In 1953, Dr. Ewan Cameron would become president of the American Psychiatric Association, and in that same year, Fabian Socialist Bertrand Russell’s THE IMPACT OF SCIENCE UPON SOCIETY was published, in which he explained: “I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology….Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for a generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen….Educational propaganda, with government help, could achieve this result in a generation. There are, however, two powerful forces opposed to such a policy: one is religion; the other is nationalism….A scientific world society cannot be stable unless there is a world government.”
Bertrand Russell mentioned “religion” as an obstacle to their grand design, but as Dr. John Rawlings Rees indicated, they had made “a useful attack upon the Church.” One way in which the attack upon the Church was pursued by its enemies was via introducing “collectivism.” And in that regard, Edgar C. Bundy’s COLLECTIVISM IN THE CHURCH (1960) is instructive, as he explained: “Because ‘mental health’ has become available as a lever to be used for promoting political and ideological designs, a word on the subject is in order….People who are normal in every sense of the word but who hold unpopular political ideas, such as opposition to world government and to the United Nations, Federal aid to education, and socialism, are now being branded by their opponents as ‘lunatics,’ ‘nuts’ and ‘idiots.’ Some of the mental health legislation which has been recently introduced on the state and Federal levels gives such wide latitude of interpretations to psychiatrists and politicians…that it is conceivable that anyone who takes a stand for the sovereignty of the United States, in favor of Congressional investigations…and in favor of states’ rights could be committed to an asylum in order to silence opposition.”
Bundy’s book was published in 1958, and in that same year, the linking of psychology and the schools was furthered by Prof. Louis Kaplan of the University of Southern California. According to the LOS ANGELES EXAMINER (December 14, 1958), Prof. Kaplan said “there may be as many as 25% of America’s school children who are emotionally or psychologically disturbed.” He called for more psychological testing and said the teacher and school could help students resist the pull of possible negative factors in the home and neighborhood.
But have the schools really been all that helpful to children when it comes to their mental health? In the late 1950s, the National Mental Health Institute commenced a program to have public schools administer Ritalin to children classified as “dull” or “emotionally disturbed.” The Institute awarded $29,000 to school officials in Montgomery County, PA, to experiment on 90 selected school children, but the program was dropped when a school director, J. E. P. Burns, M.D., objected. On September 24, 1959, Dr.Burns wrote a letter stating: “The program (administering drugs to children to increase their work output) was to last two years. During this time our public school children could have been made nervous wrecks or even worse. I presented this program to the school board and condemned the same with all of the power at my command and successfully caused the program to be dropped.”
While the use of drugs on school children encountered this setback, it was only temporary. In Zbigniew Brzezinski’s BETWEEN TWO AGES: AMERICA’S ROLE IN THE TECHNETRONIC ERA (1970), he referred to “the increasing availability of biochemical means of human control,” and said “human beings become increasingly manipulable and malleable.” After reading this book, David Rockefeller named Brzezinski as the first director of the Trilateral Commission, which was established in 1973.
The Rockefeller Foundation had “social control” as a primary goal. And in Holly Sklar’s edited volume, TRILATERALISM: THE TRILATERAL COMMISSION AND ELITE PLANNING FOR WORLD MANAGEMENT (1980), she related that “in a 1973 memo on the Trilateral Policy Program, then-director Brzezinski recommended the study of ‘Control Over Man’s Development and Behavior‘ as a theme for later consideration. More specifically such a task force would undertake to study ‘the social-education implications of the availability, especially in advanced societies, of new means of social control.’…Trilateralism is the current attempt by ruling elites to manage both dependence and democracy—at home and abroad….Economic gain and social control are inseparable goals of trilateralism.”
Connecting this desire for social control to education, in the same year Brzezinski’s BETWEEN TWO AGES appeared, the NEA’s ASCD published TO NURTURE HUMANENESS: COMMITMENT FOR THE ‘ 70s. The NEA included a disclaimer regarding the writers’ opinions in the book. Nevertheless, the NEA did choose the writers and published their views. In the book, Dan Dodson (professor of educational sociology at New York University) wrote: “Social controls cannot be left to blind chance and unplanned change—usually attributed to God.” John Loughary (chairman of the Department of Counseling at the University of Oregon) commented: “Many daily decisions and value judgments now made by the individual will soon be made for him.” And Raymond Houghton (professor of secondary education at Rhode Island College and member of the ASCD 1970 Yearbook Committee) proclaimed: “There are those who are, on an increasingly sophisticated level, coming to know how behavior is changed….Absolute behavior control is imminent….The critical point of behavior control, in effect, is sneaking up on mankind without his self-conscious realization that a crisis is at hand. Man will not ever know that it is about to happen. He will never self-consciously know that it has happened.”