Ricochet editors Jon Gabriel and Bethany Mandel chat with Ricochet members about the Oscars flop, New York losing seats in the House, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall, India’s Covid crisis, and, of course, wokeness in schools. Thanks to all the Ricochet members who joined us!

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  1. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Henry A. Murray* was a Psychology Professor when Ted Kaczynski was there. This is from the Atlantic article.

     During the war Murray served in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, helping to develop psychological screening tests for applicants and (according to Timothy Leary) monitoring military experiments on brainwashing. In his book (1979), John Marks reported that General “Wild Bill” Donovan, the OSS director, “called in Harvard psychology professor Henry ‘Harry’ Murray” to devise a system for testing the suitability of applicants to the OSS. Murray and his colleagues “put together an assessment system … [that] tested a recruit’s ability to stand up under pressure, to be a leader, to hold liquor, to lie skillfully, and to read a person’s character by the nature of his clothing. … Murray’s system became a fixture in the OSS.”

    One of the tests that Murray devised for the OSS was intended to determine how well applicants withstood interrogations. As he and his colleagues described it in their 1948 report “Selection of Personnel for Clandestine Operations—Assessment of Men,”

    The candidate immediately went downstairs to the basement room. A voice from within commanded him to enter, and on complying he found himself facing a spotlight strong enough to blind him for a moment. The room was otherwise dark. Behind the spotlight sat a scarcely discernible board of inquisitors. … The interrogator gruffly ordered the candidate to sit down. When he did so, he discovered that the chair in which he sat was so arranged that the full strength of the beam was focused directly on his face. …

    At first the questions were asked in a quiet, sympathetic, conciliatory manner, to invite confidence. … After a few minutes, however, the examiner worked up to a crescendo in a dramatic fashion. … When an inconsistency appeared, he raised his voice and lashed out at the candidate, often with sharp sarcasm. He might even roar, “You’re a liar.”

    Even anticipation of this test was enough to cause some applicants to fall apart. The authors wrote that one person “insisted he could not go through with the test.” They continued, “A little later the director … found the candidate in his bedroom, sitting on the edge of his cot, sobbing.”

    I am afraid that I am still ignorant of what Professor Murray did to the future unabomber exactly. Does anymore have more information on this? 

     

     

     

    Never trust a Murray.* 

    • #1
  2. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    On the Oscars, I loved Minari.  It was a wonderful, feel good, American film.  Perish the thought!  I mean… it was really worth seeing.  There were no lectures.  It’s a human journey.  Like.  You know.  Movies are supposed to be.  

    Also, it’s funny how people look in one’s mind when compared to how they look in real life.  Jon is a cutie-patootie, but I envisioned him as twenty years younger.  I don’t know why.  The grey beard startled me!  Is he NOT a Millennial????  Or are Millennials older than I generally think?

    • #2
  3. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    On the Oscars, I loved Minari. It was a wonderful, feel good, American film. Perish the thought! I mean… it was really worth seeing. There were no lectures. It’s a human journey. Like. You know. Movies are supposed to be.

    Also, it’s funny how people look in one’s mind when compared to how they look in real life. Jon is a cutie-patootie, but I envisioned him as twenty years younger. I don’t know why. The grey beard startled me! Is he NOT a Millennial???? Or are Millennials older than I generally think?

    Yes and yes. I think the oldest Millennials are forty now.

    • #3
  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Henry A. Murray* was a Psychology Professor when Ted Kaczynski was there. This is from the Atlantic article.

    During the war Murray served in the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, helping to develop psychological screening tests for applicants and (according to Timothy Leary) monitoring military experiments on brainwashing. In his book (1979), John Marks reported that General “Wild Bill” Donovan, the OSS director, “called in Harvard psychology professor Henry ‘Harry’ Murray” to devise a system for testing the suitability of applicants to the OSS. Murray and his colleagues “put together an assessment system … [that] tested a recruit’s ability to stand up under pressure, to be a leader, to hold liquor, to lie skillfully, and to read a person’s character by the nature of his clothing. … Murray’s system became a fixture in the OSS.”

    One of the tests that Murray devised for the OSS was intended to determine how well applicants withstood interrogations. As he and his colleagues described it in their 1948 report “Selection of Personnel for Clandestine Operations—Assessment of Men,”

    The candidate immediately went downstairs to the basement room. A voice from within commanded him to enter, and on complying he found himself facing a spotlight strong enough to blind him for a moment. The room was otherwise dark. Behind the spotlight sat a scarcely discernible board of inquisitors. … The interrogator gruffly ordered the candidate to sit down. When he did so, he discovered that the chair in which he sat was so arranged that the full strength of the beam was focused directly on his face. …

    At first the questions were asked in a quiet, sympathetic, conciliatory manner, to invite confidence. … After a few minutes, however, the examiner worked up to a crescendo in a dramatic fashion. … When an inconsistency appeared, he raised his voice and lashed out at the candidate, often with sharp sarcasm. He might even roar, “You’re a liar.”

    Even anticipation of this test was enough to cause some applicants to fall apart. The authors wrote that one person “insisted he could not go through with the test.” They continued, “A little later the director … found the candidate in his bedroom, sitting on the edge of his cot, sobbing.”

    I am afraid that I am still ignorant of what Professor Murray did to the future unabomber exactly. Does anymore have more information on this?

     

     

     

    Never trust a Murray.*

    I read that story years ago. It’s thorough, it’s a firsthand account of what happened at Harvard, and there’s not much more to be said. What the professors did to this young man is horrifying. 

    Why are talking about Henry Murray in relation to this post? He is long gone. :-) 

    • #4