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Responses to Brainwashing
While reading recently about the Elizabeth Smart abduction case (March 2003:
happy ending) the articles mentioned that she had probably been brainwashed by
her psychotically religious kidnappers (see glamour shots below). While I was
very happy that she had been found alive after 9 months, it was the brainwashing
part that really caught my attention.
Two good reasons NOT to become a Christian! On the left, you could loose
your mind. On the right, you could forget how to shampoo your hair and
end up looking like a certain prophetess in Costa Mesa.
Prophet Brian Mitchell and Ms Barzee abducted Elizabeth Smart on June 5,
2002, upon direct orders from Biblegod. Biblegod had ordered Brian to get
himself an additional wife, and chose Elizabeth for him (or so the nutcase
said). For several months the trio traveled around the western United States,
and at no time did Elizabeth attempt to escape, even when wandering a grocery
store by herself, the brainwashing had so well taken effect. According to
Newsweek (#1), when the police finally detained the trio, Elizabeth told police
"I know you think I'm that Elizabeth Smart girl who ran away, but I'm not."
The report goes on to say that "even as the police took her in a car, she
denied her identity." According to Time (#2), "Three
times she told them her name was Augustine and she insisted to them that
she was traveling with her parents."
Another example of someone
brainwashed out of touch with reality. Elizabeth denied she was
Elizabeth, and this Minister (can I call him Rev.?) denied the presence
of Americans in Baghdad even as American tanks rolled past the building
he was giving his press conference in. Were they both skilful liars, or
merely brainwashed dupes???
Elizabeth passed by her chance to be set free from this bizarre
religion several times, because an emotional bond had been formed. "Young
victims are often in awe of the power of the kidnappers. They try to
strip away layer by layer her identity and her belief system...
Emotional bondage can be stronger than chains." (#1). Her
emotional bonding to the nutcase prophet "overwhelmed any impulse to escape."
(#2) The article goes on to note "How could Elizabeth feel such warmth
for her tormentors?" and goes on to quote Mark Zelig, a forensic
If you're in a
situation where someone threatens your life and you can tell they're
deliberating and they decide not to kill you, you're very
gracious, and you start to form this bond. (#2)
From about age six to maybe my mid-teen years, summertime used to always
include going to "holy roller" crusades and tent revivals, and I don't mean
"holy roller" in the figurative sense, either. [NOTE: This was before I joined
"the TRUE church" (The Church of Christ, praise be to Alexander Campbell)] In
these crusades, lasting sometimes up to two weeks long, with some crusades
having services in the morning, afternoon, and late into the night, I would be
subjected to day-after-day and late-night after late-night threats of hell fire
roasting my bare flesh, threats of "if this were your last night alive...",
threats of "Jesus could return before sunrise: are YOU ready?" and so forth. At
the SAME time, hope was held out, for the angry god who had threatened to kill
me could also be appeased into being my friend with a simple "I'm sorry Jesus".
The level of stress would build up as the crusade wore on, and each evening
would end with a very emotional appeal to an altar call, a chance to come to the
front, kneel at the altar, and end the emotional stress by "giving your life to
Jesus", thus placating the angry god (whose power we were in awe of), and who
threatened to harm you, and resulting in my feeling much "warmth for my
tormentor". This appeal would usually come late at night, after being stressed
out by having my life threatened-again- and would always have as its background
music the melodic strains of "Just As I Am" lulling all into an emotional
Just As I Am
Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
So picture if you will an emotionally charged atmosphere with sleep
deprivation, fear, high stress, and dozens (sometimes hundreds) of people openly
weeping, howling, emotionally breaking down, with "Just As I Am"
being endlessly repeated. Now picture all this thru the eyes of a six year old.
What do you see? Brainwashing. And if any other cult besides that of
Christianity were doing it, it would be declared illegal and immoral, a form of
child abuse. But since it's OUR "sacred cow", well then, that makes it ok,
right??? And since we (as a nation) like the results (converts to
Christianity), we can live with the means (child abuse). After
all, when it comes to making converts, the ends justify the
means, don't they??? Just like when Christianity took over the Roman
Empire and burned pagans and their temples- that was ok for Christians and
nobody apologizes for it nowadays, for "the ends justify the means" as long as
it results in more converts.
Anyway, back to the abduction. In reading of what Elizabeth Smart had been
subjected to, a sickening realization came upon me that it was eerily similar to
what I myself, and millions more like me, had been subjected to growing up in
Fundamentalist churches. Like Elizabeth, we too had been in a situation where
"someone threatened our life", our ETERNAL life, and then, like Elizabeth, we
had managed to placate this overwhelming authority figure into NOT destroying
us, thus forming a close emotional bond. Like Elizabeth, we too had been "in
awe" of the power of this being. Like Elizabeth, we too had had our real
identity "striped away layer by layer" and replaced with an artificial construct
imposed from without. And like Elizabeth, we began to feel "warmth for our
tormentor" which removed any "desire to escape" the cult of Christianity.
Reading about the brainwashing of this poor young girl, with point after
point of similarity jumping out, I think I have begun to understand better why
so many religionists are so blinded and bondaged to their religions: they have
been brainwashed, and evidence and facts just wash off them as water off a
duck's back. Remember: Elizabeth continued to deny to the police that she was
Elizabeth, even when facing a photo of herself on a wanted poster- that is the
power of religious brainwashing. If she could straight into a photograph of
herself and not see that it was her in the photo, how much more could a Baptist
or Mormon look into more obscure facts and not see them as well??? In a five
minute discussion between an Atheist and a religionist, what chance do logic and
reasoning have going up against years and years of intense daily
brainwashing? You do the math.
A drunk will argue with you up and down that he is not drunk. And what a
coincidence that in Acts 2:13-15, at the birth of Christianity, some in the
crowd thought the Christians were drunk. Imagine! A religion born in an
alcoholic stupor! Peter, like a good alcoholic, argued with them that they
weren't. Likewise, the brainwashed, as experience has shown, will not admit they
are brainwashed. As hypnotist Dick Stuphen writes,
In the entire history of man, no-one has ever been
brainwashed and realized, or believed, that he had been brainwashed.(#4)
However blinded they are to their own brainwashing, they have no problem
seeing and pointing out others who are thus inflicted. A Jehovah
Witness can easily see the brainwashing that has taken hold of a fanatical
Pentecostal, and visa versa, but neither can see it in himself. Gather together
into a room one hundred members of one hundred different denominations, and each
one can see in the 99 others the brainwashing; but they can't see it in
themselves. They all marvel at how blinded the 99 others are to admitting new
facts even in the face of mountains of evidence, yet think themselves not
brainwashed, but rather "steadfast and true" when themselves, faced with such
evidence against their own peculiar beliefs, ignore it and continue believing
whatever tripe they specialize in. They not only ignore it, they actually feel
they deserve some kind of medal for having been brain-dead and stubborn enough
not to be affected by better evidence. In their world view, being closed minded
and thick-headed is a virtue, not a vice. "Look at me, ma! I spent 4 hours
with an Atheist and didn't learn a damn thing- praise Gawd!!!" "Good boy,
Christian School Brainwashing
Below is an actual untouched copy of a paper#3 I found left behind
on a xerox machine at a Kinko's in Roland Heights, California, back in July of
1995. I had gone in to do some copying, and the person who used the machine
before me had forgotten to take out their original. As I read the paper to pass
the time as my own papers were being xeroxed, my anger began to rise. Here was
the gameplan for some unknown Christian grade school, in which the teachers were
plotting how to mess with the brains of little innocent kids, replacing their
healthy self-esteem with heaping portions of Christian guilt. Read the paper for
yourself now, and I'll continue below it.
These adults, these Christian elementary school teachers, have it all laid
out for the kids for their whole school year. In short, and excuse my French,
they plan to fuck up their lives. They plan to infect these innocent happy
eyed children with a fictitious disease called "sin", then turn around and offer
the fictitious snake-oil cure: Jesus. They plan to depress and frighten all
these kids with a month after month saturation of death and dying. Little kids,
for whom death should be the last thing they think about, instead have it thrust
in their face day after depressing day. And when they're at the point of
emotional breakdown (as any healthy human mind would be after being subjected to
such brainwashing drivel) the last two months of the school year are spent
"harvesting". And remember, this harvest season is not just the final
culmination of the past school year, but also the EIGHT YEARS prior leading up
to this, as the paper says "we are reaping the harvest of the last eight years".
The harvest season consists of a daily emotional guilt-fest, where one
teacher dishes out Christian crap while the other scans the audience to see
which kid is on the point of an emotional breakdown. As Dick Stuphen writes,
concerning early religious revival meetings: "By inducing guilt and acute
apprehension and by increasing the tension, the "sinners" attending his
revival meetings would break down and completely submit."(#4)
This ties in with what the school paper says, "when they are touched, their
eyes tear or something. You can tell when they're ready. Then we deal with
them one by one." Translated, that means a little kid gets isolated from the
herd, away from his parents and peers, and is pressured by a trained
professional salesman of religion into buying the Christian worldview. Dick
Stuphen mentions this same tactic of isolation is used by cult recruiters
when he writes: "The meeting or training takes place in an area where
participants are cut off from the outside world."(#4) Given the
isolated nature of Christian school to start with, along with the eight year
setup leading to the two month harvest season, and remembering also that in
ADDITION to this five day a week indoctrination they ALSO get one day MORE
each and every Sunday morning in Church, what chance does a little sixth
grader have of NOT "accepting Jesus as his personal savior"
when dragged into the little private room for an afternoon of one-on-one
religious brow-beating??? The proverbial snowball's chance, that's what.
Some one pointed out, regarding the above, it's something like the arsonist
who sets the fire, in order to be the hero in rescuing people from the fire.
The Christians start the guilt trip, in order to come in later with the cure
for the guilt trip, when there wouldn't BE a guilt trip in the first place
if not for them.
It is also similar to Munchausen By Proxy Disease, in
which the adults cause the symptoms so that they can act the role of loving
parent in healing the child. Reading from the Rare Diseases website, we find
Some mothers may severely hurt their children in order to cause symptoms.
A mother may poison her child with medications, chemicals, or salt, give
laxatives to cause diarrhea, or syrup of ipecac to cause vomiting. Some may
go as far as suffocating the child for brief periods of time to cause
respiratory and nervous system problems.
Just like these abusive adults, so too the leaders of the Christian school.
They create the "disease" in the child, just so they can act the "hero" in
curing it. Disgusting, yet true.
has to use years of brainwashing
to emotionally badger people
WHAT CHANCE DO REASON AND LOGIC
HAVE of CONVINCING THEM OUT OF
THE KINGDOM ???
by Side Comparison: YOU Do The Math!
"Conversion is a 'nice' word for
brainwashing" --Dick Stuphen(#4)
Victim of Brainwashing
|In AWE of the Brainwasher's power.
||In AWE of the Brainwasher's power.
"We worship an awesome God!"
-Christian Bumper Sticker
|No desire to escape.
||No desire to escape.
"Lord, where would we go? Only you have
the words of life." -Peter
|Old personality stripped away.
||Old personality stripped away.
"Unless a man be born again..."
|New personality superimposed.
||New personality superimposed.
"And put on the NEW man..." -Paul
|An emotional bondage stronger than chains.
||An emotional bondage stronger than chains.
"Love God with all your heart..."
|Rejection of parents
||Rejection of parents.
"Unless you hate your mother and
father, you can not be my disciple" -Jesus (Luke
|Old belief system stripped away.
||Old belief system stripped away.
"Behold, all things are become new!"
|Warmth for the brainwasher.
||Warmth for the brainwasher.
"Jeeesus. Jeeesus. Jeeesus. There's
just something, about, that naaaaame." -Christian Hymn
|Victim's life threatened.
||Victim's eternal life threatened.
"There will be weeping and
gnashing of teeth" -Jesus
|Victim granted a reprieve.
||Victim granted an eternal reprieve.
"Unless you repent, ye shall all
likewise perish" -Jesus
|Immense gratitude towards the brainwasher.
||Immense gratitude towards the brainwasher.
"Praise God. Praaaaaise God. Thank you,
Jesus!" -Almost any Christian high on Jeeeesus.
1) Newsweek Magazine, March 24, 2003, page 34+
2) TIME Magazine,
March 24, 2003, page 44+
3) Doing a google web search for the name of Gene
Gruhler, mentioned in the paper as the author of the ideas contained
therein, resulted in "The Living Stream Ministry" audio and video tapes,
class lectures entitled "Children and Students" given in 1989 - 1991, at The
Church in Anaheim, California. The lecture tapes are available at:
4) Dick Stuphen, World Congress of Professional Hypnotists Convention, Las
Vegas, NV, transcript at:
http://www.dcd.net/NBP/persuasn.html By and copyright Dick
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