Would you use the word "brainwashed" to describe the time in your life that you believed?
Or just "duped" or "tricked" or "uncritical"? I'm having trouble figuring out what it was that kept me believing in a church that did things that even at the time I described as "not right," "weird" or "confusing." I recognized problems with the church (polygamy, denial of priesthood to blacks and women) but didn't let them touch my testimony. Does that require some degree of brainwashing?
I noticed a style of preemptive teaching in the church and seminary. I got lectures and presentations on how Joseph could not have written the Book of Mormon long before I ever had heard anything that suggested Joseph may have written it. I heard stuff about how other churches are wrong--but never heard any of those teachings. Is that brainwashing? Or something else?
Perhaps part of my hesitation in using the word "brainwashed" is reluctance to apply such a negative word to myself. If I call what the church does brainwashing, then I was brainwashed. I don't want to have been brainwashed. It calls to mind compounds and hours of "correct thinking" being pounded into me every day, and not letting me go outside or think any other thoughts.
Perhaps I prefer indoctrination. This is a weaker term than brainwashing, but stronger than simple socialization and acculturation, which is what every parent and society does for their children.