APA Memorandum on Brainwashing 1986

December 29, 1986


TO: Task Force on Deceptive and indirect Methods of Persuasion and Control

FROM : Dorothy Thomas

SUBJECT : Final Draft of Task Force Report

At the request of Michael Langone, I have enclosed a copy of the final draft of the task force report, minus the references list which is being finalized by the Task Force Chair Margaret Singer and Langone.

At its October 31-November 2, 1986 meeting, BSERP was pleased to receive the report, which the Board has been expecting with anticipation for some time. The views of BSERP members on the report ranged from positive to mixed feelings about the narrow scope of the report. For the most part, they felt it was a good report. However, because of the magnitude of the issues involved, BSERP decided to send the report out for independent review by a number of people who are knowledgeable in this area. BSERP members were also asked to give the report a more careful review (the final draft version was available to members at the meeting) and to prepare comments for further discussing of the report at their May 1987 meeting . The comments from the outside reviewers will also be available to BSERP at that meeting.

At the October -November meeting, BSERP did not allocate funds for the Task Force to hold a meeting to do a final group review of the report. BSERP will decide on a process for finalizing the report in the spring. However, I would like to suggest that the Task Force continue its work by phone and letter as much as possible and if there are related expenses, I am certain we can arrange to have members reimbursed. Hopefully, by the time of the early spring meeting of the BSERP Steering Committee, which meets in the interim to review the Board’s agenda, the Task Force will have completed their work on the details so that the Steering Committee will have a clean copy of the final version of the report, including a completed reference list for its review.

I wish to inform you that Pamela T. Reld, Ph.D., has accepted appointment to APA Central Office as the Director of the Office of Social and Ethical Responsibility. Pam Reld will assume full-time responsibility for the SER programs beginning January 5, 1987. We are very pleased to have her at APA in SER.

Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Read the Task Force Report
Read the 1987 APA Memo about the Final Report of the Task Force
Read the 1983 APA Memo about the Proposal for Task Force on Coercive Psychological Techniques

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