By Aristotle’s Sausage
Brainwashing would make a great excuse and absolve Allison Mack of responsibility for her rotten and criminal actions.
MK10ART’s Allison Mack
The problem is, there’s no such thing as brainwashing.
Keith Raniere on camera drying the brains of three of his students’ after washing them..
“Brainwashing” was invented by journalist Edward Hunter for an article he wrote in the Miami Daily News in September 1950. The idea took root in the Red Scare era of the Korean War (how else to explain the spread of Communism?) and through popular fiction like The Manchurian Candidate (the book and the movie). J. Edgar Hoover believed in it.
“Beginning in the early 1950s, the CIA and the Defense Department conducted secret research for twenty years, attempting to develop practical brainwashing techniques. The research was a complete failure.”
“The key issue relative to the scientific standing of brainwashing theory is whether the transformation of self and commitment (whether to a new or to a pre-existing worldview) has been coercively imposed in a way that contradicts the free will of the individual, and whether that claim of coercive influence has been confirmed or disconfirmed by scientific research… That core brainwashing theory has been conclusively disconfirmed.”
So much for brainwashing.
As for NLP, it’s pseudoscience. It does not work. People can’t be “programmed”. They can’t be mind-whammied. They can, of course, be convinced, pressured, or coerced. That’s what Raniere was doing. He was using high-pressure sales tactics, and he was good at it.
But that’s all it was. Sales tactics. He was no Svengali. He had no special diabolical power to erase free will.
High-pressure sales tactics only work on certain people. Gamblers call them “marks.” Mack was a mark (ha! That alliterates!)
Mack and Raniere had a fucked up relationship. They were both getting exactly what they wanted. He liked bossing people around and being top dog, and she wanted to be told what to do and what to think. She thought she was stupid, and she was right. Judging by her actions, Mack seems to be a weak-willed person with a vicious streak that Nxivm / DOS liberated.
I’m sorry, is that too harsh? It’s a conclusion based on factual evidence at Raniere’s trial and victim testimony at Mack’s sentencing—her wanton cruelty to her slaves and her employee Tabitha Chapman when Raniere was nowhere around.
And that’s the other thing. At any point during Mack’s years – years! – with Raniere, she could’ve hopped in her BMW and gone home to California. She wasn’t forced to stay in Knox Woods.
She wasn’t forced to abuse Tabby Chapman. She wasn’t forced to actually make those 2 am alerts to her slaves. It could’ve been, “let’s not and say we did”.
She didn’t have to be so mean.
She wasn’t forced to starve herself. Raniere didn’t have her locked in a room.
She could have said “no” to any of it or all of it. Other people did. All it would have required was an ethical sensibility and a backbone. Evidently, she lacked either.
Oh, but it would’ve cost her?
Raniere had those embarrassing photos, that compromising “collateral.”
So instead, she fucked over all those people to save her own ass? Real noble. That’s not what I call “having a good heart.” I have no respect for people who let themselves be kicked around. I have even less respect for people who kick others around when told to do so.
Which Mack did. Eagerly and with considerable relish.
Allison Mack and Keith Raniere have a great deal in common. That’s probably why they hit it off so well from the start. They both are in prison, and it’s where they belong.