NOTES ON THE EDWARD BERNAYS CASE 2
"The Edward Bernays Case" project derived from original research conducted at the Library of Congress into the life and papers of Edward Bernays (1891-1995) and his psychoanalyst Dr. A.A. Brill (1874-1948). Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud, and is known as one of the most influential and controversial Public Relations practitioners of the 20th century. His work often pioneered new techniques for destabilizing and manipulating public perception on behalf of his clients which included some of the largest US corporations at the time such as RCA, American Tobacco and The United Fruit Company.
In the papers of psychoanalyst Dr. A.A. Brill, who trained with Freud in his youth, located at the Butler Library of Columbia University, I encountered hand written fragments Brill's rather extensive writings and research for an unpublished Psychoanalytical Case Study, labeled The Bernays Case. In this we find all the elements of a patient case study in the manner of Brills mentor Sigmund Freud, including the Session Notes in Brill's hand, and psychological theory building in relation to the case.
Brill's treatment of Bernays began in October 1939 and was abandoned by Bernays sometime in March 1941.
The parallel perceptual fractures generated by Bernays's own Public Relations practices on the one hand, and the analyst, analysand, analysis dynamic involving Brill and Bernays on the other, is at the center of this project. Bernays's comments and writings are rich in their ability to set the imagination in motion - often requiring that one question ones beliefs regarding a number of social relations: "We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of." page 14, Propaganda (1928) by Edward Bernays.