Anonymous asked in Social SciencePsychology · 1 decade ago

Which techniques does the "Alpha Course" use to brainwash people?

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    To answer your question you have to accept some questionable assumptions.

    1) That it is possible to 'brainwash' people. Evidence for brainwashing as such is very limited. Influence or persuade would be more realistic terms.

    2) That the Alpha Course is about brainwashing. I have no statistical data but I suspect that the percentage of people who enter an Alpha Course with committed atheist views who become Christians is quite low. The highest percentage of people who commit to Christianity after Alpha will be those who can pro-Christian beliefs and attitudes before the Alpha Course.

    So let me restate your question is a way I hope will be helpful. What psychological techniques does the Alpha Course use to persuade people to commit to a Christian belief system?

    Here are a few.

    1) Social referencing - you are put in a group which will contain a number of very committed people and a number who are already on the borders of committing. As group members become more convinced it is harder for individuals to resist the pressure.

    2) Reciprocity - you will be fed and looked after on an Alpha Course. You will receive and not be expected to give back. This creates a sense of wanting to be nice to people who have been nice to you, perhaps by agreeing to share their believes

    3) Appeal to Authority - Alpha Courses draw on the views of theological 'experts'. There know their stuff and how to present it. The course leaders will claim they know less than the experts, but will draw on the knowledge of someone not in the room.

    4) Rolling with resistance - you will be encouraged to share your doubts and suspicions. These will be treated as normal and to be expected. The very reasonableness of this leaves you more open to the other person's point of view.

    There may be others, but that is a good start.

    Perhaps the biggest thing that the Alpha does to persuade people is to point out the essential emptiness of a self-centred life-style. Many secular psychologist (for example Martin Seligman) will point out that if you are the biggest thing you have in your life then the chances out sooner or later you will be faced with the pointlessness of existence. By giving people an 'in' to bigger story people can begin to see that their lives can have a meaning bigger than mere existence.

    I hope that is the question you wanted to ask and that my answer has been helpful.


    Source(s): Personal Viewpoint
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Alpha Course Brainwashing

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    It puzzles me how someone could claim to be "brainwashed" into thinking, feeling, or acting out on someone else's behalf. The churches always fall victim to the vicious attacks of the non-believers because they feel there is an alternative means to the word being preached to those who will listen. A person can only be brainwashed if they allow themselves to be. No one can make you (or anyone else) do anything, or believe in anything against your own will. People follow the words being spoken over the sick, weak in spirit/mind, and body because they seek refuge and healing in the blessings brought forward from Jesus Christ. I don't know about you, but when ever I'm going through a trail or tribulation in my life, all it takes it the word of god to give me the courage I need to endure my test, and to live another day to be a living testimony of his greatness (We, meaning god and I have come to far for him to leave my side now). God's power surpasses any brainwashing techniques that any man can use to persuade the masses. People listen to the living words because it speaks directly too their soles. (This is why most people refuse to go to church, because upon hearing the sermon the fear someone in the congregation has spilled the beans on them). It feeds their need to strive for a better life, healing from a lost love, guidance towards a successful future, and answered prayers for prosperity. It's not brainwashing my friend, it's blessings to those who seek it. For you, I send you words of peace, serenity, and blessings in abundance. May you find the wisdom and courage to forgive what ever person put anger and hurt in your heart. It's not the church you're angry with, it's not god, and it’s yourself that you must forgive. Forgive who ever hurt you, and forgive yourself for hating them.

  • 1 decade ago

    You have just answered your own question! :) x

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