08-31-2007, 04:32 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
That you can influence the mind of others is uncontroversial. That one can subtly influence others shouldn't be controversial -- pick up any good, not too elementary book on prestidigitation in the library and read about "The Classic Force". Properly done, this can be very subtle and surprisingly detailed.
Hypnosis is definitely about cooperative influence not control in any real sense of the word.
There is also brainwashing and the Stockholm Syndrome, both of which depend on long term on thorough long-term breaking down of ones sense of self -- not a subtle or secret process, though I think that the term "control" is not completely irrelevant here. As far as I know, though, neither works thoroughly in all cases.
There are a lot of stories about paranormal "mind control" being the topic of Soviet experiments. Most of these amounted to remote hypnosis, and, as I said, hypnosis isn't control of someone unwilling. The extent that any of these were really occurring is unclear. There was a lot of self deception, misinformation and disinformation in that society.
There has been a lot of experimentation with various forms of what might be called mind control on both sides of the old "Iron Curtain". A lot of that amounted to torture for purposes of brain washing. Publicly, very little was successful, but we can't be sure. I suspect that most of it was either unsuccessful or no more effective than "old fashioned" techniques like conventional torture, sleep deprivation and isolation.
Where's the line between influence and control? Not sure precisely. But I think people are surprisingly easy to influence and rather hard to control at the level of their minds.