Resisting Thought Control – Pt. 5, by Cyclops

(Continued from Part 4..)

Name Calling

It never feels good to be called a name, particularly if it is an unjust accusation. It is one of the reasons that the fear of being thought of poorly is a powerful manipulative tool, as mentioned in the preceding “Fear section”.

During Covid, some public voices were openly hostile to those who did not get the vaccine. CNN’s Don Lemon was one of these personalities. Lemon would launch into tirades showed unrelenting ridicule, disdain, and a lack of concern for anyone who would even think of not agreeing with the prevailing narrative. He called them “stupid” for having a concern about their own health. He blasted them for hesitating because they didn’t know what was in the shot. He said: “The people who are not getting vaccines who are believing the lies on the internet instead of science, it’s time to start shaming them, or leave them behind.” He said that “conspiracy theorists” who question mask mandates “shouldn’t have even had kids.”

Don Lemon was not the only one, as one public personality after another fired off blistering attacks on people who turned out to be right about their concerns. It is hard to stand up to such salvos, and name-calling–or the fear of being called a name–often causes people to first change their behavior, and then change their mind.

Suggestion & Repetition

Suggestion and repetition are brainwashing techniques that strike at the heart of our neurophysiology. In our brain, connections between neurons become stronger when signals are recently used, used more frequently. Consider what happens in our brain when someone makes a suggestion, even if we don’t hear it consciously. Our ears hear their suggestion, sends a signal to the brain, which processes the suggestion. So when the same brain is analyzing information that is related to the suggestion, there is a recently used pathway that the neural signal can follow already available. Voila, the subject is likely to follow the suggestion.
Likewise, the likelihood of the subject following a suggestion is increased when that neural pathway is used repeatedly. Repetition increases compliance.

Chanting and singing repetitive choruses is a variation on the theme of suggestion and repetition. Some cults use chanting repetitive words to ingrain those words, and any associations connected to those words, into the hard-wiring of our brain so that it becomes a default thought. In psychology, repetition forms “automaticity” where the repeated word becomes an automatic, default thought or response. One way that automaticity can be accomplished is through thought-stopping phrases, described below.

Thought-Stopping Phrases

A thought-stopping phrase is a short, easy-to-remember statement that shuts down any further discussion or debate about a topic. Robert Lifton, Author of the book, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, called thought-stopping phrases “the language of non-thought.” They are meant to terminate a conversation, often so that the person being brainwashed does not devote any further analysis. Such phrases do not contain any power or logic in and of themselves, but they can be used by a deceiver to justify logical fallacies and dampen a subject’s rising cognitive dissonance.

During Covid, we heard a number of thought-stopping phrases: “flatten the curve,” “the science is clear,” “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” “nobody is safe until everybody is safe.” Now, after the fact, we can see how these phrases shut down rational thinking at a time when it was most needed.

A cult group may make up its own slogan or verse to suit its particular needs. Thought-stopping phrases will be repeated frequently, so that they can be –almost unconsciously–recalled and the conversation redirected. Look at some of the common thought-stopping phrases below. Can you identify the types of deception or abuse are covered by such phrases?


Has it ever happened to you that you have become so physically, emotionally, and spiritually overwhelmed that you simply do not care what happens. You have completely shut down. There is no thought going through your head, and you are left curled up on the couch — probably eating ice cream. Deceivers know that humans are not inexhaustible, and they prey upon our inability to process all the inputs to get some idea past our defenses.

Exhaustion can take many forms. In the first case study, Sandy’s lack of protein, lack of sleep, hours of physical labor, and demanding schedule created an exhaustion that decreased his ability to see that he was being brainwashed. Exhaustion may not just be physical, it may be that our emotions are so turned around be activities–such as love-bombing or constant criticism–that our discernment simply shuts down and we accept whatever is given to us. Or, we may be faced with so much information, that we cease to be able to wade through it all, and are not able to process it. Whatever form it takes, exhaustion is a common and effective component of brainwashing schemes.

Emotional Appeal

Our emotions come to us from deep in the limbic system of our brain. This is a completely different location than where we analyze data and draw logical conclusions. So an emotional appeal is an effective tool for deceivers who do not want us to use data and logical conclusions. A carefully written story that conjures up emotions can sometimes be much more convincing than providing facts and figures. Be careful of the emotional appeal; it may manipulate you toward a direction you would not otherwise go.

A glittering generality is a statement that appeals to one’s emotions in a convincing way that generates approval and agreement, but does not actually communicate tangible evidence or facts that will support a reasoned conclusion. Barak Obama’s campaign word, “Change,” was a glittering generality in the uplifting manner it was portrayed. But the word itself communicated nothing about the kind of changes that would take place under his administration.

Emotional appeals can include references to children, parents, family, sex, things that heighten anxiety, increase adrenaline, spark compassion, or prompt crying. If you feel your face reddening and tears welling up in your eyes, you are being targeted by an emotional appeal.

There is nothing wrong with emotional responses. Just be on the alert that if your emotions are engaged, your analytical brain is not.

Psychotropic Agents

A semi-conscious man stumbled along a back road on the island of Haiti, eventually approaching a peasant woman named Angelina Narcisse, claiming that he was her brother, Clairvius. The only problem was that Clairvius Narcisse had “died” and was buried 18 years earlier.

In his book, Dark Passage, ethnobiologist Wade Davis catalogs how local voodoo priests had extracted tetrodotoxin from puffer fish to make Clairvius appear dead, then enslaved him to work in the fields to pay off a debt. He was maintained in a compliant stupor with a plant extract from the nightshade family, aptly called, “zombie cucumber”, to keep him compliant over the months so that he did what he was told without resisting.
The story of Clairvius Narcisse is a vivid example of using some kind of psychoactive drug to induce a condition that makes the subject more compliant, less resistant, and easier to control. This case is bizarre and highly specific to an individual. Unfortunately we are all being exposed to psychoactive agents in a more generalized way that promote compliance and increase our receptivity to thought control. Below are just a few examples that are pervasive in our society.

Fluoride: There are several NIH-sponsored papers in the public domain that document how fluoride exposure increases serotonin levels in our body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that causes us to feel good, more content, and less aggressive. People with higher serotonin levels are more eager to agree and less likely to go against the need to belong to a group, which means that thought control techniques that rely on inhibiting internal questioning and peer pressure will be more effective among those who are regularly receive water laced with fluoride.

Marijuana: There is a reason why there are so many jokes about how pot reduces a person’s sense of drive and initiative. What is now different is how much pot has become pervasive in our society. At the date of this writing, marijuana is fully illegal in 30 states, allowed for “medical use” and decriminalized in 18 states, and decriminalized to a misdemeanor but not allowed for medical use in two states. That means that a major portion of our population is using a drug that decreases their will to resist the growing tyranny that is infecting our country. (Interesting that many of the marijuana growing operations in the US are owned and operated by Chinese companies.)

Psychoactive Prescription Drugs: More and more, people depend on some kind of mood-altering prescribed to cope with some condition. Many of these drugs increase serotonin levels, or in some other way cause the subject to be less anxious and more compliant to suggestion. Nationally, about 19% of use some mood-altering drug nearly every day; 13% alone are on anti-depressants. Among college students, 5% take sleep medications, 12% take anti-anxiety medications or mood stabilizers, 20% take anti-depressants, and 35% abuse some form of psychoactive drug.]

(To be concluded tomorrow, in Part 6.)