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Journey into Madness Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1990


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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Bantam (May 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553284134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553284133
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,206,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Ray Stephanson 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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20 of 24 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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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Gordon's research and objectivity is laudable, his book an eye-opener. It lends credance to movies such as Blind Sight. Mr. Gordon's description of Dr. al-Abub, his training and mission and that his current endeavors continue makes one wonder what humans can be about that they could do to others what they do. Can there still be Dr. Camerons/al Abubs working the torture circuit in the name of nationalism and belief?
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 28, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I was truly captivated, by the facts, Mr. Gordon was able to unearth, during his research into the CIA's, dark, and mysterious research and developement of mind control techniques. We the people, know so little about any branch, of the intelligence community. The closest most citizens, ever get to the intelligence community, would be the news reports, or movies, of which is difficult at best to grasp the un-thinkable acts that was obviously standard operating proc- edures, for the men and women of the central intelligence agency.

Mr. Gordons no holds barred, and tenacity in following his leads, unearthed some the most outrageous, and cold blooded acts, possibly ever committed by intelligent human beings, at which Mr. Gordon documented . From the moment I opened the cover of the book, I was spell bound. As I recall I read the book long after the Colonel Oliver North scandel, and prior to the hearings, I couldn't recall ever hearing of Col. Oliver North, but as I read the book I learned that he was a prominent figure in the intelligence community.

To this day I am still amazed, at Mr. Gordens ability to spend what had to seem like an eternity, uncovering and then to actually corraborate the the wild and unbelievable stories. It's a miracle Mr. Gordon, didn't fall prey to bouts of paranoia, considering the agency he was researching.

It's difficult to comprehend, how an entity of the Federal government, can conceive, direct, and implement not only an obduction of a russian intelligence officer, but a politician of our own government, then administer a powerful hallucinogenic drug like LSD, and increase the dosages to achieve thier desired result of pushing the subject(s) to the point of committing suicde. Mr. Gordons diligence, and courage, at the very least, held the CIA accountable in the civil courts.
Journey into madness is a n extrordinary piece of work.
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