This is an excellent, if somewhat disturbing, book. It covers the full gamut of techniques used to subvert the human will, ranging from inducing chemical imbalance through stressing (wall standing, hooding and malnutrition), sensory deprivation, hypnosis, subliminal messaging, socialisation and various forms of mind control. These techniques are used to induce "disordered brain function" at which point individuals can be manipulated and reprogrammed into a new belief system.
Case studies include the activities of large corporations in advertising their products, the Moonies, KGB methods of inducing false confessions from innocent people - and the use of such methods against the IRA (which the IRA promptly used against those it tortured).
In the case of the CIA they employed William Sargeant and Ewan Cameron (both now dead) on the MKULTRA project before becoming disillusioned with the results after the pair had destroyed the health, memories and lives of countless patients. President Ford later destroyed many of the papers relating to the project and forbade the use of such techniques in the future.
The most despicable aspect of the project was that it was carried out by scientists who willingly used and abused other human beings in the name of science. That the battle for the mind was fought in a free society by anything other than rational debate should concern everyone. Cameron accused Nazi medics of things he himself did, Sergeant sought to denigrate religion by claiming he used similar methods as that of evangelists.
Although the crude techniques used to produce the Soviet show trials of the 1930's are more sophisticated today they are still in use by governments around the world. Those who appear capable of most resistance are people with strong religious beliefs although everyone apparently has a breaking point which is why opponents of groups such as the Moonies initially went in for a kidnapping and reprogramming approach themselves.
Such an approach produced one of the few amusing moments in the book when a group rescued a girl from a cult and returned her to her parents with the words, "She's a Christian again". The parents were bemused she had been Jewish before she had joined the cult!!!
The balance of this book is maintained by the reference to the various "satanic abuse" trials that arose from the misplaced zeal of social workers in the 1980's and 1990. Even after all the evidence has been amassed and the accusations refuted some still refuse to believe that children had not been abused. Streatfeild remains suitably detached.
This is unquestionably a five star book. Brain washing is inimical to a free society. Everyone should read this book and determine for themselves how far our thoughts are genuinely our own. Get it as soon as possible.