A Refutation of Dr. Charles Morgan

A certain video recording of a lecture given by Charles Morgan to some cadets at WestPoint has been making the rounds in some conspiracy circles recently. In this post, I will be refuting the notion that this video demonstrates the reality of mind control:

First of all, Dr. Morgan begins this video by admitting that all he is trying to do is guess as to what the future will hold. For that reason alone, we should not take his speculations seriously… because they are precisely that: mere speculations. And we should outright reject them if and when they contradict common sense, good philosophy, and Christian Faith (and in a number of cases, what he says contradicts all three).

Secondly, we should keep in mind that Dr. Morgan is a psychiatrist — which is a medical doctor. He is not a scientist, and not an engineer. He is trained to pragmatically treat his patients, not to master the scientific principles at play, and not to understand how the relevant technologies actually work or what they are actually capable of or what they might in the future be capable of. If one wants a genuine understanding of the science involved, then he should consult the studies of the actual scientists, as Dr. Morgan himself advises (see below). Though not even these studies should be taken seriously if and when they contradict common sense, good philosophy, or Christian Faith. If one wants to understand what technology will likely soon be capable of in this realm, he should consult a biomedical engineer, not a psychiatrist.  

Thirdly, and interestingly, take a look at what Dr. Morgan himself wrote at a website where this video was posted:

(Note: whoever would endorse Carl Sagan’s “attitude” should not be taken seriously)

Now, let me proceed to go through the main points of this entire video and show why it utterly fails in arguing that a human’s mind can be controlled or that memories can be implanted into a human. After doing so, I will present a few general remarks that anyone should read before thinking “Oh! But I should send Daniel this other new video that actually does show there is mind control!” 


In the beginning parts of the video, Dr. Morgan spends much time speaking about “mind control” in the sense of the mind controlling something. But, as I said at the top of my article on mind control, that’s not at all what I’m talking about here; I’m talking about (refuting the possibility of) the mind being controlled by something. Obviously the mind can control things; every time you choose to do something with your body, your mind is controlling your body. I see no reason to deny the possibility of taking whatever electrical signal your brain (on your mind’s cue) sends to — for example — your hand, and directing that signal elsewhere (perhaps to a computer). I see no reason (in principle, at least) even to deny the possibility of this signal being directed to somebody else’s body. This, again, would not be someone’s mind being controlled; it would be somebody’s body being controlled — not categorically unlike when, for example, a stronger man grabs your own hand and forces it to do something.

But, at around 17 minutes, Dr. Morgan brings up …. wait for it…. The Matrix. The same example all these absurdist theories defer to when trying to pretend that the mind can be controlled and that the God-ordained relation between body and soul can be contravened.

He says, “So what do you think would be the next step? You can make a robot move. You can make a human hand move. What would you do next?…. Can you actually send and receive sensory information, like the Matrix? … the Short answer is, yes.”

Actually, the short answer is no

The video Dr. Morgan brings up to try and prove his point is from another researcher who claims to have put “information” from one mouse into the other mouse’s brain. 

Now, even if Dr. Morgan is correct in his assertion that “memories” or information have been transplanted between various insects/animals (which I am not about to believe just because he says it, or claims that some researcher has done it, but which I won’t categorically dismiss either), he doesn’t even begin to broach the point I am making here and he erroneously employs the atheist materialist premise that animal behavior is fundamentally the same thing as human behavior. 

Animals do not have immaterial souls. Animals have a “soul” of sorts; i.e. a purely vegetative/sensitive “soul,” but not a spiritual soul. Animals only have “intellect, memory, and will” in a merely analogous sense as humans, since animals have no spiritual subsistence and they have no rationality or free will, and their “memories” are indeed in, and only in, their brains. It is not possible for any alleged implication of any study or experiment on animals to refute the point I am making here, since the point I am making here refers to the immaterial dimension of human thought; immaterial intellect/memory/will. Any such attempted refutation would be a flat-out category mistake; the proverbial “apples and oranges” blunder.

Afterwards, at around 21 minutes, Dr. Morgan claims outright that you can send information from one human brain to another. He even claims this has been done. He neither says nor shows anything whatsoever to back up this claim. He is perhaps hoping that the videos he showed earlier of one human brain allegedly controlling another human’s hand will be on the forefront of his listener’s minds when he says this, and is likewise hoping that his listeners will erroneously regard this irrelevant piece of information as proof of what he is saying. (Remember, he’s a psychiatrist, which means he is adept at such methods!) Instead, every single thing he actually shows entails only the use of one human brain to control the body of another human. 

He then offers groundless speculation about adding “sixth senses” to human beings; going off of a study done on a lab rat which merely increased range of wavelengths of EM that a rat can see — not even remotely a warranted logical leap. 

Then, at 28 minutes, Dr. Morgan egregiously claims that a certain Dr. Venter actually created life in a laboratory. This claim is utterly false and frankly diabolical. If you believe that anyone but God can possibly create life, then I do not know what to say to you. All of these giddy claims for the last decade of scientists about creating “synthetic life” are absurd: all they are doing is taking existing genetic material and messing with it. Doubtless they should stop; doubtless they are doing all sorts of immoral and problematic things, but they are certainly not “creating life.” 

Afterwards, Dr. Morgan gives a bunch of thoughts about genetic optimization of humans. I object to genetic “optimization” of humans categorically (and, sadly, this practice is not impossible and is not mere science fiction) and I condemn it, but he’s not talking about anything philosophically impossible here, nor is he talking about anything relevant to “mind control”.

Then, around 32 minutes, he dives back into his insistence that memories — remotely controllable ones, conveniently! — can be inserted into humans. 

His example?

Fruit flies.

I won’t bother repeating what I said above about the ridiculousness of trying to use animal/insect “memories/thoughts” (they don’t have them) to prove a point about human memories and thoughts. As usual, he provides no evidence or arguments whatsoever demonstrating this could possibly happen in humans. 

He then goes on for some time about encoding information into the DNA of bacteria. This is interesting, but has no application to any point related to mind control. You can encode information into whatever you want. But for it to get into the human mind, it must be received through the senses somehow. 

At 38 minutes, he begins again explicitly addressing the issue of human memory.

His example this time?

The Hollywood movie, Men in Black

Getting more serious, he talks about “problematic memories” related to PTSD. He says, “Can we erase memory? Can we modify memory? Can we change memory? The short answer is, Yes.”

Sorry, Dr. Morgan: the short answer is, No. 

How does he “prove” his point here?  You guessed it.

Mice.

He has absolutely no other argument to present that human memory can be modified other than these alleged results of an experiment on mice.  All he says on this is “I can assure you we’re working on it” This reminds me of when Richard Dawkins tells his followers, “Don’t worry, we’re working on figuring out how the universe came into existence without God.”

Dr. Morgan then admits, in the context of modifying human memory, “that research on hypermemory has gone more slowly than I thought…. There hasn’t been much [progress] yet…”

At 44 minutes he claims that research has managed to create false memories. He brings up the interviews conducted long ago by a certain psychologist, Elizabeth Loftus, as a part of the “lost in the mall” experiment, which proves nothing other than the fact that sometimes people get confused (not exactly a groundbreaking discovery). Here I should add that if you’re in the habit of uncritically accepting the claims of psychologists regarding philosophical anthropology (i.e. the study of human nature), there’s not much hope for you in preserving yourself in the Truth.  

Then, Dr. Morgan discusses some studies he performed on soldiers under severe stress and isolation. He admits that he repeatedly lied to the soldiers while undertaking these studies (so why, pray tell, would anyone believe what he says within this lecture? Liars lie. It is what they do. There is no use protesting “but that was during a study, this is a lecture!” How do you have any confidence he isn’t simply using this lecture as yet another study? You don’t. He’s a liar– don’t trust him.), and he points out that the people he studied became confused by confusing situations. Is this surprising? He then discusses some other situations and studies that likewise demonstrate nothing related to actual mind control or actual memory implanting/modification. It should be noted that, suddenly here, he is not talking about technology at all; he is only talking about the ordinary situations we are all well aware of that cause difficulties with memory. Accordingly, he admits:

“That’s where the state of the art is right now for creating false memories in humans. Doing that verbally… “

And here, after a wasted hour watching this nonsense, we come to the whole crux of the matter. At around 52 minutes, Dr. Morgan admits that all he is doing with this entire lecture is guessing that, in the future, we’ll be able to control minds/implant memories. He says:

The chemical implanting of memories… probably I’d say in the next 2 years we should see a science experiment come out that says that a memory has actually been transferred or created and planted back into a human brain… I would anticipate that that’s the direction the research is going…it’s probably only science fiction for another 2 years... ” [PS: He said this over two years ago and — surprise surprise — we still cannot transfer memories]

(Dr. Morgan ends the whole lecture by citing one alleged study done in France about sleeping people, which I do not believe the claims of for a moment. Here I should remind my readers what I said in my main post linking to this article but which few are aware of: the vast majority of even legitimate scientific studies cannot have their findings replicated; which is a fancy way of saying they are utterly useless and did not actually discover or demonstrate anything. If all that exists is one study claiming to have shown something, you should not take that seriously until many studies have replicated the same findings and passed the muster of peer review. Dr. Morgan even admits “I don’t know how soon it will be when we can link someone’s brain to somebody else’s while they’re asleep, but I would imagine that that can’t be far off… I’d probably ballpark it and say probably 5 years.No, Dr. Morgan, it will never happen.)


Now for the promised note on additional similarly themed videos.

Videos and articles like this pop up every day; and I have better things to do with my life than playing whack-a-mole with them. So do you.

A firm grasp of our Faith’s teachings as well as willingness to heed any and all implications that the sound use of Reason can draw from these teachings will suffice to keep you safe from being kept awake at night in terror of whatever sci-fi absurdities falsely presented as real science are written about tomorrow.

If, on the other hand, you’d prefer to remain mired in the very groundless fears that the spirit of Antichrist zealously desires for the people of our age, then carry on in heeding these absurdities; go ahead and pretend that every new thing posted on some “science news” website is true simply because some scientist said so. You will be sure to find, alongside these “mind control” articles, insistences that there is some free energy device that we only cannot buy because of some conspiracy orchestrated by power companies, or some panacea to end all illness, cancer, etc., that is being shut down by Big Pharma. You will find them talking about how we can accomplish time travel, and bring dead bodies back to life. You will find them insisting that your mind can be downloaded onto a hard drive to thereby grant you immortality. You will find them insisting that aliens are among us but we are being lied to by governments who simply do not want to cause panic. You will find elixirs being promoted which, if only shell out a few hundred dollars for, will make you as intelligent as Einstein!

And on the list goes. But I’m done. I do not plan on devoting any more time to refuting all this nonsense. Keep your head screwed on straight, and you’ll do just fine avoiding it on your own!