The Origins of the "Brainwashing" Theory. From the Private Lectures of Professor Massimo Introvigne


Olga Panchenko


This article delves deep into the origins of the term "brainwashing" and traces its evolution from a historical backdrop involving unscrupulous psychologists and the geopolitical tensions of the Cold War era. With a keen emphasis on Professor Massimo Introvigne's lectures and the pivotal role of ideology, it unveils how this term found its footing within the realm of religious extremism. The article then embarks on a historical journey, taking us from the roots of "brainwashing" in Nazi Germany to its subsequent resonance during the Cold War in the United States.

Furthermore, it sheds light on the extended application of "brainwashing" within the realms of religion and anti-cult movements. In particular, it delves into the thought-provoking perspective of Margaret Singer, who categorized religions into two distinct types and raised the enduring question of how to discern if someone has undergone the process of 'brainwashing.' In sum, this article offers a comprehensive historical exploration of the term "brainwashing," illuminating its multifaceted trajectory through various contexts and underscoring its lack of a solid scientific foundation.



Author Biography

Olga Panchenko, European Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Corresponding Member of EUASU, attorney, and Director of Redut Law Company. An associate fellow of the Ukraine Academy of Sciences. Journalist of the newspaper Unsolved Crimes. Presidium member of Odessa Scientific-Humanitarian Society and Historic-Literature Scientific Society.


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