The Martha Mitchell Effect

Had no idea it had been given a name. In their August 2003 The Psychologist article, “Beliefs About Delusions,” Bell, Halligan and Ellis state:

Sometimes, improbable reports are erroneously assumed to be symptoms of mental illness [due to a] failure or inability to verify whether the events have actually taken place, no matter how improbable intuitively they might appear to the busy clinician.

(Bell, V., Halligan, P. W., Ellis, H. D. {August 2003}. “Beliefs About Delusions”. The Psychologist 16 (8): 418–422. JI 0.325.)

This phenomenon was named after the wife of Nixon campaign director John Mitchell. See here,  especially here.

As I’ve noted previously, Watergate burglar and CREEP member G. Gordon Liddy was, circa 1990, touring US campuses with his old nemesis and LSD advocate Timothy Leary. As part of that and other interviews with Liddy, he made clear that he and other operatives intended to put LSD on the steering wheels of at least one investigative reporter and one member of Congress.

Here’s the text from the 1955 draft MK/Ultra memo (found in the appendix of the 1977 Senate hearing report) again:

1. Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public.

See also the Mollath Affair and the Bush administration’s thought to force medication on people it deemed mentally ill. I believe this was basically how Stalin and Lenin defined anyone who didn’t believe in the tenets of Marxism and got them off the street, silenced them. How better to push the US toward fascism than to expend a country’s own resources dividing, intimidating, buying, and otherwise silencing anyone who disagrees, who notices the criminality?

Then there’s Rex Niles, federal witness to corruption, who suddenly started thinking he was the recipient of non-lethal weapon attacks of some sort. Really warms the heart to know witnesses get such protection when attempting to protect those tax dollars.

And then there are those Gitmo detainees who got five times the normal dose of mefloquine by the CIA and DoD. The drug is known to cause schizophreniclike effects. The only conceivable reasons for doing so are: human experimentation, seeking false confessions via pharmacologic “waterboarding”, and the joy of torturing other human beings. This would tend also to discredit any future claims of innocence. That is important to note due to other reports that the majority of them are innocent of terrorism and terrorist ties.

In my opinion, the only way an effective movement for exposing such a thing as GLADIO happening on US and allied soil is to incorporate the discrediting system into reporting and the discussion. Without that, you surrender any time a whistleblower says or does anything strange or just because some official says so. They can, do, and will use this ploy, the Martha Mitchell effect, as long as it is effective. Take it away, and suddenly there are a lot of would-be emperors standing around in the buff.

And wouldn’t that be a sight to see? Imagine the overcompensation alone. 🙂


1 Comment

  1. […] Meanwhile, the new DSM has made improvements where the definition of delusion is concerned. The article mentions the Martha Mitchell Effect and describes what happened to her. I covered the naming of the effect back here. […]

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