From Cybernetics to
Techniques in Mind Control
by Jeffrey Steinberg
The $9 billion a year video-game industry in
At that time, a number of prominent social scientists openly spelled out their goal, of using the wartime-tested techniques of mass psychological manipulation, to pervert and control the American people. And in most instances, their emphasis was on children, and the need to destroy the fabric of family life.
Lord Bertrand Russell, who joined with the
"Physiology and psychology afford fields for scientific technique which
still await development. Two great men, Pavlov and Freud, have laid the
foundation. I do not accept the view that they are in any essential conflict,
but what structure will be built on their foundations is still in doubt. I
think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology.... Its importance has
been enormously increased by the growth of modern
methods of propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called
"education." Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the
press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part.... It may be hoped that in time anybody
will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young
and is provided by the State with money and equipment.''
Russell continued, ``The subject will make great strides when it is taken up by scientists under a scientific dictatorship....The social psychologists of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. Various results will soon be arrived at. First, that the influence of home is obstructive. Second, that not much can be done unless indoctrination begins before the age of ten. Third, that verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective. Fourth, that the opinion that snow is white must be held to show a morbid taste for eccentricity. But I anticipate. It is for future scientists to make these maxims precise and discover exactly how much it costs per head to make children believe that snow is black, and how much less it would cost to make them believe it is dark gray.''
Russell concluded with a warning: ``Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for a generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen.''
Russell and the "Lethal Chamber"
Russell had been working on the concept of
the scientific dictatorship for decades. In his 1931 book, The Scientific
Outlook, he had devoted a chapter to ``Education in a Scientific
Society.'' Here, he was equally blunt about his oligarchical
totalitarian vision. Drawing the parallel to the two levels of education
provided by the Jesuits, Russell asserted: "In like manner,
the scientific rulers will provide one kind of education for ordinary men and
women, and another for those who are to become holders of scientific power.
Ordinary men and women will be expected to be docile, industrious, punctual,
thoughtless, and contented. Of these qualities probably contentment will be
considered the most important. In order to produce it, all the researches of
psycho-analysis, behaviourism, and biochemistry will be brought into play....
All the boys and girls will learn from an early age to be what is called
`co-operative,' i.e., to do exactly what everybody is doing. Initiative will be
discouraged in these children, and insubordination, without being
punished, will be scientifically trained out of them."
For the children chosen to be among the scientific ruling class, education was to be quite different. "Except for the one matter of loyalty to the world State and to their own order,'' Russell explained, "members of the governing class will be encouraged to be adventurous and full of initiative. It will be recognized that it is their business to improve scientific technique, and to keep the manual workers contented by means of continual new amusements.''
Russell, however, added one very strong caveat. "On those rare occasions,'' he warned, "when a boy or girl who has passed the age at which it is usual to determine social status shows such marked ability as to seem the intellectual equal of the rulers, a difficult situation will arise, requiring serious consideration. If the youth is content to abandon his previous associates and to throw in his lot whole-heartedly with the rulers, he may, after suitable tests, be promoted, but if he shows any regrettable solidarity with his previous associates, the rulers will reluctantly conclude that there is nothing to be done with him except to send him to the lethal chamber before his ill-disciplined intelligence has had time to spread revolt. This will be a painful duty to the rulers, but I think they will not shrink from performing it."
Huxley's `Concentration Camp of the Mind'
Russell's blunt description of a
``scientific dictatorship'' was matched by the account of Aldous Huxley, author of the utopian tract
Brave New World, in a speech on the U.S. State Department's Voice of
America, in 1961, of a world of pharmacologically manipulated slaves, living in
a ``concentration camp of the mind,'' enhanced by propaganda and psychotropic
drugs, learning to ``love their servitude,'' and abandoning all will to resist.
"This," Huxley concluded, "is the final revolution.''
Speaking at the California Medical School in San Francisco, Huxley announced: ``There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak. Producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda, or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.''
Huxley's cohort in the 1950s experimentation with psychotropic drugs, Dr. Timothy Leary, of
``These brain drugs, mass produced in the laboratories, will bring about vast changes in society. This will happen with or without you or me. All we can do is spread the word. The obstacle to this evolution, Timothy, is the Bible.''
Leary then added his own two cents: ``We
had run up against the Judeo-Christian commitment to one God, one religion, one
reality, that has cursed Europe for centuries and America since our founding
days. Drugs that open the mind to multiple realities inevitably lead to a
polytheistic view of the universe. We sensed that the time for a new humanist
religion based on intelligence, good-natured pluralism and scientific paganism
As these monstrous notions of mass social engineering were being presented as the ``humanistic'' alternative to world war in the age of the atomic and hydrogen bomb, two crucial projects were being launched, that would shape the implementation of this Brave New World, and bring us, today, to the world of Littleton, Paducah, Jonesboro, Doom, Quake, and Duke Nukem.
The Authoritarian Personality
The first of the two
projects was launched in January 1943, by a team of three social psychologists
at the University of California at Berkeley, Else
Frenkel-Brunswik (a founding member of the
Frankfurt Institute for Social Research, known as the ``Frankfurt School''),
Daniel J. Levinson, and R. Nevitt Sanford.
What started out as a modest $500 grant to study the roots of anti-Semitism, would soon mushroom into the biggest mass
social-profiling project ever undertaken in
In May 1944, the American Jewish Committee established a Department of Scientific Research, which was headed by