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Milieu Control

 

Techniques Propaganda > Milieu Control

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

This is a broad approach to control people through control of their environment, including what is communicated and how.

Methods of milieu control include:

  • Defining dogma, the unquestionable truths.
  • Establishing protocols, the rules by which specific activities must be completed.
  • Using innuendo, making subtle criticisms or threats.
  • Use of slang and jargon that only the initiated will understand (and hence creating a secret code).
  • Subtleties of pronunciation that further influence and help identify the converted.

Example

Religions often base dogma on holy texts, though these are often interpreted for everyday life by the clergy.

Protocols in groups often include initiation ceremonies and punishments for transgression of rules.

Discussion

A key principle of milieu control is to work at the lower levels of human motivation, such as beliefs in dogma and values in protocols. It also works deliberately on the need for social inclusion, such as for belonging and esteem. The underlying message can be 'You are either with us or against us', with implications of rejection or even harm for those who are against.

Milieu is one of the eight criteria of Lifton's Thought Reform, though it can also be a significant part of a wider process of propaganda.

See also

Lifton's Thought Reform

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