Brainwashing: Where Conspiracy Meets Reality

Words are powerful tools that can control our thoughts and beliefs in more ways than people realize. Men can be easily trained to respond to various catchphrases that guide the nature and direction of a conversation. Joseph Stalin wrote in Concerning Marxism in Linguistics that certain sounds and tones can produce predictable reflexive reactions in people.

A good example is watching how those on the left are easily triggered by words they have been, for a lack of a better term, conditioned to respond to in a frantic manner. Another good example is the word brainwashing. Like conspiracy, this designation is likely to prompt responses of denial, skepticism, and outright accusations of wearing a tinfoil hat.

This is due to the success of attaching negative associations to the word itself, which in turn, is an excellent example of how the environment also controls behavior. Those responding to the word brainwashing in that way, have essentially been brainwashed themselves, and don’t even know it.

Brainwashing people has long been a discredited conspiracy theory, along with the idea of communist infiltration. Joseph McCarthy was attacked and ridiculed constantly, leading to the reactionary term “McCarthyism.” This derogatory moniker was attached to anyone claiming there was communist activity in the country, even though it is easily provable.

Brainwashing, or behavioral modification to be more technical, is also easily provable even though it borders on the conspiratorial. The phrase itself denotes images of people strapped in a chair, in some dingy basement run by MK Ultra operatives, with antennas protruding from their brain housing group.

Brainwashing is simply another word for behavioral change or thought control. Behavioral change strategies are mostly associated with B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning. Working off stimulus-response theory, operant conditioning manipulates the environment with systems of rewards and punishments meant to produce desired behaviors while eliminating those considered undesirable. While these methods of controlling behavior are alive and well, and being used in our schools today, (which will be demonstrated later,) there is a conspiracy side that suggests a darker purpose for their use.


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