What would it take to turn you into a suicide bomber?
How would you interrogate a member of Al Qaeda?
With access to formerly classified documentation and interviews from the CIA, the U.S. Army, MI5, MI6, and the British Intelligence Corps, acclaimed journalist Dominic Streatfeild traces the history of the world’s most secret psychological procedure.
From the cold war to the height of today’s war on terror, groups as dissimilar as armies, religious cults, and advertising agencies have been accused of brainwashing. But what does this mean?
Is it possible to erase memories or to implant them artificially? Do heavy-metal records contain subliminal messages? Do religious cults brainwash recruits? What were the CIA and MI6 doing with LSD in the 1950s? How far have the world’s militaries really gone?
From the author of the definitive history of cocaine, Brainwash is required reading in an era of cutting-edge and often controversial interrogation practices. More than just an examination of the techniques used by the CIA, the KGB, and the Taliban, it is also a gripping, full history of the heated efforts to master the elusive, secret techniques of mind control.
Praise for Brainwash
“Meticulously researched and superbly readable... acutely observed... evenhanded and even-tempered.”--The Daily Telegraph (UK)
“A gripping survey of the post-war history of interrogation techniques.”--Telegraph on Sunday (UK)
“Vivid... Streatfeild does an important service by bringing [brainwashing] to our attention again. It is especially relevant in the light of Abu Ghraib and the war on terror.”--Financial Times (UK)
“Breathless... reads like a spy thriller.”--The Guardian (UK)
“Gripping.”--Time Out (UK)
“Marvelously engrossing. This book is a series of wonderfully detailed and cleverly told stories, each of which debunks the brainwashing myth. Streatfeild’s narrative control cannot be faulted. His research is formidable.”--Sunday Times (UK)