Posted by: TWotWoF VIDEO ROW | June 30, 2009

MIND CONTROL: Everyone knows what is best for you

(written by Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz)

Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology. It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned. As such it is often used pejoratively. However, instruction in the basic principles of a science, or the methodology of a profession, can also be called indoctrination, in the sense that people do not necessarily question or critically examine them. From the specific perspective of some people, like the people who don’t critically examine basic principles of a science or methodology of a profession, the word does not necessarily have negative connotations.

Religious indoctrination
Religious indoctrination refers to customary rites of passage for the indoctrination of persons into a particular religion and its extended community.

Most religious groups instruct new members in the principles of the religion; this is usually not referred to as indoctrination, because of the negative connotations the word has acquired. Mystery religions require a period of indoctrination before granting access to esoteric knowledge. (c.f. Information security)

[edit] Military indoctrination
The initial psychological preparation of soldiers during training is referred to (non-pejoratively) as indoctrination. See Recruit training.

[edit] Information security
In the field of information security, indoctrination is the initial briefing and instructions given before a person is granted access to secret information. [1]

[edit] Criticism
Noam Chomsky remarks, “For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of ‘brainwashing under freedom’ to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments.”[2]

Robert Jay Lifton argues[3] that the objective of phrases or slogans like “blood for oil,” or “cut and run,” is not to continue reflective conversations but to replace them with emotionally appealing phrases. This technique is called the thought-terminating cliché.


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