General Interest > Thought Reform

Carol Menzel "Coercive Psychology, 1974"

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"In the summer of 1973, LaRouche began sessions of what he called "ego-stripping." He suggested this would cure his followers of the cowardice and bourgeois moral qualms they had displayed during Mop Up. The big problem with most NCLC members, he said, was their psychosexual fears. LaRouche proposed to use fear to fight fear:

"I am going to make you organizers—by taking your bedrooms away from you . . ." he announced. "What I shall do is to expose to you the cruel fact of your sexual impotence . . . I will take away from you all hope that you can flee the terrors of politics to the safety of 'personal life.' I shall do this by showing to you that your frightened personal sexual life contains for you such terrors as the outside world could never offer you. I will thus destroy your rabbit-holes, mental as well as physical. I shall destroy your sense of safety in the place to which you ordinarily imagine you can flee. I shall not pull you back from fleeing, but rather destroy the place to which you would attempt to flee."

The ego-stripping sessions were similar to the confrontational therapy practiced by psychological cults. LaRouche would pick an NCLC member at random, or perhaps one who had failed at some political assignment. The group would heap nonstop attacks on every aspect of the victim's behavior. Supposedly it was a sign of psychic liberation if he or she broke down and started sobbing hysterically. LaRouche said this was the way in which the individual "abruptly 'breaks free' as if from a drugged state; a sudden personality change occurs, in which the group sees the real person come forth, assume control of himself, or herself, and bring the ego-state under control." Thus ego-stripping was "an act of social love."


Thought reform has appeal to all kinds of people.  It's like ice cream.

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