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"To get anywhere, or even live a long time, a man has to guess, and guess right, over and over again, without enough data for a logical answer."
- Robert Heinlein

Mind Destroyer  
  A method for wiping clean the mind of a human being, leaving only enough to run the body's functions.  

Now, I can destroy your mind before you go down—if you want me to."

"That's against the law," said Mercer.

Doctor Vomact smiled warmly and confidently. "Of course it is. A lot of things areagainst human law. But there are laws of science, too. Your body, down onShayol, is going to serve science. It doesn't matter to me whether that body has Mercer's mind or the mind of a low-grade shellfish. I have to leave enough mindin you to keep the body going, but I can wipe out the historic you and give yourbody a better chance of being happy. It's your choice, Mercer. Do you want to beyou or not?"

From A Planet Named Shayol, by Cordwainer Smith.
Published by Galaxy Science Fiction in 1961
Additional resources -

Compare to the mindwipe from Mindkiller, a 1982 story by Spider Robinson.

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  More Ideas and Technology from A Planet Named Shayol
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