I don't know who the author of that piece is, but could be ex-premie
Re: Re: a spark of hope.. thanks for clarifying, Auggie -- cq Top of thread Post Reply Forum
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11/26/2016, 11:09:27
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QUOTE (about 14 paragraphs from the end of above link)


I was at one time briefly involved with a sect that had a fairly well-run internal propaganda operation, though there was a weakness in the charismatic and supposedly divine puppet that caused him to give up after a few years, his abdication wrecking the organization built around him, which functioned mainly as a modest cash cow for his handlers. The organization issued a sheet of simple rules to follow: get up early, wash thoroughly, no sex, no drugs, avoid certain situations, perform certain rituals... - difficult but not impossible. One of the rules was "Leave no room for doubt in your mind."

I believe that exhortation sums up the essence of fundamentalism in all its forms. Belief trumps logic, inquiry, finally all other considerations. If the process proceeds to an end point belief is advertised to trump normal reality and one can wind up in truly wierd situations such as Jonestown or that of the people who committed suicide so their "souls" could join the alien space ship that was supposed to be hiding behind the Hale-Bopp comet. Or, for that matter, one could allow onself to be convinced that deliberately killing oneself in order to kill "enemy" non-combatants, two actions explicitly forbidden by one's religion, are actually praiseworthy and will get one into "heaven."

When one succeeds in leaving no room for doubt in one's mind it doesn't matter what is being said or done. One has already made up one's mind and there's nothing left to discuss. "Not my will, but thine."

One usually comes to that state of mind not by intellectual inquiry but rather by the application of Goebbels' "big lie." The big lie is essentially a total immersion propaganda technique. The propagandizee is bombarded by the "correct" point of view at all times and in every way, leaving no time for rest and reflection. We see attempts at the employment of this method everywhere and all the time. Usually they are inept enough to be ineffective in swaying most of the intended targets, but somebody will fall for the message, whatever it is, and many propaganda campaigns are effective enough with a mass audience to get the job done at least once or twice: sell the tickets, sell the war, sell the corporate image, find a volunteer for the mission, etc.

As mentioned previously, there are people who are more than usually susceptible to being propagandized. Some of these people have a high degree of cognitive ability and great skill in various things, yet they have a soft spot that allows also them to absorb the propaganda with their typical efficiency.

The administrators of fundamentalist organizations look for these people. They draw up profiles of the people they want to recruit, having centuries of prior experience to go on. When they find these people they will give them training as special tools. Typically a portion of the training will be conducted in isolation from the outside world. Lack of sleep for prolonged periods is a common component of this training, accompanied by many hours of repetitive propagandizing. The idea of the repetition is to get the appropriate phrases deep in the mind. Such a placement is considered preferable to intellectual certitude. The goal is to have the formula pop out in appropriate situations without conscious thought, literally "leaving no room for doubt in the mind."

This kind of repetitive training is the normal way of acquiring skill in most endeavors, especially in athletics. At a certain point in training the response becomes "automatic" and one is considered "ready to roll." What happens to the swimmers on the block waiting for the starting bell is the same thing that happened to the hijackers before they started their dance of death. A normal human process turned to a specific end.

When looked at solely in terms of organization "fundamentalist" organizations are not different from "mainstream" organizations. In what way is the CIA, or the Boy Scouts, or any business, Enron, for instance, different, other than in the complexity of their organization? All have a doctrine, a mission, a nested hierarchy. The organizational structure is the constant. Tweak the doctrine and the mission changes. Put someone with charisma in a key position and the organization is ready to roll.

Skepticism is the primary tool used to demolish the culture of organizations, therefore skeptics are enemies who need to be expelled or eliminated. People who like to think for themselves and ask questions are not welcome.


Related link: about 14 paras from end of article ...
Modified by cq at Sat, Nov 26, 2016, 11:11:21

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