The Phenomenon Known as Torture Creep

Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others of Obama’s staff in the Situation Room in May 2011 when Osama bin Laden’s compound was raided.

The purpose of the article is to bear light on the historical concept of “sanitation” and/or “gentrification.” That is to say, a cleansing of an area through expulsion or extinction and the phenomenon known as Group (Gang) Stalking with electronic targeted assault and psychotronic torture. It also discusses the phenomenon known as “torture creep” a phenomenon that manifested following the aftermath of killing Osama bin Laden in May 2011. In addition, the influence of cultural sociology and the creating of “consent” in BDSM legal proceedings is also discussed and how informal rules that structure consent are unique to family relationships as well as its purpose to bring light to the aspect that certain area hospitals have been involved in the deployment of the phenomenon known as Group (Gang) Stalking with electronic targeted assaults and psychotronic torture.

“The five stages of dying, posited by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross run from denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. We pass through similar stages when it comes to dealing with historical trauma — and then move on to new stages beyond. One of them might be called sanitation, or perhaps gentrificationWhatever the word, it reflects the fact that eventually history is safely caged and tamed. Any visitor to Antietam or Gettysburg or the Somme has seen how the bloodiest battlefields become landscapes of verdant serenity, primped with tasteful monuments. Romans walk their dogs among the umbrella pines that edge the quiet precincts of the Circus Maximus, where countless Christians went to their deaths.

Sanitation has taken hold in the old Jewish Quarter of Cordoba — still called the Juderia, despite the fact that Jews have been largely gone for five hundred years. Wandering through the narrow, winding streets, a few blocks from the Mezquita, one can’t help recalling peter De Vries’ remark about how so many places are named for what had to be removed in order to make them what they are “(Murphy, 2012, pg. 85).

And it is here I’d like to add a personal comment, and we wonder what the phenomenon of Group (Gang) Stalking with electronic targeted assaults and psychotronic torture is all about?! Helene Fuld Hospital, Trenton Campus, Psychiatric Holding Area, in New Jersey and their use of electronic targeting and psychotronic torture! The seducers of human conscience! which may turn out to be either corrupt employees of the hospital itself! Or perhaps it is the “gods” of industry (specifically research and development employees) who have been instructed by their superiors to “turn water into wine or to turn shit into gold so we can make some money for ourselves in an economic niche! A miracle of rare device, in the advancement of new modern technologies in the name of science, and finding new markets for which to deploy them! It’s important to consider the work of Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality which was formerly titled “The Will to Knowledge”, and the role of the psychiatric hospital in correcting behavior and returning patients to their families in “much better condition” than when they left (Foucault, 1978, 1995). Remember Antonio Egas Montiz’s frontal lobotomy?

Defining Torture Creep

The concept of Torture Creep is attributed to Bush-era politics in response to 9/11 and the United States’ War on Terror. In an October 2007 Rasmussen poll, 27 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should torture prisoners captured in the fight against terrorism, while 53 percent said it should not. In a 2012 YouGov poll, 41 percent said they would be willing to use torture — a gain of 14 points — while 34 percent would not, a decline of 19 points (Zegart, 2012). Hence the term “torture creep.” It is also important to note that white, far-right, liberal Republicans were suffering their own crisis of white masculinity during this time, holding public gatherings using the “N” word and touting pictures of Barrack Obama as an indigenous tribal “witch doctor.” The respondents in the 2012 pool were more pro-waterboarding, pro-threatening prisoners with dogs, pro-religious humiliation, and pro-forcing prisoners to remain naked and chained in uncomfortable positions in cold rooms. In fact, many of the polls prior to 2012 that were referenced by Amy Zegart in her article “Torture Creep” reported fewer people likely to use torture, recognizing it as wrong, than people who were willing to use and were okay with it. Even enthusiasm for assassinations of foreign heads of state has risen despite the fact our government has banned assassinating foreign leaders since 1976.

Although unlike Zegart’s opinion for the possible reason for the increase in the public’s desire for torture which she claims is because it is just “easier to support controversial policies after the controversy fades.” I believe torture creep is rooted in a more archaic and deep-seated place in the human psyche. That desire to annihilate and dehumanize those whom we fear most. The roots of sadism and the tendency to annihilate what seem like very real phantoms lurking in the shadows of our fears. There is no want for historical data for this fact involving “mental illness” and those placed in psychiatric hospitals.

We believe slavery has ended because there is no longer an industry for the slave trade. But yet everywhere we look today we see police brutality and the unnecessary killing of young black men and women by policing authorities. We see institutionalized forms of prejudice creeping into how young black women are treated in maternity wards. Are we to believe that violations of basic human rights no longer exist in the realm of psychiatry as well? A common narrative to the Phenomenon of Group (Gang) Stalking is that the individual is “mentally ill.” And are we to believe that because the human race no longer sees a purpose for institutionalized torture and laws that govern and inform it, the like and size of previous religious Inquisitions, that these acts of brutal torture no longer exist because it’s been “abolished” and it is no longer visible to the naked eye. This form of subtle torture is part of what is known as The Lesser Tradition of specialized tortures which will be discussed shortly.

“The legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, though not a proponent of torture, has argued that democratic governments should make provision for the issuance of official “torture warrants” that would sanction the use of torture in extreme cases — his argument being that torture is employed clandestinely in any event, and it would be better to subject it to legal regulation. “The major downside of any warrant procedure,” Dershowitz writes, “would be its legitimation of a horrible practice, but in my view, it is better to legitimate and control a specific practice that will occur, than to legitimate general practice of tolerating extra-legal actions, so long as they operate under the table of scrutiny and beneath the radar screen of accountability (Murphy, 2012, pg. 87).”

My personal comment is this. That it would never be accepted by conspicuous courts of law because legalized torture flies in the face of what American democracy stands for which is human decency and respect for basic personal rights. The legal proof that this would never be accepted by American legal democracy is the fact our courts do not recognize contracts of BDSM. “Torture warrants”, similar to BDSM, represent a violation of criminal battery laws. Important aspects for this study are the fact of criminal battery law and the site of the family are where people learn what modes of behavior are considered acceptable. “People on the margins of the law, or “in the shadow of the law” as it is commonly put by socio-legal scholars (Macaulay 1963; Mnookin and Kornhauser 1979), are important for this study because this is primarily where people construct consent and develop rules and norms to structure and define their internal relationships (Weinberg, 2016, pg. 10). The tie that binds the three elements, at least for me, is psychiatric treatment, the family, and the psychiatric institution where it is implemented. But to return to my main point, there is a reason why military courts exist and are kept separate from civilian courts. The laws that apply to each are both very different. This is because both BDSM and “torture warrants” lie at the intersection of law and cultural sociology. “Torture warrants” seem to mimic the phenomenon of what is now known as Group (Gang) Stalking with electronic targeted assault and psychotronic torture. What are the function of both informal laws and formal codesThe function of law is to shape human behavior. The paucity of work done on the phenomenon of Group (Gang) Stalking and electronic targeted assaults and psychotronic torture is enough to give voice to the informal nature of its rules, rules that operate in the “shadows of the law.”

Let us consider further Cullen Murphy’s thoughts on legitimized forms of torture historically instituted during Medieval Inquisitions:

“The Spanish Inquisition is not what Dershowitz had in mind, but it, too, sought to legitimate and control a regime of torture, just as the Medieval Inquisition had. Torture might once have been limited to crimina excepta — crimes of the utmost gravity — but over time that category was broadened, and the threshold of permissibility was lowered. The phenomenon is sometimes known as torture creep. It comes in various forms. In the aftermath of killing Osama bin Laden, in May 2011, a number of commentators asserted that the Al Qaeda leader’s hideout had been discovered owing mainly to information gleaned from torture — demonstrating just how worthwhile torture can be. The claim was not true, but the fact that it was made illustrates a moral slide: where once torture was seen as justified only by some “ticking time bomb” scenario, now it was seen as justifiable for obtaining useful intelligence of a lesser kind.

Inquisitors resorted to torture for one main purpose: to elicit statements by the victim, about himself or people he knew, that they could legally regard as “the truth.” Torture was not employed officially as punishment, though it would be impossible to rule out such a motivation — in the hearts of many who wield it, torture has always entailed some measure of punishment. Officially, it was a tool of jurisprudence — an essential element in the hierarchy of proof. Because the gravest of crimes brought a penalty of death, it was essential to have an ironclad assurance of guilty — and no assurance was more persuasive then a confession.

Darius Rejali, the most prominent modern specialist on torture, had divided certain torture techniques into what he calls the Greater and Lesser Stress Traditions. The Greater Tradition consists of methods that are applied with a few limitations and that leave victims with “permanent, visible injuries.” The Lesser Tradition comes with certain rules and leaves “fewer tell-tale marks.” When modern democracies resort to torture, as they do, their tendency has been toward the Lesser Tradition — easier to hide, easier to explain away (Murphy, 2012, pg. 87–88).”

And it is here we can connect the dots from the Lesser Stress Traditions of torture and the phenomenon we know today as Group (Gang) Stalking with electronic targeted assaults and psychotronic torture. When authoritarian regimes have no such concerns as “the law” because they operate in its shadows. The Lesser Stress Traditions of torture can operate in an environment in which secular authorities are unaware of its presence and it can treat “subjects” as they please, and where legal authority may be at a disadvantage in understanding what this invisible subject actually represents which is compromised freedom. Some of the methods employed could by their nature do irreparable damage. Cullen Murphy writes, “The moral may be that the regulation of torture never really works — it just points the practitioners in new directions. As Rejali writes, ‘When we watch interrogators, interrogators get sneaky.’”

In the end, the informal rules that govern prescribed torture are part of a social order that orders relationships. It is inherent in its culture and informal social rules like formal laws structure human behavior by enabling or constraining social action and by enabling cohesion of a collective (Durkheim, [1893], 1997; Giddens, 1984). We could certainly use this theory to explain why torture goes hand-in-hand with militarized cultures.

Sources:

Durkheim, Emile. (1893) 1997. The Division of Labor in Society. New York. Simon & Schuster.

Foucault, Michel. (1978). The History of Sexuality. New York. Pantheon Books.

Foucault, Michel. (1995). Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. 2nd ed. New York. Vintage Books.

Giddens, Anthony. 1984. The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration. Berkeley, California. University of California Press.

Macaulay, Stewart. 1963. “Non-Contractual Relations and Business: A Preliminary Study.” American Sociological Review 28:55–69.

Mnookin, Robert H. and Lewis Kornhauser. 1979. “Bargaining in the Shadow of Law: The Case of Divorce.” Yale Law Journal 88:950–97.

Murphy, Cullen. (2012). God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World. New York. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Weinberg, Jill D. (2016). Consensual Violence: Sex, Sports, and The Politics of Injury. Oakland, California. University of California Press.

Zegart, Amy. (2012). Torture Creep: Why are more Americans accepting Bush-era policies than ever before? ForeignPolicy.com. Published September 25, 2012.

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