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Intercision - Coming Soon To a World Near You?

In Philip Pullman’s trilogy of novels, His Dark Materials, the characters travel between many worlds existing in parallel universes. In one of these universes, the soul, or inner-self of a human lives outside their body as a spirit-being called a dæmon which takes on an animal form and accompanies their human throughout every moment of their life.

In Pullman’s books, it is explained that humans in our own world have dæmons as well, but rather than physical creatures that walk beside us and speak aloud as we do, they live within us, speaking softly in our minds and allowing us to engage in the internal conversations and debates that make up our thoughts and lead us to knowledge.

In the first book of the trilogy, The Golden Compass, an authoritarian organization seeking to monopolize all knowledge and subdue their subjects create a process called "intercision" by which the invisible link between a person and their dæmon is permanently severed by use of a special guillotine.

The proponents of this "surgery" believe that a person’s dæmon is the source of sinful thoughts and heretical knowledge, and view intercision as a sort of "vaccination" against the ability to sin.

However, as the heroine Lyra discovers, the result of the severing a person from their dæmon is not a blissful life of innocence, but a hellish half-life in which unwilling victims of the surgery are left longing desperately for the irreplaceable missing part of themselves, while willing volunteers who have undergone the process live in a numb, zombie-like stupor in which which they are totally complacent and unable to question authority.

Though in our reality, our "dæmons", (or rather everything about us that a dæmon would represent) exist within us and are safe from physical harm, the possibility of eliminating from a person what constitutes their dæmon may be a frighteningly real one.

All types of increasingly sophisticated and effective mind altering devices and methods have been created over the years, some by well meaning scientists wanting to understand the human mind, and others by governments and other organizations to suppress subdue, and control people.

One of these methods which particularly parallels Pullman’s concept of intercision is the infamous lobotomy, a form of brain surgery which was once carried out quite frequently on small children as a cure all remedy for undesirable behavior ranging from disobedience to poor school performance. Like intercision, lobotomy was promoted to parents as a quick, easy solution for all their children’s difficulties, and like intercision it left many previously healthy children severely incapacitated.

As famously described by childhood lobotomy patient Howard Dully, "I've always felt different -- wondered if something's missing from my soul.", a statement which could have come straight from a victim of Pullman’s fictional intercision process.

As our knowledge of the human brain becomes more and more acute, and scientists learn to scan brains by computer to pick out the precise sources of specific emotions, ideas, and thought processes, it is no longer a stretch of the imagination to imagine, for instance, a drug precision engineered to effect a specific brain function in exactly the way the designer wishes.

It could start off nobly and innocently, say an injection that could be administered to a patient struggling with drug abuse that shuts down the part of the brain which processes and harbors the addiction.

It could then develop into something pre-emptive to stop addiction before it has a chance to start, an "addiction vaccine" that could possibly be required by law for all public school students as certain vaccines already are in some countries.

While we’re protecting our kids against disease and addiction, how else could we make their lives safer and easier?

After all, its always around those tween and teen years that kids start being disobedient and picking up all sorts of bad habits, so why not have the doctor throw in a disobedience vaccine? And In the end, isn’t it always those silly thoughts and ideas that get kids into trouble anyway? With a thorough enough understanding of the brain, we can find a way to eliminate those too.

And that easily we’ve gone from helping a person overcome drug addiction to accepting that government mandated mutilation of our children’s personhood is an acceptable measure to keep them "safe and happy".

In the film adaptation of The Golden Compass, the doctors assure their victims as they prepare to sever them from their dæmons that intercision is "only a little cut".

In our world, that same threat to our humanity could be "only a little shot" from a doctor’s needle, and it could have an innocent sounding trademarked name and be marketed on television and radio as to make any parent feel like a monster for subjecting their children to the hardships of an "unimproved" life and not doing everything they could to keep their child "safe and happy" when all it would take is a little shot to make it all better.

In an increasingly dysmorphic, germ-phobic, vaccine-obsessed society seeking easy answers to the challenges of the human condition, such an "intercision shot" could become a state-mandated inoculation for our children much sooner than we may care to imagine.

Comments (9) — Add Yours

An interesting read. “Government mandated mutilation” is particularly chilling as a thought and I could see that phrase - should the future ever seek these manipulations - at the forefront of protests.

# Posted by Phit on 14:05, 18 October 2008

Phit's avatar

They won’t do it to me. But wait, what if you imagine your dæmon beside you, does that mean that he/she will dissapear? That can’t happen can it? Oh god, please say no!

# Posted by KatrinaSilvertongue on 15:33, 2 November 2008

It’s just so scary. Like real life Gobblers, maybe there’s a Mrs Coulter too, and a Lyra?

# Posted by KatrinaSilvertongue on 15:39, 2 November 2008

amazing article

# Posted by stevenspritzer on 1:15, 2 January 2009

1st Off Look At All The Drugs That Are Prescribed To Children To Placate Them At School.
ADD, Hyperactivity, Autism, Etc. Are All Regulated With Drugs.
Schools Threaten Parents With The Expulsion Of The Child (Or Reporting Of Said Parents To The Gobblers I Mean, Child Services) If The Parent Chooses Natural Diets And Vitamin Therapies As Opposed To Using State Mandated Mind Altering Drugs.
What About The Ever Increasing State Required Vaccinations?
Many Parents Are Reporting Their Child “Different” From Autism, ADD, Sensory Issues, To Even Full Retardation And Death.
If A Parent Rejects Some Or All Of These Supposed “Good” For The Child Vaccinations The Child Can Not Attend The School System And Or The Parent Is Threatened With Once Again The Gobblers.
There Are Many Unnecessary Vaccinations Including The New Gardasal For The Human Papilloma Virus. This Is Supposed To Be “Good” For The Extremely Young Girls It Is Administered To And Help “Protect” Them From Their Future Actions. Problem Is Not Only Does This Vaccination Not Cover All The Strains Of The Virus So These Girls Are Not Protected Anyway But, Parents Are Already Reporting The Adverse Effects Of This Unnecessary Virus Injected To Their Daughters.
I Have Not Read These Books Yet But When I Saw The Movie I Thought The Author Brave As I Could See Many Parallels To Our Current World Situation.

# Posted by KittyPryde on 2:15, 3 January 2009

Okay, seriously, get your science right: vaccines are safer than the risks of the disease vaccinated against. Why kids are not allowed to enter the public school system is because they also endanger those kids who’s immunological response to a vaccine is limitted. It’s simple, get a large enough population with immunity (her immunity) and transmission of a disease is halted, break that chain up and transmission will continue to affect those individuals who were protected under herd immunity. Great example: UK and US numbers of severe measles complications has rissen drasticly because people believe the MMR vaccine causes autism, which it doesn’t.

The autism link is a sad one: autism spectrum disorders start showing around the time of the MMR vaccine, pure coincidence of scheduling and child development. There is thus no causal link.
Still, people claimed it was the mercury eventhough autism spectrum disorders increased after removal of the preservative containing mercury. So, according to the same, unscientific reasoning of anti-vaccinations who do parasite off of those who do get vaccinated, mercury was protecting us?

Truth is, there is no link. A huge part of the increase in autism is just due to reporting and regrouping of the spectrum of disorders. Aspergers and other related disorders, mild compared to the classic Rainman view of autism, fall under the same category. Another cause of increases in birthdefects and genetic, epigenetic and acquired disorders is that women get children at a higher age. Plain biology!

If you want to protect your children, get them vaccinated.

Oh, and the rest of this article, great example of the slippery slope falacy. Especially the non-sequitor of vaccines with the rest of the article is a hoot! It would be the Church who would rather stop a vaccination programme, unless it directly influenced dust, while in our world it is scientists, and rationalists who stand for vaccination to protect the health of children, while it is the dogmatic zealots, like the Church in HDM, who oppose them. What is the relationship between the Church and our world antivaccinationist? They both do not use reason, but stick with dogma.

# Posted by Polymerase on 3:08, 7 January 2009

This is the author of this column dropping in to tell you that I’m not an “antivaccinationist” nor do I think vaccinations or medicine are evil or anything like that. In fact I have a parent who would be unable to survive without annual flu vaccinations and powerful drugs of a type often used to fight cancer pain.

I do however think that the way drugs (including vaccinations) are being marketed commercially to Americans is getting out of hand and is fueling an unhealthy obsession with “safety” and a zeitgeist in which drugs are equated with health itself rather than as tools to fight disease and pain.

When I was in first and second grade my teacher (had the same teacher both years) unceasingly insisted to my parents that there was something “wrong” with me and that I wasn’t normal.

This culminated in a series school-funded visits to a university hospital for all kinds of tests and exams which showed not only that nothing was wrong with me, but I was actually at high school levels of performance in every subject except for math.

Still, the doctors recommended that I be put on a series of powerful drugs including Ritalin to help me “fit in” with the rest of the kids in my class. My parents refused the drugs and put me in a new school district where I had a normal, successful, and drug-free public school career.

I’ve met others who had experiences similar to mine and had drugs needlessly thrown at them as children to make them “normal” and the stories they tell have never been happy one, they have all told me they wished they hadn’t been given the drugs.

Drugs have helped many children, but in my experience, and the experiences of others I’ve talked to, they are seen by some doctors and parents (who are relying on the doctor’s opinion most of the time) as a first resort and quick fix rather than a last resort, which children sometimes suffer for.

It’s not unreasonable to question if large drug companies care more about profit than helping people.

It’s not unreasonable to question marketing tactics which seem designed to guilt parents into wanting non-essential vaccinations like Gardasal for their kids. (I’m not even arguing that Gardasal is “bad”, but it is by no means essential to the health of a child or adult)

It’s not unreasonable to question the safety and necessity of commercially produced drugs that the government is obligating parents to give to their children.

What is unreasonable is giving in to hype and propaganda. This includes advertising from drug companies projecting the idea that their products are the exclusive gateway to health and safety, and irrational conspiracy theorists who insist that the flu vaccines given at the local supermarket contain mind control chips.

# Posted by SuperTrainStationH on 15:34, 19 January 2009

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Scary….. I feel sorry for those kids in our world that suffer because of the “Gobblers”.

# Posted by thewolfstar on 6:03, 7 December 2009

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Government sanctioned intercision?

I’ve suffered enough under the real wolrd dictatorship of the Chicago Daley Machine and its minions Jesse Jackson Sr. a convicted rapist and embezzler and Father Michael Flagler a renegade Roman Catholic priest who should have been kicked out of the priesthood years ago.Maybe Flagler
should be in Magesterium he’s a perfect fit.

It wa sand is a good thing that in Lyra’s world (as it should be in ours) if anybody tries to pull anything like intercision on you, you do as Lee Scoresby did and draw down on them with a .45 or a 45/90 Winchester, thumb back the hammer saying ‘you need to reconsider your idea before I squeeze this trigger’.

Freedom is never free folks, many good men and women have paid for theirs and ours in blood. And do so even today.

# Posted by Armored Aviator on 20:21, 11 December 2009


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