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Thread: Psychological Torture

  1. #1
    Banned Belford's Avatar
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    Psychological Torture

    This subject got bounced off the other thread, so maybe it will last longer here.

    Richard - you opined that physical torture is never all right, but mental torture ALWAYS is.

    You went on to use Saddam Hussein as an example of where it is OK to use psychological torture.

    Let's grant that this one example is OK - you still did not explain how that justifies your contention that mental torture is ALWAYS ok.

    Please explain.

    Moderator - I know you dislike me, but I don't think that you can argue that I am abusing anyone by asking this question.

  2. #2
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Moderator - I know you dislike me, but I don't think that you can argue that I am abusing anyone by asking this question
    Dislike you? No. I dislike people who start threads with the sole intention of bashing other forum users and who's contributions consist of not debating the merits or otherwise of people's arguments but rubbishing them instead. Yes there are others and a lot of them get banned temporarily/permanently or chastised (which you don't see of course). My action in the most recent thread closing was more in reaction to it being OT rather than what you said.

    Avoid the above and you'll have zero trouble with me or any of the mods. It's pretty obvious you're both intelligent and articulate and as for this post, no problem here. Let the torture (errr, 'argument about torture' I mean) begin! I myself am interested to read my Richard thinks psychological torture is justifiable (don't take that as an indicator of my position on it).
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  3. #3
    International Captain LongHopCassidy's Avatar
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    Psychological torture has a similar level of agony, even if it doesn't come in the form of 240 volts circulating through your b******ks.

    It's simply exploiting the loopholes of the Geneva Convention. The effect on human lives is the same - both can cause severe mental damage and permanent scarring. How this is justifed on humans I'll never know.
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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    Uh, what exactly is psychological torture? If it's what I am thinking of, it doesnt sound so bad..
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  5. #5
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Yeah I think a clear, and thorough definition of 'psychological torture' is required for this thread before I give any opinion on it.
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  6. #6
    Cricketer Of The Year Anil's Avatar
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    true..hey richard..give us your definition of psychological torture and why you think it's always ok to do it...
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  7. #7
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Excerpt from CIA Torture Manual:

    Excerpts from the CIA Torture Manual
    As reprinted in Harper's Magazine, April 1997 issue.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Psychological Torture, CIA-Style
    From the "Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual--1983," a handbook written by the Central Intelligence Agency and used during the early 80's to teach Latin American security forces how to extract information from prisoners. The manual was obtained in January through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Baltimore Sun as part of an investigation of the CIA's involvement in Honduras. In 1985, the CIA renounced the use of coercive interrogation techniques (sic) and amended the manual accordingly; in the copy obtained by the Sun, the original 1983 text is legible beneath the agency's handwritten revisions and deletion marks.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    THEORY OF COERCION

    The purpose of all coercive techniques is to induce psychological regression in the subject by bringing a superior outside force to bear on his will to resist. Regression is basically a loss of autonomy, a reversion to an earlier behavioral level. As the subject regresses, his learned personality traits fall away in reverse chronological order. He begins to lose the capacity to carry out the highest creative activities, to deal with complex situations, or to cope with stressful interpersonal relationships or repeated frustrations.

    COERCIVE TECHNIQUES

    Arrest

    The manner and timing of the subjects arrest should be planned to achieve surprise and the maximum amount of mental discomfort. He should therefore be arrested at a moment when he least expects it and when his mental and physical resistance are at their lowest--ideally, in the early hours of the morning. When arrested at this time, most subjects experience intense feelings of shock, insecurity, and psychological stress, and have great difficulty adjusting to the situation.

    Detention

    A person's sense of identity depends upon the continuity in his surroundings, habits, appearance, relations with others, etc. Detention permits the questioner to cut through these links and throw the subject back upon his own unaided internal resources. Detention should be planned to enhance the subject's feelings of being cut off from anything known and reassuring.

    Deprivation of Sensory Stimuli

    Solitary confinement acts on most persons as a powerful stress. The symptoms most commonly produced by solitary confinement are superstition, intense love of any other living thing, perceiving inanimate objects as alive, hallucinations, and delusions.

    Threats and Fear

    The threat of coercion usually weakens or destroys resistance more effectively than coercion itself. For example, the threat to inflict pain can trigger fears more damaging than the immediate sensation of pain.

    The threat of death has been found to be worse than useless. The principal reason is that it often induces sheer hopelessness; the subject feels that he is as likely to be condemned after compliance as before. Some subjects recognize that the threat is a bluff and that silencing them forever would defeat the questioner's purpose.

    If a subject refuses to comply after a threat has been made, it must be carried out. Otherwise, subsequent threats will also prove ineffective.

    Pain

    The torture situation is a contest between the subject and his tormentor. Pain that is being inflicted upon the subject from outside himself may actually intensify his will to resist. On the other hand, pain that he feels he is inflicting upon himself is more likely to sap his resistance. For example, if he is required to maintain a rigid position such as standing at attention or sitting on a stool for long periods of time, the immediate source of discomfort is not the questioner but the subject himself. After a while, the subject is likely to exhaust his internal motivational strength.

    Intense pain is quite likely to produce false confessions, fabricated to avoid additional punishment. This results in a time-consuming delay while an investigation is conducted and the admissions are proven untrue. During this respite, the subject can pull himself together and may even use the time to devise a more complex confession that takes still longer to disprove.

    Hypnosis and Heightened Suggestibility

    Answers obtained from the subject under the influence of hypnotism are highly suspect, as they are often based upon the suggestions of the questioner and are distorted or fabricated. However, the subject's strong desire to escape the stress of the situation can create a state of mind called "heightened suggestibility." The questioner can take advantage of this state of mind by creating a situation in which the subject will cooperate because he believes he has been hypnotized. This hypnotic situation can be created using the "magic room" technique.

    For example, the subject is given a hypnotic suggestion that his hand is growing warm. However, his hand actually does become warm with the aid of a concealed diathermy machine. He may be given a suggestion that a cigarette will taste bitter and could be given a cigarette prepared to have a slight but noticeably bitter taste.

    Narcosis

    There is no drug that can force every subject to divulge all the information he has, but it is possible to create a mistaken belief that a subject has been drugged by using the "placebo" technique. The subject is given a placebo (a harmless sugar pill) and later is told he was given a truth serum that will make him want to talk and that will also prevent his lying. His desire to find to find an excuse for compliance, which is his only avenue of escape from his depressing situation, may make him want to believe that he has been drugged and that no one could blame him for telling his story now. This provides him with the rationalization that he needs for cooperating.

    REGRESSION

    As mentioned earlier, the purpose of all coercive techniques is to induce regression. A few noncoercive techniques can also be used to induce regression, but to a lesser degree than can be obtained with coercive techniques:


    Persistent manipulation of time
    Retarding and advancing clocks
    Serving meals at odd times
    Disrupting sleep schedules
    Disorientation regarding day and night
    Unpatterned questioning sessions
    Nonsensical questioning
    Ignoring halfhearted attempts to cooperate
    Rewarding noncooperation
    Whether regression occurs spontaneously under detention or is induced by the questioner, it should not be allowed to continue beyond the point necessary to obtain compliance. A psychiatrist should be present if severe techniques are to be employed, to ensure full reversal later. As soon as possible, the questioner should provide the subject with the rationalization that he needs for giving in and cooperating. This rationalization is likely to be elementary, an adult version of a childhood excuse such as:

    "They made you do it."
    "All the other boys are doing it."
    "You're really a good boy at heart."


    This is just the official stuff; what they do 'unofficially', well who knows?

  8. #8
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Sounds perfectly okay to me...
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  9. #9
    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    I would rather be on the recieving end of all those instead of physical torture

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    Hall of Fame Member superkingdave's Avatar
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    isn't some bullying a form of Psychological torture?
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  11. #11
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    The CIA have a torture manual?!!! :S
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  12. #12
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc71178
    The CIA have a torture manual?!!! :S
    I don't really find that surprising, what I do find surprising though is its available to the public lol.

  13. #13
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    I guess that was more my shock.

    Still waiting to see why Richard thinks it's all OK though...

  14. #14
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Because like I say:
    Quote Originally Posted by John The Bookie
    The point I was making was that telling someone their family been killed when they're actually alive is unacceptable even if they have commited and been proven guilty of a crime. I believe that is mental torture.
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    I believe that if someone has deliberately killed 500 people and torn asunder maybe 100,000 families, plus struck terror into the hearts of countless, that it is perfectly appropriate.
    Why the hell should someone get away with terrorism and mass-murder?
    And how the hell is death any punishment whatsoever?
    Some are in favour of physical torture. I am not, myself, I feel the human body should not be abused.

    (PS. Corey - Jesus, man! Aside from the tecs that has to be the longest post I've ever been bothered to read! Fascinating, man)
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  15. #15
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langeveldt
    I would rather be on the recieving end of all those instead of physical torture
    And me, too, though I'll never commit a crime heinous enough to warrant it and neither, I'd imagine, will you or anyone else here.

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