4 thoughts on “Top-Secret IDF Training Drives Female Recruit to Nervous Breakdown – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. OK, OK, so Israel’s mental illness over “security” causes casualties among — Israelis. Maybe among the best. But why fret? Israel has secured its security. And that was the point. The only point. And, along those lines, please do not tell us (as you seemed to do) about the hardships of the Palestinians, because, as is well known and universally admitted, nay claimed (well, universally among warriers), you must break some eggs to make an omelette, and guess whose eggs those inevitably are (and whose omelette)?

    Oh! You say that Israel’s security comes from its great and ever-so-well-equipped army, etc., and not from the mental fierceness of its troops? Yes, without the overwhelming equipment, there would be no security. And (as far as anyone can see) the security that the army secures to Israel from attack (e.g., from the UNSC), comes from the politics of big money, and not from the mental hardness of Israeli soldiers.

    But a hard-as-nails military surely depends on a training that can destroy the mental health of at least a few recruits. If you don’t destroy a few soldiers in training, the training is not hard enough.

    Israel’s security mistake is made very clear in this example: Israel failed to see to it that the contract with recruits, deemed to be “signed” upon recruitment, is deemed to read that no-one can sue the military, the government, their trainers, or anybody at all, irrespective of intentional, grossly negligent, merely negligent, or other behavior by anybody at all for any injury or health impediment caused or believed to have been caused as a result, in whole or in part, of such recruitment and/or of any event which follows therefrom, and anyone who suggests publicly, after any recruit’s (such) recruitment, that such recruit has suffered any injury or health impediment from recrutment or any event which followed therefrom shall be imprisoned for 75 years.

    That would serve to prevent Israelis, at any rate, if not American bloggers, from making the dastardly suggestions contained in the above blog essay. (And any American who made such suggestions better not travel to Israel after such a law has been enacted.) BTW, does Israel enact any secret laws (or secret military or judicial regulations), or are they all public? And how about the regulations which governed Palestinian Arabs in Israel before 1966 and Palestinians ion the occupied territories after 1967?

  2. There may be more to it than stress.
    Depends whether they were simply hectored about the need not to divulge secrets, or if this was backed up by training in some of the techniques used to avoid giving secrets away in conversation or even under interrogation. (These involve creating a fictional persona for whom the “right” answers are true, and can trigger mental illness if there’s any susceptibility at all.)

    If it’s simply the stress of keeping secrets: Not only was this problem encountered at Bletchley Park during WW2, but one of the lesser known technical breakthroughs made there involved a simple and effective way or treating the sort of mental and physical collapse which the staff were prone to:

    Malfunctioning codebreakers were put to bed in a quiet room with a big jug of fresh water by their bed, and kept lightly sedated for at least a week, during which time they did nothing except sleep, drink the water and go to the toilet. After that, they were gradually brought back and fed heartily, before being sent on leave for a fortnight.

    This was almost always sufficient, and preferable to the sort of security panics which occurred when staff were sent home and treated by family doctors rash enough to listen to their patient’s ramblings…

    Basically, all that’s needed is for the top bosses to care enough to provide resources for a cure, and for that cure to be implemented largely by nurses and general practitioners.

    It may also be that the legal status of the Park itself, as Admiral Sinclair’s personal property*, protected staff from some of the knee jerk reactions of military psychiatrists, whose ability to worsen tens of thousands of stress cases is documented in “Where Have All the Bullets Gone?” by Spike Milligan.

    Treating nervous breakdowns as a form of exhaustion rather than a mental illness was an act of enlightenment which would have been very difficult to continue with if any eminent psychiatrists had ever got to hear of it, and I think it would probably be harder for the Israeli military to adopt than for the armed forces of most other countries, except possibly America.

    Something like this may actually have been tried before at the military convalescent home at Wrest Park during the Great War, which was previously the country home of the De Grey family, one of whom had a senior role at Bletchley Park in WW2, as well as breaking the Zimmerman Telegram in the Great War. So it MAY have been Nigel De Grey’s idea to simply subject jittery or collapsed staff to enhanced sleep.

    *The Admiralty and the Treasury failed to process the necessary requisition and purchase in time for the War, so the Admiral took a deep breath and purchased the estate with his own money. In 1987, the Thatcher government, typically, attempted to sell the Park to property developers, only to be discover that it wasn’t theirs to sell.

    So, apart from the wrongs and rights of the young lady’s case, there is a method for putting people back together again after this and it’s simple and cheap. But you need to keep the shrinks away (at gunpoint if necessary) and employ nurses instead.

  3. Is it possible she was traumatized by the kind of secrets she was expected to keep? We all know there are many former IDF soldiers who are permanently traumatized or even become suicidal because of things they are commanded to do during their time of service in Palestine. Maybe she was just a nice young woman who became horrified when she learned what was behind some of the IDF secrets.

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