Six children and one women sitting in a circle holding hands. There heads were bowed and the women was mumbling softly. The children paid close attention. As I jogged by the group one child looked up at me, almost afraid to be caught, with one eye barely squinting open, and immediately returned to the correct posture.
I slowed my jog to a walk so I could see the events unfold in more detail. In the front yard of the old house there was a small television with cartoon characters in the same posture as the women and children. I noticed that the children’s mouths were mumbling at the same cadence and volume as their teacher’s, but I couldn’t make out the words.
It was a vacation bible school camp. One just like the kind I had attended dozens of times as a child too.
In retrospect I remember all of the things I was taught as a child. How I was taught to think and not think. Not to question, to have faith without evidence, and to obey authority. The cost of disobedience was worse than death. Hell. My parents, grandparents, and the rest of my family enforced these ideas too. I believed it all without question.
When I think of it now this seems so unfair. It is such an obvious process of indoctrination that I can barely believe that such an institution, in its present form, exists at all. The use of authority, media, entertainment, and group-think to ingrain a since of loyalty and respect to an organization and its belief system.
When you think about it, it’s not too different than how any society works. Even here in the land of the free.
“The use of authority, media, entertainment, and group-think to ingrain a since of loyalty and respect to an organization and its belief system.”
Patriotism enforced by a since of community , unlimited hours of (un)reality TV available for consumption, a media network that pumps ideas into the psyche of the public, and a since that we owe it all to those in charge. We hold our leaders up like infallible idols – as long as they belong to the correct political party. A false since of choice.
This form of indoctrination works. It has been and continues to be used. We just can’t recognize it because we are part of the process. But once you recognize that such a thing exists it’s a lot easier to be yourself. Not what they told you to be.