Reposted from: Wall Street on Parade | by Pam Martens and Russ Martens
July 3, 2014
Let us see if we have this straight: Facebook is a company that has been publicly traded for just slightly more than two years. It pays no dividend so its key attraction for its shareholders is that it knows how to run and grow its business. Its initial public offering launch was one of the biggest fiascos in modern finance. Its core asset from which its revenues flow is based on the loyalty and growth of its user base upon whom it decided to conduct secret psychological experiments – and then publish the findings.
But wait. It gets worse.
Facebook’s secret human lab rat study on a self-described “massive” 689,003 of its users was published just last month in the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences under the title: “Experimental Evidence of Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion Through Social Networks.” The study said the significant finding was that “emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. We provide experimental evidence that emotional contagion occurs without direct interaction between people (exposure to a friend expressing an emotion is sufficient), and in the complete absence of nonverbal cues.”
According to Facebook, this is what they did to manipulate the behavior of its unpaid and involuntary human lab rats:
“In an experiment with people who use Facebook, we test whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction between individuals by reducing the amount of emotional content in the News Feed. When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests that, in contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and non-verbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others’ positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.”
Facebook has observed along with the rest of America the fallout from the revelations of secret government surveillance of its citizens. Somehow the public outcry over secret surveillance did not send a “non-verbal cue” to Facebook that there might be an outcry to revelations that it was using an algorithm to manipulate the emotional mood of its users without their knowledge or informed consent.
What if some of these users were under psychiatric care for depression? What if they had just lost their job, or their marriage, or their home, or experienced the death of a loved one? How outrageously irresponsible is it to secretly attempt to manipulate the mood of an already depressed person to a more negative state?
But wait. It gets worse.
In 1994, the CIA declassified a secret paper outlining other attempts to manipulate a person’s behavior without their knowledge. The document, “The Operational Potential of Subliminal Perception” [POSTED BELOW] by Richard Gafford notes the following:
“Usually the purpose is to produce behavior of which the individual is unaware. The use of subliminal perception, on the other hand, is a device to keep him unaware of the source of his stimulation. The desire here is not to keep him unaware of what he is doing, but rather to keep him unaware of why he is doing it, by masking the external cue or message with subliminal presentation and so stimulating an unrecognized motive.”
We’re also informed by the CIA that “The operational potential of other techniques for stimulating a person to take a specific controlled action without his being aware of the stimulus, or the source of stimulation, has in the past caught the attention of imaginative intelligence officers.”
And, the CIA offers some other helpful tips that Facebook may want to consider in its next human lab rat study:
“In order to develop the subliminal perception process for use as a reliable operational technique, it would be necessary a) to define the composition of a subliminal cue or message which will trigger an appropriate preexisting motive, b) to determine the limits of intensity between which this stimulus is effective but not consciously perceived, c) to determine what preexisting motive will produce the desired abnormal action and under what conditions it is operative, and d) to overcome the defenses aroused by consciousness of the action itself.”
But wait. It gets worse.
The jury is still out on whether this study had a military connection. The original press release issued by Cornell University, which was involved in the research study, indicated that the U.S. Army Research Office was one of the funders of the study. After there was a public uproar about the study itself, this correction appeared at the bottom of the press release:
“Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that the study was funded in part by the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the Army Research Office. In fact, the study received no external funding.”
While questions continue to swirl around this dubious study, one thing is not in doubt: Facebook has a unique talent for brand suicide.
About the Authors
2015 Wall Street On Parade. Wall Street On Parade ® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. WallStreetOnParade.com is a public interest web site operated by Russ and Pam Martens to help the investing public better understand systemic corruption on Wall Street. Ms. Martens is a former Wall Street veteran with a background in journalism. Mr. Martens’ career spans four decades in printing and publishing management.
Facebook was founded and funded by the CIA’s investment company In-Q-Tel (IQT) which is this feared intelligence agencies not-for-profit venture capital firm that invests in high-tech companies for the sole purpose of keeping them, and other US-EU intelligence agencies, equipped with the latest in information technology in support of United States intelligence capability.
Facebook And It’s Connections To The C.I.A. And D.A.R.P.A.
From: the real news online | by Brian S. Staveley, 1/19/2012
Facebook was setup by the C.I.A. Try telling that to most people and they laugh at it. People seem to think its a coincidence that Facebook seems to be so intrusive over and over again. Privacy policies that would make anyone scratch their head. I’m not going to beat around the bush with this blog post. Facebook was setup by the C.I.A. as a data mining project to collect as much information on as many people as they could. Not only that but it also has very strong ties to D.A.R.P.A. . The purpose of this data mining project that became Facebook was to find out a boat load of things on people. Where they are going. What they are doing. What airline are they using Who do they associate with What type of books or movies have you been reading. How you feel about things politically. The list goes on and on. Before I elaborate let me say that my prior statement about Facebook being setup by the C.I.A. isn’t a theory or a hunch. If you simply follow the money its quite easy to see what is going on. Before we follow this money trail, just think about this.
If Facebook was setup by the C.I.A. (and it was) its a pretty brilliant plan. Never before have the people they want to watch actually given up so much information VOLUNTARILY! The C.I.A. doesn’t even have to dig for most of it. People put it right out there. Think about how descriptive some people’s status updates are. They tell you where they are going, who they are with sometimes, what they like. All these things. Did you know that once Facebook has you tagged in ONE PHOTO they have you identified anytime an image of you is uploaded whether it is tagged, labeled, or anything else to ID it? Facebook runs facial recognition on all photos and can even ID you by running it on some really low resolution shots, and its done for free! Does that sound like something a website would do for free? There are some much more intrusive things Facebook does to track you and every site you visit that you probably don’t know about. All this without visiting Facebook or even needing to be a member!! After I tell you about the money trail and the start of Facebook we will get into more of these privacy issues and there are a lot. The facial recognition is just the tip of the iceberg. Before we do all that let’s have a quick history lesson, the way I do history. With the ACTUAL TRUTH. The movie “The Social Network” was a big hit. It was supposedly all about the start of Facebook from a college dorm room to a multi billion dollar corporation in Palo Alto California. They left out some very interesting things that you all should know. That movie in itself was not about entertainment. It was propaganda to fortify the Facebook lie. Let us go back to the year 2003.
2003 is the year before Facebook officially launched outside of just the dorms at Harvard University. It launched in early 2004. Now in the movie and in the I guess what you could call the “official story” Mark Zuckerberg gets a 500,000 dollar investment from Peter Thiel some big shot exec out on the west coast. With this 500,000 investment Peter Thiel became some thing like a 7-8% owner of Facebook. So for Thiel obviously seeing as Facebook is valued at over 30 billion dollars he made quite the sound investment. This was a huge deal to Mark Zuckerberg. Now he had all the startup money he would need and then some. 500,000 dollars is a lot more than he needs to start a website, buy some servers, and hire some programmers, and it was supposed to be. It was Peter Thiel buying his way into the company. He had to pay something. Now supposedly in the process they screwed one of the other friends of Mark, gave him a tiny percentage and took his name of the mast head. Which they made a big deal about and we will talk about why. Peter Thiel made a huge investment and he wanted his name displayed on the site as one of the owners and rightfully so. Eduardo Saverin made a big stink because his name was taken off. So you see its kind of a big deal. Remember this for later. So they take the money and relocate to California. Facebook takes off so fast. This was in Early 2004. This all happened within a couple of months of Mark launching the site. So they were building it in 2003 in their dorm room and it launched in the beginning of 2004 . This 500,000 investment would also be in early 2004.That’s how they got the money to move out to California. Well you know what would have been a lot better than a 500,000 dollar investment? How about a 12.7 million dollar investment? How about a 12.7 million dollar investment from Uncle Sam? Funny how we didn’t hear about this one huh? That’s 25 times greater of an investment than the one the make a big deal about in the movie.
This huge investment of $12.7 million came from James Breyer who is closely associated with a venture capital company called InQtel established by the CIA in 1999 and he served on the board of BBN. InQtel deals in information technology and intelligence most notably “nurturing data mining technologies”.
So Zuckerberg actually got an investment over 25x greater than the 500,000 dollar investment and there is no mention of it anywhere! Remember we talked about how much pride these guys took in having their names on the mast head. It makes sense. You put in all that money to help someone get a project off the ground you deserve some recognition.
James Breyer’s name is not mentioned anywhere. Now remember Thiel put in 500,000 and got 7% of the company. So what would almost 13 million get you? Well if my math is right it, if you used the same scale as Thiel it would be over 140% of the company. Something doesn’t add up here huh? Starting to think the Thiel investment is complete BS. Either way that is certainetly not the important point. The point is they only mention Thiel and not the guy who threw in over 25 x more money. Almost 13 million put on a college kid’s dreams? Sounds kinda far fetched doesn’t it? Why soooooo much money? That is enough to statup a 1000 social networks! Now why would he want to invest that much? Well look at where he is coming from. He sits on the board of a C.I.A. front company that specialized in using the internet to data mine and find out what people are doing. Where they are going. Who they are with. etc,etc,etc…. What’s that sound like to you?
Then there is the D.A.R.P.A. connection. A brief summary on D.A.R.P.A. for those that don’t know. They invented the internet. They are under the dept of defense. They are actually working on liquid metal robots like in Terminator 2. These are the types of things they do. They would be the most cutting edge inventors for the government and military. Super high tech stuff. Things we can’t even imagine exist, they play with every day. D.A.R.P.A. is tied into all this as well.
The D.A.R.P.A. connection:
Dr. Anita Jones former Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the U.S. Department of Defense. While with D.A.R.P.A. her responsibilities included serving as an adviser to the Secretary of Defense. Dr. Jones was also served on the board of directors for InQtel and is now employed by BBN. This is the same board James Breyer sits on. He is also employed by BBN
D.A.R.P.A. runs the Information Awareness Office whose task it is to collect data on as many people as possible. Their website is full of references to the war on terror, terrorism and terrorist. The IAO claims its programs are for identifying and responding to threats of terrorism. Facebook is an extension of the IOA
I.A.O.’s Mission Statement:
Information Awareness Office is to gather as much information as possible about everyone in a centralized location for easy perusal by the United States government.
Including but not limited to: internet activity, credit card purchase history, airline ticket purchases, car rentals, medical records, educational transcripts, drivers license, utility bills, tax returns and any other available data.
Hmmmm. What website does this sound like??? Facebook has become the world largest database on people. That is admitted. But do you see how simple this is. Let’s sum it up from the truth side of things. In the year 2003 James Breyer is working on a project with Anita Jones and one other Fellow for DARPA where they are trying to find a way to use the internet to get as much information on people as possible. Things like….Where they are going. What they are doing. What airline are they using Who do they associate with What type of books or movies have you been reading. How you feel about things politically. What makes you angry. Where you vacation. They even wanted to track things like internet activity, credit card purchase history, airline ticket purchases, car rentals, medical records, educational transcripts, drivers license, utility bills, tax returns and any other available data. now granted all those things aren’t on Facebook YET but a few more of them are than you think. What do you think happens when you use Facebook to log into a site cuz its easier than remembering all your log ins? Before you answer, remember who’s behind it.
So in 2003 these people under DARPA & the C.I.A. are working on this project and they just happen to throw a college kid 12.7 million dollars because they like his passion?? LMAO! Nope heres the truth and they knew you wouldn’t believe that! That’s why Breyer and his 12.7 million are never mentioned. You’ve never heard of him or any corporation he represents having any stake in Facebook. They tell you Zuckerberg is one of the richest people in the world valued over 30 billion dollars. Maybe. Its possible and I won’t stick on this point to long but I doubt it. It’s a CIA Project! Maybe, Maybe in the begining it was really started as his and his buddies idea and Breyer and his cohorts bought it off them right before it went viral and they (CIA,DARPA) told them to take a hike and the CIA been running it since, but i think it was probably just the IAO project from the start and Zuckerberg is just part of the story. He’s probably well payed but not in the billions. The purpose of Information Awareness Office was to gather as much information as possible about everyone in a centralized location for easy perusal by the United States government. That’s exactly what Facebook does and much more. The People running the IAO gave facebook 25x more startup money than the guy they glorify in the movie. I think it’s safe to say Facebook is CIA. Facebook is D.A.R.P.A which falls under the Dept. Of Defense. This is clear as day when you follow the money. 13 million to start a website? Look who it came from and the timing of their data mining project. This is the data mining project. Isn’t it so clever? Think about it. People are dying to actually give them information. So now that you know, if it really bothers you just stay off Facebook right? Wrong! There are some serious privacy issues that should concern ANYONE using the web.
Facebook has gotten so big that every site nowadays has Facebook buttons on it. Share buttons under all the articles. Like buttons on the page right? I mean it’s everywhere. Do you remember how quick it caught on? You know Myspace was a lil bit younger of a crowd generally but it was huge at one point with over 100 million users before Facebook was even born and there weren’t myspace share things everywhere like there are Facebook. Myspace wasn’t CIA or DEPT Of Defense run. Well as far as I know. Almost any website you go to now has facebook like buttons on it. Well they do that because they know Facebook is really popular and website have tailored to their customers and visitors needs. People want to share so if you don’t have these buttons they might use another site. Even I have Facebook and every other type of share option on my websites. Do you know that ANY WEBSITE that has one of these Facebook buttons on their site, just one that Facebook then uses that and tracks what website you exit to??!! This is ANY SITE with a Facebook button. So if I go to ESPN and read an article and there are Facebook buttons on that site, Facebook is going to know where I go next! It is going to actually be able to place a cookie or whatever it is on me and see where my IP address goes next!! Now first off obviously if your going to something personal like a porn site or a gambling site or whatever it is you do you don’t want the world knowing, FACEBOOK KNOWS!!! Now not only that it works like links in a chain. When you leave ESPN lets say and go to Joe Smoe’s Cleaning site and there are no share options chances are next site you go to isn’t another Joe Smoe’s type of site. The next site because Facebook is soooo big now will most likely have at the very least one of these buttons and BOOM you are being tracked again!!! You do NOT NEED TO CLICK ANY OF THE FACEBOOK BUTTONS for this to occur! Not only that you do not need to be a Facebook member! Facebook has almost taken over the web. Its Facebook vs Google Right?? Ya right. Thats one of those false sneses of choice. Sure you can choose. NSA(Google) or CIA(Facebook) Facebook is so big some companies like say a car company, I see it a lot with them, they plug their Facebook page on their commercials and not their own site. They made Facebook so cool and popular that people not even in on it are unwillingly opening back doors for the government to track their website’s visitors when they leave.
Now you know why Facebook is so embedded everywhere. Now think about everything I said and then look at the new timeline. See how intense the tracking is? That’s a C.I.A. job my friends!
Now Facebook is actually giving Politico access to your private, yes PRIVATE messages, statuses and links. I posted the story a few days ago and here is a small excerpt from it.
Most notably, the Facebook-Politico data set will include Facebook users’ private status messages and comments. While that may alarm some people, Facebook and Politico say the entire process is automated and no Facebook employees read the posts.
Rather, every post and comment — both public and private — by a U.S. user that mentions a presidential candidate’s name will be fed through a sentiment analysis tool that spits out anonymized measures of the general U.S. Facebook population.
How does this make you feel? You think they wouldn’t ever go back on your timeline and use something you said on Facebook against you legally??? I wouldn’t bet on it.
You know D.A.R.P.A. invented the internet. One of the reasons I believe they did it was to track our every thoughts. Think about it. You would think technically speaking they were not capable of tracking all your thoughts but they made this internet thing. Think about how much thought is expressed online. With people that use the computer a lot like I do you could say way more than half my thoughts are tracked. Many of those they might call anti government even though we both know its just anti tyrannical government with me.Think of how clever they are. They invent this thing to track our thoughts. We are giving into it right now! I’m expressing all this through their thought filters and you are letting them know what you like to read about. Pretty f’ed up when you think about it like that isn’t?
They always plan years and years ahead. They are so clever just think again about Facebook. They are literally sucking data right outta people’s brains. You have people that post way too much personal stuff and they love it. You have people like me that probably express myself a lot more than most would feel safe doing. Facebook was a well thought out plan and it is basically running the world wide web. Any site with a FB button tracks where you go next. Think about all the privacy issues. Have you ever taken the time to read their privacy policies? Pretty intrusive and honestly quite absurd. Facebook is run by the CIA. Its the biggest data mining operation in the world and somehow they made that cool.
I’ll close this out with something I was going to save for another blog but lets throw it all out there. We talk of these clever inventions with incredible foresight that predict people’s reactions years ahead of time. I’m talking about them (D.A.R.P.A., CIA) inventing the internet, Facebook and the other invention I know they had a part in, the smart phone.
Your smartphone is awesome! It doesn’t even really matter which one. They all function like computers, have apps, HAVE FACEBOOK. They have nice cameras and even video camera, GPS, and on and on right? Why do you think they are so cool? Just like they wanted to track your thoughts so they were so clever they created the internet. They wanted to track you!! Simply track you, GPS style!! Would you EVER agree to carry around a personal GPS for the government to track you? No of course you wouldn’t! So they build them into the phones and make the phones so freakin cool you can’t leave home with out it can you??? I know I can’t. Then what do you know. Look at the stories that came out this year. I’ve talked about these a lot on my radio shows. It comes out that first the IPHONE then shortly after The Droid were both SECRETLY LOGGING YOUR LOCATION EVEN WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOUR GPS WAS OFF!!!!!! This was not an accident. these manufacturers left back doors open for governments from the start. See what I am saying? They were made so cool with all these apps and everything else so you would ALWAYS carry one. Then they can ALWAYS track whoever they want, whenever they want. No warrant, no hassle. Don’t you wonder with all the advances in technology as the years go by how did the cell phone batteries get so much WORSE???? LOL. They didn’t. they are being drained because yuor phone is secretly running GPS or at least sending reports every few minutes!
As if all this wasn’t bad enough it was then found out that all different phones from all the major carriers in the United States were actually running KEY LOGGING SOFTWARE on the phones! A key logger is a computer program that logs every key you press. Everything you type. Every password. Everything you look at. EVERYTHING you do. You think this is all a coincidence? I am done with coincidences.
Here is a link to the video and a few articles I posted a few months back showing you the keylogging software running and logging every key pressed on the phone in the video.
This isn’t limited to one carrier or manufacturer. It’s popping up everywhere. I can’t think of a bigger invasion of privacy. EVERYTHING. Every text, everything you type, every person’s picture you look at. All tracked and logged. Privacy is dead. Free speech is next.
About a month after posting this a new article was put out by Lifehacker that actually shows you how to STOP Facebook from tracking you via these other sites! It’s a really good article. Here is a link to it. http://lifehacker.com/5843969/facebook-is-tracking-your-every-move-on-the-web-heres-how-to-stop-it
But to the true purpose of the CIA creating the Facebook weapon, this report chillingly states, was to implement their mass psychological manipulation plan against the American people outlined in their 1994 report titled The Operational Potential of Subliminal Perception. [Read full document (declassified) HERE]
The Operational Potential of Subliminal Perception
APPROVED FOR RELEASE 1994
CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM
18 SEPT 95
By Richard Gafford
Perception is demonstrated to have occurred below the threshold of conscious sensory experience when a person responds to a stimulus too weak in intensity or too short in duration for him to be aware of it. Individual behavior without awareness of the stimulus, of which subliminal perception is a subtype, has been a subject of study in psychological laboratories for at least 70 years, and a great deal of technical data has been collected on the subject. Recently it has been associated with some theories of depth analysis and popularized for possible commercial exploitation by the advertising world.
In the most sensational of these popularized experiments, an increase in popcorn sales in a New Jersey movie theater is said to have been stimulated by subliminal interruptions of the feature film with an advertisement urging the patrons to buy popcorn. The exposure time used, a small fraction of a second, was too brief for conscious discrimination by an observer absorbed in the film story but presumably long enough to have some stimulating effect. The advertising men who are currently interested in this phenomenon as a sales technique argue that the short-duration stimulus appeals to a positive motive, for example an appetite for popcorn, without arousing the rational, conscious sales-resistance of the individual, based perhaps on the desire to save money or lose weight.
The argument becomes more complicated with respect to a product which there is no specific preexisting positive motive to acquire. The appeal is now said to be directed to a “deep” underlying motive presumed to be always operating, never satiated, say the sex drive. The masked stimulus arouses some aspect of this ubiquitous sex drive, a drive which can hardly be directly satiated in polite society and one of which the conscious recognition is more or less anxiety-producing. The vague discomfort the individual feels as a result of subconscious stimulation must be allayed by some associated gratification, and this gratification – the advertiser hopes – is the socially acceptable acquisition of the product which he is trying to promote.
It is evident that there are several mighty leaps in logic in the advertising man’s argument, and a great many places where his scheme can go astray. He has taken several psychological phenomena which have been demonstrated to a limited degree in controlled laboratory experiments and strung them together into an appealing argument for a “technique.” Because part of what he is promoting is supported by laboratory data, however, it has enough status to warrant serious attention.
The operational potential of other techniques for stimulating a person to take a specific controlled action without his being aware of the stimulus, or the source of stimulation, has in the past caught the attention of imaginative intelligence officers. Interest in the operational potential of subliminal perception has precedent in serious consideration of the techniques of hypnosis, extrasensory perception, and various forms of conditioning. By each of these techniques, it has been demonstrated, certain individuals can at certain times and under certain circumstances be influenced to act abnormally without awareness of the influence or at least without antagonism.
After careful research on each of these methods, however, it has become apparent that although they occasionally produce dramatic results, their lack of reliability and their requirement for extremely precise controls to obtain the desired effect have limited their operational utility to a very few very specialized instances -situations where just the right persons can be put together at just the right moment under closely controlled circumstances. The primary danger observed in connection with this unreliability is that of a “flashback,” of inadvertently producing just the opposite effect to that desired. Subliminal perception as a practical control or persuasion technique is prone to the same difficulties.
There are four principal categories of behavior without awareness.
The individual may be unaware of:
a) his behavior itself.
He may be whispering without realizing he is whispering, or he may be moving into a trap without knowing that the trap is there. A special case here is abnormal behavior in which the individual fails to realize what he is doing because his normal awareness and self-control have been interrupted by disturbing agents such as fear, anxiety, illness, drugs, or hypnotic suggestion.
b) the relation of his behavior to some stimulus.
The individual may be unaware of the fact that his interrogator is influencing him by saying “Right” after certain statements and by remaining noncommittal after others. The process called “operant conditioning” falls into this category.
c) the stimulus itself, because of its slight impact.
The individual may be unaware of a very faint sound or a quick flash of light, unaware in the sense that he lacks the usual visual sensations. Subliminal perception falls into this category.
d) the precise nature of the stimulus, as well as its relation to his behavior, because of inattention.
The individual may be aware of vague sensations, but he is not aware either of the source or of the significant content of the stimulation, although his behavior may change in accordance with changes in the stimulus. This category includes a great deal of perceptual activity affecting ordinary social behavior. A person is often unaware of the specific cues and clues to which he is reacting not because the stimulus is insufficient to reach the consciousness but because the effort to be fully aware of all the cues all the time would create too great a cognitive strain.
In persuading a person to do something he normally or rationally would resist doing an intelligence operative can make use of any one of these categories of psychological processes. Usually the purpose is to produce behavior of which the individual is unaware. The use of subliminal perception, on the other hand, is a device to keep him unaware of the source of his stimulation. The desire here is not to keep him unaware of what he is doing, but rather to keep him unaware of why he is doing it, by masking the external cue or message with subliminal presentation and so stimulating an unrecognized motive.
In order to develop the subliminal perception process for use as a reliable operational technique, it would be necessary a) to define the composition of a subliminal cue or message which will trigger an appropriate preexisting motive, b) to determine the limits of intensity between which this stimulus is effective but not consciously perceived, c) to determine what preexisting motive will produce the desired abnormal action and under what conditions it is operative, and d) to overcome the defenses aroused by consciousness of the action itself.
As to the composition of the subliminal cue, it cannot be supposed that just any message presented close below the threshold of recognition will be translated into appropriate action. The determination of the right kind of message in terms of content, number and type of words or symbols, grouping of symbols, and so forth has been the object of a great deal of psychological experiment. There is a good deal of lore and a few rather vague principles available, but generally they concern rather trivial areas of action from the viewpoint of the intelligence operative. Since the effectiveness of the procedure depends on not arousing the person’s defense mechanisms, and since defense mechanisms are not only peculiar to each individual but hard to discover, it is difficult to specify even what is to be avoided in the composition of the subliminal cue in order not to arouse the defenses.
Thresholds of recognition are variable and difficult to determine. If the intensity of the stimulus is much below an individual’s threshold it doesn’t get through to even the most automatic areas of his sensorium. But recognition thresholds vary tremendously, not only among individuals, but also in the same individual from one time to another, in accordance with his physical situation, his physiological condition, and above all the degree to which he is psychologically attuned to the particular content of the message. A normal human being is an infinitely more complex receiving instrument than any electronic gadget, and adjusting a stimulus for such a variable receiver is difficult. In most of the laboratory studies on which the current theory of subliminal perception is based 1 there has been a long pretrial period requiring the subject’s full cooperation to zero him in on the subliminal signal. Such preparation is clearly not feasible for operational use. The message must therefore be transmitted on a much wider intensity band and may frequently not get through or may on the other hand penetrate to the subject’s consciousness and arouse his defenses.
The message once received is presumed to trigger some sensitive subconscious motivation to action. There are numerous psychological theories about such inner functions, but little definitely known about them. If a somewhat homogeneous sample of people is tested a number of times, most of them will be sensitive most of the time to the subliminal cue; but some individuals, for a great variety of reasons we can little more than guess at, will be insensitive. In this minority of instances the individual may do nothing, may do something trivial and irrelevant, or may do the exact opposite of what was intended.
If the subliminal cue is to work by tripping off an existing motive to action, one must know what motives are positive and operant at the moment. The obvious basic drives (e.g. hunger, sex) are sometimes satiated and sometimes subordinated. With a great deal of knowledge about the individual, some predictability can be attained, but it is still a matter of probabilities. The percentage of instances will be high where the opposite motive to that desired will be tripped off.
There appears thus to be such a myriad of factors that even the most simplified empirical tests carried out with the best possible cooperation of the subjects are rarely marked by really significant reliability. Furthermore, with such a large number of variables and relatively low reliability, it is difficult to determine whether the controlled variable or uncontrolled artifacts are producing whatever results one does observe.
Finally, the subliminal device to avoid alerting an individual’s defenses by masking the cue and the basic motive does not cover the effect of awareness of the resultant abnormal action itself, with its implications and consequences. Assuming that one could persuade to such action by presenting a cue subliminally, there is no way of effecting the action without awareness and without tripping off defenses and rational resistance. It must be concluded that there are so many elusive variables and so many sources of irregularity in the device of directing subliminal messages to a target individual that its operational feasibility is exceedingly limited.