Do you really think the people paying for and conducting experiments that involve torturing animals would never use what they learned from those experiments for evil purposes? Do you think that those who dropped atomic bombs on entire ecosystems just to see what would happen should we need to actually drop one on people can really be trusted with such information?
I’m not sure why they thought it was a good idea to show such films to grade-schoolers, but I remember many such bizarre scientific experiments where animals were abused in the name of science. One such film involved a young monkey that was taken from its mother and given two surrogates instead, one made out of cloth and the other made out of metal but with a milk bottle in it. It turned out that the monkey ran to the one that was soft when they frightened it.
I think we were supposed to draw some lesson from it, but all I could think of was the trauma the little monkey was going through. I really don’t know what they sought to prove by such an experiment, other than the fact that detached observers of science are sick bastards. Perhaps it was designed to discover who people would be willing to vote for if they were deprived of an actual competent and moral leader and were forced to choose between two fake ones. If that’s the case, I really couldn’t say which fake mother monkey was Trump and which was Biden.
There were many more sick and twisted experiments I remember being exposed to in grade school. That we looked forward to movie day nonetheless did not reflect well on what we were subjected to the rest of the school year.
I remember watching the Milgram experiment, where a scientist told someone to give an electrical shock to another human being every time that person answered a question wrong. It showed how people were willing to do very bad things when someone in authority told them to, but I don’t know why the scientists wanted to know or what they did with that information.
I also remember watching an experiment where a teacher told her class that blue-eyed students were smarter and better people than the brown-eyed children. The lesson I would have learned if I had been one of those students would have been to never trust a teacher again. I remember another where test volunteers were divided into prisoners and jailers. It exposed the sadism that arose in those who had power, but again, I’m not sure what the results of this test were later used for or by whom.
Much more recently, I watched an experiment where a woman was made to sit in a waiting room among others, all of whom were in on the experiment. When a buzzer sounded, everyone in the room stood up. The woman looked around, did not understand, but eventually stood up so as to not be out of place. This was repeated a number of times while people were one by one called out of the waiting room and new people took their place. The new people were not in on the experiment, but they were soon taking cues from the original test subject, who continued to stand every time the buzzer went off, even though she had no idea why.
The test proved that unwitting dupes could be used to program other unwitting dupes. It’s something I’ve long suspected. But again, I have certain questions about this experiment. Who decided this was an experiment that needed to be done? Who was willing to fund it? Who is using the information received from this experiment and to what purpose?
It seems that there is little follow-up on such experiments. If such experiments were intended to help guard us against being manipulated, wouldn’t we see how the results were used? Of course, if such experiments were not conducted by those only wanting the best for the average person, we might expect never to hear about them again. And while it is true that many — though not nearly enough of us — have heard about many of these experiments, these might possibly be the mere tip of the iceberg. Perhaps there are many like the MK-Ultra experiments, which were only brought to light against the wishes of those who conducted them. And if we uncovered a few secret experiments, might there not be others which were never discovered?
Yeah, it’s pretty likely.
Don’t get me wrong, I think such explorations into the workings of the human mind and the ways in which those workings might be exploited are very informative. In fact, I think everyone should do their own investigating into whatever information is available regarding them. And we should all be sharing what we’re able to learn. Because I’m personally convinced that there are others who are not so interested in sharing, that they aren’t conducting experiments for the betterment of all. That may sound a little paranoid, but I believe a bit of paranoia is healthy in a word where people torture animals and manipulate other humans.