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  • Hello darkness my old friend, thinks the prisoner who hears the bolt on his cell door unlock.

  • It's time to be tortured again, and it's going to be beyond horrible.

  • But this prisoner doesn't have any cuts or bruises on his body.

  • In fact, after the torture, he's going to look just fine.

  • Still, what for the country detaining him isStandard Operating Procedureis hell

  • on Earth for him.

  • One thing for sure is he really hates the Rage Against the Machine song, “Killing

  • in the Name Of.”

  • This song was one hit on the CIA's torture playlist.

  • Other songs on that playlist were Metallica's “Enter Sandmanand Barney the Purple

  • Dinosaur's “I Love You”.

  • They were all part of what's called no-touch torture, along with things such as sleep deprivation.

  • Maybe now you're thinking, but I love those songs.

  • You like nothing more than to do a very bad rendition of Killing in the Name Of at your

  • local karaoke spot.

  • That might be true, but if you play that song at an extremely loud volume over and over

  • again it will become tortuous at some point.

  • It's exactly what the US did to suspected terrorists at some of its human rights-violating

  • detention centers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • It was no big secret, either.

  • Sergeant Mark Hadsell of the U.S. Psychological Operations Company was quite open about how

  • he and others used loud music to torture prisoners.

  • This was done to break the will of prisoners that wouldn't talk, if indeed they had anything

  • to say.

  • Many innocent people ended up hating Metallica.

  • It was explained that the reason heavy metal was often chosen was not just because it's

  • generally damn noisy, but also because it might offend the prisoner's cultural and

  • religious beliefs.

  • Basically, they were exposed to sounds that made them think, “What on earth is that

  • awful racket.”

  • The CIA also used TV programs, such as Sesame StreetYou heard that right, Big Bird and

  • The Count after years of entertaining kids evolved into weapons of torture deemed by

  • activists to be a violation of human rights.

  • Hadsell explained some more about how it works.

  • He said, “These people haven't heard heavy metal.

  • They can't take it.

  • If you play it for 24 hours, your brain and body functions start to slide, your train

  • of thought slows down and your will is broken.

  • That's when we come in and talk to them."

  • It still seems a bit weird, but apparently, it works, even the kids' TV stuff.

  • This is what one US operative told Newsweek, “In training, they forced me to listen to

  • the Barney 'I Love You' song for 45 minutes.

  • I never want to go through that again.”

  • Compared to other kinds of torture, the US has said that even though it drives people

  • up the wall and breaks their will, it doesn't have any long-term devastating psychological

  • effects.

  • Still, that's probably best answered by the prisoners.

  • One of those prisoners told Amnesty International that he was kept awake with loud songs for

  • a period of 4 days.

  • Even though the very mention of Barney will always elicit a laugh, can you imagine that

  • short song being repeated at an extreme volume for 4 whole days?

  • He was innocent, too.

  • Amnesty said, “It is a very difficult line to draw between what constitutes discomfort

  • and what constitutes torture.”

  • People have actually undertaken studies on music as torture.

  • It's sometimes called futility music because it's supposed to tell the victim that any

  • kind of resistance to the music is totally futile.

  • It is going to play and play until you break.

  • Just imagine it right now, you trapped in your bathroom, with a speaker on the wall

  • blaring out some strange song you hate not for an hour, but for days.

  • Torture music goes back long before the hell holes in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib came about.

  • Many years before the US sent alleged terrorists around the bend with Eminem's “Real Slim

  • Shadyand the Meow Mix theme song, they dabbled in Van Halen.

  • When the US invaded Panama in 1989 its leader Manuel Noriega hid in an embassy.

  • Operatives wanted to get him out without causing too much damage.

  • Outside the embassy, they blasted Van Halen's songPanamaand for days on end and

  • also played The Howard Stern Show, among other sounds most of us are familiar with.

  • Noriega lasted a month and then handed himself in.

  • You have to ask if it was the music that did it.

  • According to The Guardian, it was.

  • The newspaper wrote that Noriega couldn't handle thethe sanity-destroying power

  • of mallrat music.”

  • The article explains that GeneralMad MaxThurman ordered the embassy to be surrounded

  • by loudspeakers.

  • There was nowhere to hide.

  • Since it was December and we expect US troops were in a good mood, the first songs played

  • were all Christmas tunes.

  • Things took a darker turn whenDeck The Hallswas replaced with Billy Idol's

  • Flesh for FantasyandWelcome to the Jungleby Guns N' Roses.

  • After Black Sabbath's “War Pigskicked in, Noriega was on his last legs, but it was

  • the mall music that broke his will.

  • It doesn't always work, though.

  • The people holed up at Waco during that tragic siege were assaulted by torture music from

  • the FBI.

  • They didn't get much classic hard rock, though, and instead were pelted with bugle

  • calls and Tibetan chants.

  • They also got some soft rock from Barry Manilow, which admittedly, could be deemed a breach

  • of human rights.

  • Cult leader David Koresh hit right back, plugging in some speakers and playing music back at

  • the FBI.

  • He also got his band together and played some tunes.

  • According to one of the hostage rescue team workers, “He had his little band in there

  • and, all of a sudden, he starts playing and we were 200-plus yards away and we had to

  • yell at each other to hear.

  • It was . . . and it went on for several hours.”

  • It might not have worked that time, but according to a document written by the FBI, it usually

  • does.

  • That document said, “It would take 4 days to break someone doing an interrogation, 16

  • hours with lights and music on and 4 hours off.”

  • The off part is important, too, because you want to give the person a sense of relief,

  • only for the dreaded music to start up again.

  • With this mind, we think there was a missed opportunity in not using Simon and Garfunkel's

  • Sound of Silence.”

  • Imagine when the victim or victims hear the words again, “Hello darkness my old friend,

  • I've come to talk with you again.”

  • We shouldn't make fun, though, seeing as the music in Iraq also often came with other

  • nasty punishments.

  • Amnesty said former prisoners told them that methods, “include prolonged sleep deprivation;

  • beatings; prolonged restraint in painful positions, sometimes combined with exposure to loud music;

  • prolonged hooding; and exposure to bright lights.”

  • You can only imagine what it is now like for those former victims when they hear one of

  • the songs that were played on a loop.

  • The question is, can this trigger a kind of panic attack related to post-traumatic stress

  • disorder?

  • If you've read the book, “A Clockwork Orange”, you'll know that the bad boy

  • at the center of the book named Alex is tortured with sounds and images.

  • His ordeal makes him later unable to listen to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony without going

  • a bit crazy.

  • Later on, he gets locked in a room with that song playing.

  • Talk aboutultra-violence”.

  • Back in the 1960s and 70s, the Greek military junta used music torture against activists.

  • Years later some of those activists told the European Court of Human Rights it was played,

  • continuously in high volume, or employed in the form of forced singing, music served

  • as another way through which subjectivity was targeted and traumatized.”

  • Just how common it is we can't say, but it's likely still used around the world

  • today.

  • In fact, bands such as Britain's Massive Attack have teamed up with Rage Against the

  • Machine in trying to stop the military using songs as torture.

  • Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Metallica's James Hetfield have also criticized music

  • torture.

  • The latter said this in an interview, “It's the relentlessness of the music.

  • It's completely relentless.

  • If I listened to a death metal band for 12 hours in a row, I'd go insane, too.

  • I'd tell you anything you wanted to know.”

  • We don't think he was kidding.

  • As for the guy that created the Barney and Friends tunes, Bob Singleton, he said he was

  • surprised that music he'd made for children ended up breaking the wills of men kept in

  • cages.

  • His exact words were, “A song that was designed to make little children feel safe and loved

  • was somehow going to threaten the mental state of adults and drive them to the emotional

  • breaking point?”

  • Ok, but just how bad is it?

  • If you want to know that you really have to ask someone who's been tortured with children's

  • songs and heavy metal.

  • Thankfully one former detainee at Guantanamo named Ruhal Ahmed spoke out.

  • What he said might surprise you.

  • He said he could handle being beaten up because with the physical stuff he knew what was coming

  • and how long it would last.

  • It hurt, but it didn't break him.

  • He said you can prepare yourself for that, but you can't when it comes to stuff like

  • music torture.

  • Here are some of his own words: “Later on, from the end of 2003, they introduced

  • the music and it became even worse.

  • Before that, you could try and focus on something else.

  • It makes you feel like you're going mad, it's very scary.

  • After a while you don't hear the lyrics, you only hear heavy banging.”

  • Another guy named Binyam Mohamed who was detained in Pakistan said he got both the physical

  • stuff and the mental stuff.

  • They hung him up for hours by his arms, which was very painful.

  • He stayed like this in the dark for a long time while they played songs by Dr. Dre and

  • Eminem.

  • You can only imagine what this would be like if it was mixed with the torture of total

  • silence.

  • It usually comes under the term ofWhite Torture”.

  • In this will-breaking program, victims will usually be locked in a room that is soundproof,

  • so much so the silence starts to drive them mad.

  • It's made worse by the fact that the cell is all bright white, every bit of it.

  • In some cases, all the prisoner might get to eat is white rice.

  • Their whole world is white and guards are careful not to make a noise by wearing padded

  • shoes.

  • Even all the surfaces are really smooth.

  • By doing all of this a prisoner has his senses taken away besides what he can sense from

  • his own body.

  • Human rights activists have said that some people are kept like this for so long that

  • they start to hallucinate and even suffer bouts of psychosis.

  • One former prisoner explained exactly what it was like to Amnesty International.

  • His name is Amir Fakhravar and this is what Amnesty said he told them:

  • His cells had no windows, and the walls and his clothes were white.

  • His meals consisted of white rice on white plates.

  • To use the toilet, he had to put a white piece of paper under the door.

  • He was forbidden to speak, and the guards reportedly wore shoes that muffled sound.”

  • Another prisoner said that you never fully leave the white room after you are released.

  • He said since he got out he hasn't been able to sleep without medication.

  • He said the sound of a closing door makes him panic.

  • The US stands accused of doing something similar.

  • Basically, in the days of enhanced interrogation at Guantánamo, a prisoner might have his

  • hearing disabled by earmuffs.

  • They then blindfold him so it is pitch black and they also put large gloves over his hands

  • and feet so he couldn't feel anything.

  • The prisoners were held in cages where they would eventually lose all sense of time.

  • These people had no idea what was coming next, maybe a kick in the groin, or perhaps even

  • getting dragged out of that cage and taken to a cell where for days on end they'd have

  • to listen to Count von Count doing what he does best.

  • It would be funny, if it wasn't.

  • Still, according to the US military, what some former prisoners have calledThe Disco

  • is actuallytorture-light.”

  • One of those prisoners didn't think so, once saying that given two choices of either

  • losing your sight or losing your mind you would always choose sight.

  • For him being in the dark was much better than being made mad with music.

  • But we'll finish this on a lighter note.

  • For the most part, the British public was against the invasion of Iraq and many people

  • protested about the so-called torture light.

  • Guess what happened when President Bush visited the UK and he got near the crowds?

  • You guessed it, the Barney the Purple Dinosaur theme tune was blasted out.

  • It should also be said, the British military is no stranger to torture.

  • Now you need to watch the full version of, “White Room Torture - Worst Punishments

  • in the History of Mankind.”

  • Or, have a look at, “What Are RED ROOMS of Dark Web (Are They Real?!)”

Hello darkness my old friend, thinks the prisoner who hears the bolt on his cell door unlock.

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Sound and Silence Torture - Worst Punishments in the History of Mankind

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    Summer posted on 2021/07/03
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