How to brainwash someone in 4 easy steps
From Professor Richard Wiseman Paranormality chapter on mind control.
Get your foot in the door.
Use the power of conformity.
Surround the people you wish to control with people acting how you want them to. Distance them from those with dissenting views or close emotional ties. Get informers in every group. Make them scared of people with different ideas and ridicule an individuals’ own differing ideas. Lie if you have to so that you can keep people afraid of exploring new ideas or talking to different people.
My church liked to use the ‘rebellion is worse than witchcraft’ line on questioners. If the questioner was female, they could also use talking points on how Eve was deceived.
I heard a lot of sermons on how we needed to respect our leaders, regardless of whether they had earned that respect. If we felt that the person in question was dangerous or just ignorant, it became a question of our rebelliousness or submission. We were to respect their office (position of leadership) and trust that the holy spirit would guide them. Even if the elder or deacon was known to have an unhappy marriage, he could still give marriage advice and guidance as authorities. Then the situation became not of ‘the flock’ questioning the credentials of our leaders, but our failure to trust the Holy Spirit ‘like everyone else’. Lesson learned: if people aren’t sheeplike enough and start to question, use shame and fear.
I hear that this has lightened up since I’ve left, which I am very happy to hear!
3. Make miracles.
Make them suffer.