Joyce Brothers: Test your knowledge about mind control

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 11, 2003
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/
By DR. JOYCE BROTHERS, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST

Do most people have built-in resistance to thought control or brainwashing? Is our ability to resist it directly related to our intelligence? Is timing important to mind control? Do methods of brainwashing differ from place to place and year to year? Can there be permanent damage to hostages who undergo brainwashing in time of war? Is the Stockholm syndrome related to the United Nations and the current war? How much do you know about this subject?

1. Most people are not vulnerable to mind control or brainwashing attempts, whether during wartime or peacetime.

TRUE ( ) FALSE ( )

2. Those who are intelligent won’t bend to terrorists or fanatics of any kind.

TRUE ( ) FALSE ( )

3. Pseudo-religious cults are the most dangerous and the most expert when it comes to mind control.

TRUE ( ) FALSE ( )

4. Street kids from poor backgrounds are the most susceptible to any kind of brainwashing, whether by military forces, terrorists or cults.

TRUE ( ) FALSE ( )

5. Methods of brainwashing and mind control differ greatly and have changed widely throughout the years.

TRUE ( ) FALSE ( )

6. Brainwashing of any kind rarely leaves any permanent damage.

TRUE ( ) FALSE ( )

7. Timing is important in mind control.

TRUE ( ) FALSE ( )

8. The Stockholm syndrome is a condition that grew out of the recent United Nations meeting that discussed the Iraq war.

TRUE ( ) FALSE ( )

ANSWERS:

1. FALSE. Everyone is vulnerable if approached at the right time. Preparation can be helpful, but if the efforts to use mind control are intense or brutal, only a desire to die will make one resist.

2. FALSE. No matter how excellent the mind, intelligence doesn’t guarantee that the person will be immune.

3. FALSE. Pseudo-religious cults or leaders are no more dangerous than any other captors who might be experts at mind control. However, if the captors happen to be of the same religion as their captives, even though their views are more fanatical and extreme than their hostages’ views, their task of mind control might be somewhat easier.

4. FALSE. Some experts feel that the best targets for brainwashing are obedient, polite youngsters from the protected upper and middle economic classes. Street-smart kids are less apt to trust adults and more apt to rebel and question all authority.

5. FALSE. The basic technique of isolating the hostage — separating him or her from friends, family and everything he or she has known in the past — remains the same. Food and sleep deprivation, humiliation, mortification, rigid control, constant persuasion and threats of bodily harm have not changed over the years.

6. FALSE. Brainwashing that involves mental and physical torture, including long periods of isolation, almost always leaves some permanent damage. The victim’s spirit and ability to trust him- or herself and others might never fully recover.

7. TRUE. Adolescents are extremely vulnerable because their sense of self, their identity, their ego structures are not yet well-formed. Timing is very important, and anyone approached or taken hostage when he or she is lonely or in a period of emotional conflict is more susceptible.

8. FALSE. The Stockholm syndrome is one in which victims or hostages form emotional bonds with their captors. The term comes from a 1973 bank robbery in Sweden, when hostages were held in a vault for six days.

If you answered six of these eight questions correctly, you’re better informed than most on this subject.

Write to Dr. Joyce Brothers via King Features, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10019

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