Author : Sam Clough, Staff Writer

“Look, man,” I’d noticed that Mark’s type always seemed to call you ‘man’ or ‘mate”, “I did some proper analysis of the whole tinfoil hat thing. You’d need almost a full helmet, a nice thick grounding chain, and preferably an electrified mesh to make it work properly. The straight tinfoil doesn’t make your brain unreadable, it amplifies the signals. Makes it so much easier to read. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that State seeded this whole ‘tinfoil hat to protect you from mind control rays’ into popular culture precisely to catch the less scientifically-minded subversive.”

I was interviewing Mark for an underground magazine, to publish some of his ‘findings’ under a pseudonym. His paranoia kept him from actively seeking publicity, but it was one of the few things he desperately craved. I could tell: I had a gift for getting the delusionals to talk. The trick was to act just interested enough, but never too convinced. They’re worse than fundamentalists when they think they might get a conversion.

“As long as you don’t re-edit any of my documents, I can’t see any reason for you not to publish. The writing style has been mangled so they can’t trace it to any of my openly available works,” he paused, and glanced upwards, “I do have one thing which I haven’t committed to encryption yet. How’s your shorthand?”


“Then start taking notes. There’s a way – I found a technique to simulate the effect of an electromagnetic barrier by use of thought patterns. It takes maybe two days to set up, then the thought-waveform can be maintained from day-to-day with just an hour’s conscious thought. If you suspect that one of the five factors-”

“Five factors?” I interrupted him.

“Yes. The big five – our home-grown Three-Letter-Agencies, New Earth, Shan, Nova Tar, and the Coalition.”

“I already have your notes on those, I think.” I flicked through the sheets of cleartext he’d given me since the start of our meetings.

“You do. Anyway. If one of them is actively probing you, you can reinforce the waveform in a clandestine manner. It’s untraceable. The scanners think you’re just one of the sheeple. It uses five concepts that are prevalent in the propaganda they feed us to set up a loop. They can read our minds to a fair degree of accuracy, but ten billion minds produces a lot of noise. The scanners are almost entirely automated, and so depend on pattern recognition. The self-sustaining loop of concept-motive-concept is enough to fool the scanners.”

“Mmm-hmm. What concepts do you use?”

“That would invalidate the protection it gives: you’ve got to pick your own images, otherwise a metapattern emerges.”

“Ahh, I see.”

The following day, I wrote the article up. I quite liked it – it catalogued the crazy, and was pitched just right so the skeptics thought I was mocking and the believers thought I was one of the faithful. Another gift. After I emailed the finished article, I sent another email to the other address. To the people who’d given me the gifts.

Mark Chapman is thoroughly insane, but poses no threat. The methods he’s latched onto are totally ineffective. By chance or judgement, he’s struck upon the truth of some of your scanning techniques. I’d recommend keeping watch, just in case.

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