Ever get the feeling your thoughts and emotions are being controlled by external entities? Do you find yourself considering actions that seem uncharacteristic or out of place? Are you currently sober? If you've answered yes to these questions, and if you're too new-agey to accept the idea you might just be maturing, then you may already have considered the notion that you are the unfortunate victim of mind control.

All snide jokes aside, the history of mind control is an interesting one, encompassing the story of human psychology, hypnosis and metaphysics. Even the Central Intelligence Agency has found the concept intriguing enough to devote a lot of time and money to the study of whether or not America can use it to win friends, influence people and scan our enemies' brains, Cronenberg-style.

Undeniably, there are forces in our modern world that aim to influence our behavior, whether it be advertising, government propaganda, or those four little words—"but I love you." Stories of true mind control, though, in the Dr. Caligari mold, have been a little hard to confirm.

This Wednesday, the Mutual UFO Network of Orange County is hosting lecturer Nick Begich, who will discuss the technology, ethics and applications of mind control in the 21st century. Now, I have a hard enough time controlling my own thoughts and actions without anyone else's undue influence, but whether or not you truly believe your mind could be comandeered by another, the lecture, in its exploration of the varieties of human experience, should prove to be interesting to those with an open mind and an appreciation for the strange. Might not want to open that mind too much, though. You never know who might get in.

UFON OC presents Nick Begich at the Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Ave., Costa Mesa, (714) 520-4836; Wed., 7:40 p.m. Call for cost.

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