MindBullets 20 Years


Protests and riots erupt over government-sponsored psycho-medication

Turkey’s accession to the EU is in doubt as rioting continues in Istanbul for the third week with red-rimmed images of the burning city beamed around the world.

Everyday, scientists from the UN Peace Force find that more and more wells and water sources in Turkey have been laced with behavior-altering drugs. Effects are said to include increased passivity and complacency. Certain sections of the population seem to have been targeted and include all Kurdish areas.

Turkish State Television interviewed a haggard General Nihat Gursel, locked in the central barracks at Ankara. “We strongly deny any of these claims. The military has not interfered in the democratic process.”

Turkish President Recep Erdogan is incensed and promises to get to the bottom of these “dirty tricks” to control a third of the population.

Says Helmut den Das, EU Special Representative, “we believe that the military was hoping to reduce democratic conflict in the run up to Turkey’s accession vote later this month.”

Confusion reigns. After more than a decade of getting ready to be part of the EU, Turkey must wait yet again. This time, under a dark cloud of controversy.

(Read the full story in the detailed Analysis/Synthesis section – for subscribers only)

ANALYSIS >> SYNTHESIS: How this scenario came to be


Dramatic images of social unrest and rapid political transition make for good television. In democratic countries, massive civil unrest can bring down a government in months. Megalomaniac dictatorships can survive a few years before succumbing. In all cases, it seems, a tipping point is reached once sufficient rebels are out on the streets.

Even popular governments have their dissenters and opposition forces. What’s more, some groups, like those that oppose globalization, are even effective on a global basis. But successful governments, whether they are popular or despotic, seem to have a hold on the hearts and minds of the people they govern. If their influence is propped up by subterfuge and connivance, they may be honestly accused of kleptocracy – stealing the government from the people.

How do they do it? How do some nations let themselves be ruled by individuals or cliques who have patently obvious faults, failures and frailties? Perhaps because the people are in a state of mind to tolerate such manipulation and dominance, brought on by more than charismatic rhetoric and propaganda.


Turkey banned any public usage of the Kurdish language in 1938. The new Turkish constitution of 1961 allowed Kurdish publications, but most were banned upon their appearance and during the 1980s several laws were intended to repress the use of Kurdish. Finally in 1991, the Turkish government legalized the use of Kurdish.

Until recently, teaching in the Kurdish language was banned, this ban was lifted and now there are two Kurdish private schools — for a population of about 10 million Kurds — but it is still banned from regular education, this being a disputed issue with the European Union, as European conventions require education in the areas historically and currently inhabited by Kurds.

Some 400,000 Kurds are still considered by Human Rights Watch to be internally displaced – refugees from their own lands. Turkey’s constitution forbids special recognition of minorities and the Kurds, as a significant minority, are closely watched.

Turkey first applied for associate membership in the European Economic Community in 1957, and finally signed an Association Agreement in 1963. This provided for the future possibility of full membership. Turkey made such an application on 14 April 1987. Though this application was rejected by the Commission in 1989, on the basis of its poor economy and human rights record, Turkey’s eligibility for membership was confirmed.

During the 1990s Turkey proceeded with a closer integration with the European Union by agreeing to a customs union in 1995 (in effect since 1996). Moreover the Helsinki European Council of 1999 again stated that Turkey was a candidate for full membership on the same basis as other candidates, namely the fulfillment of the Copenhagen Criteria.

Turkey has been invited to start negotiations from October 2005, a process that is likely to take at least a decade to complete.

2001: The Ritalin Generation
More and more children are diagnosed as ‘hyperactive’ or suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). In the US, it is estimated that over 25% of male schoolchildren are on daily doses of Ritalin. The drug is needed to improve the process of connection between neurons, correcting the learning and attention problems associated with these disorders.

Prozac is also increasingly popular as a remedy for clinical depression. It seems that the psychiatric school of thought that promotes drug-assisted therapy over plain counselling is gaining ground. Many patients become dependent on the drug to maintain a ‘normal’ lifestyle.

2003: Designer Drugs and Date Rape
Designer drugs go up-market. Viagra and Ecstasy are joined by Rohypnol, GBH and Ketamine. Rohypnol quickly gets the nickname of the ‘date-rape’ drug, typically used to spike a woman’s drink to make her acquiescent. The drug, which is tasteless and virtually undetectable, has the notorious ability to sedate a person without rendering them totally unconscious. Not only does it remove their ability to protest and exert their will, it also has the side effect of erasing memory of events while under its influence. Rohypnol is soon banned in the US, but is available on prescription as a powerful sedative in other countries.

2004: Invitation to Accession
The army is a major base of secular political power in Turkey; it last intervened to force the resignation of Necmettin Erbakan and his government in 1997. Turkey’s current constitution was adopted on November 7, 1982 after a period of military rule, and enshrines the principle of secularism.

The army are very keen on Turkey joining the EU and nervous of any groups that may threaten that process. Most Turks are very supportive of the army and suspicious of the corruption found in their elected representatives. As such parliament always keeps in mind the opinions of the generals.

The army, under Hilmi Özkök, seems to be reducing its control over public life. The generals allow more freedoms for the Kurdish minority and other minority rights. However, secret meetings take place between General Nihat Gursel and Iranian clerics.

Iran has long been suspected of using anti-depressants and mood suppressants to control the democratic tendencies of their people. They see Turkey as an important route into reducing anti-Islamic tension in the West and are supportive of providing solutions to Turkey’s Kurdish “problem”.

In December the EU Accession Committee announces that talks about Turkey’s accession will commence in October, 2005.

General Gursel recognizes that, unless the Kurds can be made submissive, the military will have to lose more power as the constitution is changed to give more freedom to the people. Experiments in the use of a cocktail of drugs begin on military volunteers.

2008: Accession Begins
After exhausting negotiations that have continued for two years, Spanish representative Rudolf Amato announces during their presidency of the EU that Turkey has been accepted for accession. Provided that Turkey maintains an acceptable human rights record and fiscal stability, Turkey will join the EU in 2019.

A secretly trained special services operation begins as soldiers lace wells and water points across Kurdish areas with their combination of drugs, code named Propax. Kurdish rebellion drops slowly across the region. Kurdish cities are targeted next as water purification facilities are infiltrated and Propax disseminated.

2015: Total Control
General Gursel is elected Commander-in-Chief of the Turkish army and promptly expands Propax distribution to other pockets of dissent. The EU posts a permanent observation team to Istanbul to monitor public response to accession.

Gunter Spielman, team leader, declares that the people seem strangely optimistic. He expresses concern at the lack of public debate, or even interest in the EU, but recognizes that people seem happy.

Greedy military manufacturers start exporting Propax to other ailing regimes. First on the list is Muamer Gadaffi of Libya who is worried about the increasing demands from his people for self-determination. Gadaffi senses an opportunity and meets with Gursel. He offers to act as a distributor for Propax helping both their countries.

2017: Happy Workers
China’s state-owned corporations are watching the global stabilization with concern. As China becomes more advanced the drive of people to the cities is starting to slow. Pressure on prices is coming from all sides but most especially from their workers. Unions are still illegal but workers are demanding higher wages and better working conditions.

During a chance meeting of Chinese investors seeking to develop new gas fields in Libya they are invited to meet with Gadaffi. Mao Lok of Mai Lok, a massive Chinese conglomerate, discusses his concerns with the affable Gadaffi who promises him a solution. A sample of Propax is sent through.

By the end of the year many of China’s largest and most labor-intensive factories are mixing Propax into their company drinking water. Labor unrest falls.

2018: Global anti-doping outrage
The World Labor Organization notices unusual labor practices at a Beijing factory in February 2018. Staff are locked in at night, are sleeping in the factory, paid little and malnourished, but appear happy. Unknown to the owners, they monitor the factory. They spot workers mixing unknown chemicals into the water. They take a sample and send it to a lab in the US. Then the storm bursts.

In July 2018, consumer action groups in the US invoke the Alien Tort Claims Act (passed in 1789) to sue Chinese exporters for suffering caused by purchasing goods manufactured by, in effect, slave labor. American importers who handle the goods are included in the case. They counter-sue against the same Chinese companies.

The Chinese government, terrified about the fall-out and watching their own export figures plummet as world reaction mounts, acts swiftly. They arrest all of the implicated business owners.

Mao Lok immediately sends investigators to Gadaffi. Gadaffi just as swiftly sends the investigators to Turkey.

The EU recognizes its perilous situation overnight. It is about to welcome a new member which has indulged in state-supported mind control. Helmut den Das is dispatched to Istanbul to meet with President Erdogan, who pleads that he knows nothing.

Gadaffi, battling with dissent at home and eager to gain some credibility, exonerates Erdogan but points directly at General Gursel. By late August the Propax factory has been destroyed. In early September, as the water table clears of all chemical additives, riots break out across Kurdish areas.

Soon Istanbul is on fire. Confusion reigns. The EU meets with President Erdogan who begs that accession go ahead. The EU puts it to a vote. Turkey must wait yet again.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.