The Reality of Deceptive Conversion Techniques
Posted May 26, 2005
Dr. Babu Suseelan
For centuries Hindus have been forcefully converted into Islam and Christianity. Religious conversion has profoundly affected our cultural legacy by the after-effects of genocidal coercive religious conversion. It has left its wounding imprint on our individual psyches and our collective consciousness. Although coercive religious conversion of Hindus in India and abroad has deep historical roots, recent deceptive religious conversion techniques used by global evangelical movements pose serious political, social, ethical and psychological problems.
Recently Pope Benedict XVI, in a new encyclical has issued a call to Catholics to go out and actively convert non-Christians around the world. He also directed Christians to introduce and practice western values in pagan nations. In this era of globalization, corporate evangelists with unlimited funds use sophisticated, deceptive psychological mind altering techniques to lure, brainwash and convert innocent people.
How do we understand these deceptive psychological conversion techniques? How do we prevent such unethical, dangerous brainwashing techniques, control mechanisms and fraudulent psycho programming? The fraudulent mind altering techniques employed by corporate evangelists are different from the coercive methods used by Islamic invaders and Christian colonial powers. Islamic invasion and Christian colonialism and their forced religious conversion of Hindus caused many breakdowns in social structure, values, norms and religious traditions in India. During the European Christian colonization of India, there was an imposition of Christian culture helped by the widespread false beliefs that turning to Christian culture would bring new success and salvation to Indians. Their approach was defined in religious terms but in reality their motivation was defined in political terms. With their immense military power and cunning political strategies, they took the offensive against Hinduism and forcefully converted Hindus by inducement and deception. Many poor people were forced to change their religion and culture in exchange for menial job and handouts. This had a disastrous effect on India's political, cultural and social fabric.
DECEPTIVE CONVERSION TECHNIQUES
There are some critical differences between today's conversion techniques and those of the past. Today, corporate evangelical movements have unlimited funds and employ professional psycho programmers. They use sophisticated psycho-linguistic programming and unethical, fraudulent mind manipulation techniques to trap and convert innocent Hindus. Today, Christian evangelists look out for socially marginal people who are after economic comfort for psycho programming and mind altering conversion techniques. The mind manipulation strategies and control mechanisms they use are sophisticated, making it difficult to say whether they are members of a responsible religious movements or from an unethical and potentially dangerous, oppressive political movements with hidden agendas. The innocent, uneducated and downtrodden people are easy victims to such psycho linguistic, brainwashing techniques and deceptive conversion practices.
The organized evangelical movements with the active support of India's secular addicts and corrupt political leaders lure innocent, poor Hindus with tall promises and ready made friendships and peripheral social support. But in return they demand total obedience to their rigid dogma.
Usually, a new recruit quickly finds himself or herself an object of attention and loving regard from the fraudulent evangelical groups. The innocent feel accepted in the group, perhaps for the first time. The Christian group usually presents itself as a close-knit group with a common purpose of altering the belief system of the new recruit. After the initial conversion, the new recruits are invited to stay with the group, which usually isolates the converts from all outside contacts and subjects them to intense group interaction experiences. During this period the converts continuously read the Bible and shout Christian slogans without fully realizing the meaning. The lines of power are preserved, and control is assumed. People are manipulated with roles, until they become roles. Thinking and questioning are not generally welcome in such a controlled group. This closed group has one purpose-to exclude input from outside family, community and spiritual leaders. Their reasoning capacity is reduced and since there is no alternative support group nearby they become prime target for full indoctrination. Being forced into this position the individual becomes dependent on the group. Once the convert becomes part of the group, free individual decisions about religious matters are not allowed. Often the converted group is brainwashed with the idea that all Hindus should be viewed as hostile and should be converted. A critical moment now arises where the new group develops mechanisms for social control and political involvement. The goal is to decrease ties with larger Hindu society, with the nation and increase the individual's commitment to the dogmatic faith and to the church as a whole. For the converted people, Christianity will turn into obsession, belief turns into dogma. Their closed system may behave like an evil, toxic system. The church will reinforce and perpetuate this toxic system with money and manpower.
For the individual, new life begins with the moment of conversion. The emotional restructuring of reality is especially convincing to the innocent victims because it gives ontological status to the dim anxieties and feelings of powerlessness that afflict poor, downtrodden people. The convert's Hindu consciousness is suppressed by integrating the convert into the rigid, inflexible dogma of the exclusive Christianity. Accordingly, the overriding issue in life is no longer Hindu Dharma or spiritual life, but to accept the closed dogma, blind faith, rigidity and exclusiveness of the rigid Christian religion. Once adjusted to this framework, the convert becomes dogmatic and close-minded. The role of the church is then to fully enslave the new convert, replacing the convert's social, ethical, spiritual frame of reference. The Hindu religious practices, signs, traditions, and dharma are replaced with rigid, closed dogmatic paradigm. The time tested Hindu spiritual practices are supplanted with meaningless Biblical slogans. With no historical connection or rational, freethinking, the new convert freezes into a "Philosophia perennis", little different from intellectual imprisonment.
LIBERATE TO ENSLAVE
The convert is liberated from his or her tradition, spiritual practices, ethical norms and social helping networks and is enslave with irrational, blind, dogmatic faith. The new convert's task is not free inquiry into Biblical scripture, but a repetition of the official line until the lulling effect mimics servitude. Moreover, a truncated Bible is posited, and new converts hear little about moral, ethical and spiritual values of Hinduism. Rather, there is a fixation on the Bible or church, because that is the means by which the church shapes and maintains the social construction of reality offered to its converts. Truth is perceived only in a flattened, pragmatic sense with no awareness of ultimate reality or spirituality.
Having been psycho programmed to accept the rigid dogma of Christianity, the converts must then submit to the monopoly of the church. Spiritual desires are suppressed and converts are forced to carry the toxic belief system and to serve the true owner, the Christian clergy. The Christian priest, in effect functions to consolidate the cycle of guilt and punishments. Selective functional, relative and utilitarian ethical concepts and morality are enforced on the converts. Poverty and other social problems are reduced to souls that are not converted. The church and other Christian institutions are used as instruments of personal, family and social control and conditioning. The converts are forced to reject tolerance, pluralism, temple visit, Hindu religious practices and they are permitted no compromise with other divinities. The convert must abandon all past spiritual practices and must wholly belong to the new Christian God. They are psycho programmed to consider Hindus as non-believers or devil worshippers and faith in Jesus is the only way for salvation. Those who suggest the possibility of man attaining Godly qualities are considered as Satanic. The converts are brainwashed to consider outsiders as condemned forever.
Ironically, however, once converts step outside the dogmatic church into the outside world, all structures are used to punish the convert. The brittle identity conferred to the converts requires a vivid concept of enemies, the antithesis that legitimizes its stridency. Hindus of course are seen as the primary enemy. The converts becomes aliens in their land until delivered by death.
PREVENTING DECEPTIVE CONVERSION
A common religious faith and spiritual bond is essential for the establishment of civilization and its growth. As Arnold Toynbee once said "a civilization's style is the _expression of its religion". For centuries, Hinduism has been the source of the vitality that has brought civilization into being and kept them in being. Hinduism has enabled millions of people around the world to cope with the difficulty of being human by giving spiritually satisfying answers to the fundamental questions about the mystery of the universe and of man's role in it and by giving practical percepts for daily living.
History proves that each time a people has lost faith in its religion; its civilization has succumbed to domestic social disintegration and foreign invasion. To prevent social, cultural and national disintegration; deceptive, unethical conversion techniques should be stopped.
Now a true cultural reawakening is needed. A revival of Hindu faith, surging upward from the heart of the people would be powerful enough to create a social and cultural revival, which is essential to curtail religious conversion. Failure to prevent dangerous mind-altering methods will have disastrous consequences for the cultural, social and political survival of India. Hindu organizations, political, social, spiritual leaders, professional organizations and the government should decide what is meant by freedom to convert? Because of the grave consequences of the unethical application and deceptive brainwashing techniques and psycho-linguistic programming, Hindus should educate the public about such dangerous techniques. Hindu professionals and the media should come forward to expose, neutralize and resist such mind control mechanisms. Hindus who are concerned with individual freedom and ethics should confront India's secular addicts who have equated fraudulent psycho, social, political intervention of western evangelical movements with religious liberty. These anti-nationals, anti Hindu secular addicts are in collusion with the foreign missionary groups to manipulate and control Hindu society in order to prevent any social, political or cultural advancement of Hindus. Hindus should unite and forbid the corporate evangelist's dangerous psychologically intrusive programming techniques.