Group hypnosis or groupthink manipulation is a set of social programming tactics developed in ancient times. It is still in use today. It’s a tool of propaganda for profit and control. Learn how it affects your life.
The suite of mind control tactics called groupthink manipulation is one of the most potent psychological tools ever developed. These techniques date back to the Babylonian, Assyrian, and Persian empires’ mystery religions. These hypnosis tactics are just as effective today. So are you a victim of programming?
Groupthink Theory & Group Hypnosis
A group setting is an ideal platform used to program an individual’s thoughts and behaviors. This programming can be covert or overt. It uses specific elements of psychological manipulation and peer pressure.
TV preachers are an example of overt manipulation. A preacher will promise supernational intervention in exchange for financial support. Some even flaunt their wealth (1) as a way of showing how easy it is to get wealth. They use emotionally charged language and repeat their request until people respond. It starts a chain reaction; the more people who give, the more will follow along.
Self-hypnosis and group hypnotic tactics are the two components of this strategy. This programming is so powerful it overrides our natural social instincts for ethical behavior. It places the thinking and actions in the hands of those who control the group.
The group leader can shape thinking and actions by linking and triggering emotional reactions to fear or anger. The essence of groupthink theory is manipulating and installing reactive thinking to achieve the desired response. It uses both group and self-hypnosis techniques to gain control.
The pressure to conform and belong to the group often results in irrational or dysfunctional decision-making. It discourages critical thinking while negating the individual’s responsibility for their actions. This type of brainwashing uses systematic psychological tactics. They are so potent that they can incites members to perform acts of violence. One of the main tools of propaganda for profit is censorship.
The general formula of groupthink theory is simple but effective.
- Bring people together into a controlled space. The TV screen is a good substitute.
- Use a sales gimmick to garner attention like prosperity, health, or eternal life.
- Use language which triggers deep emotional reactions like fear or hate.
- Install the desired response
The group leader or speaker then uses peer pressure to solidify the action. The topics that work best are those that drive emotions. Unfortunately, these are often are extremist ideologies. It keeps people from questioning the desired plan or direction of the group.
Once you can get people to believe in mythology, like talking snakes and zombies, then you can get them to think anything.
“You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?” ― Mark Twain
How does Group Hypnosis Work?
These tactics work because people feel “special.” Their acceptance or inclusion gives them a sense of acceptance. So, people take on the values and behaviors of the collective. These characteristics are often different and more extreme than most people in the collective. But they go along with the actions of the group, anyway.
The direction of the target population is in the hands of the person or persons who use propaganda to manipulate. Profit and control are always the hidden agendas behind these tactics.
People feel emotionally charged, stimulated. So, the feelings of stimulation and belonging can be very addicting. These tactics are what we call “group mind” or “the mob effect.”
In the 1800s, French social psychologists identified this social programming technique. Jean-Gabriele de Tarde and Charles-Marie Gustave Le Bon (2) describe it as group mind, herd, or mob behavior. These researchers give us a way of identifying the effects of these types of psychological techniques. They prove that group hypnosis manipulation tactics work well.
When you become a part of a group, the natural tendency to belong blurs your identity. The belief system becomes your identity. The group leader can exploit this vulnerability and insert their agenda as a part of the belief system. You accept it willingly because you have lost your ability to weigh the facts. It gives groupthink its power to motivate using emotionally charged discourse. Fear or anger triggers in the language compel people to act without considering their actions or consequences.
In an emotionally charged crowd, the individual tends to sync with the group. It leads the group to behave in ways the individual would not. So, inclusion in the group is not without a price. And, this is why these group hypnosis tactics are so dangerous for any civilization.
These tactics often use a scapegoat on which to project negative emotions. This focal point gives a charismatic leader an enemy to blame. Adolph Hitler is an example of a leader who was an expert at these tactics. It is the tactic of con-men who hone their craft in public. Religion and politics are the two public spaces where this occurs most often.
Where Do We Find Groupthink Theory Today?
Group hypnosis is the engine that allows groupthink to work. And it’s more common than you realize. This strategy is at work in Western organized religion, politics, and even street gangs. Above all, religion is the biggest enemy of progress. It’s the chosen one mentality and belief in the imaginary being known as God.
We even see celebrations of sports teams that turn into vandalism. The adverse sociological effects of this type of psychological manipulation are undisputed. Once immersed in the emotionally charged environment, it becomes addictive. The results can last long after people leave the group. Thus, providing fuel to individual acts of violence.
“Religious people claim that it’s just the fundamentalists of each religion that cause problems. But there’s got to be something wrong with the religion itself if those who strictly adhere to its most fundamental principles are violent bigots and sexists.” — David G. Mcafee
Religions have used these tactics as propaganda for profit and control. They use it to protect their paradigm up to and including genocide. Christians and Muslims commit genocide against one another. And they do it under the guise of protecting their invisible friend.
These religions have splintered into thousands of separate sects. Each sect believes they alone are “right.” And, because everyone else is wrong, this provides the basis to act, to protect their doctrine. If you are a follower of one of the Abrahamic traditions (3), the following list of tactics should be illuminating.
Avoiding Group Hypnosis
If you find yourself subject to any of the following characteristics, you expose yourself to these tactics. The only way to avoid them is the recognize how this manipulation manifests. Remove yourself from the exposure.
The easiest way is to avoid this kind of manipulation is to avoid the source. The primary sources are the Abrahamic religions. We see this manifest in the violent behaviors of extremists.
Membership in the group makes you unique, a “chosen one.” Membership in the group centers on belief in an imaginary friend. And this membership empowers the group to protect the solidarity of the group’s dogma. Their leaders use this to justify the use of violence to defend these beliefs. Everyone outside the group becomes enemies of the group by default. It provides plenty of adversaries on which to project hatred. Many religions and political movements capitalize on this feature.
Illusions of Invulnerability
Now because you are “chosen,” you must also be invincible. So it inspires members of the group to be overly optimistic. Members engage in risk-taking outside their norms. They are willing to participate in violent acts on behalf of the group in their imaginary friend’s name. Membership resolves people from individual responsibility for their actions while encouraging participation. A charismatic leader will use this element repeatedly.
Unquestionable Beliefs or Creeds
They require members to avoid and ignore any inconsistencies in the group’s dogma. Likewise, they learn to ignore the consequences of individual and group actions. The mandate follows the beliefs and leadership actions without questioning the logical or moral implications. Hence, members are often required to recite dogma, doctrines, or creeds regularly to confirm their assimilation.
The idea behind this type of hypnosis is to integrate the individual’s life as much as possible. Social integration acts just like glue. The tactic is to attach the individual’s personal and business life tied into the group. Integrating into as many aspects as possible cement them into the group. They are far less likely to push the boundaries of the group. Additionally, this makes them a reliable source of cash flow and easily manipulated into other, less socially acceptable behaviors.
Rationalizing Fiction and Bias
Rationalizing actions replaces remorse. It provides logical fallacies as a means of justifying group actions. It effectively prevents members from reconsidering their beliefs and behaviors.
The misuse of logical arguments causes members to disregard warning signs of manipulation. Facts that contradict the group’s dogma are off-limits or reasoned away in some way. The result is the intentional misrepresentation of mythology as fact.
Stereotyping is justification for demonizing individuals that do not support the group goals and values. It provides a scapegoat on which the group’s negative emotions can focus.
Self-censorship keeps people from entertaining thoughts that conflict with the group. New ideas can cause people to doubt the direction of the group. So, self-censorship causes members to hide their concerns. The loss of acceptance in the group has consequences.
Loss of membership means loss of significant social and sometimes also business connections. This fear can extend beyond expulsion and ostracization from the group. It can include violence. Extremists become addicted to the process of being hypnotized. They see the rejection of these tactics as an attack on their imaginary friend. It relates to the chosen one mentality. So, self-censorship of thoughts is paramount. And, they are aware of the Mind-guards that identify problematic members.
A mind guard is someone who acts like a chaperone and censor. It is usually a part of the group leader’s function, but others may also champion this role. These individuals discourage or hide problematic sources and information from members and the group(s). They inform the leadership of trouble-makers who may be questioning the boundaries of thought/belief.
Illusions of Unanimity
Lead members to believe that everyone in the group is in total agreement. Public demonstrations and examples use group hypnosis to align members.
Social Group Psychological Pressure
To ensure compliance with the direction of their leadership, they require members to attend frequent meetings. Here the leader repeats and reinforces the edicts of belief and boundaries. No matter the superficial reason for the meeting, they always circle back to support the underlying themes.
The sect uses a variety of large and small group meetings to expose people to groupthink manipulation tactics. The small group leaders are often also Mind-Guards, and peer pressure to attend and comply is prevalent. Regular attendance creates relationship bonds and reinforces social integration. These bonds are a means of control. These tactics further cement control over the group members.
Propaganda for Profit and Control
The underlying agenda of these tactics is always for profit. The leader of the group always has a plan. They control the group through tactics for a specific purpose, which always leads to profit somehow. Follow the money. If you ask yourself, how does the leader or leadership of the group profit from my actions?
Group Hypnosis is almost invisible in the modern world. It permeates the fabric of so much of the culture that we fail to see it. It becomes a part of the cultural narrative.
Not everyone is willing to acknowledge it, even if they recognize its tactics. Hopefully, more people will see how Western Organized Religion uses these tactics to control and oppress. Even if you still align with the underlying mythologies, you must admit that these brainwashing tactics are part of an unhealthy culture.
The study of logical reasoning can help people overcome Groupthink manipulation programming. Comparative Analysis is a structured platform of comparative religious study, and it will illuminate superstition and mythology.
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(1) Reverand Ike, Wikipedia
(2) Jean-Gabriele de Tarde and Charles-Marie Gustave Le Bon, Wikipedia
(3) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(4) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia