Sep 19, 2011

Homeland - Terrorist or Brainwashed?

Showtime aired a preview to its new series Homeland which officially airs October 2. The premise is a SEAL-like team invades a terrorist compound finding an MIA Marine who has been held captive 10 or more years. When found, the Marine is locked in a room and his hair has been ungroomed for the full length of his captivity. He returns home to hero's welcome.

Waiting at home (America) is a CIA agent who believes he may have become a traitor and is really a terrorist. She has his entire home bugged and watches him on her computer from home.

When being debriefed by the military and CIA, the Marine is shown a picture of the equivalent to Osama bin Laden. He tells the CIA agent that every Marine knew him as the target. When asked if he ever met the terrorist leader, Brody (the Marine) denies any meeting but we see him recalling being tortured and hanging upside down and barely making out the face of the enemy leader offering him water.

Later, Brody meets with the wife of the man he was taken captive with. She asks Brody if he knows how her husband died because she was never told anything of his death. She says she needs to know for closure. Brody tells her he was beaten to death. She asks if he was there when it happened. He tells her no. But we see him remembering having to beat his friend to death. When he has succeeded, he succumbs to tears and is comforted by the terrorist leader. I see this clearly as trauma bonding.

One of the 9/11 anniversary specials I watched was about the reign of terror by Saddam Hussein. It showed how close friends were made to carry out the tortures or death of a person sentenced to punishment. Brody being made to beat his friend to death was in keeping with Iraq's law of the land at the time.

My partner Brian wonders if Brody is now a Manchurian Candidate. I had no radar for that but made for an interesting discussion between us. My only experience with being "brainwashed" is through dissociation from a young age. But I am very focused on the Homeland story.

If a soldier is brainwashed to believe he must follow the commands of a terrorist leader, is that really being a terrorist or a victim at the hands of the terrorists? Clearly Brody has been horrifically tortured during his captivity. Knowing what I know about my healing process, Brody, if brainwashed to engage in terrorist activity on cue, he could also be helped to undo the harm.

Likely, though, the CIA would find him guilty and imprison him. Brody is remembering...not having flashbacks...but also is not sharing what he remembers. Obviously huge shame envelops his memories.

I will be watching to see how the plot unfolds. It's terrifying to know that I might have been made to do something illegal that I would be arrested for when it was totally at the hands of master brainwashers within our own government. This show hits very close to home.

Am hoping those who have followed my story and are able to watch this series might also see the grooming/breaking process of the terrorists and if Brody realizes for himself what happened and is able to share that without retribution...getting help in the process. I'm not sure our nation is ready to accept mind control (which can be undone) versus soldier-turned-traitor.

Must see tv.


Anonymous said...

I have been watching this series from the start. The intro to the show tells me that Claire Danes character Carrie is also under mind control. Images of her growing up, being brainwashed and confused. She also has a personality/psychiatric disorder and has been getting electroshock treatments.

Grace said...

Dear Anonymous, Yes, I noticed that too but took me awhile. She has bipolar disorder on the show although it looks like MC too. I think many things look like MC just because that's the world I know. We'll have to see how the show plays out. It's very interesting this new season!