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February 9, 1957

The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing

JAMA. 1957;163(6):511-512. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02970410101031

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This book is about thought control in general and about brainwashing or menticide in particular. Its somewhat alarming title attests to the author's journalistic talent but seems to reflect also his deep concern about the sinister subject of this work. During World War II, while he was still in Holland, the author saw some of the effects and learned about the methods of this new weapon of totalitarianism. A number of his countrymen who were members of the underground movement had been subjected to the methodical use of torture and mental coercion by the Nazis and came to him for psychiatric treatment. Finally, he too was exposed to the subtle brutality of this systematic "destruction of man's mind." His interest in menticide was deepened by the trial of Cardinal Mindszenty and by the reports on the indoctrination and collaboration of American and British prisoners of war during the Korean war,

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