By Erin K Costello
If you’re anything like me, you’ve found it disturbingly fascinating how so many people on social media are easily and effectively duped into adopting the tenets of the anti-vaccination and anti-medicine movement. I’ve often argued, as I’m sure many other Facebook warriors have, that anti-vaccination-ism is nothing more than a cult at it’s core. Only, what I’ve found so remarkable is how this brainwashing was able to succeed without the traditional isolation seen with cults from the past.
Like with almost everything else in life, the Internet and social media is establishing new ways to do things, new things to do, and new modern definitions for older things in life. In the past mostly all cults would isolate their members, and they usually had only one leader, or one centralized authority figure for the whole collective. When it comes to the anti-vaccination movement on-line however, there isn’t one person big enough to fill the leadership void for the community as a whole since cyberspace is too vast for one person. Instead we see several key figures forming and leading their own individual groups, while still acknowledging each other and the common goal. Leadership of each internal group though is not shared or interchangeable with one another. The beliefs of such groups will be the same in matters of vaccines, but each group will then put their own personalized touch on their on-line parish by adding personal tenets as well. MAM (Modern Alternative Mama) is one of these group leaders who naturally adopts the typical vaccine doctrines, but also adds many of her own rules which have little to nothing to do with vaccines. Before I get to her personal dogma though, let me explain the guidelines for what makes a cult a cult.
According to Apologetics Index there is a checklist of sorts that describe the make up of a cult. There are 14 points most commonly associated with this checklist. I have listed 13 of them here:
“The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to it’s leader, and (whether he or she is alive or dead) regards their belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.”
For example, MAM’s group has examples of unwavering support shown in posts below.
--“Mind altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, or debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and it’s leader(s).”
For example, a member has to denounce, or at least give the impression to have denounced things like modern medicine and Tylenol.
--"The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (e.g.. members must get permission to date, change jobs, or marry, or leaders prescribe what to wear, where to live, whether to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).”
For example, MAM herself posts about a weekly to bi-weekly rant scolding the group for their behavior and correcting what they say in her group.
-- “The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself. it’s leader(s), and it’s members (e.g.. the leader is on a special mission to save humanity.)
For example, MAM claims to know the truth about all things health related despite attending college for music.
-- “The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.”
For example, she and her members are always referring to anyone who disagrees with them as sheep and not woke like they are.
-- “The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military, commanders, or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations.)”
For example, she demands high standards for vaccines and other pharma products but believes no one has the right to make similar demands on her products.
--“The group teaches or implies that it’s supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (e.g. lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).”
For example, MAM and her members feel justified in lying to doctors, even those in the ER, about their child’s vaccination status despite knowing it could cause harm in the end.
-- “The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and control members. Often this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.”
For example, MAM loves to point out how “when you know better, you do better” and shames any parent for not seeking to know better and especially for not doing better when they know better.
-- “Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter their personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.”
For example, her members are not allowed to suggest any item or action that goes against the crunchy lifestyle regardless of the suggestion having been effective their entire lives.
-- “The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.”
For example, they’re always pushing people to spread the word and convince others.
--“The group is preoccupied with making money.”
This is one that doesn’t quite apply to MAM but does to other groups. I will explain more down below.
-- “Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group related activities.”
For example, members aren’t required to devote time to the group but they are encouraged, and will be dropped if they don’t.
--“Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.”
For example, members aren’t required to spend all their time with other members or the group but will be dropped and labeled a troll if it’s discovered they also spend time in a group MAM does not like.
--"The most loyal hard-core members often feel there can be little else to life than the group and the group tenets."
For example, the ones who follow all of MAM’s requirements often find no time to do much else since her requirements all involve the hard and time consuming ways to being a mom, and require one to always be a mom instead of having a career or enrolling your kids in public school.
Below are just a few posts I’ve pulled from MAM’s echo chamber to represent each of these characteristics. I w ill also display them all in a slide show at the end of this post. These posts can all be found on her personal and public Facebook page, and in her group Modern Alternative Mamas!
--“Does anyone else go and block these people [trolls] as soon as you see such posts? I know I do!”
--“ ‘This is what the group considers a potential emergency situation’….Key word “potential.” I like that. It leave the choice up to the parents and removes the pressure/the questioning ones own momma instincts. Ppl say that ppl don’t have to posted today their suggestions, but when ppl hear “er now!” or even “why are you even askingbour fb” it discourages people. Humans are typically wired to listen to direct commands (which comments like “er now!” are). I’m glad those types of comments are not allowed <3”
Rebecca Edgeworth Cox
--“ ‘To treat at home, I would ________. If you see signs and symptoms like ______, that could warrant a call or visit to the doctor.” Love this wording, so much more informative that “ER NOW!”
Breanna Prater Maack-
--“I didn’t recommend dr, only shared my personal experience, and showed why Dr can be useless?”
Amelia Richie Kivett-
--“…..I’ve never seen you say anything negative, but it’s extremely respectful to say what you’ve said, and I commend you friend.”
Miranda Joy Roy-
--“…..Behind the screens people are so cruel and it’s literally just a reflection of their unhappiness, insecurity, or ignorance…….I pray for you all the time and thanks for what you do here”
--“I really love this group, I’ve been so challenged, and I don’t feel so alone in this world……….So thankful for what you do Kate. I seriously could not do this full time.”
--“Love what you do and I’m excited to switch all of our products to Earthley ones!!!”
-- “You’re so inspiring [heart emoji] good job momma! You’re awesome :-)”
--“Thank you for holding such high standards! Can’t wait to see Earthley grow even more in 2018!!!!!”
--“……...You are straight forward & no nonsense, and supporting your family and your brand makes us happy. Earthley for the win! [heart emoji]”
--“I don’t buy it for a second! Great group and great people. Hope the trolls are all found and dismissed!”
--“Amen. Thank you for all you do. I’m so sorry you have to put up with so much drama from so many grown a** women who should know better.”
Tanya Lynn Jamieson-
pp “Frigg Kate Tietje..Doing a great job!!….:
--“Oh yeah. A hippie group I am in is bashing MAM and you (Kate) hard. They need to get over themselves.”
-- “They booted me from the group for standing up for MAM :-)”
Tracie Williams Stroud-
--“There was lots of clarification. They just refused to accept it, kept misquoting Kate, and wouldn’t let it rest. Then they began smearing the group, Kate……...That’s the work of trolls, not of people who actually want things to get better.”
--“Kate is on the verge of giving birth..give her some slack. And..if she already gave birth, still, 3 weeks is not bad, when you have 6 kids, homeschool, with a new born in the mix. We need to remember, the admins have a personal life outside of fb. She is usually right on top of things..give her some space and time.”
-- “That woman [Skeptical OB] IS disgusting.”
--“[fist in air emoji] Well said! We love everything you do Kate Tietje! [heart, heart emoji]”
-- “I am happy to be a “cult-like” follower of you- because you are spreading information for the greater good, information that’s helped my family a lot. F*ck the haters, we’ve got your back, Kate.”
--“I read the article and commented that she was really grasping and finding a really old article to twist words. And has some sort of odd obsession with you….”
Tracie Williams Stroud-
--“I’m so sorry you’re going through this Kate. She [Skeptical OB] is an evil, disgusting person and I hate that she’s chosen you as a target”
Citrine Gabriel Joyous-
--“She can never destroy you! Truth can NEVER be destroyed and You are the Truth that this World needs right now! Keep doing your awesome job! Sending you so much love [heart, heart, heart emoji]”
-- “I wonder why she’s [Skeptical OB] so threatened by you that she feels the need to do this…..:( I’m sorry.”
--“…….I’m sorry you have to deal with this. I can’t imagine. But please just know that there are people who will never believe any of the crap that hateful woman [Skeptical OB] spews, and will be there guns a blazing in defense of natural and alternative parenting, and you. Hugs and love mama.”
--“She [Skeptical OB] is a miserable woman. You on the other hand, have helped so many and have been a source of love and light.”
-- “…….She absolutely dangerous. And hateful…..”
Rebecca Katie Kofman-
-- “I commented on the thread…...just makes me so angry! I meant my comment tho, which was: Skeptical ob can go fuck herself. Don’t give her the time of day. Seriously. Nasty and pathetic and I’m sick of seeing her bully Kate. SHE DOESN’T EXIST.”
--“This group is Facebook [home] for me. I’m so grateful for this group, your products-Which also help put food on my table, and your insights via your posts and blogs. Thank you Kate!”
Kerian Clifford Katz-
--“You are amazing Kate! Thank you for this great group, your time, and your awesome products!!”
--“…….I also love this group! I agree, people like us are always laughed at, mocked, disregarded! That’s why I love having a tribe of people who are all like minded and I wouldn’t feel scared to post about a topic that in real life; I’m afraid to talk about with mainstream folks! I cherish my natural tribe.”
-- “Yes yes yes! I love this group so much and I’m so glad to be apart of such a supportive natural minded group!!! Admining is hard at times but we are truly changing lives….and I love being apart of something so awesome!”
--“When you get blocked for supporting the admin’s rules….kinda makes my day. Lol”
--“Sometimes I feel like Kate is like the only teacher on the playground during recess for all the classes at once. She has to keep reminding us to keep our hands to ourselves and play nice. But there are always a few bullys pushing kids off the swings [laughing emoji] poor lady…..”
--“Ugh, just left another “modern hippie mama” group because they brought the drama there...like people obviously have nothing better to do with their damn time….”
--“Yeah well their admin team was talking crap about you even when people showed them your post...and the creator is actually in this group. I left that group…..I sent you a pm”
--“Kate Tietje I believe in Karma what comes around goes around. Their day will come…….I will report anything I see and defend you as much as I can. This group that you made helped me so much become a better healthier woman, mother, and wife. Thank you!”
Jessica N Kyle Janicki-
-- “Oh and especially Kate. She says things so eloquently and concise, any post I’m interested in-I immediately look for her comment to see what she has shared.”
--“Um. Yea. I just wanna hug you and say thank you for this fricken gutsy and raw and REAL “no ore being PC” post. I like things defined…..”
-- “sorry but… if the group creator wants to only allow people in the group that can afford organic natural food, that’s her right… make your own group…. And realize just because you pretend everyone is equal… does not make everyone equal. Make your own group. Make your own rules.”
--“it’s not judgemental.. if you’re telling me to go to the doctor in this group you are not trying to learn or change… if you are telling me to go buy a can of formula bc I think my milk supply maybe low you are not trying to change.”
The reason why I chose to list this last characteristic by itself is because it involves only Kate for the most part.
“Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.” Here are examples in Kate’s own words:
-- “…...If anything, our society “lacks common sense” in the way that they are TOO quick to rush to the doctor, not too reluctant. It would incredibly uncommon, if not unheard of, for people to refuse tho go in when truly necessary……….The purpose of this forum is clear: to provide natural/alternative remedies and a safe place to discuss home treatment options. That is the beginning and the end of our purpose…….”
--“…….That’s right. It’s the people shaming the supposed “mom shamers” doing most of the shaming! I see comments like this all the time: ‘F*** those mom shamers!’…...’Get off our high horse already!’……..’I guess you’re just perfect.’…...’This group is full of mom shamers, it’s awful.’….and so on. THESE ARE SHAMING POSTS!!…...This is not allowed. And will be deleted…...So...to all those who *think * they’re anti-mom-shaming but say things like this...you’re a mom-shamer, too.”“
--“This is a natural group. When someone asks about a health related question, members are not allowed to suggest the doctor outside of true emergency situations. That is, if the person needs help NOW (severe injury, not breathing well, very dehydrated, fever over 105, etc). Members are also not allowed to tell others to get prescription drugs. Ever. If one is truly needed, a qualified doctor will prescribe…….We’ve had a number of comments lately where people have said that fairly common illnesses “have” to be treated with mainstream medicine. This is not the place for that……...Since this has been an ongoing problem, I will start removing people who violate this rule….”
-- “DON’T YOU DARE * EVER * POST ANYTHING FROM THE SKEPTICAL OB IN THIS GROUP AGAIN!!!!! That utter moron is unhealthily obsessed with me and is targeting me right now because I posted about narcissism last week. And because she is one, she assumed I was talking about her or some nonsense, although I actually wasn’t at the time. She is a filthy excuse for a human being a deserves NO attention whatsoever!!!!…...This is exactly why that moron did it, [posted about MAM and a 7 yr old post MAM wrote] too. She wants my “cult like” followers to question me and walk away fro me and see that she’s the right one, the sane one, and I was crazy all along. She wants to destroy me….”
--“These types of posts are off-topic: *Name my kids/pets, *Financial advice, * Relationship advice (unless it deals with a health/wellness issue, like “my SO wants to vaccinate and I don’t”) *Family issues/venting (again, unless it deals with a health/wellness conflict) *Home/living situation/moving advice *Business advice……...Instead we strive to stick to topics like: *Health questions/remedies *Breastfeeding/natural feeding *Cloth diapers/EC *Alternative education options…...”
--“Our members tend to practice, and our group is specifically supportive of [MAM’s tenets basically]: *No/delayed/selective vaccines, *Breastfeeding and next best alternatives, *Natural birth, including home/unassisted, *Co-sleeping, *Natural remedies, *Intact boys/no circ, *Gentle discipline, *Homeschooling/unschooling/alternative education, *Real food/healthy nutrition (not USDA version). We do not argue any of these positions……..We do not follow [MAM’s mortal sins essentially]: *Promotional/advertising type posts (with the exception of admin or by permission), *Fundraisers/GoFundMe type posts, *Religious posts, *Political posts not related to our goals (ie a political ‘vaccine laws might change’ post is fine; general politics are not), *Creating posts to insult the group or other members, *Blocking any admin, *Suggesting “go to the doctor” for non-emergency situations, *Suggesting antibiotics or any specific pharmaceutical ever (a doctor will prescribe if truly needed), *Mocking, belittling, or insulting, other members.”
--“….If there’s a post you think is a problem, then report it or tag me. I may or may not do anything about it………..People get mad when I do “too much.” People get mad when I don’t “do something” when they’re upset by other members. I can’t win sometimes. So, knock off the drama, act like adults…..”
--“…..The following constitute a medical emergency: *Serious injury (severe bleeding, crushed limbs, shock, etc.), *Fevers over 105, *First-time seizures, *Extreme lethargy/unresponsive, *Moderate to severe dehydration, *Difficulty breathing, retracting chest while breathing, *Inability to sleep/rest while sick with other serious symptoms, *Extremely unusual behavior (hallucinations, high-pitched screaming)…….If your child has *mild * to moderate symptoms…...OR has already seen a doctor…...then you can post here to ask for help…...When mothers post here for help….have either seen a doctor or do not have the severe/emergency type symptoms above, DO NOT tell them to go to the doctor. Do not tell them it is a medical emergency…...Do not encourage or insist upon Western medical treatment…….Members who repeatedly violate this policy, and who insist upon the doctor for mild situations, will be warned once, and then removed…...We are firm on this rule…..”
--“…..yes, there are better choices! We do care how a baby gets fed. We care that car seats are used correctly. We care that babies remain intact and aren’t subject to cosmetic surgery. We care that kids are offered real food. We care if babies are left to cry, or kids are hit for “discipline.”…….Choosing better ways doesn’t make you a better person……..Don’t call it ‘mom shaming,’ don’t say that we need to support all decisions as if they were equal…...”
--“WHY WE’RE WARY OF THE “SCRUNCHY ” MOM ..Basically “scrunchy” moms pick and choose which natural things they like…….IMO, honestly… this is just mainstream parenting. Mainstream believes you don’t need to ask too many questions, just accept whatever works for you. No need to be sold on any certain way, no need to do heavy research…..If you tend to lean towards the ‘scrunchy” ways of thinking on most of these points, and don’t have any desire to learn or change, this is NOT the group for you…..”
--“This is one awful human. Don’t ever talk to ANYONE like this. For any reason. [profile pics for a Shaina]”
There are examples of almost every one of these cult characteristics in the posts listed above from MAM members and MAM herself. Like I mentioned above though however, one exception I see from the MAM community is how neither the members or MAM are aggressively trying to raise money. Although MAM has her businesses, both failed and present ones such as Earthley, Tradishen.com, her books on Amazon, and once she even listed her home as a summer day time musical academy specializing in children with autism, she doesn’t attempt to get members to donate money through gofundme campaigns just because she wants to be given money. The one group where you do see heavy activity of fundraising from the group’s creator, admin, and members is in Larry Cook’s group, SMV (Stop Mandatory Vaccinations). However Larry doesn’t insist on specific behaviors, tenets, and or choices to remain in the group like MAM does.
In learning the characteristics, and understanding the mental persuasion needed for a group to reach cult-like status, I was still baffled about one important aspect of brainwashing; how is it that average every day people like you and I get sucked up into these communities and adopt such outlandish beliefs as our own? To better understand how this is possible I turned to Psychology Today to and learn about the steps needed to create a cult. After reading what actions are needed in creating cult members, I realized I have seen each one play out in every anti-vaccination community I have been a spectator in. I also realized the movie Vaxxed employed many of these techniques as well. According to Psychology Today there are 7 steps in creating your own cult.
1) “Begin by creating your own reality You do this by keeping your members away from outsiders. An isolated farm in the middle of Idaho is good but if such a retreat isn’t available, impose a form of self-censorship. If it’s not of the cult, it’s of the devil.
Obviously groups like AVA (Anti-Vaccination Australia) don't have anti-vaxers piled up in a commune somewhere, and those with even the strongest of on-line presence can not keep members away from outsiders. Instead, this is played out by repeating buzz words or phrases such as only those who share the same beliefs are the truly awoken ones in society, or anyone who doesn’t share these tenets are unenlightened sheep who are not worthy of your time. Members are encouraged to lie to friends and family about vaccine choices, and are provided this new community of inclusion to fill the void one would feel from distancing themselves from loved ones.
2) “Next set the leader and his/her inner circle up as the only link to paradise...only they hold the keys to the kingdom”
Again, there’s no paradise or kingdom, but there is enlightenment, and a higher state of health to be achieved by becoming a group loyalist. We’ve all seen the posts about the crooked vaccinated smiles on kids, or the dead soulless eyes a baby develops after their shots. We’ve also seen time and again anti-vaxers refer to their vaccine free babies as perfect, or worse….as pure. We’ve read MAM’s post wishing for a do-over daughter because she feels as though her one daughter is somehow lacking, or incomplete. And lastly, despite constantly seeing posts asking how they should treat a cold, flu, strep, or MRSA in their unvaccinated child, these same groups will have members and leaders post about how healthy and advanced their little jab free medical marvels are. You can literally see these posts on top of each other, and if you do a name search in a group for a member who claims their child is never sick, chances are you will find a couple posts from this same member asking for advice on how to naturally treat their same sick child.
3) “Remember to make increasing demands. Start small but keep going and eventually you’ll have your followers standing in line to turn over all their worldly possessions.”
I have seen this scenario play out in MAM and most other groups over the course I've been involved in these groups. Only, like with other the other characteristics on this list, I've seen it play out in the modern digital version. Some weeks it looks as though group members are just trying to up the ante on each other with more insane convictions, claims, and behaviors. First, it was just the MMR vaccine, then it turned into delayed vaccines, then no vaccines at all, then the inactivists became a very vocal group, then the breast is best crowd, then the no mainstream medicine of any kind, no vitamin K, no bathing after birth, no pet vaccines, no opting to spay or neuter your pets, and lately it’s been like a crime against humanity if you pierce your child’s ears while still a baby or toddler. We’ve been seeing urine therapy pop up more and more, and of course encapsulating one’s placenta has been a thing for a while. Now the big things are baby wearing, cloth diapers, all meals cooked from scratch just about, co-sleeping, and being told you’re a heartless human if you let your child cry when safely in their crib at bedtime, regardless of how old they are. These are a lot of f*ucking demands to keep up with! As for possessions, if you’ve ever been a single parent and attempted to buy organic groceries you learn real fast that you’ll have to first make sacrifices to afford this new grocery list.
4) “Keep turning out stories about the greatness of the leader. The more unbelievable the more they will be believed. Your members have already been conditioned from the time they were children to accept things like coming back from the dead and walking on water.”
You see Larry Cook often share screen shots of his rebuttals to pro vax comments on other pages while beaming in self satisfaction. You can almost see ego ooze through the laptop screen. With MAM it’s a bit more of an echo chamber stuffed full of cognitive dissonance. With her posts you can see the buckets of hypocrisy pour through the screen. Her comments contradict with themselves often, her actions will clash with her comments, and the specifics of her belief system changes in accordance to what fits her agenda for the day. Mixed in with this entertainment are the “feed the ego” posts where she brags about distracting her kids for 5 minutes with a make believe game, how she “Can’t even! She just can’t!” when ever she sees or hears something that disagrees with her misinterpretation of the results produced from her heavy research in the Google search bar, and she often posts pics of awesome grocery trips, cooked meals, or fun art projects while her floor, walls, mirrors, and furniture are filthy and torn up.
5) “Remembering to use your converts to bring in still more converts. This has the double advantage of picking up new disciples and (even if that doesn’t always work) the mere act of proselytizing will further cement the commitment of those already in the fold.”
All anti-vaccinationists are encouraged to spread the good word and convert as many as they can to their side. This is why you now have naive family members talking about aborted fetal DNA at Christmas time, or why every single class in school seems to have that one parent who wont shut the f*ck up about the build up of metal passing the brain/blood barrier. What I never understood though is if they are so against mandatory vaccinations, why are they so determined to make them a reality? If they just shut up about their choice to refuse vaccines then less people would fall for their shit, more people would still vaccinate, and their choices wouldn’t grab the attention of the State. And don’t believe for a second that they spread the word to protect all the helpless babies when the first thing the say to the parents of immunocompromised kids is “Why would I set my kid on fire to keep yours warm?” Bottom line? It’s a f*cking cult, that’s why.
6) “Keep everybody busy. This doesn’t allow time for potentially critical thought. Let the minds of the masses wander and who knows, they might put two and two together. For this reason long sermons – the longer the better – and interminable work shifts are essential. And when you aren’t haranguing them and they aren’t being kept busy...make sure they’re at least singing.”
The digital version of keeping followers busy is basically trolling. Keep them busy defending their convictions, and parroting every single talking point, even verbatim at times, on pages or posts that contradict the group’s claims. Or, you can offer them free business cards to hide and stash all around their town like it’s a scavenger hunt for the oddest places to hook a pro-vaxer. One other subtle way to keep their mind from committing acts of logic and reason is to bombard them with bullshit stories and articles from anti-vax sites, or from Natural News or other sites that can be argued to exist as an enemy against humanity.
7) “And finally, keep your flock fixated on the carrot. The payoff is just around the corner and only they will be the ones paid off. The clouds will part and they will be raptured up and then, boy-oh-boy, won’t all those non-believers be sorry.”
Here, the rapture happens every time a vaccinated child dies from SIDS, is diagnosed on the autism spectrum, dies from the flu while having been vaccinated for it at some point in life, a kid suffers from frequent ear infections, a peanut or egg allergy, is born with gender identity disorder, gay, or just simply lacks concentration. Each time a vaccinated child is said to experience any of these issues, among others, the anti-vaxers feel as though their faith is paying off while also causing the suffering of those who lack faith. This is both their rapture and their Revelations happening to feed into their self righteousness.
These steps may be the cause for creating brainwashed cult followers, but they aren’t the catalyst that makes it all possible. For that you have to remain open to indoctrination to and through your adult life. Many people do remain in this state of indoctrination. The ones who don’t though are usually the ones who have replaced indoctrination with education. There are subtle differences between the two. However, they can be easily explained, though difficult to demonstrate. One can be indoctrinated through believing in Santa Clause, backing a political party, following a religion, or even supporting one’s own country through radical beliefs in Statism. Indoctrination beliefs and claims are vague, general, and can almost apply to anyone or anything like an old newspaper horoscope. Basically, if the claims made can not be supported by real data, then it’s likely an example of indoctrination.
Education can be supported by data, and such data can form a theory. Education also teaches us that a problem can have several different solutions, where indoctrination is more of a one size fits all approach. Indoctrination can be rationalized to achieve a certain goal, where education is impartial to what your agenda is, or what any agenda is, and produces discoveries and understanding through a learning process. It becomes much more difficult to control a person’s mind when it’s been opened and their horizons have been broadened by the accumulation and development of knowledge.
What's The Harm?