mental health

1. Heal Your Past (1)

By M.K. Styllinski

“I’ve always thought that we are what we remember, and the less we
remember, the less we are.”

— Carlos Ruiz Zafon, author

—————-

“The paradox of trauma is that it has both the power to destroy and the
power to transform and resurrect.”

— author and creator of somatic experiencing, Peter A. Levine


Reading time: 25 mins

The above photo illustrates well the relationship to healing and the mind-body complex. We often place useless band-aids over the wall we have erected within ourselves and the promise of a more fulfilling life. Trauma, hurt and an array of psychic wounds are bricked up and plastered over so that we might pretend all is well and struggle on regardless. After all, it can be frightening to address deep-seated issues we know are holding us back. It can be even more disruptive to acknowledge we need help or that we need to go beyond just surviving. (Assuming that is, that such a wall hasn’t blocked out any awareness that there is a problem).

The triumph of the spirit over adversity resonates to everyone because we admire and relate to the person who has faced seemingly insurmountable odds and returned from the Dark Night Of the Soul to offer healing redemption for all. They become beacons of guidance that lights the way on our own path so that we may learn from and thereby transcend the trials and tribulations which emerge in our own lives. When someone is not only victorious but shows how we can be the same, they become an example.

One of the very first things we must do to obtain a more fulfilling and meaningful life is to heal the past. It is our accmululation of knowledge which allows us to “anticipate, protect and know ourselves.” [1] The will to survive and those survival mechanisms – our in-built means of protection against the threat of death – can then be placed in proper context so that they do not overwhelm us; where our views of the world are not violated through a lack of knowledge and adaptation. We can reduce the propensity for trauma in this trauma-inducing world. Without understanding this we cannot move ahead. Without seeing challenges as opportunities to grow and develop a creative complexity that enriches life. We must simplify our lives so that greater complexity can eventually arrive when we have the character to handle it. The “bliss” of chosen ignorance numbs the pain but stagnates potential.

The nature of trauma is a complex one. It is not just children who suffered from abuse or grew up in dysfunctional families that take on post-traumatic stress and the continuance of dissociation in adult life. There are many incidences in the lives of young children which induce trauma purely due to the fact that they are here, existing in this beautiful and horror-laden material world. Parents are often entirely clueless that their children have even suffered trauma that has overwhelmed any capacity to cope and laid down potential problems for the future. What’s more, infants and children do not have the mental or emotional maturity to mak sense of or communicate what has happened to them. At a certain age, they must stew in the juices of trauma and survive as best they can.

Take these imaginary examples:

Jenny is four-years-old. She has had an operation the evening before to remove her tonsils and has woken up in a strange room all alone. She vaguely remembers something about an operation and her parents reassuring faces that it would all be okay. But it’s dark and an odd blue glow envelops the room. Alien noises come from the large window to her right and a low hum to her left. It smells like the bathroom, and when she’d cut her knee her mother would put a plaster on it. She is scared and her throat is very, VERY painful. Such pain is entirely new to her and she feels a rising panic. Why is she alone? Where are Mummy and Daddy? Her heart rate rises. She hears voices outside and sees a yellow-orange glow spilling through the bottom of the door. She doesn’t recognise the people. Why is he alone in a strange room? Why isn’t the light on? Shadows leap and twist and turn in the corners. Her heart beats faster still. She tries to move but she can’t. The blankets and sheets are so tight and he feels so weak. Tears begin to stream from the corner of her eyes and he starts to sweat. Maybe he was naughty too many times and didn’t pay attention to what Mummy said. Maybe they decided to leave her here? She would be a good girl in future…She would be good…If only they would come back…She tries to cry out but only soft gurgle escapes.

After twenty minutes Jenny is beside herself soaked in sweat and salty tears and the pain-killers administered by the nurse on duty have worn off. It is only when the nurse arrives to check on Jenny at the allocated time that she calls the parents in. Amidst the jolly, cheerful atmosphere of relief and the complete ignorance of this little girl’s hour and a half of emotional and physical trauma goes unrecognised. Her mother mentions that her daughter’s face and hair is damp, her eyes red and that she looks very hot. The nurse takes her temperature and finds it a little above normal. “No worries. It’s all good. I’ll top up her pain relief and she can go home before lunch.” The nurse adjusts the drip and strokes Jenny’s forehead. Her parents sit on either side of the bed holding her hands. The father stares at his daughter. “She seems very quiet. Are you sure she’s okay? Jenny? You all right sweetie? On her way out the nurse responds: “She’s bound to be a bit groggy and spaced out. She’ll be fine.” Jenny stares ahead, pale, glassy-eyed, unresponsive … and traumatised. Where once distant voices seemed reassuring they would now signify loneliness, pain and abandonment.

***

Six-year-old Jonah and his parents are visiting Auntie Janet and Uncle Bob on their dairy farm in the country. Since they live in the city this is a trip Jonah has been looking forward to. He loves the countryside and his Aunt and Uncle. He has been mucking around with his cousin Jimmy who is 12 years old – much older than him. Jonah had never felt very comfortable around Jimmy and he was always so rude to his parents. He didn’t understand why Jimmy was always so mean. Jimmy has been told by his parents to show Jonah around the farm, very much against his will. Reluctantly he takes his cousin along who follows behind struggling to keep up.

They look at the tractors and all the farm equipment and he shows Jonah the cows in the milking stands and a warehouse full of corn feed. Then Jimmy has an idea. “Want to see the hay-loft?”

“Sure!” Jonah replies, trying to appear enthusiastic and unafraid.

Jimmy takes him to an old barn and stands in front of a long ladder attached to the facing wall stretching up about 15 ft up into loft full of sweet-smelling hay. From Jonah’s perspective, the ladder might as well reach to mars.

“Get up there”. Jimmy suddenly barks.

Hmmm?

“Get up that ladder!”

“I — I can’t climb up there.”

Jimmy draws closer. “Chicken. You’re just a weak little chicken. Get up that ladder NOW! If you don’t I swear to God…” He shoves his fist in front of the little boy’s face. Jonah’s eyes widen. He is shocked at the anger from his cousin seemingly from nowhere. Why is he being like this? He hesitantly places his hands on the ladder and slowly begins to climb, his fear rising at each step. Jimmy is behind him. “Faster!” he bellows. By the time Jonah reaches half way his mouth is dry and he is shaking with fear. He has never felt this fear before, his whole body shivering like he is very, very cold. But he doesn’t want to show Jimmy he is so afraid. He can’t show his fear. When they reach the top. Jonah unbuttons his blue duffle coat and sits on a hay bale. Jimmy sits on another opposite and fixes him with a malevolent gaze. Jonah looks at the floor and tries to recover.  Jimmy produces a knife from his pocket and turns it over in his hands.

“I could kill you up here and no one would ever know.”

Jonah feels cold and stares at his cousin incredulously. Jimmy suddenly throws the knife just to one side of his leg and it sticks in the hay-bale with a “thunk”. Jonah feels the world shrinking, he can hear the blood rushing in his ears and his heart beating as if it would break through his rib-cage. Then he begins to feel nothing. He is numb, switched off and nothing matters anymore. He can hear Jimmy yabbering obscenities but he, Jonah has gone somewhere else. Soon, Jimmy forces him down the ladder again, and this time, though Jonah is afraid and he begins to sweat, something has broken inside and he doesn’t really care if he lives or dies. Jonah manages to tell his parents what happened. But it doesn’t come out right, sounding like a mischevious game. When he tells them about the knife however, their smiles disappear. They call for Jimmy but he is nowhere to be found. By the time they have reached home they have forgotten the incident. Jonah realises that his parents don’t consider it important enough to follow up, so Jonah convinces himself it didn’t mean anything. He would never mention it again. He goes to bed early that night feeling very tired and lays in a fetal position under the covers. The little boy doesn’t know that he is traumatised the effects of which will remain in his unconscious and locked into his body for decades.

***

Sarah is four-years-old and its her first time on the school mini-bus. She started kindergarten this morning and is on her way home. She has a backpack and an extra sandwich provided by her mother whom she knows that she will be there to pick her up. He mother told her it would be a very short trip and that she would have picked her up if she’d had a car but there was no other way around it. Sarah didn’t like to be away from her mother and would rather be playing with her toys in her comfy, cosy bedroom. Tears were just below the surface. She is surrounded by a lot of big, noisy school children and she is afraid. Everything is so loud! She looks out of the window and thinks about Alfie her dog and his big pink tongue. She wished he was here with her – he would make it all right. It isn’t long before the bus judders to a halt and everyone piles out in a mass of shouting, bustling bodies. Sarah remains in her seat not sure if she should follow. Her heart begins to thump and she wanders down to the driver and pulls on his sleeve.

Hey, sweet-pea, this your stop?

Sarah stares at him wide-eyed. She nods…”Mom’s coming to pick me up.”

Well, okay then, you better get out here. You don’t want to be going into town.”

She nods again, brushes the hair from her eyes and adjusts her Power Rangers backpack. Turning to the doors she gingerly clambers down the steps and onto the warm pavement. The mini-bus pulls away. The other children have departed and there is not a soul to be seen. Sarah find herself alone.

Her heart begins to thump faster and her breathes become shorter. Sarah wanders over to the bus shelter and waits. She sits on the long plastic seat her legs straight out in front of her. Her mother will be here soon and the the thought calms her down. She bobs her shiny shoes up and down as if in happy confirmation. Sarah absently looks at the occasional passer-by hoping that the person is her mom. Each time, it is a stranger and each time she is disappointed she becomes more agitated. After half an hour Sarah’s chin begins to wobble and she calls for her Mom. She breathes rapidly looking around wildly in the vain hope if spotting her mother. Everything looks so strange. She doesn’t recognise anything or anyone. She frowns and screws up her face and begins to cry punctuated by cries for Mom. After one hour Sarah is calling her mother’s name only occasionally and plaintively between wracking sobs. But still no one comes. The street is empty.

She goes and sits on the side of the pavement as the sun begins to go down in the hope that someone – anyone will take her to her home. She sees a man walk hurriedly past on the other side of the street and is trapped between desperate wish for him to help her and her equally desperate fear of a stranger. She looks at all the homes and doesn’t even consider knocking on someone’s door. Everything is alien and therefore threatening. After an hour and a half, Sarah has cried herself dry. She is fiddling with her backpack and tracing her finger around the stitching repeating the process again and again. She barely looks up when her mom arrives and gathers her up weeping with relief. Sarah has been collected at last but this little girl has transported her mind somewhere else. There are no tears and not much recognition. She is in a state of detachment and drowsy acceptance of her fate. She is traumatised. The next morning Sarah will appear much better but the trauma of that event will have etched its itself into her mind and body with repercussions for the future.

These examples illustrate how precarious and vulnerable children are to the everyday trials of life growing up. It is impossible to avoid negative events as they are simply a part of what makes us human. But what we can do is build our knowledge base so that these inevitable challenges do not define us in later life, where traumatic experiences lie undetected and unresolved, keeping us unnecessarily locked in within the confines of the traumatic memory that claimed us through no fault of our own.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)

Fully remembering our personal history can be a painful process – almost unbearable for some. But it must be done to bring us back to ourselves. As that wise old bird Hippocrates noted: “Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.” Depending on the level of repression/suppression of emotions, time may heal. But trauma and adversity may just “freeze” the system in complex ways. As co-director of the The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE) Vincent Felitti MD notes: “Contrary to conventional belief, time does not heal all wounds, since humans convert traumatic emotional experiences in childhood into organic disease later in life.” [2]

Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s book Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal is an excellent place to start in discovering how to evaluate ACE and to implement the solutions provided. The studies and their questionnaire scaling shows, with surprising accuracy, that the number of Adverse Childhood Experiences an individual had, predicted the amount of medical care that person would require as an adult:

  • Individuals who had faced 4 or more categories of ACEs were twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer as individuals who hadn’t experienced childhood adversity.
  • For each ACE Score a woman had, her risk of being hospitalized with an autoimmune disease rose by 20 percent.
  • Someone with an ACE Score of 4 was 460 percent more likely to suffer from depression than someone with an ACE Score of 0.
  • An ACE Score greater than or equal to 6 shortened an individual’s lifespan by almost 20 years. [3]

So, why such dramatic results?

(more…)

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Why Young Lives are Losing Meaning and Purpose I

By M.K. Styllinski

“Young adults are facing more stressful conditions than older generations, such as an increasingly competitive labor market, rising costs of housing, an increase in higher education costs, and issues of self-identity and confidence driven by more widespread use of social media.”

— Morag Henderson, sociologist at University College London


Reading time: (25-30 mins)

The crisis of meaning and purpose is something many of us are grappling with today. Girls and boys and young adults in particular are not succeeding in this battle. The path which defines our lives up to middle and retirement age is for the majority, mostly a constellation of conditioned responses encouraged by Official Culture. It replaces true meaning with a role that serves the technosphere as opposed to our true calling. Not always, but all too frequently. Then we are back to that existential crisis of youth where something deep inside knows that to find true creative balance takes a life time of struggle against forces that oppose any kind of spiritual liberation. Unless that is, we have the support to explore the transformation that comes knocking at the door of consciousness at various stages of our lives. To even have the awareness to heed that call requires a very different society than we have now.

Life is extremely complicated for young people these days, whether they are in Western, Asian, African or Middle Eastern societies. The predisposition of tyranny from our hierarchical institutions and social systems means that such a danger will always be there, even when there is momentum toward autopoietic * social innovations. The imbalance inherent within state authority and the unceasing drive of so many to live outside it’s influence is growing. This is a welcome reaction against the finite and unsustainable nature of cartel capitalism and rampant state-sponsored crimes against humanity. But we haven’t yet found that crucial tension, that balance that provides a psychological inoculation against psychopathic infiltration which so often turns civilisations into crucibles of centralised control.

The corruption of hierarchical power always weakens the structure to the point of catastrophic failure. And there are always young folks who act as literal and symbolic precursors to that descent, usually by embodying those ills and thereby showing us what long term or immediate future lies ahead. Each epoch manifests that see-saw between managed chaos and mass creativity which eventually bursts forth in destructive ways, sweeping away everything that went before.  Children and young adults are the tuning fork of future generations in this regard. Nonetheless, there is has been a very wide historical berth when it comes to defining how our youth interact with the world. The older generations have a distinct challenge to make sure our younger generations are correctly tuned to that which offers hope, spiritual strength and resilience to face what is certain to be an unpredictable and challenging future.

But let’s rewind for a moment…

Take Medieval England for example. During that time the majority of medieval people were young with far fewer older people with around thirty-five to forty percent under fifteen years old. There was a distinct and recognised period where the early formative years were largely employed for utilitarian ends. If there were not distinct roles then the family didn’t survive. As a result, the Church law and common law regarded children as equal to adults in many ways. Parenting was just as important and often imbued with strict moral and community-based values inspired by the Church and folklore. Though play was a vital part of growing up and of far greater importance than today, if a child was unprepared for the realities of what was a rather brutal world, it meant that the longevity of the family would be weakened as would the life of the child. Conscientiousness in one’s work had to be learned early on as it was quite often a life and death situation. [1]

The ubiquity of young folks meant there were major social differences in every community and sphere of activity. A feudal hierarchy of industry meant clearly defined roles with a narrow band of what could constitute freedom from our perspective today. It also meant that on average, there was seventeen years’ less experience of life to draw on and very few elders and betters that children had to go to for advice. This high proportion of young people experienced a violent, feudal world which saw hand-to-hand combat; brutality passing for entertainment; state sanctioned slavery and appalling daily health hazards – including periodic visitations of the plague – as the backdrop to their lives. Medieval boys for example, had what amounts to a man’s job from the age of seven and could have his wee hand chopped off if he decided to pinch some fruit from a market stall. If he graduated to a more audacious deed like stealing a hairpin or a Lord’s hat, he could be hanged by his doubtless scrawny neck. Boys could legally marry at aged fourteen and were considered ready to fight in the King’s army. Those born into the nobleman’s life or royalty had material comforts but a different level of responsibility. For example, Prince Edward, at just sixteen years old was in command of whole battalion.

Not a lot of leeway for a “safe space” in that milieu.

(more…)

Technocracy VII: DARPA’s Technophilia (1)

By M.K. Styllinski

 “Fifty years is ample time in which to change a world and its people almost beyond recognition. All that is required for the task are a sound knowledge of social engineering, a clear sight of the intended goal – and power.”

Arthur C. Clarke


In 1964 the director of the CIA Richard Helms who was overseeing much of the experiments in mind control came out with a statement in his memo to the US senate and the Warren Commission which said: “Cybernetics can be used in ‘moulding of a child’s character, the inculcation of knowledge and techniques, the amassing of experience, the establishment of social behavior patterns … all functions which can be summarized as control of the growth process of the individual.’”

Such a wish to mould the masses has not been relinquished.

The human enhancement – or “optimization,” as the military now like to call it – has been a trenchant fantasy for decades. Recall Hollywood movies such as The Terminator (1984) Robocop (1987) and Universal Soldier (2001) which explore the idea of a comic-book annihilator dispensing justice and vengeance against those who don’t have a taste for American culture. Making soldiers into a literal army of unquestioning, bio-genetic, pharmaceutically-enhanced killing machines has proved problematic to say the least. This is partly due to the fact that while huge numbers of soldiers are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and record numbers committing suicide on duty and during their return to civilian life, they understandably don’t fancy having their body transformed into a Captain America cyborg, even if their emotional body has been put through the shredder.

However, Pentagon financing keeps rolling in to the Defence Advanced Research Projects Area (DARPA) with national-security goals and the War on Terror acting as guidelines for military R&D and the convergence of nanotech. (Their website features competitions and public-friendly history lessons on how essential these types of innovations are to our human survival). Artificial systems including neuro-functional implants and ‘biological input/output devices’ will form the basis of a modified biochemistry to counter sleep deprivation, muscle fatigue, reaction time and endurance. This would be complemented by nano-medical monitoring of the soldier’s performance and the administering of therapeutic drugs and hormones according to programmed cycles of release. Other enhancements are possible. Electrodes might be connected to sensory organs, sensory nerves, motor nerves or muscles and appropriate brain-cortex areas. [1]Layered over the fleshly part of this “Terminator” would be a finely-tuned integrated system of equipment, body armour and uniform designed to achieve optimum levels of combat (and carnage) capability if required.

Indeed, in 2015 the DARPA boys have been using gene modifying optical technology to develop a ” ‘cortical modem’ which plugs directly into a person’s DNA and visual cortex.”  Thus, according to online journal CNET: Not only does this unique device help someone overcome blindness or poor eyesight, it generates a built-in heads-up display (HUD) that appears right in before their very eyes.  The implants create an augmented reality projection that appears like magic in your natural vision and without the need for helmets or special eyeglasses.” [2]

Undoubtedly, this new technology named optogenetics has positive implications for the blind and visually impaired. So too, it may prove an exciting prospect for virtual reality enthusiasts and computer gamers with an upgrade that would go beyond and integration of the virtual and material world never before experienced.

Mouse OptogeneticsMouse Optogenetics | Source: Guardian

Whenever there is a public and political reaction to transhumanist philosophy military or otherwise, the PR adapts and words change. Though $4 billion dollars has been syphoned away from cyborg soldier research to the SMART technology of unmanned drone warfare, R & D is still going on in the background. [3]The spiralling growth in military spending has long been out of control with over $152 billion going unaudited each year – and that’s not including CIA funded black operations under the radar of Congress. The outer layer of fraud, abuse and overtly criminal behaviour that’s going about its business behind such contracts is being missed by the Defence Department’s Inspector General. A 2008 report to Congress described: “undetected or inadequately investigated criminal activity and significant financial loss,” where: “personnel, facilities and assets are more vulnerable to terrorist activities.” [4]

Yeah and we know who the real terrorists are…

Part of the U.S. Department of Defence and created 50 years ago in response to the Soviets’ launch of Sputnik, DARPA are clearly dedicated to countering asymmetric warfare. They also acquire significant amounts of tax-payers cash to do it. The team are particularly excited to be re-designing our notions of what it means to be human, using the guinea-pigs of the US military as the model. Though no longer listed on DARPA’s website and only included those projects safe for public eyes, we can go back just a few years and read about all sorts of whacky “breakthroughs” such as the $4.5 million attempt to build a miniature, unmanned Osprey that can perch discreetly on trees, rooftops and flagpoles to spy on “foes” (or civilians, which is essentially the same thing.) $5 million was given to work laser-guided bullets able to turn at a 90 degree angle and “with a greater than 2km range.” Not forgetting the “cognitive swarm recognition technology” which is part of a program to spot rocket-propelled grenades before they are actually launched. Apparently this might involve a crossover project called “transparent displays” which exploits “… the optical plasmon phenomenology characteristics of nano-scale structures.” [5]

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of DARPA’s modus operandi is the delving into the world of psychology and neurology in order to produce an invincible human fighting machine. Mind reading, cognitive enhancement, pharmaceutically-based mind control, and brain-machine interfaces all offer avenues of million dollar research contracts sourced from the same MKULTRA influences which have changed little over the past fifty years. Adaptation and synthesising of the hapless soldier’s brain is a primary target of research. As a 2003 Wireless News report stated: “Direct neural control of complex machines is a long-term U.S. military goal. DARPA has a brain-machine interface program aimed at creating next-generation wireless interfaces between neural systems and, initially, prosthetics and other biomedical devices.” [6]Or the $3 million funded Systems of Neuro-Morphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics, or SyNAPSE, a program that will: “… develop a brain inspired electronic ‘chip’ that mimics that function, size, and power consumption of a biological cortex,” … “If successful, the program will provide the foundations for functional machines to supplement humans in many of the most demanding situations faced by war fighters today.” [7]

The latest experiments have called for the next step in understanding the portion of the brain called the neo-cortex which is used for sensory and motor commands, spatial reasoning, language and those requiring conscious thought. In other words, higher brain functions. On September 19, 2013, Networld reported that DARPA is most interested in: “… new concepts and technologies for developing what it calls a ‘Cortical Processor’ based on Hierarchical Temporal Memory.”

In April of the same year, the Obama Administration announced a project called “Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies” or the BRAIN Initiative which was funded by the 2014 budget. With DARPA lurking in the background and giving “support,” the initiative involves the collaboration of several science foundations and organisations. Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Institutes of Health who shared his enthusiasm in a White House statement explained how: “… the BRAIN Initiative will focus largely on realizing new tools for imaging, recording, and eventually controlling neurons.” He said that project stresses the: “Great promise for developing such technologies” including: “… intersections of nano-science, imaging, engineering, informatics, and other rapidly emerging fields of science and engineering.” [8]

This research falls under the $3bn allocated by the Obama White House to develop technology identifying brain circuits, with financial assistance once again, from National Institute of Mental Health, who has: “… promised to move its seven-figure funding away from research into conditions such as schizophrenia and depression towards a system that looks at how brain networks contribute to difficulties that are shared across diagnoses.” The project is called Research Domain Criteria or the RDoCProject, rumoured to be an “… eventual replacement for the diagnostic system used by current-day psychiatrists.” The identification and modification of key brain circuits is the overwhelming interest in this field. [9]

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA© infrakshun

There is no question that medical advances involving nanotechnology, neurology and neuropharmacology are destined to improve those suffering from disabilities and diseases ranging from blindness to multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. In this context, the medical future is bright. Whether the desire to achieve a healthier and happier humanity will achieve pole position is a moot point at this stage. It is exactly the same mentality behind DARPA and the MKULTRA programs of mind experimentation of the 1940s-1970s which provides the majority of financial support and thus the continuation of that mind-set, with their attendant goals. The pace of change is awe-inspiring in the field of neuroscience and outsourced military applications spreading tentacle-like through Big Pharma, medical and educational institutions. Scientists have reached the point where computers can analyse MRI data from the brain and reconstruct thoughts, while others have broken new ground in making the first brain-to-brain interface. Rats were the primary focus followed by the human subjects using  Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. [10]

Although almost all advances in neuroscience necessarily feed into the military-intelligence apparatus, the real action can be found in the marriage of cybernetics, biology and artificial intelligence. For instance, though it might seem like trying to count the flames in an inferno, one of the avenues of exploration currently occupying scientists is how to unlock memories stored in the brain in order to create a fully autonomous brain – housed in a robot.

In 2008, Kevin Warwick, a professor at the United Kingdom’s University of Reading explained in an Agence-France Presse report that the robot (named Gordon) has a brain which is: “… composed of 50,000 to 100,000 active neurons. Once removed from rat foetuses and disentangled from each other with an enzyme bath, the specialised nerve cells are laid out in a nutrient-rich medium across an eight-by-eight centimetre (five-by-five inch) array of 60 electrodes.”

The report continued:

“This ‘multi-electrode array’ (MEA) serves as the interface between living tissue and machine, with the brain sending electrical impulses to drive the wheels of the robots, and receiving impulses delivered by sensors reacting to the environment.

Because the brain is living tissue, it must be housed in a special temperature-controlled unit — it communicates with its ‘body’ via a Bluetooth radio link. The robot has no additional control from a human or computer. From the very start, the neurons get busy. ‘Within about 24 hours, they start sending out feelers to each other and making connections,’ said Warwick.

‘Within a week we get some spontaneous firings and brain-like activity’ similar to what happens in a normal rat — or human — brain, he added. [11]

Across the pond four years later, Brown University based in Rhode Island had created the first wireless, implanted, brain-computer interface. The wireless BCIs were implanted in pigs and monkeys for just over a year. The opportunities to test human subjects is imminent.  Not wishing to be outdone by their colleagues down the road, the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York have carried out revolutionary work in the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders. They hope their latest research will push new boundaries – ethical constraints notwithstanding. In the same year, scientists successfully grafted human glial cells into the brains of mice, thereby sharply enhancing their cognitive capacities. Improvements were seen across most brain operations such as memory, learning, and adaptive conditioning. The fact that scientists created human chimeric mice which is open to public scrutiny should give you some idea as to what is happening with those fully-funded projects which are conveniently away from public and judicial oversight. [12]

Just in case chimeric mice become passé then it will no doubt come as a relief to those whose bread and butter relies on such innovation that they can just grow their own brains in test tubes. At least, according to the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna. On August 28, 2013 it was reported by the UK’s Independent about a beakthrough which saw scientists “grow a brain in a laboratory for the first time.” Affectionately named: “cerebral organoids” these miniature human brains were grown from skin cells in a laboratory and are no more than 4mm and: “… equivalent in development to the brain of a human foetus at about nine weeks’ gestation, and even have the complex three-dimensional structure of a real embryonic brain.” [13]  Brain resource issues may not be a problem for the Post Human.

DARPA has pooled its own resources to come up with yet another deterrent against the (largely non-existent) threat to the techno-military complex. The idea is to combine brain data from human sentry duty with machine-vision systems. Named logically as The Cognitive Technology Threat Warning System (CTTWS) it consists of: “… a wide-angle camera and radar which collects imagery for humans to review on a screen, and a wearable electroencephalogram device that measures the reviewer’s brain activity. This allows the system to detect unconscious recognition of changes in a scene—called a P300 event.” [14]

800px-Actroid-DER_01

“The Intelligent Robotics Lab, directed by Hiroshi Ishiguro at Osaka University, and Kokoro Co., Ltd. have demonstrated the Actroid at Expo 2005 in Aichi Prefecture, Japan and released the Telenoid R1 in 2010. In 2006, Kokoro Co. developed a new DER 2 android. The height of the human body part of DER2 is 165 cm. There are 47 mobile points. DER2 can not only change its expression but also move its hands and feet and twist its body. The ‘air servosystem'” (wikpedia)

Distinct from artificial intelligence systems which rely on standard computer programming, researchers have complemented cerebral organoids by constructing a tiny machine that “looks and thinks” like a human brain allowing robots to act independently. Substantial amounts of data from decades of studies into electrical activity in the brain, otherwise known as electroencephalography (EEG) played a vital part in advancing robotics to the next level. Teams based in various locations over America have managed to create robots which, according to James K. Gimzewski, professor of chemistry at the University of California: “… will be able to be able to learn and explore the terrain and work its way through the environment without human intervention.” Using the cybernetic and systems theory concepts of self-organisation this led the researchers to the creation of: “… nano-scale interconnected wires that perform billions of connections like a human brain, … capable of remembering information” thus processing data transcends current notions of computer capability. Gimzewski believes: “This could represent a revolutionary breakthrough in robotic systems.” [15]

DARPA’s continuing quest to find the perfect cyborg has resulted in the Darpa Robotics Challenge started in 2013. That challenge consists of developing software to bring to life a 330Ib cyborg named Atlas with a funding tag of $34m available to the winning team. According to The Guardian, copies of the Atlas Cyborg were given to teams that will: “… compete to win military prizes for designing the best software to bring Atlas to life. Already Atlas, and its predecessors, can rapidly climb stairs, do more push-ups than any human, and even pass for a person while donning a chemical protection suit.”

atlas

Atlas Robot developed by DARPA Source: http://makezine.com/

The Pentagon is as coy as can be about the future applications for a number of reasons, not least because they are a dangerous liability and ethically dubious. CIA drone attacks in Pakistan have killed up to 3,587 people since 2004, up to 884 of them civilians. Human Rights Watch has created a campaign to raise awareness about the rise of drone warfare based on the unethical premise of machines. According to the organisation robots will have: “… the power to make their own decisions about killing humans” which is not exactly a pleasant thing to consider. An international coalition has now formed which hopes to: “… call for a global treaty that would impose a ‘pre-emptive and comprehensive ban’ on artificially intelligent weapons before they are developed.” [16] This has led to the formation of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC).

As Obama’s drones are increasingly deployed in the skies over many American cities and happily carving up civilians with asymmetric glee, we can be sure that this is a revolution of sorts. Officials thought it prudent to throw an “official statement” to assuage the minds of those ready for such meaningless PR, and stated in Nov. 2012 Defence Department policy statement: “Autonomous and semi-autonomous weapon systems shall be designed to allow commanders and operators to exercise appropriate levels of human judgment over the use of force.” The document added further that: “complete engagements in a time-frame consistent with commander and operator intentions and, if unable to do so, [must] terminate engagements or seek additional human operator input before continuing the engagement.”


See also: “The Pentagon is building a ‘self-aware’ killer robot army fueled by social media” By Nafeez Ahmed


The above essentially means that the military will be permitted to do as they please with their new toys. If the machines don’t do as they are told then humans will take over to complete the missions. Exercising “judgment” seems to be the fail safe, which is even less reassuring considering the woeful legacy of the US military.

If you imagine getting machines to think like humans in a military setting is disturbing, medical discoveries will continue to surge ahead nonetheless, serving to buffer the disquiet forming in most minds – outside of DARPA, that is. Apparently, the excitement of the challenge is paramount, regardless of the consequences. The idea is to create machines which are as close to functioning humans as possible with the added bonus that they will kill on command. This will take us further down a road of mind control research in programmed assassins which characterised the post-World War II and Cold War machinations. This time, with the added dimension of cybernetic, bio-engineering. After all, developing cyborgs are much less expensive than fully automated robots and far more predictable than the fallibility of hypno-programmed humans. A blend of the two brings expendability to new levels.

What if the government could change people’s moral beliefs or stop political dissent through remote control of people’s brains? A leaked document reveals that the US government, through DARPA research, is very close to accomplishing this. (See The Manchurian Reality for the historical background)

A program using “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation” (TMS) where the temporal lobe of the brain is stimulated with electromagnetic fields, continues the tradition. The objective in this particular example is: “… to remotely disrupt political dissent and extremism by employing in tandem with sophisticated propaganda based on this technology.” Such research is given the PR gloss that its focus is foreign war games when in fact, it is more likely to target a domestic populace as social and economic strife increases. According to phase 3 of the study paper entitled: entitled “Toward Narrative Disruptors and Inductors: Mapping the Narrative Comprehension Network and its Persuasive Effects,” the ideal is to terminate lines of thinking in favour of thoughts they we would not normally be prepared to believe. In a military context we can assume that this is not about persuading people to see through Establishment deceptions – quite the opposite. [17]

Electro-stimulation and ultrasound technology have a long history in mind control experimentation upon which DARPA has eagerly capitalised. As part of its Faculty Award Program, the department kindly made a grant available to Dr. William J. Tyler, Assistant Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University and co-founder and the CSO of SynSonix, Inc. With initial work supported by the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) Army Research Laboratory (ARL). So, we know that medical uses are secondary here. After addressing the undoubtedly welcome potential for curing neurological diseases and brain injury, the professor informs us in a US Dept. of Defence article that: “… we have been working to develop methods for encoding sensory data onto the cortex using pulsed ultrasound.” He explains that a new technology has been developed: “… which implements trans-cranial pulsed ultrasound to remotely and directly stimulate brain circuits without requiring surgery. Further, we have shown this ultrasonic neuro-modulation approach confers a spatial resolution approximately five times greater than TMS and can exert its effects upon subcortical brain circuits deep within the brain.”

The upshot of this work and other research into brain circuitry is that it will be applied to US war-fighters where the professor states he will be putty in his benefactor’s hands looking forward: “… to developing a close working relationship with DARPA and other Department of Defense and U.S. Intelligence Communities to bring some of these applications to fruition over the coming years depending on the most pressing needs of our country’s defense industries.” [18]

I think we already know what those “pressing needs” are.

What is effectively a “Helmet of obedience” opens itself to a wide range of applications. Tyler is a busy worker bee. He has also created another plaything for military loons on his website MyBrainCloud.net which offers: “… a concept application of non-invasive brain stimulation using pulsed ultrasound, which is likely to emerge in the future. The concept is essentially to provide individual users with a personalized connection port through which various brain stimulation protocols can be administered in an open access manner using cloud computing. This technology has many broad applications ranging from at-home medicine to recreational applications such as interactive video gaming and virtual experience downloading.” [19]

The page has since been taken down.

HAARPHigh Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP)

At this point, we might usefully remind ourselves of the relatively modern use of High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP).

Before it was apparently “closed down” it was based in Garkona, Alaska, and jointly funded by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, the University of Alaska, and DARPA. HAARP was officially designated as an advanced weather research project focused on the ionosphere. It has been cloaked in mystery as to its true nature, in part due to an official stance of “national security” and the repellent legacy of US experimentation in the field of technotronic warfare and mind control. It seems part of the experimentation involved the use of electromagnetic frequencies and directed energy beams pulsed into the delicate upper layer of the atmosphere called the ionosphere around 1000 km above the Earth’s surface. The aim was/is to heat up specific areas which can create lenses of magnified effects. On the official website at http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/we can read: “HAARP is a scientific endeavor aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere, with particular emphasis on being able to understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civilian and defense purposes.”

Though there is very little to go on regarding the nature, development and future direction of HAARP, Physicist Dr. Bernard Eastlund has given a lot of food for thought from his 1985 US patent entitled: “Method and apparatus for altering a region in the earth’s atmosphere, ionosphere, and/or magnetosphere” filed in 1985. If such a patent can be made available publicly you can be sure classified research is well in advance of similar prototypical research. From this patent, he states:

[The] temperature of the ionosphere has been raised by hundreds of degrees in these experiments.

A means and method is provided to cause interference with or even total disruption of communications over a very large portion of the earth. This invention could be employed to disrupt not only land based communications, both civilian and military, but also airborne communications and sea communications. This would have significant military implications.

It is possible … to take advantage of one or more such beams to carry out a communications network even though the rest of the world’s communications are disrupted.

[This invention] can be used to an advantage for positive communication and eavesdropping purposes.

Exceedingly large amounts of power can be very efficiently produced and transmitted.

This invention has a phenomenal variety of … potential future developments. Large regions of the atmosphere could be lifted to an unexpectedly high altitude so that missiles encounter unexpected and unplanned drag forces with resultant destruction or deflection. Weather modification is possible by, for example, altering upper atmosphere wind patterns or altering solar absorption patterns by constructing one or more plumes of atmospheric particles which will act as a lens or focusing device. Ozone, nitrogen, etc. concentrations in the atmosphere could be artificially increased.

Electromagnetic pulse defenses are also possible. The earth’s magnetic field could be decreased or disrupted at appropriate altitudes to modify or eliminate the magnetic field.

Though differing in scope and logistical capabilities this is exactly the type of experimentation which HAARP may still be carrying out, albeit under a entirely different set up.

Though many researchers posit HAARP was indeed a vast geo-engineering project linked to reducing climate change by saturating the atmosphere with specific chemicals – the infamous chemtrails controversy – it seems this was a sub-division of experimental research and a likely cover for something else. The evidence may surface that it is not restricted to weather but a continuation of experiments gained from mind control research, something which the Establishment has been interested in since the days of Nikola Tesla. The real action may stem from this long rumoured experimental mass mind control, in line with the US military’s goal of full-spectrum dominance by 2020.

Author and researcher Nick Begich Jr. and his influential book: Angels Don’t Play This HAARP, suggested that experiments in the ionosphere have advanced greatly to the extent that earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes can be triggered (Hurricane Katrina, 2005, Haitian earthquake of 2009) and localised as part of an on-going geostrategy. More importantly, he theorises that it is the product of decades of research which has resulted in a mind control device of considerable power.

Given that there has been decades of proven experiments in mind programming, huge advances in military technology such as Silent Sound Spectrum carried out by the US government, this is very far from outrageous. Begich’s claims and that of other researchers are supported by public patents relating to HAARP a sample of which follows:

  • C. W. Hansell (1945) “Communication system by pulses through the Earth”, U.S. Patent 2,389,432.;
  • R. L. Tanner (1965) “Extremely low-frequency antenna”, U.S. Patent 3,215,937;
  • G. F. Leydorf (1966) “Antenna near field coupling system”, U.S. Patent 3,278,937;
  • B. J. Eastlund (1987) “Method and apparatus for altering a region in the Earth’s atmosphere, ionosphere, and/or magnetosphere”, U.S. Patent 4,686,605;
  • B. J. Eastlund (1991) “Method for producing a shell of relativistic particles at an altitude above the earths surface”, U.S. Patent 5,038,664.

The history of DARPA’s main avenue of research has always been neuroscience, nanoscience and cybernetics adapted to military applications.  Though often designated as a classic conspiracy theory and therefore not worth investigating, it appears even the European Parliament expressed unease at the project in the document: “Minutes of 28/01/1999 – Final Edition, Environment, security and foreign affairs, A4-0005/1999: ‘Resolution on the environment, security and foreign policy’: stating that it: “… considers HAARP by virtue of its far-reaching impact on the environment to be a global concern and calls for its legal, ecological and ethical implications to be examined by an international independent body before any further research and testing.”

Good luck with that.

See also: Girl, 7, groomed online by ROBOT in shock case police can do nothing about


Notes

[1] op. cit. ‘Military Uses of Nanotechnology – European Commission’
[2]’DARPA implant could give people Terminator-like vision, coldorbit.com February 18, 2015
[3] ‘The Rise and Decline of Military Human Enhancement’ By Michael Burnham-Fink, Science Progress January 7, 2011. http://scienceprogress.org/2011/01/the-rise-and-decline-of-military-human-enhancement/
[4] ‘Pentagon Watchdogs Swamped by Military Spending; $152 Billion a Year  Goes Unaudited’ Wired May 2008.
[5] Ibid.
[6] ‘Toward a Brain-Internet Link,’ Rodney Brooks, WirelessNewsFactor, 10 December, 2003.
[7] ‘DARPA 2009: Brain On A Chip, Transparent Displays’ by Noah Shachtman, Wired February 2, 2008.

[8] ‘Obama has announced a $100-million brain mapping project’ io9.com, September 19, 2013.
[9] ‘Vaughan Bell: news from the borders of mental illness’ guardian/Observer September 29, 2013.
[10]’Computer can read letters directly from the brain’ Science Daily August 19, 2013.
[11] A ‘Frankenrobot’ with a biological brain, (AFP) Aug 13, 2008
[12] ‘First human brain-to-brain interface allows remote control over the internet, telepathy coming soon’, extremetech.com/ August 28, 2013
[13] ‘Scientists ‘grow’ a brain in a laboratory for the first time.’ by Steve Connor The Independent,August 28, 2013.
[14] ‘Sentry System Combines a Human Brain with Computer Vision’Lucas Laursen, MIT Tech Review, November 27, 2012.
[15] ‘DARPA Building Robots With ‘Real’ Brains’ http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org 9 Apr 2013.
[15] ‘Rights group launches campaign to ban ‘killer robots” phys.org Apr 23, 2013 by Danny Kemp
[16] ‘Secret DARPA Mind Control Project Revealed: Leaked Document’ – Whistleblower Reveals Military Mind Control Project At Major University. Activist PostJuly 29 2013.
[17] ‘Remote Control of Brain Activity Using Ultrasound’ Armed with Science, http://www.science.dodlive.mil
[18] http://www.tylerlab.com/projects/ultrasound/future

Amerikan Beauty I

By M.K. Styllinski

“Off goes the head of the king, and tyranny gives way to freedom. The change seems abysmal. Then, bit by bit, the face of freedom hardens, and by and by it is the old face of tyranny. Then another cycle, and another. But under the play of all these opposites there is something fundamental and permanent — the basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free.”

H.L. Mencken, The American Credo: A Contribution Toward the Interpretation of the National Mind


sofL

© infraksun

Before we continue exploring the proliferating child rape networks which are STILL operating across our rapidly ponerised world, we’ll take a brief tour into the subject of the missing.

It may come as a surprise for most of us to learn that procedures and protocols for missing persons are either absent or woefully inadequate from the majority of local and state governments. The Doe Network, an American, internet-based resource was set up by an amateur group of concerned individuals in response to the serious lack of law enforcement record keeping. Unsolved homicides, runaways, abductions and death from natural causes are some of the primary reasons for disappearances of children and adults every day. The daily drum roll of missing persons is a silent crisis of global proportions with causes that are both multifaceted and highly complex. When it comes to finding accurate statistics on the level of missing children when such investigations are given a low priority due to the sheer magnitude of the problem, then studies can become rather misleading and outdated as is the case today.

The FBI’s National Crime Information Centre (NCIC) is the only mandatory reporting system in the United States which gives us a good idea as to how seriously the epidemic of missing persons is taken by law enforcement. Although it is federal law that all children reported missing or abducted must be entered into NCIC at the time a police report is taken, there is evidence to suggest that this is not taking place, quite apart from the lack of reporting in itself. It is also apparent that child agencies, advocates and non-profit charities and organizations are not receiving this information in order to provide a partially accurate picture of the issue. As a backdrop to this, missing person experts estimate that the bodies of 40,000 to 50,000 unidentified men, women and children have been found by police in the US during the past 50 years, [1] though once again, this could be a conservative estimate judging from the scale of the problem and the lack of resources devoted to it.


  1.  Alan John Westerfield aged 5 Missing since September 12, 1964 from North Carolina. Classification: Endangered Missing
  2.  Jie Zhao Li aged 12  Missing since February 11, 1988 from Honolulu, Hawaii.  Classification: Endangered Missing
  3.  David Michael Borer aged 8  Missing since April 26, 1989 from Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska.  Classification: Non Family Abduction
  4. Christine Green aged 16  Missing since April 23, 1985 from Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. Classification: Endangered Missing
  5. Tania Marie Murrell aged 6 Missing since January 20, 1983 from Edmonton, Alberta Canada Classification: Non-Family Abduction
  6. Tanja Afra Maria Groen aged 18 Missing since August 31, 1993 from Maastricht, Netherlands, Classification: Missing
  7. Ana Maria Luviano Cabrera aged 17 Missing since August 16, 1996 from Izcalli Piramides,  Tlalnepantla, Mexico. Classification: Missing
  8. Beatriz A. Cervantes Barrera aged 7 – Missing since February 23, 1992 from Mexico. Classification: Endangered Missing
  9. Jonathan Ivan Esquivel Negrete aged one month – Missing since July 4, 1995 from Colonia Loma Linda, Naucalpan, Estado de Mexico, Mexico, Classification: Endangered Missing
  10. Revelle Balmain  aged 24 – Missing since November 5, 1994 from Kingsford, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Classification: Endangered Missing
  11. Melissa Ann Schmidt aged 15 – Missing since September 5, 1995 from Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska Classification: Endangered Missing

Looking at those photos of children and adults alike is a poignant experience. There seems to be an everyday underworld of the forgotten. Once beyond the media radar they are quite literally, out of sight and out of mind. Although nationwide crime was said to be going down in the US rape is still on the increase with the frequency of murders rising. Even though Europe is a more dangerous and violent place than a generation ago (between 1975 and 2000, crime rose 97 percent in France, 145 percent in England, 410 percent in Spain) crime overall is falling. While quoting statistics is not the most fascinating arena of information, it is worth exploring what is available in this context.

According to a Scripps Howard News Service study of confidential FBI records, the vast majority of unidentified bodies go unreported to state or federal authorities because here is no requirement from local authorities to register cases to outside agencies. The lack of authority from state coroners and under-funding is also a significant factor. Missing persons are by far the most extensive in the US. The Interstate Association for Stolen Children (IASC) in Sacramento, California has one of the highest rates of missing children in America and believes that drugs, pornography and prostitution comprise the typical tripartite pursuits of crime organizations. IASC Executive Director Greg Mengell described a case in which “three small drug cartels were competing for business in the same area. After one ring burned down the headquarters of another, a child was kidnapped in retaliation. In this case, one of the cartels also had connections to a pornography ring and a “Satanic cult.”

Although over 2000 – 3,600 children go missing in the country every day,[2] which includes an estimate of unreported cases, law enforcement officials say the sector of missing persons is hugely under-reported as a whole, where the actual number could be more than four to five times higher. As it stands, the statistics from 1997-1999 within the USA alone has estimated 797,500 children reported missing which equates to an average of 91 children disappearing every hour. With 58,200 children abducted by non-family, where children are taken by force or threat of bodily harm, the total works out to more than 159 per day at 6 children per hour.

In percentage terms, the study concluded that nearly 50 percent were assaulted by their abductor. When the child is told to leave home or leaves home without permission, otherwise called “runaway or thrownaway” children these cases totalled more than 682, 900 equating to 1870 per day. 115 children were the victims of the most serious, long-term non-family abductions called “stereotypical kidnappings,” and where court orders were violated resulting in the victims of family abductions, the number reached 203,900. [3]

By the year 2000 the NCIC recorded a significant rise to 876,213, where 85 percent – 90 percent were listed as juveniles reported missing. 152,265 of the persons reported missing in 2000 was categorized as either endangered or involuntary. The number of missing persons reported to law enforcement has increased from 154, 341 in 1982 to 876,213 in 2000. That is an increase of 468 percent.[4]

If we are to believe the FBI, 99 percent of the nearly 800,000 reports of missing persons each year are solved, leaving a manageable 8,000 – to 10,000. (Far be it for me to level scurrilous accusations of statistical bias here, but it seems to be a slightly excessive success rate). The vast majority of abuse and exploitation cases are perpetrated by people they know, or from acquaintances. However, when we look at the ratio of children who are abducted and murdered then the story changes dramatically in that 57 percent of these murders are committed by someone unknown to the victim where the family involvement drops to 9 percent. [5] Psychiatric disability, diminished mental capacity, a physical disability, a need for medication, issues with substance abuse, domestic violence, financial difficulties and many other factors can contribute to disappearances which are often much more complex than they first appear.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health an estimated 22.1 percent of Americans ages 18 and older – 1 in 5 adults – suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. This figure translates to 44.3 million people.[6] There is a high probability that depressive disorders are appearing earlier in life from people born in recent decades compared to the past.  The figure of 20 percent attributed to children in the US estimated to have mental disorders with at least mild functional impairment, may be another major factor that places children in vulnerable situations attracting abductions and other criminal cross-overs.[7] Though the suicide rate amongst children has declined since 1992 it remains the third leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24. In 2001, 3,971 suicides were reported in this group.[8]

The average victim of abduction and murder is an 11-year-old girl with a stable family relationship. First contact with her abductor usually occurs within a quarter-mile of her own home.[9] Parental kidnapping can no longer be viewed as a domestic issue and buried under the cultural carpet. Statistics show that there are many children taken from their spouse and once beyond national boarders are seldom seen again. This is a common problem in USA and Europe, in turn connected in particular to the Middle East where interracial marriages go sour. Children are on the run, in a cultural limbo and the roots that they may have had established in their formative years have been lost leading to a greater propensity for maladjustment and psychological damage in later life. There is also a clear pattern between male and female victims. The murder by strangers of young/infant male victims from the 1-5 age groups, teenage males 13-15 years and 16-17 years are all roughly around 60 – 64 percent. [10] While the young/infant females are usually killed by friends and acquaintances the older females in the 16-17 age bracket are murdered by strangers both at 64 percent. [11] Yet after a decline in murder rates in 2004 by 5.7 percent, the first time in five years there had been a decrease in the nationwide murder rate, it however rose again in 2005 by 2.1 percent and has continued to climb. Murder by those unknown clearly comes out on top. So, who are these “unknowns”?

“When it bleeds it leads” is one crude maxim from the media which most of us heard at one time or another yet it could also be said that “if she’s white, blond and sexy then she’s on the front page.”

Kym Pasqualini, President for The National Center for Missing Adults, and Missing Persons Advocacy Network based in Phoenix said the media tends to focus on “damsels in distress”—typically, affluent young white women and teenagers. “We’d like to see a little more diversity in reporting because we have cases that never make the front page of the local newspaper, let alone the national media,”… “All parents are going through the same thing, no matter how much attention their case gets.” [12] Hispanic, black and mixed race kids are way down on the list of media coverage.

The National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children reported 1,159 African American children Missing in 2000 the highest figures ever recorded for the organization. Although figures dropped by 2002 this had little to do with an upturn in media awareness of black children. More recently, in June of 2005 a report surfaced of boys from Africa being murdered in England’s London Churches with cultural links to West Africa where “aggressive” forms of exorcism are practiced. Scotland Yard “traced only two of 300 black boys aged four to seven reported missing from London schools in a three month period. The true figure for missing boys and girls is feared to be several thousand a year.” The report revealed that:

“… there is a wide gulf between these [ethnic] communities and social services and protection agencies with many people in ethnic communities scared to speak out. The report concludes police face a ‘wall of silence’ when dealing with such cases. Experts differ on the merits of the Scotland Yard report. […] ‘It is people in positions of power and money that are manipulating poor people.’” [13]

No change there.

Though there is clearly merit and truth in the report it will also provide more fuel for those who see this as an immigration problem. One wonders why thousands of ethnic children go missing and where “cultural links” have no connection whatsoever. Even media advocacy that may take up the reins of an apathetic police force can have repercussions as Brian Maitland discovered, whose daughter Brianna disappeared in March 2004, near Montgomery, Vermont: ‘As the parents, we receive many tips that we forward to police,’ Maitland wrote, ‘Are they acted on? Who knows? Police tell you nothing about what they are doing with your case and tips, but we know the results. NOTHING.’”

The National Crime Information Centre itself is under serious strain with 17 separate databases under its umbrella. Over 94, 000 law enforcement agencies have access with more than 39 million records. Critics call it a deeply flawed system where: ‘… a lack of knowledge, indifference or poor training, police officers in Washington state –  and around the nation – routinely fail to take even the most obvious steps, conduct routine follow-ups or comply with the law when handling missing-persons cases,…” [14] Moreover, it has been dawning on several child advocate agencies and families desperate for news of their missing loved ones, that it is not only bureaucracy and police apathy that is causing frustration – but the FBI itself. The bureau obsessively protects a wall of confidentiality over NCIC data, arguing that the database is the private property of local police departments. It is the police that steps up to increase the misery by preventing the public’s right to accountability regarding whether or not local police departments and medical examiners are doing their jobs.

Seattle Police ignored a law that required them to follow up on reports, which in this case, resulted in the rape and murder of a 14 year-old girl. This routine procedure “… would have identified her remains nearly 17 months sooner” and “I’m sure police would’ve caught him, or at least found some clues or evidence, if they would’ve linked this up sooner,” said Michelle’s mother, Tish Curry. “They didn’t really seem to care that much. My daughter was just another runaway to them.”  According to the same extensive report by the Seattle Post Intelligencer they found that police routinely mishandled and lost cases, ignored the law, failed to use tracking systems in an age of ubiquitous surveillance and closed cases with little or no investigation.

If sexual predators do indeed commit crimes against children 50-60 times more before they get caught, it is doubly frustrating for families of victims to learn how easily psychopaths use the system against itself. They naturally prey on those from dysfunctional families or with a prior record of running away or petty crime. Police are even less likely to follow up on such cases.

Journalist Lewis Camb:

“Criminologist Steven Egger calls the victims of serial killers ‘the less dead’ because they are usually people who have been marginalized — prostitutes, drug users, homosexuals, farm workers, hospital patients and the elderly.

‘We don’t spend a lot of time dealing with missing people who aren’t particularly important; who don’t have a lot of prestige,’ said Egger, a University of Houston-Clear Lake professor and former police officer. It’s a public failing as well as a police failing, a common belief being that such people take big risks and get what they deserve. [15]

The defining characteristic that all these missing children and adults have in common is that they are largely forgotten by the media and the world in general. It is poignant to look at the photos of so many unsolved cases of those for whom the pathology of our social systems serve as a death sentence. While society becomes ever more devalued and artificial, the “defective” goods are literally “throwaway” children and adults, descending further down the chain of “used goods.”

There is some good news however. Since 2011, a generally greater awareness of the issue with the rise of technology such as Facebook along with the Amber Alerts initiative spear-headed by the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) a change has occurred. The recovery rate for missing children involved in the most dangerous cases in America has shot up to 97 percent in 2011 from 62 percent in 1990, according to the centre’s statistics which, if the stats are correct, is cause for celebration. This is modified by the 115 children abducted each year in the US where an average of 57 percent are found alive, 40 percent are killed and the rest listed as open cases.

By 2012, 94 percent of recovered children are found within 72 hours and 47 percent found within three hours shows how important a part the new social network technologies are playing in the search for missing children. [16]


N.B. For an added dimension of high strangeness to the study of missing persons please read the series of books by David Paulides starting with  Missing 411- Eastern United States: Unexplained disappearances of North Americans that have never been solved and visit his website at www.canammissing.com 

 


Notes

[1] ‘Americas forgotten dead: Unidentified bodies go unreported’ by Thomas Hargrove – Scripps Howard News Service October 4, 2005. Alaska Site News.
[2] National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMC) http://www.ncmec.org
[3] National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART-2) US Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Released 2002.
[4] http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/ncic.htm
[5] National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART-2) US Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Released 2002.
[6] National Institute of Mental Health NIH Publication No. 01-4584 Updated: January 1, 2001.
[7] National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) factsheets.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Missing Children Myths: Connect For Kids by Daniel D. Broughton Published September 18, 2000.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Quoted in ‘America’s Missing’ 2005, The Crime Library, Typical Crimes and Methods http://www.crimelibrary.com/
[13] ‘Child sacrifices in London’ By Richard Edwards Crime Reporter, Evening Standard 16 June 2005.
[14] A Seattle Post-Intelligencer special report on how police in [Seattle and around the US] fumble missing-person reports, originally published in 10 parts. Monday, February 17, 2003 Part 1: People go missing, killers go free ‘I still worry. I guess I always will’ By Lewis Kamb.
[15] Ibid.
[16] ‘Missing children in U.S. nearly always make it home alive’ By Barabara Goldberg, Reuters, April 26, 2012.