Brainwashing Americans for Extremism, Power and Profit: part 1 of 3

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An extremist is a person who holds extreme or fanatical political or religious views that are very far from what most people consider correct or reasonable and that are highly disagreeable to the majority of the population.

Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life, and it is caused by physical changes in the brain.

For instance, what Oliver Sacks wrote in Speak Memory, February 21, 2013, in The New York Review of Books about our ability to edit and revise our own memories to fit whatever we want to think. Oliver Sacks says, “From the Inquisition and the Salem witch trials to the Soviet trials of the 1930s and Abu Ghraib, varieties of ‘extreme interrogation,’ or outright physical and mental torture, have been used to extract political or religious “confessions.” While such interrogation may be intended to extract information in the first place, its deeper intentions may be to brainwash, to effect a genuine change of mind, to fill it with implanted, self-inculpatory memories, and in this it may be frighteningly successful.”

Then there is Eight Ways to Identify Religious Brainwashing. In part seven of this eight part series, “Leaders who emphasize ‘Doctrine Over Person’ usually have dominant personalities and rigidly interpret biblical commands. Thus, while their language sounds spiritual, in fact they merely enforce their own preferences about how to live life.”

In addition, in 6 Brainwashing Techniques  They’re Using on You Right Now, we learn that “Every cult leader, drill sergeant, self-help guru and politician knows that if you want to quiet all of those pesky doubting thoughts in a crowd, get them to chant a repetitive phrase or slogan. Those are referred to as thought-stopping techniques, because for better or worse, they do exactly that.”

I have an old friend who is an extremist and I’ll talk more about him in part 2 and 3 and why he is against abortion, and doesn’t think global warming is caused by human activity.

Continued in Part 2 on December 5, 2014

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves


Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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9 responses to “Brainwashing Americans for Extremism, Power and Profit: part 1 of 3”

  1. Reblogged this on Crazy Normal – the Classroom Exposé and commented:

    Beware of extremists of all types and those who worship at the altar of Milton Friedman’s greed and power.

  2. Why do some of us seem immune to brainwashing? How come I can’t make MY memories prettier? I get Facebook notes from people I knew in high school — even elementary school. I’d swear they went to a different school than me. They have wonderful, happy memories of our relationships … and I remember them as nasty, petty bullies. Is it me? I do not remember the 1950s as a better time … just a different one. It wasn’t even simpler. Less technological, but the issues were no less complex and life wasn’t easy by any means. Nor was childhood all sunlight and roses. My husband went to a high school reunion and came back shaking his head, wondering what school THEY went to because it obviously wasn’t the same one he attended. I don’t get it.

    1. I think this video about “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein and Alfonso Cuaron will help explain why it seems so many people live in a fantasy world of denial.

      1. But you, me, Garry, our friends … we went through the same shocks, the same traumas. No, we weren’t given “shock therapy” or tortured, but we have been just as exposed to fake news, lies, etc. as the rest of the population. We DON’T believe it. We never bought into it. Is it just a matter of IQ? Some peculiar personality trait of ours? Or maybe they are right and WE are the ones who don’t “get it.”

      2. I think the answer has to do with being readers who don’t take anything they see, hear or read without digging deeper.

        Where do all the fools come from?

        1. 80% of high school graduates who never go to college never read a book again—they make most of their decisions from gossip, the news or TV/radio talk shows, think Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck
        2. about half of college graduates do not read books for pleasure or information after they graduate
        3. with a population of 316 million people, the U.S. only has about 60 million avid readers—about 19% of the total population
        4. about 22% of people with basic or below basic literacy skills vote—out of about 100 million adults

      3. Sad statistics. Very sad. Add to that a percentage (unknown) of wackos who believe some very weird stuff and they can ALL VOTE. Ironically, they are probably the ones who DO vote.

      4. For sure, the wackos vote often—brainwashing works for getting those fools out to vote—and win when rational people don’t vote, and I read that the 2014 election had the smallest turnout in decades.

      5. And we all got what other people voted for. I try to play like an ostrich and not notice. It’s easier that way.

      6. Many of the voters don’t realize that they were bought and paid for by billionaires and Wall Street thanks to Citizens United. $300 million was spent in states where candidates supported by Wall Street won and are already turning over trillion of dollars in public pensions to Wall Street funds that charge hefty fees and are not very transparent about it. I read that $2 of every $5 public pension fund dollars are now in the hands of Wall Street—the same guys who brought us the 2007-08 global financial disaster. At one time, all public pension money was off limits.

        Imagine that, a $300 million dollar Wall Street investment to make fools of people who swallowed the hook, line and sinker so Wall Street could profit off $2 trillion in public pensions money.

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