Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Could You Be "BRAINWASHED"?
In the August, 1961 issue of the Plain Truth, Herbert Armstrong wrote an article with the above title. Its essential message is just as relevant and meaningful today as it was forty years ago! Check up on yourself! Could YOU at this very moment in your religious experience be in the condition known as "BRAINWASHED"? Should you keep your mind open, or closed? No question is more important. Be sure you understand!
by HOIM Staff
In 1960 the Russians captured the American U-2 pilot, Francis G. Powers. A feature story in a London newspaper reported that the American pilot had been brainwashed. He had been kept in solitary confinement for weeks, allowed to see no human beings except one "examiner." The lights in his small cell were kept very bright day and night, relentlessly. He was denied food. He was sharply interrogated. When his answers were not what the examiner wanted, he was severely beaten, and then left utterly alone for days. As his answers came more into agreement with what his examiner wanted him to say, he was given a little food.
At the end of this process, the American pilot was brought around to believe he had actually committed a terrible wrong against Russia. By the time he was tried publicly for his "crimes," he had become a docile, obedient, completely cooperative "robot." He said before the world precisely what the Russians wanted him to say!
The process of turning Gary Power's mind totally around, l80 degrees, and convincing him that his former beliefs were all wrong, and that his examiner was the sole source of truth, and that America was evil and the Soviet Union was good, is known as "brainwashing."
Could YOU be "brainwashed"? Don't be too sure! You might be "brainwashed" at this very moment, and not even realize it!
The Mystery of the Human Mind
As Herbert Armstrong wrote in his 1961 article, "Few realize that our minds, like our stomachs, need to be fed! And, in school, they get fed! But they get fed a diet of error mixed with truth. They still are eating away at that same tree of KNOWLEDGE of 'good and evil' our first human mother partook of and fed to our first human father, Adam. They are fed a diet of mental poison mixed with material, factual truth, but devoid of spiritual knowledge."
"Garbage In, Garbage Out!"
Computer programmers and data processors have an expression they use concerning the data that pours forth from problem-solving, efficient, fast computers: "Garbage in, garbage out!" This means that if you put erroneous data into the computer, what you will get out of it will be just a lot more error -- "garbage"!
The human mind is the same way.
Herbert Armstrong says later in his article on brainwashing, "And if you allow your mind to be fed on the usual diet of truth mixed with error, your mind is being slowly drugged, and it will perish, along with your body -- in a final lake of fire!" (emphasis his).
In his article, Herbert Armstrong points out that the carnal human mind was created by YEHOVAH God incomplete -- lacking an essential ingredient, in order to be really "all there." That missing ingredient, he showed, is the Holy Spirit of YEHOVAH God! The carnal, fleshly, unconverted mind, Paul wrote in the book of Romans, is "enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). In order to become WHOLE, and complete, it must unite with -- be begotten by -- YEHOVAH's holy spirit (Acts 2:38; 5:32).
Wrote Herbert Armstrong, "Actually, the carnal, unconverted mind -- containing its physical content only, devoid of the spiritual -- knowing only what PHYSICAL knowledge can be received through the five senses -- is a mind bound to go off into false and erroneous ramifications of ideas, suppositions, hypotheses, speculations, and believe a ridiculous and weird system of myths!
"God's Holy Spirit is the Spirit of a SOUND MIND -- and no mind, without the Holy Spirit, can be SOUND in its thinking and reasoning. Perhaps the old Quaker, after all, was right. He said to his wife: 'Martha, does thee know, the longer I live the more it seems to me that just about everybody, except me and thee, is a little queer; and does thee know, Martha, sometimes it even seems to me that even THEE is just a little bit queer!'"
The apostle Paul corroborates this statement. He wrote to Timothy the evangelist, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a SOUND MIND" (II Tim. 1:7).
Are You Still a Spiritual "BABY"?
With all the devious deceptions, clever false arguments, specious reasonings, sophistries and malapropisms, oxymorons and fables, which abound in the world today, how can we KNOW that we haven't been subjected to severe "brain-washing" in our current Church affiliation? Has the subtle injection of a little spiritual "poison" over a period of time AFFECTED YOUR SPIRITUAL SENSITIVITY? Can you clearly discern between TRUTH and ERROR? Or, despite years of being in "God's Church," are you still in spiritual "kindergarden"? Instead of growing year by year in grace and NEW KNOWLEDGE of the Messiah ( II Pet. 3:18), have you just been re-learning the SAME basic, spiritual lessons over again year after year?
For example, HOW MUCH of YEHOVAH's Word have you committed to MEMORY?
Paul wrote to the Hebrews, concerning the truths of YEHOVAH God, "We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are SLOW TO LEARN. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the ELEMENTARY TRUTHS of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the MATURE, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil" (Heb. 5:11-14, NIV).
Can you "spot" Satan's clever wiles and disengenuous tactics and adroit strategems when he attempts to deceive you through supposed "friends," well-meaning acquaintances, and even "ministers" of what you ASSUME to be "God's Church"?
David wrote, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not SIN against thee" (Psalm 119:11).
Unless YEHOVAH God's Word and Law are hidden within YOUR heart, you are a walking, talking, ticking spiritual TIME-BOMB waiting to go off! Unless YEHOVAH God's Word is WITHIN you, you won't be able to discern between the clever arguments of false ministers and false prophets, and the TRUTH of YEHOVAH God!
And the spiritual, eternal life you lose, will be your OWN!
Satan's Clever Tactics
One of Satan's most clever and successful tactics is to convince people that they don't have to "prove all things" themselves, but they can "trust God's ministers" to do it all for them -- and that as long as they remain in the womb of the "Church" body, they are "safe"! But is that true? Not at all! It is a dastardly deception of the devil! If you just put your faith in a "Church," or a "man," then when the Church goes astray, YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY FOLLOW SUIT! And believe it or not, surprising as it may seem, WHOLE CHURCHES OF YEHOVAH GOD HAVE GONE ASTRAY, down through history, from the first century down to the present!
To protect your mind from deception and error, Solomon wrote, you need to "Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. PONDER the paths of thy feet, and let all thy ways be ESTABLISHED. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil" (Proverbs 4:23-27).
Don't let carnal human nature rule over your mind. Only those with a converted, humble mind are pleasing to YEHOVAH God. YEHOVAH says, "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and TREMBLETH AT MY WORD" (Isaiah 66:2).
When you read or listen to controversial sermons or articles, what do you immediately do? Do you just read the article, and if it seems convincing, you go along with it? If the author quotes various "authorities," do you TAKE HIS WORD FOR IT, or do you go look up those references yourself, in a library if necessary, and REALLY put the article or quotation "to the test"?
GUARD the Door of Your Mind !
From bitter experience, I must tell you that many of YEHOVAH's people are slipshod and careless, when it comes to "proving all things." They allow "personalities" to impress them -- or the "appearance of authority" -- or impressive SOUNDING arguments -- or they become tired after long harranging, and give up resistance, and swallow whatever false doctrine is being peddled, hook, line and sinker!
Such an attitude is SPIRITUAL DYNAMITE! It will KILL the person who succumbs to it, and who refuses to take SERIOUSLY YEHOVAH's command to "prove all things" (I Thess. 5:21).
Herbert Armstrong wrote in his 1961 article on brainwashing:
"You need, above all things, to guard the door of your mind!
"HAVE A CARE what enters there! You, and you alone, have the stern responsibility for guarding that precious door!
"Should you, then, have an OPEN mind? Or, to prevent being brainwashed or hypnotized, should you keep your mind CLOSED?
"The answer is this: GUARD THE DOOR OF YOUR MIND!
"Keep, without prejudice, a questioning mind. I do not mean a negative mind, hostile and against everything. God's Word commands us to 'PROVE ALL THINGS.' You can question, before accepting and believing, without negative prejudice.
"OPEN your mind to what is proved TRUTH; RID your mind of bias. Do as the Bereans were commended for doing. When the Apostle Paul came to Berea, they did not know whether he was an apostle of God or a false prophet.
"So they opened the door of their minds, without hostile prejudice which would be only a barrier to the entrance of TRUTH into the mind -- but yet with QUESTIONING minds -- they opened the door just far enough to listen, to examine, and to prove, before accepting. They searched the SCRIPTURES daily, whether these things were so. Finding them proved, they ACCEPTED the TRUTH!
"The answer is, that your mind should never be prejudiced. Neither should it be gullible. NEVER TAKE FOR GRANTED what you read, or what you hear. Never accept anything just because others do....
"God made your mind so that NO ONE can 'cram his religion down your throat' -- or rather, into your mind. God won't, by force, put TRUTH into your mind. Unless you are willing, and voluntarily accept it, you can never receive God's TRUTH. Conversely, even Satan the devil has no power to force error into your mind.
"YOU ARE A FREE MORAL AGENT! God granted you this freedom! And, with it the stern responsibility for what you accept, believe, and DO!
"As you sow, so shall you reap!"
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God Here On This Earth!
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