Never Too Late!

Never Too Late!
any resemblance to anyone real or imaginary is mere bad luck
we are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are trying to get up



Torture in the modern age

Picked up a New York Sun story via Google News in which Jose Padilla (alleged al-Qa'ida "dirty bomb" suspect) claims that the CIA dosed him with LSD to, presumably, help break him under interrogation - see here.

LSD was studied by the CIA as a possible "truth drug" during MK-ULTRA, without much success. But as a method of sheer chemical torture, it could be notably more successful. As a sensitiser, it could potentially make you feel really miserable, depending what sort of a set and setting you were subjected to.

Of course, there are worse things than LSD. As anyone who has read Bunker 13 will know, things like BZ: a deliriant guaranteed to give you a screaming psychotic nightmare trip, while chemically stimulating the pain receptors in your nervous system.

Oh yes: chemical torture. Too flesh-crawlingly terrifying to even contemplate.

Experts in coercive interrogation recommend (should you ever have to torture anyone for vital information) to avoid inflicting pain for as long as possible, as the fear of pain is often more potent than physical pain itself. Indeed, many people surprise themselves with how well they cope with pain, when it comes.

Imagine, instead, being placed in an immersion tank, floating in body-temperature saline and deprived of all sensory input whatsoever. You are, essentially, a "brain in a bath-tub"; consiousness floating in total darkness, total silence, total emptiness. Horror vacui. This, in itself, is enough to drive most people crazy. In a matter of a few hours or so.

But before they put you in there, you are injected with prolixin - developed as an anti-psychotic, this is something like being chemically flayed - and turbocurarine, which paralyses your body and denies you any outlet, through physical movement or flailing about, from the ghastly creeping torment and panic that is slowly drowning you. If necessary, of course, they will put a tube down your wind-pipe to keep you alive for the next few days.

The sadist genius of human beings knows no limit.

This is an unpleasant thing to think about, but almost certainly, someone somewhere is undergoing treatment like this, perhaps under the aegis of your government, busy fighting the great War on Terror.

[[realgem recommended reading]] Excellent and thoughtful article from Atlantic Monthly on the dark art of interrogation, speculating what Khalid Sheikh Muhammad may have gone through

... Or maybe they just gave him the LSD treatment...

"After 48 hours, the suspect cracked and began to reveal vital operational intelligence. It was established that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, and that there is no such thing as death. Further, evidence was gained which seems to bear out suspicions that life is only a dream, and that we are merely the imagination of ourselves..." [remember Bill Hicks...]


Asymmetric warfare

New addition to the sidebar blogroll: Global Guerillas. Fascinating and authoritatively-written open notebook on "4th generation warfare": encompassing explorations of emergence (in the sense of spontaneously self-organising systems - all this alliteration is unintentional, by the way), open-source and networks as metaphors applied to theories of guerilla warfare, and post-modern insurgency in the age of the internet.

Also gypsy-ass bad motherfucker Robert Young Pelton's website - if you haven't heard of this man and his work, please to check out the website. Found by browsing on the Black Flag Cafe forums: "Hitler's Drugged Soldiers" - RYP quotes the full text of an article discussing German military use of drugs and alcohol under the Third Reich. (Excerpts:)

Many of the Wehrmacht's soldiers were high on Pervitin when they went into battle, in a Blitzkrieg fueled by speed. The German military was supplied with millions of methamphetamine tablets during the first half of 1940. The drugs were part of a plan to help pilots, sailors and infantry troops become capable of superhuman performance. The military leadership liberally dispensed such stimulants, but also alcohol and opiates, as long as it believed drugging and intoxicating troops could help it achieve victory over the Allies. But the Nazis were less than diligent in monitoring side-effects like drug addiction and a decline in moral standards... During the short period between April and July of 1940, more than 35 million tablets of Pervitin and Isophan [methamphetamine] were shipped to the German army and air force...
Franz Wertheim, a medical officer who was sent to a small village near the Western Wall on May 10, 1940, wrote the following account: "To help pass the time, we doctors experimented on ourselves. We would begin the day by drinking a water glass of cognac and taking two injections of morphine. We found cocaine to be useful at midday, and in the evening we would occasionally take Hyoskin," an alkaloid derived from some varieties of the nightshade plant that is used as a medication. Wertheim adds: "As a result, we were not always fully in command of our senses."

[and of course Hitler's prescribed daily methamphetamine shots and Goering's morphine addiction are well documented]

... indeed, we were feeling positively... asymmetric...


The God experiment

This god experiment is a good one. Walk around pretending that you're god. If you can do it, it will force you to take responsibility. For everything. Furthermore, since you are god, everything you have created is by definition good, even if you don't remember why you created it that way right at the moment. It is the best psychological experiment ever to conducted on yourself.

I am god. The little psychos kicked my ribs in and I was laughing and laughing because they didn't understand that it was really me kicking me. I pain hurt I love pain magnificent I keep walking, I walk over broken bottles, the pain kills a little more of you and then the scar tissue doesn't feel no more...

I am god... She walked away and I cried and I was her walking away ("I didn't realise til you walked away you had the perfect ass/Forgive me for not falling in love with your face or conversation" Leonard Cohen) and I was the tears and I was the smirking workman who had listened to our conversation standing on the corner.

I am god. Where I used to bow my head and hide my face, I now smile benignly on all my creation. Especially that Turkish girl in the short black dress. How do I know I'm god? When I take drugs, other people stop working.

But what happens when god gets stoned? He starts making silly jokes. Like "what goes boing boing boing BOOM!" It's a suicide bomber on a pogo stick, like you probably remember. Now the fucking dog is enthusiastically licking god's hand and offering its head to be scratched. God's scalp is itching, too. A strange depression fell over god at the Kings Cross end of Caledonian Road. He wondered what the fuck he had been thinking when he created it all.

This is not as difficult as it seems! Try it and you will understand. This text is merely to illustrate the idea.

Yes, god... you created that street full of vicious kids with empty eyes and iron bars. I use the word "mine" (as in "mine creation") a little sourly in this situation. "Whose is it all?" Shit, I don't know, I don't give a fuck, I always try...

try what? Distracted by some atrocious bullshit. God allowed himself to be distracted by himself. This could get really schizophrenic. Is the end of that sentence lost forever?

Nevermind that. I can see into the future now as well, though only about three seconds. This fellow here, he might be an important sorceror or initiate of hidden doctrines, however you would have it. It seems he can read god's mind. Of course god doesn't like this particularly.

God is a pathological optimist and adjusts his attitude accordingly.
The ceilings have eyes and so do the floors
And so do the faces nailed to the walls