By Aristotle’s Sausage
The term “brainwashing” was invented by journalist Edward Hunter in September 1950 for an article in the Miami Daily News.
Brainwashing doesn’t exist. It’s a fable.
It was a Cold War invention, useful for “explaining” how those Red Chinese devils could spread their ideology. Movies like The Manchurian Candidate helped spread the notion of “brainwashing”.
It remains a popular belief, useful for explaining away one’s foolish choices such as joining a cult, getting branded with some asshole’s initials, etc. That way, you’re a victim, instead of a fool.
The term “brainwashing” is now often replaced with updated ones like “adult grooming” and “gaslighting”. They mean the same thing though.
Short of a gun to your head, nobody can make you do anything. A lot of people can be convinced to do stupid and damaging things. Some a lot easier than others.
There are plenty of people within Nxivm, and DOS, who didn’t go along. Who said “screw this” and left. Those people had strength of character. They had morals and courage.
Many others collaborated, some to the bitter end. I have no respect and little sympathy for collaborators.
It was the early whistleblowers I respect. People like Frank Parlato and Jessica Joan.
Mack Was Not Brainwashed
Allison Mack isn’t crazy. She’s ambitious, self-centered, and vaguely dissatisfied with her life. She’s not too bright, has a limited attention span, has no morals and has unreasonable expectations of what life owes her. Nothing will ever be enough for her. She thinks she’s special and she’s anything but.
In other words, she’s like most people in LA.
That Ted Kaczynski was subject to some psychological experiments and would later become the Unabomber does not prove that the experiments made him the Unabomber. This is confusing correlation with causation.
That “b” follows “a” does not prove that “a” caused “b”.
Now if a higher than a random number of those experimented-upon Harvard students became violent crazies, that would be evidence. As it stands, the PT article presents nothing more than an interesting anecdote.
As the article points out, the CIA and military were very interested in brainwashing. They, and a lot of psychologists, believed brainwashing was possible. They also experimented with psychoactive drugs including LSD. It was that research that established that brainwashing is not possible. And while it’s certainly possible to fry your brain on LSD, it sure ain’t the route to making an army of zombie super soldiers.
The Army intensively studied indoctrination too. What they found is that some people can be pressured into doing things they wouldn’t normally do. This is the fallback position taken by the believers in high control group manipulation, “gaslighting”, etc.
Isolate people and harangue them long enough, and you can convince some of them of all sorts of nonsense.
However, all this means is that some people are gullible fools.