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Remedies for Coercive Persuasion & Mind Control

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

Coercive Persuasion

Coercive persuasion attempts to force people to change beliefs, ideas, attitudes or behaviors using psychological pressure, undue influence, threats, anxiety, intimidation and/or stress. (It has been called mind control and brainwashing.) We help people limit and remedy coercive persuasion and minimize the unpleasant effects.

Coercive persuasion can be seen in many organizations - such as terrorist or paramilitary organizations; some public schools and universities, aggressive sales organizations and in many cults and sects. The goal is that a subject cannot make informed decisions, and instead relies on the decisions of superior officers, sales rhetoric or organizational dogma.

Each step of a coercive strategy is usually small enough to prevent a subject noticing their emotional changes or the methods used to control their behavior.

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

The best defense against coercion is to quickly recognize the common strategies to gain compliance. Following this recognition, alert subjects can better resist and avoid the strategies, or pretend compliance, until an opportunity for relief arises.

Protection from Psychological Operations . Exit Coaching

Defense against Coercive Persuasion

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

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

Coercion Strategy 1: Hypnotic Compliance

Suggestibility is increased using hypnotic techniques such as repeated lectures, chants, and sensory fixation. Suggestibility can be accompanied, deepened and accelerated by endlessly repeated activities; sleep 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 Strategy 2: Social Isolation

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

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 Strategy 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 Strategy 4: Undermine Causality

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

Defense 4: Creativity and Repetition

Free people can leave. For those who cannot, trained people can perceive the destabilization attempts and create or reinforce conscious blocks to manipulation with mental exercises.

Coercion Strategy 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 confusion-causing psychoactive drugs administered in water or food.

Defense 5: Mental Role Playing Games

Free people can leave. For those who cannot, trained people can perceive the power games and defuse their impact. Trained people can also notice the effects of psychoactive drugs and take steps to reduce those effects.

Coercion Strategy 6: Overload Emotions

Control can be achieved by creating strong aversive emotions with humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, status changes, guilt, anxiety, manipulation and other techniques.

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 improvise mind-body dissociation and other emotional defenses (we also use these to remedy post-traumatic stress disorders - PTSD).

Coercion Strategy 7: Intimidation

People can be intimidated with group-sanctioned threats. Failure to adopt the approved attitudes, beliefs or behaviors may lead to ostracism or punishment; with propaganda that disobedience will lead to physical or mental illness, drug dependence, economic collapse, social failure, divorce, etc.

Defense 7: Mental Imagery and Affirmations

Free people can leave. For those who cannot, we can train people to recognize intimidation and propaganda and to consciously create appropriate defenses.

Coercion Strategy 8: Seduction

Seduce people with egotistic 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

Strategies of coercive persuasion are 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 toxicity of environmental and interpersonal manipulation, the amount of emotional force used to suppress unwanted behaviors and the scale of imaginary rewards offered for desired behavior change.

Physical force and threats of force are usually readily definable, clear-cut and unambiguous. 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 captured and imprisoned by hostile or terrorist organizations.

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

Organizations and cults who profit 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
  • survive intimidation and overt threats
  • perceive coercion and covert threats
  • 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.

Exit Coaching may require two or three 2-hour meetings per week for 2-3 months, or 3-5 days of intensive coaching at your location.

Long-term follow-up ensures lasting benefits

We offer effective systems coaching, counseling and mentorship.


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Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts 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 - email