Kathryn Kelley -- [Department of Psychology, University at Albany, State
University of New York]
Albany, New York 12222, United States of America
The topic of the case studies involved in the research paradigm to be
described here is the use of devices which have been labeled in various
ways. Informal names for them have included: radio-wave
hearing implants; electromagnetic auditory devices; internal, auditory,
connecting devices; and radio-wave, auditory, assaultive, transmitting
(RAAT) implants. They refer to the use of a miniature device attached to
the human auditory canal, near the tympanic membrane.
The goals of this research as a technique for presenting scenarios of experimental,
composite case studies of this phenomenon are stated. RAAT implants are
described, as well as their implantation and detection; the transduction
system; their physical, emotional, and cognitive effects; and societal
implications including a brief exploration of the technological
I. GOALS OF THIS RESEARCH
The purpose of these implants is the use of electromagnetism in a
communication device which can act as a transducer. The input typically
ranges from two to seven megaHerz (mHz) at low intensity. According to
reports about individuals who have described them, the input is
experienced as sound resembling that which a commercial radio station
might provide. Other descriptions of these experiences have also been
included in the composite case studies which will be summarized.
According to the summaries, behavioral functions of RAAT implants can
encompass internal, auditory surveillance of the individual's
experiences, pain delivery to that person, and transmission of
conversations as any sound heard by the individual. Examples of these
functions will be part of this description.
The psychological implications of using RAAT implants are broad, not the
least of which is the concern that any person reporting the existence of
them in one's ears, or the experience of "hearing voices" not observed
by those present, may be labeled delusional as a symptom of severe
psychological disturbance. Current psychiatric diagnosis would lead to
the possibility that these behavioral signs support a conclusion of
paranoia as part of psychosis or more narrowly, schizophrenia. Thus this
research paradigm will investigate the effects of individuals' claiming
these exist or happen.
Why would a behavioral researcher undertake the study of hypotheses
related to such a paradigm?
For one important reason, the experiences related to RAAT implantation
have, as already pointed out, a crucial role in the diagnosis of mental
disturbance. To date, no known studies have investigated the role of
this phenomenon in the individual's perception, behavior, or well-being.
According to a search of the literature on psychopathology, no empirical
knowledge exists about these aspects of RAAT implantation as studied
here, despite its contribution to the diagnostic process in such
publications as the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual-IV of the American Psychiatric Association . Second, the
author as a social and personality psychologist works in a field which
has historically initiated research in areas of social behavior by
isolating a focal variable and systematically examining it from many
different angles. This unstudied phenomenon resembles other social
behaviors subjected to close, scientific analysis using methodological
variations that can lead to reliable, valid conclusions. Third, the
range of analyses in the author's field extends from abstract, basic
research to direct application. This paradigm brings a social behavior
into the settings of basic research in order to uncover new knowledge
about how this phenomenon works.
The paradigm or model of research involves the use of experimental case
studies to examine the one factor of reported use of RAAT implants among
various categories of adults. These cases are experimental in the sense
that the participants were not in clinical populations; they were not
being treated for mental disturbance as a part of this study. The first
step in this paradigm is to conceptualize the types of cases that could
reveal how the implants affect the individual. This paper describes the
reports of individuals represented by the cases, and integrates several
aspects of the "implanted person's" experience. What to do with these
accounts formed the second step in the paradigm. The technique selected
for this research was to study the perceptions and attitudes of college
the case study experiences, and the results of the initial findings have
been reported at another conference. The third step for this research
could broaden its implications for application; one use would be to
increase awareness about the phenomenon and its importance for everyday,
as well as specialized, aspects of one's experience.
In the next section, the case study method will be described briefly
described in order to distinguish it from other methods and to indicate
its utility. Following sections will summarize: the RAAT implants
themselves; description of the devices; conditions of implanting; the
transduction system; effects on physical health; emotional and cognitive
effects; and society's involvement with this phenomenon including
effects on antisocial behavior and implications for the condition of a
society faced with it, for medicine, law and its enforcement, and
II. HOW CASE STUDIES CAN BE INTERPRETED
In the Prologue to Paul Abramson's (1984) book, Sarah: A Sexual
Biography, the defining elements of the case study as a scientific
method are outlined. Abramson uses the term, "slice of life," to embody
the meaning of this method, tracing it to its clinical and medical roots
. It is an account of individual human behavior that fits within a
pattern that is presented stylistically. Data from a response sheet,
observations of the individual by the researcher and other reporters,
and past histories combine into a story that characterizes the
experiences sampled for inclusion.
Behavioral case studies' content can reach into endless areas of
peoples' lives. Some areas may appear unrelated at the outset of
cataloguing, only to become interrelated as the process of storytelling
unfolds. The scattered pieces reemerge at times into a sensible whole
that can lead to a compelling study of individuals dealing with the
challenges of a lifetime. Case studies as a method tie together
subjectivity with intended objectivity. Inaccurate memory, distortion,
and denial can result from projective methods; of course all self-report
methods including apparently objective ones like surveys have received
criticism due to their basic subjectivity. The richness from
interweaving the two loose ends has also been praised as an alternative
method for gaining insight into areas that can give us a
"… penetrating view of a set of circumstances that are more horrendous
and more involving than the content of even the most vivid fiction," as
Abramson (p. 5) describes a subject with an unusual history.
Besides describing the apparent experiences of these five functional
adults who reported the presence of RAAT implants, the observations are
extended into implications for macro levels of societal trends. In the
field of Social and Personality Psychology, a technique for presenting
this kind of information is the scenario. Once the observations about
composite cases have been described, several scenarios are developed as
outcomes explaining the effects on some societal trends. Not every
variable that can be conceptualized is related to either the
individuals' accounts or to the scenarios. Therefore, only certain
phenomena are mentioned because of their relevance to the outcomes.
III. DESCRIPTION OF THE DEVICES
In this composite of experimental case studies, the term RAAT implants
will refer to miniaturized transducers operating via low-frequency
electromagnetism consistently with the accounts of individuals who
report awareness of their presence. Besides communication and pain
delivery, the individuals may also describe functions of surveillance,
tracking of their locations, and direction of their behavior by remote
influence. Some devices currently available involve some of these
functions, including implants in animals for tracking and
identification, and similar purposes among prisoners. The latter may
have, for example, cuffs secured to their ankles for ensuring limits on
their mobility via notification to a remote location of their
The accounts by case study subjects imply certain characteristics of the
RAAT implants that involve their location, probable operation,
structure, and materials. The device would be invisible by an observer,
given that the cases have not revealed others' mentioning that they
noticed of them. Because the persons have not had implantation via
invasive surgery, their implied location would be internal but easily
reachable. Their function would indicate placement in the ear canal,
near the tympanic membrane or ear drum. Transmission of electromagnetism
would be two-way, meaning that the transducers act as both receivers and
transmitters. The material used for this purpose would involve some form
of metal because of their conductiveness, although the precise content
is not known to these case study subjects.
Some hearing assistive devices have become commercially available that
resemble them in some ways, although the aids are removable by patients
and are not implanted. Some assistive devices have used electromagnetism
that is programmed by computer to a useful frequency range. Also
cochlear implants can be implanted for conductive hearing loss due to
nerve damage, although this type of implant involves extensive surgery
and followup. As far as RAAT implants are concerned, the U.S.A.'s Food
and Drug Administration regards the next phase of them as devices and
not implants. The distinction is relevant and deserves explanation.
Because they are not placed within tissue, they qualify as nonimplants
and therefore are subjected to less stringent tests of safety, side
effects, and toxicity.
IV . CONDITIONS OF IMPLANTING
The conditions under which RAAT implants are placed in someone's ears
are described as follows. Because most implantation seems to occur
without the victim's awareness, this information has been provided by
radio operators. The accounts seem consistent in describing the typical
conditions for implanting as involving general anesthesia during surgery
for another purpose. The more general status of the victim is to be
under the care of a medical professional while unconscious. However,
there is some indication that even newborns may have a different version
of RAAT deposited in their ears. The adult version has been sewed into a
stabilized position near the tympanic membrane or eardrum. Implanted
people have been found in all professions and strata of society.
Detection of these devices can involve two major methods. The first is
to use an inexpensive otoscope that has a lighted funnel for viewing the
auditory canal near the eardrum. In adults the usual appearance would be
darkened areas that diverge significantly from the textbook appearance
of the auditory canal. There may be tiny stitches visible in this area,
which secure the devices in a section of the canal.
Multiple pairs of implants in each ear can be forced upon the
anesthetized victim when additional surgery occurs in the future. The
original view was that the instruments used for RAAT implanting were too
large for newborns and infants up to the age of 1.5 years, but some
visibility of an obstruction in the auditory canal of children who have
not had anesthesia and some indication of short-distance transmission
with their implanted parents has led to a revision of this view. Case
study subjects and radio operators have reported that no doctor has
admitted to viewing this abnormal appearance to victims of any age,
including their own families. A second method involves the use of a
device known as a bug detector, which is available through some mail
order catalogs specializing in surveillance equipment. The appropriate
detector will have enough sensitivity to signal the presence of
electromagnetic waves below 5 mHz. It is simply pointed into the ear
canal, where transmissions can be detected depending on the strength of
radio-wave activity currently directed in that area by radio operators'
antennas. What could motivate professionals to perform malpractice on
such a large and invasive scale? Some accounts have described financial
gain for the implanters themselves. But the daily denial by medical
professionals about the visibility of RAAT implants would be very
Descriptions of an experience among physicians applying for a medical
license might provide a partial explanation. According to the results of
surveillance of closed, pre-licensing sessions by radio operators, these
physicians are exposed to an account of the scandal and its coverup as
it relates to the malpractice connected with RAAT implanting. As a
condition of receiving and maintaining their license, these physicians
are described as agreeing not to reveal this information. Tactics such
as threatening or psychotropically drugging patients who claim
implantatation have been developed. Additionally, a similar technique of
maintaining denial about severely widespread malpractice has reportedly
arisen among attorneys with respect to licensing and continuing in the
profession. Imagine the scene of a prospective plaintiff approaching two
attorneys to request that a personal injury case be undertaken,
concerning the person's RAAT implantation and severe injury resulting
from it. When the victim produces a bug detector and the attorneys use
it to demonstrate their own implantation, while the detector buzzes away
and lights up in their own ears, they amazingly reject the case anyway!
V. THE TRANSDUCTION SYSTEM
In the system of transmitting electromagnetism to and from RAAT
implants, several factors and techniques are involved. Only the basics
will be summarized here, although according to case study subjects other
elements involve the use of computers, communication satellites, and
organizations such as the National Security Agency. A claim like this
would appear delusional in current diagnostic systems, so the
description will be limited to how people and their transceivers use
RAAT implants. The operator of a transceiver as a hobbyist is termed a
short-wave (SW) or ham radio operator, and operators of citizens band
(CB) radios installed in vehicles can also become involved.
SW radio operators can send and receive electromagnetic signals at a
wide range of frequencies and across long distances. Communications with
aircraft and submarines have involved these paramaters. The
nonprofessional is required to have a license from the Federal
Communications Commission, but operators have described themselves as
generally unlicensed. The cost of equipment can exceed several thousand
dollars, and includes a tall antenna which can serve as a sign for
locating SW radio operation. A televised news report, however, revealed
that the 20 to 100 foot towers can be camouflaged by surprising
structures like a church steeple, "fake trees" which might lead to a
bird house, a flag pole, or a grain silo. When SW operators transmit to
or scan RAAT implants in victims, they can talk to the victims remotely
and anonymously, and hear the victim's speech and thoughts. They can
also transmit unusual noises such as loud bangs, sirens, and telephone
ringing, that might worry a victim, whether another person can hear
these noises or not. RAAT implants somehow transmit and receive signals
at particular frequency within the low range of 2 to 7 mHz as noted
before. Thus, multiple implanted people at the same location could
receive a frequency such as 4.5 mHz. They would also transmit the sounds
they make or hear in this frequency range. This apparently includes
bodily noises such as chewing, digestion, and elimination. A later
section will summarize psychological effects that would be expected from
the severe invasiveness due to this extreme internal surveillance, once
the victim becomes aware of it. Most implanted persons may not become
aware of their condition either because they receive few transmissions
or operators do not inform them.
SW radio operators at times have partially confronted the implications
of their transmissions with Implanted persons, and some might agree with
the description of them as "hobbyists who took a wrong turn." A more
typical attitude regards their torture of these victims as fun to
transmit and broadcast the private lives of victims in their "cool
sport." No other technology has achieved this mehod of torture, after
all. These illegal implants could have been the source of fundamental,
knowledge about how the human mind operates with self-control and
foresight if they were safe to use. However, the National Institutes of
Health have denied any governmental role in research about them.
A type of message to an implanted person that radio operators might
particularly enjoy is called a ruse. This practice is aimed at
degradation through some form of abuse, in this case as a strategem or
trick. According to literature from the Center for Victims of Torture in
Minneapolis-St. Paul, the purpose of abuse which involves degradation
gives torture its defining features. Radio operators gain a sense of
achievement by accomplishing the ruse and by impressing other SW
hobbyists. In the literature of psychopathology this message could be
characterized as a delusion, or a false belief that can form a belief
system. If the belief system persists in a disorganized state, then
psychosis is implied; the circularity of this relationship between
delusion and psychosis deserves attention, particularly in the context
of examining the claims of some paranoid schizophrenics about the
origins of their delusions.
An example of a story of this type, which would be described as repeated
and revised over time, involved the origins of RAAT implants: the
largest and wealthiest corporation in the world, Shell Oil Company,
brought these devices to a post-World War II population out of its Nazi
past among its founders or heads. The implanted person would describe
the ruse as including a former friend of decades ago as an heir to this
wealth, who would help the person if cooperation with operators'
directions occurred. The story further implied complicity in coverup by
the Federal Government of a scandal of immense proportions regarding
RAAT implants. For example, the Department of Defense would help the
person to have the torturous implants removed once a targeted act had
been performed. The act tended to be impossible to accomplish, in this
case focusing on securing a personal injury lawyer to rectify the
situation within the legal system. This story has elements in common
with belief systems found in published cases of paranoid, schizophrenic
psychopathology that could result in that diagnosis.
VI. PHYSICAL HEALTH EFFECTS
In an implanted person who has received numerous transmissions, a bug
detector can indicate the presence of electromagnetism from the head
downward to the bottom of the spine, and outward toward the fingertips.
The invisibility of the implants without an otoscope implies that they
do not have batteries or other external power source. They would need to
draw power from the person's own life systems including the neurological
system. How this energy source works has puzzled the case study
subjects, but the ruses have suggested such outlandish mechanisms as
power directed from Defense Department satellites enabling the use of
the implants as emitters for spying purposes. Perhaps better
specifications about the implants will become available if they can
become empirically documented, but radio operators have so far refused
to provide evidence about the transmissions or their methods despite
direct requests from their victims. Effects of electromagnetism on human
physical health have been widely documented, in frequency ranges above
and below that of RAAT implants. Findings include cancer, muscular and
nerve disorders, tissue damage, and other serious ailments. Some of this
medical literature is controversial, and the frequent use of radio waves
for many purposes across fields such as law enforcement, medicine, and
communications undoubtedly has contributed to the disputes. If one
considers that the human auditory system works below one mHz while the
SW transmissions extend into the millions of mHz, the need for study and
concern of potential effects can be concluded.
Among the physical effects of electromagnetism due to RAAT implantation
and transmissions would be symptoms reported by their victims. These can
encompass pain, swelling, and tissue damage mentioned earlier. The
technique used by radio operators to produce these symptoms involves
manipulating the intensity of their transmissions, repeatedly between
precise levels. For example, chest pain could be caused by changing the
intensity of the implanted person's dominant frequency between specific
degrees on a 1 to 10 scale. A particularly troubling admission by some
operators involves seizures, in which similar manipulations produce
sudden convulsions. Such effects on the health of implanted persons
would be consistent with symptoms documented in cases of persons
described as mentally disturbed, who have reported health problems that
initially do not match known syndromes or which can be difficult to
assess empirically. The term that can be invoked to characterize
ambiguous symptomology connected with emotionality is somaticizing. The
severity of the symptoms can depend on the degree to which the implants
have been activated, the frequency and severity of transmission to them
by multiple operators, and their relative knowledge about producing this
aspect of torture.
VII. EMOTIONAL AND COGNITIVE HEALTH EFFECTS
Two aspects of transmission to RAAT implants interfere with the person's
functioning on a psychological level. One is the toxicity of radio waves
used in this method. The other is the psychological torture directed
toward the victim, which can take the form of constant, verbal abuse.
The verbal assault includes insults, substituting the operators'
guidance for the victim in directing his or her behavior, and simply
occupying the internal space known as the self through external
transmission. Radio operators have also been described as conducting
conversations with each other in the implanted person's head. The victim
would of course be helpless in controlling such torture, given that the
problem is unrecognized except as a symptom of severe disturbance.
Psychological effects of the transduction system outlined here probably
center on four issues: cognition, emotion, stress, and destabilization
of the self. As for cognition, formation of thought, planning, and
intent, deterioration of long- and short-term memory, and
uncharacteristic withdrawal from external stimulation in an autistic
fashion can occur. Emotional changes can consist of a range from panic
to depression, including fugue and, alternatively, suicidal states. The
condition can be one of extreme, ongoing stress, due to the interference
with recovery that treatments of post-traumatic stress disorder can
reach. An analogy could be the experiences of abducted hostages or
prisoners of war during their confinement. The most severe reactions can
occur among victims who have been transmitted to frequently, although
they may not have become aware of the cause by being informed about it
by operators. Treatment prospects are particularly bleak for the victim.
The medical community has supplied drugs with psychotropic properties
that cannot repel transmissions. However, the chemicals have purportedly
doped or partially sedated the victims in an unsuccessful attempt to
control responsiveness to them. Removal of the stitches securing the
RAAT implants would be much preferred as the only effective, ethical
corrective for this malpractice.
VIII. SOCIETAL IMPLICATIONS
In the scenario of composite case studies, application to the larger
society may occur as well as to the individual. Not all aspects of
society will be touched by the effects of having RAAT implants among us.
Possible areas of concern can be summarized here. (1) The more general
the use of implants, the higher would health care costs soar due to the
side effects of this device. (2) Crime rates would reflect the
interference by perpetrators with the individual's self-control and
formation of intent to plan and reason. A high rate of crime could be
predicted. (3) Law enforcement and the legal system would not be immune
to negative effects; rates of incarceration would rise. In all three
cases, demographic statistics in the United States have risen to
puzzling levels, given the high nutritional status, advanced health
care, educational level, and funding of law enforcement. Why this
country would have one of the highest health care costs and rates of
violent crimes, and a prison industry as the largest among businesses,
has not been explained by other sets of factors either. Some accounts
have also suggested that computers have become involved in the
surveillance of implanted persons by radio operators. It might be
possible to observe and revise the codes and inputs for computer use,
thus making industrial espionage another possible concern about the
effects of having RAAT implants.
1.)American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual: (4th Edition).
2.)Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
3.)Abramson, P. Sarah: A Sexual Biography. In D. Byrne and K. Kelley
(Eds.), Series in Human Sexual Behavior. Albany, NY: State University of
New York Press.
UAlbany Suspends Implants Research
Albany professor whose work is at issue focused
on surgically inserted mind-control devices
Andrew Brownstein - Staff writer
Albany Times Union, August 25, 1999
The University at Albany has shut down the research of a psychology professor probing the "X-Files" world of government surveillance and mind control.
At conferences, in papers and research over two semesters, Professor Kathryn Kelley explored the claims of those who say they were surgically implanted with communications devices to read their thoughts.
According to colleagues, Kelley has privately claimed the university is violating her academic freedom. She declined to discuss the matter with a reporter. …
Despite the inquiry, Kelley, a fully tenured professor who earned $67,000 last year, is slated to teach two graduate courses in the fall.
The department became aware of Kelley's theories as early as the spring of 1998, when a note on her office door announced a lecture called "The Psychology of Invading the Self." The note described implant research funded by the National Security Agency and the Department of Defense with an annual budget of $2 billion. The "uninformed, unconsenting subjects" of these devices were typically "federal prisoners and political dissidents," the note said.
At the same time, Kelley won approval from the review board to conduct research on "advances in technology that affect interpersonal communication." In a 16-page outline to the board, Kelley said she wanted to look at the uses of technology for "monitoring and control." She proposed presenting a lecture to research subjects and then having them respond to 60 questions about how the case study she would describe affected their views.
The interest in technology marked an extreme departure for Kelley, a professor at UAlbany since 1979. Kelley, who earned her Ph.D. from Purdue University, was a professor at Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin before joining the psychology faculty at UAlbany. Her previous research dealt with issues like health, date rape and risk-taking. With her ex-husband, distinguished psychology professor Donn Byrne, she co-authored a textbook on gender differences.
The shift in the focus of her research puzzled many. Gregory George, a graduate student who has since left the university, said he was part of a team assigned to lay the factual foundation for the implants research.
To his astonishment, he found several firms had developed "trans-tympanic transducers," instruments that function as mini-telephones, sending voice messages to the inner ear. Companies declined to market the product for fear of bad transmissions causing deafness, he said. George believed the point of the research was to look at how peated with the subject of mind control.ople would perceive those with the implants, and whether there might be a social stigma attached. …Papers Kelley delivered at two recent conferences suggest that she was becoming fascin
At the annual conference of the Eastern Psychological Association [EPA] in Providence, R.I. — attended by several UAlbany graduate students — she delivered a paper that looked at implant claims as "one of the indicators of schizophrenia."
Yet many colleagues began wondering to what extent Kelley believed that such implants were actually occurring.
"A lot of people wonder where she draws the line," said one graduate student, who asked not to be named. "Is it hypothetical? Or is it fact?"
In a more detailed treatment she gave at a conference earlier this month in Orlando, Fla., Kelley lent more credence to the phenomenon. She described how a subject might be implanted with the device during anesthesia, perhaps leaving tiny stitches visible in the ear. She called the devices RAATs, short for radio wave, auditory, assaultive, transmitting implants."When (short-wave) operators transmit to or scan RAAT implants in victims, they can talk to the victims remotely and anonymously, and hear the victim's speech and thoughts," Kelley wrote.
The paper noted that the National Institutes of Health denied any governmental role in such research.The EPA is a respected psychological organization. …The current investigation into Kelley's work is considered highly sensitive at the university, coming four years after a gunman who claimed the government planted microchips in his body held a class of 37 students hostage and shot one student during a struggle. Ralph Tortorici, the gunman, recently hanged himself in his state prison cell. Without commenting on specifics, sociology Professor David Wagner, outgoing chair of the review board, said that shutting down a professor's research was "quite rare."
Some faculty members said the last time they remember the board making such a move was in the early 1970s.
Can they listen to our thoughts?
Implant researcher goes on paid leave
ANDREW BROWNSTEIN Staff writer
Times Union Albany, NY
Albany UAlbany mum on why professor, whose study of mind control was shut down last spring, has left. A University at Albany professor whose research on government mind control was shut down last spring is now on paid leave, university officials said Thursday.
But citing confidentiality concerns, they would not say if psychology professor Kathryn Kelley was suspended by the university or took the leave voluntarily. University spokeswoman Mary Fiess also declined to divulge the reason for the absence, which began Monday.
The UAlbany's Institutional Review Board had previously closed a research project of Kelley's after a student complained about not being able to leave a lecture that was part of her experiment. Federal guidelines strictly prohibit researchers from forcing subjects to engage in their work.
The project, according to a 16-page outline Kelley provided the board, was aimed at exploring the uses of technology for "monitoring and control." In subsequent papers and talks at conferences, Kelley, a professor at the university since 1979, examined the claims of those who said they were implanted with devices that could read their thoughts.
At a summer conference in Orlando, Fla., she described how a subject under anesthesia could be implanted with a device called a "RAAT," short for radio wave, auditory, assaultive, transmitting implants.
"When (short wave) operators transmit to or scan RAAT implants in victims, they can talk to victims remotely and anonymously, and hear the victim's speech and thoughts," Kelley wrote.
On another occasion, she said that the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency funded implant technology aimed at "federal prisoners and political dissidents."
Kelley declined to comment Thursday.