Years ago, I heard from the platform an elder of Jehovah’s Witnesses bragging. While going door-to-door he was asked, “How can you let yourself get so brainwashed so as to believe this stuff that you are saying?”
His reply? “My brain needed a good wash!” His comment emoted a chuckle from the audience. Apparently, the congregation believed brainwashing was a good thing.
How do patriarchal religions become radical so as to promote practices such as female sexual mutilation (like some Muslims), or Polygamy (like some Mormons), or shunning of family members (like Jehovah’s Witnesses)?
Of Course I’m Brainwashed!
I was taught a theology from birth, and I believed my parents taught me “the truth” no matter how outrageous they sounded. After all, why would my parents lie? Didn’t my parents have my best interests at heart? Well, if my parents were conditioned to believe a statement is “truth,” how could I know they were fed propaganda? Clearly, I could not differentiate between truth and falsehood, since I inherently trusted my parents to know everything. I didn’t understand that I was being “brainwashed”.
Why does each religion believe theirs to be the only “true” religion? That belief implies that all other religions are false. I know from being an ex-member that the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe theirs is the only true faith. They believe they are the only ones who have “special” knowledge. They are God’s “favored” people. They and only them. Everyone else is going to be killed by God at Armageddon. They’re not afraid to tell anyone, either. Why? Perhaps because they have been brainwashed or conditioned to believe in such a way?
Muslims, likewise, believe theirs is the only true religion. That belief means that all other religions are false. They alone have “special” knowledge. They are Allah’s “favored” people. They and only them. Everyone else is going to burn in hell as an infidel. I’m sure they’d disagree that they’ve been brainwashed.
Of course, Mormons believe theirs is the only true religion. That belief means that all other religions are false. They alone have special knowledge. They are God’s favored people. They and only them. Everyone else is going to burn in hell. Yet, if you were to ask them if they’ve been brainwashed — what answer would you expect to receive back from them?
Need I go on about the Catholics, Scientologists, Jews, and Fundamentalist Christians? Most religiously conditioned folks would be offended if you dared to suggest they had been “brainwashed”.
Adults Exercise Caution
Judgmental? Divisive? Where does the brainwash end? Perhaps another Holy War, another Jihad, another Inquisition, another Crusade, or another World War…?
One may wish to examine how much “conditioning” goes on in a religion before rushing into becoming a member. Personally, as a Westerner, I see over and over again how dangerously divisive so-called “moderate” religion can be.
On a happy note, most “holy books” admit that a time will come when people would not adhere to religion. Rather, each person would be a law to themselves. By that, I mean their conscience would be their guide — not some priest, pastor, elder, imam, rabbi, bishop, etc. No more religion running the show, asking for money, lobbying for more power, and demanding more freedom to frighten and enslave their adherents. Perhaps we will return to our original self-sovereign state — like when we were newly born. Sounds healthy to me.
This scripture seems to imply that we won’t need anyone making up theological or religious rules and laws because each of us would inherently know the truth about a situation just by studying nature. We’d get back to natural law instead of religious rules, political laws, and propaganda made up by humans. Laws of nature were in place first, and as such need no replacements or upgrades by humans who hold their own personal, religious, or political agendas.
Visit website "Phoenix of Faith" the memoir. Follow on Twitter: @_phoenixoffaith Copyright © 2012–Present.