15 DECEMBER 1961, Page 14

Feeding the Lions Lady Wootton

Appeasement Then and Now

Elaine Windrich, Patrick Du Val The Mind of MRA J. H. Barnes, Rachel C. Fisher, R. J. Martin, L. F. P. Fox Share My Chalice

Rev. Gordon K. Hawes, Rev. F. E. P. S. Langton A Ministry of Tourism?

Lyman Andrews, Jr., C. H. B. Wightman

Walter Scott David Craig Homosexuals R. Hamilton Road Safety John Harrison Man and Caveman T. Edwards First Term David Broad Housing the Homeless Monica Furlong Christ-mass or Ex-mass? J. Roger Baker Fund for East Africa Sir William Hayter War on Want Olwen Battersby


SIR,—In her review of Humanist Anthology and The Humanist Frame, Monica Furlong writes:

'None of the contributors to Mrs. Knight's anthology actually suggests sterilising the Christians, but Lady. Wootton hints darkly that leucotomy would soon settle our nonsense.'

This is news to me. Actually I should regard any attempt to interfere with people's religious opinions

by surgery or drugs or similar treatments as a monstrous piece of Fascism. Perhaps your reviewer will be good enough to indicate the passage in which these sinister hints occur.


[Monica Furlong writes: 'I must ask Lady Wootton's forgiveness. By the time I reached her, admirably cool and balanced, contribution to the Humanist Anthology I had read through 162 pages of closely- packed anti-Christian propaganda, and was therefore in an absurdly highly-strung condition. Having read her account of what she calls the "threat" of science to religion in explaining more and more mental phenomena by godless hypotheses, and then having read the next sentence, "Further, brain surgery can already profoundly modify personality and patterns of behaviour; and psychiatry has begun to account for moral conviction in terms which make any deity superfluous . . . ", 1.1eaped to the quite unwarranted conclusion that she was prescribing a little modifica- tion along these lines for the Christians. Thank good- ness I was wrong. Mind you, I still don't understand what the argument that leucotomy can eliminate religious emotion proves about God. Lesions to the brain can also reduce more ordinary human emotions, or destroy such functions as speech, but no one suggests that falling in love or carrying on a con- versation become thereby invalid.'—Editor, Spectator.]