The Brainwashing Defense

Summary: Sniper case puts cult indoctrination to the test. Lawyers for accused sniper Lee Boyd Malvo are using an insanity defense that claims John Allen Muhammad, 42, indoctrinated Malvo, 18, into a “cult of two,” such that Malvo could not distinguish right from wrong. Malvo is on trial for last year’s Washington D.C., area sniper […]

Stressed to Kill: The Defense of Brainwashing

Sniper Suspect’s Claim Triggers More Debate As sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo stands trial this week, his insanity defense relies on a controversial claim rarely heard in courtrooms: The defendant was brainwashed to kill. Brainwashing Cult apologists (defenders), such as Dick Anthony and James T. Richardson, discount brainwashing theories “A remarkable thing about cult mind […]

Acquaintances Split On ‘Brainwashing’

Malvo’s Mind-Set At Heart of Defense Washington Post, Nov. 17, 2003 CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad crisscrossed the United States after meeting in the Caribbean, encountering school principals, shelter directors, old friends and new acquaintances. And each noticed the dynamic between the two: Muhammad was in charge. But opinions about […]

Lawyers claim Malvo brainwashed

CNN, June 26, 2003 From Mike Ahlers, CNN WASHINGTON (CNN) — Marking a switch in strategy, attorneys for the teenage suspect in last October’s sniper shootings now blame the older suspect for brainwashing their client, according to court papers released Wednesday. Attorneys for Lee Boyd Malvo, who was 17 at the time of a […]

Brainwashing: Not just in wartime

Redlands Daily Facts, Mar. 20, 2003 By RAY SIDDONS, For the Daily Facts Although the concept of “brainwashing” is usually associated with prisoners of war, there are examples in our everyday world, Kidnappings, cults, and domestic violence raise issues about victims and their ability to fight off or recover from brainwashing. Brainwashing occurs when […]

Experts: Smart’s brainwashing likely began at knifepoint, reinforced continually

AP, Mar. 17, 2003 CATHERINE S. BLAKE, Associated Press As authorities piece together Elizabeth Smart’s whereabouts during the last nine months, it’s become clear that her captors gave her several opportunities to escape. Mental health experts say her unwillingness to leave, and to deny her identity when police found her, is consistent with someone […]

Captive girl’s actions hint at brainwashing

Chicago Tribune, via Contra Costa Times, Mar. 15, 2003 By VINCENT J. SCHODOLSKI and V. DION HAYNES, Chicago Tribune The signs at first contact were ominous. When police initially encountered Elizabeth Smart last week on State Street in Sandy, Utah, she wore a gray wig and dark glasses. Her head and face were covered. […]

Experts Say Teen’s Compliance Was Not Brainwashing

Specialists in the psychology of abuse and persuasion say survival, not mind control, could explain the girl’s behavior. Los Angeles Times, Mar. 15, 2003 By Benedict Carey, Times Staff Writer She didn’t once call home, or contact friends, though she knew those closest to her feared the worst. She walked around freely, close to […]

A Search for Answers: Has Elizabeth Become A Psychological Victim?

The Salt Lake Tribune, Mar. 14, 2003     Augustine, she said. Her name was Augustine.     Wearing a wig, a veil and sunglasses, Elizabeth Smart insisted to the police officers who questioned her on State Street in Sandy on Wednesday that she was

Authorities Examine Bond Between Teen and Captors

Elizabeth Smart Returns Home a Changed Girl Rapid City Journal, Mar. 14, 2003 By REBECCA BOONE After nine months of shabby living under bridges and in tents with a self-styled prophet and his wife, Elizabeth Smart returned to her million-dollar home alive _ but not unchanged. When stopped by police, she readily lied about […]

Teenager’s recovery likely to take months

Elizabeth Smart may have begun to identify with her abductors, expert says San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 14, 2003 Katherine Seligman, Chronicle Staff Writer Her face, it seemed, was everywhere Thursday. News anchors and Hollywood agents lined up to talk to her parents. Even President Bush called to say how happy he was that Elizabeth […]

Could Elizabeth Smart be a victim of brainwashing?

Cox News Service, Mar. 14, 2003 By Michael Browning, COX NEWS SERVICE WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Was Elizabeth Smart – the Utah teen-ager snatched from her bedroom last June, then remarkably rescued Wednesday – brainwashed into staying with her captors? Her father, Ed Smart, said Thursday he knows “that she’s been through brainwashing,” […]

Local woman can relate to Smart’s alleged brainwashing

KFXO, Mar. 13, 2003 When first discovered, Elizabeth Smart denied her true identity to police, which points to mounting evidence that Smart’s captors brainwashed her. Experts say mind control or brain washing happens most often to people who are part of a large group or cult. A type of mind control can also happen […]

Kidnapped Japanese have divided loyalties

Reuter, Oct. 28, 2002 Welcomed back with tears and flowers, five Japanese kidnapped a quarter of a century ago by North Korea have hardly been out of the public eye since returning home for an emotional visit nearly two weeks ago. Yasushi Chimura proudly held up for the cameras a fish he had caught, […]

Abductees need to adjust

Daily Yomiuri (Japan), Oct. 17, 2002 It will take time for the five abductees who returned to Japan on Tuesday to open up to people in this country after more than two decades in isolated North Korea, according to experts. The five spoke briefly at a joint press conference after they arrived, saying they […]

No real return home for ‘brainwashed’ abductees

The Scotsman, Oct. 19, 2002 Teruaki Ueno in TOKYO Five Japanese abducted by North Korea 25 years ago came back this week for a bittersweet reunion with the families, but experts say the brainwashing they underwent in captivity meant they would suffer an identity crisis if they came home again for good. Japan has […]
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