The term brainwashing came into the English languagenfrom Chinese during the Korean War to describe the bizarrencombination of torture and indoctrination used by the Chinesenas they tried to convert prisoners of war to communism. Withnconstant repetition, harassment, and humiliation, Chinesecommunistnpolitical officers attempted to persuade their victimsnto believe such notions as “the Soviet Union heads thenWorld Peace Camp.” One wonders where those officers arennow, and what they are doing. This brainwashing proved a lotnmore effective at killing Westerners than at converting them,nbut it also produced an utter collapse of the prisoners’ morale.nIn a few cases, particularly airmen whom they wanted to confessnto dropping germ bombs, the communists were more successful.nAs Doctor Charles Mayo wrote, intense pressures werenbrought to bear that were “calculated to disintegrate the victimn’ s mind, to distort his sense of values to a point where he willnnot simply cry out T did it,’ but will become a seemingly willingnaccomplice to the complete destruction of his integrity.”nB. ‘ut brainwashing—in America? Some might swear thatnthere is no such thing. True, it is illegal to torture someone fornthirty-six hours straight to break down his personality and hisnbeliefs. However, it is perfectly clear that less-extreme types ofnmanipulation are widely used to promote the dominant leftliberalnbeliefs—by the mass media, by the academic world, andnby various other opinion-makers. Repetition and a certain stylenof humiliation and harassment for opponents of their views notnonly are not unknown, they are well-honed tools. Sometimesntheir results are similar to those achieved in Korea. Most Americansnhave not unconditionally surrendered to the beliefs of thenminority who run the information and entertainment industriesn, but it is apparent that a collapse of moral andnbehavioral norms has taken place over the last 20 years— aided,nit must be admitted, by other events. In some cases, the targetsnof concentrated attack have indeed had their integrityndestroyed, and have run around screaming, “I did it.” Thenparade of clergymen advocating policies of surrender tontotalitarianism is a case in point. By 1971, Norman Podhoretznwas able to observe that the American middle class routinelynsaid about itself what its worst enemies had once said of it.nAmerican brainwashing’s most potent tool is relentlessnrepetition, and in this field Americans have far surpassed thenoriginal crude practitioners of the art. Television and weeklynnews magazines provide far more effective and flexible meansnof mental bombardment than anything possessed by thenChinese Reds in the early 1950’s. Instead of being hammerednby the same tinny slogan over and over again, the victim is hitnrepeatedly with the same ideas and attitudes in many andnvaried forms, from newspapers like the Washington Post tonmessage-laden situation comedies like M.*A*S*H 2.nA. thenvarious vulgar offspring of the Norman Lear school of consciousnessn. The primary methods of brainwashing can be foundnChronicles of CulturenBRAINWASHING IN AMERICA ‘nC O M M i: N Tnnnboth in “straight” reporting and in “fiction.” These methodsnare the slant, exclusion of debate, the assumption of agreementnwhere none exists, semantic infiltration, and the unadmittednredefinition of terms.nBiased reporting has always been with us; indeed, only angeneration or two ago, it was the ostensibly “rightist” papers,nlike the Hearst chain and the Chicago Tribune, that were thenacknowledged masters of slanted reporting in America. (ThenChicago Tribune, however, lost none of its skill when itnchanged to an editorial line that must have Colonel McCormicknspinning in his grave.) But the presentation of one-sided versionsnof events and deliberate emotional coloring has beennhighly polished since those early days. Television news in particularnhas learned to express and to capitalize on the contemporaryntendency to live wholly in the present, discarding notnonly tradition but even memory. A good example of this wasnthe treatment of the Israeli military campaign in southernnLebanon. There was a deluge of highly emotional accountsnabout the destruction caused by Israeli forces, but no mentionnof the seven years of hell that the FLO and its friends had inflictednon Lebanese Christians, nor any recognition of the raidsnon Israel which provoked their arguably belated retaliation.nWithout memory there can be no perspective, no real grasp ofnreality. What often passes on television as references to historynoften turns out to be nothing more than stimuli designed tonelicit a specific emotional response, a response that has beennconditioned over time to become almost Pavlovian. And it isnPavlov whose work was appropriated by his communistnenemies to form the scientific basis for brainwashing.nBv ut the most decisive factor in American brainwashing,nthe one that threatens to overturn the foundations of thenEnglish language and all but wreck our ability even to see reali-n