THE RAPE OF THE MIND
The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing, byJoost A. M. Meerloo, M.D., Instructor in Psychiatry, Columbia University Lecturer in Social Psychology, New School for Social Research, Former Chief, Psychological Department, NetherlandsForces, published in 1956, World Publishing Company. (Out of Print)
PART ONE -- THE TECHNIQUES OF INDIVIDUALSUBMISSION
The first part of this book is devoted to various techniques used to make man a meek conformist. Inaddition to actual political occurrences, attention is called to some ideas born in the laboratory and tothe drug techniques that facilitate brainwashing. The last chapter deals with the subtle psychologicalmechanisms of mental submission.
CHAPTER ONE -- YOU TOO WOULD CONFESS
A fantastic thing is happening in our world. Today a man is no longer punished only for the crimes hehas in fact committed. Now he may be compelled to confess to crimes that have been conjured up byhis judges, who use his confession for political purposes. It is not enough for us to damn as evil thosewho sit in judgment. We must understand what impels the false admission of guilt; we must takeanother look at the human mind in all its frailty and vulnerability.
The Enforced Confession
During the Korean War, an officer of the United States Marine Corps, Colonel Frank H. Schwable,was taken prisoner by the Chinese Communists. After months of intense psychological pressure andphysical degradation, he signed a well documented "confession" that the United States was carryingon bacteriological warfare against the enemy. The confession named names, cited missions, describedmeetings and strategy conferences. This was a tremendously valuable propaganda tool for thetotalitarians. They cabled the news all over the world: "The United States of America is fighting thepeace loving people of China by dropping bombs loaded with disease spreading bacteria, in violationof international law."After his repatriation, Colonel Schwable issued a sworn statement repudiating his confession, anddescribing his long months of imprisonment. Later, he was brought before a military court of inquiry.He testified in his own defense before that court: "I was never convinced in my own mind that we inthe First Marine Air Wing had used bug warfare. I knew we hadn't, but the rest of it was real to me theconferences, the planes, and how they would go about their missions.""The words were mine," the Colonel continued, "but the thoughts were theirs. That is the hardestthing I have to explain: how a man can sit down and write something he knows is false, and yet, tosense it, to feel it, to make it seem real."This is the way Dr. Charles W. Mayo, a leading American physician and government representative,explained brainwashig in an official statement before the United Nations: "...the torturesused...although they include many brutal physical injuries, are not like the medieval torture of the rack and the thumb screw. They are subtler, more prolonged, and intended to be more terrible in their effect. They are calculated to disintegrate the mind of an intelligent victim, to distort his sense of values, to a point where he will not simply cry out 'I did it!' but will become a seemingly willingaccomplice to the complete disintegration of his integrity and the production of an elaborate fiction."The Schwable case is but one example of a defenseless prisoner being compelled to tell a big lie. If we are to survive as free men, we must face up to this problem of politically inspired mental coercion,with all its ramifications.It is more than twenty years [in 1956] since psychologists first began to suspect that the human mindcan easily fall prey to dictatorial powers. In 1933, the German Reichstag building was burned to theground. The Nazis arrested a Dutchman, Marinus Van der Lubbe, and accused him of the crime. Van