Indoctrination and cognitive dissonance

Have you ever wondered why it is that people on the left will scream out about a mythical Republican ‘war on women” while supporting people who espouse a belief that makes women chattels in a society that is organized around the subjection of women? Or how people on the left can publicly and loudly defend and applaud someone like Roman Polanski – an admitted and convicted child rapist who fled the USA to avoid prison – while at the same time criticizing, and accusing people they disagree with of the exact same kind of behavior?
Have you ever wondered why those very same people, when confronted with the brazen evidence of their double standard do not cringe away in shame and change their tone?

Welcome to the world of indoctrination and cognitive dissonance.

People who elect to join the left do so for a variety of reasons , most of them laudable. When they join they embark on a journey into a community of belief.

One of the first steps in indoctrination is the introduction of a special vocabulary . The vocabulary consists of coined words – an example would be ‘cis-gender”. Another invented term is “racism”. Then there is the perennial favorite of cults and totalitarian regimes – the redefinition of a common word to another connotation. For example – the word “hate”. Hate used to be a word that was the apex of dislike. If you “hated” someone or something then it was beyond dislike, it was a visceral urge to obliterate the object of the hate. Now it is used to describe disagreement. For example, criticizing Islam gets tagged as “hate speech” no matter the actual choice of words. “Haters gonna hate” becomes a mantra for anything that people feel opposes them or disagrees with their approach to things.
As the journey continues learning the vocabulary and using it becomes more and more important. It is a badge of progress and of acceptance. In academia there are whole classes about subjects like “White privilege” “Patriarchy” “Racism” all of which are part of introducing the vocabulary to new minds.

The tendency is – if you are being taught a new concept or a new way of looking at an issue the introduction of a new word helps categorize things and it slips into usage. Once it has been deposited into the mind it becomes part of the “not needing to be examined” data that we carry around with us.

All of us carry around a lot of concepts, words, beliefs that we long ago stopped examining and that we just accept as “correct”.
Getting involved in a new subject or field of study requires the acquiring of a lot of new data that has to be quickly learned and evaluated. Most of it – because of time pressure, is never evaluated but is merely learned. This is where the trust in the educator needs to be justified – the educator needs to be aware of the responsibility she or he has to give the students time to really evaluate what it is they are learning and not just have them cram it in their minds.

Once the argot or patois (way of talking) has become second nature it becomes almost unassailable because it is now an unexamined fundamental of belief. Let me give an example;
A younger person, fresh out of the Industrial Ideology Mill that passes as higher education in the USA, listens to a speech from, for example, Donald Trump. Before evaluating what Trump is saying that young person is told or reads that Trump is a racist. Having been educated that “racist” is a term for an evil person this automatically throws up a barrier. In the mind of the young person anything Trump says is now blocked by that young person without even realizing she or he is doing that. (Please note here I am not saying Trump is or is not a racist. That is not the point – what I am demonstrating is the result of indoctrination leading to someone unconsciously refusing to evaluate something based on the merits of what is being said.) This technique is not confined to the left, of course, it is used by all cults and cult like organizations.

So how do we combat this? It seems almost unsolvable does it not? If the person will not listen to *anything* how will the truth “set them free?”.

Welcome to cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is the mental discomfort we feel when we have two different beliefs in conflict with each other. We are moved to alleviate the discomfort, to explain it away to ourselves.

A superb example of cognitive dissonance at work is to watch Whoopi Goldberg’s explanation of how come an admitted and convicted child rapist is really not all that bad because he is an icon of the leftist leaning Movie world. His name is Roman Polanski – he is a well known film director who fled overseas to avoid being sent to jail.
Here is the video –

Before you watch please apprise yourself of the facts of the case and then watch Whoopi attempt to reconcile two very basic things that are completely at odds with each other.
The first proposition is; The left states its support for the defense of children and women. Whoopi herself is a supporter of this position.
The second proposition is ; The unequivocal support and applause and defense of convicted child rapist and prominent member of the left movie “community” Roman Polanski.
This is patently almost unresolvable. If one is for protecting children then excusing child rapists is not an expression of that belief. On the other hand condemning someone who has said all the right things would be to concede that what is said is not as important as what is done.

Watch and listen as Whoopi invents a “new” expression to excuse what Polanski did.
How does this help us?

The explanation is something new. Generally not part of the just accepted and fundamental belief that lurks unexamined. It is something that the person has created and it is going to sound somewhat contrived and ridiculous. Engaging them about that can help them see the dichotomy. And it is viewing the dichotomy that is needed. Once someone in a cult or cult like mind set, starts to question the things that have never been questioned, it does start to unravel.

Most cult belief systems are all encompassing – part of their attraction is that they have an “answer for everything” all that is required is wholehearted commitment to the belief/cause/cult and a total willingness, always, to adjust ones own judgement to the needs and demands of the organization. Theminute doubt sets in, the control starts to crumble.

It is not a fast process, it is not an easy route for anyone.


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