We are much easier to program than computers, we do not require much complicated languages, and comprehends instruction MUCH easier.
Just like when we were young, and if we did something bad, we'll get spanked and punished. Some call it education, but it is also a very subtle programming, a foundation of do's and don't's, protocols (yes, we need to greet people before starting a meal).
And if you think it takes a long time to program a person, you may find it really wrong. A person can learn fast, and likewise brainwashed fast. If you haven't keep in touch with the news recently, there was a jet bombing threat that was thwarted (thank goodness). 10 jets flying from london to the U.S. were targeted for bombing, allowing it to drop into the atlantic ocean, however, at the final phase of the plan, perpetrators were caught. Quoting ITN reporter, Helen Callagher, "friends to one of the young men (arrested ppl) said they became very religous recently, attending a mosque setup in a converted house near the address...". How long do you think "recently" would be? 6 months? 1 year? nothing is too long, to make a person throw away their lives for some damned terrorist attack.
[ side note : I am not saying being religious is bad, but u know, I am an atheist after all. Saying that the young men which has connection to the terrorist attacks are very religious of course would throw people off guard and make it seems like religious people are of such violent nature is of course extremely incorrect. But in my context, I am just saying that, people could be programmed one way or another. ]
There are people that programs others, there are some that gets programmed, some that does both, (knowingly and unknowingly).
P.S. I am still trying to program myself so that i will wake up early in the morning, do stuff on time and such. not much of a success yet, but i'll keep trying.