Never has it been so important to understand man’s mental processes and his reactions to fear and political persuasion. Covid-19, the emerging Delta variant, the vaccine, lockdowns, Critical Race Theory, mob violence, and the labeling of all opposed to big government as extremists, are all examples of political coercion meant to guide the public consciousness into the totalitarian mindset. A constant barrage of ceaseless propaganda depicting a nation in chaos keeps the masses on edge, not knowing which way to turn, as the same people who deliberately cause the problems hide behind their deceptive smiles and prefabricated solutions. Quick fixes which only lead to the loss of freedom for the individual, and increased power for the tyrant, push society closer to its inevitable end-complete government control. The elite’s knowledge of behavior and human psychology is a weapon more deadly than any rifle, finely tuned to take advantage of our responses to their campaigns of mass confusion. As we sit around thirsting for relaxation and entertainment, they continue to hone this weapon to a sharpened point. Only through a vigilant study of “politically inspired mental coercion, with all its ramifications” (Meerloo, 1961, p. 7.) can we expect to free ourselves from its grip and set the nation back on track.
Joost Meerloo’s book Rape of the Mind was a case study in the development of the totalitarian mindset and what it takes to resist the propaganda employed to turn a free nation into one controlled by tyrants. Meerloo, after being subject to Nazi interrogation techniques during WWII, became a psychiatrist for the allied forces and studied the effects of mass brainwashing on prison camp survivors. The first half of the book details what the Nazis knew of human behavior and how they exploited it. Much of what is known about human reactions to stress, fear and propaganda can be traced back to this time. Most of what Nazi Germany and the communists knew of behavior was based on Pavlovian psychology/conditioning. Their driving philosophies were Marxist in nature. Godlessness is what drove the totalitarian mindset, leading to the senseless slaughter of millions. Ironically, to solve this problem, Meerloo calls for the use of psychology in education and government to prevent the growth of the dictator mind. He writes that education, for example, “will be permeated with dependable psychological knowledge” (Meerloo, 1961, p. 183), and politicians would become “more secure in the strategy of world guidance” (Meerloo, 1961, p. 183) through understanding psychology. How has this worked out?
Brock Chisholm’s report The Psychiatry of Peace and Social Progress also calls for the use of psychology and psychiatry in preventing the atrocities committed during the twentieth century. Chisholm was a psychiatrist, and head of the World Health Organization after WWII. He believed psychology could eliminate what he viewed as the lowest common denominator in all societies-religious morality or the belief in absolute truths. This is the great paradox of our time as the debate between left and right rests on their beliefs pertaining to man’s origins. The left, clinging to a Darwinian view of man, believes we are animals whose behaviors are driven by instinct. The right, that we are divinely created, and we should strive to behave according to the immutable truths set forth by God’s word in the Bible. Chisholm believed it is the ideas of absolute good and evil which cause people’s feelings of inferiority, driving them to control other’s behaviors and beliefs. He writes that religious dogma prevents people from reasoning and enjoying their inclination to follow their natural urges (Chisholm, 1946, p. 8). This is an idea Meerloo alludes to as well as he suggests the true purpose of psychology is to “free man from his internal tensions by helping him understand what causes them” (Meerloo, 1961, p. 232). Liberating the human spirit and freeing men from the dependency of immature thinking, so that man can realize his full potential, is the true purpose of psychology (Meerloo, 1961, p. 232).
Most of today’s psychology revolves around the work of Pavlov and Skinner. The idea that man is not responsible for his own behavior, and environmental conditions govern his actions, is the predominant view. This is suggested in Skinner’s book Beyond Freedom and Dignity (p. 101). He breaks down human behavior into two categories, pre-scientific and scientific. Pre-scientific is the time they thought man to be in control of his own actions, and that his own free will allowed him the luxury of choosing his own course. Skinner rejected this for the scientific view, which argues that man’s behavior is traceable to our evolutionary past and controlled through environmental manipulation. Skinner writes that any study into behavior should be taken from the latter view because it allows for greater control (p. 101). The belief in free will is mostly tied to Christianity. It can be theoretically argued that free will is the concept which Chisholm thought led to beliefs like good and evil. Therefore, freeing men from the dependency of immature thinking, while allowing him the freedom to enjoy the inclination to follow natural urges, means guiding men away from the truths of God. Using psychology then, in education and school to solve men’s problems, or to prevent the totalitarian mindset, is counterproductive.
Psychology is largely a godless practice as it is a doctrine of man’s making and understanding. Just as Chisholm believed that religious dogma prevented people from developing the ability to reason-rhetorician Peter Ramus, who lived in the 1500s, believed men did not need religion or other moral doctrines to reason (Bizzell & Herzberg, 678) because reasonable thinking was an innate characteristic of man. It was better, according to Ramus, for men to develop the ability to reason, then pursue one’s own path to knowledge (Bizzell & Herzberg, 678). While all men pursue knowledge based on their own experience, denying the need for a moral doctrine in doing so can have lasting consequences. Ramus is considered a reformer in scientific thinking as many viewed his methods as a challenge to traditional scholasticism (Bizzell & Herzberg, 675). According to an article entitled The quest for method: the legacy of Peter Ramus, Ramus’s logic led to the idea of picking what should or should not be included in scientific inquiry. If science is supposed to be the bearer of truth, Peter Ramus set the stage for how it would be used to justify men’s own ideas. Ramus was known for shunning the work of Aristotle (Bizzell & Herzberg 675), which was based on the assertion of logic in pursuit of objectivity and absolutes.
Without a moral, philosophical underpinning in the pursuit of knowledge, men are free to reject self-evident truths which govern our nature in favor of desires which guide the lusts of the heart. Lack of moral clarity in scientific rigor today has led to transgenderism, Darwinism, movements that justify pedophilia, and the elimination of entire groups of people simply because they won’t conform. Meerloo argues for more psychology in schools and government to prevent the development of the totalitarian mindset. Because psychology is a doctrine of Godless men, it is impossible for psychology to be a solution in a world where God and morality exist as absolutes. As long as men are setting their sights on science to satisfy their own beliefs and biases, the march towards all-out despotism will continue. It is not a problem that can be solved by the doctrines of men.
Bizzell, P. & Herzberg, B. (2001) The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings From Classical Times To The Present 2nd Ed. Boston. Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Chisholm, G. B. (1946). THE PSYCHIATRY OF ENDURING PEACE AND SOCIAL PROGRESS (THE REËSTABLISHMENT OF PEACETIME SOCIETY)-The William Alanson White Memorial Lectures, Second Series. Psychiatry, 9(1), 1.
Meerloo, J, A, M. Rape of the Mind. (1961) Martino Fine Books. Rape of The Mind: Joost Meerloo: Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming: Internet Archive
Skinner, B. F. Beyond Freedom and Dignity. (1971) Pelican Books, Middlesex England. BF-Skinner-Beyond-Freedom-&-Dignity-1971.pdf (selfdefinition.org)
Triche, S., & McKnight, D. (2006) The quest for method: The legacy of Peter Ramus. Journal of the history of education society, 33(1).
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