Daily Moon Phases

Friday, February 14, 2014

Brainwashing, The Science Of Thought Control

Brainwashing, The Science Of Thought Control by Kathleen Taylor

"We tend to believe that mental power derives from reason, so we view emotions as weaknesses.
And we think of ourselves as having free will, choosing whether or not to be influenced by other people. To understand whether our fears about brainwashing are appropriate, we need to look at the accuracy of these beliefs. That means understanding more about human brains, so Part II: The traitor in your skull (Chapters 7–11) considers the neurosciences. Be warned: this is the
most difficult part of the book. There is just no way to talk neural without going into detail; brains refuse to be reduced to soundbites. I have included a beginner’s guide (Neuroscience in a nutshell, p. 106), diagrams, and as few technicalities as possible.

But I have used a lot of examples, not all of which may seem to have much to do with brainwashing. Bear with me; there are reasons for this. For one thing, direct modern scientific evidence of what happens to brains during brainwashing is non-existent: ethical objections forbid such research from taking place.

For another, we need to understand how brains normally work before we can make sense of the abnormal processes in brainwashing. The themes of Part II—brain change, beliefs, emotions, how brains generate actions, self-control, and free will—are each so complex that they require considerable explaining. I have therefore risked chasing tangents in pursuit of clarification."

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