Dealing with your brainwashed friends and family

The majority of the American public has been brainwashed, and (by definition) they don’t know it. This has been a systematic process, carried out over many decades, first on college campuses, then in our public schools, and now in the news media and corporate world. 

Hanan Parvez (MBA, MA Psychology, founder of PsychMechanicssays “Brainwashing is essentially acquiring beliefs without critical thought.” Children naturally learn from our parents about the world, how it works, and what part we play in it. 

After they’ve grown up, circumstances can manipulate people into rejecting their previous beliefs. This may be caused by PTSD from military experience, a narcissistic or abusive spouse who damages their self-esteem, cults, or radical religious leaders who consciously or unconsciously appeal to weaknesses in order to break people down and rebuild them with a new set of thoughts and behaviors that serve their own purposes. 

For governments with no conscience, knowing how to reprogram a person is very appealing. Ordinarily peaceful citizens can be turned into effective soldiers, willing to kill on orders from superiors. Spies can be trained to be undetectable. Extensive research has been conducted into controlling human behavior, including the Central Intelligence Agency’s MKUltra project in 1953.  

If you can control an individual, can those same techniques be used to control entire societies. Parvez lists the steps needed…  

Isolating them physically and cutting contact with their previous group. 

Breaking them down by mocking their previous ways of thinking and past group affiliations, along with humiliation, and embarrassment. 

Promising a new identity and inviting them into the new group with other transformed members. 

Rewarding them for joining, by making them feel important, worthwhile, and better than others. 

The 2020 COVID crisis fits the bill nicely. People were told to stay in their homes, avoid friends and family; going to church was treated as a crime. Anyone who disagreed with the lockdowns was labeled as “selfish” and guilty of endangering their grandparents. People who wanted more information about the vaccines were called “deniers” and doctors who sounded the alarm were fired and their websites were deplatformed. 

At this point the target will take any action or follow any command in order to preserve their new sense of worth and remain a member in good standing of their new group. 

Successfully brainwashed people are often “obsessed with their new beliefs, group, and the group leader… They’ll constantly tell you how you’re wrong about everything… But they can’t see that they’re being harmed.” 

Before Big Tech shut down free speech on the Internet, any negative discussion about vaccines was met with vitriolic resistance from their friends online. Relationships were broken, even among family members. 

Parvez suggests ways to bring people back from their delusions… 

First, isolate them from their cult. This may be difficult since social media, mainstream news, and corporate interests continue to perpetuate the myth that COVID is deadly and the vaccines are safe. 

Second, “present yourself as an ingroup.” Confronting your brainwashed friends and calling them stupid for believing lies only sets up a closed door to new thinking. When you share that you initially thought that the vaccines were a good idea until a close family friend had serious complications, that opens their minds. When you say you did some research on the Internet and found credible evidence that the vaccines were harming people across the world, you open the door further. 

Parvez continues, “You can show them you’re on their side by being non-judgmental, non-defensive, compassionate, and respectful.” Making someone feel embarrassed for being wrong is not helpful. 

The next step is to poke holes in their beliefs, simply by asking genuinely curious questions. Remember, people who are brainwashed want to recruit you to their cause, which makes their own doubts fade.  

Instead of trying to confront them on every issue, focus on a couple areas where you are well-versed. Do some studying and pick examples that are crystal clear. A good example is the VAERS database that reports adverse reactions to new vaccines. The government says the vaccines are safe, but the number of reported deaths is 22,065 in 2021 and 12,420 in 2022 compared to 166 in 1991 trending up to 420 in 2020. 

Graphic credit: Open clip art  public domain

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