S36E4 – Dark Psychology: Brainwashing in Fiction

Of all the topics we’ll talk about this month, brainwashing is the one with the least basis in reality. Certainly, brainwashing is absolutely a real technique and has been used in many wars and even cults. However, when most people think of this kind of mental manipulation, they think of various shows or books. They’ll think of something like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the keyphrases to trigger the switch in Bucky’s mind in order to keep him as an obedient soldier.

In a way, this provides authors with a great opportunity to mold it to fit what your story needs. Like any writing advice or rule we talk about, however, it’s important to know what it really is before you bend it to your needs. In this episode, we talk about what brainwashing really is, the process, and share examples both realistic and fictional, to help if you choose to bring this piece of dark psychology into your writing.

First aired October 13, 2022.

About the Author
I'm an editor and cover designer for AspenHouse Publishing. I am also a host for AspenHouse's poscast, Writing Roots.

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