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. The "Rape of the Mind" is written for the interested layman, not only for experts and scientists.
You Too Would Confess. Pavlov's Students as Circus Tamers. Medication into Submission. Why Do They Yield? The Psychodynamics of False Confession. The Cold War against the Mind. Totalitaria and its Dictatorship. The Intrusion by Totalitarian Thinking. Trial by Trial. Fear as a Tool of Terror. Part Three: Unobtrusive Coercion. The Child is Father to the Man. Mental Contagion and Mass Delusion. Technology Invades Our Minds. Intrusion by the Administrative Mind.
The Turncoat in Each of Us. Part Four: In Search of Defenses.
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Purchase access Subscribe to the journal. Buy this article. They are taught to hate themselves, and if at some point they discover that they are the object of this hatred, they are faced with an additional task, nothing, for the imperative remains—Negroes are to be despised. The acceptance of psychological enslavement by blacks has been externally reinforced since the days of slavery primarily in two ways: culturally and politically. It is difficult to surmise which has been the most oppressive of the two, but the political reinforcement was certainly the most avoidable and the most apparent.
Despite the Emancipation Proclamation of Lincoln, the end of the Civil War, and the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, the harassment of blacks was a continuing fact. Instead of being allowed to enjoy the individual rights which would have seemed the proper consequence of their freedom, blacks were taken under the paternalistic wing of the State and their rights bandied about as if they were pawns on a political chessboard—the North on one side and the South on the other.
The State approached blacks as a group—and encouraged collective treatment by instituting practices which denied any recognition outside that of color. Blaustein and Robert L. Zangrando, editors , a documentary history of the civil rights movement, it is reported:. Throughout the former Confederate area, state governments legitimized by the terms of Presidential reconstruction proceeded in and to pass legislation regulating the status and conduct of newly freed Negroes. Termed Black Codes, these laws were based on the explicit assumption of Negro inferiority and sharply restricted the mobility and personal liberties of former free Negroes and new freedmen alike.
The Black Codes defined the relationship between husband and wife, determined terms under which blacks could marry, defined the relationship of blacks to their employers as well as the terms of employment, and even restricted the kinds of employment blacks could seek, requiring licenses in some instances.
These Black Codes, later revoked, cast blacks into the same kind of bondage from which they had newly come. Southern governments, further, did everything possible to guarantee disenfranchisement of blacks—instituting for their purposes such practices as gerrymandering, white primaries, grandfather clauses, and poll taxes to prevent blacks from engaging in political activities through the ballot box. Although there have always been blacks who voted in both the North and the South, it was not without tribulation.
Southern governments faced with the prospect of fully sanctioned suffrage for blacks may not have succeeded in impeding its progress altogether, but they tried their best.
In in Pulaski, Tennessee, the Ku Klux Klan was formed as an "innocent joke" designed to "merely scare the stupid Negroes for fun. In , a Klan convention was held and afterwards outright terrorization and brutalization of blacks became its main goal. A Negro, speaking from bitter memory, has summed up fairly accurately what the Klan really did. He said that when Negroes earned good money and owned a profitable farm, the Ku Klux Klan murdered them. The Government built schools and the Ku Klux Klan burned them down. They went to prisons, took the colored prisoners, smashed their skulls, broke their necks and threw them into the river.
This is a very condensed version of the contents of the thirteen volumes of the Congressional report on this matter. Although General Forrest dissolved the Klan in because it got completely out of hand, its activities continued as if nothing had happened. Despite a Congressional investigation of the Klan's activities, its violation of the rights of black individuals continued:.
When the attention of the North turned to other and more profitable objectives, the Negro was abandoned, and a special amnesty law of reinstated the civic rights of most of the former rebels. Every means of terror and violence were employed to keep the Negro from the polling stations. Thus, blacks were again betrayed by government when it was most expedient. Leaving the Reconstruction Era, the country moved on to the era of Jim Crow Blaustein and Zangrando report:. It was the period in which southern whites effected a common racial front against the Negro.
Absorbed with industrial growth, cycles of economic prosperity and depression, further settlement of the West, and, finally, the challenge of colonial adventures, the nation at large proved indifferent to the status of the Negro. The dominant majority treated the Negro's lack of education, training, and wealth as confirmation of inferiority, and justified, on that basis, all forms of discriminatory behavior toward black Americans.
State after State throughout the South and border areas changed their constitutions and instituted statutory measures designed to deprive the Negro of all opportunities for civic and political participation.
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Other laws imposed segregated facilities in education, travel, public accommodations, and the like; and the concept of Jim Crow was extended to all forms of public activity—frequently under the force of broadly structured laws, but also under the rubrics of "tradition" and "custom. Blacks entered the 20th century still deeply aware that something was wrong. The whole attitude of government and society was negative. The conclusion too often drawn was not that something was wrong with government or with society, but that there was something innately wrong with themselves.
Their actions in this respect were a form of self-defense, though it has never protected them from the political or psychological commitment to collectivism. Moral or immoral, learning to use politics to some extent freed blacks from the rigors of discrimination. But politics is a booby-trap which can spring on the very people that manipulate it. Blacks have become entangled in the political apparatus that has perpetuated collectivism—the philosophy which is responsible for their oppression in the first place.
Many blacks, in an effort to "fight back" have, ironically, adopted the ethics of their oppressor—they have become the philosophical neighbors of the proponents of racism. Culturally, blacks needed only to assimilate the essence of the culture around them—a proposition calculated to blow the black mind to bits, for the culture around them was not at all suited to them. It required, again, that they deny the physical reality of what they were. American culture consisted of and still does to a lesser extent today a standard of beauty based on the blond-haired, blue-eyed mystique; a language which was foreign to blacks and access to which had been denied them educationally; a literature that negated their existence by simply not mentioning them or degrading them when it did; art and music that was not theirs.
The physical characteristics of blacks have always made them identifiable. Seeking subconsciously to obliterate when possible these characteristics which made them so foreign to the cultural norm, they succumbed to the temptation. The beauty standard is only one example of many too numerous to mention here.
Although many of the actions taken by blacks in this respect appeared to be merely cosmetic the improvement of one's physical appearance for one's own satisfaction , it was psychologically an attempt to exorcise the blackness so identified with inferiority—and to imitate the whiteness so identified with normalcy.
This is why at one time creams that promised to bleach the skin several shades lighter were so popular among blacks. But besides being trapped inside a black skin, being black carried with it another physical and ultimately psychological "disability"—hair. For the most part, blacks have been endowed by nature with "kinky" hair—hair that is not long and straight like that of most whites or Indians or Asians, but hair that is super-curly—hair that coils very close to the roots. The only available means of circumventing this natural phenomena was to straighten the hair.
Although black men were also plagued by this curse, it was primarily black women who had to endure the agonies of the straightening comb the hot comb, the straightening iron , and the process was pure hell, physically as well as psychologically. It involved taking the hair piece by piece, applying grease, and then taking the heavy straightening comb from the fire on the stove, and pulling it through the reluctant hair. The heat from the comb often melted the grease on the hair which dripped onto the scalp and burned.
The hair stayed straight only so long as one managed to avoid rain, swimming pools, and perspiration—otherwise, it "went back" to its natural state around the edges and was referred to as "nappy. Hot combs were eventually replaced with permanents which straightened hair by employing chemicals that stripped the hair of its outer layers, leaving it too limp to recoil.
The caustic action of the chemicals often burned the skin, leaving scars; but it was better than the agony of the hot comb and easier to pretend that one had been born with hair like that.
Only technology and the increasing self-awareness of blacks alleviated the hair problems—the Natural or Afro or Bush came into style. Even then many blacks resisted the new hairstyle through hostility toward those who adopted it which was too visible a reminder of the blackness they were subconsciously trying to avoid. Grier and Cobbs describe the psychological consequences of the hair "problem" and of the cultural beauty standard:. Long, straight hair and a fair skin have seemed to be the requirements for escaping the misery of being a black woman. One can only guess at the agony of countless black women who have spent their hard-earned money for a bottled, emulsified escape from being the way they are.
And it is difficult to imagine their frustration and hopelessness when they finally realized that they could not change their hair or their color. When the feeling of ugliness is reinforced by the rejection of family and society, the growing girl develops a feeling not only of being undesirable and unwanted, but also of being mutilated—of having been fashioned by Nature in an ill- favored manner. Many whites were never aware of this whole sequence of events, and even today will walk up to a black person with a Natural and ask them how they get their hair like that only to find out that it grows that way!
Some blacks recognized their dilemma and struck back at it with "black is beautiful"—an attempt to eliminate the emotional despair by asserting its opposite. The old code of behavior was cast away—mostly by the young. Many blacks began wearing their hair naturally, they adopted dress which connected them with their African past, they laid claim to "soul" music, studied Swahili, and began to publicize all of the extraordinary accomplishments of blacks throughout history—information that had lain dormant, consistently evaded and never reaching the public's attention.
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