How Nikola Tesla’s Theories Unleash M.G. Buehrlen’s Inner Geek

Image: Melanie R. Meadors
Image: Melanie R. Meadors

This week we welcome YA author M.G. Buehrlen to Geek Speaks…Fiction! M.G. tells us all about why Nikola Tesla’s theories make her geek out, and how they helped inspire her new book, The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare.

If you are a regular visitor to GeekMom chances are you’ve heard of Nikola Tesla, the famous inventor, engineer, and physicist. If you’re a fan of The Oatmeal, you may have read this comic, which is a Tesla crash course. (It’s also hilarious.) Yet there are many who have never heard Tesla’s name (“It’s a car company, right?”), and although Tesla’s inventions helped shape our modern world, he is often a forgotten part of history.

Tesla might be the greatest geek ever to walk the earth. Did you know he was the first to experiment with wireless energy, which resulted in artificial lightning bolts dancing across his laboratory?

His neighbors thought he was CRAZY, even going so far as spreading rumors that he was the devil. It was the 1800’s after all, and Tesla’s brilliance was too far ahead of its time to be appreciated. Common onlookers viewed his experiments as ungodly, even extraterrestrial.

But Tesla didn’t seem to care. He continued his experiments, unabashedly, and discovered that his lightning bolts produced ELFs, extremely low frequencies, that could travel through the earth without resistance. That’s how Tesla discovered the resonant frequency of the earth, its very heartbeat, and thus the resonant frequency of our entire biological system.

Through this discovery, Tesla theorized that ELFs could control the human race.

Here’s what he said:

“Alpha waves in the human brain are between 6 and 8 hertz. The wave frequency of the human cavity resonates between 6 and 8 hertz. All biological systems operate in the same frequency range. The human brain’s alpha waves function in this range and the electrical resonance of the earth is between 6 and 8 hertz. Thus, our entire biological system – the brain and the earth itself – work on the same frequencies. If we can control that resonate system electronically, we can directly control the entire mental system of humankind.

*inner geek officially unlocked*

Conspiracy theorists make a lot of claims based on Tesla’s idea: that exposure to ELFs could induce entire populations to suffer from mass paranoia, rage, riotous behavior, depression, or even mass apathy, which is just as terrifying as the other options if you think about it.

There are those who believe governments around the world are experimenting with ELFs for precisely this purpose, to control us. The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Alaska and the Soviet Duga radar system (“Russian Woodpecker”) are two examples of frequency transmission systems that have fueled conspiracy theorists for ages.

While my skeptic side rolls her eyes at such nonsense, my sci-fi writer side sees a wealth of storylines spilling out across the page, glittering like gold dust.

Brain wave manipulation isn’t all doom and gloom, however. There are positive benefits as well. According to this article, a technique called brainwave entrainment (exposure to certain sounds or light emissions) “can coax your brainwaves to a certain frequency, and in doing so, achieve the mental state associated with that frequency.”

In the same way meditation can induce a relaxed state of mind, moving throughout alpha, beta, and theta ranges, brain entrainment claims to have an abundance of benefits from increased memory, focus, and clarity to emotional and physical healing. It can also bring about lucid dreaming or, in extreme circumstances, out-of-body experiences.

Image: Diversion Publishing
Image: Diversion Publishing

When I first read about Nikola Tesla’s mind manipulation theory, I knew I had to put it in a book.

I used Tesla’s theory as a subplot in my latest novel, The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare, the sequel to The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare. In the first book we find out that Durham Gesh — the man who created Alex and gave her the ability to travel through time — silently controls the world by using time travel to his advantage. In book two we get a glimpse into his master plan. Tesla never put his theory to the test, but Gesh did. By manipulating brain frequencies, Gesh created his own silent army, turning humans into glorified robots. Like sleeper agents, they are stationed around the world, in the White House, in the CIA, ready and waiting to follow Gesh’s commands.

Brain entrainment also finds its way into Untimely Deaths. Alex and her team use sound waves to induce out-of-body experiences which help them enter Limbo, the realm between Life and Afterlife. From there, they can travel anywhere through time and attempt to beat Gesh at his own game.

Not only do Tesla’s inventions and theories make my modern way of life possible, from my smart phone to my microwave oven, but they also fuel my creative side, as well as countless others who have found inspiration in his work. His influence is alive and well, a thread connecting engineers and physicists to artists and poets. Although long gone and often forgotten, Tesla remains, reincarnated as a frequency of his own, one that resonates with us all.

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Photo: Laurel Hogge at Lauren Photography

MG Buehrlen is the author of  The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare and The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare. For 12 years, MG was a web-developer and social media director, and during that time she co-developed YABooksCentral.com, the largest social network for YA book lovers. Now she spends her days writing books instead of PHP code and wrangling her 2-year-old son instead of marketing campaigns.