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Dr Jack Vernon on brainwashing in education



Type of Spiritual Experience


We are apt to think that brainwashing is somehow a uniquely 'communist' or other authoritarian or dictatorial pursuit.  But our own education systems are a form of brainwashing.

Americans are brainwashed, Europeans are brainwashed, the Chinese are brainwashed, Indians are brainwashed, Australians are brainwashed.

If they weren't we would not be able to talk about cultural differences.  Stereotypical behaviour and cultural actions are a form of mass brain washing.

Unthinking behaviour is never a good thing, whatever culture we are talking about.

A description of the experience

Inside the Black Room – Dr Jack Vernon [Princeton University]

Education is really a slow, long-term form of brainwashing.

If we wish to teach a group of people a particular belief or attitude about, say, politics or religion, and if these people are available to us from birth, we educate them. With these conditions we can raise children to believe any way we desire. We can make them devout Catholics or convinced atheists, liberals or conservatives, Communists or Democrats, Buddhists or Baptists; it is all a matter of training.

The Communists have wanted, in many situations, to train people along certain lines of political belief, but they have not always had control over these people since birth. They are often people who have fallen under Communist domination and they have to be subjected to “forceful indoctrination" -they have to be brainwashed.

With plenty of time and early control man can teach man anything by education, but without time and early control he may teach by brainwashing. Thus I think we can see that brainwashing is not some new horror invented in the mid-twentieth century, but a technique that has been with us for a long time. It seems dramatic because of the startling conversions it has produced.

The source of the experience

Scientist other

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Home schooling