Talk:Mind control/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2

removed "totally disputed" notice

I have made some more changes, enough that (if they stick) I believe that the article will not substantially misinform anyone. I still would like to review Lifton's book, sharpen up my memory on the conclusions he and Schein reached, and then see what can be done to improve the article. I suspect that much of the problem with the original article can be written off to vague definitions of brainwashing that allowed many relatively benign manipulations to be called brainwashing, that were followed by denials by others that amounted to saying that the relatively benign manipulatios did not meet the strict definition of "brainwashing". I may not remember the Schein and Lifton materials well enough to be sure that the article has produced a full description of the hard-ball version of the technique as used by the CCP.

I suppose that one ancillary problem is: does it make a difference whether one is arrested and thrown into a "commune" where brainwashing is practiced, or one enters voluntarily and with full disclosure of the likely consequences and the methodologies to be used. If somebody says that s/he will remake my mind according to his/her prescriptions by the use of classical brainwashing techniques, then if I voluntarily submit to this person because he/she has a doctor of divinity from Cambridge Theological Institution (of Cambridge, MA)  ;-) , have I removed from that person the responsibility to behave ethically according to some external standard? Or can s/he henceforth do with me as she or he desires?

Another ancillary ethical question would be whether it is o.k. to use brainwashing techniques to try to rehabilitate prisoners who have been convicted of felonies. P0M 17:38, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Brainwashing and "cults"

One of the most prominent advocates of this theory was the controversial Margaret Singer who was discredited, when her psychological theory of 'mind control' was declared "not scientific" by the American Psychological Association [1].

I've removed this claim. The reference not only comes from the Scientology-operated 'new' Cult Awareness Network -- hardly an unbiased party on the subject -- but a quick search of the reference shows that it never even mentions the American Psychological Association or the words "not scientific". The only parts of the claim it supports is that in CAN's opinion Dr. Singer was controversial and was discredited. -- Antaeus Feldspar 20:49, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I have reverted Feldspar's removal. The brainwashing controversy is very well documented. I have added a link with a collection of documents available at http://www.cesnur.org/testi/APA_Documents.htm. Documents include:
  1. Brief of amici curiae, in the version originally signed by APA and dated February 10, 1987, in the case David Molko and Tracy Leal vs Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, et al.
  2. Motion of APA to withdraw as amicus curiae in the Molko case (March 27, 1987).
  3. APA Memorandum on APA activities regarding the Molko case (July 11, 1989).
  4. Last draft of the DIMPAC report.
  5. APA's Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BSERP) Memorandum of May 11, 1987, with two enclosures.
  6. Order by the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of Alameda in the case Margaret Singer et al. vs American Psychological Association et al. (June 17, 1994).
--Zappaz 21:00, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)
This is a much better citation, but the fact that changes are still needed is evidenced by the fact that if you go to the only one of those documents which contains the quoted phrase "not scientific", you'll find that although it claims that to be a quote from the Molko brief, it isn't. -- Antaeus Feldspar 02:03, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I support the recent reversion made by Antaeus Feldspar. If some business, e.g., a tobacco company, claims that their product does not contain chemical agent X, it is not POV to point out that a chemical analysis would be a way to decide whether their claims are true or the government's claims are true. P0M 18:53, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Patrick, there is a long list of scholarly articles and books that challenge the brainwashing theories advanced by anti-cultists. The list above is just a series of documents pertaining to Singer. There is a long list of citacions from other books and articles that discredit brainwashing in the context of NRMs and "cults". See below. --Zappaz 20:38, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  1. Anthony, Dick. 1990. "Religious Movements and 'Brainwashing' Litigation." in Dick Anthony and Thomas Robbins, In Gods We Trust. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.
  2. Anthony, Dick, and Thomas Robbins. 1994. "Brainwashing and Totalitarian Influence," in Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, Vol 1: 457-471.
  3. Anthony, Dick, and Thomas Robbins. 1991. "Law, Social Science and the 'Brainwashing' exception to the First Amendment," Behavioral Science Law. 10/1
  4. Barker, Eileen, 1984. "The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Brainwashing?". New York: Basil Blackwell. 305 pps.
  5. Barker, Eileen, 1982. "Who'd Be a Moonie? A Comparative Study of Those Who Join the Unification Church in Britain." in Brian Wilson (ed.), The Social Impact of New Religious Movements. New York: Rose of Sharon Press.
  6. Bromley, David G. 1983. "Conservatorships and Deprogramming: Legal and Political Prospects." in Bromley, David G. and James T. Richardson, (eds). The Brainwashing/Deprogramming Controversy. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press. 267-293.
  7. Bromley, David G. and James T. Richardson, Eds. 1983. "The Brainwashing/Deprogramming Controversy". Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press. 367 pps.
  8. Cialdini, Robert B. 1993. "Influence: Science and Practice". New York: HarperCollins College Publishers. Third Edition.
  9. Davis Joseph E., 1993. "Thought Control, Totalism and The Extension of the Anti-Cult Critiques Beyond the 'Cults'". Dexter, MI: Tabor House. 77 pps.
  10. Fort, J. 1985. "What Is 'Brainwashing,' and Who Says so?" in B. Kilborne, (ed.), Scientific Research and New Religions: Divergernt Perspectives . San Francisco: American Association for the Advancement of Science. 57-63.
  11. Grinsburg, Gerald, and James T. Richardson, 1998. "'Brainwashing'" Evidence in Light of Daubert. in Law and Science: Current Legal Issues". Hellen Reece Editor, 265-288.
  12. Richardson, James T., and Massimo Introvigne, 2001. "'Brainwashing' Theories in European Parliamentary and Administrative Reports on 'Sects' and 'Cults.'" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 40/2(June): 143-168.
  13. Robbins, Thomas, 2001. "Combatting 'cults' and 'Brainwashing' in the United States and Western Europe: A Comment on Richardson and Introvigne's Report." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 40/2(June): 169-175.
  14. Soper, J. Christopher, 2001. "Tribal Instince and Religious Persecution: Why Do Western European States Behave So Badly?" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 40/2(June): 177-180.
  15. Massimo Introvigne, and James T. Richardson, 2001. "Western Europe, Postmodernity, and the Shadow of the French Revolution: A Response to Soper and Robbins." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 40/2(June): 181-185
  16. Richardson, James T. 1997. "'Brainwashing' Theories in European Parliamentary and Administrative Reports on 'Cults' and 'Sects,'"
  17. Richardson, James T. 1997. "Sociology, 'Brainwashing' Claims About New Religion, and Freedom of Religion". in P. Jenkins and S. Kroll-Smith (eds.), Sociology on Trial: Sociologists As Expert Witnesses. New York: Praeger.
  18. Richardson, James T. 1996. "'Brainwashing' Claims and Minority Religions Outside the United States: Cultural Diffusion of a Questionable Concept in the Legal Arena," Brigham Young University Law Review, No. 4, 873-904.
  19. Richardson, James T. 1993. "A Social Psychological Critique of 'Brainwashing' Claims About Recruitment to New Religions." in David Bromley and Jeffrey K. Hadden, (eds.) The Handbook of Cults and Sects in America. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. 75-97.
  20. Richardson, James T. 1991. "Cult/Brainwashing Cases and the Freedom of Religion." Journal of Church and State. 33: 55-74.
  21. Richardson, James T. and Brock Kilbourne. 1983. "Classical and Contemporary Applications of Brainwashing Theories: A Comparison and Critique" in David G. Bromley and James T. Richardson (eds.) The Brainwashing/Deprogramming Controversy. New York: Edwin Mellen. 29-45.
The problem is you want a double standard; when there's evidence of wrongdoing, you want each cult to be judged separately; when there's a statement that certain research was found to have been lacking in scientific rigor, you want that to be converted into a blanket statement that the entire notion was found pseudoscientific and that all cults have thus been absolved of the charge. You can't have it both ways, though that would never stop you. -- Antaeus Feldspar 23:31, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
This is not about me, or even you, Antaeus. This is about writing articles for an encyclopedia that has NPOV as its main guiding principle. I am ptroviding references to substantiate a simple fact: that brainwashing theories peddled by anti-cultists are more about ideology than scientific rigor. --02:38, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Your text, Antaeus (removed yet again):
Whether they do so or not is a matter for objective determination in individual cases.
Can be left there if you do some research and provide citacions in which these "objective determinations" have been conducted in a scientific manner. Otherwise it is the sole expression of your POV. Sorry. --Zappaz 02:44, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

[P0M]: Zappaz, why do you put "objective determinations" into scare quotes? Please avoid rhetorical tricks. Is it is your understanding that objective determinations cannot be made, then say so and explain how you can justify such an extraordinary claim.

[P0M]: I don't follow your reasoning. A statement was made to the effect that when contending claims have been made about some matter, then the claims are just that pending serious research. If you want to say that the scientific research has already been done, well and good, but that doesn't alter the validity of the other sentence. The expectation, if one is going to use research to settle contending (possibily ideologically motivated) claims is that the research should be done. Your reasoning is oddly spiral, i.e., sort of circular. You will not permit an assertion that scientific research is essential to true knowledge until such time as the scientific research is actuall--y done.

[P0M]: To assert that first there must be "research and ... citations [to cases] in which these objective determinations have been conducted in a scientific manner (in what other manner might an objective determination be made in such a case?), and only later can one state that scientific research to settle the question ought to be helpful, has everything going in the wrong direction. That sounds to me like a tobacco company saying, "First prove scientifically that spoking tobacco products is bad for the consumer's health, and only then can you ask the government or some other competent authority to conduct scientific proof." A tobacco company might say that, but I would have to question their motivation for doing so. P0M 07:54, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

OK, I see your point. Now please go back to the origin of this debate: the deletion of text by Antaeus. I think I have provided enough substance to put the text back. --Zappaz 17:45, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I've been objecting to removal of the tail end of the paragraphthat you most recently removed. P0M 22:23, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
And in regard to the text by Antaeus: Whether they do so or not is a matter for objective determination in individual cases., my argument is that this is just Antaeus' POV. It needs to be attributed it to maintain NPOV. --Zappaz 17:47, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I totally fail to follow your reasoning. The paragraph represented a covert argument that is allegedly used by some religious groups, and, in doing so, it left the encyclopedia giving tacit agreement to (the mere assertion of) their innocence on the more serious charges. So something needed to be said to pull the covers on that bit of rhetorical manipulation whether it was intended or not.P0M 22:23, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Obviously, your research skills are lacking, since it's not me who added the text. I'm just the one who restored it after you decided that, unlike any statement that favors cults, it needed to be attributed in order to stay in the article. -- Antaeus Feldspar 18:26, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I did not added that text either. So the best action is then to delete the whole unreferenced unattributed paragraph rather that making a lame attempt to rebut it with an additional unreferenced and unattributed POV. Two wrongs don't make a right. That is whay I have done now. --Zappaz 20:12, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Do you mean that the first part of the paragraph was wrong and the last sentence was wrong, so the whole thing was wrong? Something may be uncited but true. Then the question should be whether the uncited claim looks interesting enough to get somebody to supply the missing citations. Disapproving of your reasons for chopping things out does not mean that I necessarily approve of what is there. See my somewhat earlier remarks below. P0M 22:23, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

[P0M:] It took me a while, working with the history pages, to see what Zappaz actually did. He removed the whole paragraph:

It should be noted that some religious groups, especially those of Hindu and Buddhist origin, openly state that they seek to improve the natural human mind by spiritual exercises. Intense spiritual exercises have an effect on the mind, for example by leading to an altered state of consciousness. These groups do not, however, proclaim that they use coercive techniques to acquire or retain converts. Whether they do so or not is a matter for objective determination in individual cases.

[P0M:] He evidently did so in order to eliminate the final sentence. His argument for removing the paragraph appears to be that he didn't write it and Feldspar didn't write it. That reasoning, in my opinion, is flawed. The content of the paragraph is relevant. People have been accused of doing certain things. They admit to doing some of those things or to doing them in a less intense way. To do so is actually a strong stance to take in a debate: Stipulate to what is true and/or does not hurt your own case, because it is pointless to defend something that doesn't actually need defending. If so-and-so is accused of being a Marxist, a Green, and a spy, there is no reason for him to try to deny the allegation that he is a Marxist or the allegation that he is a Green -- especially if he is indeed a Marxist and a Green. The good debater will say that , yes, it is true what the opposition says on one or two points. They've noticed that I'm a citizen of Tanzania, and that's true. But so what? None of those things make me a spy.

[P0M:] What the groups in question may be trying to do is to admit to lesser "sins" (knowing that they are "legal") in order to create the impression that they are innocent of the more serious charges, i.e., create the impression that they would admit to the more serious charges if they were true.

[P0M:] Probably the whole question of religious groups that are viewed as non-cults and religious groups that are viewed as cults and that also tell people how to lead their lives should be put in a separate article. The important thing in this article is to make clear what brainwashing actually is, not what it is not, and not the details of less manipulative forms of influence and persuasion. P0M 22:11, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

So many words.... what do you propose? (Please note that this debate is contained to the "Brainwashing controversy in new religious movements". In this context the discussion about what brainwashing is not' is as important as what it is). --Zappaz 22:28, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

[P0M:] Am I right to interpret your statement to mean you intend simply to ignore what I have written? P0M 23:10, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Not at all, not at all. Only that I could not get your point... Now I may have understood you better... we could move the whole text on that section to the Cults article and add a See Also wikilink to that article/section. Your call. --Zappaz 00:29, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
[P0M:] I've owed this article attention for a while now. I finally found my own copy of Lifton's book, so I can underline or highlight as I read rather than taking extensive notes in the library's copy. Every time I look at the article I find more things that seem shakey. Probably the "seems to be" and "are taken to be" things need to be moved away. (That'll be one way to keep the article down to the 32K limit, too.)
Zappaz, I propose re-inserting the paragraph that I wrote. For example, the Hare Krishna and my former group (Sathya Sai Baba) openly state that they want to purify the human mind by sadhana. It is not only my experience but I read it too. It is a fact that does not need attribution. I think it was dr. Reender Kranenborg who wrote it but I do not understand why I need to provide references for such well known facts. It is relevant because it may help to understand phenomena that some anti-cult activists call snapping [2] [3] Andries 22:38, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
If we are going to discuss what brainwashing is not -- with the aim of distinguishing it from things that resemble it fairly clearly, and so not involving us in pointing out that brainwashing is not the teaching and learning of multiplication tables, nasty though that practice is -- then I think the paragraph would be very useful. Being able to cite book and page would be very helpful in avoiding battles conducted in the midst of fog and smoke. What Kranenborg (or whoever it really was) wrote may seem like general knowledge to you, but even though I've been interested in brainwashing for nearly 50 years I know nothing about what you describe. So if it came down to a question of whether to credit the passage or not, then I would definitely want citations, and so would most non-experts. P0M 23:10, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Patrick, I will try but I need some time. I think that William James wrote that intense spiritual excercises may lead to an altered state of consciousness though that term may not have existed when he wrote the classic The varieties of religious experience. I have the book (which is also online available) but have not read it yet. I do not know how to prove the other obvious statement yet. Andries 02:13, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The James materials will be valuable. There is a great deal in Lifton's work about the differences in the ways people react to Chinese intense brainwashing. It's the "wishy-washy" ones who escaped. They "wishyed" over to the pro-PPC position and then "washeyed" back to the consentual reality of the West as soon as they got out from under information control. The "true believer" type, however, tends to switch from being an adamant "no arguments" Catholic (or whatever) to an adamant PPC believer. It's like a cube. You push it and push it and suddenly what was the bottom becomes a side, and there is no easy way to get it back into its original orientation. You have to push it just as hard to get it to go back as you did to get it to turn in the first place. The other type is more like pushing a bean bag. You push it on one side and the top part of it will move over but the bottom part stays about where it was to begin with, and when you let go it squishes back to about where it was when you started. I'll check out the URLs you added above. P0M 04:39, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Interesting quote fom Barker's book An introduction to NRMs

  • Chapter "8 Isolated from the world"
"It has become clear in the course of time that the definition of reality for most people - that includes questions like, what happens with me, with others and with the rest of society - and their judgement about what is good and evil, is very sensitive to suggestion, influence and manipulation if this happens when these people are cut off from other sources of information. If there is only one interpretation available and if in addition this interpretation is also accepted by other co-believers and if even a suspicion of doubt is explained as a shortage of faith or betrayal to the cause, then, it will be clear, that investigation of reality is not easy. "

Andries 02:30, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Andries, it will be helpful if you read some of the scholars that challenge brainwashing theories (see list of citacions above), rather than reading the same scholars again and again. That will have the potential to widen your perspective on this subject. --Zappaz 16:11, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The reason I use Barker as a reference so often is that she is both acceptable for you and me. I have read much more on the subjects but I have to admit that I often distrust much of what I read because there is so much partisan information with regards to cults and NRMs. I even borrowed Lifton's original book from the library only for this article though I only read some chapters. Andries 17:50, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The question is not whether brainwashing exists

There seems a lot of evidence for the existence of brainwashing given the fact that many people's opinion are resistant against evidence but the question is not whehter is exists but whether it is a suitable explanation following ockham's razor for this phenomenon. Andries 04:05, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Andries, with all due respect, please understand that you cannot take the most sensitive aspects of human endeavor such as feelings, beliefs, faith, etc. and utilize ockham's razor to explain these away. There is a 'huge' amount of scholarly research done on Brainwashing, mind control, influenece, propaganda, etc. Attempting to bypass all that research and attempt to find an explanation following ockham's razor, is laughable. Let's stick to finding good references, summarize them and provide citacions. Think of the reader! --Zappaz 16:07, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I do not mean to re-do the research here but what I meant is there seemed to be some good reasons to believe in brainwashing by cults that should be stated here. I mean, we should explain why this at a certain point of history this was thought to be a plausible explanation for what happened to members of purported cults. Some of them, like altered state of consciousness and what Barker wrote about the big influence of communal reinforcement and lack of information can and should be stated in the article. Andries 17:47, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
You need to look into the history of the anti-cult movement to understand the reasons for the attempt by them to apply theories of brainwashing to members of NRMs. It is all so evidently obvious! --Zappaz 19:58, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Stating that something is obvious to me does not provide grounds for other people to believe it. P0M 20:22, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
So "why the anti-cult movement tried to apply theories of brainwashing to members of NRMs", this is "evidently obvious". The notion that "mind control" is exactly the same theory as "brainwashing" only under a different name, this too is "evidently obvious". But oh, sorry, when it comes to anything the anti-cult movement might have to say in answer to accusations that they are a homogenous lump of pseudoscience-spouting bigots, I'm sorry, we can't read their minds on that like we did on those other two issues; it's going to need references before anything can be allowed in on that matter. -- Antaeus Feldspar 22:39, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Thank you Feldspar for the juicy peyorative: "homogenous lump of pseudoscience-spouting bigots". It may come handy in the future :). Happy New Year! --Zappaz 22:47, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I think that Andries has a good point. There is a large range of phenomena that get called "brainwashing." (Which presidential candidate admitted to being "brainwashed" after he repeated some CCP conclusions?) Even within the confines of Chinese practice, the brainwashing that was practiced in Korea was different from the more intense brainwashing applied within their national borders. Brainwashing developed out of Russian show trial "preparation" of prisoners, which in turn owed much to techniques used by the Catholic Church during the Inquisitions. Much of what I saw in my own Presbyterian Sunday School background used elements of coercive persuasion, and in between are the televangelists. P0M 20:22, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I fully agree. That is why we need to make clear distinctions in how the term has been applied to different situations and by different people, as well provide the necessary context for readers. After all, hope you agree that this is a "loaded" term: By utilizing the term "brainwashing" anti-cultists in the 70s and 80's attempted to ride the wave of the obviously negative connotations of the term, and use that as a weapon of misinformation and propaganda against the new religious movements they opposed. When scientist rejected the theories of brainwashing within the context of "cults" and NRMs, they simply changed the term to mind control. --Zappaz 22:14, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Zappaz, you are wrong, the mind control is different from brainwashing. Andries 13:55, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
That is very gullible. Hassan and othre anti-cultists changed 'brainwashing' to 'mind control' and 'deprogramming' to 'exit counseling' as a way to diassociate themselves from the controversies that ended up as a huge discredit to anti-cultist. Mind control and brainwashing are both inventions without any scientific standing. It takes a few hours of rearrch, but eventually you get to the point in which you understand were all comes from. --Zappaz 16:30, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Zappaz, I think you overlooked the fact that many ex-members sincerely do not understand their own experiences and look for answers and they sometimes end up with simplistic theories such as mind control but to say that they were devised cynically to have strategy against cults, well, that may be unconcsiously part of the reason. I am happy to see that you are somewhat cynical and suspicious of the motives of people if you can apply this attitude to all players in the debate, not just to anti-cult movement but also to leaders of NRMs. The disappointment and the anger of so many once ardent followers, such me of so many NRMs indicates that there is sufficient reason to do so. Andries 17:29, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Zappaz, this is a general problem that I have with your edits in Wikipedia. You seem to welcome NRMs as an enrichment of cultural and religious diverdity but seems to forget or ignore the fact (and this is just a fact) that the lives of people have been ruined by NRMs. You only focus on the persecution and unjustified stigmatization they receive and to depict the people who criticize them as untrustwothy and hate mongers . In some cases there is believe me a good reason for this stigmatization of certain NRMs. Andries 18:58, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Emerging religions are indeed a societal phenomenon and part of the cultural diversity and development of societies. Your generalization "the lives of people have been ruined by NRMs" can coexist with the opposing statement that "the lives of people have been enriched by NRMs". My position, supported by years of study and corroborated by many scholars, is that the number of people who's life was "ruined" to use your term, is a tiny minority and that most people are either indifferent or enriched by their experience in NRMs. I agree with you that some NRMs are very destructive, but please note that the anti-cult movement and their proponents have a very distorted view of reality either due to their apostasy, their religious background (mostly evangelical christians), or their ideology and that they tend to crtitique any and all groups that are outside of mainstream religions. Most scholars that study NRMs concur with this. --Zappaz 20:22, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Indifferent because they were never deeply or long involved. Why do you always conveniently forget to mention that? Many people who wake up after long feel they have been harmed. Many people for whom it is just too difficult or too painful to see the evidence do not wake up for obvious reasons. At a certain moment when they are not so devoted then they may look at the evidence and then this may not be traumatic. But you have to understand that there are people, like me, on which the evidence was forced due to circumstances when they were superdevoted and supercommitted. Zappaz, I was fully aware that some people in the anti-cult movements made flimsy, crazy criticisms on NRMs even when I was a follower but that does not mean that ex-members/apostates cannot tell the truth. Why do you think so many post on ex-Jehovah forums. Don't you think that ex-followers feel cheated and angry, at least for some time? What apostates do is consumer protection for spiritual seekers. Andries 21:19, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
"consumer protection for spiritual seekers". That was a good one Andries!
I can understand how you feel, according to your situation. Just note that anyone devoting many years sincerily to anything and deciding later on that it was a mistake or that felt no longer willing, will have serious issues to deal with. Just ask anyone that went through a painful divorce! That does not mean that marriage is wrong. Just that some marriages do not work.
In any case, I wish you a happy new year and hope you can take meaningul steps in recovering from your traumatic experience. Best wishes! --Zappaz 21:43, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Zappaz, thanks for the best wishes and you too. But there is huge difference with marriage i.e. the relationship resembles a one to many relationship unlike marriage so that makes it meaningful to warn people not to make the same mistake. And there is another difference my former guru requested all devotion and love directed to him, and every act dedicated to him. Spouses do not go that far. Andries 21:55, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
My wife does! :) --Zappaz 21:59, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Zappaz, just a reminder that my former guru was India's most popular godman who lost many followers after 2000, so that indicates that the experience of harm by a cult is not a small minority, though I have to admit that the intensity of my experience is exceptional. Andries 11:26, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

"Brainwashing (also known as thought reform or re-education) is any systematic effort aimed at instilling certain attitudes and beliefs in a person against his will, usually beliefs in conflict with his prior beliefs and knowledge."

I'm only asking that it be changed from "his" to "their". Any problems with that?

Bettepod 06:37, 11 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Religious Brainwashing

Why isn't there even a section about religious brainwashing, the most obvious large-scale organized brainwashing?

---

Oh for Heaven's Sake! The term "brainwashing" was invented in 1953 to explain away why 23 US soldiers who were captured by the Chinese or North Koreans during the Korean War of 1950 chose not to repatriate after the armistice.

What happened to them is what is now termed more fashionably as the "Stockholm Syndrome", (see the Wiki thingie on this -- there must be one), when captives bond to their captors and start seeing reality from their side of the fence.

This is all Wiki needs to say about this lexical curiosity, the brainchild of some gifted US psychological warfare officer.

--Arthur Borges 00:56, 28 June 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Arthurborges (talkcontribs)

removed "totally disputed" notice

I have made some more changes, enough that (if they stick) I believe that the article will not substantially misinform anyone. I still would like to review Lifton's book, sharpen up my memory on the conclusions he and Schein reached, and then see what can be done to improve the article. I suspect that much of the problem with the original article can be written off to vague definitions of brainwashing that allowed many relatively benign manipulations to be called brainwashing, that were followed by denials by others that amounted to saying that the relatively benign manipulatios did not meet the strict definition of "brainwashing". I may not remember the Schein and Lifton materials well enough to be sure that the article has produced a full description of the hard-ball version of the technique as used by the CCP.

I suppose that one ancillary problem is: does it make a difference whether one is arrested and thrown into a "commune" where brainwashing is practiced, or one enters voluntarily and with full disclosure of the likely consequences and the methodologies to be used. If somebody says that s/he will remake my mind according to his/her prescriptions by the use of classical brainwashing techniques, then if I voluntarily submit to this person because he/she has a doctor of divinity from Cambridge Theological Institution (of Cambridge, MA)  ;-) , have I removed from that person the responsibility to behave ethically according to some external standard? Or can s/he henceforth do with me as she or he desires?

Another ancillary ethical question would be whether it is o.k. to use brainwashing techniques to try to rehabilitate prisoners who have been convicted of felonies. P0M 17:38, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

brainwashing and kids

This article need a discussion about the use of the term "brain washing" and kids, often used by relatives, etc, to discount the reliability of thoughts of children involved in custody battles, etc, for example, elian goldalez who was kidnapped by miami based cuban exiles from cuba.

Brainwashing and "cults"

One of the most prominent advocates of this theory was the controversial Margaret Singer who was discredited, when her psychological theory of 'mind control' was declared "not scientific" by the American Psychological Association [4].

I've removed this claim. The reference not only comes from the Scientology-operated 'new' Cult Awareness Network -- hardly an unbiased party on the subject -- but a quick search of the reference shows that it never even mentions the American Psychological Association or the words "not scientific". The only parts of the claim it supports is that in CAN's opinion Dr. Singer was controversial and was discredited. -- Antaeus Feldspar 20:49, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I have reverted Feldspar's removal. The brainwashing controversy is very well documented. I have added a link with a collection of documents available at http://www.cesnur.org/testi/APA_Documents.htm. Documents include:
  1. Brief of amici curiae, in the version originally signed by APA and dated February 10, 1987, in the case David Molko and Tracy Leal vs Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity, et al.
  2. Motion of APA to withdraw as amicus curiae in the Molko case (March 27, 1987).
  3. APA Memorandum on APA activities regarding the Molko case (July 11, 1989).
  4. Last draft of the DIMPAC report.
  5. APA's Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BSERP) Memorandum of May 11, 1987, with two enclosures.
  6. Order by the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of Alameda in the case Margaret Singer et al. vs American Psychological Association et al. (June 17, 1994).
--Zappaz 21:00, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)
This is a much better citation, but the fact that changes are still needed is evidenced by the fact that if you go to the only one of those documents which contains the quoted phrase "not scientific", you'll find that although it claims that to be a quote from the Molko brief, it isn't. -- Antaeus Feldspar 02:03, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I support the recent reversion made by Antaeus Feldspar. If some business, e.g., a tobacco company, claims that their product does not contain chemical agent X, it is not POV to point out that a chemical analysis would be a way to decide whether their claims are true or the government's claims are true. P0M 18:53, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Patrick, there is a long list of scholarly articles and books that challenge the brainwashing theories advanced by anti-cultists. The list above is just a series of documents pertaining to Singer. There is a long list of citacions from other books and articles that discredit brainwashing in the context of NRMs and "cults". See below. --Zappaz 20:38, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  1. Anthony, Dick. 1990. "Religious Movements and 'Brainwashing' Litigation." in Dick Anthony and Thomas Robbins, In Gods We Trust. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.
  2. Anthony, Dick, and Thomas Robbins. 1994. "Brainwashing and Totalitarian Influence," in Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, Vol 1: 457-471.
  3. Anthony, Dick, and Thomas Robbins. 1991. "Law, Social Science and the 'Brainwashing' exception to the First Amendment," Behavioral Science Law. 10/1
  4. Barker, Eileen, 1984. "The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Brainwashing?". New York: Basil Blackwell. 305 pps.
  5. Barker, Eileen, 1982. "Who'd Be a Moonie? A Comparative Study of Those Who Join the Unification Church in Britain." in Brian Wilson (ed.), The Social Impact of New Religious Movements. New York: Rose of Sharon Press.
  6. Bromley, David G. 1983. "Conservatorships and Deprogramming: Legal and Political Prospects." in Bromley, David G. and James T. Richardson, (eds). The Brainwashing/Deprogramming Controversy. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press. 267-293.
  7. Bromley, David G. and James T. Richardson, Eds. 1983. "The Brainwashing/Deprogramming Controversy". Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press. 367 pps.
  8. Cialdini, Robert B. 1993. "Influence: Science and Practice". New York: HarperCollins College Publishers. Third Edition.
  9. Davis Joseph E., 1993. "Thought Control, Totalism and The Extension of the Anti-Cult Critiques Beyond the 'Cults'". Dexter, MI: Tabor House. 77 pps.
  10. Fort, J. 1985. "What Is 'Brainwashing,' and Who Says so?" in B. Kilborne, (ed.), Scientific Research and New Religions: Divergernt Perspectives . San Francisco: American Association for the Advancement of Science. 57-63.
  11. Grinsburg, Gerald, and James T. Richardson, 1998. "'Brainwashing'" Evidence in Light of Daubert. in Law and Science: Current Legal Issues". Hellen Reece Editor, 265-288.
  12. Richardson, James T., and Massimo Introvigne, 2001. "'Brainwashing' Theories in European Parliamentary and Administrative Reports on 'Sects' and 'Cults.'" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 40/2(June): 143-168.
  13. Robbins, Thomas, 2001. "Combatting 'cults' and 'Brainwashing' in the United States and Western Europe: A Comment on Richardson and Introvigne's Report." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 40/2(June): 169-175.
  14. Soper, J. Christopher, 2001. "Tribal Instince and Religious Persecution: Why Do Western European States Behave So Badly?" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 40/2(June): 177-180.
  15. Massimo Introvigne, and James T. Richardson, 2001. "Western Europe, Postmodernity, and the Shadow of the French Revolution: A Response to Soper and Robbins." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 40/2(June): 181-185
  16. Richardson, James T. 1997. "'Brainwashing' Theories in European Parliamentary and Administrative Reports on 'Cults' and 'Sects,'"
  17. Richardson, James T. 1997. "Sociology, 'Brainwashing' Claims About New Religion, and Freedom of Religion". in P. Jenkins and S. Kroll-Smith (eds.), Sociology on Trial: Sociologists As Expert Witnesses. New York: Praeger.
  18. Richardson, James T. 1996. "'Brainwashing' Claims and Minority Religions Outside the United States: Cultural Diffusion of a Questionable Concept in the Legal Arena," Brigham Young University Law Review, No. 4, 873-904.
  19. Richardson, James T. 1993. "A Social Psychological Critique of 'Brainwashing' Claims About Recruitment to New Religions." in David Bromley and Jeffrey K. Hadden, (eds.) The Handbook of Cults and Sects in America. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. 75-97.
  20. Richardson, James T. 1991. "Cult/Brainwashing Cases and the Freedom of Religion." Journal of Church and State. 33: 55-74.
  21. Richardson, James T. and Brock Kilbourne. 1983. "Classical and Contemporary Applications of Brainwashing Theories: A Comparison and Critique" in David G. Bromley and James T. Richardson (eds.) The Brainwashing/Deprogramming Controversy. New York: Edwin Mellen. 29-45.
The problem is you want a double standard; when there's evidence of wrongdoing, you want each cult to be judged separately; when there's a statement that certain research was found to have been lacking in scientific rigor, you want that to be converted into a blanket statement that the entire notion was found pseudoscientific and that all cults have thus been absolved of the charge. You can't have it both ways, though that would never stop you. -- Antaeus Feldspar 23:31, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
This is not about me, or even you, Antaeus. This is about writing articles for an encyclopedia that has NPOV as its main guiding principle. I am ptroviding references to substantiate a simple fact: that brainwashing theories peddled by anti-cultists are more about ideology than scientific rigor. --02:38, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Your text, Antaeus (removed yet again):
Whether they do so or not is a matter for objective determination in individual cases.
Can be left there if you do some research and provide citacions in which these "objective determinations" have been conducted in a scientific manner. Otherwise it is the sole expression of your POV. Sorry. --Zappaz 02:44, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

[P0M]: Zappaz, why do you put "objective determinations" into scare quotes? Please avoid rhetorical tricks. Is it is your understanding that objective determinations cannot be made, then say so and explain how you can justify such an extraordinary claim.

[P0M]: I don't follow your reasoning. A statement was made to the effect that when contending claims have been made about some matter, then the claims are just that pending serious research. If you want to say that the scientific research has already been done, well and good, but that doesn't alter the validity of the other sentence. The expectation, if one is going to use research to settle contending (possibily ideologically motivated) claims is that the research should be done. Your reasoning is oddly spiral, i.e., sort of circular. You will not permit an assertion that scientific research is essential to true knowledge until such time as the scientific research is actuall--y done.

[P0M]: To assert that first there must be "research and ... citations [to cases] in which these objective determinations have been conducted in a scientific manner (in what other manner might an objective determination be made in such a case?), and only later can one state that scientific research to settle the question ought to be helpful, has everything going in the wrong direction. That sounds to me like a tobacco company saying, "First prove scientifically that spoking tobacco products is bad for the consumer's health, and only then can you ask the government or some other competent authority to conduct scientific proof." A tobacco company might say that, but I would have to question their motivation for doing so. P0M 07:54, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

OK, I see your point. Now please go back to the origin of this debate: the deletion of text by Antaeus. I think I have provided enough substance to put the text back. --Zappaz 17:45, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I've been objecting to removal of the tail end of the paragraphthat you most recently removed. P0M 22:23, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
And in regard to the text by Antaeus: Whether they do so or not is a matter for objective determination in individual cases., my argument is that this is just Antaeus' POV. It needs to be attributed it to maintain NPOV. --Zappaz 17:47, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I totally fail to follow your reasoning. The paragraph represented a covert argument that is allegedly used by some religious groups, and, in doing so, it left the encyclopedia giving tacit agreement to (the mere assertion of) their innocence on the more serious charges. So something needed to be said to pull the covers on that bit of rhetorical manipulation whether it was intended or not.P0M 22:23, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Obviously, your research skills are lacking, since it's not me who added the text. I'm just the one who restored it after you decided that, unlike any statement that favors cults, it needed to be attributed in order to stay in the article. -- Antaeus Feldspar 18:26, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I did not added that text either. So the best action is then to delete the whole unreferenced unattributed paragraph rather that making a lame attempt to rebut it with an additional unreferenced and unattributed POV. Two wrongs don't make a right. That is whay I have done now. --Zappaz 20:12, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Do you mean that the first part of the paragraph was wrong and the last sentence was wrong, so the whole thing was wrong? Something may be uncited but true. Then the question should be whether the uncited claim looks interesting enough to get somebody to supply the missing citations. Disapproving of your reasons for chopping things out does not mean that I necessarily approve of what is there. See my somewhat earlier remarks below. P0M 22:23, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

[P0M:] It took me a while, working with the history pages, to see what Zappaz actually did. He removed the whole paragraph:

It should be noted that some religious groups, especially those of Hindu and Buddhist origin, openly state that they seek to improve the natural human mind by spiritual exercises. Intense spiritual exercises have an effect on the mind, for example by leading to an altered state of consciousness. These groups do not, however, proclaim that they use coercive techniques to acquire or retain converts. Whether they do so or not is a matter for objective determination in individual cases.

[P0M:] He evidently did so in order to eliminate the final sentence. His argument for removing the paragraph appears to be that he didn't write it and Feldspar didn't write it. That reasoning, in my opinion, is flawed. The content of the paragraph is relevant. People have been accused of doing certain things. They admit to doing some of those things or to doing them in a less intense way. To do so is actually a strong stance to take in a debate: Stipulate to what is true and/or does not hurt your own case, because it is pointless to defend something that doesn't actually need defending. If so-and-so is accused of being a Marxist, a Green, and a spy, there is no reason for him to try to deny the allegation that he is a Marxist or the allegation that he is a Green -- especially if he is indeed a Marxist and a Green. The good debater will say that , yes, it is true what the opposition says on one or two points. They've noticed that I'm a citizen of Tanzania, and that's true. But so what? None of those things make me a spy.

[P0M:] What the groups in question may be trying to do is to admit to lesser "sins" (knowing that they are "legal") in order to create the impression that they are innocent of the more serious charges, i.e., create the impression that they would admit to the more serious charges if they were true.

[P0M:] Probably the whole question of religious groups that are viewed as non-cults and religious groups that are viewed as cults and that also tell people how to lead their lives should be put in a separate article. The important thing in this article is to make clear what brainwashing actually is, not what it is not, and not the details of less manipulative forms of influence and persuasion. P0M 22:11, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

So many words.... what do you propose? (Please note that this debate is contained to the "Brainwashing controversy in new religious movements". In this context the discussion about what brainwashing is not' is as important as what it is). --Zappaz 22:28, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

[P0M:] Am I right to interpret your statement to mean you intend simply to ignore what I have written? P0M 23:10, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Not at all, not at all. Only that I could not get your point... Now I may have understood you better... we could move the whole text on that section to the Cults article and add a See Also wikilink to that article/section. Your call. --Zappaz 00:29, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
[P0M:] I've owed this article attention for a while now. I finally found my own copy of Lifton's book, so I can underline or highlight as I read rather than taking extensive notes in the library's copy. Every time I look at the article I find more things that seem shakey. Probably the "seems to be" and "are taken to be" things need to be moved away. (That'll be one way to keep the article down to the 32K limit, too.)
Zappaz, I propose re-inserting the paragraph that I wrote. For example, the Hare Krishna and my former group (Sathya Sai Baba) openly state that they want to purify the human mind by sadhana. It is not only my experience but I read it too. It is a fact that does not need attribution. I think it was dr. Reender Kranenborg who wrote it but I do not understand why I need to provide references for such well known facts. It is relevant because it may help to understand phenomena that some anti-cult activists call snapping [5] [6] Andries 22:38, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)
If we are going to discuss what brainwashing is not -- with the aim of distinguishing it from things that resemble it fairly clearly, and so not involving us in pointing out that brainwashing is not the teaching and learning of multiplication tables, nasty though that practice is -- then I think the paragraph would be very useful. Being able to cite book and page would be very helpful in avoiding battles conducted in the midst of fog and smoke. What Kranenborg (or whoever it really was) wrote may seem like general knowledge to you, but even though I've been interested in brainwashing for nearly 50 years I know nothing about what you describe. So if it came down to a question of whether to credit the passage or not, then I would definitely want citations, and so would most non-experts. P0M 23:10, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Absolutely nothing on this website about cults uploaded, repeated deleted by members of the public or perhaps administration, desperately need case studies, etc, and need to fix site so that repeated deleting of 'cults' section is mediated by non-religious administrator or site is practically useless.--Apmab1 10:01, 10 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

William James=

Patrick, I will try but I need some time. I think that William James wrote that intense spiritual excercises may lead to an altered state of consciousness though that term may not have existed when he wrote the classic The varieties of religious experience. I have the book (which is also online available) but have not read it yet. I do not know how to prove the other obvious statement yet. Andries 02:13, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The James materials will be valuable. There is a great deal in Lifton's work about the differences in the ways people react to Chinese intense brainwashing. It's the "wishy-washy" ones who escaped. They "wishyed" over to the pro-PPC position and then "washeyed" back to the consentual reality of the West as soon as they got out from under information control. The "true believer" type, however, tends to switch from being an adamant "no arguments" Catholic (or whatever) to an adamant PPC believer. It's like a cube. You push it and push it and suddenly what was the bottom becomes a side, and there is no easy way to get it back into its original orientation. You have to push it just as hard to get it to go back as you did to get it to turn in the first place. The other type is more like pushing a bean bag. You push it on one side and the top part of it will move over but the bottom part stays about where it was to begin with, and when you let go it squishes back to about where it was when you started. I'll check out the URLs you added above. P0M 04:39, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I fail to see the relevance of James material for this article. I thought that this article was about brainwashing. I have read James and do not see what Philosophy of Religion has to do with "brainwashing". If you refer to James-Lange work on the theory of emotions, that may be OK, but I warn you that these theories have been challenged by contemporary social scientist and physiologists (Philip Bard and Walter Cannon for example). Worth exploring, though. --Zappaz 03:15, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Interesting quote fom Barker's book An introduction to NRMs

  • Chapter "8 Isolated from the world"
"It has become clear in the course of time that the definition of reality for most people - that includes questions like, what happens with me, with others and with the rest of society - and their judgement about what is good and evil, is very sensitive to suggestion, influence and manipulation if this happens when these people are cut off from other sources of information. If there is only one interpretation available and if in addition this interpretation is also accepted by other co-believers and if even a suspicion of doubt is explained as a shortage of faith or betrayal to the cause, then, it will be clear, that investigation of reality is not easy. "

Andries 02:30, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Andries, it will be helpful if you read some of the scholars that challenge brainwashing theories (see list of citacions above), rather than reading the same scholars again and again. That will have the potential to widen your perspective on this subject. --Zappaz 16:11, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
The reason I use Barker as a reference so often is that she is both acceptable for you and me. I have read much more on the subjects but I have to admit that I often distrust much of what I read because there is so much partisan information with regards to cults and NRMs. I even borrowed Lifton's original book from the library only for this article though I only read some chapters. Andries 17:50, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The question is not whether brainwashing exists

There seems a lot of evidence for the existence of brainwashing given the fact that many people's opinion are resistant against evidence but the question is not whehter is exists but whether it is a suitable explanation following ockham's razor for this phenomenon. Andries 04:05, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Andries, with all due respect, please understand that you cannot take the most sensitive aspects of human endeavor such as feelings, beliefs, faith, etc. and utilize ockham's razor to explain these away. There is a 'huge' amount of scholarly research done on Brainwashing, mind control, influenece, propaganda, etc. Attempting to bypass all that research and attempt to find an explanation following ockham's razor, is laughable. Let's stick to finding good references, summarize them and provide citacions. Think of the reader! --Zappaz 16:07, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I do not mean to re-do the research here but what I meant is there seemed to be some good reasons to believe in brainwashing by cults that should be stated here. I mean, we should explain why this at a certain point of history this was thought to be a plausible explanation for what happened to members of purported cults. Some of them, like altered state of consciousness and what Barker wrote about the big influence of communal reinforcement and lack of information can and should be stated in the article. Andries 17:47, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
You need to look into the history of the anti-cult movement to understand the reasons for the attempt by them to apply theories of brainwashing to members of NRMs. It is all so evidently obvious! --Zappaz 19:58, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Stating that something is obvious to me does not provide grounds for other people to believe it. P0M 20:22, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
So "why the anti-cult movement tried to apply theories of brainwashing to members of NRMs", this is "evidently obvious". The notion that "mind control" is exactly the same theory as "brainwashing" only under a different name, this too is "evidently obvious". But oh, sorry, when it comes to anything the anti-cult movement might have to say in answer to accusations that they are a homogenous lump of pseudoscience-spouting bigots, I'm sorry, we can't read their minds on that like we did on those other two issues; it's going to need references before anything can be allowed in on that matter. -- Antaeus Feldspar 22:39, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Thank you Feldspar for the juicy peyorative: "homogenous lump of pseudoscience-spouting bigots". It may come handy in the future :). Happy New Year! --Zappaz 22:47, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I think that Andries has a good point. There is a large range of phenomena that get called "brainwashing." (Which presidential candidate admitted to being "brainwashed" after he repeated some CCP conclusions?) Even within the confines of Chinese practice, the brainwashing that was practiced in Korea was different from the more intense brainwashing applied within their national borders. Brainwashing developed out of Russian show trial "preparation" of prisoners, which in turn owed much to techniques used by the Catholic Church during the Inquisitions. Much of what I saw in my own Presbyterian Sunday School background used elements of coercive persuasion, and in between are the televangelists. P0M 20:22, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I fully agree. That is why we need to make clear distinctions in how the term has been applied to different situations and by different people, as well provide the necessary context for readers. After all, hope you agree that this is a "loaded" term: By utilizing the term "brainwashing" anti-cultists in the 70s and 80's attempted to ride the wave of the obviously negative connotations of the term, and use that as a weapon of misinformation and propaganda against the new religious movements they opposed. When scientist rejected the theories of brainwashing within the context of "cults" and NRMs, they simply changed the term to mind control. --Zappaz 22:14, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Zappaz, you are wrong, the mind control is different from brainwashing. Andries 13:55, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
That is very gullible. Hassan and othre anti-cultists changed 'brainwashing' to 'mind control' and 'deprogramming' to 'exit counseling' as a way to diassociate themselves from the controversies that ended up as a huge discredit to anti-cultist. Mind control and brainwashing are both inventions without any scientific standing. It takes a few hours of rearrch, but eventually you get to the point in which you understand were all comes from. --Zappaz 16:30, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Zappaz, I think you overlooked the fact that many ex-members sincerely do not understand their own experiences and look for answers and they sometimes end up with simplistic theories such as mind control but to say that they were devised cynically to have strategy against cults, well, that may be unconcsiously part of the reason. I am happy to see that you are somewhat cynical and suspicious of the motives of people if you can apply this attitude to all players in the debate, not just to anti-cult movement but also to leaders of NRMs. The disappointment and the anger of so many once ardent followers, such me of so many NRMs indicates that there is sufficient reason to do so. Andries 17:29, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Zappaz, this is a general problem that I have with your edits in Wikipedia. You seem to welcome NRMs as an enrichment of cultural and religious diverdity but seems to forget or ignore the fact (and this is just a fact) that the lives of people have been ruined by NRMs. You only focus on the persecution and unjustified stigmatization they receive and to depict the people who criticize them as untrustwothy and hate mongers . In some cases there is believe me a good reason for this stigmatization of certain NRMs. Andries 18:58, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Emerging religions are indeed a societal phenomenon and part of the cultural diversity and development of societies. Your generalization "the lives of people have been ruined by NRMs" can coexist with the opposing statement that "the lives of people have been enriched by NRMs". My position, supported by years of study and corroborated by many scholars, is that the number of people who's life was "ruined" to use your term, is a tiny minority and that most people are either indifferent or enriched by their experience in NRMs. I agree with you that some NRMs are very destructive, but please note that the anti-cult movement and their proponents have a very distorted view of reality either due to their apostasy, their religious background (mostly evangelical christians), or their ideology and that they tend to crtitique any and all groups that are outside of mainstream religions. Most scholars that study NRMs concur with this. --Zappaz 20:22, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Indifferent because they were never deeply or long involved. Why do you always conveniently forget to mention that? Many people who wake up after long feel they have been harmed. Many people for whom it is just too difficult or too painful to see the evidence do not wake up for obvious reasons. At a certain moment when they are not so devoted then they may look at the evidence and then this may not be traumatic. But you have to understand that there are people, like me, on which the evidence was forced due to circumstances when they were superdevoted and supercommitted. Zappaz, I was fully aware that some people in the anti-cult movements made flimsy, crazy criticisms on NRMs even when I was a follower but that does not mean that ex-members/apostates cannot tell the truth. Why do you think so many post on ex-Jehovah forums. Don't you think that ex-followers feel cheated and angry, at least for some time? What apostates do is consumer protection for spiritual seekers. Andries 21:19, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
"consumer protection for spiritual seekers". That was a good one Andries!
I can understand how you feel, according to your situation. Just note that anyone devoting many years sincerily to anything and deciding later on that it was a mistake or that felt no longer willing, will have serious issues to deal with. Just ask anyone that went through a painful divorce! That does not mean that marriage is wrong. Just that some marriages do not work.
In any case, I wish you a happy new year and hope you can take meaningul steps in recovering from your traumatic experience. Best wishes! --Zappaz 21:43, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Zappaz, thanks for the best wishes and you too. But there is huge difference with marriage i.e. the relationship resembles a one to many relationship unlike marriage so that makes it meaningful to warn people not to make the same mistake. And there is another difference my former guru requested all devotion and love directed to him, and every act dedicated to him. Spouses do not go that far. Andries 21:55, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
My wife does! :) --Zappaz 21:59, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Zappaz, just a reminder that my former guru was India's most popular godman who lost many followers after 2000, so that indicates that the experience of harm by a cult is not a small minority, though I have to admit that the intensity of my experience is exceptional. Andries 11:26, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Please stop deleting facts

Please stop deleting facts. "The coercive persuasion theory ... is not a meaningful scientific concept" is in the amicus curiae brief from APA. --Zappaz 22:58, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Yes. So is the following:
It might be possible, for example, to define a certain subgroup of persons possessing common traits who are particularly likely to respond favorably. Were experts able to show statistically that members of this subgroup will typically respond to the Church's conversion practices by joining the Church, then it might--under some circumstances--be possible to express a scientific opinion that this complex of stimuli was coercive for this subgroup.
There you have it -- the APA, the authority that you are referencing for your statement that "The coercive persuasion theory ... is not a meaningful scientific concept", is stating how the coercive persuasion theory could in fact be correct and if so could be scientifically proven with the right investigation. It is therefore a fact -- a fact you keep deleting -- that the APA's judgement of "not a meaningful scientific concept" clearly does not mean 'inherently unscientific' or 'scientifically disproven', as the quote removed from its context in the brief might suggest and as Introvigne's misquote of "not scientific" would also tend to imply.
Please stop deleting facts. -- Antaeus Feldspar 00:29, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
You can add some text from that section of the brief if you want. But do not delete the text that APA found these theories as not meaningful from a scientific viewpoint. --Zappaz 00:57, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Zappaz, anyone looking at the edits can see that you are the one removing facts. Did I remove one quote? Yes, I did. I removed one of the four quotes that you would put in your favored version on the theme of "Singer's research blows goats". As has already been discussed, it is a quote that easily leads to an incorrect interpretation of the APA's position when it is taken out of context. You seem to forget that I added two quotes from the APA brief to the article in the first place [[7]] -- including the one that you are now whining about my taking out. Would you please explain why I am "deleting facts" by removing redundant quotes (quotes that you yourself made redundant) and why you are not when you are repeatedly removing the information that the APA did not mean coercive persuasion could not be scientific? -- Antaeus Feldspar 02:27, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Featured article

I want to get this article into Wikipedia:Featured articles. In order to do that we need the following:

  1. stop any edit wars
  2. do a thorough copyedit (check the prose and grammar, flow, etc.)
  3. expand the article and add more references if needed

Can we do this? --Zappaz 02:48, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

And, y'know, I'd like to get the record for the most simultaneous Nobel Prizes. In order to do that, I need to:
  1. bring world peace
  2. cure a major disease
  3. discover a cheap way to tap limitless sources of energy
Do you really think we're that easy to manipulate? That you can dangle the carrot of featured article status, which isn't yours to award, and that will "stop any edit wars", by which you clearly mean "accept the version I want, with only the information I want people to know in there"? Pfeh. The edit wars will stop when you join the rest of us in trying to get the information that fairly represents both sides of the debate into the article -- rather than saying "it's evidently obvious!" when it's information for your POV and "that's just your unattributed opinion!" when it's information for the other side of the debate. -- Antaeus Feldspar 18:03, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, but I really do not understand why you are so angry. You need tyo seriously look at your anger. I am not dangling any carrots. I am trying to contribute to this article and make it a great one, with you, or without you. Once I feel satisfied that the article is substantial. comprehensive and well written (and yes NPOV!), I myself will propose it to be featured. --Zappaz 18:11, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Personally, I doubt that this article is ready to be "featured." P0M 19:59, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I know, I know... But we can work together to get it there. --Zappaz 03:16, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Proposed additions

We could expand this article with these subsections, as follows:

  1. a section the legal implications of coercive persuasion and;
  2. a section on coercive persuasion as it applies to confessions extracted in interrogations;
  3. a section on the differences between "influence" and "persuasion" vs "coercive persuasion".

I am already be working on (1). Any takers for the others? Any other sctions that we could add? --Zappaz 03:36, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The best way to do things might be to look at: what the most intensive (goal=Manchurian candidate ;-) practices are, what the next level of practices (keep our society XYZist) are, what can be contrived for mid-term projects (keep those POWs under control with the use of fewer men who could otherwise be on the battleground),..., very short-term objectives (force this man to divulge where the VVMD) was buried, etc. One of the interesting things about ordinary police departmeent extraction of confessions is that the police can lie but if the prisoner lies he commits a crime. And prisoners can be threatened with "having the book thrown at them," and blandished with offers of gentler treatment if they will only incriminate someone else. But, having just said that, it appears to me that there may need to be an envelope article that contains brainwashing as a subset. One of the main characteristics of brainwashing has been that it is used to attain ideological ideals (a more successful workers' paradise, for instance), whereas persuasion can be used in nearly all human negotiations. It also interests me that the threat of force is even involved in many superficially reasonable interchanges. (Ever wonder why the Presidents of the U.S. have almost always been tall guys? Shorter people like Harry Truman usually get in by accidennt.) P0M 17:48, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Archiving

Zappaz, I would ask that you stop making decisions without consulting everyone else on archiving the talk page. You may consider the discussions you are archiving to be closed subjects but that is not everyone's view. -- Antaeus Feldspar 16:43, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I made the decision based on the fact that the page was 35K. I do not see any reason for asking "permission" when the text is available via a link to the archive. This is common practice. --Zappaz 16:51, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Archiving old, closed discussions is common practice. Asking, when they are less than a week old, whether others besides yourself who consider them closed, is common courtesy. "The text is available via a link to the archive" is a cheat; the talk page is where discussion takes place, and moving a discussion from the talk page to the archive is a declaration of "we are not discussing this anymore." If you consult with no one before making that unilateral declaration, it should be obvious what the problem is. -- Antaeus Feldspar 18:00, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The reason for the 36K limit is that some old browsers will choke on articles that are longer than that. Let's let the talk page grow. If anyone has trouble editing, then 'e can contact me and I'll try to act as a neutral "slicer" and pare the thing down to the size that that user is no longer iced out. P0M

Thanks P0M. Will do. BTW, did not archive as a "cheat", I was trying to keep this clean and tidy. --Zappaz 20:20, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
No problem. I've been on both sides of this issue in the past. Now I usually write something that I'm thinking of archiving a bunch of stuff in a day or to, wait a day or two, and then note on the discussion page that I have archived. One thing that sometimes can be helpful is to archived only the parts of a discussion page that have gone cold. P0M 21:55, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Excellent practice. Will adopt from now on. Thanks for sharing. Maybe it will be good to add to the Help page for new editors.--Zappaz 02:39, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

cpyedit

Thanks Pedant17 for the excellent copyedit effort. Could you please look again at the last sentence of Brainwashing#Brainwashing_controversy_in_new_religious_movements_and_cults, it is hard to understand as it stands. Thanks! -- Zappaz 22:48, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

MKULTRA

Where's the mention of MKULTRA!? How can that possibly be left out of an article on brainwashing? I'll put it in when/if I have time later on.


Indeed, please note the flwg from http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKcameronDE.htm:

QUOTE (Dr. Donald Ewen) Cameron discovered that "once a subject entered an amnesiac, somnambulistic state, they would become hypersensitive to suggestion". In other words they could be brainwashed. The CIA became aware of Cameron's research and in 1957 Cameron was recruited by Allen Dulles, Director of the CIA, to run Project MKULTRA. Documents released in 1977 show that MKULTRA was a "mind control" program. As it was illegal for the CIA to conduct operations on American soil, Cameron was forced to carry out his experiments at the Allan Memorial Institute in Canada. The CIA arranged funding via Cornell University in New York. UNQUOTE

--Arthur Borges 08:24, 16 February 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arthurborges (talkcontribs)

Does WIKIPEDIA WORK? Apparently NOT

Does WIKIPEDIA WORK? Apparently NOT. My first time consulting it... what do I see? A section on Brainwashing which is not only wrong but fraudulent. Sucker that I am, I buy the propaganda - that the consumer of the information can correct the file. Using my own time and resources, I insert historical accuracy, balance and fresh information. The result? Within minutes some lurking buffoon has replaced the original crap word-for-word. Some self absorbed Hackademic? Some political activist? I could care less, but my suspicions are that it is one of the self promoters whose work is linked to the page. Caveat emptor. What irony... some cadre is babysitting his Brainwashing page. My students will not be consulting this "stuff". We don't phuck with other people's minds in Canada. -- This unsigned comment by 24.87.253.152.

You speak of having students; if you do, I hope you've taught them to think critically about what they read and what they're told, and to not blindly accept something as the truth just because someone tells them it's true. Yet exactly what you're doing here, it seems, is to fulminate and rage and conclude "Wikipedia doesn't work!" from the fact that you came in and made major changes which we did not blindly accept as the truth despite you providing no references, no reason why of the two versions, yours is the more accurate and balanced and credible. I do not necessarily approve of your changes all being reverted, especially with the edit summary "rv (POV)" and no talk page discussion, but I have to wonder why you think that any project like Wikipedia could work the way you seem to suggest it should, where if anyone comes along and says "No, I don't agree with what you have written there; my account of things is the facts and you must accept it as such" it actually is accepted without any question. -- Antaeus Feldspar
Being the one to blame for the revert, I agree that an explanation was due. Sorry I did not have the time to comment on the revert, as customary. (BTW, I do not like being called a lurking buffon, when actually, yes, I am one of the main contributors to this article for several months already...)
  • I removed text as it was written as an opinion, without references provided and POVs unattributed. Provide references and attribute your additions and we will all be happy bunnies. Otherwise, read the guidelines: 'If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, do not submit it.
  • I left some of the information, as it added value to the article.
  • User:24.87.253.152, please be civil in your comments, learn the WP ropes slowly and join the edit fry as a collaborating editor a step at the time.
Lastly, you may also want to read NPOV for information about the specifics of editing WP. Your statement about the article being "wrong and fraudulent", shows that you have yet to understand the nuances of this encyclopedia. It takes some time to understand how this works. And it does...!
--Zappaz 06:53, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

HELLO!!! is anyone interested in reality? Wikipedia is becoming a joke with cult members posting ridiculous nonsense here. These folks are frustrated that within the real world no one takes them seriously and thinks that their "references" are losers and "cult apologists" that have sold out to rich cults. Doesn't ANYONE really watch Wikipedia and get this?

BTW--Zappaz is cult dude who loves guru Maharaji and posts throughout Wikipedia on cult-related subjects to get his two cents in for the old guru. What a joke. He is here to warp the entries and twist whatever he can. Wikipedia is worse for this guy's nonsense.

See the following links:

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/c11.html

http://www.rickross.com/apologist.html

http://home.snafu.de/tilman/faq-you/cult.apologists.txt

The "references" these people post are utter trash. Many have been exposed repeatedly as little more than whores that sell out to whoever will pay them.208.5.214.2 00:11, 7 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edward Hunter, CIA operative?

Do we have any references for the claim that Edward Hunter was "a CIA propaganda operator who worked under-cover as a journalist"? -- Antaeus Feldspar 23:14, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC) {

Is is all in the Bibblio section. Also, there are 97,200 hits on Google when searching {"edward hunter" CIA} http://www.google.com/search?q=edward+hunter+cia. Even Rick Ross concurs [sic] ... Hunter, later revealed to be a CIA propagandist ... [8]
--Zappaz 06:59, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I was wondering about this internet article

by Michael Browning from the Palm Beach Post, March 14, 2003:

"Brainwashing" is one of the few Chinese phrases to have made its way directly into English in translation, thanks to the Korean War. Chinese Taoist temples often displayed the two characters "Xi Xin," pronounced "shee shin," meaning "Wash Heart." It was an adjuration to all those entering to purge their hearts of base thoughts [i.e. Chinese Thought Reform] and desires, and rise to a higher spiritual plane.

The Chinese communists adopted this phrase during political "struggle sessions," in which an erring comrade would be urged by the group to straighten out, fly right, get back in tune with the common goal. The very word for "comrade" in Chinese is tongzhi, meaning "share goal."

Only one slight change was made: Instead of washing the heart, one was urged to wash the brain, "Xi Nao," purify one's thoughts.

Is it worth including? It is the only article I've found that traces the word back that far, but also I have no idea if its conclusions are valid.

We are not to judge if the conclusions are valid. If it is a well referenced POV, and you believe it to be notable enough and of encyclopedic value, feeel free to add it. (also note that it is expected than new topics for discussion are placed at the bottom of the page. Thanks). --Zappaz 16:09, 13 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think this is good content to include. It is not true, as the article (used to?) imply that "brainwashing" was a term invented by clueless Western mass media hacks. The Chinese terms was there first. I had not heard about the Daoist temple thing, but it makes good sense and could easily be confirmed. (I'll try to get around to that job shortly.)

Was "[i.e. Chinese Thought Reform]" in the original??? It's irrelevant to Daoism or at least greatly misleading. I would replace it with four dots if I were going to quote the whole thing. Better would be to paraphrase the entry and footnote the original.P0M 17:50, 13 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It was in the original, and I have to say I'm confused by it. It's probably a blooper, orginally meant to be placed after "Brainwashing." If I do include the article I'm going to paraphrase it.

OK. I've included it, and removed the references to the word being invented by Western journalists. If I am wrong, I am open to correction.

Please sign your postings. (4 tilde symbols will do it.) I've followed this subject avidly since the time of the Korean War and I've studied Chinese since 1960, and everything my gel-ware has sopped up tells me you are correct. The Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Chinese Language (and it really is encyclopedic -- on the scale of the Encyclopedia Britanica) has an entry for the term, attributes the practice to the CCP and its government, and gives no indication that it was a Western term. P0M 20:29, 22 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Patrick, I don't get this. The term brainwashing was invented by Western journalists, but the fact that there is a term in Chinese, that is something different, doesn't it? --Zappaz 00:55, 24 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, somebody invented the translation of the Chinese term xi3 nao3 -- which works the same way as xi3 yi1fu (wash clothing). I don't know whether that first person to translate it into English happened to be a reporter who knew Chinese or a Chinese who was helping the reporter and said, "It means 'wash brains'". The point is that the translator stuck with a word-for-word translation. It also means that the Chinese had a very clear idea that there was a powerful technique being used on people before the Western reporters came on the scene. The Western reporters didn't invent something to use to make a big splash in the Readers Digest with.

An English clergyman discovered that honeybees will not build comb so its surface is closer than approximately 1/4 inch from the next ccmb. Big deal, you may think. But the whole commercial honey and pollination business depends on this discovery because knowing that bees will not obstruct any spaces that are a quarter in apart made it possible to make wooden hives with arrangements for honeycombs to be constructed in wooden frames that hang down like hanging file folders and that the beekeeper can remove without having to cut honeycomb apart. That means the beekeeper can get into the hive to inspect it for disease and other anomalous conditions in a way that is safe and efficient for everybody. Now the idea has surely reached China, and I'm sure that the average beekeeper doesn't use the term "bee space" in English whenever he is talking to his new helper or the government bee inspector. They surely have translated it into Chinese. (I don't happen to know the term but I could probably find out on the Chinese Wikipedia.) That doesn't mean that they invented the idea, made it seem that it was their own idea, or anything like that. Everybody who is curious about it can find out where the idea came from and who made the discovery that made a huge industry possible. P0M 02:09, 24 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for the excellent explanation! --Zappaz 20:15, 24 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No problem. I was happy to do it, and it made me wonder whether the article on the beehive had the information. It had the name of the inventor, but not what made it a real invention. So I was happy to give the poor guy his due. P0M 03:01, 25 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I noticed that Zappaz has offered some misinformation here. The article he links attributed to "Rick Ross" actually is not. It is a Washington Post article archived within the Ross Institute database. [9]Another point to bring out is the credibility of Dick Anthony. Anthony essentially works for "cults" and controversial groups called "cult-like" as a paid apologist. [10] Anyone quoting Anthony should note this for both contextual historical and NPOV purposes. Many other scholars Zappaz quotes are controversial and have been called "cult apologists," because of their close association with such groups and other academics have criticized them. [11] [12][13]67.134.82.78 14:24, 25 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What missinformation are you claiming I made? Please stop making unwarranted attacks, just because you are associated with the Ross institute and believes that anyone oppossing Ross' religious intolerance stance is an apologist. Thanks. Please also note that WP is not a place for advocacy. You have your website for that. Some people like you think that by labelling someone or a group with a peyorative distinction makes them evil. That is one of the traits of intolerance. --Zappaz 15:03, 25 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If Wikipedia isn't a place for advocacy, Prem RawZappaz, then what are you doing here? =) Don't you think there's just a bit of hypocrisy in publicly claiming that you do what you do because you are a champion of tolerance and freedom and fluffy puppies and all that is good but that .78 opposing the smear jobs against Rick Ross must mean he/she is Rick Ross? Look, I don't really know if I should be giving you advice to keep you from humiliating yourself, Z, but ... you're shooting yourself in the foot with this jive about "I really believe you are Rick Ross himself! Because I cannot comprehend how anyone except Rick Ross himself or one of his personal friends could be on his side! Despite this utter incomprehension on my part, you should actually believe that I am somehow capable of and interested in NPOV!" -- Antaeus Feldspar 23:46, 25 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am sure you are capable of NPOV, but I have not seen you assuming your POV (I don't believe you can reach the former without first doing the latter). I strive to assume mine fully. Please try and be less cynical, it may make you feele better at the end of a long day. Yes, fluffly puppies (and cats) included, I am for religious tolerance, freedom, personal responsibility and other good stuff. What I am doing in WP? Contributing with thousands others to create an great encyclopedia devoided of bias, hate and religious intolerance. Hope you join me. (You can check Talk:Rick Ross for my reasons in speculating that anon is either Ross himself or someone related to the Ross Institute) --Zappaz 01:06, 26 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RfC Summary

Request for comment initiated by Zappaz 18:49, 14 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Revert war due to lack of consensus in regard to commentary added by one editor, regarding the scientific support (or lack thereof) for the brainswashing theories advaced by the anti-cult movement. One editor has added commentary and interpretations, while the other insits in removing commentary and provide citations only, leaving the interpretations to the reader.

Comments by editors below:

  • Ditch the brainwashing POV commentary and POV interpretations. Let the reader decide. I am in support of Zappaz' version, not Antaeus Feldspar's cajole. --AI 13:08, 16 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Revert war. A particular document known as the "Molko brief" is referenced; a compromise text was previously reached, indicating that the brief deemed certain research to be lacking in scientific validation, but did not deem the theory behind the research to be unscientific in nature or deem it to be disproven. Now one of the editors who reached that compromise text is insisting that because he has found a expert who incorrectly asserts that the brief deemed all research on such theories "not scientific" (an interpretation disproven by the brief itself suggesting alternate hypotheses based on the same theory that could yet be tested and would be consistent with the collected evidence) then the other side must provide an expert citation in order to point out that this is not what the brief says. Since when did Wikipedia require a negative to be proved, let alone proven via citation? User:Antaeus Feldspar18:51, 14 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Original research?

The section Brainwashing#The_use_of_coercive_persuasion_techniques_in_China reads very much as opinions presented as facts, lacks attributions and citations and therefore inherently POV. Unless someone cares to NPOV this section and provide citations I will remove this text in a week's time. --Zappaz 02:24, 21 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think accurately describes Lifton's book about the matter (I have only read some of it and I brought the book back to the library.) Andries 12:38, 23 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If it is from Lifton's it needs clearly to say that. Now it reads as facts. --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 12:40, 23 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, but I do not think that there is anyone who has given a serious rebuttal to Lifton's research with regards to brainwashing in China. Please let me know if you know somebody. The psychiatrist Lifton has been criticized (by Paul Schnabel) for lack of trying to give support to people who clearly had serious emotional and adaptation problems and were very confused Andries 12:52, 23 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This section still reads as fact rather than as attributed. to Lifton I would suggest you re-write this sectionif you have an interest in presenting Lifton's work on brainwashing. I am not in the mood to read that book, so if you are inclined, please attribute it and removed the NPOV warning. --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 05:54, 7 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But Lifton's work on the subject was never disputed and not because his research was so obscure. So his research can be stated as facts or do I miss something? Many articles in Wikipedia are stated as facts, simply because the research is undisputed. I will try to attribute it to Lifton but I am confused about this. Andries 07:27, 7 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you are confused, then ask for clarification. What I am saying is that the section needs to be re-written to show that the text (if indeed that is the case) is attributted to Lifton. At this moment it does not read as such. And if it is indeed attributed to Lifton, it needs to be better summarized as well. --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 10:47, 7 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am a bit suprized that you give the section a disputed warning in combination with your self-admitted unwillingness to read the references mentioned at the bottom of the article. May be you can explain why you think that undisputed research with many references at the bottom cannot be stated as facts but must be attributed? ~I admit that it would be better to do so, but in case the research is undisputed I do not consider it necessary and I think a NPOV warning that you inserted is inappropriate. Andries 12:59, 7 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are in squelch mode until you retract from your personal attack. --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 16:54, 7 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Information please

There is an interesting (and hysterical) quotation in the text that needs a citation:

In 1953 Allen Welsh Dulles, the CIA director at that time, explained that "the brain under [Communist influence] becomes a phonograph playing a disc put on its spindle by an outside genius over which it has no control."

That's a very useful quotation, but only if it is real. Please supply the needed details.

I've been going back over the text of the article. So far I've seen a few places where unfamiliarity with the whole body of materials may have sort of given thought reform a "pass," but nothing that misrepresents what was going on in the other direction (except for our CIA director's hysterical comment quoted above -- "Go figure!"). If anybody wants to see a description of life in a Chinese prison on a day-to-day basis, please get In the Presence of My Enemies by John Clifford, S.J. P0M 14:13, 8 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Patrick, thanks for the useful additions to the article. Could you please look at the sub-section Brainwashing#The_use_of_coercive_persuasion_techniques_in_China? According to Andries, that is all based on Lifton's work. If it is, it would be good to properly attribute the text as it now reads as fact. Could you have a look and see if you can NPOV that section? Thanks. If you need citations for the quote above here it is (cited by Introvigne here [14]:

  • Cit. in Alan W. Scheflin Edward M. Opton, Jr., The Mind Manipulators. A Non-Fiction Account, New York London: Paddington, 1978., p. 437.

--ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 19:24, 8 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'll try to check over these materials again and see whether I can insert some citations to Lifton and/or Schein. In many ways, I suspect, they were both basing themselves on the results of many researchers working in an official capacity to try to understand why our troops were turning coat in unprescedented numbers. There is always a problem involved in giving an "objective" account when the individual data points can be matters of interpersonal experience (Former POW John J. Doe affirmed that he had admitted to releasing bio-warfare agents...) but any attempt to characterize the results has to be recognized as somebody's interpretation. Unless there are the the equivalents of holocaust deniers that I have not heard of, I think the general details of what happened were taken down by people who were tasked with finding out what had really happened with the aim of preparing troops better in future warfare, and not with making propaganda. (That's not to say that politicians could not make their own use of these events.) I am not aware of anyone having questioned the research methodology or the basic conclusions. As authors of books that tried to help the American people understand what had happened, both Lifton and Schein were necessarily acting as interpreters of their own and other people's research.
As for independent checks on their conclusions, check out the book by Father Clifford. I knew him fairly well in Taiwan. He was thoroughly sane (if you discount the fact that he went back to one part of China after all that happened to him), not at all "hysterical" or bombastic. He didn't make propaganda. But the things that he tells his readers about daily life in Chinese prison square with the general accounts provided by the other books.
A further check is available from Prisoners of the Revolution by Allyn and Adele Rickett. If I remember correctly, Allyn Rickett had been in Naval Intelligence before leaving the military and becoming a student of Chinese. When he had an opportunity to go to China to study, he was asked to keep his eyes open and make occasional reports to our government. He admitted as much when he was arrested for spying, and I think he took cognizance of the fact that from the standpoint of the PRC government he was breaking their laws so they had just cause under their system of values to imprison him. He appears not to have been embittered by his treatment, nor was his wife (who presumably knew that her husband was reporting to US intelligence). So I think it is fair to say that their description of their imprisonment was not hostile. All that being said, if you make allowances for the fact that people like Father Clifford were unlikely to have responded to milder pressure it seems clear that they were describing the same regimen.
If the studies of Lifton and Schein need to be "characterized" somehow, I think it is important not to make it seem that they might have been two kooks who spent a week in HK interviewing returning detainees and then came up with their own wild-eyed accounts. To controvert what they said it would be necessary to (1) do away with hundreds or thousands of interviews and psychological tests, and (2) attack the reasoning behind conclusions made on any remaining evidence. One of the things that happens with bad science over the course of decades and centuries is that not just one or two contrary voices are heard, but that somebody makes an attack, somebody else checks out the evidence and argument and finds it lacking, another criticism is raised, and gradually the whole original account gets chewed away. As far as I know, that hasn't happened. Robert J. Lifton is highly regarded even today. (There are currently about 9 of his books on Amazon.com.) P0M 20:50, 8 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • In a speech before the National Alumni Conference at Princeton University on April 10, 1953, newly appointed CIA director Allen Dulles lectured his audience on "how sinister the battle for men's minds had become in Soviet hand." The human mind, Dulles warned, was a "malleable tool," and the Red Menace had secretly developed "brain perversion techniques." Some of these methods were "so subtle and so abhorrent to our way of life that we have recoiled from facing up to them." Dulles continued, "The minds of selected individuals who are subjected to such treatment ... are deprived of the ability to state their own thoughts. Parrot-like, the individuals so conditioned can merely repeat the thoughts which have been implanted in their minds by suggestion from outside. In effect the brain ... become a phonograph playing a disc put on its spindle by an outside genius over which it has no control."[15], quoting Acid Dreams (1985) by Martin A. Lee and Bruce Shlain.
This is a longer version of the same quote. Yes, it is hysterical. -Willmcw 19:48, August 8, 2005 (UTC)

The use of coercive persuasion -- neutrality

O.K., as requested I have revisited this section. I can give citations if people feel that there are doubts about whether Lifton and Schein actually reported these conclusions, but such citations would answer the question of whether the section is accurate or not. The section has a "neutrality" warning on it, and that must be answered in a different way.

There actually is a POV question in regard to this section. I've tried to address it. One point of view says that it is evil to use torture and coercive measures short of torture to take a prisoner's autonomy away from him/her and cause him/her to come into compliance with the values of the state. Another point of view says that it is preferable to use brainwashing on prisoners to cause them to cease being criminals rather than to use simple imprisonment to indulge in "pay back", causing prisoners distress and leading to no other result than recidivism. If I remember correctly, in Yablonsky's book on Synanon the founder of the Synanon organization says that he uses brainwashing and finds it preferable to letting guys OD on heroin. Was that the point of view that someone wanted included? Or is there some other way in which point of view needs to be neutralized?P0M 02:32, 9 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Excellent work Patrick! I am removing the sectNPOV warning. Thank you. --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 03:11, 9 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RfC for featured article

After the excellent additions and edits by Patrick (P0M), Irmgard and anons, I feel we are getting closer to the stated aim of making this a featured article. What do editors think? Are we ready to submit this article to review via RfC as needede before submitting to be evaluated as a featured article? If fellow editors thing we are not there yet, could they please list below what does this article need to get us there? Thanks! --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 03:19, 9 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Quotes

Sorted the quotes according to date and gave the references according to reference section (standard referencing). Also collected all "See Also"s in one place --Irmgard 22:17, 9 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Of the two quotes below, I could not verify where they come from. Please complete and move them back. --Irmgard 22:17, 9 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Still, the mass media continues to report claims of "brainwashing" as if the alleged phenomenon were real. And, as a result, the concept of "brainwashing" sustains considerable currency in popular culture. It is, to be sure, a powerful metaphor. "Brainwashing" communicates disapproval of influence by persons, or groups, the user of the term considers to be illegitimate. Jeffrey K. Hadden
Source: [16] --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 23:03, 9 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, is in the list. --Irmgard 08:24, 10 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "Brainwashing: (a.k.a. thought control, mind control, coercive persuasion). A non-violent method that uses mind control techniques to co*nvince a person to abandon some of their basic beliefs and adopt the beliefs of the indoctrinator. (religioustolerance.org)
Source: [17] --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 23:03, 9 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Like this no correct attribution (no author, no date, no title), but I managed to find it --Irmgard 08:24, 10 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Special case: in view of the fact that this amicus curiae was written on February 10, 1987 (NOT July 11, 1989.), APA signature of it has been withdrawn March 24, 1987 and APA statement of May 1987 says "undecided" I think this quote should be omitted (to include every back and forth in this issue would go a bit too far). --Irmgard 22:17, 9 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • [t]he methodology of Drs. [Margaret] Singer and Benson has been repudiated by the scientific community",and are "little more than uninformed speculation, based on skewed data" and that "[t]he coercive persuasion theory ... is not a meaningful scientific concept" Amicus curiæ,
Disagree. The quote should stay with the corrected date. If there was a withdrawal, state it and cite it. --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 23:03, 9 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe better - the three APA statements within three month make the situation more clear. --Irmgard 08:24, 10 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You got your attribution for the third APA quote wrong.... The quote refers to the BSERP rejection of the DIMPAC task force report. Not to the amicus curiae. The DIMPAC was headed by Margaret Singer. The APA rejected its findings. Full text follows (highlights are mine):

BSERP thanks the Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Methods of Persuasion and Control for Its service but Is unable to accept the report of the Task Force. In general, the report lacks the scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach necessary for APA Imprimatur. The report was carefully reviewed by two external experts and two members of the Board. They Independently agreed on the significant deficiencies In the report. The reviews are enclosed for your Information. The Board cautions the Task Force members against using their Past appointment to Imply BSERP or APA support or approval of the positions advocated In the report. BSERP requests that Task Force members not distribute or publicize the report without Indicating that the report was unacceptable to the Board. Finally, after much consideration, BSERP does not believe that we have sufficient Information available to guide us In taking a position on this Issue.[18]

I am changing the context of the quote as appropriate. --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 01:35, 11 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The APA and the brainwashing theories

That section is factually innacurate. The BSERP rejected DIMPAC findings, not the amicus curiae. Please fix or delete the new text. --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 22:59, 21 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fixed - I'll remove the tag. --Irmgard 20:18, 22 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please slow down

Me and others have worked on this article quite extensively. I would kindly ask that masssive edits/restructuring, etc. be done a bit at the time as to give time to respond to these edits in a constructive manner. I would also ask to make an effort to remain NPOV and avoid making this article a soapbox for furthering anticult advocacy. Thanks. --ZappaZ [[I Image:Yin_yang.svg|12px]] 22:07, 23 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Zappaz, that's not a reason for reversion. I also have contributed a lot to this article - you don't have a monopoly here. I have attributed and referenced each statement and these statements are all by scholars publishing in peer-reviewed journals - calling that soapbox is not correct. Please refrain in the future from such POV generalizations. --Irmgard 08:02, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I sorted out the various mixed statements in the NMR and APA sections and deleted a para in the NMR section which repeated (in a one-sided view) the DIMPAC story which is already in the APA section. --Irmgard 08:02, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My additions refer to recent works by scholars on the subject which had not been mentioned at all in the article. --Irmgard 08:02, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did make a change by replacing some of the Richardson POV generalities by Eileen Barkers figures (to which Richardson referred). --Irmgard 08:02, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I did formulate Bromley and Hadden NPOV - their views are not undisputed truth. --Irmgard 08:02, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And I did add the Langone / Bromley /Zablocki attempts at reconciliation, which was also completely omitted - there is also an article in that direction by Barker, but I did not find it. --Irmgard 08:02, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am just asking that you slow down, as you are making unilateral massive changes. Please make one change at the time, discuss, reach consensus and move to the next. Thanks. --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 15:25, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, I've now sorted controversies according to existing subjects - APA to APA, NRM to NRM and I've deleted a para retelling the DIMPAC story in the NMR section. It will need some more sorting within the sections, so it is not just a confused collection of quotes and references - I suggest sorting by date, that yields a sort of history and should be NPOV. --Irmgard 21:41, 24 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Singer-para is important and on the subject. If her theories had been exotic minority opinion or univocally refused (as some authors seem to suggest), she never would have gotten a text regarding psychological problems from group or cult membership into the Merck Manual. The point is not Singer, but the acceptance of the theories at the time. --Irmgard 06:43, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

That para is irrelevant to the subject. You are editorializing, in fact saying "you see, even iif DIMPAC was rejected she is still OK". Who cares? That is POV. Deleted. --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 11:36, 25 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Editorializing is a word you'd better not use - does not really sound like wikiquette. And with POV you should be careful, especially in combination with 'who cares' - gives very much the impression of throwing stones when sitting in the glass house.
Singer made a contribution in the peer-reviewed Merck's Manual on a similar subject like covered in the DIMPAC report in the same year the DIMPAC report was rejected. This is a documented fact - and it is closely connected with the acceptance of her theories in the psychological community. Removing this because you do not care for her theories and want to keep out, if possible, every hint of acceptance is trying to push your not-neutral point of view in the article. Please delete it only if there is a consensus that it should be deleted. --Irmgard 17:51, 25 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
>If the article in question is about brainwashing, then it would be OK to leave as it would be relevant to the article. If it isn´t, it needs to go, as it is presented as a way to editorialize the fact that DIMPAC was totally rejected. And please don't tell me that you have no POV....--ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 03:27, 26 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, this is not my research but that's what Zablocki and Amitrani maintain - you might not agree with them, but they have written it in articles on the subject brainwashing (and they surely don't agree with you regarding total rejection of DIMPAC). I made it more clear now. --Irmgard 06:40, 26 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would suggest that rather than just believe what anti-cultists say about DIMPAC, that you read these documents yourself. The anti-cult movement received a massive blow that they have not recovered from since then. All the spin by Zabloki and co. will not help the fact that DIMPAC was rejected, and that these scholars are isolated in their perception. --ZappaZ Yin yang.svg 01:06, 27 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Quotes

Moved an exellent and very informative quotes section to Wikiquotes. There was already a wikiquote link on the bottom. Banana04131 00:59, 16 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Merge

Is there still a reason for the merge notice? To me it seems it would be a bad idea. P0M 18:19, 3 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion is at Talk:Mind control#Merge with Brainwashing - overall looks rather in direction pro-merge. --Irmgard 19:38, 3 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Merger notice removed. No consensus to merge. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 13:38, 28 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Merge vote

Please take part at the merge vote under Talk:Mind control#Merge vote --Irmgard 16:08, 4 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]


re: The "example" cited in this article

What does the Stroop effect have to do with brainwashing at all? That's merely a demonstration of our tendancy to process words pretty much automatically. It doesn't make people think green is blue and vice-versa. Please don't resort to a parlour trick in order to "demonstrate" brainwashing. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 128.100.5.203 (talk • contribs) .

Feel free to edit the article and improve it. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 05:18, 17 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As there was no reference or even explanation why the Stroop effect is brainwashing, I moved the example to Stroop effect. If someone has a reference where the Stroop effect is linked to brainwashing, this should, of course, be mentioned here, but the example should still be in the Stroop effect article. --Irmgard 23:35, 27 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sources

I am going to add some materials here which will not match everyone's ideas about brainwashing - the source is the book "Misunderstanding cults" by Zablocki and Robbins, precisely the brainwashing chapters there by Zablocki, Bromley and Kent, all listed in the references. All three are well established experts on the subject, so describing their ideas is definitely no "original research". The book is not available online, so it would need to be bought or borrowed for verification (very recommended for interested people, though "almost every reader will find a chapter that will offend" (cited from preface). Irmgard 10:34, 28 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A short cite on their ideas and theories will be a good addition. But please do not overwhelm the article. And when you do, please do not be too selective on your choice of cite. I have read the book and it will be too easy to editorialize Zablocki's views. If you cite, then also present Dick Anthony's conflict with Zablocki in regard of the definition of brainwashing and his ideas on the subject. Bromley's assessment of the ideological/political connotations of definitions of brainwashing as used by anti-cult will also be interesting to add. Thanks. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 13:12, 28 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding the Anthony article, I'll be somewhat careful in using it, after reading Zablocki's rather devastating replica to it (not in the book but I found it on Zablocki's homepage) - it would be necessary to add Zablockis comment as well, for NPOV. Bromley is more interesting - and what generally does need mentioning is the different concepts of brainwashing presented in court cases and in scholarly literature (by the same people). The article needs also to be edited under that aspect - there are many views of many people talking about "brainwashing", but this needs to be sorted out as to what definition of brainwashing they are talking about. "ntrovigne says X about brainwashing and Zablocki says Y about brainwashing" does not make sense, if one does not show what Introvigne means by brainwashing and what Zablocki means about brainwashing.
Do you have a better idea for the "Other views" subtitle? And for the content there? The section needs a thorough revamp, right now it's just a listing of unconnected statements with no order whatsoever.
--Irmgard 17:33, 28 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let us not make this article a pissing contest between Zablocki and Anthony. Leave that to their home pages. In keeping with WP guidelines, we can describe their viewpoints and leave it at that, together with the viewpoints of many others already in the article. Given the wide difference of opinions I would argue that a bulleted list presenting a concise summary of each viewpoint will be sufficient, prefaced with an explanation along the lines of what you wrote above "there are many definitions of brainwashing, and there is no consensus among scholars" or something similar. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 20:42, 28 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't want a pissing contest either (and also not a one-side-piss-show). For my taste, there are already too many quotes here which do not actually contribute to information only telling that "X is against it", etc. What would be needed, is a section outlining the different definitions of brainwashing (not as quotes but with reference to who defined it like that and where - there's a difference between legal cases, newspapers, and scholarly papers). Irmgard 11:45, 29 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Original research?

This new section "Varying brainwashing concepts" seems to an excellent example of what original research is, unless you attribute these definitions to notable sources, that is. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 00:10, 1 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I disagree. This section describes some ways in which data might be found to range across some continuum. It does not assert anything about the real world. It does not draw any conclusion such as "More brainwashing is done for religious purposes than for political purposes," which would require some research to back it up. P0M 01:44, 25 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's just a venn diagram in paragraph form. What could possibly be the issue with it? All it states is every possible opinion on brainwashing scope versus intent. Liu Bei 13:48, 8 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Term

Anyone familiar with "neurolinguistic programming"? Chris 03:02, 23 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have seen the term. As best I can remember it doesn't seem to be involved in manipulating human minds. Isn't it a therapeutic modality intended to free people from any linguistic confusions that may underly pathology? Have you tried Googling for it? P0M 01:30, 25 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See, e.g., http://www.holistic-online.com/hol_neurolinguistic.htm

Is brainwashing really the same as "re-education"?

The Germans after the war have been reeducated, but have they been brainwashed like the "Manchurian Candidate"?

Please sign your postings.
The Manchurian candidate was just a movie actor, and as far as I can recall the process of brainwashing was not really illustrated in the movie.
Brainwashing (xinao) and thought reform (sixiang gaizao) are two names for the process that was used in Communist China. We know a good bit about it. When challenged as to whether the founder of Synanon employed brainwashing he said yes. He qualified that stateent to indicate that he used certain methods to "wash away" bad learning so it could be replaced with something more adaptive.
Brainwashing is a form of reeducation, but not all forms of reeducation are brainwashing. P0M 21:24, 1 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Brainwashing in Fiction

Most articles have XXXX in Pop Culture. At least, all the others I've seen, and I'm sure that the list is by no means complete.

I have a few choices to add to it, but then again, maybe we should move the "Brainwashing [In Fiction/Pop Culture] into its own article? Because, I have feeling it could grow to temendous lengths. Colonel Marksman 20:46, 4 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Maybe a brief mention of the Manchurian Candidate movie in this article and then a separate article for all the other fictional treatments would be most helpful. P0M 05:10, 7 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Excellent contemporary example. CyberAnth 03:52, 30 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

NRMs???

Okay, as it appears in this article, what are NRM? No acronym should be used until after the spelled out version, e.g., United Kingdom (U.K). CyberAnth 03:50, 30 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

References

I just removed Robinson, B.A.: Glossary of Religious Terms, ca. 1996 which linked to /www.religioustolerance.org/gl_b.htm - On reading this site you'll see that it is a self published collection of personal essays and research by people with no background or reputation in the fields they comment on. It does not satisfy our requirement for verification from a reliable source. I looked through the article but could see for sure where the glossary might have been used. --Siobhan Hansa 13:12, 17 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Added counterpoint re Barker's opinion on UC recruitment

I added a reference to Hassan to counterpoint the Barker reference in re Unification Church recruitment. Tanaats 21:55, 10 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can't find the support for it

Jossie, I can't find where it says "When Singer's findings were rejected by the APA for "[lacking] the scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach necessary"" in the cited reference. What am I missing? Thanks. Tanaats 20:43, 17 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is in the previous paragraphs "the brainwashing theory espoused lacks the scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach necessary for APA imprimatur", and concluded Finally, after much consideration, BSERP does not believe that we have sufficient information available to guide us in taking a position on this issue." It is in the APA memo rejecting the DIMPAC findings.≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 20:45, 17 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The previous paragraph doesn't say anything about the lawsuit, and can't support any statement about the lawsuit. Needlessly repeating "Singer's findings were rejected by the APA for "[lacking] the scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach necessary" introduces a biased spin by pounding on the rejection twice. And positing a cause-effect relationship without a citation that says there was one is OR isn't it? Isn't it enough and more proper to just state the charges stated in her lawsuit and supported by the citation? Tanaats 20:57, 17 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
However I would support a compromise: "After Singer's findings were rejected by the APA Singer sued the APA in 1992 for "defamation, frauds, aiding and abetting and conspiracy" and lost in 1994." Tanaats 21:02, 17 December 2006 (UTC) This is not only accurate (it did happen "after"), but (more importantly to me) it takes the spin off that was introduced by the double pounding. Tanaats 21:02, 17 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I applied the same edit that Jossi and I agreed to over on Margaret Singer. Tanaats 01:16, 20 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Brainwashing and cults.

Brainwashing and cults.

Suggestion to improve site:

A more modern example can be found in Canada, where the logic of 'we are all equal before the Law or God' has been changed to 'we are all equal', sort of remnants of communism ideology, that has been allowed to permiate general society.

References to be found;

--Caesar J. B. Squitti  : Son of Maryann Rosso and Arthur Natale Squitti 00:01, 19 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Propaganda = Marketing

Another suggestion to verify:

It should be obvious to some of us that many forms of marketing and advertising employ form of propaganda considered to be brainwashing as likened to education.

The words are interchangeable, and in Europe, especially Italy, advertisements are referred to as 'propaganda'.

--Caesar J. B. Squitti  : Son of Maryann Rosso and Arthur Natale Squitti 00:04, 19 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The 'history' of cigarettes and cigarette smoking, promoted as a 'you have come a long way baby...' is part of this 'brainwashing or teaching of truths that were false, and should be included to show how relevant it is in our times of 'enlightment'...

--Caesar J.B. Squitti: Son of Maryann Rosso and Arthur Natale Squitti (talk) 01:54, 16 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OR vs. uncited

BabyDweezil,

Sorry, I forgot to make an edit comment on my revert.

There is a big difference between "OR" and "uncited material". Please refer to WP:OR.

There is already a "fact" tag on the uncited material, which is the appropriate way to highlight such material. Tanaats 01:43, 30 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Its both. Original research is the larger issue. BabyDweezil 01:45, 30 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi Jossi, well, maybe I'm the one who should refer to WP:OR and I should apologize to BabyDweezil. Please advance my WP education if you would. The deleted section is ridiculous and I'm glad it's out. I wanted to take it out myself but though the proper thing to do was to hang fact tags all over it (I think I'm the one who did it), hoping to delete it after a waiting period. But in what way is the paragraph "OR" as opposed to "unsourced or poorly sourced"? Thanks. Tanaats 02:20, 30 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Changes to the intro

BabyDweezil, regarding your edits to the intro...

  • The statement "The concept has not received acceptance within the American Psychological Association or from psychologists, but has received more attention from the APA in recent years" is not supported by the cite. You have put an OR spin on it.
  • The statement "having been coined in 1950 by a journalist reputedly working undercover for the Central Intelligence Agency" is overstated. Something alleged in The Search for the Manchurian Candidate can not be stated as a fact in WP.

Please edit your insertions to conform to what the sources actually say, and please make sure that opinion is presented as opinion. Thanks. Tanaats 01:00, 31 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe the first reference does support the statement, and in the second, i believe "reputedly" makes it clear that its not being stated as fact. BabyDweezil 02:58, 31 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The first reference doesn't say anything at all about the theory not being accepted by the APA. It says that one report on the subject was found to be "unacceptable" by committee of the APA. See DIMPAC. It also does not say that the concept has not received acceptance among psychologists. You are putting your own spin on it. I'll correct it tomorrow to reflect what the article actually says, and then add counterpointing information.
You can't say as a fact that the term "brainwashing" was coined by a journalist, irregardless of who he was reputedly working for. You need to say something like "The author of the The Search for the Manchurian Candidate writes that yada yada yada." Tanaats 07:29, 31 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]






I mean no offense. This whole article seems very naively written. If we are going to speek of this topic from a modern perspective the commonsense time to begin a discussion of governmental mind control is surely to be WW1 not Korea. The British government turned a relatively reluctant community into a motivated anti-german agent. Hitler believed that superior propaganda (mind control) by the British and American governments was a major reason for the German defeat stating that they will be more prepared for the next time. Mind control techniques impressed and were taken up by many other areas of societies around the world and applied to many areas. Simply look at marketing. Now it is very well understood by governments and many people believe it is well used in many seemingly democratic societies today.

The Parallax View

I notice that The Parallax View is missing in the movie list. My memory (from having watched it 20 years ago on TV) was that this was a brainwashing movie. But the b-word isn't used in the article on that movie... weird. Anyone else watched it? --Tilman 21:10, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yep, they recruit sociopathic personalities and then they Zoolander them. Tanaats 23:08, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Distortion of Fishman case

The article had said

The often quoted Fishman Case the court concluded:

"At best, the evidence establishes that psychiatrists, psychologists, and sociologists disagree as to whether or not there is agreement regarding the Singer-Ofshe thesis."

This is a distortion of the case; what the court actually concluded is that Singer/Ofshe's thesis did not have the support of the scientific community and therefore Singer's testimony in a "brainwashing" defense was excluded. thats far different than the POV spin above. If anyone wants to discuss Fisher, they should include an accurate accounting of the case, rather than out of context quoting. BabyDweezil 21:36, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your text does not contradict the above quote, which I assume is verbatim. Here's a longer quote:
  "Although the record before the Court is replete with
    declarations, affidavits and letters from reputable psychologists
    and sociologists who concur with the thought reform theories
    propounded by Dr. Singer and Dr. Ofshe, the government has
    submitted an equal number of declarations, affidavits and letters
    from reputable psychologists and sociologists who disagree with
    their theories...A more significant barometer of prevailing views
    within the scientific community is provided by professional
    organizations such as the American Psychological Association
    ("APA") and the American Sociological Association ("ASA").  The
    evidence before the Court, which is detailed below, shows that
    neither the APA nor the ASA has endorsed the views of Dr. Singer
    and Dr. Ofshe on thought reform...At best, the evidence
    establishes that psychiatrists, psychologists and sociologists
    disagree as to whether or not there is agreement regarding the
    Singer-Ofshe thesis. The Court therefore excludes defendants'
    proffered testimony "(U.S. vs. Fishman, 1989). 

--Tilman 22:28, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The quote as it was left out the real issue--which is that the court rejected Singer as a witness. Thaty was selective and distorted use of quotations out of context. BabyDweezil 22:51, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then why didn't you add that "context" instead of deleting all? --Tilman 22:55, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whoever feels that it is worthy of inclusion is free to rewrite it. I'm not convinced it is. The rejection of singer's theories is already discussed elsewhere in this already too long article. BabyDweezil 23:06, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
BD, it's "not done" to delete well-sourced material just because in your own personal opinion not enough of the source is presented in the article. What you have to do is to add such material from the source that you feel should also be in the article -- you don't just delete it and then force others to follow your trail and clean up after you.
What you have done is exactly the sort of thing that got you an admin warning about your edit-warring on Cult apologist. Tanaats 23:36, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Tanaats, as i said above, the information is already in the article, so adding the full quote would just be redundant. No one has to "clean up after me," even though I did take the time to "clean up after" (once again) editors putting distorted POV statements supported by "well-sourced" (sic) out of context quotes into Wikipedia. Cheers! BabyDweezil 23:44, 5 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Where is it already in the article?
We did indeed have to "clean up" after you, in restoring deleted segments. This is just wasting time. Don't do it. It will be restored anyway, thus making you upset at the end.
If you feel something is out of context, then 1) add the context, or 2) point out in the discussion page what should be done. (2) applies if you have difficulties in writing "good" texts. (2) isn't meant to be an attack, it applies to me too, since I am not an english language speaker and not used to write "good" texts (it takes too long). So sometimes I just point out in the discussion page what should be improved. --Tilman 06:42, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I notice that the text is The often quoted Fishman Case. However the word "Fishman" appears only once. --Tilman 06:42, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

BabyDweezil, why don't you answer my questions above? This might help improving the article. --Tilman 20:13, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What you also haven't realized, is that by removing the Fishman case, you're removing the favourite court decision of the cult apologists :) --Tilman 18:37, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I understand that for zealots, such things as including "favourite court decisions" are important. Not being a zealot or an apologist, I'm not that concerned; if someone wants to put it in, do it accurately. BabyDweezil 18:41, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • See multiple warnings and finally text ban by administrator on BabyDweezil's talk page. User in question has been banned from removing material from article mainpages, unless consensus is first achieved on talk page for said activity. The issue of inappropriate commentary in edit summaries was also brought into question. Smee 19:47, 6 February 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]
Smee, the Talk Page is for discussion about improving the article, not for incessant denigrations and snide comments about users you disagree with. Also, please refer to WP:NPA for further guidance on relating to fellow editors. BabyDweezil 19:50, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then please, answer my questions above. This might help. --Tilman 20:13, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "text removal ban" is experimental in nature but BD, until it stands or falls, you might want to take the opportunity to add/rewrite/reorganize material to correct the issue. One should be sensitive to the desire of the opposing view to include properly-sourced material in an article. --Justanother 20:15, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Question

If Brainwashing is instilling beliefs against a person's will, what is it called then, when a person instill's beliefs willingly through a similarly systematic manner?

Thought reform or brainwashing is a methodology. It's like a knife. In the hands of a bad man it can be a murder weapon, and in the hands of a surgeon it may save somebody's life.
Sometimes people willingly join organizations like Synanon in order to try to change the underlying conditions that have made them self-medicate with heroin or other such pharmacological agents. Chuck Diedrich, the founder of Synanon, accepted the idea that his organization used brainwashing. Actually, he may not have known all the levels of control and manipulation involved, but he was aware of the use of intense encounter groups during brainwashing, and Synanon used essentially the same process.
Another model would be the techniques used to try to reform homosexuals. They certainly would not call what they do "brainwashing," but you might examine their methods and compare them to the techniques used to change attitudes and behaviors in brainwashing.
One of the problems with the term "brainwashing" is that it has a pretty strong negative connotation. That is one of the reasons that the CCP probably prefers the term "thought control." Other countries have used similar methodologies for various reasons. As far as I know there is no specific positive term. P0M 02:00, 18 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Techniques and methods

The article only seems to discuss the concept of brainwashing, and doesn't seem to truly define the practices, methods, techniques, or concepts of the practice.

Deleted offensive reference to Its Elementary

I delete the whole section describing "its elementary" a educational tool on tolerance of gay and lesbian lifestyle as a example of brainwashing. Treat tolerance as "brain washing". Probably put in by a Christianist. Totally offensive section and completely NPOV. Anonymous

  • It's back!*  :( And I agree with you: "It can be said" is no basis for the entry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.206.221.118 (talk) 22:29, 3 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Redeleted... -_- Pandas 13:50, 8 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Chinese "brainwashing"?!

(Note:I am a Chinese student myself and a non-english-speaker. Forgive me for grammatical mistakes please.)

I think the part which concerns on Chinese brainwashing GIs in Korean War is somehow, not so neutral

  • I learnt a lot of the advantage of Communism/Socialism at school. (Though, these are from gov't and I don't really believe anything gov't says)
  • Korean War, in essence, is only a civil war. But (according to the gov't propaganda) the U.S.'s interference made Chinese into some kind of "panic" (as PRC just formed, and N.Korea borders with PRC). In this circumstance, China marched into war. There is a Chinese idiom known as "If the lips are frozen, the same fate goes to the teeth". Beijing simply couldn't allow unfriendly American forces(United Nations, whatever) or any foreign forces to reach China's border.
  • Plus, U.S.'s interference should be considered as a part of its hegemony, as it launched not only Korean War, but also Vietnam War.
  • Whether mind-controlling is or not implied on GI's is not verified.
  • "Thought-Reform" is actually done and is officially public. Both in media and in public education. But declaring this as "mind-controlling", when the defination of "mind-controlling" is still not specific and accure, is obviously arbitrary.

So the conclusion:This part is not so neutral.

What do you think?


Actually I am named BNJ representing Benjamin Jones. But that name is occupied. 06:58, 7 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Most of this article is quite horrible, mostly speculation, etc, and mostly too long. I agree with you completely, this is one of the things that do not belong in wikipedia.--DustWolf (talk) 03:15, 7 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

military brainwashing

more about military brainwashing in basic training —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.125.110.223 (talk) 18:23, 28 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See Also: ?

Can someone tell me what Oprah is doing in the see also section? It doesn't seem immediately obvious. 134.173.51.120 (talk) 16:47, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Er, that would be some vandal slipping in text when the good editors are not paying attention. Fixed it now. Also, Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit - please feel free to do so. Eldereft ~(s)talk~ 18:58, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Extreme abuse survey

Regards this edit and this reversion - despite having the appearance of five separate references to back up this statement, in actuality it consists of two:

  1. Three of the references are to the extreme abuse surveys. These references are a very dubious addition. They are the basis of a web survey of self-identifying "ritual abuse torture" and "satanic ritual abuse" survivors; SRA is now considered a moral panic by all but an extreme fringe of most scholars, the few fringe authors that publish do not do so in mainstream venues and directly about the subject.
  2. Two of the references are to Randy Noblitt. First is to his terrible book, Cult and Ritual Abuse, is now very outdated (particularly given the SRA phenomenon has no mainstream scholarly support and several books have now been written about the explicit moral panic nature of it [19], [20]) so bad the latest incarnation could only be published via vanity press, co-written by an advocate for the existence of ritual abuse, and was heavily criticized by Joel Best in Criminal Justice Review for being self-contradictory and pseudoscientific in its ability to explain away any and all issues through special pleading. The second, "an empirical look at the ritual abuse controversy", is from 1998, and never published in any journal. It's posted on a website that advocates for the truth of satanic ritual abuse, and is an unreliable (really self-published) source.

In addition, the actual statement is "Allegations have appeared of the use of brainwashing in cults using children in rituals." This is again SRA dressed in a cheap suit. The "cults" are never identified (because they never existed, the entire thing was sparked by Michelle Remembers and an economic downturn), not here and not in the sources used. Noblitt throws in a couple old standards - Freemasons, The Illuminati, Santeria, Wicca, Gnostics, etc. but no proof has ever been found for SRA and its modern incarnates. The 'evidence' is testimonials from a very small pool of extremely disturbed people who self-selected or were groomed by credulous and believing therapists (i.e. a survey of 2709 American therapists found the majority of allegations of SRA came from only sixteen therapists, suggesting that the determining factor in a patient making allegations of SRA was the therapist's predisposition.[21]).

Finally, the account to add this was Donrus22, who is a sockpuppet of the now-banned User:ResearchEditor (see User:Donrus22 and the RFCU case results), who was banned for the unjustified pushing of a minority, fringe POV into any and all articles related to child abuse, satanic ritual abuse, the day care sex abuse hysteria.

This statement and the sources are undue weight on a fringe position with no mainstream support using outdated, extremely narrow, and in many cases self-publshed, unreliable sources. I'd like to remove it. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 13:47, 9 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the detailed analysis. I have no interest in pushing the claims of brainwashing in "ritual abuse", but it emerges that such claims (labeled as claims or allegations) provide a good example for a widespread and popular (but very loose) use of "brainwashing" as a put-down for ANY sort of disapproved communication from any disapproved entity. (I suspect we could nudge much of the "Brainwashing in fiction" section into such a category of usage.) Perhaps our article should at least mention and clearly exemplify this (with appropriate debunking evidence, to make the point). -- Pedant17 (talk) 01:02, 24 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suggestion to add half-truths.

Suggestion to add half-truths.

Having researched half-truths for some 20 years, I seriously suggest that the use of half-truths to brainwash people and their logical thinking is relatively unknown and should be included.

Half-truths, parts of the truth. Abuse is the most corrupted area in North America in the last 30 years.

Yes some of this is my own research however until my book comes out I suggest it be included and sourced.

--Caesar J.B. Squitti: Son of Maryann Rosso and Arthur Natale Squitti (talk) 10:08, 18 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Merge

Note that a major effort to combine mind control and brainwashing into a single article is now complete.

Note also, that "merge complete" is not intended to mean that the newly merged article is perfect. Contributors are encouraged to continue editing and improving the article.

Just please note that "brainwashing" and "mind control" mean pretty much the same thing, so that's why there's going to be just the single article.

If anything got left out during the merge, mention it at talk:mind control or just "be bold" and put it right in! :-) --Uncle Ed (talk) 17:48, 1 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]