It’s frightening. Unprincipled psychologists, in the service of a malignant regime, use sophisticated techniques in order to control the mind of a person from afar.
The term “brainwashing” was born in 1950. It is a Chinese word (xinao, literally wash brain). Originally, it served to describe a technique used – so it was claimed – by Chinese masterminds to manipulate the minds of American prisoners in the Korean War. They changed their unconscious mental processes and turned them into agents of sinister forces.
Many books and movies purported to show how this works. For example, the classic film, The Manchurian Candidate, shows how the communists take an American prisoner-of-war in the Korean war, an officer, manipulate his mind and give him an order to kill the US presidential candidate. The American officer does not know that he has been turned unconsciously into a communist agent. He does not remember the order given to him under hypnosis and does not know that he acts accordingly.
This plot is ridiculous, like most of the pseudo-scientific descriptions. In practice, it is much easier to manipulate the minds of people, individuals and collectives.
For example, the Nazi propaganda. It was invented by Adolf Hitler himself. In his book, Mein Kampf, he describes how, as a soldier on the Western front in World War II, he witnessed the extremely successful British propaganda. The British dropped leaflets over the German trenches and shattered the soldiers’ confidence in their leadership.
When Hitler came to power in Germany, he entrusted one of his faithful henchmen, Joseph Goebbels, with the creation of a Ministry of Propaganda. Goebbels turned propaganda into an art form. Among other means, he turned all the German media – newspapers and the radio – into government agencies. In German that was called Gleichschaltung – connecting all components to one electric line. Thanks to this, Nazi Germany continued fighting long after it was clear that it had lost World War II.
One of the means was the disconnection of the German public from any other source of information. The official propaganda was blared from every medium. Listening to a foreign broadcast was a major crime, punished severely.
Thus, it happened that the Germans still believed in their final victory – the Endsieg – even after the Soviets in the East and the Anglo-Saxons in the West had already crossed the borders into Germany.
Does it take a dictatorial regime – Nazi or Communist – to turn the media into a brainwashing machine? Common sense says that this is impossible in a democracy. Common sense is wrong.
A brainwashing machine
It will be remembered that Hitler attained power by democratic means. Even now, fanatical nationalists are winning democratic elections in many countries. All their leaders are busy destroying the courts, stuffing the parliaments with useful idiots and – especially – turning the media into brainwashing instruments. In our country [Israel], too.
How is this done? It’s quite simple, really: one has to suppress all other voices. One has to make sure that the citizen hears only one voice. One that repeats a few messages over and over, endlessly. This way the lie becomes truth.
In such a situation, the ordinary citizen becomes convinced that the official line is really their own personal opinion. This is an unconscious process. When one tells a citizen that they are brainwashed, they are deeply insulted.
The events on the Gaza Strip border have activated a mechanism of brainwashing that dictatorial regimes in the world can only envy.
This has been happening in Israel over the last few years. The citizen is not conscious that it is happening. He or she absorbs diverse newspapers, TV programmes and radio broadcasts, and sees that all these media are freely arguing with each other and even quarreling with each other. The citizen is not conscious of the fact that on the one critical subject of our life – war and peace – all the media are “connected” to one singular line of brainwashing.
During the last few weeks we have been seeing a perfect example of this mechanism. The events on the Gaza Strip border have activated a mechanism of brainwashing that dictatorial regimes in the world can only envy.
Let’s examine ourselves: what have we heard over the radio? What have we seen on TV? What did we read in the papers?
Within a few weeks more than a hundred human beings were shot dead, and many thousands were wounded by live fire. Why?
“We were forced to fire at them because they were storming the border fence.” And indeed, did the Gazans themselves not proclaim their will to “return home” – meaning, to return to Israeli territory?
But on 14 May, “Black Monday”, 63 unarmed demonstrators were shot dead and over 1,500 wounded by live fire. Every Israeli knows that this was necessary because the demonstrators stormed the fence and were about to swarm into Israel. Nobody paid attention to the simple fact that there was not a single photo showing such an occurrence. Not even one. In spite of the fact that on both sides of the fence there were hundreds of photographers, including Israeli army photographers, who filmed every single detail. Tens of thousands stormed, and not a single picture?
The “terror” propaganda tool
One should notice the use of the word “terror”. It has turned into an adjective attached to everything. There are not just tunnels – they are all always “terror-tunnels”. There are “terror-activists”. There is “the Hamas terror-regime” and there are “terror-bases”. Now there are “terror-kites”.