One has only to utter the name - Adolph Hitler, and images of thousands of Nazi soldiers, religious figures, politicians, and yes, even average Germans come to the mind's eye; all giving the Nazi salute and shouting: Heil Hitler! Many have wondered how so many average citizens could have been duped into attributing salvation to a drug-using, fanatical, murderous dictator. Was it fear? Was it willing complicity? Desperation? Or was something more insidious at work? To be sure, there are likely a number of reasons why so many gave support to Hitler, but certainly mind control must be listed among them. What is mind control? And is it possible to be unwittingly brought under another's influence?
For the purpose of simplicity, mind control can basically be defined as the use of any tactic that might be used to subvert an individual's sense of control over their own thinking, behavior, emotions, or decision making. Many would likely say: I would never
allow someone to influence my decision making process, or to exercise control over my mind in any way! Yet, what if you were told that it not only has happened to you, but is currently happening to you now and will continue to happen to you tomorrow, and the next day, etc.? For example, the commercial world spends untold billions of dollars on advertisements. Why? Because they work! What we see and hear impacts our decision making process, frequently causing us to spend money on things we may not even need. Big companies tell us that we will be cooler, more in style, have more friends or lovers, and etc., if only we buy their product. It happens every day. But there are other ways that people come under the influence of someone else's thinking. When it comes to politics, many are swayed by the charismatic personalities and winsome words coming from a potential candidate. They may even begin to think along new lines that they never would have considered previously. Many are likewise affected by current trends in the world. One example is the issue of homosexuality. Whereas an individual may have been against the practice in the past, current trends may have influenced him/her to reconsider his/her position. Ditto with the legalization of certain drugs. Not to be missed are the ever-changing viewpoints that are to be found in religion. The drama that is currently being played out in the Catholic church regarding family/sexual values is one example of how many are considering changing long-held points of view to that of another persuasion. To be succinct, many feel that "if the Pope says it's okay with him then it's okay with me." Would we call that a form of mind control? Many no doubt would, and they would be correct.
The foregoing examples highlight this basic fact: To some degree or another, all of us
are influenced by mind control tactics, large or small. Since that is the case, what can we do to make sure that our minds are influenced by the right kind of information? Nearly 2,000 years ago the apostle Paul was inspired to write: "Do you not know that if you keep presenting yourselves to anyone to obey him, you are slaves of him because you obey him, either of sin with death in view, or obedience with life in view (Romans 6:16)?" The gist of that verse is that we are all slaves to someone, or something, whether we like it or not. Jesus Christ spent 3 1/2 years zealously proclaiming the truth about his Father, and about the heavenly kingdom. Was he attempting to influence minds? You bet! More importantly, his aim was the heart, the seat of motivation. On the other hand, the Bible portrays the Devil as someone who also attempts to reach minds and hearts. While some may wish to be influenced by neither, there simply is no middle ground (Matthew 12:30). The only real question is which person will you allow to influence your thinking - the one who promotes love, kindness, compassion; or the one who promotes hatred, prejudice, and war? While mind control can be an insidious thing, the fact is that we do have a choice as to who or what we will allow
to influence our thinking and choices in life. This is what the Bible alludes to as free will.
Getting back to Hitler, historians marvel at the effectiveness of his propaganda machine. Not only was he a forceful, charismatic speaker himself, but he was able to surround himself with persons willing to spread his poisonous propaganda throughout Germany and beyond, thereby mesmerizing millions. So too the Devil has his propagandists spreading his death-dealing poison throughout the earth, and with enormous success (see Revelation 12:9). But that doesn't have to be true in your case, or in my case (see 1 John 5:19). Do not allow yourself to buy into his philosophy that independence from God is a thing to be longed for, the ideal for a happy, fulfilling life (Genesis 3:5). Instead, consider heeding Jesus' words at Matthew 5:3 - "Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them."
May your future be long and bright!
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