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David Barnett

British Council

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In what way is Religion like brainwashing?

I am an English teacher in Spain. Recently a student gave me a presentation on World Youth Day...a congregation of Catholics from all over the world who get together to talk about how to live Christ's message. She described feeling exultant...being surrounded by smiling people 24 hrs a day, giving one another positive reinforcement...never saying no...never shirking a task...walking all day...praying most of the night...eating quickly and poorly...being constantly tired but happy.

Thing is, I'd just read Divine Madness by Robert Muchamore, in which an Australian Cult get rich people to join them by acting in EXACTLY the same way.

Is there a psychologist out there who can confirm or disconfirm whether this is brainwashing or just bonhomie and camaraderie?

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  • Mar 22 2012: What you are actualy seeing in these big events as World Youth Day, or the Hajj, or other big scale Religios events is more the result of Brainwashing. As the Indoctrination of most Religious people beginns in there early youth they have been conditioned to belive that these events are going to be big euphoric events that will make them feel the presence of god. Sleep deprivation and mal nutrition leed exhaustion in order to compensate and keep the organism roling we produce endorphins which leed to euphoric feelings and so full fill the prophecy. So in the end you get a sort of self endorsed brainwash...

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