The Campaigner

The Campaigner


U.S. Army psychiatrists in 1945. Here Rees explains the

role of his psychiatric Gestapo:

...They are not merely dealing with outpatient work

amongst those who fall sick, but they are concerned with

the minor indications of instability that link up with disciplinary

troubles, with social unrest and with poor morale.

Through their emphasis on, and interest in, conditions of

work, they can advise on the modification of working

hours and conditions, on welfare and the use of leisure,

on training and allocation and on all the manifold group

problems that are there to be seen by anyone who is in

the group but yet has learned to be attacked.(60)

It is upon such principles that the major "mental

health" institutions in the U.S. were created, notably the

Veterans Administration, the "private" social welfare

agencies, and especially the National Institute of Mental

Health (NIMH).

The Mental Health Act of 1946 was, in the NIMH's

own words, "a major turning point in the entire

development of the field of mental health." [61] This Act

authorized broad support for research, training, support

of service, the establishment of clinics and treatment

centers, pilot and demonstration studies, and direct

assistance to the States. Its form, however, is less im- Dr. John Rawlings Rees

portant than its content. What the NIMH, more than

any other institution, did in its formative years was to

but as a sacrifice to Hitler's divide-and-conquer anti-

Semitism. Lewin, in fact, is noted for his refinement of

shape mental health research and practice along Reesian

Germany not because of any basic political differences

lines, the Nazi-formulated "leaderless group" technique into a

But Rees influenced more than institutions; he

sophisticated tool of counterinsurgency.

primarily influenced those individuals who developed the In the early 1930's Lewin first developed contact not

institutions. One such Rees creation is Imamu Baraka*; _¢ith Rees, but with one of his Tavistock colleagues, Eric

another is Kurt Lewin. Trist. (Trist today steers the CIA-directed LEAA,

Kurt Lewin, the "father" of group dynamics, was one NIMH-NIH, Ford Foundation and Wrorld Bank-funded

of Rees's first cadre recruits. Lewin, a psychologist, was brainwashing network at the Wharton School of the

a "political" refugee from Nazi Germany who, like so University of Pennsylvania.) More than a decade later,

many other German "intellects," was forced out of Trist, alongwith A.T.M. Wilson, prepared a proposal to

the Rockefeller Foundation which led to the establishment

of the Tavistock Institute in London. Rees was its

first director. Immediately upon establishment of

Tavistock, Trist contacted Lewin, who had already

formed the North American precursor to the CIAcontrolled

Institute for Social Research (ISR), the

Research Center for Group Dynamics at M.I.T. The

Reesites at Tavistock wanted Lewin to jointly establish

an international journal described as "working towards

the integration of the social sciences." Lewin eagerly

agreed, and thus sprang forth one of the primarily CIAbacked

journals, Human Relations.


* In 1968 Rees, posing as the director of a nonexistent company,

New Coals, Inc., set up the meetings between LeRoi Jones

and Anthony Imperiale that launched the CIA's "Operation

Newark." See New Solidarity, August 31,.1973, Vol. IV, No. 20

for further details.

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