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well trained and less experienced people use physical violence where in the Eastern European system it would be less apt to appear.
A few points of special interest.
If a man comes back from his session with the interrogator in hand or leg manacles, it indicates he is not doing very well. That is the signal for the group to bear down on him and to prepare him for better attitudes. He may stay in these manacles for long periods, and skin abrasions and infections of the skin have resulted in many of our own nationals who have been prisoners under these circumstances.
The prison group, the cell group, on the other hand may be so out of patience with a prisoner as to actually beat him and occasionally the jailer has to protect the prisoner against his own cellmates if that cellmate has proven to be refractory. Sometimes the patient himself may encourage the cellmates to be violent in their actions.
All of this has a comparable effect to the isolation and the interrogation pressures that we are now familiar with in the Russian system.
These 56 or more hours of public lectures and demonstrations the group repeats and reviews and asks for statements of opinion of each of the group, and anyone who is uncertain or withholds or doubts is very much borne down upon.
The writing of diaries and autobiographic material is another way of obtaining information and causing the individual to state his deviant opinions. Such writings are rejected numerous times until ultimately one that is acceptable is prepared.
The effects of all this on the individual must be apparent. He feels utterly helpless, defeated. He is fatigued, he is in pain, hungry, dull, confused. He loses his capacity to make sharp discriminations. He aecepts as likely what formerly he thought or believed was unlikely. Ultimately, I believe in all instances that I know about, some sort of deposition is made since time seems to be of no moment, 4 or 5 years.
I have shown you on the next chart, which is a continuation of the one which I have just completed, how time stretches out. The CHAIRMAN. It may be made exhibit No. 12-A. (Exhibit No. 12-A will be found on the following page.)
Dr. WOLFF. We end up with 250 weeks as the likelihood of the longest probability. There may be others much longer.
Unlike the Russian system, a man's period of detention may be considered at trial, assuming that he is not executed, as evidence of time spent in incarceration. Some of our United States citizens who have been so incarcerated have had this time considered their period of detention just before they were shipped across the border.
At any rate, with the acceptance of the proper attitudes the trial before a group of three interrogators is carried out and release or punishment is then begun. The punishment may be death or it may be labor camp or it may be some other assignment.
Mr. KENNEDY. Doctor, are you thinking of a particular case where it went on for 5 years?
Dr. WOLFF. Yes.
Mr. KENNEDY. Are there also instances where the suspect attempts to commit suicide as a means out of the situation?
Dr. WOLFF. Yes.
12. Final achievement of "proper" attitude By rationalization, and
tentative partial belief
13. Continued study and discussion of
14. "Trial" and "confession"
15. Release, or punishment
Gradual readjustment of
attitudes and behavior to
Dr. WOLFF. Yes. It has been very interesting that several persons who were being detained for longer periods, Americans, have been there for somewhat different reasons. In one case a priest found it extremely difficult to accept the accusations and the viewpoints and withheld deposition and approved statements for 4 or more years. In several other instances individuals who were moderately sympathetic to the Communist point of view, who really felt themselves from the start to be friends of the Chinese people, and who in a sense had dedicated their lives to furthering the ends of the Chinese, especially put upon to be considered spies and enemies of the state. Therefore, for opposite reasons these individuals held out for very long periods. One of these several times recanted confession and several times was thrown back into this mill of destruction. Finally, in a desperate state he made a suicidal attempt in a very unattractive way. He attempted to drown himself by putting his head into a bucket of urine, which was thwarted. He did ultimately make a deposition and was sent back to us.
If you will allow me, I would like to point to the next chart, and just say a word about those few who seem to be most amenable to this kind of abuse and who make statements that cause a good deal of attention in the public press.
The CHAIRMAN. The chart now being presented will be made exhibit No. 13.
(Exhibit No. 13 follows:)
EXHIBIT No. 13
SOME FEATURES OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN ESPECIALLY AMENABLE TO CHINESE
1. Strongly sympathetic to communism.
Senator BENDER. In connection with these 70 cases, Doctor, what was the average length of time involved in this process?
Dr. WOLFF. Are you speaking of the Chinese ?
Dr. WOLFF. Anywhere from a few weeks to about 2 years. I think 6 months would be near the average.
Dr. HINKLE. I think for most of those held by the Chinese the detention period averaged between 6 and 8 months. Four or five years would be a long time. There were a number of instances in which it was just a few weeks.
Dr. WOLFF. Some features of those who have been especially amenable to Chinese Communist indoctrination. The first one I have not written down there, and it is very important. I would say they are persons who spoke Chinese fluently. That made them especially vulnerable, shall we say, because the number of English speaking Chinese interrogators is not excessive and their use of the idiom is not complete. So their contact with those who spoke English only was less telling and less effective than with individuals who could speak Chinese.
First, those who are sympathetic to communism to begin with or at least not out of sympathy with it were much more apt to find that this was a possible way out.
Senator BENDER. In that connection were any of these persons Catholic and Protestant missionaries?
Dr. WOLFF. Not in this group, sir, not the ones I am talking about. They were among the others I mentioned previously. No, those who held strong religious views were not in this group.
Secondly, they seemed to have in common, let us say, evidence of rebellion against their family or church or the society in which they originated
not only Americans, but French, Belgian, and other Europeans.
Third, they were rootless, in the sense that they had no commitment to home or family or person or church or nation. They were uncommitted to a worth and value system in many instances.
The CHAIRMAN. Doctor, are you stating or strongly implying that those who had a strong religious faith could stand or offer greater
resistance to this system or form of indoctrination? In other words, those who didn't have a strong religious faith and convictions about their way of life were more susceptible to this indoctrination ?
Dr. WOLFF. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. To fortify our people and the free peoples of the world against this vicious system of destruction and indoctrination of communism, a strong religious faith and conviction is a great bulwark against it?
Dr. WOLFF. That is my opinion, sir.
Dr. WOLFF. Very often many of these individuals were ready rationalizers and intellectually facile and, on the other hand, politically naive. For the most part they were guilt-laden and excessively dependent-guilt-laden for personal reasons having to do with their own backgrounds and family experience.
The opposite side of the coin has been suggested by your question, Senator McClellan, which is to say, negatively, that the absence of these features is found in those who did rather better.
What is the effect of all this Eastern European and Chinese? What is the durability of the changes induced and the confessions extracted?
For the most part the effects are transient. Just as soon as individuals came out of the environment where this kind of statement and attitude was necessary and where they had a chance to relate themselves to situations as they were, not as interpreted by the Communists, these individuals rather quickly, in from 6 to 8 weeks or 2 to 3 months, fell into a place in society not very different from that which they had originally held.
Conversion experiences in the sense perhaps comparable to a religious one is one of the features of the Chinese Communist system. The individual sometimes felt quite exalted and felt perhaps he had come upon a vision of life. Those who have had this experience have somehow been integrated by it without necessarily adhering to the Communist viewpoint. It stands to reason that any one who has been through such a grueling experience would come out somewhat fortitude and strengthened by his belief in himself.
That is about what I have to offer, sir. If you have not had too much of me I have a brief summary statement which I have written and prepared for your information.
The CHAIRMAN. I would appreciate that. I have a note here from some members of the press reminding us that there have been many stories to the effect that United States prisoners of war were starved and beaten by their captors. Do you care to make any comments on that, or is that covered in some other phase of the presentation?
Dr. WOLFF. Precisely, sir. I believe there are others more competent to discuss that.
The CHAIRMAN. You will have someone else do that? Dr. WOLFF. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. I didn't know whether you could comment on that. If some other witness is to present that aspect of the inquiry we will pass it for the time being.
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. Chairman, we have two witnesses this afternoon. The second one will go into that field.
Senator BENDER. Doctor, the people who did the interrogating were Chinese police, is that correct?
Dr. WOLFF. Yes, sir, state police, sir. Senator BENDER. How competent or qualified were they? Were they educated, cultured people, that is, in Communist culture?
Dr. WOLFF. In terms of the Russians they were far less so, less well prepared, less well trained, less experienced, less knowledgeable in the whole process. Many of the stories we hear, many of the events which have come to pass I think represent this lack of skill in the effort rather than any organized attempt to destroy or to damage. It is much less sophisticated.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be ready to hear your summary in a moment. A thought occurs to us here. I know from my own thinking that we have regarded this system over there of indoctrination and the treatment of prisoners and accusations and punishments for crime as having some great mystery about it. It is shrouded in mystery. Perhaps we have not fully understood it. One of the purposes of these hearings is to bring the truth to light in this area which you have studied and investigated, so the free peoples of the world, not only Americans but all people, may have first-hand information and gain knowledge as to what actually transpires and how the system works and how it is administered. You would say from your study of it that there is no longer any great mystery about it!
Dr. WOLFF. Precisely, sir. I hope I have communicated that idea.
The CHAIRMAN. You have been most helpful, sir. I think great good can flow from hearings of this kind. They are somewhat detailed, of course. At times the testimony may not be so spectacular, but it does disseminate information that the free peoples of the world should have.
I am very grateful to you and to all of you who are cooperating with the committee to that end. You have obviously given great study to it. You have gone to great pains to make the preparation to present this intelligently, factually, and effectively to the committee and for the information of the public. I think we owe you, and all of those we shall hear who are coming here to help us, a sincere debt of gratitude.
Senator BENDER. Doctor, you as a neurologist certainly are expert to answer this question. What can the average GI do to withstand this treatment? What are we doing in the matter of training our people who are in the military service in the event of any hostilities? Do we have a program on that? Do you care to comment on that?
Dr. WOLFF. There is one statement I can make without equivocation, and that is it is my conviction that knowledge about the process and the steps involved have the greatest defensive value. That can be made available and should be soon to all of us.
Secondly, I know that there is a program in the Armed Forces to do more than that, to work out in detail steps better to prepare a man for this kind of abuse. I can't go into that further at this time.
It is my hope, also, that out of this kind of experience something can be done at the level of the United Nations that might bring this to the attention of the world at large and that the real problem can be tackled at its source. I believe that is the program I would envisage as having the greatest effect.