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The Influencing Machine is Real: Intersections of Technology and Experience

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Length: 1 hour 1 minute

Jessica Arenella, PhD and Trevor Temmen

Concerns about the erosion of privacy and invasion of the mind are increasing concerns in this highly technological era among both people diagnosed with psychiatric conditions and the general population. Mind-reading computer technology that can influence one’s behavior is no longer the stuff of science-fiction and fantasy, but is already present and being developed by the military. Paranoid ideation about computers and technology is on the rise, but so are the reaches of such technology, including mind- reading or “synthetic telepathy” capabilities. Exclusionary criteria for diagnosing delusions include the caveat that beliefs that are part of a culture or subculture should not be classified as delusional. In the Internet era, there are communities that espouse and normalize ideas such as gang-stalking, voice-to-skull communications, and brain-hacking, effectively neutering the diagnostic criteria for delusions. Clinicians can no longer simply assign client communications to the realm of the delusions of an influencing machine. In this talk, Mr. Trevor Temmen reports developing ESP as a result of psychological and physical abuse and is a self-identified subject of synthetic telepathy directed by governmental forces. He describes his experiences of intrusive telepathy and uncomfortable sensory intrusions as well as his theory of governmental hacking into his brain. Jessica Arenella discusses her experiences with clients experiencing technological and governmental intrusions into their personal lives as well strategies to work with clients in distress regarding these issues. Additionally, a new paradigm for understanding “delusional” beliefs is outlined.


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