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Q: Brainwashing techniques ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Brainwashing techniques
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: qpet-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 24 Mar 2003 21:10 PST
Expires: 23 Apr 2003 22:10 PDT
Question ID: 180553
What are the most comon brainwashing techniques? What happens in the
brain under those circumstances?
Subject: Re: Brainwashing techniques
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 24 Mar 2003 23:32 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Qpet,

Thank you for your question.

According to Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary:

“Brainwashing 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. It initially referred
to political indoctrination of prisoners of war and political

What are the most common brainwashing techniques?

Brainwashing is commonly referred to as coercive persuasion, coercive
psychological systems or coercive influence.

Dr. Margaret Singer professor emeritus at the University of California
at Berkeley and acknowledged leading authority in the world on mind
control and cults addresses this topic.

“Coercive psychological systems are behavioral change programs which
use psychological force in a coercive way to cause the learning and
adoption of an ideology or designated set of beliefs, ideas,
attitudes, or behaviors. The essential strategy used by the operators
of these programs is to systematically select, sequence and coordinate
many different types of coercive influence, anxiety and
stress-producing tactics over continuous periods of time.”


The techniques fall into seven main categories:

“Techniques such as: Extended audio, visual, verbal, or tactile
fixation drills, Excessive exact repetition of routine activities,
Sleep restriction and/or Nutritional restriction.”

“Social isolation is promoted. Contact with family and friends are
abridged, as is contact with persons who do not share group-approved
attitudes. Economic and other dependence on the group is fostered.”

“Prohibit disconfirming information and non supporting opinions in
group communication. Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss
with outsiders. Communication is highly controlled. An "in-group"
language is usually constructed.”

“Make the person re-evaluate the most central aspects of his or her
experience of self and prior conduct in negative ways. Efforts are
designed to destabilize and undermine the subject's basic
consciousness, reality awareness, world view, emotional control and
defense mechanisms. The subject is guided to reinterpret his or her
life's history and adopt a new version of causality.”

“Create a sense of powerlessness by subjecting the person to intense
and frequent actions and situations which undermine the person's
confidence in himself and his judgment.”

“Create strong aversive emotional arousals in the subject by use of
nonphysical punishments such as intense humiliation, loss of
privilege, social isolation, social status changes, intense guilt,
anxiety and manipulation.”

“Intimidate the person with the force of group-sanctioned secular
psychological threats.”

“These tactics of psychological force are applied to such a severe
degree that the individual's capacity to make informed or free choices
becomes inhibited. The victims become unable to make the normal, wise
or balanced decisions which they most likely or normally would have
made, had they not been unknowingly manipulated by these coordinated
technical processes.”
Source: Factnet

The technique of Revivalist Preachers – Repetitive Music

“Repetitive music will be played while the people come in for the
service. A repetitive beat, ideally ranging from 45 to 72 beats per
minute (a rhythm close to the beat of the human heart), is very
hypnotic and can generate an eyes-open altered state of consciousness
in a very high percentage of people. And, once you are in an alpha
state, you are at least 25 times as suggestible as you would be in
full beta consciousness.”

Voice Roll Technique – Used by Hypnotists and some Lawyers
“A voice roll can sound as if the speaker was talking to the beat of a
metronome or it may sound as though he were emphasizing every word in
a monotonous, patterned style. The words will usually be delivered at
the rate of 45 to 60 beats per minute, maximizing the hypnotic

The Sibylline Order

In Dr. Brodeur's Personal Research Journal, brainwashing techniques
are discussed:

“One tactic for generating a state of debility, dependence, and dread
(DDD) is isolation. (..) Another technique is to subject a captive to
sensory deprivation. Decrease the amount of sensory stimulation
available, such as is readily experienced in solitary confinement.”

Thought control:
“Force a person to choose between cooperating or losing one's income,
position, tenure, possibility of advancement or meritorious pay
increase. Confuse people and wear them down by unpredictable
treatment, sometimes harsh and seemingly unfair and arbitrary, and at
other times friendly, fair-minded, and conciliatory. This kind of
manipulation produces anxiety, dread, and guilt, as well as confusion
about what to think and how to act.”

“This consists of daily repetitious lecturing and instruction along a
certain line of thinking, behaving, and being. If you go along with
the "party" line, you are rewarded and if you don't, you are

Net Journalist: Signs of Brainwashing

Any form of controlling of thought, whether it is a small cult, or a
totalitarian regime, involves some form of brain washing.

“Brain washing or technically called "psychological conditioning" is
the initiation technique specifically designed to change moral

These special techniques involve:

- “Emotional stress, shock, or desensitization, to break down both
intellectual and emotional resistance.”
- “Isolation, whether physical or emotional, from familiar sources of
emotional support in resistance.”

- “Stripping the individual of normal defenses, such as reserve,
dignity, a sense of privacy, or the ability to decline to
- “Rewarding the acceptance of new attitudes, values, and beliefs -- a
reward which can simply be a release from pressures inflicted on those
who resist.”

What happens in the brain under those circumstances?

The Brain Phases

Dick Stutphens in Battle for Your Mind describes the three brain
phases identified by the Russian scientist Ivan P. Pavlov.

“Three distinct and progressive states of trans-marginal inhibition
were identified by Pavlov.

EQUIVALENT phase: in which the brain gives the same response to both
strong and weak stimuli.

PARADOXICAL phase: in which the brain responds more actively to weak
stimuli than to strong.

ULTRA-PARADOXICAL phase: in which conditioned responses and behavior
patterns turn from positive to negative or from negative to positive.”

“With the progression through each phase, the degree of conversion
becomes more effective and complete. The ways to achieve conversion
are many and varied,   but the usual first step in religious or
political brainwashing is to work on the emotions of an individual or
group until they reach an abnormal level of anger, fear, excitement,
or nervous tension.”


The progressive result of this mental condition is to impair judgment
and increase suggestibility. The more this condition can be maintained
or intensified, the more it compounds. Once catharsis, or the first
brain phase, is reached, the complete mental take over becomes easier.
Existing mental programming can be replaced with new patterns of
thinking and behavior.

Other often-used physiological weapons to modify normal brain
functions are:

- Fasting
- Radical or high sugar diets
- Physical discomforts
- Regulation of breathing
- Mantra chanting in meditation
- The disclosure of awesome mysteries
- Special lighting and sound effects
- Programmed response to incense
- Intoxicating drugs. 

The Sibylline Order

“Once a preacher, cult leader, manipulator or authority figure creates
the brain phase to wipe the brain-slate clean, his subjects are wide
open. New input, in the form of suggestion, can be substituted for
their previous ideas.”

The M+G+R Foundation

Search Criteria:

brainwashing techniques 
most common brainwashing techniques
the brain and brainwashing techniques
"psychological conditioning"
coercive persuasion 
“brain phases”  Pavlov

I hope that this information meets your needs but if anything is
unclear please let me know.

Best Regards,
qpet-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Bobbie7, this is amazing stuff, thank you, just what I was looking for!

Subject: Re: Brainwashing techniques
From: bobbie7-ga on 25 Mar 2003 15:06 PST

Thank you for the nice comment, five star rating and tip!

I'm happy you are pleased with my research.


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