What are the most terrifying genetic experiments

The cruelest attempts of man on man

Perhaps you've already taken part in a clinical study because you're either particularly classy or you needed ten euros for the next crate of beer. Anyway, congratulations. It is praiseworthy when people volunteer to serve science.

For some experiments, however, it is difficult to find volunteers. For example, when it comes to studies on the consequences of untreated sexually transmitted diseases. Or how quickly someone dies if he or she is tossed in a circle long enough. Yet these terrible things have all been tested. For the past few decades, people have conducted terrible experiments on each other. It is a horror that it is somewhere in the spectrum from "still relatively harmless" to "unlikely terrible", but in any case it is difficult to understand.

Speech therapist Wendell Johnson suggested that the development of stuttering depends on how other people react to harmless speech defects. As a result, his student Mary Tudor Jacobs carried out an experiment on 22 orphans in 1939.

It should make half of the children stutterers by correcting and unsettling them every little mistake. The children were told how awful they sounded and at the same time they were warned: “Listen, once you start to stutter, you will inevitably stutter more and more and worse! So it is best not to say anything as long as you cannot speak properly! "

Even the children, who originally did not have the slightest pronunciation problems, soon no longer dared to speak in class. The nine-year-old girl Betty Hull only covered her eyes with her hands when she was asked something. Another girl named Mary Korlaske was asked if her best friend knew she was stuttering. "No," she replied. "Why not?" Asked the researcher. Mary pawed the ground uncertainly and replied that she said almost nothing to her friend any more.

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After the experiments, Mary Hull explained to the children that everything was fine with their language, but the damage could not be undone. Mary Korlaske never learned to speak properly again. Still, this vicious attempt contributed in large part to our understanding of stuttering.

The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

From 1932 to 1972, the U.S. Department of Health, in partnership with the Tuskegee Institute, conducted research into untreated syphilis. 399 poor Alabama farmers, two-thirds diagnosed with syphilis, have been studied over the years.

It was known as early as 1940 that penicillin could be used to cure syphilis, but doctors wanted to see how the disease would develop without drug therapy. In order to persuade the farmers to donate blood, they were promised free medical treatment, which they normally could not afford. After each examination, there was also a warm meal as bait.

Of course, since the farmers were all black and the scientists were all white, this study is not only unethical but also deeply racist. Of the 399 infected people, 28 died directly and another 100 from the indirect complications of syphilis.

The syphilis experiment in Guatemala

When Susan Reverby was researching the Tuskegee experiments in 2005, she came across a far worse set of experiments that the United States conducted in Guatemala between 1946 and 1948. People who already had an STD were not used in these experiments — they were deliberately infected with syphilis, gonnorhea, and soft chancre. The aim was to study the effects of penicillin in more detail.

In return, infected prostitutes were paid to have sex with prison inmates in order to infect them. Guatemalan soldiers and the mentally ill were also used as subjects. Some of the pathogens were injected directly into the blood.

83 people were killed this way. In 2010, Hillary Clinton and Kathleen Sebelius officially apologized on behalf of the US government for the atrocities. There was also a "sorry" from Obama to the President of Guatemala.

Paranoia was in the air in America in the 1950s. In the anxious mood of the Cold War, the CIA conducted countless experiments - all with the aim of developing methods to mentally weaken people so that they would no longer be able to hold onto information.

These experiments ranged from the administration of various drugs to hypnosis and sexual abuse. Because virtually all relevant documents were destroyed by the CIA in 1973, much of the project never came to light.

An important part of the project was to test LSD on ignorant individuals with mental disorders, prisoners, drug addicts and prostitutes. One case is known to have been administered LSD to the patient for 174 days in a row. In another experiment, the tripping patients were exposed to extremely bright light. They were told their bad trip would go on forever if they didn't divulge their deepest secrets.

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The CIA also had big plans to inject LSD into heads of state like Fidel Castro. To carry out this devious operation and find out what LSD can do under perfectly normal conditions, unsuspecting CIA employees added acid to the morning coffee. Some of them went crazy over these surprise trips, like the man who ran psychotically through the streets of Washington and saw monsters in every car. Another fell himself to his death from the 13th floor. The experiments continued anyway.

The groundbreaking result then was that the effects of LSD were unpredictable and therefore not particularly suitable for controlling the human mind.

The experiments of Josef Mengele and other Nazis

Twins in Auschwitz who were kept alive for Mengele's experiments. Image: Wikimedia Commons, USHMM / Belarusian State Archive of Documentary Film and Photography | Public domain

When we talk about crimes against humanity, of course the Nazis are always at the forefront. More precisely, it could hardly be worse.

For example, the following cruel experiments were carried out under Eduard Wirths and Josef Mengele:

  • Twins and half-siblings were sewn together to see if they could create "a new creature."
  • To study the effects of cold, people were thrown into ice water and then noted when exactly they died. Above all, Russian prisoners were "used" for this purpose, because the Germans feared that they would be genetically resistant to cold.
  • For their tests with seawater, the Nazis locked 90 Roma in a room with no food or drinking water and only gave them a bucket of salt water.
  • The victims dried up so terribly that they licked the floor out of sheer desperation when someone had just wiped it with a damp cloth (the Nazis were also completely obsessed with impeccable hygiene).
  • In 1933 a law was passed that forced people with potential hereditary defects to be sterilized. Anyone who was not a perfect Aryan had no right to exist, and certainly no right to reproduction. To find the most effective method of sterilization, thousands of horrific experiments were conducted.

This list could go on and on indefinitely. In addition, Josef Mengele was a notorious bungler who had next to no idea about medical procedures.

In addition to being a Slayer song, Unit 731 is an infamous Japanese Army research complex that experimented on people during the Second Sino-Japanese War and WWII. The mastermind behind the whole thing was the microbiologist Shiro Ishii - a man from whom even Josef Mengele could have learned a lot about malice.

Among other things, the following horror offers were in Ishii's repertoire: vivisection without anesthesia, freezing, thawing and amputation of limbs (also without anesthesia). The victims' arms and legs were sewn off the other side of the body, they were injected with animal blood and seawater, they were infected with sexually transmitted diseases and were tossed in a circle until they died. During weapon tests, atrocities positioned their poor victims at various distances around a grenade - then the grenade was detonated.

The Chinese served the Japanese as guinea pigs for the development of new biological weapons. Low-flying planes bombed Chinese cities and villages with plague-infected fleas. One problem with this was that the fleas floating around in the air also infected their own troops, which meant that this experiment was discontinued after the first large-scale experiments.

After Japan surrendered in 1945, a plane full of Americans landed in front of the complex. The soldiers felt dizzy at all the gruesome details of atrocities, but against the backdrop of the arms race with the Soviet Union, not necessarily out of pity. Because Shiro Isshi had the key to the Unit 731 records, he proposed a deal to the Americans: he would stay alive with all of his men in exchange for the files. He died of natural causes at the age of 67 without ever spending a single day in prison.

The Soviet Union, North Korea and other regimes have also been guilty of heinous experiments with people. But here's some good news at the end: Today there are conventions, ethical guidelines and codes to prevent these types of treatment, such as the Helsinki Declaration. And bad news at the very end: These agreements are being violated all the time, for example by the CIA.

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