Brainwashing and mind control techniques have been used by dictators, their agents and cult leaders throughout history. While it took me years to come to this understanding, it became apparent to me, through my research, that the Bible could be used as a tool for brainwashing. When taken literally, the teachings in the Bible can alter the structural anatomy of the brain, psyche and a person’s perception of reality.
Violetwisp published a recent post where she points out an evangelical Christian’s perception of his biblical god, Yahweh. For those of you who are not familiar with who Yahweh is, he’s the “our Father” in Judeo-Christian beliefs.
Christians are commanded to submit to and obey Yahweh, through Jesus, who is considered both God and the Son of God/Yahweh.
If you don’t become “born again”, accepting Jesus as your savior, receiving the Holy Spirit (the 3rd member of the godhead) and submitting to and obeying Yahweh–eternal punishment is your destiny. ➡ Hell.
Another devout Christian, and quite cordial, has been commenting regularly on Violet’s post, and she, too, justifies the biblical god’s behavior and sees such atrocities as necessary. A few of these atrocities are listed here. She doesn’t seem to fully grasp why we are appalled, and would have higher expectations of a so-called supreme Creator. Many Christians claim that we (the heathen) just don’t understand or see the “love” because we don’t have the “Holy Spirit”, and therefore are unable to discern things of the “Spirit”.
But what’s really going on?
Robert Jay Lifton is a world renown American psychiatrist and author, who has been especially recognized for his studies on the psychological causes and effects of war and political violence, theory of thought reform and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dr. Lifton published a book in 1961 titled: “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of “Brainwashing in China” . Totalism, is a term for the characteristics of ideological movements and organizations that desire total control over human behavior and thought. Lifton asserts that totalism exhibits a common pattern and causes predictable types of psychological damage in individuals and societies.
His book was based on research with former prisoners of the Korean War and Chinese war camps. Lifton interviewed American servicemen who had been POWs (prisoners of war) during the Korean War. He also interviewed people from China who fled their homeland after being subjected to mind control. The studies entailed coercive techniques that he labelled “thought reform” or “brainwashing”.
- Assault on identity: “A systematic attack on a target’s sense of self.”
- Guilt: “You are bad. While the identity crisis is setting in, the agent is simultaneously creating an overwhelming sense of guilt in the target.”
- Self-betrayal: “The agent coerces his target to denounce family, friends and peers who share the same “wrong” belief system that he holds.”
- Breaking point: “Who 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 a nervous breakdown. When the target reaches his breaking point, his sense of self is up for grabs.”
- Leniency: “I can help you. With the target in a state of crisis, the agent offers some small kindness or reprieve from the abuse.”
- Compulsion to confess: “For the first time in the brainwashing process, the target is faced with the contrast between the guilt and pain of identity assault and the sudden relief of leniency. At this point, the agent may present the possibility of confession as a means to relieving guilt and pain.”
- Channeling of guilt: “After the assault in self, confusion, breakdown and moments of leniency, the target’s guilt has lost all meaning. He’s not sure what he has done wrong, he just knows he is wrong.”
- Releasing of guilt: “The embattled target is relieved to learn there is an external cause of his wrongness, and can escape his wrongness by escaping the wrong belief system. The target is told he has the power to release himself from wrongness by confessing to acts associated with his old belief system. With his full confessions, the target has completed his psychological rejection of his former identity. It is now up to the agent to offer the target a new one.”
- Progress and harmony: “The embattled target is relieved to learn there is an external cause of his wrongness. The target has the power to release himself from wrongness by confessing to acts associated with his old belief system. With his full confessions, the target has completed his psychological rejection of his former identity. It is now up to the agent to offer the target a new one.”
- Final confession and rebirth: “I choose good. Contrasting the agony of the old with the peacefulness of the new, the target chooses the new identity, clinging to it like a life preserver. He rejects his old belief system and pledges allegiance to the new one that is going to make his life better. At this final stage, there are often rituals or ceremonies to induct the converted target into his new community. This stage has been described by some brainwashing victims as a feeling of “rebirth.””
Christianity – Washed in the Blood of the Lamb
For those who are cultural or liberal Christians, you will most likely not relate to any of this. You may have never been subjected to an evangelical environment, and you probably don’t consider yourself “born again“.
However, if you attended or attend an evangelical church, either Protestant or Catholic, and get your step-by-step instructions from the Bible, pastors, priests, evangelists, elders, deacons, and other leaders in the church, then you are aware there is a process to becoming a True™ Christian.
Jonathan Edwards was an eighteenth century evangelical preacher. He oversaw some of the first revivals in 1733–35 at his church in Northampton, Massachusetts. By inducing guilt, people attending his revival meetings would break down and completely submit. These techniques are used today in evangelical churches throughout the world.
So, let’s look at the list again with a Christian slant. Using scriptures, take note of the similarities in methodology. Notice that in both scenarios, the goal is to inflict guilt/shame; get the target to reject their identity; inject an authoritarian ideology; require full submission/obedience and rebirth.
- Assault on identity: I was at a very low point in my life when I was invited to attend a mainstream evangelical church. I had Catholic roots, believed there was a creator, but wasn’t a member of any denomination at the time. Most sermons reiterated that humans were corrupt and depraved. — “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) — “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10)
- Guilt: I remember many sermons where Jesus’ suffering and crucifixion was described in explicit detail and reminded why, over and over. — “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:” (Isaiah 53:5) — “He was delivered over to death for our sins” (Romans 4:24)
- Self-betrayal: I was told I had to make Yahweh/Jesus top priority in everything. I was encouraged to unfriend my “unsaved” friends. — “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26) — “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14) — “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)
- Leniency: After acknowledging that I was a “sinner” during a revival service, I was then comforted by the visiting evangelist and the pastor, and told that they would help me through this transition. The church would be my family in Christ. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
- Breaking point: I experienced an identity crisis. It’s hard to describe that “in between” state. I’m told “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) — and “to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, (Romans 12:1) — deny myself, take up my cross daily and follow Jesus. (Luke 9:23)
- Compulsion to confess: It’s reinforced over and over that because I’m not perfect, I’m deserving of eternal punishment. I am repeatedly reminded that I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) I am asked (along with others) to search my heart for any unconfessed sins.
- Channeling of guilt: There were times I thought that there was no way I did something so bad that it warranted someone having to die such a brutal, bloody, death on my behalf. Nevertheless, at this point, I was reluctant to question or acknowledge doubt. I had wronged Yahweh. “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.“ (Psalm 51:4) — “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;“ (Proverbs 3:5)
- Releasing of guilt: Because I was raised Catholic, I am informed that throughout my entire life, I wasn’t a True™ Christian. — “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” —“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” (Acts 3:19)
- Progress and harmony: Now I’ve been led to believe that I was “friends with the world” and those who haven’t been “born again” are Yahweh’s – Jesus’ enemies. — “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4) — “Whoever is not with me is against me,” (Matthew 12:30)
- Final confession and rebirth: I completely surrender. I got re-baptized, (was christened in the Catholic church as an infant) and believed I had been “born again”. “Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:37 — “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.“ (Luke 12:8) — “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3) — “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
From that point on I pretty much took the reigns and reinforced the programming through prayer, by attending church on a weekly basis, attending Bible study groups, and reading/studying the Bible, usually daily. This is an abridge version of my conversion which wasn’t sudden. It took about 5 or 6 months. There are, of course, other dynamics involve which you can read about here.
Who is at risk for being targeted?
- People who have lost their jobs and fear for their future.
- Recently divorced.
- Those suffering from illness.
- People with low self-esteem and/or have been bullied.
- People who have lost a loved one.
- Children and those with limited education.
- People who have experienced natural disasters, war or poverty.
- People who were abused as children.