Brainwashing, propaganda, cults and politics...

@debrakcarey (19924)
United States
October 7, 2009 9:44am CST
Political Propaganda Is Cult Brainwashing By James Hall "A successful induction by a destructive cult displaces a person's former identity and replaces it with a new one. That new identity may not be one that the person would have freely chosen under her own volition." - Steven Hassan Nothing is unusual about office holders, political parties and agency bureaucracies taking liberties with facts, when they frame their case and sell you their policies and programs. My friend got me thinking, AGAIN! So I set out on a quest to determine if I'd been brainwashed, to educate myself on how propaganda works and then I found this article. Thinking hurts my head. But I don't want to be a follower, I want to be ME! Are we ALL being taught to blindly follow? [i]Singer concludes: ?Orwell?s genius centered on seeing how language, not physical force would be used to manipulate minds. In fact the growing evidence in the behavioral sciences is that a smiling Big Brother has greater power to influence thought and decision-making that a visibly threatening person.? [/i]
3 people like this
6 responses
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
7 Oct 09
I don't know you very well, but you always seemed like you to me. That is, if I am me. But the part about how language is the biggest influence can be seen very clearly in the way that Obama's administration has set about changing the usual terms or at least the commonly used terms to another set of terms that give different shades of meaning and evoke different feelings. For example, we don't have a "war on terror" any more. We have an Overseas Contingency Operation. There are no more acts of terrorism, Janet Napolitano calls them "man-caused disasters". The DOJ dropped the use of the term "enemy combatant". I don't know what they call the detainees now, probably "victims of the Bush era's paranoia and torture"? Change and Hope, Obama cried. But what is hope? Hope is, as one columnist rightfully explained, a sort of wishful thinking. It's not something tangible. Obama says hope, though, and people see it as a tangible. They feel it. Obama says transpararency and although he keeps everything sealed and a secret, people feel he is trustworthy and open. Language evokes emotions. People are often guided by emotions. If you aren't using catch phrases and feeling joy or fear or anger or any other emotion when someone invents a particularly evocative term for something that transforms it into something else, you probably are not being brainwashed. Or maybe, I am being brainwashed into thinking that I am thinking for myself.
1 person likes this
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
7 Oct 09
I should be careful when I agree with you, your very persuasive and have an amazing command of the lanuage. lol Seriously, language has always been a keen interest of mine. I over explain sometimes because I am aware of how words can 'change' meaning over time. I try to go back to the root meaning and pick it apart until I understand WHY it means what it means now. Words are powerful things that can evoke strong emotions. And if people don't agree on their meaning...something sinister can, and often does, happen.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17924)
• United States
8 Oct 09
The lyrics to a country song came to mind while reading your discussion. "You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything." I agree with Ted. There is a lot of propaganda out there and everyone chooses for themselves whether to look/listen/see what only one side/entity/person is presenting to them or whether to be more informed. You cannot be indoctrinated/brainwashed if you think for yourself.
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
8 Oct 09
But what if both sides are b/s? And btw...I like that song! lol To further clarify my question...if the right says something different from the left and you tend to agree with the left, but what THEY say is just as much wrong as what the right is saying...what then?
@spalladino (17924)
• United States
8 Oct 09
I've been a big fan of country music for many years. It's very real and speaks to the heart. If both sides are b/s then they need to be called on it...folks need to speak out. What disturbs me more and more these days is the polarism between the left and the right and the expectation that, if you belong to this party...or if you have this opinion on Topic A, you're locked in to this mindset or the other one regardless of what the issue is. That's so wrong in my opinion. If the right and the left are both wrong then you don't believe them and you seek out better information elsewhere. I question things...I challange beliefs and information and I pay a price for that sometimes but that's how it goes.
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
9 Oct 09
I know you and I have disagreed more than once. But I respect you as someone who is outspoken (like me) lol and as someone who is always respectful and kind. And I, like you think it is very wrong to put people in boxes. I catch myself once in awhile doing it even and have to back up and stop myself. I guess it must be human nature. Or maybe some just 'catagorize' and 'organize' their thoughts that way. Whatever it is, it is not good when it happens. Thanks for your response.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
7 Oct 09
Have we all been brainwashed, I don't know. But them as is running things would like us to be...
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
7 Oct 09
You know who inspired me to go off investigating this, I'm sure. It is scary to contemplate that there is a very real effort to gain the minds of billions of people all over the world. As I have stated, EofE has tried to get me to think through the why's - whatfor's - and howcome's of each side...and I have come to the conclusion that both sides are manipulating us. But then my next thought is, where do we go to learn the REAL truth of these matters if EVERYONE has an agenda? So, I'm back to my deeply held beliefs that God is in control and if I am moral, if I love truth, I will be ok. Funny thing about loving truth....you tend to know deep down inside...when you've heard a lie.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
7 Oct 09
Yep, I had a good idea. :-) Both sides DO have agendas. Maybe not always sinister ones, but agendas. You could go crazy weeding through all the propaganda. At least we have a "free press" with lots of info from both sides to weed through. Not like some places (past and present) where there was only one side, like it or lump it.
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
7 Oct 09
Yes, we do have two sides to compare, but what if there's a third or fourth option we are NOT being told about...or that we are led to believe is 'silly' or 'crazy' or 'untrue'? I know, I know....I'll stop there.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Oct 09
Debrak- I think if you look at history in general you will find brainwashing as a part of controlling the mass populus. Simply look at Hitler. He brainwashed thousands in order to move ahead with his political agenda. And, he was very successful at manipulating people. I think that is what is scary about the current times. We see many people chanting the very same rhetoric as Hitler was stating. History does unfortunately repeat itself even if we would like to think ourselves above such mistakes. Namaste-Anora
• United States
8 Oct 09
Debra- There are many nefarious forms of brainwashing, that is for certain. I run into a great deal when speaking in the religious community about dogma/doctrine. Just another form of brainwashing that uses some fairly underhanded techniques. What people do not realize is that brainwashing is not just about sitting someone under a bright light until they give in. It comes with society in subtle whispers. I'm Pagan, I'm tattooed and pierced, and I'm a school teacher. Trust me, I've seen some of these things first hand. Wonderful discussion and I've enjoyed reading what others have had to say about it. Namaste-Anora
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
9 Oct 09
I agree with a lot of it being very subtle. Like you said...a whisper here and there. Just the way some things are worded...can set off a train of thought in an entirely wrong direction. Stop by more often, good to have your opinion.
• United States
12 Aug 12
Hi, Debra. I got to your site by doing a search on propaganda. After reading many of your posts in this discussion group, I viewed you as being a reasoned, moderate conservative with a "live-and-let-live attitude towards people of different persuasions, free of predispositions, aware of and somewhat insulated from thought control. However, some of your responses on other people's sites that seem to belie that appearance. When people identify themselves with any particular organization or movement, they take on a lot of the general philosophies of that group. And, because people of like minds tend to associate together, they find strength in numbers which can develop into a Groupthink situation where there is a tendency (and sometimes even pressure) for all members to think alike. The more this power exerts itself within the group, the more there is a reinforced feeling of being right, with the other side as being wrong. My point is that, even though you are aware of the prevalence of propaganda, thought control, and their effects on personal thinking, you still seem to have fallen prey to the tactics of today's politicians. It is not sufficient for us to recognize that political tactics are devised to manipulate people and to sway their thinking. Everything we see and hear dealing with politics in particular needs to be viewed through the lens of skepticism. We cannot just accept things as truth just because it came from a what we might otherwise consider to be reliable sources. Politics is such a dirty racket that people cannot trust anyone but themselves. Election after election, we are forced with choosing between the lesser of two evils, unless we vote for a third-party or write-in candidate. Even if you are voting for the lesser of two evils, you are still voting for evil -- something that should be unacceptable in any ethical society, and most especially in a democracy. We need to innoculate ourselves again the manipulations of our political parties (as well as the media) and rail against their tactics until they change. Otherwise, we need to find suitable, acceptable, honest and straightforward third-party candidates for all levels of our government who have the best interests of their country above those of party interest, and sweep them into office. That is my dream, so please don't awaken me until that dream is realized. :o)
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
14 Aug 12
Trouble is (as I see it) time is running out. If history is any indication of where we are (politically) something must change quickly, or we will just be another USSR by the end of Obama's second term. p.s. thank you for the compliment. ? (I think)
• United States
23 Nov 09
did you get initiated into paranoia etc by going on a hallucinatory trip? was there an instigator in this process? it sounds so sweet in government words, but worse if you are not versed. 1984 was a real awful book. it brought out a lot of negative things in the unconscious of humanity, so they could see and integrate lost parts in themselves. i don't believe any of it. so when they question you, or if pictures start talking to you. look up schizophrenia. i am at a loss, because freely giving into the sway of anything, god including is bad. rescue yourself. believe. i don't believe. at a mental hospital i won't participate. they seem weird. lol. but at least taking schizphrenia seriously is a plus as well as faith in god. but too much belief can lead to being dissed, and dissing yourself.
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
31 Dec 09
Hello Apple3Cranberry, actually, I have had some experience with hallucinagenics a long time ago. I presently guard my mental status very carefully, not even participating in the socially acceptable forms of altering it. As for schizoprhenia, or any other diagnosis such as that, I am certified sane for the time being. lol It is my opinion that the human mind is very resilent and many of us are wrongly thought to be mentally ill, when all we really are is unique. I've had some training in psychology as well as some 'couch' time myself, and read some on the subject presented here in depth. It is very easy to be misunderstood if you do not conform to society is all I can say in my defense. As for the government's dabbling in mind control and brainwashing...I fear it goes on more than we will ever admit too. Thanks for responding.