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Journey Into Madness: The True Story of Secret CIA Mind Control and Medical Abuse Hardcover – May 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (May 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553053574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553053579
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #365,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

William Buckley, the American murdered in Beirut in 1985 after his kidnap and torture by Arab extremists, was identified in the U.S. media as a "political attache" or "journalist." Basing his extraordinary investigative coup on interviews with scores of intelligence sources, including late CIA director William Casey, Thomas identifies Buckley as the CIA station chief in Beirut, an operative whose past operations included the surveillance of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. The author ( Voyage of the Damned ; Pontiff ) pulls back the curtain over the CIA's use of medical torture and other government operations around the world, from Angola to Israel. He describes how Buckley was injected with drugs, physically abused and mentally befuddled by mind-control expert Aziz al-Abub. This Arab doctor was but one of many disciples of Ewen Cameron, a respected Montreal psychiatrist at McGill University enlisted by CIA director Allen Dulles in the 1950s to devise techniques to scramble victims' minds irreversibly. In a well-documented dossier that reads like a thriller, Thomas spills details of various operations, among them the CIA's alleged bugging of the Vatican and the Pope. Film rights to Catalina Productions.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Gordon Thomas is a political and investigative journalist and the author of 53 books, published in more than 30 countries and in dozens of languages. The total sales of his works exceed 45 million copies.

Thomas' most recent bestseller is Gideon's Spies: Mossad's Secret Warriors. Published in 16 languages and 40 countries Gideon's Spies is known throughout the world as the leading resource on Israeli intelligence. An updated edition will be published in 2012 by St. Martin's Press. Gideon's Spies was made into a major documentary for Channel Four in Britain, which Thomas wrote and narrated, called The Spy Machine. The Observer called The Spy Machine a "clear" picture of Israeli intelligence operations, and The Times called it "impressive," and "chilling."

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Acute Observer on April 14, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This 1989 book was written to tell the world about the use of physicians in medical torture of political prisoners. It didn't start in Nazi Germany, and didn't end in Abu Ghraib (drugs, electroshock, gags, garrotes, blindfolds, branding irons, sexual abuse, mock executions). Physicians provide fake medical certificates for persons tortured to death ('Perspectives'). The author had access to written testimony, and off-the-record interviews (which were confirmed from other independent sources).

'Book One' deals with Beirut, the Near East, and the kidnapping of William Buckley, American Political Officer, in 1984. It mentions the survival technique of looking at every approaching face to determine if it is an enemy by the tension displayed on the face (p.59). The Hizballah justified terror as needed to create a new and ideal society (p.61). Brain-washing rarely involved physical cruelty bet depended on the use of repetition, harassment, and humiliation (p.69). [Just like your schooling?] Changing opinions was older that recorded history. America developed the most powerful advertising industry in the world and adapted it to psychological warfare and opinion making. They studied the techniques used by modern American evangelists in conversion, and the Catholic rite of confession (p.73). Pharmaceutical laboratories discovered how drugs can be used in mind control (p.74). How amoral and ignorant was Gov. Reagan (p.81)?

'Book Two' gives the history of the abuse of medical knowledge since WW II. Chapter 5 tells of Allen Dulles and his ruthless and unscrupulous character hidden beneath his cheerful and witty personality. The Korean War provided a new shock from former POWs (pp.94-95). The "twilight zone" is described (p.97). They could not understand the changed views of POWs!
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would imagine dire reasons why this exceellent book is out-of-print.

The research that went into is is remarkable. Thomas' informant on many of the apalling lengths the CIA has gone to in order to find the perfect "Manchurian Candidate" holy grail of total mind control was no less than William Casey, the former CIA director who was at the same time giving information to Bob Woodward for another book.

Thomas gives both fascinating background to how the CIA has been researching mind control (particularly on innocent mental patients at a Montreal hospital, who eventually sued the CIA with limited success) since the 1950's, and tells harrowing stories of modern victims of torture and psychological conditioning. In particular, one of Thomas' own sources for the book, William Buckley of the CIA in Beirut, was kidnapped, broken, and killed by the Hizbollah shortly after being interviewed by Thomas. Buckley was broken by over 200 days of abuse under the direction of a medical doctor.

Thomas decries the widespread use of physicians skills in interrogation, but notes that the practice goes back centuries in almost all cultures, that it was brought to perhaps its most complete institutionalization in the Soviet Union, and of course that Western governments have been among the offenders.

This book is a must-read for those who want an inside look at the real practices of intelligence agencies, the fate of mid-East hostages, and the regrettable history of experimentation on human beings.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 3, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The second review merely seeks to lessen the impact of the book "Journey into Madness" by Gordon Thomas by pointing out that other governments do similar things. No. Not on the scale and with the hypocrisy that the CIA does.
For those interested, who would like to know more about such practices and how the CIA and the medical community continue their terror and human rights abuses here and in other countries, there is some mention of this in "The Serpent and the Rainbow" by Wade Davis. He writes of the work of the American psychiatrist Nathan Kline (sp?) with the CIA in Haiti. This details their search for a drug they (doctors & the CIA) could use to control people - turn them into zombies. It mentions, coincidentially, the secret and not-so-secret primate and human experiments occurring at the New York State Psychiatric Institute by a Dr. Leo Rozen (sp). These practices still occur. The NIMH, in fact, are admittedly are giving people with mental illness Angel Dust (aka ketamine) to induce psychosis. This causes more irreversible damage than LSD.
Recently there were series of articles in the Harford Courant (1998) and the Boston Globe on drug abuses and torture used in private and publicly funded psychiatric hospitals.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ahram al-Yardum on June 4, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book, from 1989, reads like three books. The first is a narrative of the hunt for Dr. Aziz al-Abub, Iranian Hezbollah medical doctor who tortured, among others, Agent William Buckley for weeks and week on end until finally he broke, appearing on videos to claim self-determination rights for occupied Lebanon. The hunt for al-Abub (whose name was a nom-de-guerre meaning `punishment', suggested, reportedly, by Abu Nidal, whose lecture in Tehran Abub attended) went on until he vanished. The last anyone heard of him was when he left Beirut for Tehran in 1978. This chapter merely hints at the CIA `involvement' in al-Abub's training and his discipleship to Ewen Cameron, Scottish-American psychiatrist and developer of techniques used by the CIA for torture.

Book two is the history of the abuse of medical knowledge since WW II, detailing incidents such as North Korean brainwashing during the Korean War (an incident in which captured American servicemen appeared on television espousing Communism--much to the dismay of many, including Allen Dulles; conscientious objectors used as guinea pigs; electroshock treatments (so-called) at Allen Memorial Hospital; the Frank Olson incident; the Mary Morrow incident; other LSD experiments; Vietnam; Oswald; devil worshipers (?) etc. All of it, he surmises, is reminiscent of Mengele. This chapter is especially damning to Dulles, who was director of the CIA, and is told partially from the point of view of his wife, Clover. Dulles' relationship with the monstrous Cameron is told in detail. Cameron was responsible for using Canadian mental patients as guinea pigs for medical torture experiments (LSD, induced sleep, psychic driving, etc.) in the name of national security.
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