CT Scan: Critical Thinking Scan
Critical Thinking Scan with Patricia Engler can help you process any faith-challenging message and reach a biblical, logical conclusion yourself.
What is “Brainwashing?”
“Brainwashing” is a highly emotional word that makes for effective propaganda. But what IS brainwashing, anyway? Is it even real? Not everyone thinks so. Originally used to describe communist ‘re-education’ techniques, “brainwashing” can now mean anything from sneaky salesmanship to hypotheticall...
Handout 1 - What is “Brainwashing?”
Teaching vs. “Brainwashing”
What’s the difference between teaching and brainwashing? Do churches “brainwash” kids? To find out, let’s define instruction and indoctrination. Instruction involves sharing observable (or observed) facts, explaining beliefs, and teaching how to reason about whether those beliefs are likely true....
Handout 2 - Teaching vs. “Brainwashing”
Hallmarks of “Brainwashing” Environments
What features do classic brainwashing environments have in common? Robert Lifton, the psychiatrist who first described communist “thought reform” by interviewing prisoners of the Korean War, identified eight brainwashing hallmarks. Let’s take a look, to better recognize potential “thought reform”...
Handout 3 - Hallmarks of “Brainwashing” Environments
Recognizing “Brainwashing” Messages
How can you recognize messages promoted by “brainwashing,” or subversive one-sided indoctrination, in today’s culture? Here are some questions you can ask, based on the 7 Checks of Critical Thinking, to discern instruction versus indoctrination in everyday messages.
Handout 4 - Recognizing “Brainwashing” Messages
Resisting “Brainwashing” Conditions
“Brainwashing,” defined as one-sided indoctrination, can be harder to resist in environments that hamper critical thinking. Classic brainwashing conditions include poor nutrition, isolation, and sleep deprivation, which students may unwittingly experience at university. Here are research-backed t...
Handout 5 - Resisting “Brainwashing” Conditions