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Brainwashing

Posted by ESC on January 25, 2000

Continuing a discussion from "the other side."

"Brainwashing - A new word of 1950, first used to refer to a combination of physical torture, threats, intimidation, promises, and around-the-clock indoctrination used by Communists to break down the loyalties of anti-Communists resistance fighters (it seems to be a direct translation of the Chinese Communist term for it, the Mandarin Chinese 'hsi nao,' hsi meaning 'wash' and nao 'brain.' We used it widely at the end of the Korean war when all America was shocked to learn that some American prisoners had been successfully 'brainwashed'" the term was first commonly heard when 21 American prisoners of war threw in their lot with the Chinese and remained in China." From "I Hear America Talking" by Stuart Berg Flexner (Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York, 1976).