Most of us know or have known someone we care about who has come under the influence of a perpetrator using him/her for self-serving purposes.
Very smart, educated, healthy people can, for some unknown, reason come under the spell of opportunistic, toxic, and insecure people. It is very puzzling for an observer of this phenomena to understand how the brainwashed person can’t see what is happening.
How it happens is a complicated process which we won’t address here. How we can help these people as a friend is, however, something we will tackle here. You will also see similarities to our conversation regarding befriending victims. But being brainwashed by another, in my assessment, is much more complicated and dangerous. When someone is brainwashed they may be at risk for joining a cult and blindly following the orders of that cult.