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No, WEF can’t ‘hack your dreams’ to ‘fact-check your subconscious’ – bizarre claim misuses two-year-old US beer ad experiment

IN SHORT: Is the hard work of fighting disinformation about to get easier with new World Economic Forum tech that can simply insert fact-checks into people’s dreams? No, this scenario is a mangled conspiracy theory that reads far too much into a 2021 beer advert.

“We can now implant fact checks directly into your mind,” reads what seems to be a tweet by the World Economic Forum (WEF). It ends with brain and sleep emojis.

The tweet is in the cover image of a video posted on the People’s Voice Rumble channel in May 2023. The cover also shows a wide-eyed person lying in bed, and a photo of Klaus Schwab, the WEF’s founder and executive chair.

The video’s description, and its headline on the People’s Voice website, reads: “Klaus Schwab Brags WEF Can ‘Fact Check Your Subconscious’ by ‘Hacking Your Dreams’.”

“Scientists have a stark warning for humanity,” a man in the video says. “The globalist elite can now hack your dreams, fact-check your subconscious and target your dreams with mind-control messages to influence your behaviour.”

A photo of Schwab on stage at a WEF event is shown behind the man.

“And they’re already rolling out the technology,” he continues. “Mind-control for the masses in which even our dreams are controlled and manipulated, with or without our consent, is the future for humanity – according to the global elite.”

The man also says:

Coors Light is one of the companies who has been given access to the technology in order to gain the trust of gullible members of the public who are happy to experimented upon …

Meet Deirdre Barrett, dream psychologist, editor of the academic journal Dreaming and WEF contributor.

Did it work? The globalist elite have pumped unfathomable amounts of time and money into the agenda to mind control the human race, so you bet it worked. 

But there are brave scientists who are resisting the siren song of the globalist elite. Forty sleep researchers have signed an open letter calling on legislators to ban targeted dream incubation.

The video’s claim has found its way onto Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit and other websites. It can also be seen here, here and here.

Researchers at the US-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology have defined targeted dream incubation, or TDI, as a method of “guiding (or ‘incubating’) dreams towards specific themes”. It uses the Dormio system in which users are woken mid-sleep to write dream reports, and has allowed scientists to explore the link between sleep and creativity.

The WEF describes itself as “the international organisation for public-private cooperation” that engages “leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas”. Both Schwab and the organisation have become regular targets of false information.

The People’s Voice, previously known as News Punch, is a known source of disinformation. But could it be onto something here? Has Schwab bragged that the WEF can use TDI “technology” to hack dreams and fact-check our subconscious?


No evidence of link between WEF and dream experiments

The tweet on the video’s cover is fake. An advanced Twitter search reveals no such tweet on the WEF’s verified account.

Dr Deirdre Barrett is a dream psychologist and the editor-in-chief of Dreaming, a journal produced by the International Association for the Study of Dreams. She teaches at Harvard Medical School in the US.

But she is not “a WEF correspondent”, as the video claims. “I have no association with the World Economic Forum,” she told Africa Check in an email.

In 2021, Barrett did help develop the Coors Light Big Game Commercial Dream Experiment. In 2021 beer company Coors was not allowed to advertise on the much-watched broadcast of the US Super Bowl. The idea behind the “dream experiment” was that they would instead attempt to incubate dreams about Coors the night before the biggest game of the American football season.

In the video explaining the experiment, Barrett says: “When Coors first approached me, they wanted to know if it would be possible to incubate an ad in a dream. I told them there is a way – if you’ve got cooperative subjects to do dream incubation and influence their dream content.”

In other words, the subjects had to be willing. The experiment had nothing to do with “controlling” and “manipulating” dreams “without our consent”, as the People’s Voice video claims.

Music, video used to prompt Coors dreams – ‘no tech involved’

The Coors experiment didn’t use targeted dream incubation, even though a late January 2021 press release claimed it would. A week later, this was corrected in a replacement press release that did not mention TDI, and substituted the less scary word “experience” for “experiment”.

“The Coors ad did not use ‘targeted dream incubation’, which refers to the use of the Dormio home sleep monitoring device specifically,” Barrett told Africa Check.

And it didn’t use any “tech monitoring equipment … like headbands with EEG leads”. EEG is short for the electroencephalogram test, which measures electrical activity in the brain.

“The ad was video/audio content only – no tech involved,” Barrett said.

TDI and the Dormio system weren’t used in the Coors ad. Even if they were, TDI requires the active participation of its subjects. For one thing, it is designed to bring the dreamer back to wakefulness – but not wake them up completely – in the middle of a dream, so they can record the dream in a journal.

What the ‘brave scientists’ really said

The announcement of the Coors experiment led to some backlash. In June 2021, 38 scientists from across the world signed an open letter expressing their concern.

These are the “brave scientists who are resisting the siren song of the globalist elite” the People’s Voice refers to in its video. But they are doing no such thing and they do not mention the WEF.

The letter, titled Advertising in Dreams is Coming: Now What?, only addresses dream incubation and advertising. And it doesn’t discuss “implanting fact checks directly into your mind”, or a new ability of the “elite” to “hack your dreams, fact-check your subconscious and target your dreams with mind-control messages to influence your behaviour”.

The letter, Barrett told us, “did not ask for a ban on ‘targeted dream incubation’ – two of its three lead authors are main researchers publishing positively on TDI. They are big supporters of TDI.”

She added: “The letter asked for a ban on using suggestions during dreams on home speakers against the owner’s knowledge.”

Adverts in dreams would be illegal

Barrett also pointed out that trying to “hack” adverts into people’s dreams without their knowledge or consent would be illegal, at least in the US.

“My only disagreement with the letter is that everything they are worrying about is already well prohibited by current FTC guidelines against misleading and covert advertising and doesn’t need anything specific to dreaming,” she told us.

The FTC is the Federal Trade Commission, the US consumer protection agency.

Schwab didn’t brag about new WEF tech that can hack your dreams to insert fact-checks into your mind. No such tech exists, and current research on incubating dreams is not connected to the WEF.

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