Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Religious fundamentalism could soon be treated as mental illness

Kathleen Taylor, a neurologist at Oxford University, said that recent developments suggest that we will soon be able to treat religious fundamentalism and other forms of ideological beliefs potentially harmful to society as a form of mental illness.



Kathleen Taylor. Image: (Youtube)

She made the assertion during a talk at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales on Wednesday. She said that radicalizing ideologies may soon be viewed not as being of personal choice or free will but as a category of mental disorder. She said new developments in neuroscience could make it possible to consider extremists as people with mental illness rather than criminals.


She told The Times of London: "One of the surprises may be to see people with certain beliefs as people who can be treated. Someone who has for example become radicalized to a cult ideology -- we might stop seeing that as a personal choice that they have chosen as a result of pure free will and may start treating it as some kind of mental disturbance."
Taylor admits that the scope of what could end up being labelled "fundamentalist" is expansive. She continued: "I am not just talking about the obvious candidates like radical Islam or some of the more extreme cults. I am talking about things like the belief that it is OK to beat your children. These beliefs are very harmful but are not normally categorized as mental illness. In many ways that could be a very positive thing because there are no doubt beliefs in our society that do a heck of a lot of damage, that really do a lot of harm."
The Huffington Post reports Taylor warns about the moral-ethical complications that could arise.
In her book "The Brain Supremacy," she writes of the need "to be careful when it comes to developing technologies which can slip through the skull to directly manipulate the brain. They cannot be morally neutral, these world-shaping tools; when the aspect of the world in question is a human being, morality inevitably rears its hydra heads. Technologies which profoundly change our relationship with the world around us cannot simply be tools, to be used for good or evil, if they alter our basic perception of what good and evil are."
[In related news: Atheism a 'suicide risk,' US Marine Corps warns]
The moral-ethical dimension arises from the predictable tendency when acting on the problem, armed with a new technology, to apply to the label "fundamentalist" only to our ideological opponents, while failing to perceive the "fundamentalism" in ourselves.
From the perspective of the Western mind, for instance, the tendency to equate "fundamentalism" exclusively with radical Islamism is too tempting. But how much less "fundamentalist" than an Osama bin Laden is a nation of capitalist ideologues carpet bombing civilian urban areas in Laos, Cambodia and North Korea?
The jihadist's obsession with defending his Islamic ideological world view which leads him to perpetrate and justify such barbaric acts as the Woolwich murder are of the same nature as the evangelical obsession with spreading the pseudo-religious ideology of capitalism which led to such horrendous crimes as the murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians in four years of carpet bombing operations by the Nixon administration caught in a vice grip of anti-communist paranoia.
The power to control the mind will tend too readily to be used as weapon against our jihadist enemies while justifying the equally irrational and murderously harmful actions we term innocously "foreign policy."
Some analysts are thus convinced that neuroscientists will be adopting a parochial and therefore ultimately counterproductive approach if they insist on identifying particular belief systems characteristic of ideological opponents as the primary subject for therapeutic manipulation.
On a much larger and potentially more fruitful scale is the recognition that the entire domain of religious beliefs, political convictions, patriotic nationalist fervor are in themselves powerful platforms for nurturing "Us vs Them" paranoid delusional fantasies which work out destructively in a 9/11 attack or a Hiroshima/Nagasaki orgy of mass destruction.
What we perceive from our perspective as our legitimate self-defensive reaction to the psychosis of the enemy, is from the perspective of the same enemy our equally malignant psychotic self-obsession.
The Huffington Post reports that this is not the first time Taylor has written a book about extremism and fundamentalism. In 2006, she wrote a book about mind control titled "Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control," in which she examined the techniques that cultic groups use to influence victims.
She said: "We all change our beliefs of course. We all persuade each other to do things; we all watch advertising; we all get educated and experience [religions.] Brainwashing, if you like, is the extreme end of that; it's the coercive, forceful, psychological torture type."


She notes correctly that "brainwashing" which embraces all the subtle and not-so-subtle ways "we make people think things that might not be good for them, that they might not otherwise have chosen to think," is a much more pervasive social phenomenon than we are willing to recognize. As social animals we are all victims of culturally induced brainwashing whose effectiveness correlates with our inability to think outside the box of our given acculturation.




38 comments:

  1. Total NONSENSE!!!

    Brainwashing does not ONLY come from EXTREME Treatment. Of course not!
    This would be a False assertion.

    Brainwashing MORE Commonly comes from very slow, subtle cooking of the non-critical minds (teen-agers, young adults), as if they were Cold-Blooded Frogs, totally clueless, as they are being cooked to their (mental) death . . . without any cognition.

    Unfortunately, there are so many households where the Brain-Washed who did not benefit from meaningful time spent at the dinner table, with their responsible parents . . . teaching their children about LOGIC (versus how Lib-Tards seek to suck you into illogical conclusions; Conclusions that are not fact-based; not supportable; however, QUITE Emotional. Their parents did not teach them how to recognize a lib-tard that spews NONSENSE (no logic / no basis in reality) . . . IMMEDIATELY . . . and put that Lib-Tard’s NONSENSE to rest.

    And then the PROOF: is when that Lib-Tard cannot support their arguments logically (no Basis in Reality), and then that recalcitrant Lib-Tard . . . with Zero ammo to support his/her assertions (Log-i-cal-ly), calls your child either “Racist” and/or a “Bigot.” DONE.

    Lib-Tard-Nation will LANGUISH . . . ONLY WHEN . . . Parents teach their Children at the Dinner Table (and NOT rely on Teachers to Teach . . . Common Sense).

    Parents of Logic: RISE UP . . . to Your Responsibility (and help those Parents who are CLUE-LESS . . . to do the Same.

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    1. Stopped reading as soon as I came across the term "Lib-Tard". No one will take you seriously with that, no matter how hard you try to couch it in academic jargon.

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    2. You use of Lib-Tard shows you to be brainwashed, how ironic.

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    3. you lost all credibility using the word libtard. Shows how politically brainwashed you are.

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    4. Libtard huh? Sounds like you've been brainwashed yourself to devalue humans who hold a different political view. Good luck angry human...you'll need it.

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    5. Libtard huh? Sounds like you've been brainwashed yourself to devalue humans who hold a different political view. Good luck angry human...you'll need it.

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    6. Do you seriously think what you wrote is logical and factual, rather than pretentious, bizarre, and stylistically nauseating?

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    7. What else would you have him call it? Leftism? Same thing. One's a pejorative term. Libtardism is a thing though. It most definitely is a thing. Just forgive its rough colloquialisms.

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    8. Unfortunately, there are many people who follow particular beliefs without fully understanding them. It was only when I began to dissect my own behavior and thinking that I was able to arrive at what is really me and what I really think.
      I believe that it is true that the Democrats, Liberals, Socialist, and Progressives are accepting a lot of untrue information, which is causing them to act out in mob behavior. But, now that George Soros isn’t funding them, the paid protest will diminish!

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    9. Amazing when people consider the source of most religious nonsense comes from the torahs exodus. Pharoh did not have jewish slaves making your religion a deceivers or devils cult. Their behavior points to demonic in nature. This includes the religious jew, christian of all bents, as well as islam. They are all sourced from the same lies of the torah.

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    10. Wow. Here, I was just about to agree with you until you started shitting on liberals.

      It’s not that we “libtards” can’t prove our point. There are plenty of us who have quite a strong grasp of logic. I didn’t get my PhD in Mathematics without a strong grasp of logic.

      It’s that people like you just don’t want to fucking listen. I see so many conservatives who just flat out shut down the conversation when a liberal brings up a valid point.

      Don’t blame us for you not wanting to fucking listen.

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    11. I'm always fascinated by the word 'lib-tard'. Surely you didn't invent it on your own, it's been around too long and it seems like the kind of word a small child might come up with 'Look mommy, I combined liberal and retarded.' I mean it's not even a pun or a hominem or anything. Consider 'Libertardian' in contrast. It's a homonym, an ad hominem, and a tautology. VASTLY more clever but do you use it? No. You just scream a word that makes you sound dumber and less creative than a 2nd grader. Then you expect people to take you seriously? Grow up.

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    12. Seeing these replies to your comment is fantastic. Congratulations on showing everyone who comes here what a textbook example of a brainwashed person looks like.

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    13. Sorry, you lost my attention and, I hope, that of others as well when you started name-calling. At that point you lost all credibility.

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  2. NOT TRUE!

    We do not ALL . . . Change our Beliefs! (Such a statement makes YOU (Kathleen Taylor) Lose ALL... CREDIBILITY.

    Just because YOU, Kathleen Taylor BELIEVE this, . . . Does NOT make Your (silly) Assertions . . . TRUE, you (silly) BAFFOON!

    Your ABSOLUTE Assertions render you FOOLISH.

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    Replies
    1. Really, you don't ever change your beliefs? I'm a bit skeptical. If you are religious I doubt you were born believing in God. If you believed in Santa Claus and now don't you have changed your beliefs. It is sad how resistant most are to learning and changing beliefs as we get older but it happens to some degree to all of us.

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    2. wow!!! im guessing youre a fundy then huh? your inappropriate use of grammar would suggest so. ie: over usage of capitals,poor usage of bracketing and you inability to spell the word buffoon , all show just HOW (FUCKING) .....stupid (YOU) are

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  3. Many wicked man hating witches posing as religious people use religion for their power of casting spells and curses, so these recent developments will have a lot of angry resentful witches in denial for revealing how their spells and curses work. This is a big step at bringing peace and unity amongst humans. The psychosis of using manipulative religious though control through false god worshiping indoctrination and dogma, is used as witchcraft, by witches and their minions, to attempt to punish and control men and to control children's natural sexual curiosity, as well as their future sexual functionality. The lying witches can pose as Christians as well as Jewesses, Atheists and Muslims, performing unnecessary circumcision as a curse on them as healthy infants and children, girls and boys, sexually assaulting, traumatizing, and damaging their undeveloped brains and undeveloped exterior reproductive organs. This causes the children to grow up to develop mass paranoid delusional thought processes with superiority complexes, greed, angry apathetic rages, which have turned into the ugliness of ISIS, and US Christian politics.

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    1. Belief in curses and magic and witchcraft... you are a perfect example of what this article is about.

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    2. I never said magic. You are just unaware that witchcraft is a religious belief system. You have no education in the use of lies, poisons, and sacrifices as curses and spells for manipulating reactions, so you are in denial and think it's all just mythology, so you can be under a spell and not even know it. I don't "believe" , as in have faith in witchcraft, but I do recognize all these false god worshiping religions as sub cults of witchcraft.

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    5. The witches of the Patriarchy. I suppose this is why we have to keep women down, so they can't control us with their evil vaginas. *sighs*

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  4. I agree being born & being raised in a cult/
    radical religious environment is brainwashing and abusive. Survivors can suffer from PTSD, Eating Disorders, Emotional/Physical Disorders and much more. All of these are considered Mental Health Issues. However, who gets to decide what is radical/extremism?

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  6. Liberalism is a Cult,Quick treat this Pseudo Science emotionally Ill woman

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, there are many people who follow particular beliefs without fully understanding them. It was only when I began to dissect my own behavior and thinking that I was able to arrive at what is really me and what I really think.
      I believe that it is true that the Democrats, Liberals, Socialist, and Progressives are accepting a lot of untrue information, which is causing them to act out in mob behavior. But, now that George Soros isn’t funding them, the paid protest will diminish!

      Delete
  7. Liberalism is a Cult,Quick treat this Pseudo Science emotionally Ill woman

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  8. I thought there was a certain level of legitimacy in the thoughts expressed in this article. I was raised in a deeply Catholic home but in my adult years recognized many of the societal positions espoused by Catholicism were extremely harmful to women. They also forced a regimentalization in its world view.

    Then I read the comments!!!!

    Oh my word. I never saw such a poorly informed, brainwashed individual blather on as he did without so much as a glance in the mirror he attempted to hold up to everyone else.

    Brainwashing closes minds. Fundamentalism closes minds. When you accompany those things with power and money, and/or a communication tool such as the internet ... well it's obvious! So very sad!

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  9. Nixon bombed North Korea? And I thought I knew history. Silly me.

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  10. The article is really about political fundamentalism, not religious. Political fundamentalism was "treated" in the Soviet Union and Maoist China. The author, who is clearly opposed to conservative politics and in favor of progressive politics, shown among other instances by her referencing "paranoia" about aggressive communist intentions, failed to mention that. Perhaps because in these extreme progressive cultures they tortured people who disagreed with them. Makes it hard to paint "fundamentalists" as all being conservative if you include the whole picture, including closed minds and hateful behavior all around. Of course the one-sided view of fundamentalism is an example of what she is referencing, and her blindness to her own bias is delicious irony.

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  11. Its a battle here of world views. There are many (most) people of faith who are not "mentally ill" and are quite logical and healthy, but in this article, I see that because they believe in "things unseen and things hoped for" they could be labeled as crazys. The old slippery slope. This author is coming from a world view that to me seems illogical because it doesn't rightly understand human nature. One could say I was brainwashed, growing up in a Christian home, but I've had plenty of time and freedom to assess that faith and come to my own conclusions. I landed not far from where I came from. IF you are a so called fundamentalist does that imply that there is a harmful dark side to your beliefs or does it , as in my case, mean that you still truly believe in what we would say are the fundamental beliefs of our faith. I know the term itself is problematic. There would be millions of people in the US who would need to be locked up if we lump anyone with a "religious belief" into the mental illness camp. There are millions who function quite nicely, are not harming anyone, and are not extremist in their political beliefs. (They may be conservative but since when is that a crime.)

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  13. It seems to me that when a belief system encourages hatred, promotes control over others, disparages anything unusual, new or creative, insists upon the total acceptance of its tenets by everyone, then it is clear that this belief system is a serious threat to society at large, whether it is conservative, liberal, fundamentalism, or any cult or religion.

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  14. I think that many religious leaders are primarily concerned with power of the few over the many. Religious leaders often display characteristics common among sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists, and a host of personality disorders which, are all psychological disorders. Often times these religious leaders are dangerous criminals who are routinely convicted of horrible crimes against children. When the followers of a religion allow acts like these, committed by their leaders, to go unpunished, in my opinion, amounts to Stockholm Syndrome (siding with your captors) another psychological disorder. The fact that believing in things that could not have possibly happened is a sign of delusional behavior. Hearing the voice of god and speaking in tongues resembles schizophrenia. However, I would disagree with the author when she uses capitalism as a catalyst for evil. Capitalism is just the way we structure our government. Both Capitalist and Communist governments have committed unspeakable acts. Both political party's in our capitalist system are corrupt and so is the one party in Communist China. It isn't the structure of government that causes horrible things to happen, its religious leaders infiltrating politics of both sides of the political spectrum and systems of government, that do. I believe religion is often times associated with psychological disorders but, I also know of many religious people who seem to be sane. I believe the leaders of religion are to blame for some pretty malevolent acts and I consider them predators. The people who follow no matter what, I see as victims who end up enabling the criminal acts through cognitive dissonance as a method of justification because social forces deny their ability to leave the organization.

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  15. Frank Berardi. I believe you wrote an extremely insightful post about the issue. I hope many people read it and fully understand it because I think you have described the problem of religious leaders who are into power and control, rather than following the tenets of their faith.

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