Rape Of The Mind
If we are not paying attention,
we are already brainwashed.
It’s not all our fault.
We can learn from history
Joost Abraham Maurits Meerloo (March 14, 1903 – November 17, 1976) was a Dutch/American Doctor of Medicine, and a psychoanalyst. He wrote “Rape of the Mind”, an analysis of brainwashing techniques and thought control in totalitarian states.
The book explains how scientific brainwashing is done, and argues that “hardly anyone can resist.”
“Fear and continual pressure are known to create a menticidal (brain-washing) hypnosis. The conscious part of the personality no longer takes part in the automatic confessions. The brainwashee lives in a trance, repeating the record grooved into him by somebody else.
“He who dictates and formulates the words and phrases we use, he who is master of the press and radio, is master of the mind. Repeat mechanically your assumptions and suggestions, diminish the opportunity for communicating dissent and opposition. This is the formula for political conditioning of the masses.”
“Ready made opinions can be distributed day by day through the press, radio, and so on, again and again, till they reach the nerve cell and implant a fixed pattern in the brain. Consequently, guided public opinion is the result, according to Pavlovian theoreticians, of good propaganda technique, and the polls are a verification of the temporary successful action of the Pavlovian machinations on the mind.”
“Puzzlement and doubt are, however, already crimes in the totalitarian state. The mind that is open for questions is open for dissent. In the totalitarian regime the doubting, inquisitive and imaginative mind has to be suppressed. The totalitarian slave is only allowed to memorize, to salivate when the bell rings.”
“The continual intrusion into our minds of the hammering noises of arguments and propaganda can lead to two kinds of reactions. It may lead to apathy and indifference – the I-don’t-care reaction – or to a more intensified desire to study and to understand. Unfortunately, the first reaction is the more popular one.”
“It’s among the intelligentsia that we often find the glib compulsion to explain everything and to understand nothing.”
“The flight from study and awareness is much too common in a world that throws too many confusing pictures to the individual. For the sake of our democracy, based on freedom and individualism, we have to bring ourselves back to study again and again. Otherwise, we can become easy victims of a well-planned verbal attack on our minds and our consciences.”
“In my own experience, I have been amazed to see how unrealistic are the bases for political opinion in general. Only rarely have I found a person who has chosen any particular political party – democratic or totalitarian – through study and comparison of principles.”
“If men can be made to understand that society, with its rigid codes and stratifications, is in its confused infancy rather than in the apex of its development; if they can be made to understand that the conflicts and contradictions of society can only be resolved by scientific long-range planning, then we will succeed in maintaining what civilization we have and drive onward to greater culture.”
“Pavlov’s findings were that some animals learned more quickly if rewarded (by affection, by food, by stroking) each time they showed the right response, while others learned more quickly when the penalty for not learning was a painful stimulus.”
“Between two beings there is always the barrier of words. Man has so many ears and speaks so many languages. Should it nevertheless be possible to understand one another? Is real communication possible if word and language betray us every time? Shall, in the end, only the language of tanks and guns prevail and not human reason and understanding?”
Thank you, Joost Meerloo.