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U.S. patent No. 5356368A is not related to 5G towers. It’s for a meditation aid by the Monroe Institute, a nonprofit organization, according to a Monroe Institute spokesperson.
A conspiracy theory that claims 5G towers are used to brainwash people has surfaced on social media.
In a Sept. 20 Facebook post sharing a TikTok video, a narrator refers to U.S. patent No. 5356368A and claims it’s proof that the government is using 5G towers — which provide wireless network service — to induce thoughts in people’s consciousness.
Reading from the patent, the narrator says, "It induces a desired state of human consciousness." She then adds, "Do you know what that means? That's literally the fancy talk for brainwashing. … Those towers are everywhere, they just got us wrapped around their fingers, they can literally make you feel things they want you to feel."
This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
The TikTok narrator shows what appears to be the correct patent, but that 1991 patent does not mention 5G or anything related to cell towers. The narrator does not specify why she believes the patent is linked to 5G, other than saying she had "seen a video going around" with the information, then did "a little research."
The patent says the inventor is Robert A. Monroe, founder of the Monroe Institute, a nonprofit organization that researches and guides people into "human consciousness exploration," according to the institute’s website.
PolitiFact contacted the institute to ask whether the patent has any connection to 5G towers.
It does not, said Paul Citarella, the institute’s executive vice president.
"There is absolutely no connection between the contents of the patent referenced in the Facebook post and 5G towers, or any other towers for that matter. This is just pure fabrication," Citarella said.
He said the patent is for the institute’s audio technology, which is a meditation aid.
"That patent covered some specific techniques for creating brainwave entrainment audio signals. Please note that these signals are delivered through regular audio just like any other music you might listen to. They are not broadcast over the air in any manner," Citarella said.
The patent expired in 2011.
We rate the claim that a patent shows 5G towers are used for brainwashing Pants on Fire!
Facebook post, Sept. 20, 2023
The Monroe Institute, Our Purpose, accessed Oct 2, 2023
Google Patents, US5356368A, accessed Oct 2, 2023
Email interview with Paul Citarella, executive vice president, CTO from the Monroe Institute, Oct 2, 2023
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