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End Coercive Persuasion & Mind Control

Coercion: compelling people to act or think in certain
ways through the use of pressure, threats or intimidation.

Coercive Persuasion (
© 1999)

Coercive persuasion (e.g. mind control and brainwashing) attempts to force people to change their beliefs, ideas, attitudes or behaviors using emotional pressure, undue influence, threats, anxiety, intimidation and/or stress. We help people to limit and remedy coercive persuasion and to minimize its unpleasant effects.

Coercive persuasion can be witnessed in many organizations. Consider military,  terrorist and paramilitary organizations; some schools and universities, aggressive sales organizations and some cults and professional associations. The goal is to prevent people making informed decisions and instead rely on their superior officers, sales rhetoric, trainers or organizational dogma.

The steps of coercion strategies are usually small enough to prevent people noticing their emotional changes or the methods used to control their behavior.

Coercive persuasion attempts to overcome informed choice and emotional defenses. Critical and cognitive thinking, values, ideas, relationships, attitudes and conduct are undermined by hypnotic communication, covert threats and intimidation. Following covert coercion, people may become unable to make rational decisions, and / or to critique the value of presented ideas or dogma.

The best defense against coercion is to quickly recognize the strategies used to gain compliance, and, following this recognition, to better resist and avoid those strategies, or to merely pretend compliance until an opportunity for relief.

Protection from Psychological Operations . Exit Coaching

Defense against Coercive Persuasion

The cumulative effect of coercion and emotional manipulation can be more effective than pain, drugs or physical force, threats of physical abuse, fines or imprisonment. People can be programmed to commit illegal or immoral actions despite criminal, financial or other penalties.

Defense against coercion starts with recognizing it. Then a person can leave, seek assistance, or, if forcibly confined (e.g. imprisonment or military service), pretend compliance.

Coercion 1: Hypnotic Compliance

Suggestibility is increased using hypnotic techniques such as repeated dogma, chants, and sensory fixation. Suggestibility can be accompanied, deepened and accelerated by endlessly repeated activities; sleep deprivation and/or nutritional restriction.

Defense 1: Recognize Hypnotic Strategies

We can train people to recognize and control their responses to hypnotic language and suggestion, and to minimize the consequences of sleep and nutritional deprivation. With this knowledge a person can quickly recognize coercive strategies, become defensive and seek sleep and food.

Coercion 2: Social Isolation

A person's social environment and sources of social support can be controlled with rewards and punishments. Only communication with authorities, "converted" subjects and other trainees may be allowed. Contact with family, friends, and anybody not having an "approved attitude" is limited. A person comes to depend on propaganda.

Defense 2: Imaginary Society

Free people can leave. For those who cannot, we provide training in visual and auditory imagery, self-hypnosis and hypnotic language. With this knowledge a person recognize and reduce the loneliness of isolation and control the need for healthy conversations.

Coercion 3: Limit Topics of Discussion

External information and opinions can be prohibited in group communications. Rules about permissible topics to discuss with outsiders can be enforced. External communication is controlled and an "in-group" jargon is increasingly used.

Defense 3: Imaginary Discussions

Free people can leave. For those who cannot leave, we provide training in self-hypnosis, with which a person can recognize and control their need to communicate with other non-compliant group members.

Coercion 4: Undermine Causality

People may be required to negatively re-evaluate their self-experience and conduct, to destabilize and undermine their awareness, world view, emotional control and conscious defenses. People can be guided to reinterpret their history and to adopt the organization's version of causality.

Defense 4: Creativity and Repetition

People who cannot leave can perceive the destabilization attempts and use with mental exercises to create or reinforce conscious blocks to manipulation.

Coercion 5: Undermine Self-Confidence

A sense of powerlessness and confusion can be created by instigating frequent intense situations which undermine the subject's self-confidence and judgment. This powerlessness can be enhanced with psychoactive drugs (in water and/or food).

Defense 5: Mental Role Playing Games

Tthose who cannot leave can be trained to perceive the power games and defuse their impact. Trained people can also notice the effects of psychoactive drugs and reduce their intake.

Coercion 6: Overload Emotions

People can be controlled with humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, status changes, guilt, anxiety, manipulation and other techniques that create strong unpleasant emotions.

Defense 6: Dissociation and Rationalization

Free people can leave. For those who cannot, we train people can perceive power games and recognize covert humiliation. They can also practise mind-body dissociation and other emotional defenses.

Coercion 7: Intimidation

Group-sanctioned threats and propaganda (e.g. disobedience will lead to physical or mental illness, drug dependence, economic collapse, social failure, divorce, etc) can intimidate people to adopt the approved attitudes, beliefs or behaviors.

Defense 7: Mental Imagery and Affirmations

We can train people to recognize intimidation and propaganda' and to create appropriate defenses.

Coercion 8: Seduction

People can be seduced with egotistical and sexual bait. Suggest or imply that adopting certain attitudes, beliefs or behavior will lead to intimate sexual encounters, rapid promotion, gratification of desires, power, stability, financial success, and community recognition, etc. (Some of these rewards may be promoted as only available after physical death!)

Defense 8: Evidence and Reality Checks

Trained people can recognize coercion within covert seduction. Any claims can be realistically analyzed, and proof requested.

Coercive Persuasion, Force, Manipulation and Influence

Coercive persuasion is different to social learning or peaceful persuasion. Coercion is identified by the conditions under which it is conducted. These conditions include the type and number of coercive strategies, the emotional toxicity of environmental and interpersonal manipulation, the suppression of unwanted behaviors and the imaginary rewards offered for desired behavior change.

Physical force and threats of force are usually easy to notice, while coercive persuasion is not so easy to recognize or define. Although the laws of many countries allow that coercion need not involve physical force, people may be psychologically threatened and coerced by what is perceived to be advantageous or dangerous, not necessarily by what is advantageous or dangerous.

Threats need not be physical. Threats of economic loss, social ostracism and ridicule, among other things, are usually recognized by law as coercive persuasion.


By becoming aware of the tactics of coercive persuasion, one may witness these tactics in general and everyday use in marketing, political rhetoric or military recruiting - often under the guise of patriotism. However, these common applications of compliance pale in comparison to the treatment of people who join certain cults and extremist organizations, or of people who are imprisoned by hostile organizations.

Although coercive persuasion includes confusion, intimidation and victimization, the victims are often naive and unaware of the intense psychological attacks on their rationality. Only later, if the tactics are explained, may victims perceive the roots of their subsequent compliance.

Organizations who benefit from coercive persuasion may evade lawsuits and prosecution for fraud, false imprisonment, undue influence, involuntary servitude, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other tortuous acts - until the victims can speak out... we help victims to speak out.

We provide preventative training for people who may come into contact with coercive or extreme organizations, and remedial help for people who have been coerced or intimidated by cults, terrorists, imprisonment, hostile ideologies etc.

Prevent Coercive Persuasion

Protect your people from coercive persuasion, manipulation, influence and mind-control.

  • recognize hypnotic strategies
  • survive enforced isolation
  • protect rational consciousness
  • deal with overt intimidation
  • deal with covert coercion
  • recognize and evaluate seduction

Remedies for Coercive Persuasion

Coercive persuasion involves intimidation and emotional or relationship manipulation.

We coach people to change emotionally charged relationships, and to evaluate the organization they wish to leave.

Long-term follow-up ensures lasting benefits

We offer online coaching, counseling and mentorship.

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 2000-2016 All rights reserved.

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Solve Emotional & Relationship Issues

Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you want? Know your life goals and how you sabotage yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Develop your inner resources with Dreamwork
Do emotions block you? Resolve relationship problems and mentor damage
Do beliefs limit you? Change your limiting beliefs and end dependence
Can you feel connected? Resolve identity loss to recover your lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents can better manage family problems
Endless relationship problems? Solutions for adults who suffer attachment disorders
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling, therapy & training

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2016 All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was developed by Martyn Carruthers
to help people solve emotional and relationship problems, and to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work.