Cults come to us in many assorted flavors and styles, but with many of the same basic ingredients, or patterns.
Since the Korean war, brainwashing has become refined into "MIND CONTROL" and has become common place in our modern world. One does not have to be treated badly, nor kept without food or sleep, or be subjected to any other obvious abuses, usually associated with brainwashing, to be under MIND CONTROL. (Some students of the phenomena also call it "thought reform".)
We learn on two different levels, the conscious and the subconscious. Some cults (and the WWCg who I have heard say on tape,) deny the existence of the subconscious level, however, that is their primary target. For example: The use of boredom: Activities such as seminars or church services that last 1 to 2 hours or more, create boredom. The conscious mind "daydreams" (goes on semi "off duty"), leaving the subconscious mind unguarded by critical thinking, and open to receive whatever messages that it is being fed. This modern day "hypnosis" goes largely undefined, but is a recognized method of mind control. The person goes into what is understood by those that study cults, a "trance" state, or hypnosis. This is the reason many times after services people couldn't remember what the sermon was about.
When one is asleep, the consciousness is "off duty", one's guard (critical thinking) is completely shut down, and all information goes into the subconscious. Thus, the reason for required family attendance and parents being told to put their children to sleep in services. Parents may be happy with how much little Johnny or Susie "pick up" just by attending. Little do they realize that their children's little minds, have been programmed, along with their own.
Disguised as human potential movements, business seminars, self improvement groups, churches etc., the idealistic, intelligent, and unsuspecting, normal individual, perhaps looking for a place to worship God, find truth, or to improve himself, walks into a deadly trap.........................totally unaware.
The difference between the terms
BRAINWASHING AND MIND CONTROL
BRAINWASHING is done when the person is aware of who the enemy is, for example: the American boy in a Korean prison. This victim can upon recalling where he was before the "mind change" came into being via coercion, and recognize the enemy as having something to do with the "process" or "transformation". Thus this victim can more easily work his way out of and understand what has happened to him.
MIND CONTROL is done by someone the person trusts:
A minister, or teacher of a class or seminar etc. Mind control is much more subtle and much harder to bring to the attention of the victim. He believes he is choosing his behaviors, and cannot detect the mind control, as it is completely out of his awareness. Mind control cannot be smelled, felt, nor detected by the senses. It must come into his awareness when he realizes he has come from A to C and does not know what B was. Mind control changes the whole world view and his view of reality. This victim often goes through his entire life never recognizing that he has been put under mind control. He retains his world view that was given to him from the cult, and totally denies that he is not in complete control of his mind. This victim is the most difficult to help, because he does not know that he needs help. Unless something forces the person under this type of mind control, to examine his belief system critically, he will remain under mind control, often parroting the clich,'s of the group still thinking even years later (even if he leaves the cult) that he is thinking independently. Unless the individual focuses on the changes inflicted on him during his tenure in the cult, and examines and re-decides what to believe etc. he will carry this mind control baggage.
Many cults use repetition and word association. What the mind hears the most it believes. Psychologists know this, Hitler knew this. Herbert W Armstrong knew this, and much more about the human personality and how to control people. HERBERT W ARMSTRONG WAS A MASTER MANIPULATOR AND CON MAN. AND HE REALIZED THAT POWER CAME FROM A TRANSFER OF AUTHORITY FROM GOD TO HIMSELF IN THE MINDS OF HIS FOLLOWERS. HE MUST ALWAYS IDENTIFY GOD AND HIMSELF VERY CLOSELY IN THE MINDS OF HIS FOLLOWERS. (page 113 of HERBERT ARMSTRONG'S TANGLED WEB, by David Robinson) This is how one comes to replace his dedication to God to dedication to the cult and cult ideology, and dedication to the leader all out of the victim's awareness, because he thinks he is still serving God as he started out to do.
Herbert Armstrong understood the methods of Adolph Hitler and knew how to bring the unsuspecting members of the WWCg under mind control. Herbert was a MASTER in MIND CONTROL TECHNIQUES! If one studies early Worldwide Church of God Plain Truth articles written by HWA, one will find that he indeed understood psychology and was a master sales man long before he became appointed by himself by his own definition with understand, absolutely NO authority from God: GOD'S APOSTLE!!!!!!
Mind control is a process and takes time, not communal living, necessarily, but ample time over an extended period works fine. Those 2 hour church services work just fine. HERBERT UNDERSTOOD THIS!!
A method used in conjunction with mind control in the WWCg was hypnosis! Hypnosis and self hypnosis:
Unwitting ministers were trained in the method out of their awareness, (either deliberately or by accident by HWA and headquarters) and used hypnosis to trance the congregations. Another form of "hypnosis" or anchoring took place when thoughts could not be concluded as the minister was taught by the master, flitted from scripture to scripture too fast for the mind to keep up. The booklets continued the process. By the "journey" in each booklet, it led you through to a change of mind set and ideology. Fear and guilt were the biggest emotional blackmailers used in the booklets along with authoritarian threats of punishment geared to hook the child within all of us, and bring us to "obedience" to the authority which was of course Herbert W. Armstrong! Booklet journeys, were a convenient and cheap method to use on hapless victims allowing them to concrete and anchor new mind sets and continue the hypnosis themselves!!!!
Another thing that needs to be said about mind control is that it is geared and focused towards the emotions of the human being. Emotional blackmail is used against the cult victims. Threats of losing their holy spirit, losing their salvation, are as real to the brainwashed WWCger, as threats to the physical life of a boy in Vietnam or Korea!
Emotions are re-defined:
Fear to disobey is called loyalty, guilt and compliance is called "obedience", fear takes the mind controlled person a long way to doing things that he would never have thought to do before the mind control. An example of this is the cruelty that WWCgers display to those that are thrown out of the cult, or who question the dogma of the cult, or are outspoken and say something that is not the handed down from the top propaganda. People think that they believe freely, but are really living in fear of losing their very salvation. This is a far cry from the freedom that the scriptures talk about being if they are "in Jesus Christ", which they profess if they are "Christians".
Doctrine in the cults does not matter:
People often define cults by doctrine, and this is an error. This is not what cults and mind control are about. It is the abuse of people, out of their awareness, (mind control) with out their informed consent, and is a rape of the mind, body, spirit and emotion, that cults are all about. It is the robbing of one of our self will, of our freedoms to think for ourselves, of tricking us as Herbert bragged on doing on the pages of his Plain Truth Magazine! It is against our rights as citizens of this United States of America, where we have a right to informed consent. Mind control is against our Constitutional rights of informed consent. Ultimately, cults destroy the individual, the family, religions, and our strength as a nation.
I urge all that visit this posting to the Painful Truth Web Site to examine their belief systems, before, during and after the WWCg experience. I also urge all to study Mind Control. There are many books out now to help you understand. Many are mentioned on this website. To glean what the WWCg and HWA specifically used to bring us under mind control, the best book that I have read is HERBERT ARMSTRONG'S TANGLED WEB, by David Robinson. If you read this book very carefully looking for the clues you will find them and come to comprehend more fully how you were brought into bondage by a master manipulator that had nothing at all to do with God or religion.
If you have anything you would like to
submit to this site, or any comments,
email me at:
CLICK HERE FOR EMAIL ADDRESS.
Back to "Painful Truth" menu
The content of this site, including but not limited to the text and images herein and their arrangement, are copyright © 1997-2003 by The Painful Truth. All rights reserved.
Do not duplicate, copy or redistribute in any form without prior written consent.