In what way is Religion like brainwashing?

I am an English teacher in Spain. Recently a student gave me a presentation on World Youth Day...a congregation of Catholics from all over the world who get together to talk about how to live Christ's message. She described feeling exultant...being surrounded by smiling people 24 hrs a day, giving one another positive reinforcement...never saying no...never shirking a task...walking all day...praying most of the night...eating quickly and poorly...being constantly tired but happy.

Thing is, I'd just read Divine Madness by Robert Muchamore, in which an Australian Cult get rich people to join them by acting in EXACTLY the same way.

Is there a psychologist out there who can confirm or disconfirm whether this is brainwashing or just bonhomie and camaraderie?

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repetition is the main tool used, plenty of fearmongering, hope of heaven for compliance.

Indoctrinating that child into believing in fairy tales for starters. Heaven and hell, Hades and Valhalla are all ways to scare people for control. I could go on and on, but I just can't.....

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