In Wetumpka, AL.
The Wayback Machine will show this site is a 14 year investigation of Subliminal Distraction.
If you wish to help in this project, send the Home page URL to your email list and encourage everyone to do the same.
Preventing Subliminal Distraction episodes, mistaken for mental illness, is simple and free.
Copyright 2003 Edit Saturday October 25, 2014
Copyright Contact page Demonstration of subliminal sight
If you reached this page from a search engine enter the site here.
This page was copied from the investigation site and contains repetitions of text. It is being edited and simplified.
The phenomenon of physiology explored on this site is hard to believe.
It is fully explained in psychology lectures where college students don't believe it either.
When the mental breaks is has been known to cause are mentioned they are treated as something that happened only once in 1964, not a potential every day experience.
My instructor said, "Subliminal sight caused a problem in the early days of modern office design."
Start with the Demonstration page which allows you to experience the phenomenon safely
Too small single-room living arrangements in cliff dwellings allowed Subliminal Distraction exposure.
The Anasazi were their own enemy through mental illness.
The thesis of this page is that effected Anasazi became paranoid.
The great buildings were built as worship or appeasement.
That didn't work; the mental breaks continued; the buildings were abandoned.
Evidence is that families began to leave cliff dwellings to live in separate dwellings.
They would have never conceived 'Cubicle Level Protection.'
They did not know putting several workers close together under a shade shelter would cause mental breaks.
They continued critical behaviors and the paranoia continued.
Today we can look to the psychiatric outcomes of Qi Gong and Kundalini Yoga to understand this phenomenon.
Those are, somatic complaints including strange skin sensations, depression, fear, paranoia, and thoughts of suicide.
The cultural beliefs, psychosocial elements, would determine how this was perceived by the Anasazi.
Culture Bound Syndromes gives some insight to that.
Chaco Canyon is the only place in the world where buildings are aligned to the rising and setting of the moon.
The first thing you should understand about the phenomenon on this site, VisionAndPsychosis.Net, is that although in our modern society it is the business office and incorrectly installed computer work stations which cause the risk for this psychiatric injury, it is not an issue of tables/desks and chairs, or blinking lights alone.
Injury is created by the conflict between an evolutionarily developed warning system suited to hunter gather mobile societies, and our modern workplace which requires stationary posture and deep mental investment to complete today's office or knowledge work.
The Cubicle is the tool that allows us to overcome the conflict and work sitting in close-spaced workstations in modern business offices.
The Modern Cubicle
The "special circumstances" that allow Subliminal Distraction exposure are so simple they can be created even in primitive societies.
While we can learn to consciously ignore threat movement nearby in peripheral vision, we can't "stop seeing" anything in our vision field. There are no "off switches" for the sensor cells on the rods and cones of your retina. If stimulus strikes these cells neural impulses go to your brain
The motion detection system we call peripheral vision reflexes cannot be turned off because of this feature of physiology.
The subliminal threat-detection and your brain's subliminal attempt to force a startle and vision reflex is a Subliminal Distraction.
When the modern worker is positioned so that these reflexes are constantly triggered, many times each day for many days, a conflict arises in the mind leading to a mental break. The mental break happens as consciousness is subliminally bombarded by the repeating failed reflexes. That frequently repeating subliminal appreciation of threat eventually colors thought and reason creating paranoia.
The stimulus to cause the subliminal detection and reflex generation can frequently be the movement of other workers walking beside the unprotected worker. This is not detectable by the victim. (Anything that blinks or moves in peripheral vision is suspect.)
(See the Everquest Connection page for an explanation of the first semester psychology involved.)
How serious is the mental event? Most who have it recover quickly with no after effects. But a tiny number act out the delusions from the episode.
The Virginia Tech shooter created the "special circumstances" for Subliminal Distraction when he used his laptop in the suite common room where roommates walked around him ignoring him. Interviews on Cable TV news programs revealed he increased the at-risk behavior in the month before the shooting.
The phone interviews his roommates mentioned it as an example of his odd anti-social behavior. They did not understand that what they had observed was Subliminal Distraction exposure. The victim of this exposure cannot detect it. They experience going crazy. But they are never aware of the subliminal stimulation of their subconscious.
Months of exposure and subliminal appreciation of threat created paranoia. He had the same mental break as the 1960's office workers; the same mental break as natives who thought they were becoming the Windigo; and the same mental break as the Anasazi. He acted out the psychotic paranoid delusions by killing 32 people.
It is not the first time this has happened. The Redlake shooter left an on-line journal entry that mentioned what he had done to create exposure.
In 2001 Jason Weed took the Landmark Education seminar, The Forum. This seminar is known to cause mental breaks. When Weed had a psychotic episode he killed a mail carrier at his apartment. The psychosis disappeared within a week Psychiatrists claimed one dose of medication brought on the remission. But Subliminal Distraction is present in the way the seminar is conducted. The victims are sitting in the audience while the leader conducts interrogations of seminar participants. Concentration to a level of "suspension of disbelief" creates light dissociation for viewers. They subliminally detect small movements of others sitting near them.
Landmark admits the mental breaks happen but claim a rate of less than 1/1000th of one percent for serious outcomes such as suicides. If Landmark turned off the room lights the situation would be the same as it is in a stage play or movie theater. There would be no mental breaks.
This problem was fully explained in first semester psychology lectures, at least up to about 1990. You should find it under Psychophysics, Physiology of Sight, Subliminal Sight, and Peripheral Vision Reflexes.
But only the facts of physiology and the accidental 1960's discovery was included. No one had made the connection between Subliminal Distraction and mental breaks through history. Most instructors associated the phenomenon with early design problems in business offices.
Emails with Ph. D's in psychology and retired professors revealed that it has disappeared from those lectures.
Good luck finding this information there. Most first semester psychology classes now have psychobabble psychosocial explanations for the outcomes of this exposure. Stress is a popular explanation as is depression.
When the problem was explained to me in a psychology lecture the explanation given was, "as the subject continues to ignore the repeating reflexes a conflict arises in the mind, then builds to a mental break."
Those1960's designers and psychologists thought they were the first to cause this problem. But there are incidents through history that say otherwise.
Cabin Fever, a sudden berserk attack, had occurred among fur trappers of the 1830's, Jumping Frenchmen of Maine had been discovered in 1880, and the Belgian Polar Expedition had an episode of mass insanity in 1898. These incidents are best explained by exposure from Subliminal Distraction.
This site uses the fact of psychotic episodes associated with Qi Gong and Kundalini Yoga for 3000 years, to argue that long term exposure will create a severely altered mental state resembling Schizophrenia. Bizarre beliefs from both exercises involve the person having superhuman or supernatural powers in a context of Asian, Indian or New Age religious beliefs.
Exposure that is persistent but too low to create the full mental break will create psychiatric symptoms.
In each of the two exercises eyes-open meditation and concentration allows the subliminal detection of threat movement due to others exercising near by in the group.
We can look to the psychiatric outcomes of Qi Gong and Kundalini Yoga failed experiences for the symptoms of Subliminal Distraction exposure.
Those symptoms are:
Somatic complaints including strange skin sensations;
Hearing voices although they may be considered contact with ancestors;
Un-attributed fear to the point of trembling;
Depression and thoughts of suicide.
Culture Bound Syndromes are episodes of bizarre behavior that happen around the world. Although a poorly understood concept in psychology and mental health, they happen when a dissociative episode caused by Subliminal Distraction exposure is experienced, evaluated, and named within the context of the ethnic beliefs of a cultural group or cultural belief set.
Observing the reaction of primitive peoples today gives us some understanding of how the Anasazi would have reacted to this phenomenon.
Ghost Sickness appeared among many tribes across the plains of North America under different names. It is believed to be caused by too-close contact with the dead. But the listed symptoms include hearing voices. That means the victim had a dissociative mental break.
One good example is Windigo Psychosis. Over-wintering in too-small structures allowed Subliminal Distraction exposure. When the mental break began victims believed they were becoming the Windigo or being pursued by a Windigo. The Windigo is the ice-monster cannibal, boogey man of tribes in the upper northeastern United States and Canada.
This page argues that far from being a phenomenon of modern Knowledge workers only, it has always been present and manifested in primitive cultures through out history.
Natives kept keen knowledge of seasons and the passing of time to schedule ceremonies, plant crops, or gather wild fruit. Ceremonial dress was a major part of these religious ceremonies.
Work to make ceremonial dress requires a level of concentration that would create exposure from Subliminal Distraction if that work were done in a location with the "special circumstances" for exposure.
Exposure created Ghost Sickness observed and reported with different names among the western plains native Americans. One of the first effects is hearing voices. This may be sounds of movement through dry leaves when there are no dry leaves. Today Navajo victims sometimes report hearing someone speaking in tongues.
Modern investigators attempt to place these Culture Bound Syndromes within the classification system of the DSM. (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness of the American Psychiatric Association.)
That does not work well because the symptoms vary due to ethnic understanding of the mental break this phenomenon causes. Each ethnic group reacts differently and there are no obvious common symptoms to gather and evaluate.
Ghost Sickness, Windigo Psychosis, and other strange episodes happened in many areas of Native American cultures. This phenomenon was not limited to Chaco Canyon. But Chaco Canyon is the single place there is evidence of mass paranoia.
These events and mental episodes still happen around the world as Culture Bound Syndromes.
A full color image of this Dakota's Dog Band Hidatsa warrior is available on Wikipedia.
What would have been present to cause mental breaks through pre-history?
A conflict in the physiology of sight.
With some normal variation, everyone has the same physiology. Everyone who ever lived had that same physiology. This raises and interesting hypothesis.
The question is:
Was there a previous outbreak of this phenomenon?
In today's world there is a constant problem of strange suicides and disappearances of college students.
The Virginia Tech shooter had created the "special circumstances" for Subliminal Distraction exposure.
There was a mass insanity incident lasting over thirteen months on the Belgian Polar Expedition of 1898.
But can we find a large incident in prehistory and Native American history.
Are there historical events which could be theorized to have been caused by Subliminal Distraction?
Moving back in time about eight hundred years there is a story that might qualify.
The evidence is there. Natives experienced mass paranoia after a period of successful industry to build a wide area trade system.
The Anasazi abandonment of the four corners area in the Southwest United States is an unsolved puzzle of archeology.
In today's sophisticated world almost no one is aware that Subliminal Distraction exists. Workers complain of the confinement of cubicles without the knowledge of why they must be used. You can conclude, therefore, that all previous research at archeological sites and digs was done without an evaluation of how Subliminal Distraction might have caused problems in earlier societies.
If you view the risk elements for Subliminal Distraction as a template you can reduce the equation to:
a) stationary posture,
b) an activity requiring concentration or mental investment to a level of slight dissociation, and
c) a source of repeating detectable movement in 'Subliminal Peripheral Vision.'
The final risk element or element of the template is simple. Before electric or gas lighting workers were bound by the rising and setting of the sun. There was no other source of adequate lighting for detailed work. Persons performing craft work would have to sit by a door or window unless shaded work areas were built outside. Other group members would be subliminally detected as they walked by the concentrating worker.
Navajo spinning wool New Mexico, no date. National Archive Digital Sample Photo
The most difficult hurdle to understanding this problem is realizing that a primitive native worker weaving a basket requires the same protection as a modern office worker using a laptop in a business office today.
It's concentration to the point of light dissociation that engages the subliminally functioning brain system that causes Subliminal Distraction exposure.
Human physiology has always been the same, even 15/40,000 years ago when the history of the American native societies began.
Mental breaks in hospital intensive care units suggests that day dreaming to the point that you ignore every thing happening around you is enough to engage the phenomenon. Mental breaks in hospital intensive care units happen in about five days. There the exposure is every fifteen minutes around the clock as long as the patient is awake using eyes-open daydreaming.
The Large Group Awareness Training Seminar, LGATS, from Landmark Education can produce mental breaks in three days of ten to twelve hour per day sessions. Those victim are sitting in an audience while participating in the seminar. Landmark Education removed the "legal notice and warning" from their site. I copied it before that happened.
“6. From time to time, during or shortly after participating in the Program, a very small number of people who have no personal or family history of mental illness or drug abuse have reported experiencing brief, temporary episodes of emotional upset ranging from heightened activity, irregular or diminished sleep, to mild psychotic-like behavior. An even smaller number of people have reported more serious symptoms ranging from mild psychotic behavior to psychosis occasionally requiring medical care and hospitalization. In less than 1/1000 of 1% of participants, there have been reports of unexplained suicide or other destructive behavior. While we know of no independent studies to suggest that people who are physically, emotionally and mentally healthy are at risk in the Program, certain persons have claimed that the Program has caused or triggered in them a psychosis or psychotic event.”
There is a very low rate of these serious mental events caused by this seminar, "The Forum." Landmark knows they happen but does not know what is causing them. There are research papers on this problem going back to 1977.
What activities would use this template and supply exposure from Subliminal Distraction?
One of the hardest things to imagine is that primitive workers had the same exposure as business office workers sitting at a computer today.
Any number of jobs would be performed by one member of the tribe for everyone else. Basket weaving, arrow making, or pottery require skills that not every one possesses. This would require long periods of time spent performing work that requires the same mental investment as knowledge work today.
Those individuals then traded their products. Baskets, pottery, blankets, sandals, rope, skins, and a host of natural products were used in trade. Much has been made by some investigators of the fact that there are few artifacts in Chaco Canyon to show that this trade system ever existed. But most of these wares were used and consumed.
Food stores left in abandoned city sites puzzle investigators. But such food left behind may have been a common property not individual stores.
When workers began to hear voices and speak to imaginary people the belief that a location was cursed might occur. Nothing would be taken lest the new habituation be contaminated with the curse.
It might have also been the belief that the bizarre mental events were being cause by food grown in a cursed place.
This collection of Apache basket work is shown with it's owner Lt. L. P. Davidson, 11th Infantry, 1893.
Often work like this was done by women sitting in groups under shade shelters.
Note the pattern complexity. No two are the same. That requires complete mental investment.
Normal outdoor light would have allowed the detection of movement in peripheral vision when any group member concentrated to a point of slight dissociation while executing these intricate patterns.
National Archive Digital Sample photo.
Movement behind you is in a safe location. You cannot see anything happening behind you.
Different choices, where and how work was done, would create different levels of exposure. Some exposure below threshold levels for a mental break would be harmless and some would cause severe mental illness when that threshold was exceeded day after day.
Subliminal Distraction exposure is silent, painless, and invisible. Workers have no warning they are being exposed.
That is still true today.
These examples are from the turn of the twentieth century. But these native peoples have carried on this trade for thousands of years.
There is evidence showing human habituation on the North and South American Continent for 15,000 years. Current research argues that record should be more than 40,000 years.
In Smithsonian books about the American southwest and Pueblo societies there are statements that archeological excavations have found postholes in a square arrangement.
The suggestion made is that these were there to provide shade for work areas. The natives of this area are said to have developed an extensive trade area. They manufactured excess items, above their personal needs, for this trade. The production of trade goods would require sitting for long periods.
If this work was done as a group effort as a matter of cultural habit any work position which was situated so that several people walked beside a worker from behind each hour, that might be enough to create this problem.
Navajo Hogan, 1903 National Archive Digital Sample photo
Is it possible to prove this connection? No, certainly not.... But nothing currently understood is absolutely provable either. We rely on the observations and judgment of experts to explain un-witnessed , un-recorded, history.
Chaco Canyon Links
Chaco Canyon Anasazi - End of the Anasazi: Iron Deficient Diet-Anemia By Richard Fisher
"Drought, famine, erosion, deforestation, salinity, soil infertility, warfare, cannibalism, and general resource depletion have all been proposed as causes for the desertion. For the most part, these reasons have been found not to be a primary cause of abandonment."
Page one - - - -http://www.canyonsworldwide.com/chacoCanyon/p1.htm
Annenberg Media- Chaco Canyon
"Sand Canyon was finally abandoned in the thirteenth century, the kivas were burned. Kivas were sacred ceremonial places; they would not have been systematically burned without cause."
Data Base (searchable)
The Chaco World Great House Database
University of Colorado An on-line conference project.
Main Conference page. http://www.colorado.edu/Conferences/chaco/open.htm
Interactive map tourhttp://www.colorado.edu/Conferences/chaco/tour/chacomap.htm
Chaco Roads (Conference page.)
"An especially puzzling characteristic of Chaco roads is the construction of parallel road segments, which have been identified at places along both the North and South Roads. An extreme example is located north of Pierre's Ruin on the North Road (Nials 1983:6-29). Here, four segments spaced less than 40 m apart appear to be almost perfectly parallel. Little is known about these strange features, but evidence does indicate that one of the parallel segments typically exhibits significantly more use than its counterpart."
An Evaluation of Chaco Anasazi Roadways John Kantner UCSB
Long paper with maps and computer renditions of data.
This site requires Flash Player and runs/downloads best using Broadband. The excellent high quality presentation puts you in Chaco Canyon including modern Native Dance.
There are high quality photos of granaries and defensive houses and pueblos, Ray Rasmussen.
Rock art site http://raysweb.net/rockart/pages/gg.html
The Gallery - Mesa Verde Colorado and four corners Anasazi dwellings, J.Andrzej Wrotniak.
Chronology of Southwestern Archaeology Dr David K Jordan Emeritus Professor of Anthropology UCSD
U S Parks Service
An Anasazi village misnamed Aztec - Aztec Monument National Park
There are numerous pictures of Kiva's here that appear to be the property of the U S Parks Service. Many date from just after the 1900's to 1980's.
Utah History to Go
Ute and Paiute history related to Anasazi is discussed in this article.
Chetro Ketl Great Kiva
This home page link has many sites and information on Kivas and the Anasazi. There is a virtual tour of the Chetro Ketl Great Kiva.
This issue of Visions, BC's mental health journal, has an excellent article on Culture Bound Syndromes.
Adobe Reader Required http://www.cmha-bc.org/content/resources/visions/issues/09.pdf