Talk:William Sargant

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Multiple inaccuracies abound in this article. Either delete it and start again, or edit extensively. Sargant was not a brainwasher, and his book on abreactive therapy had nothing to do with the implantation of false memories. The article must be changed to reflect that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Why didn't you sign your posting? Please provide references that contrast with the article.--AI 02:50, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I recommend reading Darius Rejali's Torture and Democracy for an evaluation of Sargant(Rejali 75-76, 135, etc): I think there's little doubt that Sargant had a strong interest in brainwashing for intelligence work. What Rejali points out, though, is that brainwashing is largely a myth. jackbrown (talk) 12:58, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Not disputed[edit]

Please read "Brainwash: The Secret History of Mind Control" by Dominic Streatfeild Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (29 Jun 2006) Language English ISBN: 034092103X

According to this book, Sargant was very definitely a consultant to MI5. Stewart Cambridge 19:54, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Irmgard, I appreciate contributions to the William Sargant article. However, if you dispute contents, then please follow Wikipedia:Accuracy dispute instead of just changing things, deleting content and damaging wikilinks.--AI 20:07, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Founder and Director of the Department of Psychological Medicine[edit]

Clarified where he was expert. --Irmgard 09:00, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Redundancy is not clarification: Psychological Medicine.--AI 20:07, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

British Secret Intelligence Service[edit]

Moved here as no evidence for it. The fact that his literature has been used by the British Intelligence Service does not make him a consultant. --Irmgard 09:00, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Restored, please see references.--AI 20:07, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

U.S. Senate hearing[edit]

Put the quote from the senate hearing in correct context. --Irmgard 09:00, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

And at the same time you damaged the wikilinks. Sneaky vandalism? Reverted.--AI 20:07, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Removed - this quote gives a derogatory impression, taken out of context --Irmgard 09:00, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"...Jesus Christ might simply have returned to his carpentry following the use of modern [psychiatric] treatments." - William Sargant
Restored. Regardless of the impression, there is no wikipedia policy to support your censorship. Please provide the context, that seems to be your only valid argument.--AI 20:07, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Edited the see also - removed not connected, added religious conversion which subject he did work on. --Irmgard 09:09, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The links under See also are related.--AI 20:07, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)


M E M 0 R A N D U M

TO: Eric Olson
FROM: Gordon Thomas
c.c.: To Whom Else It Concerns
DATE: 30th November 1998

This memo sets out the information provided by both Dr William Sargant, consultant psychiatrist, and William Buckley, former Station Chief of the CIA in Beirut, Lebanon. Both believed your father was murdered by the CIA.


Please conduct more research before you remove content from this article. Contributions would be more welcome than censorship. If you believe information should not be presented, then discuss it here, give us your argument, and provide references.--AI 20:07, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

e-mail and Disptuted[edit]

We've had an email to Wikimedia questioning this article. I think it would be worth carefully reviewing the references and sources used, and ensuring that all facts here are correct. the particluar points in question are:

  • were mind control experiments undertaken at at St Thomas'?
  • was he a consultant to the British Intelligence Service?
  • was he at the 1977 Senate hearing, or was it just that his book was referenced?

-- sannse (talk) 18:58, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Aberactive Phlegm[edit]

It is not my habit to remove external links.
In this one however we read : William Sargant describes a technique (...)called Aberactive Therapy...which stands for Abnormal Reaction Theraphy
The technique described in "Battle for the Mind" is abreactive treatment , for which several papers are cited:
H.A.Palmer (1945): Abreactive techniques -Ether
Shorvon and Sargant (1947): Exitatory Abreaction : Special reference to its Mechanism and the use of Ether.
Sargant (1950):Indications and Mechanisms of Abreaction and its Relation to the Shock Therapies
To do justice to William Sargant it would have been better to refer to his remark on The Prevention of Conversion, Brain-washing and Confessions:
The obstacles that the religious or political proselytizer cannot overcome are indifference or detached, controlled and continued amusement on the part of the subject at the efforts made to break him down (...) The safety of the free world seems therefor to lie in a cultivation not only of courage, moral virtue and logic, but of humour: humour which produces the well-balanced state in which emotional excess is laughed at as ugly and wasteful.
in: Battle for the Mind
Thus, the link is not merely removed but laughed away as well
con gusto,
Lunarian (talk) 11:04, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Mindfield is not a legitimate source.[edit]

The links (as of 2/27/2008) to are inactive. I have removed them. In addition, the book itself is not in print, not available from any reputable dealer, and not favorably reviewed by any legitimate literary or scholarly authority. The fact that it was written by a prolific novelist and "close freind" of a man purported to have been murdered in a government consipiracy - along with the generally paranoid and hysterical tone of the book's claims - cause serious doubt as to its factual accuracy. The frequency with which it is used in this article gives pause as to the accuracy and legitimacy of this article.

Dominic Streatfeild Brainwash[edit]

Has anyone got a copy of Dominic Streatfeild's Brainwash apparently quite well researched and deals in some detail with Sargant.

Streatfeild contributes to James Maw's documentary on Sargant. Might be useful as an authoritative source. The documentary, which is very good, is available here: [1] [[User:Freekra|Freekra] (talk) 11:44, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Mindfield Link is broken[edit]

Gordon Thomas, Mindfield (www. –

The link to the Gordon Thomas article is broken so I removed it and placed it here, if someone else wants to track it down. It was the third source given for footnote number 4.Freekra (talk) 11:55, 30 November 2009 (UTC)


I think that it would be of benefit if we could have reproduced here, if possible, some direct quotation from the secondary sources supporting the statements tying Sargant to involvement in the MK-ULTRA programme. Also, if possible, it might be useful to see what primary sources these authors cite in support of these statements.

It is important to make the distinction here between Sargant and Cameron having contact and exchange of ideas (especially regarding depatterning) and Sargant actually being involved in MK-ULTRA at some kind of official level. I think the constant references to MK-ULTRA maybe somewhat misleading. It is absolutely appropriate for Cameron. I think it might be less justified for Sargant.

From my own very limited research it would seem far more likely to me that if Sargant was involved with the security services in such programmes it was likely to be British ones. Moreover, it would seem that while such an association is actually likely to have been made during the start of WWII after his publications on abreaction with service personnel the evidence is mostly circumstantial and it is possible that any documentary evidence that might once have existed has been deliberately destroyed.

St. Thomas: factually this section is mostly uncontroversial. However, some aspects are a bit misleading, I think. Sargant was, at this time, working for the NHS after all, not for any secret service organisation, and that should be emphasised. In fact, in my opinion this section is far more important - and damning of Sargant - than any purported direct link to MK-ULTRA. Freekra (talk) 12:11, 30 November 2009 (UTC)