(Note: although I discussed the impossibility of mind control in my post from last year, I go into more depth in this present post).
I write this article not out of a desire to maintain intellectual purity or preserve orthodoxy within some philosophical school of thought; rather, I write it purely out of a desire to deliver my readers from a certain utter terror now spreading among the faithful — a terror that will render it impossible to have the peace that we can have, must have, and that is being incessantly implored of us in authentic private revelation for the days we are now in and are now entering. As Our Lady said at Medjugorje on March 25th of this year, “Little children, who prays does not fear the future and does not lose hope. You are chosen to carry joy and peace, because you are mine. I have come here with the name ‘Queen of Peace’ because the devil wants peacelessness and war, he wants to fill your heart with fear of the future.” I write this, in accord with Our Lady’s constant plea, to have no fear. So have no fear, my dear brethren in Christ.
Now, on to the refutation of mind control.
There is absolutely no such thing, nor will there ever be such a thing, as literal blown mind control.
First, let us settle what I mean by this (at the bottom of this post, I present a list of what I am NOT saying by insisting there is no such thing as literal mind control):
Though some people mean other things by “mind,” (so do not make a category mistake in applying the argument I present here), when I refer to your “mind,” I am speaking of your intellect’s thoughts, your memory’s memories, and your free will’s choices. These are each spiritual, immaterial realities. Since we are incarnate creatures, each of these faculties of course generates corresponding neurochemical phenomena, which are mere effects of the spiritual reality. By definition, material phenomena (e.g. electromagnetic waves, microchips, 5G, injections, energy of any sort, vibrations, chemicals, etc.) only have access to other material phenomena. Thus, these material phenomena can only have any interaction whatsoever with the mere effects of your mind. Furthermore, it is a first principle of rational thought (meaning it cannot be proven, but if you have reached the age of 7, and are not insane, and are not dishonest, you know with absolute certainty it is true) that the cause is greater than the effect and that no effect precedes its cause. Therefore, causes: thoughts, memories, and choices — superior spiritual realities — cannot possibly be generated by what are merely their own effects: electromagnetic waves, electric currents, energies, etc. — for these effects are inferior material things. Similarly, bending a mirror and thus distorting the image thereupon cannot itself possibly bend the physical object whose image is reflected in the mirror. And you needn’t know anything about the technology involved in mirrors to nevertheless be certain of this fact on account of logic and reason alone.
There are only two possible ways to attempt to refute the argument above:
- By claiming that the soul is not superior to the body or that the soul is a mere physical phenomena
- By claiming that modifying an effect can itself modify that very effect’s cause, and that an effect can precede its cause.
Attempt number 2) is logically absurd, and I am afraid I do not know exactly what to say to one who regards it as remotely possible. I do not know how to logically engage with one who rejects logic. Perhaps such people should hack the scale in their bathroom, supposing that decreasing the number shown on it will cause them to lose weight. Perhaps such people should try to rewrite history books under the supposition that doing so will change history itself. Perhaps such people should entertain the possibility that “sex change” surgery can actually change one’s sex. Perhaps such people should pour water into their rain gauge and suppose that this means it rained. Perhaps such people should propose that depression is cured by duct-taping the corners of one’s mouth in an upward facing concave shape. Perhaps such people should claim that Donald Trump started the American Civil War, or watch movies like Interstellar while pretending that their absurd causality-contradicting plots are possible merely because they are expressed in terms borrowed from modern physics. Perhaps such people should agree with my toddler who thought that pushing someone’s shadow might itself push the person casting it. Need I go on?
Attempt number 1) Is not only a heresy in Catholicism and Christianity, it is also contrary to what any believer in God of any religion should easily know with certainty — and always has known with certainty, for the entire history of religion (with the exception perhaps of certain types of Buddhism, which is scarcely a religion). To assert that man’s intellect, memory, and will are actually mere physical phenomena, and that they are therefore themselves directly within the reach of other mere physical phenomena, is to assert atheism. To assert that the immaterial soul does exist but is nevertheless subordinate to the body is to deny what every non-materialist on earth and throughout history (since even long before Christianity) knows intuitively and absolutely (and is contrary to both Scripture and Magisterium); i.e., that matter is subject to spirit, but spirit is not subject to matter.
Now, on to the argument
Fact #1: Man is both matter (body) and form (soul)
Fact #2: The brain is bodily.
Fact #3: The brain is material.
Fact #4: The soul is spirit.
Fact #5: The soul is immaterial.
Fact #6: The soul’s own operations are likewise immaterial.
Fact #7: The brain’s operations are material.
Fact #8: Spirit is superior to matter.
Fact #9: Matter cannot direct, create, or generate spirit
Let no one dissuade you from these facts by deferring to a Platonic (or, if we wish to really stretch it, Pauline) tripartite view of the soul (popular especially in many Protestant circles since the 1800s) which seeks to split the soul in half by distinguishing between body, soul, and spirit.
Scripture, Magisterium, and Tradition repeatedly define man as simply “body and soul,” and (comparatively, at least), scarcely ever refer to man as “body, soul, and spirit.” One really has to dig for these tripartite references, and once he has compiled them, they still appear like a speck of dust compared to the mountain of references to man as simply body and soul. Not only that, but each apparent tripartite reference is easy to understand under the aspect of simple repetition-emphasis (i.e. giving synonyms for something you really, seriously, extremely, urgently, want to emphasize in your writing!) or an emphasis on some aspect of the soul’s operations (i.e. those particularly oriented towards God). As the New Catholic Encyclopedia says, “This [tripartite] division is unique in Paul and the New Testament and is certainly not evidence of an elaborated psychology. When spirit is governed by a modifier, it expresses a disposition or mental state rather than life principle (Gal 6.1; 1 Pt 3.4)” The old Catholic Encyclopedia is more blunt, teaching, “...one of the earliest widespread forms of error among Christian writers [was] the doctrine of the Trichotomy. According to this, man … consists of three parts: body, soul, spirit (soma, psyche, pneuma).”
Finally, we have the clear teaching of the Magisterium in none other than the Catechism itself (excerpts from paragraphs 363-367):
In Sacred Scripture the term “soul” often refers to human life or the entire human person. But “soul” also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him, that by which he is most especially in God’s image: “soul” signifies the spiritual principle in man…Man, though made of body and soul, is a unity. …The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the “form” of the body: i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body…Sometimes the soul is distinguished from the spirit: St. Paul for instance prays that God may sanctify his people “wholly”, with “spirit and soul and body” kept sound and blameless at the Lord’s coming. The Church teaches that this distinction does not introduce a duality into the soul. “Spirit” signifies that from creation man is ordered to a supernatural end and that his soul can gratuitously be raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God.
Now, the Catechism contains a multitude of teachings and, admittedly, there are varying degrees of authority affixed to each. But when the Catechism says bluntly that “The Church teaches _____” , this means that ______ is binding on the faithful. So we see that no Catholic has any right to introduce a duality into the soul by supposing that in man, “soul” and “spirit” are different things.
(Though I suppose I should still add that even if the tripartite view were correct, this would not refute the point I am making here, since even under this tripartite delineation, actual thoughts, memories, and free choices are in the immaterial spirit, not what they posit as the quasi-material “soul.”)
So much for the notion that we can split our mind in two — a spiritual component that cannot be controlled by matter, and a more material-ish quasi-spiritual component than can be. No. We have body and soul; there is nothing preventing material phenomena from doing anything to the body (e.g. the brain), but it is absolutely impossible for any material phenomena to touch the soul (the spirit).
Now, in man, spirit and matter are not merely combined (contra Cartesian dualism), but are rather distinct aspects of a unity: the single person; the single nature, composed of both body and soul. But this does not change the fact that spirit and matter are distinct realities, and they can only interact by virtue of Divine Decree; i.e., a miracle. There is no natural mechanism by which the material can reach the spiritual. This is not only impossible: it doesn’t even make any sense. We all know this intuitively. We all know, for example, that once your soul has departed your body (i.e. once you’ve died), it is absolutely untouchable by anything any technology could possibly do, since it has been temporarily deprived of this miraculous ability. We respect a corpse because it is important to honor one’s mortal remains; not because we fear anything done to it could actually affect the dead person’s soul. We know that we don’t have to worry about some physics experiment opening up a portal to hell. We know that we don’t have to worry about some new weapon the U.S. Government is working on taking out St. Michael the Archangel. These facts are too obvious to be worth stating, but they flow from the fact that we know that the material cannot reach the spiritual. The only apparent exception is what I will describe in the next paragraph.
While we are alive, and the soul is animating the body, the soul enjoys the body’s ability to send information to it via the senses. By Divine Design, the senses alone are capable of mediating from the material to the immaterial realm — Nihil est in intellectu quod non sit prius in sensu. Nothing is in the mind that was not first in the senses. This is an indispensable axiom of Catholic philosophy — not a mere optional opinion of Aquinas/Aristotle (I’m more than happy to disagree with those when it is truly called for) — and the only exception to it is Divinely mediated illumination or infusion.
Obviously, therefore, technology can indirectly affect the mind. You are reading these words on an advanced piece of technology right now, and your mind is being affected by the information you are receiving. These effects on the mind — and all such effects on the mind –, however, are always mediated by the senses. In animals, the senses are merely material faculties. In man, the senses are bonafide miracles, since they straddle the material and the immaterial realms. Therefore, it is not possible for an image, or actual information of any sort, to be put directly into your mind via any technology whatsoever, since this would entail technology breaking metaphysical laws (it cannot even break scientific laws, much less the far more absolute metaphysical ones!).
So technology can only reach the mind itself through the senses. The only other option it has is to affect the brain by damaging its ability to adequately correspond to the soul’s spiritual operations (as, for example, drug abuse does). Drug abuse, in fact, gives a perfect illustration of the point I am making here (and I am going on the words of others, since I have never used drugs!). LSD is known to cause people to hallucinate. But there is absolutely no way of knowing, much less controlling, what a person will “see” when hallucinating, since the thoughts that happen within the drug abuser’s mind are — just like dreams — only those thoughts which, 1) were already there in his mind before he took the drug or, 2) are received through the senses while he is on the drug (though in a usually grotesquely mashed up presentation).
Consider as well the example I’ve used before: smelling your deceased father’s favorite brand of cologne years after his death immediately followed by images of your father coming to mind. Two things are obvious here: 1) The molecules of the cologne did not put a thought or a memory into your mind. Rather, your sense of smell informed your mind of what it was experiencing, and your mind did the rest; 2) The molecules of the cologne did not themselves contain the thought or memory of your father. Your mind already contained that.
Now, clearly your sense of feeling/touch includes your brain (hence the possibility of headaches!), therefore something done to your brain (by EM waves or whatever else) can certainly in this way “send information” to the mind. But it could only do so at most by either 1) triggering some thought or memory which was already in your mind, which you perhaps in the past have already associated with a certain feeling in your brain; or 2) very sloppily and clumsily “sending information” through the very use of your sense of touch as it extends across your brain. If, for example, you know Morse code, then information could be sent to your mind that way. Similarly, if you can read braille, you can acquire books’ worth of information through your sense of touch. None of this changes the fact that it is still the senses, and only the senses, and entirely the senses, doing the mediation between the material realm (body) and the immaterial realm (soul).
Yes, the human mind generally operates in tandem with the brain’s neurochemistry, but it has no need of doing so. Though we already know this fact from our Faith (for example, it is explicit in dogmatic teaching on the nature of the soul’s body-less experience of Heaven, and ability to intercede, before the General Resurrection), it is also true that every documented Near Death Experience proves this. Even people for whom it has been empirically proven have absolutely no brainwave activity whatsoever and often come back from these experiences recounting all sorts of thoughts, memories, and choices that transpired while the brain was doing nothing at all. Lest any skeptics claim that these hundreds, if not thousands, of documented cases are all hoaxes, the facts disprove this hypothesis: often the people in these near death experiences succeed in describing objective realities that would have been impossible for them to have known via their bodily functions (e.g., the arrangement of instruments on a high shelf in the hospital room that they couldn’t possibly have seen or known about).
As I acknowledge at the bottom of this article, nefarious entities and individuals are always trying to figure out how to control minds through chemicals (most infamously in the CIA’s MK Ultra program, but there have been many other attempts, and still more attempts are ongoing) or other means, and they always fail miserably. They always will fail miserably also; whether they are using chemicals, electromagnetic waves, or whatever else. Don’t get me wrong; these efforts are horrendous and many lives are ruined in the process; I am not seeking to mitigate the travesty, I am only pointing out that the delusions of grandeur that these mind control fanatics pursue are just that: delusions. Delusions succumbed to because their own minds are under the grip of Satan’s delusion, who loves to compel his own to think they will someday succeed in playing God, when he knows full well they never will. Delusions perpetuated because those subject to them harbor the atheistic premise that the mind is merely the brain, and that there is therefore no categorical reason they should not be able to read the mind, control it, and insert thoughts/memories into it. Like modern scientists do all the time, these deluded men read their own erroneous premises into the data they obtain from their experimentation (the macroevolutionists are the greatest experts in living by this circular fallacy), and gullible laymen who read reports of these experiments on the news proceed to pretend that this now means that Scripture, Catholic Teaching, and good philosophy on human nature must be discarded.
Do. Not. Succumb.
Now, a few other miscellaneous thoughts on this matter:
All other arguments aside: definitional paradox
All of the arguments I have presented aside, those who believe in literal mind control are still confronted with an absolute definitional paradox. For the human mind is by definition a free thing. If we are talking about something that is controlled, then we are talking about something that isn’t free. If we are talking about something that isn’t free, then we aren’t talking about a human soul at all; something that isn’t a human mind at all. A mind being “controlled” is no different, in fact, than a mind simply being annihilated. Yet we know this cannot happen: we know that the human soul is utterly indestructible.
The Incompatibility of the Possibility of Mind Control with the call to Invincible Peace, Absolute Trust, and Supernatural Faith
One of the most obvious and strong reasons we know mind control is impossible is that, if it were possible, it would make the very Christian Faith, Hope, and Trust we are called to impossible. I already described this in detail in my earlier article on mind control.
In this present article, I focused more on the theological and philosophical impossibility of mind control. As I note in the next point, mind control is also pragmatically/technologically impossible. But mind control is also impossible from a scientific standpoint.
Any attempt to technologically control a mind by definition operates by virtue of a technology that is itself a product of the human mind. Since no effect is greater than its cause, no product of the mind can control the mind, since for one thing to control and direct another it must be a superior thing. Man cannot create something superior to himself. Man cannot direct something capable of directing himself. I also explained this dynamic in greater detail in my post from last year on mind control.
All other arguments aside: practicality
Remember that all I am doing in the present post is refuting mind control, mind reading, etc., as logically impossible. Even aside from these arguments, we would still be infinitely removed from such things being a plausible reality. We would, first, need sufficiently developed science so as to actually understand the mind — we are nowhere near this, even if the mind were material. Any neuroscientist worth his salt will openly profess this fact. We would then, secondly, need technology — at least in prototype phases — capable of making use of this science — no such technology exists. Finally, we would need the technology to be sufficiently established so as to render mass-use of the technology to be feasible. Not one of these three conditions are anywhere close to met.
On “lie detectors”: Minds cannot be read, either
In case you are wondering if, despite my arguments above, technology can at least theoretically possibly read minds, the answer is, yet again, most emphatically no. The details of a spiritual cause cannot be deduced from one of its material effects. Though some facts about a spiritual cause can be inferred from its material effects (which is, for example, how certain theological truths about God can be discovered through a posteriori reason via ‘negative’ theology and the logical use of the principle of the contrapositive — e.g., the world is not yet destroyed, therefore its Creator must not abhor it), relatively few can be. This is precisely why we need Divine Revelation: there are not many things we can conclude about God from simple reason alone; especially because, without this Revelation, we are stuck reasoning from effect to cause.
Someone might say: “But can’t we already read the mind, Daniel, because we have lie detectors?”
Absolutely not. There is also no such thing as a lie detector, nor will there ever be such a thing.
These so-called “lie detectors” (polygraph machines) are two degrees removed from reality. They only detect a phenomenon which itself has been associated with and merely tends to be correlated with someone who is lying, and they succumb to the same fallacies of causality I have discussed above.
Lying has been associated with nervousness. Nervousness has been associated with an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and perspiration, which in turn can be measured. Measuring these things does not “detect a lie.”
A lie is contained (first) in a thought, and a thought cannot be materially observed (“detected”) by anything at all. Any liar can easily defeat a polygraph test — this happens all the time — by simply making himself nervous (e.g. by thinking about something horrible) while the pre-test benign/obvious baseline calibration questions are being asked (e.g. “What day of the week is it?”).
And remember, not even the devil has direct access to your thoughts. The devil’s intelligence is nearly infinitely superior to ours. He can see what every neuron in our brain is doing, he can detect even the subtlest changes of our neural system, heart rate, hormones, etc. Even with this, he cannot read our minds; all he can do is clumsily guess as to what we are thinking. Do you really think any human technology could achieve what even the devil cannot?
As Aquinas rightly taught,
“God alone can know the thoughts of hearts and affections of wills. The reason of this is, because the rational creature is subject to God only, and He alone can work in it Who is its principal object and last end … all that is in the will [is] known to God alone…Hence the Apostle says (1 Cor. 2:11): ‘For what man knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of a man that is in him?’” (Summa Theologica. First Part. Question 57. Article 4.)
“Just to be safe”?
Someone will say, “But Daniel, shouldn’t we take this seriously just in case literal mind control is possible? Wouldn’t that be the safer route?” Absolutely not. As I pointed out here, you are already doomed if literal mind control is possible. So let us take a simple Pascalian “game theory” approach to this question, wherein we lay before us all contingencies and thereby determine which approach — truth of the question aside — is the best one:
|Mind Control is possible||Mind Control isn’t possible|
|Believing in Mind Control||You’re still doomed anyway, and believing in it won’t protect you from it. Perhaps everything you already believe (Christianity included) was just a thought injected into you by some antenna.||Living in constant fear, neglecting God’s constant exhortations to have no fear, failing to fulfill your calling due to these fears, increasing the power of the Antichrist and his minions|
|Rejecting Mind Control||Makes no difference. You’re no more doomed than if you did believe mind control was possible.||Here in this box lies not only the truth, but also the only good option regardless of how the truth of the question is settled. Here lies freedom, courage, faith in God’s promises, the ability to boldly fulfill your calling, the ability to know that your salvation is always, no matter what, in your power. Here lies the only way one can actually succeed in being a fully authentic Christian, for this requires rejecting these existential fears.|
Not Even the Beatific Vision is Mind Control
The Beatific Vision is the closest possible thing to mind control that exists. But even this isn’t mind control. We will remain free in Heaven: free will is a gift from God (His greatest gift to man!), and what He gives, he doesn’t take away.
Instead, in the Beatific Vision, we will enjoy the direct vision of God’s essence without medium. This vision will not actually remove the freedom of our will; but it will overwhelmingly present the one and only proper object of the Will (the good — God’s Essence) to the human soul, and it will prove ontologically irresistible, which is why the Beatific Vision also entails absolute confirmation in grace, and is why it is categorically impossible for a person in Heaven to ever lose his salvation.
Finally, let us settle what I do not mean by insisting there is no such thing as mind control.
- I am NOT saying it is impossible for your mind’s operations within the material plane to be inhibited by material phenomena. Whatever a drug, or a bump on the head for that matter, could accomplish of course cannot be logically ruled out as impossible for — to give one example — an electromagnetic wave to accomplish (I leave the details of that discussion to the neuroscientists, while in no way trusting them to provide the logical foundations and boundaries of the discussion itself. One always succumbs to error whenever he trusts the scientists within a given field with providing the meta-scientific premises the field itself is subject to). Some people claim that being too close to a WiFi router, or a cell phone tower, has negative effects on them neurochemically. Though I’ve never experienced anything like this (and am almost always close to both), I’ll take them at their word. But a drug, or a bump on the head, cannot create thoughts or memories or choices. They can disrupt your ability to think and act and remember, sure. They can lower your inhibitions, sure. But all of these effects and others like them are restricted to the domain of limiting — due to damage done to your body — what your soul is, practically speaking, capable of accomplishing through your body. They do not, and cannot ever, actually direct your soul itself. Even if, for example, a given chemical causes one to hallucinate: this hallucination cannot be either created or directed by the chemical, because the hallucination is constituted of the thoughts/memories that were already in the hallucinator’s mind to begin with. More on this point below.
- I am NOT saying that the mind cannot be extremely heavily influenced by external factors. Obviously, it can be. There is brainwashing. There are psy-ops (psychological operations). There are massive propaganda campaigns which delude all but the most astute. There are subliminal messages and psychological conditioning efforts. There is social pressure which causes all but the strongest to cave, and eventually lie to themselves so much that they begin to believe their very own lies. And on the list goes. But none of this is literal mind control, and all of it is mediated by the senses, nor does anything reach the mind that has not entered through the senses.
- I am NOT saying that the nefarious powers that be aren’t trying to control our minds. They quite clearly are attempting just that. Most of them are atheists, therefore they are under the delusion that the mind is merely the brain, therefore they erroneously conclude that if the mind can be “hacked” just like a mindless computer can be. Their attempts have always failed and will always fail (though they will doubtless continue to do much damage in the process).
- I am NOT saying that it is categorically impossible to accomplish “mind control” in an animal. But absolutely no reference to animals can refute the point I am making in this article, since animals do not have minds; they only have brains. They do not have intellect, memory, and will, like humans do; they have mere physical faculties that in some ways mimic these spiritual faculties held by man, and man alone. Even if scientists could one day accomplish total control of an animal via technology (I doubt this will ever happen, but I cannot logically rule it out as impossible), this would have no effect on the argument I present here.
- I am NOT saying that some form of “emotion control” is impossible. However, even while it is true that certain thoughts and memories tend to go along with certain emotion/feelings, the emotions/feelings are not themselves choices, thoughts, or memories; therefore this possibility, too, is not related to what I am addressing in this article. This is precisely why emotions/feelings are morally indifferent — you do not answer before God for how you felt, but only for how you chose to react to your feeling. Feelings are of course heavily influenced by what and when we last ate, how we slept, chemicals, and on the list goes; so I see no reason to suppose they could not be affected by a chip, injection, or EM wave. But emotions/feelings being affected by a material phenomenon — perhaps by triggering the body to release too much Norepinephrine — cannot put a thought or a memory (“information” of any sort) into your head, nor can they cause you to make a choice.
- I am most definitely NOT saying that demonic possession doesn’t happen! Possession absolutely does happen; all the time. But this, obviously, is not related to the point I am making in this article, which is to prove that matter (in this case technology) cannot possibly control the mind. The point, however, is significant: what the devil himself cannot achieve, human technology certainly never will be able to. Not even perfect possession — the most extreme form of demonic possession — entails literal full blown mind control (it would actually be more accurately called body control via a dark spiritual principle apart from the human mind), and not even the devil himself has direct access to one’s thoughts. This point alone should be sufficient to prove to any Catholic that there is no such thing as literal mind control at the hands of any existing or theoretically possible technology.
- I am NOT saying that “body control” is impossible. Some people mistakenly refer to body control as “mind control,” and this leads to some of the category confusions I mentioned above (e.g. those high-tech cases wherein a signal from the brain is taken and routed to some other body part, or other person’s body, or piece of technology). Your body, of course, is material, so there is no principled reason to reject the possibility of it being controlled by some other material phenomena. Whenever someone is “tased,” the electrical current from the weapon does indeed activate the muscles in the person being tased, so this itself is a form of “body control” through “electric signals.” Press on someone’s forearm and this will cause their fingers to pull down; this, too, is body control. I see no reason to reject the possibility of this being done on a more sophisticated level through technology. When people speak of chips being implanted in the brain (e.g. Elon Musks’ infamous “neuralink” Brain Machine Interface), they love to pretend that they’re speaking of mind control, but this isn’t at all what they’re speaking of: they’re only speaking of body control.
- I am NOT saying that we will never witness the emergence of something that might appear to be like mind control. We are living in incredibly dark times and, as I mentioned above, the nefarious powers that be clearly want to control minds. Indeed, we are already witnessing the emergence of technologies that doubtless serve as precursors to the Mark of the Beast itself. I speculate that we will indeed soon see a “chip” imposed upon us (deemed necessary as a result of some trumped up “cyber attack” or to store a “vaccine passport”) connected to the web, and the nefarious “they” will be able to activate this chip whenever they please — e.g. when those who have it commit a “banned” activity like entering a Church — to perhaps cause pain or some form of other feeling, or perhaps even feed information and “orders” to the mind through the senses, (e.g. by sending an electric signal to the ear which in turn feeds it to the mind as sound) and thus they will “control” the masses in a way that might appear to be “mind control.” But, in truth, it will be nothing but social/psychological control, perhaps augmented by physiological effects on emotion/feelings or subtle communications to the mind equally subtly mediated by the senses. Indeed, neither the precursors to the Mark nor even the Mark itself will literally accomplish actual mind control (though this should not let you think you can safely get it: death would be preferable to the Mark itself and, I would say, death would be preferable to any microchip implanted within you, aside from what is necessary to cure a disorder — e.g. a pacemaker). The darkness of the times and the likelihood of witnessing the emergence of things that appear to be mind control only redoubles the importance of realizing that there is no such thing as mind control. It is precisely when lies are most widely accepted that setting our own faces like flint to never buy into them becomes most important.