Tag Archives: don’t join the military

5 Ways The UCMJ Treats Troops Unethically

Note: I served in the U.S. Air Force from 2000-2007. My AFSC was 3C0X1 (Communications computer systems operator). My highest rank was E-5 (Staff Sergeant), and I received an honorable discharge.

Many American civilians don’t fully understand that military service members fall under a completely separate legal jurisdiction than civilians. This legal code is known as the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The existence of the UCMJ isn’t necessarily a sinister thing. In a lot of ways, pointing out that civilians and troops fall under different legal codes is like saying people who work for McDonalds and people who work for Burger King have different employee handbooks. The military is a bureaucratic institution that exists to accomplish a specific purpose just like the United States Post Office. Neither could operate without some kind of guidelines that outline the operating procedures for how they accomplish their purpose.

 

 

This sounds reasonable on paper, but the UCMJ redefines the basic human rights of the people who fall under its jurisdiction in ways that are considered unethical and unconstitutional. It’s literally illegal to treat civilians the same way troops are treated under the UCMJ. Here are five ways the UCMJ treats the troops unethically:

 

1. Bad Conduct and Dishonorable Discharges

There’s effectively no difference between a bad conduct/dishonorable discharge and a felony conviction. No other place of employment has the ability to punish dissenting employees with prison time and felony convictions for not obeying their boss at work. However, the military reserves this right because the UCMJ gives it that right, which is like saying the Bible is true because the Bible says it’s true.

Just like how the Bible causes its followers to carry around the burden of the threat of Hell in their minds every time they commit the most innocent, victimless sin, the troops carry around the burden of the threat of a dishonorable discharge with them all the time, everywhere they go. This is tolerable if you don’t think about it, but once you realize that the rest of your life will be unceremoniously destroyed if you decide not to do a jumping jack when you’re ordered to or you decide not to button up your shirt when you’re ordered to and persist in refusing to do so after repeated orders you’ll come to realize that your life isn’t your own, and your personhood isn’t important to the military. You’re a slave whose worth is measured by your willingness to conform, and you’ll be unceremoniously thrown out onto the street and made an example out of the moment it’s convenient for the military.

You can find ways to justify this, but it’s a legal fact that McDonald’s couldn’t do this to its employees because that would be grossly unethical. So let’s be clear that in justifying the existence of bad conduct/dishonorable discharges we are in effect justifying second-class citizenship for the troops; they have less protection under the law and can be treated worse than other people and we’re fine with this.

 

2. Institutionalized Victimhood/Subjugation

Imagine if you had to salute teachers, police officers, doctors or politicians any time you pass them in the street. Imagine if you had to address everyone who gets paid more than you as “Sir or Ma’am.” Imagine if you had to deliver these gestures of submission to people you don’t work with and don’t know. Or imagine if you had to offer these gestures of submission to individuals who you knew for a fact were dumber than you and had less moral character than you.

Now imagine if I told you that you had to salute all these people and address them with a superior title because you respected them….well, that and the fact that if you don’t then you’ll be demoted, fired, go to jail and/or receive a felony conviction on your permanent employment record that you can’t hide from future prospective employers….but the fear of permanent destitution isn’t why you salute them. You salute them because you respect them…even if you don’t know them or you know for a fact that one of those individuals is a scum bag.

What if I told you that you had to respect these people because they were white, or older than you, or joined the company before you or went to school a little longer than you? In a world where “all men are created equal” does it matter what reason someone tells you to subjugate yourself to another person, especially when the order to subjugate yourself comes with the threat of destitution?

Mandatory gestures of subjugation are reprehensible and illegal in every walk of life except the military, and in that case, insult is added to injury by training the troops to glorify participation in their own subjugation. Military training teaches you that the way to be the perfect human is to be the perfect victim or abuser, depending on which side of the caste system your rank places you in relation to the human being standing in front of you.

Again, I understand that there are reasons for the military caste system and for saluting, but those reasons merely justify the exact same level of institutionalized victimhood and subjugation that was imposed on Negro slaves before the Emancipation Proclamation.

Just like with Negro slavery, many honest, well-intentioned people used similar reasons to justify the institutionalized victimhood and subjugation of those slaves, and the worst part is that from one narrow point of view they were right. If you ignore the inherent value of human beings and only look at the well-being of a nation from the standpoint of its economic and political strength, then a caste system looks justifiable. So feel free to argue that the troops need to or deserve to be held to a lower standard of ethical treatment than the civilian population. Just understand that when you do that, saying “Support the Troops” is as meaningful as saying “Support the Slaves.”

 

3. Inhumane Training Methods

Have you ever wondered why police officers, firemen, lawyers, CEOs or politicians don’t go through military basic training? After all, the commercials say that military training will turn you into a superhuman. If military basic training is such a powerful tool for raising human beings to their full potential then why doesn’t everyone or at least the most powerful people in the world go through basic training?

The answer is because military training doesn’t raise you to your full potential. It uses time-tested brainwashing techniques to break you down mentally and replace your values and beliefs with those that will ensure you shut down your capacity to reason and question. It indoctrinates you to willfully subjugate yourself to external control and kill without question.

Public and private organizations alike regularly produce literature condemning the training techniques used in military basic training. However, these techniques are only condemned when cults use them, not when the military does. I strongly urge you to put this claim to the test. Go look in any brainwashing textbook, and compare those methods to military basic training. Military basic training is copied word-for-word from brainwashing textbooks. This isn’t a subjective opinion you can disagree with for your own subjective reasons. This is a cut-and-dry, verifiable fact.

 

 

Another way you can put this theory to the test is to set up your own basic training camp. Hire ex-basic training instructors to train a group of psychology students using the exact same training manuals and techniques used in military basic training. Then invite the American Psychological Association to monitor your training program for any ethical violations. Your experiment would be shut down before it finished if not before it started.

This raises the question, why the double standards? Why have we taken one group of people and exempted them from the same protections we guarantee everyone else? And does it even matter if there’s a reason? What’s our freedom worth if it’s bought with the blood of slaves and can be taken away from us by our own government with the flick of a pen? Are we even worth protecting if we agree to strip our fellow man of their humanity?

 

4. Pushing the Limits of Contractual Obligation

We justify exempting troops from the same rights and protections every other human being is entitled to because the troops signed a contract and took an oath. Actually, this statement is only half true. In the case of a draft the troops don’t have a choice. They have to take the oath or go to jail. In that case, the government gets to throw all the rights and protections guaranteed by the constitution out the window at its own discretion. In other words, the government can suspend the constitution at will like it did in the Vietnam War (or as the Vietnamese call it, The American War) when there was zero threat to the American public and the troops were sent in (many against their will) to protect American business’s access to the South East Asian economy against the will of the majority of the Vietnamese (and all of the Cambodian) people…but I digress.

The draft sets a precedent that the government can throw out the constitution at will and it doesn’t need airtight justification to do so. It can also throw out the constitution if it can get a person to sign a piece of paper waiving their rights. Before you start screaming, “The troops knew what they were getting into before they signed up!” go visit a military recruiter and tell them you want to sign up for the military. They’ll put a piece of paper and a pen in front of you and pressure you to sign it as fast as possible.

If you ask them the hard questions about the U.C.M.J. they’ll make excuses and dodge the subjects. They’ll reassure you everything is on the level and promise you anything they can to get you to sign that paper so they can meet their recruitment quota. They’ll even flat out lie to you. Any honest basic training instructor will tell you that military recruiters are synonymous with dishonesty.

To military apologists this is all just nit-picking; the bottom line is the troops signed a contract that’s more legally binding than the constitution or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I suppose, from a purely technical standpoint that’s legally valid. But if that’s the case then what the hell are we doing here? If I can just give you a $3,000 kicker bonus and promise to pay for your pregnant wife’s upcoming hospital bills (that you can’t afford because you work for McDonald’s) in exchange for all your civil liberties then why have civil liberties in the first place? The issue here isn’t whether or not it’s illegal to strip human beings of their civil liberties. The question is whether or not it should be legal. The answer is no. It shouldn’t, because as the military says, “A threat to liberty anywhere is a threat to liberty everywhere.”

 

5. Loss of civil liberties

Many of the laws in the UCMJ are inoffensive and inarguable. For example, Article 128 of the UCMJ deals with assault. Of course, we don’t want people assaulting each other. Article 120 deals with rape, and that’s great too. Nobody should be raped. So I agree with that, but the fact that there are some reasonable lines in the UCMJ doesn’t prove that they’re all reasonable, practical or just. Look at Articles 133 and 134, which say,

Any commissioned officer, cadet, or midshipman who is convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.” and “Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special, or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.

If those statements sound borderline meaningless, that’s because they are. They were designed as catchall laws to allow the military to incriminate and punish the troops for any reason it subjectively decides. Michelle Manhart was discharged for posing nude in Playboy magazine because it brought discredit on the military. Others have been reprimanded and discharged for moonlighting as strippers even though they kept their daytime job in the military a secret. You’ll go to jail and/or get a dishonorable discharge for publicly speaking your mind about morally questionable things your employer (who won’t let you quit) is doing. You can be demoted at work for cussing at a minor at a grocery store.

You might not have a problem with this, but let’s just be clear about the precedent we’re setting here. The military enforces subjective cultural taboos, and retains broad discretion in its ability to destroy the lives of its service members for not conforming to the military’s narrow perception of morality. Imagine if you were a member of a church, and your pastor found out you cheated on your wife. Then he told your boss and you got demoted at work. Imagine if you got fired at work for marching in a gay pride parade over the weekend. Imagine if you were sentenced to life in prison for whistle-blowing human rights abuses committed by your employer. Would that be fair? Would that be just? No, but that’s everyday life for the troops. The human beings are so un-free that they’re subject to laws that basically say anything you do can be illegal if your boss wants it to. That’s literally the opposite of freedom. That’s totalitarian control over the life of a human being, and there’s no dignity in that.

All of the extraordinary rules/regulations in the UCMJ are supposedly justified because they ensure good order and discipline, but never forget that this good order and discipline comes at the cost of respect for human dignity and equality. These measures aren’t necessary to maintain good order and discipline in the civilian population because civilian employers don’t have the same mission as the military. The military’s mission is to kill people and blow things up without asking why.

This is an unnatural mission that human instincts, common sense, and reason-based morality cannot accept. As a result, the military must use invasive techniques to break its members’ minds and bind them in an unnatural psychological state against their will if/when necessary. If the military can’t break the mind of a troop it will tattoo “failure to conform” on their forehead and throw them in the gutter and make an example of them to scare the remaining troops into submission. To the military, the perfect hero is the perfect slave, and all their benefits and perks are just golden handcuffs. Putting bigger golden handcuffs on the slaves is a hollow way to support them. Refusing to allow open, honest discussion about what the troops are dying/killing for is a hollow way to support them. If you really, truly care about the troops, the best way you can support them is to end the UCMJ and give the troops their rights, their dignity and their freedom back.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Military Mind Control
Military Philosophy
Police Brutality
America is not the good guy

9 Reasons Not To Join The United States Military

I served in the U.S. Air Force from 2000-2007. My AFSC was 3C0X1 (Communications computer systems operator). My highest rank was E-5 (Staff Sergeant), and I received an honorable discharge.

I separated because I realized nine things about the military that would have kept me from joining in the first place if I had known them in 1999. None of these reasons are derogatory towards the troops. All of these reasons have to do with how the military treats the troops unethically. The purpose of this essay isn’t to defame servicemen and women. The purpose is to raise awareness of how the military system treats its own.

Whether you agree or disagree with me, I encourage you to leave a comment. I don’t censor people who disagree with me, but comments that include personal attacks or insults will be deleted.

 

1. The military is a death cult that brainwashes you.

The military is painstakingly designed around the cult model, and the two biggest red flags are its unethical indoctrination process and totalitarian, pyramid-shaped caste system. Other warning signs include the use of an inside language, in-group symbols, rituals, in-group socializing, constantly telling you that the military is your family, convincing you that military history is your history and other tactics that convince you to base your identity and purpose in life primarily on the military. Individually, these practices aren’t necessarily sinister, but the military goes to extreme lengths to use every trick in the book every day to convince its members to base their identity on the in-group and devote their life to it. That’s what cults do, and the military does it better than anyone.

Again, I’m not saying this to attack the troops. I’m not saying, “You suck because you’re a brainwashed slave in a cult.” I’m bringing this up to raise objection to the military using unethical brainwashing techniques on its troops. This is a human rights violation on a mass scale, and the only reason the military isn’t shut down by the police for operating a death cult is because the military operates outside the law.

 

 

2. You’ll kill and possibly die to defend the very ideals you swore to fight against.

There’s no country in the world that wants to take away America’s freedoms. The only people in the world taking away Americans’ freedoms are the very leaders every active duty soldier swears an oath of allegiance to. The American government took away Americans’ freedoms every year I served in the military. Americans lost freedoms every year I was stationed overseas, and anyone who enlists today will be able to say the same thing after they separate.

America is no longer the land of the free, and it’s also not a representative democracy. It’s a corportocracy controlled by the rich, for the rich. America doesn’t even defend democracy abroad. It’s the only country actively toppling democracies. Look it up. That’s not a conspiracy. It’s common knowledge.

If you join the United States military, you won’t fight for truth, justice or freedom. You’ll fight for a government that crushes public dissent and locks up more people than any other country in the world in a for-profit prison system that uses inmates as slave labor. You won’t fight for peace. You’ll fight for a country that commits human rights violations, spies on its own citizens and locks up whistle blowers, while protecting war criminals. You’ll fight for a country that destabilizes weaker countries to allow multinational businesses to fleece them out of their natural resources and outsource jobs to their sweatshops. The American military might fight against terrorism, but it also engages in terrorism and creates more terrorists every time it kills innocent civilians, which is almost every month.

There are no serious foreign threats to America’s way of life. Possibly the biggest threat to the average American’s quality of life is America’s own industrial war complex, which directs billions of tax dollars every year to killing goat herders while America’s schools crumble from lack of funding.

If you support America’s military mission, you won’t make the world a better place. In the end, your noble sacrifices will make the world a worse place, but don’t take my word for it. If you want to know what America’s military stands for, ask the good people of Diego Garcia.

 

 

3. The military cares about you the same way a slave owner cares about his slaves.

The military will convince you to love it so much you’ll get military tattoos, wear military-themed civilian clothing and yell at anyone who criticizes the military, but it doesn’t return that loyalty. Sure, troops are given a lot of perks and bonuses, but like all other cults, the pampering stops the second you start questioning the organization.

If you don’t drink the Koolaid, you’ll get thrown out in the streets for “failure to conform.” If you breach the military’s puritanical code of ethics, it won’t hesitate to throw the book at you as hard as possible to make an example of you. After you separate, you’ll get some veteran benefits, which sound good on paper, yet, but a veteran commits suicide literally every day, and most of America’s homeless population are veterans. The problem isn’t just that the military abandons their veterans. Active duty junior enlisted troops are twice as likely to become alcoholics and heavy smokers during their first enlistment than their civilian peers. These statistics wouldn’t exist unles there were something terribly wrong with the system.

The problem is, the military doesn’t see troops as humans beings. They’re just social security numbers with expiration dates. If the military cared about about troops on a personal level, it wouldn’t strip away their rights and arbitrarily segregated them into a totalitarian caste system.

The military may be full of good people, but the system is soulless. It asks you to give everything and expect nothing. Yet it will turn against you, abandon you, and use you at its mildest convenience.

 

Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy." Henry Kissinger

 

4. You will lose almost all of your civil rights.

You’ll lose your freedom of speech and the right to assemble.

You’ll lose the right to work at, or even enter businesses the military disagrees with.

You won’t be able to quit your job when you’ve reached the point where you hate it or disagree with it.

Your home life will affect your work life. You can be demoted or even lose your job for legal trouble you get into on your private time.

You can be demoted at work and criminally punished for cheating on your spouse.

There’s a legal limit to the type and amount of tattoos and piercings you can have.

You can’t wear clothing on base that isn’t PG-13.

You can even get charged with destruction of government property for getting a sunburn on your day off.

You can theoretically go to jail for not doing a jumping jack, not buttoning your shirt, talking back to your boss, quitting your job, not taking your hat off when you go inside, walking on the grass, or not saluting the flag.

Article 134 or the Uniform Code of Military Justice says anything can be considered against the law; someone in your chain of command just has to say whatever you did was bad, and that makes it officially against the rules:

“Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special, or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.“

You’ll lose many more rights listed in the Uniform Code of Military Justice that nobody will go out of their way to tell you about until after you’ve signed your soul away, but if you ever complain, you’ll be told, “You knew exactly what you were getting into when you signed up.”

Individually, some of these points may seem trivial to you, but when you add them all up, the end result is the government owns you completely. If you only want to do whatever the government allows you to, then you might not notice losing your freedom and dignity. If you value your rights and freedoms, it will drive you crazy knowing your leaders are holding a metaphorical gun to your head 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and forcing you to accept being treated like second-class citizen.

Once you realize you’re not fighting for anyone else’s freedoms except the robber barons who own your corrupt politicians, the cost/benefit analysis of giving up your rights to a death cult that doesn’t care about you ceases to add up.

 

5. You will live in a caste system where your worth as a human being is determined by rank.

When you go through basic training you’ll be told that upon graduation you’ll become an adult. In fact, you’ll become more than an adult. You’ll become a member of the most elite echelon of society, and your maturity and responsibility will make you superior to the petty, selfish, undisciplined civilian herd.

However, the reality of life in the military doesn’t  reflect the propaganda you’ll  be fed in basic training. The reality of your day to day life is comparable to what you experienced in high school. Everyone in the ranks between E-1 to E-4 are treated like children. The ranks of E-5 and E-6 are treated like teachers, and E-7 to E-9 are treated like school administrators.

When you wear the bottom four ranks, superiors will look down on you, talk down to you, bully you, and rub their rank in your face. You’ll be made to do menial chores and the bulk of the work. You’ll be punished severely for any and every infraction possible, and you’ll even be punished for things you didn’t do wrong. You’ll have very little recourse to fight this because your worth is based on your rank, and your rank is that of a slave.

When you reach the middle tier ranks, you’ll finally be treated like a human being. Your job will mainly involve training the lower ranks and managing paperwork. You’ll be less accountable for your actions and will have comfortable leeway to bend the rules.

When you reach the top tiers of the enlisted pyramid, you’ll become a figurehead. You’ll spend most of your days doing paperwork and giving speeches. Since there are very few people above you to hold you accountable, and all of those people are in your club, you’ll be almost unaccountable for your actions and will have to seriously screw up to get in real trouble.

The power dynamic between the officer corps and the enlisted corps is comparable to slave owners and slaves. The slave owners are treated like gods and literally dine on golden plates under golden chandeliers. They have total power over the lower class and can destroy their underlings’ lives with the snap of a finger. They’re trained to believe in their superiority and wear their arrogance on their sleeves. They’re less accountable for their actions. They’ll get in far less trouble for committing the same crimes as enlisted troops, if they get in trouble at all. Being an officer is a very good life to have… and a very immoral one. It is an obsolete class structure that degrades the value of the lives of the human beings who wear enlisted ranks and directly contradicts the idea of human equality.

This is a strange way to live, but other than being degrading to the lowest ranking troops, it might not seem like a compelling reason not to join the military. What new recruits need to be aware of is that after you’ve been indoctrinated to base your identity on your rank, that indoctrination doesn’t always go away after you leave the military. If you spend 4 years as a low ranking enlisted troop and then separate, you’re likely to go back out into the real world with a subservient mindset. But If you spend 4 years as an officer and then separate, you’re likely to go back out into the real world believing the human population is divided into those who deserve to be obeyed/served and those who deserve to obey/serve, and you’re one of the gods among men who deserve to be obeyed and served. These delusions of grandeur may feel empowering, but it’s indoctrinated insanity. Leaders who think this way tend to act more like dictators than mentors.

 

6. The benefits aren’t as good as you think.

Theoretically, veterans are supposed to get preference when applying for federal jobs. Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t. In the public sector, military experience can sometimes hurt your chances of getting hired because many civilians see veterans as dumb grunts with PTSD.

You won’t get much, if any, VA medical help unless you were injured while in the military or you retired through the military. Even then, the VA system is famous for being a nightmare. Don’t take my word for it. Visit a VA hospital before you join the military and see what you’re signing up for.

You can retire in 20 years, but a large portion of troops’ paychecks are itemized as housing pay, cost of living adjustments and other side-benefits they don’t pay taxes on. This looks great at the time, but the military bases retirement pay on taxable income. For enlisted troops, this is only enough to live well on in the Philippines.

The MGI Bill has finally become usable, and it’s a really good deal. The VA will also vouch for the down payment on your house, which is a really, really good deal. But no matter how good the monetary benefits of joining the military are, you’re still spending blood money.

 

7. Life in the military sucks…but don’t take my word for it.

I’m sorry that it has come to this- A soldier’s last words

The conversation about war and our veterans we refuse to have

A special report/feature about suicides by a military newspaper

Article about veterans struggling to get help for post traumatic stress disorder

A documentary about rape in the military

A military chat forum discussing how common sexual harassment is in the military

A blog about the serious flaws in the Marine Corps, written by Marine veterans 

The most gruesome moments in the CIA torture report

A good summary of what American soldiers are sent to fight for

A rant by an Army vet about how he lost faith in America’s military mission

 

 

8. Military culture is devolving into a maniacally politically correct, anal-retentive bureaucratic snowflake office Hell.

I’ll explain what life is like in the Air Force, and you can just subtract a few degrees for each of the other branches: Cussing at all is frowned up, and in a lot of offices it’s banned. The only kind of music you can listen to at work are Pop and Christian. You can’t make crude jokes. You can be court-martialed for sexual harassment for saying the word, “vagina.” You can’t smoke anywhere but at isolated, designated smoking areas, and you can’t smoke at all on some bases. You can’t put your hands in your pockets. You can’t walk and talk on your cell phone. You can’t walk on the grass. You have to wear standard-issue reflective clothing when walking at night. You’ll get yelled at for wearing any article of civilian clothing on base that you wouldn’t wear to church. You generally have to act like Ned Flanders or you’ll get yelled at for being unprofessional… and you can theoretically go to jail and have the rest of your life destroyed with a dishonorable discharge if you don’t conform quietly.

There is some validity to some of these rules, but when you add all of them up (and the many others not mentioned) and continue to make more and more rules that force everyone to act like a neutered youth pastors, you create an environment that’s less like the adventure advertised on recruiting commercials and more like the embodiment of everything the movie “Office Space” was satirizing. I’m just saying, life in the military isn’t the grand summer camp dream-adventure recruitment posters advertise it to be. It’s a bureaucratic nightmare.

People who can’t conform to life in a soulless system end up leaving the military willingly or unwillingly. Those who act the most whitewashed and sanitized rise to the top. So that’s who you work for, and that’s who you work with. That’s the environment you eat, sleep and breathe in. If the puritanical lifestyle appeals to you, and you don’t mind being complicit in the deaths of hundreds of civilians every year, then join the Air Force.

 

 

9. You’ll be indoctrinated with battered person syndrome.

“When Battered Person Syndrome (BPS) manifests as PTSD, it consists of the following symptoms: (a) re-experiencing the battering as if it were recurring even when it is not, (b) attempts to avoid the psychological impact of battering by avoiding activities, people, and emotions, (c) hyperarousal or hypervigilance, (d) disrupted interpersonal relationships, (e) body image distortion or other somatic concerns, and (f) sexuality and intimacy issues.

Additionally, repeated cycles of violence and reconciliation can result in the following beliefs and attitudes:

  • The abused thinks that the violence was his or her fault.
  • The abused has an inability to place the responsibility for the violence elsewhere.
  • The abused fears for his/her life and/or the lives of his/her children (if present).
  • The abused has an irrational belief that the abuser is omnipresent and omniscient.

The syndrome develops in response to a three-stage cycle found in domestic violence situations. First, tension builds in the relationship. Second, the abusive partner releases tension via violence while blaming the victim for having caused the violence. Third, the violent partner makes gestures of contrition. However, the partner does not find solutions to avoid another phase of tension building and release so the cycle repeats. The repetition of the violence despite the abuser’s attempts to “make nice” results in the abused partner feeling at fault for not preventing a repeat cycle of violence. However, since the victim is not at fault and the violence is internally driven by the abuser’s need to control, this self-blame results in feelings of helplessness rather than empowerment. The feeling of being both responsible for and helpless to stop the violence leads in turn to depression and passivity. This learned depression and passivity makes it difficult for the abused partner to marshal the resources and support system needed to leave.” (Source: Wikipedia)

This is how the military conditions you to see the world. The military no longer physically beats the troops, but it can accomplish the same result without leaving a physical mark by yelling, threatening, publicly shaming, imprisoning you, giving you additional duties, and paperwork. If all else fails, they can send you to remedial military training to reinforce your “military bearing,” which is an unambiguous form of brainwashing used by cults to re-orientate their victim’s identity on the in-group.

The end result is you’ll feel guilty for breaking meaningless rules, and you’ll attack anyone else you see breaking meaningless rules. And anytime anyone criticizes your masters or their agenda; you’ll defend them to the death oblivious to the fact that you’re defending your abuser and attacking anyone who tries to free you from the people who have manipulated you into celebrating and defending your own oppression.

 

 

My responses to common criticisms of this post:

 

1. The military is not a cult! I served in the military and never knew anyone who was brainwashed!

No Scientologist ever met a Scientologist who was brainwashed either. There’s no point arguing whether or not the military is a cult without referencing a checklist of cult practices. Read any book on cults and brainwashing techniques. The more you know about cults, brainwashing techniques and military culture, customs and courtesies, the more obvious it will be that the military is deliberately designed using every mind control technique used by cults.

 

2. You were in the Air Force and never saw combat. So you don’t know what you’re talking about.

You can say I’m not a hero because I never saw combat, and I won’t argue with that. But my role in the military has no bearing on whether or not the military is a cult. It has no bearing on the fact that the United States government has consistently eliminated more and more rights of its citizens, spied on on its citizens, persecuted whistleblowers, knowingly killed civilians and committed deliberate war crimes and crimes against humanity. These are all facts that can be verified by anyone, even people who never served in the military or saw combat at all.

 

3. You were probably just a dirtbag Airman who wasn’t cut out for the military, and that’s why you’re bitter and wrong about everything.

I was a student leader (green rope) in tech school. I received many awards and squadron coins. I was told on many occasions that I was “a credit to myself and the United States Air Force.” I was frequently put in leadership positions above my pay grade. I wasn’t the most gung-ho super troop, but I was a model troop. So if you’re going to base the truth of my words on the quality of my character, then you should believe what I have to say about the United States military. But you don’t have to take my word on anything. Do your own research, and you’ll find everything I’ve said here is true, and it still would be even if I was a dirt bag Airman.

I didn’t reverse engineer my conclusions from bitter emotions. I came out of basic training bursting with esprit de corpse and kept it long enough to reenlist. I only very reluctantly gave up my faith in the military after seven years of seeing evidence that contradicted my beliefs. This post isn’t a hit-piece. It’s a eulogy, and its call to action is to respect the troops.

I understand why you’re angry. I’m challenging your most deeply held beliefs. You’re supposed to react by getting defensive and lashing back when that happens. It’s human nature, but you’re also supposed to question your own beliefs. I wouldn’t have so many strong things to say about the military if it had been more self-critical of itself to begin with.

 

4. All the questionable training methods and rules the military has are necessary because they weed out the weak and prepare the strong for war. At worst, it’s a necessary evil, but it keeps you free. So enjoy your self-righteous freedom to whine on the internet while real men keep you safe. 

No sane person would charge a beach under heavy gunfire, but somebody theoretically has to do it. So the military takes sane civilians and reprograms their minds to turn them into zealous, suicidal killers, and it does this using the exact same brainwashing techniques used by death cults. I can accept that it requires extreme training techniques to prepare soldiers for the extreme stresses of war. I can handle that truth and eat that sin if you can admit this is still illegal to do to anyone else, and still unethical, even if the U.S. government does it legally. What I can’t accept is the military lying to recruits, telling them basic training will turn them into self-actualized adults, when it’s specifically designed to break their sanity and take away their identity and free will.

The argument that misleading and brainwashing volunteers is a necessary evil to protect Americans’ freedoms doesn’t apply when the American government keeps taking away its citizens’ freedom and privacy. Worse than that, it keeps passing more laws that make it harder for the poor to have a decent quality of life. If Americans were truly free, they would have the freedom to decide if they want their tax dollars spent on brainwashing soldiers or endless wars, but they don’t have that choice. They have to pay their taxes and fund the industrial war complex or go to jail. If they protest against it, they’ll be spied on, and if their protest is too successful, they’ll go to jail. People are free to criticize the government sometimes in some ways, but journalists who report criminal activity committed by the American government are routinely jailed. That’s not freedom of speech.

The problem isn’t that I don’t understand or appreciate the sacrifices soldiers have made to protect my freedoms. The problem is that my freedoms are being whittled away despite the sacrifices of soldiers. If you support the troops, then you shouldn’t get mad at me for pointing out that the American government is systemically corrupt and manipulates its soldiers into believing they’re defending freedom when they’re really defending corruption. If you support the troops, then get mad at the government that’s making a mockery of its soldiers’ sacrifices.

 

5. I was in the military, and I enjoyed it. Plus I got paid well and learned valuable job skills. Hence, the military is good.

The fact that you enjoyed the military and got a lot out of it doesn’t change the fact that the military is a cult that treats its own troops in ways that are illegal to treat anyone else. The benefits any troops do get out of the military are still stained with the shame of the rights American citizens have lost and the blood of the civilians the American government has killed. I’ll admit the military isn’t all-bad if you admit it isn’t all-good either.

 

6. Anyone who criticizes the military is a pussy.

Calling someone you don’t agree with a pussy isn’t an argument. It’s a gut reaction. The topic of how the military industrial complex manipulates and uses the troops is too important to end with a logic-stopping temper tantrum. If there’s any chance anything I said here is true, it deserves serious, soul-searching thought. Refusing to consider opposing points of view isn’t brave or mature, and it doesn’t do the people whose freedoms you think you’re killing and dying for any favors.

The problem here isn’t that I need to stop being a pussy and shut up. At the very least, the problem is that the U.S. military should be more transparent.

 

7. I can’t believe what a crazy conspiracy theorist the author of this post is. His ideas are unbelievably wacko.

I’ve received a lot of E-mails from veterans and active duty service members thanking me for articulating what they’ve been thinking but couldn’t say, because it’s illegal for them to speak unflatteringly about the military even if it’s true. Either all of these people came up with the same conspiracy theories independently, or they’re not conspiracy theories. They’re the elephant in the room.

 

8. I’m currently active duty, and my indoctrination has worn off. I’ve seen the military for the death cult it is, and now I’ve lost my esprit de corps and military bearing. I want to get out, but I’m locked in a contract. How do I make it through the rest of my time knowing what I know? 

It’s frustrating living in the military, seeing it for what it is. Everywhere you look you, see reminders of the ever-present creepy cult thing they’ve got going on. And the more aware you are of the fact that you’re not fighting for freedom, the more pointless and dirty the whole charade feels. If you think about it too much, quitting in protest starts to seem like the right thing to do, but the only thing that will change is screwing up the rest of your life.

Talking to anyone in your chain of command about these feelings is the second worst thing you can do. All your coworkers have been programmed to react with extreme prejudice when they hear the cult doctrine questioned. Doing so will only frustrate you and your coworkers, which can lead to you being ostracized, criticized, disciplined, dishonorably discharged, and ruining your work references.

You’re a prisoner who needs to cope with being in prison. The best thing you can do is keep your back straight, your mouth shut, and go through the motions on autopilot until the clock winds down. Become a shadow on the wall. Go to your happy place in your mind during work hours, and use your military vocabulary when people talk to you. Be as Zen and as patient as you can, and leave Murder Inc. on good terms.

On a side note, when you go back out into the civilian world, the sergeants you’ve worked for will be your only job references, and 10 years from now, they’re still going to be your job references. Pick your favorite sergeants, and groom them to be your references. Do extra things for them, and stay in contact after you separate. You’ll need to know their new phone number and E-mail address 10 years from now.

Keep up the good fight. If you want to ease your conscience, I suggest finding something productive to do to raise awareness of the moral corruption in the military. It’s not legal for you to speak publicly now, but you can be working on something before you get out. Then you’ll have something fresh to share as soon as you’re free. Alternatively, if you meet troops who see the light, share my blogs with them to help them confirm and articulate their suspicions that something’s not right.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Military Mind Control
Military Philosophy
Police Brutality
America is not the good guy

4 Reasons Soldiers Are As Much Victims As Heroes

Note: I served in the U.S. Air Force from 2000-2007. My AFSC was 3C0X1 (Communications computer systems operator). My highest rank was E-5 (Staff Sergeant), and I received an honorable discharge.

 

1. Many soldiers are victims of economic oppression. 

Many soldiers didn’t join the military out of patriotism or the selfless desire to defend other people’s freedoms. Many soldiers joined the military for a job; they choose to lock themselves into a nearly unbreakable contract doing an extremely stressful and potentially fatal job because they were poor. They did a cost/benefit analysis of their options in life and came to the conclusion that the risk of dying outweighed the cost of trying to scrape through life in an economic system that shamelessly exploits the poor and limits upward mobility to those who can afford prohibitively expensive college degrees.  Any honest military recruiter can corroborate this…though any drill instructor will tell you that there are no honest recruiters.

A military recruiter will likely try to spin this sad fact of life by saying it just proves how great the military is because it saves poor people from a life of destitution, but the only reason the poor are running from a life of destitution is because the political leaders that the military defends are too corrupt and unqualified to create a system where everyone has an equal chance at success.

 

Comic of a soldier in uniform and a college student in graduation robes. The soldier is saying, "I figured it's easier to find a war than a job these days."

"College is so expensive that most poor people can't go unless they join the military. Then, if they make it through alive, they get to come home and earn a degree. It's like 'The Hunger Games," except instead of winning fame and wealth, you end up with a shitty office job." Cate Gary

 

2.  The sole purpose of basic training is brainwashing. 

Military personnel have heard that basic training is brainwashing, but they tend to dismiss this accusation as subjective liberal propaganda. It’s neither subjective nor propaganda. It’s a verifiable fact.

Professor Margaret Singer summed up the definition of brainwashing this way, “Coercive psychological systems are behavioral change programs which use psychological force in a coercive way to cause the learning and adoption of an ideology or designated set of beliefs, ideas, attitudes, or behaviors. The essential strategy used by the operators of these programs is to systematically select, sequence and coordinate many different types of coercive influence, anxiety and stress-producing tactics over continuous periods of time. The techniques fall into seven main categories:

 

1. Techniques such as: Extended audio, visual, verbal, or tactile fixation drills, excessive exact repetition of routine activities, sleep restriction and/or nutritional restriction.

2. Social isolation is promoted. Contact with family and friends are abridged, as is contact with persons who do not share group-approved attitudes. Economic and other dependence on the group is fostered.

3. Prohibit disconfirming information and non-supporting opinions in group communication. Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss with outsiders. Communication is highly controlled. An “in-group” language is usually constructed.

4. Make the person re-evaluate the most central aspects of his or her experience of self and prior conduct in negative ways. Efforts are designed to destabilize and undermine the subject’s basic consciousness, reality awareness, world view, emotional control and defense mechanisms. The subject is guided to reinterpret his or her life’s history and adopt a new version of causality.

5. Create a sense of powerlessness by subjecting the person to intense and frequent actions and situations which undermine the person’s confidence in himself and his judgment.

6. Create strong aversive emotional arousals in the subject by use of nonphysical punishments such as intense humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, social status changes, intense guilt, anxiety, and manipulation.

7. Intimidate the person with the force of group-sanctioned secular psychological threats.

 

These tactics of psychological force are applied to such a severe degree that the individual’s capacity to make informed or free choices becomes inhibited. The victims become unable to make the normal, wise or balanced decisions which they most likely or normally would have made, had they not been unknowingly manipulated by these coordinated technical processes.” Source

Every single statement about brainwashing made here is systematically incorporated into military basic training. Military basic training isn’t sort of like brainwashing; it’s the deliberate perfection of brainwashing, and anyone who is brainwashed is a victim.

 

 

3. Soldiers are slaves.

When civilians sign up for the military they sign away most of the civil liberties guaranteed to everyone in the universal declaration of human rights. Many of those soon-to-be-soldiers weren’t aware of all the rights they were giving up until after they locked themselves into a legally binding contract. No military recruiter will tell you that you have to read the Uniform Code of Military Justice before enlisting.

Once you sign your rights away, you literally became the property of and wholly subject to the domination and influence of the U.S. government. That’s literally the definition of slavery. That’s not speaking metaphorically or bending words in any way. Soldiers are slaves. Period. Slavery is still legal in the “land of the free” because soldiers are slaves, and if living in bondage wasn’t unethical enough, the systematic brainwashing soldiers are subjected to manipulates them into loving and celebrating their slave-hood. So soldiers are mental slaves as well as legal slaves.

The fact that the military pays its slaves relatively well and are only subject to slavery for a few years doesn’t change the fact that they’re still slaves. Even if you disagree with the use of the term “slave,” the point remains that they still lose an inhumane, unjust and undignified amount of freedom when they join the military. Granted, some people actually enjoy this way of life, but even if they love and embrace it, that still doesn’t change the fact that they’re slaves and have lost civil rights that were supposed to be guaranteed to all human beings.

 

4. Soldiers don’t fight for the poor and oppressed. They fight for the rich and powerful.

Many soldiers sleep well at night believing they’re liberating the oppressed and protecting civilian’s freedoms even if they were once civilians who have now had their freedoms taken away from them and are now being oppressed.

To add to their peace of mind, the U.S. military has been involved in a number of humanitarian missions and will undoubtedly be involved in future humanitarian missions. So from a certain perspective, soldiers are at least inadvertent heroes…or they would be except for the fact that the U.S. military’s primary mission isn’t to liberate the oppressed, protect civilian’s freedoms or provide humanitarian aid.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the U.S. military is officially number one in serving mankind in airlift operations to flood victims, food supply, and rebuilding communities around the world. True as that may be, the U.S. military is currently number one in exporting war, destabilizing regions and killing civilians. A few token presents don’t make up for that fact.

It’s also arguable how much soldiers serve the American people. Every dollar spent on the military is a tax dollar not spent on education or social services. What do the American people get in return for spending all their taxes on fighting phantom enemies around the globe? They get crumbling schools and potholes in their roads.

This would be justified if it kept Americans safe and secure at home, but look at Osama Bin Laden. He said himself that the September 11th terrorist attacks were in response to America meddling in Middle Eastern affairs. America’s response was to jump into the Middle East with both feet and grow roots. I’m not going to argue whether or not that was the right thing to do, but I will argue that the more bases the American military opens on foreign soil and the more people they kill the more it will piss off the rest of the world and make terrorist attacks more likely.

And since the military is bleeding the American taxpayers out of vital civil services the military is creating ripe conditions for poverty back home, and with poverty comes crime and bloodshed. So even if the U.S. military kills every terrorist in the world it will come home to find a collapsed system where more and more houses have bars on the windows and the police are stretched thin dealing with violent crimes. Every soldier needs to seriously ask themselves if they’re really giving or taking more from the American taxpayers.

 

 

Conclusion:

Look past all the military propaganda about military patriotism, freedom, and liberation. Analyze the events leading up to every major military action taken by the United States of America. Analyze the outcome of every major U.S.  military action and you’ll find very little evidence to back up the claim that the U.S. military’s primary mission is to protect freedom or anything else universally idealistic. What you will find is a consistent theme of war profiteering. Every time America goes to war the rich get richer and the poor get poorer…assuming the poor survive the collateral damage; there are millions who haven’t, and there are millions more who won’t if business continues as usual. If you’re skeptical about this claim (and you should be) then do your research. If you study the facts and not the propaganda you’ll find that everything said here is true.

So the question all of this leads up to is: If someone orders you to kill someone else and tells you it’s for a very, very, very good reason and you do it with the best of intentions but it turns out that you were lied to and actually killed an innocent person then does that make you a hero, a murderer or a victim? I know it doesn’t make you a hero. I don’t know if it makes you a murderer, but I do know that it makes you a victim.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Military Mind Control
Military Philosophy
Police Brutality
America is not the good guy

%d bloggers like this: