Letter to J.B. Priestley enclosing "Total Training Scheme"

 
 

 

 
 

 

16th September 1969

Dear Mr. Priestley,

I have recently read your "Saturn Over The Water" and have been surprised and very pleased to note some striking resemblances to a group situation I have found myself in over the past five years or so.

I have been trying to puzzle out what has been happening from the receiving end and have come to some very similar conclusions to those expressed by some of the characters in your book - for example, the importance of communications, sophisticated techniques of influence, hurrying the mind along the way it is going, controlling key people. Some of my records of events read like the account of "Tim Bedford" even to the use of particular phrases in trying to explain what has been happening e.g. "All this is fairly important ... trying to recapture the mood ... wasn't taking the business seriously" (p26). More striking still is your reference to a College of Applied Psychology involving Modern Methods of Salesmanship and Personnel Management (p205) all of which feature in my own situation.

I would not rate my experience a part of a world conspiracy to restart the human race but a rather more mundane though to my mind thoroughly unethical scheme to place chosen and fairly well controlled people in positions of power and influence in this country. I have drawn up a prospectus of such a scheme, based on my own observations, and. I enclose a copy which I hope you will find interesting.

All this is by way of background to a request. Could you tell me how you came to write "Saturn Over The Water"? Since there is so much common ground I wonder if papers were published or proposals made in the fifties which gave rise to both your book and the scheme in which I have become involved. I would be grateful for any assistance you can give to trace the source of group processes of this sort, especially those taking advantage of modern communications and psychological techniques for influencing individuals.

I very much look forward to receiving your comments,

Yours sincerely,

 

 
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