Deprogramming is a process which aims to release an individual from apparent brainwashing. These measures are taken to change belief systems such as those taught by cults and political systems. However, some of these methods are controversial since some deprogrammers employ coercion.

Theodore Roosevelt Patrick Jr. is known as the father of deprogramming with his infamous techniques on combating cults. Patrick was convicted due to his unlawful methods such as kidnapping and false imprisonment.

The five stages of Patrick’s deprogramming are discrediting the authority figure, presenting contradictions, the breaking point (when the subject begins listening to the deprogrammer), self-expression (critiques the cult), and identification and transference (identifies with the deprogrammer and views the cult as the enemy).

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