the rack

How do you Change People?

Solitary confinement has been used for centuries to correct and punish people. Parents have locked their children up in closets hoping to control them. Kings would put people in dungeon and not allow visitors to punish traitors and to instill fear in the populous, that if they misbehaved they would be put into solitary also. Prisons today use solitary as an extreme form of punishment. This is required because the person is already in prison. The worse thing that you can do to a prisoner is to put them into solitary. They would rather be in the general population and be endangered from gangs and thugs, than to be in solitary.

People have built isolation chambers that will block all sound and light in the room. These chambers also have an immersion tank that keeps the body free from the sensation of gravity and temperature change. Most people cannot stay in these chambers for more than ten minutes before losing their minds. The record for this chamber is 30 minutes. A prison was built in the late 1700's in the Americas. The rooms were large 20' x 30' with a 20' ceiling and one bed in the center. They hoped to isolate criminals and allow them to reflect on their actions. The prison had to be closed within a few years because all of the prisoners went insane.

If isolating people worked, there would be no criminals. Solitary confinement is a poor solution to control and get people to go along with you. This would be like cutting off your hand so it would become more dexterous. This just doesn't work. The hand just dies. People in solitary just come out with alot of anger.

An example is a story of a powerful genie (powerful creator/genitals) was imprisoned in a bottle. The first ten thousand years the genie said to himself, "If anybody lets me out, I will give him all of the gold in the world." The next ten thousand years the genie said to himself, "If anybody lets me out, I will grant him all of the kingdoms of the world." The following ten thousand years, the genie said, "If anybody lets me out, I will give him all of the gold, all the kingdoms, and all of the wisdom to be had in the world." The next ten thousand years, the genie said to himself, "If anybody lets me out, I will rip their body apart and send them to hell."

When people are let out of confinement, the only thing that you have created is a pissed off person. Confinement only creates mental illness which causes more problems in society. Why would you use something that does not work? This would be like putting water in your gas tank because you are on empty. The tanks is full, but you will be going nowhere.

Society has also used fear of abandonment to control or manipulate a group. This works because in small societies if you are not part of the group, you have no access to food or shelter. You also did not receive protection from enemies of the group. Religious groups will use shunning which is a form of abandonment to control and manipulate their members. Parents will use fear of abandonment to control their children.

An example is when I was a young child, my mother would try to use a switch on our legs to punish us. This did not really hurt compared to the belt whipping we received from our father. We would laugh at her efforts to punish us. She then would say "I am going to put my hat and coat on and leave." She would then proceed to the closet, get her hat and coat on, even though it was the middle of summer and grab her purse and start walking down the street. This worked because we could run after her crying and saying that we were sorry."

This does not work very well because a month later we would be doing it all over again until the punishment was reinstated. Why would you do something that doesn't work very well? This would be like using a clothespin to hold a tear in your pants. This is only a temporary fix.

screamingScreaming man

Some people will yell and scream, and berate people. This has a temporary effect as you will only get obedience when you are in the room or they think you may walk in at any moment. As soon as you leave, people will usually do something to damage or injure a possession or goal that you have. For example, in a plywood factory the boss would scream and yell at the workers because they were behind schedule and needed to lower the cost of the manufacturing. As soon as the boss left, they would take 30-40 sheets of an expensive plywood, run it through a chipper, and turn it into sawdust.

Again, this does not work very well. The only thing that you accomplish is that you have people that hate you. They will become passive aggressive and sabotage your efforts behind your back while smiling at your face. Why would you use something that could bite you in the ass?

Society for years have used gossip to control people in the group. Because we crave approval from others this causes us to get in line to avoid this negative speech. This comes from the Devil State, which means to gossip or put others down. As soon as the person is not under observation of the group, they will revert to their original actions. Gossip does work, but it is not permanent, and it is a poor way of controlling people.

For years people have used corporal punishment to control children and subjects. They would beat you with a whip, sticks, and their hands (spanking) in order to inflict physical pain on others. In extreme cases they will cause severe bodily damage with breaking bones, removing limbs, and placing people in uncomfortable positions. This has not worked very well because as soon as the person gains physical strength or power, they will fight back and destroy the punisher. You may end up killing the person, and have no one left to control. I repeat, this is a very poor way of trying to control people. This is like kicking your car if it won't start.

The question that we have to ask ourselves is "What are we trying to do?" If you are trying to control other people, you will need to understand the human psyche and how it works. The most important thing to all human beings (except the sociopaths) is oxytocin and serotonin. We create these chemicals by having a strong social bond and creating a safe environment for all. Criminals are created when the environment is not safe and people have no hope for the future. When you remove hope, you destroy a peaceful society.

How do we control people? Let's take an example of a chicken in a box with a light bulb. You want to teach the chicken to peck at the light bulb. You talk to the chicken for a half and hour and it looks at you with wonderment (chickens don't understand english). You could beat the chicken with a stick until it pecks the light bulb. You will have one of two things, a chicken sandwich or the chicken will jump out of the box and run away. Neither of these things work. If you wait long enough, the chicken being a curious animal will peck at the light bulb. When it does, if you throw in a kernel of food after two or three times the chicken will peck at the light bulb all of the time knowing that it will receive a reward.

depressed man

Another example is of a woman who wants a man to take the garbage out (all men realize that this is their job). You can yell and scream, or beat them and they will run away. This is why men go out hunting or out with the boys because receiving feminine disapproval is very painful to them. Usually men have a different opinion than women of when the garbage should be taken out. If it's overflowing, to them this is the correct time. If it's half full, you feel this is the correct time to take it out. When it is not taken out, you start nagging "Shouldn't you take the garbage out, isn't it time." This never seems to work very well for anyone.

What you should do is be patient and wait (yes you will have to wait until its overflowing) and say nothing. Eventually they will realize that they need to take the garbage out. When they come back in, you can jump up and down and squeal with joy, and give them a hug and a kiss. The next day they will come in with the garbage can almost empty and ask you "Is there any garbage to take out today honey." If you have tried this and it has not worked, you are not patient enough, or you may be giving them dirty looks… stop it.

Another example is church groups and boy/girl scouts use similar approaches to get compliance. Religious groups will only allow you to perform service when you are compliant with their requirements. If you are rebellious, they will bar you from cleaning and maintenance on the building. If you are good, then you get to be of service, be an altar boy, clean the rest rooms, teach classes, and help other people in the congregation. Work that children normally avoid becomes a reward. Religions have used this for thousands of years successfully. It is not something new.

This would be like if you want your children to enjoy doing the dishes or making their bed, you will tell them "Would you help Mom or Dad make your bed or help us wash the dishes?" Children always want to be doing what the adults are doing. When you punish your children with chores, they equate the chores with something to avoid. When children see successful people as not doing anything, they try to take a shortcut and become successful by not doing anything. You can punish you children that have been disobedient by saying "The rest of the family is going to go wash dishes, and you need to stay in your room because you have been misbehaving." Washing dishes is now a reward. Making their beds will always bring back memories of being with Mom and Dad.

One mother mentioned to me about her son, "Now I understand as my son has never has wanted to wash dishes, he is now in the cub scouts, and he tells me he must  wash the dishes as this is how he will earn an honor badge in service." Her son equates washing dishes with a positive thing in life. He receives honor and praise from the cub scout leader and his fellow scouts. When cleaning the house, making the bed, and washing the dishes is treated as an honor and privilege, children will do this for the rest of their lives. When it is used as a punishment, they will avoid this at all cost for the rest of their lives.

Tom Sawyer used this to get people to help him paint a fence. When his friends came by and asked him what he was doing as he was painting the fence and not playing. He told them "This is a very important job and required a lot of skill." When they ask if they could do it too, they were told "Just watch me for a while, and you may learn." After a short time period, they were begging and pleading to paint the fence. By the end of the day he had many of his friends painting while he sat back and directed.

Using rewards and positive reinforcement, you will accomplish your goal of obedience or compliance with less effort on your part. The change in people will become permanent as they will always have fond memories when they perform these tasks in the future. By using oxytocin and serotonin, which are created under a safe group environment, the changes you wish will be permanent and long lasting.

Oxytocin is a "feel good" neurotransmitter that is used in group bonding. Animals that produce a lot of oxytocin will mate face to face. Other animals that do not produce oxytocin do it doggy style. Animals that produce lots of oxytocin will mate for life. Animals that do not, will have a temporary mate, or a new one every year. Oxytocin is produced in humans when you are having sex face to face, when a woman is carrying a child, when she is delivering a child (they pitocin, which is a commercial name for oxytocin to induce labor), when she is nursing, when people sit in a circle and talk to each other and feel safe. Everything that we do in life is to get oxytocin. When others see us with a new car, or the fanciest cell phone, and they admire us, we get oxytocin. When they see us belonging to a tribe (like Apple, having a certain wristband, wearing t-shirts from the grateful dead, etc), all of these things produce oxytocin. If you want people to buy your product or service, you need to create this chemical, oxytocin. A crying baby is no oxytocin, a cooing baby is oxytocin. This is why it is so painful to hear a baby cry.

Serotonin is another "feel good"  neurotransmitter. When people do not have enough of this, they become depressed, and a doctor will prescribe SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), to increase the amount of available serotonin in your brain. When you have an orgasm this is serotonin pumps going off in your head to reward you for having sex. This also creates a bonding between people. Serotonin is created in a large group and you feel safe.

All of the negative aspects of control destroy oxytocin and serotonin. This causes dissonance and unrest. This causes people to become violent, trying to destroy the source of their pain.   The only thing that you are creating when you negative punishment is violent people. The recent event in Louisiana when the police were confronting the protesters, the possibility of violence was escalating, stores were being looted, and property was being destroyed. As soon as they got a new sheriff in town that walked with the protestors and listened to their fears, the possibility of violence dissipated rapidly. Do you want to have success or frustration in life? How will you choose to live in harmony with others? Will you choose negative reinforcement, or positive reinforcement? This will be your choice. Choose wisely.