Famed North Korean defector Yeonmi Park offered a chilling account of her time at Columbia University, saying that not even North Korea went to the level of brainwashing that she witnessed.
Speaking with Fox News, Park became increasingly dismayed with the cost of an education that amounted to little more than what she described as indoctrination.
“I expected that I was paying this fortune, all this time and energy, to learn how to think. But they are forcing you to think the way they want you to think,” she said. “I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying.”
Like in North Korea, Park said she witnessed example after example of anti-Western sentiment and guilt-tripping. During her orientation, for instance, a staff member scolded her for liking classic literature.
“I said ‘I love those books.’ I thought it was a good thing,” Park said of her orientation. “Then she said, ‘Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you.’”
When it came to gender pronouns and manipulation of the English language, Park was even more confused.
“English is my third language. I learned it as an adult. I sometimes still say ‘he’ or ‘she’ by mistake and now they are going to ask me to call them ‘they’? How the heck do I incorporate that into my sentences?” she remembered asking herself. “It was chaos. It felt like the regression in civilization.”
“Even North Korea is not this nuts,” she added. “North Korea was pretty crazy, but not this crazy.”
Eventually, Park stopped arguing with her professors and “learned how to just shut up” so that she could graduate. She reserved her most pointed criticisms for the woke scolds who constantly lament about being oppressed.
“Because I have seen oppression, I know what it looks like,” she said. “These kids keep saying how they’re oppressed, how much injustice they’ve experienced. They don’t know how hard it is to be free.”
“I literally crossed through the middle of the Gobi Desert to be free. But what I did was nothing, so many people fought harder than me and didn’t make it,” she added.
Not being able to think critically has real-world consequences on society, noted Park as she recalled her inability to see that leader Kim Jong Un was the fattest man in the country while the people were starving.
“In North Korea I literally believed that my Dear Leader [Kim Jong-un] was starving,” she said. “He’s the fattest guy – how can anyone believe that? And then somebody showed me a photo and said ‘Look at him, he’s the fattest guy. Other people are all thin.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God, why did I not notice that he was fat?’ Because I never learned how to think critically.”
“That is what is happening in America,” she added. “People see things but they’ve just completely lost the ability to think critically.”
Having seen the worst of humanity in North Korea only to witness brainwashing in the United States, Park admitted to feeling quite bitter and hopeless about it all.
“You guys have lost common sense to degree that I as a North Korean cannot even comprehend,” she said. “Where are we going from here? There’s no rule of law, no morality, nothing is good or bad anymore, it’s complete chaos. I guess that’s what they want, to destroy every single thing and rebuild into a Communist paradise.”