Were they Tortured?
They were startled and forced from a deep sleep at 12am. Nearly a dozen masked men, carrying what looked like rubber paddles screaming woke up 18 people.
They were forced up, and told "Scum, you are worthless scum and need to be cleaned, get to the showers!" In all 18 were rounded up from the sleeping area and forced into a trio of 4x4 shower stalls, six per stall, all near naked and huddled together. Then they turned on the water, cold salt water poured from the open pipes, soaking all.
The screaming continued as the soap was dumped on them "You are all worthless scum! Get Clean!". For nearly 30 minutes they were forced, in the cold salt water, to wash each other, before they were pulled from the showers and taken outside, still wet, and forced to get on their hands and knees on the hard rough surface.
Each was given a handler, who put a leash made of rope on them. "Pushups Scum! Do Pushups, NOW!" the largest and loudest of the handlers screamed. On the rough surface, which scuffed the skin, they did pushup as another handler screamed questions "Which one of you bastards attacked the Colonel? Fess up and it will be easier". No one answered. The screaming got louder "Which one of you assholes strung up Oscar? We found him hanging, WHO DID IT!!" No one answered.
They were all ordered to get on their bellies, the gravel like surface scraping as they did. "Swim jerk offs, there are sharks chasing you! Swim!" As they kicked the knees and elbows were roughed up as they hit the ground in the mock swimming motion. The same questions about Oscar and the Colonel were screamed, and still no one answered. For over an hour this went on, before suddenly their leader put a stop to it, and told the handler to put them back to bed.
At 4:30 it started again, everyone woken by the screaming handlers. "Get dressed, you have 1 minute to be in formation in the lounge, don't be late!" he slapped his hard paddle against the bunks to make his point that being late would mean something less than fun.
The handlers, all with masks, t-shirts with slogans about killing the scum, waited in the lounge, slapping the paddles against tables screaming.
"On your knees scum!" was the first command in the lounge, the handlers came by and put the leashes back on each of their charges. Time for confession, each of you will be given the chance to tell the Padre who attacked the colonel and who hung Oscar. We are very pissed about Oscar and want to know who did it.
The man dressed somewhat like a priest came and offered each of the men something like communion, but it stunk of rotted something. "Eat your communion and confess that you did it!" the priest screamed. Each was fed a wafer of something, but none would confess. Each received five lashes with the paddles for not coming clean.
The head handler order then all into a single file line, on hands and knees, "Take them to the staging area". When they had crawled nearly 100 yards, up and down stairs, then outside, they were put into a larger group of nearly 100, all with handlers screaming at them. "Today you will pay for what happened last night. One of you will confess to hanging Oscar, and attacking the Colonel. All of you will pay for it", the man who seemed to be in charge screamed.
Groups of 10 at a time were taken up a final stair case every 10 minutes or so. When they reached the top they saw an array of props set up. Coffins, toilets, troughs , table , long tubes, huge chairs.
Each was lead from station to station. "Did you attack the Colonel?" The answer was always "no", and then it would begin. At the toilet, which was filled with something that stunk and was brown, they would be forced to bob for apples, most throwing up.
If they still didn't answer correctly they were taken to the "tube" 80 feet long, full of old trash, food, and the vomit of those before them. The same questions were asked, and the result was always "no", and they were sent through the tube. The handlers screamed for them to crawl faster through the 2.5 foot diameter tube. There was no choice but have their faces in the slop in the bottom.
They were taken to the confessors chair, where a huge, hairy man sat. His belly was covered in lard, with something in his navel. "Did you kill Oscar?" "Did you attack the Colonel?" When the answer was no, their faces were forced to the fat belly, and forced to retrieve whatever it was in his navel, and swallow it.
After nearly 2 hours, and 10 stations, none had confessed, and were taken to a new area. It continued until all 100 had gone through. No one confessed to hanging Oscar or attacking the colonel.
(please click "read full post" to see the full story)
I will give the followup sometime this evening.
No, it wasn't torture, it was my military (Navy & Marine) initiation into the Royal Order of Shellbacks, which is done on your first crossing of the equator, in 1986. (Ascan wasn't there, he was with me the third time I crossed).I was the one who hanged Oscar, (who is the man overboard dummy on Navy ships) from the aft 70 ton boom on a cargo ship. To the lookout at 11pm, it was kind of frightening.
I was also in the group who kidnapped, and slightly degraded the Colonel who was the Office In Charge of our landing force. I paid for that, cuz someone ratted us out.
I also spent a few 10 minute stints in a coffin (not alone) full of rotted potatoes, two stints in a bathtub full of ice cubes, and various other less than fun activities.
But my point is, as some folks in the comments thought, what one defines as "torture" is totally dependent on the point of view, and what they are trying to get from that definition. Some of the folks in Congress who are complaining that rap music, "stinky hoods", etc are torture went through this same initiation, probably worse if they were in before I joined, and know better. They didn't call it torture when it was done to them.
(On a side note, the Navy has clamped down on initiations over the last 10 years, and stuff I went through would be forbidden. Mostly because they were afraid of offending the sensibilities of the fairer sex when they began assigning them to combatants.)
Technorati Tags: torture & opinion