The Erasing of Human Identity – Centre for Research on Globalization

The deliberate stripping of individual identity is a technique practiced under certain specialized circumstances. Sometimes this happens in the process of initiation into a particular group, whether religious or secular. Nuns, army recruits, and prisoners of war are shorn, and new clothing provided to cement a new identity. A group identity supersedes former loyalties. The individual is renamed: given a new personal identity within the group. Rituals and ceremonies are performed as the person is inculcated into the ways of the tribe.

Because the new individual identity is within the auspices of the group, this identity is subordinate to the norms and dictates of the group, the tribal taboos, the customs of the new country. Thus, one can be censured for insubordination, and if necessary re-educated, the indoctrination refreshed, ground in deeper, as in degaussing a magnetic tape.

Suddenly we awake to find ourselves treated like prisoners of war or raw recruits ready for boot camp basic training. Left, right, left, right, hup two three four. Yes sir, no sir, three bags full, sir!

They were captured, corralled, their movements watched and controlled. And they were punished if they strayed off the reservation. Needless to spell out the parallels.

The Erasing of Human Identity – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization