Indoctrination by hypnotic repetition

HYPNOTIC REPETITION is one of the techniques used most relentlessly and profitably in propaganda and indoctrination. Three common examples.
1) Repeat a POLITICAL claim often enough and it will drown out facts. “Don’t bother me with facts. My mind is made up.”
2) Repeat a RELIGIOUS claim frequently enough and it will submerge contrary opinions, no matter how common-sensical they are.
3) Repeat an ECONOMIC claim like supply-side or trickle-down economics again and again and people will forget how few benefit from the alleged ricochet.
A critical secret to creative thinking is to avoid dogma, insisted Steve Jobs at the end of his outstandingly creative and productive life. Avoid thinking merely the thoughts of others, he added, and think critically for yourself.
For more examples see my website:

Better yet, add examples that you are familiar with.


  1. Derrick September 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    These are great insights! Just look, for example, at how Mitt Romney has been hammering Obama recently with a quote taken out of context:

    Check out the non-profit organization “Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting,” which helps readers discern the truth in today’s sensationalized news:

    • rhindery September 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

      Derrick, your reminder is helpful about how often we can fail to look for the contexts behind quotations. This reference is key to verification or falsification.
      The website you supply about fairness should be helpful to everyone in search of factual accuracy.

  2. Sheila Hindery September 16, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    Your reflections on the power of repetition as a tool of propaganda reminded me of the role it is playing in the current presidential campaigns. “Big government is the problem” is repeated incessantly by one campaign and by mindless talk-show hosts. Unsuspecting citizens succumb to this barrage often by internalizing the mantra as their own, thereby numbing their brains and robbing them of using their own critical thought. If our democratic republic is going to survive, Americans need to wake up and think for themselves!

  3. Sheila Hindery September 16, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Sage insights. “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again,” is indeed the mantra used by those who exaggerate the impact of big government. Watch how the ads keep repeating themselves.

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