To the editor:
It seems some modern spyware make symptoms of mental illness into real possibilities. I read an article in mainstream media about an ex-serviceman who shot a bunch of people because he could no longer stand the pressure on his brain from the vibes sent by the FBI. Sounds like standard crazy talk. However, in a follow-up interview with the FBI, they advised of experiments made with (I think) magnetic fields which gave people the impression of mind-reading and mind-control.
This creates the need for new standards for determining whether someone’s perception of reality is true or being manipulated. This also makes means to verify the accuracy of interpretation of such data absolutely essential. Secrecy is no friend to truth in such a situation.
In electronics, news “leaks” apprise us of the many ways we are all spied on by our governments for any number of reasons. Back in the day, there was a central switchboard and multiple users of “party lines” with privacy as an honor system. People used care when they spoke on the phone. Perhaps we all still should with our new methods to communicate. Think NSA. To top this off, every now and then a supposed conspiracy theory proves true. I think of the statement “The U.S. tortures people in secret camps in other countries.” Who would have believed that?
These matters warrant attention. The FBI and other secret police should agree to be examined like any other important government agency, especially since we are all asked to be so when they go poking around in our business. Calling such legitimate concern insane is harmful and dangerous.
Very ill people do create conspiracy theories and well people have reasonable suspicions of undercover investigative activity against them, and both groups may sound the same! Words have become too misleading here. This growing technical wizardry – expanding into brain scans and even more intrusive sensors – raises new problems to be taken very seriously and grounded in facts. As for diagnoses, they are not just available adjectives, but must be used only to treat tragic illnesses and never used as weapons to score point or harm anybody. This goes beyond disrespect into something truly pernicious.
Sharon L. Robinson,