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The technologies of mind manipulation, recently examined by Peter Schrag, Samuel Chavkin, and others, are again responsibly scrutinized in this large, somewhat over-detailed investigation. Like Chavkin, the authors are alarmed as much by the grisly particulars as by their overall implications: ""mind manipulation technologies endanger democracy."" Their evidence includes the CIA's surreptitious and reckless use of LSD; the macabre practices of maverick agent George White; the long tradition of psychosurgery in which unaccountable researchers come up with unorthodox findings (ten patients had operations, four of six improved); and the use of ECT and drugs as silencers. The Manchurian Candidate remains a fictional example of another threat, brainwashing, which continues to pique the public imagination: some believe Sirhan, Oswald, and Ruby were all hypnoprogrammed agents, a theory Scheflin and Opton dispute even while they acknowledge its future possibilities. Many of these techniques are accessible not only to the government, which has demonstrated no discomfort with stealth and concealment, but also to private citizens--lobotomy is a relatively simple procedure and difficult to detect. This volume is flabby in some areas, especially the Manson and Patty Hearst examples, and could use some sharpening in others, but the stockpiling of information is considerable, the apprehensions clear.

Pub Date: June 5th, 1978
Publisher: Paddington--dist. by Grosset & Dunlap