As any movie buff will tell you, a standard horror movie scenario involves a lonely town where a bunch of survivors band together against an army of zombies. One by one, each falls victim and becomes part of the zombie army. Eventually only a few remain. And then…you’ll have to watch the movie till the end to find out.
We live in a world where no matter how immoral or depraved something is, somewhere someone has either already done it or is just rolling up their sleeved to get started. We watch the news and read the headlines. Some of us drool a bit before lapsing into our natural state of apathy. The more energetic of us shake our heads in what we hope is a suitably dismayed manner. Every now and then our conscience lifts its head up and asks “How did it go so far? Who allows this? Who lets it happen? What are you waiting for?” If the sound of crickets in the background indicates anything, our collective response as a nation is “Huh?”
What we need to do is to make a system where, for example, if our young people hear the words “suicide” and “bomber” together in a sentence they should froth at the mouth in revulsion. They need to be taught the difference between self sacrifice, a noble and humane act and suicide bombing which is homicidal and not condoned by any Islamic teaching. Perhaps some Pavlovian conditioning could be applied. After all if they could be brainwashed into doing this, they can be conditioned to be an actual contributing member of society. Maybe we could even find a way of arming them with a smidgeon of what really constitutes Islam.
Brainwashing may be as old a way to manipulate someone since Iblis convinced Adam and Eve to eat the Forbidden Apple, but the word entered the English language in the 1950s to explain the phenomenon of U.S. soldiers defecting to the communist side. It is defined as a concentrated means of persuasion, such as an advertising campaign or repeated suggestion, in order to develop a specific belief or motivation. The term “mind control” is a better alternative considering the vagueness of what brainwashing involves. An obvious way to control someone is to find out what they want, promise to give it to them and then manipulate them from there.
Religion is the easiest way to exploit anyone. People pour their heart and soul into it, making it a way of life. Unscrupulous leaders, since time immemorial, have selfishly used this channel to get the masses to do what they want them to do. This can be done consciously with “malice aforethought” or perhaps the person himself or herself is delusional.The mind controller often claims to be innovative and exclusive, bringing exciting new solutions to solve the world’s problems. The followers are deluded to feel like they have a special mission. Double standards are often involved. For example love, kindness and respect for human life may be preached but alongside of that suicide bombing and similar terrorist activities will be disguised as similar Islamic acts by these frauds. Mind controllers exert power over their minions (because that’s what they amount to) in similar ways. These ways were summarized by Robert Jay Lifton in his “Eight Point Model of Thought Reform”1.
All outside activity is strictly restrained. All contact with the outside world is cut off and despised. Television, newspapers, visits from friends, family are OUT. This seriously limits the victim’s ability to remember the other things in life and makes him/her easier to influence.
2. MYSTICAL MANIPULATION:
This is when the victim is repeatedly assured of how the leader/mind controller has had miraculous contact with God or some spiritual figure through a dream or vision. This gives the victim the delusion that what they’re doing is not only correct and in order, but also of very special importance.
3. DEMAND FOR PURITY.
The mind controller will continuously say that everything in the world is black or white, right or wrong. Nothing in between. He/she will also claim that only their group is on the right path and that it is their duty to bring about a change. “Save the world” is a common theme which is used to persuade gullible young people. They are convinced that it is through them and them alone that salvation can be achieved.
3. CULT OF CONFESSION.
Encouraging the members of the group to “confess” helps the leaders discover who isn’t succumbing to the mind control. They can then work on the doubter in time before they leave the group.
4. SACRED SCIENCE.
The mind controller will tell them that the group’s ideology is perfect and not open to doubt. The doctrine is not subject to amendments or question. Any such questions are promptly labelled blasphemy and then all hell is let loose. Also the ultimate authority is within the group. Outside authorities like the government, police etc are not to be considered.
6. LOADED LANGUAGE.
A new vocabulary emerges within the context of the group. Prejudiced terminologies such as “infidels,” “hypocrites” etc restricts the victim from thinking in an objective manner.
7. DOCTRINE OVER PERSON.
All experiences are to be interpreted through the doctrine. Even when the experience is in direct contradiction to what the mind controller is imposing.
8. DISPENSING OF EXISTENCE.
The victims are convinced that leaving the group will doom them, whether by physical threats by the mind controller or on a spiritual level where they believe they will go to Hell.
Don’t ignore the danger signs. Lives could depend on it.