There is a document from the BBS days about cult indoctrination tactics, exploring the similarities to Chinese Communist brainwashing. This quotes from Chapter 22 of Robert Jay Lifton’s classic Thought Reform And The Psychology Of Totalism.
Let’s explore what media manipulators and other minions of cultural Marxism have in common with old-school Maoist brainwashers and cult recruiters. Their heavy-handed tactics are pretty similar. Coincidence?
The most basic feature of the thought reform environment, the psychological current upon which all else depends, is the control of human communication… [T]he totalist environment seeks to establish domain over not only the individual’s communication with the outside … but also … with himself. It creates an atmosphere uncomfortably reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984… [Totalist administrators] look upon milieu control as a just and necessary policy… At the center of this self-justification is their assumption of omniscience, their conviction that reality is their exclusive possession. […] To the extent that [the target] does this, he undergoes a personal closure which frees him from man’s incessant struggle with the elusive subtleties of truth.
For decades, media manipulators were information gatekeepers, molding the public’s minds. Recently, the Internet provides alternatives to their one-sided narrative. Despite social media censorship, the usual suspects can’t shut down opposing viewpoints. Further, although multitudes still get all their information from television, the media blew their own credibility. Today’s dumbed-down and politicized educational system still serves this purpose.
The inevitable next step after milieu control is extensive personal manipulation. […] Initiated from above, it seeks to provoke specific patterns of behavior and emotion in such a way that these will appear to have arisen spontaneously from within the environment. […] [T]hey create a mystical aura around the manipulating institutions—the Party, the Government, the Organization. They are the agents “chosen” (by history, by God, or by some other supernatural force) to carry out the “mystical imperative”… The individual then responds to the manipulations through developing what I shall call the psychology of the pawn. […] This requires that he participate actively in the manipulation of others…
As Lifton’s analysis shows, this is easy once milieu control is in place. Today, this happens by the use of dialectic strategy to manipulate world events. Further, anarcho-tyranny causes a societal Stockholm Syndrome reaction by the government’s increasingly hostile stance toward the public, while tolerating things that will justify more security (control).
The Demand For Purity
In the thought reform milieu, as in all situations of ideological totalism, the experiential world is sharply divided into the pure and the impure, into the absolutely good and the absolutely evil. […] This is perpetuated by an ethos of continuous reform, a demand that one strive permanently and painfully for something which not only does not exist but is in fact alien to the human condition. […] Since ideological totalists become the ultimate judges of good and evil within their world, they are able to use these universal tendencies toward guilt and shame as emotional levers for their controlling and manipulative influences. […] Moreover, once an individual person has experienced the totalist polarization of good and evil, he has great difficulty in regaining a more balanced inner sensitivity to the complexities of human morality. For there is no emotional bondage greater than that of the man whose entire guilt potential—neurotic and existential—has become the property of ideological totalists.
Social Justice Warriors base their worldview on the “privilege ladder” (Victimization Olympics), lacking objective standards of right and wrong. Whoever has the greatest “privilege” is considered wrong. It’s a backward rationalization for cultural Marxism’s politically correct pecking order. Some groups are encouraged to have solidarity and express their interests; others doing so are vilified.
The Cult Of Confession
Confession is carried beyond its ordinary religious, legal, and therapeutic expressions to the point of becoming a cult in itself. […] [T]his purging milieu enhances the totalists’ hold upon existential guilt. Second, it is an act of symbolic self-surrender, the expression of the merging of individual and environment. Third, it is a means of maintaining an ethos of total exposure… Finally, the cult of confession makes it virtually impossible to attain a reasonable balance between worth and humility.
The “Sacred Science”
The totalist milieu maintains an aura of sacredness around its basic dogma, holding it out as an ultimate moral vision for the ordering of human existence. This sacredness is evident in the prohibition… against the questioning of basic assumptions, and in the reverence which is demanded for the originators of the Word… and the Word itself. […] The assumption here is not so much that man can be God, but rather that man’s ideas can be God…
During the Middle Ages, people were pretty obsessed with religion and supernatural matters. Today, we’re just as obsessed with ideology. When leftists terminate friendships over dissenting views (and encourage others to do so), they’re already taking it too far. Further, they make their revered figures into saints and smear their historic opponents. Communist wars and mismanagement were more destructive than all the wars of religion in history.
Loading The Language
The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. […] Totalist language, then, is repetitiously centered on all-encompassing jargon, prematurely abstract, highly categorical, relentlessly judging, and to anyone but its most devoted advocate, deadly dull: in Lionel Trilling’s phrase, “the language of nonthought.
SJWs use buzzwords such as intersectionality, microaggression, and “privilege” to enforce their PC pecking order, among other ways they frame language their way. As for thought-terminating clichés, these include “devil words” (often ending in -ism or -phobia) to shut down arguments and attempt to delegitimize policy arguments.
Doctrine Over Person
This sterile language reflects another characteristic feature of ideological totalism: the subordination of human experience to the claims of doctrine. […] The underlying assumption is that the doctrine—including its mythological elements—is ultimately more valid, true, and real than is any aspect of actual human character or human experience. […] Rather than modify the myth in accordance with experience, the will to orthodoxy requires instead that men be modified in order to reaffirm the myth.
If the facts don’t fit the theory, they “change” the facts. This includes outright refusing to face the truth (something Objectvists call “evasion”), dismissing evidence (for instance, demanding proof from an academic peer-reviewed journal, while expecting you to believe their own assertions), calling the facts something ending in -ist or -phobic (see above) even if it’s actually from peer-reviewed journals, etc.
The Dispensing Of Existence
The totalist environment draws a sharp line between those whose right to existence can be recognized, and those who possess no such right. […] Totalists thus feel themselves compelled to destroy all possibilities of false existence as a means of furthering the great plan of true existence to which they are committed. […] Existence comes to depend upon creed (I believe, therefore I am), upon submission (I obey, therefore I am) and beyond these, upon a sense of total merger with the ideological movement. […] Also, ideological totalism itself may offer a man an intense peak experience: a sense of transcending all that is ordinary and prosaic, of freeing himself from the encumbrances of human ambivalence, of entering a sphere of truth, reality, trust, and sincerity beyond any he had ever known or even imagined.
Again, this is seen in the “privilege ladder”. Traditional Communism was about class warfare. Cultural Marxism added several other favored/disfavored categories. This is why they push racial agitation, feminism, GLBT stuff, and all the rest of it. They believe those high on the PC pecking order are “disadvantaged”; all others thus should be miserable and suffer.
This is also why these memebots are hell-bent on wrecking Western civilization. They’ve decided that we don’t deserve to live. I say they’re the ones who can go to hell.
Lifton provided quite an insightful look into the Maoist brainwashing process, later adopted by cult recruiters. Today, far-left ideology is basically a religion. They’ve put the “cult” in cultural Marxism, a lousy form of totalitarianism. Even if they got everything they want, they wouldn’t like the results.
Reducing their milieu control will help get them off our backs; without it, they couldn’t get away with the rest. This is narrative warfare, so we must discredit their cultural Marxism memes as much as possible, along with the lying media. Further, cut off their money. Spending selectively will show the corporations that fund this stuff that their virtue-signaling hurts the bottom line. For those of us with children, don’t send them to expensive SJW factories.