In 1950, a new word ‘brainwashing’ entered the English language. From the paranoia of the Cold War a new type of Evil Scientist had emerged — the Mind Controller. But was there any truth to the fear?
In the 1950s the CIA went to an eminent psychology Donald Hebb and asked him to investigate the possibility. His idea was to test what happened to the brain when it is starved of everything that anchors it to reality. Of anything to see, to listen to, to touch or smell.
With nothing to hold onto, will the mind drift loose? Could it be reprogrammed?
Dallas's guest today is Charlie Williams, a researcher at Queen Mary University in London who explores the history of brainwashing in the Cold War.
Produced by Alex Carlon and Freddy Chick. Senior Producer is Charlotte Long.