Ironically, it was the neurophysiologist and "New Age Guru" Dr. John Lilly who first perfected a technique of implanting electrodes into the brains of unanaesthetised animals and stimulating the "pain and pleasure sectors" of the mind. After butchering monkeys by the dozen at the National Institute of Mental Health, Lilly concluded that judicious manipulation of these brain areas could inspire joy and well-being, or pain, anger and fear. Indeed, by using the electrodes to deliver reward or punishment stimuli, the animal could be entirely subordinated to human will. The ingenious Lilly then turned his attention to dolphins, under the pretext of wishing to "communicate" with these intelligent and highly perceptive creatures. To insert electrodes into the brains of the fully-conscious animals, holes were made in the skull with a sharp instrument and a carpenter’s hammer. According to Prof. Giorgio Pilleri, "the dolphin was held down but tried to jump up at every blow not because of the pain, but because of the unbearable noise produced by the hammering." Indeed, many of Lilly’s dolphins suffered an agonising death. "Despite disappointment and sadness," he announced, "we had to go on with our research: our responsibilities lie with finding the truth." It was not until years later however that a repentant Lilly finally stumbled across that apparently elusive truth. After suffering drug addiction and a mental breakdown, he characterised his research in an entirely different light: "I was running a concentration camp for my friends."


by William M. Johnson