TRIGGER WARNING: I have specifically made this blog a place where very few graphic details have or will ever be discussed, and this post is no exception. HOWEVER. Some people find that even certain words can be problematic. This is a post where that may be the case. I have not included ANY graphic details in the post, but the words “M*ind C*ntrol” and “Pr*gramming” and “Tra*ma” are used repeatedly, along with the words “Tr*gger* and “Cue.” Read at your own risk. I have included a very long sequence of line breaks in case you’d rather click your way out of here without reading. If so, I understand. I hope you will come back some other day and read again when the topic is a lighter one.
Trauma-based mind control, also known as programming…
This topic can be a very intense topic for survivors, so the target audience for this post is more geared toward those who are not survivors but perhaps know someone who is. I have tried to write about this subject in a manner that can tell you some basics about what it is but without giving you graphic details. This isn’t really even written for those who work professionally with survivors, because I would assume (and hope) that you wouldn’t need to be reading this blog post for information about what programming is, if you’re a professional. You hopefully already know way more than I will be covering in this little post. Because of the nature of the topic, I am not going to be going into details neither about programming or the personal experience side of it. If you want to know those things, and/or have questions, email me. I am more than willing to have a private conversation with you in order to avoid triggering anyone who may be reading.
Okay, there are a ton of websites that delve very deeply into this topic, but I am going to attempt to lighten it up for you, despite the difficulty of looking at something like this lightly. And on that note, if you are just looking for simple information and do not necessarily want the gory details, BE CAREFUL if you choose to Google. If I could flat-out discourage you from Googling this topic, I would.
Simply put, programming – as it relates to trauma-based mind control – is a conditioned response (or set of responses) to a trigger. Triggers may also be called cues. There is no forcefully implemented terminology here, so as with everything else, terminology may vary from person to person.
In a different context, and in a very broad sense, if I trained my dog to sit when I say “sit,” that could be seen as programming, although the method and result is MUCH simpler and kinder than the way programming is achieved when it is done to humans. No one would call that programming, because dog training is simple behavior modification with rewards for attempts to perform the desired behavior. But the premise is the same; it is conditioning a living being to respond in a certain way when a certain signal (aka “trigger”) or command is received. And the reason I am likening it to dog training at all, despite the major flaws in that comparison, is that programming is often seen as a mystical type of brain voodoo that magically enslaves the survivor, leaving no possible hope of escape. This is not so. While programming is a very powerful challenge to overcome, it can be overcome. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The biggest difference between a simple training exercise for my dog, and programming, of course, is that programming uses psychological trauma to put the subject in an altered state of consciousness to ensure their cooperation, and also to coerce the person to do things that go against their conscience – things they would not choose to do under normal circumstances. When done to humans, the person being programmed is subjected to methods of torture to the point where their mind dissociates from the reality of what is happening to them. Since the ideal subjects will already possess a natural ability to dissociate, this will then create alternate personas in their mind, which usually develops fully into Dissociative Identity Disorder as the person grows and develops. This is the goal of the programmers, so it is not only anticipated and expected, but encouraged. Once dissociated, the person’s mind is in a highly suggestible state, as they are willing to do anything necessary to survive at that point. This is the point at which the programmer solicits whatever response they are looking for. If the person (or newly-created alter, as that is actually what they’ve accomplished) complies – by responding in the way that is being demanded – the programming is effective, although it will most likely be repeated several or even many times to solidify what is being taught. Quite often once a programming session is completed, the programmers will incite amnesia in the front person – and sometimes in every other inside person involved – so that only those alters who were programmed in that session know what the cue is, and what action they are supposed to take when they receive it. In that case no one else in the person’s system would even aware of what they were doing, nor will they remember it afterward. As an interesting side note, this was the theory (and origin of the idea) of the “Manchurian candidate” who – they theorized – could be programmed to be an assassin and legitimately not know anything, if caught and questioned. This was also the theory behind creating government “super spies” who would not and could not tell classified information if they were apprehended by the enemy, because their front alters honestly would not know anything to tell.
This is programming, in a nutshell. Quite often the subjects of this process are spoken about as if they are computers, and a “program” is a set of actions they have been conditioned to perform in response to a cue. As mentioned, sometimes the programs involve more than one inside person, with walls of amnesia in between, so that none of them know what the others are doing nor the totality of the set of actions. One alter may be programmed to open the door when they hear a certain pattern of knocks, and that’s it. They may know nothing of what happens after they open the door, as another alter is programmed to come forward at that point and do their job, and so on.
One important thing to know about programming is that this type of trauma-based mind control has to begin at a very young age. Often these children are chosen even before their birth, being assumed to have dissociative ability based on their parents’ abilities, and their conditioning begins even in utero. Research indicates that the personality is fully formed somewhere between age 7 and age 9. Final and conclusive shattering of the mind has to be done before that age or it will be ineffective. Because of the ages at which such atrocities are committed, programmers are able to use a limitless number of methods, tricks, and deceits that will all be believed by their subjects due to 1) the pain they are experiencing, and 2) the “magical thinking” children are prone to at those ages. This is why the hold the programmers have over their subjects sometimes lasts a lifetime; as a rational adult, we may have no desire to respond to certain cues in certain ways. But since the alters involved are children – and will remain children until healing – they will continue to believe programmers’ lies until they are able to perceive the falsehoods embedded in what they’ve been taught. I hope that makes sense.
Although many programmers create vastly complex systems in the subjects, despite what they want others to believe, programming is still not an exact science. As long as human beings are involved, the variables will always be unpredictable. They may have to create several alters (by “accident,” in a manner of speaking) before they can create one that will do what they want. Some alters may fragment without the programmers’ awareness. Despite their grandiosity, programmers don’t truly know everything.
In this same way, programming need not be seen as an infallible prison from which there is no escape. It CAN be overcome. The most certain way to overcome it is to fight back against it, by resisting the urges to respond in whatever way is being cued. Easy to say, and much, much harder to do; I know. Believe me, I know. Sometimes it even feels impossible not to perform whatever action is being triggered, similarly to the way those with OCD feel inexplicably compelled to perform their rituals. Every person must find their own path to freedom. I wish I could give a more general overview of how to break free, but unfortunately the journey is too specific to each individual.
A lot of things have been written about programming that go into much more depth and detail, and I have listed some links below. This post is not meant to be exhaustive or all-inclusive in any way. I haven’t even mentioned the origins of trauma-based mind control, nor the different types or names commonly used by programmers, or all the modern-day blatant symbolism and imagery plastered all over the media that links directly to this. I try to avoid novella-length posts. So if you want more info, please feel free to email me OR do your own reading. But you need to be aware that EVERY SINGLE LINK BELOW should be ASSUMED to need LOTS AND LOTS OF TRIGGER WARNINGS. If you are a survivor, you should proceed with extreme caution, as these links could be VERY triggering or even dangerous to you. If you are not a survivor but have a sensitive nature, you should also proceed with extreme caution. Not all of these resources are going to properly warn you before they delve into graphic content. So reader beware.
If you have any specific questions, or want to know something from a more personal perspective, please email me. Talktoj8@gmail.com Cheers. ~J8
Simplifying Complex Programming at survivorship.org – a good, **mostly** non-graphic article (there are still potentially sensitive words contained in it but no abuse details) about how one survivor was able to break free of her programming; even if you skip the technical stuff about how her system is structured, there are good tips toward the middle/bottom about how to work with your own system!