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Mere control is not enough. Now you can bend groups to your will, changing their alignments to suit your whims. Make the CIA Communist. The Punk Rockers Straight. The Moral Monority Liberal! And if that's not enough, you can change the alignments of the whole world. Make the world more Criminal, for instance, and all your criminal groups gain power and income....
I read about this on the Steve Jackson Games website, so I am pretty sure this information is correct, but please take it with a grain of salt since I do not own this specific edition. I do own the original expansion on which this one is based.
Brainwash is an expansion to Deluxe Illuminati, and is more or less a faithful re-issue of the third expansion to the original Illuminati game back in the late 80's. It came about as the result of a play-by-mail game of Illuminati that was then running. What it brings to the table is some fundamental changes to the game system with very little in the way of extra rules.
Deluxe Illuminati is a game in which players take the part of secret societies bent on controlling the world through its pawns. These pawns are different groups from our world, real or imagined, such as the Democratic party, street gangs, and even goldfish fanciers. The game is a masterpiece of backstabbing and double-dealing.
Brainwash allows the players to now have some say in popular opinion. The world begins in a rather neutral state, but as the game progresses players can move public opinion to align more with their own needs and goals. Playing Shangri-La? Then you want the world to be more peaceful. Fine! Spend some bucks, roll the dice, and see if you can make it a nicer world in which to live. Needless to say, this makes Peaceful groups a little more powerful, and Violent groups a little less so.
While certainly not necessary for playing the game, this is a nice accessory that makes a good game even better. Recommended.