Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To open articles without exiting the current webpage…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To open articles without exiting your current search or webpage, press Ctrl + Left Mouse Button while hovering over the desired link. It will open in a new Tab in your internet browser.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Meerloo, J.A. (1958). Brainwashing and Menticide: Some Implications of Conscious and Unconscious Thought Control. Psychoanal. Rev., 45A(1/2):83-99.

(1958). Psychoanalytic Review, 45A(1/2):83-99

Brainwashing and Menticide: Some Implications of Conscious and Unconscious Thought Control

Joost A. M. Meerloo

During the last thirty years several political agencies have tried to misuse psychological and psychiatric experience to further their private aims. Active psychological warfare and political mental torture are now accepted concepts in totalitarian countries. A prime result of the political pressure, both overt and unobtrusive, has been a cynical re-evaluation of human values. A new profession of specialists has emerged whose task it is not to cure, but to aggravate and manipulate the weaknesses of selected victims so that they might become more easily amenable to influence, and to prescribed political ideologies.

We may define such planned enforcement of ideas and mental coercion applied as a political tool as “thought control.” The provocation of false confessions in the service of political propaganda can be defined as “brainwashing” or “menticide.” The United Nations defined the systematic suppression, starvation and killing of minorities as the crime of genocide, the murder of a species. The new more subtle crime is menticide, the murder of the potentialities of the free creative mind.

I wish to say no more at this time concerning the obviously sensational impact of this problem of brainwashing. It is interesting to know, however, why people reacted so hysterically and dramatically to the first detailed news on brainwashing. Terrible fears were aroused in them: especially the fear of conformity and the fear of the evil eye that can see through the person and magically dig the truth out of him.


[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.