About 10 years ago, I was browsing through the library at the college I was attending. I stumbled upon a manual, 'The Brainwashing Manual - Synthesis
of the Russian Textbook on Psychopolitics'. Needless to say, I was intrigued and checked it out, it was a quick read. Now, this little book was
pretty old, I would guess it had been in the college library for over 40 years (published in 1955 no author). However, I grew up in the age when
computers and the internet were gaining lots of traction, and I was able to do a little internet research on this manuscript.
This is not a discussion on the authenticity of this book. It is authentic, in the fact it was printed and distributed in the 1950's, during the Cold
War era. The book itself, may or may not be an actual manual for Russian agents to commence brainwashing in America, but that is not what I am here
to discuss either.
This book was around in an age where computers and internet were unavailable to do any background. So, people who would read this book between 1955 -
1980's, would most likely take this at face value. The fact that this book was in a college library in the 2000's would lead me to believe that there
are more Brainwashing manuals that were in circulation at academic settings. The book had been checked out over the years, so people have read it.
Now I want to discuss the psychological impact on people who may have read this manual, and the political ramifications of the impact of this book.
Let's say a young, impressionable, straight-and-narrow conservative happened upon this manual in a library, and read it. They would likely read this
at face value, and genuinely believe Communists were using the mental health facilities to imprison political supporters of conservatism and
capitalism. It's not a giant leap to conclude that a cumulative affect would take place, leading to a policy change - namely in the arena of mental
Here are some factoids to consider:
1955 - The number of mentally ill people in public psychiatric hospitals peaks at 560,000.
The next article, discusses how the reasons for deinstitutionalization of mental healthcare were due to budget and over-use of drugs.
But, he continued, ''It happened much faster than we foresaw.'' The discharge of mental patients was accelerated in the late 1960's and early 1970's
in some states as a result of a series of court decisions that limited the commitment powers of state and local officials.
Now, this may seem rather benign, but the manual talked a lot about how psychologists and psychiatrists would be employed to be used against
politicians and shaping political views.
Here is a more recent article, that may put some perspective on the past:
On the organization's website, APA President Maria A. Oquendo wrote: "The unique atmosphere of this year's election cycle may lead some to want to
psychoanalyze the candidates, but to do so would not only be unethical, it would be irresponsible." Oquendo was referring to the "Goldwater Rule," a
guideline adopted by the APA after a 1964 survey of psychiatrists found that nearly half of those polled felt that GOP presidential candidate Barry
Goldwater was psychologically unfit to be president.
This isn't anything new, there are books that have examined psychoanalysis being used to shape politics.
I couldn't find a free online version of the book: Psychoanalysis, Authoritarianism, and the 1960s by Eli Zaretsky. However, I have found an
overview, and google books has some pages if anyone is interested in reading more.
The argument is expounded by examining three moments in U.S. history in detail. The first is the 1950s (termed postwar maturity) with an idealization
of psychoanalysis as the guardian of a private, protected, domestic sphere. The second is characterized by the emergence of the New Left (1960s)
during which psychoanalysis was transformed into a theory of revolution to overturn traditional ideals on the basis of a posttraditional vision of
society. And the third moment was characterized by the subordination of psychoanalysis to a new politically correct, feminist, and gay worldview that
emerged from the neoliberal society of the 1970s
It should be noted, that during the Cold War era, and I believe the Brainwashing Manual had an impact on the psyche of Americans. Creating fear and
paranoia, whether the manual was genuinely an operator's manual or not, it had a psychological and political impact.
Alright, let's take a step back, and imagine another person in the late 1950's, early 1960's discovered this little book in his or her college
library. Except, that this person is not the average status quo follower of the time, who is more sensitive to the anecdotal abuses committed by the
system. Yes, I am referring to a liberal. Now this person would read the manual, but instead of a feeling of fear and paranoia, they become
empowered. This person would say, wow I have been wanting to do change for good, and now I have gained a new tool to achieve my objectives of
destroying traditional America.
This will relate to the rise of the Hippie movement, and the widespread use of mind altering drugs. We have today, seen the consequences of these
anti-American movements. The old guard is overthrown, and the norm is to be anti-American, anti-Capitalist. I contend that the PC culture, and to a
lesser extent the general new traditions held by Americans, that is the embracing of sex, drugs, and violence; has some roots from this book.
The people who read this manual did not have any internet to gain a broader perspective on the content. They most likely would take this at face
value, and either work on opposing an assumed threat, or experimenting on the effectiveness of the manual as a weapon. Maybe impacting their career
choices, college professor anyone?
It is claimed the L Ron Hubbard wrote this manual, the claim was made by his son, at a time when his son was discrediting his father. I would not
take these claims as absolute, without proof. However, let's assume for a moment, the father of Scientology, which has become a religion adept at
brainwashing wrote this manual. How can anyone deny the effectiveness of this supposed Russian manuscript of psycho-politics?
Here is the manual I am referring to, if anyone is interested:
We live in a great era, where information can be reinforced or refuted, where a myriad of perspectives can be garnered, instead of being limited to
what is in a college library or what is printed in a newspaper.
I do believe that this manual, and manuals like it, had a true impact on American policy and the psyche of Americans. The effectiveness of something
like this would be marginal in this day and age, but we are living under the policies of people who did not have internet access.
3-10-2016 by GodEmperor because: links