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Book Review of: Blowing America's Mind
A True Story of Princeton, CIA Mind Control, LSD, and Zen
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Blowing America's Mind, by Author (Softcover, 2018)|
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This book was disturbing in what it addressed, but it was an enjoyable read due to how well it is written. It's a story of the abuse meted out to two Princeton University students by professors they trusted (one in particular). The reference to mind blowing in the title isn't made in the same light sense the concept is bandied about today. These guys aren't talking about a "mindblowing" flavor of ice cream or in any other way hyperbolizing things with those particular word choices.
What they went through is similar to what happens with date rape drugs. The violator does something to another person after rendering that person incapable of consent or dissent. In this case, the violators misused hypnosis to make their victims nearly lose their minds. Hypnosis is voluntary, and the person being hypnotized trusts the hypnotist not to do something harmful while the subject is in that highly suggestible state. The authors (Davids, first) discovered that they were being harmed, and in ways that created severe problems in their "normal" (unhypnotized) state. They were not the only students so abused, the problem was actually quite widespread.
The authors provide evidence that this student abuse program, in which students were unknowingly the subject of mind control experiments, was part of a CIA program called MK Ultra. Your tax dollars at work.
One hook that kept the students from bolting was the promise of draft deferment. This was during a time when American tax dollars were at work bombing the citizens of Vietnam and sending the children of the non-privileged class into that meat grinder to take a hill for no particular reason and then give it up a week later and then incur massive casualties retaking it a few times more. For those whose parents could not buy their way out of being sent there, getting a draft deferment was the next best thing. So the abusers could hold this over their victims. And in the book, the authors relate several instances in which this ploy was made on them.
Psychoactive drugs such as LSD were also involved. The sordid tale on that is something the authors cover as well.
These events happened in the 1960s, and the authors waited 50 years before publishing this book. One reason for the big time factor was they parted ways when Davids left Princeton and re-united much later. Another reason is time was needed for certain principals to pass away, so the story could be told without those abusers reacting with a lawsuit or some other action (the authors did not say this, it's just obvious when you read the section that discusses what became of everyone).
That section does not include anything about what the various shadow characters in government are doing now or what reforms have been made to prevent further abuse. Nobody went to jail, as is the usual case when government employees commit felonies. No reform was made, as is the usual case when people are egregiously and seriously violated due to zero oversight of some government agency or another.
When you read a book like this, you have to wonder "what they are up to now" because nobody went to jail and no reforms were enacted. That is what makes this book important and highly relevant today. Not that, oh, it happened in the 60s and was bad, how sad. But that it happened and nothing ever emerged to keep it from happening again. It would be irrational to believe this sort of thing is not happening today, only with different specifics. Read this book to understand just one crazy example of how mind control can be powerful enough to cause people to do things they would never do of their own free will.
If you don't think mind control is occurring today, consider this. Soft drinks cause osteoporosis by three different mechanisms and are the reason for the explosion in the occurrences of esophageal cancer. Yet, so many people willingly pour this poison down their throats that most grocery stores devote more space to soft drinks than to fruits and vegetables. That is just one crazy example of how mind control is exerted today.
Selby and Davids were hypnotized by professors. Today, people are hypnotized by television and social media. The outcomes are not all that different.