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"We're about 20 minutes away from the point where Clarke's law kicks in and technology becomes indistinguishable from magic."
- Peter Watts

Hypnosis Ray  
  Eases the words of dictators into the minds of the credulous.  

The Director’s eyes were dangerous. But I plunged on recklessly. “Yes, mass hypnotism — that has been your secret weapon. You may have deluded most of the world, but you forget I studied psycho-history in what you are pleased to call the Barbaric Era. Earlier dictators than you fumbled around with the idea of mass hypnosis. There was a man named Hitler back in the 1930s and ’40s who used it with some crude success. But he didn’t know anything about the scientific end of it. He employed no hypnosis rays or skillful projections to break into the unconscious and the subliminal thresholds. He relied on a raucous voice and emotional reiterations. You have been far cleverer. Your Sunday Assemblies renew your contacts with all the earth, rebathing the poor dupes in hypnosis rays and sliding afresh the projectional sug- gestions of your voice and mind into theirs.”

I attended the Sunday Assemblies wherever I happened to be, as was indeed compulsory. The Director, three-dimensional, spoke softly, soothingly. The hypnosis rays pervaded the auditoriums. His eyes were serene, and persuasive. The drugged words slid into the minds of the people.

From Beyond All Weapons, by Eric Frank Russell.
Published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1941
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