Writing things down happens on two levels: external storage and encoding. External storage is easy to explain: you’re storing the information contained in your goal in a location (e.g. a piece of paper) that is very easy to access and review at any time. You could post that paper in your office, on your refrigerator, etc. It doesn’t take a neuroscientist to know you will remember something much better if you’re staring at a visual cue (aka reminder) every single day.But there’s another deeper phenomenon happening: encoding. Encoding is the biological process by which the things we perceive travel to our brain’s hippocampus where they’re analyzed. From there, decisions are made about what gets stored in our long-term memory and, in turn, what gets discarded. Writing improves that encoding process. In other words, when you write it down it has a much greater chance of being remembered.
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Sunday, November 25, 2018
Herbert Armstrong's Mind Conditioning Technique That Roped In the People
Today, I want to write a short bit into the Methodology that Herbert Armstrong used to brainwash - yes, brainwash - those who subscribed to the Ambassador College Correspondence Course into the way he was thinking. This will help for you to see how he did what he did, and how he conditioned the mind to accept his theology.
The text below is from the Ambassador College Correspondence Course, lesson 2, from 1955. Let's take a look.
Rewriting The Mind
Perhaps the most important thing that Herbert used was mind conditioning. He did this by causing you to rewire the mind to focus only on what he wanted you to focus on. By using specific, cherry-picked scriptures without context or background, he would ingrain the particular scripture he wanted you to look at into your mind. He would have you focus only on those particular scriptures - to read them, to re-read them, again, and again. This technique literally "burns" the scriptures that Herbert deemed important into your mind.
Herbert admits that this technique is "intended to show you where to look" - to "help" you to "know" how to study the Bible. This focus on particular scriptures - called "cherry picking" - is used to bolster his way of belief and to support his doctrines. Notice that there is little in the way, if any, context whatsoever to the scriptures. Take a scripture, explain it the way you see it, and then have the individual re-read it, and re-read it over and over again, and then - importantly - writing it down.
The principle here is to literally rewire your brain to accept the conclusions that Herbert Armstrong came to, by focusing on individual scriptures and not the context of the scripture, the chapter, the book, the timing, or anything at all. This, again is "mind conditioning", used to distort and change the true meaning of the scriptures which can be only understood by proper context and understanding of the entire message written.
Writing It Down
Herbert said the writing is "EXTREMELY NECESSARY". This is also why note-taking in church services was emphasized so greatly. When you hear or read - AND you write - it ingrains it into your brain.
From an article at Forbes.com, it says this:
This technique was understood by Herbert as an advertiser. He knew that when we write it down it "encodes" into our long-term memory. From day one, from the Correspondence Courses to sermons - what would we write down? Individual scriptures - and sometimes, the pastor's explanation. This method of brain-washing, or mind-conditioning, caused us, in combination with other tactics, to accept one scripture and one explanation over context and correct biblical literacy.
Half an Hour a Day
Herbert understood it wasn't just writing a scripture down and the explanation and stopping - he made sure it GOT INTO YOUR HEAD, by causing you to study his chosen scriptures with his personal explanation - and reread it - and write it - at LEAST half an hour a day. This combination of encoding and time will rewrite anyone's mind if they are open to it. And anyone who listened to Herbert Armstrong was well aware he was using the power of his authoritative voice to believe what he was saying. The more you read, wrote, and read and wrote again, the more you began to accept his beliefs as true beliefs. Again, completely ignoring other scriptures and context.
Emphasis on Large-Type Words
Have you ever wondered why in the world Herbert Armstrong always typed in Large Type words? He was using advertising techniques. On this vein, check out the 20 most effective words in sales and see how Herbert implemented some of these. Read this article on creative print advertising to see techniques Herbert used as well.
Yet Herbert admits here - in plain language - exactly why he uses bold, capital letters in his material, such as the Ambassador College Correspondence Course. HE says "pay no attention to the small type", but read the large type words. This is the method to read all of his literature to get to the core of what Herbert wanted you to get in your head - all of the Co-Worker letters, the Personals, the Pastor Generals - all of it - ignore the small type and read the large type to get what he wanted into your head. This is how he subliminally got to people, using the power of printed text. This was another aspect of mind conditioning he used to brainwash his people. This is how I have come to see exactly how Herbert was thinking, and coming to conclusions about his entire empire and mindset while reading his material. He knew exactly what he was doing. He also knew you'd forget in time this technique, but it would be in your head subconsciously. In short, he was training you how to read his material the way he wanted you to to get the results he wanted.
Other certain splinter leaders continue to use this technique to brain-wash their followers as well.
What was not used in this method? Context and Questions. This was classic: Here's a scripture. This is what the scripture says. Write it down. This is what it means. Next scripture. Rinse, and repeat. This was how they "proved" their doctrines. This is how they "proved" their understandings. People bought this for one reason: They were subliminally conditioned.
I will write next time about the methodology he used as to "where to start" reading the Bible, and why he chose that particular method. It has to do with one word: Fear.