Though this book was first published in 1956, it appears to have been republished this past year by Progressive Press in paperback. Perhaps this is because it’s startlingly hard hitting and relevant for our time. What Meerloo writes about is truly frightening, and it’s one of the most important subjects you’ll ever consider.
How vulnerable are we to mental manipulation? Many of us are aware we’re being propagandized daily by advertising and the news media. It’s as if we’re lab rats being manipulated for specific goals. Many Americans have become concerned about our country’s use of torture techniques used against those who are allegedly our enemies, but is it possible we’re all being subjected to a kind of mental torture?
The technology has advanced and the techniques have been refined, but the principles are still the same. Language of the war on terrorism has replaced names and terms used during the Cold War, which was in progress when Meerloo wrote. These days, when the government hollers “Terrorist!” we’re supposed to jump in fright and do whatever they tell us to do. The same applies to the issue of global warming or climate change, as some now prefer to call it.
How vulnerable are we to wholeheartedly believing and acting on things that aren’t true? How easily could we fall prey to dictatorial government? Or should that question be, How easily have we already fallen prey to dictatorial government? It’s quite possible for any individual or a mass of people to be brought to submission and enslavement through certain techniques. Hit enough of the right buttons and we may yield more readily than we could ever guess or admit.
You might object that those of us preparing for survival are a more independent lot. We don’t conform to what the masses are thinking and doing, right? I certainly hope that’s the case. However, that doesn’t make any of us immune to being pushed mentally in a direction we hadn’t planned on going. We may not even realize what’s being done to us. Remember the slogan, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste?” Put that into place regarding your own mind and see how differently you look at things.
Don’t ever think you’re not vulnerable to falsehoods and mental manipulation. We’ve all got weak points and blind spots. On the other hand, you and I can resist. For example, how many things have you had to unlearn and relearnfrom your time in school?
This may seem unrelated at first, but when I’ve read books and articles about both physical and mental health, including reducing stress, I’ve repeatedly seen the counsel to avoid exposure to the news. One author says to get into the natural rhythm of the day by not turning on the radio or TV for the first few hours. Some say to avoid TV altogether, regardless of the content. One man I know won’t watch news because he says it’s depressing. Mostly I find it disgusting and boring.
Could it be those in power fear a total breakdown of the electrical grid because we’d all think more clearly without the constant barrage from talk radio, TV, Facebook and Twitter?
Here are more questions that open up another giant can of worms. What’s the impact of addiction to alcohol and other drugs on our individual or mass delusion? What about the impact of the massive amounts of antidepressants and similar medications? They’re literally controlled mind altering substances in my opinion.
Meerloo lived from 1903 to 1976. His background in a nutshell is that he was a Dutch psychiatrist who saw the effects of mind control and interrogation in Nazi Germany during WWII and in the Korean war. He came to the U.S. and was on the faculty at Columbia University and the New York School of Psychiatry.
Meerloo literally saw our mental health as a survival issue. In the first chapter of The Rape of the Mind he says: “If we are to survive as free men, we must face up to this problem of politically inspired mental coercion, with all its ramifications.”
Here’s an excerpt from the Amazon.com description of The Rape of the Mind.
“…In The Rape of the Mind he goes far beyond the direct military implications of mental torture to describing how our own culture unobtrusively shows symptoms of pressurizing people’s minds. He presents a systematic analysis of the methods of brainwashing and mental torture and coercion, and shows how totalitarian strategy, with its use of mass psychology, leads to systematized “rape of the mind.” He describes the new age of cold war with its mental terror, verbocracy, and semantic fog, the use of fear as a tool of mass submission and the problem of treason and loyalty, so loaded with dangerous confusion. The Rape of the Mind is written for the interested layman, not only for experts and scientists.”
The full title of the book is The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing, by Joost A. M. Meerloo. Get your copy by clicking on the book’s title wherever you see it linked in this post. That takes you to the page featuring the book, and you can place your order there. Quantities are limited, so get this book while you can.
Part of the book is available online, so you can sample it. Then I’m sure you’ll want a copy for your survival library. Click here to read the first eight chapters of The Rape of the Mind.