Author Topic: THE STRAIGHT DOPE 03/18/2005  (Read 1138 times)


  • Old Person™
« on: March 18, 2005, 08:05:49 PM »

Dear Cecil:

Is brainwashing possible? How does it work? Does the government really use it? How would I go about brainwashing someone? --JRMecca, via e-mail

Cecil replies:

Let's define our terms. If by brainwashed you mean "presenting a zombie-like appearance and having no interest in normal human contact," all you have to do is sit your subject down with a Game Boy. However, if you're looking for something a little more advanced, e.g., a
preprogrammed assassin as depicted in the 1962 movie and 2004 remake The Manchurian Candidate, that could be a little tougher to deliver on. As with many manifestations of cold-war paranoia,  brainwashing was about 80 percent fantasy and 20 percent fact.

For more, see:

Does anyone else here read The Straight Dope and/or have a favorite for them?

“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."