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
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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