The World: Psychoadaptation, or How to Handle Dissenters

OFFICIAL methods of dealing with dissident intellectuals in the Soviet Union have always been harsh and arbitrary. They are no longer, as in Stalin's day, summarily shot. Now, with the authorities anxious to preserve legal forms, an increasingly common punishment for dissenters is confinement to mental hospitals that are often jails in disguise. Technically, Soviet courts cannot sentence a man to prison or labor camp unless he has violated the criminal code. Health officers, however, can commit anyone to "emergency psychiatric hospitalization" if his behavior is simply deemed abnormal. "Why bother with political...

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