indoctrinate: to instruct in a doctrine, principle, ideology, etc., esp. to imbue with a specific partisan or biased belief or point of view. - and an alternative definition from the Collins English Dictionary -
I've spoken before about the mental/emotional/spiritual make-up of my ex-fiancee. Typically, I use the phrase "Indoctrinated much - Taught little". Let me distinguish what I mean...
Indoctrination is imposed, leaves no realistic opportunity for critical thought, and benefits ONLY those in positions of authority. It's narrow and marks resources outside of the sphere of dogma as morally wrong and out of bounds. Indoctrination is intended to save from external threats. People who've been indoctrinated thoroughly will lie, cheat, steal, and in extreme cases even kill, to protect whatever movement or cause they've been indoctrinated into. They see only a single outcome.
Teaching is presented, often most effectively by example, and stimulates critical thought. It benefits ALL involved. It makes the world larger and gathers resources from all elements of society. Teaching saves from internal corruption. Teaching opens a person up to a personal moral compass with the ability to discern, for themselves, right and wrong (not that this guarantees a right choice). While people who've been taught can see outcomes, they also see the ripple effect of their decisions, having been entrusted with the appropriate information upon which to base that decision.
Think of the approach of Christ from what we have recorded of his ministry. He seldom dealt with doctrine and dogma, but instead preferred parables, metaphors, and real-life scenarios that expanded the mind and field of thought of the listener. He provoked. It seemed to me that He preferred an approach that made you have to "get it", rather than Him getting it for you, because usually an idea can't complete the transit from ears to mind to heart until one "gets it". Any idea, concept, or belief that doesn't root in the heart has no chance to produce lasting fruit. Christ challenged every religious and social concept His audience knew, with every word He spoke provoking them to dig deeper, think broader, and get to the heart.
My ex-fiancee's family homeschooled for all the wrong reasons. The intention of her parents was to create a "biblical worldview" for their children. Sociopolitical engineering on a small scale flying under the flag of religious ferver. While she and all of her siblings are very bright, they're also extremely naive, gullible, woefully uninformed and misinformed about the world around them, co-dependent, insecure and emotionally unstable - with emotional leverage being the manipulative currency of choice in her home. Very early in our relationship, while firmly entrenched in the "getting to know you" part of the process, she would make bold declarations of various things that she adamantly believed about faith, family, the world, politics, what have you. For instance, when politics came up, with a Presidential election cycle coming up in the next year, I asked her who she liked for President. She was pretty adamant that she "really liked Ron Paul" and thought he was far and away the best man for the job. I asked her what she liked about him. She didn't know. I asked her what part of his platform, which of his proposed policies, she agreed with. She knew nothing about his platform or policies.
Her dad liked Ron Paul.
She was the product of 20 some-odd years of indoctrination that everything daddy says is gospel, you don't argue with it, you merely accept it as what you believe and you do so without question. I was saddened to discover that the vast, vast, vast, vast, vast, vast, vast majority of everything she believed about faith, family, the world around her, and life in general all fell into the same category. Her dad was the god of her life. It brings to mind the old bumper sticker (replacing "God" with "dad") - "Dad said it. I believe it. That settles it." In those first few weeks, when I would challenge her, when I would try to provoke critical thought, I could hear palpable fear in her voice, total apprehension to voice an opinion all her own. She'd never been taught how examine the evidence and form her own opinion. She'd been indoctrinated to willingly have her opinions determined for her, primarily by her father, while taking his word about what the evidence represented.
The result of all of this was a woman who, until I came along, lived in emotional and spiritual bondage, in intellectual stagnation, having been planted in a jar, never exposed to the elements, and only allowed to grow within the confines of the jar, unable to ever exceed its shape and parameters. I came along and busted the jar, and all the while her parents and their patriarchal cohorts were warning her of (threatening her with, more accurately) the ungodly dangers of the wind outside of daddy's jar, feverishly spinning glass, crafting a new, shinier, glossier jar they could lure her with and stuff her back into. Had they left her alone, she would've thrived. She WAS thriving. She was beginning to handle the breeze of life with an easy rythym, learning to process the realities around her, with the freedom to grow toward her Source of Life unencumbered.
To break her from this newfound freedom, she was isolated from me (and the rest of her world) with some patriarchal vipers in another state and given a 2 month radical re-indoctrination to scrub me and the horse I rode in on out of her life, her mind, her "worldview"...her heart. As I've said before, she emerged as a child, a shell of the woman she had been, almost verbally militant about her beliefs, spouting all of the major, predictable talking points of patriarchy, but unable to point to their substance. I didn't know her.
All of this to produce pure and virtuous warriors for a stupid cultural war being planned, plotted, and fought by a bunch of paranoid "Christian" morons. The children caught up in this indoctrination have little chance at a thriving, healthy relationship with Christ. They're the true casualties of this bone-headed sociopolitical cultural war.
You don't believe this kind of thing happens in the Christian religious community? Check this out.
It makes this culturally radical sect of Christians no different than their enemies.
Take a look at the process and fruit of sociopolitical religious indoctrination...
Before you go getting all indignant about how awful it was that the little boy, Muhammad al-Durrah, was caught in the line of fire and killed...it was staged. Both he and his "father" were acting. Another news crew caught a Palestinian film crew staging Israeli atrocities in that area that morning. Muhammad al-Durrah was never even near the line of fire. If you didn't have that information, look how easily the staged images of that "poor, innocent boy and his father" would have stuck in your psyche. It's very easy to indoctrinate when the truth doesn't get in your way. Propaganda doesn't need to be true to actually work.
But alas...Indoctrination, fueled by agenda, doesn't make compromises for something as aggravating as the truth. That darned old nagging truth.
Indoctrination kills. It does everyday over in the middle-east and elsewhere in the world. Just imagine what the America would look like if these patriarchal fruitcakes ever did take over.
You and I would be expendable. We already are, really. They just can't tell us that right now.