An Article on Brainwashing
NOTE: I do not know the author of this article, which was plucked from a message board some time ago. If s/he would like to be given credit for this, please speak up! If you don't want it posted, I'll remove it but I think it makes some great points and I'd like to keep it up here.
[Methods Used in Brainwashing]
1. Attitudinal inoculation: The process of making people immune to attempts to change their attitudes by initially exposing them to small doses of the arguments(opposition) against their position. This process gives explanations to behavior, arguments, and beliefs of opponents. The explanations may be highly biased and inaccurate but depending on the source of the misinformation may significantly add to credibility of a belief system.
2. Fear inoculation: The process of making people immune to attempts to change their attitudes by initially exposing them to the consequences (often fraudulently created consequences) of rejecting the initial belief system in favor of another.
3. Creative personal situation interpretation: The process of subtly acquiring enough information to deliver a believable explanation of an individual's personal situation such that it is consistent with a belief system, thus adding to credibility of an individual and swaying others towards their belief system. Techniques can be demonstrated by calling a psychic network using a 1-900 number. The motive may be money rather than recruiting a cult member, but the techniques are the same.
4. Creative history interpretation: The act of interpreting history in such a way that it is consistent with the belief system, thus adding to the credibility of a belief system.
5. Selective vision: The tendency to acknowledge only those things that are consistent with one’s belief system. Anything that contradicts or conflicts with the belief system are irrationally interpreted such that they are consistent with the belief system or entirely disregarded.
6. Group think error: The tendency to accept or continue to accept a belief system due to the overall credibility of the members in a group. This is based on an erroneous faith that an entire group including those who you may trust implicitly can not be deceived or wrong. This is the strongest influence on credibility of a belief system.
Frequently Asked Questions
For money. For power. For self-validation. For control of large groups and populations. For misguided convictions that society needs to be led like sheep rather than educated.
How do I become immune to brainwashing?
Acknowledge a few facts. We live in a global society. On a global level, belief systems are nothing but opinions. And you know what they say about opinions? Everybody has them. Never hold so strongly to a belief system that you are afraid to challenge it. Never succumb to fear or fear will become your master. Honestly examine as many belief systems as possible and make your own decisions. Find your own path.
What belief systems are vulnerable to brainwashing?
All of them. Christianity is a very strong example of belief system that is dominated by brainwashing techniques. Consider yourself brainwashed unless you're willing to examine alternative perspectives without fear and prejudice. Chances are you've only accepted your current belief system because of accident of birth. Had you been born in a predominantly Islamic country, you'd probably be Islamic.
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