According to a set of guidelines sent out by the FBI as part of its Communities Against Terror program, ordinary citizens need to be on the lookout for suspicious characters who follow patterns of behavior of a covert operative. The latest revelation from the FBI files? Paying in cash for coffee. The most recent update asks coffee shop owners, baristas and other customer-service specialists to lookout for the enemy who walks among us...Using cash for small purchases like a cup of coffee, gum and other items is a good indication that a person is trying to pass for normal without leaving the kind of paper trail created using a debit or credit card for small purchases.
Tag Archives | Paranoia
Hemingway biographer A. E. Hotchner’s article in the New York Times details the rapid decline of Ernest Hemingway during his final years. Institutionalization, self-doubt and paranoia came to a head on July 1, 1961 when the author took his own life.
Hemingway’s depression and instability has been well-documented, but what is interesting is that the FBI’s monitoring of his phones, correspondence and activities contributed to his sense of fear and paranoia.
This could be the rare case of someone who’s paranoia about “being watched” is actually due to the fact that he/she is actually being monitored. A. E. Hotchner writes:
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EARLY one morning, [on July 1st], while his wife, Mary, slept upstairs, Ernest Hemingway went into the vestibule of his Ketchum, Idaho, house, selected his favorite shotgun from the rack, inserted shells into its chambers and ended his life.
There were many differing explanations at the time: that he had terminal cancer or money problems, that it was an accident, that he’d quarreled with Mary.
Rolling Stone‘s long piece on the evil mastermind is filled with all sorts of joyous nuggets, including the above. Additionally, an underground bunker called the “brain room” — with special security clearance needed for entrance — acts as a research center in which the cable network’s most fiendishly clever plans are developed:
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Murdoch installed ailes in the corner office on Fox’s second floor at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in Manhattan. The location made Ailes queasy: It was close to the street, and he lived in fear that gay activists would try to attack him in retaliation over his hostility to gay rights. (In 1989, Ailes had broken up a protest of a Rudy Giuliani speech by gay activists, grabbing demonstrator by the throat and shoving him out the door.) Barricading himself behind a massive mahogany desk, Ailes insisted on having “bombproof glass” installed in the windows – even going so far as to personally inspect samples of high-tech plexiglass, as though he were picking out new carpet.
James Curcio writes:
As was reported previously on Disinfo, there has been much recent inquiry into the idea of our sense of consciousness and agency arising through the interaction of things outside our nervous system, such as bacteria in our stomach:
“The wave of the future is full of opportunity as we think about how microbiota or bacteria influence the brain and how the bi-directional communication of the body and the brain influence metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes,” says Jane Foster, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine.” ( article.)
This, however, is just one example of “control from afar,” and we see plenty of Manchurian Candidate material in the natural world through parasites, fungus, and bacteria that can selectively control animals to essentially do their bidding at the time and place of their leisure:
From Richard Hofstadter’s classic 1964 essay in Harper’s:
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The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms–he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization. He constantly lives at a turning point. Like religious millennialists he expresses the anxiety of those who are living through the last days and he is sometimes disposed to set a date fort the apocalypse. (”Time is running out,” said Welch in 1951. “Evidence is piling up on many sides and from many sources that October 1952 is the fatal month when Stalin will attack.”)
As a member of the avant-garde who is capable of perceiving the conspiracy before it is fully obvious to an as yet unaroused public, the paranoid is a militant leader. He does not see social conflict as something to be mediated and compromised, in the manner of the working politician.
It doesn’t sound like a “kill switch.” The bill would require the President to submit a report describing, among other things, “The actions necessary to preserve the reliable operation and mitigate the consequences of the potential disruption of covered critical infrastructure” (pg. 84 lines 1-4). That sounds like the opposite of a kill switch: this legislation describes a process by which the president is expected to take action to ensure access to “critical infrastructure” -including the Internet.
There’s plenty of room to debate the merits of the federal government dictating the security policies of private companies, the ability of the president to continually extend any provisions beyond 30 days, the value of establishing new cyber security departments within the government, and the vagueness of the language in the bill. But this is nothing nearly so radical as some are making it out to be.
In fact, as Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ web site for the bill points out, the President already has a legislative (but of course, not technological) “kill switch.” The Communications Act of 1934 gave the president power to shut down “wire communications.”
[Full story at ReadWriteWeb]