Many of us have discussed here how Religion has brainwashed its followers by indoctrination  from infancy onto adulthood..........Young minds are like sponges and will absorb almost anything told to them by people of authority.......We know that teachers, especially religious teachers, are people of authority and our children spend more time with them than with their parents....I suppose this explains why it is so easy for them to influence  their young prodigy........Preachers,Priests,Rabbis, etc are also people of authority and we  know they are constantly indoctrinating not only the children but also the adults........All this is well known to us, but have any of you realized how easy it is for food manufacturers, drug manufacturers and any large corporations can brainwash us through constant TV and radio and internet advertising........How many of you have sat in front of your TV and had to watch commercials for sugary, high caloric foods, that we know may be unhealthy for us, but yet after several viewings, we realize how tasty  it looks and subconsciously we want to try it...Most likely when shopping, we see these  products and subconsciously remember the ads and many of us will buy it.....Fast Food restaurants advertise constantly on TV and it may subconsciously inspire us to go and try the delicious food that looked  so tantalizing..............Politicians are adept at spinning information so it helps them win us over....Many times, what they tell us is half true, but we think is all true......They are brainwashing us to believe they are the best for the job they are seeking......Rumors are a form of brainwashing, when vicious lies are spread denigrating someone who others  do not like for whatever reason, and can ruin a person's  reputation as a result........These are just some examples of how others manipulate us...Some are overt but some are surreptitious, that can catch us unknowingly............. Fox news, is an example of right wing propaganda  that is passed off as news, although many on the Left can see through them, but many  are also influenced  by them....I suppose  some could say  MSNBC is biased  toward the left and some may be influenced by them.......The bottom line is that we are bombarded  every day on so many levels with propaganda , that we have to make an extra effort  to  keep our principles  in tact, and only be swayed if what is said is truly helpful......How do we protect our children, who may not know what is right and what may be biased?   I wish I had an answer for this dilemma for I find it troubling.......Your comments  are welcome....

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Think - and think again; it's the only way. We need to be very sure of what we are and what we want, after that we can face the ones who want to convert us or sell us things. We must be constantly aware of what others want us to do. I can't keep it up all the time, so I don't go shopping when I'm tired. When I go shopping, I have a list with me, I only buy what's on the list. I refuse all the offers, the flyers and the talks of the relicapped in the shopping centre.

If I had children to raise, I'd teach them tanstaafl, and to think about why someone would take the trouble to sell you religion, or butter.

Chris, excellent points, great strategy! 

As the old saying goes, There's a sucker born every minute.

I would distinguish this from true brainwashing. Actual brainwashing involves isolation, physical distress, harassment and pressure to actually break down a person's mind. Besides government, certain cults employ these techniques.

No one forces us to listen to any particular politician, commentator or advertiser. We come upon these because they are saying something we want to believe. We like junk food, not because we were brainwashed, but because deep in our evolution fat, salt and calories were scarce. We're programmed to suck them up whenever we get the chance.

It's fun to pick on Fox, there is plenty of stupidity to go around across the spectrum. How many 'progressives' feel that they are scientifically literate, yet they buy into the anti-vax or anti-gmo, or '"natural foods/'medicines' are best for you" BS. Hint: No plant EVER evolved an internal chemistry for the benefit of humans. No plant EVER optimised it's internal chemistry to safely treat human ills. Evolution does not work that way.

Ideologues across the political spectrum unquestionally repeat the same slogans as if they are unalloyed truth.

OK, if brainwashing is not what is happening to USA citizens, what would you call it? We certainly are under the influence of propaganda.

Brainwashing is a brutal psychological technique. It requires absolute control (as in a prison camp). I pointed that out because the term has been used so loosely over the years as to become devoid of any meaning.

What you have can be a form of propaganda,  where content is structured and controlled (and this largely is a product of government). But there's lots of competition for your attention, for your belief, whether from government, religion, commercial etc. No one is forced to believe all this, indeed many things cannot be simultaneously believed because they are inherently contradictory.

Massive advertising campaigns, massive political campaigns frequently fail miserably. The money was there, but the message failed to resonate. And that's a key point. In a free speech environment, you cannot be forced to believe anything (though  political pressure groups on the left and right sometimes try) because there is plenty of other information out there (both true and false).

When one's preferred position is not commonly accepted it's easy to try to push the blame (they had more money) when basically it's that other simply were not as convinced as we are.

The funny thing is, most true believers actually view themselves as skeptics, rejecting the 'obviously wrong' other side. Whereas the large numbers of people who don't fall into that camp and do not have a deep psychological connection to a position feel free to change their minds.

@jay H, I would argue that parents and in most cases teachers have absolute control. When one is born into a strict religious family and sent to a strict religious school what else is it?
More than propaganda l think.

I don't have TV so do not watch the kinds of things that comes through that media. I do read newsletters on the internet that I pick and choose. I read articles that appeal to my interests. So, I self-select the propaganda I want to read. Not exactly the best way to get balanced information. I read what is being debated in the state and federal governments and follow specific topics. 

I read the statements of politicians and sometimes I laugh and sometimes cry. I cannot believe what I read coming from candidates for offices. I interpret the men and women as stupid, foolish, outrageous, callous, or whatever by the direct quotes and the content of the statements. There is no other word better than "stupid" for far too many of them.  

When children are instructed on a daily basis to believe the delusions of others as unquestionable truth, that's brainwashing. Isolation, distress, harassment and pressure, all these things are brought to bear on kids who haven't the knowledge or experience to consider anything other than what their told.

Do you still believe in circumcision? All people are or were infected with some kind of mental disorder.

Exactly the point Michael, we're all raised in the customs of the cultures we're born into. Superstitious idea's and taboo's are understandable in primitive, innocent societies, it's when these things hang over into so called enlightened cultures that concerns about delusions are raised. Rational minded people then have every right to consider inculcating undeveloped minds with ancient superstition as at best brainwashing, at worst child abuse.

Today they push circumcision by convincing the parents that it would make the child less likely to play with himself. Everybody is so frigging concerned that a child might masturbate. WHY? It's normal.




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