The writer was recently invited to sit in a group called together to hear a recording produced by some Army officers to whom had been assigned the task of ascertaining why so many American prisoners of war in Korea succumbed to “brain washing” and as a result collaborated with their captors.
It was a depressing experience. This report is the result of several years painstaking study; of personal interviews with hundreds of our men; a study of the backgrounds of these men; and also an appraisal of Communist reports and material which fell into the hands of our intelligence.
Several things stand out in these findings.
Thirty-two per cent of those captured died under the rigors through which they passed. Of the remaining number thirty-three per cent eventually collaborated with the enemy.
A study of the latter group revealed a number of startling facts; conditions which can well have a serious effect on the future of our nation, either in peace or war. The majority of these men seemed to have lacked (a) Spiritual and moral convictions; (b) Understanding and appreciation of the American heritage; (c) Discipline in the sense of a basic concept of right and wrong; (d) An understanding of Communism and its propaganda methods.
Many of these men came from broken homes while few of them had Church training or religious ties.
It is interesting that this report repeatedly laid stress on the value and importance of home and Church training, repeatedly speaking of the Sunday School and Church and urging a return to both the values of the past and the effective means of transmitting those values.
As we listened to this report (which lasted for an hour and a quarter), there gradually developed in our mind some steps which seem imperative for us ...1
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