According to Merriam-Webster Online, brainwashing is: a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas.
Apotheosis: Brainwashing Manual for Research defines the techniques of brainwashing as:
a) Isolating the subject from environmental influences that reinforce counter-belief
b) Generate a deeper emotional and subjective alliance and allegiance and trust in the subject towards the brainwashers.
c) Slowly begin to commence the immersion into the 'target belief.'
d) Begin to slowly dismantle the subject's previous counter-belief
e) Establish that the counter-belief is not effective nor useful any longer
f) Remove the individuals’ last connections and familiar habits relating to his originating environment
g) Appears to not reference the counter-belief any longer, begin direct target belief indoctrination.
h) Begin to more directly address all the subject’s relevant originating environmental references in a manner that allows the target belief to provide acceptable explanation and recontextualisation into the target belief.
From my friend Kara's essay:
Indoctrination is systematically used by intelligence agencies, militaries, education systems, religious institutions, and cults across the world (because it works).
We can thank societies' leaders for this great invention!
1. Recruit - cause individual to donate major amounts of time and effort to the controlling environment, often through deception
2. Isolate - restrict access to external/competing influences/ideas
3. Control Access - create dependency by controlling access to basic needs
4. Brainwash ((a) behaviour control (through rewards/punishments), (b) thought control (cause the individual to intensely doubt their own thoughts/actions, destroy their ability to make independent decisions, and uncritically accept an alternative value), (c) emotion control (create internal crisis in the individual through affection, group pressure, guilt-induction, and guilt-relief), and (d) information control (discourage, monitor, filter, or cut external communication, and replace with propaganda)
5. Institutionalize - cause individual to make a permanent commitment to remain in, depend on, and practice the changed value system.
References and related information: