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The Tissue-Culture King
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Read: 2018-05-07
Last Update: 2018-05-07

Five Sentence Abstract:

In an uncomfortably accurate Huxleyian science fiction prediction we see, in fictional terms, the origins of many developments yet pursued a hundred years after this was written. The story contains genetic tampering with both animals and man; creating various mutants that today might be called designer babies. The main theme is a kind of telepathic mind control, built for positive ends but which could easily be used in the pursuit of nefarious ends. It also includes one of the oldest mentions I have ever seen of tin/metal foil hats, a common derogatory epithet hurled at conspiracy theorists (itself defamatory) in modern times. The story is couched as a warning, but if you view it through a conspiratorial lens, the lens of history, you can see that, given the Huxley family connections, it is nothing more than revelation of the method spun as entertainment; itself a form of mind control that it supposedly warns of.

Thoughts:

I really enjoyed it. Those Huxley's sure have, for better or for worse, a way with words. This was written by Aldous' brother, Julian Huxley, and has the same "I'm warning you, but with the blueprints of what I'm working on mentality of Brave New World."

In a mere 9 pages there are a plethora of topics covered, vaguely disguised in a darkest Africa story.

!! SPOILER ALERT !!

The first things we see, that are noteworthy at least, are the genetic engineer animals. This gives way, at first through allusion and later explicitly, to engineered humans: babies injected with hormones to make them dwarfs or giants.

Next, through a series of experiments, the narrator reveals that a kind of mass telepathy had been discovered. Initially this is used to induce a simple hypnosis in individuals, causing them to take parlor trick commands: dance like a chicken and the like.

Eventually it is found that the hypnosis can be more effective with groups, leading to a super-consciousness among the tribe. As the process is improved the range increases to subsume the entire nation.

These experiments are conducted under the guise of religion. Tissue-cultures allow for a closer ancestor worship and hypnosis can allow the entire population to engage in a collective prayer.

The scientists doing these experiments discover that tinfoil hats provide protection from the mass hypnosis. Noting this they attempt an escape, putting everyone to hypnotically induced sleep before running away. One of them does not make it. After discarding their tinfoil hats he is overcome by a hypnotic message to return to the tribe. The other, now back in London ends the tale with a warning of how the pursuit of science may lead to disastrous unintended consequences.

!! END SPOILERS !!

If you are either aware of the manipulation that occurs through the hypnotic medium of television, Internet, and the like, or are a naive Aldous Huxley fan, you'll enjoy this story.

Exceptional Excerpts:

Notes:

Table of Contents

01: The Tissue-Culture King

01: The Tissue-Culture King

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