The solution to anger and violent impulses isn't to indulge in them like a guilty-pleasure chocolate bar: it's to calm the hell down by watching ASMR videos or listening to that one CD of ocean sounds you got for Christmas for some reason. So if you're one of those internet people asking, seriously or otherwise, whether we should make the Purge a reality: No. Duh.
Brainwashing Is A Cold War-Era Myth
"Brainwashing" can mean a lot of things these days, so let's be clear: We're not talking about propaganda, manipulation, indoctrinating children, or buying Apple products. By brainwashing, we mean actively converting someone's mind against their will to hold beliefs or act in ways which are contrary to their starting principles, essentially overwriting their personality. You see it in films such as The Manchurian Candidate, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Captain America: Civil War, because we definitely needed two whole films centered around Cap's sidekick going evil.
At this point, the restraints technically count as his superhero costume.
Brainwashing first entered American consciousness as we began to be concerned about communism. Why would American POWs collaborate with the enemy and make false confessions? The Reds must have some secret technique capable of forcibly converting them! It was horrifying and inhuman ... and naturally, the CIA decided to get in on this action with the MKUltra mind control project (and its lesser known, sex-obsessed cousin). When the Unification Church became a thing in America, parents believed their children joined because they were brainwashed, and paid lots of money to have them be "deprogrammed." This hysteria eventually subsided, but the idea of brainwashing stuck around -- it's still a common trope in everything from comics to games to cartoons to pro wrestling.
CBS Television Distribution
Examples in increasing order of ridiculousness.
Sure, it is possible to persuade some people to do something through extreme peer pressure and such, but somehow we don't think the CIA was worried about Americans being told that all the cool kids were trying communism. The truth is that brainwashing as we understand it doesn't exist. Like most endeavors that involve buying a shitload of drugs, the CIA ended up declaring MKUltra a failure -- the very head of the project eventually declared it useless. It turns out that all those Commie-captured POWs we were worried about were just the victims of traditional techniques, and, once free, stayed "converted" for about as long as the McRib's annual appearance in America.
The American Psychological Association later reached the same conclusion about the Unification Church and other such movements: they aren't capable of brainwashing people, which probably explains why there's not many of them. Coercing them, maybe, but that's different. The church's persuasive powers were about on the level of multilevel marketing or dancing street gangs.
"We're a-singing and a-dancing and a-prancing because of PEER PRESSURE!"
Nimby Smith has some scripts available, including a mystery with no untraceable poisons, if any fancy Hollywood agents are interested. And even if they aren't yet. Just in case, some contact information: nimby dot writer at gmail dot com.
Since there's no magic pill for improving your mind, try some fun brain exercise games instead, featuring Despicable Me!
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Also check out 5 Ways Movies Say You Can Die (That Science Says Are Wrong) and 5 'Scientific' Movies That Actively Hate Science.
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