The Prisoner: Technology: Social Conversion Unit
Reserved for disharmonious Villagers who have overstepped their bounds into unmutuality, the ultrasonic Social Conversion procedure was developed by formerly disharmonious Number 86 to quickly and efficiently modify the antisocial behavior of Unmutuals to conform to our normal standards of social operation, allowing them to become peaceful, cooperative members of the Village.
The Social Conversion Unit consists of a quartz crystal housed in a parabolic reflector. High-voltage condensers create a variable magnetic field which is converted to ultrasound waves in the crystal. The reflector focuses the ultrasound waves. As ultrasound is invisible, high-intensity light waves are also used to assist the surgeon in proper placement of the ultrasound focal point.
According to Number 86, proper placement of the focal point is essential to the success of the operation, since this frequency of ultrasound penetrates tissue and causes molecular turbulence.
“The primary concern is to find the link point of the frontal lobe. To do this we turn to a low voltage rating and feel our focal point to success.” (Once the medial aspect of the left motor area is located, it takes only some fine tuning to find the link point of the frontal lobe.)
Before voltage is increased, a muscle relaxant is injected into the patient to prevent any involuntary muscle contractions, and a lanolin barrier is applied to the temple to minimize scar tissue and external cell breakdown.
Perhaps the most ingenious aspect of Social Conversion is that the surgery never actually occurs. The personality adjustment is successful because the patient believes he or she has been physically altered. The mild scarring of the temple is caused by the application of an acidic compound (not lanolin), and the “muscle relaxant” is actually either a hypnotic or anesthetic which causes the patient to lose consciousness just before surgery takes place.
The actual active ingredient in successful Social Conversion is regular doses of Mytol, a benzodiazepine related to Valium, once rejected as an anti-anxiety medication because of side effects which render it perfectly suitable for the state of relaxed suggestibility required. Once completely convinced of his or her social conversion, the patient is weaned from Mytol and the new cooperative personality remains in force indefinitely.
Speculative scientific aspects of The Prisoner have come from a combination of the television episodes, related comics and novels, and unrelated scientific resources. This article is copyright Pet Serrano 2003. Carlton International owns all rights to The Prisoner.
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