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Why does it seem that some people are harder to brainwash than others?

Even as a small child, when I went to Church none of it felt right. I can also remember there was a part of me that used to want to feel that so called presence of God, but never could. I used to always think something was wrong with me because my sister love to death out of Church and when I once pointed out something on the Bible and how it didn’t make any sense, she just defended it by coming up with a lame excuse. My mom and her both can’t go one day without making a post about God and how good he is. My dad on the other hand has never really been religious or barely attended Church. There’s also very few times I will see him pray over his meals. The only time I will see him pray over meals is when my mom and sister are around and we are all eating together on a special occasion. By the way, I was always mortified by Church! It was boring, it made no sense and the praise music was enough to drive me stupid!

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Some people are meant to be shepherds and some are meant to be sheep. Excuse me I meant leaders and followers..
My friend says she's my minion and I am her Mad scientist!

Teresa Level 6 Dec 29, 2017

I have been thinking about that for a long time and it all became easier to comprehend after I had read ‘Thinking fast and slow’ by Daniel Kahneman. As most psychologist would agree cognitive processes in a human brain can be divided into two systems: System 1 and System 2. System 1 produces the fast, intuitive reactions, and instantaneous decisions. System 2 is the deliberate type of thinking involved in focus, deliberation, reasoning, or analysis. It takes A LOT of effort for us to use System 2 for extended periods of time - it is simply tiring. Rational thinking comes easier to some (probably due to a mixture between nature and nurture), which makes them more difficult to brainwash. Moreover, System 2 can be divided into two sub-parts: first, responsible for calculations etc., and second, responsible for reasoning - which would explain why we encounter quite a lot of smart people, who are good at maths or science, but are still religious (as those sub-parts are not linked). Do not quote me on that though, since I am not a psychologist.


I believe psychologists have an answer to it. Suggestibility of a person has something to do with this.

Srijith Level 7 Dec 29, 2017

They have stronger personalities-harder to turn.


I don't know the answer to your question. Maybe some brains are dirtier than others smile001.gif

I found church boring, too. But at least the Anglican church has proper music.

Coffeo Level 7 Dec 31, 2017

the lesser brain is easier to control.


Omg! I went shopping with my religious aunt and uncle today... They chose a far away Wal-Mart to go to. On the way back, my uncle purposely put crappy Christian jesus loves you shit music, on. It took 20 min to get home, 4 songs of torture. I booked it out of the car, took my stuff in and blasted Eminem's new CD. F that!

Ugh don’t even get me started on Jesus music! It’s pure Hell!



It is easier if you offer people something they want, and even easier if they are lazy thinkers or don't 'liek to think for themselves at all.

snytiger6 Level 9 Dec 29, 2017

For as long as I can remember, I always tried to figure things out. I was one of those kids that always asked why, and how come and explain this. I never just accepted anything that I could not figure out myself. I analyzed everything. People like that that are not easy to brainwash.

noworry28 Level 7 Dec 29, 2017

I really never took anything spiritual seriously. God seemed more fantastic than real. Reality has for me always been tangible. God was at best a deduction. So far beyond any connection to my experience that it just wasn’t relavent.


You are well ahead of many of us, I was a lame late bloomer, I believed up til my mid 30s... I know!

TonesX Level 5 Dec 29, 2017

Same here. But as they say better late than never.

@Srijith im 48yo and been an atheist for about 14 years.
How about you?


I think about this question a lot. I always wondered why I never felt the spirit, or heard god "talk" to me like the people around me did. I have a brother who is a couple of years younger than me. We were brought up the same, but went our different directions. He is one of the smartest people I know. When he is presented with a puzzle or problem, he has to solve it. I have a lot of admiration for him. What drives me crazy about him is he is very religious, just like our parents. He seems to never question it.
I also have a sister who is 10 years younger than me. She and I are both atheists. We got there through our own separate searches for truth, but we ended up at the same place. I personally tried for way too long to find god in my own way. It was pretty obvious that the Bible wasn't the way for me, but I thought maybe god was there somewhere. Some of us just are wired differently. Some can compartmentalize the things we see versus the things we've been taught, and some of us just can't.


I believe it's because some people don't have the emotional strength or intellectual honesty to rely on themselves.

KKGator Level 9 Jan 6, 2018

Critical thinking skills, starting with the willingness to discard ideas that don't seem to make sense.


Depends on how susceptible to manipulation they are, the educated and free thinkers are generally less vulnerable.

Emile Level 5 Jan 3, 2018

My mind is so filthy that it takes a lot more work to wash my brain. smile009.gif

I'm really not sure. Some people seem more susceptible to emotional pleas, I think, which may explain some of it. I remember when I was very young (maybe four or five years old) my mother took me to church but it wasn't like a normal Catholic service. It was adoration, without the Mass, and there was a monstrance with a large host on display. I whispered my confusion to my mother and she told me to just look at the white wafer and, if I concentrated hard, I would see Jesus. Well, that sounded really cool to me, so I focused like hell hoping to see Jesus. Nothing happened. I often wonder if another person at that age might have been more suggestible and would have imagined seeing Jesus, but I couldn't see anything. I was a rational, serious kid, so there may actually be something to the wiring of our brains affecting how susceptible we are to religiosity.

resserts Level 8 Jan 3, 2018

Higher wisdom scores and a proficiency in complimentary saving throws?


I think it's now ok for you to write god, church and bible with small letters, not capitals. Just saying.


I do think there's a genetic component to strong minded people, but I also think that nature and nurture play huge roles. Those who have learned how to reason, who embrace education, who make it a point to find multiple sources before they react, and who will allow their beliefs to be challenged by evidence tend to be more "immune" to brain washing than those who don't.

Benthoven Level 8 Dec 31, 2017

Lack of the God gene?

Axelsan Level 4 Dec 31, 2017

Fluoridation of the pineal gland. (Sarcasm emoji)

Trapezoid Level 5 Dec 31, 2017

Brainwashed people never know we are brainwashed

McIntyre Level 6 Dec 29, 2017

Believing in god is the only type of brainwashing there is.

Except for most of what's in the news, the school book version of American history, and pretty much everything else.

McIntyre Level 6 Dec 29, 2017

When I attended church as a child the priest used to say some prayers in Latin . The parishioners would just sit there like mindless sheep not even knowing when the heck he was talking about. This is was when I said to myself I have to escape this idiotic brainwashing.

richiegtt Level 7 Dec 29, 2017
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