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Freedom of Thought!





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from the CCLE.




The United States Supreme Court has recognized:

"Freedom of thought... is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom. With rare aberrations a pervasive recognition of this truth can be traced in our history, political and legal" (Palko v. Connecticut (1937) 302 U.S. 319, 326-27.)

Without freedom of thought, the First Amendment right to freedom of speech is moot, because you can only express what you can think. Constraining or censoring how a person thinks (cognitive censorship) is the most fundamental kind of censorship, and is contrary to some of our most cherished constitutional principles.

In 2003, the CCLE filed a legal brief on the relationship between Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Thought, and psychotropic drugs in the United States Supreme Court. We are now examining other aspects of the First Amendment that protect freedom of thought. Scientists, for example, are discovering that nearly everyone engages in what they are terming "internal speech." We use language to navigate within our own thoughts. The CCLE is examining whether the freedom of speech protects "internal speech." (We think it does, and we're working to prove it).

In addition, while most people are capable of shutting their eyes and thereby blocking out external images, it is not so easy to shut one's ears. New technology like Hypersonic Sound -- which transmits a beam of sound that is silent until you walk into it -- is raising the question of what rights people have to internal auditory integrity. If the First Amendment blocks the government from putting words in a person's mouth, does it also block the government from putting words in a person's head? (We think it does, and we're working to prove it).


CCLE legal brief on Freedom of Thought and the First Amendment

Hypersonic Sound

Listen Up: Unusual Forms of Sound to Emanate From RNC
By Amanda Onion,, Aug. 25, 2004

Woody Norris has a way of getting inside your head...
By David Sparrow, Popular Science

The Sound of Things to Come
By Marshall Sella, New York Times Magazine, Mar. 23, 2003

Woody Norris' home page: the inventor of HSS

Hearing is Believing
By Jame Reno and N'Gai Croul, Newsweek, Aug. 5, 2002