by Elizabeth T. Andrews
American Reporter Correspondent
January 7, 2007
WASHING OUT YOUR BRAIN
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- Have you and I been programmed to think in certain ways? Have we been brainwashed? Is there such a thing as well-intentioned mind control?
Before you start calling for the Paranoia Police, hear me out. Please.
Several years ago I had in my library a book called "Had You Been Born in Another Faith" that, if summarized into one sentence, would read "Had the good Baptist boy, Johnny Walton, been born in Saudi Arabia he would, no doubt, be of the Islamic faith." And, more recently, I tried to write a column that began with "I don't get it," harping long and loudly on why individuals keep going every Sunday morning and sometimes several times each week to hear the same thing they heard 10 years ago, last year and last Sunday morning.
But even though religion is one of the major methods of programming people to think in ruts, I don't romp on it easily because I have often said I would rather live next door to a radical Baptist than a drug dealer.
However, any form of mind control not only intrigues me but makes me tremble in fear for all of us ... and I am convinced religious programming is more to be feared than enjoyed. Furthermore, most past and current mass killing confrontations began, ironically, with a religiously programmed individual (or group) raising a fist with a gun in it and screaming "My God is the One True God ... and yours ain't."
Indulge me while I give you one terrifying example of religious mind-control at it's worst.
Not long ago, a reporter was allowed to photograph inside a classroom at a school in England where young boys were being trained in Islam. For 12 hours every day young Muslim boys were required to rock back and forth, back and forth, while memorizing the Koran (the rocking back and forth is also the norm in Hasidic Jewish yeshvas,). Over and over, day after day. Their little eyes looked mesmerized to me as they swayed from the waist, back and forth, back and forth. Small young robots being programmed for life. Mouthpieces for Mohammed. Small sacrifices for Allah.
Let me remind you that American teen-agers have known for some time "rocking out" while listening to loud music can induce a false high by altering the neurotransmitters of the brain. Severely shaking an infant can result in death, and even if a healthy adult gets up too quickly or is spun around only once or twice an unpleasant "rush" to the brain occurs.
If you would like a small example of what one of those small Muslim boys was enduring, sit cross-legged on the floor, cross your arms across your chest, pick one line to repeat over and over and then start rocking back and forth - for as little as five minutes.
I promise what you experience will not be a "high," but an unpleasant scrambling and slight re-arranging of your brain.
I make no claim to having excelled in "Simple Biology 101, Understanding the Human Brain." I need no degree - nor do you - to understand how it feels to be dizzy and to remember that most of the convictions, mindsets, and opinions in our head were put there by somebody else.
How many of us sit in silence, take out our childhood programming, examine everything we have ever been taught and ask: Now do I really believe this or is this daddy's politics? Mama's religion? Or Pastor Paul's? Or the Pope's alleged omnipotent opinion about God?
Are we all guilty of a lingering childlike need to "honor thy father and mother" - and those in our comfort-circle of family and friends - even though that "honoring" conflicts with what we personally think about God, daddy's Republican ramblings or mama's stand on abortion?
Which brings me to this: The big boogie man in programming, mind control, brainwashing and almost any other forms of altering human behavior is repetition.
Kick a dog every time he howls at night and pretty soon he'll quit howling at night. Punish a small child every time he or she tells an unpleasant truth ("But, Mama. Aunt Mindy does smell bad.") and we program them to lie. Insist a little one repeat "God is great. God is good. Let us thank her for this raisin bran" and you've got a child who will grow up believing God is a woman ... and will think it all the rest of their life unless they sit down one day and begin to examine why they think it, and if they agree with it.
How far is it from 12 hours a day of "All power to Allah, the merciful" to 12 years of "Hail, Mary, full of grace" to the nightly "God bless Mama and Daddy and I promise never to tell a lie again or God will strike me dead?" How far from there to a young man with a bomb strapped to his body; a Hitler who ate hate for breakfast, or a Pontius Pilate who acquiesced to public opinion and sent a simple man who believed and practiced the words "love one another" to a hillside with a cross?
I grew up in a mountain land of so-called Christians: who believed God is white. Believed God is male. God is to be feared. Bellieved all blacks are lazy and all Jews are stingy; all Catholics claim if they get a child the first seven years of its life it will be a Catholic forever.
It didn't stop there: Marry one of your own kind (Church of Christ). Those Baptists have music in church and they think they don't have to be baptized to go to heaven. Those holy-rollers are about half crazy. Stick with your own. Fear everybody different.
Well-intentioned programming. Mind control from anxious people trying to muddle through while doing "the best they can."
Train up a child in the way she should go and when she is old she will not depart from it?
Tell it to the old and newly dead who took up the sword in God's, Allah's, Yahweh's name. Shout it every hour from the mountaintops to the little boys and the little girls in the valley below and you'll have converts forever, programmed automatons dedicated to: My God. My people. My family. My one true religion. Kill the misfit who dares declare "But, why? What if?"
Is the "unexamined life" worth living? For me, it is not. I will never speak for you.
AR Correspondent Elizabeth T. Andrews is based in Cartersville, Ga. Her Website features her columns and poetry. Write her at email@example.com, or at P.O. Box 816, Cartersville, GA 30120.