Other Let's talk about indoctrination and brainwashing.


The Double-Standard Effect (what I call the difference between how we process trauma as it happens to us vs how we see other victims of trauma that is similar to ours)
In my own head, I put that "double standard effect" into the bucket labeled "symptoms". Because when I really looked at the phenomenon, and thought about it, I couldn't find any rational reason why 5 year old me should be held to a different standard than 5 year old anyone else. Something that really had an impact was actually interacting with someone who was 5. (I'm kind of picking that age because it means something to me. I don't think it matters what age you pick.) In my head, I was never 5 like the 5 year old I meet in the world now. I don't ever remember thinking, or experiencing the world, any differently than I do now. Which makes me think that "5 year old me" should have reacted to stuff like I would now. On the other hand, I know that my recollections of how I saw the world THEN can't possibly be accurate. (Can they?) Because what little kid thinks to themselves "I wonder if this is how it feels to be marched to your own execution?" Memory is a tricky thing. Perhaps not to be trusted too far. To this day, talking to a little kid kind of freaks me out because they seem so YOUNG and my brain is really sure I never was.

I can safely say that I was nowhere near equipped to make adult decisions in that moment.
I don't think the people who recruited you actually WANTED any of you making adult decisions. They wanted you to react, not think. And they didn't actually care about playing by any kind of ethical rules, did they? They just wanted to "win". Full disclosure, I've never been in the military. I have friends who have and have spent a fair amount of time discussing this kind of stuff, but no personal experience so my qualifications here are pretty limited. Seems to me the the various military and pseudo-military organizations all pick what level of "civilized" ruling respecting they want to pay attention to. But, in the end, they want their people to do as they're told, not ask "silly" questions. In the end, I suspect that most people are fighting to stay alive and keep the people next to them alive too. Once the shooting starts, I'll bet those idealistic reasons you might have had for signing up go out the window.

Opps! I lost track of time. Got to get the dog to his vet appointment. Interesting topic! I'll be back :)


Once the shooting starts, I'll bet those idealistic reasons you might have had for signing up go out the window.

Weirdly enough, I'm not sure about this. Because I can't speak to what I was actively thinking in the moments where this was occurring with the exception of a single incident when I was 17, around the time I started to have my own actual human thoughts, and after I had received 6 months of forensic therapy and about 2 years of deprogramming therapy.

My thought was "this is wrong," and I made the decision to ... I don't know how to refer to this -> defect? I guess. Is the closest word. So I was making an actual idealistic decision, in the moment. I felt something happen in my mind where I seemed to suddenly understand that what we were doing was wrong. But as a kid, watching this violence and participating in it actually reinforced my sense of belonging and reinforced the belief that this was an "enemy" and it was my job to do as I was told to eradicate that threat.

For me, at the time, it was in my role as a trainer/trainee, but eventually that would have been in an active "combat" role. The one time I was in active "combat" (I don't know what it would be actually called, when civilians start shooting at each other -> that I remember, which I know is a huge caveat -> I witnessed it many times, but never had an active role other than some very limited encounters -> firebombs, "kitchen napalm," vandalism, arson, deliveries, etc) -> seemed to have the opposite effect, though, and I shot at A.

And it wasn't because "he's shooting at J and that's wrong," (because I blocked off the street and had a real, actual role in this) and it wasn't a real sense of "what we're doing is wrong/bad" but more that I saw what was happening (this specific moment, in this specific area, is wrong -> you don't shoot up a maternity ward across the street from a school filled with children). When Ukraine kicked off I remember the outrage at Mariupol and thinking "oh, cool, blah blah blah blah blah" which eventually landed me inpatient.


They wanted you to react, not think. And they didn't actually care about playing by any kind of ethical rules, did they? They just wanted to "win".

&& I think this would ultimately be very much the difference between my experiences and actual military experiences because we didn't have any "rules of engagement." There was no, like, pocket manual of war crimes we weren't "allowed" to do. You in fact cut people's heads off after they died and f*cked around with them to send an even greater message, that you f*cked with the wrong people and no one was coming to help you. && I distinctly remember having a measure of pride in that, that no one could f*ck with me.


i get the idea that it is posiible to think that you were aware at 5 like no 5 year old you see today is. thats one of my big hurdles i had to get over. expounded just a little, my memories of being 5 and the things i accepted as true at 5 get even more credibility every time i think those thoughts or open those files, if you will bear with me a bit. When we remember those early truths, we open those files much like we open a file on a pc. when we close the files, they get a date stamp- last saved 12/22. Someday down the road, we look at that file again and it has the date stamp of a time when we were adults, frontal lobes all developed. the memory gets the values we place on a recent belief, when it should get opened with the same skepticism we would view any file saved by a 5 year old 50 years ago. thats the lesson i needed to learn, but it applied more to the time when i was being BRAINWASHED than when i was 5.
I think the element of inescapability is important when defining torture and brainwashing. I was the victim of parents that believed i would burn eternally in the lake of fire if they couldnt make me believe i was a doomed sinner that needed to be shown my failings and saved by their beliefs. They werent that smart, they were barely capable of hatching a plan I think, but the methods they employed to try to break me and melt me down to a puddle they could form into their ideal offspring are in parallel with some of the most time proven methods employed by successful brain washers throughout history. I blame the course of my brainwashing and torture fully on the steps of their cult like church, if you need a larger example of where it came from and the methods they employed you can look into the early days and the techniques employed by the branch dividians and david karesh. my parents didnt fall into that group, but they were the prey he sought and members of the flock he gathered his sheep from. I escaped at 14, they lived their whole lives believing they were flawed and grateful to be brainwashed I guess.
thanks anyway, if there is a hell it waits for them, not me.
best way i found to rid myself if that shit was to start putting “ read me” files in all of those folders in my brain, as in”just because you thought this recently doesn’t mean it is anything more than a file placed here when you were being tortured and fed misinformation, disregard the value of this file even though it may have a recent date stamp.”
my brainwashing stopped the day i got my work permit and escaped it. getting that crap out of my head has taken a lifetime.