While some are being reprimanded for "being argumentative" or opposing the suggestion that ego is our enemy, and only in it's destruction can we find
peace, love, and salvation....
Let's take a quick look at the techniques of "brainwashing", shall we?
The term can be used a bit melodramatically- let's be more down to earth though- our psyche is impressed upon and influenced by the exterior and
others all the time. But sometimes a deeper change or influence is done than other times, and sometimes it is more consciously chosen than other
This can be a good thing or bad thing, depending upon your point of view. If you have had a scarred childhood and resulting blockages and nevroses
that you'd like to be rid of, a deep change in personality and perspective could be quite desireable.
If you would like to enter into a sort of personality profile and perspective that you see in another (or group of others) then this can be good.
If it is done through subtle manipulation, to influence you in ways you do not choose or desire, however, it could be undesireable.
If it is a fraternity you wish to join, then recognizing the steps of this method isn't troubling.
If it is a stranger, and you have not been able to find out what it is that they'd like to change and re-program into you, then it is a good idea to
recognize what is happening.
In the late 1950s, psychologist Robert Jay Lifton studied former prisoners of Korean War and Chinese war camps. He determined that they'd
undergone a multistep process that began with attacks on the prisoner's sense of self and ended with what appeared to be a change in beliefs. Lifton
ultimately defined a set of steps involved in the brainwashing cases he studied:
The steps outlined-
1-Assault on identity
4- Breaking point
6- Compulsion to confess
7- Channeling of guilt
8- Releasing of guilt
9- Progress and harmony
10- Final confession and rebirth
I want to avoid just copying this whole article, but I admit I like it the way it simplifies.
Let's just look at the first three steps then-
Breaking down the self
Assault on identity: You are not who you think you are.
This is a systematic attack on a target's sense of self (also called his identity or ego) and his core belief system. The agent denies everything
that makes the target who he is: "You are not a soldier." "You are not a man." "You are not defending freedom." The target is under constant attack
for days, weeks or months, to the point that he becomes exhausted, confused and disoriented. In this state, his beliefs seem less solid.
Guilt: You are bad.
While the identity crisis is setting in, the agent is simultaneously creating an overwhelming sense of guilt in the target. He repeatedly and
mercilessly attacks the subject for any "sin" the target has committed, large or small. He may criticize the target for everything from the "evilness"
of his beliefs to the way he eats too slowly. The target begins to feel a general sense of shame, that everything he does is wrong.
Self-betrayal: Agree with me that you are bad.
Once the subject is disoriented and drowning in guilt, the agent forces him (either with the threat of physical harm or of continuance of the mental
attack) to denounce his family, friends and peers who share the same "wrong" belief system that he holds. This betrayal of his own beliefs and of
people he feels a sense of loyalty to increases the shame and loss of identity the target is already experiencing.
Breaking point: Who am I, where am I and what am I supposed to do?
With his identity in crisis, experiencing deep shame and having betrayed what he has always believed in, the target may undergo what in the lay
community is referred to as a "nervous breakdown." In psychology, "nervous breakdown" is really just a collection of severe symptoms that can indicate
any number of psychological disturbances. It may involve uncontrollable sobbing, deep depression and general disorientation. The target may have lost
his grip on reality and have the feeling of being completely lost and alone. When the target reaches his breaking point, his sense of self is pretty
much up for grabs -- he has no clear understanding of who he is or what is happening to him. At this point, the agent sets up the temptation to
convert to another belief system that will save the target from his misery.
These are preferably carried out while the subject/target is isolated from much contact with others,
and with an amount of mind clouding from malnutrition and sleep deprivation (junk food and "all nighters" in front of the computer screen is good). A
"meltdown", as we see happening sometimes to people on forums, despite a long history of rational behavior, is a good example.
The instinct to oppose or argue with someone telling you your ego is bad and should be destroyed is not necessarily "bad" nor "unenlightened"- no
matter what that person says.
It is a natural defense system in response to anothers attempt to reprogram you without your permission.
It is just as legitamate as the instinct to fight back if someone attempts to rape you.
You do not need to feel guilty for resisting- that is just one of the steps in the technique.
And there is a difference between sex and rape.... just as there is in their mental counterparts.
A person can employ this technique without being consciously aware of their intent!
It can be learned behavior- we pick up all kinds of manipulative behavior simply through the way our bodies work, drawn to repeating behaviors which
brought us pleasurable experiences before. (That includes the pleasurable experience of power...)
I do not wish this post to be "warning of evil people" around- such judgements are not necessary, and more likely to be a source of wasted energy. But
rather just a reminder- be aware, pay attention, do not be quick to distrust your own reflexes and intuitions.
Just food for thought.
edit on 23-4-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)