Torture is never an easy topic to discuss. It is often horrifying. Most people connect the word torture to violence and the past but there are different types of torture. One of which is psychological. Psychological torture often is not viewed as torture by Western countries. In fact, psychological torture is most commonly used by the United States government. The technique is used because it leaves no marks on the individual physically only mentally. The CIA believes it works to gain intelligence.
According to an article by globalresearch.ca seen here:
The idea is to shake up the emotional states of the target because different information can be accessed at each state. Making the target feel despair and helplessness is the objective. This cycle of hope building and then breaking is done in many ways. The techniques between the physical methods and the no-touch technological methods are similar. Speech is very important during this process of emotional manipulation. Such examples are, “We have imprisoned you without due processes or hope of it. You are indefinitely detained.” Hope building examples include, “Sorry. We have mistaken you for someone else. You will be compensated for false imprisonment and torture.” The main difference between the cybernetic technology and physical is that emotional state clusters can be entrained into the target mind which speeds up the process. The communication is done differently but perceived as human speech. In the no-touch torture methods it is helpful if the target is labeled with mental illness that is being created for discrediting purposes so as not to draw human rights groups’ attention.
Isolation is commonly used as punishment in prisons. Many whistleblowers like Bradley Manning suffer this condition. In soft interrogation it is used to get the target to talk to their interrogator since humans have the need for companionship. In no-touch torture the target is driven from their friends and family using different techniques in order to isolate them so that the electronic mind control has more effect on their psyche.
Like in Guantanamo, the target becomes isolated losing their job and medical care. Part of the method involves slander in their community. They end up on the most part in poverty and paranoid about doctors and other people from false correlations that are purposefully induced into their lives. Isolation is also a form of sensory deprivation which will be discussed later. Days and weeks lose their meaning.
This is a topic for a target at the beginning of the trials and programs. Physical break-ins are common even if the target has an alarm system. The NSA has used stalking of foreign officials in the past for economic gain. The FBI does black bag jobs to invade a home without a warrant. The point is to let the target know they are being watched and to increase their paranoia. The NSA easily hacks all computer systems and causes harm to the victim’s intellectual property and their relationships from that endpoint. In the no touch torture false correlations between pain and a neighbor coming home can be induced.
Again, this technique of overloading or depriving the human of sensory stimulus is ubiquitous in torture around the world not just in U.S. secret prisons. Torture subjects in the United States have reported the use of repetitive bad music and noise campaigns. An unusual torture technique used in the U.S. secret prisons was of a use of a plastic suit filled with ice while they beat the target. Ultra bright lights for days on end in the prison and hot/cold temperature changes in the environment are frequent. In no-touch torture, the target’s brain is forced to release dopamine which causes pupil dilatation. This acts as a sensory overload. For example the non-lethal microwave weapons research done by a professor in University of Nevada has shown this capability. Body metabolism can be altered with these weapons causing cold and hot flashes. Targets of no-touch torture often hear endless tinnitus.
This is the number one torture method along with the popularity in the press of waterboarding. This is done in every country that uses torture. The United States is number one in torture since they are currently the world’s only superpower. A repetitive sleep deprivation cycle is generally done 180 hrs/7.5 days at a time in the physical renditions, or in no-touch torture five days awake and two days of sleep. Sleep deprivation accomplishes the objective of memory loss during interrogation and induces hallucinations which help with the interrogation process. In behavior modification and programming, it is necessary too.
Another technique was used on Chelsea Manning during her 7-year imprisonment term involving stripping her naked and walking her in front of her peers. Sexual humiliation is a common technique. Filming the person regardless of where they are, guards making snide comments as the person bathes or uses the restrooms and even rape have been used to torture victims.
Another technique is touch starvation. This literally involves not allowing the person to be touched by other individuals. Humans are wired to be touched from birth. Children in Yugoslavia who were left without touch literally became mentally handicapped due to the fact they were not being held in the orphanages. Adults also will suffer. Touching releases the chemical oxytocin which reduces stress and allows the immune system to work better. Also, it reduces heart rate.
What is known as “mobbing” is a form of torture as well. Mobbing involves a group of individuals attacking a person, exclusion, intimidation and other forms of emotional abuse is used on that individual. A current situation would be the use of slander used by the media to discredit Assange as well as smear him. Another would be the constant death threats against Assange used by many government officials. The effects of mobbing include but are not limited to:
- Panic attacks
- Trouble sleeping
- Higher blood pressure
- cognitive disorders
- self-inflicted injuries.
In an article by the American Psychology Association, they state some very interesting facts.
At a June 19 hearing, Craig Hanry, PhD, showed pictures to illustrate solitary confinement’s harsh conditions, including filthy cells that are “scarcely larger than a king-sized bed,” he said. As a result of the endless monotony and lack of human contact, “for some prisoners … solitary confinement precipitates a descent into madness.” Many inmates experience panic attacks, depression and paranoia, and some suffer hallucinations, he said.
Former inmate Anthony Graves, who spent 18 years on death row, including 10 in solitary confinement for a murder he didn’t commit, drove home Hanley’s points. “I would watch guys come to prison totally sane, and in three years they don’t live in the real world anymore,” he said. One fellow inmate, Graves said.
Such long-term effects are common, Haney said. “One of the very serious psychological consequences of solitary confinement is that it renders many people incapable of living anywhere else.” Then, when prisoners are released into cells or back into society, they are often overwhelmed with anxiety. “They actually get to the point where they become frightened of other human beings,” he said.
Psychological torture is exactly that. It must be outlawed and no longer used as a form of punishment or coercion. The United States prides itself on not participating in human rights violations yet it is the number one violator. It is time to hold these organizations liable for the harm they are doing to prisoners and others. Psychological torture is not only a human rights violation but is evil. Many advocate to end this form of abuse. Will you?