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Religion as brainwashing?

  1. gandalfthegrey profile image59
    gandalfthegreyposted 8 years ago

    Religion as brainwashing?

    When children are "trained" to behave in a certain way for 10-15 years, is this brainwashing? We see similar behaviour in the Middle East, terrorism training, is it similar?

  2. David Bowman profile image60
    David Bowmanposted 8 years ago

    Absolutely. I was a fundamentalist Christian, pentecostal in fact, for nearly twenty years.  If you know anything about pentecostals, they are among the most hard-core of the fundamentalist bunch. As I was growing up, I was told that the Bible was the inerrant, infallible, unquestionable word of God. I was told that demons were just waiting for doubt to creep in so that Satan could corrupt my soul. I was told that if I died a doubter, I would burn in extreme agony in the unquenchable flames of Hell for all eternity. In this way, I was made to be so fearful to ever even think about questioning my beliefs, that I never considered doing so. If that is not brainwashing, I don't know what is. As I got older, I began having some serious doubts. I finally got the courage to examine my beliefs in an unbiased light, and when I did, they fell like a house of cards.

    The situation I experienced growing up is the same thing that children and others experience in the Middle East I'm sure. However, in their situation, they could be severely beaten or even killed for their apostacy. This is why we must do everything we can to combat irrational belief systems and usher in an age where reason is the new creed.

  3. Mr. Happy profile image84
    Mr. Happyposted 8 years ago

    "Religion is the opiate of the masses." Karl Marx
    "The truth is rarely pure and never simple." Oscar Wilde

  4. wyanjen profile image81
    wyanjenposted 8 years ago

    When you are referring to adults, brainwashing is the correct term. With children, the right word actually IS "train". A child cannot think independently. To a child, "god" is no more abstract than "president". What the grown-ups tell you in school or church must be true after all.
    By the time a young person's mind is capable of challenging this type of teaching, the belief may be too strong to overcome.
    I agree with you about reason, David.
    This is a great question gandalfthegrey.
    Thank you.

  5. profile image0
    kamalakshyposted 8 years ago

    Among hindus and muslims there are many brainwashing done for creating criminals for strengthening parties and destroying enemies

  6. profile image0
    Tina Ireneposted 8 years ago


    Parents and other teachers are NOT terrorists.

    Parents are SUPPOSED to TEACH their children to do things like learn to read, learn to THINK, to follow a code of morality (ethics) and to brush their teeth; and that's definitely NOT the same as coercing them into strapping bombs on their bodies and blowing themselves and others to pieces.

  7. profile image0
    matt66dcposted 8 years ago

    It definitely is and it's not really an opinion, but the truth.  Young children' s minds are extremely influenced by what their elders say.  Everyone thinks that their religion is better then all the others, but the truth is they are all bad in there own ways.  I have many of opinions on the topic of religion, and the burden it has been on mankind since the beginning. Check out my new hub.

    Mankind's Historical Burden

  8. someonewhoknows profile image74
    someonewhoknowsposted 8 years ago

    Governments and religions both can be used to brainwash,but it's like a two edge sword.On one side they can both be used for good and on the other ,they can both be used for evil.

    It's a loaded question !

    A gun or any weapon can be used to defend as well as kill !

    Education can be used for good or evil.

    The answer.is it can!  But that's a qualified answer.

    It's possible and it has happened.

    What ever you choose to believe is what you act on.

    For example what does the phrase "The meek shall inherit the Earth" mean to you?

    what you think it means may be the opposite of what someone else thinks it means.

    It depends on the context the in which the word is used.

    If ,by meek you mean "afraid to do something that should be or should have been done" then that is a different context than someone who refrains from doing something because he knows what he could do if he wanted to but can control his temper.

  9. Thesource profile image82
    Thesourceposted 7 years ago

    Yes, most religion practice brainwashing.
    However, not all brain washing is directed towards terrorism.

  10. waterwizard profile image57
    waterwizardposted 6 years ago

    I was subject to baptist programming from a young age, for approximately 12 years. Now that I am much older, I can look back on what I "knew" then and see the long chain of beliefs that had to be 'unprogrammed' from my thinking. I suffered years of depression and other issues trying to come back from such misguided beliefs. I am firmly of the opinion that most belief systems can be categorized as brainwashing, as it is an entrainment of fundamental thought patterns. It changes perspectives on everything and reduces one to close-mindedness.

  11. Doc Snow profile image95
    Doc Snowposted 5 years ago

    Well, most religions teach that failure to accept their particular dogma will have incredibly adverse effects on each individual--for example, Christians are generally told that those not in right relation to Christ and/or his church will suffer eternal torment after death.  Similar threats are issued in many other religious traditions as well.

    If I may say so, this is hard to reconcile with the merciful God whom many traditions also assert.

    In other words, the use of *psychological* terror to promote religion is unfortunately very widespread indeed.

  12. beatmakersnet profile image61
    beatmakersnetposted 4 years ago

    yes of course it is brainwashing. on one leve... on another level it is our most prized heritage.

  13. gmwilliams profile image85
    gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago


    Yes, religion is brainwashing.  Children are inculcated by parents & their particular religious teachers that a certain religion is the only legitimate one while other religions are in error.  They are also strongly indoctrinated by their particular religion to adopt a certain paradigm regarding their morality, life options, & life choices.  They are even subjected to guilt inducing methodology if they do not adhere to their particular religious paradigm.

    There are many people who are psychologically immobilized because of the religious paradigm that was inculcated in them from childhood.  They have issues breaking from a particularly toxic religious paradigm because they were taught that to deviate from this religious paradigm is morally wrong at best & egregiously damnable at worst.  Many people cannot live their own authentic lives because of strong religious indoctrination.

    There are some people who are fearful of trying different lifestyles or explore different options because they were forbidden to do so by their particular religion.  They furthermore contend that they had to follow a certain life path because their religion preordained it to be so.  They maintain that they wish that they could do something else but cannot because of their religion.

    1. Kiss andTales profile image79
      Kiss andTalesposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      That is so sad that people base their choices of worship based on other people who are equal to themself and have access of the same knowledge , worship is really a personal relationship between you and your creator, people have changed that meaning.

  14. Kiss andTales profile image79
    Kiss andTalesposted 2 years ago

    Very interesting and I must say this is certainly a bad experience, but I notice that what you are very correct about is the abuse done to people under the name of religion, also you are correct as saying " I was told" that is the greatest problem of being told untruth when it comes to God's word the bible. The other major problem is there is no real foundation of a real relationship with the  Heavenly Father ,we can not do that through our parents, or family members and friends, if you are not ready for it then being force will cause rejection of a relationship or even the subject,

    Example of a meal if some one cooked a dish you have never tasted ,and they forced you to eat and you got sick , you will never want to eat this dish again. Yet some years later some one else  fix a dish with the same ingredients but prepared different ! You did not know until later it was the same ingredients, and you was not force to eat but you willfully ate and loved it.

    The truth of a real relationship with God is genuinely the same. When it is right you will be joyful.

    I could not pass up the title you used brain washed , really in this world of immoral conduct ,wickedness has just about taken over the earth, really brain washing  would be great for the dirty minds and actions of this present generation, we even have to screen movies ,Tv shows , and music , to have a healthy mental attitude.
    The bible can help us with the right thoughts but we do not need some one to force the meaning ,we can make that decision for ourself.

    Thank you for you subject and interesting points.