BRAINWASHING THE MASSES
by Ron Schilling #32219; Oakhill Correctional Institution; PO Box 938; oregon, Wi 53575
Ron's story on web: http://www.freeronschilling.blogspot.com
It's always incredible how an enlightening epiphany can manifest from nowhere in particular and command a vast amount of critical thought, as well as a drawing on past experience and education in the field of psychology
concerning the notion of mass brainwashing. It has certainly explained a LOT about why the prison system is the way it is, as well as why society is the way it is. The gist is that everyone is being programmed to accept what is given them. In prison, in society, it's the same phenomenon at work.
The Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov was on to something more than he ever could have imagined back when. His most notable achievement was probably the methods he used to teach dogs to salivate at the ringing of a bell. That sort of "conditioned response" was fairly impressive, but he did a lot more than that. Before he taught them to respond to the bell, he stressed his dogs to the maximum limits, the maximun cerebral endurance, subjecting them to sleep deprivation, loud sounds, and poor nutrition, would lead them to expect one thing and then do another, and a bunch of other stimuli intended to heighten their stress levels. Dogs become disturbed when stimuli are unnaturally strong; when the interval between a stimulus and the customary response is unduly prolonged and the animal is left in a state of suspense; when the brain is confused by stimuli that run counter to what the dog has learned to expect; when stimuli make no sense within the victim's established frame of reference. After a time dogs naturally recoil from such exposure, retreating to a corner of their cage, for instance. Deliberate induction of fear, rage or anxiety markedly heightens the dog's suggestibility. If these emotions are kept at a high pitch of intensity for a long enough period, they eventually reach their cerebral capacity limits and experience what is called "cerebral shut down." Dogs generally lose consciousness and fall over at that point. Just prior to this point new behavior patterns can be installed with the greatest of ease.
Humans, on the other hand, not only recoil, but their cerebral activity shifts and all portions not dealing directly with the stressful situation are greatly open to suggestibility; new behavior patterns can be easily
Installed while at or near the limit of cerebral endurance. What's interesting is that these new behavior patterns seem to be ineradicable; meaning, the individual cannot be de-conditioned. Whatever is learned in that state remains an integral part of one's psyche. It's the same tactical strategy used on POW's and enemy-combatants to extract information from them. It is generally at that point where the captive will agree or confess to most anything suggested. And since what is learned or conditioned during that time is what remains forever, the practical programmer needs to be mindful not to create a hopeless neurotic of no use to anyone, nor a patient to be institutionalized; or a victim to be taken out and shot. The ultimate goal would be to create a convert who will work or accept whatever is desired.
Present regimes continue to experiment with this phenomenon and are discovering that fatigue, wounds and every form of sickness add drastically to the physical and mental stresses that increase the suggestibility factor.
Likewise, other factors like conducting these matters at night are more effective than during the daytime. Man's willpower revolts with the greatest energy against any attempt at being forced under another's will, opinion or direction; but in the evening they succumb more easily to the dominating force of a stronger will. The fatigue factor is a strong one for increasing suggestibility. Illness is even more effective than fatigue as an
Intensifier of suggestibility. Strong negative emotions tend to heighten suggestibility and facilitate a change of heart after time. Combine these stress factors, prolong them, and it will produce a state of greatly intensified suggestibility after which the victim can emerge from the ordeal with newly instilled behavior patterns ineradicably implanted in their minds and nervous systems. The end-game is that if the indoctrination is given in the right way at the proper stage o£ nervous exhaustion, it does have that effect. And under favorable
conditions practically anybody can be converted to practically anything.
As this concerns the prison population from the moment prisoners are extracted from society, from family, friends and loved ones, they are subjected systematically to many kinds of physical and psychological
stress. Poor nutrition, uncomfortable and often deplorable living conditions, deprived of adequate sleep, non-existent health care, and all the while being kept in a state of suspense, uncertainty and acute apprehension; never alone, always in groups, most living in chronic fear of this dreadful fate, it has a cumulative effect on stress levels. Day upon day and ,especially; night upon night, the value of fatigue is increased. The captors do their best to create a frightening, confusing and bewildering environment. In addition to the rules governing every aspect of life in prison, even the appearance of administrative rules governing things like classification, parole, due process, disciplinary hearings, etc., lead one to expect due process and fair play. And every now and then the system does afford some semblance of fairness, but it is quickly withdrawn, adding even more to the stress levels. The brain and entire nervous system cannot help but be affected by it. After months, years or decades of this prolonged stress, it produces the results which Pavlov's finding would lead one to expect; neurotic and hysterical symptoms make their appearance. Some prisoners overdose on pills, slit their wrists, hang themselves or put their hands in their pockets and nose-dive off the top tier. Those who survive the rigors of the conversion process can emerge with new and ineradicable behavior patterns since all of their ties with the past; family, friends and loved ones, traditional decencies and pieties have been severed. The general aim is to create and fabricate a nightmarish society of informants, compliers, selfless fanatics and basic “sheeple.” And the criminal justice system is abundant with raw human material for the prison industrial complex.
Millions of people, or “sheeple”, are being turned out on an escalating basis, and are growing to accept their newly instilled ways all the time. We are all the products of a more scientific, evolved and harsher indoctrination process; which will doubtless continue to evolve for eons. Current technology has created a hybrid system of techniques, partially dependent upon the systematic use of semiviolent manipulation, partially on skillful psychological manipulation, and partially on environmental and media stimulation. The government is continuing to think new thoughts in response to new situations which impact us all on levels heretofore unimaginable.
Even the people in free society are being subjected to new laws, penalty enhancers, administrative rules, municipal laws and codes all of which intensifies the stress levels in everyday life. Don't fasten your seatbelt,
for instance, and you will be marked in a computer data base and forced to pay a considerable fine. The creation of new boundaries, the restriction of our civil liberties, restricting tree press, monitoring everythinq we read, the threat of secret arrests if we read the wrong book; being held without a crime, without charge, without trial, without counsel, without any recourse or semblance of due process whatever, even the potential for being exiled, all of it adds up to increased stress levels.. Even something as rote as grocery shopping and discovering 60 different kinds of ketchup on the shelf, in some degree, increases the stress. It is an incessant assault on our central nervous systems.
Of those less susceptible to the influences of traditional and provisional techniques are those who might already be deemed psychotic in some measure. They will remain members of a more wild species who can laugh at the stresses. And that wildness makes it possible for them to become heretical; rebellious and otherwise unorthodox and, dare I say ,stand the greatest threat of becoming nonconformist revolutionaries.
What I find most disturbing about the above concerns the ineradicable behaviors learned during the stressed periods. In the prison context, the behaviors that seem to naturally flow from being subjected to such treatment are the same behaviors society deems unacceptable. Prisoners learn to be more conniving and manipulative in their attempts to subvert the influences thrust upon them. They pick up some of the most unsavory habits and patterns of behavior not only sometimes learning to be better criminals but quietly acquiescing to accept defeat at every turn. In the current prison schema, nearly every activity is geared to where the prisoner must consciously relinquish some activity in order to partake in some other activity. For instance, the gym, which has proven to be an enormous stress-reducer, is scheduled to conflict with virtually every other activity. Spiritual and religious services are geared to antagonize with endless and needless restrictions and rules which discourage one from seeking such activity. It occurs too frequently for it not to be intentional, and has the desired effect of suggesting or instilling the acceptance of defeat. And it is an ineradicable acceptance that will stay with the individual forever. It is reflected by the fact these prisoners would rather sit around doing nothing worthwhile, bouncing basketballs, slapping dominoes, gambling, and spewing garrulity, and seem more familiar and comfortable watching television programs geared to keeping people stupefied and stuck on stupidity. Again, those are the patterns that will stick with them upon release.
On the other hand, those who qenuinely and consistently partake of educational endeavors, and otherwise avail themselves to what power they have under the law, learning more about the system in the process, are those who will be less likely to recidivate. And I suspect, this is the true reason for the Pell grants and other college opportunities being legislated into history; because the recidivism rates were close to one or two percent for college educated prisoners, compared to something like 80% of the general prison population. It was simply contrary to the system's penological interests toward unbridled expansion of the prison industrial complex. And one only need examine the statistical data depicting the decrease in funding for schooling and education across the board, and the greater funding for corrections and the prison industry, to see the same phenomenon at work in society as well.
Moreover, with regard to the same disturbing phenomenon at work in society; as people are subjected to increasing levels or stress, they become more susceptible to the influences of suggestibility- In the societal
Context, people become more accepting to whatever their government puts out there for them. Fewer Jobs, lower wages, higher taxes; more laws, restrictions on civil liberties, the patently incredible stories surrounding
the government' s dubious political and global agendas and arguments for war, all of it. It seems more and more people are fast becoming sheeple.
What is even more disturbing is that the vast majority of people, inside and out, have not a clue about how all of the above is dramatically affecting and effecting their lives. And it is the proximate reason prisoners no longer unite on any common issuer and it is also the proximate reason people no longer take a stand on governmental issues. People have been brought to a point where they blindly accept the notion that; beyond their input during the sham electorate processes, they have no voice, no recourse, no power. Of course, this is not true, albeit it might as well be. To be certain, the government is ever mindful of maintaining their absolute power over the masses and they continually develop the methodology, to facilitate that agenda. Sadly, it is at the ultimate expense of a blissfully ignorant populace.