Recently Hillary Clinton called for the “deprogramming” of Donald Trump’s supporters within the Republican Party, even going so far as to compare them to members of a cult.
Such calls for deprogramming echo the remarks of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who, in the aftermath of the January 6 Capitol Riot, called for the funding of a government-run Ministry of Truth, which she claimed would rein in misinformation by Trump’s supporters, who she also labeled as white supremacists and conspiracy theorists. AOC also said that such deprogramming is similar to therapy.
What exactly is deprogramming? It is a method of dissuading someone from “strongly held convictions”. It involves changing the individual’s beliefs and results in that individual severing ties with the group in question (as well as the set of beliefs the group abides by).
There are five stages in the process of deprogramming an individual or individuals, which are as follows:
- Discrediting the authority of the group in question
- Presenting contradictions, i.e. comparing the group’s ideology with reality
- The breaking point, at which the individual begins to accept the views of the deprogrammer and begins to doubt the group’s ideology
- Self-expression, in which the individual begins to develop criticisms and complaints about the group which he or she was a member of
- Identification and transference, in which the individual identifies with the deprogrammer, leading to the individual becoming an adversary of the group
It is unclear if this is the type of deprogramming that Hillary Clinton or AOC have in mind. But the fact that they have advocated this radical method is frightening, especially since they want to impose it on millions of Americans whose views they do not share.
Obviously, such advocacy for deprogramming poses the following questions:
- How exactly would such deprogramming be carried out? Would it involve people being forced to undergo the process via coercion or being arrested if they refuse to go along?
- Would such deprogramming be conducted by mental health experts?
- What types of methods would be used to deprogram someone (i.e. physical cruelty, brainwashing)?
- How many people would need to be reprogrammed?
- Would deprogramming actually be beneficial, or would it do more harm than good?
Although deprogramming is supposed to be a reversal of brainwashing, the advocacy of deprogramming echoes the brainwashing tactics of Nazi Germany (whom Hillary Clinton and AOC compare their political opponents to) and Communist China (whom they admire). It would also be similar to the liberal indoctrination being imposed within academia.
Thus, the idea of deprogramming that Hillary Clinton and AOC are advocating is dangerous and should be defeated.