Last night, after getting incredibly irritated while watching the first Gasland (I'm looking forward, in a way, to the second; at the same time, I dread watching it come Monday), I decided to show VVF The Century of the Self. It is one of the excellent documentary series put out by the BBC's Adam Curtis, and has all the hallmarks of his other films (like The Power of Nightmares and The Trap).
The series follows the story of Edward Bernays, the cousin of Sigmund Freud. It also touches on the lives of Wilhelm Reich, and Anna Freud (Sigmund's daughter). Of particular note is how Freud's theories fed the rise of a certain type of Technocratic thinking, which felt it had the right to reshape how 'common people' think... Creating advertising as we know it, along with plunging America into a world of propaganda on the political levels.
By the second episode we are also introduced to the 'monsters' that Psychiatry bred during the cold war, like Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron... Cameron was the innovator of 'psychic driving,' a part of the MK-ULTRA project that the CIA engaged in during the Cold War. He hoped that with LSD-25 and massive use of electroshock therapy, he could destroy the personality of the patient and replace it with a 'new' one that conformed to social expectations or could be guided by those in the know (e.g. the emerging Technocratic elite). His project failed utterly, wiping out all the past memories of many patients and being utterly incapable of creating any form of new identity.
The series is worth watching, so I present it to you:
This video is around 4 hours in length, with all four parts of the documentary series involved. I recommend watching all of it, but you may want to pause it and come back later if you don't have four hours to spend.