Dr Meerloo, arts en psychoanalyticus


And fear not them which kill the body,

but are not able to kill the soul.

— Matthew 10:28

This book attempts to depict the strange transformation of the free human mind into an automatically responding machine a transformation which can be bought about by some of the cultural undercurrents in our present day society as well as by deliberate experiments in the service of a political ideology.

The rape of the mind and stealthy mental coercion are among the oldest crimes of mankind. They probably began back in pre historic days when man first discovered that he could exploit human qualities of empathy and understanding in order to exert power over his fellow men. The word “rape” is derived from the Latin word rapere, to snatch, but also is related to the words to rave and raven. It means to overwhelm and to enrapture, to invade, to usurp, to pillage and to steal.

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Met bovenstaande woorden begint ‘Joost’ Meerloo zijn klassiek geworden The Rape of The Mind (1956). Zijn bespreking van de bezigheden die later ‘brainwashing’ zijn gaan heten, heeft grote relevantie voor de onderwerpen die op deze website worden besproken.

Door middel van geraffineerde propaganda is het vrij eenvoudig om mensen te besturen. Ze te laten denken en voelen in de richting die de propagandist wenst en hen zelfs tegen hun eigen belang in te laten handelen.

Meerloo legt de fijnmazige mechanismen bloot waarlangs dergelijke beïnvloeding plaats vindt en hoe het zijn misdadige invloed kan hebben. Hij bespreekt gedetailleerd de met angst en afhankelijkheid samenhangende kwetsbaarheden van het individu waarop wordt ingespeeld.

En beschrijft de methoden en technieken die gebruikt worden door degenen die voordeel hebben bij het bespelen van hun prooi en hen via deze steelse grensoverschrijdingen weten te besturen.

Kennisname van zijn werk kan helpen doorzien  en voorkomen

Uit Part I van zijn The Rape of The Mind laat ik hier nog een slotcitaat volgen:

“It is now technically possible to bring the human mind into a condition of enslavement and submission. The Schwable case and the cases of other prisoners of war are tragic examples of this, made even more tragic by our lack of understanding of the limits of heroism. We are just beginning to understand what these limits are, and how they are used, both politically and psycholgically, by the totalitarians. We have long since come to recognize the breast beating confession and the public recantation as propaganda tricks; now we are beginning to see ever more clearly how the totalitarians use menticide: deliberately, openly, unashamedly, as part of their oficial policy, as a means of consolidating and maintaining their power, though, of course, they give a different explanation to the whole procedure it’s all confessions of real and treacherous crimes.

This brutal totalitarian technique has at least one virtue, however. It is obvious and unmistakable, and we are learning to be on our guard against it, but as we shall see later, there are other subtler forms of mental intervention. They can be just as dangerous as the direct assault, precisely because they are more subtle and hence more difficult to detect. Often we are not aware of their action at all. They influence the mind so slowly and indirectly that we may not even realize what they have done to us.

Like totalitarian menticide, some of these less obvious forms of mental manipulation are political in purpose. Others are not. Even if they differ in intent, they can have the same consequences.

These subtle menticidal forces operate both within the mind and outside it. They have been strengthened in their effect by the growth in complexity of our civilization. The modern means of mass communication bring the entire world daily into each man’s home; the techniques of propaganda and salesmanship have been refined and systematized; there is scarcely any hiding place from the constant visual and verbal assault on the mind. The pressures of daily life impel more and more people to seek an easy escape from responsibility and maturity. Indeed, it is difficult to withstand these pressures; to many the offer of a political panacea is very tempting, to others the offer of escape through alcohol, drugs, or other artificial pleasures is irresistable.

Free men in a free society must learn not only to recognize this stealthy attack on mental integrity and fight it, but must learn also what there is in side man’s mind that makes him vulnerable to this attack, what it is that makes him, in many cases, actually long for a way out of the responsibilities that republican democracy and maturity place on him.”