It’s widely known that Hitler and the Nazi party had a vested interest in the occult to help give them an edge during World War II, but it wasn’t just the Germans who dabbled in the paranormal. It’s been revealed the U.S.S.R. was involved in mind control experiments for almost a century as they tried to advance their ongoing quest for world dominance.
The history of Russia’s mind control schemes was exposed in 2013 when a report by Serge Kernback at the Research Centre of Advanced Robotics and Environmental Science in Stuttgart, Germany, went viral. Kernback’s report draws primarily on Russian scientific publications, articles and declassified documents describing the research and what it involved.
It’s believed the Soviets first began looking into psychotronics – the power of the mind – and its ability to influence others as early as 1917. Initial experiments undertaken by various scientists and volunteers were quite varied but all related to the mind and included trying to influence the brain using remote objects, analysing biological emissions from the brain and examining the biological effects of electromagnetic radiation on the nervous system.
Much of the research carried out was conducted under the guise of science, but reading between the lines it’s clear to see the Soviets had other ideas, particularly as many of the tests and programs were run by the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD). The NKVD was famous for their vicious methods and torture techniques used during Joseph Stalin’s reign and were responsible for executing over 100,000 people during the Great Purge.
Stalin’s death resulted in big changes to the Government, including the NKVD being disbanded and replaced with the KGB.
Unlike their enemies to the West, Soviet research solely relied on government-funded programs. Slow-moving bureaucracy and many layers of red tape hindered the project, eventually preventing the research from continuing.
Things picked up again in the 60s with the arrival of psychedelic drugs. Similar to the U.S., the Russians experimented with mind-altering chemicals such as LSD to find out what effects they had on the mind. The Americans ramped up their efforts in the 70s with the infamous 20-year MKULTRA project, but the Russians were already decades ahead with their own research. During this period, the Soviets discovered the brain could receive and transmit a certain type of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation that could be used to influence objects or other people. They even developed a device called a “cerpan”, which they believed could store the high-frequency electromagnetic radiation.
If it all sounds a little weird then it will come as no surprise one of the key influences in the Soviet mind control programs was reported to be Helena P. Blavatsky, a controversial figure in Russian history. She founded the movement known as Theosophy, an esoteric religion, and was regarded as a Luciferian mystic who dabbled in the occult.
By the time the 90s hit, psychotronics was on the back burner and in his paper Kernback states he believes research was put on hold indefinitely in 2003, estimating Russia had invested over US$1 billion into the study of mind control weaponry. President Vladimir Putin hasn’t commented on the programs but has said he believes psychophysical weapons will be used in the future.
It’s unclear what the Soviet’s psychotronics program unearthed as the majority of documents surrounding the outcomes of the experiments remain classified. Kernbach’s paper certainly sheds some light on what they have been up to, but without revealing the results of these bizarre experiments or detailing the human cost, will anyone ever really know what they discovered?