Mind Control

We usually think of mind control as part of the realm of fantasy, with witches and alien species as its perpetrators. But actually, mind control is all around us, in almost every area of our lives, and the consequences of ignoring its power range from failed pick-up-lines to genocide. In this episode, you’ll hear stories of Stanford students who tried to out the calculated techniques of a famous pick-up artist at a campus party, poet Elizabeth Bradfield discuss how being a tour guide in Alaska involves mind control, and some of her and Emily Dickinson’s exquisite poetry. You’ll also hear about mind control taken to its most extreme, from controlling the minds of whole cultures through fairy tales, to controlling only your own mind through lucid dreaming.

Host: Rachel Hamburg Producers: Elizabeth Bradfield and Noah Burbank
Featuring: Joshua Landy, Lanier Anderson, Fred Burbank, James Fearon, James Sheehan, William Dement, Christopher Collette, Ellora Karmarkar, Amber Davis and Lea Yelverton

Release Date: 28 April 2009

Listen to the Full Show:

Story 1: The Game

A series of techniques compiled in a book called ‘The Game’ promises any man the ability to date any woman he chooses. The techniques have been developed by pick-up artists for dozens of years, and expounded by a man named Mystery. It’s mind control, in a sense. But how does it work at Stanford?

Producers: Rachel Hamburg

Story 2: Fairy Tales and Modern Politics

Would it surprise you to hear that Sleeping Beauty, a fire-breathing dragon and the president all have something in common? This story takes you from Wonderland to modern international politics, which might, in one sense, be the same place.

Producers: Noah Burbank, Ellora Karmarkar and Amber Davis
Featuring: Joshua Landy, Lanier Anderson, Fred Burbank, James Fearon, James Sheehan

Story 3: Nature is sometimes a bit like a fairy tale

Poet and nature guide Elizabeth Bradfield reads two poems about showing tourists around Alaska, and what that experience taught her about mind control.

Story 4: Control Your Mind While Dreaming

Dreams seem the most beyond our control of all experience. But they’re not. We have the power to influence our dreams through a technique called lucid dreaming. What would you do if you had that power?

Producers: Lea Yelverton
Featuring: William Dement, Christopher Collette