The Psychological Cold War, Part I
Author: Ian Dunbar
Article Published: 2012/09/09
Since the 1960s, the target has been the postwar generation, the generation that is now retiring from running the world. Such has been its ideological confusion that its stewardship has been a catastrophic failure. As Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed in A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization has lucidly outlined, we are now facing so-called ‘climate change’, ‘peak oil’, ‘peak food’, ‘economic instability’ and ‘international terrorism’, all at the same time.  In the process, a debt measured in trillions is being been run up as if a third world war was
We are in fact living in a world that has become Socialist hegemony intent not only on the destruction of capitalism but also the suppression of individual liberty as typified by the smoking ban. However, for those of us of an earlier generation who have stood aloof from events observing them unfold, the situation is not hopeless. There is a possible solution to the problem unpalatable though it might at first seem. It is summarised in the final paragraph that is re-quoted below:
observed earlier, the home is a microcosm of the state with the mother holding all the principal
offices. It is in and around the home that all the products of the industrial revolution such as
processed foods, gas, electricity, water, cars, and other consumer durables imported from the ends of
the earth are ultimately utilised. It is in fact domestic mismanagement that lies at the root of the
biodegradation of the environment. The infrastructure required for change therefore already exists in
the homes of healthy, competent, full-time housewives and mothers. It is therefore in the home that
resolution of the crisis of civilisation will have to start. Banishing battery-operated gadgets and
insisting on clockwork clocks and mechanical balances in their kitchens would make a beginning.
They might also ensure that every scrap of food they buy is eaten as it was in the war and not fed to
sewer rats. Since the beginning of time good housekeeping has been the bedrock on which civilisation
has evolved and which will be paramount if it is to advance. It is housewives and mothers, not
politicians, who have the power to ‘save the world’. It is the ‘evolution’ rather than the ‘revolution’ of
civilisation that must be the ultimate goal.1
preoccupation. Just as Freud and Jung had psychoanalysed mental illness, psychoanalysing the physical effects of the mind on the body set an unusual career path that led to the clinical experience outlined in More than a Puff of Smoke. 
To cut to the chase, in the spring of 1967 a patient gave me a ‘joint’ of marijuana, the dried leaves and flowering tops of the cannabis plant. The medical profession was, and still is, woefully ignorant of the effects of this drug. Having been brought up in the British democratic tradition where the law still had both a spirit and a letter and was not considered to be infringed simply because the letter had been broken, and since I was medically qualified and seeking to understand the effects of the substance, the spirit of the law was not being broken by possessing and smoking it.
It immediately became apparent that the subjective sensation of intoxication was unlike the sedative effect of pethidine (Demerol), an opiate-like substance, previously experienced for post-operative pain following appendicectomy in 1955, and unlike the stimulant effect of the ephedrine with which a bout of childhood asthma had been treated during the war. However, the experience was similar to that produced by hypnosis experienced on a postgraduate course in 1964. The effect can also be described as creating a similar state of mind to that which one enters when engrossed in a book, ‘carried away’ by a film, or enraptured by music or painting. One becomes mesmerised and transported to another world conjured in the inner space of the mind. Interest in the phenomenon of hypnosis had first been aroused as a teenager by an early BBC television programme in the 1950s. It illustrated how hypnosis increased suggestibility and could be used to facilitate the passive acceptance of alien ideas. Two Harley Street psychiatrists demonstrated how people could be made to go against their better natures by giving them a plausible reason for doing so. For example, in the programme a subject who refused to smash a vase after a suggestion to do so after the trance ended, happily obliged when it was suggested that the vase be smashed because it was cracked even though it was not. As will become apparent, the practice of suggesting plausible reasons for pursuing inappropriate courses of action was a central tactic of the psychological Cold War.
Ideas, like feelings, behave like germs. They can be 'picked up', panic 'spreads through a crowd', and laughter is 'infectious'. Altered perceptions can thereby spread through a community and change its outlook and values. It was therefore not necessary to actually smoke cannabis to be influenced by it. One could talk of'passive cannabis smoking'. Evangelical Socialism swept through society to bring about the ‘Cultural Revolution’ of the 1960s.
Chairman Mao’s little red book became a teenage ‘Bible’. While youth did not go to the Maoist extreme of killing or assaulting their teachers, they were instructed to totally reject the knowledge, experience, wisdom, customs and lessons of history on the plausible grounds that they were ‘old fashioned’ and had failed. For example, the British Empire was disparaged as oppressive of native populations. The practice of employing children to sweep chimneys in the nineteenth century was cruel exploitation. The subjugation of women by denying them the vote was a disgrace. Totally overlooked was the fact that the Industrial Revolution had totally changed the human habitat so that the world had completely changed from that of preceding millennia. This had caused, and continues to cause, massive social and moral confusion as everyone struggles to adapt to industrialised life. Empire had in fact been an effort to share manufacturing and trading benefits with the world. For example, the construction of railways in India was not primarily to facilitate the movement of troops, as the comrades would have people believe. In a predominantly agricultural environment children had been routinely employed. Their smaller hands made them lifesavers in difficult deliveries of farm animals. Their natural desire
to be helpful made them useful in many other agricultural ways like collecting eggs. As will be shown, women are not equal but the superior and therefore the more powerful gender. For millennia, so-called ‘subjugation’ had been a check on abuse of that power.
It quickly became apparent that cannabis was being deployed as a chemical weapon in the Cold War to subvert western culture generally and the British democratic tradition and way of life in particular. This abuse of cannabis as a chemical weapon indicated that, unrealised by anyone, the Cold War was being fought on a psychological front. This would have been impossible had the drug been legal and doctors free to study it. Ever on the lookout for heretics, comrades soon sought acquaintance.
The black-market in heroin, cocaine and amphetamine quickly became established after 1st June 1968 when the law was changed and family doctors forbidden from prescribing to addicts. The increasing incidence had been naively attributed to the over-prescribing of general practitioners by the Labour government of the day. However by then it had become apparent to those in the know that it was the late Alexander Trocchi (1925-1984), who was responsible. He was a well-known writer, poet and heroin addict whose lifestyle is illustrated in his novel: Cain’s Book.  He was a fanatical Socialist who talked openly of ‘revolution violent if
necessary’. His strategy had been to obtain increasingly vast quantities of heroin from his doctor by pleading increasing tolerance to the drug and encouraging his friends to do likewise. He then distributed it to impressionable teenagers terrorised by the threat of a nuclear holocaust during Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament demonstrations and Aldermaston marches, reportedly even telling them it was good for them! Many became addicted so accounting for the increasing numbers of heroin addicts. When doctors were
forbidden from prescribing, a black market was quickly established by the Chinese ultimately creating the endemic problem as we know it today. Intellectual Socialist psychiatric consultants to the recently elected Labour Government, who unlike general practitioners were clinically aloof from the everyday life of the community, had naively advised this course of action.
Suspicions that cannabis and drug abuse generally, was a covert political rather than a social issue was strengthened when numerous well-known left wing sympathisers went out of their way to become acquainted. By devious means, in 1967 even the late Roy Jenkins, (1929-2003), Home Secretary of the day, was one of them. He was fanatical about the promotion of equality, a fundamental subversive tactic of the KGB discussed later. However he acquired immense political kudos from bringing about the abolition of capital punishment, theatre censorship, the decriminalisation of homosexuality, divorce law reform, and the legalisation of abortion. While not personally unsympathetic to these reforms the ruthless promotion of equality meant that family doctors started being treated as if they were anyone else. In 1967 they began to be harassed by the Metropolitan Police for parking safely but illegally outside their homes, surgeries or when visiting patients. This pernicious practice later spread nationwide. The BMA was obliged to issue cumbersome special badges, complete with serial numbers, to be displayed in the car while illegally parked. Before leaving Britain for Canada in 1963, such conduct would have been unthinkable and would not have been contemplated, let alone tolerated. Not only tradition but also the Terms and Conditions of the NHS, decreed that family doctors were responsible for their patients twenty-four hours a day. They therefore needed to be able to move freely, wherever and whenever, to discharge their responsibilities. Over the ensuing years the clinical freedom of family doctors was to become increasingly circumscribed as detailed later.
But there was a hidden agenda. As has been mentioned, the law has a spirit and a letter. While doctors stoically accepted this tactical change and loss of individual liberty, high-spirited young men going about their youthful pursuits were randomly and rudely stopped and searched in the street on suspicion of possessing drugs. The law had been filleted of its spirit leaving only the letter. This provoked ever-greater hostility to the police, particularly in deprived neighbourhoods, that intermittently escalated to riots. The most notable so far was the arson and looting of August 2011. As a medical student in the 1950s the everyday conduct and image of the police had been popularly portrayed on television by Dixon of Dock Green.  Long though the series ran, by 1967 metaphorical jackboots had started to replace tact and discretion. It was as if the police started following orders from Moscow rather than respecting the British democratic tradition. They also became the ideal vehicle for carrying out character assassinations. Increasing failure of the police to respect the spirit of the law has been devastating for the maintenance of law and order generally just as the psychological Cold War strategists planned.
Hollywood had become world famous by 1920 and Lenin himself had ordered party members in the film industry to surreptitiously insert snippets of propaganda into films. It will come as a serious shock to American readers to learn that since Matusow’s manipulations in 1954 the KGB has been completely free to come and go in the United States and use American media to promote its subversive agenda to both public and politicians. American culture was highjacked to seduce the world with apparently plausible, harmless, easy-going and superficially egalitarian values later escalating to the intellectually contentious and dictatorial notions of
With the benefit of hindsight, there was possibly more to the talents of Matusow and his comrades. He was a Socialist Jew and it was left wing Zionism that had fought for and founded the state of Israel in 1948. Those who had lived in Palestine for generations lost their homes and their livelihoods. They became refugees living in camps that still exist to this day. Indeed a Palestinian friend recently reported he had been unable to visit his brothers in Gaza for ten years! Emotionally blackmailed by the holocaust, Socialist propaganda and Zionist political pressure, America and its allies have supported the Zionist faction in Israel with no practical regard whatsoever for the civil rights of Palestinians. The Arab world is now incandescent with rage. Hence the repeated audacious, well-planned and increasingly sophisticated highjackings and terrorist attacks that have repeatedly occurred over the years culminating in 9/11, Iraq and Afghanistan. The lives of all of us are now blighted by anti-terrorist precautions. We are repeatedly warned on trains to keep our luggage with us at all times. There is CCTV on street corners and in shops, buses and trains, and ever more sophisticated and intrusive security checks at airports with thousands of civilian and military security personnel deployed for the London Olympics of 2012.
However, talking to Palestinian refugees in the consulting room one quickly learns that Arabs are not anti-Semitic, only anti-Zionist. America could therefore put an end to the terrorist threat overnight without risk of being labeled ‘anti-Semitic’, by withholding all further aid or moral and political support to Israel until the Palestinians have been properly housed and their civil rights restored in their native land. The overall effect has been to increase public awareness of danger and undermine everyone’s sense of security while affecting to promote it. As will be shown, undermining security, particularly emotional security, was a key tactic of the psychological Cold War.
At the time of the investigation of cannabis the KGB already had a file. As a representative on the Student’s Representative Council at Aberdeen University, I had acted as guide to a group of four Russian students on a ‘goodwill visit’ in May 1958. Some dilapidated temporary classrooms at a local school were an irresistible propaganda subject and a cine camera that had not previously been in evidence, presumably to conserve scarce film, suddenly appeared. When asked why he was taking pictures of these buildings the abashed ‘commissar’ leading the group trained his camera on me. The film must have ended up in KGB files! The upshot of probing the effects of cannabis was character assassination. This was a well-established KGB technique that silenced dissenters without spilling blood. Social and professional standing had been destroyed and career terminated by 1974. The disclosure not only of this but also broader clinical findings became impossible.
Having previously worked on the military front line of the Cold War in the Canadian Arctic in 1965 with B52s of the Strategic Air Command constantly circling overhead ready to fly on to drop nuclear bombs on Soviet cities in the event of hostilities, by 1969 I found myself isolated on the front line of a psychological Cold War.
2 Ian Dunbar, More than a Puff of Smoke, (Lulu, 2009).
3 Alexander Trocchi, Cain’s Book, (John Calder Ltd, London, 1963).
4 BBC TV, Dixon of Dock Green, 1955/76.
5 Harvey Matusow, False Witness, (New York: Cameron Kahn, 1955).