harassment has been around since the 1960s' With the advent of modern technology today, it is being used both privately and publicly.


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Electronic harassment
, or psychotronic torture, or electromagnetic torture is a conspiracy theory, usually a delusional belief in harassment via electronic "mind control". Psychologists have identified evidence of auditory hallucinations, delusional disorders[or other mental illnesses in online communities supporting those who claim to be targeted (and call themselves "Targeted Individuals", or "TI"s) Individuals suffering from auditory hallucinations, delusional disorders or other mental illness have claimed that government agents make use of electric fields, microwaves (such as the microwave auditory effect) and radar to transmit sounds and thoughts into their heads, referring to technology that they say can achieve this as "voice to skull" or "V2K" after an obsolete military designation.Electronic harassment is a component of a broader "psychotronics" conspiracy theory.


Conspiracy theories

See also: Psychotronics

In Russia, a group called "Victims of Psychotronic Experimentation" attempted to recover damages from the Federal Security Service during the mid-1990s for alleged infringement of their civil liberties including "beaming rays" at them, putting chemicals in the water, and using magnets to alter their minds. These fears may have been inspired by revelations of secret research into "psychotronic" psychological warfare techniques during the early 1990s, with Vladimir Lopatkin, a State Duma committee member in 1995, surmising "Something that was secret for so many years is the perfect breeding ground for conspiracy theories."

In 1987, a U.S. National Academy of Sciences report commissioned by the Army Research Institute noted psychotronics as one of the "colorful examples" of claims of psychic warfare that first surfaced in anecdotal descriptions, newspapers, and books during the 1980s. The report cited alleged psychotronic weapons such as a "hyperspatial nuclear howitzer" and beliefs that Russian psychotronic weapons were responsible for Legionnaire's disease and the sinking of the USS Thresher among claims that "range from incredible to the outrageously incredible". The committee observed that although reports and stories as well as imagined potential uses for such weapons by military decision makers exist, "Nothing approaching scientific literature supports the claims of psychotronic weaponry".

In 2012, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin commented on plans to draft proposals for the development of psychotronic weapons.[10] NBC News Science Editor Alan Boyle dismissed notions that such weapons actually existed, saying, "there's nothing in the comments from Putin and Serdyukov to suggest that the Russians are anywhere close to having psychotronic weapons."


Claims of being Targeted Individuals

In the US, there are people who hear voices in their heads and claim the government is using "psychotropic torture" against them, and who campaign to stop the use of alleged psychotropic and other mind control weapons. These campaigns have received some support from public figures, including former U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinichand former Missouri State Representative Jim Guest. Yale psychiatry professor Ralph Hoffman notes that people often ascribe voices in their heads to external sources such as government harassment, God, and dead relatives, and it can be difficult to persuade them that their belief in an external influence is delusional. Other experts compare these stories to accounts of alien abductions.

The campaign groups use news stories, military journals and declassified national security documents to support their allegations that governments are developing weapons intended to send voices into people's heads.[7] For example, psychotronic weapons were reportedly being studied by the Russian Federation during the 1990s[11][12] with military analyst Lieutenant Colonel Timothy L. Thomas saying in 1998 that there was a strong belief in Russia that weapons for attacking the mind of a soldier were a possibility, although no working devices were reported.[12]

Mind control conspiracy advocates often cite rumors of a CIA file called “Operation Pandora” said to describe Soviet attempts to “brainwash Americans". In the 1960s, the US researched biological and behavioral effects of microwave radiation after detecting that the US embassy in Moscow was being bombarded by microwaves. They discovered that the Soviets' intent was eavesdropping and electronic jamming rather than mind control.[7][13] Conspiracy advocates also frequently cite the 2002 Air Force Research Laboratory patent for using microwaves to send spoken words into someone's head. The released records show that the patent was based on a 1994-2002 research. Although there is no evidence that "non-thermal effects of microwaves" exist, rumors of continued classified research fuel the worries of people who believe they are being targeted.[7]

Support communities

There are extensive online support networks and numerous websites maintained by people fearing mind control. Palm Springs psychiatrist Alan Drucker has identified evidence of delusional disorders on many of these websites[5] and psychologists agree that such sites negatively reinforce mental troubles, while some say that the sharing and acceptance of a common delusion could function as a form of group cognitive therapy.[2] As part of a 2006 British study by Dr. Vaughan Bell, independent psychiatrists determined "signs of psychosis are strongly present" based on evaluation of a sample of online mind-control accounts whose posters were "very likely to be schizophrenic".[3] Psychologists have identified many examples of people reporting ‘mind control experiences’ (MCEs) on self-published web pages that are "highly likely to be influenced by delusional beliefs". Common themes include “Bad Guys” using “psychotronics” and “microwaves”, frequent mention of the CIA’s MKULTRA project and frequent citing of a scientific paper entitled “Human auditory system response to modulated electromagnetic energy”.[14]