FRONTAL LOBOTOMY THALAMOTOMY KNIFE TOPECTOMY ELECTRIC NEEDLE NERVE FIBERS Children as young as five who "demonstrate aggression and : hostility" have been reduced to mindless vegetables; sanguine or optimistic people, blood predominates; in "limbic system." the choleric or violent-tempered, yellow bile; in the Psychosurgery, its experimental origin dating back to melancholic person, black bile; and in the phlegmatic, the 1890's, was widely practiced beginning from the late phlegm. 1930's, through the 1940's and into the early 1950's, Hegel, if he were around today, would characterize when it was replaced almost entirely by the advent of psychosurgery and electro-stimulation of the brain as "so tranquilizers. However, in the mid-1960's, there was a much phrenology"--the 18th century idea that sudden resurrection not only of interest but of actual character is determined by the type of bumps on one's psychosurgical practice. head. In fact, Hegel's witty dismissal of such pseudo- Many of these butchers attempt to pass off their science in the Phenomenology of Mind should have mutilation by claiming that such surgery is limited to ended the debate once and for all: individuals with brain damage or epilepsy. Not so, found The skull of the murderer has- not this organ or Dr. Peter Breggin, an anti-psychosurgery campaigner. sign- but this "bump." But this murderer has in In a well-documented study reviewing 100 papers and addition a lot other properties, and other bumps too, and 1,000 recent psychosurgery cases in the U.S., Breggin along with the bumps hollows as well. 'Bumps and determined that "none of the psychosurgeons were hollows, there 'is room for selection! And again his murderous propensity can be referred to any bump or operating on individuals with brain disease and none hollow, and this in turn to any mental quality; for the were basing their work on the treatment of epilepsy." murderer is neither this abstraction of a murderer, nor A later investigation came up with only one does 'he have merely one protuberance and one depression. The observations offered on this point must psychosurgical team who even "claimed" to use such therefore sound just about as sensible as those of the criteria. dealer about the rain at the annual fair, and of the Children, as young as five who "demonstrate housewife at her washing time. Dealer and housewife might as well make the observation that it always rains aggression and hostility" have been reduced to mindless when neighbor so-and-so passes by, or when they have vegetables; so have adolescents with criminal records. roast pork. From the point of view Ofc.bservation a given The favorite targets are the "psychopaths" militants, characteristic of mind is just as indifferent to a given protestors, revolutionaries, et al. In a 1967 letter formation of the skull as rain is indifferent 'to circumstances like these .... (4) published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Doctors Vernon Mark, Frank Ervin and Psychosurgery is basically the technique of destroy- William Sweet, all (at the time) of Boston, suggested in ing tissue by lesions and ablations. The most popu- the aftermath of the 1967 Detroit riots that ghetto riot lar of these treatments has been the prefrontal lobot- participants, whom they labeled as "violence-prone," pray, in which the patient's frontal lobes are partially should be operated upon to remove their brains' ternseparated from the thalamus, a part of the midbrain poral lobe. They implied that S to 10 per cent of described as "involved in the experience of emotion." Americans have brain disease that may require treat- Newer operations attack the brain lower down in the ment! Soon afterwards they were funded with at least
36 $100,000 by the CIA's Law Enforcement Assistance cording to a prearranged schedule. In either case, a jolt Administration (LEAA). of current to one electrode tip will turn a serene cat into The effects? Norbert Wiener, mathematician and an enraged clawing beast; another jolt might cause the founder of cybernetics, has summed it up quite well. "It cat to copulate until exhaustion. [lobotomy] has recently been having a certain vogue, With humans, the procedure is the same, but the probably not unconnected with the fact that it makes the terminal sockets are gathered into a small box located on custodial care of many patients much easier. Let me the outside of the skull or completely hidden under the remark in passing that killing them makes their skin. Says Delgado: "Some women have shown their custodial care still easier." feminine adaptability by wearing attractive hats or wigs The psychosurgeons hypothesize that the brain is to conceal their electrical headgear..." divided into regions with each region having a specific ESB is premised upon Skinnerian notions of reward function the thalmus controls emotions, the and punishment. "Systematic analysis of the distribution hypothalmus controls sex drive, appetite, etc. Thus, it is of pleasurable areas in the rat shows that 60 per cent of further reasoned, if you eliminate (surgically remove) or the brain is neutral, 35 per cent is rewarding and only 5 destroy any specific region, totally or partially, you then per cent may elicit punishing effects."  When applied eliminate or reduce the specific response, to human subjects, this concept becomes an Orwellian Rubbish1 Liken this to the physiology of the human nightmare: body. Cut out or mutilate any specific organ, say the ...one man suffering from nacrolepsiawas given a small heart or the kidneys. What happens? The person dies. stimulator and a built-in counter that recorded 'the The brain is part of, and a microcosm of, the integrated number of times he v_oluntarilystimulated 'each of severalselected points in his brain. During a period of 17 functioning of the body as a whole, weeks the highest score was recorded from one point in Mutilate one region or area of the brain and you have the septal region and the patient 'declaredthat pushing destroyed the integrated functioning of the brain as a this particularbutton made him feel good, as if he were building up to a sexual climax, although he was not able whole.., you have obliterated the physiological ap- to reach the end:point, or orgasm, and often felt tmpropriateness of the brain for human consciousness, patient and anxious .... (12) Electrical Stimulation of the Brain: "Electrical And another: stimulation of the brain can put human beings through the paces from fear, anxiety, rage aggression, pain, ...One case was V.P., a 36-year-'oldwoman with a long history of epileptic attacksthat couldnot be controlled by alertness, volubility and euphoria to near-orgasm. ESB medication. ElectrOdes were implanted in her tight prevails over free will. It is a foot in the door of an in- temporal lobe and upon stimulation.... the patient finitely bigger world." reported a pleasant tingling sensation in the left side of Electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB) was her body. She giggled 'and made funny commentS, stating that she enjoyed the sensation very much developed as a "more conservative treatment" than Repetition of these'stimulations made the patient'more lobotomy. The lobotomy was under attack by many of communicative and flirtatious, and she ended by openly the "experts" because "it often produced concomitant expressing her desire to marry the therapist.(13) undesirable alterations of personality." ESB is far from being more conservative; it is simply more Generally, ESB researchers will claim that insophisticated, tracranial stimulation is being conducted for "medical This is how it works. Fine steel or platinum electrodes purposes" such as "gaining a better understanding of are surgically implanted into the brain in selected sites, brain functions," or "alleviating severe behavioral A single external socket can pass current to two dozen or impairments." Of course, well-placed kilovolts have more electrode tips, eliciting, so claim its proponents, a nothing in common with curing such ailments as reaction specific to the part of the brain stimulated, epilepsy, impotency, frigidity, hyperactivity, etc.* ESB's According to its main advocate, Dr. Jose Delgado, "it only purpose is to produce robots that "can be induced may delay a heartbeat, move a finger, bring a word to to flex a limb, to reject food, or to feel emotional ex. memory, or set a determined behavioral tone." citment." In the case of the lower animals say a cat -- radio Fascist Delgado envisions a "psychocivilized society" stimulators strapped to the back transmit current to the electrodes implanted in the cat's brain. The current is • It is conceivable, although scientifically untested at present, battery-activated yards away by radio. Another variety, that electricallystimulating,inthe ESB may have some useful case of prosthetic blindness, functions the optic such area as of the programmed stimulator, delivers stimulation ac- the brain.