Tag Archives: military ethics violations

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

The Military Rank Structure Is An Inhumane Caste System

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.

The American military caste system, particularly its officer corps is an obsolete institution that is incompatible with modern, enlightened values. In order to understand why, you have to look at where it came from.

In the past, the upper class was extremely well-educated, and the poor were mostly illiterate. The job of designing and implementing military strategy naturally fell to the educated upper class, and the job of dying in the mud naturally fell to the illiterate lower class. This division of labor also served as a way to further institutionalize the caste system that separated the upper class from the lower class.

By putting a pin on one human being’s shoulder and a stripe on another human being’s shoulder it gave one human being a visible “right” to order the other like a dog, beat them like a dog and kill them like a dog if they disobeyed their master’s orders. As long as these symbols existed, everyone understood their place in the social hierarchy and accepted it as natural and just.

The industrial revolution and the information age eventually created a middle class to bridge the income gap between the rich and the poor. The higher education system still keeps a glass ceiling over the heads of the poorest of the poor who can’t afford a college degree to open the door to professional work. However, free K-12 public schools, equal access to libraries and all the information on the internet has almost completely bridged the intellectual gap between the rich and the poor.

The constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights have whittled the institutionalized caste system down to a thread. Senior ranking soldiers can no longer legally beat lower-ranking soldiers. All soldiers are guaranteed protection from discrimination based on race, sex or religion under equal opportunity laws. Technically, a soldier can still be executed for disobeying a direct order, but that involves a lengthy legal process, and in order to avoid the bad press, disobedient soldiers are almost guaranteed to just do some jail time followed by a dishonorable discharge.

But the military has side-stepped social progress by inventing the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). This document exists to provide the military with a legal loophole around the basic human rights guaranteed to all of humanity. One of the greatest insults to humanity perpetrated by the UCMJ is the existence of the officer corps.

The injustice of the officer corps is most clearly exemplified in the act of saluting. When an enlisted troop sees an officer (or a general’s staff car) they must put their hand on their head until the officer returns the salute, which gives the enlisted troop permission to take their hand down. On the surface this is innocuous. Officers will even tell you that the reason enlisted troops salute them is out of respect. However, the true purpose of saluting is betrayed by what will happen if an enlisted troop refuses to salute an officer.

If an enlisted troop refuses to salute an officer they’ll get a letter of counseling. If they still refuse to salute an officer they’ll get a letter of reprimand. Then an Article 15. Then a court-martial. Then they’ll lose rank, pay, privilege and ultimately their freedom when they’re sent to jail. When they’re released from military prison they’ll be given a dishonorable discharge that will prevent them from getting a good job for the rest of their life.

Enlisted troops are taught to salute officers out of respect, but failing that, they’re forced to salute officers out of fear. While the rest of the population is guaranteed that their punishment must fit their crime, enlisted troops and lower-ranking officers are denied this right and are forced to symbolically subjugate themselves to any stranger wearing a pin on their shoulder. So make no mistake, the salute isn’t designed to exchange gestures of respect. It’s designed to systematically indoctrinate lower ranking troops to accept their place in the lower social caste that robs them of the dignity supposedly guaranteed to all men.

And the issue goes deeper than dignity. An officer can order enlisted troops to do anything within the limits of the Geneva Convention, and if the enlisted troop refuses they’ll go to jail. For example, if the higher caste orders the lower caste to do jumping jacks and the lower caste refuses they’ll go to jail. On the surface, this might seem innocuous again, but look at what’s really going on here. What do you call someone who has to do whatever another person says upon fear of jail time and destitution? That’s a slave, and even if you think “slave” is too strong a word to describe someone with no freedom, it’s still close enough to the truth to be immoral and unenlightened.

Definition of slave: "1. a person held in servitude as the chattel of another 2. one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence."

If you’re going to justify the manipulation, exploitation, degradation, and subjugation of another human being, much less an entire group of human beings, you have the responsibility to provide extensive, articulate, air-tight justifications. You can’t wipe away thousands of years of social evolution and human rights with a vague sentence or two such as, “Well, they took an oath.” “They volunteered.”  “Good soldiers follow orders.” “You’re an idiot.” or “You have to follow orders to accomplish the mission.”

This is especially true when we’re talking about soldiers who will be ordered to kill other human beings and be killed themselves in the process. This isn’t a game. This isn’t a joke. This is a human’s life we’re putting on trial, and in the case of a military with nuclear weapons, this is the fate of the entire human race we’re talking about. When we’re talking about tangible, perishable human lives, we can’t afford to be lackadaisical in our arguments. If you truly believe that the lower military castes are selflessly sacrificing their lives for the greater good then they, of all people, deserve serious consideration and not just flippant, condescending, reactionary excuses and arguments about semantics.

Honestly, ask yourself if the officer corps and the human rights abuses that come along with it are truly necessary. In the past, the officer corps’ power and their pay was justified by the degree to which their education level and thus their contribution to the mission exceeded that of the enlisted troop. This arrangement held some merit when the average officer held the equivalent of a doctorate degree and the average enlisted troop held the equivalent of a 3rd-grade education, but that justification is obsolete.

Many enlisted troops have a higher level of education than many officers even if they don’t have the certified credentials to prove it, though some do. Even in the cases where officers do have a higher level of education, that fact doesn’t supersede the fact that all humans were created equal. An officer may have gone to 1-4 more years of school and a few months of officer training school, but to presume that gives one human being the inherent right to treat another human being as anything remotely resembling a slave and force them to degrade themselves is absurd.

Civilian doctors can’t treat uneducated patients like that. Public school teachers can’t treat students like that. Politicians can’t treat voters like that. Prison guards can’t even treat rapists like that. Nobody in the world is allowed to treat anyone else with the level of disrespect that officers are allowed and expected to treat enlisted troops with.

After all, why should they be able to? Do a few years of partying in college really fundamentally change the worth of a human being? If so, shouldn’t all of society adopt this practice? If this system is indeed justifiable then shouldn’t we force it on the rest of society? No! It would be inconceivable to force 100% of society to live under an institutionalized caste system that degrades the lower class. It would inconceivable to force even 50% or 30% of the population to live that way. So why is it okay for 1% of the population to live under a dystopian social contract?

What would happen if troops were as free as civilians? What if they could give a two-week notice and quit their job legally? What if they could challenge and disobey their “superiors?” The existing power structure would have you believe the entire military would dissolve into anarchy. Is that really logical though? The United States has an all-volunteer military. Why would people who willingly volunteered to join the military and support its mission turn around at their first base and abandon their jobs? If you think they would, then you’re saying all the troops are cowards. Even civilians who work for the military don’t turn tail and run at the first sign of danger.

The only other exception is if the mission were unjust. If there were a valid reason to conscientiously object to the mission, then any troop with foresight and a sense of justice would leave their military service. This raises the question, what are the chances the government would ever engage in an unjust war or send its troops on unjust missions?


Cartoon of two elderly Germans watching Nazi troops march down the street. One person is saying, "Well, I don't agree with Hitler's policies, but I still believe that we should support our troops."


If you’re 100% positive the government would never, ever do that, then why lock the troops into anything remotely resembling slavery? If you believe the government has ever engaged in unjust wars, ordered its troops to do unjust things or will ever do so then you would want the troops to have the freedom to think and act on their own conscience. Preventing them from doing so by brainwashing them and holding a gun to their heads would only guarantee corrupt and/or misguided politicians the ability to call on the world’s most lethal fighting force to serve their corrupted purposes. When you justify the enslavement of the military, you need to understand lucidly that you’re giving a monkey a gun on blind faith.

And understand the irony of saying, “Yes, we must brainwash troops, lock them into a caste system and take away their freedom.” What you’re saying is that we absolutely must mislead, mentally and physically enslave and degrade our fellow human beings into submission…for the sake of protecting our fellow human beings from slavery, abuse, and exploitation. The United States Military failed its mission of protecting people’s freedoms the moment it threw out the Universal Declaration of Human Rights out the window in favor of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Honestly, what are we doing here? What kind of a world are we creating where we’ve justified an oppressive caste system at the taxpayers’ expense to act as unquestioning mercenaries for the rich and powerful? How can we honestly say to ourselves that we “support the troops” when we’ve allowed our brothers and sisters to be swindled out of their basic human rights?

Are we even worth defending when we would so proudly throw our fellow man under the bus like that? What kind of a world are we creating? You can see with your own eyes what kind of a world we’re creating. Go to any American military base in the world and tour the officer’s barracks and clubs. Then tour the enlisted barracks and clubs. You should be horrified by the Soviet-era disparity between the quality of life between the two castes. The officers gorge themselves on luxury in gold-encrusted rooms (paid for by impoverished taxpayers) while the enlisted people shiver in condemned buildings. You will see a world that has existed right under your nose for your entire life that makes “1984” look like a children’s story.

Don’t accept the American military’s actions on blind faith alone. If the military’s actions have truly been just, then go to the all the countries America has exported war to this century. Talk to the people and look at the physical results of the war. Oh, you’ll find people who celebrate the American military, but for every one of those you find you’ll find 1000 corpses, 1000 broken families, 1000 babies with birth defects from discarded military ordinance, 1000 destroyed buildings, 10 sweatshops where American goods are produced and more often than not, a few active American military bases.

Suppose everything I’ve said here is wrong. Suppose the military caste system is excusable despite its indignity. We still need to question its efficiency. We’ve already asked ourselves if we should have absolute faith in the politicians who wield unquestionable control over the military and acknowledged the inherent danger in that.

Now consider this. Think of all the civilians you know with a bachelor’s degree. What if they had absolute, unquestionable authority over the subordinates in their cubicles. How responsibly would they wield their power to silence all opposition to their will by saying, “Shut up and color or I’ll send you to jail.”? Would totalitarian authority improve innovation and efficiency in public or private organizations? Is there any precedent whatsoever to suggest that totalitarian authority has a tendency to inculcate close-minded thinking, abuse of power and impunity from accountability? Yes. Civilian progress would grind to a halt if they adopted the same caste system the United States military uses.

The military is made up of human beings, just like the civilian sector, and the caste system has had predictably detrimental effects in the military. The military sets the standard for fraud, waste, and abuse because it’s run by the officer corps, which is fraud, waste and abuse incarnate.


Funny explanation of how officers of each military rank behave. They get progressively more egotistical for doing less real work


There’s one final cost to the officer corps itself that we have to acknowledge and accept if we’re to continue to condone its existence much less its celebrity status. Look at the psychological damage it does to officers when they’re allowed to exercise totalitarian authority over other human beings they call their subordinates.

Consider the psychological impact it has on a human being when they’re treated like a god day in and day out for years. This lifestyle will take its toll. The constant reinforcement will indoctrinate the officer himself to truly believe there is something superior about his person, and when this belief is indoctrinated deeply enough he’ll eventually reach a point where this illusion becomes a permanent reality in their own mind.

Then they’ll go through the rest of their life wearing rose-colored glasses. They’ll live in an inescapable false reality in which they play a divine figure walking amongst unclean, incomplete sub-humans, and while this will be enjoyable to the officer, it’s simply not true. That’s literally insanity. The officer corps is institutionalized insanity. I don’t say that to shame officers, I say that to shame the ttaxpayerswho fund the indoctrination of officers and strip them of their sanity.


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Similarities Between Military Tech School And The Stanford Prison Experiment

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.

The Stanford prison experiment was a study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. The experiment was conducted from August 14th to 20th, 1971 by a team of researchers led by psychology professor Philip Zimbardo at Stanford University. It was funded by a grant from the U.S. Office of Naval Research and was of interest to both the US Navy and Marine Corps in order to determine the causes of conflict between military guards and prisoners.

Twenty-four students were selected out of 75 to play the prisoners and live in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building. Roles were assigned randomly. The participants adapted to their roles well beyond what even Zimbardo himself expected, leading the “officers” to display authoritarian measures and ultimately to subject some of the prisoners to torture. In turn, many of the prisoners developed passive attitudes and accepted physical abuse, and, at the request of the guards, readily inflicted punishment on other prisoners who attempted to stop it. The experiment even affected Zimbardo himself, who, in his capacity as “Prison Superintendent,” lost sight of his role as psychologist and permitted the abuse to continue as though it were a real prison. Five of the prisoners were upset enough by the process to quit the experiment early, and the entire experiment was abruptly stopped after only six days. The experimental process and the results remain controversial. The entire experiment was filmed, with excerpts made publicly available.”



The Stanford Prison Experiment was shut down because it violated the ethical standards of professional psychology resulting in psychological and physical harm to the subjects in the experiment. However, the exact same scenario has been repeated every day since before the 1970s on every military tech school in America with full immunity from the law and a deliberate disregard for the ethical treatment of humans.

Here’s how tech school works. Once a recruit graduates basic training, they’re sent to a “tech school” to learn the job skill they’ll perform for the rest of their military career. While life in tech school isn’t as rigorous as basic training, it is the last chance for the military to conform its troops’ thoughts and behavior to its standards before releasing them into “the real military” to succeed or fail at supporting real world missions.  So the environment is designed to indoctrinate the students to embrace willful obedience and let go of their pre-military identity.

Troops live in barracks and are granted small freedoms (such as the right to wear civilian clothing and leave the base) in stages to decompress them from the totalitarian internment they experienced in basic training. Troops march to and from classes in uniform and are assigned some additional duties after school. Many aspects of life for the students are highly regulated in ways that serve no functional purpose other than to get them used to following rules without question. You can’t walk on the grass. You have to carry a flashlight at night. Your uniform must be immaculate. Your room must be cleaner than Martha Stewart’s dream home, etc.

So far, the standard operating procedure of military tech school exactly mirrors the standard operating procedures of a cult, because that’s what it’s based on, which is unethical in itself and would be shut down by the government if any other professional organization other than the government attempted to do the exact same thing.



The parallels between the Stanford Prison Experiment are found in the use of student leaders or “ropes.”  The student leaders are responsible for policing their fellow students.  On paper, these duties can be made to sound innocuous and clinical to the point of boredom. In reality, what happens is the student leaders have a tendency to mimic the intensity and righteous fury of the training instructors and drill sergeant they’ve been getting yelled at by for the past 6-9 weeks. The student leaders tend to feel and express genuine disappointment and anger over the smallest infraction regardless of how arbitrary the rule being violated is. They’ll scream at their subordinates for walking on the grass and accuse them in all seriousness, and with no sense of irony, for having no integrity.

This behavior isn’t an anomaly, and it doesn’t happen behind the backs of the senior military leader’s running the school. It’s actively encouraged and built into the tech school’s official operating procedures. In order for a student leader to advance to the highest level of student leadership, they must “host” “remedial military training.” When a student has violated enough arbitrary rules they’re assigned a day of remedial military training over the weekend. During that time they’ll be forced to exercise beyond the point of exhaustion and submit themselves to a full day of verbal degradation. The emotional abuse is overseen by senior ranking sergeants, but the details are run by the student leaders.

The military justifies this behavior by saying it’s necessary to instill discipline, but that’s just an Orwellian way to say, “brainwashing.” To be fair, it’s not like they’re taping troops’ eyes open, feeding them gunpowder and forcing them to watch snuff films. However, the end result of the brainwashing techniques used in tech school is that the followers of the military cult will someday kill another human being without question.

The “training” methods used by the military are literally in direct violation of professional standards of the ethical treatment of human beings. This exact same behavior has already been shut down by the government in the Stanford Prison Experiment. This isn’t an opinion. This isn’t said out of spite or ridicule. This is a cut and dried fact. If a professional civilian psychologist recreated the exact same environment that exists on military tech schools, much less basic training, their simulation would be shut down by the government for ethics violations. Period.



This raises a very serious point that deserves to be considered seriously and objectively. Soldiers, airmen, seaman, and marines are human beings. However, the government has written the Uniform Code of Military Justice to provide a loophole around the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and exempt military personnel from the same ethical protection guaranteed to everyone else.

Some say it’s necessary to subject troops to inhumane treatment in order to protect civilians’ rights and freedoms, but that argument is self-defeating. It says we have to strip the rights of one portion of society, legalize their systematic emotional, psychological and physical abuse, and literally enslave them, in order to prevent the rest of society from suffering the exact same fate.

I don’t support the unethical treatment of the human beings we’ve labeled “troops.” I don’t support the fact that they’ve lost their freedom. I don’t support the military caste system.  I don’t support slaves being led to get slaughtered in wars their leaders can’t give proper justifications for. I don’t support the UCMJ that allows all of this to happen.

I do support ending the UCMJ. I support freeing the human beings we call troops. I support equal rights for all people, even those who have been coerced and misled into signing away their rights “voluntarily.” And I don’t believe the only way we can achieve peace and harmony on earth is to enslave one portion of society, strip them of their identity and reprogram them into unthinking killers. I believe the standard operating procedures of the United States military are in direct conflict with creating a peaceful and harmonious world. I believe that if you truly “support the troops” then you cannot support the UCMJ that allows the unethical treatment of your fellow human beings, especially those you claim to support and call heroes.


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How And Why Military Basic Training Brainwashes Recruits

Photo of an Army drill sergeant standing in front of three long rows of recruits standing in formation, looking stern

Note 1: 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.

Note 2: The following essay is based on my experiences going through the United States Air Force’s enlisted troops’ basic training program in the year 2000, which might have changed slightly since then, but probably not by much. The details here will also differ slightly from other branch’s basic training programs, but from all the conversations I’ve had with people who went through those, I can say that they’re much worse.

The premise of my argument is that the United States military’s rules, customs, “courtesies,” and overall culture did not evolve organically. They were consciously and systematically designed using modern psychological research on mind control and are based on professional knowledge of how cults indoctrinate and control their followers’ minds. I can’t prove this argument by sourcing internal documents or training manuals, but if you compare how the United States military operates to how cults operate you’ll see that the similarities aren’t vague or coincidental; the United States military is the perfection of the cult model. If you want to start a cult you’ll have the best chance of success by copying the United States military’s rules, customs, courtesies, and overall culture as closely as possible.

It all starts with the recruiting process. All cults use deceptive recruiting methods. When they approach you on the street or draw you into their recruiting stations they promise you everything glorious in life and death you could ever want while dodging and skimming over the negative aspects of what your life will be like in their organization. They never explain in detail all the rules you’ll be subjected to or how they’ll manipulate you into basing your identity on your role in their organization. The United States military is no different. If you go into any recruiter station they’ll promise you money, benefits, travel, and glory, but they’ll never mention the U.C.M.J, and if you point out any negative aspects of the military they’ll make any excuse they can think of to dismiss your concern or glaze over it.

You’ll never get a military recruiter to admit that the United States military is a cult because they probably don’t realize it is. Cults don’t advertise themselves as cults. They don’t tell their recruits they’re joining a cult. They indoctrinate their recruits to believe that they’re joining the noblest organization in the world. Then they send their brainwashed followers out to recruit more recruits. So even if all the original, malicious leaders at the top of the cult’s pyramid-shaped authority structure die and there’s no one left alive who knows that the organization was systematically designed around manipulation techniques, the cult will still continue to function. Its brainwashed followers will run on autopilot brainwashing new recruits like a virus. There may still be leaders at the top level of the United States military who understand that their rules, customs, courtesies and overall culture are precisely cultish, but there doesn’t need to be. It is a cult, and it will continue to operate on autopilot in the absence of willful manipulation.

As a result military recruiters willingly volunteer to act like used car salesmen and wrangle poor people into joining by promising them that all their dreams will come true if they just sign a legally binding contract (something every other cult must wish they could do). What those recruiters won’t tell you is that they have a quota that they have to meet, and they get rewards for exceeding it, which is another reason the cult is able to continue to run on autopilot. Its recruiters must bring in new recruits whether they want to or not because if they don’t they’ll get in trouble, but if they do they’ll be rewarded with treasures of this world regardless of whether or not they’re true believers.

Once the military convinces the recruit to sign all their civil liberties away the recruit is taken to a hotel where they’ll be watched and kept from running away the day before they begin their indoctrination process. The recruits will be told that on the next day they’ll be taken to a training facility where they’ll learn how to be an adult and an efficient worker. But in reality, they won’t learn anything about being an adult, and they’ll learn very little about their job because that’s not the point of basic training. The point of basic training is to break down the recruits’ sense of identity and indoctrinate them to base their identity on their membership within the cult.

If the United States military has done its job right, then any prior service or active duty military member reading this will be screaming, “That’s not what basic training is about! It prepares you to follow orders because when the shit hits the fan on the battlefield you have to act without thinking in order to keep yourself and your fellow soldiers alive!”


Picture of a stern looking soldier behind the words, "WHEN LIFE KNOCKS YOU DOWN, CALMLY GET BACK UP, SMILE, AND SAY, "YOU HIT LIKE A BITCH."


That’s what the military tells its recruits to believe, and the argument sounds good on paper, but it ignores several very important truths. Firstly, the majority of the humans who go through the military’s indoctrination process will never see the battlefield. Millions of them will never even leave the continental United States. But they go through the same indoctrination process because the purpose of basic training isn’t to prepare you for the battlefield. Its purpose is to ensure that every recruit will always blindly serve the interests of their leaders, and the leadership hierarchy stacks up like this: Enlisted troops take orders from officers. Officers take orders from politicians, and politicians take orders from the individuals and special interest groups who fund their campaigns, give them bribes and employ them after they leave public service. Thus, military members are unwitting mercenaries for (and blind supporters of) the ultra-rich. The United States military serves the interests of the wealthy. Every major military campaign the United States military has been involved in has made the rich richer and the poor poorer. And the gears of war and profit will keep turning as long as nobody in the military ever dissents or asks questions. That’s why it’s imperative that every recruit be systematically brainwashed to associate their identity primarily with their membership in the military.

The process of reprogramming civilians begins the second they step off the bus and set foot on their basic training base. The moment they leave the bus they’re descended upon by multiple drill sergeants or training instructors. Different branches call their basic instructors by different names. Each branch also has different names for their ranks, career fields and facilities. The reason for this is because it causes members of each branch to base their identity on their respective branch. This makes it less likely for military personnel to form a coup against their corrupt political leaders.


"WHY THE SERVICES CAN'T WORK TOGETHER: One reason the services ahve trouble operating jointly is that they don't speak the same language. For example, if you told Navy personnel to "secure a building," they would turn off the lights and lock the doors. The Army would occupy the building so no one could enter. Marines would assault the building, capture it, and defend it with suppressive fire and close combat. The Air Force would take out a three-year lease with an option to buy."


Differentiating the branches from each other serves another purpose as well. It’s standard procedure for cults to indoctrinate their members to believe that anyone who isn’t a member of the cult is inferior. Every military member is taught that civilians are untried, unproven and take their livelihood for granted while the glorious military sacrifices everything and is better than everyone else (regardless of the fact that many military members will spend their career sitting at a desk stateside for 20 years living rent-free, receiving free  medical care and driving a Ford Mustang that they paid for with their reenlistment bonus). Pitting military members against civilians is a powerful mind control technique that the military reuses by pitting military members against each other.

Airmen (aka “Zoomies”) are taught they’re smarter than Marines (aka “Jar Heads”). Marines are taught they’re tougher than soldiers (aka “Grunts”). And everyone thinks the Navy is gay. Pitting each branch against each other doesn’t cause them to go to war with each other though. It causes each branch to be even more loyal to its own chain of command, and since the entire military falls under the command of the Department of Defense, whoever controls the D.O.D benefits from this manufactured infighting.

When recruits get off the bus their first day of basic training they’re immediately set upon by a flock of “training instructors” who throw hell at them. The instructors yell at them, insult them, tear them down, threaten them and tell them they don’t deserve to be there. The purpose of this initial assault is to shock and awe the new recruits. It makes them doubt themselves as well as accept the authority of anyone wearing the cult’s symbols of rank on their shoulders. All of this primes them to be receptive to the message they’ll be inundated with over the next few weeks.



Every year billions of people around the world enter employment in jobs that are just as dangerous if not more dangerous than what the average American military recruit signs up for, but they aren’t subjected to the mental abuse American troops are subjected to on their first day, yet they still follow orders and go above and beyond the call of duty often putting themselves at unnecessary personal risk. You don’t need to assault a human’s mind to convince them to do what’s necessary. But you do need to assault their mind if you want to reprogram their identity.

The next form of mental assault that the American government submits its military recruits to is less obvious but just as important to the indoctrination process. The recruits are filed into dormitories or barracks where they’ll live in communal spaces with up to 60 other people. They’ll have absolutely no privacy or control over their environment. Everything they own will be identical to everyone else there. Everyone will dress the same and looks the same. Everyone will sleep in identical beds and keep what few possessions they’re allowed to have in identical lockers.  They’ll even have to shower naked in communal showers with dozens of other recruits. All of these factors dehumanize the new recruits and help break down their sense of identity and self-worth.

The lack of privacy breaks down the recruit’s defenses. You can’t hold up your guard when you’re naked in a shower with 15 other people and sleeping in a room with 30 other people. Under those circumstan, es you’re like a vulnerable child who has no home, no identity, no safe haven, no escape, no choices and no power over your own destiny. You’re nobody. And the only source of validation you can possibly experience comes from the cult, which makes the cult your mother, your father, your boss and your god.

If this doesn’t seem sinister yet, consider that the new recruits will be held captive within the confines of their dormitory. A sentinel will stand guard at the entrance preventing anyone from leaving, and if an escapee can manage to get out of the building they’ll still be trapped on base behind tall fences lined with razor wire as well as gate guards armed with semi-automatic assault rifles. The military holds a gun to its recruits’ heads and forces them to endure the indoctrination process, which is so mentally brutal that many recruits will attempt suicide.

The military goes through such dire lengths to keep its recruits locked away from the outside world because it’s much harder to break down and reprogram someone’s identity when they have access to their old support structures and/or the freedom to live life by their own accord. So you have to isolate them from everything they’ve ever known and inundate them completely with the rules, customs, and culture of cult. When the cult is all they know… then the cult is all they know. Once the recruits spend a few weeks eating, sleeping and breathing nothing but the cult’s way of life they’ll accept that that’s how life is. And why wouldn’t they? The reality of their day to day life is whatever the cult makes it. So they go about their day to day life experiencing reality according to how the cult defines it, and in no time at all they take the cult’s way of life for granted.

Isolating new recruits from the outside world also insulates them from dissent and freedom of thought. If the recruits go out on the town every night or even worse, go home, they might tell someone about all the new things they’ve been learning. Then someone with a free mind might point out how crazy they sound and convince them to leave the cult.

Another reason cult members are forced to live in communal quarters is because humans take cues from other people’s behavior and mimic it. You’d have a very hard time taking a lone individual to an empty camp and convincing them to change their behavior. However, if you take 60 people and force them to all behave the same way they’ll assume that since everyone else is going along with it then it must be okay. Plus, once you break the minds of the weakest members they’ll take it upon themselves to enforce the rules of the group.

With the stage set, the instructors can begin actively reprogramming the minds of their recruits. The daily indoctrination process begins as soon as the recruits wake up each morning. Loudspeakers in the ceilings of the dormitories blast a trumpet tune called reveille often times accompanied by training instructors banging trash can lids and shouting at the recruits telling them to get up and quit being lazy. The recruits will have a few minutes to get dressed, make up their bed and line up in formation outside.



The brain-rattling trumpet, combined with the frantic morning chores and the instructor’s insults throws the recruits off-center from the moment they wake ensuring that they won’t have the mental focus to resist the indoctrination process. The chores and routines also ensure the recruits are following orders from the moment they wake up even if the instructor isn’t even present to tell them to get dressed, make up their beds and file outside for formation. Thus the military controls every aspect of their lives and leaves no room for individual freedom of thought or action. The more the recruits accept that as the norm the less likely they are to question it and the more likely they are to embrace it.

There are very specific rules for falling into formation. Following those rules first thing in the morning continues to reinforce blind obedience to the group without questioning the purpose of orders. Standing in the group formation where everyone looks and acts identically also helps minimize the individuality of the group members. In case the recruits don’t pick up on this idea on their own the training instructors will tell them bluntly that they’re no longer an individual. They’re a member of the group, and their own identity and desires are worth less than the identity and desires of the group. Training instructors will tell the recruits to be proud of this fact and to look down on civilians who value their individuality and selfishly desire to fulfill their own destiny.

Any active duty or prior service members reading this will likely be screaming, “But you should value being a member of the group! That creates a stronger team and keeps the group together when the shit hits the fan! Anyway, we’re proud to put our own egos aside to help protect the freedom of civilians!”

Those criticisms aren’t wrong, but there’s more going on than just that. First, there’s the fact that the military isn’t upfront about the invasive methods of mind control it submits its troops to, and that’s unethical. Also, reprogramming recruits sense of identity eliminates their freedom to determine their own destiny. It makes mental slaves out of recruits who are so zealous that they’ll defend their own manipulation. This reprogramming controls all aspects of the brainwashed victim’s life, not just how they perform their job. Plus, reprogramming individuals essentially kills the person they once were and creates a new person. Once the old person is dead they can never come back to life as the person they once were. Doing that to another human being is no small matter, and no human has the authority and right to kidnap another person’s soul. Finally, it’s worth noting that everyone in the world will participate as a functional member of a team on an almost daily basis without being brainwashed. Sports teams are high functioning teams that coordinate plays selflessly without going through a brutal indoctrination process. Even civilian contractors in the military play by the rules and make sacrifices in war zones without going through basic training.

Once the recruits are lined up in their morning formation they sing their branch’s official song and chant an oath of allegiance to the military and the United States. This is cut and dry, unambiguous brainwashing 101.



After having sworn their daily oath of allegiance the troops eat breakfast, and even then they don’t get a moment to themselves. They have to file through the cafeteria silently standing heel to toe, staring straight ahead while instructors hover over them to punish anyone who breaks these arbitrary rules. When the recruits finally get their food they’ll be given as little time as possible to eat to ensure they can’t relax and mentally collect themselves.

After the meal they’ll take part in physical exercises and marching drills. They’ll perform their exercises and marching drills as a group, everyone acting in unison further conditioning them to base their identity on the group. Every member of the group will be punished whenever any individual fails to follow the arbitrary rules perfectly. This encourages the recruits to police each other. The more the recruits enforce the military’s rules on each other the more they take the military’s rules and authority for granted.

The military doesn’t leave this powerful mind control technique to chance. The instructors will assign recruits as element leaders. The element leaders will receive an arbitrary symbol of authority (a colored rope that attaches to the lapel of their uniform), and they’ll be tasked with policing their group. When the military leadership bestows authority on individuals it teaches every member of the group that the military has the authority to bestow authority on individuals and raise their value as a human being. Once the recruits take this for granted they will always respect higher ranking military members as if God Himself touched their leaders with His grace. Finally, it dangles a carrot in front of the recruits. They’re taught in basic training that their life is worthless outside of the military hierarchy and that elevation within the cult is the true path to elevation as a person. The use of “ropes” or element leaders sets this precedent from day one.

This is also why recruits are called “trainees” instead of Airmen, soldiers, seamen or Marines. They have to prove themselves worthy first before being granted a title in the illustrious group. Every cult in the world does this. The military just hides this brainwashing technique in plain sight.

At some point during the day, between eating, exercising and marching the recruits will be taken to classrooms where they’ll receive hundreds of hours of lectures on military history, rules, and customs. The point of teaching military history is to train the recruits to accept the military’s history as their own history. Once they come to base their identity on hundreds of years of history they’ve just learned they’ll always view themselves as a member of that distinct group.

If any troop ever complains about life in the military they’ll be told, “You knew what you were getting into before you signed up.” But the hundreds of hours of class time they’ll spend in basic training betray this lie. You won’t learn all the details of what you signed up for until you take these classes.

Those classes teach all the unique symbols, language, rules, customs and beliefs that make up the overall military culture. On the surface most of them are innocuous, but it’s standard operating procedure for cults to manufacture their own internal culture based on shared symbols, terminology, rules, and customs because you need to give the recruits a culture to latch onto and derive their new identity from. The whole point of giving recruits a new culture and a new identity is to tie it all into the group’s pyramid-shaped leadership hierarchy. All the other details are red herrings, but once you accept them you’ll accept your place in the leadership hierarchy that comes along with it. From then on you’ll always respect and obey any human being who wears the arbitrary symbols that represent authority within the cult.



After class, the recruits are filed back into their dormitories where they’ll spend the rest of their night cleaning their rooms, organizing their lockers, folding their clothes, and arranging their belongings to precise requirements. The purpose of these chores is to simply get the recruits used to obeying arbitrary rules. If you can get them to perform mundane tasks without question you can get them to perform any task without question.

It also gives the instructors more reasons to berate the recruits and tear down their sense of self-worth, and just as importantly, to reward the recruits for demonstrating obedience. In a stressful, totalitarian environment a simple bar of candy or a phone call home is worth a million dollars. Recruits will love their captors when given these small token rewards.

Throughout the whole indoctrination process, the instructors will find any reason in the world to make the recruits doubt their worth as a person and as a member of the group. As they tear down the recruits they’ll slowly build them back up with praise and rewards. Then, just as the recruits are beginning to feel good about themselves the instructor will find any excuse to tear them back down again. If the recruits are doing everything right the instructor will simply lie and tell them they’re all failing at their duties. This emotional roller coaster keeps the recruits doubting their worth, makes them yearn to win the approval of their captors and makes them feel more proud when they receive any sign of affection or validation. It’s a way to systematically induce Stockholm Syndrome.

By the end of basic training, the effects of the reprogramming techniques will have taken root in the trainee’s minds. They’ll sing their branch song with pride, gush when they see an officer and perform every task asked of them with gusto. In the end, they’ll take part in a lavish ceremony where they’ll receive the mark of the in-group and will be congratulated on their elevation to true worth as a member of the group cementing the effects of the indoctrination process.

After reading all this you may still hold firm that military basic training teaches discipline and trains recruits to act without hesitation as a member of a goal-oriented team. As true as that may be, and as useful as that may be, it’s still not the whole truth. The fact of the matter remains that the training methods used in basic training are the exact same methods used by cults, and they have the exact same results. They rob recruits of their identity and replace it with a willing mental slave drunk on loyalty to the in-group. The training methods used on military recruits are considered unethical and even illegal to do anyone else, and they’re so invasive and brutal that they cause the recruits extreme mental anguish in the process to the point that many even attempt to commit suicide.

I have never seen evidence to support the claim that is absolutely necessary to submit human beings to this form of unethical treatment in order to create a smoothly functioning organization. Even if it were, we still have to ask ourselves if the cost is worth it, especially since it contradicts the entire reason the military supposedly exists: to protect the freedom and dignity of the citizens of the United States.


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The United States Military Is A Cult

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.

“A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g., isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of leaving it, etc.) designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community.”

I’m going to go through the characteristics of a cult and break down how they apply to military. You’ll see by the end of this list that the similarities are too blatant to be explained by accidental coincidence. The more you understand the design of a cult, the more obvious it becomes that the military system was painstakingly designed around the cult model.





1. “Authoritarian pyramid structure with authority at the top.”

There is no system of authority in the world that fits this description more than the military’s. All the enlisted grunts with no power are at the bottom, and a few generals sit at the top raining orders down a clearly defined chain of command nobody can question. This is an authoritarian pyramid structure.

In military basic training, you’re forced to sit in classes which teach you the ranks of the pyramid authoritarian structure that you’ll have to spend the rest of your enlistment obeying. If you don’t follow every single order handed down the authoritarian pyramid structure then you’ll go to jail and get a dishonorable discharge.

Military leaders are not leaders. They’re dictators. They’re dystopian rulers. Military officers are morally equivalent to slave owners. When one human being gets to tell another human being that they have to do whatever they say or else they’ll go to jail or be shot then that make the subjugated human being a slave. This is inhumane and violates the basic human rights supposedly guaranteed to all human beings.

The authoritarian pyramid structure of the military is the largest human rights atrocity ever. It’s evil. It’s unconscionable that anyone would allow this human rights atrocity to exist. Yet it’s celebrated by humanity. We should all be ashamed and terrified over how eagerly we celebrate human right atrocities.


2. “Charismatic or messianic leader(s) (Messianic meaning they either say they are God OR that they alone can interpret the scriptures the way God intended.”

I used to know an enlisted soldier who had a coffee mug that said, “God couldn’t be everyone at once. So he created officers.” That coffee mug existed because officers have been compared to gods for years. There was even a movie titled “Gods and Generals.” I’ve often wondered if officers are taught to view themselves as gods in officer training school or if the comparison keeps coming up because they have god-sized egos and god-like power over their subordinates.

Just to remove all doubt of the officer corps claim to surrogate god-hood, all military chaplains are officers. The military has actually co-opted religion and injected it into its ranks, and even though the military makes broad attempts to accommodate service members from every faith, if there’s ever an irreconcilable conflict of interest between the military’s goals and religious doctrine, military law supersedes religious law. Muslims can’t pray towards Mecca in the middle of an exercise, and Christians have to kill when ordered to.

Underneath all of this is the ever-pervasive belief that America is God’s favored country, and to serve America is to serve God’s will. From the Declaration of Independence to every State of the Union address, American politicians align their goals with God’s, which means every soldier serves God’s will by serving their leaders’ will.


3. “Deception in recruitment and/or fund raising.”

I really, really hate the common phrase in the military, “You knew what you were getting into when you signed up.” In reality, this isn’t the case at all (unless you were a military brat). That’s why so many people try to commit suicide in basic training. They think the rest of their career is going to be like basic training and they’d rather die. They wouldn’t try to commit suicide if they actually knew what they were getting into.

Also, half of basic training is spent in a classroom where you’re taught military rules, ranks, and history…because most people don’t know anything about it before they’re recruited. Part of passing basic training is taking a test to prove you know what you’re taught about the military, and very few people make a perfect score on that test. So most people don’t even know that much about the military after basic training.

Chances are you don’t even know how much you’re going to be getting paid before you join. And anyone who has enlisted will tell you their recruiter lied to them about a slew of things. If you don’t believe me, go talk to a recruiter. They’ll paint you a glorious picture of how the military is a wonderful summer camp that turns you into a man. They’ll never mention the indignity you’ll suffer and the systematic brainwashing that will strip you of your free will and turn you into a willing slave.


4. “Isolation from society — not necessarily physical isolation like on some compound in Waco, but this can be psychological isolation — the rest of the world is not saved, not Christian, not transformed (whatever) — the only valid source of feedback and information is the group.”

This is true on both levels. You’re isolated physically in a compound. In basic training, during your indoctrination, you’re totally isolated from the outside world. You’re literally locked on base behind barbed wire fences. Later you’re shipped all over the world where you don’t know anyone and might not even speak the local language.

Ideologically you’re separated from the rest of the world by your branch’s cult culture. You’re told you’re better than civilians. You’re told you’re elite. Your unit has slogans like, “If you ain’t Ammo you ain’t shit.” Or “The best supporting the rest.”

You’re even told your branch is better than the other branches. You’re told you’re serving the best government in the world (and thus the rest are inferior). You’re told your rank is better than others. You may even have separate dining facilities from the inferior people in your own branch.

Mental and physical isolation are standard practices in the United States military because the military knows how to run an effective cult.





Military customs and courtesies are designed around the framework of mind control. They fit all 8 criteria listed by Dr. Robery Jay in his book, “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism:”

1. “Milieu Control: Control of the environment and communication within the environment.”

Military bases are completely controlled. They even have laws on them that don’t apply to civilian land. Even your clothes are controlled. See what happens if you walk outside without your hat on or leave a button on your shirt unbuttoned. Communication is controlled through the chain of command. And you can’t make public statements about the military unless you’re a public affairs representative, and even then you have severe restrictions on what you can say.


2. “Mystical Manipulation: Seeks to promote specific patterns of behavior and emotion in such a way that it appears to have arisen spontaneously from within the environment, while it actually has been orchestrated totalist leaders claim to be agents chosen by God, history, or some supernatural force, to carry out the mystical imperative the “principles” (God-centered or otherwise) can be put forcibly and claimed exclusively, so that the cult and its beliefs become the only true path to salvation (or enlightenment)”

I’ll sum this up in one word, “patriotism.” What word is more mystical than that? Within the context of patriotism, the best example I can give of “mystical manipulation” is saluting the flag. Twice a day on every military base (that has a loudspeaker, which is most of them) the national anthem is played while the American flag is raised or lowered. When this happens, if you’re outside, you have to stop whatever you’re doing and salute the flag (or salute in the direction the music is coming from if you can’t see the flag).

You’re told you’re doing it out of patriotic respect for the flag. In reality, you’re doing it because you were told you had to and because you’ll be punished if you don’t. Would you have ever come up with the idea yourself to stop in the middle of the street on cue to face an inanimate object and put your hand on your head until the music stopped? No. But if you’re in the military and you see someone not saluting the flag will you chase down the “perpetrator” and angrily yell at them for their lack of respect and patriotism? Probably. And you’ll think it was your idea.

Have you ever asked why soldiers have to keep their boots shined or their uniforms pressed? There’s no practical need for it. You might assume that it’s because soldiers are well disciplined, but all the soldiers in the military didn’t independently come to the same conclusion that it would be responsible to shine their boots and press their uniforms. They were ordered to do that upon fear of severe punishment. The reason soldiers are forced to shine their shoes and press their uniforms is to keep them in the habit of doing whatever their leaders order them to without ever asking why.


3. “Demand for Purity: The world becomes sharply divided into the pure and the impure, the absolutely good (the group/ideology) and the absolutely evil (everything outside the group) one must continually change or conform to the group “norm”; tendencies towards guilt and shame are used as emotional levers for the group’s controlling and manipulative influences.”

Commander in Chief, George Bush said specifically that the United States military is fighting evil, which makes his side the good or holy side. Capitalism and Communism were divided the same way. We’ve used the term “axis of evil” more than once. Civilians are even stereotyped by the military as being weak, ignorant and ungrateful.

Within the military organization, the norms of good and evil are constantly being updated, and one must constantly relearn what is right and wrong today. There was a time when blacks, women, and homosexuals weren’t allowed in the military. Now they’re okay. Smoking inside, smoking while walking, and smoking outside designated areas used to be okay. Now they’re wrong. Walking while talking on a cell phone used to be okay. Now it’s wrong. Every year the uniform changes. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people break rules like smoking outside of a designated area and someone bitched them out and asked, “Where’s your integrity?” Integrity has nothing to do with it, but you will be shamed into conforming to the group norms, and if that doesn’t work you’ll be punished.


4. “Confession: Cultic confession is carried beyond its ordinary religious, legal and therapeutic expressions to the point of becoming a cult in itself sessions in which one confesses to one’s sin are accompanied by patterns of criticism and self-criticism, generally transpiring within small groups with an active and dynamic thrust toward personal change”

In the military this really only happens in basic training. You’re told to admit that before you came into the military you were a useless, undisciplined slob. Now that you’re in the military you can wash away your sins by completing basic training and be transformed into a real man. Think of all the Marine commercials you’ve seen on TV where the guy picks up the sword and is surrounded by light and his clothes change into a crisp, military uniform.


5. “Sacred Science: The totalist milieu maintains an aura of sacredness around its basic doctrine or ideology, holding it as an ultimate moral vision for the ordering of human existence questioning or criticizing those basic assumptions is prohibited a reverence is demanded for the ideology/doctrine, the originators of the ideology/doctrine, the present bearers of the ideology/doctrine offers considerable security to young people because it greatly simplifies the world and answers a contemporary need to combine a sacred set of dogmatic principles with a claim to a science embodying the truth about human behavior and human psychology.”

This goes back again to military recruits being told they’re fighting for the best nation in the world and that they’re in the best branch of their nation’s military. Our constitution is even encased in Washington DC in a bullet proof display case, and you’re not allowed to take pictures of it. That’s not to say the constitution is bad, but it does carry an air of sacredness. Even our money says, “In God we trust.” on it. Thus, meaning the preservers of that dollar are protecting something holy. Even the doctrine that takes away the military’s human rights is treated as sacred. Recruits are told that the Uniform Code of Military Justice holds them to a “higher” standard than regular people and that they should be proud of it.


6. “Loading the Language: Words are given new meanings — the outside world does not use the words or phrases in the same way — it becomes a “group” word or phrase.”

There are pamphlets and even classes for new spouses of military members that teach them the new language of the military so they’ll know what it means when their spouse says, “Before I go to the BX to pick up my BDUS. I’m taking the POV to the MPF to pick up my PCS orders to my next OCONUS assignment, which should be somewhere in USAFE.”


7. “Doctrine Over Person: If one questions the beliefs of the group or the leaders of the group, one is made to feel that there is something inherently wrong with them to even question — it is always “turned around” on them and the questioner/criticizer is questioned rather than the questions answered directly the underlying assumption is that doctrine/ideology is ultimately more valid, true and real than any aspect of actual human character or human experience and one must subject one’s experience to that “truth” the experience of contradiction can be immediately associated with guilt one is made to feel that doubts are reflections of one’s own evil when doubt arises, conflicts become intense.”

I have personal experience with this. One of my supervisors asked me point blank why I wanted to get out of the military (after I already received my approval for separation). So I told him my reasons. A week later I was forced to re-swear my oath of allegiance to the military and the constitution.

You won’t last in the military if you just view it as a day job. You’re expected to buy into all the ideology. You’re expected to associate your identity with the military and be proud of it. Anything less and you’ll be ostracized by the group and bullied at work.


8. “Dispensing of Existence: Since the group has an absolute or totalist vision of truth, those who are not in the group are bound up in evil, are not enlightened, are not saved, and do not have the right to exist; impediments to legitimate being must be pushed away or destroyed one outside the group may always receive their right of existence by joining the group; fear manipulation — if one leaves this group, one leaves God or loses their salvation/transformation, or something bad will happen to them; the group is the “elite”, outsiders are “of the world”, “evil”, “unenlightened”, etc.”

I’ve already covered this enough that I don’t feel the need to retype it. If you need more validation then go ask anyone in Special Forces how they feel about civilians.


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