Deradicalization by Complication

Toolkit tool! This article focuses on de-radicalizing a teenager recruited by Daesh, but this bit suggests broader practical applications beyond Daesh and beyond teenagers:

all extremists, regardless of ideology, develop a sort of tunnel vision as they go through the indoctrination process. An ordinary high school or college student, Koehler argues, has a lot of problems (tricky classes, meddling parents, romantic woes) as well as many potential solutions (study harder, find a job, date someone new). A person who’s journeying down the path toward radicalization, by contrast, sees their problems and solutions each get winnowed down to one—a process that Koehler terms “depluralization.”

The solitary problem for these individuals is always that there’s a global conspiracy against their race or religion; the solitary solution to such persecution is violence, with the goal of placing themselves and their group in control of a revamped society. [… Kohler] advocates repluralization: the careful reintroduction of problems and solutions into a radicalized person’s life, so that they can no longer devote all their mental energy to stewing over their paranoia.

Sidebar this process can take like 10 years. But so can making whiskey, and that’s worthwhile.

Inside Minnesota’s Risky Plan to Deradicalize Young ISIS Recruits,” in Wired

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