Do-It-Yourself Brainwashing

January 28, 2009

For individual and mass mind control
Yes, it’s true, you, too, can dig deep into the brains of your followers and wield control, just like that guy who does the puppet shows in the park. Once you master the basic techniques and ideas presented here, you’ll never again have to suffer any back talk from anyone. And you won’t have to waste valuable human resources by offing the smart mouthers, either! So put on your chin-up boots, we’re going in.

We’re going to break the whole idea down a bit into two more manageable pieces. First, we’ll take a look at techniques that will prove effective on the general population, a sort of mass mind control; get that hive mind going on. Then, by adding onto the group control ideas, we’ll get in with the individual brainwashing, something that could prove very useful in creating the perfect assassin. Or just someone to do the cooking. Whatever. You’re the dictator. But be warned, some of the stuff that you can use in a one-on-one session is highly questionable and is sure to get you brought up on crimes against humanity charges in the Hague if the UN ever gets wind of your operations. So cover your asses, people.

Something to remember about people: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, they’re all sheep. Or at least, the large majority of them are. They want to someone to take control; decisions make them anxious. But they know that they should be all about free will, so they’ll put up a fight when you try to give them what they really want. Keep in mind that this is just a conditioned reaction, they’ll get over it.

Brainwashing is really two separate stages: cleansing and filling. Cleansing is about tossing the individual’s own hare-brained ideas into the garbage. You can’t make them do what you want if they still have any ideas about what they want. So you’ve got to empty them out, prepare them; you need a clean canvas to work on. Any sort of extreme and continual stress works really well for this. Of course, you could deny your victims food and water, torture them and make them uncertain about whether or not they are going to live, but we’re saving that sort of thing for the secret brainwashing, the war crime kind. For the general population, less-extreme measures are necessary.

This is where propaganda comes in. You want to work the emotions of the population day in and day out, getting them more excited, more angry, more afraid or just plain nervous. Get your propaganda machine going in such a way that those poor peons of yours don’t have a chance to rest, to sink back down to a more normal, less tense state of mind. This mental condition impairs judgment and increases suggestibility, meaning that they are more likely to accept whatever you have to say without questioning or criticizing any of it. Huzzah!

We can borrow from Hitler here and his ingenious “fun” groups for all the Nazi kids. Set up some sort of mandatory meetings. It doesn’t much matter what you say it’s for, but making it sound like fun will improve attendance. The meeting should take place in an area where citizens are cut off from the outside world, a cottage in the mountains or a big old hall. Make sure that which meeting who goes to is randomly assigned; you want each person to be in a roomful of total strangers. Just being away from the world and the people they know will noticeably raise the tension. Cleansing has begun and we’ve barely done anything!

Once there, your peons should be given a long talk on the importance of keeping agreements in life. Tell them they’ll never amount to anything in life if they break their promises.; they’ll be total losers and kids will throw rocks at them on the street. Use some good voice techniques while giving them this talk. The “voice roll” is something every aspiring dictator should master. A patterned, paced vocal style with a hypnotic effect on the listener, it sounds sort of like you’re speaking to the beat of a metronome (you know, that thing on top of the piano that goes “kunk, kunk, kunk”). You should speak at a pace of about 45 or so beats per minute to really maximize the hypnotic effect. Go buy a metronome and practice till you’ve got it down pat, then get making that speech!

Have your group to vow to themselves and to you that they will keep their promises. If anyone tries to weasel out of it, just get your secret service in there and intimidate them into agreeing. It’s important that they say yes to you and agree to complete “training” for whatever “fun” activity you are offering. As weird as it sounds, just by agreeing, their brain chemistry is slightly altered and they get anxious, one of the best emotions to instill in others. As the meeting progresses, you’ll get them to agree to go out and convert everyone they meet, so if you start with just one or two groups, you can send them back out into the world, where they’ll do the rest of the job for you. Sweet. These first converts are, of course, your zealots. Sell it by zealot!

Of course, one meeting alone does not a mind slave make. Long-term control, like most things in life, depends on follow-up. Make sure you give your peasants no time to relax. You want to keep them busy at all times, both physically and mentally. Maintain an exhausting schedule so that they have no time, nor any desire to think for themselves. And keep that uncertainty thing going. Put them on the spot, send them on guilt trips, force them to reveal their most intimate secrets. A great technique: Put a member of the group on stage in front of everyone else and then attack them verbally. Yell at them, tell them they’re stupid, use those secrets that you know to embarrass the hell out of them. Because people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of washing windows on the 85th floor of a building. Seriously. Play on that weakness. Most people will cope with stress like this by going to their happy place, which makes them much more open to suggestion that they normally would be. Plus, yelling at people is fun!

Don’t forget to get some jargon going on. Yea, go on, make up some words, do all that stuff your English teacher told you not to do. Special language makes people feel like insiders. It helps if the words are nasty sounding. Jarring words like “krrk” make people uncomfortable, increasing that delicious tension and hence helping to wipe their brain clean of any lingering notions of personal freedom. However, make sure to avoid humour until you’re sure that their brains are empty and your mind control is complete. Once that happens, go nuts with the partying and the fun, some serious merry-making action as a symbol of the new joy your peasants have found in becoming true citizens of the republic.

And remember, the vast majority are sheep. Give them any reason at all and they will follow you. The only hope of attending this kind of gathering and not being affected is having the detachment of Buddha and few people are capable of that. If you do have one of those in your group, though, just shoot her. Not worth the trouble. Luckily for you, a portion of the population, about one third-ish, are really weak when it comes to spines and backbones. These people are the true believers. They are the joiners and followers, the one who are really looking to give up their power. They look for answers, meaning and enlightenment outside themselves. You want to hunt these people down and take special care to get them firmly in the ways of the republic since they can easily be molded into fanatics who will gladly work and die for a holy cause. And what cause is holier than you? Although you should be a little careful in the handling of your true believers. These are some mentally unstable folks, those without hope or friends. They need something to focus their anger on, a target, so to speak. So make sure you prop up a bad guy for them to shoot at, so they can feel joined together in their love of you and their hatred of the bad guy. The bad guy could be a country you’re at war with, the devil, the UN, whatever. The important part is that there is a bad guy.

Some other tips for maintaining control of your lovely slaves: sugar, sugar, sugar! Throws the nervous system right off, making it difficult to distinguish between fantasy and reality. There’s a reason it’s called a sugar high. Diets consisting of fruits and veg are good too. Without the grounding of grains and dairy and a lack of protein, a person can get pretty spacey. And making your citizens live the vegetarian life is cost effective! Inadequate sleep and a constant bombardment of new and unique experiences will also cause them seriously problems. Or you could try programmed confusion: Mentally assault them while their alertness is being reduced. So you could do something like bombard them with questions while feeding them marshmallow cereal. Or the ever-popular thought stopping. Things like marching, chanting or meditation, which at first cause calmness, can bring a sort of natural high and even hallucinations if continued for a longer period. If people do these things for a while, their brains sort of shut down; no more thinking and they withdraw from everyone and everything, other than that which you direct.

You want to keep some basic ideas in mind at all times. You need to keep your victim unaware of what’s actually going on, while systematically creating a sense of powerlessness. Control the victim’s social and physical environment and especially their time. Use a system of rewards and punishments, like Pavlov and his infamous dogs, to promote the learning of your ideology, belief system and approved behaviour. Present a closed system of logic and an authoritarian structure that permits no feedback, which cannot be changed without the dictator’s express consent. You’ve probably already done this if you’re running your own totalitarian state. Most importantly, use this system of rewards and punishments to inhibit actions that show a citizen’s former identity. Keep that old self under wraps!

We’ve focused up to now on group participation, but all of the things we’ve discussed are equally applicable to individuals. Only, in the privacy of our own dark dungeons, we can go a lot further and move a lot faster in the cleansing part of things, ignoring international human rights treaties and other petty details. So bring out the clamps and the wheel and all those good torture tools you have hidden away. With the individual, we can use techniques happened upon by Pavlov and put to good use by Chinese communists in the fifties. That is, a near-death state that can erase a person’s previous training.

With the group, we focused more on slowly raising tensions, putting them on the spot and that sort of thing. When it’s just that single, lonely soul in a cage, try complete isolation, periodic denial of food and water, extreme temperature changes and exposure to the elements. Or how about sleep “therapy”. A personal favourite, the idea is to keep the subject asleep for nearly 24 hours a day for a week or two with the help of an assortment of drugs. During this time, you wake her up two or three times a day for electroshock treatments, with the electricity at a level 20 or 30 times greater than the regular convulsion-producing level. By the time you’re done, she won’t remember she ever had a name, much less what it was.

Basically, the big difference between individual and group programming is that with the individual, you’re a lot freer, but the same basic ideas apply. You can be much more thorough if you’re able to use the near-death techniques. There’s only a certain level of belief you can reach without using methods condemned by the international community. Which is why group members are great at propagating the republic and bringing people into the fold, but they’re not too great at assassinations. For that, they need extra deep and special training. Private lessons. And of course, once you clean out their brains of the old ideas, you’re free to toss in whatever you want. You could make them all into cabbages if you wanted.

As Dostoyevsky wrote in The Brothers Karamozov: “There are three forces, the only three forces capable of conquering and enslaving forever the conscience of these rebels in the interests of their own happiness. They are: the miracle, the mystery and the authority.” So what are these forces in the real world of mind control? Well, the miracle is ideology giving miraculous powers to you, the dictator. The mystery is the secrecy in which you shroud the actual beliefs and practices of the dictator (thanks, secret police!). And authority is more than just you, it’s also the claim on the time, talents, bodies and properties of your citizens to meet the needs of the republic. Time to start making some claims!

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