1. The military is a cult that brainwashes you.
The military isn’t like a cult. It is a cult. It’s painstakingly designed around the cult model. Read any book about how cults operate, and you can find specific parallels in the military.
The two biggest red flags that the military is a cult is the oppressive caste system and the indoctrination process. Basic training doesn’t make a man out of you. The whole purpose of basic training is to brainwash you using the exact same classic brainwashing techniques cults use. The reason cults (such as the military) brainwash you is to manipulate you into loving the cult and its pyramid shaped leadership hierarchy so much you’ll devote your whole life to it and sacrifice everything for it.
While there may be good reasons for defending your country, the military still uses unethical techniques to manipulate you into becoming a willing zealot slave. The brainwashing process takes away your free will and identity and convinces you that it was your idea. Allowing someone to do that to you is throwing your soul away.
2. The military doesn’t care about you.
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 the military doesn’t return that loyalty.
Sure, the military gives its troops 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 the military won’t hesitate to throw the book at you as hard as possible to make an example of you.
The military (like other cults) also loves group punishments. Sooner or later you will be punished for something someone else did, because that’s what you do to slaves to keep them obedient and submissive. The military loves you in the same way a slave owner loves his slaves.
3. You will lose almost all of your civil rights.
You will lose the right to free speech, the right to assembly (at least, the right to assemble with any group that opposes the agenda of the military). You’ll lose the right to work a second job at any business the military disagrees with. You’ll lose the right to enter businesses (including many night clubs) that the military disagrees with. You’ll lose the right to self-determination. 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.
There will be limits to what kinds of tattoos you can get and where you can get them. There will be limits to what kind of piercings you can get and even what kind of civilian clothing you can wear on base. Just to be safe, Article 134 or the Uniform Code of Military Justice that says pretty much anything you do can be considered against the law; someone in your chain of command just has to say that some thing you did was bad, and that makes it against the rules. See for yourself:
““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. And if you ever complain you’ll be told, “You knew exactly what you were getting into when you signed up.”
4. Your self-worth will become based on rank.
You’ll cease to be equal in the eyes of the law or your fellow man. Your worth as a human being will be based on your rank. If you’re low ranking you’ll live a life of subjugation to those who were smart enough to join the military before you. You will have no control over this, and no matter how much smarter, harder working or morally virtuous you are you’ll never be treated with dignity until you’ve earned rank.
After being forced to salute others, refer to them as “sir” or “ma’am” and defer to their boneheaded opinions when your ideas are better you’ll eventually take it for granted that the people above you deserve more respect than you. Your reality will be reshaped little by little until you’re locked into a reality where you have little to no self-worth outside your rank (which is exactly how cults are supposed to work).
If you enter as an officer you’ll be given power over others you don’t deserve. You’ll be treated like a god and taught that enlisted troops are lesser forms of life than you. After being saluted and addressed as “sir” or “ma’am” every day for years upon years you’ll take it for granted that people respect you because you deserve respect. Your reality will be reshaped little by little until you’re locked into a reality where you’re a megalomaniac, and you’ll live out the rest of you life under delusions of grandeur.
Both of these fates are completely unnatural and strip your ability to make the most of out of your short, irreplaceable life.
5. You’ll fight and possibly die to defend the very ideals you swore to fight against.
You won’t fight for peace, equality and freedom. You’ll destabilize weaker countries to allow America to fleece them out of their natural resources, outsource labor to sweatshops and cripple the country under debt from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
You’ll perpetuate the industrial war complex that builds bombs with your tax dollars while your schools crumble. In short, you’ll directly help make the rich richer and the poor poorer. This is what America has become on your watch. This is what you’re defending. Don’t take my word for it. If you want to know what America’s military stands for, just ask the good people of Diego Garcia.
Theoretically you’re supposed to get preference when applying for federal jobs. Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t. For all the other jobs out there, military experience can sometimes hurt your chances of getting a job because many civilians see ex military members as dumb grunts who can’t think for themselves. That and the stigma that ex-soldiers are unstable killers suffering from PTSD.
You won’t get any VA medical help unless you were injured while in the military or you retired through the military. Even then, it’s very difficult to actually claim your benefits.
You can retire in 20 years, but a large portion of your paychecks in the military are made up of housing pay, Cost of living adjustments and other side benefits that you don’t pay taxes on. This looks great at the time, but your retirement pay is based on your taxable income. For enlisted troops this is only enough to live well on in the Philippines…which is why there are so many ex-military members living in the Philippines.
The MGI Bill has finally become usable, and VA will vouch for the downpayment on your house, which is a really, really, really good deal. But no matter how good the monetary benefits of joining the military are, it’s still blood money.
7. Life in the military sucks…but don’t take my word for it.
8. 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, except the military no longer physically beats the troops. They can accomplish the same result without leaving a physical mark by yelling, threatening, publicly shaming, imprisoning you, giving you horrible duties and paper work. If all else fails they can send you to remedial military training.
The end result is that you’ll feel guilty for breaking meaningless rules, and you’ll attack anyone else you see breaking meaningless rules. And any time 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 abuser who has manipulated you into celebrating and defending your own oppression.
Note: The author of this blog received an honorable discharge after 7 years enlisted service in the U.S. Air Force.
If you liked or hated this blog you’ll probably feel the same way about these:
The Reality of the United States Military (E-book containing the following blogs)
american soldiers aren’t heroes, they’re victims
you can support the ucmj or the troops but not both
parallels between the stanford prison experiment and student leaders in military tech school
objectively quantifying the heroism of the troops
an overdue critique of the military caste system
the military is a cult
State of the Troops Address on the 10th Anniversary of September 11th