The experimentation on humans, or at least the ethics of it, has evolved over time. While you might be able to earn yourself a cheeky couple of grand at uni taking cough pills for a controlled medical research programme, the idea of carrying out disturbing, severe and even fatal research on human life is simply not allowed.
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Yes, we’ve all heard of the fucked up deep web site The Human Experiment, where supposedly homeless people are plucked from the streets and made to endure tortuous suffering for the pleasure of a group of fucked up individuals (you can read more about that in our run down of the most disturbing deep web websites). But in the real world of modern society, that shit is simply not allowed.
However, there was a time when ethics were not a question. The progress achieved in the psychological and medical world over the last 150 years has been astounding, but it didn’t come for free. Many human lives have been damaged, lost and ruined forever due to human experiments that took it too far. Decades previous, doctors and researchers have tested on prisoners, slaves and even family members using some questionable methods. Here are the most fucked up of those experiments that we could find:
Many of us have heard about the horrific atrocities Jewish people had to suffer under the hands of the Nazis, but they were not alone in conducting cruel and inhumane experiments on humans. One of the lesser known brutalities was conducted by the Imperial Japanese Army’s Unit 731.
For 40 years, the obscene activities carried out here were kept top secret during and after World War ll and it was not until 1984 that the horrific truth came out.
Vile experiments were conducted on humans in the unit in preparation for germ warfare – the use of disease-spreading microorganisms as a military weapon. Many of the atrocities committed by the commander Shiro Ishii and others under his command included vivisection of living people including pregnant women who had been impregnated by the doctors, prisoners having limbs cut off and attached to other parts of their body and prisoners having parts of their bodies frozen and thawed. Some were also used as live tests for grenades and flamethrowers, while others were injected with strains of diseases, disguised as vaccinations. And if that wasn’t bad enough, male and female prisoners were deliberately infected with syphilis and gonorrhea via rape.
Crazy shit. You can’t even imagine the kind of suffering these individuals endured. And to make it even worse, Ishii never spent any jail time for his crimes.
North Korean Experimentation
I think it’s pretty obvious that North Korea have carried out some fucked up human experiments in their time – they’re probably even still at it now.
One former North Korean prisoner told how in some of the prison camps in the country, prisoners were selected and made to eat poisoned cabbage leaves, which the women had to eat despite begging not to. After 20 minutes, all 50 of the women were dead after suffering from vomiting blood and anal bleeding. If they had refused to eat the leaves, them and their families would have been killed.
Another former prisoner at Camp 22 – a political prison camp in North Korea – told how laboratories would use the camp to carry out experiments by fitting it with gas chambers. Normally they would select a family as the subjects, lock them in after undergoing medical checks and then inject the room through a tube with poisonous gas. The scientists would then watch from above through a glass screen. The prisoner who told this story, Kwon Hyok, claims to have seen one family dying from the gas, with the parents trying to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on their children with their last remaining strength. That is just too fucked up for words.
The Aversion Project
In 1969, during South Africa’s turbulent Apartheid era, thousands of homosexuals were handed over to an army colonel and psychologist named Dr. Aubrey Levin. This fucked up colonel was convinced that he could “cure” them of their homosexuality through a series of experiments. Not only was he wrong (homosexuality is not something that you could or should cure) but he was also a twisted and sick motherfucker.
At the Voortrekkerhoogte military hospital near Pretoria, Levin used a range of techniques, one of the most harrowing being aversion shock therapy. He would strap electrodes to a patient’s arm with a dial that went from levels 1 to 10. The men were then shown pictures of a naked man and urged to fantasise, before Levin would administer severe and life-threatening shocks. And it gets worse – if he felt like the treatment wasn’t effective enough, in some cases he chemically castrated or even gave sex-change operations to the patients against their will. No doubt he didn’t have the proper training to carry these operations out with any care and skill.
And get this? Levin never went to prison for his crimes. When he heard that he would be named as an abuser, he fled to Canada where he now currently teaches at a hospital. There is no justice.
Guatemalan STD Study
The outbreak of syphilis in the 1940s became a worldwide issue and as a result, the U.S. government unfortunately decided to use humans that they deemed unimportant as their guinea pigs for medical treatments.
In 1947, penicillin had emerged as a cure for syphilis and to see how affective it was, the U.S. decided to turn syphilitic prostitutes loose on Guatemalan prisoners, mental patients and soldiers. Once infected, the individuals were put into two groups – one that would receive the penicillin and one that wouldn’t, just to see what would happen.
Around a third of the 1,500 victims did not receive treatment and suffered the tortuous side affects of syphilis, with more than 80 of the individuals dying from the terrible disease. It was considered such an atrocity that the current leader of the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton, actually apologised to Guatemala for this dark chapter in American history.
So there you have it. As I always say with these types of posts, us humans really are a fucked up bunch aren’t we? If you needed any more convincing of that fact, check out this truly shocking and disturbing look into the history of snuff films.