Citation: Scott Miller. "Introductory Fiddling: An Experience with Magnetic Brain Stimulation (exp25151)". Erowid.org. Jul 10, 2003. erowid.org/exp/25151
As I prepare to write this, I set the portable CD player at my feet, insert the specially created CD, and unwind the six feet of wire, one end of which gets plugged in to the headphone jack of the player. The other end I connect to an odd looking, duct tape covered bicycle helmet. Concealed beneath the silvery fabric are several symmetrically arranged electromagnetic solenoids whose locations align more or less with brain structures which hold the distinction of being voted (or at least nominated for) 'most likely to produce a somewhat predictably altered state of consciousness'.
The CD contains six ten minute tracts of sound pulses whose amplitude, wave form, and duration have been (hopefully) carefully designed to affect the targeted areas - the amygdala and the hippocampus - when said pulses are fed into the helmet which translates them into electromagnetic pulses. In the university lab - a larger, well funded lab, unlike my own single room which serves as design studio, mind/brain lab, and library - a device called a Digital to Analog Converter is used to store and reproduce these pulses.
Final step before donning the helmet is to use a gauss meter to adjust the solenoid output to the optimum setting of 10 milligauss. Actually, because this is the final session of my second six session series, I decide to adjust the output up just a bit. The suggested protocol is to allow a three week break between each series, so should anything undesirable occur, I'll have a sufficient period for my neurological patterns to readjust themselves (they will readjust themselves won't they?). Forward the CD to tract 4 (so the three ten minute tracts 4, 5, and 6 play for a total session time of 30 minutes) and push play.
Normally, I would settle back and just wait, but I thought it might be appropriate to compose this while my brain is undergoing the electromagnetic bombardment - especially since this second series was designed to restore some of the mental functions occluded by the first series of sessions... Having been interested in the intentional manipulation of consciousness for many years I was intrigued by research at Laurentian University (Sudbury, Ontario) by expatriate Michael Persinger, a neuroscientist who migrated to Canada during the Vietnam war era for what I assume to be conscientious reasons - then again, perhaps he just loves damn cold weather. Anyway, at his university lab, Dr. Persinger was experimenting with electromagnetic pulses applied to the brain. There were rumors of his involvement with the military intelligence community in various mind control experiments but I have never found any evidence to that effect. (And since his lab only recently obtained Pentium computers, I doubt that he was the recipient of any black-ops funding. On the other hand, there were published articles - many by Persinger himself - about simulated UFO abduction experiences produced by application of these secret wave forms, and even stories about mystical visions and full blown religious experiences.
What I never could find, either in the articles or from searching his patents, were the specifics needed to reproduce these events. The apparatus, the field strengths, and specifically, the wave forms used by Dr. Persinger were alluded to, but never specifically listed. So when a mention was made of a Todd Murphy, who had connections to Persinger, offering a homemade magnetic stimulation helmet complete with a way of producing the proper pulses and wave forms to those willing to participate in an experiment (and pay their own way), well, I couldn't fill out the pre- screening application fast enough.
Todd Murphy calls his version of Persinger's helmet Shakti (according to a 1929 account by Dr.Hans Koester, in the Journal of the Siam society: The Goddess Shakti is the 'power' which pervades the whole of the universe, and from which the Universe has emanated. There is nothing within the manifest world which is not Shakti in its essence.) Well, this must be quite a helmet, and although there are myriad definitions of Shakti, this one sums it up quite nicely.
I've done what I call the software / metaprogramming route - intensively with Silva Mind Control, various forms of trance work, Scientology, Neuro- Linguistic Programming, Psychotherapy, Zen, Avatar, and dabbled in the Fourth Way, Monroe's Hemi-Sync, Center Pointe's Level 4, Crowley's Magick, and so many others. All these offer ways to manipulate consciousness by altering the intellectual processes in how we interpret that which confronts us both externally and internally.
I've also spent much time working the hardware route with EEG and GSR biofeedback, Light and Sound technology where flashing lights specific sound frequencies or pulses attempt to alter the brainwaves via the visual cortex or auditory pathways respectively. CES with it's whole head approach to inducing biochemical or mechanical changes to the brain. But here is a direct approach to actually changing my wetware. Targeting specific locations of the brain to encourage specific changes in their function. Early on, my goal was as Albert Einstein stated - depending upon who translates it - 'To know the mind of G_d.'. Well, this seemed a pretty worthwhile goal until one day I realized that if everything was revealed to me and it wasn't up to the level of what I expected, I would be pretty darned disappointed, so I've decided to just let that one be a mystery. I'll be satisfied (for now anyway) with a more expanded viewpoint, some deeper insights, a further integration of my analytical and intuitive faculties, and of course, total dominion over all the creatures of the earth. Shakti seemed to offer a new route to at least some of these things...
As soon as it arrived, and I began the tedious process of testing my brain - seeing how each side of my brain responded to each magnetic signal. Properly set up, Shakti should produce positive, even pleasurable sensations - improperly set up, it could cause irritation, even depression. There are two hemispheres of the brain, and two signals. Testing involves applying each signal to each side for ten minutes each - four tests in all - and noting the subjective effects. Any uncomfortable feelings, mild panic attacks, waves of fear, or acute awareness of the angel of death standing behind you are interpreted as indications that you are applying the wrong signal to the wrong location. Conversely, pleasant sensations are interpreted as applying the desired wave form to the appropriate area. Theories and in depth explanations of this are available at the Shakti web site. Once the testing is done, and the helmet set up accordingly, the magnetic stimulation sessions begin...
You may contact Scott at: email@example.com Copyright: Scott Miller / August 2001
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid and you agree not to download or analyze the report data without contacting Erowid Center and receiving permission first.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.