The History of Brainwashing Is a Red Flag for Techno-therapy

Pocket-sized therapies, like counseling apps, are praised as a timely solution to the budgetary pressures and long waiting lists of overstretched mental health services. But do they work?

Virtual reality and technology addiction, the bad side of VR in a classic nightmare representation. (Credit: Koron)

For Donald Ewen Cameron—a Scottish-born psychiatrist, the president of numerous medical societies, and the director of the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal between 1943 and 1965—technology was a passion bordering on an obsession. While his tattered tweed suits and mismatched socks lent him the air of an absent-minded university don, Cameron was fixated on the future, from his collection of high-powered cars, to his constant use of Dictaphones, to the science-fiction novels that littered his bedside table. As this ‘technophilia’ deepened and began to shape his psychiatric thinking in the 1950s, Cameron was set on a collision course with Cold War conspiracy.

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