Religion does indeed brainwash people. Where it started and where the roots are is a long story.
Religious people vs. free people
I would say that atheists are also brainwashed in some way, but they’re not slaves to some sort of mental manipulation regime/program like religion(s).
Here are some typical traits of religiously brainwashed people:
- They are convinced that they’re powerless, and some 3rd person (usually their god) has all the power.
- They think that only their god and their belief is the only truth (see the Muslims vs. Christians for example).
- They accept vague and childish descriptions and explanations about the world, universe, humans, spirits, etc.
- Their god usually has a gender — male — “he”, “him”, etc. to try to personify God.
- Their god is an external being separated from all the creation/manifestation that exists.
- Their god chooses, rejects, rewards, punishes, and judges.
- They have a concept of “sins” and “blasphemy”. Neither is valid in reality.
- They think that God (or their god) has a kingdom (Heaven? Some nice place for the “chosen ones”?)
- They passively threaten you if you have left religion and don’t believe in the religion’s gods. They tend to hint or directly say that something bad will happen to you because of that.
- They take the Biblical stories literally, and they completely refuse to think or wonder about it when much more comprehensive and deeper information is presented. They automatically reject it as a trick by “satan”.
- They don’t understand that you don’t need religion to know what’s right and what’s wrong/unethical. They think that fearing god is a respectable trait.
(I wrote “god” with a lower case “g” on purpose when I meant gods — any being who may pose as a god, not the God).
Here are some typical traits of free and independent people:
- They don’t need religion in order to know what’s good and ethical, and what’s unethical and immoral.
- They don’t bow down to any being or authority. (This doesn’t mean any disrespect or superiority. This means being and feeling equal to all).
- They experience spirituality and reality through their own self, instead of religious dogmas someone has set in stone.
- They have choices. They’re free to choose between many options without fearing “a wrathful god to doom them for their disobedience”.
- They can put the big puzzle together by analyzing, feeling and experiencing the information around and within.
- They can see through the manipulations and conspiracies done to this planet. Excluding the “flattards” who represent a silly brainwash cult.
- They can take responsibility for their own lives and fate. Not some vague being “out there” who may or may not choose them…
- To them, God is not a person/being with a gender and location. Many of them actually realize that everything that exists consists of zillions of expressions of God. That includes you and your dog and that bird in the sky, and that bug on your car’s windshield, even its atoms and sub-particles…
- Sins and blasphemy don’t exist, because a “sin” is something an authority has told you not to do. Blasphemy is a similar nonsense. It’s when you don’t bow down to the authority, and when you reveal the authority’s true nature and real identity, etc. etc.
Obviously there are also atheists who don’t believe in anything they can’t observe and comprehend with their 5 senses, and they usually only have 5 working senses.
There are also scientifically brainwashed people. Those who cannot understand that the science is so infantile, they cannot see 99.995% of the universe, yet they claim to know a lot.
And the science followers believe every scientific theory to be the absolute truth. They also believe that science knows more than the scientists actually claim to know.
This is similar to the religious brainwash. It often starts with religion with all their externalism and misconceptions. “God knows all, we don’t need to know how this and that works, our brain can’t handle it”. Sound familiar?
You can’t forcefully wake up a brainwashed person. All you can do is to poke them and feed them some information that should push the right buttons eventually. But it shouldn’t involve any kind of threats, fear, silly promises, smoke and mirrors, vague stuff. It must be plain and simple, neutral.