What we’re reading now: The APA report

| by | Categories: Commentary, Current affairs

Dictionary definition of the word Ethics.

The American Psychological Association’s Independent Review on ethics, national security and torture—in historical context By Marcie Holmes   The Hidden Persuaders project studies the history of ‘brainwashing’ and other forms of mind control as they relate to the expertise and status of the psy professions during the Cold War. Our inquiries here chart important chapters… Read more »

New video essays by Ian Magor

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Image: Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (dir. Fritz Lang 1922)   In July 2015, the Hidden Persuaders project and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image hosted a workshop, Brainwash: History, Cinema and the Psy Professions. Birkbeck graduate and video essayist Ian Magor presented several of his recent pieces at the event. These works comment on… Read more »

Hiding in plain sight

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Cinema, psychoanalysis and the history of brainwashing   Ian Christie, Anniversary Professor of Film and Media History at Birkbeck College, is a distinguished and influential cinema scholar. When Prof. Christie recently interviewed Daniel Pick about popular interest in brainwashing, their conversation quickly became a lively dialogue between two historians on mid-twentieth-century cinema’s fascination with psychoanalysis,… Read more »

Upcoming Workshop–Brainwash: History, Cinema and the Psy Professions

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The Hidden Persuaders Project and the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image cordially invite you to: Brainwash: History, Cinema and the Psy Professions 3rd and 4th of July 2015, 10:00am-6:00pm Birkbeck Cinema 43 Gordon Square WC1H 0PD London United Kingdom   The history of cinema, like the history of psychoanalysis, psychiatry and psychotherapy, percolates with… Read more »

Reflections on Enhanced Interrogation

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A scene depicting 'waterboarding' in the film Battle of Algiers (dir. Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)

A scene depicting ‘waterboarding’ in the film Battle of Algiers (dir. Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)   By Ben Poore¹   When the Senate Intelligence Committee released their report on the CIA’s use of ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques, Dick Cheney was quick to respond. (The report, Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program, can… Read more »

Interview: Robert Jay Lifton on brainwashing and totalism

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Robert Jay Lifton, 2 April 2015

In April 2014, Daniel Pick sat down with Robert Jay Lifton for a wide-ranging discussion about Prof. Lifton’s life and research.  In this first excerpt from the interview, Prof. Lifton speaks about writing his 1961 book, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, which describes the processes of re-education (considered by some to be ‘brainwashing’)… Read more »

New doctoral studentship

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Birkbeck, University of London

The Birkbeck History, Classics and Archaeology Department is pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded three-year doctoral grant to work on a project that falls within the scope of the Hidden Persuaders project. The doctoral studentship will be supervised by Prof. Daniel Pick, and funded by the Wellcome Trust. It includes some travel… Read more »

Interrogating minds in the Korean War

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At the United Nations' prisoner-of-war camp at Pusan, prisoners are assembled in one of the camp compounds. The camp contains both North Korean and Chinese Communist prisoners. Photo by Larry Gahn, US State Department [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In November 2014 the Hidden Persuaders project hosted Monica Kim, author of the forthcoming book Humanity Interrogated: The Wars over War in the Interrogation Room, 1942-1960 and assistant professor of history at New York University. In a seminar that was jointly organized with the Psychoanalysis Working Group of the Birkbeck Institute of Humanities, Dr. Kim… Read more »