My life there and afterwards

The term “brainwashing”

Here is a link to an interesting and informative talk about what “brainwashing” is. I found this talk by Dr. Zablocki to be concise and helpful in understanding what it is, when it is, and how we get influenced by it.

I was especially struck that I was not brainwashed into the cult, but rather the process was used to convince me to stay. I joined because it seemed good at the time. It took convincing to make me stay once I began to object to the practices. Those objections were a threat and had to be suppressed, and that’s where the pressure came from the leadership and the others in the group.

 

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Comments on: "The term “brainwashing”" (2)

  1. Notanotherpenny said:

    This is an excellent talk.
    Was helpful to hear that no one is immune from the effects of a charismatic leader and a closed environment. May have to listen again as I wonder how the addictive part occurs – where you cannot bear the thought of being excluded or ignored by the group. Wondered that CofJ allows as much outside communication as they do.

    • I have a theory about that. In the early days we had much less to do with the outside world. There was even one full year where we could not set foot off of the property, and we were not allowed to watch TV, not even the news. No newspapers were allowed, and we could only read spiritual books assigned to us by the leaders. After that year we could go shopping up town again, but we stayed very closed and paranoid. Over the years things became less strict. My theory is that us original members had been thoroughly thought reformed, and were hooked, so even though we had more freedom in practice, we were committed members and wouldn’t dream of disobeying. As new members came on board, we had become the examples to follow. The work had been done.

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