Beverly K. Eakman
October 13, 2009
To ensure that psychiatry “permeate every educational activity of national life” and “infiltrate the professional and social activities of [all] people” was a global goal that originated with British Brigadier General Dr. John Rawlings Rees in a 1940 speech to the National Council for Mental Hygiene. He ended on an ominous note: “Though our knowledge be incomplete … I think we must imitate the Totalitarians and organize some kind of fifth column activity.”
Canadian colleague Dr. Brock Chisholm chimed in with sinister comments of his own at the close of the war in 1946, in a speech to the World Federation of Mental Health. He argued for “freedom from morality” and the “eventual eradication of right and wrong.” Such traditional upbringing was making children ill, he insisted. “If the race is to be freed of its crippling burden of good and evil it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility.”
Rees and Chisholm had company — in political, educational, journalistic, marketing, and military circles, most ensconced within interconnected foundations, associations, and “research centers” (foreign and domestic). They became Rees’ and Chisholm’s enablers. Together, they created Rees’ dream: “a controlled psychological environment.”
Today, the Department of Defense has a new name for it: “perception management” (or “PM”), and the psychopharmaceutical industry has hit the jackpot.