So I was sent this article from a christian the other day who attempted to use it as a defense against my claim that they are brainwashed to religion.

I found this an inusual thing to do since it backs up everything I had said in my own article I wrote, but they wouldn’t accept it of course since it was from my blog.

My blog and merely my 30 years of being an Atheist and debating people and having been brainwashed to christianity too once. I personally thought that made me a good reference, but I know how much they love deflecting. Oh well.

Shown here:

Let’s examine the definition part though.

Each number below is a copied and pasted section taken directly from the description of “brainwashing” that was given from the christian as proof that they weren’t brainwashed.


“In psychology, the study of brainwashing, often referred to as thought reform, falls into the sphere of “SOCIAL INFLUENCE.” Social influence happens every minute of every day. It’s the collection of ways in which people can change other people’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. For instance, the “COMPLIANCE METHOD” aims to produce a change in a person’s behavior and is not concerned with his attitudes or beliefs. It’s the “Just do it” approach.

a) “Social influence”. That’s definitely religion.

b) Social influence is what forces religion on people into accepting it and only accepting it as the norm.

c) Social influence is what causes people to deny facts and deny simple logic and to ignore science without realizing it.

d) Social influence is when people like William Lane Craig, or Lee Strobel get many people to accept their religious reasoning, which is filled with flaws, but they try to pass their opinions and theological beliefs on multiple people without them even realizing it and passing off that religion to each other and discouraging anything else.

e) The stronger the social influence of religion, the stronger the conversion and rejection of logic, facts, science and reality.

f) “The compliance method” which the definition claims “to produce a change in a person’s behavior and is not concerned with their attitudes or beliefs. It’s the ‘Just do it’ approach.”

g) Religious organizations are all about the “just do it approach”.

h) Religious organizations will do everything they can to change the persons behavior and make them more susceptable to accept things on faith and encourage people to disregard facts and evidence and rational thinking.

i) Encouraging people to “just give Jesus a chance because he loves you” is a common form of brainwashing that fits into the “just do it approach”.

j) Evangelism is a strong form of the compliance method, or even people who write books about prayer are doing the compliance method by encouraging it.


“Persuasion”, on the other hand, aims for a change in attitude, or “Do it because it’ll make you feel good/happy/healthy/successful.”

a) This is quite common in religion. It attempts to force you into deluding yourself and induce a fake high by devoiding you of responsibility, real problems and seeing reality for what it is.

b) A good example would be what a christian wrote on my blog today.


“God is real; God loves you; God cares that you are hurting; God will accept you if you turn back to Him. Jesus is the best friend you could ever have. Forget all the Christians and find out what Jesus was, and is like. You may find that, like Ghandi, you discover that you like Jesus a lot more than you like Christians. As the proverbial saying goes, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

c) The above is a word for word exact copy paste, but you can see that the example fits perfectly to the description of “persuasion”.

d) This is typical brainwashing from people who don’t realize that they themselves are brainwashed.


“The education method” (which is called the “propaganda method” when you don’t believe in what’s being taught) goes for the social-influence gold, trying to affect a change in the person’s beliefs, along the lines of “Do it because you know it’s the right thing to do.”

a) As you see from the christian’s blog response in 2b) it’s a perfect example of “the education method”.

b) The religious “education method” as you see is full of promises.


“While most psychologists believe that brainwashing is possible under the right conditions, some see it as improbable or at least as a less severe form of influence than the media portrays it to be”

a) The improbable cases are of course Atheists, who simply have a higher resistance to brainwashing than the people who easily become religiously brainwashed.

b) So most psychologists believe brainwashing happens under the right conditions.

Such as what is listed above in 1, 2, 3

Social influence
Compliance method
Education method

c) We also cannot disclude the more than obvious “childhood indoctrination” which cannot be denied is nothing but brainwashing children by depriving them of thinking for themselves from birth, or very young.

Indoctrination is done in more than one way.

One way is with what I will simply call “THE FEAR METHOD”.

Like the video below (yes I know I use them all the time in several of my blog articles but I can’t help it).

The other method simply goes with what I listed from the definition decription page. “THE EDUCATION METHOD”.

Like the video below (yes I know I post this one a lot too on my blog and it probably won’t be the last).

The comments on this video are always interesting.

-Some are hilarious

-Some are of pity

-Some are of disgust

-The ones defending the video are the most fascinating and disturbing.

Another part of the link of this page contained this link about “cult indoctrination” which I found interesting.

So I would definitely have to thank this christian person for sending me the link to that brainwashing definition.

It was very useful.