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Vsevolod Pudovkin, dir. Mechanics of the Brain, 19251926.

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Homo pavlovius: Cinema, Conditioning, and the Cold War Subject


ANDREAS KILLEN Edward Hunter, the man popularly credited with coining the term brainwashing, had a deep appreciation of the power of his new construct. In his book on this new form of mind control, first published in 1951 and then expanded on in 1956, he referred often to the eerie sensation this term inspired in him.1 Many Americans shared this sensation in the first decade of the Cold War. The fear and fascination surrounding the term brainwashing presumably stemmed from the conviction that in this uncanny phenomenon the totalitarian enemy revealed its true face. If a name was needed to accompany that face, Hunter supplied that as well. The ultimate source of the eerie sensation emanating from behind the Iron Curtain was identified by Hunter as Ivan Pavlov, the Nobel Prizewinning scientist and inventor of the methods the Soviets and their allies were allegedly employing on American prisoners of war (POWs) in Korea, on prominent dissidents in Eastern bloc countries, and on a mass scale on their own citizens. Hunter saw evidence of a deep connection between the POW camps and Pavlovs experiments on reflex conditioning, and he furthermore claimed that the Chinese, as a race, are undergoing mind treatment inside a Great Pavlovian Wall.2 From the start the problems both with Hunters account of brainwashing and with his picture of Pavlov as the mastermind behind it were readily apparent. Not the least of these was that Pavlov had never been a Bolshevik, and his most important research had been carried out before the Bolsheviks came to power. The exact nature of the relation between Pavlovian conditioning and brainwashing was also problematic, as was, some skeptics suggested, the entire concept of brainwashing. Despite such skepticism, Hunters construct proved remarkably resilientattesting not just to the skill with which the journalist and intelligence operative had woven his account but also to the degree to which it tapped into deep undercurrents of anxiety in the contemporary public. Joost Meerloo, a Dutch psychiatrist who taught

Grey Room 45, Fall 2011, pp. 4259. 2011 Grey Room, Inc. and Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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at Columbia University and published his own analysis of brainwashing in 1956, argued that many people had become familiar with this phenomenon in their daily lives. Citing patient case histories and accounts by others claiming to be under the influence of impersonal forces, he wrote, This is not necessarily a psychiatric condition . . . there are many real external influences. Meerloo stressed in particular the modern medias role in taking possession of the nervous patterns of man. What Meerloo called the Kremlins Pavlovian front thus represented just one aspect albeit a particularly insidious oneof a wider phenomenon.3 The invention of brainwashing was in this sense not simply an American propaganda coup, as has been frequently argued.4 The term also became shorthand for a multitude of forms of control, persuasion, and influencefor political but also other purposesexperienced by many people in the aftermath of Word War II. If many of these practices remained intangible, viscerally felt but difficult to comprehend, the notion of brainwashing seemed to crystallize them in a powerful way, to name them as a specific pathology not just of totalitarian society but of modernity as such. What I explore in the following are several elements within the cultural fantasy surrounding brainwashing: in particular, the way Pavlovs name, together with certain forms of human science and the modern visual media, became written into it. These elements are central to the eras iconic representation of mind control, John Frankenheimers 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate, an account of a hypnoprogrammed assassins role in a plot to take over the White House. Yet, while in many ways Frankenheimers film represents the apotheosis of this fantasy, it also complicates the fantasy by suggesting that knowledge of the enemy, as Hunter had defined it, was at the same time deeply self-reflexive, a form of knowledge of American society itself.
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As initially formulated, it was the specifically Communist practice of brainwashing that made this term a key Cold War trope. And, for Hunter, understanding the true nature of this phenomenon entailed placing Pavlov at its center. Wittingly or not, the great scientist had given the Soviets a powerful method for controlling minds and behavior.5 This was most vividly illustrated in two settings; namely, political trials and POW campssettings in which conditioning techniques (aided by drugs and hypnosis) were chiefly used to elicit confessions to fake crimes, such as the charges of germ warfare that a dozen U.S. POWs publicly confessed to in 1952.

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Hunter also paid much attention to the role of the mass media as tools of indoctrination or collective reflexology. Building on Pavlovs theory of the second signal systemthe domain of communicationhe argued that Soviet films strove to imprint the Kremlins trigger words (running dog, warmonger, etc.) on audiences. Red script-writers also turned out feature films that popularized Pavlovs experiments in the Hollywood manner and made Pavlov a magician of occult-like powers over mens minds.6 Several films were produced for the Pavlov centenary of 1949, a date also marking a moment of major realignment in Soviet science under the Pavlovian banner.7 But the true nature of the Soviets project was most vividly revealed, according to Hunter, in one particular film that he saw as a virtual master text of their mind control campaign. The film, The Nervous System, depicts scenes from Pavlovs laboratory, including his famous experiments with dogs. Crucially, the original version also depicts scenes of experimentation on a human subject, a young boy the identical saliva experiments that Pavlov had conducted on dogs. As Hunter explained, these scenes were cut from the official version, and the original was withdrawn from circulation. The Nervous System was a substantially altered version of Mechanics of the Brain, a film made in 19251926 by Vsevolod Pudovkin, who would become one of the most important directors to emerge in the Soviet Union, directing such classics as Mother (1926) and Storm over Asia (1928). Mechanics of the Brain endeavors to popularize Pavlovs theory of the conditioned reflex as the foundation of psychic life.8 As such it represented a contribution to the Soviet regimes just-launched campaign for cinefication of the country, part of a Bolshevik program of mass enlightenment for its largely illiterate population. The film, as Margarete Vhringer argues, was thus both a representation of the conditioning process and an enactment of that process on a mass scale.9 For Hunter, what was most disturbing about the film was not just its representation of Pavlovian theory or its scenes of human experimentation but the underlying alliance between cinema and science at the basis of Pudovkins endeavor. Together they revealed the powers claimed by the Kremlin in its aspiration to create a new Soviet man and the lengths it was prepared to go in remaking the human subject. No less so than Pavlovs methods themselves, film was shown here to be a powerful tool of mass political conditioning. Describing his twinge of horror (an unconditioned reflex) at this film and its revelation of the true implications of Soviet science, Hunter alleged that Pavlovs own complicity was proven by a secret manuscript he wrote for Lenin in 1923.10

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Hunter was hardly alone in his fixation on the figure of Pavlov. Many sources of this period concurred in seeing Pavlov as the originator of the methods of coercive persuasion practiced in Eastern bloc countries. According to Joost Meerloo, the brainwashed subject was, in classic Pavlovian fashion, first broken down, then conditioned to accept his own confession, before finally entering into an autohypnotic state in which he became convinced of his fabricated crimes.11 In a 1953 speech on brain warfare, newly appointed Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Allen Dulles conjured the notion of human beings robbed of volition by an outside genius, and in a later speech on the topic of persuasion he invoked Pavlovs name to explain the methods in use behind the Iron Curtain.12 Similarly, a classified report of 1955, titled Brainwashing: The Communist Experiment with Mankind, offers a short primer on the principles of reflexology and their political applications, arguing that Pavlovs techniques, in perverted form, provided the blueprint for the Soviets mind control project.13 The Reds, it concludes, had turned the POWs into human experimentsin every sense comparable to the boy in Pudovkins film. Moreover, in the propaganda films accompanying the POWs confessions, they, too, had been assigned roles in a scenario designed by Red scriptwriters. In his 1953 speech, Dulles described his own viewing of one of these films, which, he claimed, had been based on an elaborately planned scenario that required six months of drafting, followed by two months of conditioning.14 No less an authority than Hannah Arendt echoed such views. Her influential Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) placed particular stress on the uses to which science was put in the camps that she saw as the essence of this new political system. The camps, she wrote, were laboratories for the project of fabricating mankind according to the specifications of a scientific blueprint: The camps are meant not only to exterminate people and degrade human beings, but also serve the ghastly experiment of eliminating, under scientifically controlled conditions, spontaneity itself as an expression of human behavior and of transforming the human personality into a mere thing. . . . Nothing then remains but ghastly marionettes with human faces, which all behave like the dog in Pavlovs experiments, which all react with perfect reliability even when going to their death, and which do nothing but react.15 Reflecting wider concerns with the ethical and humanistic impact of modern science, Arendts view lent considerable philosophical weight to the narrative of totalitarian science run amok.

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Despite the cumulative weight of these views, however, by the mid-1950s most available evidence seemed to point to the conclusion that the methods used against U.S. POWs and Eastern bloc dissidents were not especially Pavlovian, scientific, or esoteric. Several CIA reports of this period acknowledge that signed confessions were likely the result of little more than the standard police tactics long used by authoritarian regimes.16 And yet despite such findings, which were confirmed by later reports, the Western discourse of totalitarianism remained deeply marked by this specter of the Pavlovianized self. Americans continued to be powerfully fixated on what the psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, himself a skeptic, described as the lurid mythology of brainwashing as mysterious Oriental device, an irresistible, unfathomable, and magical method of achieving total control over the human mind.17 In popular consciousness, wrote one Sovietologist in 1957, the figures of Pavlov and Fu Manchu had been fused.18 Precisely this fusion serves as the basis for the fevered scenario of The Manchurian Candidate and its vision of brainwashing. The scientific premise for this scenario is spelled out, in the Richard Condon novel on which Frankenheimers film is based, by Yen Lo, the Fu Manchulike director of the Pavlov Institute, when he observes, The first thing a human being is loyal to is his own conditioned nervous system.19
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Like Pudovkins The Nervous System, the film The Manchurian Candidate hinges on a complex staging of the relation between science, the conditioned subject, and the moving image. In addition to wedding these elements to the political thriller genre, Frankenheimers film also introduces several new elements, the crucial one in this context being the fact that cinema has been superseded by television as a tool of conditioning. In the film, TV is associated with McCarthyism and anti-Communist hysteria, and this linkage reflects not only the fact that brainwashing has by now migrated across the political spectrum but also that the phenomenon of political conditioning, as Timothy Melley suggests, has been overlaid by more pervasive forms of social conditioning.20 At the center of these is television. The proliferation of TV screens across 1950s America is visually and thematically integrated into Frankenheimers film in several ways. In an early scene depicting a Red-baiting senators accusations concerning the presence of Communists in the U.S. military, on-screen events are simultaneously shown on live television monitors. By the end of the film the power of the small screen has emerged as a crucial plot point: the

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conspirators count on the live transmission of the planned assassination to send the American public into hysterical frenzy. In this doubling of the screen, or representation of a screen within the screen, Frankenheimers film thus incorporates a comment on the power of the moving image.21 The shift signaled in this scene conjures up a series of larger shifts in American society, the emergence of a new constellation of anxieties about corporate and media power, and corresponding new discourses on control and persuasion. These feature a handful of prominent names, including Sigmund Freud, John Watson, and Norbert Wiener (all mentioned in Vance Packards expos of the advertising industry, The Hidden Persuaders).22 These in turn echo earlier discourses. Francis Galton, Henry Ford, and Frederick Winslow Taylor, for instance, had all featured in Huxleys Brave New World (to which Huxley published a sequel, including a chapter on brainwashing, in 1958).23 Yet Pavlov remained in many ways emblematic, the paradigm of the scientist as engineer of souls, his status now elevated into that of a Svengali-like figure by the combined power of the moving image and the Communists propaganda apparatus. In a 1953 paper titled Pavlov and Propaganda, the psychologist A.M.G. Little made explicit the basis for this by directly connecting Pavlovs theory of the second signal system to Moscows psychological operations. Stressing the significance of the fact that Pavlovs recognition of the privileged status of the word as stimulus went back to his research on hypnotized subjects, Little concludes that conditioning via words and images had become the Soviets magic formulathe basis of a planned cinefication of the world according to Pavlovian specifications.24 In Edward Hunters account, Pudovkins The Nervous System became the primal scene of the secret history of the Red mind control project first developed in the 1920s and then unleashed on the world in the 1950s. At the same time, brainwashings emergence as a central tenet of modern psychological warfare was deeply inscribed by an older set of anxieties: it offered a Cold Warera variation on a theme going back to the dawn of the cinema and to its first emergence as a medium of scientific research and experimentation, as well as of mass education and entertainment. As his repeated references to the eerie feelings the topic of brainwashing aroused in him suggest, Hunter was a man in the grip of a peculiar modern fascination, concerning the power of the visual media and their place within larger modernist projects of social engineering and control. Pudovkins film, moreover, was particularly well-calculated to elicit this reaction, due to its position at the convergence of

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several major strands in the history of the relation between science and the moving image: (1) the cinemas origins in late-nineteenth-century experimental and clinical sciences; (2) its use as a tool for popular-scientific enlightenment; (3) its role within the modern states propaganda apparatus of methods for exploiting the second signal system.25 At the most basic level, Hunters response to this film resonates with a larger history that scholars like Jonathan Crary and Stefan Andriopoulos have described in terms of the discursive construction of film as a medium of mind control.26
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New and more extreme variations of this theme soon found their way into public consciousness. In testimony given to a Congressional committee investigating brainwashing in 1958, Hunter again cited the role of Pavlov, once more alluding to the weird feelings his investigations into this topic aroused in him, and further invoking Pudovkins film as evidence of the scientific basis for Soviet psychological warfare.27 Two years earlier Hunters treatment of The Nervous System as a kind of horror film had been anticipated in the account of Lajos Ruff, a Hungarian dissident who had spent two years in prison in the early 1950s. In his sensational Congressional testimony, delivered in fall 1956 (and later fleshed out in his book The Brainwashing Machine), Ruff described in great detail the conditioning process he had undergone at the hands of a doctor who kept him locked in a magic room, where he was administered drugs and compelled to watch pornographic and other films designed to destroy his sense of reality.28 When, at a certain point in this process, Ruff himself began to appear (in an apparently drugged state) as an actor in the films being projected on the walls of the room, the doctor announced that he had gone clinically insane and informed him, You have a split personality.29 Ruffs account of these demonic methods drew considerable attention from, among others, Guy Debord, who cited the account in the first issue of the Situationist International (1958) in the context of a broader discussion of the techniques of conditioning (he also included subliminal advertising and sensory deprivation) being perfected by modern scientists.30 Though questions surround the provenance and authenticity of Ruffs account, it remains interesting for several reasons.31 One is that it attests to the perceived dramatic power, and predictive value, such narratives of scientifically calculated manipulation and derangement had acquired at this moment (accounts echoed, for instance, in Huxleys Brave New World Revisited). Another concerns how, amid the new geopolitical realities of the divided, Cold War

John Frankenheimer, dir. The Manchurian Candidate, 1962.

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world, narratives concerning the phenomenon of split personality seem to have become peculiarly compelling. First discovered in the late nineteenth century, multiple personality had reemerged as an object of knowledge, and, as Ian Hacking puts it, a way to be. This development would be dramatized that same year (1958) in the release of the highly acclaimed film The Three Faces of Eve, based on a true case history of a female multiple (i.e., a woman with multiple personalities). But the clinical knowledge at the heart of Ruffs case was put to operational use as a means of breaking him down and eliciting highly scripted confessions for a trial.32 Well before Ruffs account, the idea of using such methods in an operational setting had proved tempting to American psychologists. For example, in an experiment designed to explore the production of multiple personality for intelligence purposes, the psychologist George Estabrooks proposed a hypothetical scenario in which, via hypnotic conditioning, a subject could be split into two persons: Person A, a rabid Communist; and Person B, an equally rabid anti-Communist. Such a super-spy, he claimed, would be able to gain access to enemy secrets undetected and, in the unlikely event of being caught, would be unable to remember and thus divulge anything under questioning.33 Invoking Pavlov as one of the authorities for such methods, Estabrooks transposed the realities of a world in which national entities had developed split personalities (North and South Korea, etc.) to the level of individual psychology. He approached the CIA for funding to explore his proposals more fully, while at the same timein a development symptomatic of the feedback loop between paranoid fiction and paranoid practice that marked the entire Cold Warhe wrote a novel titled Death in the Mind, an account of hypnoprogramming that indirectly served, according to John Marks, as a blueprint for the CIAs own subsequent efforts to build a Manchurian candidate.34 Estabrookss invoking of Pavlovs name in this context and his proposals to the CIA are indicative of two things. First, even as Pavlovs work became part of the Cold War demonology it remained widely identified with an array of influential practices in the human sciences. Reflex conditioning became one of the eras preeminent technologies of the self. Pavlov was, for instance, frequently cited in the literature on treating war-related psychological trauma. In a 1945 article on group psychotherapy for war neurosis, a U.S. Navy doctor described using films of combat scenes as part of a method of de-conditioning soldiers from the horrors of wartime experience. The doctor also sought to reinforce the treatment by explaining to his patients some aspects of Pavlovs experiments on conditioned reflexes, which he illustrated by showing further films demonstrating the artificial

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production of neurosis in cats.35 Yet the innovative therapeutic approach outlined here could in other contexts easily assume more ambiguous features. Whether understood as conditioning, hypnotic treatment, reeducation, or otherwise, the phenomena described in brainwashing discourse have much in common with other forms of human and clinical science that, as McLuhan, Packard, and Debord note, many people in this period experienced in their daily lives.36 The thematization of control and persuasion in sociological, journalistic, and cultural treatises of this period registers a host of anxieties about the degree to which the self was becoming enmeshed within a new matrix of sciences and practices, many of them promising to remake the self according to new insights, prescriptions, and blueprints for behaviormany of which were optimistic and progressive but also highly invasive. Second, while the cultural demands of the Cold War were reflected in the projection of malign intentions onto the Soviet regimes control over science (and, through this control, its citizens psyches), the postwar period marked a moment of new alliance between state and science everywhere, not least in the United States. If the Cold War was to play itself out as a series of variations on the theme of modern warfare as a battle for the mind, then such an alliance was nothing less than a matter of political necessity.37 As Ellen Herman and others show, psychology emerged from World War II as one of the most militarized of the social sciences.38 Moreover, while Western Cold Warriors ritually denounced the Communists violation of the self, its reduction to a totally malleable or automatized function, the Cold War mobilization of psychology in the United States was itself marked by a transition from human to behavioral science, with results that posed a profound challenge to the same ideals of individual volition and agency that these figures professed to uphold.39 Nowhere is this more evident than in the CIAs own mind control program, which mobilized a small army of researchers in the sciences of psy and which both drew upon and catalyzed trends in those fields. When in his brain warfare speech Allen Dulles noted that the brain under these circumstances [i.e., under Communist influence] becomes a phonograph playing a disc put on its spindle by an outside genius over which it has no control, and went on to state that the West was handicapped in its response to such methods by having no human guinea pigs, he did so having just authorized the classified program MK-ULTRA, which presided for a decade over a series of deeply transgressive experiments in behavioral control conducted by leading figures in the clinical and behavioral sciences.40 If experimentation and conditioning became trigger words of Cold War rhetoric,

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this in part reflected a wider sense of anxiety shared by many Americans. This anxiety was rooted in a new constellation of pressures and discourses that were being brought to bear on the self, many grounded in the claims of modern science to produce knowledge about the human subject, to make him or her legible in new ways, to remake him or her according to new blueprints. The fascination with psychological theory and method in popular film, where it became a favorite theme of this period (above all in Hitchcocks oeuvre), reflects the degree to which this era was one of ambitious experimentation in the field of the human sciences, one in which, notwithstanding Dulless claims of Western disadvantage, American researchers engaged in far-reaching explorations of human behavior in war, consumption, sexuality, race relations, and other areas of everyday life. The fascination surrounding Cold War behavioral experiments left deep traces in the careers of many scientists working within the new terrain defined by the alliance between state and behavioral science. Moving back and forth between the public worlds of medical and scientific practice and the shadow worlds of covertly funded research, these figures applied, or reverse engineered, knowledge gained in a clinical context for use in an operational context. According to the logic of a well-established cultural trope, they became at night what they condemned by day and, in so doing, became the medical counterpart to the split or multiple personality that was the focus of much of their research. As Hacking notes, fiction, in the form of Stevensons Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, might have preceded the first accounts of male multiples in the medical literature of the late nineteenth century.41 Such a Cold War scientist might, like the neurologist Harold Wolff, be known for breakthroughs in treatment for stress and migraines, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, be prepared to perform, in the name of national security, experiments that violated deeply held ethical and professional codes. Wolff, an eminent researcher based at Cornell Medical Center in New York, politically well connected as a result of his personal friendship with Dulles, is an especially interesting case of the scientific split personality. His medical itinerary included a stay at Pavlovs laboratory in the 1930s, and he attended the Cerebral Inhibition Meeting on the topics of hypnosis and the conditioned reflex, held in May 1942 in New York City a meeting often cited as a precursor to the cybernetics meetings of the late 1940s. Subsequently he would go on to become a founding member of the Pavlovian Society and to serve as president of the American Neurological Association. Asked by Dulles in the mid-1950s to study the brainwashing problem, Wolff and his colleague Lawrence Hinkle produced what is generally considered to be the definitive

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account of it. They dismissed reports that the Communists were using occult techniques, arguing that no evidence existed of drugs or hypnosis or even of the involvement of psychiatrists or other scientists.42 Yet if Wolff publicly worked to demystify brainwashing, in his capacity as government contractor he simultaneously engaged in ambitious experiments in behavioral control. Wolff explicitly likened his role as doctor to that of a Communist interrogator.43 Under the auspices of a CIA front, the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, Wolffs patron Dulles commissioned him to carry out and fund research on the brain and nervous system as factors in war. His research from this period reveals the continuing influence Pavlovs findings exercised over him. As part of a larger project of fashioning a fully integrated science of man, Wolff conducted studies on hypnosis and stress, on experimentally produced sleep, on the induction of nervous breakdowns, and on failures of the conditioning process leading to experimental neuroses.44 His papers include a report on one experiment in which he explored the implications of Pavlovs theory for brain-damaged patients. Notable here is Wolffs statement of conviction that reflex conditioning represents an almost infinitely flexible method, suitable for investigating the highest integrated functions of the central nervous system. The experiment involved an apparatus consisting of a stimulus panel, with auditory stimuli and flashing lights and images, coupled with a response panel. Failure on the subjects part to learn the appropriate response was accompanied by an electric shock. As Wolff explained, The avoidance type of instrumental conditioning depends on the ability of the organism to respond so as to avoid a punishment, as, for example, a shock.45 The quasicinematic configuration of Wolffs experiment anticipated in many respects the aversion therapies widely used throughout the 1960s. Practitioners of these therapies often combined nausea-inducing drugs with films that depicted various forms of addictive, stigmatized, or self-destructive behavior, in an effort to cure their patients of smoking, alcoholism, juvenile delinquency, and homosexuality.46 Such procedures in deconditioning or deprogramming were in turn frequently reenacted in cinematic explorations of the topos of mind control. Perhaps most paradigmatically, this scenario was reproduced in the so-called Ludovico technique in Stanley Kubricks A Clockwork Orange, in which the violent psychopath Alex undergoes treatment by being forced to watch footage of violent films.47 Such methods, and the larger nexus of concerns out of which they grew, have reemerged in the present day in the form of efforts to apply what one CIA officer calls the Clockwork Orange kind of approach in programs of enhanced interrogation at Guantnamo

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Bay and elsewhere. In addition to waterboarding and the use of stress positions, these methods have reportedly included forcing detainees repeatedly to watch footage of the attacks on 9/11.48 Insofar as the reenactments staged in films like A Clockwork Orange, The Parallax View, or Videodrome frequently include a representation of a screen-within-the-screen, the cinematic depiction of mind control is thus an exercise in self-reflexivity. These films encode references both to the cinematic mediums origins within scientific milieux and to its scientifically enhanced possibilities (both real and imagined) for educating, influencing, experimenting on, entertaining, or inciting subjects and populations. They serve as reminders that, from its inception in late-nineteenthcentury experimental and clinical sciences through its use in programs of mass enlightenment or state propaganda, as well as in the aversion therapies of the 1960s, and up to present-day practices of enhanced interrogation, the moving image in its various incarnations has frequently been harnessed to projects for conditioning its audience. Just as frequently, however, it has been transformed into the object of obsessive fantasy concerning its alleged powers of mind control.

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Notes

1. Edward Hunter, Brain-Washing in Red China (New York: Vanguard, 1951). 2. Edward Hunter, Brainwashing: The Story of the Men Who Defied It (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Cudahy, 1956), 259. 3. Joost Meerloo, Rape of the Mind (New York: World Publishing, 1956), 9. 4. See, for instance, Alan Scheflin and Edward Opton Jr., The Mind Manipulators (New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1978); and Walter Bowart, Operation Mind Control (New York: Dell, 1978). 5. Hunters views were backed up by the studies of a number of Sovietologists. In his Stalin and the Uses of Psychology (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1955), Robert Tucker argues that the conditioned reflex was the Soviets new formula for man. For a more skeptical view, see Raymond Bauer, The New Man in Soviet Psychology (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952). 6. Hunter, Brainwashing (1956), 27, 29. Tucker writes, the new Pavlovianism . . . [emphasized] not just the determinative influence of social environment but the role of the state-controlled media of communication. He also describes the ideally Pavlovianized subject as one who reacted predictably to the states trigger words. Tucker, 65. 7. David Joravsky, Russian Psychology: A Critical History (New York: Blackwell, 1989); and Ethan Pollock, Stalin and the Soviet Science Wars (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006). 8. The film has a complicated history marking all aspects of its existence, from production and distribution to reception. Two versions of the film existed from the outsetone for the public, one for a specialist audienceand whether the full version was ever screened at the time of its making is not clear. See Adolf Nichtenhauser, Marie L. Coleman, and David S. Ruhe, Films in Psychiatry, Psychology, and Mental Health (New York: New York Health Education Council, 1953); Amy Sargeant, Vsevolod Pudovkin: Classic Films of the Soviet Avant-Garde (London: I.B. Tauris, 2001); Margarete Vhringer, Avantgarde und Psychotechnik: Wissenschaft, Kunst und Technik der Wahrnehmungsexperimente in der frhen Sowjetunion (Gttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2007); and Barbara Wurm, Schauen wir uns an! Axiome der filmischen Menschenwerdung (Sowjetunion 19251930), in Mr. Mnsterberg und Dr. Hyde: Zur Filmgeschichte des Menschenexperiments, ed. Marcus Krause and Nicolas Pethes (Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript Verlag, 2007), 118127. 9. Vhringer alludes to Pudovkins ambition to make the film public itself the object of a cinematic experiment in reconditioning. Vhringer, 163. 10. Hunter, Brainwashing, 41. 11. Meerloo, Rape of the Mind, 8. See also Joost Meerloo, Pavlovs Dog and Communist Brainwashers, New York Times, 9 May 1954. 12. Allen Dulles, Brain Warfare, 1953, in box 61, folder 9, Allen Dulles Papers, Princeton University Library; and Allen Dulles, The Art of Persuasion, 1963, box 61, folder 34, Allen Dulles Papers, Princeton University Library. In the latter text he writes that Khrushchev was acting . . . on the Pavlovian theories of induced reflexes. 13. Brainwashing: The Communist Experiment with Mankind, 19 April 1953, in OCB 702.5, Box 124, Brainwashing and Psychological Examination, Eisenhower Presidential Library. The report refers to films on Pavlovs work in U.S. government hands as well as to films of U.S. POWs. A good example

Stanley Kubrick, dir. A Clockwork Orange, 1971. 55

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of the circularity of accounts of brainwashing is provided by the note an American intelligence official appended to Brainwashing: A Synthesis of the Russian Textbook on Psycho-politics, in OCB 702.5, Box 124, Brainwashing and Psychological Examination, Eisenhower Presidential Library. The official suggests, if the [textbook] is a fake, the author or authors know so much about brainwashing technique that I would consider them experts, superior to any I have met to date. The book, an alleged Soviet manual on psycho-politics, includes a preface in which the head of the Peoples Commissariat for Internal Affairs, Lavrentii Beria, pays homage to Pavlov. The book is, in all likelihood, a fabrication, possibly penned by L. Ron Hubbard. 14. Dulles, Brain Warfare. 15. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1951), 438, 455. 16. See Lawrence Hinkle and Harold Wolff, Communist Interrogation and Indoctrination of Enemies of the State, Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry 76 (1956): 115174. 17. Robert Jay Lifton, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of Brainwashing in China (New York: W.W. Norton, 1961), 1516. A year before the publication of Richard Condons The Manchurian Candidate, a member of the John Birch Society wrote that the Communists were creating a regimented breed of Pavlovian men whose minds could be triggered into immediate action by signals from their masters. Sean Wilentz, Confounding Fathers: The Tea Partys Cold War Roots, The New Yorker, 18 October 2010, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/18/101018fa_ fact_wilentz. 18. Raymond Bauer, Brainwashing: Psychology or Demonology? Journal of Social Issues 13, no. 3 (1957): 41. 19. Richard Condon, The Manchurian Candidate (New York: McGraw Hill, 1959), 40. 20. See Timothy Melley, Empire of Conspiracy: The Culture of Paranoia in Postwar America (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000). Like Meerloo, the psychologist George Estabrooks saw TV as the most potent of the suggestive media, citing the televised broadcasts of national political conventions. George Estabrooks, Hypnotism, 2nd ed. (New York: Dutton, 1957), 136. According to Meerloo, the number of TVs in the United States went from 172,000 in 1948 to 15.3 million in 1952. Meerloo, Rape of the Mind. 21. On the discontinuity between film and television, see Stefan Andriopoulos, in this issue of Grey Room. The splitting of the screen into multiple screens is just one of the many signs in The Manchurian Candidate of the epistemological crisis associated with brainwashing. While the film depicts television as having a demonic agency, it also thematizes, in the elaborate ladies garden club scene, the cinemas own relation to practices of brainwashing. At the beginning of the 1950s, anxieties about cinemas powers of mind control were at the center of the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings on Communist influence in Hollywood. See Michael Rogin, Kiss Me Deadly : Communism, Motherhood, and Cold War Movies, in Ronald Reagan, the Movie: And Other Episodes in Political Demonology (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1988). The paranoia surrounding the influence of the media eventually crystallized in accounts of The Manchurian Candidate as Lee Harvey Oswalds trigger film: If the Russians did not program Oswald, perhaps The Manchurian Candidate did (254).

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22. Vance Packard, The Hidden Persuaders (New York: Pocket Books, 1957). 23. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932; New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006); Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (1958; New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006). 24. A.M.G. Little, Pavlov and Propaganda, Problems of Communism 2 (1953): 1421. 25. See Lisa Cartwright, Screening the Body: Tracing Medicines Visual Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995); and Andreas Killen, Weimar Cinema between Enlightenment and Hypnosis, in Fears Past: Emotional Histories, Troubled Times, ed. Gyan Prakash and Michael Lappan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, forthcoming). 26. Stefan Andriopoulos, Possessed: Hypnotic Crimes, Corporate Fiction, and the Invention of Cinema (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008); and Jonathan Crary, Dr. Mabuse and Mr. Edison, in Art and Film since 1945: Hall of Mirrors, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Monacelli, 1996), 262279. Crary describes the cinema as one specific episode within a much broader 20th century history of techniques of control, conditioning, and abstract simulation (277). 27. House Committee on Un-American Activities, Communist Psychological Warfare (Brainwashing): Consultation with Edward Hunter, 85th Cong., 2nd sess., 13 March 1958 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1958), http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/globalism/Congress.htm. Hunters own texts contain numerous moments that seem to reproduce the same sense of being controlled or influenced by the uncanny forces he ostensibly describes as part of the pathology of brainwashing. For instance, One day, I was jotting down notes during an interview with a brainwashed man from Eastern Europe, when I recognized once more that these words were alike others I had been recording, told me by persons who had undergone this mental torture in China. . . . In Hong Kong, soon after the fall of the mainland, I interviewed Chinese who had fled from the mainland, all of whom expressed themselves in a strange but very similar fashion. I was stunned to hear them telling me things I had heard before. I had that weird feeling once, while interviewing a schoolteacher who had fled from the interior of China, after welcoming the Red Army into his city and facilitating its capture of the city. He had found out in time how different the Reds are to how they picture themselves, and he had escaped. As I was taking notes, I felt that I had written all this before, and yet how could I have done so? I had only recently returned to Hong Kong. Then it suddenly struck me. Some years before, I had interviewed one of the heads of the faculty of Leningrad University, who had escaped from Russia. This schoolteacher from the interior of China was telling me exactly what I had heard from the Russian professor of a different culture, many tens of thousands of miles away. I had that same eerie feeling often during that period, of different stories being related in some strange manner. In the jungles of Malaya, I came across the diaries taken from the bodies of slain Chinese guerrilla fighters. I had a number translated. To my amazement, I read exactly what I had heard from these people who had fled from China. The same discussion meetings that were held in the schools and factories of Red China, I now read about in these diaries as being held beneath a knot of tall trees inside the jungle (emphasis added). 28. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Scope of Soviet Activity in the United States: Hearings before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws (Part 46), 84th Cong., 2nd sess., 1415 November 1956 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1957), http://www.archive.org/stream/scopeofsovietact4649unit/

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scopeofsovietact4649unit_djvu.txt. See also, Lajos Ruff, The Brainwashing Machine (London: Robert Hale, 1959), 7091. Echoes of Ruffs magic room can be found in contemporaneous psychological experiments conducted under CIA auspices, as well as in the CIAs KUBARK training manual. See, for instance, Edward Deshere, Hypnosis in Interrogation, Studies in Intelligence 4, no. 1 (1960): 5164; and CIA, KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation (July 1963), in National Security Archive, George Washington University, http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB27/ 01-01.htm. 29. For an analysis of the topic of brainwashing that focuses on the case of Cardinal Jszef Mindszenty and the possible role of a Pavlovian psychiatrist in his interrogation, see Istvan Rv, The Suggestion, Representations 80 (2002): 6298. 30. Guy Debord, The Struggle for Control of New Techniques of Conditioning, Situationist International 1 (1958), reprinted in Christopher Gray, ed. and trans., Leaving the Twentieth Century: The Incomplete Work of the Situationist International (London: Rebel Press, 1998), 911. 31. On the doubts surrounding allegations of scientific use of drugs and hypnosis in the interrogation of Hungarian dissidents, see Rv, 63. 32. Ian Hacking, Making Up People, in Reconstructing Individualism: Autonomy, Individuality, and the Self in Western Thought, ed. Thomas C. Heller, Morton Sosna, and David E. Wellbery (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1986), 222236; and Ian Hacking, The Invention of Split Personality, in Human Nature and Natural Knowledge, ed. Alan Donagan, Anthony N. Perovich Jr., and Michael V. Wedin (Dordrecht, Holland: D. Reidel, 1986), 6385. 33. Estabrooks, Hypnotism, 201. 34. George Estabrooks, Death in the Mind (New York: Dutton, 1947); and John Marks, In Search of the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control: The Secret History of the Behavioral Sciences (New York: W.W. Norton, 1979), 21 (for Marks on split personalities, see 197). 35. Louis A. Schwartz, Group Psychotherapy in the War Neuroses, American Journal of Psychiatry 101 (1945): 498450. A major source for Condons The Manchurian Candidate was Andrew Salters Conditioned Reflex Therapy (New York: Creative Age Press, 1949), a text greatly indebted to Pavlov. William Sargants Battle for the Mind: A Physiology of Conversion and Brain-Washing (London: Heinemann, 1957) also drew heavily on Pavlovs work. 36. Marshall McLuhan, The Mechanical Bride (New York: Vanguard, 1951); Packard; Debord. 37. Ellen Herman, The Romance of American Psychology: Political Culture in the Age of Experts (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995), 124. 38. See, also, Alfred McCoy, A Question of Torture (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006); Christopher Simpson, Science of Coercion: Communication Research and Psychological Warfare, 19451960 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996); Rebecca Lemov, World as Laboratory: Experiments with Mice, Mazes, and Men (New York: Hill and Wang, 2005); and Catherine Lutz, Epistemology of the Bunker: The Brainwashed and Other New Subjects of Permanent War, in Inventing the Psychological: Toward a Cultural History of Emotional Life in America , ed. Joel Pfister and Nancy Schnog (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997), 245270. 39. Herman, 133; and Marks.

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40. Dulles, Brain Warfare. 41. Hacking, The Invention of Split Personality, 78. See also Krause and Pethes, eds., Mr. Mnsterberg und Dr. Hyde. 42. Lawrence Hinkle and Harold Wolff, Communist Interrogation and Indoctrination of Enemies of the State, Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry 76 (1956): 115174. For more on Wolff, see Marks, 138; and Lemov, 203211. 43. Lemov, 208. 44. See, for example, Harold Wolff, Studies of Impairment of Highest Level Brain Functions Following Prolonged Stress, n.d., in Harold Wolff Papers, Cornell Medical Center Archives; and 1957 Annual Report: Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, in Harold Wolff Papers, Cornell Medical Center Archives. 45. Harold Wolff, Failure of Conditioning Process in Patients with Cerebral Lesions, n.d., in Harold Wolff Papers, Cornell Medical Center Archives. 46. See, for instance, A.M. Kellam, Shop Lifting Treated by Aversion to a Film, Behavioral Research and Therapy 71, no. 1 (1969): 125127. Harvard psychologist Henry Murray reportedly experimented with a variant of this approach on his students, including Ted Kaczynski, who later gained notoriety as the Unabomber. Alston Chase, Harvard and the Unabomber: The Education of an American Terrorist (New York: W.W. Norton, 2003). 47. See Arno Meteling, Mind Control und Montage, in Mr. Mnsterberg und Dr. Hyde, ed. Krause and Pethes, 231252. 48. Jane Mayer, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (New York: Doubleday, 2008), 163, 208.

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