written by Ken Poirier - November 2008
YOU ARE BEING BRAINWASHED. You don't have to like it, but most people do. There has always been an "opiate for the masses". It is a necessary part of the civilized world. Imagine if everyone was running around with a free thinking mind of their own. People would work less and less, demanding more and more pay. Parents would trust their children to make decisions on their own. Teachers would teach information based on research, instead of curriculum. Students would learn, instead of achieving grades.
Fortunately, You don't have to worry about that. You are being brainwashed.
Although brainwashing has existed for thousands of years, the term "brainwashing" was coined by the CIA in 1950. It is also known as re-education, thought control, propaganda, and conversion.
The human mind is not predisposed to accept external control. Look at children. If you tell them to do something, they automatically rebel. It is only through repetition of instructions and a punishment/reward system that they "learn" to "behave properly". If it wasn't for this early brainwashing, we would all be running around naked, making funny noises for no reason, leaving doors open, and farting in public.
This is how brainwashing works. Mental programming requires three basic elements. First, the programmer needs to limit the information available to the subject. Then they control the subject's behavior. The final piece of the puzzle is to apply subtle amounts of stress to the subject to distract them from the thought control process.
Limiting the information can be done by isolating the subject from alternate opinions. We say to the child, "You can't play with Jimmy. He's a bad influence.", "You need to go to church every Sunday." The programmer can physically separate you from those opinions or make you dismiss them before those ideas are heard. They may say, "Those people are uncivilized", "They are just crackpots and alarmist.", "Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories." (GW Bush) or on the other side, "You can never trust the white devil." If someone is trying keep you from learning, you are being brainwashed.
It can also come in the form of repetition. It could be something someone is saying to you, "You're an idiot.", "You don't know what your doing.", "You can't hold a job.", "you're a drunk." If someone says something to you enough, you will eventually believe that it's true. Repetition might also be something you say over and over again, like a prayer, pledge, or saying. It most often comes in the form of TV news or slogans, "Stay the course" , "In God We Trust", "We can't let the terrorist win.", "I'm thinking Arby's!"
If you are hearing or seeing, or (even worse) saying, the same phrase over and over again, you are being brainwashed.
The second phase is controlled behavior. It can be as simple as being woken from a state of sleep to go to work or school, or telling someone when they can or can't go to the bathroom. It could be someone telling you, not asking you, to chew with your mouth closed. It can also be repetitive movements such as when we are at church, being told to kneel, stand, or sit on command. It can be even broader, Pay your taxes, Drive the speed limit, green light = go, red light = stop.
Our behavior can also be controlled by observing the behavior in others. If a child sees her father beating her mother, she will grow up and be beaten by her husband. If, in a movie, a teacher takes a note from a student and reads it out loud before the class, and a teacher or student watches that movie, they will imitate that behavior in real life. If an evangelist sees their family in church rolling on the floor, "possessed by the holy spirit", they too will one day roll on the floor. If someone plays Call of Duty 4 enough, they will think it is ok to go to foreign countries and kill brown people.
Usually though, you will just get brainwashed into buying a new car or exercise equipment you can't afford.
The last aspect is the application of stress. Most often, this takes the form of a conditional threat; hence it is often called conditioning. "If you don't stop drinking, I'm taking the kids and leaving", "If you sleep with anyone else I'll kill you", "If you leave me, I'll kill myself", "If you don't pray, you'll go to hell", "If you don't behave, we will beat you again", "If you don't pass a $700 billion dollar bail-out, I'll instate marshal law."
If someone is trying to control your behavior or putting stress on your life, you are being brainwashed. Get away from them!
The worse thing about being brainwashed is that once you are brainwashed, it is very difficult to be aware of it. Your brainwashed state of mind and actions is completely normal to you. You are just an average Joe (maybe you're a plumber, zing!). Everything you do seems completely normal. Since, you are normal, anyone who doesn't share your beliefs and values must be either insane or uncivilized. So what do you do? You brainwash them!
That is the beauty of the system. Since humans feel a need to be socially justified, without even thinking about it, we go out and "teach" others about "proper behavior". The brainwashed become the brainwashers, at no extra charge. The programmed behavior spreads like a virus from host to host, to friends, lovers, and family.
There is hope. You can change your ways. The main defense against brainwashing is to not let the stress distract you and to remain aware that you are being brainwashed. Next time someone is telling you what to do, if you are doing something that seems against your will, if the words coming out of your mouth are not yours, say to your self, "I'm being brainwashed!" Then get yourself out of that situation and away from those people! Remember, it's not their fault, they are brainwashed. Just get away from them.
Remain aware! When you put this paper down, you will be aware that you are being brainwashed.