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Blue Whale, Kamikaze Pilots and everything about mind control

Blue Whale, Kamikaze Pilots and everything about mind control

The deathly game of Blue Whale appears to have distilled the learnings of human mind control, to such a fine art, that it is capable of doing so remotely, from thousands of miles away.

What does the game do? The game targets a victim, and gives it a series of ritualistic tasks to do, with most of the tasks at a specific time of 4.20 am, that slowly cuts off the victim from his or her usual connects, numbs the senses of the victim by exposing him or her to horror movies that are to be watched alone, and then pushes the victim down a path of self harm that ends with the target killing oneself. And all this being done remotely, from thousands of miles away, through an app in a smartphone.

Is this the first game of human mind control? Is this the first time that people have been manipulated to do things that would be perceived by others to be actions that are against their own interests? Or is this the first time that people have been manipulated to perform acts that they are not usually expected to perform out of their own free will? Clearly no. From time immemorial, humans have been subjected to mind control in one way or the other, some more deadly, some supposedly benign.

Blue Whale is merely a distillation of those techniques that have evolved over hundreds of years, perhaps thousands.

Let's peep into our recent history. We have had cults egging their followers to commit mass suicide. The Johnston Town mass suicide (otherwise known as The People's Temple Agricultural Project), The Heaven's Gate Cult, Adam House in Bangladesh, Order of the Solar Temple in Quebec and so on. All of these cults apparently made their members voluntarily kill themselves - commit suicide - the same end as a Blue Whale participant eventually has.

But these are not the only mind controls that led to self harm. We have the recent phenomenon of Fidayeens - Islamic terrorists who are willing to kill themselves in the process of harming others. And we had the LTTE suicide attackers, one of whom blew herself up to kill the Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. And then we had the Kamikaze pilots of the Japanese Army in World War II who were motivated to kill themselves by crashing their planes into enemy targets. In fact, it was not just the Kamikaze pilots, but the bulk of the Japanese army of World War II, who were prepared to die rather than surrender, and thus many of the battles in the eastern front of World War II, ended with most Japanese soldiers getting killed rather than surrendering or being captured.

There has also been ritualistic and/or traditional sanction to suicides, such as the Balinese puputan, the Japanese seppuku which involves disembowelling oneself and the santhara system of the Jain beliefs which involves fasting to death to attain higher consciousness. In each case, the person is convinced to bring oneself to end.

Is driving people to kill oneself the only mind control? Well, it is of course the most extreme form of mind control. But there are many other forms of mind control. Most Nazis who oversaw the murder of millions of jews in the concentration camp, completely believed they were doing the right thing. The British officers who snatched away foodgrains from Eastern India and left an even larger number of people to die than those killed by the Nazis in the concentration camps, also believed that they were doing the right thing. These behaviours would normally be perceived as deviant behaviour. But large number of people performed these acts. And they believed they were doing the right thing. The mind control was no less amazing than what we see in Blue Whale.

And then there are the numerous Godmen and Godwomen, dotting the landscape in India, who regularly pop up to display their devastating dexterity in manipulating the thinking process of men and women, who then willingly let themselves be duped and let their family and children be exposed to harm. The more recent case being that of Ram Rahim Insaan. Be sure, he was not the only one lurking out there.

Does mind-control end at only self-harm - suicides or otherwise? Well, whenever the target is removed from other sources of information and contact, and is moved away from his or her natural connects, with the sole purpose of influencing the thinking process of the individual and to align the individual to the manipulator's objectives, it is still mind-control. And no mind-control is really benign.

And this is the space that religion has taken up for thousands of years. Setting up rules, similar to Blue Whale, of not getting in contact with alternate thought process as it would make the person impure and corrupt. Making the individual follow strict rituals which makes the individual have a world view that is aligned to the objectives of the set of people who drive the religion. Making them visit specific places that are places of worship or of supposedly high religious value. Making the individual do actions at set times in a day, or month or year. Periodic and aperiodic events triggering the individual to perform certain acts. Sounds familiar?? That is what Blue Whale also asks its victims to do - perform tasks that numb their thinking process. Blue Whale merely borrowed the same process as used by religions and refined it further.

In fact, all "isms" follow the same pattern. For that matter, Nazi philosophy was also an "ism" and should have been called Nazism. In a rapidly globalising world, where people are fast awakening to the fact that they do not have any differences with other nationalities, even nationalism appears to be an anachronistic "ism" which is still chugging along, fuelled by media control, symbolisms (anthems, flags etc) and education curriculums. A Blue Whale victim has to carve out a blue whale in his or her arm as a sign of loyalty to the controller. Nationalism, and all other "isms", demand similar loyalty and symbolism - wearing certain things, singing certain songs, holding certain days as sacrosanct and so on.

In all cases, the target is promised an imaginary benefit - honour to family, virgins in heaven, freedom from miseries of rebirth, plain freedom from planet earth or some such conceptual construct.

Human mind is fascinating. He who controls the human mind, dictates our lives. Alternate facts, post truths, fictional enemies and promises of a better fictional future are all the tools and weapons used for waging this war on the mind. Blue Whale should be a wake up call for recognising the constant threat of mind control that is engulfing our existence. Even democratic elections are not left out from these games with adversaries indulging in mind control to influence the voters in a country. No wonder, the words of the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore sounds prescient - Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high, Where knowledge is free.. Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way.. into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake. A free mind is necessary for the pursuit of true happiness. Let us learn that again from the deadly game of Blue Whale.

(Jaijit Bhattacharya is a noted Government transformation expert and a Partner at KPMG. He is also President of Centre for Digital Economy Policy Research (C-DEP)and Adjunct Professor at IIT Delhi.)


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