Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Manchurian Candidate

The Manchurian Candidate

Last week I was able to watch both versions of the Manchurian Candidate on Amazon, the first one came out in 1962 and starred Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey the remake came out in 2004 and starred Denzel Washington and Liev Schreiber. The plot of the films was interesting, soldiers were captured, and brain washed one of the soldier’s a US senator’s son was programmed to become a deep cover spy and assassin.

This plot was interesting to me because I have always been fascinated by how the conscious and unconscious minds work. We all are victims of social programming, most of the things that we believe to be right or wrong, good or bad are programmed thoughts that we were exposed to from an early age. Then there is the power of suggestion which can be very subjective to both the conscious and unconscious mind.

Many believe that even when we were in our mother’s womb, negative emotions and experiences that our mother might have had, can influence our behavior years later even when we become adults. Then there is Hypnosis which is defined as a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction.

The intriguing thing about any type of programming of one’s unconscious mind is that the person is not consciously aware of the programming but will react if a program suggestion is activated in the unconscious programmed mind. I will always remember the scene in the 1962 version of Manchurian Candidate when Laurence Harvey was playing solitaire on a winter night in a bar near Central Park.

Harvey was programmed to obey any command after seeing the Queen of Diamonds, after seeing the queen of spades and hearing a suggestion to go jump in the lake, in an unrelated conversation. Harvey walked out of the bar took a cab to Central Park and jumped into the ice-cold water of the lake; that’s when Sinatra realized Harvey had been programmed.

If you find yourself doing something and you have no logical explanation for your action, it can be due to some type of programming, someone or something activated an unconscious program that you responded to.
When this happens, many will make up an excuse to justify an illogical action, some will even blame the devil. 

There is the story about a subject under hypnosis who is told by the hypnotist that he should take of his jacket when the hypnotist touches his right ear and put on his jacket when the hypnotist touches his left ear. After coming out of the hypnotic state the person started making up excuses to explain to himself and to others the illogical action of taking off and putting on his jacket repeatedly.

The sub-plot of the 1962 Manchurian Candidate film was the possibility of Russians weaponizing a mind control project to create a political coup by gaining influence and control of the President of the United States.  The sub-plot of the more recent film made an international private equity corporation responsible for weaponizing a mind control project to create a political coup by electing an American president. As the saying goes sometimes reality can be stranger than fiction. 

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