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How the Largest U.S. Association of Psychologists Colluded in Torture

Earlier this year, news broke that American Psychological Association had secretly collaborated with the U.S. government to make a legal and ethical case for torture in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. Here’s what we now know—and what we can do to prevent it from happening again. » 7/22/15 2:40pm 7/22/15 2:40pm

Here's What Really Happens When You Force-Feed Someone

The American Medical Association and the Red Cross both condemn force-feeding as a form of torture. And yet, the U.S. government and the United Nations have both force-fed hunger-striking prisoners. The real problem? Most people probably don’t realize how complicated force-feeding is, and how much can go wrong. » 4/21/15 11:20am 4/21/15 11:20am

Why Solitary Confinement Is The Worst Kind Of Psychological Torture

There may be as many as 80,000 American prisoners currently locked-up in a SHU, or segregated housing unit. Solitary confinement in a SHU can cause irreversible psychological effects in as little as 15 days. Here's what social isolation does to your brain, and why it should be considered torture. » 7/01/14 11:13am 7/01/14 11:13am

How the Soviets used their own twisted version of psychiatry to suppress political dissent

Over the course of its 69-year history, the Soviet Union was notorious for its heavy-handed suppression of political dissent — most infamously through its use of the Siberian GULAGs. But it was during the 1960s and 1970s that the Communist Party took their intolerance for ideological deviance to extremes by… » 9/04/12 7:00am 9/04/12 7:00am

For 25 Euros, you can be a (mildly) tortured Soviet political prisoner in Lithuania

Should you ever find yourself in the environs of Vilnius, Lithuania, you can sign up for 1984: The Survival Drama, a three-hour faux Soviet military interrogation, complete with former KGB guards looking to recapture the magic of the old days. 25€ will get you a three-hour regimen of belt-whippings, verbal abuse, and… » 1/10/12 8:30am 1/10/12 8:30am

Most Science Fiction Books Are Torture, Author Warns

Sturgeon's Law was too generous, argues science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer. Writer Theodore Sturgeon said that 90 percent of science fiction was "crud" (or "crap," depending on where he's quoted.) But actually, the chances of choosing a good SF novel at random are way lower than that, Sawyer tells Bookmarks:… » 6/17/08 11:56am 6/17/08 11:56am

Do We Need Graphic Torture in Our Dystopias?

Welcome back to Horrorhead, a column all about the connections between horror and scifi. On Battlestar Galactica, there's an ongoing theme of torture: humans gang-rape an imprisoned Cylon; the Cylons beat a man so badly he loses his eye (not to mention all the humans they kill outright); and there's even a little… » 4/30/08 10:43am 4/30/08 10:43am