July 26, 2018,

This past Sunday, July 22, 2018, I was honored to be the opening plenary speaker at the 9th International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My talk was entitled, A Complex Systems Approach to Countering Mind Control, Trafficking and, Terrorism. It was well-received, the questions were many, and the feedback was excellent. The video of my talk is here.

Founder and President of NECSI, Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam and myself

ICCS is a unique interdisciplinary forum that unifies and bridges the traditional domains of science and a multitude of real-world systems. Participants contribute and are exposed to mind-expanding concepts and methods from across the diverse field of complex systems science. The prestigious NECSI (New England Complex Systems Institute) was the primary sponsor with the MIT Media Lab as a supporting partner. The founder of NECSI is MIT-trained physicist Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam who authored in the book, Making Things Work: Solving Complex Problems in a Complex World. The eminent genius  Stephen Wolfram, the creator of Mathematica, author of A New Kind of Science and creator of a new kind of programming language was Sunday evening’s keynote speaker. Wolfram is considered to be the founder of this incredibly important approach to science.

What is Complex Systems? It is a next-generation science which looks at things from the microcosmic to the macrocosmic rather than linearly and simple cause and effect. It is interested in how things influence each other in terms of increasing feedback loops and decreasing feedback loops.  It covers a vast array of areas such as this list from the program.

Emergence The relationship between components and collective properties and behaviors; the relationship of internal structure to external influence; multiscale structure and dynamics; self-similarity and fractals.
Complexity & Information Defining and measuring complexity; characterizing the information necessary to describe complex systems; structuring, storing, accessing, distributing, visualizing and analyzing information describing complex systems; the dynamics of information and its computational characterization.
Dynamics & Self-Organization Time series analysis and prediction; nonlinear dynamics and chaos; temporal correlations; the time scale of dynamic processes; spatio-temporal patterns; dynamic scaling; pattern formation; evolution, development and adaptation; interaction between internal dynamics and external inputs; programmability of self-organization.
Structures & Networks Complex network topologies; multilayer and multiplex networks; dynamical networks; adaptive networks; temporal networks; network modeling and analysis; small-world and scale-free networks; connectivity and centrality; motifs, cliques and communities, modularity, degeneracy, redundancy, and substructure; network visualization.
Methodology Computer simulation; agent-based modeling; data-driven research; machine learning; artificial intelligence; analytical methods; nonlinear statistics; soft computing; methods and tools for complex systems education.
Mathematical, Physical & Chemical Systems Non-equilibrium processes; hydrodynamics; glasses; nonlinear chemical dynamics; complex fluids; molecular self-organization; information and computation in quantum and classical physical systems; supramolecular chemistry; spatio-temporal patterns in physical systems from subatomic to astrophysical.
Bio-Molecular & Cellular Systems Systems biology; protein and DNA folding; bio-molecular informatics; membranes; cellular response and communication; genetic regulation; gene cytoplasm interactions; development; cellular differentiation; primitive multicellular organisms; the immune system; origins of life; biological networks in human health: protein-protein interaction, metabolic and gene regulatory networks; Systems pharmacology.
Physiological & Psychological Systems Nervous system; sensorimotor systems; computational models of neural and cognitive function; perception, cognition, memory and action; psychological dysfunction; pattern recognition; learning and development; human-machine interaction; autonomous mental development; neurocognitive networks.
Organisms & Populations Population biology; collective behavior of animals; ecosystems; ecology; ecological networks; microbiome; speciation; evolution.
Human Social & Economic Systems Social networks; socio-technical systems; computational social science; collective intelligence; corporate and social structures and dynamics; organizational behavior and management; urban development; city science; economies and markets; financial systems; risk management; globalization; military systems; global conflicts; social unrest; political networks; interactions between human and natural systems.
Engineered Systems Design and manufacturing; nano-technology; bioengineering; modified and hybrid biological organisms; computer-based interactive systems; multi-agent systems; artificial life; artificial intelligence; robots; communication networks; the Internet; traffic systems; distributed control; resilience; self organizing artifacts; complex systems engineering; biologically inspired engineering; synthetic biology; sensor networks.


My Abstract: “A Complex Systems Approach to Countering Mind Control, Trafficking, and Terrorism”

“Destructive mind control is a systematic social influence process that typically includes deception, hypnosis, and behavior modification techniques to subvert an individual’s identity to create a new pseudo-identity that is dependent and obedient.

The Influence Continuum model demonstrates specific values from ethical to unethical influence. Quantitative research on the BITE model has been initiated to show what factors are most important in the control of behavior; information; thoughts and emotions used by destructive cults (pyramid structured, authoritarian regimes).

Furthermore, the presentation will include how a complex systems model called the Strategic Interactive Approach can be used to mobilize social networks to empower impacted individuals to reassert their own identity and independence and break free from the pseudo-identity. These include policy makers, politicians, educators, health professionals, law enforcement as well as citizens. Inoculation through education will be vital as well as specialized far-reaching training programs for each of these critical areas.”

Recommendations: Solutions Are Complex in This Increasingly Complex World

  1. The National Institutes of Health need to do an extensive and in-depth research study on the epidemiology of the effects of undue influence on public health.
  2. The United States Surgeon General can prepare a report on the reality of Dissociative Disorder 200.15 which names brainwashing, thought reform and cults.
  3. Educate everyone about social influence processes and the dangers of non-critical conformity and trance states.
  4. Focus on process and the psychology and science of influence, not ideology or religious orientation.
  5. Train and utilize former members of destructive cults to educate, intervene, counsel and rehabilitate others.
  6. Use the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a baseline of evaluation.
  7. Documentaries, television, internet websites, discussion groups need to be developed to educate and “inoculate” large numbers of people about how to protect themselves and others.
  8. Create viable private intervention options for family and friends to help loved ones they see who are being radicalized or recruited by traffickers.
  9. Hospitals, private practices, and treatment centers must develop evidence-based protocols for assessing and treating individuals who have been impacted by mind control involvement.
  10. Expose all mental health professionals, clergy, and educators to the possibility, effects, and treatment of mind control.
  11. On a case-by-case basis, consider using Strategic Interactive Approach model.
  12. The legal system must be updated from its “rational agent” model to 21st century understanding about human development, neuroscience, hypnosis, and social influence.
  13. Law enforcement, prison systems, and medical professionals must receive specialized training and new systems must be developed and implemented.
  14. Public policy must be changed to support the health and development of a sustainable world.

Podcast Interview with The Human Current

Episode 94 A Complex Systems Approach To Countering Mind Control An Interview With Steven Hassan

Haley & Steven Hassan, on day one of ICCS 2018


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