In Communism, frames of reference for understanding the world are broken down so that the person’s sense of reality is changed and he or she has no way of defending himself against new ideas or concepts.
This gives the leader strict control over the person’s environment.
Public confessions are frequently used and are a very powerful method of “unfreezing” somebody. Particularly when used in conjunction with humiliation and insults. A person who publicly confesses things that they would not normally admit to, loses his sense of privacy and begins to merge in an unhealthy way with the group, and becomes even more susceptible to other mind control methods. The other important aspect of confession is that any information divulged can and will be used against a member by the leader. Such private information as weaknesses or past sins can be used to humiliate and insult a person so as to break them down incredibly quickly. This can occur even more rapidly in a public forum. The person is left doubting themselves, in a state of emotional turmoil, looking for any way out of the misery they find themselves in. The constant presence of other group members means a lack of privacy. More specifically, it means lack of time to think, ponder and rationalize.
Tell the new members that they are defective in some way, their lives are not working, they’re poor, they’re worthless, useless …Self confidence is undermined and they begin to look to the environment for clues about how to think and act.
Insults and humiliation may also be used at this time to abort the critical thinking if a person questions or criticizes the doctrine.
Repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, is very important in indoctrination. It’s the same message over and over and over again. In some groups they may sound like different stories, different teachings, but it’s always the same basic idea. The leaders are basically ‘one trick ponies’.
The old values, old ideas, old beliefs, are criticized and blamed for life’s problems, but now new solutions are offered. The message is: Accept the new ideas, take on the new beliefs and values and everything will be okay. It will all work out the way you want.
People who continue to question or doubt or criticize are dealt with severely. They may be thrown out of the group straight away. They may be isolated (and indoctrinated individually) so they have no impact on other new members, or they are made an example of, such that other members don’t dare to speak out against the fidels.
Sometimes they’re treated so harshly, that they just leave of their own accord. Of course, the leader’s explanation is that these people are not ready to do the work, they are not evolved or spiritual enough, or they are stupid or mentally ill, behaving like worms.
This mind control method has the added bonus (for the leader!) that the members who do stay and tolerate the abuse, think that they are ready or evolved or spiritual or intelligent, the chosen, the vanguard, etc.
At every stage emotional manipulation is used extensively. When people are experiencing very strong emotions their ability to think critically is almost zero so that the leader can generate misery and tears in the group and later a sense of euphoria, the members believe they are doing profound changes in Humanity works.
Social pressure is also used extensively.
Peer pressure in such environments works this way:
If you say it in front of others you will do it.
Having done it, you will think it.
Having thought it (in an environment you do not think is coercive), you will believe that you thought of it yourself.
And when we think we have decided things for ourselves, the decision is stronger and the effects last longer!
So that he new pseudo-identity is forming. More and more it represses and dominates the pre-cult identity. It never fully destroys the pre-cult identity, and very often the conflicts and contradictions in the member are due to an ongoing struggle between the two identities.