Talk:Indoctrination

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In regards to: "Instruction in the basic principles of science, in particular, can not properly be called indoctrination[citation needed], in the sense that the fundamental principals of science call for critical self-evaluation and skeptical scrutiny of one's own ideas." - the "[citation needed]" should be removed because this statement is /prima facie/, or self-evident - It is its' own support, it is an axiom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.15.122.87 (talk) 21:48, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

I have removed the following line from the article: "Most religious groups instruct new members in the principles of the religion; this is usually not referred to as indoctrination, because of the negative connotations the word has acquired."

Religious 'instruction' is not meant to be critically evaluated and scrutinized, thus it is indoctrination. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.119.126.195 (talk) 08:32, 28 September 2008 (UTC)


I have removed the link to islam on this page- I'm not islamic myself, but I reckon that this link was a bit POV.

Caveat: improve this entry. Enlarge it. Disambiguate it. Make it deeper, wiser, better. But suppressed text will soon reappear in red.

User:Andries posts "Let's make indoctrination a serious article." But he suppresses the following text:

"But the aims and techniques of indoctrination can still be assessed."

What reading of that sentence could construe it as insufficiently neutral for Wikipedia? Why shouldn't suppressed text in the article appear in red? Who forbids this text? Who forbids this format? Wetman 21:41, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Well, how do you know that the above sentence is true? Do you have references for all the techniques of indoctrination? May be somebody uses a novel indoctrination technique that has not been described and that you had not thought of. Andries 06:22, 22 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The point being that "the aims and techniques of indoctrination may not be assessed." This is not true in an open and neutral discussion. --Wetman 06:47, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Indoctrinating Science?[edit]

How can someone be indoctrinated into a system that is founded on critical thinking and that everything we know could be wrong? Quantum Burrito 00:12, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

AFAIK indoctrination is a normal term for a basic introduction to the principles of a scientific field (see wiktionary and others). Remember the term indoctrination is not always perjorative. SociableLiberal 19:21, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

There might be some NPOV in this article. In particular, the links in the Political Indoctrination section link to a page named "Homosexuals brainwashing our children in elementary schools", and are obviously politically loaded. A less controversial subject should be choosen, such as examples stemming from totalitarian regimes.

The idea that it is "a system that is founded on critical thinking and that everything we know could be wrong" is in itself, doctrine. There is also the Doctrine of Absolute Materialism. And, beyond science, anti-religious doctrines that refuse to listen to reason or evidence.
Ion Zone (talk) 14:17, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
No, it is not. It is the exact opposite of doctrine. That is the whole point. Indoctrination is something one must not question. Science is something one must question. And you not only compare, but equate these two absolute opposites? Are you trolling?--StojadinovicP (talk) 08:56, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

Tidying up definitions, NPOV, etc.[edit]

Text moved here:

Religious indoctrination is a subject of academic interest. An upcoming volume, The Costs of Autonomy: Personal Essays on the Morality of Religious Indoctrination is planned to analyze the effects of religious indoctrination on academics.

Reason: until the book is actually published this is not encyclopedic. Once it's published let's have a link or reference.

More text moved here:

An example of the use of political indoctrination on children is seen in It's Elementary[1], a teacher training video[2] by Academy Award winner Debra Chasnoff and Helen Cohen.[3] It illustrates children undergoing political indoctrination in schools across the country showing real examples of school activities, faculty meetings, and classroom discussions.

Reason: I disagree with User:LegitimateAndEvenCompelling, because to criticise the teaching of particular values as indoctrination (in the perjorative sense) is already POV. Teaching values I approve of is socialisation or parenting; teaching values I disapprove of is indoctrination. Or do you have a source for an objectively measurable definition? As such, if we want to collect examples of indoctrination we have to cite a notable or credible source who said it was indoctrination and make it clear that this is a matter of opinion. massresistance.org is neither notable nor credible; on the other hand, Jerry Falwell would do, as would the New York Times. The video you referenced is a teacher training video; who said it was indoctrination apart from massresistance.org? By contrast, the Jesus Camp documentary was an award-winning (therefore notable) programme presenting the activities of the camp as indoctrination.

I haven't checked out the single external link yet, from the name I suspect it may be very POV. We really have to be careful with the links in this article.

I have also tidied up the definitions and added some clarification of my own.

I am planning to continue working on this article, including hunting for suitable sources to cite. The criticism section still needs work and references. A section on political indoctrination is sorely needed, it should probably be the biggest section of the article. I am working on this. Watch this space! SociableLiberal 19:19, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Jesus Camp=Indoctrination?[edit]

As a christian who has been in many congragations I have to dissagree on the putting an equal=sign on Jesus Camp and indoctrination. However any athiest feels that anybody who mentions christianity to their child is indoctrinating them.

I do believe though, that Freemasonary would be a better an example of indoctrination. Here is a group who refuses members to ask any questions whatsoevere, have to prove that they are loyal to all beliefs put forth etc. But we all know what'd happen if anybody tried to edit the page and put an equal=sign on freemasonary and indoctrination as oppose to Jesus Camp, don't we? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.164.92.21 (talk) 12:59, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Freemasonry=Belief in Higher Power. Look it up. /discussion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.72.117.38 (talk) 00:21, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

There is an 'atheist camp' now where they train children to reject things arbitrarily and fear religion.
Ion Zone (talk) 14:18, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Unbalanced, biased, lacking.[edit]

Why is the section on religious indoctrination nearly as large as all other sections combined? This seems very clearly biased against religion. Obviously this article DOES need a religious section, but it shouldn't be the main focus of the article, and it should contain opposing viewpoints instead of just Dawkins-approved material. The section also contains numerous weasel words such as "is seen by some as" or "some religions" or "most religious groups." Furthermore, the whole section only has one citation, the rest appears to be original research.

Meanwhile, there's no section at all on political indoctrination. I've read accounts of people who grew up in Cold War Europe on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain who have described their experiences with indoctrination in great detail. There is loads of material for a political indoctrination section, if not a whole new article.

All-in-all, this article needs major work. Klopek007 (talk) 05:14, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, since I added tags for weasel words and missing citations to the religious indoctrination section, it appears that there are no additional citations, but one weasel word tag has been removed due to the second mention of Richard Dawkins in as many sentences, and the phrase "and other critics of religion." So basically it's in the process of becoming another "the Great Dawkins is the final authority on everything, ever" article. Well done. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Klopek007 (talkcontribs) 21:52, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
The section on religious indoctrination is nearly as large as all other sections combined simply because indoctrination is the inculcation of doctrina, and because you haven't expanded the other sections. No other reason.--Wetman (talk) 03:54, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
Where are all the other sections?!?
Ion Zone (talk) 14:19, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps this is because indoctrination is necessary for the continuation of nearly all religions and religions are very common.137.186.121.1 (talk) 03:08, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

How is indoctrination bad? It's necessary to the continuity of all cultures and their practices, not just religious groups. --Daviddwd (talk) 06:49, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm someone who only occasionally posts minor edits to Wikipedia...but this article seems like a disaster to me. It has basically nothing to do with indoctrination per se. Rather, it seems to be presenting a fringe theory (usually found on the far left, but at least consistent with certain ideas on the far right as well) to the effect that all learning is indoctrination. In the ordinary sense of 'indoctrination', this is simply and straightforwardly false. In the ordinary sense of the term, indoctrination is closer to 'brainwashing' than to 'education', and there are clear and crucial differences between those two things. My suggestion would be: scrap this and write an entry on, y'know, actual indoctrination. Include in one smallish section a description of the view that all education, enculturation, etc. is indoctrination. As it stands, I'd say this entry is disastrously bad. It's worse than nothing in that it is extremely misleading. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.126.47.138 (talk) 15:07, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

Chomsky on brainwashing[edit]

In the current version of the page, Chomsky is quoted as follows "For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of 'brainwashing under freedom' to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments." But the full article linked to on zpub does not include the word 'brainwashing'. The original passage reads as follows "For those who stubbornly seek freedom around the world, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the propaganda system to which we are subjected and in which all too often we serve as unwilling or unwitting instruments." However, Chomsky does use the phrase 'brainwashing under freedom' elsewhere - for example in his book The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism (p 66). --RichardVeryard (talk) 17:05, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

12-Step Groups[edit]

Could someone make a section on how these techniques are used are by 12-step programs, especially AA, please? I don't know how to find sources. Thanks :) jrun (talk) 16:47, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Indoctrination and truth[edit]

I am surprised that truth is not mentioned anywhere in the article? If I "force" my child into accepting that 2+2 is 4 and only 4, before she is able to understand that, is that indoctrination? In other words, is indoctrination independent of the content, or is it not? I am honestly asking, because I was under the impressions that it is very much depending on the content and that it is only indoctrination if one is forcing someone to accept something as true, which is either proven to be false or not yet proven to be true.--StojadinovicP (talk) 09:07, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

Is this article really needed?[edit]

I'm sure WP has lots of articles on education, socialization, etc. "Indoctrination" seems to be when someone is educated or socialized in something we don't like. Nobody says we are indoctrinated to wash our hands, brush our teeth, look both ways before crossing the street, etc. Redddogg (talk) 21:51, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

One possibility would be redirect to or merge with Socialization.Redddogg (talk) 21:55, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
I'm happy with redirecting to Socialization. Indoctrination is less common and more recent, from [4]. And they're used almost interchangeably, e.g. in [5] the reporter talks about "indoctrination" but the study only discusses "socialization". Looking at WP:NPOVNAME it seems fine to classify "indoctrination" as a colloquialism.
In terms of the merge, I guess putting a few sentences in the lead would be OK, or it could be its own section. --Mathnerd314159 (talk) 06:46, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
  • Also, what is good indoctrination called? Education? Training? Good influence? Redddogg (talk) 18:54, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
Integration? Persuasion? Socialization itself has a mildly positive connotation. --Mathnerd314159 (talk) 06:46, 21 May 2017 (UTC)
Sockpuppet blocked, nothing to see here.--☾Loriendrew☽ (ring-ring) 23:35, 30 May 2017 (UTC)