Friday, September 6, 2013

The Manipulated Mind

Brainwashing, conditioning, and how the human mind works

Ultimately, to eradicate terrorism and the conditions that spawn it, we must understand the human mind—how it evolved, how it works to create the crises we face, and what we can do to be more conscious in our response. 

For example, what happens in the minds of ordinary, well-educated human beings that they can carry out incomprehensible acts of terror in the name of a political or religious cause? Is their “conversion” so far beyond the norm or are the same influences at play in all our lives? What are the inherent functions of the human brain that lead to dangerous stereotyping and hatred on all sides? 

Scientific research of the past four decades illuminates many aspects of the nature of both the human mind and the current human predicament, and points the way to the changes needed. These three books explore some of the important research:


William Sargant

Malor Books, 1997

How can an evangelist convert a hardboiled sophisticate? Why does a prisoner of war sign a confession‚ that he knows is false? How is a criminal pressured into admitting his guilt? Do the evangelist, the POW's captor, and the policeman use similar methods to gain their ends?

These and other compelling questions are discussed in this definitive work by William Sargant, who for many years until his death in 1988 was a leading physician in psychological medicine. Sargant spells out and illustrates the basic technique used by evangelists, psychiatrists, and brainwashers to disperse the patterns of belief and behavior already established in the minds of their hearers, and to substitute new patterns for them.

'This mechanism holds the possibility of explaining and understanding much of how people suddenly change direction in life, and some of the strangest religious and spiritual behavior ever described among human beings. Perhaps most important, understanding it can give us insight into the formation of social bonds, the development of gangs and groups, and allow us to make more informed choices as individuals, as a society, and as a culture, how we want our own groups to develop.'
--Charles Swencionis, Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine, from the Foreword

Brainwashing, Conditioning and Indoctrination

Denise Winn

Malor Books, 2000

Most of us cherish our values of individual freedom of thought. Yet after the Korean War, American POW's fell greater victim to Chinese brainwashing techniques than those of other nationalities. Some made bizarre and even impossible confessions.

The Manipulated Mind explores the pioneering research that, sparked by this issue, developed into one of the most provocative fields of current psychology. Today brainwashing is no longer seen as merely a special subversive technique, but rather as the clever manipulation of unrealized influences that are continually operating in all our lives.

The Manipulated Mind helps us to see how manipulated we really are. And, in doing so, it offers us an opportunity to become more self-directed.


Robert Ornstein and Paul Ehrlich

Malor Books, 2000
There is no longer sufficient time to rely on the normal pace of cultural evolution to deal with today's dilemmas...

Human beings have always been the most adaptable creatures on the planet, and they should be able to chart a new course for themselves. Some of that charting is already being done. The old mind today is being challenged and changed by many scattered efforts. Can we bring these efforts together to produce a large-scale program for a rapid 'change-of-mind'? We know what the problem is. The 'solution' is not simple -- to generate the social and political will to move a program of conscious evolution to the top of the human agenda.

A free downloadable version is available from ISHK on our website.

It's a rare book that changes people's lives, rarer still a book that changes the world. In New World New Mind, Robert Ornstein and Paul Ehrlich not only have the audacity to attempt both things, but they offer just enough visionary thinking and nuts and bolts research to carry it off.'
--San Francisco Chronicle

'If we don't act on this information, our grandchildren may never forgive us.'
--Dan Goleman, New York Times

-- The Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge

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