Bollywood films wash us brainwash


Brainwashing is a concept of so-called psychological manipulation. Older psychological theories suggested that Brainwashing Could change values ​​and self-perception of a person according to certain goals. It was assumed that in rare cases a basis of trust would arise between the manipulator and the person to be manipulated, while the vast majority of the Brainwashing methods based on breaking the psychological resistance with force. Brainwashing theories first emerged in the context of totalitarian states. Later they were occasionally applied to religious groups.

In 1975 the UN in their Declaration on the protection of all persons from torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (No. 3452, December 9, 1975) also used the method of Brainwashing including manipulative psychotechnics.

Origin and use of words

The word brainwashing comes from the English term brainwashing returned. This was written during the Korean War in 1950 and is itself a translation from the Chinese.洗脑 / 洗腦 (xǐ năo);洗 xǐ becomes with to wash translated. The word 脑 / 腦 means năo brain, So a Washing the brain. The scientific name is Menticide. There is also a partial menticide. This term means total or partial loss of personality.

Colloquially, massive psychological influences are also called Brainwashing designated.[1]

Historical attempts at brainwashing

The first modern attempts to develop and use brainwashing methods were the show trials during the purges under Stalin in the Soviet Union from 1936 to 1938. Methods of the medieval inquisition were studied for this purpose.[2]

During the first years of the establishment of the sphere of power under Mao Zedong were using similar methods Re-education programs carried out, which the Chinese people have termed brainwashing. During the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976 tens of thousands of professors and students were sent to the countryside for re-education.[3][4]

During the Second World War in the USA, the emigrated German psychologist Kurt Lewin investigated the question of how National Socialism could develop in Germany. He came to the conclusion that it was not enough to explain this development, but that the human systems would have to be changed to prevent such developments. He developed his 3-phase model in order to be able to carry out what he believed to be re-education of the population in post-war Germany.

In the mid-1950s, Edgar H. Schein and Robert J. Lifton investigated American soldiers who had been captured during the Korean War on behalf of the US government. They wanted to find out what new things the Chinese had done with the American prisoners of war, that they had unexpectedly collaborated with the Chinese and showed other inexplicable changes in behavior; among other things, confidence among the prisoners completely collapsed.[5][6] The CIA ran a secret mind control research program known as MKULTRA from 1953 to the 1970s, which included thousands of human experiments on ignorant subjects.


  • Kurt Lewin, Solving social conflicts, Christian-Verlag 1953, ISBN B0000BKYTQ
  • Edgar H. Schein, Coercive persuasion, A socio-psychological analysis of the "brainwashing" of American civilian prisoners by the Chinese Communists (1961)
  • Edgar H. Schein, From Brainwashing to Organizational Therapy: A Conceptual Journey, Cape Cod Institute, 2005
  • Robert J. Lifton, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism (1961), ISBN 0-8078-4253-2
  • Klaus Behnke / Jürgen Fuchs (eds.): Decomposition of the soul. Psychology and psychiatry in the service of the Stasi, Hamburg 1995
  • Bärbel Schwertfeger: Reaching for the psyche. What controversial personality trainers do in companies. Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-593-35910-3
  • Michael M. Weber, Psychotechnics - the new seducers, Christiana-Verlag 1997, ISBN 3-7171-1038-1
  • Benjamin Zablocki: Towards a Demystified and Disinterested Theory of Brainwashing, p 159-214 in Benjamin Zablocki and Thomas Robbins (eds): Misunderstanding Cults, 2001, ISBN 0-8020-8188-6
  • Dick Anthony: Tactical Ambigiuty and Brainwashing Formulations: Science or Pseudo Science, p 215-317 in Benjamin Zablocki and Thomas Robbins (eds): Misunderstanding Cults
  • David Bromley: A Tale of Two Theories: Brainwashing and Conversion as Competing Political Narratives, p 318-348 in Benjamin Zablocki and Thomas Robbins (eds): Misunderstanding Cults
  • Stephen A. Kent: Brainwashing Programs in the Family / Children of God and Scientology, p 349-378 in Benjamin Zablocki and Thomas Robbins (eds): Misunderstanding Cults


  1. ^ OVG Münster, decision of May 31, 1996, Az: 5 B 993/95, printed in NVwZ 1997, page 302
  2. ↑ Richardson, James T .: Brainwashing Claims and Minority Religions Outside the United States: Cultural Diffusion of a Questionable Concept in the Legal Arena. In: Brigham Young University Law Review. No. 4, 1996.
  3. ↑ Dai Sijie: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
  4. ↑ China, Interview with Zhao Ming: Liberated from Torture in China's Labor Camps, at
  5. ^ Robert J. Lifton: Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: a study of “brainwashing” in China
  6. ↑ Edgar H. Schein: Coercive persuasion, A socio-psychological analysis of the "brainwashing" of American civilian prisoners by the Chinese Communists

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