Mind control – television is mind
Refers to a process in
which a group or individual "systematically uses unethically manipulative
methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s),
often to the detriment of the person being manipulated". Also known as brainwashing, coercive
persuasion, mind abuse, thought control, or thought
reform. The term has been applied to any tactic, psychological or otherwise, which can be seen as
subverting an individual's sense of control over their own thinking, behavior, emotions or decision making.
Theories of brainwashing and of mind
control were originally developed to explain how totalitarian regimes appeared to succeed in
systematically indoctrinating prisoners
of war through propaganda and torture techniques. These theories were
later expanded and modified, by psychologists including Margaret
Singer, to explain a wider
range of phenomena, especially conversions to new religious movements (NRMs). A third-generation theory
proposed by Ben Zablocki focused
on the utilization of mind control to retain members of NRMs and cults to
convert them to a new religion. The suggestion that NRMs use mind control
techniques has resulted in scientific and legal controversy.
The Korean War and the
origin of brainwashing
English Dictionary records
its earliest known English-language usage of brainwashing in
an article by Edward Hunter in New Leaderpublished on 7 October
1950. During the Korean
War, Hunter, who worked at
the time both as a journalist and as a U.S. intelligence agent, wrote a series
of books and articles on the theme of Chinese brainwashing.
The Chinese term 洗腦 (xǐ
năo, literally "wash brain") was originally used to describe
methodologies of coercive persuasion used under the Maoist regime in China,
which aimed to transform individuals with a reactionary imperialist mindset into "right-thinking"
members of the new Chinese social system. To that end the regime developed
techniques that would break down the psychic integrity of the individual with
regard to information processing, information retained in the mind and
individual values. Chosen techniques included dehumanizing of individuals by
keeping them in filth, sleep
deprivation, partial sensory
harassment, inculcation of guilt and group
The term punned on the Taoist custom of "cleansing/washing
the heart" (洗心, xǐ xīn) prior to conducting
certain ceremonies or entering certain holy places.
Hunter and those who picked up the Chinese
term used it to explain why, unlike in earlier wars, a relatively high
percentage of American GIsdefected
to the enemy side after becoming prisoners-of-war. It was believed that the
Chinese in North Korea used such techniques to disrupt the ability of captured
troops to effectively organize and resist their imprisonment. British radio operator Robert W.
Ford and British army Colonel James Carne also claimed that the Chinese
subjected them to brainwashing techniques during their war-era imprisonment.
After the war, two studies of the repatriation of American prisoners of war
Jay Lifton and by Edgar Schein concluded that brainwashing (called
"thought reform" by Lifton and "coercive persuasion" by
Schein) had a transient effect. Both researchers found that the Chinese mainly
used coercive persuasion to disrupt the ability of the prisoners to organize
and maintain morale and hence to escape. By placing the prisoners under
conditions of physical and social deprivation and disruption, and then by offering
them more comfortable situations such as better sleeping quarters, better food,
warmer clothes or blankets, the Chinese did succeed in getting some of the
prisoners to makeanti-American statements. Nevertheless, the
majority of prisoners did not actually adopt Communist beliefs, instead behaving as though
they did in order to avoid the plausible threat of extreme physical abuse. Both
researchers also concluded that such coercive persuasion succeeded only on a
minority of POWs, and that the end-result of such coercion remained very
unstable, as most of the individuals reverted to their previous condition soon
after they left the coercive environment. In 1961 they both published books
expanding on these findings. Schein publishedCoercive Persuasion and
Lifton published Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. More recent writers including Mikhail Hellerhave suggested that Lifton's model of
brainwashing may throw light on the use of mass propaganda in other communist
states such as the former Soviet Union.
In a summary published in 1963, Edgar Schein gave a background history of the
precursor origins of the brainwashing phenomenon:
Thought reform contains
elements which are evident in Chinese culture (emphasis on interpersonal
sensitivity, learning by rote and self-cultivation); in methods of extracting
confessions well known in the Papal
Inquisition (13th century) and
elaborated through the centuries, especially by the Russian secret police; in methods of organizing
corrective prisons, mental
hospitals and other
institutions for producing value change; in methods used by religious
elites or primitive
societies for converting or
initiating new members. Thought reform techniques are consistent with
psychological principles but were not explicitly derived from such principles.
Mind-control theories from the Korean War
era came under criticism in subsequent years. According to forensic psychologist Dick Anthony, theCIA invented the concept of
"brainwashing" as a propaganda strategy to undercut communist claims
that American POWs in Korean communist camps had voluntarily expressed sympathy
for communism. Anthony stated that definitive research demonstrated that fear and duress, not brainwashing, caused western POWs to
collaborate. He argued that the books of Edward Hunter (whom he identified as a
secret CIA "psychological warfare specialist" passing as a
journalist) pushed the CIA brainwashing theory onto the general public. He
further asserted that for twenty years, starting in the early 1950s, the CIA
and the Defense Department conducted secret research (notably
MKULTRA) in an attempt to
develop practical brainwashing techniques, and that their attempt failed.
The U.S. military and government laid
charges of "brainwashing" in an effort to undermine detailed
confessions made by U.S. military personnel to war crimes, including biological
warfare, against the Koreans. (The United States and Biological Warfare:
Secrets From the Early Cold War, by Stephen Endicott and Edward Hagerman at
York University, Toronto; Indiana University Press, 1998).
Cults and the shift of focus
After the Korean War, applications of mind
control theories in the United States shifted in focus from politics to religion. From the 1960s an increasing number of
American youths started to come into contact with new religious movements
(NRM), and some who converted suddenly adopted beliefs and behaviors that
differed greatly from those of their families and friends; in some cases they
neglected or even broke contact with their loved ones. In the 1970s the anti-cult
movement applied mind
control theories to explain these sudden and seemingly dramaticreligious conversions. The media was quick to follow suit, and social
scientists sympathetic to the
anti-cult movement, who were usually psychologists, developed more sophisticated models of
brainwashing. While some psychologists were
receptive to these theories, sociologists were for the most part skeptical of
their ability to explain conversion to NRMs. In the years that followed,
brainwashing controversies developed between NRM members, various academic
researchers, and cult critics.
Theories of mind control and religious
Over the years various theories of conversion and member retention have been
proposed[by whom?] that link mind
control to NRMs, and particularly those religious movements referred to as
"cults" by their critics. These theories
resemble the original political brainwashing theories with some minor
Zimbardo discusses mind
control as "the process by which individual or collective freedom of
choice and action is compromised by agents or agencies that modify or distort perception,
motivation, affect, cognition and/or behavioral outcomes", and
he suggests that any human being is susceptible to such manipulation. In a 1999 book, Robert Lifton also
applied his original ideas about thought reform to Aum Shinrikyo, concluding
that in this context thought reform was possible without violence or physical
Singer, who also spent time
studying the political brainwashing of Korean prisoners of war, agreed with
this conclusion: in her book Cults
in Our Midst she
describes six conditions which would create an atmosphere in which thought
reform is possible.
Approaching the subject from the
perspective of neuroscience and social
Taylor suggests that
manipulation of theprefrontal
"brainwashing", rendering a person more susceptible to
black-and-white thinking. Meanwhile, in Influence,
Science and Practice, social psychologist Robert
Cialdini argues that mind
control is possible through the covert exploitation of the unconscious rules
that underlie and facilitate healthy human social interactions. He states that
common social rules can be used to prey upon the unwary. Using categories, he
offers specific examples of both mild and extreme mind control (both one on one
and in groups), notes the conditions under which each social rule is most
easily exploited for false ends, and offers suggestions on how to resist such
Deprogramming and the
Both academic and non-academic critics of
"destructive cults" have adopted and adapted the theories of Singer,
Lifton and other researchers from the inception of the anti-cult movement[when?] onwards.
Such critics[who?] often argue that
certain religious groups use mind control techniques to unethically recruit and
maintain members. Many of these critics advocated or engaged in deprogramming as a method to liberate group
members from apparent "brainwashing". However the practice of
coercive deprogramming fell out of favor in the West and was largely superseded
counseling. Exit counselor Steven Hassan promotes what he calls the
"BITE" model in his book Releasing the Bonds: Empowering
People to Think for Themselves (2000). The BITE model describes various
controls over human behavior, information, thought and emotion. Hassan claims that cults recruit and
retain members by using, among other things, systematic deception, behavior
the withholding of information, and emotionally intense persuasion techniques
(such as the induction of phobias). He refers to all of these techniques
collectively as "mind control".
Critics of mind control theories caution
against the broader implications of these conversion models. In the 1998
Enquete Commission report on "So-called Sects and Psychogroups" in
Germany, a review was made of the BITE model. The report concluded that
"control of these areas of action is an inevitable component of social
interactions in a group or community. The social control that is always
associated with intense commitment to a group must therefore be clearly
distinguished from the exertion of intentional, methodical influence for the
express purpose of manipulation." Indeed virtually all of these models
share the notion that converts are in fact innocent "victims" of mind-control
techniques.Hassan suggests that even the cult members
manipulating the new converts may themselves be sincerely misled people. By considering NRM members innocent
"victims" of psychological coercion these theories open the door
for psychological treatments.
Sociologists including Eileen Barker have criticized theories of
conversion precisely because they function to justify costly interventions such
as deprogramming or exit counseling. For similar reasons, Barker and
other scholars have criticized mental health professionals like Margaret
Singer for accepting
lucrative expert witness jobs in court cases involving NRMs. Singer was perhaps the most publicly
notable scholarly proponent of "cult" brainwashing theories, and she
became the focal point of the relative demise of those same theories within her
James Richardson observes that if the NRMs had access
to powerful brainwashing techniques, one would expect that NRMs would have high
growth rates, yet in fact most have not had notable success in recruitment.
Most adherents participate for only a short time, and the success in retaining
members is limited. For this and other reasons,
sociologists including David
Bromley and Anson
Shupe consider the idea
that "cults" are brainwashing American youth to be
"implausible." In addition to Bromley, Thomas
Robbins, Dick Anthony, Eileen Barker, Newton Maloney, Massimo
Introvigne, John Hall, Lorne
Melton, Marc Galanter, Saul
Levine (amongst other
scholars researching NRMs) have argued and established to the satisfaction of
courts, of relevant professional associations and of scientific communities
that there exists no scientific theory, generally accepted and based upon
methodologically sound research, that supports the brainwashing theories as
advanced by the anti-cult movement.
Some sociologists disagree with this
Zablocki sees strong
indicators of mind control in some NRMs and suggests that the concept should be
researched without bias. Stephen A.
Kent has also published
several articles about brainwashing. These scholars tend to see the APA's
decision as one of no consensus, while what Melton sees as a majority of
scholars may regard it as a rejection of
brainwashing and of mind control as legitimate theories.
Legal issues, the APA
Main article: APA
Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control
Since their inception, mind control
theories have also been used in various legal proceedings against
"cult" groups. In 1980, ex-ScientologistLawrence
Wollersheim successfully sued
of Scientology in
a California court which decided in 1986 that church practices had been
conducted in a psychologically coercive environment and so were not protected
by religious freedom guarantees. Others who have tried claiming a
"brainwashing defense" for crimes committed while purportedly under
mind control, including Patty Hearst, Steven
Fishman andLee Boyd
Malvo, have not been
In 1983, the American
Psychological Association (APA)
asked Margaret Singer to chair a taskforce called the APA
Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control (DIMPAC) to investigate whether
brainwashing or "coercive persuasion" did indeed play a role in
recruitment by such movements. Before the taskforce had submitted its final
report, the APA submitted on February 10, 1987 an amicus
curiæ brief in an
ongoing court case related to brainwashing. The brief repudiated Singer's
theories on "coercive persuasion" and suggested that brainwashing
theories were without empirical proof. Afterward the APA filed a motion to
withdraw its signature from the brief, since Singer's final report had not been
completed. However, on May 11, 1987, the APA's
Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BSERP) rejected the
DIMPAC report because the brainwashing theory espoused "lacks the
scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach necessary for APA
imprimatur", and concluded that "after much consideration, BSERP does
not believe that we have sufficient information available to guide us in taking
a position on this issue."
Two critical letters from external
Jeffery D. Fisher accompanied the rejection memo. The letters criticized
"brainwashing" as an unrecognized theoretical concept and Singer's
reasoning as so flawed that it was "almost ridiculous." After her findings were rejected,
Singer sued the APA in 1992 for "defamation, frauds, aiding and abetting
and conspiracy" and lost. Benjamin
Zablocki and Alberto
Amitrani interpreted the APA's response as meaning that there was no unanimous
decision on the issue either way, suggesting also that Singer retained the
respect of the psychological community after the incident. Yet her career as an expert witness
ended at this time. She was meant to appear with Richard Ofshe in the 1990 U.S. v. Fishman Case, in
which Steven Fishman claimed to have been under mind control by the Church of
Scientology in order to defend himself against charges of embezzlement, but the
courts disallowed her testimony. In the eyes of the court, "neither the
APA nor the ASA has endorsed the views of Dr. Singer and Dr.
Ofshe on thought reform".
After that time U.S. courts consistently
rejected testimonies about mind control and manipulation, stating that such
theories were not part of accepted mainline science according to the Frye
Standard (Anthony &
Robbins 1992: 5-29) of 1923.
An expanding concept
Mind control is a general term for a
number of controversial theories proposing that an individual's thinking,
behavior, emotions or decisions can, to a greater or lesser extent, be
manipulated at will by outside sources. According to sociologist James T.
Richardson, some of the concepts
of brainwashing have spread to other fields and are applied "with some
success" in contexts unrelated to the earlier cult controversies, such as
custody battles and child sexual
abuse cases, "where
one parent is accused of brainwashing the child to reject the other parent, and
in child sex abuse cases where one parent is accused of brainwashing the child
to make sex abuse accusations against the other parent".
Kent analyzes and
summarizes the use of the brainwashing meme by non-sociologists in the period
2000-2007, finding the term useful not only in the context of "New
Religions/Cults", but equally under the headings of "Teen Behavior Modification Programs; Terrorist
Groups; Dysfunctional Corporate
Culture; Interpersonal Violence; and Alleged Chinese Governmental Human
Rights Violations Against Falun Gong".
1. ^ Langone,
Questions and Answers". www.csj.org.International
Cultic Studies Association.
Retrieved 2009-12-27. "Mind control (also referred to as 'brainwashing,'
'coercive persuasion,' 'thought reform,' and the 'systematic manipulation of
psychological and social influence') refers to a process in which a group or
individual systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade
others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment
of the person being manipulated."
2. ^ Marks,
John (1979). "8.
Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control. New York: Times Books. ISBN 0-8129-0773-6. Retrieved 2008-12-30. "In September
1950, the Miami News published an article by Edward
Hunter titled " 'Brain-Washing' Tactics Force Chinese into Ranks of
Communist Party." It was the first printed use in any language of the term
"brainwashing," which quickly became a stock phrase in Cold War
headlines. Hunter, a CIA propaganda operator who worked under cover as a
journalist, turned out a steady stream of books and articles on the
3. ^ Chinese
4. ^ Taylor,
Kathleen (2006). Brainwashing:
The Science of Thought Control.
Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 5.ISBN 9780199204786. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
5. ^ Browning, Michael (2003-03-14).
"Was Kidnapped Utah Teen Brainwashed?". Palm
Beach Post (Palm
Beach). ISSN 1528-5758. "During the Korean War, captured
American soldiers were subjected to prolonged interrogations and harangues by
their captors, who often worked in relays and used the "good-cop,
bad-cop" approach, alternating a brutal interrogator with a gentle one. It
was all part of "Xi Nao," washing the brain. The Chinese and Koreans
were making valiant attempts to convert the captives to the communist way of
6. ^ Ford
RC (1990). Captured
in Tibet. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford
University Press. ISBN 0-19-581570-X.
7. ^ Ford
RC (1997). Wind
Between the Worlds: Captured in Tibet. SLG Books. ISBN 0-9617066-9-4.
8. ^ Lifton, Robert J. (1954-04). "Home
by Ship: Reaction Patterns of American Prisoners of War Repatriated from North
Korea".American Journal of
Psychiatry 110 (10): 732–739.doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.110.10.732 (inactive 2008-06-25).PMID 13138750. Retrieved 2008-03-30. Cited
Reform and the Psychology of Totalism
9. ^ Schein, Edgar (1956-05). "The
Chinese Indoctrination Program for Prisoners of War: A Study of Attempted
Brainwashing". Psychiatry 19(2): 149–172. PMID 13323141. Cited in Thought
Reform and the Psychology of Totalism
10. ^ Schein, Edgar H. (1971). Coercive
Persuasion: A Socio-Psychological Analysis of the "Brainwashing" of
American Civilian Prisoners by the Chinese Communists. New York: W.W.
11. ^ Lifton, RJ (1989)
. Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism; a Study of
"Brainwashing" in China. Chapel Hill: University
of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4253-2.
12. ^ Heller, Mikhail (1988). Cogs in the
Soviet Wheel: The Formation of Soviet Man. Translated by David Floyd. London:
Collins Harvill.ISBN 0-00-272516-9. "Dr [Robert J.] Lifton draws
attention to a fact of exceptional importance: the effect of 'brainwashing' and
its methods is felt even by those whom he calls the 'apparent resisters', those
who seem not to succumb to the intoxication. This study showed that they do
assimilate what has been hammered into their brain but the effect comes only a
certain time after their liberation, like the explosion of a delayed-action bomb.
It is not hard to imagine the effect which 'education' and 're-education' has
upon the Soviet citizen, who is exposed from the day he is born to
'brainwashing', bombarded every day, round the clock, by all the means of
propaganda and persuasion." Heller's footnote explains the phrase
"the means of propaganda and persuasion" as "[t]he official name
for the means of communication in the USSR. The accepted abbreviation is SMIP
[literally from the Russian phrase meaning 'means of mass information and
13. ^ Schein,
Edgar Henry (1963).
Britannica. 4 (14th (revised) ed.).
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.. p. 91.
14. ^ Anthony, Dick (1999).
"Pseudoscience and Minority Religions: An Evaluation of the Brainwashing
Theories of Jean-Marie". Social Justice Research 12 (4):
15. ^ Melton,
J. Gordon (1999-12-10). "Brainwashing and the Cults: The
Rise and Fall of a Theory".
CESNUR: Center for Studies on New Religions. Retrieved 2009-06-15. "In the
United States at the end of the 1970s, brainwashing emerged as a popular
theoretical construct around which to understand what appeared to be a sudden
rise of new and unfamiliar religious movements during the previous decade,
especially those associated with the hippie street-people phenomenon."
16. ^ a b c Bromley, David G. (1998).
"Brainwashing". In William H. Swatos Jr. (Ed.). Encyclopedia
of Religion and Society. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira. pp. 61–62. ISBN 978-0761989561.
17. ^ Barker, Eileen: New
Religious Movements: A Practical Introduction. London: Her Majesty's
Stationery office, 1989.
18. ^ Wright, Stewart A. (1997). "Media Coverage of
Unconventional Religion: Any 'Good News' for Minority Faiths?". Review of Religious Research (Review
of Religious Research, Vol. 39, No. 2)39 (2): 101–115. doi:10.2307/3512176.
19. ^ a b Barker, Eileen (1986).
"Religious Movements: Cult and Anti-Cult Since Jonestown". Annual
Review of Sociology 12: 329–346.doi:10.1146/annurev.so.12.080186.001553.
20. ^ Zimbardo, Philip
G. (November 2002). "Mind
Control: Psychological Reality or Mindless Rhetoric?". Monitor on Psychology.
Retrieved 2008-12-30. "Mind control is the process by which individual or
collective freedom of choice and action is compromised by agents or agencies
that modify or distort perception, motivation, affect, cognition and/or
behavioral outcomes. It is neither magical nor mystical, but a process that
involves a set of basic social psychological principles. Conformity,
compliance, persuasion, dissonance, reactance, guilt and fear arousal, modeling
and identification are some of the staple social influence ingredients well
studied in psychological experiments and field studies. In some combinations,
they create a powerful crucible of extreme mental and behavioral manipulation when synthesized with several other
real-world factors, such as charismatic, authoritarian leaders, dominant
ideologies, social isolation, physical debilitation, induced phobias, and
extreme threats or promised rewards that are typically deceptively
orchestrated, over an extended time period in settings where they are applied
intensively. A body of social science evidence shows that when systematically
practiced by state-sanctioned police, military or destructive cults, mind
control can induce false confessions, create converts who willingly torture or
kill 'invented enemies,' and engage indoctrinated members to work tirelessly, give
up their money—and even their lives—for 'the cause.'".
21. ^ Zimbardo, P (1997). "What
messages are behind today's cults?". Monitor on Psychology: 14.
22. ^ Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing
Fight Against Their Hidden Menace,
Margaret Thaler Singer, Jossey-Bass, publisher, April 2003, ISBN
23. ^ Taylor,
Kathleen Eleanor (December
The Dream of Mind Control.
Oxford University Press. p. 215.ISBN 9780192804969. http://books.google.com/?id=BIuju20yhDkC&dq. Retrieved 2009-07-30. "Your
susceptibility to brainwashing (and other forms of influence) has much to do
with the state of your brain. This will depend in part on your genes: research
suggests that prefrontal function is substantially affected by genetics. Low
educational achievement, dogmatism, stress, and other factors which affect
prefrontal function encourage simplistic, black-and-white thinking. If you have
neglected your neurons, failed to stimulate your synapses, obstinately resisted
new experiences, or hammered your prefrontal
cortex with drugs
(including alcohol), lack of sleep, rollercoaster emotions, or chronic stress,
you may well be susceptible to the totalist charms of the next charismatic you
meet. This is why so many young people baffle their more phlegmatic elders by
joining cults, developing obsessions with fashions and celebrities, and forming intense
attachments to often unsuitable role models."
24. ^ Cialdini, Robert B. (2007). Influence:
the psychology of persuasion. London: Collins. pp. epilogue. ISBN 0-06-124189-X.
25. ^ a b Releasing
Empowering People to Think for Themselves, Steven Hassan, Ch. 2, Aitan Publishing Company, 2000
26. ^ Final Report
of the Enquete Commission on "So-called Sects and Psychogroups" New
Religious and Ideological Communities and Psychogroups in the Federal Republic
27. ^ Hassan, Steven (1988). Combatting
cult mind control. Rochester, Vt: Park Street Press. ISBN 0-89281-243-5.
28. ^ a b Barker, Eileen (1995). "The Scientific Study of
Religion? You Must Be Joking!". Journal
for the Scientific Study of Religion(Journal for the Scientific Study of
Religion, Vol. 34, No. 3) 34 (3): 287–310. doi:10.2307/1386880.
29. ^ Richardson, James T.
active vs. passive convert: paradigm conflict in conversion/recruitment
for the Scientific Study of Religion (Journal for the Scientific Study
of Religion, Vol. 24, No. 2) 24 (2): 163–179. doi:10.2307/1386340. Retrieved 2008-07-05.
30. ^ Brainwashing
by Religious Cults
31. ^ CESNUR -
Brainwashing and Mind Control Controversies
32. ^ Brainwashing and Re-Indoctrination
Programs in the Children of God/The Family
33. ^ Dr. Stephen A. Kent (1997-11-07)
in Scientology's Rehabilitation Force (RPF). Retrieved 2008-08-16.[dead link]
34. ^ Melton,
J. Gordon (10 December
and the Cults: The Rise and Fall of a Theory". CESNUR: Center for Studies on New
Religions. Retrieved 5 September 2009. "Since the late 1980s, though a
significant public belief in cult-brainwashing remains, the academic
community-including scholars from psychology, sociology, and religious
studies-have shared an almost unanimous consensus that the coercive persuasion/brainwashing
thesis proposed by Margaret Singer and her colleagues in the 1980s is without
35. ^ CESNUR - APA
Brief in the Molko Case. [t]he methodology of Drs. Singer and Benson
has been repudiated by the scientific community [... the hypotheses advanced by
Singer comprised] little more than uninformed speculation, based on skewed data
[...] [t]he coercive persuasion theory ... is not a meaningful scientific
concept. [...] The theories of Drs. Singer and Benson are not new to the
scientific community. After searching scrutiny, the scientific community has
repudiated the assumptions, methodologies, and conclusions of Drs. Singer and
Benson. The validity of the claim that, absent physical force or threats,
"systematic manipulation of the social influences" can coercively
deprive individuals of free will lacks any empirical foundation and has never
been confirmed by other research. The specific methods by which Drs. Singer and
Benson have arrived at their conclusions have also been rejected by all serious
scholars in the field.
36. ^ Motion
of the American Psychological Association to Withdraw as Amicus Curiae
37. ^ American Psychological Association
Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology (BSERP) (1987-05-11)."Memorandum". CESNUR: APA Memo of 1987 with
Enclosures. CESNUR Center for Studies on New Religion. Retrieved
2008-11-18. "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."
38. ^ APA memo and two enclosures
39. ^ Case No. 730012-8 Margaret Singer v. American
40. ^ Amitrani, Alberto; Di Marzio R
or just don't want to see? Mind Control in New Religious Movements and the
American Psychological Association". Cultic Studies Review.
41. ^ Brainwashed! Scholars of Cults
Accuse Each Other of Bad Faith,Lingua Franca, December 1998.
42. ^ Richardson, James T. Regulating
Religion: Case Studies from Around the Globe, Kluwer Academic/Plenum
Publishers 2004, p. 16,ISBN
43. ^ Oldenburg, Don (2003-11-21). "Stressed to Kill: The Defense
of Brainwashing; Sniper Suspect's Claim Triggers More Debate",Washington
Post, reproduced in Defence
Brief, issue 269, published by Steven Skurka & Associates
44. ^ Kent,
Stephen A. (2008). "Contemporary
Uses of the Brainwashing Concept: 2000 to Mid-2007". Cultic
Studies Review (International
Cultic Studies Association) 7 (2): 99–128. ISSN 1539-0152. Retrieved 2010-02-09. "The
brainwashing concept is sufficiently useful that it continues to appear in a
wide variety of legal, political, and social contexts. This article identifies
those contexts by summarizing its appearance in court cases, discussions about
cults and former cult members, terrorists, and alleged victims of state
repression between the years 2000 and mid-2007. In creating this summary, we
discover that a physiologist has examined the biochemical aspects of persons
going through brainwashing processes, and that (to varying degrees) some judges
and others related to the judiciary have realized that people who have been
through these processes have impaired judgment and often need special
counseling. Most dramatically, a new brainwashing program may be operating in
Communist China, a country whose political activities toward its own citizens
in the late 1940s and 1950s spawned so much of the initial brainwashing
§ Begich Nick (2006). Controlling the
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§ Esquerre Arnaud (2009) La
manipulation mentale, Paris, Fayard.
§ Langone MD (1993). Recovery from Cults:
Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse. New York: Norton. ISBN 0-393-31321-2.
RJ (1989). Thought
Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in
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