0
$\begingroup$

Thinking about the "re-education" camps in parts of the world. They attempt to replace one idiology in you head with another and is considered brainwashing.

On the other hand, the first idiology got in their head by their parents. So is that not also brainwashing of a sort?

How would I know if I have been brainwashed to believe things that aren't necessarily true? How can I prevent being brainwashed by the media?

For example I believe that we can find out how the world works through science and experiment but maybe I've just been brainwashed to believe that and really the only way to find out about how the world works is by divine revelations by angels.

So how can I tell?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ What has your research come up with? $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Dec 16 '19 at 10:37
2
$\begingroup$

I'll go about this question focusing on the definitions, rather than jumping onto the answer proper. Clarifying definitions may already help you a step closer to an answer.

  • On the other hand, the first id[e]ology [of children] got in their head by their parents. So is that not also brainwashing of a sort?

the definition of Brainwashing...:

a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas

...readily answers this Q, namely a kid's brain is a clean slate, virtually devoid of "political, social, or religious beliefs". So no, this is not brainwashing.

  • How would I know if I have been brainwashed...[?]

Brainwashing was coined by journalist Edward Hunter in September 1950 described how Mao Zedong’s Red Army used terrifying ancient hypnotic techniques to turn the Chinese people into mindless, Communist automatons. "Brainwashing” was a word-for-word translation from xi-nao, the Mandarin words for wash (xi) and brain (nao). In the Korean war later in the '50s, thousands of American soldiers, including high-ranked officers, petitioned to end the war, made false claims of war atrocities by the Us and even refused to re-enter the army after they were freed. The US jumped on it and said these people were brainwashed. However, when the media hype was over, scientific research revealed what truly made these soldiers following the ideas of the "communists"; they were tortured (source: Smithsonian Magazine).

Your question seems also to radiate the mystical origins of the word brainwashing, namely that the media can somehow hypnotize you and change your thoughts mysteriously. Those are false believes. Of course the media affects your thinking, but it cannot "brainwash" you.

  • I believe that we can find out how the world works through science and experiment but maybe I've just been brainwashed to believe that and really the only way to find out about how the world works is by divine revelations by angels.

Some people believe God created the earth and all its life on it. Others choose evolution to be key to life, and the big bang for the creation of the universe instead. It's a choice you can make. Many scientists are also believers. In other words, you don't have to choose, and support both views. Nothing brainwashy about either side.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Good points. The media do tend to use the term "brainwashing" a lot. I guess the closest actual real things would be "convince", "encourage", and "mislead". I would think most of these re-education/de-radicalisation/de-programming courses work because the person learns what they have to to say to get out of them. But probably doesn't alter their core beliefs. $\endgroup$ – zooby Dec 15 '19 at 20:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.