Right on cue, a shooting occurred just as congress is debating the most extensive gun control legislation in recent history. This seems to be a reoccurring theme as mass shootings happen either when gun legislation is about to pass, or there is some other scandal that the people need to be diverted from. The conspiratorial nature of these shootings comes from the fact that the narrative describing it always fits the agenda being pushed. For example, gun rights activists argue the point that criminals do not buy their guns from gun stores, therefore, imposing universal background checks would do nothing to stop murderers from obtaining a gun. While this is true, the media always reports that the shooter passed a background check and, bought the gun legally. They do this to show that the current system does not work. The bigger conspiracy around mass shootings, however, revolves around the idea of mind control, and a program called MK Ultra.
Bill Cooper, (deceased) host of the radio show Hour of the Time, was known for exposing the plans of the global elite. His book, Behold a Pale Horse, is a treasure trove of conspiracy theories. One theory, found on page 225, involves the idea that the government would encourage the production and importation of military-style weapons while also, unleashing mind-controlled shooters on the public. Cooper claimed that the purpose was to induce the public into demanding an end to the second amendment. The idea of government encouraging the production of military-style weapons seems a bit, fantastical if you will, as they are about to pass sweeping gun control, however, Cooper wrote this book in 1991. Since that time, some interesting things have occurred concerning the second amendment. Bill Clinton enacted a ban on semi-automatic rifles that expired in 2004, under the Bush Administration. Bush allegedly supported the ban but did not pressure congress to reinstitute it. Why? Some argued, and the evidence shows, that it had little effect on reducing gun violence. Others insist that mass shootings diminished during that time.
Today, the gun rights culture is as popular as it has ever been. The militia movement has gained new momentum and, gun sales continue to skyrocket. The AR-15 rifle is America’s most popular firearm. A growing interest in shooting sports revolve around self-defense and preserving liberty as opposed to just hunting. States around the country are passing pro-gun laws like constitutional carry while others are making themselves second amendment sanctuaries. In the eyes of gun owners, these laws are a move in the right direction. Is it possible that they designed these laws to invoke a deeper fear of guns in the public? This is exactly what is happening. People are carrying AR-15’s in public, and while it may be their right to legally do so in some states, the way they are doing it is enraging the anti-gun left. Calls for an end to the second amendment are increasing giving credibility to Cooper’s prediction.
(It is not being argued that conservative governors in states passing pro-gun laws are part of a grand conspiracy as much as it is that the reaction to these laws is being taken advantage of.)
One thing to take into consideration concerning this theory is the more the gun culture grows, the more they portray gun owners as extremists. There is no denying that the media is engaged in an all-out assault on gun owners. Every time a shooting occurs it is blamed on America’s gun culture and the so-called lack of laws that enable everyone to easily obtain a firearm. Barrack Obama once said it was easier for a child to buy an assault weapon in America than a textbook.
This brings us to MK Ultra and mind control. Conspiracy theorists believe that there was a covert CIA program, involving the use of drugs and trauma-based, stimulus-response conditioning aimed at creating sleeper assassins that are brainwashed to respond to certain stimuli. There is a lot of material online discussing such a program, however, the credibility of such websites lends to the conspiratorial nature of the program as none of them prove beyond a doubt that MK Ultra ever existed, or that brainwashing someone against their will is even possible. In fact, in their book Psychology and Modern Warfare, (pp. 73-81) Michael Taillard and Holly Giscoppa suggest that brainwashing a person to act against their fundamental beliefs is impossible. B.F. Skinner stated the same thing in Beyond Freedom and Dignity, in relation to operant conditioning, by saying that behavior rather than belief is the target because belief is harder to change. According to Taillard and Giscoppa, however, belief is changeable, and this is the true nature of the word brainwashing, changing an individual’s belief. Taillard and Giscoppa also stated in 2013, that “attempts to override a person’s ability to make decisions through mind control are also not yet something we can accomplish, nor are there any indicators that we will ever have this ability” (p. 74). They state that a person’s will can be altered, however, and that their willingness to be active participants in actions aligning with altered beliefs can be enhanced.
How are a person’s beliefs changed? There are many methods. According to the article, An ethical analysis of contemporary use of coercive persuasion (“brainwashing”, “mind control”) in psychiatry, the use of drugs is a key element in coercive persuasion techniques because drugs create a passive, compliant behavior. While people under the influence of psychiatric medicines often feel like they are being cured, the drugs cause irrefutable harm while also creating an obedient subject. People taking psychotropic medications are often, more susceptible to coercive persuasion techniques, which are otherwise known as brainwashing. This does not prove that the CIA was reprogramming people to be sleeper assassins, ready and willing to commit mass murder to push gun control. It does, however, draw a connection between what they know about drug use, coercive persuasion, and the nature of the MK Ultra program.
According to an article entitled The psychological torture of MK Ultra, the CIA used LSD in behavior modification experiments under the belief that it had the potential to control a person’s mind. The MK Ultra program itself evolved out of a preexisting program called Artichoke. This program studied the claims made by U.S. soldiers, held as prisoners of war during the Korean conflict, that they endured torture and forced drugging. According to an article entitled Ethics of CIA and Military Contracting by Psychiatrists and Psychologists by Colin Ross, the CIA and the Russian’s were in a race to get the world’s LSD supply because of its known mind-control properties. The U.S., in the 1950s, signed a contract with Eli Lilly to secure a constant, domestic supply of the drug. This article also suggests that the aim of the MK Ultra project was to create what is being referred to as artificial multiple personality disorder in military subjects. This is known as the Manchurian candidate. This is based on stimulus-response conditioning where a certain signal is fed into the subject’s brain to illicit a preconditioned response or draw out an artificially created personality to carry out a covert mission.
Projects under the MK Ultra banner, according to Ross, were contracted out as subprojects to psychiatrists and psychologists to study hypnosis, the implanting of false memories, and the creation of dissociative disorders through the use of LSD, sensory deprivation, and most likely, torture.
MKULTRA Subproject 84 was a contract for $34,000 awarded to Dr. Martin Orne at Harvard in 1960 with a top-secret clearance status. The subject matter of the project was the nature of special states of consciousness and trance states and the role of hypnosis in interrogation. Publications by Dr. Orne deal with topics including the creation of amnesia, hallucinations, involuntary antisocial behavior, and false memories using hypnosis, and multiple personality disorder (Ross, 2006).
MKULTRA Subproject 43 was a top-secret contract for $20,800 awarded to Dr. West in 1956 while he was chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oklahoma. Subproject 43 documents describe it as focusing on the experimental creation of dissociative states including amnesia, depersonalization, and multiple personality disorder using hypnosis, LSD, and other drugs, sensory deprivation, and other methods. (Ross, 2007)
There is no doubt that MK Ultra existed. In 1977 the Senate Committee on Health and Scientific Research held an inquiry aimed at discovering the truth behind the revelations that people were being tortured and drugged against their will by the CIA. To what extent they could manipulate and control behavior through the creation of alternate identities, or multiple personalities is unknown. LSD is a powerful drug that is known to create compliant behavior. Perhaps the use of LSD, in conjunction with other forms of coercive persuasion did help them create sleeper assassins that could be activated to commit murder on command. The idea that recent mass shooters were under the influence of this kind of mind control is a conspiracy theory, driven by the belief that MK Ultra existed and they could, in fact, brainwash people to do their bidding. It is also driven by the timing of the shooting. They happen at very convenient times making it difficult to disregard conspiracy theories. In this article, sources that appeared conspiratorial in nature were avoided. Academic journals describing the science of coercive persuasion, and the documented history of the CIA’s use of drugs in their experiments were used. Given the rate we have been witnessing mass shootings occur and, the attempts to use them to do away with the second amendment, it is possible that Cooper’s prediction is true. It is possible that people could be programmed, through drug use and hypnosis, to commit acts they have no idea they are committing, under an artificially induced personality. It’s just something to consider. The larger question is, if they knew how to brainwash people as early as the 1950s and ’60s, how much better are they at it now?