BRAINWASHING IN CIVILIAN LIFE

Is a strong metaphor used by the journalist Edward Hunter in 1951 to describe what happened to American Prisoners of War during Korean War. In the late 1950’s psychologist Robert Jay Lifton studied former prisoners of war camps , he identified various techniques of brainwashing or thought reform .It is an invasive form of social influence that requires complete isolation, and dependency of the subject on the agent , by this process the agent systematically breaks down the target’s identity to the point that it does not work any more.

This is commonly seen when someone suddenly converts or changes their religion. They may be victims of fundamentalists of the new religion and were systematically coerced in to believing the alternative. However it could be a crisis and adopting the new religion may be a way to gather social support or certain other benefits.
It is seen even among teenagers who acquire a new set of friends and suddenly change their thinking , dressing, beliefs, songs, likes , dislikes, habits etc all coinciding with this dominant friend or friends.

It is also seen in marriage when one of the spouses distances him self or her self from their relatives , friends, profession, hobbies, gets isolated from their entire social circle. It is like dropping out of their universe.

Usually the victim claims to be happy,defends this abuse to be the best thing that happened , and is very fearful of changing or reverting to the original set of beliefs or identity. Like hypnosis that can not be done on everyone, there ought to be a trait of hypnotizability in the host to be able to get hypnotized , brainwashing or thought indoctrination best exemplified by terrorist groups , requires some predisposing qualities in the host
1) Open minded person , who accepts closed mindedness in another , accepting it to be another way of thinking.
2) Agreeable person , who rather goes along with the other person’s likes or dislikes , valuing harmony more than their subjective opinions or comfort. And is less assertive in situations where the other person causes unpleasantness or even displays aggression.
3) A person who is disillusioned with their social unit , family , friends, colleagues, others who share their common interest due to repeatedly being sabotaged ,bullied, envied, exploited ,betrayed by them ,hence reach a point when they no longer value them,a person who has experienced relational trauma by their own kind become vulnerable to a coercive thought control by an authoritative person who exploits this vulnerability.
4) A person who feels he has failed in his subjective evaluation of self , due to some misconduct.

Example 1)- A woman is raped by an acquaintance ,blames herself for making a wrong friend, being out of the house at a late hour, being in a party, not having effectively resisted the assault etc. Her family and friends doubt her , she doubts her self , how could she let it happen?
She meets a man who tells her freedom was wrong, her judgement is wrong, she is not intentionally wrong , she just behaved wrongly!
She is accepted though she is damaged goods for being raped ! And she marries him.
Example 2) – A boy discovers that his father has an extra-marital affair , realizes that mother is still in the marriage, suddenly feels his friend is the only right person,starts doing drugs,believes in a different God,stops coming home,parents feel helpless.

These individuals are brainwashed in a social civilized world , but they were traumatized ( Relational trauma , is not understood , diagnosed and treated easily as the victim needs to develop trust in those who have already betrayed him /her) and did not receive the right help and received brainwashing instead by an abuser who could exploit the situation.

Such persons/victims do show a tendency towards guilt , absolutism , faith in higher power, all or none thinking.

Techniques adopted by their abusers are
1)Assault on identity ( You are not who you think you are )
2)Guilt ( You are bad for having done that thing or for being born to them )
3)Self -betrayal ( Agree with me you are bad )
4)Breaking point ( Who am I , Where am I , and What I am supposed to do )
5)Possibility of salvation , Leniency ( I can help you )
6)Compulsion to confession ( Tell me every mistake of yours / I will find out , No one has helped you till now, no one cares about you , except me )
7)Channeling Guilt ( This is why you are in pain , you did a blunder, you are wrong, since no one helped you or cares)
8) Releasing guilt ( It is not you, it is your behavior, beliefs, you can change them)
9) Rebuilding a new self ( You can choose good, just do as I say, final confession and rebirth)

This reminds me of the song , if an abuser tried to go out of the way to change someone, manipulated their entire psycho social environment to tell them lies, or misrepresent a reality .
( I will be your father figure put your tiny hand in mine,
I will be your teacher preacher anything you have in mind,
When you remember the ones who said that they cared and lied , Don’t ever bother for I will be there till the end! By George Michael)

Strong paternalism , is similar to brainwashing.
It is important to teach assertiveness, to disagree with others respectfully, to recognize that it is all right to make mistakes , no one is perfect, if you err once, you will not always err, you will learn from your mistakes, if one person did not help , another person will , you can alter your beliefs if they are hurting you,
And to promote a sense of social cohesion.
A sense of belonging.
” I love you , irrespective of how many mistakes you may have made, let us examine the mistake may be somebody else’s mistake , not yours. Let us collaborate and solve it, I am not invincible either , I accept you unconditionally ”
Perhaps this has to be told by friends and relatives more often.
And never allow a brainwasher to socially isolate the victim.
This can break his game plan.

Many times a powerful person brainwashes several individuals in your psycho social environment against you , then it is harassment. You have to cope actively. By targeting his allies as those who are his beneficiaries , hence are supporting him.
Understand his ulterior motives also , sometimes offense is the best form of defense adopted by some one guilty of a crime.

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KARPMAN “DRAMA” TRIANGLE*

He was street smart
I was study smart
I was quick to feel guilty
He was astute in finding faults

I believed in confessions
to undo my faults
He believed in extracting
confessions
And felt the purity of power

He counted money with
an enviable concentration
I climbed in to the books
I read and even chose to
live in them

Till I finished with reading
the written word , I could
not even move
The written word held me
with a tighter fist
than him.

I wanted to understand
everything , why leaves were
green ? why the seven seas
capsules were needed ?
Why worms became butterflies ?
Why the first born was often
shorter than the second ?

He merely wanted everything
to serve his purpose.
He was interested in possessions
Houses, Bank accounts, degrees,
a young wife with out
spectacles and normal uterus
and a beautiful smile
Whatever he did not understand
was neither lucrative nor punitive
I was a dead investment
Like a house in which one lives…..

I had to stop loving to live
I did not know to live
with out love either
Transference was an option

Each confession taught me
my errors of omission
Reticence
habitual defense
I was not the whore he wanted to restrain
I was the innocence that froze
And everyone suspected for being born with
vital statistics and an intelligence
Neither knew its own definition

None had the time nor generosity to
understand
I lacked the guts to experience
Transference a strategy to empower
the other again…..

He never understood my intellect
Yet picked your fault in my confessions
He finally found a guilt
And I had found my innocence

I would never let him punish the
one who made me feel guilty
at least once,
Hence taught me ,
my own stupid innocence
I saved you
Yet you harmed me…..

* A heuristic model to describe the helpless victim, powerful abuser and powerful
rescuer ( 1968) by Liotti.

TRANSFERENCE – Out side therapy

Transference is largely explained as the experience of feelings towards a person that actually belong to another person.

It was first described in psychoanalysis by Freud as a revival of infant-parent bond and the attachment , affection could be of unusual degree not as a result of actual shared experiences between the therapist and the patient.

However , transferences are in no way limited only to therapeutic situations.
When some one you have met just few hours ago, develops an unusual attachment
or attraction / anger / hatred towards you , it has usually very little to do with what you have shared , however you have some how triggered the feelings that belong to some one else in the other person’s life. This could be an unresolved relationship issue that the other has projected on to you.

The so called ” Love on the rebound” in lay man’s language is a synonym for this. You can feel thrown and completely amazed as to why this is happening and wonder several times ” Where did I go wrong ? / right ?( Depending on your own unfulfilled need for affiliation at that hour )

But depending on your own honesty to not partake in the feelings that do not belong to you ,efforts can be made to understand or know the past of the person and gently point out to her or him that this may have to be resolved with that other person.
If you can identify the real owner of those feelings.

Then there are situations where the other person is dead or is emotionally unavailable for resolution , and for their own reasons the person who is directing these feelings towards you is not psychologically minded enough to accept your insight or interpretation and continues to harp on the magic of love at first sight! Any thing or everything you say or don’t say may be taken to mean more than what you say and it could get very difficult. By the time you realize what ever is happening , you may be so embroiled in it as to find it difficult to get out.

People who display traumatic transferences can get very intrusive , by stalking you relentlessly . They have the need to settle scores with someone from their past and you become an innocent target. They want to undo a mistake they committed in their past , again you need not become their replacement absolution. Anger & hostility can be particularly annoying even in civilized environments. And in repressed cultures , eroticized transference can be difficult to ward off. And any sort of interaction can be viewed as an encouragement and if you are a skilled communicator you can try till the doom’s day to get it across to another verbally while he or she may persist in acting out and not understanding what ever you are trying to communicate.

Some times opposite poles do attract each other and marry , and despite not sharing any of the traits of your partner , in a social and political manner the wife or even the child of the man become the soft target for aggressive or assaultive transference. This can be particularly tragic when the woman is already vulnerable in the marriage and also has to take on the wrath of her partner’s enemies.

Does it mean everything is always transference ?
Definitely not. If you have resolved most of your conflicts with significant others always , then and there, if you have spent a good amount of time introspecting , and if you have tried to ally with the conscious , reasonable element in the other person’s psyche and been honest with the other about your feelings, chances are that it is genuinely close and empowering.

However there will be discrepancies in the perceptions depending on the power differentials in your relationship , however hard you try to neutralize it some gaps can not be bridged.

Genuine intimacy demands absolute honesty and ability to work at it every day , on some difficult days every hour . And some times sex is just an easy escape and a false sense of security and a very superficial , deeply unsatisfying interaction when it is used as a strategy to avoid knowing , caring and suffering for the other person. All love can be verbal , including that between lovers. It can only enhance intimacy when you feel understood.

The strict masculine , feminine gender dichotomy is encouraged in some cultures and when you are strongly inhibited from expressing your qualities that are condemned as masculine or feminine then a sort of soul hunger dominates your relationship. And can topple an unequal relationship. Some partners are stuck in this ” Self sacrificing nurturing parent mode ” and others are receiving forever since their own mother or father neglected their needs , or even worse abused or exploited them. Is that fair in the name of love ? Will it work forever ?

It is important to take help from someone outside the bond during such times. You may get used by some one younger or older in the name of a relationship ( You end up being a sexualized parent or sexualized child ) and accumulate resentment that is unnecessary.

Anima and Animus as mentioned by Carl Gustav Jung a student of Freud is a wonderful concept , that your other half lives inside you and you probably are searching for someone who lets you express your entire self or lets you be yourself….

The moment I heard a love story
for the first time ,
I started searching for you ,
Not knowing how blind that was
Lovers don’t meet finally somewhere
They lived inside each other all along.- RUMI

I would add these lines,

Please ask your self
what is it that you love about me ?
Is it really me ?
Or is it her , the one I never knew,
How can I imitate that which I never knew…
How can I be the missing line of your past ?
None of us can go back and correct or edit
whatever happened.
I was not even there then !
Do not condemn me to enact her script , just so that you
can change yours. You cant. I am not her.
Even if the script changed , it is because
I did not act the part you wanted me to…..
Life has to be lived forwards………
Today can not change yesterday…

Masked Man

As your face got closer I removed one mask after another yet another. Finally I began to cry. There was no face at all. There was nothing human. Everything was a trick , always. And always the joke was on me for searching……I gave up….then the wrath is on me for giving up…..You gave me nothing but tricks born to destructive intentions…A gamer who never got it right.

Liebster Award

I have to thank tumbling words for nominating me for this award.
I nominate the following bloggers for the award.

1. https://saintwest.wordpress.com

2 https://emotionsoflife2016.wordpress.com

3. https://fkregieblog.wordpress.com

4. https://greycabin.wordpress.com

5. https://awordofsubstance.wordpress.com

6. https://writingasitcomes.wordpress.com

7. https;//inmydirection.wordpress.com

8. https://srijan2016.wordpress.com

9.https://silentlipsandscreamingmind.wordpress.com

10.https://aishwaryasivakumar.wordpress.com

1)Who is your favourite book character and why?
Hannah Schmitz of Bernhard Schlink’s Reader is one of my favorite characters. The false pride to hide her illiteracy actually got her imprisoned. And when she truly gets educated and understands the enormity of her crime , she kills her self. And the mixture of mother and lover that she was to the young man who becomes a lawyer and finally wonders about how if the right time gets missed , if some thing comes too late , it loses its significance. The vulnerability of Hannah Schmitz and her zeal to read moved me to tears, since I have had to face serious difficulties though not of finance during my education and wondered why cant people let a person who wants to study , just study ?

2)Are you a ‘cup half full’ or ‘cup half empty’ person?
I am an optimist , would not see the day today otherwise.

3)Who scares you more, Trump or Clinton?
Trump

4)What is your favourite comfort food?
Yogurt

5)Which piece of music lifts your spirits?
T.R .Mahalingam’s flute, BhimsenJoshi’s raga, Beatles , Norah Jones, Cat stevens , Bertie Higgins, Jackson, very exhaustive assortment of Indian Classical , western pop .

6)What is your middle name?
It refers to a village from where my father hails, Kanugodu(it means a village in a forest)

7) What is your favourite quote?
To be vulnerable is to live , to withdraw is to die – By Jiddu Krishnamurthy

8)Do you believe there is something after death?
Nope

9)Which period in history would you most like to live in?
I prefer to live in the times I know , that is the present

10)Who/what do you love most in your life?
I love life and many people , tough to mention just one.
Besides I am a poet , since I hide my feelings. Love is the most vulnerable aspect of me, Can I keep it private ?

11)What makes you cry, and why?
I am a psychiatrist , I often spend hours trying to help some one who most needs it , like adult survivors of child abuse and suddenly the happy normal child emerges and they want to give me something , anything because I have somehow managed to deliver them back to themselves , that gratitude makes me cry. The actor in me helps me send back the tears to my lachrymal glands.

Now , the tough part of the award is I have to compose a list of questions for you .

1) When did you first start writing ? And what was it ? Who inspired you to write ?
2) What was the moment of ultimate disillusion for you ? How did you cope ?
3) Have you ever loved an animal ? And what did you learn about communication with out words from the animal ?
4) What is your favorite joke ? When have you laughed at your self , with out a tinge of sadness ?
5) Do you believe in a God ? A sort of universal energy ? Have you survived a time of Godlessness ?
6) Have you ever wanted to meet someone with out on lookers and ask this person something that could change both your lives ?
7) What is your favorite game ? Can you cope with losing ?
8) Who is your favorite philosopher ?
9) Have you ever lost some one you loved to death ? What does death mean to you ?
10) Do you have a teacher whom you remember with reverence ?
11) What gives you the ultimate security and comfort on a hard day ?

Hope you will enjoy reading these answers and questions. I am curious about your replies.
You can nominate other bloggers , newer ones with less than a year , here…..

Thank you for your love and reading.

CHARM

Those who have it
Are often suspected of a deceit
Whatever they do
They are expected to do better
Whatever they utter
They must have rehearsed
If they do look nice
It must be the dress
Whenever anything goes wrong
They are blamed
Too smart to have made a mistake
Must have intended all along
When they try too hard to
correct someone else’s error
They are given the sentence
that the offender deserved
Ba Ba White sheep have you
any wool ?
Yes madam , No sir
I am not really sure.
Did I flutter my eyes?

POLITE SILENCE

There was a time ,I wanted
a toy train whose chimney could smoke
and tracks that I could make
There was another time all I wanted
was that blue silk skirt and
a plait longer than hers
(I was a classical dancer , hated
using a plait of false hair. No comparison intended
to anyone living person )
I wanted that doll whose eyes closed
on my lap
the one whose mouth was silenced
by a pacifier ….
I even fancied how it would be
if you held me in your arms
And I wanted to die for love
Like Cleopatra for Anthony
Snake or disgrace
Anything for you , my Lord !
I did grow up
I out grew the need for toys
dolls included
I lost interest in games, your tricks.
I cut off my hands and grew new ones
Now you bring me what my former hands
may have wanted…
My silence is polite….

WHEN LUST ENDS

She married after her young brother died in an accident. Her husband was caught copying in the exams and suspended. He made it impossible for her to study,quarreling whenever she opened her books.One morning as we sat in her house discussing the death of babies to Marasmus and Kwashiorkar , her husband barged in and threw the wedding ring … I did not understand the foreign language in which he spoke. After he left , she put on a fresh coat of lipstick , powdered her face. “He has no place to stay nor money” she murmured. “You remember that poem you recited some time ago?” I looked blank.
“lust ends is then love begins? I had laughed at you , saying love will never begin for me….And you thought my flesh was happy”….and then she sobbed in my arms for a long time.

LOUD SPEAKER

She was 17 years old had procured a seat in a Medical College , dreamed of being a doctor,nothing else. She got in to the crowded bus the bag was slinging at her side , the college was situated in a market the most merited entered it , the ambiance had vegetable vendors on the streets , some beggars with leprosy and few huge baskets of beautiful flowers. She was recalling that topic of debate ” India is a country , but not a nation” She had spoken against the topic and won the prize, both her grandfathers were freedom fighters. Suddenly she felt a rough squeeze of her body ,she had forgotten of its existence , she turned to see a man standing beside her , he looked ahead. Her face flushed. The bus creaked to a halt. She got off the bus and walked to her college , she did not cry. She was not going to miss the head and neck anatomy class. She missed her voice,where was the loud speaker ? That was her nick name.