Monday, May 9, 2011

PsyOps? PsyWar!

This film explores the evolution of propaganda and public relations in the United States, with an emphasis on the "elitist theory of democracy" and the relationship between war, propaganda and class.

Includes original interviews with a number of dissident scholars including Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti, Peter Phillips ("Project Censored"), John Stauber ("PR Watch"), Christopher Simpson ("The Science of Coercion") and others.

V-RADIO interview with Scott Noble, Filmmaker of "Psywar".

V-RADIO: Can you describe for the readers what was the precipice, the moment that got you "out of the box"? What got you out of the mainstream dream and instead peering behind the curtain?

Mr. Noble:
I’m not sure I can pinpoint one moment in time, but I do remember being deeply disturbed by the revelation that my Aunt had been used as a human guinea pig in one of the CIA’s Cold War mind control experiments – specifically, experiments conducted at the Allen Memorial Institute in Montreal.

The Allen Memorial was then regarded as the preeminent psychiatric institution in Canada, so my grandparents decided to send my aunt there (a teenager at the time) to help her deal with certain emotional problems. She was only 16. From what I gather, her problems amounted to typical adolescent behavior (typical in our society, at least) – depression, delinquency, acting out and so forth.

Unbeknownst to my grandparents, the Center’s director, Dr. Ewan Cameron, was being paid by the CIA to conduct “mind control” experiments. He would later become president of the World Psychiatric Association. Techniques included massive doses of electric shock, massive doses of barbiturates, prolonged sensory deprivation, and other tortures. Indeed, one of the CIA’s torture manuals, “KUBARK’, refers explicitly to Cameron’s experiments along with earlier studies in “fear based conditioning” by behaviorists like Hobart Mowrer.

Kubark describes a process of “regression” where “subjects” can be reduced to an “infantile state”. I explore these issues in my next documentary, “Human Resources”, which was recently completed and will be online in a month or two.

Perhaps owing to her young age at the time, my Aunt was never able to recover from the trauma of her experience at the Allen Memorial. She later took her own life.

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