Ideological totalism: "Isn’t this just like brainwashing?"
"Where totalism exists, a religion, a political movement, or even a scientific organization becomes little more than an exclusive cult," Dr. Robert Jay Lifton writes. A discussion of what is most central in the thought reform environment can thus lead us to a more general consideration of the psychology of human zealotry. For in identifying, on the basis of this study of thought reform, features common to all expressions of ideological totalism, I wish to suggest a set of criteria against which any environment may be judged — a basis for answering the ever-recurring question: “Isn’t this just like ‘brainwashing‘?”
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