Tag Archives: open minds

Open Minds On Air: Undue Influence in Pop-Culture Star Trek

From OpenMindsFoundation.org

In this month’s episode, Pearse is joined by Spike Robinson to launch a new series, “Undue Influence in Pop Culture,” where they plan to examine various popular movies, television series and books through the lens of undue influence and coercive control. This month, they compare and contrast two episodes of classic Star Trek: “Return of the Archons” and “A Taste of Armageddon.”

“Return of the Archons” is a classic example of how Hollywood portrays thought control or “brainwashing”, with a population of blissed-out automatons, only breaking out of tranquility for their purge-like Festival – a society completely under the control of a supercomputer, which was programmed six thousand years ago by the “savior” of their race, Landru. The people are glassy eyed and speaking in a strange, stylized sort of language, with no autonomy or independent thought.

However, it is in “Taste of Armageddon” that the real face of cultural coercion can be seen – for two planets fighting a mechanized, computer-calculated war, their cultures have become so tightly controlled that otherwise sane, rational people – people who talk normally and even persuasively about their “system” are so under the influence of their leaders that they will “willingly” step into vaporization booths, rather than face the indoctrinated phobia of what might happen to their world if they do not comply.

Using these two episodes as a starting point, Spike and Pearse discuss what mind control is, what it isn’t, and how our popular culture informs our opinions on this highly complex subject.

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Open Minds On Air episode 7 Communication or Miscommunication?

This month, Christian Szurko of the Dialog Centre returns, joining Jon and Pearse in this informative, witty, and often hilarious discussion. They start with the idea of how communication is used – or, rather, misused – as a means of control in recruitment and indoctrination, and the impact this has in the recovery of those leaving authoritarian relationships. They move on to explore how the misuse of communication plays out in groups such as cults and gangs, as well as in everyday relationships. They also take a hard look at how our education system can act as the foundation for this type of control, and discuss how redefining words and phrases has long been used by authoritarian groups to exert control.

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Open Minds On Air episode 5 Brainwashing and Cult Apologists

From OpenMindsFoundation.org

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!

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Show Notes:

The Brainwashing Myth

Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple

Understanding Jonestown and Peoples Temple

Jim Jones’ Tenured Apologist

Jonestown Apologists Alert

Open Minds On Air Episode 4 – Christian Szurko on Radicalization

Christian Szurko of the Dialog Centre joins us once again for a discussion about radicalization. We start off by talking about Jon’s recent trips to Lisbon and Rotterdam for a series of conferences hosted by the Radicalization Awareness Network. We discuss the growing problems of radicalization, looking at groups such as the far-right and gangs. We touch on the public’s reluctance to engage with radicalized individuals, and the false concept that they are “too far gone.” We round out the conversation by discussing how conspiracy theories play a central role in the radicalization process.

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Show Notes:

Open Minds

Dialog Centre

Open Minds

Open Minds On Air episode 1 What is the Open Minds Foundation?

From Open Minds:

We are delighted to announce the first episode of Open Minds On Air. This is the official podcast of the Open Minds Foundation, hosted by Pearse Redmond, Jon Atack, and Yuval Laor.

In this episode, we introduce ourselves and give a little background on what the Open Minds Foundation is working on. We discuss the ever-present threat of the human predator, and how they infect our lives. Also, Jon and Yuval explain the methods and techniques of human predators. They talk about the tactics that these predators employ to gain control over an individual or group. We end the conversation by talking about ways individuals can combat this behavior.

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Show Notes:

Human Predator

Recruitment Seduction

Healthy Skepticism

Blink. Think. Choice. Voice.

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