Abraham Lincoln observed that a house divided will soon fall
Dr. Norman Doidge, professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, has identified among the telltale symptoms of fanatics: an intolerance of dissent, a doctrine that is riddled with contradictions, the belief that one's cause has been blessed or even commanded by God, and the use of reinforcement techniques such as repetition to spread one's message.
President Bush famously declared: "There is no in-between, as far as I'm concerned. Either you're with us, or you are against us." Bush is clearly dividing America into two camps, driving a wedge against the people of this country and with the new laws that are being passed; he is terrorizing people into falling in line with his rhetoric and party lines.
“This absolute intolerance of dissent, says Dr. Doidge, often extends beyond the fanatics' enemies - frequently leading to a "campaign of terror" against those within their own ranks”.
Professor Dixon Sutherland, who teaches religion at Stetson University, says: “another crucial element of a fanatic's faith is that he "sees himself as acting for God... You have a circular logic that is very powerful that combines God's authority - through the Bible - with a messenger who carries out that authority."
Gustav le Bon, a social scientist known for his crowd psychology theories, has stressed the importance of repetition as a weapon in the fanatic's arsenal. Repetition breeds blind acceptance and contagion.
Hitler observed that if you tell a lie often enough, people will believe it.