Recruiters and other manipulators are not using mind control unless they are depriving their victims of their free will. A person can be said to be deprived of his free will by another only if that other has introduced a causal agent which is irresistible. How could we ever demonstrate that a person's behavior is the result of irresistible commands given by a religious, spiritual, or personal growth leader?
It is not enough to say that irrational behavior proves a person's free will has been taken from them. It may be irrational to give away all one's property, or to devote all one's time and powers to satisfying the desires of one's divine leader, or to commit suicide or plant poison bombs in subways because ordered to do so, but how can we justify claiming such irrational acts are the acts of mindless robots? For all we know, the most bizarre, inhumane, and irrational acts done by the recruits are done freely, knowingly and joyfully. Perhaps they are done by brain damaged or insane people. In either case, such people would not be victims of mind control.
We have vain brains; we see ourselves as better than we really are. We like to think that we exercise free will, that put into a situation where we were challenged to do something we thought unacceptable then we'd refuse. But, if you believe that, then you are probably deluded.
Stanley Milgram devised and carried out ingenious experiments that exposed the frailty and self-delusion that are central to our lives. He showed how easy it is to make ordinary people do terrible things, that "evil" often happens for the most mundane of reasons.
The son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, Milgram struggled to understand how it was that German soldiers in the Second World War were persuaded to take part in barbaric acts, such as the Holocaust. As he once wrote: "How is possible, I ask myself, that ordinary people who are courteous and decent in everyday life could act callously, inhumanely, without any limitations of conscience."
Milgram once wrote that we are "puppets controlled by the strings of society". Yet what is also true is that not all puppets jump when their strings are pulled. In Milgram's own experiment, although 65 per cent of the volunteers were prepared to give apparently lethal electric shocks, that still left 35 per cent who would not.
In everyday situations there is an implicit set of rules of who is in charge and if we violate these rules it leads to feelings of embarrassment and awkwardness so intense we prefer to accept the submissive role the occasion requires. It is a terrible critique of human behaviour that we would rather let something terrible happen than act in a socially embarrassing manner. Yet it helps explain some of the chilling crimes you read about when someone is attacked, even murdered, in a public place and no one intervenes.
We are seldom conscious of how our emotions control us. Most of the time, they subconsciously affect your attitude and behavior. Anger tenses you, before you even realize that you are angry. The emotion controls both your muscles and your thoughts. Within milliseconds, it justifies itself by instantly recalling connected memories. You will remember all the previous times your opponent annoyed you. Subtly, you will not recall all the nice things he did. You will have unknowingly surrendered to anger. Prevent yourself from being lessened by anger and despair, boredom and shyness!
For you to grasp effective mind control, you need to have an idea of the processing brilliance of your mind. It is a logical system, which senses and responds to patterns, choosing your options with lightning rapidity. It remembers millions of evolutionary experiences and can subconsciously recall everything you have seen, or heard. It sees a word on this page, recognizes it as a unique entity, gathers its meaning and then moves on to the next word, before spilled coffee can hit the saucer. These insights on how intuition powers those extraordinary miracles of data processing are way ahead of the current perceptions of science.
What no experimenter has yet been able to predict are the characteristics that mark out those who act on intuition and rebel from the rest of the pack. But this is the million dollar question that may change the face of the world in the years to come.