Shadow State: Brainwashing is a bogus defense

By Shadow State 1958

In 2002, a teenager named Lee Boyd Malvo claimed he was brainwashed by
an older man into murdering 10 people

Malvo is now serving life in prison.

The Lee Boyd Malvo Case

Another “insanity by brainwashing” defense hit the courtroom ­30 years later, when Lee Boyd Malvo stood trial for his role in the 2002 sniper attacks in and around Washington, D.C. The 17-year-old Malvo and 42-year-old John Allen Muhammad killed 10 people a­nd wounded three in a killing spree. The defense claimed that the teenage Malvo was brainwashed by Muhammad into committing the crimes, which he would not have committed if he weren’t under Muhammad’s control.

According to “The Brainwashing Defense” in Psychology Today:  Muhammad pl­ucked 15-year-old Malvo from the Caribbean island of Antigua, where his mother had abandoned him, and brought him to the U.S. in 2001. An army veteran, Muhammad filled the teen’s head with visions of an impending race war and trained Malvo in marksmanship. He isolated Malvo, steeped him to his own idiosyncratic, vitriolic brand of Islam and imposed a strict diet and exercise regimen on his “adopted” son.

The argument was that Malvo was brainwashed, and because he was brainwashed he could not tell right from wrong. Malvo was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole. (Muhammad was sentenced to death in a separate trial.)

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Frank Parlato


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  • When did Heather Anne post last? Hope she is okay

    Couple people asked about my avatar ;
    Symbol of Delta Elite

  • Brainwashing and hypnosis work to the extent that the person performing the operation stays within the perimeter of the victim’s logic and moral sense/beliefs. If the worker tries to subvert the basic morality and logic of his victim, then his attempt will fail. This is why indoctrination into the cult is so important, indoctrination is not the same as brainwashing/hypnosis.

    • “Some students had met Vanguard. Some students had taken many intensives. [Name Redacted] may have been the only one who was taking an intensive for the first time. Many of them focused on her. On telling her about Vanguard.
      They were edifying Vanguard almost as if it was staged and rehearsed. Every women in the class edified Vanguard to the new woman in the class.”

      Good example of love-bombing, and I assume it was expected of members to do this to the newbie.

  • As a relation to someone in Nxivm, I do believe they have been brainwashed… but it didn’t work for Patty Hearst and I doubt it will work in this case.

  • If Allison Mack was going to use the brainwashing approach why wouldn’t she be distancing herself from her Vanguard? It appears she is letting Clare Bronfman pay her legal defense and is willing to sign a joint defense agreement.

    That doesn’t appear to be someone who is willing to turn on her Master.

  • Hey shadow, your article would be much more interesting if you knew Jack shit about Psychology, hypnosis, and NLP. Just imagine if you educated yourself on these subjects before writing articles! You would have so much more credibility beyond copy and pasting a link you just read. Educate yourself and learn something=stop making yourself look like a jackass.

  • A good place to start would be defining : brainwashed.

    As I’ve asked many times, do we know how many have defected from DOS? Is it so unbelievable that some would choose to live under these conditions or choose this lifestyle? I and I think most people think it strange to say the least. However, there are many lifestyles people would say is “weird”. An agnostic or atheist may have a difficult time understanding those living a strict adherence to their faith. Or veganism or the life of a party animal.

    Does brainwashing have to be the answer to why women friends and family described as smart, independent, kind and caring handed over materials that could ruin that reputation? That went on starvation diets, were branded in some cases? Did acts of what was it? Care? Responded to text messages within minutes or faced punishment?

    A few years back the Fifty Shades of Grey books were a phenomenon among women of all ages. They were described as sexy and romantic. Submissive and Dominate relationship. It’s said that people would be surprised that they have friends, family, co workers etc that are in this community. I’m far from a prude,was already around the block a few times by the time I was out of high school but this is something I do not understand. I could never treat a woman I cared for in such a way. But, I won’t judge those that choose it for themselves. Man or woman. Well, I do but privately and wouldn’t support infringement on another’s choice.

    It’s said of course that DOS went well beyond all that. I may have previously seemed to suggest that some were lying about what they experienced. I don’t think that at all and I’m sorry I communicated it so badly. I am saying I’ve heard mostly one side of a story. Maybe there is some nuance to some of this. Kieth of course is or at the least there is strong evidence a complete bastard, con man and criminal.

    I’m not sure where the women involved all fall as individuals though. It’s not black and white to me as of yet. If they chose and believe they were not coerced are they still victims or perpetrators or something else?

      • Blackmail provided by the “victim” voluntarily and supposedly without coercion. I think it’s a strong argument. I can’t remember a single person claiming they were threatened with the material. If I’m correct at least one was even given back their blackmail on request. Other than the original explanation as a tool of trust and obedience, no threats were made.

        • Perhaps no threats were made. But just the existence of the blackmail material is a threat in itself. Why have collateral if there is not the possibility of using it? What other reason is there? And, IMO, only the first collateral was given voluntarily. Subsequent demands for collateral were given when the implied threat of the original collateral was already in the hands of the DOS “masters.”

          • My theory how they are going to explain the blackmail materials is they will say the release of it was never the threat or its purpose. That it’s actually a gesture of the one providing it of trust. A symbol of “I trust you with my life. We are sisters and have an unbreakable bond”. Etc.

            They spoke of “Bad Ass Warrior Bitches”. They could twist the blackmail as I described and describing DOS as a sisterhood much like soldiers that have experienced war together. It’s said such a bond is closer than blood-related brothers.

            So recurring tokens of that bond, of trusting another with such personal secrets and ultimately placing their lives in their hands. A vow of lifelong loyalty.

        • “I trust you with my life. We are sisters and have an unbreakable bond”. Etc.

          This would be fine and legal if say, the girls had decided to do this among themselves, for the purpose you state. Problem is the girls were lied to. The collateral became something of a secret Porn stash for the use of Raniere and whoever else he chose – to view regularly. Raniere and his select audience were not above commenting on the quality of what was collected, making adjustments to what was requested next etc. (increasingly explicit/ damaging/ incriminating) this continual, and escalating gleaning of compromising material seems a little much for an “unbreakable sisterhood bond’ type thing, no?

  • For some reason 910+ individuals can be brainwashed in Guyana but not one in Washington or some in Albany or whatever case it happens to be.

  • Good point. But counterpoint is Patty Hearst n Symbionese Liberation Army.

    So will jury n judge (at Sentencing) see Allison as Lee Malvo or Patty Hearst?

    Will Allison get a pass bc of privilege and image? Do rich n famous people get different justice system than poor, ethnic, and working class?

  • I really think Allison has way better defenses than brainwashing IF, and it’s a big IF, she will turn on vanguard. The dude is scary. People are scared of him. If Allison says she acted out of fear, maybe people would understand. If she says he tricked her maybe people would even understand. She’s clearly not the only person duped by this guy. He’s had a lifetime of practice…

  • And what is your point? You do know that Allison is a woman and don’t be too shocked if the jury treats her any differently than a man.

    Whatever you accept it or not Shadow. Allison was brainwashed and controled by Keith but you cannot see that because if your blind towards Allison due to her rejecting you.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083