Last year, the Richmond, California city council passed a ban on space-based weapons that are secretly causing physical and psychological damage against people via "remote transmission." This legislation was driven by a community of people who have banded together to fight the "operatives" they believe are targeting them and ruining their lives with mind-control weapons. Today's New York Times reports on the phenomenon, called "gang stalking" and the people who claim to be "targeted individuals (T.I.s)."
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Dr. Lorraine Sheridan, who is co-author of perhaps the only study of gang-stalking, said the community poses a danger that sets it apart from other groups promoting troubling ideas, such as anorexia or suicide. On those topics, the internet abounds with medical information and treatment options.
An internet search for “gang-stalking,” however, turns up page after page of results that regard it as fact. “What’s scary for me is that there are no counter sites that try and convince targeted individuals that they are delusional,” Dr. Sheridan said.
“They end up in a closed ideology echo chamber,” she said.
In instructional tracts online, veteran T.I.s explain the ropes to rookies:
• Do not engage with the voices in your head.
• If your relatives tell you you’re imagining things, they could be in on it.
• “Do not visit a psychiatrist...."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the (T.I.) community is divided over the contours of the conspiracy. Some believe the financial elite is behind it. Others blame aliens, their neighbors, Freemasons or some combination.
The movement’s most prominent voices, however, tend to believe the surveillance is part of a mind-control field test done in preparation for global domination.
It's not just tech companies that participated in the massive, illegal "no-poaching" cartel.
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Last week was the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's suicide. Soaked In Bleach is a new film mixing historical footage and interviews with dramatizations that dredges up the tired old conspiracy theory that Cobain didn't kill himself, but was murdered by a hit man. Hired by who? One guess. Of course one of stars, at least of the trailer, is the detective Tom Grant who was retained by Love and later claimed that she had paid a hitman to off her hubby. If all this sounds familiar, you must have seen Nick Broomfield's 1998 documentary "Kurt & Courtney." Read the rest
One agency of the federal government has issued a takedown notice to
another agency of the federal government, which in turn demanded that
we remove a film from the Internet.
For the past several days, I've been seeing an obviously silly conspiracy theory rocket around the usual online places. It concerns Susan Wilson, whose nine-year-old daughter Mackenzie was challenged by her older brothers when she expressed an aspiration to make games, Mackenzie and her mom posted a Kickstarter to raise $800 for an RPG camp where she could hone her game-development skills.
And out came the trolls. One group was convinced that this was a scam by a "millionaire" (Wilson once attended a fundraiser where she was photographed with Warren Buffet); the other was convinced that this was a radical feminist man-hatin' exercise determined to raise funds by pitting little boys against little girls.
Both theories were silly on their face, but lots of credulous guys found something they liked in it -- specifically, evidence of a vast shadowy conspiracy of emasculating millionaire women who want to relegate men to the scrapheap of history -- and repeated it, and it refused to die. Worse, the campaign whipped up the kind of men who respond to their feelings of discomfort with death and rape threats. Keep it classy, guys.
Thankfully, CNet's Eric Mack took on the unenviable task of rebutting the rumors. And as he points out, the fundraiser has cleared $20K, and Wilson's going to use the excess money to fund girls-in-STEM causes. Victory.
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Wilson also responded to other conclusions drawn by the trolls, dispelling the notion of the size of her bank account ("I don't have a million dollars in the bank, I'm not rolling in cash and I'm not a highly paid business woman.
A group of MIT students decided to test the performance of different tinfoil beanies to see how various designs (the "classical," "fez" and "centurion") interacted with commonly used industrial radio applications. They found that all three designs actually amplified these mind control rays radio waves, suggesting that the tinfoil hat meme might be a false-flag operation engineered to trick the wily and suspicious into making it easier to beam messages into their skulls.
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Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities. We speculate that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason.
... We evaluated the performance of three different helmet designs, commonly referred to as the Classical, the Fez, and the Centurion. These designs are portrayed in Figure 1. The helmets were made of Reynolds aluminium foil. As per best practices, all three designs were constructed with the double layering technique described elsewhere .
Crooks who compromised Fidelity National Information Services's prepaid debit card database were able to draw out $13 million in one night, working with co-conspirators in several countries in one weekend night, after the banks had closed:
Apparently, the crooks were able to drastically increase or eliminate the withdrawal limits for 22 prepaid cards that they had obtained. The fraudsters then cloned the prepaid cards, and distributed them to co-conspirators in several major cities across Europe, Russia and Ukraine.
Coordinated ATM Heist Nets Thieves $13M
Sources say the thieves waited until the close of business in the United States on Saturday, March 5, 2011, to launch their attack. Working into Sunday evening, conspirators in Greece, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Kingdom used the cloned cards to withdraw cash from dozens of ATMs. Armed with unauthorized access to FIS’s card platform, the crooks were able to reload the cards remotely when the cash withdrawals brought their balances close to zero.
(Image: ATM in a cage, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from yuval_y's photostream)
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The FBI has released its files on two famously controversial publishers, Paladin Press
and Loompanics Unlimited, following a FOIA request filed by Government Attic
. The files suggest that the booksellers' huge libraries of books on drugs, guns and other ultra-libertarian issues only rarely drew the FBI's attention. Read the rest
Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei speaks to members of the media in the doorway to his studio after being released on bail in Beijing June 23, 2011. Ai, detained since April, was released on bail on Wednesday, state media said, citing Beijing police. The agency, in a late evening announcement, said the artist had been freed "because of his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from". Ai was detained at Beijing airport on April 3, igniting an outcry about China's tightening grip on dissent, which has triggered the detention and arrest of dozens of rights activists and dissidents. [REUTERS/David Gray].
China's news agency reports that the Chinese poet, artist and activist Ai Weiwei has been released on bail. He pled guilty to charges of tax evasion. He is now home. From China Daily:
The Beijing police department said Wednesday that Ai Weiwei has been released on bail because of his good attitude in confessing his crimes as well as a chronic disease he suffers from.
The decision comes also in consideration of the fact that Ai has repeatedly said he is willing to pay the taxes he evaded, police said.
The Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., a company Ai controlled, was found to have evaded a huge amount of taxes and intentionally destroyed accounting documents, police said.
More, from US-based news outlets: WP, AJ
, NYT NPR
As an aside, and not directly related to the news of his release: in New York City, the Asia Society is planning an exhibit of his work. Read the rest
Investigators examining tapped cellphone conversations between a Moroccan drug dealer and 51-year-old Father Riccardo Seppia (shown at left, in the red robe) found evidence of arranged sexual encounters with young boys, some of whom were paid for sex with cocaine.
"I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger," Seppia is accused of having said on the tapes. "Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues."
Seppia is a priest in a the archdiocese of one of the top advisers working with Pope Benedict XVI "on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests." He is said to have boasted in the recorded cellphone conversations that local shopping malls were the best place to pick up boys for sex.
Investigators are also examining three confiscated computers: the priest allegedly looked for partners via chat as well.
More in TIME magazine.
(via New Civil Rights Movement, via Christopher Hayes) Read the rest
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has been caught helping some state water systems to falsely lower their reported radiation levels*. The Commission was, apparently, trying to make sure the systems didn't have to report a federal violation, which would have required those systems to inform people who drank the water about the radiation levels they were being exposed to. So, to recap: The TCEQ helped water systems lie to the feds and withhold information from local water consumers.
Why do that? Here's where things get interesting. In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, we've talked a bit about the fact that assessing radiation dose and risk isn't necessarily a clear-cut thing. Dose might be relatively easy to measure in an individual, but there is debate about what that dose means. Especially on an individual basis. This is why the World Health Organization, Greenpeace, the TORCH report commissioned by the European Green Party, and a group of Russian doctors all report very different estimates for how many people were killed as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster. Those differences don't necessarily mean that one group is lying or trying to cover something up. Instead, they reflect different ways of assessing risk, and it really is not clear who is right. You can't just assume the lowest estimates are the correct ones, and likewise, you can't make the same assumption about the highest estimates. There's space for reasonable people to disagree.
This matters in Texas, because the TCEQ decided they didn't agree with the way the federal Environmental Protection Agency assessed risk. Read the rest
Annie Jacobsen, an editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine
, has written a book purporting to tell the real history of Area 51 and the Roswell Incident. Her book, which is based largely on interviews with people who lived and worked at Area 51, manages to simultaneously explain why the site would be so highly classified, while also trading in kind of mundane Cold War shenanigans—in other words, it's fairly believable. That is, except for the explanation one source gave her for Roswell
, which is possibly the most insane story I have ever
heard about that supposed alien crash landing. (And I watched the WB teen drama.) Scroll down to the section on "Interview Highlights" to read it. Read the rest
The wreckage of a downed chopper, blown to smithereens by Navy Seals unwilling to leave it in foreign hands, was the last remnant of their mission left inside Osama Bin Laden's compound. It left under wraps, on the back of a truck laden with Pakistani soldiers. At Wired
, David Axe offers a thorough guide to the high-tech mystery copter, and what aviation experts know about it.
Aviation specialists are picking apart pixel-by-pixel the dozen-or-so photos of the copter that have appeared online. They're assembling digital mock-ups of the aircraft and comparing them to lost stealth designs of the 1980s and '90s. Speculation abounds, and so far no one from the government is commenting. But depending on what the copter turns out to be, it could shed new light on everything from the abilities of U.S. commandos to the relationship between the United States and Pakistan.
Spoiler! Best guess is that it's an upgraded, stealth-optimized MH-60.
Aviation Geeks Scramble to ID bin Laden Raid's Mystery Copter
[Danger Room] Read the rest
Fourteen years after his death, the FBI has released a set of heavily redacted documents on the murder of Christopher "Biggie Smalls" Wallace, (1972-1997), the rapper known as "Notorious B.I.G." The FBI closed the case in 2005 without determining who killed him. More at Time Magazine.
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Sarah Palin was on Sean Hannity's Fox show this week, and between breaths
joined the many commenters who've labeled the Tucson shootings suspect with the "E" word: she mused on "...how, um, evil
a person would have to be to kill an innocent." Since prime suspect Jared Loughner cited Nietzsche's Will To Power
as a favorite, this seems like a good moment to bring up the problems with "good vs. evil" ideology. It has a peculiar geek resonance because of the ideology's heavy use in comic books and roleplaying: superheroes, arch-villains, chaotic good, lawful evil, and what-not. It's also infused in our political discourse, with someone like Palin or Obama being good or evil depending on your point of view.
Nietzsche is frequently a fave of angry young men who might qualify as what Pesco called confident dumb people. Nietzsche works well for the modern kook with web-induced attention deficits: The fourth chapter of Beyond Good and Evil is a series of 122 Twitter-length aphorisms, and his work is snarky and occasionally humorous. Nietzsche wrote Beyond Good and Evil to criticize earlier philosophers who made assumptions about morality based on pre-Christian and Christian beliefs about "evil." Below I discuss why we need to steal Nietzsche back from these people, and I look at a couple of other writers who have examined what gets called "evil" and have attempted to explain it in more nuanced and rational terms.
(Image: Devil vs Jesus (2008) by ongchewpeng
at Deviant Art. Print available. Read the rest
OK, I just spent about three hours cleaning up the Wikipedia article on David Wynn Miller
, the anti-government activist whose Time Cube
-like views on grammar may have caught the fancy of Tucson shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner (see previous Boing Boing pieces on Loughner's social media presence
by Sean and produced videos
by Xeni). Miller travels the country advising people in the Sovereign Citizen anti-tax movement that they can fight in court by using a special grammar he created in 1988. It basically comes down to a belief that how one renders one's name with punctuation and how one uses grammar can alter one's legal status as a person. In other words, DAVID WYNN MILLER (as on his birth certificate) can be taxed, but :David-Wynn: Miller cannot, because that is not legally a person. In addition to unsuccessfully assisting people accused of tax evasion, Miller has also unsuccessfully assisted people convicted of abusing children, including a woman in Hawaii who broke the teeth out of her nieces' and nephews' mouths with a hammer. She claimed her conviction was invalid because her sovereignty group, Hawaiian Kingdom Government, said she did nothing wrong. Miller was spokesperson for the group and has claimed he is King of Hawaii. Miller says people don't need to pay taxes if they can "prove that money is a verb," and he offers seminars around the country on how to use his language to defend against criminal charges. Regardless of any connection with Loughner, these anti-government grammar people are, just... Read the rest