When I was a freshman attending a Seventh-day Adventist college, I took a psychology course. One sentence in our textbook so intrigued me that I have never forgotten it. It was telling about the purpose of psychology. It was discussing why a person should want to study psychology; and it stated that if you understand the human mind, it would enable you to control the human mind. In other words, if you will understand the way that people’s minds work, you will be able to control them.
There is someone who has been studying the human mind for much longer than any human has. “For thousands of years Satan has been experimenting upon the properties of the human mind, and he has learned to know it well. By his subtle workings in these last days he is linking the human mind with his own, imbuing it with his thoughts; and he is doing this work in so deceptive a manner that those who accept his guidance know not that they are being led by him at his will. The great deceiver hopes so to confuse the minds of men and women that none but his voice will be heard.” Medical Ministry, 111. The people whom he has in control, he has linked their mind with his own mind and they do not even know.
One of the things I studied about in psychology was a man by the name of Pavlov. Pavlov was a Russian scientist who did his research with dogs. He developed a system that whenever the dogs would be given their food, a bell would ring. He found out that after this had been repeated many times, all that he needed to do was ring the bell and the dogs would begin to salivate. Psychologists call this a conditioned reflex, and it is a concept that has been much more highly developed and expanded in NLP. It is called anchoring.
With a totally unrelated, external stimulus, Pavlov was able to control physiological functions in these dogs. Now remember, one of the ultimate goals of psychology is to control the mind, that is, other people’s minds.
“This entering in of Satan through the sciences is well devised. Through the channel of phrenology, psychology, and mesmerism [the modern term is hypnotism], he comes more directly to the people of this generation, and works with that power which is to characterize his efforts near the close of probation. The minds of thousands have thus been poisoned, and led into infidelity. While it is believed that one human mind so wonderfully affects another, Satan, who is ready to press every advantage, insinuates himself, and works on the right hand and on the left. And while those who are devoted to these sciences laud them to the heavens because of the great and good works which they affirm are wrought by them, they little know what a power for evil they are cherishing; but it is a power which will yet work will all signs and lying wonders—with all deceivableness of unrighteousness. Mark the influence of these sciences, dear reader, for the conflict between Christ and Satan is not yet ended.” Selected Messages, book 2, 351, 352
As time went on, this research by Pavlov was further developed by Skinner and others, and it has reached astounding levels by the practitioners of NLP who claim fight along with the behavioral psychologists that all behavior is the result of some stimulus and that if the right stimulus is present, any desired behavior can be elicited.
Now this advancing knowledge of the human mind was not lost or unnoticed by people who wanted to control the world, such as Hitler and Stalin. In the purges in Russia in the 1930s, high-ranking leaders made some confessions that were simply unbelievable. They sounded completely unreal and we did not understand at the time what was going on. How did they get these people to make those kinds of confessions? Of course, we could postulate that they were made under torture or some terrible, tyrannical pressure. But in the 1950s, for the first time we got some firsthand knowledge of these new, psychological weapons. They were so powerful that they affected changes in people’s thinking and behavior that seemed to be almost permanent.
These techniques that were referred to first of all as brainwashing and later as cybernetic warfare or mind control, have been further developed in the ‘70s and ‘80s and are what is known today as NLP.
I have a list of twelve principles that are used in cybernetic warfare. I would like to try to look at just two if we can, because you have been and are meeting this, not just in the world but in the church and even among independent ministries. Most people are not aware of what is going on. We get telephone calls and letters from these people constantly. They do not have the faintest idea that their thinking has been twisted by someone else. They have been put in a mental trap and changed and they do not even know it. They are “Historic Adventists.”
They are utterly amazed that we do not immediately go along with the conclusions that they have drawn. They would say, “I am an independent thinker,” but they are not. The content of their conversation and letters plainly indicate to any person who has a little training in psychology that they have been influenced by and usually have even adopted some of the techniques of cybernetic warfare, although almost all would vehemently protest this.
By the way, I personally do not have much regard for the concept of independent thinking because I am not convinced that it exists, except for the person who is in Christ. “In the Word of God are represented two contending parties that influence and control human agencies in our world. Constantly these parties are working with every human being.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1119. [All emphasis supplied] There are two parties. They are supernatural parties, and they are contending for the influence and control of human agencies. And how often are they working on every human being? Constantly. Right at this moment, if you have not placed yourself under the control of the Holy Spirit, the devil’s angels are controlling your mind. “Either the evil angels or the angels of God are controlling the minds of men.” Ibid., 1120. It is just that simple. We do not think independently; we are either under the control of God’s supernatural agencies or the devil’s. “Our minds are given to the control of God, or to the control of the powers of darkness; and it will be well for us to inquire where we are standing today—whether under the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel, or under the black banner of the powers of darkness.” Ibid.
One of the most wonderful promises we have is the promise that Jesus can keep us from being brought under the control of someone else.
“The soul that is yielded to Christ, becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies, is impregnable to the assaults of Satan. But unless we do yield ourselves to the control of Christ, we shall be dominated by the wicked one. We must inevitably be under the control of the one or the other of the two great powers that are contending for the supremacy of the world. It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not cooperate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it His abiding place. [Matthew 12:43-45] The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin.” The Desire of Ages, 324
During the Korean War, some of our soldiers were taken prisoner by the Chinese. These soldiers had heard of how the Japanese tortured their prisoners in various ways; and they were expecting similar treatment; but something happened that they did not expect. They were gathered in little groups. With these little groups there was an instructor. The Chinese instructors were people who spoke 1950s U.S. English. They had been trained in psychology and sociology at the best universities in the United States and Europe. They wore no uniform and had no gun.
Here is what they said. “Gentlemen, we welcome you to the ranks of the people. We are happy to have liberated you from the imperialist warmongers who have sent you here. We know that you did not want to come here.” By the way, this was true. “You did not start the war. You really do not even know why you are here.” Unfortunately, for the most part, that was true also. “Therefore, we have nothing against you. We want to offer you a proposition. All we want from you is your physical cooperation. We just do not want you to fight.” So the philosophy was, do not fight the problem.
In return for this cooperation, the Chinese made some offers: 1) “There is no work. There are no slave camps here. We do not have those sort of things.” Now, that happened to be a lie, but the prisoners did not know that. “That is capitalistic propaganda that they feed you in the United States. We have no coal mines for you, no road gangs, and no overseers.” 2) “We will give you the best food, clothing, shelter, and medical care that we possibly can. Now, it will not be good because we are a poor country, but we will give you the best that we have.” 3) “We will give you the thing that we know you Americans really like most of all, a chance to learn the truth. We are going to tell you what we think the truth to be about what is going on in the world, about your system and ours. You have only heard one side of the story before because it is the capitalist imperialists who publish your papers and run your radio stations and publish your comic and text books. All we ask from you is just a little American fair play. Just listen to both sides. After you have heard our side, you can make up your mind what the truth is. When the imperialist, Wall Street warmongers have decided that they have used up enough of the excess tanks that have been made by General Motors and the excess petroleum produced in Texas and the profits are high enough and the people have been exploited enough and they let this senseless slaughter end, we want you to go back to your own home and find families and simply tell them the truth as you yourself decide the truth to be.”
In World War II the American soldiers were known as the best in the world for escaping under impossible circumstances and conditions, but in Korea there was not one POW who escaped. Not only that, in a camp that had 600 American POWs, they only had 6 armed guards. Does cybernetic warfare work? It works.
The fact is that what our prisoners of war in North Korea were told was almost all true. The truth, however, was placed in a completely different context than they had ever heard it before. Was it true that the United States was using oil out of Texas? Of course. Was it true that they were using tanks manufactured by General Motors? Of course. But the facts were given a different interpretation.
By changing the context and the words used, the message conveyed may be completely changed. Let me give you a few examples. In the account of an officer in the Nationalist Chinese Army who was captured by the communists, he said that the communists are always turning words upside down. When they say protective custody, what they mean is that they are going to put you in jail. Protective custody does not sound as bad as a jail, does it? When they say protective custody, they try to make you believe that they are trying to protect you, the man, from the mob.
When the Chinese found out something about someone, one of these plain clothed officers would take that person for what was called a walking conference. The two of them would go walking. The instructor would put his arm around the prisoner of war and say, “Now we know such and such about you. You do not need to deny it; we know that it is true. I just want to tell you, we are not going to punish you for this.” Oh, that person felt so relieved. “Now it is anti-social, and we do not want you to get into trouble with your fellow prisoners [or your fellow comrades]. All we want you to do is to decide not to do that again. Sign your name on a document that you will not do it again, and that is all that we ask. No punishment.” They said, “We just want to protect you.” That means they want to put you in jail.
Let me just explain how this technique works in Adventism. In Testimonies, vol. 1, 321, Ellen White says that God requires of His servants today that they preach an even straighter message than John the Baptist. Is John the Baptist’s message a message of reproof? Yes, it is. The Lord said that if His servants do not preach these messages, they will not be acknowledged as His.
But do you know what you can do? You can take that message of reproof from the Lord, and all that you need to do is call it by a different name and it will turn people off. One of the buzz words to call it is criticism. Have you ever heard that? Do you realize that this is cybernetic warfare? It is taking something that God impressed His servant by the Holy Spirit to do and giving it a different name that has a different connotation.
“Paul longed to speak to the church in Corinth of spiritual things. But to his sorrow he found it in great weakness. The church members could not even bear to hear the truth concerning themselves. The spiritual growth of this people was so dwarfed that a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord’ was an offense to them. Paul knew that by giving them the truth he would be ranked as an accuser and faultfinder.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 6, 1086
By the way, if you reprove and rebuke, if you preach according to what Ellen White and the New Testament says to do as your duty as a Christian preacher, you will be accused of being an accuser and a fault finder, the implication being that you are obviously one of the devil’s agents. This is an example of cybernetic warfare.
The devil criticizes and accuses people, trying to destroy them! God’s servants reprove and rebuke people to try to get them to turn around so that they can be saved. That is completely opposite. But with cybernetic warfare, you can turn something, with just a few words, in 180 degrees.
The devil is trying to take control of people’s minds, and he is doing it by the words that are being communicated between people in sermons and in print; and people do not even know it. Our only safety is in a moment by moment communion with Jesus Christ, with His Holy Spirit filling our hearts, giving us a supernatural barricade.
Much of the information in this article was gleaned from the booklet, Brainwashing, an address by Major William E Mayer, M.D. and published by Taft Broadcasting Company.