Project Monarch (a mind control programme developed within MK ULTRA) is named after the Monarch butterfly which, like many animals, seems to have some kind of hardwired behaviour within them. The butterfly’s migration period is longer than the lifespan of the butterfly, but the baby butterflies that are born on route still end up travelling to the same place. With mind control, the objective is to condition subjects in such a way that they end up acting without consciously thinking – it becomes instinct.

During the process of gaining control over someone’s mind, the handler will create a series of triggers which sets off a behaviour in that person. People who have been under the influence of this programme won’t be aware that it’s a trigger, so it works on a subconscious level. This technique was used in the MK ULTRA programme and a common symbol of this became the butterfly.

Another theory of why the butterfly is used is that it’s a symbol of transformation, the caterpillar emerges from its cocoon, unrecognisable in comparison to its former self. This video quotes the Dalai Lama to suggest that the butterfly could be seen as a very cold symbol devoid of emotion. From this perspective, the butterfly never meets its mother, it has to fend for itself and experiences little kindness. It could be a symbol of a detached home life and the Dalai Lama suggests that someone that grows up in this environment will find it very difficult to show compassion and empathy for others.

Are they just a fashion trend or could they be something more sinister, a symbol planted to trigger certain values or behaviours? If it’s a trend, why are they commonly placed over one eye or the mouth?

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