What Is Mind Manipulation?
“useless wrangling of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.” (1st Timothy 6:5, NKJV)
Mind Manipulation is the intention of controlling others’ behavior in a way that will persuade them to buy a particular product, alter the way they think, change the way they perform and even influence their style of clothing. Another word that so thoroughly defines mind manipulation is Propaganda; which is the spreading of ideas or information to promote a cause or damage another. “Contrived Propaganda” is the type of propaganda we know as advertisement: informative and manipulative (Philip, 014, pp.1-2). Propaganda is a persuasive technique that entices consumers to purchase, support or reject a product or a person. Propaganda fused with mind manipulation can be detrimental.
There are seducing techniques designed to lure people into believing, buying or spreading what the propagandist or advertiser suggests. Many occults, cults and so call religions use these techniques to control their followers. These techniques are subtle and unrecognizable to people as mind-altering forces. There are countless techniques used to control and manipulate the mind, with many that have common characteristics. Johnson C. Philip (014), a Christian Apologist and a Dean at Indus School of Apologetics and Theology, gives eight categories by which the techniques stem from in his book, Analysis of Propaganda Techniques. Only six of these manipulative propaganda methods use to propagate ideas and control the mind will be discussed in this chapter and the others will be elaborated on in chapter 5.
Since many Christians and people in general have a fear of their names being drug through the mud, most will do almost anything to protect it. For this reason, propagandists implement the “Fear of Bad Name” technique on the unsuspected that cringe at the notion of being associated with anything or any body with a poor reputation. The Fear of Bad Name technique is the use of negative language to arouse fear in their audiences. This powerful technique focuses on words like outdated, narrow-minded and several others that will stigmatize one’s reputation (Philip, 014, pp.2-3). Unfortunately, this technique has been successfully effective among Christians. How many Christians do you know who will not step a single foot in a dilapidated ghetto where a starving family lives to bring them groceries, out of sheer fear that someone from their so called elite society may see them? Or how about the fact that there are members in Christian
churches (mainly those in positions) causing schisms and spiritual-gifted divisions because of there “I’m too holy,” “too gifted,” or “too prosperous” attitudes toward the spiritually immature or laypersons in general. They dare not associate with them outside of ministry with the fear of being considered common, ordinary or just plain human; forgetting this simple truth: “for there is no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11). Quite naturally, there is a flipside to the Fear of Bad Name technique and that is the “Appeal of Good Name” technique.
With the assistance of pleasant words and having, something positive (person, place or product) to be associated with one’s name prompt propagandists and advertisers to appeal to their audiences by leading them to believe that there are benefits attached to what these manipulators are trying to sell. This is a reason why many Christians will hesitate leaving dead, radical or traditional churches, because everyone can identify with the church and something beneficial; like for instance, it may have the largest congregation around or the best singing choir. Words commonly used to induce the desirability of being associated with what advertisers are offering are, progressive, broad-minded, sophisticated and liberal. Also, the Appeal of Good Names technique is used to cover up and/or justify multitude of sins by using words like “sexually active” to replace “ immorality” and “shortcomings” when one neglects his duties (Philip, 014, p.3).
“Appeal to Human Authority” technique in a nutshell denotes that a respected person’s fame or notoriety is transferred to a product or belief to convince their audience
that the respected person supports, endorses or uses a particular product (Philip, 014, pp. 3-4). It is inconceivable for some Christians who think that they have arrived in society to buy off the department store racks, because they have heard that their favorite television evangelists have their suits custom made or their pastors, ministers and/or the church “elites” shop at a particular store, in a particular district, compelling them to shop there too.
“Appeal to Persuasion by Individuals” technique echoes the Appeal to Human Authority technique, except for a testimonial is usually used. People tell convincing stories to how they found a solution to a possible problem. The audience identifies with the individual and suddenly is convinced to buy into what they are selling (Philip, 014, p. 4). As an example, just before offering time during church services, some prosperity preaching ministries will encourage members of the congregation to stand before the church to share their testimonial of good fortune delivered by the hand of God to motivate the congregation to give more.
If you have ever experienced this, were you not motivated to give more, and if you did not have anything to give you felt guilt, shame, or even defeat? Just imagine what the world is doing. It is using convincing individuals to share how much happier, more satisfied or wealthier they have become after they have purchased, used or participated in what they are selling. Note: not all Christian churches that teach prosperity messages have iniquitous intentions when they permit such testimonials, for the Bible declares that we are overcome by the words of our testimony.
However, some ministries prey on Believers in this manner; so beware.
The “Appeal to Tricky Implications” is a technique that takes a true statement and adds false implications, creating half-truths and little white lies. This technique is successfully used to discredit the Bible. Heretics will use a harmless statement that is true and twist it using negative implications and distorted connotations (Philip, 014, pp. 4-5). Other religions are notorious for this technique. Jehovah’s Witnesses, which really should not classify as a religion, but rather a cult, uses Scriptures and false doctrine to create lie-offerings to proselytes.
The next technique tries to pursue its audience to believe that everyone else is doing what they are presenting except you, and that you must jump on the bandwagon. This method called the “Mob-Mentality Trick,” inducing people to buy that, which they do not need, support that which they do not believe and begin doing things they should not do. Many are unable to resist the pressure because of insecurity of not being like everyone else (Philip, 014, p.5).