psychophysical weapons and tortures in Europe
  Igor Smirnov


In the years 1993 and 1994 American weeklies DEFENSE ELECTRONICS (Defense Electronics, July 1993, DOD, Intel Agencies Look at Russian Mind-Control Technology, Claims FBI Considered Testing on Koresh), NEWSWEEK (Newsweek, February 7, 1994, Soon Phasers on Stun) and VILLAGE VOICE (Village Voice, March 8, 1994, Mind Control in Waco) published the information that Igor Smirnov from Moscow Academy of Medicine demonstrated for the U.S. secret services and FBI experts a device which was capable to subliminally implant thoughts in peoples minds and in this way control their actions. 

According to those news the FBI considered the use of this device against David Koresh during the siege in Waco. In reaction to this publication of the Russian National Security Information first the Russian newspaper Pravda (Pravda, March 6, The Art to Control the Crowd), wrote on March 6, 1994: Village Voice printed scandalous news that Russians are capable to control human behavior... Two weeks later the Russian weekly the Moscow News (Moskovskie Novosti, March 20 to March 27, 1994, Shall we Succeed to change the Lie Detector into the Detector of Truth?) printed a long article on Igor Smirnov. The author writes that Igor Smirnov uses, for medical purposes, a device broadcasting into the human ears noises which contain questions. Those questions are not audible for the patient but perceptible to his brain and the brain answers those questions. The answers are registered by the electroencephalograph and analyzed by a computer. In this way Igor Smirnov performs a very fast psychoanalysis. Then, again using the noises played together with music, the healing messages are sent into the human brain, which the patient will obey. According to the author of the article Igor Smirnov added: Do not forget, in your denigrating note, to precise our goals - to heal and to teach. And do not assign us others - inhuman ones. A participant in the meetings with Igor Smirnov in the USA (wishing to remain in anonymity) is quoted in the article in the DEFENSE ELECTRONICS as saying: the intelligence agencies... had been tracking Smirnov for years..., we know there is evidence the Soviet Army‘s special Forces used the technology during the conflict in Afghanistan. But there is still another possibility how to deliver them into the human brain - and this is electromagnetic transmission. It can not be a very complicated problem to transcode those high frequency messages into electromagnetic signals just the same way the radiofrequency sound can be transmitted into the human brain.

When the journalist from the Moscow News asked Igor Smirnov whether he could make people vote for certain person in the elections he replied: In principle it can be done. And it is not difficult. But not interesting. He could have in mind either placing of ultrasound noises into the radio or TV broadcasting (this technology was used by the U.S: troops during the war in Persian Gulf against Iraquian soldiers listening to their military radio broadcasting - they were surrendering even to American journalists - see Newsweek, July 30, 1990, pg.61) or, as well, electromagnetic implanting of those noises into brains by means of special radars. About his participation in Waco Igor Smirnov narrated: I suggested that voices of children and families inviting the suicidal people back home could be mixed with the noise of police car engines (the building was surrounded with them). FBI then did not proceed with his proposition when he guaranteed only 70% of a chance for success. This account is in keeping with what the DEFENSE ELECTRONICS wrote. Half a year later the Newsweek wrote:

Sources tell Newsweek that the FBI consulted Moscow experts on the possible use of a Soviet technique for beaming subliminal messages to Koresh. The technique uses inaudible transmissions that could have convinced Koresh he was hearing the voice of God inside his head (Newsweek, February 7, 1994). Let us assume that inaudibility meant that no one else would hear the voice of God but Koresh and that even him would hear it only inside his head. When Allan Frey did his experiments with beaming sounds into people‘s brains they located them inside their heads or just behind it. So in Newsweek‘s account David Koresh would hear inside his head electromagnetic broadcasting of the voice of God. A month later the deputy chief of the FBI‘s technical services division, Steve Killion, told the journalists from Village Voice: In the normal course of your negotiation with the individual by telephone, you can impress a coded message... It is not realized consciously by the individual, but subconsciously, subliminally they understand it (Village Voice, March 8, 1994). This time it could have been done again by means of noises played into telephone. Another half a year later, in August 1994, the Newsweek published an interview with Igor Smirnov. In the introduction they write that FBI asked advice from Smirnov during the siege at Waco and the solution proposed by Smirnov they describe as follows: FBI wanted to pipe subliminal messages from sect member‘s families through the telephone lines into the compound. For David Koresh the group‘s leader... the FBI had in mind a special voice: God as played by the venerable actor Charlton Heston (Newsweek, August 22, 1994), You will read this story). In this case the sect members would be influenced by electromagnetic (otherwise they would not be transmitted through the telephone lines) high frequency voices of their relatives, and David Koresh would hear in his head the radio broadcasting of the voice of God played by Charlton Heston. The FBI would have to find the individual frequencies of the sect members if the idea was to work out.

The electromagnetic broadcasting of inaudible speech could have been used in the experiment of J. F. Schapitz. He spoke about electromagnetic transmission. But since he wanted, as an introductory experiment, to record brain waves of a man who took drugs and then emit those waves back into the brain of this man instead of the drugs, it seems possible that he had in mind transmission of thoughts from one brain into another.
In October 1994 appeared, again in Moscow News (Moskovskiie Novosti, September 26 to October 1, 1994) an article on American Non-lethal weapons where we can find the following lines: The FBI, in 1994, studied the possibility of the use of nonlethal technologyy against David Koresh. FBI then informed Russians about technology that enables them to transmit to Koresh subconscious signals. In this way the FBI wanted to assume the role of the voice of God. The author of the article gives as his source of information the American and French press.
It is possible that at Waco two different technologies were considered: one American and the other Russian. But as well it is possible that those lines served as a warning for Americans that the Russians, too, may disclose the American National Security Information. I am not aware of another breach of this Russian national security information in the American mass media since then until April 5 1999 when The New York Times, probably in reaction to the split with Russia over the crisis in Yugoslavia wrote "Under a top-secret project known as Bonfire, Soviet scientists in 1989 discovered "a new class of weapons" that could "damage the nervous system, alter moods, trigger psychological changes and even kill" (The New York Times, April 5, 1999, William J. Board, Judith Miller: "Defector tells of Soviet and Chinese Germ Weapons). (To be complete, according to the article in the DEFENSE ELECTRONICS, the rights to Igor Smirnov‘s technology bought the American Psychotechnologies Corp. in Richmond, Virginia). In the same issue of the Moscow News where the interview with Igor Smirnov appeared there was another strange article (Moskovskiie Novosti, Sept. 26 to Oct. 1, 1994, The Experts from the Defense Factory state that they produced Psychotronic Weapons) In the introduction is printed the invitation letter from the deputy director of the factory producing for the Russian Department of Defense. The deputy director writes: In the course of the last 20 years our enterprise specialized in the production of psychotronic apparatur for defense systems, design of navigation equipment for intercontinental missiles and cosmic apparatur... and he invites the journalists to get acquiented with biophysical reinforcer (metatron) Miranda designed with the use of the newest fundamental discoveries in the area of psychotronics. During the visit the people from the management of the factory told the journalists that Miranda is one of the side products of psychotronic weapons and the deputy director of the Medical research center of the factory, Vladimir Niestierov told them that it is produced in the American licence on basis of the agreement signed by KGB and CIA on September 24, 1990 and providing for joint research in the area of psychotronics. The Miranda device emits on the patient sound electromagnetic impulses and in case that his body does not resonate with them it starts with the diagnosis of his ailment. However the representatives of the factory invited the journalists to get acquaiented with a machine which was not in working order - when the journalist asked for the demonstration of the machine, they were told that Armenia does not supply one important part of the machine.
In 1992 the Independent Moscow Institute for Foreign Affairs published in the weekly Stolitsa the communication by Victor Sedletski that already in 1982 in the USSR began the development of the new radar system which could be used to create psychotronic field for mind control (Stolitsa, no.43, Nov. 2, 1992, Alexei Myasnikov, MC-Ultra programme, pg. 40, quoted from Russian Press Digest)


In 1993 in the December issue of the American bimonthly Microwave News (Microwave News, Nov.-Dec., 1993, Military on Non-lethal Weapons: A Very Attractive Option) appeared the report that in November of the same year, at the John Hopkins University (engaged in research of radiofrequency radiation - for example Samuel Koslov, one of the researchers in the project Pandora, replicated there experiment where rabbits exposed to microwave radiation developed corneal cataracts , a secret conference took place, sponsored by the National Laboratory in Los Alamos, involved in the development of non lethal weapon systems. In the invitation to this conference we read: The purpose of this conference is to bring together industry, government, and academia to explore the potential of non lethal defense and identify requirements so that the defense community can work together in leveraging the non-lethal concept. Industry, particularly, will benefit from a more precise understanding of requirements and operational constraints regarding non-lethal defense technologies. All attendees will have the opportunity to embrace a new perspective in international relations. in simple words the objective of the conference was to convince the industry about the lucrativity of the production of non-lethal weapons which will be used in the international relations.

On Wednesday, November 17, 1993 at 9 AM the lecture by Dr. George Baker from Defense Nuclear Agency was scheduled. The lecture was entitled RF Weapons: A Very Attractive Non-Lethal Option. At 11.10 AM of the same day, Dr. Clay Easterly from Oak Ridge National Laboratory lectured on Application of Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields to Non-Lethal Weapons. Clay Easterly told the Microwave News that since the conference was closed to anyone without security clearance, he could not discuss the specific effects he referred to in his talk, but he admitted that his presentation dealt with the possibility of developing measures that would affect people.

On the lecture by Dr. George Baker the Microwave News comment that it is difficult to know, based on unclassified information, whether this option has ever been used and That there were also allegations that non-ionizing radiation was used against the women’s peace activist encampment at Greenham Common in the U.K. in the mid-1980s.

Since four and half years have passed since that conference it is logical to suppose that the mass production of those weapons was launched in the USA as well as in Russia according to Victor Sedletski.


It goes without saying that for as long as the existence of those weapons remains subjected to the National Security Information laws there will be no confirmed reports of their use. But we should not afford to take easy the facts suggesting that those weapons have been in use already for years. About the strange symptoms from which the women at Greenham Common Base suffered there was talk here already twice. The article in the DEFENSE ELECTRONICS on Igor Smirnov quotes an employee of the U.S. intelligence agencies, wishing to remain in anonymity, as saying that this equipment was used by the special forces of the Soviet Army in Afghanistan to prepare them for the operations requiring atrocities against civilian population. During the conference on Nonlinear Electrodynamics in Biological Systems E. Del Giudicce from the Department of Physics at the university in Milano, Italy, spoke about the possibility to create blood clots by coherent propagation of electric waves in the supporting medium when the fibrinogen is present in the blood (recall the interactions of electromagnetism and chemicals). Several American newspapers published the news that the son of Saddam Hussein, in his newspaper Babel, printed the news that American secret services attempted to kill his father, trying to form a blood clot in his heart or brain by means of psychotronics and biocommunication.

According to the former director of the Freedom of Thought Foundation (now the director of the CAHRA organization), Cheryl Welsh, in the USA over 500 people complaining about being subjected to mind control experiments are documented. Also in Russia the Association of Victims of Mind Control Experiments was formed. Its director is Emilia Cherkina, former deputy in the Russian city of Zelenograd. Most probably it was her case that inspired a group of Zelenograd deputies to mail to the president Yeltsin a petition signed by 150 people demanding that he opens an investigation into the use of biolelectronic weapons (69). In the same article is a quotation of one of the alleged victims: They controlled my laughter, my thoughts and caused pain in different parts of my body. On Internet on the Mind Control Forum pages every month new people from all over the world assert that they have fallen victims to experiments with mind control weapons. The most common symptoms are: hearing of voices inside their heads, sudden changes of mental states and disturbed sleep. Some of them also realize the presence of somebody else’s thoughts in their minds. Many experiences described on the pages of Mind Control Forum make impression that they were written by a mentally ill person. But for as long as the mind control technology remains subjected to the National Security Information laws, it is impossible to decide whether they are mentally ill or whether they fell victims to inhuman experiments. Many of those people acquired, on basis of the Freedom of Information Act, documents stating that there is a National Security information pertaining to their persons. (The World Organization Against Torture, in their annual report for the year 1998, demands independent investigation of those claims.) The only proof that, at least in the past, such experiments were performed, are the roentgen photographs of brain implants in the heads of some of the people who complained about those troubles. The parents of one of those victims are convinced, that it was implanted into the brain of their son during the operation of tonsils at the age of 4 years, after which they had not seen him for 48 hours, and then found..etc., etc.

The Weird Russian Mind-Control Research Behind a DHS Contract

A dungeon-like room in the Psychotechnology Research Institute in Moscow is used for human testing. The institute claims its technology can read the subconscious mind and alter behavior.

Photo: Nathan Hodge

MOSCOW -- The future of U.S. anti-terrorism technology could lie near the end of a Moscow subway line in a circular dungeon-like room with a single door and no windows. Here, at the Psychotechnology Research Institute, human subjects submit to experiments aimed at manipulating their subconscious minds. Elena Russalkina, the silver-haired woman who runs the institute, gestured to the center of the claustrophobic room, where what looked like a dentist's chair sits in front of a glowing computer monitor. "We've had volunteers, a lot of them," she said, the thick concrete walls muffling the noise from the college campus outside. "We worked out a program with (a psychiatric facility) to study criminals. There's no way to falsify the results. There's no subjectivism."

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has gone to many strange places in its search for ways to identify terrorists before they attack, but perhaps none stranger than this lab on the outskirts of Russia's capital. The institute has for years served as the center of an obscure field of human behavior study -- dubbed psychoecology -- that traces it roots back to Soviet-era mind control research.

What's gotten DHS' attention is the institute's work on a system called Semantic Stimuli Response Measurements Technology, or SSRM Tek, a software-based mind reader that supposedly tests a subject's involuntary response to subliminal messages.  

SSRM Tek is presented to a subject as an innocent computer game that flashes subliminal images across the screen -- like pictures of Osama bin Laden or the World Trade Center. The "player" -- a traveler at an airport screening line, for example -- presses a button in response to the images, without consciously registering what he or she is looking at. The terrorist's response to the scrambled image involuntarily differs from the innocent person's, according to the theory.

"If it's a clean result, the passengers are allowed through," said Rusalkina, during a reporter's visit last year. "If there's something there, that person will need to go through extra checks."

Russalkina markets the technology as a program called Mindreader 2.0. To sell Mindreader to the West, she's teamed up with a Canadian firm, which is now working with a U.S. defense contractor called SRS Technologies. This May, DHS announced plans to award a sole-source contract to conduct the first U.S.-government sponsored testing of SSRM Tek.

The contract is a small victory for the Psychotechnology Research Institute and its leaders, who have struggled for years to be accepted in the West. It also illustrates how the search for counter-terrorism technology has led the U.S. government into unconventional -- and some would say unsound -- science. All of the technology at the institute is based on the work of Russalkina's late husband, Igor Smirnov, a controversial Russian scientist whose incredible tales of mind control attracted frequent press attention before his death several years ago.

Smirnov was a Rasputin-like character often portrayed in the media as having almost mystical powers of persuasion. Today, first-time visitors to the institute -- housed in a drab concrete building at the Peoples Friendship University of Russia -- are asked to watch a half-hour television program dedicated to Smirnov, who is called the father of "psychotronic weapons," the Russian term for mind control weapons. Bearded and confident, Smirnov in the video explains how subliminal sounds could alter a person's behavior. To the untrained ear, the demonstration sounds like squealing pigs.

Elena Russalkina demonstrates the terrorist-screening tool. She says it works faster than a polygraph and can be used at airports.

Photo: Nathan Hodge

According to Russalkina, the Soviet military enlisted Smirnov's psychotechnology during the Soviet Union's bloody war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. "It was used for combating the Mujahideen, and also for treating post-traumatic stress syndrome" in Russian soldiers, she says.

In the United States, talk of mind control typically evokes visions of tinfoil hats. But the idea of psychotronic weapons enjoys some respectability in Russia. In the late 1990s, Vladimir Lopatin, then a member of the Duma, Russia's parliament, pushed to restrict mind control weapons, a move that was taken seriously in Russia but elicited some curious mentions in the Western press. In an interview in Moscow, Lopatin, who has since left the Duma, cited Smirnov's work as proof that such weaponry is real.

"It's financed and used not only by the medical community, but also by individual and criminal groups," Lopatin said. Terrorists might also get hold of such weapons, he added.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Smirnov moved from military research into treating patients with mental problems and drug addiction, setting up shop at the college. Most of the lab's research is focused on what it calls "psychocorrection" -- the use of subliminal messages to bend a subject's will, and even modify a person's personality without their knowledge.

The slow migration of Smirnov's technology to the United States began in 1991, at a KGB-sponsored conference in Moscow intended to market once-secret Soviet technology to the world. Smirnov's claims of mind control piqued the interest of Chris and Janet Morris -- former science-fiction writers turned Pentagon consultants who are now widely credited as founders of the Pentagon's "non-lethal" weapons concept.

In an interview last year, Chris Morris recalled being intrigued by Smirnov -- so much so that he accompanied the researcher to his lab and allowed Smirnov to wire his head up to an electroencephalograph, or EEG. Normally used by scientists to measure brain states, Smirnov peered into Morris's EEG tracings and divined the secrets of his subconscious, right down to intimate details like Morris' dislike of his own first name. However, in 1993 Smirnov rose to brief fame in the United States when the FBI consulted with him in hope of ending the standoff in Waco with cult leader David Koresh. Smirnov proposed blasting scrambled sound -- the pig squeals again -- over loudspeakers to persuade Koresh to surrender. But the FBI was put off by Smirnov's cavalier response to questions. When officials asked what would happen if the subliminal signals didn't work, Smirnov replied that Koresh's followers might slit each other's throats, Morris recounted. The FBI took a pass, and Smirnov returned to Moscow with his mind control technology.

"With Smirnov, the FBI was either demanding a yes or a no, and therefore our methods weren't put to use, unfortunately," Russalkina said, taking a drag on her cigarette.

Igor Smirnov, founder of the Psychotechnology Research Institute, died of a heart attack in 2005. Smirnov is best known in the United States for consulting with the FBI during the 1993 Waco siege.

Photo: Nathan Hodge


Smirnov died in November 2004, leaving the widowed Russalkina -- his long-time collaborator -- to run the institute. Portraits of Smirnov cover Russalkina's desk, and his former office is like a shrine, the walls lined with his once-secret patents, his awards from the Soviet government, and a calendar from the KGB's cryptographic section.  

Despite Smirnov's death, Rusalkina predicts an "arms race" in psychotronic weapons. Such weapons, she asserts, are far more dangerous than nuclear weapons. She pointed, for example, to a spate of Russian news reports about "zombies" -- innocent people whose memories had been allegedly wiped out by mind control weapons. She also claimed that Russian special forces contacted the institute during the 2003 Moscow theater siege, in which several hundred people were held hostage by Chechen militants.  

"We could have stabilized the situation in the concert hall, and the terrorists would have called the whole thing off," she said. "And naturally, you could have avoided all the casualties, and you could have put the terrorists on trial. But the Alfa Group" -- the Russian equivalent of Delta Force -- "decided to go with an old method that had already been tested before."  

The Russians used a narcotic gas to subdue the attackers and their captives, which led to the asphyxiation death of many of the hostages. These days, Russalkina explained, the institute uses its psychotechnology to treat alcoholics and drug addicts. During the interview, several patients -- gaunt young men who appeared wasted from illness -- waited in the hallway. But the U.S. war on terror and the millions of dollars set aside for homeland security research is offering Smirnov a chance at posthumous respectability in the West.  

Smirnov's technology reappeared on the U.S. government's radar screen through Northam Psychotechnologies, a Canadian company that serves as North American distributor for the Psychotechnology Research Institute. About three years ago, Northam Psychotechnologies began seeking out U.S. partners to help it crack the DHS market. For companies claiming innovative technologies, the past few years have provided bountiful opportunities. In fiscal year 2007, DHS allocated $973 million for science and technology and recently announced Project Hostile Intent, which is designed to develop technologies to detect people with malicious intentions.  

One California-based defense contractor, Down Range G2 Solutions, expressed interest in SSRM Tek, but became skeptical when Northam Psychotechnologies declined to make the software available for testing.

"That raised our suspicion right away," Scott Conn, CEO and president of DownRange, told Wired News. "We weren't prepared to put our good names on the line without due diligence." (When a reporter visited last year, Rusalkina also declined to demonstrate the software, saying it wasn't working that day.)  

While Conn said the lack of testing bothered him, the relationship ended when he found out Northam Psychotechnologies went to SRS Technologies, now part of ManTech International Corp. Semyon Ioffe, the head of Northam Psychotechnologies, who identifies himself as a "brain scientist," declined a phone interview, but answered questions over e-mail. Ioffe said he signed a nondisclosure agreement with Conn, and had "a few informal discussions, after which he disappeared to a different assignment and reappeared after (the) DHS announcement."  

As for the science, Ioffe says he has a Ph.D in neurophysiology, and cited Smirnov's Russian-language publications as the basis for SSRM Tek. However, not everyone is as impressed with Smirnov's technology, including John Alexander, a well-known expert on non-lethal weapons. Alexander was familiar with Smirnov's meetings in Washington during the Waco crisis, and said in an interview last year that there were serious doubts then as now. "It was the height of the Waco problem, they were grasping at straws," he said of the FBI's fleeting interest. "From what I understand from people who were there, it didn't work very well."  

Geoff Schoenbaum, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine, said that he was unaware of any scientific work specifically underpinning the technology described in SSRM Tek.  

"There's no question your brain is able to perceive things below your ability to consciously express or identify," Schoenbaum said. He noted for example, studies showing that images displayed for milliseconds -- too short for people to perceive consciously -- may influence someone's mood. "That kind of thing is reasonable, and there's good experimental evidence behind it."  

The problem, he said, is that there is no science he is aware of that can produce the specificity or sensitivity to pick out a terrorist, let alone influence behavior. "We're still working at the level of how rats learn that light predicts food," he explained. "That's the level of modern neuroscience."  

Developments in neuroscience, he noted, are followed closely. "If we could do (what they're talking about), you would know about it," Schoenbaum said. "It wouldn't be a handful of Russian folks in a basement."  

In the meantime, the DHS contract is still imminent, according to those involved, although all parties declined to comment on the details, or the size of the award. Rusalkina did not respond to a recent e-mail, but in the interview last year, she confirmed the institute was marketing the technology to the United States for airport screening.  

Larry Orloskie, a spokesman for DHS, declined to comment on the contract announcement. "It has not been awarded yet," he replied in an e-mail. "It would be premature to discuss any details about the pending contract with DHS and I will be happy to do an interview once the contract is in place," Ioffe, of Northam Psychotechnologies, wrote in an e-mail. Mark Root, a spokesman for ManTech, deferred questions to DHS, noting, "They are the customer."

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