Mug shot of Patty Hearst (public domain photo)
When I read Chapter 9, these two paragraphs seemed particularly vivid and interesting to me:
"When Patty-Tania [i.e, Patty Hearst] was captured and brought to trial, the defense claimed that she had been 'brainwashed.' The jury either did not understand or did not believe this; they sentenced Patty to prison for the crimes Tania had committed. Debate about this case continues to the present, since some people think Ms. Hearst was 'responsible' for the consciousness change she underwent while held captive by the SLA and others are just as sure she was not 'responsible.'
"Leaving metaphysical questions of 'responsibility' aside for a moment, it seems obvious that a young lady of Hearst's class and background would almost certainly not have taken up bank robbing if she had not first been kidnapped and incorporated by the SLA."
It certainly seems obvious to me that Hearst totally was a victim in this case and that a tremendous injustice occurred when she was sent to prison. Yet, as Wilson points out, that did not seem obvious to the jury, even thought it was completely clear even at the time that she had been violently kidnapped and terrorized by a depraved left-wing gang of murderers and kidnappers. I remember at the time, Patty Hearst had very little sympathy from the public; she was seen as a spoiled rich kid trying to avoid responsibility for her crimes. This now seems like an incredibly ignorant opinion.
Check out the Wikipedia article on Patty Hearst, which has details which seem shocking to me. Consider for example that she was sentenced to 35 years in prison for bank robbery. Contrast that to the lighter sentences given to the actual criminals in the SLA gang who victimized Hearst, such as Emily Harris, who got only eight years for murdering a woman during a bank robbery. Harris was the triggerwoman who actually committed the murder.
The exercises for the chapter seem a bit dated, as they concern such things as the John Birch Society and nudism. If you are a committed Democrat, why not use social media to enter the minds of Trump fans? And as someone who obtained a vaccination against COVID-19 as soon as I could, I've certainly had interesting conversations with anti-vaxxers. I recently talked to a health official who described how a nurse at his organization had resigned rather than agree to follow a mandate to be vaccinated. The woman had recently buried her husband after he died from COVID-19, the official told me. Now, that's a woman who lives in a reality tunnel different from the one I'm in.