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Kubark the Coercive Counterintelligence Interrogation of Resistant Sources

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The pu:;-pose of this part of the handbook is to present
basic inionuation about coercive techniques available for use
in the interrogation situation. It is vital that this discussion
not be misconstrued as constituting authorization for the use
of coercion at field discretion. As was noted earlier, there
is no such blanket authorization.

For both ethical and pragmatic reasons no interrogator
may take upon himself the unilateral responsibility for using
coercive methods. Concealing from the interrogator's superiors
an intent to resort to coercion, or its unapproved
employment, does not protect them. It places them, and
KUBARK, in unconsidered jeopardy.

The Theory of Coercion

Coercive procedures are designed not only to exploit the
resistant source I s internal conflicts and induce him to wrestle
with himself but also to bring a superior outside force to bear
upon the subject's resistance. Non-coercive methods are not






likely to succeed if their selection and use is not predicated
upon an accurate psychological asseSSlnent of the s ouree. In
contrast. the Sanle coercive lnethod lnay succeed against personq.
who are very unIik~ each other. The changes of success rise"'.,.,
steeply. nevertheless, if the coercive technique is lnatched to
the sour ce's personality. Individuals react differently even to
such seelningly non-discriminatory stiInuli as drugs. Moreover,
it is a waste of time and energy to apply strong pressures on a
hit-or-lnis s basis if a tap on the psychological jugular will
produce cOlnpliance.
All coercive techniques are designed to induce regression.
As Hinkle notes in liThe Physiological State of th~ Interrogation
Subject as it Affects Brain Function"(7), the result of external
pressures of sufficient intensity is the loss of those defenses
:xnost recently acquired by civilized II • • • the capacity to
carry out the highest creative activities, to rn.eet new, challenging, and co:xnplex situations, to deal with trying interpersonal
relations, and to cope with repeated frustrations. Relatively
s:xnal! degrees of horn.eostatic derangern.ent, fatigue, pain, sleep
loss, or anxiety :xnay iInpair these functions. II As a result,
"lnost people who are exposed to coercive procedures will talk
and usually reveal sorn.e information that they rn.ight not have
revealed otherwise. II
One subjective reaction often evoked by coercion is a
feeling of guilt. Meltzer observes, "In some lengthy interrogations, the interrogator :xnay, by virtue of his role as the sole
supplier of satisfaction and punishInent, assurn.e the s.tature and
importance of a parental figure in the prisoner's feeling and
thinking. Although there may be intense hatred for the interrogator, it is not unusual for warln feelings also to develop. This
anlbivalence is the basis for guilt reactions, and if the interrogator nourishes these feelings, the guilt may be strong enough
to influence the prisoner's behavior. • •• Guilt makes COlnpliance more likely. • • • II (7).
Farber says that the response to coercion typically
contains II • • • at least three important eleInents: debility,
dependency, and dread. II Prisoners' l • • • have reduced'viability, are helplessly dependent m their captors for the

satisfact ion of their In any basic needs, arid experience the
eInotional and Inotivational reactions of intense fear and anxiety. • • • AInong the / American; POW's pressured by the
Chinese COInInunists, the DDD syndroIne in its full-blown fonn
constituted a state of discomfort that was well-nigh intolerable. II
(11). If the debility-dependency-dread state is unduly prolonged,
however, the arrestee Inay sink into a defensive apathy froIn
which it is hard to arous e hiIn.



Psychologists and others who write about physical or
psychological duress frequently object that under .sufficient
pres sure subjects usually yield but that their ability to recall
and cOInInunicate inforInation accurately is as iInpaired as the
will to resist. This pragmatic objection has sOInewhat the SaIne
validity for a counterintelligence interrogation as for any other.
But there is one significant difference. Confession is a necessary prelude to the CI interrogation of a hitherto unresponsive
or concealing source. And the use of coercive techniques will
rarely or never confuse an interrogatee so cOInpletely that he
does not know whether his own confession is true or false. He
does ~ot need full Inastery of all his powers of resistance and
discriinination to know whether he is a spy or not. Only'subjects who have reached a point v.h ere they are under delusions
are likely to Inake false confessions that they believe. Once a
true confession is obtained, the classic cautions apply. The
pressures are lifted, at least enough so that the subject can
provide counterintelligence infonnation as accurately as possible. In facl, the relief granted the subject at this tiIne fits
neatly into the interrogation plan. He is told that the changed
trea1:tnent is a reward for truthfulness. and an evidence that
friendly ha.iJ.dling will continue as long as he cooperates.
The profound Inoral objection to applying duress past the
point of irreversible psychological daInage has been stated.
Judging the validity of other ethical argum.ents about coercion
exceeds the scope of this paper. What is fully clear, however,
is that cont rolled coercive Inanipulation of an interrogatee Inay
impair his ability to Inake fine distinctions but will not alter his
ability to answer correctly such gross questions as "Are you a
Soviet agent? What is your assigmnent now? Who is your present
case officer ?II




When an interrogator senses that the subject's resistance
is wavering, that his desire to yield is growing stronger than
hi.s wish to continue his resistance, the tiIne has come to provid~
him Wi+h the acceptable rationalization: a face-saving reason or·',.,
excuse for c01npliance. Novice interrogators may be tempted to
seize upon the initial yielding triumphantly and. to personalize the
victory. Such a temptation must be rejected immediately. An
interrogation is not a game played by two people, one to become
the winner and the other the loser. It is simply a method of obtaining correct and useful information. Therefore the interrogator should intensify the subjectls desire to cease struggling by
showing him how he can do so without seeming to abandon principle, self-protection, or other initial causes of resistance. If,
instead of pr oviding the right rationalization at the right time, the
interrogator seizes gloatingly upon the subject1s wavering, opposition will stiffen again.
The following are the principal coercive techniques of interrogation: arrest, detention, deprivation of sensory sthnuli
through solitary confinement or similar methods, threats and.
fear, debility, pain, heightened suggestibility and hypnosis, narcosis, and induced regression. This section also· discusses the
detection of malingering by interrogatees and the provision of
appropriate rationalizations for capitulating and. cooperating.•




The manner and timing of arrest can contribute substantially
to the interrogator IS purposes. 'tWhat we aim to do is to ensure
that the manner of arrest achieves, if possible, . surprise, and
the maximum amount of mental discomfort in order to catch the
suspect off balance and to deprive him of the initiative. One
should therefore arrest him at a moment when he least expects
it and when his mental and physical resistance is at its lowest.
The ideal time at which to arrest a person is in the early hours
of the m·orning because surprise is achieved then, and because
a person1s resistance physiologically as well as psychologically
is at its lowest..... If a person cannot be arrested in the
early hours ••• , then the ne~ best time is in the evening ••••




., (I)


If, _~rough the cooperation of a liaison service Cir by unilateral means~i arrangements have been made for the confinement
of a resista.:n.t source, the circlllllstances of detention are arranged to enhance within the subject his feelings of being cut
off from the known and the reassuri.p.g, and of being plunged into
the strange. Usually his own clothes are i.rnm.ediately taken
away, because £am.iliar clothing reinforces identity and thus the
capacity for resistance. (Prisons give close hair cuts ap..d issue
prison garb for the Sanle reason.) If the interrogatee i~' especially proud or neat, it may be useful to give him. an outfit that is
one or two sizes too large and to fail to provide a belt, so that he
Inust hold his pants up.
The point is that man's sense of identity depends upon a
continuity in his surroundings, habits,' appearance, actions,
relations with others, etc. Detention ,permits the interrogator
to cut through these links and throw the interrogatee back upon
his own unaided internal resources.
Little is gained if confinement merely replaces one routine
with another. Prisoner~ who lead Inonotonously unvaried lives
.' . . . cease to' care about their utterances, dress, and cleanliness. They become dulled, apathetic, and depressed." (7) And
apathy can be a very effective defense against interrogation.
Control of the source's environment permits the interrogator to


detennine his diet, sleep pattern, and other fundam.entals.
Manipulating these into irregularities, so that the subject becom.e s :'.
dis orientated, is very likely to create feelings of fear and help""
lessness. Hinkle points out, "People who enter prison with
attitudes of foreboding, appreh~nsion, and heJ.plessnes s generally
do less well than those who enter with assurance and a conviction
that they can deal with anything that they m.ay encounter • • • •
Som.e people who are afraid of losing sleep, or who do not wish to
lose sleep, soon succum.b to sleep loss • • • • II (7)

In short, the prisoner should not be provided a routine to
which he can adapt and from. which he can draw som.e com.fort-or at least a sense of his own identity. Everyone has read of
prisoners who were reluctant to leave their cells after prolonged
incarceration. Little is known about the duration of c onfineInent
calculated to m.ak.e a subject shift from. anxiety, coupled with a
desire for sensory stim.uli and com.panionship, to a passive,
apathetic acceptance of isolation and an ultim.ate pleasure in this
negative state. Undoubtedly the rate of change is determ.ined
a.1.Inost entirely by the psychological characteristics of the individual. In any event, it is advisable to keep the subject upset by
constant disruptions of patterns.
For this reason, it is useful to determ.ine whether the interrogattee has been jailed before, how often, under what circum.stances, for how long, and whether he was subjected to earlier
interrogation. Fam.iliarity with confinem.ent and even with
isolation reduces the effect.

Deprivation of Sensory StiInuli

The chief effect of arrest and detention, and particularly of
solitary confinem.ent, is to deprive the subject of many or m.ost of
the sights, sounds,. tastes, slD.ells, and tactile sensations to which
he has grown accustOIned. John C. Lilly exainined eighteen autobiographical accounts written by polar explorers and solitary seafarers. He found " • • • that isolation per se acts on Inost persona
as a powerful stress. • • • In all cases of survivors of isolation
at sea or in the polar night, it was the first exposure which caused



'the greatest fears and hence the greatest danger of giving way
to syznptoms; previous experience is a powerful aid in going
ahead, despite the syznpto:ms. liThe s)1ll'lpto:ms most conunonly
p:roduced by isolation are superstition, intense love of any other
living thing, perceiving inani.rn.a.te objects as alive, hallucinations,
and delusions. II (26)




The apparent reason for these effects is that a person cut
off fro:m external stiInuli turns his awareness inward, upon hiInself, and then projects the contents of his ownuncons dous
outwards, so that he endows' his faceless environment with his
own attribute,s, fears, and forgotten me:mories. Lilly notes, IIIt
is obvious that inner factors in the mind tend to be projected
outward, that so:me of the mind's activity which is usually realitybound now becOInes free to turn to phantasy and ultimately to
halluc ination and delus ion. II
A nu:mber of experb:nents conducted at McGill Univers ity,
the National Institute of Mental Health, and other sites have atte:mpted to come as close as possible to the eliInination of sensory
stiInuli, or to :masking remaining stimuli, chiefly sounds, by a
stronger but wholly Inonotonous overlay. The results or" these
experi:ments have little applicability to interrogation because the
circumstances are diss iInilar. So:me of the findings point toward
hypotheses that see:m- relevant to interrogation, but conditions
like those of detention for purposes of counterintelligence interrogation have not been duplicated for experiInentation.
At the National Institute of Mental Health two subjects were
• suspended with the body and all but the top of the head
i:mmersed in a tank containing slowly flowing water at. 34.5' C
(94.5' F) • . • • II Both subjects wore black-outmasks, 'which enclosed the whole head but allowed breathing and nothing else. The
sound level was extreInely low; the subject heard only his own
breathing and SOIne faint sounds of water ft"om the piping. Neither
subject stayed ui the tank longer than three hours. Both passed
quickly fro:m nor:mally directed thinking through a tens ion resulting
fro:m unsatisfied hunger for sensory stimuli and concentration upon
the few available sensation~ to private reveries and fC).ntasies and
eventually to visual i.In.agery so:mewhat resembling hallucinations.







our experilnents, we notice that after iInInersion the day
apparently is started over, i. e., the subject feels as if he
has risen froIn bed afresh; this effect persists, and the
subject finds he is out of step with the clock for the re st of
the day. II

Dr s. Wexler, Mendelson, LeiderInan, and SoloInon
conducted a sOInewhat siInilar experiInent on seventeen paid
volunteers. These subjects were II • • • placed in a tank-type
respirator with a specially built Inattress.... Thevents
of the respirator were left open, so that the subject breathed
for hiInself. His arInS and legs were enclosed in cOInfortable
but rigid cylinder s to inhibit InoveInent and tactile contact.
The subject lay on his back and was unable to see any part
of his body. The Inotor of the respirator was run constantly,
producing a dull, repetitive auditory stiInulus. The room
adInitted no natural light. and artificial light was miniInal
and constant. II (42) Although the established tiIne liInit
was 36 hour s and though all physical needs were taken care
of, only 6 of the 17 cOInpleted the stint. The other eleven
soon asked for release. Four of these terIninated the
experiInent because of anxiety and panic; seven did so because
of physical discoIn£ort. The .results confirmed earlier findings
that (1) the deprivation of sensory stiInuli induces stress;
(2) the stress becoInes unbearable for Inost subjects; (3)
the subject has a growing need for physical and social stiInuli;
and (4) some subjects progre ssively lose touch with reality,
focus inwardly, and produce delu.sions, hallucinations, and
other pathological effects.
I n sUIn~arizing SOIne scientific reporting on sensory
and perceptual deprivation, Kubzansky offers the following


"Three studies suggest that the Inore well-adjusted
or 'norInal' the subject is, the more he is affected by
deprivation of sensory stiInuli. Neurotic and psychotic
subjects are either cOInparatively unaffected or show decreases
in anxiety, hallucinations, etc. II (7)





Sy<'E T

These findings suggest - but by no ~eans prove - the
following theories about solitary confinement and isolation:

1. The more com.pletely the place of confinement
eliminates sensory stimuli, the more rapidly and deeply will
the interrogatee be affected. Results produced only a,fter weeks
or months of imprisonment in an ordinary cell can be duplicated
in hours or days in a cell which has no light (or weak artificial
light which never varies), which is sound-proded, in which
odors are eliminated, etc. An environment still more subject
to control, such as water-tank or iron lung, is even more


2. An early effect of such an environment is
anxiety. How soon it appear s and how strong it is depends
upon the psychological characteristics of the individual.
3. The interrogator can benefit from the subject's
anxiety. As the interrogator becomes linked in the subject I s
mind with the reward of lessened anxiety, human contact, and
mean,ingful activity, and thus with providing relief for growing
discomfort, the questioner assumes a benevolent role. (7)
4. The deprivation of stimuli induces regression
by depriving the -subject I s mind of contact with an outer world
and thus forcing it in upon itself. At the same tirne, the
calculated .provision of stimuli during interrogation tends to
make the regressed subject view the interrogator as a fatherfigure. The result, normally, is a strengthening of the
subject's tendencies toward compliance.

Threats and Fear

The t~reat of coercion usually weakens or destroys
resistance more effectively than coercion itself. The threat
to inflict pain, for example, can trigger fear s more damaging
than the immediate sensation of pain. In fact, most people
undere stimate their capacity to withstand pain. The same
principle holds for other fears: sustained long enough, a
strong fear of anything vague or unknown induces regression,




whereas the materialization of the fear, the infliction of some
form of punishment, is likely to come as a relief. The subject
finds that he can hold out, and his resistances are strengthened.
"in general, direct physical brutality creates only re'sentment,
hostility, and further defiance." (18)
The effectiveness of a threat depends not only on what
sort of per son the interrogatee is and whether he believe s
that his questioner can .and will carry the threat out but also
on the interrogatorls reasons for threatening. 1£ the 'interrogator
threatens. because he is angry, the subject frequently senses
the fear of failure underlying the anger and is strengthened
in his own resolve to resist. Threats delivered coldly are
more effective than those shouted in rage. It is especially
important that a threat not be uttered in response to the
interrogatee I s own expressions of hostility. These, if ignored,
can induce feelings of guilt, whereas retorts in kind relieve
the subject's feelings.


Another reason why threats induce compliance not
evoked by the inflection of dure::;s is that the threat grants
'the interrogatee t:inle for compliance. It is not enol.}.gh that a
resistant source should 1:e placed under the tension of fear;
he must also discern an acceptable escape route. Biderman
observes, "Not only can the shame or guilt of defeat in the
encounter with the interrogator be involved, but also the more
fundamental injunction to protect one IS self-autonomy or
lwill i • • • • A simple defense against threats to the self from
the anticipation of being forced to. comply is, of course, to
compl y 'deliberately' or 'voluntarily'. • •. To the extent that
the foregoing interpretation holds, the more intensely motivated
the LiJiterrogateeJ' is to resist, the more intense is the
pressure toward early compliance from such anxieties, for
the greater is the threat to self-esteem which is involved
in contemplating the possi'l;>ility of being 'forced to' comply
• • • • II
(6) In brief, the threat is like all other coercive
technique s in being most effective when 80 used as to foster
regression and when joined with a suggested way out
dilemma, a rationalization acceptable to the interrogatee.





... : .. :"

The threat of death has often been found to be worse
than useless. It l'has the highest position in law as a
defense, but in m.any interrogation situations it is a highly
ineffective threat. Many prisoners, in fact, have refused
to yield in the face of such threats who have subsequently
been 'broken' by other procedures. II (3) The principal
reason is that the ultiInate threat is likely to induce sheer
hopelessness if the interrogatee does not believe that it
is a trick; he feels that he is as likely to be condemned
after compliance as before. The threat of death is also
ineffective' when used against hard-headed types who
realize that silencing them forever would defeat the
interrogator I s purpose. 1£ the threat is recognized as a
bluff. it will not only fail but also pave the way to failure
for later coercive ruses used by the interrogator.


No report of scientific investigation of the effect
of debility upon the interrogatee's powers of resistance
has been discovered. For centuries interrogators haye
em.ployed various methods of inducing physical weakness:
prolonged constraint; prolonged exertion; extremes of heat,
cold, or moisture; and deprivation or drastic reduction of
food or sleep. Apparently the assumption is that lowering
the sour~e IS physiological resistance will lower his
psychological capacity for opposit~on. 1£ this notion were
valid, however, it might reasonably be expected that those
subjects who are physically weakest at the beginning of
an interrogation would be the quicke st to capitulate, a
concept not supported by experience. The available
evidence suggests that resistance is sapped principally
by psychological rather than physical pressures. The
threat of debility - for example, a brief deprivation of
food ~ may induce much more anxiety than proionged
hunger, which will result after a while in apathy and.
perhaps, eventual delusions or hallucinations. In brief,
it appears probable that the techniques of inducing debility
become counter-productive at an early stage. The discomfort,
tension, and restles~ search for an avenue of escape are









followed by withdrawal symptoms, a turning away from
external stimuli, and a sluggish unresponsiveness.

Another objection to the deliberate inducing of
debility is that prolonged exertion, los s of sleep, etc.,
themselves become patterns to which the subject adjusts
th~ough apathy.
The interrogator should use his power
over the resistant subjectls physical enviromnent to
disrupt patterns of response, not to create them. Meals
and sleep granted irregularly, in nlore than abundance
or less than adequacy, the shifts occuring on no discernible
time pattern, will normally disorient an interrogatee and
sap his will to resist more effectively than a sustained
deprivation leading to debility.




Everyone is aware that people react very
differently to pain. The reason, apparently, is not a
physical difference in the intensity of the sensation itself.
Lawrence E. Hinkle observes, liThe sensation of pain
seems to be roughly equal in all men. that is to say,
all people have approximately the same threshold at which
they begin to feel pain, and when carefully graded stimuli
are applied to them, their estimates of severity are
approxinlately the scune. . •. Yet .•• when men are very
highly nlotivateq.... they have been known to carry out
rather complex tasks while enduring the most intense
pain. II He also states, I I I n general, it appears that
whatever may be the role of the constitutional endowment
in determining the reaction to pain, it is a much Ie s s
important determinant than is the attitude of the man who
experiences the pain. II (7)
The wide range of individual reactions to pain
may be partially explicable in terms of early conditioning.
The person whose first encounters with pain were
frightening and intense may be more violently affected
by its later infliction than one whose original experiences
were Inild. Or the reverse may be true, and the Inan
whose childhood familiarized him with pain may dread




. ',.. '

it less,- and react less, than one whose distress is heightened
by fear of the unknown. The individual remains the determinant.
It has been plausibly suggested that, whereas pain
inflicted on a person from outside himself may actually focus
or intensify his will to resist, his resistance is likelier to
be sapped by pain which he seems to inflict upon him~elf.
"In the simple torture situation the contest is one between
the individual and his tormentor (••.• and he can frequently
endure). When the individual is told to stand at attention
for long periods, an intervening factor is introduced. The
immediate source of pain is not the interrogator but the
victim himself. The motivational strength of the individual
is likely to exhaust itself in this internal encouriter. • .. As
long as the subject remains standing, he is attributing to
his captor the power to do something worse to him, but there
~s actually no showdown of the ability of the interrogator
to do 50 •. 11 (4)







r ....

Interrogatee s who are withholding but who feel qualms
of guilt and a secret desire to yield are likely to become
intractable if made to endure pain. The reason is that they
can then interpret the pain as punishment and hence as
expiation. There are also persons who enjoy pain and its
anticipation and who will keep back information that they
might otherwise divulge if they are given reason to expect
that withholding will result in the punishment that they
want. Per sons of considerable moral.or intellectual
stature often find in pain inflicted by other s a confirmation
of the belief that they are in the hands of inferiors, and
their resolve not to submit is strengthened.
Intense pain is quite likely to produce false confessions,
concocted as a means of escaping from distress. A timeconsuming delay results, while investigation is conducted
and the admissions are proven untrue. During this respite
the interrogatee can pull himself together. He may even
use the time to think up new, more complex "admissions"
that take still longer to disprove. KUBARK is especially
vulnerable to such tactics because the interrogation is
conducted for the sake of information and not for police purposes.



If an interrogatee is caused to suffer pain rather late
in the interrogation process and after other tactics have
failed, he is alm.o st certain to conclude that the interrogator
is desperate. He may then decide that if b,e can
just hold out against this final assault, he will win the struggle
and his freedom.. And he is likely to be right. Interrogatees
who have withstood pain are more difficult to handle by other
m.ethods. The effect has been not to repress the subject but
to re store his confidence and maturity.


1. . Heightened Suggestibility and Hypnosis
In recent years a num.ber of hypotheses about hypnosis
have been advanced by psychologists and others in the guise of
proven principles. these are the flat assertions that a
person connot be hypnotized against his will; that while
hypnotized he cannot be induced to divulge information that he
wants urgently to conceal; and that he will not undertake, in
trance or through post-hypnotic suggestion, actions to which
he would have serious moral or ethical objections.
If these and related contentions were proven valid, hypnosis
would have scant value for the interrogator.
But despite the fact that hypnosis has been an object of
scientific inquiry for a very long time, none of these theories
has yet been te sted adequately. Each of them is in conflict
with som.e observations of fact. In any event, an interrogation
handbook cannot and need not include a lengthy discussion of
hypnosis. The case officer or interrogator needs to know
enough about the subject to understand the circum.stances under
which hypnosis can be a useful tool, so that he can request
expert assistance appropriately.


Ope rational per sonnel, including interrogator s, who
chance to have som.e lay experience or skill in hypnotism.
should not them.selves use hypnotic techniques for interrogation
or other operational purposes. There are two reasons for
this position. The first is that used as an operational
tool by a practitioner who is not a psychologist, psychiatrist,
or M. D. can produce irreversible psychological damage. The


~.' ·7·"

•• "


lay practitioner does not !mow enough to use the technique
saiely . . The second reason is that an unsuccessful attempt
to hypnotize a subject for purposes of interrogation, or a
successful attempt not adequately covered by post-hypnotic
amnesia or other protection, can easily le~d to lurid and
embarrassing publicity or legal charges.
Hypnosis is frequently called a state of heightened
suggestibility, but the phrase is a desc"ription rather than a
definition. Merton M. Gill and Margaret B'renman state,
"The psychoanalytic theory of hypnosis clearly implies,
where it does not explicitly state, that hypnosis is a form
of regression. II And they add, II ..• inductionLOf hypnosisJ
is the process of bringing about a regression, while the
hypnotic state is the established regression. II (13) It is
suggested that the interrogator will find this definition the
most useful. The problem of overcoming the resistance
of an uncooperative interrogatee is essentially a problem
of inducing regres sion to a level at which the re sistance
can no longer be sustained. Hypnosis is one way of
regressing people.
Martin T. Orne has written at some length about
hypnosis and interrogation. Almost all of his conclusions
are tentatively negative. Concerning the role played by the
will or attitude of the interrogatee. Orne says, IIAlthough
the cruci,?l experiment has not yet been done. there is
little or no evidence to indicate that trance can be induced
against a person's wishes. II He adds, II ••. the actual
occurrence of the trance state is related to the wish of
the subject to enter hypnosis. II And he also observes,
II ... whether a subject will or will not enter trance depends
upon his relationship with the hyponotist rather than upon
the technical procedure of trance induction. II These
views are probably representative of those of many
psychologists, but they are not definitive. As Orne
himself later points out, the interrogatee II ... could be
given a hypnotic drug with appropriate verbal suggestions
to talk about a given topic. Eventually enough of the drug










.. ....

would be given to cause a sho'rt period of unconsciousness.
When the subje.ct wakesn, the interrogator could then read
fro:m his 'notes' of the hypnotic interview the infor:matiori,.
presu:mably told hi:m. II (Orne had previously pointed out
that this technique requires that the interrogator possess
significant infor:mation about the subject,without the subject's
knowledge.) I I I t can readily be seen how this •.. :maneuver...
would facilitate the elicitation of infor:mation in subsequent
interviews. II (7) Techniques of inducing trance in res istant
subjects through preli:minary ad:ministrationof so-called
silent drugs (drugs which the subject does not know he has
.taken) or through other non-routine :methods of induction
are still under investigation. Until :more facts are known,
the question of whether a resister can be hypnotized involuntarily :must go unanswered.

Orne also holds that even if a res ister can be
hypnotized., his resistance does not cease. He postulates
II • • • that only in rare interrogation subjects would a
sufficiently deep trance be obtainable to even atte:mpt to
induce the subject to discuss :material which he is unwilling
to discuss in the waking state. The kind of infor:mation which
can be obtained in these rare instances is still an unanswered
question." He adds that it is doubtful that a subject in trance
could be :made to reveal infor:mation which he wished to
safeguard. But here too Orne see:ms so:mewhat too cautious
or pes s i:mis tic. Once an interrogatee is in a hypnotic trance,
his understa:nding of reality beco:mes subject to :manipulation.
For exaUlple, a KUBARKinterrogator could tell a suspect
double agent in trance that the KGB is conducting the questioning,
and thus invert the whole frame of reference. In other words, ,
Orne is probably right in holding that :most recalcitrant subjects
will continue effective resistance as long as the fra:me of
reference is undisturbed. But once the subject is tricked into
believing that he is talking to friend rather than foe, or that
divulging the truth is the best way to serve his own purposes,
his resistance w ill be replaced by cooperation. The value
of hypnotic trance is not that it per:mits the interrogator to
i:mpose his will but rather that it can be used to convince the
interrogatee that there is no valid reason not to be forthco:ming.

A third objection raised by. Orne and other s is that
material elicited during trance is not reliable. Orne says,
II • • • it has been shown that the accuracy of such information ..•
would not be guarant:eed since subjects in hypnosis are fully
capable of lying. II Again, the observation is correct; no known
manipulative method guarantees veracity. But if hypnosis
is employed not as an immediate instrulnent for digging out
the truth but rather as a way of lnaking the subject want to
align himself with his interrogators, the objection evaporates.
Hypnosis offers one advantage not inherent in other
interrogation techniques or aids: the post-hypnotic suggestion.
Under favorable circumstances it should be possible to
administer a silent drug to a resistant source, persuade
him as the drug takes effect that he is slipping into a hypnotic
trance, place him under actual hypnosis as consciousness is
returning, shift his frame of reference so that his reasons
for resistance become reasons for cooperating, interrogate
him, and conclude the session by implanting the suggestion
that when he emerges from trance he will not remember
anything about what has happened.

:.0 ~ ... ,..'



This sketchy outline of possible uses of hypnosis °in
the interrogation of resistant sources has no higher goal
than to remind operational per sonnel that the technique
may provide the answer to a probleln not otherwise soluble.
To repeat: _ hypnosis is di"stinctly not a do-it-yourself project.
Therefore the interrogator, base, or center that is considering
its use must anticipate the tirning sufficiently not only, to secure
the obligatory headquarters permission but also to allow for an
expert's travel time and briefing.



Just as the threat of pain may more effectively induce
compliance than its infliction, so an interrogatee's mistaken
belief that he has been drugged lnay make him a more useful
interrogation subject than he would be under narcosis. Louis
A. Gottschalk cites a group of studies as indicating "that 30 to 50
per cent of i:ldi vidual s are placebo reactor s, that is, respond


with sytnptotnatic relief to taking an inert substance. ". (7)
In the interrogation situation, tnoreover, the effectivene ss
of a placebo tnay be enhanced because of its ability to placate
the conscience. The subject l s pritnary source of resistance
to confession or divulgence tnay be pride, patriotistn,
per sonal loyalty to superior s, or fear of retribution if he is
returned to their hands. Under such circutnstances his
natural desire to escape fronl stress by cOnlplying with the
interrogator:'swishes tnay becotne decisive if he is provided
. an acceptable rationalization for cOtnpliance. "I was drugged"
is one 01 the best excuses.
Drugs are no tnore the answer to the interrogator's
prayer than the polygraph, hypnosis, or other aids. Studies
and reports "dealing with the validity of tnaterial extracted
fronl reluctant infortnants •.• indicate that there is :10 drug
which can force every infornlant to report all the infortnation
he has. Not only tnay the inveterate crinlinal psychopath lie
under the infl\.l:ence of drugs which have been tested, but the
relatively nor!l1.a1 and well-adjusted fndividual !nay.also
successfully disguise factual data. II (3) Gottschal,k reinforces
the latter observation in nlentioning an exper itnent involving
drugs which indicated that lithe tnore nor!l1.a1, well-integrated
individuals could lie better than the guilt-ridden, neurotic
subjects. II (7)
Nevertheless, drugs can be effective in overconling
resistance not ~issolved by other techniques. As has already
been noted, the so-called silent drug (a phartnacologically
potent substance given to a person unaware of its adnlinistration)
can nlake possible the induction of hypnotic trance in a
previously unwilling subject. Gottschalk says, liThe judicious
choice of a drug with tninitnal side effects, its tnatching to
the subject's personality, careful gauging of dosage, and a
sense of titning •.• [tnakei] silent adtnini stration a hard-to-equal
ally for the hypnotist intent on producing self-fulfilling and
ine scapable sugge stions ... the drug effects should prove ...
cOlUpelling to the subject since the per ceived sensations originate
entirely within hitnself. 11 (7)


Particularly itnportant is the reference to matching the
drug to the per sonality of the interrogatee. The effect of tnost
drugs depends more upon the personality of the subjec~ than
upon the physical characteristics of the drugs themselves. If
the approval of Headquarters has been obtained and if a doctor
is at hand for adtninistration. one of the tnost important of
the interrogator's functions is providing the doctor with a
full and accurate description of the psychological make-up
of the interrogatee. to facilitate the best po.ssible choic:e of
a drug.
Persons burdened with feelings of shatne or guilt are
likely to unburden thetnselves when drugged. especially if
these feelings have been reinforced by the interrogator.
A nd like the placebo. the drug provide s an excellent
rationalization of helplessness for the interrogatee who
wants to yield but has hitherto been unable to violate his
own value s or loyaltie s.,
Like other coercive tnedia. drugs tnay affect the content
of what an interrogatee divulges. Gottschalk notes that'certain
drugs II tnay give rise to psychotic tnanifestations such as
hallucinations. illusions. delusions. or disorientation l l • so
that lIthe verbal tnaterial obtained cannot always be considered
valid. II (7) For this reason drugs (and the other aids discussed in
this section) should not be used persistently to facilitate the
interrogative debriefing that follows capitulation. Their function
is to cause capitulation, to aid in the shift froIn resistance to
cooperation. Once this shift has been accoInplished, coercive
technique s should be abandoned both for moral reasons and
because they are unnece ssary and even counter-productive.
This discussion does not include a list of drugs that
have been etnployed for interrogation purposes or a
discussion of their properties because these are medical
considerations within the province of a doctor rather than
an interogator.







The Detection of Malingering

The detection of malingering is obviously not an
interrogation technique, coercive or otherwise. But the
history of interrogation is studded with the storie s of per sons
who have attelTI.pted, often successfully. to evade. the
lTI.ounting pressures of interrogation by feigning physical
or lTI.ental illness. KUBARK interrogators lnay encounter
seelTI.ingly sick or irrational interrogatees at and
places which lTI.ake it difficult or next-to-irnpossible to
SUlTI.lTI.on lTI.edical or other professional assistance. Because
a few tips lTI.ay lTIake it pos sible for the interrogator to
distinguish between the lTIalingerer and the person who is
genuinely ill, and because both illness and lTI.alingering are produced by coercive interrogation, a brief discussion
of the topic has been included here.


Most per sons who feign a mental or physical illness
do not know enough about it to deceive the well-inforlTI.ed.
Malcolm L. Meltzer says, liThe detection of tnalingering
depends to a great extent on the simulator I s failure. to
under stand adequa,.tely the characteristics of the r~ie he
is feigning. . .. Often he presents sylTI.ptOlTI.S which are
exceedingly rare, existing lTIainly in the fancy of the
One such symptolTI. is the delusion of lTI.isidentification,
characterized by the ... belief that he is SOlTI.e powerful
or historic per sonage. This symptolTI. is very unusual in
true psychosis, but is used by a nUlTI.ber of silTI.ulator s. In
schizophrenia. the onset tends to be grad':lal, delusions
do not spring up full-blown over night; in silTI.ulated disorders,
the onset is usually fast and delusions lTIay be readily
available. The feigned psychosis often contains lTI.any
contradictory and inconsistent sylTI.ptOlTI.S J rarely existing
together. The lTIalingerer tends to go to in his
protrayal of his sylTI.ptOlTI.S; he exaggerate s, overdralTI.atizes,
grilTI.ace s, shouts, is overly b~zarre, and calls attention
to hilTI.self in other ways ....
"Another characteristic of the malingerer is that he
w ill usually seek to evade or postpone examination. A study


of the behavior of lie-detector subjects, for example, showed
that persons later 'proven guilty' showed certain similarities
of behavior. The guilty per sons were reluctant to take the
test, and they tried in various ways to postpone or delay it.
They often appeared highly anxious and sometimes took a
hostile attitude toward the test and the examiner. Evasive
tactics sometimes appeared, such as sighing, yawning,
moving about, all of which foil the examiner by obscuring
the recording. Before the exatnination, they felt it necessary
to explain why their responses might mislead theexarniner
into thinking they were lying. Thus th'e procedure of subjecting
a suspected -malingerer to a lie-detector test rnight evoke
behavior which would reinforce the suspicion of fraud." (7)


Meltzer also notes that malingerers who are not
professional psychologists can usually be exposed through
Ror schach tests.
.. : ...;

An important element in rnalingering is the frarne of
mind of the examiner. A person pretending madness
awakens in a professional examiner not only suspicion qut
also a desire to expose the fraud, whereas a well persc;>n
who pretends to be concealing mental illness and who
permits only a rninor sYInPtom or two to peep through is
much likelier to create in the expert a desire to expose
the hidden sickness.
Meltzer observes that sirnulatedmutism and anmesia
can usually be distinguished from the true states by
narcoanalysis. The reason, however,' is the reverse of
the. popular misconception. Under the influence of appropriate
drugs the malingerer will persist in not speaking or in not
remembering, whereas the symptoms of the genuinely
afflicted will temporarily disappear. Another technique
is to pretend to take the deception seriously, express
grave concern, and tell the "patient" that the only rernedy
for his illness is a series of electric shock treC!-tments
or a frontal lobotomy.



A brief sUlTIlTIary of the ITIay help to
pull the lTIajor concepts of coercive interrogation together:

1. The principal coercive techniques are arrest,
detention, the deprivation of sensory stilTIuli, threats and
fear. debility, pain, heightened suggestibility and hypnosis,
and drugs.
2. If a coercive technique is to be used, or if
two or lTIore are to be elTIployed jointly, they should be .
chosen for their effect upon the individual and carefully
selected to lTIatch his personality.
3. The 1J,sual effect of coercion is regression.
The intel."rogatee's ITIature defenses crulTIbles as he becolTIes
TIlore childlike. During the process of regression the subject
TIlay experience feelings of guilt, and it is usually useful to
intensify these.
4. When regression has proceeded far' enough
so that the subject's desire to yield begins to overbalance
his resistance, the interrogator should supply a facesaving rationalization. Like the coercive technique, the
ration.alization nlUst be carefully chosen to fit the subject's
per sonality.
5. The pressures of duress should be slackened
or lifted after cOlTIpliance has been obtained, so that the
interrogatee I s voluntary cooperation will not be ilTIpeded.
No lTIention has been ITIade of what is frequentlx- the
last step in an interrogation conducted by a COlTImunist
service: the attempted conver sion. In the Western .view
the goal of the que stioning is information; once a sufficient
degree of cooperation has been obtained to permit the



S E

interrogator acce s s to the information he seeks, he is not
ordinarily concerned with the attitudes of the source. Under
some cir cU!nstance s, however, this pragmatic indifference
can be short- sighted. If the interrogatee remains semihostile or remorseful aiter a successful interrogation has
ended, Ie ss time may be required to cO!nplete his conver sion
(and conceivably to create an enduring asset) than might be
needed to deal with his antagonism if he is merely squeezed
and forgotten.