The Ultimate Violation: When Your Own Mind Works Against You

Puppet Anime Strings Marionette

Our thoughts are the one thing that we can always control. Our limbs may be restrained and our speech may be silenced, but what we think will always be ours, right? The idea that our minds might be shaped by the will of another is a terrifying one, but I’m sure you’ve all come across it before. From subtle suggestion to mental tampering, all the way up to complete neurological dominance, how would you deal with the revelation that your own mind has worked against you? While every series uses their own definitions for all of this stuff, I thought I would share some of my thoughts about how it all works.

Mental suggestion involves feeding your will into the target’s subconscious until their entire self has been influenced and they begin to do exactly what you wish of them while thinking that what they are feeling and the decisions they are making are all their own. The truly scary thing about this one is that often the victim doesn’t even want to change back even after finding out what has been done to them, because the person they are now likes what they have become. The silver lining here is that you probably wouldn’t care about what had been done to you, though i’m sure your friends and family would have a tough time of it.

Phantom Empty Eyes Zwei

Suggestion takes time that you may not have, so perhaps a more straightforward approach would work better. Directly tampering with an individual’s personality risks damage to their entire psyche – minds simply aren’t meant to change that quickly – but smaller modifications have a higher chance of success. Examples I’ve seen include removing or rewriting memories, causing a person to avoid certain trains of thought, or even making them take certain actions that they never realize they are taking. When I started writing this article I did so with the intention of ranking each of these different examples in terms of how horrifying it would be to discover that you had been affected by them…but as I write more I realize that each of them deserves their own little pedestal in the Hall of Things I Really Really Hope Don’t Happen To Me.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Idiots test and summoned beings Anime Mizuki Himeji Evil Empty Eyes

The last of the fictional techniques I’m going to talk about is the good old staple of full mind control. There’s not need to worry about damage because you don’t need the original personality anyway, and it’s a hell of a lot quicker than suggestion, so why do people even bother with the other types? Full mind control is hard and devilishly so. Can you imagine the kind of power it would require to completely subvert the will of another living, breathing, thinking being? If you can manage to pull it off though…well, you’ve got a ridiculously effective weapon on your side.

Code Geass Lelouch

That’s it for definitions, so now I think it would be worth talking about the reactions people have to this stuff when it’s used in a GSN (game, series or novel). One of the most common things I hear people say is “if I were in that situation there’s no way I would do that, mind control or not”, which for me is a bit of a tricky statement. For one, the number of GSNs where characters do break free of whatever is affecting them (ie. in response to being ordered to harm a friend) isn’t exactly small. On the other hand, though, how can we assume that throwing off that kind of power is even possible? Mind control simply doesn’t exist, and so we have absolutely no idea what it feels like, therefore making the notion that we could definitely break free of it absurd. There’s only one comparable phenomenon that occurs in real life, and people don’t recover from it.

The brain, the part of the body that (arguably) makes us who we are, can’t regenerate. You can grow back half of your liver if you need to, but damage your brain and your body actively walls off the affected area and forgets about it. Though you can repurpose other parts to fill in the gaps, you cannot get away without losing something. People who have suffered from serious strokes, even if they are still able to take care of themselves, change – and they don’t even know what’s happened; there’s no way to restore them to who they were. It’s inescapable, so why should mind control be any different?

Mind Control Anime Puppet Empty Eyes

I could write on about the theory of mind control and the like for much longer, but the point of a blog is to promote discussion, so what do you guys think? Have I missed anything out? How does it all work? Do you think you could resist?

About Silvachief

I'm a Gamer that dabbles in a little bit of everything. I'm big on Video Games, Visual Novels, Anime, Books and TV Series, but there's more to me than just those!
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6 Responses to The Ultimate Violation: When Your Own Mind Works Against You

  1. 123 says:

    I don’t believe in “psychic” mind control (like Geass). I think if that kind of power did exist then we wouldn’t be in the same universe, i.e the laws of physics would be different so who knows what would happen. So not worth going here. On the other hand, drugs that increase somebody’s susceptibility to suggestion seem very possible, if they haven’t been developed already. Would truth serum count as a mind control drug, making speak against your will? I can’t say I’m very knowledgable in that area but I’m sure more things like that could be developed. I think with that sort of thing, it would very much depend from individual to individual, what their biological makeup is. Also, I’ve seen stuff on hypnosis but really my knowledge on that is also squat, I would be interested to see if I could be hypnotised… Interesting 🙂

    • Silvachief says:

      Pretty much everything I cover in this post I consider to be fictional 😉

      I read about a herb that, when you inhale it, puts you into a zombie-like state where you will do whatever anyone else suggests. Even though you couldn’t call that mind control it’s still pretty scary, though i’m not sure whether I believe it.

      I’m not sure how I feel about hypnosis. Hypnotist shows are fun but i’m never sure how much of it is hypnosis and how much of it is people hamming it up on stage XD It’s true that people claim hypnosis has helped them with quitting drugs/smoking/drinking/whatever, but that could just be some sort of placebo effect.

      • 123 says:

        Lol I would believe it. After all, if you’re hell drunk you have very little control over your actions, no reason why there shouldn’t be a herb that does the same thing.

  2. Rockeedee says:

    Likewise, I don’t believe in mind control. However, I believe that something like suggestion is extremely plausible. By, let’s say, “implanting” thoughts into a subject through various little changes, or having them to observe things which you had laid out beforehand, the “thought” can become predominant whether or not it is conscious or subconscious. I believe it is inevitable that said subject would think about the general theme you had laid out for them when a certain situation arises.
    Off the top of my head all I can think of is the part in the movie, Now You See Me, where they had the French guy to go to Las Vegas, when he was going to travel, through subjection.
    Though this method is flawed in that the subject can choose not to act on the implanted thought or something else can become predominant, and it does take a lot of time and effort like you previously stated.

    • Silvachief says:

      I feel like in real life the amount of effort required to do that sort of thing would almost always outweigh any gains if we’re talking about serious applications rather than, say, practical jokes. I’ve seen a couple of examples (admittedly in fiction) of something close to what you’re talking about.
      I don’t know if you read them, but there’s a certain Visual Novel where a character pretends to have a disability for years and years just so that, when the time comes, his opponent will underestimate him. I won’t tell you exactly what he does, but the amount of concentration that would go into acting that way for an extended period of time would be enormous. The movie The Prestige also involves a similar idea, though I think both cases are on a slightly larger scale than what you have described, and are really more about fooling people than planting suggestions in their subconscious.

      • Rockeedee says:

        Ah yes, deception in that regard may be considered a form of suggestion. Perhaps the only one that would show any worth in the end. Did not think of that…

        Yes I do read VN’s, though not many.

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