Are you still unconvinced that remotely generating activity in a target’s brain really has an effect on him? Using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to induce movement in a patient is part of the calibration procedure at Johns Hopkins:
The TMS physician then measures the patient’s motor threshold, by administering several brief pulses. The motor threshold is the minimum amount of power necessary to make the patient’s thumb twitch, and varies from individual to individual. Measuring the motor threshold helps the physician personalize the treatment settings and determine the amount of energy required to stimulate brain cells.
© 2008 MistyHora GDFL
How might such involuntary twitching affect a person unaware of this ‘treatment’?
A cursory look at TMS reveals immediate possibilities to increase the range. Rather than two empty loops generating the magnetic pulses, have two parallel arrays or ferromagnetic rods, angled slightly to converge on a focal point, with large electrical cables wound tightly around them. Electromagnets are normally created in such a way, a single loop of wire is an extremely inefficient way of creating a magnetic field with electrical current.
The magnetic field strength varies with how much current can be used. Even with mundane technologies, high field strengths can be generated if you’re will to draw power. No superconductors or exotic materials needed.
At Chaparral Steel, I worked in the melt shop of an electric arc furnace steel plant. The giant cables to the furnaces would sway several feet further apart with each arc in the furnaces. This is because, at more than 400 kWh per ton of steel, the furnace will draw 40 to 50 megawatt hours per filling of a 100 ton ladle. These magnetic fields were incidental, were those cables wound around a magnetic core, much greater field strengths would be achievable.
So there isn’t really a question that a country with psychiatrists willing to use their profession to torture could make use of such a set-up. After all, part of the reason that it’s been so hard to do double blind trials with TMS is that the level of discomfort involved makes it hard make a believable placebo. And that is at therapeutic levels.