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rest of the world, that it is the aim of the Communist system to not only control the land areas of the world, but the minds and souls of the members of the human race.
The Americans and other free peoples can best combat this so-called brainwashing weapon of the Communists by understanding its techniques and methods. We hope these hearings will make some progress in that direction.
Mr. Counsel, who is your first witness?
The CHAIRMAN. Dr. Harold Wolff, will you come around, please, sir. You do solemnly swear that the evidence you shall give before this Senate investigating subcommittee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Dr. WOLFF. I do so swear.
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. Chairman, Dr. Hinkle will also perhaps havo something to say on the subject.
The CHAIRMAN. Dr. Hinklę, will you be sworn? You do solemnly swear the evidence you shall give before this Senate investigating subcommittee shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Dr. HINKLE. I do.
TESTIMONY OF DR. HAROLD G. WOLFF, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE,
CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDICAL COLLEGE, IN CHARGE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NEUROLOGY; AND DR. LAWRENCE E. HINKLE, JR., ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDICAL COLLEGE
The CHAIRMAN. Be seated, gentlemen.
Dr. Wolff, will you state your name, your place of residence, and your profession or occupation?
Dr. WOLFF. Dr. Harold G. Wolff, home address 355 West 246th Street, New York City. I am professor of medicine at the Cornell University Medical College, in charge of the department of neurology.
The CHAIRMAN. Dr. Hinkle, will you also state the same for the record ?
Dr. HINKLE. Dr. Lawrence E. Hinkle, Jr., of 248 South Main Street, New Canaan, Conn. I am an assistant professor of medicine at Cornell University Medical College.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, gentlemen. I may ask you, Doctor, if both of you are familiar with the nature of these proceedings and understand the purpose and objectives of the committee in holding these hearings.
Dr. WOLFF. I believe I do, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. You have conferred with members of the staff and therefore you know generally the line of interrogation to expect?
Dr. WOLFF. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. I assume neither of you cares to be represented by counsel?
Dr. WOLFF. No.
Mr. KENNEDY. Dr. Wolff, would you give the committee a little of your background, and what your experience is in this field which we are going to explore today!
Dr. WOLFF. I have been head of a group of some 20 civilian and military scientists who have been interested in the topic thai we are going to review, which grows out of my awareness of its public significance as well as my interest in this general department of mental health and disease.
Mr. KENNEDY. How long have you been associated with Cornell University, Doctor?
Dr. WOLFF. Since 1931.
Mr. KENNEDY. Doctor, you have a statement that you have prepared and which you have reviewed with the staff of the committee.
Dr. WOLFF. I do.
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. Chairman, if it is satisfactory, could he read that statement?
The CHAIRMAN. The statement was submitted under the rules? All right, Doctor, you may proceed and read your statement.
I might inquire, would you prefer not to be interrupted until you have concluded ?
Dr. WOLFF. I would be delighted to be interrupted.
The CHAIRMAN. In the course of the reading of your statement some question may be asked by members of the committee for clarification.
Dr. WOLFF. I would be very happy to respond to any questions. The CHAIRMAN. All right, sir. Proceed.
Dr. WOLFF. It is my purpose to report in bold outline the methods and procedures used by the Communist state police in interrogation and indoctrination of persons regarded as enemies of the state. This report will be relatively free of detailed case incidents, but emphasis will be placed on the techniques as applied in general in their major variations and the anticipated effects produced.
As I said before, the data here assembled are the outcome of over 212 years of effort of about 20 civilian and government scientists, made possible through private funds and under the auspices and with the complete collaboration of the Department of Defense, which made all possible facilities available to us.
It should be said at the outset that one of the chief tasks of the group was to separate the results of official and effective practices from the effects of accident, clumsiness, lack of facilities, lack of experience, lack of discipline, and lack of personnel. The more important the suspect or criminal or the propaganda effects, the more time, personnel and procedure were applied in obtaining information and statements of guilt. Inversely, if the yield was likely to be low from the police and political standpoint, an individual prisoner might be able to avoid all but minimal pressure. It was, therefore, necessary in each instance when appraising whether a man withstood a great deal or offered unusual resistance, to ascertain how much pressure was applied.
The Communists are skilled in the extraction of information from prisoners and in making prisoners do their bidding. It has appeared that they can force men to confess to crimes which have not been committed and then apparently to believe in the truth of their confessions and express sympathy and gratitude toward those who have imprisoned them.
Many have found it hard to understand that the Communists do not possess new and remarkable techniques of psychological manipulation. Some have recorded the confessions of men such as Cardinal Mindszenty and William Otis and the usual behavior of the old Bolshevik purge trials in the thirtys and have seen an alarming parallel. These prisoners were men of intelligence, abilty, and strength of character. They had every reason to oppose their captors. Their confessions were palpably untrue. Such behavior is, if anything, more difficult to explain than that of some of our prisoners of war in Korea.
The techniques used by the Communists have been the subject of speculation. A number of theories about them have been advanced, most of them suggesting that these techniques have been based upon some modification of the condition reflex techniques of Professor Pavlov, the Russian neurologist.
The term “brainwashing," originated by Mr. Ed Hunter who interviewed Chinese refugees in Hong Kong, has caught the public fancy and has gained wide acceptance. Various authors have attempted to provide a scientific definition for this term. This has had the effect of confirming the general impression that brainwashing is an esoteric technique for the manipulation of human behavior designed by scientific investigators on the basis of laboratory experiments and controlled observations and producing highly predictable results.
Many of the public speculations about brainwashing are not supported by the available evidence. However, the Communists do make an orderly attempt to obtain information from their prisoners and to convert their prisoners to forms of behavior and belief acceptable to their captors. They have had some success in their efforts and this success has had a great deal of propaganda value for them.
For this reason, if for no other, it is important that we have as clear an understanding as possible about how these methods originated, how they are applied, their effectiveness, and their purpose.
The information contained in this report was obtained from a number of sources. Details of the Communist arrest and interrogation systems and a great deal of information about the purposes, attitude, and training of those who administer them, were obtained from the experts in the area who for security reasons must remain anonymous.
Knowledge of the prisoners' reactions to their experiences was obtained by the direct observations of persons recently released from Communist prisons; that is to say, before they returned to this country. Some of these observations continued for weeks and were supplemented by followup observations over periods of months. They included complete medical, neurological, and psychiatric examinations and often psychological testing as well.
This information was supplemented by that supplied by families, friends, and former associates. Among those studied intensively were military and civilian prisoners of diverse ranks and backgrounds, women as well as men, defectors and resistors, some who admittedly cooperated with their captors and some who said they did not.
In supplement to this information we obtained additional data from investigations carried on by the United States Army and by the United States Air Force and from the material assembled for the Defense Advisory Committee on Prisoners of War. A very large public literature on these subjects was reviewed and drawn upon when helpful.
Finally, various laboratory and clinical investigations have been carried on in my unit in order to throw light upon the psychological and physiological processes involved in some of the interrogation and indoctrination procedures.
The evidence from every source has been consistent with that from the other and provides a basis for confidence in the validity of the statements which I am about to make and the conclusions which have been drawn. I think I would like to say at this point the following in this regard :
First, the interrogation methods used by the state police in Communist countries are elaborations and refinements of police practices, many of which were known and used before the Russian Communist revolution.
Secondly, the principles and practices used by the Communist state police in the development of suspects, the accumulation of evidence, and the carrying out of arrests, detention, interrogation, trial, and punishment are known. The effects of these upon prisoners are also known.
Thirdly, the so-called confessions obtained by Communist state police are readily understandable as result of the methods used.
Fourth, Communist methods of indoctrination of prisoners of war were developed by the Russians and subsequently refined by the Chi
These methods and their effects are also known. Fifth, Chinese methods of dealing with political prisoners and enemies of the state were adapted from those of the Russians.
Sixth, the intensive indoctrination of political prisoners is a practice primarily used by the Chinese Communists and the methods used in this indoctrination are known and their effects are understandable.
All of these points I will develop as I go along.
Mr. KENNEDY. I think, Dr. Wolff, as you start going into some of the details of this whole matter, the committee will have further questions. You have some charts, as I understand it, that you will use in developing your thesis, is that correct?
Dr. WOLFF. Yes. Perhaps with your permission I might be allowed to step up there later to be nearer my charts.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes indeed. You have very great latitude in presenting the subject, Doctor. We will observe whatever method you think necessary for your convenience in making the presentation.
Mr. KENNEDY. Should we put the charts up now?
With your permission I will turn to him for detailed information which I don't happen to have at my fingertips.
(Exhibit No. 1 follows:)
EXHIBIT No. 1
BACKGROUND OF COMMUNIST METHODS
15th century Byzantine heritage:
1. Unrestricted autocracy
2. Internal intrigue and espionage 16th century:
1. Permanent body of private retainers responsible only to Czar
2. Central control of all aspects of the state
3. Purges 17th to 18th century: Central directorate with mission to guard the internal
security of the state 19th century: Most highly organized, effective, and powerful secret police of any European state:
1. Sudden arrest
4. Isolation technique developed 20th century Cheka :
1. Highly organized and refined methods
rogator-prisoner relationship OGPU-NKVD-MVD (KGB):
of history and current events) Chinese system :
1. Group pressures
Autobiography and diary writing Dr. WOLFF. This chart is designed in general to give the background of the practices and procedures. Without boring you with details of history, in which I have no special competence, of course, I would like to point out that the practices which have become refined and developed in the 20th century as regards the Russian state police have had their roots in a very long background of experience. You see in the 15th and 16th centuries the general philosophy and orientation of the state and its attempt to centralize control of all aspects of its functions. But in the 17th and 18th centuries we see for the first time the central directorate with a mission to guard the internal security of the state actually highly organized.
In the 19th century we come in contact with the most highly organized, effective, and powerful secret police of any European State. Some of the practices which I will discuss with you this morning are already developed.
For example, the study and arrest, the development of a complete dossier on an individual so that much about his past may be presented to him when he becomes a prisoner, the effects of repetitive interrogation and the techniques for such, and the fourth item, the interesting and elaborately developed isolation technique which plays such a large part in subsequent practice.
In the 20th century and again before the Communist appeared on the scene we find the Czarist Russian state police system developing further the methods which I have just mentioned. On top of that you have now the Communist ideology and logic. Interestingly enough, item 3, the abandonment of direct physical violence. This has an interesting background. One is that the Communist Government, presumably reformers, were interested in eliminating some of the brutal practices of the Czarist police and did so officially.
Incidentally, it became clearer and clearer that these methods were less effective than others which could be introduced. So there was a further reason for giving them no official status.