HOW TO BRAIN-WASH FRIENDS & ROBOTIZE PEOPLE
There is no government, no industrial-military complex, no
economic system, no mass media that can ever reduce us
to puppets and robots as thoroughly as the biological and
environmental dictatorships have.
— P.M. Esfandiary, Upwingers
As noted earlier, when the bio-survival circuit flashes danger, all other mental activity ceases.
There is no "time" on the bio-survival circuit; reflexes act without emotional ego, rational mind or adult personality participating: "I just found myself doing it."
All the martial arts—judo, akido, kung fu, etc.—are reimprinting techniques for the bio-survival circuit. They are intended to ensure that what happens mechanically
("without thought") really does serve bio-survival, since the reflexes imprinted accidentally on this circuit are not that
The mechanical nature of the bio-survival circuit is of key importance in brainwashing. To create a new imprint, reduce the victim to an infantile state, i.e., first-circuit vulnerability.
As pointed out in the last chapter an army begins this process with the draft notice, which informs the subject that his body no longer belongs to him but to the government. The S.L. Army, seeking quicker brain change, began the conversion of Patty into Tania by taking her at gun point,
but the message was the same:
"We can do what we want with your body from now on."
Firstcircuit bio-survival instincts thus become hooked to obeying those who have this awesome power—just as the infant learns to hook its bio-survival circuitry to the parental figures.
Patty's ride in the trunk of a car (after being taken at gunpoint) is a classic rebirth ritual; the trunk is even womb-like in its contours. When the trunk opened, she was reborn into a new reality-tunnel, that of her captors. Similarly, where the earliest forms of masonic initiation survive and have not been diluted (Note the Adeptus Major Ritual in the Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic
, by Israel Regardie, Falcon Press 1983.) the candidate is thrown into a well, and then "raised" as a newborn Freemason. Total submersion
, the form of baptism preferred by Protestant fundamentalists, imitates this, but without the real anxiety that made traditional masonry and the SLA so effective as brain change agents.
All brainwashers empirically know (without in most cases ever having read Leary's eight-circuit model of the brain) that the oral bio-survival circuit seeks bonding with a mothering figure.
To increase panic and imprint vulnerability, then, the subject, after being seized by the brainwashers (U.S. or S.L. Army, "secret police," or whoever they may be in a given case) is isolated
from all those to whom bonding had previously been established. The draftee is sent to boot camp and sees no loved ones (wife, girlfriend, parents, etc.) for a number of weeks or months. The political prisoner is thrown into a dungeon. Patty Hearst was locked in a closet as soon as she was "rebirthed" out of the trunk of the car.
Experiments in isolation by the U.S. Marine Corps, Dr. John Lilly and others—and the records of shipwrecked sailors, as summarized by Lilly in Simulations of God
—show that only a few hours of pure isolation may be necessary before hallucinations begin. These hallucinations, like those of psychedelic drugs, indicate the breaking down of previous imprints and the onset of vulnerability to new imprints.
The need to bond the bio-survival circuit to somebody (or some thing) is indicated by the giraffe who imprinted on the hunter's jeep as a mother-substitute. Similarly, children without siblings, especially those in remote rural areas, often invent imaginary playmates, which can become "real" enough to frighten the parents into suspecting the onset of psychosis. Dr. Lilly's records of sailors and explorers in isolation show that such "guides," "companions" or "holy guardian angels" reappear quickly even in adulthood when normal social contact is removed. They also come promptly to those undergoing the mysterious state called "near-death" or "out of body experience," (e.g., when the heart stops on the operating table.)
The first human being who appears to the subject after this isolation can easily become bonded as the mother-substitute, or, next best, as a father-substitute. This explains why people held prisoner by terrorists (e.g., on hijacked airplanes) often develop a "paradoxical" sympathy for those who are threatening to kill them. It also explains why the draftee begins to look on his kidnappers as protectors as well as captors, and why the brainwash victim begins to please, gratify and eventually "respect" the brainwasher.
In all cases, since the bio-survival circuit is keyed to nourishment, those who bring food become possible subjects for bonding.
The political prisoner, the draftee, the subject kidnapped by terrorists, all move somewhat closer to identification/bonding with their captors as they are fed regularly. Again, this is imitated crudely by various religions (without the terror that creates true imprint vulnerability) by following baptism/rebirth rituals with a communal meal or Holy Eucharist.
Adaptations of these principles can be applied even to those who walk into the brainwashing environment voluntarily at first, as in People's Temple, the Manson Family, and similar organizations.
The first step, once the victim is inside the territory (commune), is to begin isolation by cutting off all communication with the outer world and its conflicting reality-tunnels.
Meanwhile, a parental-protective atmosphere is quickly created (sometimes called "love-bombing") and food is
Whether the subject has entered voluntarily as in these communes, or has been kidnapped or arrested (as in police states), the next stage is to break down the second-circuit emotionalterritorial imprints. That means that the subject continues to be fed (maintaining first-circuit oral dependence) while the secondcircuit ego is attacked in every manner possible. A point-bypoint comparison of the techniques of a Synanon "gamer" and U.S. Army drill sergeant, for instance, would show astonishing similarities, since the basic message is dozens and dozens of variations on "You are all wrong
. We are all right
. It is extremely unlikely that somebody as wrong
as you will become right, ever, but we will try to teach you." The anal vocabulary of territorial status is, of course, employed extensively. The ideal subject may almost forget his or her name and become conditioned to answering to "You asshole, come here."
The sense of bottom dog helplessness can be escalated by periodic doses of real terror. One of Charlie Manson's famous sayings was "Fear is the great teacher," and every brainwasher would agree ardently. In communist countries (as dramatized in Costa-Gravas's fine and factual film, The Confession) a favorite trick is to take the subject out of his cell, march him to a courtyard, place a noose about his neck, and convince him he is about to be hanged. The relief, when this turns out to be a bluff, creates ideal imprint vulnerability. A variation in my novel Illuminatus!
has the victim persuaded he has been poisoned, dumped in a coffin and the lid slammed upon him. Those who have been initiated as Mark Master Freemasons will recognize at once that the same technique is the "mark that you will carry to your grave."
Among the Zuni Indians, the male at adolescence is kidnapped by masked "demons" who carry him away from the tribe (away from mother and other imprinted security figures.) He is dragged out into the desert and threatened with whips. Then the masks come off, revealing his maternal uncles, and in that moment of imprint vulnerability the tribal "secrets" (the local reality-tunnel) are explained in a way that leave an indelible mark on his consciousness. Similar rites of passage are found in all tribes, few as cleverly designed as this one. Symbolic and diluted versions survive in Bar Mitzvahs and Confirmation ceremonies in our local mega-tribes.
The rebirthing of the second circuit is (relatively) complete when the Bottom Dog subject begins to seek, sincerely (not hypocritically) to win the approval of the Top Dogs. This, of course, only begins as play-acting; the skilled brainwasher knows that, and does not really object. With subtle
reinforcement the play-acting becomes more and more genuine. Edmund Burke noted long ago, and every Method Actor knows, that you cannot make three dramatic gestures of rage in a political speech, without beginning to feel some real rage. You cannot make three gestures of submission without beginning to feel really submissive.
(This is the psychology of the "company man," who truly identifies with his employer after years of obedience.)
The draftee first tries to please the sergeant, to avoid further humiliation and punishment. Gradually, he genuinely wants to please the sergeant, i.e., to prove he is not all wrong and is "good enough" to be a soldier. Patty Hearst undoubtedly pretended to accept the SLA reality-tunnel at first, and gradually found the presence becoming more and more real.
This process is accelerated by a system of occasional rewards, as the subject more and more often emits (as the Behaviorists would say) the desired behaviors. Since people are more complicated than Behaviorists know, it is necessary to vary this with occasional punishments for "insincerity," or "backsliding," so that the subject learns that after
the initial stage, it is not enough to pretend to accept the new reality-tunnel
; to escape further humiliation, ego-loss, terrorism and permanent Bottom Dog status, one must begin to accept it sincere/y
. After the imprint of helplessness had been made, this conditioning and learning will proceed fairly smoothly, especially if the Chief Brainwasher's confederates reinforce it with encouragement, support, and general "reward" (for sincere submission) and contempt, disappointment and general rejection (for insincerity or backsliding.)
Reimprinting the third semantic circuit can now follow easily.
The human brain is capable of mastering any symbol-system if sufficiently motivated. Some people can even play Beethoven's late piano music, although to me this is as "miraculous" as any feat alleged by psychic researchers; people can learn French, Hindustani, differential calculus, Swahili, etc. ad. infinitum—if motivated
. When the first circuit security needs have been reimprinted and second-circuit ego-needs have been hooked to mastering a new semantic reality-tunnel, that tunnel will be imprinted.
At this point a certain amount of arbitrary nonsense is of great value. That is, the new reality-tunnel or symbol-system (like the old one) should contain pitfalls (gross violations of previous reality tunnels and common sense) so that the subject can be accused of backsliding (being "all wrong," after all) and thereby incited to try harder to become part of the new reality-tunnel.
Thus, Jehovah's Witnesses may not accept blood transfusions, even if their life depends on it: harder still (since all mammals have an instinct to protect their young) they must reject blood transfusions for their children, even if the children die of this neglect. A Roman Catholic woman may not be divorced even if her husband comes home drunk every night, beats her up and gives her VD. In the U.S. Marines, a recruit who commits the hideous crime of calling a rifle a "gun" must walk around the base with his rifle in one hand and his penis in the other reciting to everybody he meets, "This is my rifle/This is my gun/This is for fighting/This is for fun." Theosophists were once required to believe that there is a hole at the North Pole going down to the center of the earth; Manson required his followers to believe the hole was in the Mojave Desert. Nazi Party members were asked to believe that the lion is an Aryan animal and the rabbit non- Aryan. Etc.
The neurological and sociological function of such "nonsense" (which makes the Rationalist gasp in shock) is to sharply segregate those within the new reality-tunnel from those outside. This makes for group solidarity, group-reinforcement, and a strong sense of alienation and discomfort when on rare occasions it is necessary to talk at all with those outside the brainwasher's semantic system. The group must ensure, of course, that this alienation is experienced as "superiority." Those who are outside the reality-tunnel must be perceived as "all wrong"—just as the subject was, before being brainwashed.
Drugs can be, and have been, used to fine-tune these processes, but the general neurological principles are powerful enough that it is quite likely that many famous cases of brainwashing were accomplished as above described, without any drugs at all—e.g., the American soldiers who confessed to war crimes which they evidently had not committed, the loyal Communists who confessed to Trotskyite conspiracies which seemingly never existed, etc. It takes very few weeks for most armies, without drugs, to convert a civilian into a soldier, even though the two
species are as different as Roman Catholics and Shintoists.
In one of my Immortal Novels I describe a religious cult called Loonies, founded by one Neon Bal Loon, in which members pray in pig-Latin while standing on one leg like storks. This is considered satire, but any would-be messiah who understands the above principles could create such a
cult easily; and the members would soon have a quite sincere sense of superiority to those outside that reality-tunnel.
Cults and outlaw terrorists generally follow the above procedures by further rewiring of the fourth, socio-sexual circuit.
(Governments usually leave that circuit alone, since government agents are largely puritanical-authoritarian and afraid to get involved at all with raw Eros.) It is no secret that the most powerful secret society of the middle ages, the Knights Templar, forced recruits to participate in both blasphemy and sodomy. Just as the deliberate nonsense of all cultish third-circuit semantics isolates the group from the rest of society, this initiation separated the Templars from the rest of Christendom; the alienation could easily be conditioned into a sense of superiority. The Mau- Maus in Kenya also insisted on one act of homosexuality to break the new member's previous conditioning toward heterosexuality and monogamy. Other cults, some quite well known, attempt to repress sexuality entirely—another way of breaking the statistically normal imprinting of the fourth circuit.
The Manson Family insisted on what might be called, oxymoronically, compulsory free love. The Army serves normal amative bonds and casts the subject into a world where compulsory celibacy alternates with whore-house adventures and, quite often, the rape of enemy women, with homosexuality as an everpresent hidden option. A current American guru, Da Free John, imprints his subjects for lifelong monogamy, almost like the outside U.S. culture, but is indifferent as to whether these pairings are heterosexual or homosexual. Whatever variation the cult-leader may choose, what makes for successful "separate reality" is that it be in some respect outlandishly different from that of the major society.The easiest way to get brainwashed is to be born.
All of the above principles then immediately go into action, a process which social psychologists euphemistically call socialization. The bio-survival circuit automatically hooks onto or bonds to the most appropriate mother or mothering object; the emotionalterritorial circuit looks for a "role" or ego-identification in the family or tribe; the semantic circuit learns to imitate and then use the local reality-grids (symbol systems); the socio-sexual circuit is imprinted by whatever mating experiences are initially available at puberty.
The subjects may not come out of this process ready to murder women and children, like the graduate of boot camp, or even willing to believe that Charlie Manson was both Jesus and Satan simultaneously, or willing to spout New Left slogans while robbing banks. The subjects come out of normal "socialization" depending on where and when they were born
as Eskimo totemists, Moslem fundamentalists, Roman Catholics, Marxist Leninists, Nazis, Methodist Republicans, Oxford-educatedagnostics, snake worshippers, Ku Kluxers, Mafiosos, Unitarians, IRA-ists, PLO-ists, orthodox Jews, hardshell Baptists, etc. etc.
The universe or existence, is obviously large enough and complex enough and the ego self-centered enough, that all of these reality-tunnels are capable of "making sense," to some degree, to those imprinted/conditioned to accept them. It is also obvious that most of these reality-tunnels contain elements so absurd that everybody not imprinted/conditioned by them looks at them with astonishment and dismay, wondering "How can a rational person (or peoples) believe such rubbish?"What the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves...
whether you are living in a Christian reality-tunnel, a Mansonoid reality-tunnel, an Immortalist reality-tunnel, a vegetarian reality-tunnel, a Rationalist reality-tunnel...
Everybody has the only true true
Earlier, we quoted some words from Persinger and Lafreniere: We, as a species, exist in a world in which exist a myriad of data points. Upon these matrices of points we superimpose a structure and the world makes sense to us. The pattern of the structure originates within our biological and sociological properties.
It is to be hoped that this makes more sense to the reader now than it did at the beginning of our enquiry.
The function of the domesticated primate brain, insofar as we have described it up to this point and leaving out the higher, newer circuits, is to serve as an "organ of adaptation" in Freud's phrase. Specifically, the oldest, most primitive, most mechanical centers serve simple bio-survival. The more recent (500,000,000 year-old, roughly) emotional territorial centers serve to maintain pack identity, habitat-space and hierarchy. The distinctly hominid semantic circuit (100,000-year-old?) makes maps and models—reality-tunnels—which we tend to confuse with reality itself, and, worse yet, with "all" of reality. The (30,000? year old) moral-social circuit creates the domesticated adult personality, or parent-role, or super-ego.
Now, obviously the third, semantic circuit works with and for
these other antique circuits. The maps and models it makes are tools of adaptation, and what they adapt us to is social roles in domesticated primate society. Thus, a Midwestern Methodist is not "misusing his brain" as Arthur Koestler thinks in constructing a Midwestern Methodist tunnel-reality; that is precisely what his brain is for, to adapt him to the Midwestern Methodist tribal system—to impose the structure of Midwestern Methodist ideology upon the myriad of data-points he encounters in his lifetime.
The Chinese Maoist, the Iranian Moslem, the New York Feminist, the Marin County Hedonist, etc. each has a similar, equally arbitrary, equally complex reality-tunnel. Each tunnel is also equally absurd
when seen from outside.
The problems of the modern world arise from the fact that these reality-tunnels are no longer isolated from each other.
Throughout most of human history and up to 100 years ago—up to 20 years ago, in some parts of the world—a man or woman could lead their entire life snugly within the cocoon of the local tunnel-reality. Today, we all constantly collide with persons living in wildly different tunnel-realities. This creates a great deal of hostility in the more ignorant, vast amounts of metaphysical and ethical confusion in the more sophisticated, and growing disorientation for all—a situation known as our "crisis of values."
The average person has a deluge of contradictory and conflicting reality-tunnels impinging on him or her, with little training in either cultural or neurological relativism. Speed of travel has increased by a factor of 1000 since 1900, and speed of communication by a factor of 10,000,000
, according to J.R. Platt. The deluge is accelerating and intensifying. One symptom is the fact that TV Guide
has been taken over by a band of terrified conservatives, who cannot understand and can only dread this downpour of "alien" signals; instead of being merely a guide to what is on the tube, TV Guide
has become a continuous wail that the tube's tunnel-reality is wider, stranger and more varied than the narrow tunnel-vision of the small-town WASP.
There has also arisen a profession
of "deprogrammers," socalled.
These are neuro-technicians who will, for a fee, kidnap a child (even a "child" over 21) who has wandered off, departed the parental reality-tunnel and been brainwashed into the competing reality-tunnel of some new
(i.e., not established—not acceptable yet
) "cult." This is known as restoring the victim to normalcy.
It is all hypocrisy and neurological ignorance, of course. The "de-programmers" are actually re-programmers
. The parental tunnel-reality is as arbitrary (and, to an outsider, as bizarre) as that of any "cult." A special system of tricky semantics allows most people and some courts to ignore these facts. Just imagine what would happen if a wayward child of Methodist parents had wandered into the Roman Catholic Church, say, and the parents attempted to have that child coercively "de-programmed" (reprogrammed) into Methodism; or if the child had joined the U.S.
Army, like Calley, and the parents kidnapped him and tried to reprogram him into civilian reality-tunnels.
These problems will not go away; and the abrasions they cause, as various brainwashed robots continue to collide with each other, will accelerate. Speed of travel and of communication are still continuing to accelerate.
Fortunately, higher circuits are forming in the human brain and offer broader vistas than the narrow tunnel-visions of the antique circuits. That is the topic of our concluding chapters.
Since everybody "prefers" one circuit over the others, there are people in each society who are easily recognizable as Narcissists (first-circuit robots), Emotionalists (second-circuit robots), Rationalists (third-circuit robots) and Moralists (fourth-circuit robots).
Rationalist robots, like the other robots, may be totally mechanized or may have some slight flexibility, or "freedom" built into their circuitry. The totally robotized make up the vast horde of the Fundamentalist wing of the Materialist church and the other True Believers in the scientific paradigms of 1968, 1958, 1948 or whenever their nervous systems stopped taking new imprints.
These are the people who are perpetually frightened and dismayed by the large portion of human behavior mediated through Circuit II mammalian politics. They think that because this territorial- emotional ("patriotic") behavior is not Rational, it should not exist. They accept Darwin as dogma, but are nervous about "Darwinism" (because it accepts mammalian politics as an Evolutionary Strategy that has worked thus far) and are repulsed by the data of ethology, genetics and sociobiology. They don't like the rest of the human race much, because it is not guided by their favorite circuit, and they are uneasily aware that the rest of the human race does not like them much.
These Rationalist robots are also very uncomfortable with the newer circuits—and some of them spend most of their lives writing articles and books devoted to "proving" that the newer circuits do not exist and that all scientists who have recorded the behavior of these newer circuits are liars, fools, bunglers, charlatans or some manner of Damned Heretics.
Like the Emotional robot, the Moralistic robot, the Narcissist robot etc., the Rationalist robot cannot be "argued" out of his narrow reality tunnel. We can only emphasize, one more time, that each and every reality-tunnel created by a domesticated primate brain is a finite cross-section of that brain's personal history; and each such finite reality-tunnel is as "personalized" as the music of Bach or Beethoven, the paintings of Rembrandt or Picasso, the novels of Joyce or Raymond Chandler, the comedy of the Three Stooges or Monty Python, the religions of Roman Catholicism or Zen Buddhism, the politics of Libertarianism or the IRA, the architecture of St. Peter's or Disney land...
And each of these art-works seems like "reality" to the people who have created them and live in them. Rationalism is just another such group art-work, a little less tolerant than most, a little more useful to technologists than any other, a little stupid when it can no longer transcend the last paradigm it has created.
The totally robotized Rationalist, the one whose nervous system has stopped growing entirely, can be recognized by two signs:
He or she is constantly trying to prove that much of the daily experience of the rest of humanity is "delusion," "hallucination," "group hallucination," "mass hallucination," "mere coincidence," "sheer coincidence," or "sloppy research."
And he or she never thinks that any of his or her own experience would fit into any of those categories.EXERCISES
1. Become a pious Roman Catholic. Explain in three pages why the Church is still infallible and holy despite Popes like Alexander VI (the Borgia Pope), Pious XII (ally of Hitler), etc.
2. For those of you who remember Mai Lai, become Lt. Galley. Say aloud, and really feel and believe
, "The Army comes first. I'm for the Army all the way." If you don't remember try Jerry Falwell. Say aloud, and really feel and believe
, "Help us fight moral decay, send your checks in today."
3. Refute this whole book. Demonstrate that everybody else has been brainwashed but you and your mother (father) has the one, real, objective view of the universe.
4. Accept this book, if not in whole at least in general outlines.
Assume you have been brainwashed. Try to learn as much from every human you meet about their separate reality-tunnel and see how much of it you can use to make your reality-tunnel bigger and more inclusive. In other words, learn to listen.
5. James Joyce said he never met a boring human being. Try to explain this. Try to get into the Joycean head space, where everybody is a separate reality-island full of mystery and surprise. In other words, learn to observe.
6. Read Aldous Huxley's The Genius and the Goddess
. Note how the Circuit III scientific Genius reverts to Circuit I helpless infant when his wife leaves him.
7. After experimenting with the Nazi reality-tunnel, the Catholic reality-tunnel etc., re-enter your "normal" reality tunnel.
Does it still seem totally objective, or do you begin to recognize how much of it is your own software and hardware running programs?
8. Finally, explore the tunnel-busting reality of Christopher S. Hyatt' s book titled Undoing Yourself With Energized Meditation and Other Devices
. What tunnel-reality is he selling and how sincere is he about his writing? Also, do you think he has read my work and I his, or is this last statement a gimmick of the publishers played on two innocent authors and the trusting public or even worse did I write his book, or could it be, that we are one and the same?
Chapter 10 of "PROMETHEUS RISING