Brain-Washing Techniques Used by Religious Groups to Convert Others.
Many Contemporary Religious Groups Were Called Cults at One Time.
by Carol Forsloff
When is a religion a cult, one might ask. The answer might be when it brain washes people to join and makes it difficult to leave because of that. At least that's what authorities relate.
I wrote about a cult in town not long ago for a local newspaper, but didn't give the name of the group that worships outside of Natchitoches.
I mentioned it uses brainwashing techniques to convert the name of the congregation, and I don't give it because I consider each person should consider their faith and beliefs for themselves by looking at certain responsible facts and ideas that may accompany the notion of cult or brainwashing. I was asked just today about the article while walking around the downtown area of Natchitoches.
"Won't you tell just me," the woman asked. "No, " I said. "But if you continue to ask, you might be wondering yourself whether the church you attend is a cult."
Those who have studied hypnotism or hypnotherapy have some understanding of how people can be inducted into a trance-like state where they are susceptible to suggestion. A hypnotist by the name of Dick Sutphen has written a text about this. He declares much of Christian evangelism came from the practices in the the 18th century.
Specifically religious revivalists used guilt and fear to brain wash people into believing they were sinners in need of repentance. Jonathan Edwards used this technique in Northampton, Massachussetts, and it was successful enough to win many converts, so the notion of bringing people into a state of apprehension through intimidation and fear has been going on in the United States with respect to secular religious groups for some time.
Sutphen declares that people who become fanatics often have cult leaders who help to engender great loyalty, again guided by intimidation and fear, that occurs not just in religion but in politics as well. He underlines the Moral Majority as an example.
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What are your thoughts on this?
Hypnosis is a real state. I'm a psychology major and I have a particular interest in it and the incredible power it has to create false beliefs, memories, and mind-sets that are as real and powerful to the subject as if they were real.
Before the justice system condemned "recovered memories" several innocent parents went to prison because their adult child had been led under hypnosis to believe that they had been sexual abused as a child. And they REALLY believed it! Using hypnosis as a way to "recover" past-lives or "repressed" trauma is HIGHLY UNETHICAL! For psychiatrists it would be a SEVERE violation of their Hippocratic Oath not to do harm. The sad thing is that if used in the wrong way or without extreme caution, hypnosis can cause SEVERE and LASTING emotional harm.
The "recovered memories" sex abuse victims had vivid fake memories that caused as much distress to them as a REAL sex abuse victim.
It is my firm belief that ALL religious services use a form of "group hypnosis" to induce "spiritual experiences" and reinforce doctrine. I do not think that the leaders of the weekly group hypnosis sessions [the pastors] are aware that they are sending the congregation into a trance, but they none-the-less do.
I wanted to test out my hypothesis that religious services are actual hypnosis sessions. So I sat in on a "family devotional" that my Christian family was having. Yep... they seemed like they were under a spell the whole time, and MY GOODNESS IT WAS CATCHING! I didn't start believing in God, but I felt the energy of the room starting to effect me... and I was almost caught up in it myself. [Mob/ group psychology anyone?]
The prayers are chanted together in church services with pre-determined words. The religionists believe the dogma, because... like "recovered memories" - it is implanted into them while they are in a trance.
The power of hypnosis is amazing. In therapy, it should ONLY be used [if at all - it is highly discouraged because it puts people into a state where they will pretty much believe anything or be convinced to do anything] it should only be used for relaxation. [meditation I guess].
In hypnotism shows, the participants are convinced to climb on furniture, bark like dogs, and even to create the famous "human plank" they are put to sleep, can be convinced to do something extremely embarrassing, or that they are happy or sad [when they're not]. The popular stereotype that they are not aware of what's happening and/or that they have no control isn't true. But what is true is that they are in an extremely vulnerable state and can be convinced with a little urging to do [or believe] just about anything.
Very interesting Skycomet,
Christians have a lot of strange things!
and ignorant people think that these things are miracles.
You mean they're not?!?! o_O
People just want to feel like the belong and are accepted by their peers, so very sheep like.
You are right Billie.
also, hypnosis is an amazing thing.