In Reply to: Re: Questions for critical thinking posted by MG on July 28, 2005 at 03:12:21:
The problem with the concept of brainwashing is that the literature on it in countries like Korea and Communist China suggest that many who were not born into those countries, but were taken involuntarily into the thought reform programmes, only paid lip service to the party line until they could 'escape'. There also had to be percieved to be a real physical threat to their lives for any form of 'brainwashing'to work. See Schien or Lifton's work for example.
Now, I can understand and go along with this; but I haven't yet come across any research which talks about a threat to ones existance [spiritual]and if one is in a religious cult, quite often this is either an explict or implict threat.
Also, I have a question for those who accept the concept of free will within their religous conceptualisations. How does the notion of 'brainwashing' sit with the idea of a creator given expectation to have and exercise freewill? Do you have the liberty to say: S/he made me?
So then, does free will only apply when you are not in a cult, with cults negating a fundamental plank of your belief system? Thus, it wasn't my fault as they made me do it - but my religion teaches me that I am responsible for my actions as I fundamentally exercise free will - isn't this a paradox?
I would be interested in others 'take' on this.