Our New Home

We have a new home, come join us at WeAreSMRT (We Are Skeptical Minds & Rational Thinkers)

The Forum

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

How Brainwashing Works

Ray Comfort uses classic brainwashing techniques as the bedrock of his ministry. He may know his techniques are unethical but feels the ends justifies the means. He may also be blissfully unaware of what he is doing. I imagine Ray may have been converted to Christianity using similar brainwashing methods which explains his own techniques and why appeals to logic and reason are not an effective debate tactic when dealing with his claims. Either way, I feel the Raytractors have a right to know what Ray is doing from a psychological perspective.

Brainwashing is a three step process.

Step 1: Break Down The Self
- Assault on identity: Tell the victim they are not what they think they are. Explain that they are not the product of evolution but the product of an almighty creator.
- Guilt: Tell the victim they are a sinner. Explain they will end up in Hell.
- Self-betrayal: Have them agree they are a sinner. Ask victim if they have ever lied and what that makes them. Get them to agree with you.
- Breaking point: Get the victim to break down, perhaps start crying.

Step 2: The Possibility of Salvation
- Leniency: Tell the victim you can help them. Tell them they can be redeemed and saved from the consequences of their previous actions. Explain they can go to Heaven instead of Hell.
- Compulsion to confession: Tell the victim to confess their sins.
- Channeling of guilt: Tell the victim their pain and guilt arises from their previous beliefs. Associate the old beliefs with suffering. Tell the victim the reason why they broke down is because they were a sinner.
- Releasing of guilt: Assure the victim that it's not their fault; it was their beliefs.

Step 3: Rebuilding the Self
- Progress and harmony: Give the victim a choice to choose good. Offer benefits for choosing good such as invitation to a church social group and social rejection for choosing bad.
- Final confession and rebirth: The victim chooses good and often a ritual such as baptism is performed to pledge allegiance to the new group.

Source: http://people.howstuffworks.com/brainwashing.htm

18 comments:

  1. In all fairness, it's not Ray who does this, it's the whole christian Chruch. The whole bible is based around these concepts.

    Except that the carrot doesn't actually exist, and the stick will be given anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  2. sorry, that should have read:
    "It's not JUST Ray who does this"

    The preview button is for losers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There are many Christian faiths and religions that don't rely on brainwashing techniques such as the Unitarians.

    However, indoctrination and brainwashing are two very common techniques for spreading fundamentalist dogma to new members.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post, Kaitlyn!

    In my experience, you need a continual breaking down and rebuilding of the self to keep people in.
    Ray will sometimes talk to Christians about how "unworthy" they are but it's awesome that God decides to forgive them anyway.


    ---------
    How to start a cult - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mnNSe5XYp6E

    ReplyDelete
  5. My family are fundamentalists.


    "- Channeling of guilt: Tell the victim their pain and guilt arises from their previous beliefs. Associate the old beliefs with suffering. Tell the victim the reason why they broke down is because they were a sinner."

    They call this part "conviction"

    ReplyDelete
  6. Other organizations such as the marines or fraternities use similar techniques. They break you down first and then offer salvation & brotherhood.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Atheists,

    Be reasonable. Ray was born and raised in New Zealand. He converted in his college days after hearing the gospel preached.

    At one time, he worked for the Billy Graham ministry as a writer.
    He and Kirk Cameron established their ministry.

    There is no 'brain washing', just a bunch of 'geeks' on this blog with nothing better to do than harass and belittle another human being that is trying his best to show you the path of righteousness!

    God Bless! Hope you feel better.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey, Terry-

    Guess what is worse than a geek that 'belittles' a liar- a geek obsessed WITH the liar.


    nongodbless! Thinking for ya'! ;)

    Ciao!

    ReplyDelete
  9. By the way Terry,

    Those pictures of you all over the net are good for the laughs! Thanks for being such a player!

    ReplyDelete
  10. So a brief biography of Ray proves his motives are good?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Silly yaeger,

    Ray loves JESUS - that automatically makes him good.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What the- I should get a picture of Terry on my profile.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Terry,

    You wrote:
    harass and belittle another human being that is trying his best to show you the path of righteousness!

    Believe me. I'm not trying to harass or belittle Ray. Ray is a friend, and I will always treat him as such. He's a silly friend, but a friend none the less.

    If anything, I'm explaining the brilliance of Ray's ministry and why it may be so powerful.

    I don't think Ray is brainwashing in the figurative sense as described by popular media (hypnosis, magic, trickery, etc...). However, whether he realizes it or not, Ray is brainwashing in the very real technical understanding of the word.

    He's using similar techniques opposing armies use on prisoners of war to get them to cooperate.

    I'm not insulting Ray but rather describing the psychological process behind the success of his message.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Terry wrote:
    There is no 'brain washing', just a bunch of 'geeks' on this blog with nothing better to do than harass and belittle another human being that is trying his best to show you the path of righteousness!

    Thank you Terry! It's good to finally be recognised as a geek!

    Too many people can't distinguish between geeks and nerds.


    Besides which, how exactly are we 'harassing' Ray Comfort? He never even posts here, and on his blog we have to squeese the flesh of our points through the fine mesh of his censors!

    PS: Are you unable to back up your assersion that Charles Darwin was 'high' on 'hash' during his voyage on the HSM Beagle?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Whateverman high fives Quasar after this was posted: Too many people can't distinguish between geeks and nerds.

    So true.

    I suspect Ray to be more closely aligned with the latter...

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just listened to Ray's testimony. So here's another short biography:

    Age 7- Taught Lord's prayer, says it every night
    Age 9 - Realized he is going to die
    1972 (early 20's?) - Got the you are a sinner, you're going to die and go to hell speech from a friend. Within days he's hang out with preachers and is quickly in a church.
    from here:
    http://www.livingwaters.com/listenwatch/Raytestimony.zip

    In his 20's he started making tracts and standing on a box yelling in New Zealand.
    Moves to the USA, writes crappy books, meets Kirk, makes millions of dollars....
    from the wikipedia and WOTM

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey Psycho! What college did Ray Comfort attend and what is his degree in? Oh, that's right, he didn't. Just more of your bullshit, Science Degree Guy.

    ReplyDelete

Unlike Ray we don't censor our comments, so as long as it's on topic and not spam, fire away.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.