Hope for Iranians in the French Torture Game

A group of French psychologists recently recruited 80 volunteers for what they claimed was a pilot for a new TV show. The game involved posing questions to another “player” — in reality, an actor — who was purportedly tortured with as much as 460 volts of electricity for each wrong answer as a roaring crowd screamed “Punishment!” Of the 80 volunteers, only 16 refused to participate and walked out. The other 80 percent went all the way until the actor appeared to have died. One of those who participated admitted that she was the granddaughter of a Jewish couple who were tortured and persecuted by the Nazis in World War II.   ” Fear also plays a huge factor. Imagine a basiji faced with an angry crowd screaming, “Mikosham! Mikosham! Anke Baradaram Kosht!” (I will kill, I will kill, that who killed my brother). Even if that basiji has not killed anyone himself, he begins to see his commission of violence as an act of self-defense. After all, he wonders, is there any chance that such a crowd would afford him clemency should they succeed in bringing change? Another crucial factor is the respect for authority and pressure to conform whose power the French psychologists revealed in the torture game. When a member of the Sepah or Basij receives an order to crush the protesters with full force, an… >>>

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