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Unlearning to Learn

Seek The Truth Blog

Unlearning to Learn:

Indoctrination is an inevitable part of life. Simply put, it is the process of learning, accepting, and believing one or more "doctrines" without applying critical thought. It happens naturally in many healthy situations all people experience. Children freely trust information they learn while being raised by their parents. Many accept information from equal or older siblings without critically examining or even slightly questioning. In social settings, groups of people making the same claims in unison have the power to convince others of their statements. Often, those statements are partially and even fully incorrect. It isn't until those indoctrinated come in contact with information that contradicts those statements that they are made aware. The level of difficulty in reversing this process is directly related to the trust level placed in those giving the information and the number of times it was repeated and accepted.

In religious situations, indoctrination is widespread. The vast majority of people sitting in the pew do not critically examine statements made by pastors, priests, or even elders. It takes many years of study to fully understand the beliefs of one's religion, and those who present themselves as "knowledgeable" are generally accepted as such. For the most part, this is a harmless part of our society. In destructive cults, however, this is a very dangerous and even deadly social construct. In many cases, members of religious groups place more trust in their religious mentors than they did parents or siblings while being raised.

Just as adults undo their parental training by reprocessing information while applying critical thought, former members of destructives cults must deprogram by critically examining every aspect of cult indoctrination. They must diligently seek, find, and examine both supportive and critical information to form critical opinions of their own. They must become their own "experts".