1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

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1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #1  Postby VaughnMH1960 » Sat May 25, 2013 4:05 am

I just read of a rather disturbing experiment that I felt had the ring of BS to it. Here's the article:

"In 1983, a team of deeply pious scientists conducted a radical experiment in an undisclosed facility. The scientists had theorized that a human without access to any senses or ways to perceive stimuli would be able to perceive the presence of God. They believed that the five senses clouded our awareness of eternity, and without them, a human could actually establish contact with God by thought. An elderly man who claimed to have “nothing left to live for” was the only test subject to volunteer. To purge him of all his senses, the scientists performed a complex operation in which every sensory nerve connection to the brain was surgically severed. Although the test subject retained full muscular function, he could not see, hear, taste, smell, or feel. With no possible way to communicate with or even sense the outside world, he was alone with his thoughts.

Scientists monitored him as he spoke aloud about his state of mind in jumbled, slurred sentences that he couldn’t even hear. After four days, the man claimed to be hearing hushed, unintelligible voices in his head. Assuming it was an onset of psychosis, the scientists paid little attention to the man’s concerns.

Two days later, the man cried that he could hear his dead wife speaking with him, and even more, he could communicate back. The scientists were intrigued, but were not convinced until the subject started naming dead relatives of the scientists. He repeated personal information to the scientists that only their dead spouses and parents would have known. At this point, a sizable portion of scientists left the study.

After a week of conversing with the deceased through his thoughts, the subject became distressed, saying the voices were overwhelming. In every waking moment, his consciousness was bombarded by hundreds of voices that refused to leave him alone. He frequently threw himself against the wall, trying to elicit a pain response. He begged the scientists for sedatives, so he could escape the voices by sleeping. This tactic worked for three days, until he started having severe night terrors. The subject repeatedly said that he could see and hear the deceased in his dreams.

Only a day later, the subject began to scream and claw at his non-functional eyes, hoping to sense something in the physical world. The hysterical subject now said the voices of the dead were deafening and hostile, speaking of hell and the end of the world. At one point, he yelled “No heaven, no forgiveness” for five hours straight. He continually begged to be killed, but the scientists were convinced that he was close to establishing contact with God.

After another day, the subject could no longer form coherent sentences. Seemingly mad, he started to bite off chunks of flesh from his arm. The scientists rushed into the test chamber and restrained him to a table so he could not kill himself. After a few hours of being tied down, the subject halted his struggling and screaming. He stared blankly at the ceiling as teardrops silently streaked across his face. For two weeks, the subject had to be manually rehydrated due to the constant crying. Eventually, he turned his head and, despite his blindness, made focused eye contact with a scientist for the first time in the study. He whispered “I have spoken with God, and he has abandoned us” and his vital signs stopped. There was no apparent cause of death."

Now its not that I doubt that some secret agency could/would do something like that, it just seems that by 1983, they would've been aware of the use of sensory deprivation tanks and been able to achieve the same results without the permanent surgery. Furthermore the story gives no details on who,what, when or where this experiment was done, so to me, it sounds like another urban legend that fundamentalist preachers could spout from the pulpit at altar call time. Anyone got anymore info on this? Such as where this story may have originated?
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #2  Postby Daedalus » Sat May 25, 2013 3:06 pm

Can you link to an actual record of an experiment? This sounds like a rejected script...
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #3  Postby Poodle » Sat May 25, 2013 5:33 pm

I cannot imagine a country where this would be anywhere near legal. Severing all sensory input merely because they had the subject's permission? The same logic would surely apply to a subject giving permission for his head to be cut off i.e. it's murder.

I'll rephrase it slightly. I cannot imagine a country which would have the facilities for such an experiment and which would contain deeply pious scientists where this would be anywhere near legal. Top that with the complete lack of logic in the scientists' reasoning, and I think I'm going for "it didn't happen".

If it did, I think a small war may be in the offing.
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #4  Postby scrmbldggs » Sat May 25, 2013 5:53 pm

VaughnMH1960 wrote:To purge him of all his senses, the scientists performed a complex operation in which every sensory nerve connection to the brain was surgically severed. Although the test subject retained full muscular function, he could not see, hear, taste, smell, or feel.

Is there a doctor in the house? What would it take to actually do that?
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #5  Postby Daedalus » Sat May 25, 2013 6:01 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:
VaughnMH1960 wrote:To purge him of all his senses, the scientists performed a complex operation in which every sensory nerve connection to the brain was surgically severed. Although the test subject retained full muscular function, he could not see, hear, taste, smell, or feel.

Is there a doctor in the house? What would it take to actually do that?


You could potentially use white noise and darkness to take care of sight and sound. Smell... could be a lavage with lidocaine... same for taste.

Mind you, this would actually drive people out of their minds almost comically quickly... in fact it's not very effective as torture because (like waterboarding) people just babble.
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“You’re in the desert, you see a tortoise lying on its back, struggling, and you’re not helping — why is that?" (Bladerunner)
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #6  Postby scrmbldggs » Sat May 25, 2013 6:04 pm

Found this.
Last edited by scrmbldggs on Sat May 25, 2013 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #7  Postby Daedalus » Sat May 25, 2013 6:07 pm

scrmbldggs wrote:Found this: redacted


"Deepweb"...

Oh, so it's BS.
/movingon
Last edited by Daedalus on Sat May 25, 2013 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #8  Postby Daedalus » Sat May 25, 2013 6:45 pm

Daedalus wrote:
scrmbldggs wrote:Found this: redacted


"Deepweb"...

Oh, so it's BS.
/movingon
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #9  Postby VaughnMH1960 » Sat May 25, 2013 6:56 pm

That's pretty much what I figured, since like the urban legend of scientists "finding hell" by digging in Siberia and sticking a microphone down the hole,no details are given as to where and who did this supposed experiment. Sounds like a pretty good synopsis for a creepy horror script. It doesn't look like its copyrighted, so its fair game. Is there an executive producer in the house?
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #10  Postby Gord » Sat May 25, 2013 7:30 pm

It reads exactly like an internet hoax.

VaughnMH1960 wrote:In 1983, a team of deeply pious scientists conducted a radical experiment in an undisclosed facility.

So, mad scientists in a secret laboratory.

To purge him of all his senses, the scientists performed a complex operation....

...which isn't even possible.

Assuming it was an onset of psychosis, the scientists paid little attention to the man’s concerns.

They wanted to know what he sensed, but then paid little attention to it.

The scientists were intrigued, but were not convinced until the subject started naming dead relatives of the scientists.

"I'm not convinced we're getting results.  Oh wait, he mentioned my mommy!"

At this point, a sizable portion of scientists left the study.

"Hooray!  We're getting results at last!  We'll, results don't really interest me, so I'm outta here."

He frequently threw himself against the wall, trying to elicit a pain response.

But his sensory inputs have been magically severed by an impossible surgical procedure, how could he know he was throwing himself against a wall?

Why oh why do religious scientists always forget to tie down their patients!

...the subject began to scream and claw at his non-functional eyes, hoping to sense something in the physical world.

So, still no straps, huh?  What lousy scientists, who know how to perform impossible surgery but don't know how to restrain their patients.

He continually begged to be killed, but the scientists were convinced that he was close to establishing contact with God.

Yeah, 'cause anytime someone begs to die, I assume it's because he's getting really close to God.

Seemingly mad, he started to bite off chunks of flesh from his arm.

Seriously, no rope?  No handcuffs?  Not even a couple of burly lab assistants to hold him down?

The scientists rushed into the test chamber and restrained him to a table so he could not kill himself. After a few hours of being tied down, the subject halted his struggling and screaming.

Ohhh, NOW they figure out how to restrain him!

For two weeks, the subject had to be manually rehydrated due to the constant crying.

"Manually rehydrated?"  What, with a bicycle pump or something?

There was no apparent cause of death.

Well, I could come up with a few suggestions!

This is so clearly a hoax, I don't know what else to do but laugh and sadly shake my head.
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #11  Postby Dimebag » Sat May 25, 2013 10:13 pm

Poodle wrote:I cannot imagine a country where this would be anywhere near legal. Severing all sensory input merely because they had the subject's permission? The same logic would surely apply to a subject giving permission for his head to be cut off i.e. it's murder.

I'll rephrase it slightly. I cannot imagine a country which would have the facilities for such an experiment and which would contain deeply pious scientists where this would be anywhere near legal. Top that with the complete lack of logic in the scientists' reasoning, and I think I'm going for "it didn't happen".

If it did, I think a small war may be in the offing.

Funny you should mention beheadings, I remember someone telling me how some French king would have people beheaded and have them blink to communicate messages after the beheading, such as, is this painful in the last few seconds before death? Suffice to say, they blinked, out of reaction, or probably also cos its painful as hell.
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #12  Postby scrmbldggs » Sat May 25, 2013 10:39 pm

Dimebag wrote:
Poodle wrote:I cannot imagine a country where this would be anywhere near legal. Severing all sensory input merely because they had the subject's permission? The same logic would surely apply to a subject giving permission for his head to be cut off i.e. it's murder.

I'll rephrase it slightly. I cannot imagine a country which would have the facilities for such an experiment and which would contain deeply pious scientists where this would be anywhere near legal. Top that with the complete lack of logic in the scientists' reasoning, and I think I'm going for "it didn't happen".

If it did, I think a small war may be in the offing.

Funny you should mention beheadings, I remember someone telling me how some French king would have people beheaded and have them blink to communicate messages after the beheading, such as, is this painful in the last few seconds before death? Suffice to say, they blinked, out of reaction, or probably also cos its painful as hell.

You're referring to something like this? viewtopic.php?f=80&t=19686#p320583
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #13  Postby VaughnMH1960 » Sun May 26, 2013 5:29 pm

OK, so we've figured that this has a 99.9999 % probability of being a hoax. Now the next question which is always what interests me more about stories like this than the actual content is, from where did the story originate. Snopes has no mention of it.

The rejected script idea sounds good and there's no copyright on it. I ask again, is there an executive producer in the house? Or could this story be a plant as a publicity stunt for a small independent film currently in the pre production phase?

I could see videos popping up on youtube of "actual 1983 macabre experiment footage" ala Alien Autopsy.
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #14  Postby Gord » Mon May 27, 2013 12:21 am

It's more of an urban legend than an actual hoax, but whoever wrote it either knew it wasn't true or else felt so secure in his/her belief that it was true the he/she felt obligated to make up a story to match what he/she felt he/she "knew" about it.

'Cause, really, it's garbage.
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #15  Postby VaughnMH1960 » Mon May 27, 2013 3:34 pm

Most urban legends are based in older urban legends and planted for a specific reason or motivation. Such as the ones about the guy who travels to a Latin American country, falls for a girl he meets, gets drugged and wakes up the next day in a tub of ice,in severe pain, with a surgery scar and a missing kidney.Or the one about the scientists who were drilling in Siberia and found hell with a microphone and heard the screams of the damned.

What could be the motivation behind a yarn like this. It should be on Snopes or the Urban Legend TV show. Surprised Rob Zombie, Stephen King or George Romero hasn't developed a script like this.
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #16  Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue May 28, 2013 1:19 am

VaughnMH1960 wrote:Most urban legends are based in older urban legends and planted for a specific reason or motivation. Such as the ones about the guy who travels to a Latin American country, falls for a girl he meets, gets drugged and wakes up the next day in a tub of ice,in severe pain, with a surgery scar and a missing kidney.Or the one about the scientists who were drilling in Siberia and found hell with a microphone and heard the screams of the damned.


There are a couple fun books where the author hunts down the origins of urban legends.  I'm pretty sure that Stephen King would know most of these legends.
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #17  Postby VaughnMH1960 » Tue May 28, 2013 2:05 am

Thanks Matt, that looks like a fun book.
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #18  Postby icantbelievethis » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:36 am

This story has so many holes in it, it's not funny.

First of all, this type of study would have to be FDA approved or - at least - supervised. Given that it is completely unethical it wouldn't have been approved.

Second, the supposed secretive nature about this story automatically makes me think it's BS.

Third, the surgery proposed is impossible. Surgically, they cannot numb you completely all over. This "subject" would have been unable to breathe if, as claimed, every sensory nerve was severed.

However, for the argumentatively skeptical: They would have to paralyze you if they were to take way just feeling from all over your body. That's obviously not what they did because, if they had, he wouldn't have been able to throw himself against a wall.

Which, by the way, if he had no ability to feel - he could NOT have thrown himself against the wall. How could he being unable to see the room or feel where the floor was? He'd be unable to walk. He has no way to feel so he'd also be unable to bite anything given that he couldn't tell when his arm was in his mouth.

He also could not have retained full muscular function. Your nerves that make you feel are the same ones that send the impulses to the muscles to move. He also, by the way, would not be able to talk Therefore: impossible.


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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #19  Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:50 am

icantbelievethis wrote:This story has so many holes in it, it's not funny.


Absolutely.  If all sensory input was cut off, then how could the scientists ask him what he was experiencing?    The story didn't make sense from the beginning.

I can think of a couple "see God through sensory cut off" popular stories.
"Tommy"
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"Johnny Got His Gun"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Got_His_Gun
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Re: 1983 Sensory Deprivation God Experiment

Post #20  Postby Rhyging » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:40 pm

LOL It's a "Creepy pasta"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfsEMBq_P7Q

^ read the comments and you'll understand

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