Open Minds On Air episode 5 Brainwashing and Cult Apologists


In this episode, Jon Atack and Pearse Redmond speak with their good friend Yuval Laor. They start by discussing a recent article by professor Rebecca Moore entitled The Brainwashing Myth, dissecting the strange assertions Moore makes, primarily that brainwashing does not exist. They also talk about her three “scientific, neutral, and precise” terms which can replace brainwashing.

Jon and Yuval talk about the historical roots of the term from ancient China to the through reform camps of the 50’s. They also address our problems with the flawed term “new religious movement”, discussing Moore’s history defending Jim Jones and The Peoples’ Temple. They talk about her sisters, Carolyn Layton and Annie Moore, both high-ranking members who organized and oversaw the murder of over 900 people. They look at how this has colored Rebecca Moore’s books defending Jones and the legacy of the Peoples Temple. They close out by talking about the problem of arguing over semantics within the counter-cult world.

What do you think about this podcast? Do you agree? Do you have a story about brainwashing – or the misuse of the term – that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!

Download episode

Show Notes:

The Brainwashing Myth

Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple

Understanding Jonestown and Peoples Temple

Jim Jones’ Tenured Apologist

Jonestown Apologists Alert

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  • 0use4msm  On July 29, 2018 at 12:42 am

    It’s ironic, in a sad way, that, when it comes to heterodox spirituality, contemporary (progressive) secularists resort to the same arguments that Christian fundamentalists did in the late 20th century. Any beliefs and practices, including non-coercive ones, that don’t adhere to the liberal silent majority’s brand of ontological conformism are denounced as “dangerous”.

    The big elephant in the room here is that the most successful cult of all is the mainstream education system and its offshoot, the bourgeois cult of “normalcy”. Back in the days of the Cult Awareness Network (one day you really ought to do a show about the Jason Scott case and/or the alleged role of CAN in the Waco massacre), the saying went: “there’s no such thing as deprogramming, there’s only reprogramming.”

    Kind regards from a long term listener (hailing from Saakashvili’s new country of residence) who is more a fan of your geopolitics shows.

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