Joost Meerloo

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Joost Meerloo
Joost Abraham Maurits Meerloo
Born (1903-03-14)March 14, 1903
The Hague, Netherlands
Died November 17, 1976(1976-11-17)
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Joost Abraham Maurits Meerloo (March 14, 1903 – November 17, 1976) was a Dutch Doctor of Medicine and psychoanalyst.


Born as Abraham Maurits "Bram" Meerloo in The Hague, Netherlands, Meerloo came to United States in 1946, was naturalized in 1950, and resumed Dutch citizenship in 1972. Dr. Meerloo was a practicing psychiatrist for over forty years. He did staff psychiatric work in the Netherlands and worked as a general practitioner until 1942 under Nazi occupation, when he assumed the name Joost to fool the occupying forces and in 1942 fled to England (after barely eluding death at the hands of the Germans). He was chief of the Psychological Department of the Dutch Army-in-Exile in England.

After the war he served as High Commissioner for Welfare in the Netherlands, and was an adviser to UNRRA and SHAEF. An American citizen since 1950, Dr. Meerloo was a member of the faculty at Columbia University and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the New York School of Psychiatry. He was the author of many books, including Rape of the Mind, the classic work on brainwashing, Conversation and Communication, and Hidden Communion.

He was the son of Bernard and Anna Frederika (Benjamins) Meerloo. He married Elisabeth Johanna Kalf(f), Den Haag, May 16, 1928, divorce February 19, 1946. He married Louisa Betty "Loekie" Duits (a physical therapist) in New York on May 7, 1948.

Meerloo specialized in the area of thought control techniques used by totalitarian regimes.



"This is the lesson we have to learn, that of the two types of courage, that which consists in living is greater than that which aims at dying. We have to learn that sacrifice of one's life, though it may be a necessary means to an end, is not an end in itself. As a free people, we must choose the affirmative courage of life, not the negative sacrifice of death." – Total War and the Human Mind, 1944.

"And yet one day men will have to grow up. Compared with the long ages of human existence on earth, our civilization is in its infancy. Sooner or later we must be ready to leave the dreamland of childhood, where imagination finds unlimited scope, and take our place in a world of limited freedoms. That world however, can in the long run give us something better than any vision conjured up in childhood." – Total War and the Human Mind, 1944.


Dust jacket Total War and the Human Mind
  • Total War and the Human Mind: A Psychologist's Experience in Occupied Holland (1944, Published for The Netherlands Government Information Bureau by George Allen & Unwin Ltd.)
  • Delusion and Mass-Delusion (1949, NMD Monographs)
  • Patterns of Panic (1950, International Universities Press, Inc.)
  • Conversation and Communication (1952, International Universities Press, Inc.)
  • The Two Faces of Man (1954, International Universities Press, Inc)
  • The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing (1956, World Publishing Company)(Reprinted 2009, Progressive Press, ISBN 1-61577-376-2)
  • Guidance in an Age of Technology (1961)
  • Suicide and Mass Suicide (1962, Grune & Stratton, Inc.)
  • Hidden Communion (1964, Garrett Publications/Helix Press)
  • A Psycho-Analytic Study of Culture and Character (1965, John Wiley)
  • "Creativity and Eternization: Essays on the Creative Instinct" (1967, Koninklijke Van Gorcum & Comp. N.V.; Assen, The Netherlands)
  • Along the Fourth Dimension: Man's Sense of Time and History (1970, The John Day Company)
  • Unobtrusive Communication. Essays in Psycholinguistics (1964, Koninklijke van Gorcum & Co. N. V.)


  • Biography Resource Center
  • Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2002
  • Publisher's notes on dust cover Along the Fourth Dimension: Man's Sense of Time and History (1970, The John Day Company)

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