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September 29, 2006

Feeling like you're being watched

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If our email and phone calls are any indication, thousands of people around the country are convinced they have been implanted with some form of computer chip that can control them or listens to their thoughts.

Frankly, the jury is out for me on this whole issue. I believe that most people who "hear voices" or think someone is controlling them are suffering from schizophrenia (those are the hallmark symptoms), while other cases are not as easy to dismiss.

Regardless, the fact is I deal with RFID for commercial and inventory purposes, and I have never heard of an implant that could do the things people claim to be experiencing. The VeriChip implant, for instance, has no ability to control a person's thoughts, movements, etc. nor can it emit or transmit sounds. Plus, its read range is too short for someone to access it remotely. It can't even pinpoint a person's location from more than a few feet away. While it's true that Liz and I did run across some creepy patents for implants (detailed in Chapter 14 of Spychips) it is extremely unlikely these have been surreptitiously implanted into people involved in everyday disputes.

I will admit that I feel a pang of guilt when I dismiss these accounts. These people are either (a) in trouble and in need of psychiatric or emotional help, which I am not able to provide, or (b) experiencing a real phenomenon that is almost too horrible to contemplate. (OR they could be totally pulling our legs, which is another possibility.) But it is hard to look away when a fellow human appears so clearly to be suffering.

Assuming there is no such thing as a mind control implant, the accounts appearing in our in-boxes (and across the internet) raise disturbing questions about our society. Is our ubiquitous surveillance technology creating a surge in neurosis and mental illness? Research suggests that people do tend to get paranoid if they believe they have no way of knowing when they are being watched. Perhaps the rise in CCTV cameras, database profiling, and guerilla marketing is making us all a little nuts, and some people express it more overtly than others.

-Katherine Albrecht

Posted by Katherine Albrecht at September 29, 2006 9:00 AM

Comments

I don't think our surveillance technology is creating a surge in neurosis, just a surge in the neurotic people you're being exposed to.

Posted by: jbf at September 29, 2006 7:10 PM

We are watching you.

Cease discussing Verichip.

Posted by: Echelon at October 2, 2006 4:00 PM

God is watching YOU and people like you, Echelon, and I don't think He likes what He's seeing. I hope you're just a mere prankster. If not . . . well I'm gonna pray for you, my friend.

Posted by: Raj at December 17, 2006 1:51 PM

Hi, for two years I tried to convince myself I am crazy and/or schizophrenic. But I don't hear voices, nor do I believe anyone is controlling my behaviour or watching me. However - when you wake up one day after being "knocked out" at a party - with a scar in the back side of your right tricep along with blood dripping down your arm, it is a bit confusing. Especially when a few days after the occurance, an acquanitance informs you that a "identification/tracking" device has been inserted in you. Less than one month after the FDA approved the chip for human testing. Where is someone like me to go?

Posted by: Anonymous at February 2, 2007 10:48 AM

Is there any way to detect whether an RFID chip is present?

Posted by: Tamara at February 13, 2007 12:09 AM

To Katherine Albrecht who believes that those thousands of people who believe that their thoughts are being readed may be nuts, only because it may not have happen to you.We are living in the time of that false god, that(anti-christ)who wants to be God.Jesus had the power to read people thoughts,and the anti-christ has the power to do the same thing.Imagine someone walking up to you and telling you smething about you, and you respond by saying, my God no one knows that but me you must be a prophet sent from God! Thank you Jesus I love you.
God bless you

Posted by: at March 15, 2007 5:59 PM

While I don't think the Verichip is the mark of the anti-christ (I'm pagan, so I guess so much for that) I do have privacy issues with the device.
The thing with the anonymous writer who wrote earlier is a bit disturbing. Though I hope not to offend the writer, I'm hoping it was a prank..the idea of it being anything else is terrifying.

Posted by: Sela at April 12, 2007 10:55 PM

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