Do you think you could have been brainwashed?

@Sheepie (3118)
United States
January 9, 2009 4:04pm CST
Do you think you have been ever brainwashed about religion? When you were small, or later in life? Do you think people have tried to brain wash you and failed? I'd be amazed if someone actually said they were currently being brainwashed when they went to church or spoke with their opinionated relatives. Nobody who is currently being brainwashed will know or admit they are being brainwashed, and that's the beauty of brainwashing, isn't it? But plenty of people think they were brainwashed previously and now they know better. If that's your case, why do you know better? What makes it so you weren't just re-brainwashed? I'm not saying what I was or wasn't because it tends to change the amount of people who answer truthfully and how they answer. But if it doesn't kill you, don't be stupid when responding to this discussion. If you're not stupid, you shouldn't have to worry about that.
3 people like this
14 responses
@fwidman (11515)
• United States
9 Jan 09
No, I don't think I was brainwashed. I do know some Catholics that firmly believe they were, but I am not sure why. Either you choose to follow the religious practices of your church or you don't. I can think of only one case where people may be brainwashed and those are called cults, although I know from talking to some people that Jehovah Witnesses seem to be brainwashed, and that is not (supposedly) a cult.
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
10 Jan 09
Yup. It's a cult.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
10 Jan 09
But fwidman, don't you think that some people grow up Catholic and then are following by rote afterwards - ie they aren't really 'choosing' to follow religious practices of their church, they just always have so they just keep doing it? If it is not a real conscious choice then what is it? I mean I look at it as a completely independent conscious choice where someone has seen all sides and would still choose to be where they are, knowing everything else exists and having tried it. When you have not seen all sides, then it seems like you're not really making an informed choice.
1 person likes this
@fwidman (11515)
• United States
10 Jan 09
I think that most religions are done by rote after awhile, Catholics are not the only ones. I know lots of Lutherans that have been saying the same things at service for so long they just do it by heart. But, yes there are lots of religious folks out there that only see one side of things, that side being whatever they have been taught by their particular faith. That is too bad, as there are many things that we just do not have the true answers too, no sense ignoring these ideas
1 person likes this
@vinyl123 (21)
• United States
10 Jan 09
I think that if someone is brainwashed when it comes to religion, it would have to be done early in life. Even so, I believe that we have the technology and information out there that we're likely to find out something different than what we believe every now and then. I just don't see anyone being truly brainwashed in these parts of the world. I couldn't fathom how that would happen.
2 people like this
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
10 Jan 09
What is nice now is the easy access to so much information. People can now research any religion or any belief and decide based on the information they find what to think about it personally. Nobody has to believe their parents or friends or coworkers or pastor or counselor or whoever just based on the strength of their relationship or understanding anymore. There really is no 'final word' on things either, a lot is open to interpretation AND it's likely you can find evidence to back up any viewpoint you hold. It is easy to brainwash younger people, especially children, and it can be done just by manipulating what is available in their lives for them to have access too.
1 person likes this
@aprilsue00 (1992)
• United States
9 Jan 09
I don't believe that I personally have been brainwashed about religion. My parents were never very religous so I never had religion shoved down my throat. Now that I am older I can decide what religion I want to follow if I want to follow any religion at all. I hope that my children will have the same opportunity.
1 person likes this
@Sheepie (3118)
• United States
9 Jan 09
I think that when someone raises with a lot of religion, they either raise a VERY relgious person or a VERY unreligious person. I don't think they can ever just be neutral, because they learn to find their beliefs very important.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jan 09
I been brain washed but came to my senses. Using common sense we all know a story with plot holes and inconstancy is indeed false. Their is an explanation for everything even if we don't know what it is yet. All information must be computed originally.
1 person likes this
@manoj1502 (854)
• India
10 Jan 09
No one can play with religion on me as i belive in all regligion. I use to have all kinds of god with i use to go all the holy places when i was a small child so my parents also did not mind it.There should me no fight in religion its my opinion.Once in history in India all people were Hindu later christians fathers came and converted people . Its people wishes so we cant talk about it. Peace is the only things all religion says so dont forget it. take Care
1 person likes this
@manoj1502 (854)
• India
10 Jan 09
Yes i was brain washed by a institute when i was small to join a course.Later i came to know that they had brain washed me very well.Now i had grown up worked in that institute as a part time worker earned all my money back now only i am really happy .
@sts2007 (29)
• India
10 Jan 09
If you know the things betterly then know one can do brainwash. Its better before you go for a discussion you have to know the actuall think and correct things. Then noone can wash your brain.
@Sheepie (3118)
• United States
10 Jan 09
What does betterly mean?
@ronaldinu (12440)
• Malta
14 Jan 09
I rejected the catholic faith when I was a teenager. I did not appreciate being fed dogma from my nostrils. However when I started to understand the beauty of religion, understanding that their is a God or someone who is much more powerful than we are I went back to religion on my own iniative. I hate being brainwashed. I just reject and close my ears to the speaker when I encounter such persons. (c) ronaldinu 2009 - the more people I meet-the more I love my dog
@dragon54u (31638)
• United States
10 Jan 09
My mother made sure I wasn't brainwashed! We went to church pretty regularly and she encouraged us to ask questions and challenge things we had doubts about. The same with school, she made sure we never blindly accepted anything but learned to ask questions and challenge things that didn't make sense.
@ulalume (714)
• United States
10 Jan 09
First, let me say, this is an interesting discussion. I find it ironic you brought this up considering a few months ago (in my last semester at college) I wrote a paper in my psychology class about brainwashing and the potential for religious beliefs being passed down through the family onto children could potentially be classified as harmful, "brainwashing" like behavior similar to that of Nazi families preaching their beliefs to their children (I had seen a short documentary where this was exposed. My professor condemned that practice {so do I}, but then I considered my upbringing; and more so my parents perspective on my upbringing). What I think about the issue of brainwashing is basically broken down into this: As a child it is easier to be brainwashed due to your inexperience with the world. Being in an "innocent" state (inexperienced and unknowedgable about the intricate "evils" of humanity), causes an individual to seek attention. Children will frequently do whatever is necessary to please their parents, families, and peers altogether. This is natural and nothing to be condemned in and of itself, however the problem comes when parents (and others) begin building their child into something. This takes away their freedom to decide for themselves. There is no way to fundamentally go about taking this on in a debate, as that would require people to basically do nothing for their child in terms of teaching. Even teaching simple morality to a child (much less a religions belief, or anti-religious belief) is very subjective and open to discussion on account that some people (based on their own religious preference, culture, race, location, class, gender, and such) have different views on morality. For example, some cultures find cannibalism to be acceptible. In the United States, cannibalism is highly frowned upon and its practice in this region is very abnormal (psychologically speaking, at least). When I consider my childhood and life now, I do not think I would consider myself "brainwashed" (if it is true that a brainwashed person would not be aware they are!). However, a study just on myself would require looking at everything in my life subjectively and objectively to determine this. My parents raised me in church, around the bible, in a family all about Christianity. This was a majority of my childhood. I listened to audio tapes about Christianity, watched Christian tv/videos, listened to Christian music. Is this the makings of someone brainwashing another? Another question is can a person brainwash themself too? I consider myself now after turning away from that life, now I am basically the opposite and despise those things. But, could this in itself be because I now listen to and watch things with anti-religious messages? Could it be because I changed my own moral viewpoints on alot of things?
@sts2007 (29)
• India
10 Jan 09
If you know the things betterly then no one can do brainwash. Its better before you go for a discussion you have to know the actuall think and correct things. Then no one can wash your brain.
@elmiko (6640)
• United States
10 Jan 09
i wonder if certain things in religion are brainwashing sometimes.
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
10 Jan 09
I really do not think I was brainwashed about my religion. I was just raised and taught my parents beliefs. I am free to believe whatever I like now or go with what was taught to me.
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
10 Jan 09
If there is not room for open discussion within a religion, if there are those who are ostracised from their families when they don't commit to the beliefs of the group, if members of the group are told to leave their unbelieving families, if they are told to completely take themselves out of the "world", then this "religion" would be qualified as a cult. THAT is brainwashing. I know of some fringe groups who use such tactics. Most Christian churches that I know, preach free will. Joining or "being saved" is an act of the individual's will. Do some people join to please Mom and Dad. Probably. But the same could be said of choosing a career or a university.