Thursday, July 7, 2011

Brainwashing and Socilization

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When I stated that atheist ideology was brain washing an atheist asked "when was I taken in a back room and worked over with a rubber hose while having bright lights shined in my face?" This is a crude understanding of a crude concept "brain washing." There's really no such thing, one of my sociology professors way back in undergrad school identified it as a socialization process. We can see that socialization process working all the time on any message board where atheists congregate. It consist mocking and ridicule against anyone who disagrees with their view. Hasn't it occurred to anyone to ask why atheists do all this mocking and ridicule? I chalked up to their fragile self esteem and their need to feel big by making other small. I think that's part of it it but it's only half the story.

The other half is that mocking an ridicule serve the function of destabilizing the personality and making the target vulnerable to socialization. I've pointed this out before as well. The Encyclopedia of sociology has some instructive things to say on this score.


Encyclopedia of Sociology Volume 1,

Macmillan Publishing Company, New York
By Richard J. Ofshe, Ph.D.

Coercive persuasion and thought reform are alternate names for programs of social influence capable of producing substantial behavior and attitude change through the use of coercive tactics, persuasion, and/or interpersonal and group-based influence manipulations (Schein 1961; Lifton 1961). Such programs have also been labeled "brainwashing" (Hunter 1951), a term more often used in the media than in scientific literature. However identified, these programs are distinguishable from other elaborate attempts to influence behavior and attitudes, to socialize, and to accomplish social control. Their distinguishing features are their totalistic qualities (Lifton 1961), the types of influence procedures they employ, and the organization of these procedures into three distinctive subphases of the overall process (Schein 1961; Ofshe and Singer 1986). The key factors that distinguish coercive persuasion from other training and socialization schemes are:

  1. The reliance on intense interpersonal and psychological attack to destabilize an individual's sense of self to promote compliance

  2. The use of an organized peer group

  3. Applying interpersonal pressure to promote conformity

  4. The manipulation of the totality of the person's social environment to stabilize behavior once modified

Thought-reform programs have been employed in attempts to control and indoctrinate individuals, societal groups (e.g., intellectuals), and even entire populations. Systems intended to accomplish these goals can vary considerably in their construction. Even the first systems studied under the label "thought reform" ranged from those in which confinement and physical assault were employed (Schein 1956; Lifton 1954; Lifton 1961 pp. 19-85) to applications that were carried out under nonconfined conditions, in which nonphysical coercion substituted for assault (Lifton 1961, pp. 242-273; Schein 1961, pp. 290-298). The individuals to whom these influence programs were applied were in some cases unwilling subjects (prisoner populations) and in other cases volunteers who sought to participate in what they believed might be a career-beneficial, educational experience (Lifton 1981, p. 248).


We see these same aspects at work among atheists on message boards. Intense interpersonal attack to destabilize sense of self, that's the mocking and ridiculing. That's the use that's made of it, it's brain washing. Organized peer group, of cousre the atheists band together and form a united front, they never break ranks. Interpersonal pressure to promote conformity.

Statements supportive of the proffered ideology that indicate adaptive attitude change during the period of the target's involvement in the reform environment and immediately following separation should not be taken as mere playacting in reaction to necessity. Targets tend to become genuinely involved in the interaction. The reform experience focuses on genuine vulnerabilities as the method for undermining self-concept: manipulating genuine feelings of guilt about past conduct; inducing the target to make public denunciations of his or her prior life as being unworthy; and carrying this forward through interaction with peers for whom the target develops strong bonds. Involvement developed in these ways prevents the target from maintaining both psychological distance or emotional independence from the experience. (Ibid)

I've seen this on boards many times. Someone who seems like a normal Christian will be mocked and ridicule. Suddenly they start consider the atheist might have a good point, next thing you know they way they are an atheist. This is always followed by a denunciation of of their former belief system and big confessions about how narrow minded they were and how wrong and bad they were to be Christians.

They create a sense of dependency upon the group, threaten the stragglers with ridicule if they say unacceptable things, and destabilize others weak targets to so they can take them over. First the destroy self esteem then promise new self esteem based upon self acceptance. When one announces that he's come over, o man do they make a big deal. Out comes the welcome wagon they all start patting him on the back. I remember a girl on CARM a few years ago. She seems fairly strong as a Christian and at least convinced. She began voices a few doubts. They began calling her names telling her how stupid she is. always saying little snide things to indicate "your are not good enough." She kept growing in doubts. Finally she announced he was an atheist and they began saying "I knew you were intelligent all along." The same little pigs who told her how stupid she was began making over her Einstein-like mind.

When you see atheists just sort of idling just saying one banal stupid thing after another all oriented around mocking Chrsitians and mocking beliefs, that's the brain washing in progress. Its' a socialization process that offers the lonely outcast a social support net work as long as they illustrate that they can spout the ideology. When they are repeating the slogans of atheism they are showing that they belong in the group. When others join them they are recognizing their membership.

15 comments:

a-hermit said...

" I remember a girl on CARM a few years ago. She seems fairly strong as a Christian and at least convinced. She began voices a few doubts. They began calling her names telling her how stupid she is. always saying little snide things to indicate "your are not good enough." She kept growing in doubts. Finally she announced he was an atheist and they began saying "I knew you were intelligent all along." The same little pigs who told her how stupid she was began making over her Einstein-like mind."

Are you talking about SoMS? When did anyone (other than her fellow Christians) mock her or call her names on CARM? I remember her taking a lot of crap from the fundies over there for asking tough questions, but I don't recall anyone in the atheist/agnostic camp doing so.

You're so blinded by hate you just have to make shit up to justify it.

Metacrock said...

no this was one when I was living in my apartment. It must have been 2007-08. Can't remember her screen name but when went by AM. I think it stood for "anti-matter" I can't recall.

Metacrock said...

Christians can at time also do manipulative things to get and keep members. I'm not going to say it's never harmful. The more get away from the "them and us" mentality the better things will be.

a-hermit said...

"Can't remember her screen name but when went by AM."

OK, I remember her; seems to me she went back and forth a few times. She could dish it out too as I recall...

"The more get away from the "them and us" mentality the better things will be."

And do you think singling out atheists and calling them "pigs" for this kind of behaviour, when Christians (and anyone else who argues on the internet) are just as guilty will help accomplish that?

Motes and beams again....

Metacrock said...

atheism, especial "new atheism" is a cult. It's a brain washing cult. It's based on hate, it uses psychological manipulation to get soldiers for the field.

We don't need to bolster a view of them and us between two groups of people, those who believe in God and those who don't. We need to foster communication and undestanding between the two.

You can't foster communication with a hate group. I've said over and over again not all atheist are in the hate group. We need to learn to identity what the group is and who is in it and when it's exportation.

analogy: I promote harmony between religions. that doesn't mean I extend that to the moonies or other cultitic groups that bran wash people.

a-hermit said...

"atheism, especial "new atheism" is a cult. It's a brain washing cult. It's based on hate, it uses psychological manipulation to get soldiers for the field."

And we're back to the hatemongering and bigotry...so much for getting away from the "us and them" mentality.

Metacrock said...

did you really truth would just go away becasue you ignore it? you have never advanced one single piece of evidence ot deny the thesis, all you have ever done is get indignant and whine because I realized what new atheism is.

Morrison said...

Metacrock, why won't you use spell check?

Your frequent spelling errors discredit your work.

Just claiming "disability" is no excuse.

Maybe there is more to this than you are admitting.

Metacrock said...

I use spell check chicken pie. Have you heard of dyslexia? do you know what it is?

this may be really hard to understand but stretch yourself. If you can't see the words properly you can't correct them properly. THINK About IT for once ok?

Metacrock said...

my spell check shows no underlines. no wrong words. Maybe there are some but the spell check doesn't show them.

a-hermit said...

"Morrison said...

Metacrock, why won't you use spell check?Your frequent spelling errors discredit your work."


Spellcheck won't help a dyslexic distinguish which option on a list of possible spellings is the right one. That's why you often see words which are correctly spelled but the wrong word in Meta's posts.

I'm actually always impressed at how well Meta deal with his perceptual difficulties and usually produces readable, coherent comments.

What discredits his work, in my eyes, is his constant, unreasonable, blind hatred and anger towards those of us who dare to disagree with him about the existence of God. It leads him to make these kinds of generalizations and spew insults like "pigs" and "nazis" at people who might otherwise interested in what he has to say.

Metacrock said...

thanks Hermit I appreciate what you say about my dyslexia. The other part is totally unfair. You are so very blind toward everything people on your side do. They way they treat all Christians (not all athesits but a huge portion) is shameful. The way they treat me, refusing to argue logically, refusing to listen, assuming that any view that is not in agreement with their materialism is "obviously stupid."


They argue from incredulity then when you call them on it they always resort to personal slams. The mythology they have built up about me because they just can't cope with logic.

I don't hate you. I actually admire in some ways, but you are totally blind and totally duped.

a-hermit said...

"I don't hate you. I actually admire in some ways, but you are totally blind and totally duped."

I don't hate you either, but you act like a bigoted asshole.

Yes I do see that other people are occasionally rude to you, but your own rudeness, your constant refusal to acknowledge the validity any point of view of view that doesn't agree with yours, your insistence that only you are being logical (when you often are not, or at least are refusing to recognize the logic behind other points of view) your arrogance and at times your outright malevolence dwarfs anything that gets directed you. I've beenon the sharp end of your hate too often myself to think that it's all just a reaction to people treqting you badly. You have a deep seated reservoir of fear and anger in you and you love to wallow in it.


Most people will treat you with respect if you extend them the same courtesy. Those who don't, don't deserve the time.

Metacrock said...

I don't hate you either, but you act like a bigoted asshole.

you are totally blind to what they do. You slough off their bullying with the attitude "boys will be boys." you see the mistakes I make as national travesties.

Yes I do see that other people are occasionally rude to you, but your own rudeness,


Every single thing they say is a dig. they almost never argue on the isseus, everyting they arue about is what I did wrong,what's wrong with me. It's just becuase ther eaer more of them and they are on the other side. If we were on Christian boards ran by me for the purpose of propaganda like the secular web or infield guys you would mocked and ridiculed every single say as i am.

It happens every single day. They treat me like an idiot, they regard me as having no eduction, they speak about my ideas like they are total idiocy. I'm obviously better educated than they are. spent my whole life, almost 60 (55) learning and they ack like all that I learned is shit becuase it doesn't' back their propaganda.

you back them 100%



your constant refusal to acknowledge the validity any point of view of view that doesn't agree with yours, your insistence that only you are being logical


atheist rarely make logical points. Arguing from analogy s nto logical. that's a fallacy. guilt by association is not logical. incredulity is not logical. That's 99% of what atheists say on carm.

Most people will treat you with respect if you extend them the same courtesy. Those who don't, don't deserve the time.

only a naive sucker would believe that. That's just bull shit and you know it. I've proved over and over again the mocking is part of their approach it's built into the brain washing.

Metacrock said...

I don't hate you either, but you act like a bigoted asshole.

you are totally blind to what they do. You slough off their bullying with the attitude "boys will be boys." you see the mistakes I make as national travesties.

Yes I do see that other people are occasionally rude to you, but your own rudeness,


Every single thing they say is a dig. they almost never argue on the isseus, everyting they arue about is what I did wrong,what's wrong with me. It's just becuase ther eaer more of them and they are on the other side. If we were on Christian boards ran by me for the purpose of propaganda like the secular web or infield guys you would mocked and ridiculed every single say as i am.

It happens every single day. They treat me like an idiot, they regard me as having no eduction, they speak about my ideas like they are total idiocy. I'm obviously better educated than they are. spent my whole life, almost 60 (55) learning and they ack like all that I learned is shit becuase it doesn't' back their propaganda.

you back them 100%



your constant refusal to acknowledge the validity any point of view of view that doesn't agree with yours, your insistence that only you are being logical


atheist rarely make logical points. Arguing from analogy s nto logical. that's a fallacy. guilt by association is not logical. incredulity is not logical. That's 99% of what atheists say on carm.

Most people will treat you with respect if you extend them the same courtesy. Those who don't, don't deserve the time.

only a naive sucker would believe that. That's just bull shit and you know it. I've proved over and over again the mocking is part of their approach it's built into the brain washing.