Fears of war and pestilence.
Fear of loss and failure.
Fear the hate of your enemy.
Fear your god and savior.
What do you fear?
Fear is your god.
Deep and insidious, beneath your consciousness, and just beyond your peripheral vision the horror of sin lies. The most base human fears, materialized with an agenda, and aimed at the young and vulnerable. Instincts derived from over a hundred thousand years of life in hominid form and millions of years before to the origin of species, have been carved by nature to protect the self and the genes from destruction. When weaponized, as proven time and time again, fear truly is: “the mindkiller”.
Continue reading “The Atheist Hell House”
“We all know that any emotional bias — irrespective of truth or falsity — can be implanted by suggestion in the emotions of the young, hence the inherited traditions of an orthodox community are absolutely without evidential value…. If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences. With such an honest and inflexible openness to evidence, they could not fail to receive any real truth which might be manifesting itself around them. The fact that religionists do not follow this honourable course, but cheat at their game by invoking juvenile quasi-hypnosis, is enough to destroy their pretensions in my eyes even if their absurdity were not manifest in every other direction.”
― H.P. Lovecraft, Against Religion: The Atheist Writings of H.P. Lovecraft
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The most uniquely human feature of our inner life is that dimension of consciousness called “imagination.” The reason it’s called that is because in the exercise of it, our minds create mental images. In some cases, those images have an important shaping influence on our lives; indeed, it is human imagination that has shaped the modern world.
This may be illustrated by taking Magritte’s Treachery of Images to what was surely its intended logical conclusion: every painting is a representation of its author’s “vision” (another word for image in this case, drawn not from “to see” but “to visualize”), and to the extent that the painting is an accurate representation of that image, it may be judged successful. That success itself is the end product of a technique that was gradually acquired by imagining the precise elements of motor control that would load the brush just so, move it across the canvas in a way calculated to achieve the desired outcome, and so forth – and then by going to work developing those very techniques that the imagination suggested.
The things that are true of paintings and their bringing-to-life are also true of musical compositions, poems, internal combustion engines, buildings, highway interchanges, radio telescopes, financial empires, atomic bombs and so forth. Science and art are the two preeminent products of the human imagination. Religion is another, unfortunately deeply-tainted: more on this later.
Continue reading “Imagination and Indoctrination, A Window Into the Mythical Realms of the Mind Including the Dangers Therein”
When one really thinks about it, a lot of Christianity acts as mind control. While I may tackle different aspects of this in other posts, I want to start with the basics here and focus on the story of salvation, especially as taught to children in more fundamentalist sects of Christianity. As we know, children are particularly vulnerable to being taught nonsense, and are biologically predisposed to accept authority figures like their parents and teachers without much protest. At such a young age, their very conception of life is determined by parental guidance and other similar authority figures, potentially creating long lasting consequences in their lives. As the Bible itself teaches, “start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). While this is obviously not a foolproof method, it is effective overall, and it can be difficult to extricate itself from such a mindset at a later age. Even more alarming details about the indoctrination of children, as we will see in this post, are some eerie parallels to literal brainwashing.
So, what are children often taught thoughout Christianity? Well, it can vary from one family to another, depending on the denomination and intensity of belief, but the salvation story among fundamentalists basically goes like this. First, children are taught about how everyone is a sinner. The most common Bible verse used to point out that we are all sinners is Romans 3:23, which states: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Moreover, people are taught, due to the concept of original sin from the Adam and Eve story in Genesis 2-3, that people are born sinful, even though they did nothing wrong; “it makes us objects in a cruel experiment whereby we are created sick and commanded to be well”. They are then taught that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Continue reading “Mind Control: Comparing the Salvation Story to Brainwashing”
“Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select.”
-John Watson (The father of Behavioral Sciences) Behaviorism, 1930
It would seem to be incumbent on behaviorists to not only employ an active reach into the traumas and stresses of those they are beholden to (the communities of their service) but also to actively offer what tools and powers available to protect the people from becoming victims in the same sense. For this reason I feel the necessity to, in the fair brevity of this blog format, offer what small gems of wisdom I can from my studies into Applied Behavioral Sciences.
Firstly it is important to identify the problem at hand, in this case the active shaping of the personality and thinking of others, dubbed brainwashing or thought reform, this concept may once have been seen more science fiction than actual science, but has gained considerable credibility since the Korean War wherein American POW’s reported attempts to reshape their personality and thinking by Chinese and North Korean captors.
Continue reading “Brainwashing and the Involuntary Suspension of Critical Thinking”