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The term “brainwash” arrived in the 1950s—it was said that the Chinese communists took Westerners prisoner after the revolution and transformed them into “communist zombies”.

But it is almost impossible to change a person’s beliefs—what you can do is make them dependent on a group so they go along with everything it says, and in the process become very confused about what they really think and feel.

So no one the Chinese brainwashed—from Catholic priests to doctors to businessmen—changed their beliefs.

It works best on people with a predisposition towards guilt, identity conflict, and total thought (women or feminised men).

Example: a student at university who experiences identity conflict due to being away from home, guilt at unresolved problems with his parents, and, as a young person, a tendency to think in binary terms.

Such a person could be brainwashed into a certain world perspective—say, might become transgender.

“Thought reform”, per Lifton, has eight components (very woke):

1. Milieu control: only approved information sources are allowed (e.g. “fake news” is forbidden); the person must become enmeshed in the information environment—outside views are voluntarily suppressed.

2. Mystical manipulation: “extensive personal manipulation”, often painful and bizarre—the subject is drawn into the view that there is an imminent mission to accomplish, and this will save mankind (e.g. “the climate crisis”).

The subject is subsumed in a wider drama, becomes sensitive to implicit cues and reacts to them at once (the American college student who wouldn’t tell me where he was from because “I don’t think I should say that”—i.e. it might be “racist”).

3. The demand for purity: all “poisons” and “taints” must be removed from the person—you must become a “good communist” or, in woke speak, a “good person” (an “ally”). This is tied to shame and guilt (white guilt—failure to be “an ally” to minorities, failure to do so should induce guilt).

4. The cult of confession: you must confess, in public and in writing, your crimes and misdemeanours (“check your privilege”). These confessions often take on a fabulated dimension, but the “truth” of the confession is not the point—the process of confession remoulds you into the collective dynamic.

5. The sacred science: the milieu has a special way to understand history and the world—this has solved all problems for man and can explain everything; for Marxists it was dialectical materialism, for progressives it’s “the science” (in both cases a sophistical appeal is made to the authority of natural science).

6. Loading the language: people are trapped in a world of banal cliches composed from the jargon of the sacred science (“diversity is our strength”)—these thought-terminating cliches are designed to end any thought outside the system.

7. Doctrine over person: the indoctrinated live in a world of stock characters “the redneck white sheriff”—all individual characteristics are reduced to how far a person conforms to the approved character.

8. The dispensing of existence: certain people are granted social existence and others not—“the people”, in Chinese communist jargon, have a right to be heard, but “imperialists” don’t. In woke thought, straight white men shouldn’t be heard, but black lesbians should have speech priority.

These points exist on a spectrum—all churches, political parties, and families work like this to a degree.

The difference with Chinese communism and the woke is the extremism—the system is total and with little give.

And this can make people “confess”, submit, and feel guilt and confusion about who they are—for example whether “white people” (an arbitrary ideological designation) have ever lived in homogenous countries or have ever done anything good at all.

The right is less predisposed to this behaviour because the right is masculine—the process above knits a person into a tight consensus-based collective that is devoted to the “study” of the holy texts (and non-thought).

The right puts less emphasis on collective belief-based agreement, preferring the family, nation, or race as an anchor—but those are not beliefs.

Hence the right behaves less like this than the left—though it can be like this too.


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