“Brain hacking” experts recently gave a presentation on how to build DIY mind control gadgets using parts from Radio Shack and other electronic stores.

At SXSW in Austin, Texas, a panel of speakers associated with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers explained how mind control using “electroceuticals,” bioelectronic devices that can “rewire” a person’s brain, will dominate the 21st century.

“There’s an enormous amount of research going on about ways we can alter our brain function with electricity rather than pharmaceuticals [such as pills],” the IEEE’s Eliza Strickland said. “The amazing thing is that this is not only going on in clinics, research labs and hospitals, but some of this gear is cheap enough for people to experiment with on their own in their garages, their basements…”

And people thought the CIA’s various mind control programs were too sensational to be true.

While the IEEE claims that electroceuticals will “alleviate depression, OCD, PTSD and other mental illnesses,” the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is already developing a similar technology to implant false memories into troops.

“DARPA seems to be going full steam ahead on these kinds of technologies,” neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux told MIT Review. “What they plan to do is put chips in [the brain].”

“It would be like a prosthesis, [but] instead of moving your arm, you’re fixing memory.”

The CIA’s MKUltra mind control program is also publicly known and was even reportedly responsible for creating “Manchurian Candidates”: brainwashing victims who were so doped up on mind-altering drugs that they assassinated political targets while in a near hypnotic state – or served as a fall guy for the real assassin, which is commonly believed to have been the case with Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian student blamed for the 1968 killing of Robert Kennedy.

“…Even under hypnosis, he has never been able to remember the shooting and defense psychiatrists concluded he was in a trance at the time,” the BBC reported in 2008.

Considering the CIA’s morals have changed little since the ’60s, there’s good reason to fear that the agency and others will use electroceuticals to control the minds of unwilling victims.

“Technologies for stimulating the brain and controlling the mind can have benefits, but they have a dark side that military and intelligence planners have been exploiting for decades,” Dr. Nick Begich, author of Controlling the Human Mind, wrote.

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