Medicine: Psychology of Brainwashing

Men have always fought for control over the minds of their fellows, but it is only recently—largely because of the furor over brainwashing—that the methods of gaining such control have been openly and widely debated. In a new book (Battle for the Mind; Doubleday, $4.50), British Psychiatrist William Sargant lays out a pat theory to explain as essentially the same not only political brainwashing and extorted confessions but religious conversions as well. The all-purpose key, according to Sargant, is to be found in the theories of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936), the Russian physiologist and would-be psychologist who proved that his famed...

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