Madonna’s production company Maverick Films is prepping a feature based upon a “prison experiment” conducted by a Stanford University professor in 1971 reports Reuters.

Professor Philip Zimbardo, past president of the American Psychological Association (APA), conducted “The Prison Experiment” to demonstrate the dynamics of social influence between guards and prisoners.

However, that behavioral research project was shut down in less than a week due to its unsettling and potentially dangerous results.

Two years ago when German filmmakers released “Das Experiment,” based upon the same Stanford project as an allegory for the rise of Nazism, Zimbardo was not pleased. He reportedly had a credit removed from the film acknowledging his work.

Can it be that the doctor has found a more suitable match in Madonna?

Zimbardo has compared the dynamics of influence demonstrated by his experiment to the sort of control techniques utilized by cults.

Ironically, the 1980s pop diva is perhaps the most ardent devotee of a group called the “Kaballah Centre,” led by religious guru Philip Berg, which has often been called a “cult.”

After the tragic “Heaven’s Gate” suicide in 1997 the Stanford professor wrote:

“A remarkable thing about cult mind control is that it’s so ordinary in the tactics and strategies of social influence employed. They are variants of well-known social psychological principles of compliance, conformity, persuasion, dissonance, reactance, framing, emotional manipulation, and others that are used on all of us daily to entice us: to buy, to try, to donate, to vote, to join, to change, to believe, to love, to hate the enemy…Cult mind control is not different in kind from these everyday varieties, but in its greater intensity, persistence, duration, and scope.”

Is it possible that by producing this feature about Zimbardo’s work Madonna might have an epiphany about the undue influence at times alleged regarding the group that she considers the source of her “spiritual awakening”?

Could exposure to information about the prison experiment offer the pop icon a vehicle to “deprogram” her from “cult mind control”?

Probably not.

The former “Material Girl’s” latest foray into feature films, like her recent children’s books, may be just another extension of the seemingly slavish devotion she displays to her mentor and his teachings.

And wouldn’t it be a supreme irony if Zimbardo’s historic work, as an acknowledged cult expert, was somehow used by a purported “cult” to convey its message?

Note: Maverick Films, owned by Madonna, may simply have a producing arrangement on this project. But let’s hope the diva at least watches the film and gets its message. Wake up Madonna!


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