Brainwashing, Jesus … and Fascistic Creep

What better way to brainwash people than to stress them, exhaust them, force them to go without food and sleep? And THEN jump in with your message, the thing you want to force into their unresisting minds, when they’re at their most vulnerable?

I’m describing the brainwashing tactics of Stalin, or Mao Tse Tung, right?

No. I’m talking about U.S. Military chaplains. I’m talking about the brainwashing of U.S. soldiers to become Christians, and Christian evangelists. All of it paid for, by their own proud admission, by our government.

Here’s Maj. Jeff Struecker, Army Ranger School Chaplain in the video linked below:

It puts the student, the Ranger student, in the absolute worst possible condition. Most of ‘em will go a couple of days with no food. Some of ‘em have gone as long as 3 days without any sleep whatsoever.

My goal has been to meet them when they’re at their absolute worst. When they’re coldest, and the most tired, and the most hungry that they’re gonna be. Because the more difficult the circumstances, the more receptive the average person becomes to issues of faith.

Many of them are just confronted with the gospel for the first time with no distraction. And I think that’s part of the reason why a number of them will respond.

Cadence International, a “para-church” military ministry,  talks of its Strategic Ministry:

Shaken people are usually more ready to hear about God than those who are at ease, making them more responsive to the gospel.

Watch this nasty video at This Week in Christian Nationalism : “The Cult Tactics of Military Ministries and Military Chaplains.”

The video ends with this plea: “Please help the Military Religious Freedom Foundation stop the use of our U.S. armed forces as government-paid missionaries.”


  • jonnyscaramanga

    The tactics described here are absolute brainwashing. It’s bypassing rational autonomy to create a decision, and it’s immoral. Perhaps I should know better, but I’m surprised anyone would admit to using these techniques to barefacedly. I guess the chaplain rationalises it by saying that when the mind is weak, he can communicate directly with the soldier’s soul, or similar bollocks.

    You’d think that conversions like this would have a high backsliding rate, once the soldiers get a good night’s sleep and some breakfast. But, as Robert Cialdini argues in “Influence”, humans have a built-in mechanism that very strongly encourages us to behave in ways consistent with our previous actions. That’s why when a politician knocking door-to-dorr strong-arms you into saying you’ll vote for him, the average person is more likely to do so, even if they don’t like the politician.

    So it’s immoral, but it’s probably effective.

    • Hank Fox

      I’m betting a few of these video snippets were caught of someone talking “inside the clubhouse,” thinking that nobody outside the organization was listening.

      Others are just so oblivious to outside values they can’t imagine anyone would object.

  • Crudely Wrott

    For a benchmark useful for judging these tactics, please see The Manchurian Candidate.
    Here is a Wiki linky:

    It’s an ancient technique. Reduce someone to quivering jelly, deprive them of a way out of pain and fear, instill hopelessness on top of physical pain and weakness and then, then! dangle a shiny key in front of their bleary eyes. The Mafia does exactly the same thing.

    Should be punished by ducking stools and pillories and children throwing rotting produce. Oh, and long term incarceration.

  • justsomeguy

    This sounds like a roundabout admission that someone needs to be in a state of mental and physical exhaustion in order for Christianity to make sense.

    It might also explain why poorer people tend to be more religious – while the severity of the stress related to being financially insecure is probably not as great as what’s experienced by a person in boot camp, it’s almost certainly greater in duration. If a person is exhausted after months of working two miserable jobs and still having a hard time keeping themselves fed and the bills paid, they’ll likely be in a similar state as a person who’s gone 72 hours without food or sleep, and more receptive to the same sorts of coercion.

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