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Why the Casa De Los Amigos needs closer scrutiny

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Why the Casa De Los Amigos needs closer scrutiny

Post by greg parker on Tue 29 Jun 2010, 9:59 pm

Michael Maccoby and Erich Fromm conducted a study on Mexican peasants over a 10 year period. The study was funded by the Foundations Fund for Research in Psychiatry - itself heavily supported by the Ford Foundation. The study resulted in a book called Social Character in a Mexican Village published in 1970 by Prentice-Hall, an education publisher. In an article in the Jan/Feb '95 issue of Mother Jones, titled Office of Central Cover, Prentice-Hall would neither confirm nor deny a relationship with the CIA and would only say that all employees were paid by Prentice-Hall, and not the Agency.

The book acknowledged the help and cooperation of the American Friends Service Committee through the Casa de los Amigos and director, Ed Duckles (in 1964 when the FBI was looking for "Steve Kennan", the center was in the hands of acting director, Von Peacock - Duckles was not mentioned, let alone located and interviewed). One way Duckles lent support to the study was in the provision of a steady stream of Friends from the US in the period covering 1961 – 63 who also helped with a Boys Club run by Maccoby.

Maccoby had worked with Henry Murray at Harvard during the period Murray was conducting “personality” experiments for the CIA on students duped into participation. One of those students was Ted Kaczynski (aka The Unabomber). Murray was in OSS during WWII and developed the assessment tests for potential agents. He also helped on a personality profile of Hitler, with much of the analyis proving to be correct. In 1927, at the age of 33, he became assistant director of the Harvard Psychological Clinic. Murray developed the concepts of latent needs (not openly displayed), manifest needs (observed in people's actions), "press" (external influences on motivation) and "thema" - "a pattern of press and need that coalesces around particular interactions". Murray used the term "apperception" to refer to the process of projecting fantasy imagery onto an objective stimulus. The concept of apperception and the assumption that everyone's thinking is shaped by subjective processes provides the rationale behind the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT).

Murray was a good friend of McGeorge Bundy.

Fromm fled Germany in the early 1930s and landed in the US in 1934, taking up a position at Columbia University. By 1950, after setting up a number of institutes, he moved to Mexico, becoming a professor at National Autonomous University. In 1955, Fromm wrote The Sane Society in which he came out in favor of a type of Democratic Socialism which rejected both Western capitalism and Soviet communism. This rejection of both was mirrored in the writings of Lee Harvey Oswald. A co-founder of SANE, Fromm would become increasingly involved in the Peace Movement.

Fromm had married Frieda Reichman in 1926. She too, was a psychiatrist. Though separated by the time Fromm left Germany, they remained friends, and she soon followed in his footsteps to the US where Erich obtained employment for her at Chestnut Lodge where she remained the rest of her working life. Chestnut Lodge was named in some CIA documents as having participated in MKULTRA experiments. As one author put it, Chestnut Lodge was a “sanitarium in Rockville, Maryland with hot and cold running CIA cleared psychiatrists”. Her mentor there was Harry Stack Sullivan who had worked with Fromm in forming the William Anson White Institute.

Maccoby, Fromm, Reichmann, Murray and Sullivan all had an abiding interest in the use of psychology and personality testing in recruitment; in authoritarianism, and in the impact of society and relationships on personality.
greg parker

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