The Eighth and Final Square

with courage face the thing you fear so the pawn becomes the queen

Brainwashing Part 2

Brainwashing –noun

  1. a method for systematically changing attitudes or altering beliefs, originated in totalitarian countries, esp. through the use of torture, drugs, or psychological-stress techniques.
  2. any method of controlled systematic indoctrination, esp. one based on repetition or confusion: brainwashing by TV commercials.
  3. an instance of subjecting or being subjected to such techniques: efforts to halt the brainwashing of captive audiences.

Is there such thing as “good” brainwashing? What about your kids. Is it good to “brainwash” them? You could say “Depends upon what you’re brainwashing them with. Everyone is brainwashed to some extent.”

The problem with brainwashing is…the subject is conditioned to not know any different and everything that’s different from you is wrong. Sometimes with logical reasons, sometimes with illogical…but when you’re conditioned to think that way, when it’s all you’ve ever known…you believe it.

Maybe some people have a hard time grasping how children, even adult sons and daughters (specifically from families of some brands of conservative christian, isolationists, etc) don’t look out and see something different, and notice something’s wrong. I think the people who don’t get this is the people who have been given choices their whole lives. These people haven’t, and they have been trained that anything besides their way of thinking is bad. Sometimes they don’t like what they have to do, but they do it anyway — and even promote it — because it’s what they were trained to do. If they don’t like it, they are labeled selfish, rebellious, anti-family, ungodly, wicked, etc.

These people grow up sometimes without knowing how to make choices, because they were never given any real choice, only bounded choice. Daughters are raised to be “stay at home daughters” and later, “stay at home mothers” and often aren’t given the chance to face real-life situations that are suddenly thrust upon them when their prince charming carries them off on the horse he used to jump through their father’s hoops.

I was being raised with that mentality. Brainwashed, yes. My dad bragged about how he had brainwashed us with his “good” brainwashing. What made it good? Well, he said so, that’s why. Oh, and because allegedly the Bible backs him up. (On the issue of stay-at-home-daughters (SAHD’s), well, that’s another post for another time.) Now that I’ve achieved the goal I was supposed to (marriage), I find there’s a lot of things I don’t know. Partly because of inadequate preparation (especially in the area of finance/bill paying…not that I needed more chores when I was with them!), but a big part of it is the brainwashing: most of the time I don’t know options are there.

Brainwashing takes away free choice, which I believe is in the very essence of man. When in the course of a life, a child is never given the chance to make an unbiased choice, as an adult, they expect that what they see is what they have to choose from. Other options don’t even occur to them. Legal rights? I didn’t know I had any legal rights while living as an 18+ adult in my parents’ house. It didn’t even occur to me.

I knew what I was supposed to do: stay at “home” until I got married to the guy my dad chose, then spend the rest of my days catering to his wishes and “needs”, regardless of myself, my needs, and my thoughts/feelings. I didn’t like the thought of having to do everything my dad said (no matter how crazy), then everything my husband said. To me, it sounded like hopeless drudgery, but I stayed because I was “supposed to”. Because God said it, or at least dad said God did. It didn’t even occur to me to see if God really had said it because that’s the nature of it. Not that we are stupid; we just don’t know there is another way. If dad says the Bible says it, who are we to say otherwise? (Besides that, if we did…well, we’re calling dad a liar. You never question “authority”.)

That’s when other people came in. Told me there were other choices, other options. That I wasn’t rebellious, wicked, or selfish for not liking the things that were going on. That I, as a person, had personal rights and the right to boundaries. Totally new idea to me. Once it was explained, well, it made sense, of course!

So yeah. This is me. This is me finding out there is a life to live, and choices to make.

I’ve been born again!

Born Again (Newsboys)

I found myself looking into the mirror
Knew I wasn’t who I wanted to be
I was living like the way that I wanted
But my eyes reminded me I’m not free.
Believed that I saw everything that I know
Says I got to go, tired of going solo
But I’m never gonna go there again.

This is what it is
This is who I am
This is where I finally take my stand
I didn’t want to fall
But I don’t have to crawl
I met the One with two scarred hands
Giving him the best of everything that’s left of
The life inside this man
I’ve been Born Again

I see you walking like your living in fear
Having trouble even looking at me
Wishin they would give you more than words
Sick of people telling how it should be
Whats your download, where’d you get your info, you saw that I’m show now your in the inload
Gonna tell you what I believe

This is what it is
This is who I am
This is where I finally take my stand
I didn’t want to fall
But I don’t have to crawl
I met the One with two scarred hands
Giving him the best of everything thats left of
The life inside this man
I’ve been Born Again

We are the ones they call by name
(I’m never gonna look back)
Let go let go the guilt the shame
(Said I’m never gonna look back)
This is who I am

This is what it is
This is who I am
This is where I finally take my stand
I didn’t want to fall
But I don’t have to crawl
I met the One with two scarred hands
Giving him the best of everything thats left of
The life inside this man
I’ve been Born Again

Brainwashing Part 2

Phoenix On January - 23 - 2011

16 Responses so far.

  1. Andrew Peed says:

    Anne, once again you demonstrate that you are quite the remarkable young woman. Bravo. May I share this? I have friends — both washers and washees — who need to read it.

  2. Rachel says:

    Excellent point!
    I grew up with alot more freedom than you did, but I totally understand this. I remember questioning why we did things or believed things- faith based things and I was criticized. I learned very quickly that I was not to question and that ANY faith based thought had to be logical. (Example: feeling the need to pray for someone… well, WHY? I don’t know why, I just feel the need to pray for them… unacceptable, what was I hiding?…) Anyway that gave me no foundation in my beliefs. Only by the grace of God did I continue going to church and seeking God after I was married and “on my own”. When I came to this church, WSBC, I joined a fundamentals class. How wonderful it was to finally be shown what it says in the scripture about what we believe. Finally I was able to understand WHY I should believe what I believe.

  3. Dana W says:

    The term brainwashed does not apply to your situation, Anne. Brainwashing is the act of taking someone who has a strong belief in one or more areas and “brainwashing” that person to change to a different strong belief in one or more areas.

    You were raised to believe one thing. A set course chosen by those in natural authority over you. That is not brainwashing. That is the natural desire of a parent…to impart what they believe to be truth to their children. When you came of age you choose to reject the course behind you and forge a new direction for your life. All actions have consequences. Obviously, you were of the mind to bear the consequences of your actions, so I’m curious as to why there is the need to write less than complimentary words about your parents, here in a public place where they can read it and be hurt? And so the cycle continues…more hurts upon more hurts until nobody knows anymore where it all started. Try to stop the cycle, Anne. At some point somebody has to be the bigger Christian…it might as well be you. He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends and the discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression. (proverbs) I’m not saying you can’t process and heal from wounds inflicted. Stop giving your parents more to be hurt and angry about. Not everything has to be shouted from the roof tops in the name of “Truth.”

    Bitterness is a terrible thing to let into ones heart. It takes root and springs up and thereby many be defiled. Lay an axe to the root of bitterness. Root it out like a bad weed. Bitterness will end up pushing everyone (over days and years) away from you.

    I want to encourage you, Anne. It does not matter to me who is more right or who is more wrong. Forgive. Forgive those that have hurt you and do your very best to love them. Even if all you can offer to love them is to pray showers of blessing upon them. One of the greatest testimonies of a christian is to forgive and to love.

    You are responsible to keep your side of the street clean. Two wrongs do not make a right.
    We serve a big God. I have been praying for you this last week as I’ve read your blog. I pray that God will reveal himself to you in up close and personal ways.

    In Christ
    Dana W. Former moderator of Blessed Maidens
    Mother of Johnathen and Autumn from HSA and Blessed Maidens (respectively)

  4. quietpanther says:

    The term brainwashed does not apply to your situation, Anne. Brainwashing is the act of taking someone who has a strong belief in one or more areas and “brainwashing” that person to change to a different strong belief in one or more areas.

    Pardon me, but she started off the article with the dictionary definition of brainwashing. If you think the dictionary is incorrect, take it up with Webster.

    You were raised to believe one thing. A set course chosen by those in natural authority over you. That is not brainwashing. That is the natural desire of a parent…to impart what they believe to be truth to their children.

    As she said in her post, her dad took pride in calling it brainwashing. So now you’re arguing against both the dictionary and her father. Why is it so important to you that this was not brainwashing, if her parents were glad to call it so and the dictionary proves them correct?

    When you came of age you choose to reject the course behind you and forge a new direction for your life. All actions have consequences. Obviously, you were of the mind to bear the consequences of your actions, so I’m curious as to why there is the need to write less than complimentary words about your parents, here in a public place where they can read it and be hurt?

    Perhaps because she’s not afraid to tell the truth. If her parents did what was wrong, they did what was wrong. If it wasn’t wrong, it wasn’t. If it would hurt her parents to hear her talk about the things they were proud they did, perhaps her parents should stop taking pride in doing them (or stop doing them all together).

    And so the cycle continues…more hurts upon more hurts until nobody knows anymore where it all started. Try to stop the cycle, Anne. At some point somebody has to be the bigger Christian…it might as well be you.

    I think the one who speaks out against abuse is already a bigger Christian than one who pleads with them to cover the abuse and protect the abusers.

    He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends and the discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression. (proverbs)

    If you slap me, I’ll forgive you. If you slap me again, you are repeating the matter and separating our friendship. My discretion defers my anger at being slapped, and my glory is in passing over it. However, if you chase me around and keep slapping me, I might consider it a good idea to warn people that you have that tendency so that they know to be careful in their dealings with you. Forgiving a wrong done against ME is one thing. But I can’t forgive a wrong done against someone else. I can, however, speak out against it and hope that someone with the power to do so will end that wrong.

    I’m not saying you can’t process and heal from wounds inflicted. Stop giving your parents more to be hurt and angry about. Not everything has to be shouted from the roof tops in the name of “Truth.”

    I’ll quote Scripture right back at you.
    Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
    Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

    (Proverbs 27:5-6)
    And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
    (John 3:19-21)
    Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.
    (Ephesians 5:11)

    Seems to me that, according to the Bible, the only people who would want sin covered rather than exposed are those who are interested in its perpetration rather than its cessation.

    Bitterness is a terrible thing to let into ones heart. It takes root and springs up and thereby many be defiled. Lay an axe to the root of bitterness. Root it out like a bad weed. Bitterness will end up pushing everyone (over days and years) away from you.

    I am married to this woman and I can personally assure you (as can every single person she knows well enough to call “friend”) that she is not only far from bitterness, but nearly incapable of it. Why does every person who speaks out against the abuses done to them immediately get labeled “bitter” and “unforgiving”? It is rude, arrogant, and inappropriate for you to make such slanderous attacks against her character.

    I want to encourage you, Anne. It does not matter to me who is more right or who is more wrong. Forgive. Forgive those that have hurt you and do your very best to love them. Even if all you can offer to love them is to pray showers of blessing upon them. One of the greatest testimonies of a christian is to forgive and to love.

    Indeed, and who says she does not love them? If you bothered to read anything else on her blog, you would see that she does love them and miss them greatly. And she is also forgiving them as well as she is capable. But forgiveness is not the same as forgetting. If you cut my hand off, I could forgive you, but every time I looked at my stumpy wrist I would remember. Emotional, mental, spiritual, and psychological abuse cause wounds that reach as deep as or deeper than those of physical abuse, and they cannot simply be forgotten. They have to be healed. They can be forgiven, but rarely if ever forgotten.

    You are responsible to keep your side of the street clean. Two wrongs do not make a right.

    I still fail to see how you can claim that speaking out against evil is wrong.

  5. Dana W says:

    Dear Quiet Panther
    My goal in not to offend. Only to encourage.
    Brainwashing and raising children are two very different things.
    A parent saying they brainwash their children is ??? I’m not sure of the word. I’m not arguing against her dad…lol…I don’t even know him. But I do know that brainwashing someone and raising children are different things. Brainwashing and training are two different things.

    I don’t necessarily think that speaking out against evil is wrong. In this case though, I’m totally for seeing relationships restored if at all possible. Writing publically, on the internet about perceived wrongs is not a good way to help heal a relationship. It lends itself (in most cases) to tearing relationships down not building them up. I have read this blog and I see that she loves and misses her family. So why not move towards doing whatever possible to heal the breech.

    I was not accusing Anne of being bitter. Read what I wrote. I was warning her to not let it take root and what the consequences of bitterness are.
    In Christ
    Dana

  6. quietpanther says:

    Thank you for clarifying, Dana. I apologize if my post came across too harshly.

    I will mention, though, that at this point there is no way to work toward reconciliation with her family, since they have taken great pains to ensure any type of reconciliation other than utter, grovelling submission to worse abuse than before (and even that only if I’m dead) is impossible. Meanwhile, wrongs WERE done and need to be brought to light, not swept under the rug. There are still children in that home being abused, and there are many people who don’t understand how a family that seems so perfect on the outside could be so disturbed on the inside. My wife is simply bringing these things to light in a matter-of-fact way as she goes through her own process of healing and dealing with her painful past.

    Cheers 🙂

  7. Beka says:

    Ummm.
    I’m going to come back some other time when I feel better, and explore your blog. 🙂
    I have a feeling I’m going to like it a lot, since you’re finding yourself and wondering about who God really is and you ALSO like tattoos and piercings. 😉 Oh, and make-up.
    Heh.

    I found you through some comments on Darcy’s Heartstirrings. 🙂
    Hope you have a lovely Monday!

    • quicksilverqueen says:

      Thanks for the comment! (Yes…I plan on getting pierced — besides earlobes, how boring — and tattooed when I have the money. 😀 )

      I hope you have a lovely Monday too!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dana W, nice backtracking. If by any tiny chance you are being honest and really did mean to be “encouraging,” I suggest you open the dictionary and, after reading the WHOLE definition of brainwashing, investigate the meaning of “encouragement.”

    Your picture ain’t there, hon.

    Quietpanther, I agree… I am getting REALLY frustrated with the “Bitterness” label being thrown around at everyone who disagrees with the QF / Patriarchal lifestyle… especially at those who have actually lived it. Really REALLY frustrated. It’s a nasty, hurtful attack by people more worried about defending a lifestyle and philosophy than about caring for the children in it and coming through it.

    Which should probably be a warning to those considering QF. QF / Patriarchal leaders’ actions really do speak louder than their words.

  9. Eric Novak says:

    Anne,
    I’m so sorry about all of this- I’ve known you since 2005 and there wasn’t ever a hint of abuse when we talked. On the other hand, it wasn’t like I was in personal contact with you all that much.

    I’m thankful that my parents learned the concept of letting us kids experience life to some sort of degree- they understood that there are stages of development: 1). Baby- the child depends on your 2). Child- the child is guided by you and must obey you 3). Teen- you are now a mentor and a friend to the child and 4). Adult – You should have a relationship as a friend with your child. Now that I’m in my 20s my parents can’t force me to obey them as they could when I was 10, but because I have a good relationship with them I’ll still weigh their opinions and I have respect for them.

    The parenting form your parents used was kinda’ a cloister method where they basically shut you away from everything in order to try and retain control over you- obviously you can see what that did to your relationship.

    Anyway, not sure why I’m saying all of this- God writes your life story, Anne and I’m glad He has given you freedom and shown you love in these tough times.

    “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:1-3

    -Eric

    • quicksilverqueen says:

      At that time, I didn’t know it was abuse either! lol I’m glad your parents did things differently than mine!

      Thanks for the comment!

  10. […] to be quite judgmental, one of the hallmarks of legalism/cults. Remember the posts on Brainwashing (part one, part two)? One of the mind control techniques is an “us vs. them” mentality. […]

  11. Elizabeth K says:

    Oh wow, so sorry that you were raised with the QF/Patriarchal philosophy. I understand that parents only want to protect their kids, but they have no idea how much it only weakens and enslaves them.

    There’s a strong undercurrent of fear and hatred which, although behind the scenes, is used to perpetuate religious conditioning. I am just now coming out of it myself and I had no idea.

    Anyway, I’m glad that our paths have crossed. It sounds like we are going through a similar healing process. Although I was raised under a different branch of Christianity, it’s the same kind of brainwashing. And even though our society is conditioned through a lot of different ways, this kind is extra deceiving because it’s carried out under the supposed command of God.

    • quicksilverqueen says:

      Yeah, I had no idea about a lot of things until I left…just that things weren’t right and I hated it and I couldn’t stand it!

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Welcome! This is my space on the internet to explore myself and my life and find my courage to turn into a queen. My Quilt No content on this blog may be used or reproduced elsewhere without a link back.

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