Unethical scientific experiments: “black syphilis”, the Stanford experiment, the Milgram electroshock and the BLUEBIRD project

Universal electric shock

It is accepted in the scientific community that for visual proof of scientific

theoretical conclusions require a control group.Cincinnati physician Roberts Bartholow treated a patient named Mary Rafferty in 1847 who suffered from a cranial ulcer. The ulcer literally ate through the middle part of the cranial bone and the woman’s brain looked out through this hole. Roberts tried to prove his theory that exposure to electrical discharges could help activate the regeneration of bone cells. With the patient's permission, Bartholow inserted electrodes directly into the brain and, passing current discharges through them, began to observe the reaction. He repeated his experiment eight times over four days. Rafferty initially appeared to be doing fine, but later in her treatment she fell into a coma and died a few days later. Most likely, this happened due to the excessive use of electric shock.

Surprisingly, Roberts was essentially moving towardsin the right direction, although this in no way justifies his actions. This year, the development of scientists from Ohio University - electrochemical bandages that use electrical impulses - showed their enormous effectiveness in comparison with conventional disinfection and the application of conventional sterile dressings.

The public was furious - Bartolow had toleave and continue his work in another state. He did not even have to leave the country - the United States did not present any charges against the doctor. He later settled in Philadelphia and received an honorary teaching position at Jefferson Medical College, proving that even a mad scientist can be very lucky in life.

Robert Bartolow

Dr. Loretta Bender from Cridmore Hospital inNew York spent most of the 1960s doing research in electroconvulsive therapy. She exposed young children to electricity, trying to establish a relationship between a child’s reactions and signs of schizophrenia. Dr. Bender selected her patients during the interview, which included physical effects on certain points of the child’s head during a public demonstration of the experiment’s transparency to a large group of observers. Any child who twitched with limbs due to these manipulations, as Dr. Bender claimed, had early signs of schizophrenia. Observers did not know what subsequently awaits these children. Loretta believed that harsh electric shock therapy was a breakthrough in the treatment of people with mental disorders. Later, her colleagues reported that she had never shown any sympathy for the children in the experiment. Ultimately, Dr. Bender used shock therapy for more than 100 children, the youngest of whom was only three years old.

As for electroconvulsive therapy to treatmentally ill people - it is used now. Doctors use electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to treat severe depression, suicidal and neurotic conditions, and schizophrenia.

Ect is extremely effective for getting out ofcatatonic syndrome, a condition that may be a symptom of schizophrenia and includes stupor, silence, silent aggression and mechanical repetition of the interlocutor's movements. Electroconvulsive therapy favorably affects muscle relaxation, thereby weakening or relieving seizures in which the patient's body seems to stone from spasms.

ECT is traditionally used more often to treatdepression or bipolar disorder than for schizophrenia. It is believed to be more effective in treating psychosis when other mental symptoms are also present.

Cure sexual attraction through disgust

In times of official racial politicsSegregation in South Africa Army Colonel and Psychologist Dr. Aubrey Levin was appointed to "treat" homosexuals imprisoned in a military hospital near Pretoria. While there, they were subjected to electroconvulsive therapy designed to “reorient” them. The project was named "Aversiya". During this brutal treatment, patients were shown images of naked men and made them self-satisfied, after which the subjects received a powerful electrical discharge. The idea was that a person would associate his impulses (sexual attraction to his own sex) with pain and, ultimately, at the mental level, he would not want to do it. However, the “treatment” extended not only to homosexual conscripts, but also to those who refused to serve because of their religious convictions and drug addicts. Levin hated drug addicts, and his doctoral dissertation was an aggressive analysis of the effects of cannabis use.

When apartheid is finally over, Levin left.South Africa to avoid punishment for violating human rights. He emigrated to Canada and worked for a long time in a local hospital. Aubrey Levin (nicknamed "Doctor Shock") was arrested in Canada only after trying to cure homosexuals there with the help of "disgust therapy". One of his patients secretly recorded a session in which Levin subjected him to violence in an attempt to induce in him a craving for people of the opposite sex. In 2013, Dr. Shock was sentenced to five years, but released on parole for 18 months after it was established that he was ill and could not be at risk of a flight, that is, he would not fly away from the country. His wife, Eric Levin, was convicted of obstructing the attainment of justice when she tried to bribe a jury on her husband’s case.

Levin retained his Canadian citizenship, but hewas not allowed to have contact with any of his victims and, ironically, the doctor was forced to attend court-ordered psychiatric consultations. So far, the South African government has made no attempt to hold him accountable for the human rights violations and crimes he committed during his service, moreover, it has never made an official statement listing the victims and the torture they suffered.

In 1961, three months afterNazi Adolf Eichmann appeared before an international court for war crimes, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram wondered how it was possible that Eichmann and "his accomplices who took part in the Holocaust simply followed orders." To find out how it actually happens, Milgram organized an experiment designed to measure a person’s willingness to obey an authority figure. Two participants in the experiment (one of whom was an actor, which the subject himself did not know about) were placed in two adjacent rooms where they could only hear each other. Subject asked questions to the actor. Each time the actor answered the question incorrectly, the subject pressed a button that struck his opponent with an electric current. Although many of the subjects expressed a desire to stop the experiment at the first shouts, which were skillfully played, at some point these cries stopped confusing them, some even noted some satisfaction and a strong desire for the opponent to respond incorrectly as long as possible. In one series of experiments of the main experiment, 26 out of 40 subjects, instead of taking pity on the victim, continued to increase the voltage (up to 450 V) until the researcher ordered to finish the experiment. The experiment proved that the authorities are intoxicating, and this was the only cause of blind submission in the days of the Wehrmacht.

Cure stuttering or stutter

In 1939, 22 orphans living in Davenport, a stateIowa, became experimental Wendell Johnson and Mary Tudor, two researchers from the University of Iowa. The experiment was devoted to stuttering, but its goal was not to treat the speech defect. The children were divided into two groups. Members of one group effectively dealt with speech therapists and constantly received praise for competent speech technique. Children from another group were deliberately crippled with altered sounds and words in the classroom, and also ashamed of any speech errors they unwittingly made based on the material they were taught. In the end, the children from the second group, who spoke normally before the experiment, had problems with speech, which, as they told the court in 2007, persisted until the end of their lives. Johnson and Tudor never published the results of their research for fear. In 2007, the three surviving members of the second group and the heirs of the deceased received compensation from the state and the University of Iowa. However, no comments from the state were received, and the US government did not give any comments. Modern speech pathologists-speech pathologists gave this experiment the name “Monster Study”. There is a suspicion that the whole range of psychological experiments remained only in the heads and in the memory of doctors and their victims.

Ruthless experiments on the fields of war

Headed during World War IIThe Japanese surgeon general Shiro Ishii, Detachment 731, conducted experiments on his prisoners. This special unit was based in occupied China; up to 400 prisoners were imprisoned simultaneously. The main objective of the research Japanese command considered the development of chemical and biological weapons.

Victims of unit 731 have been infectedanthrax, cholera and plague. They were shot from different types of weapons. Amputation, transplantation and even chest opening were performed without anesthesia. Ishii often asked his employees how many logs they cut down on a given day, he called people “logs”. Incredibly, at the end of the war, Ishii and his staff bargained for their freedom by offering biological research to the US government. The states were really interested in developing their own powerful weapons of mass destruction, therefore Ishii avoided responsibility for his activities. He died in 1959 with his death. The government of Japan still refuses to publish materials about the experiments, all the information came from former employees or survivors.

Manhattan Nuclear Weapon Project wasofficially established on August 13, 1942. Before the official establishment of the Manhattan Project, nuclear research was already conducted in a number of universities in the United States. The Rad Lab (Radiation Laboratory - "High Tech") at the University of California at Berkeley conducted research under the direction of Ernest Lawrence. The most significant discovery of Lawrence was his invention of the cyclotron, known by the nickname "atomic brigand", which could accelerate atoms in a vacuum and with the help of electromagnets provoke their collisions at speeds of up to 25 thousand miles per second. Lawrence believed that his machine would be able to quickly divide the atoms of uranium-235 using electromagnetic separation, one of four possible methods for the separation of uranium isotopes, which will ultimately be considered during the Manhattan project. Also at this time, Berkeley scientists Emilio Segre and Glenn Seaborg proved that element 94, which they called plutonium, can also be used in nuclear reactions.

Meanwhile at Columbia University the groupscientists, including Enrico Fermi, Leo Szilard, Walter Zinn and Herbert Anderson, conducted experiments using nuclear chain reactions. Production was transferred to the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago in February 1942.

When the Manhattan Project approachedbomb production, the US government began to consider options for its use in wartime. In May 1945, with the approval of President Harry Truman, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson established the Provisional Committee to develop recommendations on the use of the bomb in wartime and the development of atomic policy in the postwar period.

July 16, the countdown of atomic history began,when the first atomic bomb in the world was tested at the Trinity site in the New Mexico desert. The Gadget plutonium bomb exploded with a force of about 20 kt, creating a mushroom cloud that rose 8 miles in height and left a crater 10 feet deep and over 1 thousand feet wide.

On August 6, the United States dropped its firstatomic bomb on hiroshima. Uranium bomb "Kid" exploded with a capacity of about 13 kilotons. It is believed that four to four months after the explosion from a bomb killed between 90 and 166 thousand people. According to the US estimates, 200 thousand or more people died as a result of the explosion, and later 237 thousand people died as a result of the bomb impact - due to radiation sickness or cancer caused by radiation.

Three days later, the second was dropped on Nagasaki.atomic bomb - 21-kiloton plutonium "Fat Man". Immediately after the atomic explosion, between 40,000 and 75,000 people died, and another 60,000 people were seriously injured. The total number of deaths by the end of 1945 reached 80 thousand. Japan surrendered eight days after the first strike - on August 14.

Intolerant infection

Experiment Taskigi - so called 40-year-olda study of the effects of syphilis in African-American men, begun in 1932. The stated goal of the study was to study the effects of syphilis, with no treatment, on 600 African-American men from Macon County, Alabama, from the time of infection and throughout their lives.

Healthy black men were infectedsyphilis is artificially supposedly as part of voluntary medical research. However, they were not informed about their condition, instead they were told that they were experiencing symptoms associated with “bad blood” or “fatigue”. The study, conducted by the US Public Health Service in conjunction with the Tuskygie University, promised free treatment and funeral expenses if any subject dies during the experiment.

University of Tuskigiis a private educational institution in Alabama. It was founded in 1881 for black students as part of a project to expand accessible education for the “colored” population after the American Civil War.

In fact, no one cared about the subjects, they were only subjected to numerous blood and bone marrow samples to obtain research material.

Only in 1972, when the informant reportedIn this experiment, the national press, the study was closed. 74 of the original subjects were still alive, and 100 people died from untreated syphilis. In 1992, after a class action lawsuit, the survivors received $ 40,000 and apologies from the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton. The US government has coded all the documents on the Tuskigi study in order not to provoke manipulations by the African American population of the USA.

In total, within the framework of the experiment, which was called “black syphilis”, 600 African-American men were killed.

CIA deprives of memory

The BLUEBIRD project was approved by the director of the CIA in1950, a year later it was renamed ARTICHOKE. As part of research, scientists conducted experiments on the artificial creation of a person’s amnesia, hypnosis of potential informants and the “Manchurian candidate”. Documents that hit the public space prove that the informers were effectively hypnotized, and they passed the tests in real simulations.

"Manchurian Candidate"- the term came into use after the name of the same namefilm (1962 and 2004) - an adaptation of the novel by Richard Condon. Denotes an agent endowed with false memories and unconsciously executing commands (usually programmed to regularly report the situation), which ensures the inability to betray his colleagues.

As the American media wrote in 1979,Project ARTICHOKE's experimental interrogation took place in a safe house in a remote rural area staffed by security personnel. It was carried out under the guise of a routine psychological examination. When the subject was brought to the study site, he was first subjected to the usual interrogation, and then he was poured a little whiskey. Following alcohol, the subject was given 2 g of phenobarbital, which lulled his consciousness. After taking a lie detector test, the subject was given intravenous chemicals. Thus, the creation of artificial memories or the erasure of real memory occurred without the control of the subject. The procedure was repeated over and over again, after each stage an interrogation was carried out.

ARTICHOKE operations included detailed,the systematic creation of certain types of amnesia, new surreal memories and hypnotically programmed behavior protocols. For example, an employee of the CIA Security Service was hypnotized and given a false identity. She ardently defended her, denying her true name, and convincingly justified with certificates confirming her new name, age and other data. Later, after the false personality was erased with the help of suggestion, she was asked if she had ever heard the name that she considered her five minutes before. She thought and said that she had never heard him.

Projects ARTICHOKE and BLUEBIRD, thenrenamed MKULTRA and MKSEARCH, existed until 1972. After the closure, CIA Director Richard Helms ordered the destruction of all documents related to these projects.

The MKULTRA project consisted of 149 differentexperimental programs. A number of trials were aimed solely at developing and testing mind control drugs. The purpose of these tests was to find or develop substances that would help authorities obtain testimony during interrogations and subsequently induce short-term amnesia in those being interrogated. The CIA also sponsored research using LSD. The characteristics of LSD during testing noted: “The most acute effects - confusion, helplessness and extreme anxiety - are caused by even small doses of this substance. Based on these reactions, its potential use in aggressive psychological warfare and interrogation could be extremely powerful. It may become one of the most important psychochemical agents."

Unethical practices of doctors and directthe involvement of pharmaceutical companies is part of the history of hallucinogen trials. With permission from TOP SECRET, Eli Lilly received a $400,000 grant in 1953 to produce and supply LSD to the CIA. Army research on LSD continued into 1977, when the substance was considered a controlled substance. At least 1,500 soldiers were given LSD without informed consent as part of army mind control experiments. These facts have never been subject to ethical review, policy, or position statement by any medical organization.

Another group of projects consisted of experimentsand research into non-chemical mind control. By and large, psychologists and sociologists were unwittingly involved in the experiment, while doctors, chemists and biologists had access to all the information and knew that they were working for the CIA.

Four of the MKULTRA subprojects were dedicated tochild research. The intentional creation of a multiple personality in children was the plan of the MKULTRA project proposal submitted for funding on May 30, 1961.

The simple truths of Philip Zimbardo

Original purpose of stanford prisonThe experiment of 1971, which was one of the most visible psychological experiments, was a clear demonstration of the possible reactions of people in a situation of total absolute power and complete powerlessness. More than 70 people on the announcement volunteered to take part in the study, which they planned to conduct on the premises imitated under a real prison. Philip Zimbardo, a 38-year-old psychology professor, was the research supervisor. He and his fellow researchers selected 24 participants and randomly gave them the roles of prisoner or guard. Zimbardo instructed the “guards” and made it clear that although the “prisoners” could not be physically harmed, the “guards” should try to create an atmosphere in which the “prisoners” felt powerless. The study began on Sunday, August 17, 1971.

Let's say you have children whocompletely healthy, both psychologically and physically. But if they find out that they are going to prison, or a place similar to a prison, and some of their civil rights are treacherously violated, are you sure that they will not lose face?

Philip Zimbardo

The fictitious prison consisted of three cellsfrom 6 to 9 square meters. There were three “prisoners” in each cell and there were three bunks. The other rooms in front of the cells used the role of prison guards. Another small room was considered a prison yard.

During the study, prisoners should havestay in a fictitious prison 24 hours a day. The “guards” were assigned to work in teams of three for an eight-hour shift. After each shift, the “guards” were allowed to return to their homes until the next shift. The researchers were able to observe the behavior of prisoners and guards using hidden cameras and microphones.

Although the experiment at Stanford PrisonIt was originally planned for 14 days, it had to be stopped only after six because of the atmosphere inside the team of participants in the experiment. The “guards” began to insult the “prisoners”, and the latter began to show signs of extreme stress and anxiety.

Photo: Stanford Historical Photograph Collection

Even the researchers themselves have overlooked the realcatastrophic situation. Zimbardo, who also played the role of a prison guard, did not pay attention to the offensive behavior of her “colleagues”, until graduate student Christina Maslakh expressed her concerns about the immorality of the continuation of the experiment.

The prison experiment at Stanford often lead inas an example of unethical research. The experiment cannot be repeated by researchers today, because it does not meet the standards set by numerous ethical codes, including the American Psychological Association's Code of Ethics. Zimbardo himself has repeatedly recognized the ethical problems of research.

With the development of technology and media resources hidestudied defects more and more difficult. Modern science is able to offer 3D modeling, virtual reality or AI capabilities for conducting safe and effective tests. Thanks to the above projects, scientists have developed more effective ways of collecting information, treating physical and mental diseases, and even destroying each other during wars. Although not always their research generally pursued a scientific goal. But does humanity remember the sacrifices of this “progress”?