I don't know about "brainwashing," but I sure think that rote memorization is inappropriate 99% of the time and that it ruins educations.
At least you're not saying "never". I think 99% is a bit harsh. The link was long; but I skimmed it. The music analogy is interesting. You obviously wouldn't want a musician to be all reading/writing scores. OTOH, a music teacher that ignored notation and sight-reading would be doing a grave disservice to students.
My childhood gives me a comparative case study: grades K-3 with public school and some "new math". Grades 4-6 in private school with traditional everything. Grades 7-12 in public school then a BSEE.
The "new math" tried to teach us long division with a really klutzy version of division by successive subtraction. Working a problem such as 9354935793578 / 7656 was not realistic. We were making little check-boxes and guesses. Their method for long division was absolutely horrible for large numbers, and working ONE long division problem took half an hour.
I the traditional private school I learned long division using the classic decimal place subtraction method where you gradually accumulate your result at the top of the paper and get a long train of carefully prescribed subtractions trailing down the page. Much, much better. Homework might involve 5 long division problems that could be worked in 15 minutes if you were good.
Then in high school when I got into computing I understood what "new math" was trying to do. They were trying to show us how to figure things out ourselves, how division relates to subtraction. In grade school though, it was just frustrating.
I don't think we should throw out "new math" entirely either; but we shouldn't use it to the exclusion of tried and true algorithms. Some of the bright students are going to ask questions like, "why does this work". New math is good for those students; but the "repetitive and boring" aspect of rote learning is too easily replaced by "frustrating, useless and slow" in new math curricula.