Please Explain: Brainwashing

Friday, June 20, 2008

Brainwashing has been used throughout history to manipulate, coerce, and torture. Dominic Streatfeild is the author of Brainwash: The Secret History of Mind Control. Oxford research scientist Dr. Kathleen Taylor is the author of Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control.

Have you ever been brainwashed? When did you realize what was happening?


Dominic Streatfeild and Dr. Kathleen Taylor

Comments [14]

Tom from Georgia

I have been getting daily downloads of this particular segment ever since it first aired. I use WNYC's Pubcatcher to retrieve my podcasts. Is anyone else having this problem?

**Lopate Show producer responds:
We've forwarded your comment on and are looking into the problem. Thanks for letting us now, and thanks for listening.

Jun. 26 2008 06:03 AM
Mary from NYC

Good show! Wish it was more in-depth. Scary stuff.

Jun. 25 2008 08:10 AM
Cesar from Upper East Side

This is a very frustrating conversation because the guests find it difficult to define the spectrum of persuasion. What, beyond coercion and persuasive techniques, constitutes the media term brainwashing?

What of examples of political brainwashing? The Iraq war propaganda of mushroom clouds and weapons of mass destruction? What of the minimal media reporting of war dead from all countries, regardless of nationality or the employer's contractor?

Jun. 20 2008 01:58 PM
John from New York

Do you think Oswald was brainwashed. He had a connection to both the Marines and Russia.

Jun. 20 2008 01:56 PM
Daniel Jenson from MA

I was a member of the Unification Church for twenty years and I left five years ago without any problems or trauma and moved on with my life. I was not brainwashed. I wanted to join and I wanted to leave. End of story.

Jun. 20 2008 01:53 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Up to a point, the question may be whether the person can leave if they want to, but can it reach the point where they don't even have the choice to want to leave?

Jun. 20 2008 01:52 PM
Jimmy G from NYC


Jun. 20 2008 01:51 PM
Rick from Brooklyn

Leonard can you ask the guests if they think the Fundamentalist Mormon children in Texas have suffered from brainwashing?

Jun. 20 2008 01:49 PM
David Harrington from Manhattan

Is there any effective positive use for brainwashing? For example: Can it be used to reprogram child molesters?

Also is cognitive behavioral therapy in the case of, say, PTSD, a form of brainwashing?

Jun. 20 2008 01:44 PM
hjs from 11211

are you talking about modern advertising

Jun. 20 2008 01:34 PM

i've read that the word 'brainwash' comes as a direct translation of the chinese word 'hsi nao.' ask pat o'connor

Jun. 20 2008 01:28 PM
bob braczyk from upper west side

In discussing brain washing,don't over look the great artist of brainwashing in the 20th Century,John Frankenheimer.

Obviously, in the Manchurian Candidate he presents a "true believers" image of the possibilities of the practice. In many other of his films Black Sunday,French Connection Two",and I believe in some of his work on Playhouse 90 he used the device of individuals under controlled distress to propel the plot.


Jun. 20 2008 01:21 PM
hjs from 11211

just a light rinse, please

Jun. 20 2008 12:09 PM
deniz from switzerland

I read Streatfield's book "Brainwashing" and found it very reasoned and objective. It debunks a lot of the myths people have about brainwashing. I wonder what he thinks about present-day CIA and other intelligence agencies and if there are any remnants of the old way of thinking regarding brainwashing as a potential tool against terrorism or "enemy states".

Jun. 20 2008 11:09 AM

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