191. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State1

666. A highly dependable source told me that three weeks ago in the early hours of the morning, the police entered the premises of a Catholic institution and removed three young women, taking them to a sort of prison. In this place the women were not injured. But they saw a larger number of male prisoners who were being tortured, some by beating, some by the application of electric shocks to the genitals. Every day the young women were given “brainwashing” in the form of lectures on “personalism”. After two weeks they were allowed to return to their previous abode but every three days they must report back to the prison for a lecture.

Comment: This looks like the application of a straight Communist technique for the sake of brother Nhu’s cult of “personalism”. This is apparently what is involved by what he calls the “revolution” (which he wants) as compared with what he calls the American “reform” (which he disliked).

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, SOC 14-1 S VIET. Secret; Limit Distribution. Received at 12:53 a.m. and passed to the White House at 1:20 a.m.