I recently came across an article entitled 25 Scary Facts About Brainwashing.
While it was certainly in interesting read, the article is primarily focused on individual cases of a person showing signs of having been brainwashed...such as the famous Patty Hearst case.
However, when one considers the various points made in the article, and apply them to our socially engineered society as a whole...I think it's more than obvious that we do in fact live in a society that has been brainwashed en masse.
For instance...look at the various methods and techniques employed to brainwash the individual, than realize that in fact some of them can certainly be applied in the dissemination of propaganda through the mainstream media as a means of brainwashing our entire society.
Repeated confrontation: The repeated confrontation method supposedly serves to "break down a person’s resistance, expose poor habits, and allow the person to start over with correct methods and new goals,"
This seems like the most commonly used technique in the various forms of -isms, all employed to get people to "start over with correct methods and new goals." Liberal-ism, environmental-ism, femin-ism...all based on continually"confronting" the people with their crimes by association to get them to fall into the "correct" way of thinking and doing things. Mass media and public education continually hammer their themes home into our consciousness, over and over again. The multitude of portrayals of incompetent, moronic fathers in entertainment and commercials; the constant normalization of homosexuality; SAVE THE PLANET...GO GREEN; the perpetuation of racism and class envy...all these themes that literally saturate our culture and institutions are no doubt all apart of the social engineers implementing the "repeated confrontation" method.
Education and re-education: Before the term brainwashing was introduced, the same techniques and effects were referred to as "re-education," in the U.S. and[sic] in the Soviet Union especially.
People like Charlotte Iserbyt and John Taylor Gotto have written extensively on this particular point.
Brainwashing is especially effective during times of transition: During times of major social, political or personal transition, the brain is most vulnerable to brainwashing.
In hindsight, I can certainly see how I myself fell for the whole "war on terror" spiel after watching 9/11 coverage. By taking everything reported on in the media at face value, not questioning the official storyline, and buying into this concept of "you're either for us or against us" mentality, I voted for Bush, and joined the chorus of right wingers that jeered and dismissed any and all voices of dissent in the rush to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, justify torture, and the loss of civil liberties. Mass brainwashing is in fact most effective when coupled with huge social political events. While 9/11 serves as the most high profile case study here, the most recent one can certainly be seen in analyzing the mass brainwashing that took place to get Barack Obama elected President. HOPE AND CHANGE WE CAN BE BRAINWASHED TO BELIEVE IN!
Guilt, confession and shaming techniques: Making victims feel guilty or shameful for putting faith in their original convictions, lifestyle, or family and friends is an effective technique for forcing them to accept new ideas.
This goes hand in hand with my prior comment on the first technique, repeated confrontation. This is how people are conditioned to accept the lies of all the false ideologies...the -isms.
Confinement and isolation: Keeping victims confined and away from the people and environments that are familiar to them breaks down resistance and is a technique often used to brainwash individuals.
This is why college has become the primary institution for brainwashing the masses into becoming politically correct, socialist and globalist minded Sheeple that vote Liberal Democrat, accept homosexuality and other deviant sexual behavior as normal, and to learn to hate their country, ethnicity and cultural heritage. At no time are people more susceptible to societal brainwashing than when they are young, inexperienced, and out away from parental, familial and community influence for the first time in their lives.
Despite torture, victims often end up feeling a bond between themselves and their captors: After accepting the new ideals of the group, victims will also accept their treatment and even feel bonded and loyal to their captors.
Heh...does this not describe the typical liberal socialist progressive singing the praises of the Government as the best means of "fixing" society?
Mystical Manipulation: This mind control technique is used to convince victims that their captors or leaders experience divine intervention. Supposedly spontaneous "magic" or spiritual-like experiences will occur, making the brainwashers seem more powerful and truthful, but it is actually an orchestrated plan designed to trick victims.
Heh...kinda like the mainstream media's deification and sycophancy of Barack Obama, eh? 8 months in, and we are certainly seeing more and more evidence accumulate that Obama most certainly "tricked" the victims into selling himself as the cure all for what ails America.
Purity and perfection: Brainwashers and cult groups force victims to become converts who wholly accept and support the ideals of the group. The group is considered the only true way to become pure and good, and members must always strive for perfection.
Follow the mainstream dictates of political correctness, and you too can become an environmentally conscious, diverse, multicultural, global citizen who is least likely to commit the thought-crimes of racism, homophobia, patriotism, and misogyny!
Time control: Psychologist Margaret Singer lists time control as an effective brainwashing or mind control technique, which requires that manipulators or cult leaders monitor and designate the way victims spend their time, including what they think about at any given moment.
While this method has been employed in an almost imperceptible manner on society as a whole, nevertheless, evidence of this it most certainly noticeable if you take a step back and look at the big picture.
Just as an example, look at feminism: women were steered towards pursuing careers and financial independence, instead of getting married, bearing and raising children. This has certainly influenced the majority of women how they should spend their time.
And the many consequences that have also come from this engineered change in cultural norms have manifest in ways that also dictate how we all spend our time.
The double income/no-children household, as well as the proliferation of single mother households subsidized by Government welfare programs has all played major factors in driving up the cost of housing to the point in which anyone that hopes to own their own house, has to tie themselves to a 30 year debt obligation. This certainly dictates how a homeowner spends his or her time for at least three decades!
Ideals and beliefs are viewed as black and white: There is no room for debate, analysis or questioning when brainwashing. A victim must completely accept any new ideas and wholly reject any competing beliefs, lifestyles, people or experiences.
Climate Change...War on Terror...War on Drugs...Gender Wage Gap...Her body, her choice...women have always been oppressed...
...the list of ideals and beliefs that are black and white are almost too numerous to list. But talking and debating with people that hold such indoctrinated beliefs easily shows this mentality. When given an indisputable point of contention that they cannot refute logically, and they refuse to even try and consider the alternate view point in the face of such evidence, rest assured, that's a good indicator that you are not arguing with a free thinking, objective, mind. No, you've just encountered one of the many millions of minds thoroughly washed into compliance with the Brave New World Order's Sheeple Programming.
Dehuminzation and demonization: Cult or group leaders may dehumanize or demonize outside people or ideas in order to make their ideas seem more like the only true, good way..
This is the primary technique for whipping up the country to support wars of foreign imperialism for corporate profits.
While I thought the article was insightful, I take issue with the final "fact" under techniques and methods:
Brainwashing is more of a pop culture phenomenon rather than a scientific fact...
Move along folks, nothing to see here. Of course you haven't been subjected to brainwashing by the Corporatist Elite media and educational establishment that sought to make you into nothing more than a mindless consumer and a human resource, to be tagged, tracked, monitored, controlled and enslaved. Brainwashing is just the fanciful fantasy of fictional screenwriters and novelists...not an actual, deliberate program used to shape your thoughts, actions and behavior! That could never happen in the real world...