BANGKOK — Government scientists is seeking to convince the public today there are no such things as mind control devices.
The unusual, deadpan statement from the Science Ministry came one day after a woman eluded security at Government House to beseech Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha for help with the mysterious frequency reading and controlling her mind.
“At the present time, there is no credible, scientific proof of any technology that can access human brains in order to retrieve their thoughts and feelings,” Ministry of Science and Technology spokesman Worawarong Rakreungdet said in a statement.
Worawong said the ministry sent a similar explanation to the woman, Jemjuree Chuayprad, after she first petitioned the Government Complaint Center last month with her extraordinary claim.
It didn’t work. On Tuesday, 27-year-old Jemjuree beseeched Gen. Prayuth while the junta chairman was visiting exhibition booths just outside his offices.
“Mister Prime Minister! Help me!” Jemjuree shouted at Prayuth, “I’m here to ask for action about mind control from a condominium building; it’s a project to read human thoughts. I have evidence, but no one is doing anything about it!”
Prayuth showed consideration to the woman.
“What happened? Listen to her, what’s her story? Don’t do anything to her,” Gen. Prayuth instructed his aides.
Despite Prayuth’s order, security officers promptly dragged Jemjuree away. Once she was released, Jemjuree told reporters she believed someone at the condominium she’s living in is transmitting a radio signal that reads her mind, alters her behavior and damages her health.
She also said she researched the matter and concluded the technology was part of a CIA program from the 1950s called MK Ultra, under which the U.S. agency experimented with mind control using psychoactive drugs and hypnosis.
In today’s statement, spokesman Worawarong said that while the CIA was known to conduct such experiments during the Cold War, mainly by drugging its own employees, the program failed and was discontinued as unpredictable and ineffective.
The science ministry spokesman said the jury was still out on radio-controlled brains.
“We have not found any evidence that the program is still being conducted in the present time,” Worawarong said. “And it has never been confirmed that radio wavelengths can be used to read human thoughts and alter their behavior.”
It’s not the first time a ministry has weighed in so sincererely on junk science. In March, the Energy Policy and Planning Office warned the public that using mobile phones at gas stations can cause fires. (Not true.)
The Health Ministry is perhaps the most prolific with nonsensical statements on topical matters, such as warning selfies cause mental health issues and urging the nation to drink more milk to raise the average height. Such proclamations routinely lack footing in peer-reviewed research or longitudinal studies.
As for Tuesday’s incident, police officers at Government House said it was a security breach, because petitioners are usually not allowed to approach Prayuth directly. Jemjuree was said to have posed as a visitor scheduled to meet the junta chairman.
Prayuth played it cool later that afternoon, saying he’s got his fists to protect him from the crazies.
“Don’t see it as a big issue … no one was going to punch me in the mouth,” he said. “Don’t panic about everything. I’m a former soldier. I know how to protect myself. If someone did get through, I would punch them myself.”