The science of thought control
According to the theories of mind control, individual thinking, behavior, emotions and decisions of people can be controlled and oriented by "sources" external to the human psyche.
Scientifically speaking, there are techniques suitable for this purpose, which can be used "for good", to suppress an addiction, overcome a traumatic experience, improve self-esteem and eliminate suicidal or self-destructive thoughts.
Mind control can therefore have different meanings, even if the most sadly known, are negative: terms such as Brainwashing, Menticide, Coercitive Persuasion, Mass Hypnosis can be declined in terms of manipulation, indicating processes in which an individual (or a group of individuals) consciously uses his influence to convince one or more interlocutors to conform to their wishes.
Conspiracy Theories on Brainwashing and Mental Programming
Brainwashing and mind control theories, originally developed to explain how it was common practice under certain totalitarian regimes to systematically catechize prisoners of war through propaganda and torture techniques, have been extended during the 20th century by psychologists, such as Margaret Singer, to explain the conversion of young people to some new religious movements (NRM), which were often referred to as cults at the time and which included a wide range of movements based on new approaches to spirituality presented as an alternative to official institutional religions and prevailing culture.
The conspiracy theories flourished around this topic primarily involve the US government in relation to the well-known MK-ULTRA project, a name that would indicate a series of experiments carried out by the CIA and the Department of Defense between the fifties and sixties of the twentieth century with the aim to influence and control the behavior of certain individuals, and the top secret Project Mannequin, an alleged mind control and genetic manipulation program carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA).
According to information disseminated by supporters of these theories, starting from the 1950s and throughout the following 20 years, taking a cue from Nazi scientific research during the Second World War, US government bodies would have conducted occult research to develop practical methods of brainwashing and mental reprogramming, through the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD and mescaline.
Because most of those experiments were illegal at the time, the US government found itself forced to pay substantial compensation to the victims' families.
In 1987, the American Psychological Association's Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BSERP) rejected brainwashing theories, explaining that there is a lack of scientific evidence.
In 1999, forensic psychologist Dick Anthony concluded that the concept of "brainwashing" was a CIA propaganda invention to disprove Communist claims that American prisoners of war in Korean prison camps had voluntarily expressed solidarity with communism.
However, to date, some professionals still disagree on the possibility of manipulating political opinions and tendencies from the outside against the will of the subject and on the ineffectiveness of the alleged techniques of mental manipulation.
In fact, in addition to Conspiracy theorists, numerous experts believe that some aspects of brainwashing are concretely feasible and that the most significant examples, in addition to the aforementioned, are the methods developed by the KGB, by religious Gurus, by the media with occult advertising, by the New World Order with the 4 phases of the so-called Project Blue Beam, by Chemtrails and HAARP through spreading of psychoactive agents, irradiation of low frequency electromagnetic waves or diffusion of lithium compounds.
The 5 Recurring Mental Manipulation Techniques according to Dr. Kathleen Taylor
Dr Kathleen Taylor studied physiology and philosophy at the University of Oxford. After a research MSc at Stirling University, working on brain chemistry, she returned to Oxford to do a DPhil in visual neuroscience and postdoctoral work on cognitive neuroscience.
She's a popular science author and a research scientist in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at the University of Oxford.
In one of his books, "Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control" lists 5 mental manipulation techniques attributable to the phenomenon of Brainwashing and which would recur with some constancy in the cases examined.
- Isolation: Typical modus operandi of the sects, cutting the emotional bonds of the possible manipulated makes them more vulnerable to conditioning, since a total or partial dependence is established with the manipulator.
- Control: it is one of the methods used by totalitarian regimes and consists in the censorship of ideas and beliefs different from those of the manipulator and with which the "victim" could come into contact. The elimination of some books considered "insane" or gagging the media and information systems are a typical example.
- Uncertainty: attributing a sense of uncertainty and therefore tension to ideas external to those contemplated by the manipulator builds loyalty to the manipulated, pushing him not to leave what gives him security.
- Repetition: through the continuous and obtuse repetition of simple or complex concepts, through chants or mantras, with signs and obligatory readings, it is much easier to indoctrinate people.
- Emotional manipulation: it consists in making people emotionally dependent on the manipulator's system of ideas, binding self-esteem and a sense of belonging to them.
An extremization of this technique consists in instilling fear in the subject, putting him in front of catastrophic repercussions if he decides not to adapt or to follow other dictates. A striking example is the fourth phase of the alleged Project Blue Beam, in which humanity is kept in check with the threat of a mass alien abduction.
To make a subject more susceptible to manipulation, in addition to subjecting him to drug use, it is also possible to use methods to decrease his physical and cognitive abilities and cause a gradual physical exhaustion (forced labor, too long and intense activities) or induce him to put dietary changes are taking place to debilitate the body and mind or using "mind-manipulating substances" adding them to everyday goods such as water.
The manipulator gives attention and rewards to the manipulated when the latter behaves in a way that facilitates mental manipulation. All this has the purpose of generating a dependency between the manipulated and the manipulator.
Hypnosis can also contribute to making the mind of the manipulated vulnerable. Physical strength is not required to apply mind control techniques, but strong psychological and social pressure is exerted and this would make it an extremely effective weapon available to strong powers.
“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."
― George Orwell, 1984
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