followed the Swedish system of people control i.e., the replacement of individual values, standards and beliefs by state authority.
Our Swedish source says, “We have (been led) out of the industrial society to enslavement in the Information Society” and “there are frightening developments concerning the use of data surveillance, known as biomedical telemetry, mind control, optical electronic surveillance and brain-computer interaction.”
Then comes the clincher:
“The properties of this technology enable the monitoring of mental functions, thought, deed and associated cerebral neurophysiological changes as well as the manipulation of behavior, values and personality from limitless geographical distance.”
These systems form the basis of the Information Society (so beloved by Newt Gingrich) and eliminate the power of the individual to make personal decisions. Maybe Newt Gingrich is not aware of this, but his emphasis on individuality is a fraud so long as control mechanisms exist to over ride individual values and decision making. (We are not accusing Gingrich, he may not know. We’ve spent a lifetime following these developments and only now can visualize the technology emerging.) These are black budget systems hidden from the public and ignored by the leadership in Congress.
Let’s summarize the information we received from our Swedish source, then we can sketch development in the U.S.
Cyber is the science of control. It consists of transmission of electromagnetic wavelengths for cerebral radio communication. The subordinate technologies include brain-computer interfacing, data surveillance, mind control, biomedical telemetry, man-machine interaction, all designed to transmit the basic ideology of the Information Society. (That’s why Gingrich’s mentor Alvin Toffler says the Constitution is “out of date.”)
Telemetry requires transmission of data not normally available i.e., your thoughts and plans. It is a two way communication system enabling remote control of individuals. (Official U.S. terminology-RNM or “remote neural monitoring.”)
This (our source continues) is a global system. (Is that why we have hundreds of satellites up there?) It operates at the speed of light and over any distance.
The surveillance system is operated by implanted transmitters in the head or electrodes in the brain but also injectable microchips, substances or micro transmitters implanted in any part of the body.
These implantations take place “in unwitting patients” during hospital operations, in patients at psychiatric clinics. In Sweden all elderly persons are implanted when “taken into long term care” (ah ha, Clinton’s universal health care!) and in all persons taken into police custody or in prison. Implants are also in the form of dental material and false teeth, and can be mixed into pharmacological products (i.e., medicine.)
Therefore, the Toffler school futurist’s emphasis on nanotechnology–the devices are hardly seen in x-rays.
These implants are, up to now, inserted into persons under state control (i.e., mental patients, prisoners, elderly sick.) This program has been funded, developed and implemented in complete secrecy. Experience has been that when governments hide something, it’s probably not to our benefit.
So how do the systems work?
The implant receives radio signals via satellites. These have known and specific effect on the brain. Many years of research on effects of radio signals on monkey and human behavior is in the open nonclassified literature. The black budgets have generated more advanced systems given the sophistication of the implants we know about.
The returned signals, from the individual brain through the satellite are processed by a central computer and the information presented on a screen to the controller. The technology has advanced to the stage where individual dreams or vision (i.e., mental picture) can be monitored on a three dimensional screen. So that as you read this and have a mental image of Big Brother at a screen this image in your mind can be (or is being) relayed back to a central processing facility.
George Orwell introduced the concept of the “Thought Police” in his dystopian novel 1984. See the Wikipedia article on Thought Police here:
According to Kathleen Taylor in her own book, Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control (Oxford University Press, 2006) “It is the job of the Thought Police to uncover and punish thoughtcrime and thought-criminals, using psychology and omnipresent surveillance from telescreens to find and eliminate members of society who were capable of the mere thought of challenging ruling authority.”
Does such a system exist in the United States today? Signs point to yes.
Granted, the United States remains a republic, and it has just completed a new cycle of elections. Its liberal constitution and principles of democratic representation seem to be standing firmly in place. Its flag waves proudly.
But there is a growing body of evidence that this country, once “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” has devolved into a paranoid police state, much like the authoritarian state described by George Orwell in 1984.
One may find, simply by searching the internet, plenty of evidence that the United States government is actively involved in all the basic activities of the “Thought Police” exactly as listed above:
1. The uncovering and punishment of thought crime and thought criminals
2. The use of psychology to profile and identify “potential” criminals, terrorists and subversives within society; and
3. the use of “omni present surveillance from telescreens” to create what Harlan Girard calls “an Electronic Concentration Camp System” — a grid or matrix from which no person can escape.
In each of these activities, the new mind-invasive technologies known collectively as artificial telepathy play a key role.
Uncovering and Punishing Thought Crime
As documented in many other posts on this blog, mind-invasive technologies have begun to play a key role in the uncovering and punishment of “thoughtcrime.”
The prime example is the Department of Homeland Security’s new Malintent program mentioned in the previous post (q.v.) By scanning the faces of people at airports and reading other vital signs like heart rate, temperature and blood pressure, new sensors and computer algorithms can be used to read the intentions of airplane passengers — and presumably to prevent “potential terrorists” from boarding planes by means of “pre-emptive arrest.”
One must emphasize here that reading a person’s intentions with a camera and a computer is probably not much more reliable than a classic lie detector test, and very little scientific evidence exists to support the claims that these machines are accurate. The important thing to note is that the Department of Homeland Security seriously intends to use these machines as a pretext for pre-emptive arrest — that is, they intend to arrest people for crimes not yet committed.
Arresting a person for a crime not yet committed, on the basis of perceived intent, amounts to arresting people for thought crimes.
Use of Psychological Profiling to Detect and Detain “Potential” Criminals
As Jim Marrs points out in his new book The Rise of The Fourth Reich: The Secret Societies That Threaten to Take Over America (William Morrow, 2008), these “mind reading” computer systems are “reminiscent of prewar Nazi plans to preempt crime and dissent.” (p. 333)
For example, Nazi psychologists used pseudo-scientific examinations and the doctrine of preemption to remove “uneducable” children from grade schools. If a number of symptoms indicated that a child was “bad student material,” their name would be registered on a list. It was stated that “genetic and national health considerations recommend their preventative registration.”
“Of course,” says Marrs, “such registration led to the euthanasia centers.”
Marrs rightly calls “disturbing” the new trend to identify and detain potential troublemakers before they have actually committed a crime.
Terrorist Watch List — or Black List?
In its efforts to intercept “suspected terrorists,” the Department of Homeland Security has added more than one million names to its terrorist watch list. The American Civil Liberties Union suggests this number is way too high.
“Terrorist watch lists,” it says, “must be tightly focused on true terrorists who pose a genuine threat. Bloated lists are bad because they ensnare many innocent travelers as suspected terrorists, and because they waste screeners’ time and divert their energies from looking for true terrorists.”
Among the individuals whose names were found on the list by 60 Minutes and other media organizations: Sen. Edward Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Bolivian President Evo Morales, Saddam Hussein (in custody at the time), Rep. John Lewis, James Moore (author of Bush’s Brain), and John William Anderson, age 6.
Now one must admit that certain children really are terrible brats, who ought to be watched more closely by their parents, but is it really necessary for the secret police to become involved? And if a United States Senator can be listed as a “suspect,” then who is above suspicion?
A “terrorist” watch list that includes the names of more than one million people seems to be clear evidence that the Department of Homeland Security is either a) very paranoid indeed, or b) very interested in using terrorism as a pretext for spying on U.S. citizens who have committed no crimes.
That is, they have established a system that allows them to “find and eliminate members of society who are capable of the mere thought of challenging existing authority.”
FTAC: The Fixated Threat Assessment Center
Psychological profiling, black listing and preemptive arrests are “Thought Police” tactics used in Europe, too, not just in the U.S. The British have their own system, called FTAC.
In a chapter titled “Psychology and Public Control,” Jim Marrs writes: “The British government, in May 2007, responding to news accounts, acknowledge it had secretly established a new national antiterrorist unit to protect VIPs by first profiling, then arresting persons considered to be potentially dangerous. Amazingly, this power to detain suspects even before they actually committed a crime was based on mental health laws.”
Marrs cites a news story by London Times reporter Joanna Bale. She reports that “until now it has been up to mental health professionals to determine if someone should be forcibly detained, but the new unit uses the police to identify suspects, increasing fears that distinctions are being blurred between criminal investigations and doctors’ clinical decisions.”
Experts believe that this arrangement “is set to reignite controversy over the detention of suspects without trial.”
“There is grave danger of this being used to deal with people where there is insufficient evidence for a criminal prosecution,” said Gareth Crossman, policy director for Britain’s National Council for Civil Liberties.
“This blurs the line between medical decisions and police actions. If you are going to allow doctors to take people’s liberty away, they have to be independent. That credibility is undermined when the doctors are part of the same team as the police. This raises serious concerns. First, that you have a unit that allows police investigation to lead directly to people being sectioned without any kind of criminal proceedings. Secondly, it is being done under the umbrella of antiterrorism at a time when the government is looking for ways to detain terrorists without putting them on trial.”
Scotland Yard has refused to discuss how many suspects have been forcibly hospitalized by the team, because of “patient confidentiality.” Meanwhile, conservative members of the British government have hailed FTAC as the first joint mental health – police unit in the United Kingdom and a “prototype for future joint services” in other areas. They are introducing legislation to broaden the definition of mental disorders to give doctors — and now police — more power to detain people.
Mass Surveillance and the ‘Electronic Concentration Camp’
Jim Marrs worries that joint psychologist-police units like the FTAC in Britain might serve as a prototype for similar units in the U.S. “Is this coming to America soon?” Marrs asks.
Harlan Girard would probably answer: “It’s already here!”
Mr. Girard is the Managing Director of the International Committee Opposing Microwave Weapons (ICOMW), and he firmly believes that the United States government has already established what he calls an “Electronic Concentration Camp System.”
See the homepage of his website here: http://www.icomw.org/
Essentially, the ECCS is a network of microwave towers and broadcast centers that can virtually imprison any citizen of the United States that the Thought Police wish to target. It’s a people zapping system, used to track, torture and psychologically harrass inconvenient people who, for one reason or another, have been placed on the government’s long list of enemies.
To support this claim, Girard has amassed an impressive collection of documents, posted at the website’s archive, here: http://www.icomw.org/archive.asp
The documents in this archive clearly indicate that the U.S. government has no need of the small FTAC units used by the British Government. The number of peace protestors and politically “inconvenient” people who have suddenly begun to hear voices in their heads strongly suggests that the U.S. government has built and fielded something much bigger, much more powerful, and much more scary: a fully developed and fully operational Electronic Concentration Camp System.
If the secret police, operating under the umbrella of counterterrorism, wish to “section” an inconvenient citizen “without any criminal proceedings,” they simply enroll that individual into the ECCS.
Technically, the “Targeted Individuals” remain free, but they are tortured 24/7 with microwave weapons, often to the point of losing their minds. They hear voices and experience a wide variety of horrible sensations. If they voluntarily turn themselves in to a psychiatric hospital, they are immediately diagnosed as schizophrenic and sectioned. Thus they are discredited and stigmatized for life. Those who turn to mainstream media are openly mocked.
In 2007, The Washington Post did a profile on Mr. Girard and other voice hearers, who are commonly called “wavies.” (See the link among the News links lists to the left.)
While the reporter kept a skeptical distance from Mr. Girard, she did at least do some background research on mind-invasive technologies. The Post filed an FOIA request with the U.S. Air Force and did manage to obtain documents showing that the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has conducted several “voice to skull” experiments during the past decade.
It may be interesting to note that AFRL is also one of the primary research sponsors (along with the Navy) for the High-Frequency Active Auroral Reasearch Project (HAARP) — a 35-acre antenna farm near Fairbanks, Alaska, that is powerful enough to focus microwave beams anywhere on the face of the earth.
According to Dr. Nick Begich, author of the book Angels Don’t Play This HAARP (http://www.earthpulse.com/), the Air Force can broadcast from these antennae at frequencies that match the frequency range of the human brain.
In Chapter 23 “Psychocivilized Society and the CIA,” Dr. Begich explores “the use of electromagnetic waves for mind manipulation,” and concludes that it would be very possible to use HAARP as a non-lethal weapon that could be rationalized as an alternative to military force.
Whether HAARP acts as the hub of the ECCS is another question. HAARP certainly operates as part of the Air Force’s “Star Wars” ballistic missile early warning system, scanning for Soviet Missile launches. That means it is a subordinate wing of NORAD, the North American Air-Defense Command — an underground city buried beneath Cheyenne Mountain near Colorado Springs.
NORAD is a “hardened” and extremely secure underground site, equipped with supercomputers and direct uplinks to a wide variety of top secret space platforms and space-based beam weapons. It makes an excellent candidate for the HQ of the kind of “Electronic Concentration Camp” that Harlan Girard has envisioned.
NORAD certainly does have full access to the kinds of spy satellites and laser beams that worry the “wavies.” It may incorporate many other systems besides HAARP, and it may be no accident that the Sci-Fi series “Stargate” is supposedly set in NORAD’s underground bunker.
Given NORAD’s vast array of high-tech toys and its direct links to the Pentagon and the NSA, the possiblity that it might be HQ for a top secret “Thought Police” unit does not seem to be entirely out of the question.
Total Information Awareness
Civil liberties groups cried “Thought Police” in 2002 when they first discovered the U.S. Defense Department’s Information Awareness Office and its Total Information Awareness doctrine. Run for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) by former Vice Adm. John Poindexter, the TIA “counterterrorism” program caused quite a brouhaha because it advocated pre-emptive policing through use of a massive data mine that would interconnected a wide array of powerful surveillance systems:
DARPA’s own website tells us that “The goal of the Total Information Awareness program is to revolutionize the ability of the United States to detect, classify and identify foreign terrorists — and decipher their plans — and thereby enable the U.S. to take timely action to successfully pre-empt and defeat terrorist acts.”
See also this article on the “Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act” from Project Censored (The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2009):
Under this act, which nearly became law in 2007, local police departments might have been given legal cover for the use of nonlethal, mind-invasive technology against their own populace. They could zap “suspects” in the name of preventing “homegrown terror.”
Indeed, pre-emptive policing can be used to rationalize almost every form of privacy violation. One need simply argue that the rights of the individual can and must be overriden by police in order to protect and defend the physical safety of society as a whole. It’s for the greater good.
What Orwell did was simply to carry the twin doctrines of total information awareness and preemptive policing to their logical extreme. He imagined a world in which no one had any right to privacy whatever. None. All personal privacy is sacrificed on the altar of national security — for the greater good.
In the sacred name of “national security,” the technocrats who run the nightmarish police state of 1984 arrogantly assume the right to invade the inner sanctum of the mind itself. They read the thoughts of every citizen, dabble their fingers in the stuff that souls are made of, and sit in arrogant, authoritarian judgement over all.
Perhaps the vision of such a police state being realized in 1984 may cause people to smirk. That was, after all, more than 25 years ago, and we don’t have such a police state now, do we?
To those who smirk, however, one might call attention to the many patents on mind-invasive technology that may be found listed in the left-hand column of this blog. One must also point out that the U.S. Department of Defense did not necessarily do away with DARPA’s Information Awareness Office or its Total Information Awareness doctrine.
As with most black programs that are discovered by Congress and the media, these programs have been given new names and parked under the camouflage of other departments within the intelligence community. They still exist.
See Schneier on Security “Total Information Awareness Is Back”
“Report: NSA’s Warrantless Spying Resurrects Banned Total Information Awareness Program” http://www.blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/03/nsas-warrantles.html
Now consider this: If the doctrines of pre-emptive policing and total information awareness remain in place, can the massive use of mind-invasive technology be far behind?
Orwell may have been off by a few years. But his understanding of the basic arrogance of intelligence agencies and his vision of a nightmarish police state were frightfully accurate. With the quiet advent of mind-reading technologies, the chilling age of the Thought Police has secretly, stealthily and finally arrived.
CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (signed by the U.S. under Ronald Reagan):
1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture. . . .
1. Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.
1. The State Party in territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found, shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.
Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made.
Ronald Reagan, 5/20/1988, transmitting Treaty to the U.S. Senate:
The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention. It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.
U.S. Constitution, Article VI:
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.
Soon-to-be Attorney General Eric Holder, 1/15/2009 (repeatedly):
“No one is above the law.”
Summary of International and U.S. Law Prohibiting Torture and Other Ill-treatment of Persons in Custody
Last Updated May 24, 2004
International and U.S. law prohibits torture and other ill-treatment of any person in custody in all circumstances. The prohibition applies to the United States during times of peace, armed conflict, or a state of emergency. Any person, whether a U.S. national or a non-citizen, is protected. It is irrelevant whether the detainee is determined to be a prisoner-of-war, a protected person, or a so-called “security detainee” or “unlawful combatant.” And the prohibition is in effect within the territory of the United States or any place anywhere U.S. authorities have control over a person. In short, the prohibition against torture and ill-treatment is absolute.
The following summary sets out the major international legal obligations of the United States and various legal bases by which U.S. officials, military personnel and others could be prosecuted for torture or other mistreatment of persons held at U.S. military and intelligence detention facilities. Included are web links to the cited international conventions and federal statutes.
I. International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions
The primary source of international humanitarian law (also called the laws of war) is the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which the United States ratified in 1955. The Third Geneva Convention concerns prisoners-of-war; the Fourth Geneva Convention safeguards so-called “protected persons,” most simply described as detained civilians. Detainees must at all times be humanely treated (Geneva III, art. 13, Geneva IV, art. 27). Detainees may be questioned, but any form of “physical or mental coercion” is prohibited (Geneva III, art. 17; Geneva IV, art. 31). Women shall be protected from rape and any form of indecent assault (Geneva IV, art. 27).
Torture or inhuman treatment of prisoners-of-war (Geneva III, arts. 17 & 87) or protected persons (Geneva IV, art. 32) are grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, and are considered war crimes (Geneva III, art. 130; Geneva IV, art. 147). War crimes create an obligation on any state to prosecute the alleged perpetrators or turn them over to another state for prosecution. This obligation applies regardless of the nationality of the perpetrator, the nationality of the victim or the place where the act of torture or inhuman treatment was committed (Geneva III, art.129; Geneva IV, art. 146).
Detainees in an armed conflict or military occupation are also protected by common article 3 to the Geneva Conventions. Article 3 prohibits “[v]iolence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; …outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.”
Even persons who are not entitled to the protections of the 1949 Geneva Conventions (such as some detainees from third countries) are protected by the “fundamental guarantees” of article 75 of Protocol I of 1977 to the Geneva Conventions. The United States has long considered article 75 to be part of customary international law (a widely supported state practice accepted as law). Article 75 prohibits murder, “torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental,” “corporal punishment,” and “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment, … and any form of indecent assault.”
II. Human Rights Law
Torture and other mistreatment of persons in custody are also prohibited in all circumstances under international human rights law, which applies in both peacetime and wartime. Among the relevant treaties are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (arts. 7 & 10) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention against Torture), both of which the United States has ratified. The standard definition of torture can be found in article 1 of the Convention against Torture.
In its reservations to the Convention against Torture, the United States claims to be bound by the obligation to prevent “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” only insofar as the term means the cruel, unusual and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, U.S. reservations say that mental pain or suffering only refers to prolonged mental harm from: (1) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering; (2) the use or threat of mind altering substances; (3) the threat of imminent death; or (4) that another person will imminently be subjected to the above mistreatment.
Prohibitions on torture and other ill-treatment are also found in other international documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the U.N. Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, and the U.N. Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
Additionally, the prohibition on torture is considered a fundamental principle of customary international law that is binding on all states (what is known as a “peremptory norm” of international law because it preempts all other customary laws). All states are bound to respect the prohibition on torture and ill-treatment whether or not they are parties to treaties which expressly contain the prohibition. They are also obliged to prevent and to punish acts of torture, even if they are not parties to treaties that expressly require them to do so.
The widespread or systematic practice of torture constitutes a crime against humanity. (See, e.g., art. 5 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court)
III. U.S. Law
The United States has incorporated international prohibitions against torture and mistreatment of persons in custody into its domestic law. The United States has reported to the Committee Against Torture that: “Every act of torture within the meaning of the Convention is illegal under existing federal and state law, and any individual who commits such an act is subject to penal sanctions as specified in criminal statutes. Such prosecutions do in fact occur in appropriate circumstances. Torture cannot be justified by exceptional circumstances, nor can it be excused on the basis of an order from a superior officer. “
Military personnel who mistreat prisoners can be prosecuted by a court-martial under various provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ, arts. 77-134).
The War Crimes Act of 1996 (18 U.S.C. § 2441) makes it a criminal offense for U.S. military personnel and U.S. nationals to commit war crimes as specified in the 1949 Geneva Conventions. War crimes under the act include grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. It also includes violations of common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions, which prohibits “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; …outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.
A federal anti-torture statute (18 U.S.C. § 2340A), enacted in 1994, provides for the prosecution of a U.S. national or anyone present in the United States who, while outside the U.S., commits or attempts to commit torture. Torture is defined as an “act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control.” A person found guilty under the act can be incarcerated for up to 20 years or receive the death penalty if the torture results in the victim’s death.
Military contractors working for the Department of Defense might also be prosecuted under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-778), known as MEJA. MEJA permits the prosecution in federal court of U.S. civilians who, while employed by or accompanying U.S. forces abroad, commit certain crimes. Generally, the crimes covered are any federal criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. The MEJA remains untested because the Defense Department has yet to issue necessary implementing regulations required by the law.
TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 113C > § 2340
§ 2340. Definitions
As used in this chapter—
(1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
(2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
(C) the threat of imminent death; or
(D) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality; and
(3) “United States” means the several States of the United States, the District of Columbia, and the commonwealths, territories, and possessions of the United States.
§ 2340A. Torture
(a) Offense.— Whoever outside the United States commits or attempts to commit torture shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and if death results to any person from conduct prohibited by this subsection, shall be punished by death or imprisoned for any term of years or for life.
(b) Jurisdiction.— There is jurisdiction over the activity prohibited in subsection (a) if—
(1) the alleged offender is a national of the United States; or
(2) the alleged offender is present in the United States, irrespective of the nationality of the victim or alleged offender.
(c) Conspiracy.— A person who conspires to commit an offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties (other than the penalty of death) as the penalties prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.
TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 113C > § 2340B
§ 2340B. Exclusive remedies
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as precluding the application of State or local laws on the same subject, nor shall anything in this chapter be construed as creating any substantive or procedural right enforceable by law by any party in any civil proceeding.
United States Bill of Rights (1789), Amendment 8
” …nor (shall) cruel or unusual punishment be inflicted.”
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Article 5
“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Geneva Conventions (1949) Article 99, Third Convention
“no moral or physical coercion may be exerted on a prisoner of war in order to admit himself guilty of the act of which he is accused “
UN Minimum Standards for the Treatment of Prisoners (1957), Rule 31
“Corporal punishment, punishment by placing in a dark cell, and all cruel, inhumane or degrading punishments shall be completely prohibited…”
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
?… to guarantee the right of everyone, without distinction to race, color or national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law, notably in the enjoyment of the following rights:
” (b) The right to security of person and protection by the State against violence or bodily harm, whether inflicted by government officials or by any individual group or institution…”
America Convention on Human Rights (1969)
“…All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.”
UN Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1975)
“No State may permit or tolerate torture…Exceptional circumstances such as a state of war …or any other public emergency may not be invoked as a justification of torture or other cruel inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.”
UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials (1979), Article 5
“No law enforcement official may inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of torture…nor may any law enforcement official invoke superior order or exceptional circumstances…as a justification of torture…In this code of conduct, the term “law enforcement officials is said to include all officer of the law who exercise police powers, especially the powers of arrest or detention.”
CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment
The States Parties to this Convention,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Recognizing that those rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,
Considering the obligation of States under the Charter, in particular Article 55, to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Having regard to article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one may be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
Having regard also to the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted by the General Assembly on 9 December 1975 (resolution 3452 (XXX)),
Desiring to make more effective the struggle against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment throughout the world,
Have agreed as follows:
1. For the purposes of this Convention, torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
2. This article is without prejudice to any international instrument or national legislation which does or may contain provisions of wider application.
1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.
1. No State Party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.
1. Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture.
2. Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.
1. Each State Party shall take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over the offences referred to in article 4 in the following cases:
1. When the offences are committed in any territory under its jurisdiction or on board a ship or aircraft registered in that State;
2. When the alleged offender is a national of that State;
3. When the victim was a national of that State if that State considers it appropriate.
2. Each State Party shall likewise take such measures as may be necessary to establish its jurisdiction over such offences in cases where the alleged offender is present in any territory under its jurisdiction and it does not extradite him pursuant to article 8 to any of the States mentioned in Paragraph 1 of this article.
3. This Convention does not exclude any criminal jurisdiction exercised in accordance with internal law.
1. Upon being satisfied, after an examination of information available to it, that the circumstances so warrant, any State Party in whose territory a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is present, shall take him into custody or take other legal measures to ensure his presence. The custody and other legal measures shall be as provided in the law of that State but may be continued only for such time as is necessary to enable any criminal or extradition proceedings to be instituted.
2. Such State shall immediately make a preliminary inquiry into the facts.
3. Any person in custody pursuant to paragraph 1 of this article shall be assisted in communicating immediately with the nearest appropriate representative of the State of which he is a national, or, if he is a stateless person, to the representative of the State where he usually resides.
4. When a State, pursuant to this article, has taken a person into custody, it shall immediately notify the States referred to in article 5, paragraph 1, of the fact that such person is in custody and of the circumstances which warrant his detention. The State which makes the preliminary inquiry contemplated in paragraph 2 of this article shall promptly report its findings to the said State and shall indicate whether it intends to exercise jurisdiction.
1. The State Party in territory under whose jurisdiction a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is found, shall in the cases contemplated in article 5, if it does not extradite him, submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution.
2. These authorities shall take their decision in the same manner as in the case of any ordinary offence of a serious nature under the law of that State. In the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 2, the standards of evidence required for prosecution and conviction shall in no way be less stringent than those which apply in the cases referred to in article 5, paragraph 1.
3. Any person regarding whom proceedings are brought in connection with any of the offences referred to in article 4 shall be guaranteed fair treatment at all stages of the proceedings.
1. The offences referred to in article 4 shall be deemed to be included as extraditable offences in any extradition treaty existing between States Parties. States Parties undertake to include such offences as extraditable offences in every extradition treaty to be concluded between them.
2. If a State Party which makes extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty receives a request for extradition from another State Party with which it has no extradition treaty, it may consider this Convention as the legal basis for extradition in respect of such offenses. Extradition shall be subject to the other conditions provided by the law of the requested State.
3. States Parties which do not make extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty shall recognize such offences as extraditable offences between themselves subject to the conditions provided by the law of the requested state.
4. Such offences shall be treated, for the purpose of extradition between States Parties, as if they had been committed not only in the place in which they occurred but also in the territories of the States required to establish their jurisdiction in accordance with article 5, paragraph 1.
1. States Parties shall afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in connection with civil proceedings brought in respect of any of the offences referred to in article 4, including the supply of all evidence at their disposal necessary for the proceedings.
2. States Parties shall carry out their obligations under paragraph 1 of this article in conformity with any treaties on mutual judicial assistance that may exist between them.
1. Each State Party shall ensure that education and information regarding the prohibition against torture are fully included in the training of law enforcement personnel, civil or military, medical personnel, public officials and other persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment.
2. Each State Party shall include this prohibition in the rules or instructions issued in regard to the duties and functions of any such persons.
Each State Party shall keep under systematic review interrogation rules, instructions, methods and practices as well as arrangements for the custody and treatment of persons subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment in any territory under its jurisdiction, with a view to preventing any cases of torture.
Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committee in any territory under its jurisdiction.
Each State Party shall ensure that any individual who alleges he has been subjected to torture in any territory under its jurisdiction has the right to complain to and to have his case promptly and impartially examined its competent authorities. Steps shall be taken to ensure that the complainant and witnesses are protected against all ill-treatment or intimidation as a consequence of his complaint or any evidence given.
1. Each State Party shall ensure in its legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible. In the event of the death of the victim as a result of an act of torture, his dependents shall be entitled to compensation.
2. Nothing in this article shall affect any right of the victim or other person to compensation which may exist under national law.
Each State Party shall ensure that any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings, except against a person accused of torture as evidence that the statement was made.
1. Each State Party shall undertake to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture as defined in article 1, when such acts are committed by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. In particular, the obligations contained in articles 10, 11, 12 and 13 shall apply with the substitution for references to torture or references to other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
2. The provisions of this Convention are without prejudice to the provisions of any other international instrument or national law which prohibit cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or which relate to extradition or expulsion.
1. There shall be established a Committee against Torture (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) which shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided. The Committee shall consist of 10 experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in the field of human rights, who shall serve in their personal capacity. The experts shall be elected by the States Parties, consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution and to the usefulness of the participation of some persons having legal experience.
2. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person from among its own nationals. States Parties shall bear in mind the usefulness of nominating persons who are also members of the Human Rights Committee established under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and are willing to serve on the Committee against Torture.
3. Elections of the members of the Committee shall be held at biennial meetings of States Parties convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. At those meetings, for which two thirds of the States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.
4. The initial election shall be held no later than six months after the date of the entry into force of this Convention. At least four months before the date of each election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to the States Parties inviting them to submit their nominations within three months. The Secretary-General shall prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated, indicating the States Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties.
5. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for re-election if renominated. However, the term of five of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after the first election the names of these five members shall be chosen by lot by the chairman of the meeting referred to in paragraph 3.
6. If a member of the Committee dies or resigns or for any other cause can no longer perform his Committee duties, the State Party which nominated him shall appoint another expert from among its nationals to serve for the remainder of his term, subject to the approval of the majority of the States Parties. The approval shall be considered given unless half or more of the States Parties respond negatively within six weeks after having been informed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the proposed appointment.
7. States Parties shall be responsible for the expenses of the members of the Committee while they are in performance of Committee duties.
1. The Committee shall elect its officers for a term of two years. They may be re-elected.
2. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure, but these rules shall provide, inter alia, that
1. Six members shall constitute a quorum;
2. Decisions of the Committee shall be made by a majority vote of the members present.
3. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the effective performance of the functions of the Committee under this Convention.
4. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall convene the initial meeting of the Committee. After its initial meeting, the Committee shall meet at such times as shall be provided in its rules of procedure.
5. The State Parties shall be responsible for expenses incurred in connection with the holding of meetings of the States Parties and of the Committee, including reimbursement of the United Nations for any expenses, such as the cost of staff and facilities, incurred by the United Nations pursuant to paragraph 3 above.
1. The States Parties shall submit to the Committee, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, reports on the measures they have taken to give effect to their undertakings under this Convention, within one year after the entry into force of this Convention for the State Party concerned. Thereafter the States Parties shall submit supplementary reports every four years on any new measures taken, and such other reports as the Committee may request.
2. The Secretary-General shall transmit the reports to all States Parties.
3. [Each report shall be considered by the Committee which may make such comments or suggestions on the report as it considers appropriate, and shall forward these to the State Party concerned. That State Party may respond with any observations it chooses to the Committee.
4. The Committee may, at its discretion, decide to include any comments or suggestions made by it in accordance with paragraph 3, together with the observations thereon received from the State Party concerned, in its annual report made in accordance with article 24. If so requested by the State Party concerned, the Committee may also include a copy of the report submitted under paragraph 1.]
1. If the Committee receives reliable information which appears to it to contain well-founded indications that torture is being systematically practised in the territory of a State Party, the Committee shall invite that State Party to co-operate in the examination of the information and to this end to submit observations with regard to the information concerned.
2. Taking into account any observations which may have been submitted by the State Party concerned as well as any other relevant information available to it, the Committee may, if it decides that this is warranted, designate one or more of its members to make a confidential inquiry and to report to the Committee urgently.
3. If an inquiry is made in accordance with paragraph 2, the Committee shall seek the co-operation of the State Party concerned. In agreement with that State Party, such an inquiry may include a visit to its territory.
4. After examining the findings of its member or members submitted in accordance with paragraph 2, the Committee shall transmit these findings to the State Party concerned together with any comments or suggestions which seem appropriate in view of the situation.
5. All the proceedings of the Committee referred to in paragraphs 1 to 4 of this article shall be confidential, and at all stages of the proceedings the co-operation of the State Party shall be sought. After such proceedings have been completed with regard to an inquiry made in accordance with paragraph 2, the Committee may, after consultations with the State Party concerned, decide to include a summary account of the results of the proceedings in its annual report made in accordance with article 24.
1. A State Party to this Convention may at any time declare under this article 3 that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications to the effect that a State Party claims that another State Party is not fulfilling its obligations under this Convention. Such communications may be received and considered according to the procedures laid down in this article only if submitted by a State Party which has made a declaration recognizing in regard to itself the competence of the Committee. No communication shall be dealt with by the Committee under this article if it concerns a State Party which has not made such a declaration. Communications received under this article shall be dealt with in accordance with the following procedure:
1. If a State Party considers that another State Party is not giving effect to the provisions of this Convention, it may, by written communication, bring the matter to the attention of that State Party. Within three months after the receipt of the communication the receiving State shall afford the State which sent the communication an explanation or any other statement in writing clarifying the matter which should include, to the extent possible and pertinent, references to domestic procedures and remedies taken, pending, or available in the matter.
2. If the matter is not adjusted to the satisfaction of both States Parties concerned within six months after the receipt by the receiving State of the initial communication, either State shall have the right to refer the matter to the Committee by notice given to the Committee and to the other State.
3. The Committee shall deal with a matter referred to it under this article only after it has ascertained that all domestic remedies have been invoked and exhausted in the matter, in conformity with the generally recognized principles of international law. This shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged or is unlikely to bring effective relief to the person who is the victim of the violation of this Convention.
4. The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under this article.
5. Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (c), the Committee shall make available its good offices to the States Parties concerned with a view to a friendly solution of the matter on the basis of respect for the obligations provided for in the present Convention. For this purpose, the Committee may, when appropriate, set up an ad hoc conciliation commission.
6. In any matter referred to it under this article, the Committee may call upon the States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), to supply any relevant information.
7. The States Parties concerned, referred to in subparagraph (b), shall have the right to be represented when the matter is being considered by the Committee and to make submissions orally and/or in writing.
8. The Committee shall, within 12 months after the date of receipt of notice under subparagraph (b), submit a report.
1. If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts and of the solution reached.
2. If a solution within the terms of subparagraph (e) is not reached, the Committee shall confine its report to a brief statement of the facts; the written submissions and record of the oral submissions made by the States Parties concerned shall be attached to the report.
In every matter, the report shall be communicated to the States Parties concerned.
2. The provisions of this article shall come into force when five States Parties to this Convention have made declarations under paragraph 1 of this article. Such declarations shall be deposited by the States Parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit copies thereof to the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter which is the subject of a communication already transmitted under this article; no further communication by any State Party shall be received under this article after the notification of withdrawal of the declaration has been received by the Secretary-General, unless the State Party concerned has made a new declaration.
1. A State Party to this Convention may at any time declare under this article that it recognizes the competence of the Committee to receive and consider communications from or on behalf of individuals subject to its jurisdiction who claim to be victims of a violation by a State Party of the provisions of the Convention. No communication shall be received by the Committee if it concerns a State Party to the Convention which has not made such a declaration.
2. The Committee shall consider inadmissible any communication under this article which is anonymous, or which it considers to be an abuse of the right of submission of such communications or to be incompatible with the provisions of this Convention.
3. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2, the Committee shall bring any communication submitted to it under this article to the attention of the State Party to this Convention which has made a declaration under paragraph 1 and is alleged to be violating any provisions of the Convention. Within six months, the receiving State shall submit to the Committee written explanations or statements clarifying the matter and the remedy, if any, that may have been taken by that State.
4. The Committee shall consider communications received under this article in the light of all information made available to it by or on behalf of the individual and by the State Party concerned.
5. The Committee shall not consider any communication from an individual under this article unless it has ascertained that:
1. The same matter has not been, and is not being examined under another procedure of international investigation or settlement;
2. The individual has exhausted all available domestic remedies; this shall not be the rule where the application of the remedies is unreasonably prolonged or is unlikely to bring effective relief to the person who is the victim of the violation of this Convention.
6. The Committee shall hold closed meetings when examining communications under this article.
7. The Committee shall forward its views to the State Party concerned and to the individual.
8. The provisions of this article shall come into force when five States Parties to this Convention have made declarations under paragraph 1 of this article. Such declarations shall be deposited by the States Parties with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall transmit parties thereof to the other States Parties. A declaration may be withdrawn at any time by notification to the Secretary-General. Such a withdrawal shall not prejudice the consideration of any matter which is the subject of a communication already transmitted under this article; no further communication by or on behalf of an individual shall be received under this article after the notification of withdrawal of the declaration has been received by the Secretary-General, unless the State Party concerned has made a new declaration.
The members of the Committee, and of the ad hoc conciliation commissions which may be appointed under article 21, paragraph 1 (e), shall be entitled to the facilities, privileges and immunities of experts on missions for the United Nations as laid down in the relevant sections of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
The Committee shall submit an annual report on its activities under this Convention to the States Parties and to the General Assembly of the United Nations.
1. This Convention is open for signature by all States.
2. This Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
This Convention is open to accession by all States. Accession shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
1. This Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying this Convention or acceding to it after the deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the date of the deposit of its own instrument of ratification or accession.
1. Each State may, at the time of signature or ratification of this Convention or accession thereto, declare that it does not recognize the competence of the Committee provided for in article 20.
2. Any State Party having made a reservation in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article may, at any time, withdraw this reservation by notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
1. Any State Party to this Convention may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate the proposed amendment to the States Parties to this Convention with a request that they notify him whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposal. In the event that within four months from the date of such communication at least one third of the State Parties favours such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of the States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted by the Secretary-General to all the States Parties for acceptance.
2. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 1 shall enter into force when two thirds of the States Parties to this Convention have notified the Secretary-General of the United Nations that they have accepted it in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.
3. When amendments enter into force, they shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted them, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of this Convention and any earlier amendments which they have accepted.
1. Any dispute between two or more States Parties concerning the interpretation or application of this Convention which cannot be settled through negotiation, shall, at the request of one of them, be submitted to arbitration. If within six months from the date of the request for arbitration the Parties are unable to agree on the organization of the arbitration, any one of those Parties may refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice by request in conformity with the Statute of the Court.
2. Each State may at the time of signature or ratification of this Convention or accession thereto, declare that it does not consider itself bound by the preceding paragraph. The other States Parties shall not be bound by the preceding paragraph with respect to any State Party having made such a reservation.
3. Any State Party having made a reservation in accordance with the preceding paragraph may at any time withdraw this reservation by notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
1. A State Party may denounce this Convention by written notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation becomes effective one year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
2. Such a denunciation shall not have the effect of releasing the State Party from its obligations under this Convention in regard to any act or omission which occurs prior to the date at which the denunciation becomes effective. Nor shall denunciation prejudice in any way the continued consideration of any matter which is already under consideration by the Committee prior to the date at which the denunciation becomes effective.
3. Following the date at which the denunciation of a State Party becomes effective, the Committee shall not commence consideration of any new matter regarding that State.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall inform all members of the United Nations and all States which have signed this Convention or acceded to it, or the following particulars:
1. Signatures, ratifications and accessions under articles 25 and 26;
2. The date of entry into force of this Convention under article 27, and the date of the entry into force of any amendments under article 29;
3. Denunciations under article 31.
1. This Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited in the archives of the United Nations.
2. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall transmit certified copies of this Convention to all States.
On February 4, 1985, the Convention was opened for signature at United Nations Headquarters in New York. At that time, representatives of the following countries signed it: Afghanistan, Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay. Subsequently, signatures were received from Venezuela on February 15, from Luxembourg and Panama on February 22, from Austria on March 14, and from the United Kingdom on March 15, 1985.
Created on July 16, 1994 / Last edited on January 25, 1997