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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June, 2007

PRACTICING PSYCHIATRY FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES. FOLDER 28. THE CHEKIST ANTHOLOGY.

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    According to Mitrokhin, psychiatry was used against people who promoted anti-socialist ideology. Mitrokhin provides the cases of Eugene Nikolaev and Vladimir Borisov who were forced to stay in psychiatric hospitals for their “incorrect political beliefs.” Nikolaev later wrote a book "The Betrayal of Hippocrates" where he described all of the methods used by doctors to change his views opposing the Soviet system. Mitrokhin reports that in 1975 the KGB became aware of the negative stands of the West on dissidents’ psychiatric treatment in the Soviet Union. They stated that Soviet policies neglected human rights. In December of the same year, the KGB prepared a plan, a copy of which is provided by Mitrokhin in the note, to eliminate the anti-soviet campaign that discredited the practice of psychiatry for political purposes. The KGB’s goal was to create the illusion that psychiatry was only used for legitimate medical reasons. The KGB officials started intensively expanding relations between foreign and Soviet doctors, organized numerous conferences and symposiums, and created an exchange program for neurologists in order to reach their goal. “Professor,” a trusted agent of the KGB, was ordered to collect materials about the abuse of psychiatry in capitalistic countries.
    "Practicing Psychiatry for Political Purposes. Folder 28. The Chekist Anthology.," June, 2007, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Contributed to CWIHP by Vasili Mitrokhin. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110704
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