Cultural Cold War

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Cultural Cold War

CIA in academia was another way to make inroads in social engineering.  The Central Intelligence Agency has long-developed clandestine relationships with the American academic community, which range from academics making introductions for intelligence purposes to intelligence collection while abroad, to academic research and writing where CIA sponsorship is hidden.

Generally, no one other than the individual concerned is aware of the CIA link.  Although the numbers are not as great today as in 1966, there are no prohibitions to prevent an increase in the operational use of academics. The size of these operations is determined by the CIA.

For years some members of the academic community and the CIA joined together in a secret relationship to turn many of America's university and college campuses into virtual espionage centers. A number of professors and administrators were secretly working for the CIA, recruiting prospective agents among students, spying for the agency while overseas, sometimes helping to spy on "troublemaking" students, and using the cover of research institutes and other projects to gather intelligence.

Some have suggested CIA “rules” the Harvard and Yale campuses.  The CIA's Yale is the Yale of secret societies, like the infamous Skull and Bones, whose alumni fill the Agency. A story lurking between the lines of Cloak and Gown is the intellectual origin of the cold war. The use of the singular in Winks's subtitle -- Scholars in the Secret War 1939-1961 – is a tip-off: Germans, Russians, Iranians, American radicals are mere instances in a protracted war of Us against Them.


Cloak and Gowns

Bonesman, James Jesus Angleton stayed with CI (OSS) after the war, running the Agency's counterintelligence operation until he was forced out in 1974 by his longtime nemesis, William Colby. The ostensible reason was the revelation of the CIA's extensive domestic spying operations, directed by Angleton, which were uncovered in a series of articles by Seymour Hersh in the New York Times. But Colby never liked Angleton and thought that his CI empire had grown inappropriately large for a trade now dominated by gadgetry.

Counterintelligence is one of the spookier aspects of the espionage game. Its aim is to undo the enemy by analyzing his intentions, neutralizing his agents, scrutinizing the bona fides of defectors -- and examining one's own ranks for traitors. (Winks)

Yale alumni have figured heavily in the history of American espionage. The Office of Strategic Services was founded in 1942 with"Wild Bill" Donovan as first Director. The heart of OSS, and the home of most of its academics, was the Research and Analysis branch, or R&A. Other branches handled the nastier, novelistic end of the business, like counterintelligence, black propaganda and sabotage.

It was agreed from the outset that R&A's mandate was broad and long-term; the academics in R&A -- social scientists, historians, linguists and even literary critics were instructed to study friends and enemies, real and potential, present and future. OSS researchers began to turn their attention to the Soviet Union well before the war was over, though, as Winks notes, some of the leftish academics performed this new task with a decided lack of enthusiasm.

Because of its tweedy aura, R&A was usually called the campus -- a name that stuck to its organizational offspring, the CIA, and to the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Winks)R&A lives on in the interdisciplinary area studies departments in American universities, lending its tweedy image to spycraft.

McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation, which encouraged the development of these departments, said: "In very large measure the area of study programs developed in American universities in the years after the war were manned, directed, or stimulated by graduates of the OSS -- a remarkable institution, half cops-and-robbers and half faculty meeting." The transformation of universities into regional offices of the American Imperium's executive committee had begun.


CIA admits throughout its history it has explored any and all means for the control of human behavior. Spying on student activists and the student movement was conducted in the late 60s, under Operation CHAOS. The Agency receiving FBI reports on antiwar activities. With the rise of international conferences against the war, and student and radical travel abroad, information also flowed in from the Agency's overseas stations.

Raw data on individuals from FBI was analyzed by CIA to create watchlists. The mail and phone activity of 300,000 individuals was watched and network names extracted and computer indexed in the Hydra system. 7,200 separate personality files were developed on citizens of the United States. Operation CHAOS also maintained nearly 1000 "subject" files on numerous organizations. Because it wasn’t legal, this activity ceased in late 1974..The Rockefeller Commission Report revealed it in 1975, but naturally members of the committee had tight CIA connections themselves.

Although the CIA recognized (in a memo of August 14, 1963) that "research in the manipulation of human behavior is considered by many authorities in medicine and related fields to be professionally unethical," they managed to assemble what a recent New York Times article called "an extensive network of nongovernmental scientists and facilities," almost always without the knowledge of the institutions where the facilities were situated.

Science became politicized, Most researchers did not realize they were covertly funded by CIA money. Spooky funding also started the field of international studies. Psychologist and social scientists were kept under surveillance to smoke out radicals. American Anthropological Association and American Psychological Assn. conferences were surveilled and recruited. Their boards secretly gave the CIA a cross-indexed roster of memberships detailing individuals' backgrounds and areas of expertise.

A tiny but varied sample of social scientists touched by the project include several notables. They did research on hypnosis, coercion and persuasion, sleep therapy, nonverbal communication, class structure, telepathy, electromagnetics and more.

The psychologists include Carl Rogers of the Center for the Study of the Person, La Jolla, California, Edgar Schein of MIT's Sloane School of Management, Martin Orne (also a psychiatrist) of the University of Pennsylvania and Charles Osgood of the University of Illinois. Interviews were also conducted with psychiatrist Lawrence Hinkle of Cornell Medical Center, sociologists Jay Schulman of the National Jury Project, Richard Stephenson of Rutgers University, and anthropologist Edward Hall, retired from Northwestern University. (Greenfield)

Hypnosis was found relatively ineffective for controlling behavior. In an interview, Orne said he would only be disturbed about CIA attempts to use hypnosis for the control of agent behavior if they were successful. “I know too much about hypnosis for me to be disturbed about this; because, as is made clear in umpteen papers and umpteen lectures, hypnosis is an extremely ineffective way of controlling behavior.” But its propaganda value remained a useful belief to disseminate throughout the American class structure.

The insidious side of propaganda is that it is the product of total culture in action, creating an invisible environment. Counterenvironments arise to bring new realizations to consciousness. Self-inquiry, self-reflection and self-confrontation are part of the process of separating oneself fom cultural propaganda. We all have an internal map of reality based on our beliefs.

In the wake of the failure of techno-utopia, Marshall McLuhan alerted us that new cultural conditioning would arise at the empirical level of consciousness due to shifts in communication media. Their appeal is polysensory, emotional, and mental. Their fallout includes consumerism, faddism, pop culture, groupthink, propaganda. The counterpoint of cultural conditioning is the spark of creativity necessary for new developments, new metaphors, and new paradigms to arise consciously.

Who needs hypnosis when you have TV?