12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed (Introduction)


By Mark Spencer, ITA Certified New Code and Classic Code NLP Trainer and Change Agent

Believe it or not, brainwashing of various forms still happens today. It is mainstream1. Some of the brainwashing methods are obvious, and some are not. Brainwashing can be prevented for yourself and for others if knowledge and awareness is increased. Keep in mind anyone you know who is socially disengaged or struggling emotionally in some way, as this type of vulnerability presents the conditions for brainwashing to be more successful.

This slideshow could not be started. Try refreshing the page or viewing it in another browser.

Brainwashing is Mainstream? Here is why

Are your views and emotions towards a particular topic influenced by what you hear and see on the mainstream media? Consider that the majority of the world’s media is owned by just 6 corporations, their views are more broadcasted and available in our conscious thinking than others. This type of readily available message is often coupled with the use of strong emotive language to get us engaged, and trigger a wide array of conversations across a wider information platform.

The perceived mass discussion and seemingly shared views can be very persuasive, and without thinking too much about these messages, we can easily adopt them for our own.

One the common way that gets the conversation going is through the use of fear. Mainstream media tends to capitalise on fear and sells their media by either feeding that fear or selling an escape from the fear.

Mainstream media tends to capitalise on fear and sells their media by either feeding that fear or selling an escape from the fear.

These media techniques are not necessarily my target, but they are part of the brainwashing machinery, and many of the brainwashing tips presented in this blog series apply to them. The tips I have written are aimed at the added dimensions available to the brainwasher when they are hosting an event. The tips presented here are to suggest to you ways in which you can use to see through the techniques that “brainwasher” uses when they are hosting an event, which can be on-line, in person or through some kind of a program.

Why I am writing this

I have put off writing this for a long time thinking that it will be controversial and difficult to describe some of these aspects without some gross generalisations. I have attended a number of fringe religious cult groups and a number of 4 day LGAT2 sessions for ‘personal growth’. Either way, people are exploited by both in different ways and for different reasons. My main intent though is to address the type of brainwashing that results in people overspending, wasting their life in some way or another and especially for those that get hurt during the process. The hope too is that if there is someone looking out for a family member to guard against being brainwashed, then this article might alert you to some signs of brainwashing and tips for what you can do about it throughout this series. As we have personally experienced these situations over the years, especially when participating in large scale personal development training, we have first-hand experience in the types of things that can happen. Especially, appreciated are some of the feelings that event attendees might experience, either becoming very compliant during the event, or feeling marginalised if you don’t conform to the speaker and their minders.

Format of this article

I have written this article as a series of blog pages, and that this page is the Introduction to the series. Posts are organised sequentially to present the 12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed one by one, including some of these key pages: Awareness (before anything happens), Why are they still selling to me?, Listening to your gut, Know this sign, Navigating out, References. You can use the navigation section at the end of this page, access the published posts as they are written.

Brainwashing

The typical brainwashing techniques that I am targeting are commonly used in events that involve Large Gatherings of people and hype. The experience with these events comes from what we have attended ourselves over several decades and from those who we have spoken to us too through coaching, training or from friends’ experiences.

What is LGAT?

A term that you should know is LGAT2, which means Large Group Awareness Training. LGAT was coined by sociologists to refer to seminars and meetings, incorporating self-help​, pop psychology, and business motivational techniques, and often includes groups linked with the human potential movement which claim to increase self-awareness and bring about desirable transformations in individuals’ personal lives. LGAT, like Like many acronyms, they are is loose in terms of specific inclusion criteria and the message delivery format may have evolved over time. However, the brainwashing techniques are as old as civilisation itself, only adapted to new environments and mediums like TV and the Internet.

Events

So, the LGAT events I am referring to may or may not involve a large gathering of people these days. Similar to LGATs is motivational speakers, where the speaker may use brainwashing techniques to achieve their own goals of training sales and books/CDs/DVDs etc.

While some organisations and individuals are harmless and well-meaning, what I have highlighted here is the behaviour of some organistations that seek to exploit or control their audience and/or individuals in it. So, if you read the list and think that this doesn’t apply to the organisation you have in mind, then maybe it doesn’t. If the list of 12 things applies to a situation you are in, then it might be time to make an exit or weigh up your options, but first and foremost, be informed, ask questions and engage your own critical thinking skills.

Mother Jones – Looks at the playing field

InfoGraphic on a LGATs and related programs, Mother Jones - including Oprah, Anthony Robbins, Landmark Forum, Six Sigma, The Secret, Scientology, 7 Habits, Dr. Phil
InfoGraphic on a LGATs and related programs http://www.motherjones.com/media/2009/07/get-program

Many groups and even well-meaning trainers attempt some of these ‘control’ techniques to elicit strong emotional responses, an unhealthy attachment and to obtain the devotion that they want from you. So, if you look through the very generalised 12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed below and you have experienced some of these, then you may have had an experience where someone was employing these techniques to manage or manipulate you for their gain.

I have also included a lot of references in the last part of the article, where most of these examples can be reviewed.

Why do they brainwash?

The broad group of brainwashing events most likely have any one (or more) of these reasons for existence: Money, a Cause or Religion

This slideshow could not be started. Try refreshing the page or viewing it in another browser.


This slideshow could not be started. Try refreshing the page or viewing it in another browser.


This slideshow could not be started. Try refreshing the page or viewing it in another browser.

Now to start the list of 12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed series.

Article Posts: Introduction Parts: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Conclusion References

12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed (Introduction) - Introduction - where people overspend, waste their life and get hurt, looking out for others to guard against being brainwashed, includes signs and tips for what you can do
12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed (References) - Brainwashing Reference Material, transcriptions of LGAT events, what's banned in some countries, about de-programmers, Cult watch, Cult truth, abusive churches, recovery programs, stories in full from Cult Awareness and Information Centre (CAIC), TED, Cults, Sects, and New Religious Movements, Resources for Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups
12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed (Part 1) - Awareness - Read. Be aware of what you are planning to attend, research the organisation. What you can do if you are being asked to go to an event, considering an event or someone who is wanting to sell to you.
12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed (Part 2) - Specifics - What happened at the event you went to? Few people can describe what they have learned - "you have to be there, I can't explain..." Research states: nonspecific effects of expectancy and response sets may account for positive outcomes
12 things you should know to avoid being brain-washed (Part 3) - Loyalty and allegiances; Projecting the Perfect Leader; Long Sessions, but is there any substance?
12 things you should know to avoid being brain-washed (Part 4) - Lose your friends - Many attendees lose their own friends and family through the pressure to supply 'friends' as potential purchasers of the training or event, or to become followers of the cause.
12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed (Part 5) - Exit Minders; Silence equates to Agreement (not); Am I the only one who is thinking this?
12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed (Part 6) - 6 You may have already learned about the Exit Minders, Silence equates to Agreement (not), Losing Friends, Lack of Substance in previous posts… this post continues with the sixth of the 12 things you should know and what you can …
Did you notice where the author of this sign places children in relation to dogs and other animals? 12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed (Part 7) - 7 You may have already learned about the drivers for brainwashing from the introduction to this series, Exit Minders, Silence equates to Agreement (not), Losing Friends, Lack of Substance in previous posts… – this post continues with the seventh of …

Coming Soon

12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed (Part 8) - 8 You may have already learned about the control of media, the drivers for brainwashing and the way that people get ripped off from the introduction to this series – this post continues with the 8th of the 12 things …

Footnotes


  1. As an example of forms of brainstorming in the mainstream, this is a sample article: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/08/13/cbs-news-investigative-journalist-explains-how-mainstream-media-brainwashes-the-masses/  
  2. LGATLarge Group Awareness Training 
Advertisements

3 thoughts on “12 things you should know to avoid being brainwashed (Introduction)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s