Foundations of Brainwashing

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

I was raised in a cult.

I left the church at 15 years old and spent the next decade diligently deprogramming myself.


I see now how this was very purposeful. When you have experienced brainwashing once and understand the techniques that are used to do so, it becomes easier and easier to spot them.


My childhood was perfect preparation for what’s happening worldwide right now.

I will never stand here and tell you what to believe, or what choices to make. I will always stand here encouraging you to think for yourself, do your own research, ask questions, feel into information, and trust what you receive.

I share with you today some of the basic practices used in brainwashing, manipulation, and mind control from my own observation and experiences. The conclusions you draw are your own.


Foundations of brainwashing:

  • Constant repetition of certain words or phrases

  • Identification with a trusted in-group, positioned against disparaged out-groups

  • Consistent use of fear, guilt, shame, or other strong emotions that are paired with specific narratives, words, or phrases

  • Demonstrated consequences for disobeying the group norm or going against the status quo (whether implied or direct)

  • Instilled distrust of anyone not in the perceived in-group, anyone who questions the status quo or shares "off-limits" topics or viewpoints

  • Systematic censoring or silencing of outside viewpoints; amplification of viewpoints that match the in-group narrative

  • Incentives, increased social status, or other rewards gained in return for obedience and compliance

  • Distrust of self; constant search for external validation from members of the trusted in-group

  • Absolute, unwavering trust/loyalty given to in-group authority figures

  • Automatic dismissal or rejection of perspectives that don’t match with what you’ve been taught

  • Stringent labeling of people, ideas, and practices; viewing anyone with a different perspective as irrational or “crazy”

  • Rigid, black and white thinking about concepts of "right" and "wrong"

  • No willingness, ability, or desire to "agree to disagree"

  • Feelings of extreme threat/anger/panic/discomfort when presented with information different than one’s own

  • Over-dependence/reliance on authority figures to say what is true, what is “good” and “bad”, to co-sign behaviors and beliefs

  • Self-inflicted isolation from anyone who does not share the same beliefs, creating an “echo chamber effect”

  • Rejection of nuanced perspectives or anything that does not fully conform to conditioned expectations or beliefs

  • Punishments such as rejection, public shaming, social isolation, or full excommunication of anyone who does not conform to in-group standards

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