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News ::
Are you brainwashed?
28 Mar 2002
Know thyself!

By Roland Watson
roland (at)

(This is an excerpt from the Self-Knowledge chapter of the new book, Freedom From Form. Please visit the World Travelers Press link of the website for order information.)

Your culture

- In your national culture, how much control is exercised by social institutions over individual liberties?
- How much are these institutions, particularly the government, involved in your daily life?
- Is this relationship supportive, benign or restrictive?
- What personal freedoms are prohibited? What are you not allowed to do?
- How are the prohibitions enforced?
- To what degree is your nation “developed”?
- What is the normal educational level achieved?
- To what extent have the citizens of your nation traveled within the country, and abroad?

Your parents

- What is your class background?
- How well educated are your parents?
- How much time did they spend raising you, versus working and pursuing personal interests?
- How devoted were they to various social groups, particularly to an organized religion?
- Would you characterize them as satisfied with, or in opposition to, modern society?
- Were your parents strict?
- Did they try to force their views on you?
- To what extent did you feel the need, and were you able, to disagree with them?
- How much TV do they watch?
- How much have they traveled?


- How much education have you achieved?
- Have you ever been in the military?
- Have you worked for a large organization, such as the government or a corporation, for more than a few years?
- Are you a workaholic?
- Are you observant of an organized religion?
- Are you a true believer?
- Do you have a strong attachment to a particular political party?
- Do you do things because they are “cool”?
- How many pieces of clothing do you own?
- And never wear?
- Do you subscribe to glossy “lifestyle” magazines?
- Do you watch TV every day?
- How many hours?
- How many televisions do you own?
- Do you watch soaps, or game shows?
- Do you look at TV advertisements?
- Are you interested in celebrities?
- Do you read People magazine (or its local equivalent)?
- Do you take any anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medicine?
- Do you constantly monitor yourself as being the recipient of outside influences and, in the first instance, until they have passed the muster of your reason, reject them?
- Do you have, express and defend views that run counter to society at large? Even to your closest group of friends?
- How much have you traveled?

That's it: a brief, but hopefully illuminating, quiz. If it is not clear, the quiz is designed to reveal, among other things, the general severity of the conformity in your society; the extent to which this has been adopted by your parents (the degree to which they are brainwashed); and also your long-term exposure to large institutions, since such exposure will almost certainly have shaped and conditioned you in many negative ways.

So, how did you do? Did you pass? (If you answered “yes” to the question about People magazine, you failed!)
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